Chickens can stay, pool is approved
Timothy Delany of 79 Cambridge Place addressed the Catasauqua Zoning Hearing Board at a July 9 hearing concerning a zoning violation that was found on his property.
"I've had the chickens for two years and they keep laying about a dozen eggs a week," he said.
The reason for his zoning appeal is that, according to the zoning ordinance, in order to raise chickens in Catasauqua, homeowners are required to have a 10,000-square-foot lot. Delany's lot is 6,633 square feet, about two-thirds of the requirement.
The property is located in a Medium Density Residential (R-2) Zoning District.
Delany is a chef at the Brass Rail, a restaurant in Phillipsburg, N.J.
His yard is an organic gardening masterpiece and his neighbors know it. The neighbors attended the hearing to support his request for the variance.
Board member Bernie Skripek asked if Delany intended to sell the produce or the eggs.
"Mostly I just give things away," Delany said. "There is enough there for us and some of the neighbors." Delany does have a business associated with organic gardening.
"I have a business we call Full Circle Veggies," he said. "I design an organic garden for my customers and maintain it for a monthly fee."
In a separate interview with The Press after the hearing, Delany explained how he keeps the costs low.
"I buy in the offseason and I rotate the crops. We take the seeds from the existing plants and store them for next season," he said. He said he puts out a bountiful array of vegetables with expenses under $20.
After hearing testimony from Delany's neighbors, the board voted unanimously to allow the chicken coop to remain on the property.
"The chickens feed on some of the scraps from the garden and I keep the place cleaned up," said Delany. He noted that the compost pile which the borough questioned is used to fertilize the garden.
The original complaint was filed by borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder, who also acts as zoning officer.
"We saw the violation when we were doing one of our walk-arounds," he said.
Delany said that he did not know he was in violation until he received the borough's notice.
In a second appeal at the hearing, Thomas Kurczewski of 17 Second St. asked the board for a five-foot variance on the installation of a pool. Kurczewski wants to put the pool five feet from the side lot line adjacent to Linden Street. The yard is surrounded by a high fence.
"We have tenants in the front half of the house and we live in the back of the house," said Kurczewski.
The backyard is bounded by Pineapple Street where Rock Hill Concrete is headquartered. According to Kurczewski's testimony, he owns the property on the other side of Linden Street also. Goldfeder confirmed the ownership.
The property is located in the Downtown Commercial (DC) Zoning District.
The board unanimously granted the appeal.