[Adopted 1-6-2012 by L.L. No. 1-2012]
The people of the State of New York have, in the New York State Constitution, Article IX, Section 2, delegated the responsibility to local governmental units to adopt regulations designed to promote the public health, safety, and the general welfare of its citizenry. More particularly, the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York at § 10 grants to local governments the power to adopt and amend local laws.
The keeping of farm animals and fowl on residential property must be incidental to the primary use of the property as a dwelling. Limited numbers of farm animals and fowl may be allowed for the benefit of the homeowner, principally for food, as pets and riding, and not as a business or commercial use. These regulations do not apply to property utilized for an "agricultural use" as defined by Chapter 275, Zoning, of the Code of the Town of Sullivan.
This article shall apply to all areas of the Town of Sullivan outside of the Village of Chittenango.
The following terms as used in this article are defined and shall have the meanings as hereinafter provided, unless otherwise expressly stated or the context or subject matter requires otherwise. In addition, the definition set forth in Chapter 275, Zoning, shall likewise be applicable to this article unless otherwise expressly stated or the context or subject matter requires otherwise.
- DOMESTIC ANIMALS
- The animals identified by name in the following definitions, other than domestic pets, as well as any of the various animals adapted by humans to live and breed in domestication.
- DOMESTIC PETS
- Dogs, cats, canaries, parakeets, parrots, and other animals and fowl commonly treated and considered as house pets, housed indoors and not prohibited by state and federal law.
- EXOTIC ANIMALS
- Animals defined as exotic animals by state and federal law.
- FISH and WILDLIFE
- Fish and wildlife as defined by the Fish and Wildlife Law of the State of New York.
- Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, swan, guinea fowl, pea fowl, pheasants, quail, and other fowl similar to the foregoing.
- LARGE FARM ANIMALS
- Horses, mules and donkeys of 10 hands or more, cattle oxen, alpacas, llamas, and other domestic animals of comparable size.
- MEDIUM FARM ANIMALS
- Horses, mules and donkeys of less than 10 hands, goats, domestic swine, and other domestic animals of comparable size.
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- A parcel of property on which is located one or more dwellings, and which does not meet the definition of "agricultural use" as defined in Chapter 275, Zoning.
- SMALL FARM ANIMALS
- Rabbits, mink, chinchillas, and other domestic animals of comparable size.
The keeping of farm animals, fowl, domestic pets and domestic animals on residential property, whether or not in an Agricultural District, must not unreasonably interfere with the rights and privileges of neighboring residential uses. To accomplish this goal the following criteria shall apply, to wit:
All large, medium and small farm animals, and fowl must be contained within the subject property by a fence or building structure.
Fencing must be five feet from the property line and to the rear of the lot behind the dwelling on the subject and adjacent property.
Animal waste must be kept a minimum of 50 feet from the adjacent property line or contained within an enclosed structure more than 25 feet from the adjacent property line.
Animal housing, barns, chicken coops, hutches must be a minimum of 25 feet from rear/side property lines and to the rear of the dwelling on the subject and adjacent property.
The property must be kept at a level of cleanliness so as not to be a source of flies and vermin.
All large, medium, and small farm animals, fowl, domestic pets and domestic animals must be kept in a sanitary environment, cared for according to good animal husbandry standards and must be maintained disease free to the greatest possible extent.
The keeping of wildlife and exotic animals on any parcel of real property within the Town of Sullivan is prohibited, excepting when a special use permit has been issued by the Planning Board of the Town of Sullivan for the use permitted by Chapter 275, Zoning, and the required permit or permits have been issued by the State of New York and the United States of America.
Duty of Dog Control or Animal Control Officer. It shall be the duty of the Dog Control Officer or Animal Control Officer, as the case may be, of the Town of Sullivan to bring an action against any person who has committed within the Town of Sullivan any violation set forth in this article. The Town of Sullivan may elect either to prosecute such action as a violation under this article or to commence an action to recover a civil penalty. A violation of this article shall be punishable, subject to such an election, either:
Where prosecuted pursuant to this article, by a fine of not less than $20 nor more than $50, except that:
Where the person was found to have violated this article within the preceding five years, the fine shall not be less than $50 nor more than $100; and
Where the person was found to have committed two or more such violations within the preceding five years, it shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $200 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both; or
Where prosecuted as an action to recover a civil penalty, by a civil penalty of not less than $20 nor more than $50, except that:
Where the person was found to have violated this article within the preceding five years, the civil penalty shall not be less than $50 nor more than $100; and
Where the person was found to have committed two or more such violations within the preceding five years, the civil penalty shall not be less than $100 nor more than $200.
A defendant charged with a violation of any provision of this article may in person plead guilty to the charge in open court.
A defendant may also submit to the magistrate having jurisdiction, in person, by duly authorized agent, or by registered or certified mail, a statement:
That he or she waives arraignment in open court and the aid of counsel;
That he or she pleads guilty to the offense charged;
That he or she elects and requests that the charge be disposed of and the fine or penalty fixed by the court;
Of any explanation that he or she desires to make concerning the offense charged; and
That he or she makes all statements under penalty of perjury.
Thereupon, the magistrate may proceed as though the defendant had been convicted upon a plea of guilty in open court; provided however, that any imposition of fine or penalty hereunder shall be deemed a tentative disposition until such fine or penalty shall have been paid and discharged in full. If upon receipt of the aforesaid statement, the magistrate shall deny the same, he or she shall thereupon notify the defendant of this fact, and that he or she is required to appear before the magistrate at a stated time and place to answer the charge which shall thereafter be disposed of pursuant to the applicable provisions of law.
Each day that failure continues shall constitute a separate violation.
The time period by which a person must comply with the density requirements set forth in § 105-29 is four months or May 1, 2012, whichever date is later, unless the time period is extended by the Town Board of the Town of Sullivan for good cause shown and despite the person's best efforts to achieve compliance, for an additional three months. No more than one extension may be granted.
The Town Board shall name an Appeals Committee (the "Farm Animals Appeals Committee") consisting of three individuals to interpret and construe the terms and provisions of this article in the event an interpretation is requested by a Town official or the Dog or Animal Control Officer, or the aggrieved person, and to hear appeals by an aggrieved person as to the enforcement of the provisions of § 105-28. Any aggrieved person requesting an interpretation or appeal must do so, in writing, within 30 days of the enforcement of the applicable provision of this article, stating the provision or provisions to be construed or appealed and the reasons for the construction or appeal, accompanied by the payment of a fee to the Town of Sullivan in the amount of $25. The Appeals Committee shall meet and consider the construction or hear the appeal, as the case may be, within 30 days from the receipt of the foregoing prerequisites and shall make their decision, in writing, within 10 days thereafter. The person appealing shall have the opportunity to be heard at the hearing which hearing shall be open to the public and duly noticed.