Interpret this ordinance for me.....please!

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by mxjamie, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. mxjamie

    mxjamie New Egg

    Jan 18, 2014
    So.... posted below is the city ordinance governing keeping of certain animals. Help me decide if chickens are legal. Right now I have two hens, but am wanting to expand the flock and have a large coop. I don't want to wast my time and money doing so if the city ends up killing my idea.

    I will fight to change the ordinance if necessary, but wanted to get input from the knowledge base here of what you guys thought of this particular ordinance.

    Thanks guys!

    No person shall own or keep, suffer or permit certain domesticated or wild animals including swine, cattle, horses, mules or game birds within the city, except as may be permitted by the provisions of Ch. 155, Zoning, or as otherwise may be permitted by special permit issued by the city, or in conjunction with 4-H activities in conjunction with Randolph County Fair activities.
    (Ord. 07-07, passed 11-13-07)
  2. LewisFamily

    LewisFamily Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2013
    Hawkins, Texas
    What are the provisions of Ch. 155? That seems to be your only out. However, I would ask what they consider game birds. Cause most people do not consider a chicken a game bird.
  3. mxjamie

    mxjamie New Egg

    Jan 18, 2014
    Chapter 155 has to do with zoning ordinances...... which I obviously fall into a residential district. Chickens are definitely not a game bird. Game birds are hunted for sport according to any definition.

    My hope is that since the ordinance does not specifically prohibit chickens, then they are a go. The other side of the coin is that they intentionally left it open with the "certain domesticated animals" to basically include any animal they deem a "certain domesticated".

    Any other input on this..... was hoping for more than just one opinion.
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    They will likely say they are prohibited. I would ask each neighbor on either side of you and behind you if they mind because they are the ones that are going to complain to the city.if they are good with the chickens then I would go ahead and get a few more but NO roosters!! Make it clear to the neighbors you won't be having roosters. If the neighbors are OK with it and NO one else can see your flock it's likely that you won't get complaints to the city.if the neighbors aren't OK with it then DON do it because they will surely turn you in. If others can see your birds from the street ect. Don't do it because they will likely turn you in. If you bring it to the city's attention by trying to change the ordinance you run a risk of loosing your birds.but it might be possible if the neighbors don't disprove to fly under the radar so to speak and keep the hens without issue. If you have questions just call the city anonymously and ask if they are legal. I seriously doubt it by reading the ordnance but it won't hurt to call. If yes and you still want your hens talk to each neighbor and make certain no passer by can see the birds. Your neighbors would be the ones who turn you in so see how they feel about it FIRST.
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    At the beginning of section 91 there should be a "Definitions" defining those certian animals. But it sounds to me like they are prohibited unless you get a special permit issued by the city or are in 4-H.
  6. mychicksputout

    mychicksputout New Egg

    Jan 19, 2014
    Go for it! Stick it to the man!
  7. mxjamie

    mxjamie New Egg

    Jan 18, 2014
    Thanks guys.... I am already "sticking it to the man" a little... .with my current 2 hens. Neighbors are cool.... I've lived in this home for almost 8 years... so I'm not the new weird chicken guy or anything, lol.

    I would never think about a rooster, even though they are soooo cool. Also in the definitions no mention of game birds or defining any animals except for feral cats and dangerous dogs.

    My kids are in 4H.... so that very well may be a loophole if necessary.

    Again, thanks!
  8. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    There are lots of activities to which neighbors might turn a blind eye, or even approve, but which are not legally allowed. If your neighbors approve of your chickens, that's cool. Like realsis wrote, keep in mind that while a complaint from a neighbor is the fastest way to garner scrutiny from the municipality, it isn't the only way.

    If you want a truly definitive and final answer, there is much work to do. First, look at your insurance policy. Beyond this, it sounds like you have looked into building ordinances to determine if there are setback and any structural requirements for a coop. I'd also suggest taking a very close look at the health and safety ordinances that apply to your location. Once you've done that, cast the net wider and consult county and statewide codes. Contradictions will arise, and the best person to advise you would be someone who is trained in law.

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