Code Change? What can I do?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by nonseq, May 31, 2010.

  1. nonseq

    nonseq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Two years ago when we decided to keep chickens, I looked up the code and found there were no rules prohibiting keeping chickens in our city of Pickerington, OH. Plus, we knew other people in the city who had chickens. Eventually we settled on 11 hwns and one rooster. About a week ago we received a noise complaint about our rooster. I immediately began looking for a new home for him. He and two of the hens were re-homed this past Saturday. Today I checked the mail and found (I was out of town) a letter saying I am in violation of code. No livestock is permitted in the city. This code was passed AFTER I got chickens. What do I do?

    There does not appear to be any provisions for grandfathering in anything..........
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Send a certified letter to the city stating the date you acquired your birds and the date that the code was changed. In your city's planning or development documents/zoning code, search for "non-conforming." You are specifically looking to see what is says about non-conforming uses. This is where you will find grandfathering provisions. Once you know how grandfathering is dealt with as a whole you can state that your chickens are a legal non-conforming use as you have had them prior to the code change. You do need to note for yourself what happens if/when you lose or add birds.
     
  3. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How much land do you have? Ohio has laws that permit the grandfathering of certain livestock on 1 acre or more. You also fall under your county zoning regs. If you were in Franklin I might have been able to help get you through the variance process. I don't know the Fairfield variance process though. But again, it all hinges on how much land you have.
     
  4. nonseq

    nonseq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I spoke to the code enforcement guy, and he told me to sit tight as he was going to look into the matter more. I asked him about variances and changing the ordinance. That's when he told me to hold on, and he'd see what he could do. Before I got the chickens, I had asked a member of our local government who keeps chickens in the city, and he was the one who told me it was OK. (I did check on what he told me BUT I must've looked at the county or the township rather than the city.) Apparently that is not the case. Although in this town, it may be OK for HIM. Just no one else. [​IMG]

    From my convo with the code guy, I suspect that this will blow over. I may have to engage in some subterfuge while they look the other way. But as long as I am not a PITA, I think they will look the other way.

    I only have about a half-acre, but I also only have a few chickens. And I live in the old part of Pickerington across from where all the corn and soy bean fields are. I am literally two streets over from being zoned AG.

    I would like to know who complained. Just b/c I give my neighbors eggs from my chickens and veggies from my garden. I also donate extra eggs to the food pantry. Whoever complained better not expect any tomatoes or corn this summer. So there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  5. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know how you feel about trying to keep good relations with the neighbors and them stabbing you in the back. Happened to me last year and is now causing problems with my variance for my acre +. (the poultry complaint came from a different person than the original weed and trash complaint) I know who complained about the weeds and trash. Their son used to come over and play with the ducks and help in the garden. Not anymore. I keep telling the kid he can't come over because the board of health won't allow it. Now the mom no longer has a free babysitter.

    I know they didn't complain about the ducks because other small livestock are also illegal but housed with the ducks. However I can't go into the variance hearing and admit I have them as well.
     
  6. bigchicken2

    bigchicken2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's so mean. Everyone should have a flock of chickens. But the fancy, schmancy city people who hate livestock ugh. And one time I heard of city people moving next to a farm with 100 ROOSTERS! and they expected them to not make noise. They took those people to court. They even counted how many rooster crows there were in a day 20,000!!! And recorded how annoying it was. And the chicken side still won. CHICKENS ROCK!!! Neighbors: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Chicken People: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:First of all, do you give your manure away to friends or neighbors? If so, the persons that receive your manure may be the ones that caused the complaint. Make sure you don't stockpile it even for a week or so before application to your garden, giving it away or composting it.

    Also not all local laws banning livestock are zoning regulations. Many times it's nuisance regulations that ban livestock. In my experience, zoning laws have a "Grandfather clause" (don't search that in your local code, because as a previous poster said, they are called non-conforming uses). Most nuisance laws don't have a "Grandfather clause."
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  8. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It doesn't matter how you are zoned. State law permits agriculture on more than 1 acre but less than 5 in certain circumstances. If you have more than 5 acres agriculture cannot be prohibited. Less than 1 acre and it can be prohibited. You could go to the zoning department and request a variance for a few chickens. Some places will grant it on the basis that the chickens can also be pets.
     
  9. nonseq

    nonseq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Pets is the angle I am going with. I only have a half dozen hens. I'm not running a chicken farm. And it isn't as if I couldn't buy eggs from Kroger cheaper than what I spend on the hens. I like the birds. I like to sit and watch them in the evening.

    As far as manure, it goes directly into the compost. Between the chickens and the compost and the recycling (that I pay for), I don't have much trash. I'm thinking that ought to be encouraged.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In Franklin County you could get a variance for 6 chickens. I was told I could get one for my .27 acre if I kept the number to 6.

    Times are changing though, I was at the development department today and was told things are in the works to allow small flocks of chickens and some other small livestock animals on lots of 1 acre or less. It will take a long time but it is in the works.

    I wish you lots of luck. My hearing is scheduled for the 21st. I may come here sobbing that evening. I'm hoping and praying I come with humble gratitude for all the helpful people who made it possible. If it passes I may dedicate a small flower garden to all those people who helped me with all the beaurocratic mess. If it doesn't pass I will be looking for homes for a bunch of Muscovies.
     

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