Rooster controversy divides Islip neighbors
The Town of Islip is considering amending current regulations for owning birds on residential properties after neighbors say a rooster is disturbing the peace.
A town hall meeting was held Tuesday afternoon to discuss how a rooster, who lives in a coop on Ontario Street in Ronkonkoma, is keeping the neighborhood awake.
"I can't sleep at night. My infant son can't sleep at night," said resident Joe Natoli. "Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would be talking about birds on a Tuesday afternoon."
Currently, the Town of Islip allows residents to keep up to 15 birds per 500-square-feet of yard space. They need to be kept 10 feet away from the property line.
Anthony Esteves, who owns the coop, keeps his rooster in a 750-square-foot pen. He says he understands why people are complaining, but is not ready to give up his right to own his rooster.
"If that right is taken away from us, we're not Americans anymore because we're criminals for sustaining ourselves," said Esteves.
By the end of the public hearing, the council decided to create a committee, and allowed residents on both sides of this issue to sign up to offer input in coming to a resolution.