Proposed NJ Ord NOW VIRAL! See Post #1 (Update) & #36 newsclip

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by jjthink, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Thoughts? There are a number of issues here but I'll hold back on mentioning them for awhileto allow for objective review. If you want, skip right to the newsarticles below and beyond - posting as they develop. Trust me - they are entertaining.

    3/24/11 UPDATE I'm not sure any other proposed chicken ordinance has gotten this much media attention. I think it is a good idea to help ensure that whatever is adopted is sound policy. I will ensure that commentary here that may help reaches the right folks. JJ

    O R D I N A N C E N O.

    AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING CHAPTER V, “ANIMAL CONTROL,” OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF XXXXXXXXXXXXX NEW JERSEY, BY ADDING A NEW SECTION 5-9, “STANDARDS FOR KEEPING CHICKENS”

    WHEREAS, a stated goal of the 2002 XXXXXXXXXl Township Master Plan is “to encourage compatibility between agricultural operations and neighboring non-agricultural development through the right-to-farm ordinance”; and

    WHEREAS, Section 17-147 of the Land Use and Development Ordinance provides that “farms and other agricultural uses are permitted as principal uses in all districts”; and

    WHEREAS, the Township’s Right-To-Farm Ordinance, Section 22-3, permits “home agriculture,” which it defines as “the production principally for home use or consumption of plants, animals or their products and for sale to others where such sales are incidental, including, but not limited to, gardening, fruit production and poultry and livestock products for household use only”; and

    WHEREAS, township ordinances provide standards for the keeping of livestock but not for the keeping of poultry; and

    WHEREAS, the Residential Animal Agriculture Subcommittee of the XXXXXXXXX Township Agricultural Advisory Committee has recommended that the governing body enact standards by which residents may keep chickens as permitted under the Right-To-Farm Ordinance.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Township Committee of the Township of XXXXXXX, State of New Jersey, as follows:

    SECTION 1. Chapter V, “Animal Control,” of the Revised General Ordinances of the Township of XXXXXXXXX is hereby amended and supplemented to add a new Section 5-9, “Standards for Keeping Chickens,” as follows [underlined words have been added to the ordinance]:
    5-9. STANDARDS FOR KEEPING CHICKENS
    Chickens kept pursuant to the definition of “Home Agriculture” set forth in Chapter XXII, Section 3 of the Right to Farm Ordinance shall be subject to the following requirements:
    a. Minimum Lot Size. A minimum lot size of one-half acre is required to keep chickens pursuant to this section.
    b. Number of Allowable Chickens. No more than six (6) chickens may be kept on any parcel that meets the minimum lot size. For each additional one-half acre, four (4) additional chickens may be kept.
    c. Roosters and Cockerels. Mature roosters are prohibited; however roosters may visit the property for the purpose of fertilization so long as there are no more than ten (10) days of visitation per parcel in any twelve (12) month period, and no more than five (5) days consecutively. Any cockerel (defined as a young male chicken) that crows must be culled or permanently removed from the property within five (5) days. If there are any crowing roosters or cockerels on a parcel for more than twenty (20) days in any calendar year, all roosters are prohibited from that property for at least a 24-month period.
    d. Slaughtering. Slaughtering chickens in public view is prohibited.
    e. Required Shelters. Chickens shall be provided, and shall remain within, a fully enclosed shelter with an optional fenced enclosure.
    (1) Shelters and enclosures shall be located in the rear yard.
    (2) Shelters and enclosures shall be located at least twenty-five (25) feet from any property line and at least fifty (50) feet from any residential structure on an adjoining property.
    (3) Shelters shall not exceed 150 square feet in size or fourteen (14) feet in height.
    (4) No shelter may be utilized without first having received a shelter permit from the zoning officer and any other State or local permit required.
    (4) Fences shall not exceed six (6) feet in height.
    (5) The use of enclosed mobile "chicken tractors" is permitted as a supplement to, but not a replacement for, a fully enclosed shelter. For purposes of this Section a “chicken tractor” is defined as a mobile cage or coop that fully encloses the chickens, but which is bottomless to allow chickens direct access to the ground. Chicken tractors must remain within the boundaries defined herein, and may not be used as overnight shelters.
    f. Waste Storage. Storage of manure, excreta, other waste odor or dust-producing substances associated therewith shall be located at least twenty-five (25) feet from any lot line and at least fifty (50) feet from any residential structure on an adjoining property, and shall be properly composted per health code or USDA guidelines or kept in a watertight container until it can be disposed of in a proper fashion off site.
    g. Feed Storage. Animal feed stored outdoors shall be kept in metal containers with tightly-fitting lids.
    h. No Running at Large. No person owning, keeping, maintaining or harboring a chicken shall permit, suffer or allow a chicken to run at large upon any public streets or upon any private property except upon premises where permission has been given by the owner.
    i. No Disturbing the Peace. No person owning, keeping, maintaining or harboring a chicken shall permit, suffer or allow a chicken to disturb the peace or quiet of the neighborhood by creating a noise across a residential property line continually for ten (10) minutes or intermittently for thirty (30) minutes, unless provoked.
    j. Penalty. Any person owning, keeping or harboring a chicken, who violates or fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this Section 5-9, shall be liable for a penalty as prescribed in Chapter III, Law Enforcement Regulations, Section 3-1, for each and every offense.
    SECTION 2. Repealer. All other ordinances of the Township of XXXXXX which are in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict.
    SECTION 3. Severability. If any part of this Ordinance shall be invalid, such parts shall be deemed severable and the invalidity thereof shall not affect the remaining part of this Ordinance.
    SECTION 4. Effective Date. This Ordinance shall become effective upon publication.

