Panama City/Bay County, Confusing Laws

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Falconfree, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Falconfree

    Falconfree Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 20, 2013
    Panama City, Fl
    Hello all. I found a few threads about PC laws in the archives, but I'm still awfully confused. My husband and I are house-hunting in Bay County right now, and don't want to buy a place that won't allow us to have a few chickens (and preferably hogs, but that is more flexible). We don't want roos, and we don't want anything commercial, just some hens for eggs and occasional eating. My hubby and I are both natives to PC, but we've lived in Tallahassee since we got married 6 years ago. It is ridiculous that Tallahassee, a larger, much more urban city, has better chicken laws than PC, which is much more rural. For what it's worth, my husband works on the beach, so we really need to be within about half an hour or so of Hathaway Bridge or his commute will be untenable.

    Looking at the laws, it is like all of the little sub-cities in Bay County (Lynn Haven, Parker, Callaway, etc.) go out of their way to make this confusing. :/ If anyone has more knowledge of these, please let me know!
    Here is what I have found so far:



    Bay County (which covers "the unincorporated areas of Bay County, Callaway, Parker, Panama City, and Springfield"):

    "Are pigs, horses, and other livestock allowed in the county?
    Yes, as long as they are being properly cared for."
    http://www.bay.fl.us/animal-control/ac-faqs.php
    Nothing chicken specific, but that's good enough for me. So unincorporated areas of Bay County are chicken and livestock friendly.



    Callaway:
    Code Enforcement won't be in until Monday, will call him then.
    Municode says,
    “(a) The term "livestock" as used in this section shall mean cattle, hogs, goats, horses, mules, sheep and other domesticated barnyard animals. The term "fowl" as used in this section shall mean chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, and other domesticated barnyard fowl.
    (b) No person shall keep any livestock within the city limits except that a permit may be issued for a zoological park, stable, kennel, circus or other performing animal exhibition with the approval of the city clerk or his designee.
    (c) It shall be unlawful to keep any fowl within the city limits without first obtaining the written permission of the owners or occupants of all property abutting the premises on which such fowl are to be kept and without further obtaining the written permission of the city clerk or his designee.
    (d) Any livestock or fowl kept within the city limits without the permission or permit required by subsection (b) or (c) shall be subject to impoundment.
    (e) In the event that anyone shall procure permission to keep fowl within the city limits or shall otherwise obtain a permit for the keeping of other animals, such fowl or animals shall be kept in a pen, yard or place which shall comply with sanitary conditions required by the state department of health, or the county health unit.”


    The way this particular one is written, it sounds like you need a permit for livestock, but “only” need permission for chickens.


    Lynn Haven:
    Code Enforcement said "No animals that aren't domesticated pets. No chickens or livestock. The only exception is pot bellied pigs of a certain size."

    Municode says
    Pet means any animal kept for pleasure rather than utility.
    Pet, household means an animal, including, but not limited to a dog, a domestic cat, a rodent such as a guinea pig, a hamster, a gerbil, a domestic rat, or a domestic mouse, a domesticated but not a wild ferret, a lagomorph such as a rabbit, a fowl, a fish, or a reptile, kept as subordinate to residential use for the purpose of providing human companionship. Poultry, hoofed animals of any type, with the sole exception of a bona fide purebred miniature Vietnamese potbellied pig which are in compliance with all applicable provisions of
    Chapter 10, predatory animals such as lions, tigers, ocelots, pumas, and the like, or animals which are normally raised to provide food for people shall not be considered household pets.”


    Wikipedia (I know, I know, maybe not the best source of info) says that fowl generally refers to wild game birds, and poultry generally refers to domesticated birds raised for meat, eggs, or feather. However, it also says they are often used synonymously. So am I reading this correctly that a “fowl” is okay, but “poultry” is not? So a pet chicken (particularly a bantam) would be okay, but not one who we plan on eating? Or do eggs count as “provide food for people”? Ugh. I swear lawyers/legislators do this on purpose.


    Panama City Beach:
    Waiting for a call back
    I found what was probably an old zoning map last night (that I accidentally closed), that said Residential was allowed to have livestock and chickens for non-commercial purposes. Looking at Municode for PCB, I found
    "(a) It shall be unlawful to keep any livestock or fowl within the city without first obtaining the written permission of the owners or occupants of all property abutting on the premises on which any such livestock or fowl are to be kept, and without further obtaining the written permission of the city manager. Each such permission shall expire and automatically terminate after one (1) year, and no such permission given, or contract for permission made, for a period longer than one (1) year shall be effective or enforceable after the day which is one (1) year after such permission was given or contract was made.
    (b) Any livestock or fowl kept within the city without the permission required by subsection (a) shall be subject to impoundment.
    (c) In the event that any one shall procure permission to keep livestock or fowl in the city, the pen, yard, place or sty shall conform to the regulations as to sanitary conditions that the State Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services or the county health unit or department or the chief of police shall require."

