(WKBN) – Chicken coops were a hot topic during the Youngstown Zoning Board’s monthly meeting Tuesday. One person was denied approval to have chickens on their property on Mahoning Avenue. The other, who lives on Wilma Avenue, was left on yet another cliffhanger.
“Quite honestly, living in the city of Youngstown in a food desert you would think there would be more support for people trying to raise their own food and grow their own food,” said Traci D’Avignon, Wilma Avenue resident.
The decision as to whether to allow D’Avignon to have a coop of hens on her property was pushed until next month’s meeting. This comes after a split decision during the January meeting, which pushed the decision to this month.
“I really think council as a whole should take a look at this and see how we want to handle this as a totality and not based upon the individual, who we like,” Councilwoman Anita Davis said.
One neighbor voiced concerns about smell, their proximity to Market Street, new construction going on near Wilma Avenue and that the lot size might not be big enough.
“I just want to make sure that everyone realizes that those in the neighborhood who didn’t want the chicken coop it didn’t have anything to do with Mrs. D’Avignon, personally,” Neighbor Staci Johns said.
Melissa Birmingham’s property butts up against D’Avignon’s. She agrees that allowing the coop could incentivize those who practice sustainable living to move to the area.
“They’re quiet. She’s going to have hens, not roosters,” Birmingham said. “They provide all kinds of benefits like healthier eggs, high-quality fertilizer.”
Birmingham is also a realtor. In her letter of support, she wrote that four to five chickens produce as much waste as the average dog.
Earlier in the meeting, a request to have chickens from a resident who lives along Mahoning Avenue was denied. City officials said having the animals in that area could impact economic development.