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Pigeons Can’t Come Home to Roost In Pelham Manor

April 15, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A woman who races pigeons for a hobby lost a Supreme Court appeal today over her right to keep the birds at her home.

The court, citing the lack of a ″substantial federal question,″ let stand a ruling that the village of Pelham Manor, N.Y., may ban pigeon coops from residential neighborhoods.

Diane B. Crea, who said she had a constitutional right to keep the pigeons in two converted garages at her home, was fined $500 in 1983 for violating a village zoning ordinance.

Ms. Crea said the zoning law was unconstitutionally arbitrary and capricious.

She said pigeon racing is a serious sport governed by strict health standards. The birds are not a nuisance to anyone, she said.

″Racing pigeons are fed so that they leave no droppings while flying,″ said Ms. Crea’s lawyer in an appeal to the Supreme Court. ″They do not indulge in cooing outdoors and make no noise when leaving the coop or returning.″

But a justice of the peace in Pelham Manor said the community acted lawfully in banning the birds.

Allowing pigeon coops ″would alter the essential character of the neighborhood,″ said Village Justice Anthony Pasquantonio. ″It would be impossible to police the proper safeguards if allowed.″

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