    Which doesn't seem TOO bad, although it irks me that a single grumpy neighbor or city manager could decide you have to get rid of your chickens. And jumping through the hoops annually? Really? Couldn't even be a once every five years ordeal? Thankfully, the house were looking at on the beach is unincorporated Bay County!



    Panama City:
    Code Enforcement said "No farms animals allowed" (even when I specified chickens). I even mentioned the permit for livestock, and he said absolutely not, no farm animals anywhere.
    But when you search their website (http://www.pcgov.org/system/app/pages/search?scope=search-site&q=livestock) a pdf on zoning comes up that says,
    "c) The following uses are allowed in the SIL zoning district; all other uses are prohibited:
    418
    419 1) Farming activities, such as aquaculture, horticulture, floriculture, silviculture, crop
    420 production, sod farms, dairy, livestock, poultry, bees, and any and all forms of farm
    421 products and farm production."

    When looking at the zoning maps, SIL makes up a good portion of North Panama City. So I don't know if that pdf is old, or if the guy I talked to didn't know what he was talking about, or what? Furthermore, Municode says,

    "(a) The term "livestock" as used in this section shall mean cattle, hogs, goats, horses, mules, sheep and other domesticated barnyard animals. The term "fowl" as used in this section shall mean chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys and other domesticated barnyard fowl.
    (b) No person shall keep any livestock within the urban service area except that a permit may be issued for a zoological park, stable, kennel, circus or other performing animal exhibition with the approval of the county manager or his designee.
    (c) It shall be unlawful to keep any fowl within the urban service area without first obtaining the written permission of the owners or occupants of all property abutting the premises on which such fowl are to be kept, and without further obtaining the written permission of the county manager or his designee.
    (d) Any livestock or fowl kept within the urban service area without the permission or permit required by subsection (b) or (c) shall be subject to impoundment.
    (e) In the event that anyone shall procure permission to keep fowl within the urban service area or shall otherwise obtain a permit for the keeping of other animals, such fowl or animals shall be kept in a pen, yard or place which shall comply with sanitary conditions required by the State Department of Health, or the County Health Unit."



    Parker:
    Parker:
    Code Enforcement says “There aren't really any laws against keeping chickens, they just can't be a nuisance.” She told me about a problem they are having right now with a neighbor complaining someone keeping chickens, because he says they smell. For the most part though, she said as long as you don't have grumpy neighbors, and your lot is big enough, chickens shouldn't be a problem. She also said some livestock is okay, but not pigs.

    She then sent me to Municode, which says,
    “(a)Except as set forth in subsection (b) of this section, no person shall keep any livestock or fowl within the city limits except that a permit may be issued for a zoological park, stable, kennel, circus or other performing animal exhibition with the approval of the city clerk or his designee.
    (b) Except as set forth in subsection (a) of this section, it shall be unlawful to keep any livestock or fowl within the city limits without first obtaining the written permission of the owners or occupants of all property abutting the premises on which such fowl are to be kept and without further obtaining the written permission of the city clerk or his designee.
    (c) Any livestock or fowl kept within the city limits without the permission or permit required by subsection (a) or (b) shall be subject to impoundment.
    (d) In the event that anyone shall procure permission to keep fowl within the city limits or shall otherwise obtain a permit for the keeping of other animals, such fowl or animals shall be kept in a pen, yard or place which shall comply with sanitary conditions required by the state department of health, or the county health unit.”


    Which sounds like I would need a permit and written permission to keep chickens. Maybe they are just pretty laid back about it, and as long as they aren't running loose or being a nuisance, they won't bother you?



    Springfield:
    Waiting for a call back
    Municode says,
    "(a) The term "livestock" as used in this section shall mean cattle, hogs, goats, horses, mules, sheep and other domesticated barnyard animals. The term "fowl" as used in this section shall mean chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, and other domesticated barnyard fowl.
    (b) No person shall keep any livestock within the city limits except that a permit may be issued for a zoological park, stable, kennel, circus or other performing animal exhibition with the approval of the city clerk or his designee.
    (c) It shall be unlawful to keep any fowl within the city limits without first obtaining the written permission of the owners or occupants of all property abutting the premises on which such fowl are to be kept and without further obtaining the written permission of the city clerk or his designee.
    (d) Any livestock or fowl kept within the city limits without the permission or permit required by subsection (b) or (c) shall be subject to impoundment.
    (e) In the event that anyone shall procure permission to keep fowl within the city limits or shall otherwise obtain a permit for the keeping of other animals, such fowl or animals shall be kept in a pen, yard or place which shall comply with sanitary conditions required by the state department of health, or the county health unit."

    Another one that sounds like you need a permit for livestock, but "only" permission for chickens. I don't really believe in zoning as it is, but the idea that you should have to get ongoing permission from neighbors to keep a couple chickens is ridiculous to me. The neighbors certainly won't ask my permission before adopting a dog or cat. Nuisance laws I understand, but this is ridiculous.

    *I will update this post as I get more info.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  2. Falconfree

    Falconfree Out Of The Brooder

    29
    1
    36
    Dec 20, 2013
    Panama City, Fl

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