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Letter to the Editor: Village fee structure is for the birds


I’ve had just about all I can take of the never ending chicken drama here in Springville. The Mayor and trustees recently announced the fee structure to the long anticipated chicken law. Price tag to have a chicken? $100 annually. Compare that to a dog - $7 or a cat - $0.

It’s hard not to take it personally when the village wasted $30,000 in legal fees going after me, only to drop the case in the end. My wife and I were the only people prosecuted for high chicken crimes and tried for misdemeanors, despite others in the village having chickens visible to the public. Maybe this fee is the way the village figures it will make back that 30 grand. It’s a joke, except I don’t find it funny.

In the news recently was Williamsville’s almost instant consideration of a change to the code to allow chickens. Since Amherst allowed them since 2013, why not? Meanwhile, the Planning Board here recommended a change and then it took over 10 years for the trustees to come to their senses. Now with this fee it seems it was all just a farce. This sort of overreach into our backyards is unAmerican and goes by one word: tyranny.

I live across the street from a house that is falling in on itself. Similar to the chicken law, it has been over 10 years with no substantive village action. What’s the fee for letting your house collapse? The Code Enforcement Officer now has to spend time inspecting my backyard when he should be dealing with distressed properties. We all suffer when little government acts this way.


Seth Wochensky



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