Barberton and Norton, Ohio

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by isaacsmommy104, May 26, 2011.

  1. isaacsmommy104

    isaacsmommy104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2010
    Randolph
    Does anyone know the law regarding keeping chickens within the city of Barberton as well as Norton? Both located in Summit County Ohio. I can not find information anywhere on it and I'm trying to check into it for a friend. Thank you!
     
  2. ohiogardener2011

    ohiogardener2011 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    It just so happens that I live in Barberton and I'm in the process of appealing a notice from the Building Department that I remove my chickens from my property here in the city. According to the city's interpretation of the law, I am not allowed to have chickens in the city. According to my interpretation, the law is too vague and doesn't prohibit chickens.

    Check out the language I found in the Barberton Development Code and make your own decision. I can't say anything about Norton since I haven't researched their laws. But the man who sold me my chickens lives in Norton and has many dozens of chickens.

    Here's the BDC language:
    1140.01 Accessory Uses and Projections
    (a) General Provisions
    (4) Only "Domestic Animals" as defined in Chapter 1360 shall be permitted on Residential Single-Family, Two-
    Family and Multi-Family lots, Zoning Code District, RA, RS, RT and RM.
    (Ord. 157-2003. Passed 12-15-03.)

    1360 defines a "domestic animal" as:
    (58) Domestic Animal:
    A cat, dog, or other small animal of the types commonly maintained as household pets.

    ------

    If you interpret a domestic chicken (Domesticus Gallus Gallus) to be in violation of this law because it is not specifically permitted, would you then also have to say that ferrets, rabbits, mice, hamsters, lizards, parrots and any other animal that isn't a cat or dog to also be in violation? That is a bit absurd, in my opinion. Who defines what a common household pet is? Is a ferret permitted and a fish prohibited? Mammals okay but birds and reptiles are not? When you don't define something, who decides what the intent of the law was?

    I cited this web site, among many others, and several recent newspaper articles, as evidence that chickens ARE common household pets. Tens of thousands of people keep chickens as pets. I believe that makes them both a small animal and a "common" household pet.

    Send me a private email. I'd like to get in touch with your friend if they live in Barberton so that perhaps we can cooperate on addressing this issue. I've got a June 16 zoning appeal hearing and I wouldn't mind having some support.
     
  3. OhioPete

    OhioPete Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2011
    Since my links didn't work use this link instead---> http://www.amlegal.com/library/

    Select your state and it will show the cities. Usually the animal related ordinances are listed under Part 5 or Part 6 "General Offenses" with most cities. You might also want to look under zoning too, sometimes they have subsections there that are useful.

    If you can't find your city listed on the site above, try this one --> http://www.conwaygreene.com/Municipal-Codes.htm

    Select the city, then look to the left of the page and click the folder. I like to use the keywords, chicken, fowl, poultry, coop etc to help find relevant information.

    Hope this helps! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  4. ohiogardener2011

    ohiogardener2011 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    Ohio Pete,
    I cited the only Barberton ordinance (zoning) that relates to what types of animals you can keep. What is your opinion of the language I posted? Did I miss something else that you may have seen in the link you posted?
     
  5. ohiogardener2011

    ohiogardener2011 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    p.s. Pete, your links don't work. The city of Barberton posts its ordinances and zoning regulations on its own web site if you're not able to get that link to work.
     
  6. OhioPete

    OhioPete Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2011
    I updated all the info that I posted before. I think because they were the links I found doing a search it messed up, sorry.
     
  7. OhioPete

    OhioPete Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2011
    Quote:This answers a little bit about the other small animals you were talking about.

    618.18 DANGEROUS ANIMALS.

    (a) As used in this section "dangerous animal" means and includes any mammal, amphibian, reptile or fowl which is of a species which is wild by nature, and of a species which, due to its size, vicious nature or other characteristic, is dangerous to human beings. Such animals include, but are not limited to, lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, bears, wolves, apes, gorillas, monkeys of a species whose average adult weight is twenty pounds or more, foxes, elephants, rhinoceroses, alligators, crocodiles and all forms of venomous, poisonous or constricting reptiles."Dangerous animal" does not include gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice or rabbits.

    (b) No person shall possess, keep or maintain a dangerous animal in the City.

