WNY family cries foul after losing appeal to keep chickens

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara County family who has been fighting to keep chickens in their backyard lost the battle at a public hearing on the matter this week. The good news for the Holzles is that they’ve worked out a deal with the farm owner adjacent to their property, so the chickens won’t have to go too far away in the end.

Parts of Wheatfield, which is a “right to farm” town, allow farm life, but not the Holzles’ property, which is under two acres and residentially zoned. That’s why Kim Holzle proposed a zoning variance, and the conversation came to a head at the planning board public hearing on Wednesday night.

She says the planning board denied their request despite support from nearly all neighbors, minus one.

“Unfortunately, it did not go in our favor. They had their minds made up before we even sat down, so it was unfortunate. But we taught Mason that you fight for what you believe in, Holzle said. “And even though it may not look like we will win, you still have got to fight and always have a backup plan.”

Mason Holzle

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