How do you find out what the local/state laws are?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by DawnSuiter, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I certainly am not sure who to call, and seriously dread the idea of getting bounced around from office to office, secretary to secretary etc.

    So.. who is in charge of this sorta thing from place to place?

    I live in a county on unrestricted land, where I was told I could open a pig farm if I wanted. So.. I guess I'm fine... but would love to have someone responsible say so for sure.

    What about others? Do you city folk already know who to call in regards to your local Poultry laws? Seriously.. those in the know.. clue the rest of us in!

    or maybe I'm alone in my ignorance here...
     
  2. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    i know in my area you would call the courthouse or town hall and ask for code enforcement or zoning. I know for me, there a large poultry operation across the street and it is a farming community so I didnt even ask.
     
  3. balticbabe

    balticbabe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2008
    King County, WA
    Luckily around here most of the cities and counties post their municipal codes on the their website. If they didn't I'd call city hall and ask for a copy of the code. I imagine it would be easier to get a complete copy of the code than having them look up whether chickens are allowed.
     
  4. Western Chick

    Western Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Western MN
    Yes, that's right. If you're in a city and they do their own zoning, check city hall. Out of city limits it's usually the county- in the courthouse
     
  5. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    Quote:if you out in the country like I am it goes by townships not the county, so the town hall can give you the info, they dont have a website and its usually one person who pretty much knows what the rules are.
     
  6. JessicaGrant

    JessicaGrant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2008
    Western Mass
    I called city hall and they passed me to the building inspector's office. I didn't like what they said (only three chickens) but I got the answer to my question.
     
  7. rufus

    rufus Overrun With Chickens

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    May 17, 2007
    Check the appropriate website. City if you are in a municipality, county if you are in the county, but whatever you do, don't call and ask. This will get you a lot of misinformation, and worse, it will draw attention to your chicken operation.

    People answering the telephone in government offices seldom know the law. They just repeat what they have been told, and not always accurately. Also, verbal information can easily be mis interpreted. Get it in writting off of a website.

    Rufus
     
  8. gachickeeper

    gachickeeper Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2008
    Middle GA
    Check www municode.com I found my cities ordinances there. [​IMG]
     
  9. Western Chick

    Western Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Western MN
    Quote:Grrr...I resent this statement but having worked in government for seven years now I realize it is all too true. Not all zoning authorities will have a website but if there are rules it should be written in an ordinance. Ask to see the exact wording from the ordinance. The biggest problem is that the rules are often vague and open to interpretation so find out how they're interpreting it and whether or not there is written policy on how it is to be interpreted. If there's no policy, your answer will depend on who you ask.

    Example- our county ordinance states "Conditional use permit required to keep livestock in a residential area."

    Which leads one to ask, "what is livestock?" The ordinance should have a definition of such things. After many people asking this question we came up with the policy that if you could reasonably keep it in your house it's a pet, otherwise it's livestock. So in my county- five chickens=pet, 100 chickens= livestock and of course there is a wide gray area.

    This is just one example of how people often get contradicting answers from government officials. Always ask to see how it's written and how it is being interpreted.
     
  10. balticbabe

    balticbabe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 3, 2008
    King County, WA
    The public library should also have a copy of the code. Some cities mention chickens under the Land Use Code, others cover chickens in the Animals section.

    I've been going through the codes in various cities in this area. Some are very straight forward. Others would take much more time than I'm willing to spend to determine what is prohibited. It took about two minutes to find the law in my town. I spent about an hour trying to find the code relating to chicken in Seattle and gave up. The newspaper says they are allowed but I can't find the code. Hopefully you have an easy to understand code.

    Some cities don't mention poultry at all, they only list what animals are prohibited. No pet bears or snakes over 8ft please. Others expressly allow or prohibit chickens. Good luck.
     

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