Experiences with town zoning not allowing chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SeaChick, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I just called my town and they were MOST UNHELPFUL. I am quite upset. They consider chickens as farm animals and that is that. There is nothing I can do short of spending upwards of $700 in fees to initiate a zoning change, which of course would also take a lot of time. And no way can I spend that kind of $$.

    My daughter is going to be heartbroken. I wonder what other people have found. I read on line somewhere that maybe going around and getting permission from all your neighbors (to make sure no one complains) and then doing it quietly may work. Of course, they now have my name at city hall and this lady was so rude I could imagine her sending someone over here to check us out!

    Oh, so SAD! My daughter had spent hours yesterday drawing pictures of chickens and researching breeds!![​IMG]

  2. MoonGoddess

    MoonGoddess Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Philly, PA
    You will find a lot of people on here have VERY differing opinions on this. And sometimes very STRONG opinions.

    I personally have an ENORMOUS issue with the government interfering with what type of animals I can or cannot have on MY property that *I* own.

    Which means, I of course, do it illegally.

    I am not allowed to have any sort of "livestock" on my property. This includes my potbelly pig, which in fact, is no way a livestock sort of animal. He's is a pet. A companion animal. I really get frustrated with archaic laws of local governments that no longer make sense or are hard-headedly stubborn without regard to circumstance.

    If your looking for an ok from someone here to go ahead, honestly, no one but you can decide if you want to proceed. A lot of folks on here do this illegally. I'm sure that all of us who do, feel the same in that we feel it is wrong for the govt to disallow us that freedom of choice. You just must understand the risks involved. It IS possible that someone may complain and report you.

    And it a lot it can depend on your relationship with your neighbors. Some will love the idea and support you. Some regardless of the rationale will do everything in their power to make it impossible. Only YOU will know for sure if you could pull it off or not.

    But no matter what you decide I wish you the very best. [​IMG]

    Good luck,
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks Jen,

    I guess I thought I'd ask because if lots of people said, "oh, don't do it... our town took away our chickens!" and not many people said, "go for it", it might help make the decision. I just don't know how much these things really get enforced!

    I think that my daughter and I will go around and talk to our neighbors and see how people feel about it.

  4. MoonGoddess

    MoonGoddess Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Philly, PA
    I think it depends on your town maybe. I'm unsure if how much it does get enforced, but I'm pretty sure if there are laws against it, and someone calls in a complaint they HAVE to come check.

    I know some people have just brought their chickens inside when inspectors have come. They knew around when they were supposed to visit, brought them indoors, and put them back out when they left. I suppose it also has a lot to do with HOW they found out. If a neighbor ratted you out, that method probably wouldn't be too effective.

    Some people have their chickens indoor ALL the time as an alternative.
    They sell...get ready for this...chicken DIAPERS! Nope, not kidding. [​IMG] And people use them to keep their chickens as indoor pets. I guess this really would only be reasonable if you had just a few as they need to be changed every 6-8 hours and god knows, you wouldn't want to be up to your ears in chicken diapering...lol.

    Here's the website for THAT: http://www.chickendiapers.com/index.html

    a good laugh...and maybe a good ponder on that one. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  5. Stacey, how many chicks do you have, or haven't you bought any yet? I think talking to your close neighbors is a good idea, tell them they can have some eggs. I don't have any problems where i live but can't see the harm in having a few chicks. As moon goddess said, it's you who will have to decide. When i lived in the city we had 6 chickens. 3 too many and my neighbors did not care, they got free eggs every couple of weeks.
  6. earthy_chicks

    earthy_chicks In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2007
    I'm almost done with the coop and just found out my city requires chickens to be kept 100 feet from other dwellings. I read up on it first with our nearby city Portland, OR and the county I live in Multnomah so I thought I was all clear for 3 chickens within 50 feet. Oh well. A neighbor was asking if I was building a playhouse the other day and I said no, it's for my pet banties. He didn't have a clue what I was saying.

    So that's my situation. I'm bending the rules. As long as I am responsible in my care-taking of the animals I feel I have a right to lead a sustainable lifestyle on my property. hallelujah![​IMG]

    btw, anyone here familiar with the film/book, the Secret? You have to manifest that it's o.k. to have your chickens. Do not focus your energy on worrying that someone will report you. Focus on everyone accepting them and thinking they are great, well because, they ARE!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  7. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    Stacy I don't know where from from but here in Florida they call the day before they come out It was the worst thing when we were working in animal rescu. They would call the farmer we were trying to take the animals from for abuse . By the time they got there all the animals had food and water.(this was a rare occasion). Where we are in Northern Florida we can have chickens but because we live near a wildlife area they can not free range.,and we live on 9 1/2 areas. The only official that comes around here is the game warden so I don't think they come out unless they have a complaint. Micki
  8. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    This is why I did not contact my town first. But I found out later that I could have no more than 4 chickens. I still could have problems, tho, because of zoning etc. I'll take my chances. I wish you luck. Isn't it a shame that after paying property taxes etc that you can't have something like chickens for pets, and that certain towns give people a hard time about doing something in your own private yard. Aargghh.
  9. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    You should be able to access the zoning ordinances on the computer for you county or city here are mine. It is referred to as Incidental Agriculture.
    Q10) Am I allowed chickens and other fowl in my property’s zone?
    A10) The property must have a net lot area of at least 10,000 sq. feet in the RD-5 zone. Chickens are also permitted on lots of at least 10,000 square feet in general agricultural and agricultural-residential land use zones.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
  10. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Wow. Reading all of this sure makes me glad I live where I do. Officially, I don't live in any town. I get my mail from the nearest town's post office. I never even thought of asking anybody if I could raise chickens- or any of my other animals. Now I'll definitely think twice before griping about how far I have to drive to get anywhere. [​IMG]

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