Chickens, renters cause concern in Norcross area

NORCROSS -- It isn't the homeowners who are the problem in the western corner of Gwinnett.

It's the ones coming to roost in trees or in rentals that had people upset at a commission town hall meeting in Norcross Thursday.

During the final meeting of a series of sessions with county officials, residents complained of a community fraught with crime, houses overcrowded with renters who don't keep things maintained and even one neighborhood over-run by pesky farm animals.

"This area has been neglected for so long," said Edward Bienkowski, who said maintenance laws are being skirted in his subdivision, and renters are keeping pit bulls who have attacked many neighbors and killed pets.

"With the (local community improvement districts), you'd have vast swaths of this area that would be completely lost."

From descriptions of "boarding houses" and "slumlords" to calls for more parks and sidewalks, many of the residents expressed frustration, and Chairwoman Charlotte Nash admitted the county's code enforcement section, like other departments in the county, are under-staffed to deal with the issues.

"I personally don't see much effort," said Bill Stansberry, one of several residents of a neighborhood over-wrought with chickens.

The situation developed several years ago, when someone let their chickens go after learning it is illegal to keep barnyard animals on less than three acres of property in Gwinnett. According to neighbor Joel Heysel, the chickens have been multiplying ever since, with enough roosters in his small cul-de-sac to wake the neighborhood up before dawn and new chicks born every month.

Stansberry said he stomps eggs and has paid a bounty for the heads of roosters.

Commissioner Lynette Howard, who represents the area, said animal control issues have set traps but weren't successful, while colleagues Tommy Hunter and John Heard, who grew up with chickens said they want to tackle the issue.

All agreed they hoped the community input would turn into solutions.

"Every single area has problems. They've got priorities," Nash said she had learned through the spring town hall sessions. "We've got the responsibility to try to grapple with them."


DB 2 years, 4 months ago

Some parts of Gwinnett are starting to look like a third world country.


Reason 2 years, 4 months ago

You no wan chicken. Chicken make lousy house pet.


kevin 2 years, 4 months ago

They provide us with fresh eggs, something folks to day never taste.


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