sudbury

Backyard Chickens … in Sudbury?

Backyard Chickens … in Sudbury?

You’ve moved to the suburbs to have some land, lots of house, and great quality of life. You’ve started a vegetable garden and have enjoyed the puttering and the fresh produce. Now you’re thinking of getting a few chickens so that you can feed them an excellent diet and have fresh eggs of your own. You’re not alone, it seems to be that this hobby is growing exponentially in popularity over the last year. In Sudbury, you’ll have to know a few things before you buy the chicks.

 

FAQ  for those thinking of raising backyard chickens in Sudbury:

  1. Is an Annual Animal Permit Required? yes, a special permit is required, issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals, cost is $100 first year, $50 annual renewal
  2. Is a Building Permit for the Coop Required? not if the coop is less than 120 s.f. footprint
  3. Is there an Annual Board of Health Inspection Required? yes
  4. Are Roosters Permitted? no
  5. Are there Lot Size Limitations? no
  6. What are the Coop Setbacks from Property Lines? There is a 5′ min distance from lot lines.
  7. Are there Manure Pile Storage Limitations? This would be dictated by the conditions of the special permit
  8. Is there a specific section of the Zoning Bylaws that I can read regarding this? see Sudbury Zoning Bylaw Section 2313/6200
  9. Is there an Agricultural Commission or Committee that I can join? yes email: agricultural@sudbury.ma.us
  10. Is there an Agricultural Group that I can contact to get help/info/advice? yes, Sudbury Grange No. 121 Pomona No. 16 , Meetings: 1st & 3rd Wednesday 8 pm, Grange Hall 326 Concord Rd (beside Town Hall), Contact: Brenda Chamberlain 508-429-5458
  11. How do I contact the Board of Health? 978 443-2209 x1379 email: health@sudbury.ma.us
  12. How do I contact the Zoning Board of Appeals? 978-639-3387 email: pcd@sudbury.ma.us
  13. How do I contact the Building Inspector? (978) 443-2209, x1361  email: building@sudbury.ma.us)
What I Like About Sudbury

What I Like About Sudbury

Sudbury, Massachusetts is a progressive town where history coexists peacefully with modern lifestyles. Located just shy of 20 miles from downtown Boston, (town shown in red on attached map) the town of 18,000+ residents is conveniently found halfway between the inner (Rt. 128) and outer (Rt. 495) beltways.Typical commutes for the townsfolk are 30 minutes.

 As it was incorporated as a Town in 1639, you can imagine there’s a lot of early American history in Sudbury. One of my favorite sources for the history of the town of Sudbury is hosted and written by the members of the Senior Center, have a look, you’ll find it interesting and informative.

For anyone who craves data and facts and figures, there’s a great wiki here. Knock yourself out.

Here’s some of the stuff you might want to know:

Shopping: You are 15 minutes to the shopping Mecca’s of Metrowest in Natick and Framingham. For really upscale you can go to Chestnut Hill in Brookline or Newbury Street in Boston in about half an hour.

Schools: 4 Elementary and 1 Middle – all outstanding. High School is regional, shared with the Town of Lincoln – also outstanding.

Restaurants & Markets: There are a number of fine restaurants in the town, a Starbucks, and a Dunkin Donuts. There’s also the original Sudbury Farms supermarket with a killer take-out/deli. Down the road a piece there’s a Whole Foods supermarket.

Taxes: Not cheap, but none of the towns around here are bargains, you do get a good value.

Transportation: You pretty much have to drive everywhere. There’s a commuter rail in Lincoln/Weston that takes you to North Station. There’s one in Framingham that takes you to South Station.

Religious Institutions: Currently there are Baptist, Catholic (2), Congregational, Episcopal, Church of New Jerusalem, Jewish (2), Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Unitarian, and Non-denominational parishes in town.

Hospitals: There are three excellent hospitals nearby: Emerson Hospital in Concord, Metrowest Medical Center in Framingham, and Marlborough Hospital in Marlborough. Obviously, some of the finest hospitals in the country are minutes away in Boston.

Government: Town form of government with three Selectmen and a professional Town Manager. One of the oldest continuously running Town Meetings in the US – if you’ve never sat through one you really should, it’s in March, and it’s really a tribute to the staying power of our democratic principles.

Overall Rating: It’s a really nice town and I like to live here.

Pros and Cons of Living in Sudbury, Massachusetts

Pros and Cons of Living in Sudbury, Massachusetts

Sudbury is a gorgeous town with lovely homes and an excellent school system. It is best suited for people who like a little more rural feel but want their entertainment, shopping and services nearby. I’ve lived in town for 20 years and based on my experiences the people are very friendly. The community protects open space, has wonderful active/passive recreation opportunities and feels like a world away from Boston, yet is close to the Mass Pike and has multiple train stations nearby.

 

Pros:
1. Easy access to Mass Pike, Rt 128 and Rt 495.
2. Most people don’t want to take time out of their day to drive to the next town to grocery shop or to grab some lunch …
Restaurants in town: Foodies will love the many, varied fare and price points, some deliver, plenty of parking.
Shopping in town: Many small boutique, specialty stores in town but no big box stores. Those are nearby in Natick, Framingham and Marlborough. The shopping mecca of the Natick Collection/Shopper’s World is less than 15 minutes away.
Grocery Stores in town: Sudbury Farms and Shaws, Whole Foods and Stop & Shop in Wayland, Trader Joe’s nearby in Framingham.
3. Excellent police force, extremely low crime rate.
4. Lots of local concerts, sporting events, theaters & amenities
5. Excellent library facility includes on-line reservations & downloads of e-books
6. Commuter rail stations nearby: For South Station closest is Framingham.
For North Station closest is Acton. For Green Line closest is Riverside in Newton. Express bus to Logan airport in Framingham.
7. Although the school system is highly ranked (Boston Magazine ranks it high and the schools have earned recognition multiple times in U.S. News & World Report for college readiness), it doesn’t come across as the pressure-cooker that Lexington and Brookline are. Many parents I have talked with say it delivers “as advertised”.
10. Lots of great community organizations – both civic and social
11. A medium-density population with large lot sizes… ¾ to 1 acre minimum zoning, smaller lots grandfathered, up to 5 acre zoning in historic wayside inn district
12. Schools belong to the Metco program, exposing the kids to diversity.
13. Gleaming new/renovated schools built when State assistance was high.
14. Low town debt load and high bond rating.
15. Home to many fitness centers, yoga studios, hair and nail salons, and larger organized indoor/outdoor sporting facilities.
16. Summer farmer’s markets, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) with different levels of commitment, community gardens and the Sudbury Grange with it’s educational programs.
17. A wide choices of houses of worship nearby in almost any religion you practice
18. Oldest continuously-running Town Meeting
19. Robust senior center with many programs, activities and opportunities for active seniors.

Cons:
1. No commuter rail station/public transportation to speak of in town.
2. Housing tends toward larger size homes and prices are high.
3. There definitely is a lack of walk-ability here.
4. High taxes
5. No town curbside trash pickup. You can pay for pick up or use the transfer/recycling station.
6. There is a lack of socioeconomic diversity.
7. There are restrictions on livestock ownership.

Our mosquito situation is no better or worse than any town outside of Boston. In the interest of conservation we don’t always spray for mosquitoes, but when conditions are extreme in all of eastern Massachusetts we have sprayed for them. That being said, you don’t want to buy a house with a swamp or a pond in your back yard.

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