Permission to keep chickens in a less than one acres lot in Howard County

Atiq

Hatching
Jan 27, 2021
3
0
4
Dear all:
I have baby chicks and would like to keep them on a single family house with a lot size less than 10,000. Any suggestions to get a variance?
Thanks,
 

TooCheep

Crowing
Feb 23, 2019
792
5,485
294
Indiana
Wow. That ordinance was obviously setup by someone that had the money (and land) to purchase that rule with such a blatant exclusion. Time to demand a change in the name of "equity and inclusion". Heh...
 

jakedaniel

Chirping
Apr 4, 2020
37
79
66
How small are the average lots back East? That’s actually pretty generous out here in Texas. If that law was on the books in Baytown, TX, probably a quarter of the folks in town would be able to have them. The current law on the books where I live, (written last August and I already contacted the City requesting a letter from them stating I’m grandfathered and I have received that), is that you can’t have them unless you have a lot large enough to maintain a chicken coop/run/enclosure 200’ or further away from all neighboring homes AND your own home, (plus max number of 5 hens on an acre or less and no roosters). That means if you’re on less than an acre squared then you’re out of luck around here.
 

TooCheep

Crowing
Feb 23, 2019
792
5,485
294
Indiana
Not everyone lives in the middle of nowhere and own large properties. I live in Indianapolis proper and have chickens within our ordinances. I'm respectful of my neighbors and minimize any impact on them. 200' for hens only? That's insanely restrictive of people's land rights. I'd like to say that is surprising for Texas, but I'm aware of too many other areas where Texas is overly restrictive as well.

And 200ft from your own home? So, they are intentionally making it more difficult to care for your own chickens? You want areas of your property that you intend to visit multiple times/day close to the home, not further away.
 

jakedaniel

Chirping
Apr 4, 2020
37
79
66
Yeah, it’s ridiculous. The old law, (for those not in modern subdivisions with HOAs and the law that I’m still under because I’m grandfathered), was 100ft from neighboring homes only, and roosters were OK as long as they weren’t a nuisance plus no limit on number of hens unless they became a “nuisance”. That 100ft setback kept most folks from having them but some of the oldest neighborhoods in town, (like mine), were subdivided back in the 30’s on 1/2 acre lots specifically so that residents could plant “victory gardens” and have chickens. It was a big deal at the tail end of the Depression and the ramp up to WW2 to be able to do this, and after the 50’s or 60’s most folks stopped but there were still a few who kept it up and the laws were never changed.

Then COVID happened, there were shortages of eggs in the stores, then a run on all the chicks and coops at the feed stores, then a Councilperson had a neighbor who moved chickens in next door, the Councilperson called Code Enforcement to take care of it for him, and Code Enforcement informed the Councilperson that what his neighbor was doing wasn’t actually illegal. As soon as they were told that, they voted in the changes at the very next meeting. The agenda wasn’t announced or discussed beforehand. The public wasn’t notified of the proposed changes beforehand and couldn’t have attended the meeting anyway due to COVID, it was 2 months later before I found out about it and I immediately approached them demanding, (and getting), it in writing that I’m grandfathered but most of the other folks in town have no idea that the law was changed and 5-10 years down the road when a neighbor complains how hard will it be to prove that they had the coop in before the change? I mean prove it to the City’s satisfaction?

They wanted to outlaw chickens while avoiding the bad press from officially doing so, and they succeeded for the most part. I’ve still got them, and got the City Attorney’s signature on paper stating that I’m OK, but one-by-one they’ll start picking off the other chicken owners over the next few years while denying anyone else the right to start up and within a few years there’ll be no more live chickens within City Limits, (except mine, of course, because I damn sure won’t be getting rid of them), just the way City Govt wants it.
 

TheOddOneOut

Odd, but not weird.
Premium Feather Member
Feb 15, 2020
10,160
32,509
816
Oregon
Because you question what gives anyone has the right to say you "aren't allowed them". No progress is made without people pushing back against unreasonable and immoral restriction.
....Not really what I was asking.
I don’t think you should use baby lives as protest.
The city can come and take them away. What then? Who will care for them? Will they even be cared for?
I get your point, but I respectfully disagree.
 

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