draft of new ordinance for our town!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MTchick, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    The pro-chicken movement is gaining strength in our town, and there is now a rough draft for the new ordinance that the pro-chicken group will be proposing.

    Here it is in case anyone wants to see it! If you have constructive criticism I'd like to hear it.

    It follows a general "no livestock in the city" section city ordinances, hence the "prohibition in this section" verbage in the first sentence.

    F. The prohibition in this section also does not apply to the keeping of up to 6 chickens within the city limits in situations in which the animals are kept in such a manner that the following standards are complied with:

    1. No person shall keep any rooster.

    2. The chickens must be kept on a single-family lot, unless all parties who share a multiple-family lot consent to allowing the chickens on the premises.

    3. The chickens shall be provided with covered, predator-proof housing and must be kept in a covered or fenced enclosure at all times.

    4. No enclosure shall be located closer than 25 feet to any residential structure occupied by someone other than the chicken owner, custodian, or keeper.

    5. The enclosure must be thoroughly ventilated, of sufficient size to admit free movement of the chickens therein confined, and be at least 2 square feet per chicken in size.

    6. No person shall slaughter any chickens within the city limits.

    7. Feed must be kept in a rodent- and predator-proof container. The management of chickens and their feed shall comply with Ordinance 3330, Chapter 6.02.

    8. It is unlawful for the owner, custodian, or keeper of any chicken to allow the animal(s) to be a nuisance to any neighbors, including but not limited to: noisome odors from the animals or their enclosure; and noise of a loud and persistent and habitual nature.

    9. If a chicken owner is in violation of these standards, the mechanism for enforcement is as follows:

    ...i.Upon receiving a complaint of a possible violation at any given address within the city, Animal Control will respond and leave a notice of violation/warning and/or a verbal warning with the chicken owner or temporary owner and provide them with written or oral information on how to correct the alleged violation.

    ...ii.Animal Control will revisit the chicken ownerÂ’s address 10 days or more after the notice of violation/warning is issued. If the chicken-owner has failed to comply with the ordinance, Animal Control may issue a citation to the owner, custodian or keeper of a chicken for failure to comply with any applicable section of this chapter. At this time, Animal Control may also confiscate the chickens without a court order. Animal Control may also recommend to the court that the chicken owner lose the right to keep any other chickens for 1 year or more.
  2. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    MTchick, what is the current ordinance?

    Looks great, my only question is (and may be moot, since I'm not sure how many people keep chickens in a duplex) what if you live on a "multiple family lot" and a new neighbor moves into said lot that does not like chickens? Would these chickens be grandfathered, or would the owner have to rehome? <hopefully the former, not the latter>.

    Really glad to see that your town is in line with the times!

  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I am glad to see people trying to change the laws to allow for backyard flocks.

    However, I am disappointed to see that AC would automatically be allowed to confiscate a flock after only one warning and a ten day follow-up. I see a situation where a responsible owner comes home from his two week vacation to find his flock gone because the neighbor kid he was paying to care for his birds turned out not to be as responsible as he had thought, the birds made noise because they weren't let out on time, and someone complained. In my opinion, there should be several warnings and citations given over a month or two before confiscation would be allowed.
  4. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    The old ordinance is no chickens, no way, unless you have over an acre or are grandfathered in from several decades of consecutive chicken keeping on your property. So pretty much no chickens in city limits for anyone.

    Much of this ordinance is actually directly lifted from our cat and dog ordinances, including the animal confiscation rules and noise/odor rules. That is where the 10 day thing comes from- it is identical to our Animal Control dog rules, and was actually suggested to us by the Animal Control guys themselves. It is crucial to keep those guys on our side (which they are right now) to get this thing to pass the council.

    The multifamily thing is a sticky wicket. I don't know if the pre-resident chickens would stay or go. I would think that people wouldn't move in if they were that opposed to the chickens. But who knows...

  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I would presume that if you were looking at the other side of a duplex that you'd look in the backyard too and see them, and if you didn't like them, you wouldn't buy or lease the property...but then I have more brain cells than your average rutabaga...
    I think it's great MT.
    I think that you should be able get a cease and desist order if you get a noise or odour complaint and be able to fix it.
  6. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    You do get a cease/desist... it is buried at the bottom of the ordinance. Then you get ten more days, and then you get an inspection. If you failed to fix the problem, your chickens are removed.

    I honestly think this will never happen to a legit person. This is, and Animal Control mentioned the same thing, to catch real jerks not law abiding citizens. Like if someone has them living in filth, or has a collection of roosters. The Animal Control people have been really helpful with this- they have freely stated that they know of many illegal flocks in town already, but they refuse to act upon that knowledge unless there is a written complaint. We are lucky that our city is small and very friendly!

    The vacation-bird-napping scenario is a bit scary, but you can say the same thing for dogs, cats, exceptionally loud parakeets, etc. I don't think we could legitimately lobby for separate systems for chickens, you know? But I hear ya. Evil neighbors can take advantage of a lot of things when you are out of town.

    I really like all your comments. I'll be mentioning some things at the next meeting on Wednesday based on the feedback. Please keep them coming!

    Hey SpottedCrow- I'll be driving across Massachusetts twice this next weekend to visit two new nieces. Which exit should I wave at on the T-pike to say hi? [​IMG]

  7. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Songster

    May 26, 2007
    Where do you get information on a towns ordinances anyway?
    I went to Google and did a search of ours and can't get any information for our town or the nearest either- which is New Egypt.
  8. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Probably the Newton/Boston exit, because I'll be at the Inlaws...
    Waving to you in advance![​IMG]
    If your town/city has a website, it should be on there under ordinances.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2007
  9. dcarroll

    dcarroll Hatching

    Jun 24, 2007
    I live in a town that has a no chickens in town ordinance and would be interested in knowing of towns that have recenly passed ordinances allowing small coops in backyards.
  10. V Chic Chick

    V Chic Chick Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bristol, England

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