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HENRICO Co, VIRGINIA ~ Need help/support/direction

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I got my girls (6) back in March after speaking with ALL of my neighbors and everyone was OK and happy for me to have my girls.

The only issue was although the owner of the house next door was OK, apparently the renters in his house decided to be grump... we've had long standing problems with them since their dog jumped the fence and attacked mine.

So today the Zoning guys showed up (I was at the barn) and spoke with my hubby. He didn't leave any sort of paperwork what so ever except a business card and told my husband that we weren't zoned for chickens. He told him that he would be back in a week to speak with us again/verify they were moved?

OK so where do I need to start to fight this? Does anyone know where a checklist is located that will help me dot all my I's and cross all my T's? Any and ALL help and/or guidance would be appreciated as I plan on fighting this to the end in an attempt to change the laws of Henrico Co.

Thanks in advance!
Tiffany

post #2 of 26
Thread Starter 

OK so I penned an email to my board of supervisors representative. Pat O'Bannon

I am a Henrico mother of 3 and have lived in the Farmington subdivision for 4 years.

As I am sure you are aware there has been a "backyard chicken" movement spreading coast to coast in several major metropolitan cities as well as small towns throughout this great nation.

I have wanted to have pet chickens for several years now and after some research on the ease of care and the low maintinence they require... not to mention the incredible health benefits of eggs from naturally raised chickens I would like to try and facilitate a change in the Henrico Laws. Raising back yard chickens also has a positive environmental impact ranging from the composting of their bedding for use in our garden to lessening the use of fossil fuels from the trucks that deliver the factory farmed eggs.

There are several major cities across the country that allow hens (roosters are not needed for eggs nor do they make docile pets) for example; Seattle, WA allows up to eight domestic fowl that may be kept on any lot in addition to the small animals allowed. On lots greater than 10,000 sf. ft. that include either a community garden or an urban farm, one additional fowl is permitted for every 1,000 sf. ft. of lot area over 10,000 sf. ft. in community garden or urban farm use. Roosters are not permitted. Structures housing domestic fowl must be locatedat least 10 feet away from any residential structure on an adjacent lot. Many other cities are similar. Some allow less, some allow more.

This is esentially what I would like to ask of the councel to please assist me in keeping Henrico County, progressive in it's commitment to the environment and to the freedoms of it's citizens. I would LOVE to set up a time to meet with you and show you supporting documents with more information on the benefits for the County and its residents if Henrico were to allow us to have a few hens.

Thank you so much for your time and I will look forward to speaking with you soon

Tiffany

post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crox4dt 

Hi all, I got my girls (6) back in March after speaking with ALL of my neighbors and everyone was OK and happy for me to have my girls.

The only issue was although the owner of the house next door was OK, apparently the renters in his house decided to be grump... we've had long standing problems with them since their dog jumped the fence and attacked mine.

So today the Zoning guys showed up (I was at the barn) and spoke with my hubby. He didn't leave any sort of paperwork what so ever except a business card and told my husband that we weren't zoned for chickens. He told him that he would be back in a week to speak with us again/verify they were moved?

OK so where do I need to start to fight this? Does anyone know where a checklist is located that will help me dot all my I's and cross all my T's? Any and ALL help and/or guidance would be appreciated as I plan on fighting this to the end in an attempt to change the laws of Henrico Co.

Thanks in advance!
Tiffany


I just read through all the animal related Codes for Henrico County VA and while there's plenty there about what happens if dogs threaten or damage poultry, there's nothing there (that I could find) about limits or restrictions about keeping poultry.  http://www.co.henrico.va.us/manager/code-of-ordinances.html You may have to find the Codes for the State of Virginia and see what they say there.

post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 

in Henrico we can have chickens, but they have to be housed 400' from residential dwellings (I live in a subdivision) sad

post #5 of 26

Sorry you live next door to a jerk. I had a neighbor like that once.
There may not be much you can do since the zoning guys already showed up.

If you are passionate about what you care about, you will
not fail.
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If you are passionate about what you care about, you will
not fail.
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post #6 of 26

The only thing I could find about fowl in the Henrico County Codes was about different parks and school zones being designated wildlife sancuaries. I googled Herico, Va poultry laws- and they speak of keeping odors and flies down for swine and define what they consider to be livestock. The fowl section was on page 22. I think the zoning offical should have written you a citation (which would have the zoning violation code on it so you know exactly why you're being ordered to get rid of your chickens). You're neighbors may have called zoning and complained that your chickens were a nuisance to them (maybe a noise complaint?), but I didn't even see any ordinances about that. You could simply call the zoning office and request a copy of your county ordinances....good luck!

Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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Nikki
*C'mon, get flappy!*
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post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 

OK so today I talked to a Zoning Manager who gave me the correct direction to follow to add an amendment to the current ordinance. I also spoke in depth with a member of my Board of Supervisor's staff and answered several of the questions that he had, addressing concerns and gave him ideas that seemed to win over his favor. I will be sitting down and talking to each and every Board of Supervisor to speak face to face and plead my well researched case wink The Board Member scheduling staff has been asked to call me to set up my meetings and I am looking forward to it smile YAY!

Wish me luck... as soon as I get a chance to press some flesh for Back Yard Chickens cause I will send out a press release to all the local stations and the Richmond Times Dispatch to let them know I am fighting as well... just a few weeks ago there was another Henrico woman who was trying to fight to keep her chickens. If we keep the local press active on the fight it should help keep the ball rolling and hopefully we can win our battle for the chicks jumpy

If anyone has any factoids about back yard chickens to assist me in my arguments please post some links smile Thanks!

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crox4dt 

OK so today I talked to a Zoning Manager who gave me the correct direction to follow to add an amendment to the current ordinance. I also spoke in depth with a member of my Board of Supervisor's staff and answered several of the questions that he had, addressing concerns and gave him ideas that seemed to win over his favor. I will be sitting down and talking to each and every Board of Supervisor to speak face to face and plead my well researched case wink The Board Member scheduling staff has been asked to call me to set up my meetings and I am looking forward to it smile YAY!

Wish me luck... as soon as I get a chance to press some flesh for Back Yard Chickens cause I will send out a press release to all the local stations and the Richmond Times Dispatch to let them know I am fighting as well... just a few weeks ago there was another Henrico woman who was trying to fight to keep her chickens. If we keep the local press active on the fight it should help keep the ball rolling and hopefully we can win our battle for the chicks jumpy

If anyone has any factoids about back yard chickens to assist me in my arguments please post some links smile Thanks!


Keep fighting the good fight, sounds like you're on the right path. Know your town code and zoning laws first and foremost.  Here are some links that can definitely help you bolster your case:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/16509728/Changing-Your-Citys-Chicken-Laws

http://www.madcitychickens.com/  (go the the FAQs section)

http://urbanchickens.org/blog/need-help-getting-chicken-ordinances-changed

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704178004575351121083644624.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_smallbusiness

and of course, from BYC, this thread has lots of info: http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=316045

FINALLY
, one should dress appropriatelly for every meeting with my NEW "Chicken Outlaw" t-shirt (available in my webstore: http://www.CustomEggCartonLabels.com under Chicken Merchandise).
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/43104_outlaw_image_alone-brown.jpg
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/43104_outlaw_tshirt_brown.jpg

Good luck and keep us posted! You are not alone!


Edited by ADozenGirlz - 8/5/11 at 5:49pm
post #9 of 26

I am really interested in hearing your experience with the ordinance. We also live in Henrico County and have 9 chickens and have had them for almost two years. We researched the ordinance when we first moved here from Chicago and approached our neighbors that were closer to us than the required 400 feet and they were 100% supportive. Everything has been wonderful and the neighborhood enjoys the chickens throughly. Our neighbor's house was hit by a tree during the hurricane and mayor repair work had to be done. When the inspector came last month as the work was completed to sign off on the permits he saw our chickens and reported us as being in violation. Please contact me to share where you are in the process of getting an exception ad how you were able to keep the chickens if your neighbors are in agreement.

Our children would be hardbroken and our contribution to greener living diminshed if we have to give up our chicks!

post #10 of 26

Hello Henrico! My husband grew up in Henrico County & my grandparents lived there when I was a girl. Have friends there still...

 

Just wanted to say, since you are posting on a thread from last August- you might want to try to send a Personal Message to Crox4dt. If you click on the little arrow next to their name, you'll see Send PM. But be sure and post any updates here for others to follow up...

 

Good luck!

Show your support for Urban Chickens! Check out my hand-screened chicken t-shirts:

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Show your support for Urban Chickens! Check out my hand-screened chicken t-shirts:

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