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Need help to change chicken laws in PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VA!!! - Page 2

post #11 of 15
Hello- I moved to Prince William County in 2010. That is when we purchased a home on a lot that is over 2.5 acres, under 3 acres. We are zoned A-1, but we are not in the Fowl Overlay District. I could walk to the border of this district. I find the legislation on this matter confusing. Some documents I have read say that owners of lots over 2 acres and zoned A-1 can have chickens (limited number and properly cooped) county wide and make no reference to the fowl overlay. To be sure I called the county office to check and left a message. They returned the call, but said I could not keep chickens because I am not in the fowl overlay district. So I have called back and left a second message making more inquiries, because I don't this this is correct. I have read the previous messages and I am wondering what I can do, if anything, to change the ordinance, if I am not allowed to keep chickens. It seems very silly that I could keep much larger livestock, but not a few hens. I desire to have the hens for many good reasons - bug control, organic manure to build soil for my garden, eggs for eating, eggs for my hobby - Ukrainian egg art and raising chicken is something I want to share with my children. They would love to tend to their own chickens. Any advice is appreciated. It looks like some of you have had a real battle. I would be proud to join your cause. I feel land owners should not have their rights and their ability to be self sufficient striped from them for arbitrary reasons. When were laws passed to prevent people from keeping chickens in the first place. My property was created as part of a developement about 35 years ago, we have no HOA. The previous owners kept chickens for over 10 years according to my neighbors.
post #12 of 15

When the change to the ordnance was passed by the Board of County Supervisors, there was discussion about expanding the right to have chickens if there weren't any issues with the limited rollout. I recommend you contact Mr. Nick Evers in the Planning Department at, 703-792-6830; he's the man I dealt with most of the time, and the one that presents the county's position to the board. If you get him on your side, your chances improve greatly. I found him to be fair, but very cautious. I also strongly recommend that you contact your individual supervisor and the chairman. I found that it's most effective when you meet with them personally. You will find that some supervisors will be on your side from the start, others believe that allowing chickens will set the county back 100 years and will insult your intelligence with hyperbolic arguments, and others will go where the majority goes.


I agree with you - it's just plain silly to restrict property rights like they do. For some reason we tolerate it. And when you speak up, prepare to get villanized in the press as a "redneck", the "chicken man", and that by having a few chickens you will somehow transform the county into Botswana. History and facts matter little. It's 90% emotion.


I did a little research on the history of the old ordnance, and it seems that back in the early 80s the county had a problem with dogs. The county formed some citizen working groups from various parts of the county to address the problem. Evidently there was little agreement in the groups as to how to address the dog issue, so they did nothing about that - but the scope of the group was expanded to include other animals, and there was agreement on chickens, so >poof< a new law was born. Not surprisingly, ignorance is boundless, and the desire to control others is insatiable.


Best of luck - let me know if I can help.


Vic Cole

post #13 of 15
Thank you for your reply. I have been looking into the issue. Spot Zoning is found to be illegal in many cases. I have a message in with Mr. Evers and I am talking to my neighbors about the issue. My e-mail is I have thick skin, I am very determined and I have no plans on going away. Plus, on good days the wicked witch theme music from the wizard of oz plays when I fly on my broom. smile.png I will write you soon, I have a neighbor to back me that has previous experience with city planning. She is looking into some things for me too. Until then, you can contact me at my e-mail. Thanks again.
post #14 of 15

I am just starting a backyard garden and was hoping to have chickens in my backyard. I probably have just a quarter acre lot like most houses here. No HOA. I started a petition on on this topic last year. I got just over 200 signatures. I was unfamiliar with the format and it did not present very well. Maybe that is something that can be done again. Perhaps with thousands of signatures we could get some action. I would love to also visit the supervisors office as a group. Schedule a meeting and present a petition with hundreds if not thousands of signatures. Anyone interested?

post #15 of 15

Can someone update not this? I believe the laws have changed.

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