Need help understanding town ordinance

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by snjchick, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. snjchick

    snjchick New Egg

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    Mar 30, 2012
    I have read through my town ordinance but I am not sure what I am reading.
    http://www.ecode360.com/MA0594

    I was told on the phone by zoning that I can't have livestock (chickens) unless I have at least 5 acres, but I can't seem to find that spelled out.

    If anyone out there with an understanding of these things could help me, I would greatly appreciate it.

    I live in a townhouse community and I am on a really small lot, about 0.06 acres in total including the house, but my backyard is about 40X24 and I think that would be big enough to have 3 hens. I could have them at the back of the yard which would be about 40ft from the neighbors house.

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    I am willing to take this to the township council if necessary. Just need to know what I need from them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Looking at the codes, I do see where they consider chickens livestock, but I can't seem to find a mention of having to have a certain amount of land for them to live one. I see where you have to have a 4 ft fence, and they can't run at large.....

    These things can be complicated. It's like, do they really want anyone to understand it? [​IMG]
     
  3. snjchick

    snjchick New Egg

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    I am betting that they are written in such a way that most of us don't understand them.

    That is what I have found as well. I found that they are considered livestock, but no mention of expected lot size.

    I have a 6ft fence and would keep them in a coop except under my supervision.
     
  4. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hm...call back and ask another person? It clearly states chickens are considered "livestock" and the only areas in the article that say "Livestock" are under "Livestock running at large" - the other areas are very specific for dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals but this clearly does not include chickens.
     
  5. snjchick

    snjchick New Egg

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    That was a the zoning officer that I spoke with. I checked with someone on the town council and they directed me to the zoning officer as well.
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    If it's not easy to find then call up your zoning officer and ask them to show you where this 5 acre rule is written. Ask again if it's due to your zone land use limitations or if it's a blanket policy for city, general provisions of land use. And which chapter of ordinances is that?

    Quickly looking at your ordinances I couldn't find a land use section. Though at a glance I could find there position on tattoo and body art.

    ETA Make sure to correct them when they use the term zoning officer, as I was trying to reference this found your township last year past an ordinance to disband the zoning office to replace with MLUB, Mantua Land Use Board, to which there are no longer officers rather members. It's pretty sad when you can find quickly that the town has a curfew on your children but doesn't make it easy to notify you how you can use your land.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  7. kenjofarms

    kenjofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my area it has to do with the residential or agricultural zoning of the property prior to a house ever being built. I would think you likely are simply are not zoned for anything other than residential. Therefore no livestock, no matter property size - you would have to be zoned agricultural. It is the same concept as a grocery store opening next door to an occupied house - it has to be re-zoned commercial. Don't give up, though, there may be special consideration and licensing available. Best of luck! Start a chicken "epidemic" [​IMG]
     

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