Pennsylvania, York County, help me change zoning to allow backyard hens!!

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by EarthyMomma, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Hi, My name is Erin and I am a resident in New Freedom Borough, in southern York County, PA. I have 2 hens, and was under the impression that since chickens, specifically, where defined as small animals, that I was allowed to have them on my 1/3 acre lot.

    To not get too wordy here, I am at the point now where I am about to go in front of the Planning Commission (Monday, Oct 28) to present a proposal to allow hens on properties less than 1 acre, with the reasonable restrictions that seem to have worked in other similar situations.

    I just started a Facebook group call Backyard Chickens in New Freedom Borough. Please join! Regardless of your physical location, we need support and advice from folks who have made these strides! Please let me know if it will not let you request to join and I will see what I can do to change it!

    The whole of our story is on that page but if you are curious and not on Facebook, I am happy to give the details on this forum! Please chicken lovers! Help the cause! My girls only have until November 7th before they have to leave us...maybe forever

    Thank you all!!
    Peace, Light, and Hens!
    ~Erin...aka EarthyMomma
  2. george girls

    george girls Hatching

    Oct 23, 2013
    middletown township pa
    same problem in langhorne...agghhh!! how do we change the laws?

    The pennsylvania right to farm act states ....
    Pennsylvania Right to Farm Act (3 PA. STAT . §§ 951-957) (Current as of July 2009)
    § 951. Policy

    It is the declared policy of the Commonwealth to conserve and protect and encourage the development and
    improvement of its agricultural land for the production of food and other agricultural products
    . When
    nonagricultural land uses extend into agricultural areas, agricultural operations often become the subject of
    nuisance suits and ordinances. As a result, agricultural operations are sometimes forced to cease operations.
    Many others are discouraged from making investments in farm improvements. It is the purpose of this act to
    reduce the loss to the Commonwealth of its agricultural resources by limiting the circumstances under
    which agricultural operations may be the subject matter of nuisance suits and ordinances

    § 953. Limitation on local ordinances
    (a) Every municipality shall encourage the continuity, development and viability of agricultural operations
    within its jurisdiction
    . Every municipality that defines or prohibits a public nuisance shall exclude from the
    definition of such nuisance any agricultural operation conducted in accordance with normal agricultural

    operations so long as the agricultural operation does not have a direct adverse effect on the public health
    and safety.

    (b) Direct commercial sales of agricultural commodities upon property owned and operated by a landowner
    who produces not less than 50% of the commodities sold shall be authorized, notwithstanding municipal
    ordinance, public nuisance or zoning prohibitions. Such direct sales shall be authorized without regard to
    the 50% limitation under circumstances of crop failure due to reasons beyond the control of the landowner

    Any lawyers out there with Chickens!!!!! Seems like the law encourages Urban farming.
    There is no threat to public health safety. Those that don't wash their hands are!

    let me know how it goes.

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