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I would like to change our bylaws, what do you think is "Reasonable"?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by wyoDreamer, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi y'all! New to BYC and looking for some advice.

    BACKGROUND: I live in a subdivision with covenants that don't allow chickens. Specifically, we are allowed 2 horses and nothing else besides cats and dogs. An exception is made for 4H project animals. There are a couple of neighbors that would like to get chickens. We are not completely built out yet, there are still quite a few lots without houses, and so far everyone gets along really well.

    Our topography is high mountain desert, so we are all short grass prairie, rolling hills and not a tree in sight. There is nothing to block sight or sound of anyone one elses doings. At 7400 feet in elevation, sound actually carries pretty far, especially downwind.

    Some of the other restrictions we have are no shooting of firearms, only two outbuildings with size limits and architectural commitee approval, two years for construction (from ground breaking to finished building), no parking of "dead vehicles"/RVs/boats/trailers/etc within sight from the road, limits on home businesses (signs, no employees, no noise, not visible), and so forth. Nothing too strange like "an approved color" or required siding type like I have seen in some places.

    THE PROPOSAL: I would like to propose changing the covenants to allow up to 12 chickens and requiring a secure coop that located a minimum distance of 100 feet from the adjacent lot line. Possibly have a rule to allow roosters with the approval and signature of the adjacent landowners. The narrowest lot in our subdivision is 456 feet wide, so that distance requirement does not seem excessively restrictive to me. We do have a rule that fences must be 75 feet from the property line, at least I think that is the distance.

    I know you are all in support of chickens, or else you would not be here on this site. But, do you think this rule would be something that is reasonable? In the view of someone who wanted chickens for eggs, pets, or even a hobby?
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Fences must be 75' from the property line? that seems odd. I can certainly see building setbacks at 75' if the lots are at least 456' wide. You might want to specify that permanent coops must coordinate with the house (or use whatever language is used for horse housing). How large are the lots (acreage)? I'd suggest a requirement that the birds be contained on ones own property, and not allowed to wander at large. Personally I would not mention roosters until such time as anyone voices objection, then have your proposed suggestion as a fallback plan. I would use hte provisions allowing horses as a guideline for writing your proposal: what all to cover and how to address limitations (not that the same limitations for a 2-10 lb bird should compare with a 1200 lb horse).
     
  3. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our city's rules are No Roos period and then for hens you can have 4 on up to a 1/2 acre, up to 12 on 1/2 - 1 acre, and up to 25 on anything more than an acre. With the rule that pen must be 50' from any line... that's a snag... minimum your property would have to be 100' wide and 100' deep + the size of the coop, with the coop in the center in order to obey that bit. Since the vast majority of properties in our city aren't any bigger than ours... 48ish wide and 80ish deep it's pretty well impossible for the vast majority of homes to have chickens... technically we're illegal because of that... basically the law was written to purposely exclude most the population. Which is why when you call AC and ask they just say "You can have four"... even they don't bother to think about the border stuff... unless of course someone gripes. Then I imagine they would. There was no way we could obey that rule, even if we kept the birds in our home we'd still be in violation... so I just stuck to what AC told me, 4, and obeyed the building codes which say no permit is needed for a building under... is it 300sf... something like that... WAY more than the SF of our coop and run combined... and that no more than one of that type on the property... and 5' from fences...

    If I could write it myself I'd take out the 50' rule totally... maybe make it 10-20' from fence OR maybe from actual neighbor's house... but the limits are reasonable IMO. Given the size of our yard it would be very difficult to house many birds... I'd worry that in the limited space around here that people would cram too many birds in too little space. Limit it to 6 on the 1/2 or less, 12 on the 1/2-1, and 25 on 1st acre + up to 25 more per add'l acre with permission (make sure they have proper housing, waste disposal, feed storage, etc for that many birds)... and I'd put in rules about housing for ANY number... minimum coop and run space per bird (4/10) so that you'd know they're not being smushed... not having enough space causes problems, disease and attitude problems, but also makes it harder to keep clean too. That of course doesn't apply to AG zones, I'm talking city... where your neighbor's house is literally less than 10' from yours... in those type of snug conditions it's not just good fences that make good neighbors.
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Our zoning code used to specify the distance from the property line for a pen and also for a coop (farther), but someone (I swear, it wasn't me, but I definitely agree) pointed out to the city that existing nuisance ordinances would take care of any nuisance issues, and they recinded those portions of the zoning ordinance. All single family residential lots are allowed up to 5 hens (no roosters or peafowl. However, we also have an agricultural district residential zone that has no limits (and yes, we can have peafowl and roosters [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] )
     
