Being ‘neighborly’ only recourse for chick coop abutters

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PEPPERELL – Tamara and Rohinto Gonda of 24 Dow St. were not at the Board of Health meeting last week; however, their neighbors at 26 Dow St. were.

Allan and Cathleen Palmeri explained that their neighbors have chosen to place a chicken coop within 10 feet of their property and just 20 feet from their bedroom window.

“On a day like today, it doesn’t smell too good out there,” said Mr. Palmeri. “I don’t mind them having chickens, but I want them moved away from the property.”

“The rooster wakes me up every day at 5 o’clock in the morning,” he said.

“We can’t really cite the animal coop as a noise violation – it’s almost impossible to do it in the district they’re zoned in,” said Nashoba Health Agent Kalene Garbarz.

The board had nothing to say about the location, which is permitted per town regulations for nondomesticated animals.

On the issue of noise, there is nothing to prevent someone from having a small animal coop in their yard in Pepperell and having chickens and roosters.

Garbarz did cite the Gondas for the “giant Styrofoam structures in the back.” Garbarz noted that the health codes state that “you shall keep your property in a clean and sanitary manner.”

The Palmeris explained that the Styrofoam is trash from a construction project and is “unsightly.”

“I don’t know why they didn’t throw it away to begin with,” said Palmeri.

“It looks like a big mess out there,” said Cathleen Palmeri.

Garbarz said the Gondas have requested that the violation letter be withdrawn because they do not consider the Styrofoam to be trash.

Chairman Robert Lambert suggested that the Palmeris write the Gondas a letter requesting that they remove the roosters.

“Try it, just try it,” said Lambert.

The board agreed to notify the Gondas that they must “properly dispose of the rubbish on the property.”

Garbarz also advised the board that a violation issued to the residents of 15 Cross St. for an improperly contained compost pile had been corrected.
“In my opinion they’ve satisfied the requirement of a compost pile,” said Garbarz.