Changing town ordinances

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MTchick, May 1, 2007.

  1. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    In my city, it is illegal to own chickens within city limits. I'd like to get this changed, and a recent article in the paper here indicates that the mayor and at least one councilwoman are amenable to getting it changed. Here is the link to the article;

    Anyway, I'd like to hear from anyone out there that either

    1) Got the ordinances in their town changed to allow chickens
    2) Tried, yet failed, to change the ordinances and has some advice regarding why they think they failed.

    My idea is to start a letter writing campaign by fellow chicken owners to the city council, and then see where that gets me. Luckily, my neighborhood is unincorporated so I don't risk my personal flock by doing this- I have law abiding hens. My biggest concern is that my chicken outlaw friends will not want to risk being "exposed" by writing letters that could lead to the end of their flocks. One of my friends already indicated this exact thing, but we talked about her maybe using a psuedonym or something.

    Advice? Help?

  2. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hi MT Chick-

    My daughter and I are trying to do this right now (see thread below). She has a meeting with our city councilor tomorrow. She has made a presentation and is going armed with a list of other cities laws, the wording change she's requesting for the ordinance, signatures of support from 20 neighbors, and a letter of her facts and arguments why they should change it. We'll see what he says.

    In our town, you have to get a city councilor to take on your issue or else you have to pay about $500-$700 in fees to propse the change yourself as a private citizen.

    I am POSITIVE that there are other "underground" chicken owners in our town and would love to get them all in on this, but I have no idea how to find them!

  3. V Chic Chick

    V Chic Chick Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bristol, England
    There was someone on here who was hauled up in court for illegal chicken keeping. They won the case, and it was on the fact that chickens are regularly kept as pets rather than commercial commodities. They proved this by getting pictures of chickens in pet-type settings from members here.

    Good luck!
  4. Spydrworks

    Spydrworks In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2007
    So. California
    If lifting a ban on chickens in general look bleak, try focusing on lifting the restrictions on hens rather than all chickens. A couple of reasons why chickens are illegal in city limits is to avoid cock fights and to keep the racket of roosters away from close residing neighbors. Both are rooster based offenses.
    Last edited: May 2, 2007
  5. Spydrworks

    Spydrworks In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2007
    So. California
    Oh..another thought...

    Keeping hens specifically can be economically healthy. They are easy to keep and hens are quieter than the average neighbor's dog. wth the threat of bird flu, rising egg prices, and deplorable means of battery cage egg farming, it really is economically healthy to have hens...and they are small enough to even keep in an apartment.

  6. Spydrworks

    Spydrworks In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2007
    So. California
    Quote:Make fliers and place them around local markets. Let them find you. You can make the flier advertize an interest with getting together with other chicken enthusiasts. It doesn't have to mention anything about having chickens...just an interest in them...and you don't have to leave an address either.
  7. carla

    carla Hatching

    May 3, 2007
    MT Chick-

    I was able to have our township ordinance changed to allow for "agriculture" in certain districts and on lots of 1.5 acres and up. The old ordinance, among other things, only allowed "agriculture" on ten acres. It has been 2 years since the change.

    E-mail me and I can fill you in if you need more info.


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