[b]Who has fought and won?[/b]

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by cinnamongirl, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. cinnamongirl

    cinnamongirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2009
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    I need a few heroes at the moment. I'm trying to decide if I should try to change the ordinances in Deltona Florida, maybe just try for a variance for myself, or just do what my boyfriend keeps telling me and "Let it go. Keep a low profile."
    Maybe if I can see that it can be done it'll give me courage to fight. I know a few of you have done it. How many of you were successful at getting a variance? We'd really love to keep just a few chickens but I'm feeling a little chicken myself right now.
     
  2. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't changed any ordinances, but when I got chicks the online ordinances said that I could keep 10 chickens. What I didn't know is that the online stuff hadn't been updated since before I moved here and they had already changed to no poultry at all.

    I found a loop hole that said if I had kids in 4H that I can write in for a permit, and they still fought me saying that the chickens are housed on the 4h property. My response to them was, "then why in your ordinance does it say this?"

    They never gave me a permit, but they did leave me alone. I had over the limit and I gave away 20+ chickens and a turkey plus all my roos. I wanted to show them that I was willing to give if they are. I ended up keeping 3 hens. I would love to get a rooster, and I probably could, but I don't want to push it.

    Good luck, let me know what happens.
     
  3. cinnamongirl

    cinnamongirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2009
    Deltona
    I'd be happy with just 3 hens. Originally we wanted maybe up to 10. I'd be willing to work with them, but they aren't willing to work with me.
    So no one has fought and won? Really? I know somebody did...right?
     
  4. meathook

    meathook Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2009
    I decided this spring I wanted chickens. Mine is a very long story mainly because the town had never had a request like this before. If you are interested I will just run through it here for you. Let me first say I live in a very small town and quickly realized that stealth chickens would not be a possibility.

    In any case I researched the zoning and found out chickens were not permitted. I figured I had two choices change the zoning law (hard) or get a variance (hard but possible).

    I proactively contacted the neighbors who's property abutted mine and asked them to sign a form stating they were not opposed to my chickens I also provided them with a two page sheet of why I wanted chickens what the common issues were (smell and noise) and what I planned on doing to resolve these issues. I told them I wanted to have 6 hens, no roos, no free ranging. I also proposed some coop designs so they would know I didn't have anything crazy planned. They all signed.

    In the mean time the Town Supervisor had talked to the town lawyer who stated that I could apply for a Special Use Permit which has a lower standard of approval than a variance and this would be issued by the Town Planning Board. So I filled out a zoning permit which was refused (as expected) and immediately put in a request for a Special Use Permit.

    The town planning board announced a meeting in the paper and held a town meeting. My family were the only ones who showed up. They discussed it the biggest issue being setting precedent. In any case one gentleman on the board said that he believed that according to the zoning law the planning board could not grant the permit as the lawyer stated but only the Zoning Board of Appeals could grant a Special Use Permit.

    At this point smoke came out of my ears. I was very upset about being run around told to jump through various hoops then once done being told to jump through another. So this gentleman spoke with the town lawyer who came to the conclusion that the town law he was referring to was in conflict with the zoning ordnance and that in fact I would need to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

    I was also told they would need to notify everyone within 500 feet of a property line. I own almost 2 acres in the middle of town and probably 1/2 of the town lives within 500 feet of one of the borders of my property. They also mentioned the requirement for holding yet another town meeting.

    More ear smoke. So I reread the town law and determined that some of these requirements could be waved. I wrote an email to the Town Supervisor and Lawyer asking them to wave these requirements. A notice was put in the paper for the Zoning meeting that is required in any case and my wife and I attended.

    I made my case. The Zoning Board of Appeals discussed it. Voted to wave any additional requirements and unanimously approved my Special Use Permit. Finally I could order my birds.

