My Proposal that was accepted and eventually led to a new law allowing chickens.

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Chickenhappynh, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Chickenhappynh

    Chickenhappynh In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2011
    Hello, sorry taking so long to post my proposal. Please see my previous post.


    I used the Sticky blog here regarding 'Advice you get what you pay for' at the top of this forum. I found there was a lot of good advice and help in searching for information.

    I also found the paper titled Residential Urban Chicken Keeping; An Examination of 25 Cites also very helpful.

    I also used Oklahoma Cooperative Extension web site and my own state Cooperative Extension to help with information.

    Google news was very helpful in getting latest information on cities currently active in changing laws.

    And of course, others who posted their successful proposal have also helped.


    I attended all the zoning meetings on the issue and answered any concerns so to avoid postponing the amendment and to correct any misunderstanding regarding the subject. I tried to educate myself as well and when an issue came up I researched the issue and emailed the answer or solution. I also asked lots of questions myself regarding the process and voting to be sure to rally up support when needed.


    If you live in New England --Make sure you take the voting day off and be present with signs (big ones), so you can answer questions to any voters-- I did not, but luckily was able to picket for my cause during the busy times of the voting day.


    Town Zoning Board

    Dear Members of the Board,

    I respectfully request that the Board consider and find that a small number of hens, kept properly confined in their owner’s yard, be a variance in the current law governing livestock, and therefore be permitted to be kept in pens smaller and with less distance from neighbors homes than currently listed under the guidelines for other livestock.


    Across the country, urban and suburban areas are allowing small backyard flocks of hens. Major cities allowing hens include New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Baltimore. UNH- Cooperative Extension has recently released several articles and links to provide information for citizens interested in this hobby.

    Closer to home, Burlington, VT has joined many towns that allowed “Urban Chickens”. Concord also has a statement about keeping of chickens. I have included articles on this subject from papers across the country.


    Owners of hens prize them as any other pet. Some for their personality, others for their heritage and others for their colors and patterns. Hens, unlike roosters, are friendly, entertaining, and quiet.

    Hens are also part of some citizens’ wish to live a “greener” lifestyle. They readily eat table scraps (keeping them from ending up in landfills), are a natural insect control of lawns, and also provide eggs for the family they live with.

    Adult hens thrive in a pen that provides a 3-4 square foot dwelling with 10 square feet of run. The small unassuming pen is about the size of a large doghouse.

    I would like to allow my son, and other children of Bow, the experience of raising hens to demonstrate green living, showing them where their food originated, and the responsibility of caring for this extraordinary animal.

    I respectfully request a clarification for poultry livestock, to allow for small flock hens be kept in the yards of the citizens of Bow.


    I have put together guidelines based on other cities ordinances, and have included analysis of other city ordinances for the board to review.

    Small Flock Ordinance for Poultry​

    Minimum requirements for shelter based upon the UNH Cooperative extension as follows- no more than 6 hens to fall under guidelines of “small flock”
    No roosters shall be allowed due to proximity to neighbors and noise level in populated areas. This is to avoid public nuisance.
    Hens are to be confined so as to not be allowed to freely pasture. They must be protected from wildlife in fenced-in run.
    Pens and runs are to be kept clean so there is no perceptible odor at property lines.
    Feed for hens must be stored in an impermeable container to avoid attracting pests and natural predators of the hen.
    Pen must be no closer than 50ft from adjacent property lines.
    MiriPoe, julie42a and irmanator like this.
  2. ChickenPrnces

    ChickenPrnces Songster

    Jan 2, 2012
    Deerfield, NH
    Move to Deerfield! I have tons of chickens, some of which free-range, and noone can say a word! We are agriculturally zoned! YAY US!!!!!
    marierod likes this.
  3. BerlinNHChicken

    BerlinNHChicken Hatching

    May 7, 2013
    Thank you for this information. I am new here. Will be going to my first city council meeting on May 20. I feel more confidant after reading your research, the Process, the "Letter to the Zoning Board". Fantastic!
    Sincerely, Berlin, NH Residents for Backyard Chickens (Started May 7, 2013)
  4. ssmcbride27

    ssmcbride27 Hatching

    May 7, 2014
    Can I use your letter as a template for our zoning board in Huber Heights, OH?

  5. Accident

    Accident Hatching

    Apr 10, 2013
    Great letter. 50 feet would be the center of my house. Is that the usual distance cited in the cities that allow small flocks?
  6. 5Merrimans

    5Merrimans Hatching

    Mar 28, 2014
    did you have any luck in Huber Heights?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by