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Pittsfield Subcommittee OKs Draft Chicken Ordinance

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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Councilor at Large Karen Kalinowsky speaks in favor of the ordinance change for chickens. 

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is closer to having an affordable fee for chicken keeping.

On Monday, the Ordinances and Rules subcommittee supported a drafted ordinance that brings the cost of keeping six chickens from more than $500 to $25. 

The ordinance takes the process out of the Zoning Board of Appeals purview and requires a license similar to that of a dog.

"We've really come a long way from having to have a cost of around $500 to get chickens where this will bring it to a more equitable opportunity for anyone in the City of Pittsfield who meets the setback guidelines," Councilor at Large Peter White said.

"And those setback guidelines will be very similar to what would have been approved, to begin with, in the permit that is currently in place right now."

The Health Department’s guidelines stipulate that coops and enclosures must be located a minimum of 20 feet from any habitable building, 40 feet from any habitable building on an adjoining lot, 40 feet from any well heads or open bodies of water, and 10 feet from property lines.

If a complaint is received, it will be investigated by the Board of Health or its agent.

There was a half-acre requirement in the original draft ordinance that was removed because of pushback.

For months, Councilor at Large Karen Kalinowsky and resident Melissa Corbett have been trying to remove the permit from the ZBA due to cost.

"We’ve reached a hill and we’re trying to go down," Kalinowsky said to her colleagues. "I hope you guys will support this, make it happen so that all people if they chose to have chickens, can afford to."

The Board of Health said "no" to taking on the permitting last month, as it did not see pricing as a valid reason to change the granting authority. Soon after, the subcommittee supported the change.

City Solicitor Stephen Pagnotta said he has drafted an amended zoning ordinance to the Department of Community Development, as the existing ordinance requires a special permit for chickens.

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EforAll Showcase and Gala at Hot Plate Brewing Company

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County will celebrate the nine graduates of the 2023 Spring Accelerator Program and award nearly $7,000 in seed capital at their Showcase and Gala at Hot Plate Brewing Company on Thursday, June 8 at 5:30pm.
Entrepreneurship for All Berkshire County (EforAll) began its seventh Accelerator in February 2023 and will celebrate the nine businesses who have completed this intensive program. They spent 12 weeks learning from experts on a variety of topics about business. With the help of 27 volunteer mentors, the entrepreneurs have developed their plans to build and sustain their businesses. 
The ceremony will feature pitches from nine graduates, a speech presented by one of the graduating cohort members, and distribution of the $7,000 prize pool. Prior to the ceremony, the graduates have been invited to table and showcase their businesses as well as sell goods between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. The ceremony will begin at 6:30pm. 
The event will begin at 5:30pm on Thursday, June 8.
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