California Urban Chicken Friendly Cities

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by freelancer79d, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. freelancer79d

    freelancer79d Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Lancaster, CA
    California Chicken Friendly Laws

    • Anaheim, CA: (Title 8, Ch 8) Annual permit fee for any number or hens.
    • Bakersfield, CA: (Municipal code 6.08.010) Chickens must be "kept securely enclosed in a yard or pen at all times."
    • Belmont, CA: Up to 20 hens (no roosters over 4 months old) confined in a clean coop.
    • Berkeley, CA: Chickens must be kept penned and 30 ft. away from any bedrooms.
    • Campbell, CA: Chickens allowed (no roosters) provided there are no more than six animals in all at household. Larger quantities allowed upon successful appeal to city manager.
    • Chula Vista, CA: Up to 12 chickens are permitted on a minimum of 7,000 square feet of land, up to 25, on land where one family occupies one home. An enclosure is required, but must be no closer than 50 feet from neighboring homes.
    • Davis, CA: A total of not more than six hens (in combination with other animals) in a sanitary pen no less than 40 feet from neighboring residences.
    • Del Mar, CA: No ordinance regarding raising chickens. City officials refer to county codes, if necessary.
    • Downey, CA: Up to five chickens allowed per lot.
    • El Cajon, CA: Up to 24 chickens are permitted on single-family lots of at least 20,000 square feet in certain residential areas. Chickens must be kept 50 feet from any neighboring residence.
    • Encinitas, CA: Up to 10 chickens are permitted in all residential areas. More allowed on larger lots. Coops must be no closer than 35 feet of neighboring homes.
    • Folsom, CA: Not more than any combination of two chickens, ducks, pigeons and rabbits shall be kept within any zoning district of the city other than agricultural or agricultural combining districts; and said animals shall be kept or maintained at least twenty feet from any property line.
    • Irvine, CA: 2-4 hens over the age of four months allowed, kept in a sanitary, odor free enclosure. No roosters are allowed.
    • Lafayette, CA: Residents can keep approximately 4 chickens.
    • Lemon Grove, CA: Up to three chickens are permitted, in enclosures, in certain residential areas. One chicken per 1,000 square feet, up to 25 are permitted in other residential areas. Coops must be no closer than 20 feet from neighboring homes.
    • Long Beach, CA: Up to 20 hens allowed per household. No roosters. Must be 20 feet from a dwelling and confined.
    • Los Altos, CA: 1 hen per 1,000 square feet of lot space. No restrictions on coop location. No roosters.
    • Los Angeles, CA: (Ch 1, Art 2) No permit required for 5 or less.
    • Mission Viejo, CA: You are allowed up to two chickens, and roosters are not allowed.
    • Mountain View, CA: Up to 4 hens without a permit, more w/permit. Keep 25 ft. from residences. Within 25 ft. is o.k. with written consent from residences. No roosters.
    • Oakland, CA: Keep chicken enclosed, & 20 ft. from any dwelling, church or school.
    • Oceanside, CA: Up to six chickens are permitted in residential areas, but they must be 35 feet from neighboring houses.
    • Petaluma, CA: Up to twenty animals of mixed combination. Chickens must be kept five feet from a neighbor’s fence or property line, and they must be kept 20 ft. from neighboring dwellings.
    • Poway, CA: Up to six chickens are permitted on lots measuring between 6,000 and 20,000 square feet. More are allowed on larger lots, but coops must be at least 35 feet from neighboring homes.
    • Redwood City, CA: Up to three hens (no roosters) confined within a clean coop.
    • Roseville, CA: Maximum 10 chickens kept 20 ft. from any property line &/or building.
    • San Diego, CA: Up to 25 chickens in certain residential areas. Coops must be no closer than 50 feet from neighboring homes.
    • San Francisco, CA: (Health code Art 1, Ch 37) No permit needed for 4 or fewer (permit for more) must be 20 feet from any door or window.
    • San Jose, CA: Up to 6 chickens at least 20 ft. from residences. Up to 4 chickens 15 ft. away from residences. 0 less than 15 ft. No roosters.
    • Santee, CA: One chicken permitted per 2,000 square feet in certain residential areas. Enclosures must be a certain distance from property lines.
    • Woodland, CA: Up to 6 hens allowed provided they are kept over 40 feet from neighboring residences.
    • Vallejo, CA: You are allowed to keep up to 25 chickens if they are kept 15 ft. from neighboring dwellings. Roosters are allowed but subject to noise nuisance violations.
    • Vista, CA: Two chickens are permitted in certain single-family residential areas, and up to 25 in other areas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  2. freelancer79d

    freelancer79d Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Lancaster, CA
    This is by no means all of the friendly laws. There is plenty of other cities that allow for chickens these are the ones that i found that allow for urban/residential areas (I excluded the cities that allow chickens only in Rural areas...like mine....lol....I am an outlaw looking to change the regulations)
     
  3. freelancer79d

    freelancer79d Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Lancaster, CA
    Here is my letter to the city council tell me what you think...any improvements are welcome....

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am writing to ask for changes to the City of Lancaster’s Animal regulations, 17.08.040; 17.08.310 and 17.08.050, on keeping chickens within the city’s urban areas. The proposal I am asking for would allow a limited number of chickens in the backyards of the urban areas in the City of Lancaster.

