Perrysburg Ohio forgiveness vs permission?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Garden4Life, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. Garden4Life

    Garden4Life New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2013
    Anyone out there raising chickens in Perrysburg or Perrysburg Township in Ohio? I moved to Perrysburg Township from Toledo a year ago. I used to have a flock of backyard chickens at my Toledo home. I LOVED having my girls around and eating the fresh eggs! I am running into resistance with getting a flock started at my new home. The zoning department states that I need to get permission from my neighbors first. Unfortunately I have some VERY crabby old neighbors. They already complained to the zoning department about my beautiful split rail fence we had installed for the safety of our pets and young son (we had permit and profession local company do the work), not sure why they were so mad about it, as the rest of the homes around them also have a split rail fence. They also complained to us personally about our garden. Very strange people is putting it mildly. Our yard is clean, free of clutter, and very beautiful. ANYWAY, I am thinking that asking forgiveness vs permission might be the best route to take. My yard is huge and I would be putting the chickens far from the neighbors but I know they are going to have a fit. Does anyone know what the fees are for having chickens without permission? I am considering just paying the fees just so I don't have to deal with Mr and Mrs Crabs haha.
     
  2. WYNot

    WYNot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would do my research and find the applicable rules, if any. If there are rules against the chickens, then you'll have to make your own decision on trying to get under the radar. With a neighbor like that, I can't see much success in going under the radar. However, if they are legal then personally I'd put them where I wanted them, the heck with the neighbor. If they want a say in the property then they should have bought it for themselves.

    If your neighbor has already complained about your garden, in unincorporated township area no less, and gone to the zoning department about a fenced that was done by the book and for which you had the permit for then it would probably be a safe bet that they will be a royal pain in the arse about chickens.
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    It's not usually just a matter of get-the-chickens-and-pay-the-fine, then get to continue to keep the chickens. In most cases when there is a situation where the neighbors and/or the local authorities have issues, there may be a fine involved, but the bigger problem is that they can - and often do - make you get rid of your chickens. Many people right here on BYC have had that happen, and it's sad when the whole family has raised them from chicks, built them a nice coop and run, and been enjoying the eggs and the antics, only to lose them all in the end. And depending on the ordinances in your area, they usually have every right to make you get rid of them.

    If I were you I'd investigate your community's exact regulations on keeping fowl in your backyard before I spent a penny on chicks, housing or feed, and get the ruling of the zoning commission in writing should they rule in your favor. It makes me a little nervous that rather than giving you an outright yes or no answer they are depending upon permission from the neighbors. Could be that they already know that you'll never get permission from them, so that means the zoning authorities don't have to look like the "bad guys."
     
  4. wholehearted

    wholehearted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What size lot do you have? And do you live in a platted subdivision?
     
  5. Garden4Life

    Garden4Life New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2013
    Our property is .30 acres. I am not sure we live in a platted subdivision. I am not entirely sure how to determine that. After doing some digging I found our zoning rules on our zoning website. It doesn't say anything about getting permission from neighbors. I have no idea why the zoning office told me that.....

    1. ON A LOT OF ONE ACRE OR LESS:
    a. The breeding, raising, or maintaining of farm animals such as horses, pigs, cows,
    sheep, goats, or similar livestock is prohibited on lots of one (1) acre or less.
    b. Dairying, pasturage, and animal husbandry of all other animals are conditional
    uses subject to approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals. The Board of Zoning
    Appeals shall consider:
    (1) Size of the lot or parcel
    (2) Type and number of animals
    (3) Size area devoted to the above animal uses
    (4) Feed and waste management plan
    (5) Uses of adjacent properties
    (6) Location and type of animal housing
    c. Agricultural uses not involving animals are permitted uses so long as, with the
    exception of fruit trees, they are not extended beyond the front setback line for
    the district in which the parcel is located and do not exceed more than thirty-three
    and one-third (33-1/3) percent of the total open space of such parcel.
    d. Building and structures accessory to the agricultural use of the property shall
    meet side and rear setbacks and shall be constructed in a design consistent with
    existing residential, commercial, or industrial structures on the property. Such
    buildings shall not exceed 35 feet in height, shall not exceed one-eighth of the
    total area of the parcel and shall be placed behind the front set back line for the
    district in which the parcel is located.

    I also found some more information on the website as well. It appear that I need to submit a request in for the committee to approve or deny. This request cost $150. Again, no mention of getting permission from neighbors. The day I called the zoning office asking about the rules on keeping chickens was the day the lady told me over the phone that my neighbor called to complain about my fence. She said my neighbor was frantic and livid and even yelled at her for "letting us put up a fence". I sure hope they are not trying to make this hard on me to avoid upsetting my crazy neighbor. This is so difficult because we moved to the Township to have more freedom and so we could have chickens. We can hear the local farmers rooster crowing ALL the time. There are also people within the city limits who have chickens. I just figured that if the city allows them then wouldn't the township!? Crazy world....
     
  6. wholehearted

    wholehearted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Re: the platted lot, I'm guessing you probably are platted with a lot that size. Do you have quite a few houses around you on similar lots? You can confirm whether your lot is platted or unplatted by checking the property records which are usually available on your county auditor's website. It makes a difference because Ohio state law doesn't allow townships the same authority to prohibit agriculture if you live on an unplatted lot, although some townships will try to do it anyway.

