Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

More Time for a Trio of Hens in Nokomis

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

More Time for a Trio of Hens in Nokomis

Article excerpt

ZONING: Reprieve as couple lobbies county to change rules and allow the birds

VENICE

The challenge by a Nokomis couple to a county ordinance that prevents raising chickens in residential areas could be decided next month.

In the meantime, a special magistrate ruled Friday that Christina and Tyler Korman could keep their Barred Plymouth Rock hens, Big Barb, Wendy and Lucy, until Dec. 19.

Special Magistrate Robert Zack told the couple and their attorney Kymberli Veith that they must show good faith efforts to convince county leaders to revise the current county zoning code, which does not permit raising poultry on residentially zoned property.

"I thought it was so hopeful that they gave us time to work on changing things," Christina said.

Since October 2012, the young couple has raised the chickens in the lush backyard of their 15,000-square-foot property in the 1300 block of Sunset Avenue.

They had unknowingly violated county code the entire time, Tyler said, which only came to light after a neighbor complained about the situation.

In unincorporated areas of the county, like Nokomis, poultry are only allowed to be kept on properties that are zoned as "open use" and "agricultural."

Sarasota County Code Enforcement sent the Kormans a code violation notice on Aug. 20, saying they had to remove their poultry by Sept. 2 or face a daily fine of $250.

Tyler said they were never fined, but in mid-October they received a letter instructing them to appear before the special magistrate this week.

Back in August, the Kormans reacted to the neighbor's complaint by enrolling their birds in the county's sentinel chicken program. The program utilizes flocks of chickens living near mosquito breeding hotspots to act as an warning signs of mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile Virus.

Days later the chickens were removed from the program when its director found out about the complaint. …

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