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City bylaws and ordinances being i"nterpreted"?? Greenfield Massachusetts

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So the building inspector approached us regarding our chickens for two reasons. The first was them roaming off our property and II was that we have roosters...
The thing is that I did the research and looked at the city ordinances and bylaws and it absolutely does not state that we cannot have roosters. It does state that we can have up to 10 chickens on Parcels less than five acres. When I stated this to him his response was that chicken's mint girls and not roosters. I said no female chickens or hens and boys are roosters however they are both chickens. He said well that's how it's been interpreted. He then said that it would also be under the nuisance Horsham regarding the noise. The thing is that we have silkie roosters and they are extremely gentle and do not grow constantly nor are they any louder than any of the dogs or traffic from the highway above us. We have approximately 2 acres and it will cost nearly $400 to put in an appeal. Do I have any recourse for the fact that he says that's just the way it's interpreted in the way it is?
This is a direct link to the City by laws and ordinances.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://greenfield-ma.gov/files/Zoning_Ordinance.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjMyNW4jrzMAhXGmoMKHR2RCD4QFggiMAI&usg=AFQjCNEjpPq-VrGys9e3x4w88yf7oVsg2Q&sig2=AIuKBgoquomr-0AuuukiCA

post #2 of 7
If it says chickens and not hens or pullets, then that means any chicken. Roosters are chickens. If they want roosters to be disallowed then they need to change the wording to say only hens. Chicken is the name for the entire species. That would be like it saying goats are allowed and then saying you can't keep bucks because "Oh well goats is interpreted to mean only does".

If they do fall under the noise nuisance law that would be a different matter, but you could try to keep them quiet by using something like a no crow collar.
Breeding Ayam Cemanis, Roman Tufted Geese, and Welsh Harlequin Ducks.

Vermonters, come join us in the Vermont thread!

Clearing Up Rooster Misinformation - Letting Broody Hens Hatch and Raise Chicks - Raising Dubia For Your Chickens
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Breeding Ayam Cemanis, Roman Tufted Geese, and Welsh Harlequin Ducks.

Vermonters, come join us in the Vermont thread!

Clearing Up Rooster Misinformation - Letting Broody Hens Hatch and Raise Chicks - Raising Dubia For Your Chickens
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyxis View Post

If it says chickens and not hens or pullets, then that means any chicken. Roosters are chickens. If they want roosters to be disallowed then they need to change the wording to say only hens. Chicken is the name for the entire species. That would be like it saying goats are allowed and then saying you can't keep bucks because "Oh well goats is interpreted to mean only does".

If they do fall under the noise nuisance law that would be a different matter, but you could try to keep them quiet by using something like a no crow collar.


X2  If you walk away from your property how far can you hear your silkie roosters crowing?  Our roosters sound like roosters (They're legal.), but our bantam roosters sound like squeaky toys.

    Perhaps you could record other sounds from your property, dogs barking, traffic, kids playing to make your point about noise.

    Good luck

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay I actually had submitted it before I finished up and didn't know how to fix it from the phone. The actual word is poultry... I don't believe it even mentions the word chicken but it definitely never this allows roosters. I don't see how they have a legal foot to stand on... but he stood his ground and said 'that's how it's always been interpreted.' You cannot hear them anymore than the dogs I hear... I can hear them from streets over. Sometimes they bark non-stop for a while. My roosters crow in the morning and at dusk, and they'll crow during the day in response to each other... white to find each other or if one gets startled.
The big problem is that these we're not livestock to us at all. They're absolutely pets including the fact that yes we bring them inside for frequent visits. My daughter does their hair and take them on rides. My 4 youngest children all had their very own rooster. We have 5.
Edited by chixwithkidz5 - 5/3/16 at 6:03am
post #5 of 7

Did this ignoramus actually write you a citation or give a notice of violation?  If not, I wouldn't sweat it.  keep the fluffy butts on your own property.  Until you receive a notice of violation, its kinda just him running his mouth.  I couldn't read the whole ordinance.  I kept thinking gestapo much.  Then I remembered why I live where I live in TX.  Good luck with keeping your babies.  I loathe town clowns and love to disturb their little fiefdoms.

 

Alice

post #6 of 7

Interpretation is 9/10ths of the law.  

 

I didn't see anything in the link that would make it "illegal"  (yes, quotes BC that's BS) but you never stated what your zoning is.

 

I've met three inspectors in 10 years (out of the 113) that didn't try to justify their job and were just happy to say "hello".  Eff the rest.

 

Noise violations are almost always the demise of BYR(oosters).  See if you can find local lawyers that are sympathetic, ask around BYC first though.  

 

What is the worst thing that can happen?  Would your local news chew them apart over violating "chicken laws"?

 

You have a lot of options here and I can almost guarantee that you aren't the first person to ask these questions.  Keep digging, it will work out.

post #7 of 7

His interpretation means nothing. You don't need a lawyer. As per noise violation, yes, if you have a complaint that is in effect. And it does not count if the inspector complains. 

 

You do need to contain your birds. That is a common ordinance everywhere. No animal should be able to roam off property. Fix that problem and ignore the rest. If the inspector comes back and babbles on about the cockerels/cock birds again tell him to take it up with the town/city lawyer and to get off your property.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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