    As far as the "Domestic animal" part I think your going to have to try to convince them on that one. Though chickens are most certainly domesticated animals I don't know if you could define them as a "commonly maintained household pet".

    I wish you luck, I'm working with a group here in Lakewood trying to get our ordinance changed as well. Lakewood lists chickens as "dangerous animals" thus prohibiting them [​IMG]
     
  8. ohiogardener2011

    ohiogardener2011 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    Quote:This answers a little bit about the other small animals you were talking about.

    618.18 DANGEROUS ANIMALS.

    (a) As used in this section "dangerous animal" means and includes any mammal, amphibian, reptile or fowl which is of a species which is wild by nature, and of a species which, due to its size, vicious nature or other characteristic, is dangerous to human beings. Such animals include, but are not limited to, lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, bears, wolves, apes, gorillas, monkeys of a species whose average adult weight is twenty pounds or more, foxes, elephants, rhinoceroses, alligators, crocodiles and all forms of venomous, poisonous or constricting reptiles."Dangerous animal" does not include gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice or rabbits.

    (b) No person shall possess, keep or maintain a dangerous animal in the City.

    As far as the "Domestic animal" part I think your going to have to try to convince them on that one. Though chickens are most certainly domesticated animals I don't know if you could define them as a "commonly maintained household pet".

    I wish you luck, I'm working with a group here in Lakewood trying to get our ordinance changed as well. Lakewood lists chickens as "dangerous animals" thus prohibiting them [​IMG]

    Well, chickens clearly don't fall under the "dangerous animal" ordinance in Barberton, as the domestic chicken is not wild. Nor did city officials cite the dangerous animal ordinance in my violation notice. Regarding the "commonly maintained household pet", that's ambiguous language and open to interpretation. There are 50,000 members of this website who do consider chickens to be common household pets (am I taking it that you disagree??). Does the fact that tens of thousands of Americans keep chickens as pets make it "common"?

    I'm not a lawyer, but I believe a lawyer will tell you that an absence of a clear legal prohibition against something is, in fact, de facto proof of its legality. A municipal official cannot arbitrarily decide what a law means to suit their own personal preferences. The law in Barberton does not fully define "common household pet." Thus, I think I have a very strong argument in support of my case. Thousands of people own pet chickens. I have dozens of newspaper articles saying as much. I have a list of websites devoted to pet chickens. I have a list of Ohio cities, including Cleveland, Medina, Akron, Strongsville and Brunswick, that permit pet chickens. I'm going to make a very strong argument and hopefully get some clarification on the law.
     
  9. OhioPete

    OhioPete Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 1, 2011
    I merely pointed out the other dangerous animal ordinance because they exempted other animals that are common household pets without ever calling them common household pets, thus strengthening your argument about the term being undefined.

    Quote:I don't disagree with you at all, I'm on your side. I am playing a bit of the devils advocate however..lol. I think your biggest hurdle will be convincing your city council that a chicken is a "common household pet". My point being that I imagine if you stopped a dozen people of the streets of Barberton and asked their opinion most would not think of a chicken as a common household pet. Folks here do of course, we are on a chicken/fowl related website. I agree that your best bet at this point is arguing that the "common household pet" is not defined in the ordinances. I think by showing that they are allowed in many surround communities is a good start. I wish you luck [​IMG]

    The biggest hurdle we both have to overcome is disproving common misconceptions. Most of the people your going to come up against in your "fight" have next to no knowledge of anything chicken related other than the fact they buy eggs and packaged meat at the store. It is our job to be informed, to have the knowledge to set them straight, with provable facts, in a polite way of course. This is why we have a group of folks in our town that are getting together every few weeks to brainstorm and consolidate our info and try to get local business involved in our cause. A few years ago some folks tried to get the ordinance changed but weren't very prepared from what I was told and they failed. Worse than that it appears they may have changed a few opinions to the negative in the process. Our group is now fighting an uphill battle trying to "undo" what was done before and more forward in a positive, knowledgeable way.
     
  10. ohiogardener2011

    ohiogardener2011 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2011
    Good points Pete. I appreciate the advice. I hope that the original poster on this thread gets back in the discussion here. I'd like to know whether they're in Barberton or Norton and possibly get their help in my chicken debate.
     

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