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NASHVILLE, TN / METRO DAVIDSON COUNTY POULTRY ORDINANCES

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Jenski, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    For those interested, below is a direct quote sent to me by the Metro Nashville, TN Planning Director when I inquired about keeping poultry. Hope it helps others!

    The short version: It is allowed, subject to same nuisance laws as other noises/domestic animals.

    ***********************************************

    The Metro Code has several regulations that relate to the keeping of fowl. Here's what I've been able to find. If you want to look further, go to http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=14214&sid=42 and search by various keywords to see what you can learn.

    Title 17 of the City Code is the Zoning Ordinance. Section 17.08.12 includes the zoning district land use table. It says that agricultural activity is permitted as the principal use in the two agriculatural zoning districts (AG and AR2a) and permitted as an accessory use (presumably accessory to a residence) in the zoning districts that allow single family homes and duplex homes. "Agricultural activity" is defined in the zoning ordinance as follows:

    "Agricultural activity" means the raising of animal, fowl, fish and agricultural or horticultural crops, including but not limited to soybeans, tobacco, timber, orchard fruits, vegetables, flowers and/or ornamental plants for commercial purposes.

    Our local government is a consolidated city-county government (called a metropolitan or metro government). There is an urban services district (the old city limits before consolidation in 1963) and a general services district (the old county jurisdiction before consolidation in 1963). There are no differences in the zoning ordinance between what's allowed in the urban services district and what's allowed in the general services district.

    Title 8, Animal Control Regulations, has the following sections that are relevant to your questions:

    8.12.010 Keeping of animals that disturb the peace.
    A. It is unlawful for any person to keep any animal, dog, bird or fowl which, by causing frequent or loud continued noise, disturbs the comfort or repose of any person in the vicinity.
    B. Violation of this section shall be declared to be public nuisance which violation may be enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction.

    8.12.020 Keeping of chickens.
    No person shall keep chickens within the metropolitan government area in such a manner that a nuisance is created.

    8.20.060 Fowl at large prohibited--Impoundment.
    A. It is unlawful for the owner or the person in charge of any chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys or other domestic fowl. to permit them to run at large in any street, alley, public square, public place or unenclosed lot within the urban services district.
    B. The department of health shall cause any fowl so running at large to be taken up and put in the metropolitan pound. It shall be the duty of the department of health and poundmaster and their assistants to take up such fowl and transport the same to the pound.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also from her e-mail - - -

    Based on the above references, here's how I'd answer your questions:

    * whether backyard poultry (non-commercial) are permitted within the city limits of Nashville; YES.
    * if so, are they only permitted in certain zones (I am interested to know whether non-commercial poultry structures are allowed in single-home subdivisions); YES, as an accessory (like a backyard use) in single-home subdivisions.
    * are there any other restrictions placed on the number and type of backyard poultry? Not on the number and type of backyard poultry, but clear restrictions on the behavior of said chickens :) Are they noisy or a nuisance to neighbors? If so, the owner of the chickens can be cited for a code violation, fined, and ultimately taken to court.
    * do the same zoning regulations apply within the city limits as in the remainder of Davidson County? YES, same zoning regulations apply, but section 8.20.060 A. of the Animal Control Regulations says you can't let chickens run loose in the urban services district but presumably you can let them run loose in the general services district (in theory, the old county jurisdiction before consolidation).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009
  2. musicmama

    musicmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2009
    So, I saw this in my search to find out the legality of keeping chickens.
    I thought I had research the codes well, so we went ahead and got a few baby chicks. Then someone mentioned it wasn't legal.
    I called the codes office and they said NO chickens on property of less than 5 miles. and NO chickens in Urban Services.

    [​IMG]

    Don't know what to do other than bribe my neighbors with fresh eggs.
     
  3. musicmama

    musicmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2009
    Whoops. Meant no chickens on property of less than 5 acres.

    I'm so bummed. I hope I don't get super attached to these things only to have them taken away.
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I think they need to define nuisance, like all other areas that have similar laws. Maybe more than three people complaining ? Because I hate that one lousy neighbor can dictate that another cannot have chickens for some asinine reason, even though it's lega....like those city folk that move to the country then decide they don't like cows mooing or roosters crowing. [​IMG]
     
  5. theburtschickens

    theburtschickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2009
    Hey all,
    I'm new to this forum, but also live in Nashville. I have chickens (7) within city limits. From what I understand, what someone was telling you about not having chickens in city limits with less than 5 acres is a bill that is currently proposed. The public hearing and vote on this are tomorrow (Thursday, the 27th).

