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Pet Ordinance

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by zrossk, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. zrossk

    zrossk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 11, 2011
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    Hello, i am just wondering if this pet law applies to chickens http://www.ecode360.com/6352265. I hope it does. I have wanted chickens for a while now but my dad keeps insisting that it is illigal and after three months i still do not kniw if it is legal to keep 2 or 3 small quiet chickens in a residential area. I live in Maidencreek Township, PA in a small neighborhood. My yard is about1/3-1/2 acres. I know my neighbors pretty well and am pretty sure they won't tell but still my dad says we can't because we will have them taken away. Any help appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  2. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your link takes me to a blank page, so I don't know what the law says...

    My father used to tell me things that he didn't want to do were against the law rather than tell me, "No." I suggest that you ask him straight out if it were legal would he let you keep chickens.
     
  3. zrossk

    zrossk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This link should work...i dont know why it is a blank page, but anyway my dad said it was illegal because someone had them before here and had them taken away, but they were eating them and i know you have to have a permit for that.http://www.ecode360.com/6352265
     
  4. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ah, link worked that time.

    To be quite honest I see nothing in that ordinance that would prevent you from keeping caged chickens. I also fail to see anything that prohibits personal consumption. You would have to be careful to keep their cage clean (ยง 67-3 D.), but all the rest relates only to "public streets, alleys or sidewalks in the Township of Maidencreek".
    Don't think, considering the wording of the law I'd get a rooster though.[​IMG]

    Good luck,
     
  5. zrossk

    zrossk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, thanks for your help.
     
  6. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    A domestic or nondomesticated or wild animal, feathered vertebrate, air breathing vertebrate, invertebrate, maintained or kept at least in part for pleasure. their defin. of a pet. I saw nothing that would keep you from owning a chicken or two(or 3). But to be safe email the city and ask , this way you got written proof.
     
  7. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would contact John S. Rothermel (supervisor) and William Kline to just confirm that you are allowed to have them. It does not say you can't have them, but just double check.
     
  8. Joz

    Joz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The way zoning works is, cities are broken up into zones. These zones are labeled "residential" or "commercial" or "industrial" or "agricultural", or "residential 1" or "light industrial". Or something else, but the basic idea is the same.

    Each zone has allowable uses to which your land may be put. There are also conditional uses. Allowable (or Permitted) means you can do this thing on your property without asking for permission. Conditional means it's Ok to do that thing, but you need to apply to the city to do so. If what you want to do is neither allowable or conditional, you have to apply to the city for a Variance.

    In order to truly understand whether you can have chickens on your property, you first need to know what zone your house is in. Then you can look up the allowable uses for your zone. After that, I recommend searching "poultry", "chickens", "fowl" and "livestock" so you have a thorough understanding of how your city defines each. If you can classify chickens as pets, excellent. But it may be that there's some line in the definition of "livestock" that incorporates poultry.

    In my city, the only verbiage related to chickens are in the "animal cruelty" section (no artificially-colored chicks), the "sanitation" section (no rats or smelly poop), and as they relate to kennels. My city defines a kennel as "more than 4 dogs, cats, or chickens". When I look in my zone, "kennel" is not listed as an allowable or a conditional use. Therefore, I may have up to 4 chickens on my property. We also have nuisance noise ordinances, which would apply to a rooster (or a barking dog, or a particularly enthusiastic construction crew).

    Some cities have rules about where you can build chicken coops, or "accessory buildings", and how large these "accessory buildings" can be. Looks like yours are listed as "Area and Bulk Regulations". Make sure you know how far off your property line these must be, and don't exceed the maximum height. Or, build a "temporary" structure (tractor, hoop house, dog house).

    Fencing may also be regulated under your code... make sure any fences you build don't exceed the maximum allowable height.

    Ignoring fence regulations and requirements for accessory buildings (coop, shed, greenhouse... anything) gives your neighbors an excuse to complain to the city, so be careful.

    Good luck! This is complicated, and sometimes city officials don't know what the code actually says. Your best defense is to carefully research, read, and try your best to interpret and understand the code as it is written. Good job finding it in the first place, you're on the right track!
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  9. zrossk

    zrossk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in a residential area and i cannot go to the township office because it has the same hours as my school day. I asked my dad about asking them or getting it approved but he just keeps saying "no, it's restricted" but he won't tell me how he knows so he probably just dosen't want me to have them so i guess i have to wait a bunch of years.
     
  10. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    zrossk, you should really talk to your dad some more about having any birds around... cause whether your township allows it or not, it's really up to him on whether you get them or not. He is the one that more than likely will have to deal with paying for everything, dealing with any upset neighbors etc.

    Find out if your dad would let you have them regardless if the ordinances allowed it. It may be he's just trying to say NO without coming across as a jerk to you. Then, if he says yes, work with him to find out what the ordinances are, and what rules are in place that you have to follow. It's a lot easier to get the support and help from your dad if he's on board the project with you. Besides, who will care for them when you go off to college?
     

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