LENOX — Residents hoping to house a flock of chickens in their backyards might be able to do so, according to proposed zoning bylaw amendments that also regulate other agricultural activity, including neighborhood and commercial farm stands.
According to a board summary, the proposals consider how residents use and want to use land for agricultural purposes, including the following key points:
• Brings the town’s agricultural uses into compliance with state law by allowing commercial farming in any zoning district on parcels of 5 acres or more.
• Revises standards for small commercial farms on parcels of fewer than 5 acres with requirements on raising livestock or poultry and setbacks for structures.
• Proposes new standards for commercial farm stands in residential districts, including hours of operation (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.), exterior and interior lighting, signage sizes, while prohibiting externally or internally illuminated signs.
• Recognizes and regulates small neighborhood farm stands by defining sizes and locations of tables, tents, canopies, wagons and small, movable temporary structures, limiting sales to items produced on-site, up to nine months per year.
• Allows backyard chickens in all residential districts, with guidelines limiting their number to 18 on parcels of fewer than 2 acres, and to 24 on parcels larger than 2 acres. Roosters are allowed only on parcels of 3 acres or more.
The Planning Board’s goal is to present the proposals to voters at the annual town meeting May 6. A two-thirds majority is required for approval.
Commercial marijuana-growing operations are covered in separate regulations and are not part of the new bylaw proposals.
Copies of the proposed bylaw amendments are available at townoflenox.com and at the office of the Lenox Town Clerk from 8:30 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Written comments can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Lenox Planning Board, 6 Walker Street, Lenox MA 01240.