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Columbus, Ohio

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by rozmiarek, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. rozmiarek

    rozmiarek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Worthington, OH
    I live in Worthington, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus). I have three hens in my back yard: Hillary, a golden comet, Cindi, a Brahman, and Veronica, a Black Giant.

    Our local ordinance states that, "chickens, horses, and cattle," must be kept at least 150 feet from any neighboring house. While chickens are otherwise permitted, this effectively excludes them from almost every yard.

    I wrote a letter to city council last week, suggesting that chickens simply be removed from the list of animals that need 150 feet of space. They will still be subject to all the local regulations on pet cleanliness, noise, and nusiance. My general take on it is that chickens, when kept domestically, should be seen as pets, and not grouped with horses and cattle.

    They seem receptive, and I have been asked to make a presentation at the City Council meeting this Tuesday, Jan 20.

    I've gotten a lot of ideas and information from these message boards, and figured I'd add my own story to the mix. If anyone has any advice on how to proceed, please let me know. Thanks for your support. I'll let you know how it goes.

    -Andy
     
  2. HeatherHillary

    HeatherHillary Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2008
    Portland OR
    Quote:Good Job Andy!

    My suggestion is to do your research, look over all of the city codes that you have time to, and write the code as you would like to see it, as you think is practical for your city, and as you think the city council will agree with, and have it ready to go. If it is good enough, it could go into the city code just as you wrote it or with few changes.
     
  3. rozmiarek

    rozmiarek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Worthington, OH
  4. bock to the future

    bock to the future Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Good article regarding your meeting. Sounds like they were receptive to the idea. Keep us posted as to what decision they make.
     
  5. dstoeck

    dstoeck Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2009
    wow! if Worthington accepts chickens as pets then Auburn, AL should! Please keep the group up to date on your progress!
     
  6. farmerdude

    farmerdude New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2009
    I own a small farm and do not see why people in the city think they should be able to raise farm animals there? It would be one thing if you owned land and a city grew up around you. However, to move into an established neighborhood like Worthington (I have a co-worker there) and raise chickens, I would be upset. I dont see how that is any different than violating an abandon car ordinance or a noise ordinance. It all drops peoples property values. I wont even go into the rat/mouse issues most of us face. It seems like you will be costing the city precious resources (time, focus, money) to have to regulate this issue. Even if you are clean and attentive with your chickens, not everyone will be. Seems like a mess just waiting to happen. Once you change it for chickens, how about just one goat or a cow? ... miniture horse? Move to the country, its great out here!
     
  7. rozmiarek

    rozmiarek Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Worthington, OH
    You make a lot of the same arguments, Farmerdude, that I've heard from others in our community. All of them unfounded and reactionary. My neighbor made the same arguments at our first City Council meeting and was efficiently discredited by the many people who came out in support of this issue, and by City Council members themselves.

    What we are trying to do is to allow a small number of well-kept chickens as pets in Worthington. There is no mention, or intention, of permitting large-scale, poorly-maintained operations of the type you seem to be familiar with. There are already ordinances regulating smell, noise and cleanliness of all animals. A chicken produces less waste than a dog of equal size, and most dogs are much bigger.

    When I moved to Worthington, I talked to all my neighbors personally, and they all were fine with us keeping three hens in our yard. The conflict only started after our neighbor's dog came into our yard on two occasions and attacked our pets. He refused to do anything to control his dog, and began to attack us through the legal system. That is why the ordinance needs to be changed, to protect responsible pet owners from those who would physically and civilly.

    The fact that it drops people's property values simply isn't true. Communities such as Ann Arbor, San Francisco, Albuquerque, Fort Collins, Co all allow domestic chickens, and all of them have some of the most stable and attractive property values in the country. In fact, Fort Collins is at the top of Money Magazine's 100 best places to live list, and the responsiveness of their city government to this issue is one of the reasons cited for the ranking.

    One of the things I really love about Worthington is that it is a place where the police and local offices seem to use common sense in regulating problems. It is no extra cost, and actually much more efficient, to take this approach.

    I'm not sure how to address the similarities you see between an abandoned car and a personal pet chicken. One is a car, the other is a bird.

    You seem to be trying to make people afraid of what will happen if a few chickens are allowed in a few yards. Drawing goats and cows and horses into the argument is misleading and inappropriate. This is only about chickens, and it's about chickens kept cleanly and appropriately in a person's own yard. It's about being able to be safe and free on your own property.

    Sadly, there are people in our community who want to limit that, and they have crossed the line into violence. On Sunday, somebody came into our yard and cut the chicken wire on our coop, and put two dogs inside. They were obviously trying to drive home the point that dogs and chickens can not live peacefully together. I am incredibly sad that this happened, and incredibly angry that somebody would think they could get away with it. The police are investigating the situation, and they seem to have a decent lead, but that's as much as I know now.

    In the mean time, people still want to go forward with this effort, and I'm glad to keep working at it. I'll let you know how things evolve.

    -Andy
     
  8. bock to the future

    bock to the future Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Andy:

    What a great response! Well said.

    I am sorry about the attack against your property. I hope they catch whoever was responsible.
     
  9. CrimsonRose

    CrimsonRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 7, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    [​IMG] I hope you catch whoever is harming your poor birds! I hope all goes well at your council meeting everyone should have rights to keep chickens it's a wonderful healthy choice for your family. I don't understand how people can keep any other pet bird but chickens fall under farm animals [​IMG] Why not be able to keep a pet and get the benefits of having them help feed your family in return! [​IMG]

    I have to agree we have one dog and he is louder, more smelly, and is much more work that my 18 birds put together!
     
  10. SophieLain127

    SophieLain127 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am in S. Columbus and I feel ya. Apparently we have to jump through hoops in order to have a few birds but people are allowed to have 5-6-7 dogs and not clean up or properly take care of them. I am all for having pets as long as you take care of them. But I think that a small caged animal not being allowed is just plain wrong. Good luck.

    Looks like I might have a long road head of me.
     

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