Apparently our official is working to put in a new park and edible garden in a lower income area this weekend, so I'll plan on mailing him this letter on Monday. What do you think?
Hello Mr. Griffin,
I was referred to you by Ms. Maddie Curtis. For the past few months, I have been looking into owning a few chickens as pets. After doing extensive research, contacted Ms. Curtis to find out if it was even legal to keep chickens in Rockledge. I was very disappointed to find out that it is not legal, and she suggested I contact you to request a change in Zoning Regulations for the residential Rockledge area.
For my own personal use and at the request of my husband, I researched the benefits, requirements, expenses, and even drawbacks as keeping chickens as pets. My research was very encouraging and I learned a great deal that persuaded me to believe chicken keeping would be a good option for our family. My husband and oldest son are severely allergic to dogs and cats, but chickens would not pose a problem. But since I am requesting a change that should apply to, and benefit, everyone, I'd like to list the benefits and most common concerns when keeping chickens as pets. I have attached this file as a word document for your convenience.
The following is my suggested proposal for the change to the municipal code that would govern the keeping of these pets. I have taken into account the average lot size for single-family homes, the amount of birds needed to provide for an average family of four, noise and nuisance regulations, enclosure requirements, and distance from neighbors.
Under Section 88.00
a. Small flocks of poultry will be allowed within residential areas under the following conditions:
1. No more than four (4) hens shall be allowed for each single-family dwelling.
2. No roosters shall be allowed.
3. Hens shall be included in the number of four (4) allowable pets along with dogs, cats, and other domesticated pets.
Ex: 2 hens, 1 dog, 1 cat for a total of four domestic pets.
4. Hens must be kept in secure enclosures and are not allowed off of the owner’s property. Under direct supervision, hens may be allowed to free range in a fully enclosed, fenced-in yard.
5. Enclosures must be kept at least 25ft from the nearest neighbor’s residence.
6. Hens must be housed in clean, humane coops that are regularly maintained to prevent offensive odors.
7. Feed must be stored in pest-proof containers, such as a 5 gallon bucket with tight fitting lid.
This is a collegiate essay that I found most helpful in understanding and creating chicken laws in residential areas.
It is a comparison of 25 United States cities where chicken keeping is allowed and the different laws within these cities. It was written to help city councils make informed and wise regulations in favor of keeping chickens within residential backyards.
The urban chicken movement is growing in popularity and is something many cities (such as Melbourne) have decided to, or are in the process of considering to support. I believe that Rockledge is the perfect city for a reform of the current law to take place. Backyard hen keeping is a wonderful companion to the urban garden movement that our city supported just this weekend by planting an edible garden at the new Anderson Park. I know our city cares about sustainability as evidenced by the recent recycling initiatives and by offering the old hobo garbage cans to residents for composting use. Hen keeping is another great way to encourage natural recycling, that is sustainable, while also offering residents charming pets who give back with daily with fresh organic eggs. I sincerely hope that my request will be given careful consideration and thought. I would be happy to answer any questions that may arise and research additional concerns that you may have.
Thank you for your time and all your hard work,