County ordinance makes chickens impossible, even though they're technically legal...

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by EMS2005, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. EMS2005

    EMS2005 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Georgia
    Has anyone ever experienced this? We're in Coweta County, GA. We have distance requirements for pens, coops, and feed storage that says all structures must be 100' from all property lines and 200' from all existing offsite residential buildings (hopefully that means just houses and not people's sheds, right?). Is there any way around this? We back up to woods. It would be most neighborly to put a run and coop back there instead of 100' closer to our two neighbors. Any advice is welcome. Otherwise I'm just kind of venting. :(
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Just make sure that you can later move the coop and run without a huge bother.
     
  3. EMS2005

    EMS2005 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Georgia
    Well I was considering a chicken tractor, or even a mobile coop separate from the run...but wouldn't setting it down just about anywhere "violate" this ordinance? I live in a neighborhood and it would be pretty obvious to anyone that took umbrage enough to bother with codes. We're in a subdivision with an HOA but no covenant. I'd love to be elsewhere, but it's not possible yet. Also, if you stored your feed in your kitchen, or free ranged your chickens in your already-fenced yard...wouldn't your house and yard become "pens and buildings" for the purpose of raising livestock? The law doesn't make sense. The next county over has a distance requirement of 50' which is better, but still irritating.
     
  4. Dreyadin

    Dreyadin Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2013
    They may be referring to feed storage as something more along the lines like a corn crib, silo, hay shed, etc. The feed is pretty easily kept in a galvanized garbage can with a lid- I doubt that would count.

    Aside from spacing.. the big step is your neighbors' approval. Supportive neighbors can make all the difference.

    Chicken tractor has an attached pen. Make sure your fences are high enough if they are going to be roaming about. Some can clear pretty high distances. We have a mature hen that can hop on to my 6'4" husband's shoulder easy.

    If you are by woods- hawks may be an issue.
     
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    If there are no covenants for the HOA, they have nothing that they can legally complain about. An HOA is basically a legal contract between itself and each of its homeowners. As for the house and yard becoming livestock raising pens and buildings, probably not, but it does depend on the definitions set in your zoning or ordinances.
     
  6. EMS2005

    EMS2005 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Georgia
    Yeah, I'm just wondering if they would complain based on the ordinance. I haven't looked up the definitions yet. Once I sit and think a bit more on the other logistical questions and settle on decisions like feeding and containment, I'll see if I can get an exception and just hope the ordinance is meant to keep neighbors happy. If it is, I have a chance. Otherwise, I'll have to wait until we can move to a property with 3+ acres. And that's assuming the land isn't a narrow strip. This ordinance would prevent someone with 20 narrow acres from having legal chickens.
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Anyone can complain about anything. Whether that complain is VALID is another thing entirely. For example, I could complain about neighbors playing (at a reasonable volume) a style of music I do not like, or having plants that bloom orange (I don't like orange), or trimming a tree too high or not high enough for my taste, but none of those has any legal merit. Now if the neighbor is growing noxious weeds that are making their way into my yard, illegally burning waste that creates either a health or safety hazard, has a green pool (mosquito breeding grounds) or other valid complaints that actually violate a law, ordinance, restriction or health/safety code, THEN it is worth worrying about.
     
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  8. EMS2005

    EMS2005 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 19, 2013
    Georgia
    That's the trouble; if I put chickens where I wanted, and where they'd be most UNobtrusive, I'd be breaking a county distance ordinance. My fear was someone would notice the chickens and complain based on the ordinance. There should be exceptions allowed, like when one property line backs up to 5 uninhabited acres of dense woods. My husband wouldn't like where the chickens would have to be to comply fully with that ordinance. Neither would the neighbors. BUT I just read our most recent newsletter and someone is offering fresh eggs for sale, which means they probably have chickens! There's a farm behind that property, so I won't rule out some kind of connection there. Either way, I might risk it! :D
     

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