New York family that cried ‘fowl’ loses appeal to keep chickens, but finds solution nearby

Local News

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Wheatfield family who’d been fighting to keep chickens in their backyard lost the battle at Wednesday night’s public hearing on the matter. We first told you about the Holzles in May.

The good news is, they’ve worked out a deal with the farm owner adjacent to their property, so the chickens won’t have to go too far away in the end.

Parts of Wheatfield, which is a “right to farm” town, allow farm life, but not the Holzles property, which is less than two acres and zoned residential. So, Kim Holzle proposed a zoning variance, which came to a head at a planning board public hearing last night.

She says the planning board denied their request despite support from nearly all neighbors, minus one.

“Unfortunately, it did not go in our favor. They had their minds made up before we even sat down, so it was unfortunate, but we taught Mason that you fight for what you believe in, and even though it may not look like we will win, you still have got to fight and always have a backup plan,” Kim Holzle said.

That backup plan means the Holzles will lease some land on the farm adjacent to their property, and move the chickens back 100 feet from neighbors. News 4 reached out to several people with the town of wheatfield today to try and hear from them on how they reached their decision.

The planning board did not get back to News 4, we were told it would take several days before last night’s meeting minutes are publicly available.

News 4 Anchor and Reporter Erica Brecher

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