Amherst Citizens Petition to Allow Hens

We have filed a Citizens Petition article for Spring 2011 Town Meeting which would make it easier to raise backyard hens in Amherst.

We need your support!

We believe the keeping of backyard animals, particularly hens, is an appropriately-scaled, practical and symbolic form of environmental, fiscal, and community sustainability.  As part of the local food movement, cities and towns across the nation are enacting “hen friendly” legislation to help residents move toward personal, neighborhood and community self-sufficiency.  This proposed change in the town bylaw will allow Amherst to join this national movement.

Key Elements of the Proposal

  • A “by right” approach to a small number of animals.
  • Boundary setbacks to protect neighbor’s interests
  • Site registration (similar to the simplicity of a dog license)
  • Animal care guided by published “best practices” regulations
  • Complaint initiated enforcement by the Animal Welfare Officer

For the full text of the language; Bylaw Proposal

Naturally, there are some voices in town who oppose this citizens petition.  Some of those concerns have been expressed by the Planning Board Zoning Subcommittee.  To hear those concerns, please check out this 6 minute video.

If you agree or disagree with these concerns, please send your thoughts to the Planning Board Zoning Subcommittee at this email address:

And if you are willing to sign our e-petition in support, please go here:

I am a resident of Amherst and support this citizens petition

For more information on this issue;

Lets Raise Hens!

Finally, if you want to be kept informed of the progress of this citizens petition article, or when Planning Board meetings will be held, please let me know at:

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