I Think I'm Getting the Run-Around

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by nonseq, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. nonseq

    nonseq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Background: Two years ago I was told by someone who has chickens in our city and who worked in local gov't that chickens were A-OK to keep. So I get some. This past May I find out that chickens are NOT OK to keep in the city. I received a letter telling me to get rid of them. I spoke to the Code Officer and he told me to talk to City Council. So I gave a presentation before the Safety Committee of Council. This was Jul 21. This past Friday afternoon I get a call from the Director of Code Enforcement and he tells me that he can't find any justification for keeping the chickens and he was sending me another letter. Then he tells me to go to the next City Council meeting Aug 17. Saturday morning I emailed City Council and the Mayor and cc'd several other city personnel to whom this matter would be pertinent. I wrote a very nice letter and invited them to see my set up and I informed them I would like to look into an ordinance change. Only one Council member emailed me back. He said he wanted to look at chickens this coming weekend and that he would propose an ordinance change in Safety Committee then that would have to go to council. He also said he forwarded my email to the other Safety Committee members because he wants my issue on the agenda.

    I emailed him back thanking him and telling him that the Code guy said to do something different than that, and what should I do? He hasn't replied. And I got my second letter directing me to remove chickens from my property by Aug 16. Although Code said I could ignore that b/c I am talking to Council.

    I am confused and frustrated and unsure of what to do next.
     
  2. Whitewater

    Whitewater Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2010
    Send a letter to your council member (or better yet, call or talk to him in person!) 'Yes, you can come over and thanks so much for your interest!' and set up a time for him or her to come see your setup and talk to you about the benefits of chickens. He probably wants some ammo when he goes to make the proposal.

    It's the first step, IMO! Congrats!

    Sometimes the wheels of government turn *very* slowly. This appears to be your first step, though.


    Whitewater
     
  3. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    It sounds like things may possibly go in your favor-----good luck, and let us know.[​IMG]
     
  4. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    I find it odd that the CEO told you to go to the next council meeting, on the 17th, then sent you a letter saying you had to get rid of the birds by the 16th. I find it hard to believe that animal control would come ant get your birds when they're overburdened by stray cats, and abused "pets" when you're taking care of your chickens properly. It's not like you're keeping an eagle in your garage. It's just a couple of chickens. Also, if the code says that you can ignore the letter while you are challenging/trying to change the code, then do just that.
     
  5. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2010
    That's the way they work it. That way when you go to the meeting they can say you are in violation of city laws or ordinances.

    I really hope you have a good visit with the one person who is willing to meet with you and check out your set-up. One person won't make a lot of difference but one person can be the beginning of a favorable change.
     
  6. nonseq

    nonseq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2009
    Central Ohio
    Danaus - I am in violation of an ordinance. We all acknowledge that. But so far they seem unwilling to just push me to get rid of the birds. I'm going to email the City Clerk this morning and ask her the proper procedure for ordinance change. My presentation is almost finished for Council meeting next Tuesday. I just need a table of contents and a few more folks to get back to me to plug up some holes. I have some neighbors and friends that said they will come with me to the meeting so I don't look like the lone dork.

    I am really regretting not buying that house in Lancaster rather than Pickerington right now. We moved to Pickerington b/c we thought it would be a good fit school-wise for my older kids. I think it was, but my four younger kids are homeschooled. So I am not really getting the whole "Picktown schools" thing.

    I really like my neighborhood and my neighbors and the activities available with Parks and Rec and the fact that everything is close, so I don't have to drive a lot.

    But right now a city that allows chickens would be so much easier on my nerves.

    If worse comes to worst...According to code, any animal that lives in the house is a "companion animal." I am planning on putting a mud room on the back of the house.......
     
  7. freelancer79d

    freelancer79d Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2010
    Lancaster, CA
  8. nonseq

    nonseq Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2009
    Central Ohio
    I have it. But I am trying to get info from Ohio State to have the local angle. I am waiting to hear back from their Ag Law, Poultry Science and Companion Animal people. I already talked to Ag and Nat Resources. I'm debating talking to ODA. Although I have been all over their site.
     
  9. spoggy

    spoggy d'Anver d'Nut

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    Aug 19, 2008
    Carlisle Township
    I had the opportunity to speak with on of the Lawyers at the Ohio Dept of Agriculture to get their opinion on just what the ORC meant by "poultry". It was told to me that the ODA thinks of poultry in terms of commercial enterprises, not backyard flocks. The gentleman I spoke with really thought that backyard operations, especially for show purposes, fell under more of a "pet" realm, and did not fit their interpretation of livestock. That being said, he would not commit anything to paper as he works for the state of Ohio and has to play the "cover your a**" game. It was nice to know that they regognize the distinction, even if our Cities and Townships do not. Good Luck!
     
  10. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2010
    I was just reading through some of the materials for the next board of zoning appeals in Franklin county. If you have ever been cited for any reason or had the police come to your place for any reason the staff recommends denial of your zoning application. I wish I had known about all that before I wasted $500 and 3 months trying to keep my flock. If that is your only violation ever you might have a decent chance. What I meant though was they could say you were notified of the violation but as of that morning you still had the birds even though you were ordered to remove them the day before. But they won't say it was just the day before, they will just say you have failed to comply with the order to remove. If there is any way you could send the birds on a vacation or keep them totally out of sight of the neighbor that complained that would be your best course of action until after your meeting. Normally Code enforcement officers are not permitted on private property but if a neighbor complains and allows them to come on their property to see yours (then your birds must not be visible from the property line) then they can go onto private property. That was how zoning found out about my birds, from accessing a neighboring property.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. I really hope this works out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010

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