Backyard Chicken Underground in Westminster, Colorado

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by ChickenSoup82, May 13, 2008.

  1. ChickenSoup82

    ChickenSoup82 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2008
    I am trying to contact the Backyard Chicken Underground in Westminster, Colorado. I live in a residential area and would like to keep chickens in my backyard but it is illegal. I want to try to get a change to happen in the law to allow for chickens in the backyard. I actually get my chics in today hopefully and I am worried that animal control will be at the post office waiting for me with hand-cuffs. I have my brooder all set up and I hope that I can get them home ok. I have .25 acre lot, which isn't much but it is enough to keep a few chickens. My yard is on the corner and everyone that drives down the street has clear views into my lot so it wouldn't take long to get discovered. I am trying to put together a presentation for city council and could use some support to get permission at least for my property even if I can't change the law. It is frustrating because Jefferson County doesn't have an ordinance against it, Denver and Arvada allow backyard chickens and Westminster who is supposed to be all about sustainability doesn't. Here is the e-mail I sent to the city and the response I got back:

    To Whom it May Concern:

    I am a resident of the Countryside neighborhood and would like to write to you about concerns that I have. I would like to keep a few chickens in my backyard as pets and am upset that the law makes this illegal. Chickens are included as livestock in the city code but to me they would be pets with the benefit of free compost and eggs. I feel that it is my right as an American to provide for my family as best as I am able on the amount of land that I can afford. My lot is approximately .25 acres which is more than enough to keep a few chickens and maintain a family garden. Many other cities including Denver allow chickens on residential lots. I propose that the law be changed to allow chickens to be kept in backyards as pets under the following restrictions:

    · No roosters allowed, only laying hens.

    · Chickens are to be kept for eggs only, not meat. ( no butchering of chickens in backyards)

    · Proper housing of chickens is taken into account to avoid predators.

    · Chickens must be kept clean and disease free.

    · Chicken manure must be properly composted or disposed of to avoid unpleasant smells.

    · Must have a chicken permit to keep chickens. (The permit fee would cover all costs of enforcing code.)

    · Must have neighbors permission within 100 ft of property.

    My goal is to make my home as sustainable as possible. I would like the city to support me in doing so. Please let me know if there is anyway to obtain a variance for my property to keep chickens or what else I can do to make this legal in Westminster. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Thank you for your inquiry.

    I understand that you have spoken with Code Enforcement on this issue.

    Keeping livestock (chickens) is not allowed by City of Westminster ordinance. The ordinance also requires a property to be at least ten acres to support livestock within city limits. Livestock is defined by the state and federal government and cannot be changed to pet status by the City of Westminster. Any attempt to get a variance for your residential property would need to be presented to City Council during a Council meeting.

    6-7-12: RESTRICTIONS ON SALE AND POSSESSION OF ANIMALS: (1463 1890 1973 2066 3062 3288)

    (B) Livestock Limited: It shall be unlawful to keep or maintain livestock in residential, business, commercial, and industrial zone districts, and Planned Unit Developments unless specifically allowed in the PUD, excepting that livestock shall be permitted in parcels zoned 0-1 or in parcels of

    6/2006 6-7-12(B) 6-7-13

    10 acres or more in size in all zoning districts prior to commencement of construction on the parcel. In any case the number of animals kept in a PUD shall not exceed the number permitted by the provisions of the Official Development Plan. Livestock, excluding fowl, shall have one-half acre of pasture available for each animal.

    James Mabry

    Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator

    City of Westminster

    303-430-2400, ext. 2011
  2. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    It's nice to see that our tax dollars are going to pay the salaries of such highly skilled people [​IMG] I mean guy tell us something you don't know [​IMG]

    Seachick got her ordinance changed you may want to contact her, it took her a year though. You may wanna have a back up plan....
  3. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    If you to a search with ordinance or zoning as the key word & seachick as the poster and Everything Else chicken as the section you will get alot of info.....
  4. NurseLuke

    NurseLuke Hatching

    Jan 22, 2012
    Responding to a thread several years old: is this still an active concern of yours? I am in Westminster and my family would join the effort to change the ordinance. Where does this stand for you 3+ years on? What has been your experience?
  5. Ctrunk514

    Ctrunk514 In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2012
    I live in Westminster, Adams CO side, and would also support this.
    1 person likes this.
  6. sofia

    sofia Hatching

    Mar 4, 2012
    I also live in Westminster. (Adams) I have a chicken coop already here (from the time of real and local food) ! I want 3 chickens only. I don't understand why that is not permitted. Please reconsider our local law!

