Interpretation Help...

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by c3pokah, May 14, 2009.

  1. c3pokah

    c3pokah New Egg

    May 14, 2009

    I need some interpretive help if you don't mind. My wife and I are in the process of scoping out/planning for our backyard flock, and first and foremost we wanted to check out the local ordinances. Here is what we found:

    Section 5.02 Keeping of Fowl

    A person commits an offense if he:

    A. Keeps or maintains more than four (4) fowl on one-half (1/2) acre or less or at a distance closer than fifty feet (50') from any habitation located on another's property; or

    B. Keeps or maintains more than ten (10) fowl on more than one-half (1/2) acre but less than one (1) acre at a distance closer than fifty feet (50') from any habitation located on another's property.

    C. Keeps or maintains twenty-five (25) fowl or more on one (1) acre or more at a distance closer than fifty feet (50’) from any habitation located on another’s property.

    D. Fails to keep any fowl of the Order Anseriformes from being at large; or

    E. Fails to keep any fowl of the Order Galliformes contained within a coop or pen.

    F. Keeps or maintains roosters except in an area zoned as agricultural.


    Ok, so my question stems from section A. How do you guys interpret this? There is that or (which I bolded) does it mean you can have less that 4 or less that 1/2 acre, or you could have more if the coop/pen is more than 50 feet from another's habitation? Or do you have to comply with both items in A?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Bwaaak!

    Bwaaak! Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 29, 2009
    Woodinville, WA

    Yes... it means upto a 1/2 acre.

    If your neighbor's house/garage etc. is more than 50 feet away from your property line you should be okay, as long as you follow the building code (if youre going to build like a barn) for your area. In my area outside of Seattle, no buildings are allowed within 25 feet of the front of the property line (where the driveway comes out of) and then its 10 feet on the remaining 3 sides). Although my mini barn is 6 feet from my property line.

    Of course, Ive hardly ever followed the code unless the building will be a permanent fixture. Many families around me have a small number of chickens so they are more tolerant.

    But getting back to your concern. You can have 4 chickens on a 1/2 acre or less as long as their henhouse/run is no closer than 50 feet from your neighbor's house, garage, etc. I think alot of chicken lovers squeeze in one or two more girls and neighbors dont complainl.

    I have chickens that run over to the neighbors house because... I dont know... they like their house or something. I found a really nice way of keeping the peace. I give them my homegrown eggs and I eat store bought eggs when the laying is sparse.

    Anyway, hope Ive helped. Others with more knowledge will be along to help you.

  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    1/2 acre or less allows up to 4 fowl

    1/2 to 1 acre allows up to 10 fowl

    1 or more acres allows up to 25 fowl

    Now you need the definition in your code for "habitation." Most zoning codes have a set of definitions at either the beginning or occasionally at the end. I believe it will certainly include the house, but whether or not it includes separate buildings such as a garage, unoccupied guest house, pool house, etc. is not obvious.

    Note that the distance is measured from their building, not your property line, to your coop/pen.

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