    In the last few years, as the Green living/Eat Local/sustainable living/organic/recycle lifestyle has gained popularity, cities and towns all over America have been relaxing their chicken laws to allow 4-6 carefully tended, backyard hens for pets and eggs. We're talking about hens only, not roosters; that are kept in a carefully maintained and enclosed coop. Heritage breed chickens are calm, docile, and when hand-raised they become affectionate pets. Kept as suburban pets, and cleaned regularly, backyard chickens don't smell. In all, they make less noise and create less of a smell than many dogs kept in Lancaster.

    Many other cities in Los Angeles County allow for their residents to keep chickens within the urban areas of their cities as long as strict regulations on their care, management and housing is followed. I will attach a list of these cities along with a brief discription of their regulations (see Attachment 1). I hope that this attachment can help reshape our city’s regulations.

    I believe that the public health risk posed by allowing small numbers of backyard chickens in Lancaster is minimal and can be controlled by good husbandy. This means that their housing, feed and water, carcass disposal, and manure management are maintained using best (agricultural) management practices. Concerns over avian influenza and other diseases that may transmitted by contact with migratory waterfowl or shorebirds is very unlikey with backyard poultry since it can be minimized or eliminated by good management (adequate fencing, well-maintained feeders, keeping the chicken in an enclosed coop). The improper keeping of dogs, cats and turtles can be a much greater risk to public health than the keeping of chickens. Dogs and cats, for example, are both prime vectors for rabies, and cat poop often contains a disease that can be very dangerous for pregnant women and their fetuses.

    The only serious health issues involved with raising chickens are the same health issues you would encounter buying eggs at the grocery store. Chicken regardless of whether you contact them in the backyard or on the grocery store shelves can harbor dysentery bacteria like salmonella. The good news is by having home-grown chickens the residents of Lancaster would be able to lessen their chance of salmonella exposure at the dinner table. Consumer Reports magazine found that 71 percent of all supermarket chickens and eggs are contaminated with harmful campylobacter or salmonella bacteria. Research has shown that well-kept home flocks will have much lower rates of infection, primarily because there are fewer opportunities for the bacteria to get introduced to the flock and their eggs.

    There are two areas of caution in keeping poultry in an urban environment to avoid issues which could result in nuisance complaints from neighbors. The most salient of these concerns is the possession of roosters which should be prohibited due to possible noise complaints. The second is manure management. Flies and odor are a common cause of neighborhood complaints. With hens neither of these will apply since hens are quieter than dogs or parrots and when they are properly cared for as suburban pets (not as farm animals) they do not smell any worse than a dog.

    I think the inclusion of a provision in the Animal regulations 17.08.050 for the local health officer to remove the birds at anytime due to inadequate care, management, housing or noise complaints would also head off potential problems.

    Thank you for taking the time to concider these changes to our city’s animal regulations. Please feel free to contact me if there are any questions.



    Sincerely,
     
  4. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    You need to actually ask a member of whatever the governing board is in your town/city/whatever to present your request, they are the ones who can request things be put into the grist mill and start the cranks turning.

    You never address a letter requesting something to whom it may concern.

    Just like when asking to be considered for a job, you need the name of someone who is actually able to take action on your request.

    The usual action for a letter like that would be the round file.

    Other than that you are heading in the correct direction.

    You should also contact folks at the state university and see if you can get folks there behind your request with letters answering heath related questions that commonly come up when poultry keeping appears on agendas. It is best to get all possible negative concerns on the table and completely taken care of.

    Oh and you may not be the best one to make the request as you are currently flouting the law, this is not a strong position to begin with or negotiate from.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  5. freelancer79d

    freelancer79d Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Lancaster, CA
    Thanks for the inputs Fox. I put to whom it may concern for now but i planned on finding a true name for the letter later. As for the sending of the letter...I am having a friend that is legal do it....lol...they are not getting me that way....thanks again! [​IMG]
     
  6. freelancer79d

    freelancer79d Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Lancaster, CA
    looks like i got my first response back from a city council member...not good.

    Dear Ms. Laws,

    I am very happy to hear that "you recently decided that you want your grandchildren to be involved with 4-H and raise chickens", but I am absolutely not in favor of changing zoning laws to accommodate raising chickens, in any numbers, within the City limits.

    My hope and wish for you is that you can find some great property to purchase or rent in the unincorporated areas of the County to fulfill this dream for your grandchildren.

    Very respectfully yours,

    Sherry Marquez
     
  7. nonseq

    nonseq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Wee bit snarky there, wasn't she?
     
  8. hudsonhousechicks

    hudsonhousechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2010
    Austin
    Jeez, that's IS snarky.
     
  9. HannaLee

    HannaLee Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 25, 2009
    freelancer, may I have permission to use your letter (adapted to my situation)? I had my run in with code enforcement last week, and have been on the phone all day with councilmen. My five councilmen have all been supportive of backyard hens and some even thought that they were already legal. All are working for me to figure out what must be done to get my hens back. [​IMG] However, there is a council meeting tomorrow that they all asked me to attend. :gulp: I have three minutes to speak. Using part of your letter would really help me prepare. [​IMG]
     
  10. freelancer79d

    freelancer79d Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Lancaster, CA
    sure use it i'll also PM you my proposal.
     

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