Need some help in taking backyard chickens to the County Commisioners

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by BonnieGC, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. BonnieGC

    BonnieGC New Egg

    Apr 18, 2011
    I live in Unincorporated Hillsborough County Florida and we aren't allowed to have chickens AT ALL if we are zoned residential

    Unfortunately using the argument of having chickens as Pets doesn't work due to the wording of the ordinance.

    Animal: A living organism other than plants, bacterium or humans. As used in this Code, animals are further defined/classified as follows:

    Exotic Animal: All animals which are not farm animals or household animals as defined by this Code.

    Farm Animal: Animals commonly associated with farm use including but not limited to domestic hoofed mammals and domestic fowl.

    Domestic Fowl: Birds commonly raised for consumption, egg production or personal enjoyment which include but are not limited to chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese. Domestic fowl shall not include ostriches, emus and similar birds.

    Domestic Hoofed Mammal: Cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, etc.

    Household Animal: Animals which are customarily kept for personal use or enjoyment that are not exhibited to the public nor raised for commercial purposes. Household animals shall include domestic dogs, domestic cats, white mice, domestic rabbits, birds, fish, and other similar pets. However, in no case shall household animals include farm animals or exotic animals as defined by this Code.

    Oddly enough I can have Emus and Ostriches if I just send in a request to have an exotic animal (which from what I understand carries no cost and pretty much gets granted to any who ask).

    Backyard Bee Keeping is now allowed but not raising chickens??

    The city of Ybor and the city of Tampa allow chickens but not the County?

    It all seems rather ridiculous to me.

    I want to take my fight to the Commissioners to get the Ordinances changed and allow for backyard chickens in residential zoning without some of the crazy limitations they tend to put on it (i.e the coop must be 150 feet from the property line).

    I'd like to even be able to keep my pet roosters who are no more annoying than the barking neighborhood dogs.

    I need help from others in Hillsborough County who support backyard chickens.

    If there's anyone out there who's already started the fight for Backyard chickens (or won it) I could really use the information on how and what you did!

    Unfortunately as a new mom I really just don't have the time to devote to researching etc that I would like so if there are others out there who can help it would be VERY Appreciated!

    My fuzzy flock doesn't want to have to find a new home..

  2. avidhomestead

    avidhomestead Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2011
    Brevard County, FL
    We're fighting for the same thing on the east coast in Brevard County.

    I've set up an online petition form for us on our website and will do the same for you if you wish, just shoot me an email through my profile. We've only just begun so maybe we can work through this together.
  3. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    Our county commissioners refuse to even discuss the issue with pro-chicken lobby groups around here. It is a large county and apparently there are more pressing issues in their opinion. On the positive side, they apparently are also too busy to crack down on most backyard chicken owners.

    We've gotten no where trying to make the backyard flocks legal. Good luck with your fight.
  4. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    What about a lawsuit, the violation of your civil rights to have what you want on your own property? You name each Commissioner in the suit and they would ahve to come to court and take the time. If you can get two or more you have a class action. You might also start a petition to place an ordinace on a ballot. Put it on a state wide ballot and side step them all.
  5. BonnieGC

    BonnieGC New Egg

    Apr 18, 2011
    I have recently created an Online Petition and hope to be able to find out more on how to take my proposal to the County Commissioners.

    I e-mailed all the Commissioners regarding wanting to petition for Backyard chickens and was given a form to fill out that requires me to make a payment? I e-mailed back asking what fee would apply but have never received a response.

    I wouldn't imagine there would be a fee associated with petitioning the County Commissioners but since I've never done anything like this I really don't know.

    If anyone else out there has experience with this kind of thing please feel free to contact me. Any help would be much appreciated.

    Here's the link to the petition.

    Thank you to Lisa McBride of Pinellas County for giving me permission to use the wonderful petition that she wrote up for use in her county!
  6. SgtMule

    SgtMule Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 6, 2011
    Not sure how to help you out but I can say that it doesn't seem right though. [​IMG]
  7. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    Hi Bonnie. I am also in unincorporated Hillsborough County. There should not be a fee to request a hearing. Have you checked your zoning? Many areas included agriculture or added an agriculture overlay in their residential areas. Have you double checked yours? PM me if you like.

  8. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    Quote:Waste of time and money. Euclid vs. Ohio Supreme Court ruling validated zoning. What you are talking about is a "taking" case. An accessory use like owning livestock is going to fly in the courts because of the health, safety and welfare clauses embedded in zoning authorization legislation.

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