Several residents who have roosters living in their neighborhoods appealed to the East Hampton Town Board last week to regulate the birds.
“The rooster crows all day, starting at 3 in the morning,” Constance Kenney said at a board meeting on Thursday. “Please tell me if the area we are in is designated as farmland.”
“There is an ordinance about dogs and barking,” she said, and urged the board to consider rooster rules as well.
Guy Wiggins, who lives off Spring Close Highway in East Hampton, said that he had paid a neighbor $500 to relocate a rooster to a spot farther from his property. But, he said, “in spring when I came back, the rooster was back in its original habitat next to our house.”
Grace Baumel, a Springs resident, expressed frustration about the board’s response to complaints — not only about roosters, but about illegally overcrowded housing, an issue that Springs homeowners have been bringing up for months.
“I’m very concerned by this board,” she said. “Because my sense of this board is that the needs of Springs are not being met. I’ve had it, and I’ve had it with this board not addressing the problems of Springs.”
Supervisor Bill Wilkinson said he had to defend the board. “This board is the first board that has ever really taken a look at population issues in this town, and realized that Springs suffers from density issues,” he said.
“What are we doing? How are we addressing it?” Ms. Baumel asked. “What is it about the term ‘illegal’ . . . that ‘il’ means not legal,” she said.
“What is it about the term ‘U.S. Constitution’?” Mr. Wilkinson retorted.
“Don’t quote me the Constitution. I taught it for 30 years,” Ms. Baumel said. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says we can break the law.”
“I take issue with you, that we are ignoring this problem,” Councilwoman Theresa Quigley said, referring to the housing issue. “We are following up every single complaint that we get.” However, “part of the problem is not our problem,” she said, referring to constraints of the law within which housing code enforcement must take place.
“Ms. Quigley, I don’t want to see Springs in The New York Times again,” Ms. Baumel said. A recent story focused on the overcrowded housing issue.
Diane McNally, an East Hampton Town Trustee, got up to defend the roosters. “Don’t mess with my birds,” she said. “This is a rural community. If you think I’m a fiercely independent trustee — mess with my chickens in my rural community.”
As to the crowing way before daylight, she said, “there’s no rhyme or reason to why they crow,” she told the group. “And if they hear another one, they want to join in.”