Does this allow for pet chickens?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Muggsmagee, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    I live just outside of the village, but my friend would like chickens, and they live within the village limits. We live in a predominantly rural town, where every other house in the village sports a carraige barn from decades ago, and the town itself boasts dozens of farms.

    This is what the specifications state:

    Section V1 - District Specifications

    R-1 District: One-Family Residential Districts

    A. Uses Permitted:

    7. Customary agricultural operations, provided, however, that no odor or dust producing substance or use shall be permitted within one hundred feet (100) on any property line.



    Am I right to read this allows for pet chickens? This is the ONLY "regulation/restriction" they found on having chickens in the village. The village clerk told me this includes all "farm animals". She told my friend their property is too small.
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I, personally, wouldn't think a few "pet" chickens would count as an "agricultural operation."

    Also, they don't necessarily have to be "odor or dust producing."
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  3. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    I looked up the word agriculture...this is the definition:

    ag·ri·cul·ture [ ággri kùlchər ]

    farming: the occupation, business, or science of cultivating the land, producing crops, and raising livestock

    Synonyms: farming, cultivation, crop growing, food production, agricultural science, husbandry, agronomy


    So every backyard garden that is NOT 100 feet off of their neighbor's property is "against the law"? Like I said, the village clerk said this includes "farm animals". But nowhere does this sentence differentiate between crops and farm animals! She was adamant that chickens as a whole were not permitted.

    This is the copied line of uses permitted:

    7. Customary agricultural operations, provided, however, that no odor or dust producing substance or use shall be permitted within one hundred feet (100) on any property line.
     
  4. UrbanChick101

    UrbanChick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe I am not reading something right. Permitted 100 ft. from property line. As long as the area you keep your chickens is more than 100 ft. from each of your property lines you should be ok?? I thought permitted meant allowed.
     
  5. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    Quote:You are right...permitted does mean allowed. What I am struggling with is the term "Customary agricultural operations" . It is so broad a term. It doesn't differentiate between growing crops or "raising chickens". If someone is growing tomatoes within 100 feet of their neighbors property, than "technically" they are breaking the law? Again, there is no difference mentioned...crops, livestock...it doesn't say. I have plenty of friends w/ big, beautiful backyard veggie gardens. Technically, they aren't permitted to do so because their property is 50 ft from each neighbor, right?

    I am trying to make a point that my friend SHOULD be able to have a few backyard chickens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  6. Chikndinner

    Chikndinner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The way that ordinance reads, as long as you are not making a big stink or dust cloud within 100ft of the property line you are good to go.

    Whatever the clerk told you or your friend may be their opinion or interpretation but may not necasssarily be the law.

    I would say that any usual farm animal or crop is ok as long as you are not making a stinky mess.

    However to reinforce your position I would get a legal interpretation. Why not spend $50 on a lawyer and get a legal opinion which may help you understand, and come to your defense some day because you did your homework thoroughly.
     
  7. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    Quote:I want to read it that way, too.
    7. Customary agricultural operations, provided, however, that no odor or dust producing substance or use shall be permitted within one hundred feet (100) on any property line.

    No odor or dust producing substance, or use of dust or odor producing substance shall be permitted within 100 ft of any property line? I think I can interpret this line any way I want...for or against raising chickens.

    Had I read this before I talked with the town clerk, I probably wouldn't be asking these questions. She told my friend her lot was too small. She said to me that chickens are not permitted. I feel she is imposing her view, and not the rule. That's when I went to the municipality office and requested it in writing. My friend is trying to go by the "book" and raise chickens legally. It says nothing of a minimum allowance...it doesn't reference livestock directly. So if there is confusion over the wording...my question initially was to find the loophole of having chickens as pets. Now I'm seeing this as don't create a "smell/dust" within 100 ft (thank you). So don't have smelly livestock, and don't spray/dust your crops next to your neighbors house?

    Again...I am for chickens, so I feel I am seeing this now as allowing chickens. Whoopie! [​IMG]

    I appreciate anyone helping me make sense of this. My lawyer is the village lawyer...I'll call him tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  8. JOSEYWALES

    JOSEYWALES Out Of The Brooder

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    Go for it!
     
  9. Chikndinner

    Chikndinner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They just don't want big piles of fertilizer or grain milling or some big nuisance causing a problem with the neighbors.

    You said yourself the town has many farms. The ordinance is purposefully vague because it cannot hope to specifically account for every situation.

    I say get the birds, put them in a decent coop, keep them from wandering all over the neighborhood and keep the coop from smelling, and you will have no problems.

    Our local ordinance says that the smell cannot be discernable from the property line. I cannot smell our birds/coop even from 5 ft away.
     
  10. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Quote:Just because your sense of smell can't pick up the odor is no guarantee that someone else's can't.

    Basically that ordnance says that anything that produces an odor or dust must be further than 100 feet from all property lines.

    The birds can produce both so I can see why the clerk said that the lot was too small. The rule doesn't speak to whether the odor must be present at the boundary or not.

    Likely a number of folks are in violation of that rule just because of doing things like having a garden.

    One could raise a bit of a ruckus using that rule ;-) .
     

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