Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by I'm1chickencuddler, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. I'm1chickencuddler

    I'm1chickencuddler In the Brooder

    May 31, 2011
    I illegally have 22 chickens. The zoning inspector just left my house and told me I have 30 days to get my girls out of the neighborhood. Can someone please advise me on what to do or how to not have that happen? I am near hysterics and trying to remain calm. Getting rid of them is not an option and I don't want to come home one day to find they have been taken. Please advise. Thank you. I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I do not live in an agricultural zone.
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    Is there someone that can take them in while you fight the zoning board? Legal matters can be quite lengthy.
  3. angie3881

    angie3881 Songster

    I don't know what to do to help you. I would be sick right now. I am going to bump you up, though. Good luck.
  4. I'm1chickencuddler

    I'm1chickencuddler In the Brooder

    May 31, 2011
    Possibly. I don't even know what to do with the zoning board. I don't know even what step one is. That is the help I am looking for. I have a friend with a horse farm that may be able to take them if need be but who do I contact and how do I fight. The lady that came out kept saying there is nothing I can do. I do not accept "nothing I can do". There must be something.
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    #1. Did you check locale ordinances and zoning before purchasing or bringing in birds?

    #2. What exactly do the local codes say? Did the inspector give you a citation listing the specific code or codes you are violating? Or simply a verbal statement?

    #3. Where do your birds live? (In house, in garage, in a coop in a fenced yard, etc.). How large is your property? How close to neighbors are your birds? What do your neighbors think of them?

    #4. Research the process for getting a variance that would allow you to keep your birds.
  6. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    In our town a child began the process of getting the ordinance changed. She was able to keep her birds during the process, but just because that was allowed here, doesn't mean it will happen there. Call some folks on your city council and ask what kind of paperwork you need to fill out to start the process to change the ordinance.
  7. urban escapee

    urban escapee Songster

    Jul 14, 2011
    Alvin, TX
    This is a good place to start, you need to educate yourself before you tackle the problem at hand. Slow down and take a deep breath. You have 30 days. Its not a lot of time but time enough.
    I would add to the questions above...What incited the zoning inspector to come to your place? Were there any complaints?
  8. joan1708

    joan1708 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    You need to know exactly what the ordinances are in your city. They are usually posted online but can be a bit frustrating to find. I've seen some ordinances that prohibit poultry unless they are show birds and often wondered if you entered a chicken in a chicken show if that got you off the hook. I've also seen exceptions for kids in 4H. Do you have kids? Anyway, the law is the law, and you are stuck in the short term. Did you make one of your neighbors mad? Usually someone has turned you in. Was your coop visible from the street or your neighbors house? Did you have a rooster waking people up? I ask all these questions because chickens are illegal where I live. I've asked all my neighbors if they would mind if I got a few and they all say it's fine. But of course, it's not a problem until there's a problem. I hope you find a way around this. Good Luck!
  9. I'm1chickencuddler

    I'm1chickencuddler In the Brooder

    May 31, 2011
    Yes, I knew what I was doing was illegal and against city ordinances. I spoke with each and every one of my neighbors for over a year before getting my girls. My neighbors support me in this. My almost ex-husband is the one who turned me in. That is a crazy-ugly story. The zoning board gave me a verbal warning and then mailed me an official letter giving me 30 days to comply. I have started an online petition at under sustainable food to have Virginia Beach city council change the laws. I have personally spoke with my districts councilman. I have been a very busy girl since I posted in a panic last week. I am working with people across the country who have already paved the way and done all the research. I am so grateful to all who are coming out of the woodwork to help me.
    My girls live in a coop in their own fenced in screened over yard. They do not go out of it. They do not go into my neighbor's yards. My neighbors all think they are awesome and are willing to go to the next council meeting stating they don't have a problem with my having chickens. I do have a couple friends with farms that may be able to take them while I continue my fight. The neighboring big city just changed their laws a couple weeks ago. It is only a matter of time. Thank you all for your support. Any other suggestions are most appreciated.
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I am going through the same thing, but I did NOT know it was against the ordinances. I read the entire village bi-law, and it stated nothing about keeping poultry in residential zones, so I got chickens. Someone complained, and I have been asked to remove them within 30 days. I asked to have extended to mid-April because winter + moving hens is very hard on them. I am actually putting my house up for sale because of this.

    I am very bitter.
    I am very angry.
    I will not put up with this. I will fight with everything in me.

    Do not just give in! :hugs

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