Got shot down by city zoning today

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 106663, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. 106663

    106663 New Egg

    Sep 14, 2011
    Hello Fellow Chicken Lovers! Hope you all can help me in my state of shock or depression. I went to a city counsil meeting tonight and was shot down to bring my flock of 7 hens and 2 roosters to a subdivision I moved to. Opposition was that there would be foul smells, I explained that my small flock doesn't smell because I clean the coop and properly compost the manure. Another concern was that a family has kids with allergies and the chicken dander or feathers would complicate the problem (this subdivision is in a woods full of deer and all kinds of critters and trees and weeds). The complainant that was concerned about her kids allergies started crying about the safety of her kids, she was worried that the chickens would attract coyote. There are no coyote in the area, just fox. A counsil member in opposition said that he researched the issue and was worried that the chickens would attract skunks and other predators. I explained that chickens are locked up at night and eggs are collected daily so predators would not be a problem with my flock. There was concern about chickens crowing, I said I would agree to remove the roosters if it bothered people. I travel to the chickens after work to feed and water them, they act like puppies. Is there anything I can do further, is the decision worth appealing? I am awe struck by the ignorance of the neighborhood. Barking dogs, loud kids, bad lawn ornaments, etc are ok, but whats not a problem is not ok. [​IMG]
  2. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    That sucks.
    No clue how to make it better, but if you search the threads you will probably find some good advice. I have read other posts about changing zoning ect.
    [​IMG] wish it was under better circumstances.
  3. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana! I'm sorry for what happened! Their are lots of ignorant people in this world!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  4. TinyTotsSeramas

    TinyTotsSeramas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Quote:I know how to... move!
    I know I would!
  5. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    So sorry! [​IMG] [​IMG] from WA. glad you joined us [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. LiLRedCV

    LiLRedCV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Land of the Rain
    So is this a city thing or a housing association thing? Also, I know you said there were woods and trees and things between properties, but is there acreage and if so, how much per house? If there's actually acreage involved and not just a postage sized stamped lot, there might be some grandfathered clauses you can utilize in your fight.
  7. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Quote:I know how to... move!
    I know I would!

  8. Uniontown Poultry

    Uniontown Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am so sorry to hear about your outlaw chickens!! I fought this same type of fight in 2004 & won. I have 13 chickens and one turkey on my spacious 1/3 of an acre. I may be able to offer some advice on the subject having been there. It may not be worth appealing their decision, but it may be worth attacking again, and from several angles, it just depends. Is it the city/municipality that is the problem, or is it the subdivision or homeowners' association rules that conflict? It makes a big difference, b/c subs/HOA rules can really be restrictive with little room for legal challenge or change. If it's the municipality's zoning ordinance that says you cannot keep chickens (and it's usually the zoning ordinance), then you need to read the heck out of it. You'll want to get copies of the sections pertaining to 1) definitions; 2) permitted / prohibited uses (specifically for areas zoned residential); 3) anything relating to animals (sometimes this info is in the first two named areas). Also see if there is an ordinance (in zoning or regular municipal ordinance) about "nuisances." You have an absolute legal right to have a copy of the relevant portions of your zoning ordinance, although they can charge you a small fee. You may be able to find your ordinances online, too.

    Once you get the ordinance (or if you already have it) look to see what it actually says. Does it clearly state no chickens or is there wiggle room? Does it state that you can apply for a non-conforming use or special exception (basically a one-person permit to be exempt from a regulation that prohibits some activity or use of the property)? What is the standard of proof - what is the overriding decision to be based on, the aesthetics of the neighborhood? Health & safety of residents?

    Who voiced the concerns? Did your neighbors actually come to the meeting w/ city council and complain? Or is it just some concerns that were raised by councilmembers? Is there any local chicken or poultry club that you might could contact to appear at an appeals or new hearing with you to address these concerns & provide experienced voices to calm their fears?

    And most importantly - How much time do you have to appeal??

    I am actually in the process of writing a big blog entry about the outlaw chicken fight and how to take on "city hall." I believe that just about everyone can keep backyard chickens responsibly and be good neighbors, and that everyone deserves a chance. I know how frustrating and emotional these fights can be, but if you win it is all worth it!

    I don't know what state you're in, but if you are serious about trying to turn this around, PM me. My name is Krista, and I am a lawyer. I am licensed in PA only, but most ordinances are pretty similar language-wise. I will help you as much as I can and will do it for free, just because I really, truly believe in backyard flocks. But you should probably get cracking if you want to appeal (you want to make sure you preserve your rights to present your complete case to them). PM me if you are ready to fight this, and I will help.
  9. Amigo

    Amigo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2011
    Your house!
    Crazy city slickers! [​IMG]

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  10. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Sorry for your bad luck! [​IMG] Sounds like your City Council is sadly misguided! Keep after them!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by