Caught with Chickens in Denville NJ

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by bdcunning1, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. bdcunning1

    bdcunning1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2013
    Denville NJ
    The Dog Warden saw our 3 hens running around the neighborhood. She picked up two hens and the kids started crying. She said she has to report them and I expect a summons any day. I don't feel like they should be illegal but also don't want to be the guy breaking the law and fighting the town.
    Am I breaking the law?
    What do you think?
    19-5.11 USES PERMITTED IN ALL RESIDENCE DISTRICTS.




    19-5.1101 Primary Intended Use.


    The C, R-C, R-1, R-1B, R-2, R-2A and R-3 Zones permit single-family residences only. The R-4 Zone permits one- and two-family residences only. In addition to the above, the C, R-C, R-1, R-1B, R-2, R-2A, R-3 and R-4 Zones permit the following uses:

    a. Public buildings and public or institutional uses, as set forth in Section 19-5.10 above.

    b. Signs conforming to Section 19-5.9.

    c. Accessory uses customary incident to the permitted uses provided they do not include any activity customarily carried on as a business, other than farming, unless specifically permitted by this Section.

    d. Private garages accessory to a dwelling or farm for the storage of vehicles owned or used by the residents of the dwelling or farm.

    e. Parking and parking facilities conforming to Section
    19-5.8.

    f. Temporary uses as regulated in Section 19-5.10.

    g. The office or studio of a doctor, physician, surgeon, dentist, teacher of academic subjects, artist, musician, lawyer, architect, engineer or like professional persons residing on the premises as may be determined by the Board of Adjustment, provided that not more than one (1) person not a resident in the dwelling is employed in such office, and not more than one-half (1/2) the floor area of one (1) story of the dwelling is devoted to such use.

    h. No more than two (2) persons being sheltered or fed for profit per single-family dwelling.

    i. Farming and truck gardening and the sale of seasonal farm produce grown on the farm or truck garden. Any accessory building or manure pile shall not be located closer than two hundred fifty (250') feet to any street right-of-way or property line or dwelling, and shall only be permitted on a tract of land five (5) acres or larger in area. All pastoral farm animals and fowl shall be contained within a building or fenced enclosure which shall restrict animals or fowl a distance of at least two hundred fifty (250') feet from any property line and shall be permitted on a tract of land of five (5) acres or larger in area. This shall not be construed to permit commercial piggeries. The regulations in this subsection shall not restrict house pets.

    j. Commercial nurseries or greenhouses accessory and incidental to a permitted agricultural operation for starting and growing plant materials provided such structures are located no closer than fifty (50') feet to any lot line. This shall not be construed to permit landscape contracting firms, processing of firewood or other such commercial activities in residence zones.

    k. Swimming pools are permitted, provided they conform to Chapter XVIII, Swimming Pools, as well as the provisions of subsection 19-5.705, Accessory Buildings and Structures.

    l. In the R-1B District only, open space and recreational uses established in accordance with the requirements for planned age-restricted communities in the PARC District, as set forth in subsection 19-5.1010.

    (Ord. #2-77, §19-5.1101; Ord. #9-85, §5; Ord. #27-86, §3; Ord. #18-01, §6)



    19-5.1102 Prohibited Use.


    Any uses other than those listed in subsection 19-5.1101 are prohibited in all residential zones. (Ord. #2-77, §19-5.1102)
     
  2. ClovisMan

    ClovisMan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    See line item J. Build a greenhouse 50 feet from your neighbors and put your chickens in there. Tell them you are growing chickens. Or if you have 5 acres or more you can use line item i. Says they have to be 250 feet from your neighbors. Of course you could buy them chicken diapers and let them in the house, then they are house pets as it clearly states that these regulations do not pertain to house pets in the last sentence of item i.
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    The first mistake was letting them run about the neighborhood and be seen.

    I don't think using the greenhouse clause will work since it states specifically "for growing plant materials", that will get shot down immediately.

