Franklin Lakes July 22, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 5 Roosters cause headache for borough council by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Council is working to find a way to respond to a complaint from a couple who own property on Mabel Ann Avenue. The two say their neighbor is destroying their peace and tranquility by the noise created, first by heavy equipment used on the neighbor’s property, and now by the crowing of the neighbor’s rooster. Another resident who owns property on Orchard Lane came to a recent council work session and added his complaint to the mix, saying that his neighbor also has a rooster that starts to crow between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. every day and does not stop crowing until dark. The governing body has been considering the introduction of an ordinance to address this issue, but the council members are finding it difficult to come to an agreement on how roosters should be controlled. Franklin Lakes Borough Administrator Gregory Hart advised that there are four properties in the borough whose owners have roosters. Those properties range in size from just under one acre to just under two acres. Consideration has been given to establishing the minimum lot size that a resident must own in order to have a rooster, but Councilman Steve Marcus maintains that the acreage of a lot does not matter if it is in a residential zone. “If a rooster is screeching on a one- or two-acre property, everyone is going to hear it,” Marcus said. He also pointed out that any existing roosters would be “grandfathered” and, therefore, protected from any new borough ordinance. The Mabel Ann Avenue residents say they can neither sit on their deck nor have a party outside in their yard because of the crowing of the rooster. The Orchard Lane resident says he is being deprived of his quality of life by the noise created by the rooster on his neighbor’s property. But the owner of the rooster on Mabel Ann Avenue, who also owns nine chickens, claims his rooster makes no more noise than the crows do in the morning, or the “clanging and banging” of the freight trains on the NY Susquehanna & Western Railroad siding that is adjacent to his street, or the sound of the fire department’s fire siren. He also claims that 10 to 12 residents on his street have told him they have no problem with his rooster. The council is considering the potential licensing of the roosters by the board of health with a provision that the license would not be renewed if there are any bona fide complaints that a rooster is annoying its neighbors, or if any animal makes noise to an unreasonable extent. He pointed out, however, that the council would not have the authority to remove the rooster as a remedy without an order from Superior Court and could only revoke the license to keep the rooster and impose fines for violating that ordinance. Councilwoman Nathalie Lota informed the council that the state’s department of agriculture advised her that roosters can live approximately six to seven years and metal bands can be placed on their legs or wings to identify the roosters that are grandfathered from any new ordinance. She also advised that the borough’s animal control officer recommends licensing the roosters as long as the owners control the noise the birds create by keeping the rooster coop dark until an acceptable hour. Lota said the animal control officer also recommended that the licenses should be renewable on an annual basis if there are no documented or viable complaints throughout the year. The council went into closed session to discuss the issue further and to get advice from its attorney, but no action was taken following that closed session discussion. Dramatic license Franklin Lakes student actor Matt Bogan was honored with the Tuxedo Park School Class of 2009 Drama Award. Bogan is pictured receiving his award with Tuxedo Park School drama faculty member Fiona Duffy. As a ninth grader, he will be entering the Delbarton School in September. Founded in 1900, Tuxedo Park School is one of the oldest schools in the country specializing in pre-secondary education. For more information, please call (845) 351-4737 or visit WIN THE RAFFLE! �������������������������������������� ��� ���������������������� ����������������� NAME THE SEEING EYE PUPPY! �� �� � � �� � ����� ������������� ������������� �������� ����������������������������� �� ���������������� ������������������������������ ������������������������� ����������������������������