Poll: When did your city make backyard coops legal?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 22, 2008
I'm preparing to present an argument about keeping chickens to our town and I'm wondering when small cities changed there laws and what the current laws are....I'd love to include a list of cities with a comparable population density...approx. 8400 sq. mile. that have legalized backyard chickens. Thanks in advance
Our city had an ambiguous law from not properly clarifying poultry ordinances in the 80's.

Several people around town began having chickens and a huge backyard henhouse movement gained momentum, so the city decided it ought to clarify the ordinance quickly. They ruled IN chickens and ducks.

This was April of this year. If you go to my BYC page, I have a link to the ordinance and the letter to the commission recommending the change.

It's very basic, and many cities can simply modify an existing ordinance to include chickens as pets, so that all of the same humane care is required. Most noise ordinances are written so that they would already apply, as well as how clean the property must be kept. Very little needs to be added or defined, as much falls into existing law.

Generally, just the number or birds, whether or not roosters may be kept, and sometimes a specific clearance from others' homes is all that needs definition.

Best of luck!
You might also look into the city of Overland Park to see what has gone on there recently- it's a suburb of Kansas City 20 minutes from me, and from what I understand, it was legal at some recent point but got changed. A fellow had it out with the city or the neighborhood association to keep his flock and the 'Not In My Backyard' mob mentality of the neighbors kept him from getting the okay.

It would be good to research what went wrong in his case so you can be prepared for all of the possible negative arguments.
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Tempe rewrote the entire zoning ordinance in 2005. One of the changes was allowing up to 5 hens in all single family residential districts. Previously poultry were only allowed in the agricultural district; however all variance requests to be allowed to keep hens had been approved (with a maximum of 5) for a number of years previously.

We have a population of 166,000; however we are a suburb of Phoenix; the Valley of the Sun metroplex population is over 4,000,000.

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