Coops and Well Water

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by TomMN1, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. TomMN1

    TomMN1 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 3, 2010
    Inver Grove Heights
    The small town I live in (500 residents in 1.7 sq miles - lot sizes avg 1+ acres) currently has pretty broad/non-restrictive rules for keeping chickens. These rules have been in place since 1998.

    Except as herein provided, farm or other non-domestic animals may be allowed within the City subject to the approval of an administrative permit by the City Forester. The consideration involving the approval or denial of an administrative permit shall include, but not be limited to:

    a. The notification of immediately abutting property owners and an assessment of the possible negative impacts upon such properties.
    b. The adequacy of the site and buildings to accommodate the animals in question.
    c. The public health, safety, and general welfare concerns posed by the animals in question.

    Approval of an administrative permit may be issued for a period of one (1) year after which the permit may be reissued for periods of up to three (3) years. In cases where complaints from neighbors have been received or where there has been a change in conditions or violations, a renewal shall require City Council approval and at their discretion, may be processed in accordance with the procedural requirements of an Interim Use Permit.

    I believe I am the first person to have inquired about keeping backyard chickens. I asked about it in passing on election day (11/2), and it was brought up at the very next city council meeting a week later (I was on vacation and didn't know it was going to be brought up). Since my return, I have reqeusted the permit, but it hasn't been issued yet as the city council wants to impose new restrictions since I brought this to their attention.

    Based on teh November city council meeting minutes, these are the concerns:
    1.) No roosters (I will argue that they could be kept unless they break the nuisance noise laws).
    2.) All properties in the city have wells/septic systems. THey are concerned that the coops would need to be a certain distance from the wells and drainage fields. For a backyard flock, I think this is a bit much. If I were a poultry farm I would agree.
    3.) They are also researching limits based on nearby cities. One city only allows 2, one only allows chickens on 5+ acres, one doesn't have limits, and one tiers their permit fee based on teh number of chickens.

    Opinions? I'm a little annoyed that my permit hasn't been granted yet. I would like to get it issued under the current rules. Some of the language isn't clear to me.
    I'm worried about item 3 and what it may mean to what I was planning on having in my flock.

    The next meeting is tonight (in 3 hours)! I know what I want to address, but any other last minute tips are welcome.
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If you do something that later becomes illegal, you cannot be prosecuted for it, since it was legal when you did it.

    So how can they make a decision about your permit based on rules they might pass after you requested the permit?
  3. TomMN1

    TomMN1 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 3, 2010
    Inver Grove Heights
    That's a great question and one I'll be asking tonight.

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