Changing Sacramento laws (would like feedback on law language)

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by hensintheghetto, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. hensintheghetto

    hensintheghetto Out Of The Brooder

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    Currently Sacramento city doesn't allow any hens or roos within city limits (the county is legal). My husband's nonproft works on food issues so they've teamed up with a few other organizations to try and change the law.

    Here's what we are currently thinking about the law containing in terms of specific language:

    -No person shall keep, harbor or maintain more than six (6) chickens.

    -It shall be unlawful for any person to pen, enclose, or otherwise confine, any chicken within twenty-five (25) feet of an inhabited residence without the written consent of the occupant of such residence.

    -It is unlawful for any person to maintain a rooster past age of apparent maturity.


    We would love feedback on what people think about these constraints. While I'd love to just make chickens 100% legal (no constraints) we don't really see that happening. Do these constraints seem reasonable?

    Specifically, we are concerned about the last part (the rooster one). Most laws seems to list a specific age (4-8 months, depending on the area), but that seems complicated since some varieties don't show their roo as early as others. What wording would you suggest to work on that?
     
  2. TLM

    TLM Out Of The Brooder

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    This is so exciting!! I also live in Sacramento City with 2 illegal pullets (I would love to have a couple more) and I have been waiting many months for someone to come along with your intentions.
    I doubt the city will buy into the 6 hen limit. I think 4 is more likely. I'm not sure about the rooster wording and will defer to other BYC members for their opinions.
    Let me know if there is any support I can provide. I'll be watching this post for updates.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Rather than specifically outlawing roosters, why not add a provision that specifies that the chickens are subject to all existing noise restrictions such as cuased by barking dogs, loud parties, power tools, construction, etc., and must be kept in such manner that these restrictions are not violated. A rooster cooped in a sound proofed basement may not even be detectable, whereas a loud hen who cackles loudly all day long outside may be an annoyance.

    At least in my city noise complaints and citations are determined by a decibel reading at the property line, as well as specific hours (I think 9 pm to 6 am) during which lower noise levels are required.

    You may want to cover health and sanitation.

    What happens if a neighbor gives written consent and then wishes to withdraw it, or the property changes hands and the new owner does not want the birds that close. You need to close the loop-hole by adding something that spells out what happens in those cases--on a different thread a few days ago someone asked about building a coop near the property line with the neighbor's consent (still not legal) and what happens if they then have to move an unmovable coop?

    Mention something like chicks who have not reached maturity as demonstrated by crowing or laying not counting towards the maximum number allowed.

    I think 6 is a reasonable number, but it really depends on how they are kept and the amount of space provided to them. There is a also a big difference in 6 large brahmas or marans and 6 dutch or OEBG.
     
  4. hensintheghetto

    hensintheghetto Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Great! If you want to get more involved let me know (you can send me an email).

    We are going for six hens, hoping that they will allow either that or 4. It's a bargaining tool.

    My husband met with one of our city council members this morning and he seemed okay with the number, though he does want us to say something about it being limited to egg-laying hens only (no meat birds).

    Any opinions on laws that prohibit meat birds?
     
  5. preppy*hippie*chick

    preppy*hippie*chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My mom lives in Folsom and her zoning is as follows:

    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.
     
  6. hensintheghetto

    hensintheghetto Out Of The Brooder

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    Sacramento Valley
    preppy*hippie*chick :

    My mom lives in Folsom and her zoning is as follows:

    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.

    Two animals total seems a bit limiting. Like a kid couldn't have a pet rabbit and then also have hens (since you want at least two hens to keep them happy).

    Hummm...​
     
  7. poltroon

    poltroon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think 6 is a good place to start, and I also would try to make it a noise issue rather than roosters. The noise is easier to track than the age.

    It may be helpful to have pictures of chickens, particularly the ornamental bantam breeds, with kids, as part of your presentation. A small child holding a Dutch Bantam may help to change the perception of people you're talking with.

    You might also be able to enlist help from the 4H offices - the program is run out of UC Davis, so it is local to you.
     
  8. hensintheghetto

    hensintheghetto Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone have pictures of their hens they'd be willing to let us use? People in Sacramento are wary of having their hens in public since it's illegal currently (though I'm using pictures of my chicks).

    Setting up a website is a project we'll be working on in the next few days so I'd love to have pictures of full grown hens for that!

    For now we have a facebook group that people are more than welcome to join:
    http://apps.facebook.com/causes/271764/7422469?m=6d54c0aa
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    I like the idea of tying the noise problem in with barking dogs.

    In NYC, the noise problem is taxis.... and chickens are legal there....

    It is absurd to address noise of roosters in an ordinance if noise of barking dogs is not also addressed, IMHO.
     
  10. hensintheghetto

    hensintheghetto Out Of The Brooder

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    Right now our rationale for having a specific ban on roosters (versus a noise ban) is that a noise ban is more difficult to enforce for the city since it's a judgement call, versus a concrete thing. It would require there to be a system for the city to deal with complaints regarding noise, and a way for them to figure out whether the complaint is legit or not.

    The easier it is for the city to enforce, the more likely they are to ok it.

    Sonoran Silkies You make an excellent point about needing a grandfathering clause for the neighbor "ok" We're going to add that in. Thanks!
     

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