Chickens are latest foe to Westchester real estate

June 29, 2012 10:00AM

As Americans continue to gain appreciation for locally sourced foods, many are producing it in their own mid-sized backyards. This is especially true in Westchester where people are increasingly raising chickens, and according to the New York Times, while the new “farmers” might be benefiting from the health improvements these grass-fed chickens and their eggs offer, it’s their neighbors who are hurting.

“A chicken coop next door can definitely lower the value of nearby homes, especially when it infringes on a neighbor’s right to quiet enjoyment,” said Deanna Dammers, a sales agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman in Chappaqua.

It’s easy enough for a buyer to tear down a chicken coop on a property they purchase — and some even pay a small premium, coveting the “country aura” — but its much more difficult to move in to a home and deal with roosters crowing at 5 a.m. in a neighbor’s backyard.

The issue is most contentious in the communities of northern Westchester, precisely where property values have been slowest to recover and laws on domesticating chickens are most lax. [NYT]