Contradictory Ordinances?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by FarmerChad, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. FarmerChad

    FarmerChad Out Of The Brooder

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    How to deal with contradictory ordinances? The wife and I are interested in keeping 3-4 hens on our property, in town. We live in a small town, population of only 2000-3000 residents. This is a topic that comes up quite often with us, as my wife has a co-worker that is constantly offering us baby chicks. We haven't made the plunge yet... mainly because I want to do this the "legal" way.

    Yesterday I went to the Town Hall. The Recorder was more then happy to provide me with a copy of the city ordinances that pertain to animals in the city. I would like to add that I searched the database (on this site) and our town is not listed. Maybe I should submit ours. At any rate here is what it says:

    505.03 NUISANCE CONDITIONS PROHIBITED
    No person shall keep or harbor any animal or fowl in the Municipality so as to create noxious, or offensive odors or unsanitary conditions which are a menace to the health, comfort or safety of the public.

    505.07 ANIMALS AND BIRDS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
    (a)(2) "Birds" includes chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, and pigeons and other birds, wild or domestic, whether commonly kept in cages or not; male and female shall be included of each kind.

    (b) All animals and birds shall be kept on the premise of the owners of such animals or birds, except when they may be lawfully be upon the public streets of the municipality or elsewhere upon public property under proper supervision of a keeper or attendant, or upon the property of another person with the express consent of such other person.

    505.08 KEEPING FARM ANIMALS; BREEDING; KENNELS.
    No person shall keep, house, or breed or pen any chickens, cattle, or swine within the corporate limits of the municipality. No person shall breed animals or provide or operate a kennel for animals, as animals are defined in section 505.07(a)(1), within 300 feet from any public alley, street or dwelling house.

    Do you spot the contradiction? 505.03 to me says, keep things neat and tidy. 505.07 to me says, keep your animals on your property. 505.08 to me says, ignore the previous and forget the idea all away around!

    Now, I know that the city recorder has no legal bearing on any of the following conversation, but it was the only person I could talk to at the moment. I just wanted to see what she was going to say. I explained that I simply wanted to keep a few hens for eggs, no roosters. She asked me If they would we "penned" in any way. I told her that a chicken coop would be there home. She stated that most likely, if I kept everything neat and clean, no odors, then most likely no one would complain. In a nutshell, only after a complaint would the city investigate. Her words verbatim "the city has better things to do then to hunt down someone with a couple of chickens".

    It seems to me that the city decided to add an ordinance to prevent any large quantities of livestock in the city. That essentially, don't go making a show about it, keep things clean, and you will be ok. Im not too concerned about 2 of my 3 neighbors. Mainly because the neighbors on either side don't seem to give 2 squats about anything going on, let alone whats going on in my yard. The 3rd neighbor, an elderly neighbor might be an issue. She seems to be the "busy body" type. Or she was in the past, her health isnt too well now.

    My personal thoughts are that, everything will go smoothly. But on the other side.. its frowned upon. What to do?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I applaud you for actually checking into the legalities.

    Small towns are different than large cities. I like them, but often the enforcement of this type of thing is more up to the individual doing the enforcing. Who that is may not change for decades, it does eventually change.

    I see three different options.

    1. Find out who actually enforces the regulations, the animal enforcement officer if they have one, and talk to them about your situation.

    2. Go to your city government and ask for a variance or permit for your specific situation, referencing the conflict.

    3. Propose an amendment to clarify the conflict for everyone.

    The risk, of course, is that they will decide against you and then they know where you are. I'd probably suggest that 505.08 is meant for commercial operations and you are intending them for personal use, so the first two would apply to you.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    You need to look up section 505.01(a)(1), which is referenced in the "contradiction." That may well specify the difference between what is covered in the sections you did quote.
     
  4. FarmerChad

    FarmerChad Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:As a matter of fact, I have it. The lady at City Hall gave me 4 double sided pages. Most of it covers dogs, about 75%. Anyways I do have that section.. And I made a typo. Its supposed to be section 505.07(a)(1) not 505.01(a)(1).

    505.07(a)(1)
    "Animals" includes cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses and ponies, and other wild or domestic animals, including snakes, male and female shall be included of each kind.

    But to be honest, I don't think that section of 505.08 even applies because it states...

    505.08 KEEPING FARM ANIMALS; BREEDING; KENNELS.
    No person shall keep, house, or breed or pen any chickens, cattle, or swine within the corporate limits of the municipality. No person shall breed animals or provide or operate a kennel for animals, as animals are defined in section 505.07(a)(1), within 300 feet from any public alley, street or dwelling house.

    According to section 505.001 (f)
    "Kennel" means the commercial business of breeding, buying, selling or boarding dogs.

    Im certainly not a kennel. That would more accurately describe my neighobrs [​IMG]
     
  5. Laigaie

    Laigaie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm certain .08 still applies as it states that "No person shall keep... any chickens... within the corporate limits of the municipality." The other sentence is an additional specification, on top of the first sentence. It still says you can't "keep, house, or breed or pen" chickens. You'll have to attempt to change the ordinance or go outside municipality limits.
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    His point is that the previous sections specifically allow them and state the required conditions, and thus there is a contradiction. Could be as simple as a change was made that entered the language of one section or the other, but the contradictory section was not removed. Definitely needs further clarification from city officials.
     
  7. FarmerChad

    FarmerChad Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thats pretty much what I was getting at. One part says a-ok, the other says no. I think another trip to City Hall might be in order. Then again, it didn't seem like there was a huge concern over what I was wanting to do... as long as no one "complained". The city employee I spoke to was very relaxed about the entire situation... Makes it hard when you can't get a straight answer![​IMG]
     
  8. thebirdguy

    thebirdguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it was me, I would talk to my immediate neighbors and if they don't have any qualms about it... Go for it!!
     
  9. FarmerChad

    FarmerChad Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:That is what im thinking. I wanted to at least find out the legality of the issue, first. It would be different if they said "NO!" and proceeded to lecture me on what kind of person I would be for bringing those evil little birds into our good town. [​IMG] Instead, I was basically told to keep it neat and tidy. Ill keep this updated if any new revelations come about.
     
  10. FarmerChad

    FarmerChad Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:That is what im thinking. I wanted to at least find out the legality of the issue, first. It would be different if they said "NO!" and proceeded to lecture me on what kind of person I would be for bringing those evil little birds into our good town. [​IMG] Instead, I was basically told to keep it neat and tidy. Ill keep this updated if any new revelations come about.
     

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