If you're Unincorporated, which Ordinances do you follow?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by 6Happiness, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. 6Happiness

    6Happiness Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2010
    We're looking at houses and two we like are in an Unincorporated part of town. Where we currently live is also unincorporated, but our neighbours are mostly abandoned businesses; the nearest actual neighbour is so far away they don't care about the chickens, so legal or not, no one gives us any trouble. But when we move, we will have neighbours on two sides of approx 1/3rd acre plots so we'll need to be more careful about local laws.

    A while back I inquired at the city hall about some services they had advertised for persons with disabilities (eg: free snow plowing of driveway and sidewalks, which if you were able bodied and didn't do your sidewalks you could be fined). They told me that being unincorporated, they don't give us these advertised services, but we also wouldn't be fined if we didn't shovel the sidewalks; They told us that unincorporated areas only follow the county's codes, not the city/town's codes.

    So I would assume this works the same way with chickens, if they have restrictions for the incorporated part of town, that won't apply to us who are unincorporated; there's nothing against chickens in the county codes, so therefor we can have as many chickens as we want?.... or was the person I spoke to wrong? A friend suggests that they may be selective... claim the city's rules don't apply if it would cost the city money- claim they apply if they get to charge you fines- and hope no one thinks to question which action is legal and illegal.

    Anybody else in an unincorporated area have experience?
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    These things can vary so much from state to state and county to county that it would be difficult to give you good advice. Your best bet is to contact your county offices and first inquire about your zoning. In my case my land is zoned agricultural/rural residential so no one cares how many birds I have. A more suburban zoning might could be a problem. No way to know until you speak to your specific county officials.
  3. silkydragon

    silkydragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 1, 2009
    ohio valley
    i live outside of corperation limits and never checked laws becouse neighbors have always had alot of chickens and geese and my neighbors on oposite side have cows closer to my house then theres sounds to me like they will pick and choose the laws since they said you will get fined if you dont plow/shovel snow but dont offer free services if disabled
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Unincorporated means that you are NOT a part of the city. You do not pay taxes, and are not entitled to city services. Call your county to verify that the city has no jurisdiction whatsoever on your property, but I would be very surprised if it does.

    That said, it is very common for cities to annex property nearby, especially county islands. USUALLY, they will grandfather in existing land-uses and zoning, but sometimes they do not make the grandfathered provisions permanent. For example, the grandfathered provision may last while YOU own your property, but revert to current city code if title changes hands; or it you cease using a grandfathered provision, after a certain amount of time, that provision may cease to exist.
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    It sounds like you only need to follow the county ordinances.

    Here in Wisconsin, if you don't live in a city or village, then you are part of a township. The townships only provide rudimentary services such as road and sign maintenance and plowing though. That's about it. There are very few ordinances, if any at all, that would be different than what the county promulgates.
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas

    But also be sure about whether the area has any kind of home owners association. Usually they don't, but they can surprise you every once in a while.
  7. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    Got to know where you live. In Nebraska, you can live in an unincorporated part of the county, but be within the zoning jurisdiction of the city, up to four miles in places like Omaha, or one mile in most cases. In Nebraska in the extraterritorial jurisdiction, you do not pay city taxes, you aren't subject to most city ordinances, the county plows your road, but for zoning and related issues like nuisances you are in the city's jurisdiction.

    In other parts of the country, you could live in a township that is a general purpose local unit of government like in Michigan. As soon as you get outside of the city limits, the township takes over. Some townships are rural, but many are city like and it sounds like you are in an urban part of town. In this case the county is powerless unless given power by the township.

    In other states like Nebraska, some counties have townships, and some don't. In this case the townships are general purpose local units of government, but are there to take care of the roads. In this case the county has power to zone and regulate the townships.

    Nothing against the original poster, but schools concentrate too much on state and federal government in government classes. Most people only deal with the state and feds in cases like taxes, vehicles and such. Local government plays a much bigger role in the daily lives of people. If people become involved in government, in most cases, it is in local government as a planning commissioner, township officer, city council, etc. Most newly elected officials have no clue what the rules are and where the power comes from.
  8. 6Happiness

    6Happiness Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2010
    I admit I'm still confused, but i appreciate everyone's feedback. I'll re-read this later.
  9. Rozzie

    Rozzie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    In some areas you are also under township ordinances. Township doesn't necessarily mean city -- it refers to a portion of a county that can have its own separate laws regarding just about everything -- building codes, roads, animals, etc. In some places these are active with a lot of laws. In other places, less so.

    Depends on where you live.
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:And in other places, townships do not exist [​IMG] I never heard of them until the last year or so, and I am FAR from a spring chicken;) Basically, what it boils down to is, you need to ask a lot of questions, because it can vary quite a bit from one place to another.

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