Please help me interpret this ordinance

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Meara, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Meara

    Meara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "No person shall cause or allow any stable or place where any animal is or may be kept to become unclean, or unwholesome,
    and it shall be unlawful to keep any live swine or pigs in the city.
    It shall be unlawful to keep or raise any chickens, horses, cows, goats, sheep, rabbits, or other fowl within fifty feet (50') of any premises in the city."

    There is a list of legal definitions at the beginning of the city ordinance but nowhere does it define a "premises". Clearly pigs are NOT allowed! LOL However, it *seems* to be that chickens are allowed AS LONG as they are fifty feet from a premises (whatever that is exactly). Is that a structure like a house or is it an adjoining property line?

    What do you think? How would you interpret this??? The City came by today and we have to call them tomorrow [​IMG]
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Premises is usually but not always an occupied building for people, Jacksonville uses the word both ways- as the occupied building on land or the land and its building.

    If you link to the code in question sometimes the definition is in one of the attached documents or 'sources' at the bottom.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/premise

    2.
    premises,
    a.
    a tract of land including its buildings.
    b.
    a building together with its grounds or other appurtenances.
    c.
    the property forming the subject of a conveyance or bequest.

    http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=12174
    For Jacksonville FL as an example:

    Quote:
     
  3. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    it would be, not with in 50 ft of your house, the neighbors houses... Places where people habitate. Thats what it means for you. SO, get out that measuring tape...
     
  4. Meara

    Meara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it means 50' from anyone's house that's easy as pie. Our property is approx 100 feet wide by two hundred feet long. BUT if it means 50' from a property line then we would have to stick it directly in the center and make it, like, an INCH wide [​IMG] I have bantams, but they aren't THAT tiny.
     
  5. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As has been said, there is more than one way to interpret the meaning of the word "premises." For your puposes, the correct interpretation is the one that the city uses. Finding a written definition that the city uses might prove to be a challenge. It is possible that the definition is provided elsewhere in the municipal code, perhaps in the section that defines property types. Those in charge of enforcement might not be able to immediately point to the section of the code that is pertinent, but if given the oppportunity they can help you to find it.
     
  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Check chapter one of your code, most definitions are there.
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    And when not at the beginning, they are usually at the very end. Often there will be a sort of table of contents for what sections cover what, and if you look for abreviations and other "general" types of things such as Rules of Construction, those are where you are likely to find it.
     
  8. Meara

    Meara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
    Yeah, Chapter One has definitions galore, but "premises" isn't there. I'll start looking at the other parts of the document. Should be fun reading [​IMG]
     
  9. rosemerry23

    rosemerry23 New Egg

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    I have a similar question.
    The ordinance in my town says: "Animals kept as an accessory use at a residance shall confirm to the regulations of the Board of Health. Swine and fur bearing animals are prohibited. Livestock shall be allowed on parcels in excess of 2 acres. No animal shall be stables or kept within 25 feet of any property line."
    My property is 3/4 acres, so i know that "livestock" is not permitted. I'm wondering if I have an arguement because, nowhere in the ordinance is the word "livestock" defined.
    I recently recieved a letter from my town health inspector giving me 10 days to get rid of my 7 hens. I'm upset- because I felt that i did my homework, and made sure i could keep chickens before I bought my property 2 years ago. At the time - both the town clerk, zoning commisioner, and health inspector told me they were not aware of any rule prohibiting poultry, and that nobody had ever asked.
    I have a very limited income, and I'm not sure if I have the finances or connections to fight city hall. 10 days is not much time either. Any advice?
     
  10. Meara

    Meara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    There are others on here that are better able to advise you than me. However, I'm not sure that it really takes money to discuss the issue with the city. If you question the ordinance they will likely consult with the city attorney and opt to discuss the matter at the next city hall meeting and you should have the option to attend that meeting and speak your piece. Even if they rule that the ordinance is against you, you can still ask for an exception. A woman one town over than me succeeded in this. She was able to negotiate terms with the city and they made an exception for her. Have any of your neighbors been complaining? That is important. If you have a neighbor who is going to adamantly speak against you that can sway the issue.
     

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