    Here's a link to the newspaper article, which includes a link to both proposed bills. One proposes that they are legal, but still with very strict space requirements and lot sizes and such...it's not a good bill, but it's certainly better than the one that makes them outright illegal in city limits.

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090804/NEWS01/908040334/-1/RSS05

    If anyone is able to go out to the public hearing, I believe anyone is allowed 2 minutes to speak their mind. I certainly hope Nashville fights this and it doesn't pass. I can't make it, so I've done all I can in sending out an email to all the council persons begging to not pass this bill. You can go to nashville's website below and send a similar letter, I included my sample one below. Good luck tomorrow, Nashville!!! (fingers crossed)

    http://nashville.gov/council/feedback.aspx

    Dear Councilperson,

    My wife and I are extremely concerned about the bill that would make it illegal to raise "farm" animals in the city. We have been learning of the problems with our nation's food system over the last few years, and believe it to be a vital right for any citizen to be able to produce some of their own food. This food could be from a vegetable garden, a few egg-laying chickens or even a milk goat. Citizens such as these who are passionate about good food and are actively involved in growing and producing food for themselves (and usually their neighbors) are leading examples of a sustainable world. (There was an article in Time magazine about this recently, showing the popularity of backyard animals country wide)

    In contrast, there is the system which replaces the farmer with the corporation, and replaces the field with chemically produced "nutrients" which are polluting our land and water. It is a system which is producing vast amounts of food, but without regard of the health of the earth or her inhabitants. One example of this travesty is chicken farming. A corporation may take-over a small farm in rural Kentucky, pay a farmer only six cents per chicken he raises ($18,000/yr!), pump the chickens so full of growth hormones that their legs can't support their own weight, then use numerous natural resources to ship those chickens across the country for consumption. The cost of the food is cheap, but only because the farmers (and the land) are paying the price. I believe that one who uses a small backyard area to produce their family's eggs is a shining light in our society, an example of American freedom and industrialism.

    Secondly, anyone who has eaten fresh eggs can immediately recognize the difference in quality. The taste of fresh eggs is astonishingly better than store bought eggs made from the system above.

    Lastly, chickens and goats, if well kept, are quiet, safe, and clean. If a chicken, a goat, a St. Bernard, a Pit Bull, or any animal is a nuisance, I understand that there is a law already in place for that. The animals that this bill is trying to outlaw need not be more of a nuisance than any other animal.

    I would beg you to support the bill that would allow Nashville's citizens to have animals in the city, even if restrictions need to be made about the male counterparts such as roosters and bucks. One of my patients is a retired individual in Belle Meade, has ten chickens in his backyard coop which produce all the eggs his family can eat, and none of his neighbors would even know if he didn't give them fresh eggs occasionally. In my opinion, it would be a sad commentary on our city if we began calling this illegal.

    Sincerely,
    Daniel Burt
     
  6. CESOrtega

    CESOrtega Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2009
    Did you guys hear they passed the bill which would allow people to have chickens in Davidson county?

    We're in Rutherford County so I'm not sure what the laws are for us. We live in the county and have lots of livestock around us...ostriches, goats, horses across the road, horses down the road. We just have one hen now after losing our other one last week, but we hope to get another one or two soon. We just don't keep roosters for fear they will be a nuisance.

    But, they can't be worse than the neighbors barking dogs at all hours of the night.
     
  7. theburtschickens

    theburtschickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2009
    Yep, isn't that great!?! My wife was able to go in defense of our little ones, and she said that overall it was a very positive hearing (only one old dude was against urban chickens) and that all the council persons were for chickens. Unfortunately this ordinance so far would make goats and other things illegal, but it's much better than outlawing everything. It would also be pretty restrictive on the size of lot you have to have to actually keep chickens, or how many you could keep. So all you TN peeps stay on your councilpersons to try and get them to allow more chickens per currently suggested.

    Peace to the chickens,
    theburtschickens
     
  8. WagonBrooder

    WagonBrooder Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2009
    Nashville
    Yeah! The chickens win! The roosters however, still lose. I have 3 if anyone wants one [​IMG]
     
  9. theburtschickens

    theburtschickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2009
    Bad news, as I'm sure most of you Nashvillians are aware of...the chicken bill didn't pass. So, now my 10 chickens (I upgraded) are now illegal. It makes me sick. We have to wait either 6 months or a year before we can reintroduce a similar bill...so what should we do in the meantime? People have suggested everything from news stories to public education...
     
  10. WagonBrooder

    WagonBrooder Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2009
    Nashville
    Ugh. chickens lose. I'm bummed. This bill passed the 1st reading then failed on the 2nd. I think it has one more final reading and it is not expected to pass.
     

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