Interpretation of code book language. Lansdowne, PA

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by MikePa, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. MikePa

    MikePa In the Brooder

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    We don't have any mention of restrictions on chickens in our town of Lansdowne, PA except for the following,

    "It is hereby declared to be a common nuisance in said Borough, abatable and punishable as such:
    ...For any person being the owner or having the possession or control of any goose, duck, chicken or other domestic fowl to permit the same to be or run at large within the Borough limits."

    My interpretation: keep your flock on your property

    Borough's interpretation: chickens are illegal in the borough

    Is there a way to fight their interpretation? Do pro-bono chicken lawyers exist?
     
  2. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    I think "to be" will wreck any chance you have at arguing your case. They seem to have laid it out pretty clear. Sorry.
     
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  3. MikePa

    MikePa In the Brooder

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    Damn it, I think you're correct.
     
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  4. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner Professional Chicken Tender

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    To me it reads as
    "to permit the same to be or run at large"
    Meaning to be at large or run at large not that you can't have them if they're contained.
    IDK but if they've told you they aren't allowed at all then that's pretty much how they see it and not much you can do about it.
     
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  5. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    I read it as "to be (or run at large) within the Borough limits."
     
  6. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner Professional Chicken Tender

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    It could go either way. I've found that's usually how codes are written. Its usually a flat out NO or written to interpretation so they can twist it however they see fit.
    Now I'm wondering if it was meant to say "to be" as in not allowed to be there period what's the need to then say or running at large? If it isn't to be it isn't to be.
    Maybe so someone in possession can just set them lose and say those aren't mine they must just be passing through.
    IDK I'm still looking at it as to be at large.
     
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  7. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    Yes, that's what I thought it meant. You raise good points, though. Maybe the OP could keep quail in his basement and then argue that they are pets, and not running at large?
     
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    I read it as:
    "It is hereby declared to be punishable For any person having the possession of any domestic fowl to be within the Borough limits."
     
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Songster

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    Sounds like "not in the Borough". Always though the Borough/township laws in PA were weird. Can't fight City Hall unfortunately. Ask if you can have pigs instead. Tell them it's either pigs ... or chickens. :)
     
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  10. MikePa

    MikePa In the Brooder

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    Pigs are also not allowed. The wording is a lot more clear

    "For any person to maintain any slaughterhouse or to keep hogs or pigs within the Borough limits."

    The borough is looking to pass an ordinance in June that will allow up to four hens if you pay for a license. They gave one citation out so far but are letting the owners keep their chickens until the ordinance either passes or gets struck down. I haven't gotten in trouble yet, I have 6 hens so I would have to downsize. Code enforcement here is pretty understaffed so I'm just going to try to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.
     
    Kris5902 likes this.

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