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Down but not OUT in Winter Garden, Fl I want to keep my Chickens

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My wife and I live in Winter Garden, Fl.  We are in the city.  We have 6 hens and zero roosters.  We built the coop about 14 months ago and purchased our hens from two different local farms.A city of winter garden code compliance person came to my house today because of a fence permit issue.  During the visit, he heard my hens.  He informed me verbally that they were not allowed and would have to go.  Regarding the hens and the fence issue, he asked me to comunicate with him within a week.  The fence issue is easily solvable.  However, the hens issue is not.

 

The following is what I found on the winter garden codes.  The codes are managed (digitally) buy a contractor.

 

 

 

"Sec. 14-36. - Poultry—Number limited; sanitation; location.

 

It shall be unlawful to raise or keep within the city limits more than six chickens or other fowl. Any chicken or other fowl raised or kept within the city limits shall be housed under sanitary conditions in an escape-proof enclosure located no less than 100 feet from the nearest dwelling house, church or other occupied building."

 

 

The coop is more than 100 feet from my neighbor's dwellings.  It is not more than 100 feet from my dwelling nor is there room for it to be located that far from my house.

 

1.  Why do you think the city requires it to be more than 100 feet from the coop owner's dwelling?

2.  I plan to fight for change.  Do I need to remove the chickens during this process?

3.  Might any of you be able to guide me toward the first step in the process for seeking change?

 

Thanks in advance for all info and guidance.

 

Gary and Bel

 

 

 

post #2 of 7

I would call the Animal Control Division for the city. Ask to speak to the supervisor. And then ask them your first question. They should be able to give you more info. I doubt that it's 100' from your own dwelling.

post #3 of 7

I don't think it's 100 ft from your house either. Reason for distance is noise and possible odor. That would be 100' from nearest building other than yours.

 

I'd call the town clerk or whomever keeps the ordinances and get verification then tell the code compliance person to learn his job or get another.

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

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

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

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
post #4 of 7

Having served on my community's Planning and Zoning Commission followed by 4 years on our Town Council, that 100' from your own dwelling seems pretty steep.  Granted, my community is not Winter Gardens. Florida, but in my experience when setbacks are determined part of the formula is a percentage of the home's coverage area....in order for you to have a uniform setback of 100 feet from the neighbors' property lines, the required set back from side lots, and from the street, plus allow for your home's footprint, you'd have to have a pretty doggone huge lot.  How in the world to people get from single car garages to their house - hitchhike?  Something sounds funny.

 

If I'm wrong, I'll gladly acknowledge that.  But it sure seems like a heck of a distance to me.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input.  I am responding by email today.  It has been a week.  I am going to ask the code person to send me an official letter letting me know how I am in violation.  I will let you all know what it says. 

 

Gary and Bel

post #6 of 7

I too live in Winter Garden, Fl .  And I purchased a home within the City Limits, I already have chickens but they currently reside at my parents until I build them a nice pen at my new residence. Well I just had the same problem with the City, I called them up to verify the Municode :

"Sec. 14-36. - Poultry—Number limited; sanitation; location.

 

It shall be unlawful to raise or keep within the city limits more than six chickens or other fowl. Any chicken or other fowl raised or kept within the city limits shall be housed under sanitary conditions in an escape-proof enclosure located no less than 100 feet from the nearest dwelling house, church or other occupied building."

 

 and 100' setback  which I do meet because I have a 1 acre lot, so it will be 100' from any structure, but they still say that we are not allowed.  Why is this?   

 

Here are the code enforcement laws but they were last revised in 2012. http://www.cwgdn.com/files/comm-dev/faq-code-enf.pdf

 

 

Does the municode exceed the code enforcement or vice versa?  I am very confused. 

post #7 of 7

Hello Winter Garden neighbors!!  I moved to downtown in 2011 and a few years ago got the "bug" to get chickens (my husband is not on board, but I think I can convince him with the help of my daughters!) I spoke with the WG Feed store and was told - you can have them, everyone does.  Just make sure your neighbors are ok with it and that you can't see them from the street...  Well, I didn't want to break any laws and looked into it a bit more.  I also live on a corner and the area where I'd like them is definitely exposed.  Just like you I found the 100 ft ordinance on the City website.  

 

We had to get a setback variance from the City to build a carport on the front of our house and did that a year ago.  During that process, I spoke with one of the City Planners and expressed my chicken desires.  He made it sound like there was no way the City would allow it.  He said someone had called several times and left voicemails for the City of their neighbor's rooster in the middle of the night saying he was awake listening to that!  Well you and I know roosters would no and should not be allowed.  I think the City should allow it - charge a fee for a permit and make some $!!  I did tell him the City of Orlando was running a pilot program (Started in 2012) and had extended it.  He did say he knew about that and they were keep an eye on it - I think that's a good sign.  I looked it up yesterday as I got back on the chicken-track after visiting a neighbor who has chickens (she didn't know the rule when she got them last spring and she hasn't gotten caught).  My kids were with me and they are now on a mission to change the City Ordinance.  I think a letter from a 9 yr old and 6 yr old could help, right?!?  Maybe some facts would help and a petition too.  Anyway, Orlando has extended their trial once again as it's been successful.  If I remember correctly, they are allowing 75 permits in three different areas of the city.  Residents need to apply for a permit and even take a class.  Of course there are restrictions on location of the coop, # of birds, etc.  I can deal with that if it's reasonable!  I want to find about about the class - it would be interesting to attend.  

 

Also, I just started a fb page yesterday - nothing on it yet, but check it out: facebook.com/WinterGardenChickenClub so we can all share ideas and get this silly rule changed!!  Would you like to join me?  I have a few other people who are interested too!  I'm going to do a little more research on other local cities.  I believe it was either Winter Park or Maitland that was allowing chickens so I'll get the info and may call their City offices too. I was excited to see some fellow WG Residents on this website!  

 

Let's Go Eggs, Let's Go!  Let's Go Eggs, Let's Go!

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