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Personal Use Poultry Permit - input needed

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by nkasoff, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. nkasoff

    nkasoff New Egg

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Good news: Our community permits chickens.

    Bad news: They lump them in with "livestock" and require an inspection, a $40 a year permit, and a 30 foot setback from all property lines. There is some question as to whether a movable pen would be permitted, as it would be impossible to determine whether setback was always being followed. Construction of a fixed pen, of course, would require a building permit and a bunch more red tape.

    Now it seems to me that if you don't keep roosters, a small number of chickens would be less intrusive than a dog. Chickens don't bark or bite, and since penned, won't be doing their business on the neighbor's lawn. The fee for a dog license is $3 a year. And, while you aren't permitted to let dogs roam free, there is no requirement that you construct an enclosure to make that impossible, and submit to an inspection.

    All this sounds discriminatory to me, and I'm prepared to make that point to the city council. I'd like to suggest a "Personal Use Poultry Permit" which would allow for up to six chickens, no roosters, no commercial sale of eggs, a lower fee ($10?), no inspection requirement, and reduced or eliminated setback requirements. Is there any precedent for this?

    Something else which would be helpful is a well organized document or presentation on the benefits of backyard chickens. Although it's an urban area, our community has a farmer's market and a real awareness of the advantage of locally grown produce. Convincing them that locally grown eggs are equally beneficial would help our cause.

    So ... any input from more experienced folk here will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Tempe, Arizona
    First of all, find and read the specific ordinances or code. Also, find out what types of structures need a building permit--chances are pretty good that storage-type sheds smaller than a designated square footage and height don't need one.

    Tractors probably should fall into this and therefore not be a problem unless code specifically mentions them, regardless of where they are located.

    As for a livestock permit--does it mention anything about the numbers or other conditions that trigger a permit necessity?

    I would be very surprised if keeping a handful of chickens requires one, although the permit fee may cover the cost of inspection.
     
  3. nkasoff

    nkasoff New Egg

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    I've already read the ordinances, and consulted with the city's public works director. The ordinance states the following:

    (b) Permit to keep livestock.

    (1) Any person desiring to keep or maintain any livestock within any residential area of the city may do so only upon obtaining a permit for same from the city. The permit shall be granted if it is found that the keeping or maintaining of said livestock will not endanger the public health, safety and welfare. Such permit shall be renewed annually on July 1 of each year and is revocable by the city if the keeping of any animal is found to endanger the health, safety or welfare of the public or the animals themselves.

    (2) Poultry and rabbits, including their house, building or pen, or any part thereof, shall not be kept closer than thirty (30) feet to any side, rear or front lot line of the lot or tract of ground upon which they are located. In the case of livestock, no closer than fifty (50) feet.

    Even a single chicken would require a permit.

    I can also tell you for a fact that any freestanding shed requires a permit, with architectural drawings and a survey submitted with the application, and two on-site inspections. Even a pre-fab metal shed from Home Depot requires one. Believe it or not, I don't live in an uppity area, the average home price here is well under $100,000.

    So ... I have already assessed the predicament. What I'm looking for is the appropriate facts and figures to take to the city council so that they can amend this absurd ordinance. Help?​
     
  4. Barry

    Barry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just curious, what city do you live in?
     
  5. nkasoff

    nkasoff New Egg

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    Ferguson, Missouri, an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis.

    The ordinance governing livestock is here in section 6-16.

    Oddly enough, the city of St. Louis, which is a much more dense, urban area than where I live, allows up to 4 of most types of domestic animals per residence without a permit, and includes chickens in that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Tempe, Arizona
    They have special regs for rabbits and pot bellied pigs--try focusing on copying and using pertinent portions of those regs--for instance, pot bellied pigs have to be within a 5 foot setback! I'm sorry, but that just doesn't make sense to me. THey are also licensed as are dogs. Focus on limited numbers, reduced setback and reduced licensing fees.
     
  7. nkasoff

    nkasoff New Egg

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    Agreed on the focus. What I am still looking for, though, is some material on the benefits of backyard chickens. It would also be nice to have some documentation as to the non-impact of a small number of them. I can assert all these things, but having a document of some sort lends authority. If I am going to get the council to change this, I will have to demonstrate how it is a good thing to change it, otherwise they might just start requiring a 30 foot setback for pot-bellied pigs instead of loosing things up for a small group of chickens.
     
  8. SewingDiva

    SewingDiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:This is what I was going to suggest as well, that is, use the argument that chickens (in the numbers you propose) are more like pot-bellied pigs as pets than they are like livestock. If the regulations have already have an exception carved out that allows pot-bellied pigs to be classified as pets your argument will be much more powerful if you argue that chickens deserve a similiar exception and should also be classified as pets.

    Phyllis
     
  9. tasymo

    tasymo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mulliken
    Hello!
    My Village has an ordinance against chickens that I am trying to get changed. Perhaps you can use something like this:

    To: The Mulliken Village Council

    We, the undersigned citizens of Mulliken, believe that chickens should be allowed within the town limits in residential areas. The Village ordinance should be changed to allow a small number of backyard hens for the following reasons:

    1. Backyard hens provide an educational opportunity to teach children where our food comes from and demonstrate responsible pet ownership.
    2. When properly raised, chickens can be wonderfully affectionate and entertaining pets.
    3. Fresh, naturally raised eggs have an improved nutrient profile compared to conventional eggs
    4. Chickens produce a rich fertilizer by-product, high in nitrogen, eliminating the need for petrochemical fertilizers.
    5. Chickens eat bugs, including ticks, Japanese beetles and flies, reducing our backyard pest population, and allowing for reduced use of pesticides.
    5. Chickens eat table scraps, reducing municipal solid waste.
    6. A properly cleaned and maintained chicken coop poses no sanitation risks.

    By amending the Town ordinance to allow residents to keep a limited number of hens in residential zones, the Village of Mulliken will encourage stewardship of the environment and food production on a household scale.


    This is part of what I put together for a petition. Most of it was snitched directly from this forum! Is this the type of thing you were looking for? Good Luck in your efforts, and wish me luck with mine! Kathy
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  10. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA

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