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Poultry Ruffles Feathers in Louisburg

Residents complained to town officials that a Louisburg man's backyard birds created a public nuisance.

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LOUISBURG, N.C. — Town officials took action after residents complained that a neighbor created a public nuisance with the number of birds he kept in his back yard.

Dozens of chickens, ducks, geese and other birds live in a coop in the back yard of Jose Solis' home near Main and Clifton streets.

Town officials said that home for poultry does not suit the image that the residential community in Louisburg's historic downtown wants to project.

"You never know what kind of problems you're going to run into," Town Administrator Mark Warren said. "It can be a serious problem."

In response to complaints, town leaders passed an ordinance stipulating that residents can keep only chickens – not ducks, geese, roosters or other kinds of poultry – in a coop that must be at least 100 feet from all other residences.

The ordinance gives Solis 30 days to comply. A WRAL reporter knocked on Solis' door to ask for comment, but no one answered.

Susan Lewis, who owns the Louisburg Bed and Breakfast across the street from Solis, said the chickens often got loose and crossed the street.

"We feel like it's (downtown's) not quite a farm community," Lewis said.

The birds were also next door to Louisburg College. Professors said the poultry are distracting during class time.

"I hear all kinds of animal sounds," Alicia Eller, a professor of Spanish, said.

Students, too, said they identify Louisburg with the sound of poultry.

"Those things never shut up," student Kyle Frost said. "You tell somebody about Louisburg, and you're like, 'Yeah, I always hear those roosters, no matter what.'"

In neighboring Vance County, Henderson has an ordinance restricting where residents can have birds on their lots.


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