    It could be that the reason that you were told that you need your neighbors permission is because the animals are only allowed with approval of the zoning board. Often, when you apply for permission for something conditional with the zoning board, they open it up to public input from neighbors. In our county, they send out letters to all neighbors within a certain distance. So your neighbors would probably have opportunity to speak for or against your request at the zoning meeting.

    Sorry you are having to deal with this. Difficult neighbors can really be a pain!! With neighbors like you're describing, I think it would be very hard to get away with keeping the chickens without problems. And Blooie is right...if you were reported, you would then still have to file for permission. But if they deny you at that point, you would have to get rid of the chickens which could be even harder than not getting them in the first place.

    Keep us updated and let us know what you end up doing.
     
  7. Garden4Life

    Garden4Life New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2013
    I just checked and our property is platted. I think I will just be pro active and talk to all my friendly neighbors and get signatures from them stating that they would be fine if I got chickens. Hopefully I will have enough friendly neighbors who are ok with it and the zoning board will allow my request. I am just a bit fearful due to the grumpy couple and an older lady next door. Now that I think about it she complained to me about a bird feeder I had in my yard last summer. She was upset because she thought I was attracting too many animals. And I quote "you have an entire zoo in your yard. I saw a rabbit, squirrel and birds!" she was not happy about it. Her and the grumpy couple are best friends. Not sure why she was so upset about my bird feeder because the grumpy husband has 3 bird feeders in his yard and one of them sits on the border of her yard. Ugh, I am fearful that I will not win this. My very friendly neighbor to the other side of me wants to get chickens as well. Maybe I will convince him to go first because the grumpy couple and older lady do not border his property so they will be less likely to put up a fight if they get the letter. I think my stance of getting chickens will be much better if one of my neighbors already has some. I think I will even offer to pay his application fees of $150 if he does it right away!
     
  8. Hope123

    Hope123 New Egg

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    I am in exactly the same boat as you are, I'm curious to know your outcome. We just moved here from toledo also with our 5 hens, I could not find anything stating we could not have chickens in the township. One of our neighbors complained about them. When I talked to the zoning woman I asked why there are other houses with chickens and she said unless someone complains we don't investigate it. She told me I had to either get rid of my chickens or apply for the permit for $150. I love my chickens and they are well taken care of, my yard here is way bigger than my toledo yard and it was legal there!
     
  9. Garden4Life

    Garden4Life New Egg

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    Apr 21, 2013
    Update:
    After reading through the zoning rules more carefully with a zoning specialist we decided to go ahead and get the chickens because we felt that the zoning clearly allowed chickens. Here is the zoning:
    SECTION B. ACCESSORY STRUCTURES AND USES 2, 3 1. Accessory structures and uses include, but are not limited to, the following: a. a private greenhouse, b. a barn, shed, tool room, or other similar building or other structure for domestic or agricultural storage, c. keeping of domestic animals, but only for personal enjoyment, for household use, or for cultivation of the soil, and not including a commercial stable or kennel, d. incinerators incidental to residences and public or private institutions, e. storage of goods used in or produced by manufacturing activities, on the same lot with such activities, unless such storage is excluded by the district regulations, f. the removal for sale of sod, loam, clay, sand, gravel or stone in connection with the construction of a building or other structure on the same lot.

    We had the chickens for a year before our neighbors got upset with us again for moving our own shed on our property to a different location on our property. They then complained to the zoning about the chickens and for some strange reason about a goat as well even though we have never had a goat. Because of the complaint the township told us we needed to file for a conditional use permit and present it at a hearing. We paid the $150 fee and applied for the permit. We did not feel that we legally "had" to apply. We were told by an attorney that under the zoning code we were fully within our legal rights to own the chickens and that the conditional permit did not apply to us. However, we decided to apply for the permit because we prefer to get things done the right way and not ruffle feathers along the way. The decision to apply for the permit worked in our favor and we were granted a conditional use permit to keep 6 hens. We had 6 neighbors in opposition (4 homes). The neighbors that started this whole thing could really only complain about our fence and shed and basically our presence on the property as a whole. Everyone else came simply because the zoning department placed a huge sign in our yard for a month about the upcoming hearing and some people (who can't even see our yard and 8 houses away) came simply because they did not understand chicken keeping and were concerned. Totally understandable and I hope to have the opportunity to educate them on back yard chickens so that the idea is not as scary. Most people who hear about chickens think about huge flocks, noise, lots of bugs and smells, which is not at all the case. However, I understand their concerns and am very open to dialog and addressing any concerns and answering questions. We are thrilled to have the permit and be fully legal! Anyone else in the township considering chickens, my advice is to not be afraid of the permit. Everyone at the zoning department was friendly and helpful and although I still don't think that I "had" to get the permit, I am glad that we did and would advise others to as well. We are grateful beyond measure to still have our girls!
     
  10. Rick Smetzer

    Rick Smetzer New Egg

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    Jul 24, 2017
    I know this is an older thread... however, I wanted to provide a bit of information that may be useful for you in the future... You said you were in Perrysburg 'Township, and not inside the city limits... They do have limitations on 'at large' animals... ie free range, but if your yard is enclosed with a fence, they you should be good. It sounds like you have applied and received conditional use approval... let me know if you have any new zoning issues. I am now reviewing the Perrysburg City requirements... There is a meeting/decision for residents within the city limits next Tuesday...
     

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