Change laws or just do it?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Usingmyrights, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 25, 2010
    I already know that I'm not supposed to have chickens on my property because of my zoning (R-1 Rural Residential). However I'm on a little under 5 acres and alot of the property around me is zoned AG. I'm on a lake and looking at zoning maps, it looks like all of the lake front are R-1, but everything else is AG. My question is, do you think I should go ahead and get some chickens or try to change the laws. My immediate neighbor said he'd like to get his own as well, so he wouldn't be a problem. The neighbor on the other side of him is a busybody and called on the new neighbor because his burn pile was too close to a stucture (the guy with the burn piles metal garage) by 10'. He's also called on me before for target practicing in the yard. Thats the main reason why I just don't do it. OTH if I try to get it changed I'm drawing attention to myself and I'm sure the code guys will be stopping by for a look from time to time since they're there anyway for a new house going up a few doors down.
  2. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Maybe you could go to the "Busy Body" neighbor and ask him if he would like an occassional dozen of farm fresh eggs. Tell him of your intentions and see what he says. Maybe if you get him on board with why you want chickens he can be your biggest supporter?
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    This might be a silly question, but are you sure that you are not allowed to have chickens on your property? We are zoned the same way as you but chickens are allowed. I know the laws are going to differ from state to state and even county to county in a state. If you have checked the laws and you are sure you can not have them, sounds like you might be better off trying to change the law since you have Mrs. Kravitz living next door.
  4. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 25, 2010
    Yes, I'm sure I can't have them. I've done a lot of checking myself. Sent an email asking about and looking today trying to find something I saw where it listed having chickens in an area not zoned for them 2nd on a list of common code violations. The lots are long an narrow. Mine is about 160' x 1400' IIRC. I could setup the pen so it'd be several hundred feet away from the water and the road in the middle of the property. Which is about what I was planning on anyway.
  5. The Fairy Godmartyr

    The Fairy Godmartyr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2010
    dsquard has a good point. And, honestly, your local government officials might not even know what the laws are in your area. My mother is a trustee for our township. When I decided to get chickens, she about had a fit at me because we are zoned residential (well, the part my chickens are on, at least, although there is debate over another part of our 1 1/2 acre property since it used to be zoned agricultural) and she didn't want people finding out that HER daughter that lives next door to her was breaking the rules. Fast-forward a couple of months: Someone a couple of streets over (on a much smaller lot) got GOATS. The county has gotten involved since there have been so many complaints about the goats escaping and the county is the one who makes and enforces the rules. They sent the goat owners a letter saying that to own "non-pet" animals, you have to have at least 5 acres OR keep the animals at least 50 feet from all property lines.

    So, my chickens are now officially legal. And I'm threatening to buy goats. [​IMG]
  6. FoodKillah

    FoodKillah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2010
    Mediterranean Sea
  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    If you are sure chickens aren't allowed there are a couple of suggestions I would make. One, if you are adjacent to an Ag district file for a rezoning. Two if having illegal chickens are the second most violation in R-1, propose an amendment to the zoning regulations to remove the clause for chickens.

    For a zoning change, if you are not adjacent to an Ag zoned district get some neighbors to join you in requesting the zoning change. Being zoned Ag may even change you taxes depending on your state. However, if you aren't adjacent and/or can't get neighboring property owners to join in your rezoning request you are probably not going to get it. The other thing to check is what your local government's comprehensive or master plan calls for your area.

    For an amendment you could suggest a lot size minimum (5 acres for example) to have chickens. You can sell this to zoning officials and governmental leaders by saying you are reducing their violation and complaint load. As a zoning official myself, I always try to solve the problem, not promote more violations. If you put up your location and local government or a link to your local planning department I will look at the regs, comp plan and zoning map and make some suggestions. If you are in Michigan, you may be able to sponsor a referendum to void that part of the zoning regs.
  8. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2009
    I recommend getting an actual copy of the laws in your area. I used to live in city limits, and called about whether chickens were legal. Of course I was told they weren't. Lucky for me, I asked for the exact ordinance she was reading and telling me said no chickens to be sent to me. When I read it, the ordinance was very vague, saying "with the exception of household pets" farm animals were not allowed to be kept on city lots. Soooo I decided that chickens were pretty much like having Rabbits. Mine are very truly pets. Even now that we live in the country. They come when I call them, and follow me around, and their housing when we lived in the city was pretty much like a rabbit hutch. I also feel the same way about my goats we have now. [​IMG]
  9. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2010
    Sounds like your only option is to change the rules! If the land behind you is AG.. see if the owner will allow you some space to put a coop up! You already know the busybody neighbor is gonna rat you out! (I'd see if they like eating eggs though and start casually educating them about chickens before they find out what you're doing and try to fight you!)
  10. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 25, 2010
    Most of the county (I'd say about 90%) is zoned AG if I'm reading the zoning maps correctly. The land across the street is zoned AG. It looks like all of the lang is pretty much AG unless its in town or water front. Since I'm on a lake and so are my neighbors I don't have anyone's property that butts up to mine thats AG. Everything across the street is though. I've read the laws and unless there's some loophole I didn't see, its a no go. There is one exception for R-1 residents and thats if you have at least 5 acres (I don't) and its for a 4-H or FFA prodject. Then you can apply for a special permit and they will concider it.

    jaj - Its Putnam county FL

    Good luck. Its not the best put together website. Since I've bought the place I've heard that its one of the worst counties in the state for go exactly by the codes.

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