San Diego California Chicken Ordinance, Effective January 2012
San Diego Municipal Code, Chapter 7, Article 2, Division 7, part E:
§42.0709 Fowl, Rabbits, Racing or Homing
Pigeons or Fancy Pigeons, Maintenance—
Regulations and Exceptions
(e) Keeping or maintaining chickens located on a premises zoned for a single
dwelling unit, developed with a single dwelling unit, developed with a
community garden in accordance with section 141.0203, or developed with a
retail farm in accordance with section 141.0505, is subject to the following
requirements, except that section 42.0709(e) shall not apply to single dwelling
units located in agriculture base zones.
(1) No rooster shall be permitted on the premises.
(2) The number of chickens permitted and the location of the chicken
coop are as follows:
(A) Up to five chickens may be kept on a premises, provided that
the coop is located outside of all required setbacks
as established by Chapter 13, Article 1 of this Code;
(B) Up to fifteen chickens may be kept on a premises, provided
that the coop is located outside of all required setbacks, as
established by Chapter 13, Article 1 of this Code, or 15 feet
from the property line, whichever is greater; and
(C) Up to twenty-five chickens may be kept on a premises,
provided that the coop and the enclosure are a minimum of 50
feet from any structure used for residential purposes.
(3) All chickens shall be housed in a coop that is designed to be:
(A) Predator proof;
(B) Thoroughly ventilated;
(D) Easily accessed and cleaned; and
(E) A minimum of six square feet of area per chicken.
(4) Direct access from the coop to an outdoor enclosure shall be provided
with the outdoor enclosure designed to be:
(B)Easily accessed and cleaned;
(C)Fenced to contain the chickens; and
(D)A minimum of ten square feet
of ground area per chicken.
UPDATE 16 July 2013: Interpretation of "single dwelling unit" by Neighborhood Code Compliance officers
Zoning officials in the NCC office may misinterpret the passage that reads "(e) Keeping or maintaining chickens located on a premises zoned for a single dwelling unit, developed with a single dwelling unit..." to mean that your property must be zoned exclusively for single dwelling units ("RS" zoning). Many single family properties in San Diego are in zones where multi-family units are allowed with some restrictions. These are designated "RM" zones. Per communication with City Councilperson Todd Gloria's office, who initiated and spearheaded the backyard chicken ordinance:
FORMER San Diego California Chicken Ordinance (pre-2012)
Are Chickens Allowed in this location Yes Max Chickens Allowed 25-Zoning Restrictions Apply Roosters Allowed Yes Permit Required No Coop Restrictions Yes, proximity and zoning restrictions apply City/Organization Contact name Additional Information §42.0708 Fowl, Rabbits, Racing and Homing Pigeons and Fancy Pigeon Regulated Health Regulated Businesses shall include the keeping or maintenance of more than: (a) twentyfive (25) fowl and rabbits; or (b) 100 racing or homing or fancy pigeons; or (c) any combination of (a) and (b) which exceeds 100. (Retitled to Fowl, Rabbits, Racing and Homing Pigeons and Fancy Pigeons Regulated and amended 1271997 by O18378 N.S.) §42.0709 Fowl, Rabbits, Racing or Homing Pigeons or Fancy Pigeons, Maintenance Regulations and Exceptions (a) No fowl or rabbits shall be kept or maintained within fifty (50) feet of any building used for residential purposes. (b) All food for fowl, rabbits or racing or homing or fancy pigeons shall be stored in containers which offer protection against rodents as required in this Chapter. (c) All fowl, rabbit or racing or homing or fancy pigeon droppings and food scraps shall be removed from the premises at least once a week or more frequently if, in the opinion of the Director of Public Health, it is necessary to prevent an unsanitary condition. (d) No person shall keep or maintain in a residential zone more than: (1) Twentyfive (25) fowl and rabbits; or (2) One hundred (100) racing or homing or fancy pigeons; or (3) Any combination of (1) and (2) which exceeds 100. (e) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed or construed to prohibit the keeping of fowl, rabbits or racing or homing or fancy pigeons: (1) In a coop, box or run located and kept within a schoolhouse, museum or zoo for the purpose of study or observation; (2) In a coop, box or run located and kept within a physicians office or laboratory, for medical research, medical treatment or scientific purposes; (3) On premises zoned for A11, A15, A110, M1A, M1, M2A and M2; (4) On premises where the fowl, rabbits or racing or homing or fancy pigeons are sold in the ordinary and customary course of business, and are not raised, bred or grown on such premises. (Retitled to Fowl, Rabbits, Racing or Homing Pigeons or Fancy Pigeons Maintenance Regulations and Exceptions amended 1271997 by O18378 N.S.) Link for more Information http://www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk/officialdocs/legisdocs/muni.shtml Information Last Updated 2010-03-29 10:55:13