Henrico County VA is a predator to my chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickenmomma2, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. chickenmomma2

    chickenmomma2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2012
    I began raising chickens November, 2011. I have 36 chickens on 1.107 acres of agriculturally zoned land that began as the Elko Poultry Farm and Hatchery.

    In April, 2016, Henrico county began their attack on my chickens telling me I didn't meet setback for horses on residentially zoned property. What horses? I don't have any horses and my land is zoned agricultural.

    Then they said my chickens free ranging on my property were running at large. In VA running at large is defined as being off the owner's property not under their control.

    Then they said that my operation was a threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the community because of noise and odor.

    Then they said I don't meet setbacks to dwellings and then changed that to lot lines then back to dwellings.

    On June 8, 2016 I received a Notice of Violation that the run does not meet setbacks to other dwellings.
    I am 235 feet from one dwelling, 288 feet from another dwelling and 296 feet from the third dwelling. The fourth dwelling is a farm dwelling. The county code states:
    "200 feet from any other lot occupied by a dwelling other than a farm dwelling".

    The property they are referring to raises chickens, crops and bees."

    As a member of Backyard Chickens, I am asking that other members and guests contact my Board of Supervisors to get them to stop this malicious and illegal attack on my chickens.

    Below is a letter I have drafted along with the emails for the BOS. Feel free to edit as you see fit.

    THANK YOU for helping me to fight predators I never thought I would have to fight...raccoons, fox, skunks and snakes....but never politicians.

    I will be speaking to the BOS during the public comment time on June 14th at 7:00. If you can attend in person, I would greatly appreciate it. The meetings are held at the Henrico Government Center, Board Room, Administration Building, 4301 East Parham Road, Richmond, VA.

    If you are unable to attend and would like to support me, below is the letter. Thank you for your support. I also have a fb page
    https://www.facebook.com/Right2farm2/

    Dear Sir or Madame,

    I am writing on the behalf of Stewart Goodwin, owner and operator of the Elko Poultry Farm and Hatchery.
    The Elko Poultry Farm was established in 1925 as a working poultry operation. Ms. Goodwin purchased the farm in 2005 and has been raising poultry since November, 2011. Her property is zoned agricultural along with all of the surrounding properties.
    The property that adjoins hers is a working farm and has been for years. As a matter of fact, the adjoining property use to be part of the Elko Poultry Farm until 1958 when it was separated from the parent property.
    On June 8, 2016, Ms. Goodwin received a Notice of Violation that she was in violation of County Code 24-10(a) setbacks to dwellings. However, the code she is accused of specifically states:
    “Uses, buildings or premises for which compliance with the distance requirements
    in this subsection is stipulated in the following regulations shall be distant at least
    400 feet from any lot in any residence district and 200 feet from any other lot
    occupied by a dwelling other than a farm dwelling…”
    Because the adjoining property is a working farm, this code does not apply. All of the other properties surrounding her farm are more than 200 feet away, specifically 235, 288 and 296 feet.
    Therefore, I am requesting that you withdraw the Notice of Violation and allow Ms. Goodwin to continue her right to farm as protected by the Right to Farm Act.
    Thank you in advance for your positive consideration to this request.
    Sincerely,
    Email addresses:
    Tyrone E. Nelson, Chairman (this is my representative)
    [email protected]
    Richard Glover, Vice Chair
    [email protected]
    Frank Thornton
    [email protected]
    Thomas Branin
    [email protected]
    Patricia O’Bannon
    [email protected]
     
  2. lkross12

    lkross12 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2013
    Glen Allen, VA
    Hi! I just wanted to follow up to see what happened with your chickens. I also live in Henrico County and have had my chickens for three years.Today I received a violation and am wondering how to proceed. Any advice?
     
  3. lkross12

    lkross12 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2013
    Glen Allen, VA
    I am fighting the same fight. I received an email that they are updated the ordinance. YAY! It's still probably a process but I have read the Code Assessment (the proposed plan for the ordinance) and it states “…several respondents to the survey stated that the county’s current setback requirements in the zoning ordinance that apply to hen houses and bee keeping are overly restrictive.” And he said that our feedback is welcome. So if you would please take a moment and email Benjamin Blankinship at [email protected] You can copy and paste the following:

    I am writing in regards to the Code Assessment. I have reviewed the the code Assessment and am pleased to discover on page 75 the “Key Theme 7: Promote Environmentally Friendly Development.” It states, “…several respondents to the survey stated that the county’s current setback requirements in the zoning ordinance that apply to hen houses and bee keeping are overly restrictive.” I agree 100% and would like to see Henrico County adjust their guidelines to follow its neighboring communities.

    Richmond City requires a chicken pen to be 15 feet from any adjacent dwelling. Chesterfield County has a minimum setback of 25 feet for a chicken building structure and run. And Hanover County states the chicken enclosure must be at least 15 feet to a property line. Henrico County’s building requirement of 400 feet from any residential lot is extremely excessive in comparison. Henrico County should follow the examples of our neighboring counties.

    Thanks for your help!!! Good luck to us and hoping this gets us somewhere!
     
  4. Sara Ranch

    Sara Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 7, 2017
    I'll be watching this thread to see what happens.
     

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