Government South Orange

Breaking: South Orange Village President Collum Announces She Is Pro-Chicken

Phoebe Handelman at camp with a resident chicken (courtesy Kathy Handelman)

Legal chicken coops could be coming to South Orange.

South Orange Village Trustees plan to discuss potential legislation legalizing backyard chickens at their next Board of Health meeting on October 23, with Village President Sheena Collum announcing tonight at a Board of Trustees meeting that she is “pro-chicken.”

This summer, Phoebe Handelman, now a fifth grader at South Mountain Elementary School, posted an essay (published by Village Green) expressing her desire to legalize raising and keeping chickens in South Orange.

The essay was published on July 27. By July 29, Handelman was having a FaceTime meeting with Village President Sheena Collum in which Collum outlined the steps that Handelman needed to take to make her dreams a reality (see the list below).

After the FaceTime meeting, Collum posted the following update: “Neighbors – I just wanted to share with you that I had a very informative FaceTime meeting with 5th Grader Phoebe Handelman on her proposal to change the law in South Orange to allow backyard chickens. I learned a lot from Phoebe and we discussed next steps for her to advance her legislative agenda.”

Since July, Handelman has been busy fulfilling her tasks and has now presented her findings to South Orange Health Officer John Festa, who in turn is ready to report to the Board of Health/Board of Trustees.

Backyard chickens made big news in Maplewood in 2011, as the proposed ordinance provoked strong feelings for and against backyard chickens. The ordinance went into effect with five families applying for permits by January 2012; since then, the ordinance has provoked few, if any, complaints.

On Monday night, Collum urged residents to contact Trustees with their feelings on backyard chickens.

But Collum herself has a definite opinion, as she told Village Green::

“Chickens weren’t even a distant thought for me until I read her opinion piece and did a FaceTime with her to learn more. Now I’m a believer!” 

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *