Looking the other way?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by 00BlasterResto, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. 00BlasterResto

    00BlasterResto Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    So I am "less than legal", I live in city limits and I am not ignorant of the laws.
    I live on over an acre, on the edge of the city. My neighbors all have 1+ acres and I know them pretty well.
    My Mother is on one side of me, I grew up there and I know her neighbors and their neighbor "muscle car guy". On the other side of me is a couple that also have chickens, they are freinds of ours and we help eachother out alot. There is no house past them, They have owned chickens for 11 years and I have for 2 years.
    Behind us in an elderly gentleman that I drink and shoot the breeze with sometimes, he enjoys the chickens and I give him eggs when I see him. I don't know the other guy behind me, but have been told he has no problems and he probably has the best veiw of them.
    So basicly I believe that I am 100% with my neighbors. I did ask the neighbors who already had chickens if they would have an issue with me haveing them before I got them, I did not want to draw attention to them. They said to go for it, they recently bought a property nearby that is in the county for garden/more chickens etc. They said that they don't think I will have an issue and even if I do no problem.
    I have 9 birds and I am not sure how many they have next door, but we will say more than I have. (They also have a large flock at their property and were happy to take my rooster I got on accident out there. [​IMG] )
    I have considered talking to city council Etc. about the subject and support a local group of people in my city who are trying to get the ordinance banning them changed. The issue I have is that I have not had any problems, and I don't want any. I don't want to go drawing attention to myself, and the group is only pushing for 4 birds. [​IMG] The city has been less than reasonable about it to them, and say they think that chickens are farm animals and that there is not enouph support to change the law. I did have the police over a couple of times because of a theft problem and they are wise to what I got. I also had a city council member come to my house trying to get votes, pretty sure he knows whats up, but still no issues.
    Just wondering what you guys think about this? Say something now and risk attention, or stay quiet as long as possible and battle them when the time comes.
    I would cause a scene if they did harass me.
  2. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    I understand your dillema. Do you start something and risk loosing everything, or do you try to change the rules and become legal?

    In your situation, I would probably try to stay under the radar.

    Do you have a local feed store that sells chicks in the spring? Maybe start there and do an opinion poll and see if there is any interest in your town to change the rules. It could be done anonymously, just to get a clue if there was support for change or if "under the radar" is really your only options.

    The lots in our subdivision range from just under 9 acres to just over 12, and I have been talking about changing covenants to allow chickens. Some of the landowners are talking about setting a limit at 4 with no roosters allowed. Are you kidding me? [​IMG]
  3. 00BlasterResto

    00BlasterResto Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    We just recently got a TSC right up the road from me, however I live on the edge of town. I would guess that 90% of the people who go there live in the county. I have never really seen any chickens in the area other than my neighbor, I really think people are uneducated about them. Every one who sees my coop is like , "wow I remember some big chicken coop from when I was young and it was a total mess" blah blah blah.....
    The other thing is I am a 24 year old gear head, I don't know if I best represent the chicken community. The city council is like 60+ and I just want to tell them, I am the future- and this is the future get with the times! My background is in construction and auto repair, the economy sucks and I feed my family with these pets....
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  4. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    maybe you could try talking to some friends who don't live right next door to you, and see if some of them might be willing to take up the cause without mentioning you specifically. [​IMG]
  5. 00BlasterResto

    00BlasterResto Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    I have considered doing that and am still thinking about it. Big issue is I don't have alot of freinds in the city since I went to school in the county. most people I know who live in the city are family freinds, I mostly worry about them going in uneducated and not haveing awnsers when asked. I don't know if I know anyone in town that I could ask to "take up the cause".
    One stupid thing is, I live just inside the city limits. I live like 2 houses from the county, my street is anexed into the county school system or some crap so I have to pay city and county taxes of some kind. So basicly I live in city but went to school on the other side of the county..... [​IMG]
  6. avidhomestead

    avidhomestead Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2011
    Brevard County, FL
    I am an advocate for changing the laws - we should not be 'illegal' simply because we want to raise chickens to help us get by.

    However, I think you should not waive the flag in this case since you are pretty much acting alone at the moment and everyone else seems content to look the other way. I don't see a favorable outcome for you by in this situation.

    If you want to actively work it but stay under the radar start doing the research on how to change things in your community. Talk to the zoning department about the process to change code - if they start asking why, and they will, tell them you are doing a research paper on local government.

    Start gathering information to support having chickens and attend some of the local board meetings to see how it's done. In other words, prepare for it. With the popularity of urban farming and back yard chickens you will likely have an opportunity to put the information to good use.

    In the worst case, your out some time but you're prepared to start the process to change the laws/code if you, or someone your know, get cited instead of scrambling to figure out what to do in less than 30 days or whatever time they give you to comply.

    Tip, while doing this 'research' discuss all the alternatives to a pretend citation (not necessarily for backyard chickens) and figure out how to use the system to buy yourself time. In our case we knew that the clock didn't start ticking until we signed for the certified letter delivering the citation so we waited until the day before the Post Office would have returned it to sign for it - bought us an extra 10 days on top of the 21 we had to come into compliance. I also found out I could apply for a variance to put the Code Enforcement action on hold and if I applied after the 7th of the month then I would not hit the schedule until the end of the following month instead of the current month. I would have had to put some money up to do this but if I canceled the application before the public hearing I would have the money refunded. We ended up finding a loophole that gave us 6 months to try to change code so I didn't need to go that route. That is specific to us - you will need to learn this stuff about your local government and their processes.

    Good cluck!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  7. Frithest

    Frithest Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2011
    I'm in Seattle where up to 8 hens, (no roosters), and a couple of milking goats per lot are legal. This was not the case a couple of years ago. I believe that it was really the support of one Council member who helped make it possible for us to raise small livestock in the city. His name is Richard Conlin. A neighbor named her first buck after him in honor of his good deeds. I would contact someone on the council (or have someone savvy do it) and feel them out for support. Get your facts ready so you don't take too much of their time in making your appeal. Good luck!

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