Akron, Ohio: support needed

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by icnu, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. icnu

    icnu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2013
    Is anyone in the Akron, Oh area? The city's chicken ordinance is antiquated and unreasonable-- 100 ft setbacks, in a city whose lots are barely that long-- makes it virtually impossible to keep chickens legally. I would like to work on changing it! Anyone already working on this/willing to?
     
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  2. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    Hey, I am in Akron and fortunately we just moved to a location where we can have chickens legally...but I agree the ordinance is ridiculous. No one has a yard bigger than a peanut around here!
     
  3. laurak

    laurak New Egg

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    Feb 16, 2013
    I'm in Akron. I would love to have chickens. I talked to my councilman Mike Freeman. He wasn't willing to talk to city council. He said Akron had too much trouble with stay cats to think about stay chickens. Crazy huh!! I'll help...any way I can.
     
  4. icnu

    icnu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2013
    That's kind of the feedback I have gotten too. No one cares enough about the law. But it sounds like they don't care about enforcing it either...if you call 311 and ask, they will tell you yes the law says xyz, but that there's really no problem unless someone complains. I also know of at least 4 houses within city limits that have chickens, and they are definitely not in compliance of the 100' setback. 2 even have roosters! I was planning on going to my ward meeting next month, it's the first Tue and talking to "my council member". Do you think it would help if we work on getting signatures from around the city to show how much interest there is? When did you talked to Mike Freeman?

    I was thinking of trying to get ahold of the "Let's Grow Akron" people...they might have some idea who could be our "champion" on the city council.
     
  5. laurak

    laurak New Egg

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Hello

    I talked to Mike Freeman over a year ago, but I was only one voice. I told him it's crazy that the laws haven't been looked at. It's even illegal to have a rabbit within 25 ft of a house. Since I talked to him, more cities have allowed back yard chickens in Ohio. He compared us to Columbus, Dayton, and other big cities in Ohio when thinking about the law.

    He said that Akron has so many social issues to work towards, chicken as pet like he had a a kid is a low priority. I told him people who would go through the time and effort to raise chickens are more concerned with the property and take better care. It's an investment to the city, just as the people with presentations at the library downtown and the Akron home and Garden show explained to. So why are we using tax dollars to explain how to raise back yard chickens at the library and the extras it costs the city for the Home and Garden show if we can't have them??

    I'll help any way I can.

    I've talked to a few of my neighbors about doing it anyhow. One is really against it, she thinks it will be too loud and she works nights. I have 5 children....a couple hens could never be louder than they are when they play outside or the numerous dogs around us barking.

    I know my sister lives in Akron, she has chicken and they are not at the set back requirement. She said several homes in her area have them too.

    Laura
     
  6. icnu

    icnu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2013
    Then they should compare us to Cleveland-- they have the same social issues on a much bigger scale! And they changed the law!

    I was even wondering if we can get a group of us together and go to several ward meetings...show the councilmen there is more than just a citizen here of there interested in having chickens.

    I got chicks in December, and they are really ready to go outside to their coop now. I am still having conversations with the one neighbor opposed to it. I think she will be a little more flexible once she knows I can legally get rabbits, a pot bellied pig, or a pygmy goat. I checked the city's law! :)
     
  7. icnu

    icnu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2013
    I remember there were some classes for chickens at the library last year-- do you recall which branch they were held at?
     
  8. seeda

    seeda Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2013
    My lot is 150 ft. deep so my chickens are all the way at the back. One person owns chickens and ducks on Kelley ave and they certainly are not 100 ft back. I think it depends if you receive a complaint. I plan to add more privacy fence to my yard this year as an added precaution. When I did speak to a council member about the law I was told as long as no one complained I could do as I pleased. I took that to mean I was pretty much on my own and they didnt want to be bothered. And this was from a family friend. Nice huh? Anyway that's how they do things here in Akron so I figure that's where it is. It's unfortunate since it really is something so simple. Unfortunately even when you have the required footage a complaint can cause problems for you and your birds anyway. I just try to keep extra fencing, stay very clean and be very generous. Luckily my sis lives across the street with 250' footage if i get in a bind. Im all for changing the law if you figure out how. Or just get a hen like all of council has suggested.
     
  9. icnu

    icnu Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2013
    Can I ask which councilman you talked to? If he is a family friend- do you think he would be willing to consider taking a change before the council if he saw how much interest there is? What part of the city are you in? You can pm me if you don't want to post it for everyone... I am just feeling very down right now. I really want to get this law changed. But nobody on the council gives a hoot. It seems like you summed it up; they don't want to do anything, just don't get caught and you'll be ok.

    And where on Kelley? I would just like to drive by and see their setup! :) How "private" their yard is.

    Unfortunately, one neighbor has been great about it, the other not so much. She has called the city about 2 different neighbor's dogs. She calls when anyone doesn't remove their trash can after collection and just let them sit on the curb. I have a bad feeling as soon as I put my hens out, she will call. I was even thinking of playing a recording of chickens for a few weeks, and putting my rabbit in the coop. So if she calls because of the "chickens", when the city comes they'll think she's crazy. What do you think? [​IMG]
     
  10. seeda

    seeda Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 23, 2013
    Unfortunately he was unwilling to introduce it to council. He and the mayor are always at odds and I don't think he wanted to add any fuel to the fire especially since it was something as "unimportant" as chickens. It seems to me that even if a person has footage in their favor a neighbor will be able to make a complaint. Case in point is a fire we had last summer. Our fire was contained, being used for cooking, we had the hose there and it was not smokey. So therefore by city regulations completely legal. A neighbor that our children had had an altercation with their children that day (neighbor kids had fought their son and their son had exposed himself to our daughters who were standing in our yard) called the police to complain about the fire. The fire department showed up with the huge truck completely outfitted in suits and breathing apparatus. They informed us that someone called about our backyard being on fire and they were afraid their house would catch. We showed the firemen the fire that was in a chimenea and explained what had happened earlier in the day. They checked the police report from earlier and found that we had not been the problem and realized that the neighbors were obviously placing a bogus report. They also related to us that their hands were tied and that if another complaint was lodged we would have to put the fire out eventhough the complaint was completely unfounded. Now obviously if this was regarding chickens and the law was on my side I would fight but ultimately how much can one justify spending to defend yourself against a neighbor that wants to be a nuisance when the city has no desire to back you up. The city's feeling on it is everyone has to live here in a relatively small space and to some extent they are right. In reality I may be right but how can I prove I am not breaking noise restrictions or smells issues. It is all so subjective. That's where they get you. They have the ultimate authority to say it's a problem and the chickens have to go. In reality if they don't hear about it it's ok but if they hear too much about it you're a problem they aren't going to deal with. They aren't going to stand behind anyone that rocks the boat whether you follow the ordinance or not.
    So the way I look at it, it really doesn't matter if you have the footage that is required or not if you have a neighbor that is not on board with your endeavor. It's unfortunate but that's how it seems to be with the city under the Big Don. I will pm you the name of the council member not to waste your time with. Good luck
     

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