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Ossining Village Board to Talk Birds and Bees

OSSINING, N.Y. – The sounds of clucking and buzzing could soon be running through Ossining.

The Village of Ossining Board of Trustees is scheduled to discuss the possibility of allowing residents to raise chickens and become beekeepers during tonight’s work session at 16 Croton Ave. Several Westchester communities, including New Rochelle, recently considered passing legislation that would allow residents to raise chickens in their homes. While the New Rochelle city council ultimately voted against an amendment that would have allowed households to hold no more than six birds, Village of Ossining officials say they’re open to discussing the possibility.

“There’s been a push in from local green communities to allow beekeeping and chicken farming in villages,” Mayor William Hanauer said Monday. “And really, what’s better than a fresh egg? I think that’s the idea of where this is coming from.”

Currently, village code prevents residents from housing chickens or bees in their homes. While he’s not opposed to the idea, Hanauer said the board would have to consider several safety and sanitary factors during the conversation.

“There are a lot of health issues with such a populated area,” Hanauer said. “We know there’s an interest locally and I think we could be open to it, but there are several questions that need answers first.”

Trustee John Codman agreed.

“I certainly understand the desire for them,” Codman said Monday. “Obviously I’ve watched closely what they’ve been doing in New Rochelle and I’m certainly open to discussion it but I do have concerns.”

Codman said the densely populated area of Ossining could make safety and health difficult to maintain.

“The truth is, the village is a very thickly settled area and it’s probably as thickly settled here as Yonkers,” Codman said. “So I’m concerned the close quarters could be a negative impact to health and welfare. There’s still a lot more work to be done and we’ve got to do a lot more research on this.”

Codman added that he had no other reservations to consider passing some form of legislation to allow residents to keep chickens and bees.

“I think generally I’m in support of it but I think we all need a lot more information on it,” Codman said. “I’m certainly going into it with an open mind but I’m not convinced yet either.”

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