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Ohio Townships and the Ohio Revised Code UPDATE! - Page 2

post #11 of 29

From talking with zoning and code officials all over Fairfield county, I get the impression that there is a chance I will be able to keep my chickens - as long as I play my cards right. I am doing what the city is telling me to do, and I am keeping on it. And being really really really nice to everyone I encounter. So far, so good.fl


Edited by nonseq - 7/26/10 at 6:29pm
post #12 of 29

thumbsup
Good luck!


Edited by Sonoran Silkies - 7/26/10 at 2:12pm

Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

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Breeder & Exhibitor of fine silkies in recognized and project varieties.
adult and started pairs occasionally available;
   No eggs or chicks. 
Support your local poultry clubs, breed clubs, ABA & APA!

Reply
post #13 of 29

The link to local regulation of agriculture:
http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/303.21

That is the one that applies to platted subdivisions. 

And I am not telling everyone regardless of where they live that they cannot have poultry.  I stated that right to farm laws do not necessarily give everyone the right to farm.  Ohio does not allow everyone the right to farm.  The Ohio right to farm act merely prevents farmers from being sued for nuisance violations like odor and noise.  Under Ohio law you can have poultry on more than 1 acre unless you live in a platted subdivision.  If you are located in a platted subdivision more than 35% developed the local powers can prohibit livestock.  Sure the law could possibly be changed.  It's going to take loads of time and money which most people don't have.  Better off to try and change things before you attempt to get started in poultry rather than after you are charged with a violation.  For most people it is easier and cheaper to buy or rent another property where livestock is allowed than to fight the system.  I listed the circumstances in which the law clearly allows poultry.  If the op wants to check with an attorney that is their choice. OSU has a good one that doesn't charge.  Her name is Peggy Kirk Hall, her contact information can be found on the OSU extension website.

BTW, Canal Winchester cannot prohibit livestock on lots of more than 5 acres unless the whole place was sold with deed restrictions.  State law allows livestock on lots of more than 5 acres. 

Cities can permit poultry, Worthington allows 6 chickens as long as they are 50 feet from the closest residence.  And Columbus does allow 4 chickens.  And in most of Madison county you can have any livestock on 2 acres provided you are in a rural residential district.

It is safer to assume you can't have poultry until you get legal verification that it is permitted than to assume you can have poultry and get fined for the lesson.  I was told by township trustees, former village officials, long-time residents, and the board of health that my birds were legal.  I operated under that information for 8 years.  Then I find out I am in a platted subdivision and poultry is not legal. 

The op asked if anyone had experience regarding the keeping of poultry under township rule in a platted subdivision.  I answered with my experiences and the opinion of several attorneys.  If you don't like the answer it still is what it is.  The link to the state law is posted above, ORC 303, if anyone wants to check.  Townships and counties can clearly prohibit poultry on lots of 5 acres or less in platted subdivisions.  The op can still check with the county planning or zoning dept to see if poultry is legal in that location.  But the way ORC 303.21 is written the short answer is no.  They can try for a variance if they wish.  It's not a cheap way to go and you could end up making all the neighbors mad.  You could get the birds and keep them on the low down, for years even.  But all it takes is 1 complaint and the poultry keeper will be on here begging someone to take their chickens before the county comes after them.

post #14 of 29

In your state are chickens listed as livestock here in montana they are listed as "fowl" livestock consists of any grazing animal I thought after getting halfway through the coop I couldn't have them after 2 hours of reading and cross reference it says no livestock within city limits so I thought oh no...but reading father chickens are considered fowl and they say nothing about owning fowl within city limits...theres my loopole

Moved to our little 5 acre farm in the beautiful state of Montana. 

 

Raising chickens, Turkeys, Nigerian Dwarf goats and Nubian Goats. 

 

Two horses and a heck of a lot of work!! 

Reply

Moved to our little 5 acre farm in the beautiful state of Montana. 

 

Raising chickens, Turkeys, Nigerian Dwarf goats and Nubian Goats. 

 

Two horses and a heck of a lot of work!! 

Reply
post #15 of 29

Canal and Baltimore both say no agriculture on under 10 acres. Agriculture = livestock. It's in the zoning regs. I talked to Canal's code/zoning guy. On the other hand, Akron - the city - allows hoofed mammals with a permit. Worthington says poultry has to 150 feet from any residence. Unless they changed that after that poor guy had his chickens killed.

Oddly enough Reynoldsburg also allows horses in residential zones. Just horses. They're special. Or something.

This whole mess of codes and zoning seems so predicated on who knew who when the matter came up to be made into regulation.


Edited to add that "livestock" is a legal definition in OH that allows persons who raise or sell animal products to get special funding and tax breaks. Llamas and alpacas are now "livestock." Since I am not raising or selling the products of my chickens, I don't consider them livestock.


Edited by nonseq - 7/26/10 at 3:39pm
post #16 of 29

I can't believe Canal Winchester and Baltimore won't allow livestock on land between 5 and 10 acres.  That is against state law.  But then, who has the money to fight it.