    Item I states if your plot is 5 acres or more you can keep the chickens provided they are contained in a fenced area and kept 250 feet away from property lines. I take that to mean that if you are under 5 acres you are not permitted to have chickens.
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I'm no expert, but I think where they "have" you is where it states that animals or fowl must be confined. If yours were picked up by the dog warden in your neighborhood, then I'm sorry to say that you were clearly in violation there. Do you have a building which housed your chickens, and did those buildings meet setbacks? Do you have the amount of land which permits keeping of fowl?

    "Farming and truck gardening and the sale of seasonal farm produce grown on the farm or truck garden. Any accessory building or manure pile shall not be located closer than two hundred fifty (250') feet to any street right-of-way or property line or dwelling, and shall only be permitted on a tract of land five (5) acres or larger in area. All pastoral farm animals and fowl shall be contained within a building or fenced enclosure which shall restrict animals or fowl a distance of at least two hundred fifty (250') feet from any property line and shall be permitted on a tract of land of five (5) acres or larger in area. This shall not be construed to permit commercial piggeries. The regulations in this subsection shall not restrict house pets."

    Did you need to apply for a livestock or fowl permit? What zoning designation does your exact property fall under?

    I worked on our town's Planning and Zoning Commission for 2 years shortly after we enacted our first ever Master Plan and Development Code, and am now into my third year on the Town Council. One of the things that drove me crazy, and which we have since simplified, was the way our development code had the same basic information in different places in the code, and sometimes they contradicted each other. Is there another section, chapter or sub-chapter dealing with keeping chickens? Sometimes development codes cover the same thing in a couple of different places, and one can be brief while the other is more detailed.
     
  5. bdcunning1

    bdcunning1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Denville NJ
    I think they can be considered "House Pets" the same way a 4H project rabbit in a cage outside must be considered a house pet. Otherwise rabbits are illegal too. They are kept for pets not farming and I think a judge will agree.
     
  6. bdcunning1

    bdcunning1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Denville NJ
    Where it states "fowl" and "250' its talking about farming and truck farming. Im not farming any more than someone with a vegetable garden.
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    What matters is the size of your lot. I read item "I" to state that "fowl" are permitted on a lot of 5 acres or more and must be maintained in a building or fenced enclosure 250' from the property line.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  8. bdcunning1

    bdcunning1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2013
    Denville NJ
    It says you cant farm if you dont have 5 acres, if you have 5 or more acres and if you do farm the pasture for the animals must be 250' away from property lines ... I dont have 5 acres and dont feel Im farming.
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    I did a little research for you, hoping I might be able to help. I found the minutes for a Township Council Meeting dated September 10, 2013 in which Mr.Wayne Pacconi, member of the Green Sustainability Committee, the Open Space Committee, and the Environmental Commission, presented the Council with ideas for formulating an ordinance which would allow backyard chickens. He used a power point presentation and the hard copy was attached to the minutes.

    Several of the Council members appeared to support this idea. It was stated that currently chickens are allowed on properties of 5 acres or more. Mr.Pacconi said that Sustainable New Jersey believes so strongly in backyard chickens that they allow 30 points to municipalities allowing backyard chickens." (I confess that I don't know what the "points system" is about - we don't have anything like that here.) I am still researching to see if the Township eventually approved the ordinance. If not, then perhaps you might contact Mr. Pacconi to see what information and assistance he might be able to offer. The link to the minutes is below.

    http://www.denvillenj.org/docs/Council/Agendas/regular_meeting_10_1_13.pdf

    The discussion on backyard chicken keeping begins on page 3 of the workshop meeting. I hope that link worked.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
    2 people like this.
  10. bdcunning1

    bdcunning1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Denville NJ
    I was at the meeting and got others to go to it to support him too. The Board is split, some support it some did not. The Animal Control Officer introduced a pilot program and Im asking a Council member to see where it stands now.
     

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