Can Greene Twp supervisors in Erie, PA do this?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by PAchicks, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. Yes, they can give you restrictions without any proof

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  2. No

    3 vote(s)
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  1. PAchicks

    PAchicks New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2013
    Hello, I'm new to this forum. I'm in Greene Township of the city of Erie in PA living in zone R1 (residential) with 3.21 acres of land. Chickens are NOT permitted at all! No exceptions! How do I go about changing the chicken ordinance? Anyone from my area? All I want is 3 hens (one for each of my children so they can name them). We have no pets & decided that hens would be an excellent choice because they're also productive (eggs!). Please help!
     
  2. PAchicks

    PAchicks New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2013
    It's a small town (with a lot of agriculturally zoned roads where they have no problem keeping chickens) so I highly doubt that I'll find any support. :'(

    I won't even pass for a "special exception", where one would need to pay $450 to appeal to the board. My lot width is 241 feet & the minimum is 300 feet. Even if I'd meet all the "special exception" criteria & pay $450, it's not guaranteed that one would get permission. Here's what the special exception says:

    Section 702 - Special Exceptions
    Where the Zone Hearing Board has held a hearing, open to the public, been assured the following conditions have been met within the spirit of this Zoning Ordinance and that no hazardous conditions will result.
    A. Agricultural and related activities including dairying, farming, pasturage, horticulture, floriculture, apiaries, animal and poultry husbandry, riding academics and commercial riding stables are permitted as a special exception provided:
    1. There is 1 acre of land area for each animal and the land area used by such animals is completely enclosed by a fence or other method of enclosure located a minimum of 50 feet from any principal use. Animal excretion are stored or stockpiled for no longer than a 1 month period of time.
    2. Horticulture with the sale of products shall have only 1 roadside stand selling products produced on the premises provided:... (a - d)
    3. Permitted principal use - barns
    4. Permitted accessory uses: a) accessory buildings such as tool or garden sheds, chicken houses, silos, corncribs, smokehouses and temporary housing for agricultural workers. b) Accessory building housing the animals are to be located a minimum of 100 feet from any permitted use. c) Signs used for the following purposes only: ...
    5. Lot and area requirements: minimum lot area
    a) Agricultural and related activities - 2 acres
    b) Minimum lot width requirement agricultural and related activities - 300 feet
    c) Maximum lot coverage requirement - 40% total coverage by all structures
    d) All other lot and yard requirements are the same as for the Principal Permitted Uses in the R-1 Rural Residential District and are described in Section 704 Lot and Yard Requirements.

    Does this apply to a few hens we want to keep as pets? It's ridiculous!
     
  3. PAchicks

    PAchicks New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2013
    Just looked up "Section 1209 Household Pets", which states:
    A domesticated animal that is normally or can generally be kept within the immediate living quarters of a residential structure. Any member of the swine, sheep, poultry, bovine, or equidae family or quadrupeds, or reptiles having a venomous or constrictor nature, does not constitute a household pet under any provision of this Ordinance.
     
  4. PAchicks

    PAchicks New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2013
    Any loopholes?
     
  5. PAchicks

    PAchicks New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2013
    What about quail? Is it considered poultry or not? From these ordinances do you think I can keep them? Or any other suggestions of what I can keep (I want edible eggs!)?
     
  6. PAchicks

    PAchicks New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2013
    I called our township supervisors about keeping quail for pet. At first she said "No, it's considered poultry too". Then I asked her for poultry definition but she couldn't find one. I told her that a quail is a game bird. Then she gave me the number for our PA Game Commissioner Larry Smith in Franklin & call them back with his response. I called him & he said that I can keep any quail specie l want for personal use. However, the Bobwhite quail needs a permit for the purpose of sale, barter, or gift according to section 2930 of Game & Wildlife Code which states:

    "No person shall propagate any game bird, wild bird, game animal or wild animal WHICH IS PRESENTLY FOUND IN A WILD STATE WITHIN THIS COMMONWEALTH FOR THE PURPOSE OF SALE, BARTER, GIFT, OR OTHER TRANSFER OF POSSESSION, OR OFFER TO SELL OR BARTER, UNLESS that person has first obtained a permit from the commission authorizing the propagation of a game bird, wild bird, game animal or wild animal. "

    Then section 2928 lists the following species of domestically produced game birds: ring neck pheasants, bobwhite quail, or mallard ducks.

    Since none of this applies to me because I want to keep it as pets & personal egg consumption, he nicely told me to go ahead & get them & wished me good luck.
    So I called my twp supervisors & she said that some game birds CAN be classified as "poultry" also, so she will ask the other supervisors & get back to me. But she said even IF they are not poultry, I need to promise not to get any male quail because they screech & are loud. She had me promise to her over the phone that I will not get any males & that I will keep their housing well taken care of (clean & sanitary) even though I still do not have permission yet. Then she told me if I get an ok, I can only keep 3. Hope she gets back to me tomorrow with their response.

    How does 1 male quail compared to any other pet like dogs, birds, etc volume-wise? Not that I'd get it or anything. Just curious. I hate all the restrictions imposed without any proof.
     
  7. PAchicks

    PAchicks New Egg

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    Feb 13, 2013
    I got a call back from the twp. They want me to write a letter stating my intentions, including the type of quail, that it will only be 3, that it will only be kept in the house, etc. The lady I spoke to needs the letter to present it at the meeting since it's not considered a pet. I dont see why its not considered a pet. They want to keep this letter in my file in case I get complaints or I change my mind. Forget it! I'm just moving...
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  8. dretd

    dretd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like you have gone through a lot to check your options. It seems to me that moving to where you cando what you want with your land may be your best option. The other options are to get a petition together to change the ordinance to allow a small number of hens, or to get your quail and keep them in your home and just fly under the radar.

    Good luck!
     

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