Worthington is 150 feet?  I thought it was just 50.  Even on my 1 acre I would have a difficult time siting a coop 150 feet away from the neighboring houses.

I don't consider my rabbits livestock as they are pets.  But the county considers them livestock.

I read somewhere that horses are considered recreation and are permitted in many places where cows aren't.

Mrsfoote, the link that I posted gives the definition.  Poultry husbandry is the same as other livestock and dairying operations.  Individual counties may find the 2 are different but the state groups them all together.

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonseq 

From talking with zoning and code officials all over Fairfield county, I get the impression that there is a chance I will be able to keep my chickens - as long as I play my cards right. I am doing what the city is telling me to do, and I am keeping on it. And being really really really nice to everyone I encounter. So far, so good.fl


So you're pushing ahead with keeping poultry? Are you in the city or a township?

Steve

Organizer: Northern Ohio Backyard Poultry Meetup Group
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.    -Arnold H. Glasow
Reply
Steve

Organizer: Northern Ohio Backyard Poultry Meetup Group
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.    -Arnold H. Glasow
Reply
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danaus29 

The op asked if anyone had experience regarding the keeping of poultry under township rule in a platted subdivision.  I answered with my experiences and the opinion of several attorneys.  If you don't like the answer it still is what it is.  The link to the state law is posted above, ORC 303, if anyone wants to check.  Townships and counties can clearly prohibit poultry on lots of 5 acres or less in platted subdivisions.  The op can still check with the county planning or zoning dept to see if poultry is legal in that location.  But the way ORC 303.21 is written the short answer is no.  They can try for a variance if they wish.  It's not a cheap way to go and you could end up making all the neighbors mad.  You could get the birds and keep them on the low down, for years even.  But all it takes is 1 complaint and the poultry keeper will be on here begging someone to take their chickens before the county comes after them.


Well, this is the sticking point for me. According to ORC, Dairy, poultry and animal husbandry become noncompliant land uses when 35% of the properties in my platted subdivision become developed with structures that are subject to real property taxes on the county tax rolls. The subdivision that I live in was built out by 1980 and I moved in in 2000, so there was no chance of beating that deadline. But, the ORC says the township MAY regulate the platted subdivisions IF THEY CHOOSE. It just so happens that my township chooses not to, and defaults to the ORC rather than enacting their own zoning restrictions. In light of this, I should be able to do 1 of 2 things: either get the Township to change their zoning (less likely), or apply for a variance (more likely). Does anyone here have a good template for applying for a variance that I can adapt to my needs? I'm still seeking help here. Thanks.


Edited by spoggy - 7/27/10 at 10:56am
Steve

Organizer: Northern Ohio Backyard Poultry Meetup Group
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.    -Arnold H. Glasow
Reply
Steve

Organizer: Northern Ohio Backyard Poultry Meetup Group
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.    -Arnold H. Glasow
Reply
post #19 of 29

Sorry if I missed this answer before but how much land do you have?  How close are the neighbors?  And how good is your relationship to the neighbors?  In this county you have to prove you will not impact the health of neighbors or the environment.  One thing I did find out was that a written manure management plan was a necessity.  And it didn't matter that my manure management complied in every way with the county board of health and state manure regulations, it needed to comply with Soil and Water's unwritten and unstated specifications even though the owners of dogs and cats don't need a manure management plan.  But then I am located in the Big Darby watershed and I just found out local farmers are having it out with the state EPA over manure management practices in this area.  The county won't help you do anything that would be in favor or increase your chances of getting a variance.  It's called a conflict of interest.  If you have ever had a board of health complaint or zoning complaint filed against you, even if it was unfounded, those will be held against you.  In our case the county came out and took many pictures of our property and not one was taken to be in our favor.  If you have anything other than mowed lawn (and absolutely nothing else can be in your yard) it will be put on display.  Wildlife habitat is made to appear as a bad thing.  Even potted plants are unfavorable features.  Another thing is that you have to prove you are not being granted any special favors, which of course is the whole point of asking for a variance. 

One neighbor who opposes any chickens can make your life heck.  I don't know how far a radius your county uses for neighborhood notification.  That is something you need to check.  You can talk to your neighbors about getting a variance for your chickens and they all could be in favor but the county could still say no.

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by spoggy 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nonseq 

From talking with zoning and code officials all over Fairfield county, I get the impression that there is a chance I will be able to keep my chickens - as long as I play my cards right. I am doing what the city is telling me to do, and I am keeping on it. And being really really really nice to everyone I encounter. So far, so good.fl


So you're pushing ahead with keeping poultry? Are you in the city or a township?


Hell, yeah.

My chickens are PETS. pets pets pets pets pets pets pets




PETS


Edited to add that I am in the city. A city. Of 16,000 people. In an island of R4 surrounded by AG.


Edited by nonseq - 7/27/10 at 1:04pm
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