Can anyone make heads or tails of their City's Municode site?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by NewbieChicky, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. NewbieChicky

    NewbieChicky Hatching

    Oct 30, 2018
    I live in Coconut Creek, Florida. I have read everything I can find in the municode about fowl, farm animals, poultry, etc.

    The language is vague to me:

    Sec. 5-5. - Keeping agricultural and farm animals.
    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person owning any agricultural farm animal to permit, either willfully or through failure to exercise due care, the animal to stray, run or roam at large on the public streets or sidewalks of the city or upon any private property without the consent of the owner of that private property. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of any agricultural or farm animal which escapes from its enclosure to immediately recapture the animal as well as inform the police department that the animal is at large and might be creating a hazard. All agricultural and farm animals shall be kept and controlled in a manner so as not to create a nuisance through loud or annoying noise, vicious or mean behavior, or by obnoxious or annoying smell.

    (b) No person shall keep more than four (4) agricultural animals per acre within any residential district where any such animals are permitted, unless authorized by the appropriate regulating state agency.

    MY TAKE AWAY TO ARTICLE B is that I can have up to 4 per acre if I have the approval of the City and HOA? City will not return my calls nor my email inquiries.
    I have seen a few older threads from other Coconut Creek residents having issues with Code Enforcement but no results posted :-( Being that everyone is trying their hand at being self sustainable, I was hoping this would be easier!
    Abriana, Feathers Brady and penny1960 like this.
  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    Sounds like you should drive to the City and talk to someone in person.
    penny1960 likes this.
  3. NewbieChicky

    NewbieChicky Hatching

    Oct 30, 2018
    Good idea...I work 30 minutes north and they have the same hours I work. I will have to make that happen though.
    DobieLover and penny1960 like this.
  4. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Crowing

    Jul 5, 2018
    Sounds to me you can keep 4 animals. There seems to be no distinction between horses or chickens, which is a little odd to me but whatever.
  5. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    your right written there can be 4 per acre if no neighbor complains if you have
    2 acres you may have 8 it does not speak of rooster so could have one but may push a complaint... you do not need to ask for permission I wouldn't ask ignorance is bliss..... Welcome to Backyard Chickens
  6. FlyingNunFarm

    FlyingNunFarm Crossing the Road

    May 28, 2015
    Chesterland, OH
    My Coop
    Find the Zoning map and see if your considered residential. Your adutiors office or website should also list what your specific property is zoned for.

    Baring those giving information call the zoning inspector and ask.

    In a city there are generally restrictions.
    A township fewer if any.
    But an HOA can trump them all say no.

    The only problem with “ignorance is bliss” is if there is a complaint. It won’t matter you didn’t know. They will make you get rid of your birds.

    Good Luck and Welcome
    WVduckchick likes this.
  7. NewbieChicky

    NewbieChicky Hatching

    Oct 30, 2018
    Thanks all. I am in a residential zoned area (verses agricultural), this I know. But I have also seen in another portion of the municode that poultry is listed under the definition of domestic animal. I think I got the no rooster idea from the County municode.
    I want to just say SCREW IT and DO IT but when this blows up in my face I will have to answer to my husband. I already have spoken to several horse farms around and they are willing to take in my chickens should I have a problem down the road.
    Just hate that things are never black or white...everything has a different interpretation depending on who is reading it.
    WVduckchick and FlyingNunFarm like this.
  8. Feathers Brady

    Feathers Brady Songster

    Jul 15, 2018
    Central Illinois
    I agree 100% with Penny here.
    No need in ruffling feathers if you don't have to! Go get you some chickens!:celebrate
    penny1960 likes this.
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I would look further into the rest of the zoning ordinances. Poultry restrictions can be listed in sections NOT clearly headed as agricultural or farm animals, such as building ordinances which would detail where a coop could be placed. Ideally you're looking for anything that confirms or denies poultry specifically, and that specifies how close the coop can be to buildings and property lines.

    Also this "No person shall keep more than four (4) agricultural animals per acre" does not necessarily mean 4 chickens. In my area, an animal unit can be 1 horse, 1 cow, 5 goats, etc. So you might actually be able to have more than 4.

    I would strongly suggest either combing through the rest of the municipal code and search for terms like "poultry" "fowl" and if you still cannot find anything specific, do talk to someone in the zoning dept at the city/county level, whatever applies to your area. Don't assume that if a neighbor a few streets down has animals that their zoning is the same as yours.

    Also your HOA trumps any city zoning. Make sure to double check your HOA rules and regs first!
  10. That last clause (Article b) kicks the can on down the road and rests final approval in some un-named or phantom state agency. Good luck. I smell a runaround.

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