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O.k. Just want to pass along some info that I found out the hard way. If you have a coop in a residential area of Chesapeake and that coop is bigger than 30"x30", you MUST apply for a zoning permit!!!

 

There was an unfounded complaint about my chickens (long story for another time), the zoning enforcement crew came to my house (Very pleasant and polite lady I might ad). There was no issue with the complaint since my chickens were "fully" enclosed and not free ranging in the backyard. She even complimented me on the construction of the coop, run, and extra enclosed area. What she did inform me was what I posted above: ANY ACCESSORY STRUCTURE THAT IS BIGGER THAN 30"x30" MUST APPLY FOR A ZONING PERMIT. With all the coops out there, it is almost impossible for them to check every yard, but if someone is un-neighborly and can't talk to you about an issue and call in a complaint, you could very well be cited for not having a permit on file.

 

So, long story short. I was given notice that I should have applied for a permit. She let me file for a permit and did NOT cite me for not having one. The permit costs $45 dollars then a dollar and change processing fee. It can be done online, but you have to submit a site plan which she was happy to e-mail me.

 

Just wanted to put this out there since I was ignorant to this rule. I researched zoning, building permits, and city laws before building a coop and getting chickens. I found nothing on the 30"x30" rule, but ignorance is not an excuse.

 

P.S. She did say that there are no set-back requirements for a coop housing hens!