The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


        Oregon City Council on Monday will conduct a public hearing for a zoning change request at 647 N. Stadium Road for the purpose of raising livestock.

        The meeting will be held at 8 p.m. in council chambers at 5330 Seaman Road.

        The zoning change is for a Special Use in an R-1 Low Density Residential zoned district.

        James Gilmore, Oregon’s building & zoning commissioner, said at a recent Planning Commission meeting that the zoning change is being sought for the purpose or raising seven chickens. He said the property is in an R-1 District, which has low density and large lots. It appears that R-1 surrounds the whole property. There have been similar requests in the past.

        The applicant/owner of the property is Joseph Hemminger. He said he is seeking the zoning change due to a noise complaint about a rooster that was once on the property. He said when he bought the house four months ago, he had assumed that poultry of any kind would be permitted on the property because there was a courier pigeon coop already there. He didn’t look into whether he needed a permit, he added, and brought the chickens he had already owned to the property.


Rooster relocated

        Jeanie Hopper-Erismann, Hemminger’s wife, said the seven hens stay in a 10 foot by 10 foot by six foot chicken coop surrounded by a five foot tall chicken hatch, which is two stories high. They received noise complaints because they originally had eight chickens, including a rooster named Eugene, who now lives in Wauseon. They also had ducks they had rescued for about two weeks. Without the rooster, they now have just the seven hens that don’t make any noise, The hens have names and are spoiled rotten.

        Currently, the hens are laying too many eggs, she added, so they have been giving the eggs away to their neighbors.

        Hopper-Erismann was asked by Rick Orovitz, chairman of the planning commission, if she is part of a rescue group. She replied she is not, though she is known by different rescues. Hemminger said when they rescue animals, they call someone to pick up the animal. They have enough land to keep them on the property, but don’t have the time or the facilities for it.

        Hemminger said he would not have more than seven chickens at a time on the property.

        Angela Kanavel, of N. Stadium Road, lives directly south of the Hemminger property. Although she said she wasn’t against the Hemmingers having the chickens, she still had some concerns. The rooster would crow all day long, and not just in the mornings. It helped when the rooster was relocated.

        She said roosters should not be allowed in residential areas. She also said the chickens need to be well taken care of and maintained on the Hemminger property. She has had issues with the chickens getting onto her property, and she does not want to be responsible for her dog accidentally injuring one of the animals.

        Orovitz asked how they dispose of the animal waste.

        Hopper-Erismann said it is used in a compost pile and in her garden.

        Mayor Mike Seferian, who has a seat on the commission, said the city in the past has granted the application for hens on a temporary basis for a year. If the owners are able to abide by the rules and regulations, they would then be granted a permanent permit to keep the hens on their property.


Hens popular

        Seferian said chickens have become popular in the city, with people wanting to raise them as pets or to lay eggs. Because they are defined as livestock, they are only permitted in agricultural zoned properties in the city. The city has, of late, passed a lot of requests for special uses for people wanting to have chickens, mainly hens, on their properties. If someone had a residentially zoned R-1 property, or medium density residential, which is more country living in outlying areas, the city tends to go along with it. The commission has granted the special use in those instances, he said, and will continue to do so. But if someone was in an R-2 zoned district, or a subdivision, it would be more difficult to do so.

        The planning commission voted 4-0 to approve the SUE on the Hemminger’s R-1 low density residential zoned property, with the stipulation it is to be reviewed at the end of one year, there be no more than seven hens, and no roosters.

        The city’s Project Review Committee had no objections to the proposed Special Use exemption for the chickens.

        The matter now goes before city council.             









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