    Sofia Wolfe

    Local voter.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Vanniek71

    Vanniek71 Hatching

    Mar 30, 2012
    I also live in countryside and want some chickens. Curious to how the OP situation worked out.

    I am not a corner lot and I think I could get away with some chickens if I shared eggs with my neighbors, and I might just do that. I already have a shed that was used as a dog run in the past that I can easily convert to a coop. Has a closeable and lockable door too, and great insulation from the winter for the chickens.

    I also would be on board to try and get that silly law of no chickens removed......I mean horses are allowed, why not chickens?
    1 person likes this.
  8. Teisha

    Teisha Hatching

    Apr 1, 2012
    We're thinking of moving to Westminster, but because chickens are illegal it is discouraging us. Does anyone know if it looks like this ordinance may change? Arvada allows 2 hens, and I'd think this would seem reasonable to allow in Westminster as well. I'd be interested in any efforts to change the Westminster ordinance. Thanks!
    1 person likes this.
  9. chicken freedom

    chicken freedom Hatching

    Apr 1, 2012
    I understand her is my story.

    A calling to the American people.

    This is a fight for everyone’s property rights and the American Way

    Arapahoe County Colorado has passed laws and will not allow citizen input.

    Our Story
    (We live in Unincorporated Arapahoe County outside any city limits)
    We wrote Arapahoe County in Colorado in September 2010 asking the county to clarify their laws pertaining to keeping chickens as pets. We also asked the county to bring it up in their planning and zoning public meetings. We have made numerous attempts to work with the county since then.
    In February of 2011 we realized the Pet Law included fowl as a legal pet. The law stated legal pets were dogs, cats, fowl, pot bellied pigs, and any other non exotic animal typically sold in pet stores.
    How could Chickens not be included as fowl? We pressed the county on this issue and could not get clarification. The county never replied.
    So in February 2011 we got 4 chickens. 4 different breeds selected by our children for their beauty, domesticated traits, hardiness for Colorado winters, and egg laying ability. We got them at 2 days old. They were awesome chicks. Ella the Easter Egger, Bridgette the Buff Orpington, Ruby the Rhode Island Red, and Molly the Coo Coo Maran.
    The county sued us and we filed all necessary paperwork in court, paid about $200.00 to file our defense and still think we had a good chance of winning.
    But in the meantime, lurking in the shadows, the county held an executive session without notifying us. We do not know when. We got notification from the court that they filed additional evidence in our court case. The new evidence was that they changed the law to not allow chickens. They removed the word “fowl” from the pet law. We feel really backhanded by both the court system with the fact that they could change the law in the middle of a court case, and by the county for not working with us.
    So in the fall of 2011, with lots of crying and feelings of how unfair the process was, we gave the chickens away. It took a few months to recover emotionally from this ordeal both personally and as a family.
    A new year came, along with a renewed fighting spirit. Spring has sprung. We again started with the county, this time giving up on the planning and zoning commission and going straight to the commissioners and the county clerk. They told me to communicate with the county Attorney. All I want is due process.
    I was petitioning to get this on the ballot. The county attorney has told me there is no process and I have no right to get this issue on the ballot. In other words, the county can change and write the laws behind closed doors and the citizens have no process for having any say in the laws. Is this the American way?
    How Can You Help
    E-mail Arapahoe County Colorado telling them you support the chicken ordinance. If you do not want to support the ordinance just E-mail Arapahoe county letting them know Americans have a right to have input.
    Please use all of the following E-mail addresses….
    Send this to others who may want to help fight for the American Way including any news organizations. We can be contacted at
    If you are a lawyer and see any potential for a lawsuit against the county. Please contact us. We have no money to give but you could make it off the county when you win. A jury would love our story. We have well documented details.
  10. Ctrunk514

    Ctrunk514 In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2012
    Have you tried sending your story to 9 news? Seems like the kind of thing they would pick up.
    1 person likes this.

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