Plawecki, Hopgood, Liberati Bills Allow Cities to Regulate Pigeons

Legislation addresses local control, quality-of-life issues
Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LANSING — State Representative Julie Plawecki (D-Dearborn Heights) and state Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor) introduced legislation today that would require the keeping of carrier pigeons to be in compliance with local regulations. Under the bills, communities would be able to enact their own rules regarding the keeping of pigeons, which many residents feel are a health and quality-of-life concern. The bills are a reintroduction of Senate Bill 631 of 2013, which passed the Senate without any opposition, but was never voted on in the House.

“The overuse of carrier pigeons has caused not only quality-of-life concerns, but health concerns as well for the residents in the surrounding neighborhood,” Hopgood said. “The local municipality’s hands are tied, and I urge action on this legislation, which is the last remaining option for those affected.”

House Bill 4633 and SB 350, if passed, would allow municipalities to enact their own rules in regard to pigeons. Under the current state law, Public Act 57 of 1974, local communities are unable to regulate the issue if a county permit is issued to a resident. The problem is that many communities are densely populated with houses in close proximity. Many residents have concerns and feel their neighborhoods are negatively impacted by the sounds, sights and smells of the pigeons, as well as the associated health risks.

“I commend Senator Hopgood’s diligence on this issue, and I’m glad we could reintroduce and pursue this legislation,” said Plawecki. “I believe communities should have the ability to decide for themselves how they regulate pigeons. Something that negatively impacts the lives of this many residents should be addressed, and I urge my colleagues to take up these bills.”

The lead co-sponsor of HB 4633 is state Rep. Frank Liberati (D-Allen Park). The city of Allen Park has been directly affected by the keeping of large quantities of pigeons, which many residents deem a major nuisance.

“I am concerned about the effects the keeping of these birds are having on my neighbors,” Liberati said. “This legislation was drafted in a way that respects those who pursue this interest and balances that with the overall public health interests of others. The bills have my support, as well as the support of numerous Allen Park residents and leaders.”