    If you are still with me after all of that. I would just encourage you to stick with it. It is your property and you should be able to use it for what you want. Don't give up and if one thing gets in your way move to the next. Had I failed to get a Special Use Permit my next option would be to appeal it in the Town Court if that failed I was planning to try to change the zoning law. It was a great civics lesson for the whole family.

    I would also tell you to investigate a Special Use Permit (SPU) as opposed to a variance if your town law allows it. An SPU has a much lower standard for approval. Basically you only have to show that what you are doing does not significantly change the purpose of the zoning in that area. A variance has very specific requirements that must answer very specific questions. In either case your neighbors support helps a lot.

    I would also add it is great to be able to enjoy and talk about my chickens without the fear that someone is going to turn me in to the town.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  5. tasymo

    tasymo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Mulliken
    I would first of all see about getting a variance, since you seem to be in an area that might be feasible. Talk to your neighbors and try to get their support, since complaints from them will bring you trouble. If your immediate neighbors are on board, half your battle is won. If you can't get a variance, your choices are narrowed down to changing the ordinance or raising your hens on the sly. Good luck and hang in there!
     
  6. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, through some lobbying by me and other chicken enthusiasts, we managed to get an amendment to the original law in Saint Paul MN that allows one to keep up to three birds without neighbor permission AND the permit fee dropped to $25! Woo hoo! It's great for the people who couldn't get permission from their neighbors (like me, lol) [​IMG]
     
  7. cinnamongirl

    cinnamongirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2009
    Deltona
    Thanks guys! Especially you meathook! Exactly the kind of story I was looking for. I love the idea of a special use permit and I'll start looking as soon as I'm done writing this. After all, as much as I'd like to change the ordinances, that sounds like a battle much bigger than I can handle on my own. Deltona is a strange city. I wouldn't call it a city, but they do. Although no one has ever heard of us, they hear of our neighbor Daytona and while technically we are bigger then they are, we don't even have a downtown area or even a "Mainstreet". Everyone here just commutes to work in Orlando. One giant suburb. I moved here because my parents did but I purposely moved to the very edge that butts up against Lake Helen where everyone has some sort of ranch type setup. Unfortunately now I have to try to see if I can get them to loosen up on their cookie cutter ordinances to let me have a few hens even tho I can hear the roosters crow and the cows from my oh-so-lucky rural neighbors (sigh)
    Thanks again! And please...anyone else out there have a success story?
     
  8. wing it

    wing it Chillin' With My Peeps

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    long island
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  9. cinnamongirl

    cinnamongirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2009
    Deltona
    Great inspiration in those links [​IMG] thanks!
    So I looked into a special use permit and I found instead a "conditional use permit" which I assume is the same thing. However it obviously wasn't designed for people to ask to keep chickens. Meathook or anyone else who has ever done this before, did you have to provide all of this...
    "Fifteen (15) copies of the Site Plan (to scale) that complies with Section 1102.00(a)(4) & (5) of the
    Zoning Ordinance 30-98 and two (2) 11”X 17” reduced copies of the Site Plan.
    Site plan shall include signage plan and lighting detail. Also, furnish a CD of site plans in jpeg or PDF format, if possible."

    or does it even apply to this situation? And this may sound like a stupid question but if the "reduced copies" are 11"X17", how big are the 15 others??? I'm afraid to call and ask because I keep reading that it's better to have eveything ready before you alert them that you plan on asking in case they decide to prepare for your denial.
    Does anyone know if there's a list of cities that have already seen the light and maybe their conditions that i can add to my package to present to them? I've ordered Mad City Chickens. I can't see getting them to watch it, but I can make notes and include it just in case. I just talked to my parents and I was very surprised to hear how little they knew about keeping chickens! My dad especially since his mom kept them. So if they were hard to sell, I imagine city hall will be harder and I'll need all the amunition I can get!
     
  10. wing it

    wing it Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2009
    long island
    do they have a web site , maybe call a local architect or enginneer maybe they can help you hopefully at no charge. have a friend call and ask kinda thow them off the trial
     

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