Meeting with Township Supervisors in Schuylkill County, PA

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Wellwupdo, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. Wellwupdo

    Wellwupdo New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2013
    Schuylkill County
    Good morning!

    My name is Scott and I reside in Pine Grove Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.


    I'm new to posting in the forum, but not new to learning a wealth of knowledge from it since I first started my flock several years ago.

    I have a small flock of seven hens. They live in a coop that is nicer and better maintained than most properties in my county.

    The area in which I live is Pine Grove Township, Pennsylvania. I was drawn to this area due to the beautiful country setting with State Game Lands, farms, fields, a lake, and mountains.

    The people are friendly; the neighboring town of Pine Grove is quaint.

    What I didn't know beforehand, and upon recently purchasing my second home in the township, is that chickens aren't permitted on less than three acres according to the Zoning Officer.

    Upon reading the zoning regulations, it sounds to me that the ordinances outline commercial farming by addressing being allowed to have 2.0 Animal Equivalent Units, which equals 1,000 pounds of animal weight, per acre so long as you have at least three acres.

    So, I researched, wrote, and submitted a three-page letter to the Township Supervisors outlining why I would hope they'd consider amending the current zoning ordinance to allow the chickens on less than three acres in addition to the benefits that arise from owning a small flock.

    I received a call informing me that I've been placed on the agenda to speak and address any concerns or questions the Supervisors might have. Also, I was able to enlist the support of the local Feed Mill owner whose business and livelihood would be negatively impacted if the current ordinance is enforced.

    Since the area has a longstanding agricultural history, including 4H and FFA participation by the youth in our school district, it is my hope those of us who enjoy being more self-sustainable but can't afford a farm will be afforded this opportunity through proactive change by our leaders.

    I'll update after the meeting. In the meantime, if there are any suggestions any of you may have, feel free to list them.
     
  2. Wellwupdo

    Wellwupdo New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2013
    Schuylkill County
    I addressed the Supervisors tonight about the peeps.

    To amend the current ordinance would cost too much money, however the Chairwoman told me to speak again to the Zoning Officer.

    The definition on "The Keeping of Pets" in the ordinance book states, "the keeping of domesticated animals of types that are normally considered to be kept by the residents of a dwelling for the pleasures of the resident family, These types of pets include, but are not necessarily limited to, dogs, cats, small birds, gerbils, rabbits and other animals commonly sold by pet shops, however, no more than five (5) dogs, cats, small birds, gerbils, rabbits and other animals commonly sold by pet shops may be kept upon any property, unless said property is a lawfully established "kennel" under the terms of this Ordinance."

    Chickens as pets would be small birds, right? Poultry is defined as birds raised for eggs and meat of which my peeps serve more of a purpose than just eggs and are definitely NOT being raised to be eaten.

    Thoughts? Maybe ask the neighbors if they'd mind and then just move them to the new house if I have their okay?
     
  3. littlefrogling

    littlefrogling New Egg

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    Aug 3, 2016
    Hello! I know this was years ago, but were you able to work things out with the zoning officer? My husband and I are visiting buying a house in Pine Grove, but being able to keep backyard chickens is a big "must have" for me. I've been researching, but it seems the ordinance hasn't changed. Any update would be appreciated!
     
  4. Wellwupdo

    Wellwupdo New Egg

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    Aug 7, 2013
    Schuylkill County
    Hi, littlefrogling. Sorry for my delayed reply. The ordnance hasn't changed, that I'm aware of, however I ended up bringing my flock and coop to my new house and haven't had any issues. Before I did so, I made sure that I had permission from my neigbhors along with offering them free eggs and assured them that if they had any issues or concerns to address them with me directly and I'd resolve it. I haven't had any problems and my neighbors enjoy seeing the chickens ranging in my fenced-in yard.

    If you're still looking for a house, I'll be selling mine. It's a raised ranch in one acre, 1/2 of which is beautifully fenced. Chicken coop will stay here.
     

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