Poultry laws in Virginia beach Va

Discussion in 'Quail' started by VinceGuzman, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. VinceGuzman

    VinceGuzman New Egg

    Feb 27, 2013
    I've been looking into having a few quail pens in my back yard about 2x2 maybe and in still not quite sure about the laws or zoning on that. I'm thinking button quail or English if I can find any.
  2. VinceGuzman

    VinceGuzman New Egg

    Feb 27, 2013
    I know chickens are illegal but idk about quails
  3. GrandmaBird

    GrandmaBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2012
    Button quail can be kept as household pets in pairs or if you have several pairs. but to be sure check with your local government.
  4. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2013
    I've had my hands full all day long and saw this first thing this morning. There are 3 provisions that are of interest. The first one pertains to an agricultural reserve program. If you live on the southern portion of the city, you may be OK with quail (or chickens), because of an "agricultural reserve program, which promote and encourage the preservation of farmland in the rural southern portion of the City, where agricultural uses predominate, by means which are voluntary, rather than regulatory". That's the first thing. Another thing has to do with "nuisance animals". Bottom line, if you keep your quail in a clean cage and don't give your neighbors a reason to have to report you, you may be able to keep them as "pets". The last section is the general provision on "livestock", and lo and behold, quail is not listed, so you may be OK with that.
    Here is a link to the city ordianance for Virginia Beach.

    Sec. 5-533. - Nuisance animals generally.
    (a) No owner shall fail to exercise proper care and control of his animals to prevent them from becoming a public nuisance. Molesting a passerby, attacking without seriously injuring any person without provocation on two (2) or more occasions, chasing vehicles, habitually attacking but not seriously injuring other domestic animals, trespassing upon school grounds, or trespassing upon private property in such manner as to damage property shall be deemed a nuisance. Three (3) or more violations of City Code section 5.1- 530 in any twelve-month period shall also be deemed a nuisance.
    (b) Any person owning or having in his possession or under his control any animal constituting a nuisance shall be summoned before the general district court of the city to show cause why such animal should not be confined, disposed of or removed or the nuisance otherwise abated and, upon proof that the animal constitutes a public nuisance, the animal in question shall, by order of the general district court of the city, either be confined, removed from the city, or the nuisance activity otherwise abated as such court shall order. It shall be unlawful and shall constitute contempt of court for any person to harbor or conceal any animal which has been ordered disposed of or removed by the general district court, or to fail to confine or restrain an animal when such an order has been entered by the court.
    (c) Any person who owns any dog, cat or other animal that has been adjudged a nuisance pursuant to this section by the general district court and who appeals that decision to the circuit court shall be responsible for the fees connected with the impounding of the animal by the bureau of animal control. If on appeal the circuit court determines that the dog, cat or other animal is not a nuisance, no such fees for the impounding of the animal shall be imposed.

    The other section is the one on "livestock and "other" animals".

    Sec. 5-543. - General restriction on keeping of livestock and other animals.
    No person shall keep horses, cows, goats, sheep, swine or other livestock or other animals within the city except in areas designated for agricultural purposes or parcels specially designated by the council for the keeping of such animals. This section shall not be construed to apply to:
    (1) Companion animals as defined in the Code of Virginia ยง 3.2-6500 when such animals are kept as household pets on the premises of the owner;
    (2) The operation of kennels, when authorized by appropriate provisions of this Code; or
    (3) The keeping of household pets for sale at retail, where such keeping is authorized pursuant to law.

    Here is the Agricultural Lands Preservation Ordinance

    Sec. 1. - Title. This Ordinance shall be known as the "Agricultural Lands Preservation Ordinance of the City of Virginia Beach."
    Sec. 2. - Purpose. The purpose of this Ordinance is to promote and encourage the preservation of farmland in the rural southern portion of the City, where agricultural uses predominate, by means which are voluntary, rather than regulatory. The preservation of farmland will promote and enhance agriculture as an important industry which contributes to the maintenance of a diverse and healthy local economy. In addition, the preservation of farmland will:
    (a) Preserve the rural character of the southern portion of the City;
    (b) Conserve and protect environmentally sensitive lands, waters and other resources;
    (c) Reduce and defer the need for major urban infrastructure improvements in the southern portion of the City and the expenditure of public funds for such improvements;
    (d) Preserve open space; and
    (e) Assist in shaping the character, direction and timing of community development.
  5. freest8r

    freest8r Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2012
    The most pertinent section of the code is probably "Fowl Running at Large", which is the section that forbids chickens in residential areas. The city code does not explicitly define "fowl" from what we can tell, however, the Virginia state definition does include quail as poultry. When you call zoning or other city agencies you will get different answers depending on who you talk to. We are working to modify the code to allow backyard hens, and after doing this research I think we will try to explicitly include quail and other fowl as well so that this will be clear in the future. That being said, there is very little risk of being cited. I only know of two people who have been cited for chickens in VaBch, and one lady has 24 chickens, the other has 15. I have not heard of any other citations for any other fowl. A few quail will not cause any problems.

    If you're interested in helping us change the laws here, and in getting quail or other fowl included, please join us! http://www.4VirginiaBeachHens.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/4VirginiaBeachHens Here's the section of code I referenced earlier.

    Sec. 5-545. - Fowl running at large.[​IMG]
    Fowl may be kept only in those areas zoned for agricultural use. It shall be unlawful for any person to allow any fowl to run at large on any street or any unenclosed lot or ground within the city.

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