  5. Me & My Peeps

    Me & My Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your asking what we think is "reasonable"? LOL Thats like asking an addict if methadone should be banned.....

    I think what your proposing is "reasonable"......considering the other covenants that are already in place and how their applied. Obviousely someone had horses that was on the ordenance committee, therefore - they are allowed.


    I agree with Sonoran Silkies ""I would use hte provisions allowing horses as a guideline for writing your proposal: what all to cover and how to address limitations (not that the same limitations for a 2-10 lb bird should compare with a 1200 lb horse).""

    Aim high, then bargain down from there. Start at 40 chickens, with 4 square feet per, then as the ignorant folks sound off, you can work your way down when a legitimate concern is raised. You may end up having 25-30, instead of 12. Always go into a negotiation, with something to give away that doesnt matter to you. That way you appear trying to be reasonable.

    ETA: Speeellang
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  6. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your responces .. and keep them coming.

    As for horses, we live in Wyoming and horses are kind of a gimmie. Everyone and their brother wants to have a horse out here "in the west". Not that the land is good horse pasture, the conservation district says 40 acres to support a horse. I don't believe that is enough. We only get 15 inches of rain per year. [​IMG]

    Without allowing for horses, the lots would not be selling.
    As for the fence offset, I support that one all the way. I have a friend in the area who's neighbor has the horse pasture fence on the property line. There is not a bloade of grass left inside the pasture fence. When the wind blows - which is alot - the horse apples roll under the fence and onto their property. Along the fence, about 50 feet into their property is covered in very good horse poo compost - probably almost 2 feet thick in places.
     
  7. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to revive this posting, just needed to vent. Here is the latest:

    REASONS NOT TO ALLOW CHICKENS:

    1. You want to allow 25 chickens! That is too many. My response: 24 is the minimum order from some of the hatcheries. Answer back: I see chicks in the stores, so they can buy only one or two, they don't have to order from a hatchery.

    2. Chickens Stink! My response: that is a maintenance issue. If someone had a dog in a kennel and never cleaned it, that would stink also.

    3. Chickens are Loud and make too much noise. NO ROOSTERS! Roosters crow all the time.

    4. Chickens carry diseases like salmonella. My response, almost stated out loud: well, don't steal my eggs and stay out of my chicken coop and you will not catch any diseases.

    5. Chickens will bring down the property values.

    6. Chickens will bring predators into the subdivision. My Response: we already have coyotes, foxes, weasels, eagles, hawks, and loose roaming dogs. Oh yeah, and the badger has a den inside the neighbors fenced dog yard.

    7. Chickens will cause a fly problem.

    8. I don't want anyone to shoot my dog for killing their chickens. My response: As a animal owner, you are responcible for keeping your dog at home.
     
  8. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry to revive this old thread, but I need to vent again.

    Was at book club last night and was discussing a chicken coop tour in the neighboring city with fellow neighbors. (Our where we live, 8 miles away is still considered a [​IMG] neighbor.)

    One of my friends wants to get chickens and she is trying to talk her husband into it. One of my HOA neighbors said this "well, she is in a different situation. They live on 150 acres." Suggesting of course that we have too little property for raising chickens. Our subdivision has lots from 8.5 acres to 12 acres!

    Also, she is more than willing to watch the neighbors chickens when they go on vacation, so she can get the fresh eggs.
     

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