Fighting in Parma, Ohio - advice, help


In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
We live in the city of Parma, off the suburbs of Cleveland. Neighbors live about 20--30 feet to either side, and across the street, but behind us is simply an empty stretch of woodland. Our own property encompasses 26000 square feet.
Around September, we began to keep chickens - 4 of them. We watched them grow from hatchlings to hens. We built a special coop for them, and fenced it as well (the only problem was, they kept fllying over the fence. We didn't snip their wings, and building a bigger fence would have been difficult on the inclined slope and the trees that surrounded it and formed corners of the fence weren't obliging either.) In the winter, the weather worsened and we took them to our garage. They occupied a fairly large rabbit cage. We intend to let them go again come spring, so that they may have fresh food, fresh air, and space to scratch around in. Most of our neighbors don't mind.
Then someone informed us that keeping chickens was against the law, or so he thought. To be sure, we sent a letter to our mayor, Dean DePiero. His secretary replied, saying that Parma Codified Ordinance 618.09 does not allow keeping of various beasts on private property, including chickens.
section B of this ordinance says, "The owning or keeping of any fowl, including, but not limited to domestic geese, ducks, turkeys, and chickens within the City limits is hereby prohibited, except for caged birds kept as pets within a residence structure, or racing pigeons."
Last week someone published a small section in the newspaper, as follows.
Parma hopes to close a loophole in a pretty fowl ordinance.
By doing so, it would prevent a resident from keeping caged chickens in his garage."
We want to change this law, but we don't actually understand where to begin. We thought maybe write a letter and post it in public areas so people can sign it, word-of-mouth, etc. Any ideas?
Every governmental level has ways of governing, which includes creation and modification of laws and ordinances. There are defined processes and appropriate means for citizen input (over and above voting to fill political offices, and also on various propositions, etc.) You need to find out the details of the process followed in your city, and use that process. Simply putting out an unofficial petition will not make any positive impact. You need to follow established procedure. Yes, build up a grassroots support system, but when you reach out to make actual impact, you need to follow procedure.
Oh. Thank you very much. I'll go search it now.
What type of suburb is it? If it is like alot of what use to be country living and turning into modern suburbs where every house looks the same, they want to rid the neighborhood of chickens to keep the community upscale. Smell, Noise, and being bothersome pest would be the reason for the ordinance change to not allow chickens. If your suburb is mostly country living still, you need majority of the home owners to sign-off on a petition letter to the mayor and/or council. Remind them in the petition that the community residents decides what is socially acceptable and that you and your petitioners are the community.

Sometime they need a reminder exactly what creates and abolishes ordinances.

Good Luck,

If you live a developing modern suburb, they will ignore majority for future developement and growth.
I see this is an old post but I really really wish parma would allow chickens too!! Wondering if anything ever came out if your attempts? I know they now allow cleveland residents to have chickens as some sort of agricultural encouragement. Hardly seems fair since most of our lots are way bigger than most cleveland lots!!?//
I'm interested in getting current on this post, as well. My mom's place used to be part of the Hollenbeck farm. If she ever dies, the place becomes mine, the lawn's going away, vegetable beds are going everywhere, and some Americaunas, Barred Rocks and Orpingtons are moving in. There's a great fenced in area she never uses for the dog, and an empty utility shed that would make a fantastic coop.
I wonder if we could get a group together to talk about making chickens legal in Parma? If we get enough people maybe we can get some legislation going? I would be perfectly fine with allowing 4 chickens (no roosters) like the ordinances they have in Cleveland. I have ALWAYS dreamed of having chickens in my backyard and I just think we need to get a group of like-minded people together to get something to make that happen....
In Cleveland, we're allowed six hens for a lot up to 4800 square feet, with another chicken for each addition 100 square feet if you pay off the right people. If you're not yet tuned in to the local OSU agricultural extension office, they usually have a great set of workshops all season long and dedicate one or two to chickens and/or urban farms. They're also a great resource. If anything's happening with these ordinances, chances are good that they're in the loop.
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