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Rooster prompts potential changes to county ordinance



Some residents of the Springdale Place subdivision have a fowl situation that’s nothing to crow about – except if you’re the rooster causing the problem.

Specifically, the problem is that the rooster won’t shut up and keeps crowing, sometimes day and night, said Jack Layne, who lives on Dale Drive, next to the property with the rooster, in a subdivision that is unincorporated. That crowing, which has been going on for years, and the inability of St. Charles County animal control officials to do something about it, may prompt the County Council to amend its ordinances to deal with noisy roosters in subdivisions.

“Imagine hearing that at 5 o’clock or 6 o’clock in the morning,” Layne told council members at their meeting on Nov. 30. “That rooster doesn’t know or care if it’s a weekend or weekday; it doesn’t care if people want to sleep in.”

Layne said the rooster also is hurting property values.

“Imagine if you’re a prospective buyer and you’re looking to purchase a home next to where that rooster is,” Layne said. “Before you even get to the front door of the property you’re looking at … the first thing you hear is a rooster – of all things in a subdivision area – a rooster clucking.

“The first thing that a buyer associates with your property [is] ‘now if I move in I’ve got to live with a rooster next door.’”

On Nov. 30, Layne showed the council a video clip of what he said was the backyard of the resident who has the rooster. In it, the rooster crowed constantly. He also presented the county with petitions he said were signed by residents along Dale Drive asking the county for help.

The county’s present 27-page animal control ordinance deals with a variety of issues surrounding dogs, cats and even ferrets, ranging from animal cruelty to biting animals to barking dogs. But there is no or little mention of chickens or crowing roosters.

“You can do something about a dog but you can’t do something about a rooster,” Layne told the council. “We’re fed up; something has to be done.”

On Dec. 7, the council began the process of doing something when a bill was introduced revising and upgrading the county’s animal control regulations in unincorporated areas. The bill prohibits keeping roosters in residentially zoned areas. Action on the bill could be taken at the council’s next meeting on Dec. 21 [visit for updates].

Layne said residents have been unsuccessful in dealing with the property owner, whose backyard also contains ducks and guinea fowl.

“When you live 35 feet away from that it’s just not right,” Layne said outside the council chambers after making his comments. “Farm animals belong on a farm.”

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