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Interest in changing Chesapeake, VA chicken keeping code

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by bstrange, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. bstrange

    bstrange New Egg

    Apr 19, 2011
    Hello fellow BYC'ers,

    I am new to the forum and chicken keeping. I've read and read and read and have talked to the kind folks at Southern States near my house and want to keep chickens in my backyard. My family eats 24 eggs or so a week and I have access to pallets for a coop and my yard is large enough for the birds to free range while my wife and daughters are home to watch them. My neighbors told me they don't care what animals I put in my backyard. Chesapeake on the other hand does care. The code as written states that only 4 hens can be kept on a residential lot given that the lot is 3 acres or more. I don't have three acres. That seems kinda large lot for only 4 hens [​IMG]. The extension agent said that the only time inspections occur if is there are complaints so no complaints=no inspections. Not wanting to be illegal for various reasons (example to my kids, ruining the party for those following me, testimony to my neighbors, etc.) I am planning on asking the city council to either amend the code or give me special permission. A zoning variance costs 250.00 which I can't pay right now.

    Point of this excessively long post: Are there any other residents of Chesapeake, VA who would be willing to either meet at the next city council meeting and speak about this or sign a petition that I can deliver to the city council? I think the next meeting is late May and per the city website any citizen can sign up to speak and get at least five minutes and no less than three on any topic.

    Next point: Are there any members who have been successful in either of the above endeavors and give me hints or tips on what they did or a copy of their city codes on chickens so I can have that ace up sleeve when speaking to the council? Thanks in advance!

    Thanks ya'll. I appreciate any help.

  2. emonroe

    emonroe New Egg

    May 2, 2011
    I am just getting into the starting process of considering raising chickens, and by the sounds of it...not going to be able to do so! [​IMG] I am interested in helping you, but since I am just new at everything, I am not sure I would be much help speaking, etc. However, I would sign a petition.

    Keep updating as you find out more information!


  3. BuffsareBad

    BuffsareBad Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2011
    Hello from Suffolk!

    Good luck if you try the Zoning Exception. If you are friends with your neighbors and they would support you with a visit or by letter to the council you may have a chance if you ending paying the fee. Also I would suggest that if you neighbors don’t care you may never have a problem. Of course I would be very careful with noise or stinky coops. I hope it works out for you.
  4. prvrbs31gal

    prvrbs31gal Out Of The Brooder

    May 3, 2011
    We're moving to Chesapeake next month. I'd read somewhere that they allow 4 hens, but didn't realize it had to be on 3 acres. Not happy about that. Once I'm an actual property owner, I might be interested in hopping on board.
  5. HRchick

    HRchick New Egg

    May 5, 2011
    Hi, I'm in Virginia Beach, but I'm considering buying property in Chesapeake in the next year or so. I will be watching your fight with interest. Good grief, 3 acres is a lot for only 4 hens!
  6. Mamma_Duck04

    Mamma_Duck04 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Crazyville, VA
    I'm a nearby neighbor of yours (Norfolk), but have friends in Chesapeake, who would sign a petition btw. I do caution you about what SS was saying. They were talking about Norfolk changing ordinances soon & hoping VaBch & Ches would change them similarly- but unfortunately, they're not actually changing their ordinances, only aligning old City ordinance with newer Health Dept. regulations. This doesn't make it much better since the HD states, if you call with questions, you can't possibly get a permit, so they must only say that on paper [​IMG] very irritating.

    There was a story run about Five Points Farmers Market getting some chickens & hoping to round up support to force change (tho they're on industrial zoned & that's 'OK'), I would suggest calling them & finding out if anyone in Ches. is trying to fight the City on this- I need to also about this Health Dept. issue in Norfolk.

    But we do have an extension office here by us, so I guess I should reach out to them too & see what info they have.

    It's just so frustrating! I would be interested in following your journey in Ches though!! (Could you give me more info about this 'zoning variance' you speak of???)
  7. prvrbs31gal

    prvrbs31gal Out Of The Brooder

    May 3, 2011
  8. Franklinnt1

    Franklinnt1 New Egg

    Sep 10, 2011
    I am also in Chesapeake and have been looking into having chickens. I would be willing to sign a petition if it would help! My neighbors dont care if I have chickens, but i would like to be following the law while doing so as well [​IMG]
  9. real_redhead

    real_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    Roanoke, VA
    I live in Roanoke, VA (in the city) and we can have up to 10 chickens (no roosters) and my lot is 50 by 100 and I have 5 chickens and there is no problem. They have enough room to roam when I get home from work and it is wonderful. It's so funny to think that just 30 years ago most people kept chickens in the city and COUNTRY for eggs and meat. But now it is not acceptable, but of course you can have a dog that is left out all day and night barking and causing a disturbance and it is ok. Doesn't make much sense to me. Good luck!!
  10. chesapeakemike

    chesapeakemike New Egg

    Feb 9, 2012
    I live in Chesapeake also and would like to have chickens, is there a way I can help?

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