    Date introduced:
    Date Advertised:
    Date Adopted:​
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  2. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    well, i can say that this is a little scary…

    i. No Disturbing the Peace. No person owning, keeping, maintaining or harboring a chicken shall permit, suffer or allow a chicken to disturb the peace or quiet of the neighborhood by creating a noise across a residential property line continually for ten (10) minutes or intermittently for thirty (30) minutes, unless provoked.


    my hens make constant noise sometimes when laying. sorry neighbors! but allowing your dogs to bark at me whenever I walk into or am in my yard is annoying too. deal with a little noise just like i have to deal with your barking and fighting dogs!
     
  3. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    To me it seems who ever wrote this did not really understand how keeping chickens works. Since the whole part about just having a rooster visit for fertilization. I also don't understand the part about the noise part. My hens are louder then my rooster. I am not sure but whoever wrote this needs a lesson in chickens.
     
  4. axion_lotus

    axion_lotus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It annoys me how people make such strict laws for keeping chickens, yet they don't seem to have any sort of limitations pertaining to how incessant and noisy a barking dog can be.

    My chickens never made a peep unless they were singing the egg song, and yet my neighbor's dog will bark its head off from 4am-8am every morning, and will howl and yap, and will not shut up.

    Some people are just ignorant and prejudiced, I suppose.
     
  5. Stevo

    Stevo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recieved a call from a fella that hunts on my farm about this. It was on the news. How are they going to enforce this? If you say the rooster has been here 2 days how would they know if he wasn't lol. Are they going to supply disease free stud roosters to everyone that owns chickens? Then have it punched in on a timeclock? I don't think so. I have enough acerage to keep hundreds of chickens. Neighbors cow makes more noise and stinky poop in a day (I actually like the smell lol) then my chickens make in a lifetime.

    This is just another reason why city folk need to stay in the city. If you come out to the country your gonna hear roosters, cows, pigs, and horses. I guess they would rather hear cars, trains, and boomboxes. [​IMG]
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    I think it is fairly reasonable as written.

    I do question why there is an acreage and stocking density requirement as I doubt there is any acreage requirement for keeping any other pets.

    Everything else seems to address common public concerns such as manure smells, feed attracting stray animals and rodents, roosters crowing, etc. The acreage requirement doesn't necessarily fall into a category of public concern. They could argue that it is for animal welfare, but save for enforcing other laws on animal cruelty they have really have no business prescribing any sort of animal welfare standards. As long as a person can build a coop 25' feet from the lot line and 50' from the neighbors structures, then I don't see what the amount of land has to do with it.
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Stevo - do you know what news station it was on? Thx. JJ
     
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Also don't understand the restriction against bids spending the night in their tractor. Some tractors are built to be secure, and for that matter, some yards are fenced to be secure.

    Nuisances should be addressed by hte nuisance, not its cause. Noise is noise, whether it is hensong, longcrowers, dogs barking, loud machinery or loud music; all can be equally annoying.
     
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Since it seems this may be destined for late night TV anyway, you may as well also see the newspaper articles that ID location. The first 2 hit late last week and the last is a regional paper's reaction to the whole thing that hit the papers today.


    N.J. town proposes limiting mating of roosters, chickens in backyard farms to 10 days a year
    http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2011/03/nj_town_proposes_limiting_mati.html
    Published: Thursday, March 17, 2011, 8:35 AM
    By Lisa Coryell/For The Times

    Martin Griff / The Times of TrentonThree-year-old Giuseppe Panzittia of Pennington is handed a Red Star hen to hold by John Hart at Rosedale Mills in Hopewell Township on Wednesday. In the background is a portable chicken coop sold by Rosedale Mills which is owned by Hart's family.
    HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP — It might not make the chickens happy, but the township committee hopes to keep the peace in neighborhoods by limiting conjugal visits between roosters and hens in backyard farms.
    Male fowls would be allowed into the henhouses 10 days a year under an ordinance introduced by the township committee Monday night. No rooster would be allowed to stay more than five consecutive nights and any crowing would be strictly prohibited.
    "You can bet if you have one rooster in there with six hens, he’s going to be crowing," chuckled John Hart, a beef farmer who sits on the town Agricultural Advisory Committee that helped draft the ordinance. "Only in Hopewell Township would we waste the time and money on chicken legislation. Other towns are laughing at us."
    Hopewell began working on the law several years ago when a father came to town hall to inquire about rules for keeping chickens in the backyard to teach his children about the cycle of life. That ruffled feathers among the town officials, who decided the laws on chickens were ambiguous and needed to be clarified.
    Three years and countless legal hours later the ordinance was unveiled for consideration.
    The draft ordinance lays out the rules for keeping backyard fowl; the only livestock permitted on township properties less than five acres.
    Under the law, up to six hens would be allowed on half-acre lots; but mature roosters would be forbidden.
    "They make too much noise," Hart said. "They’ll be out there crowing at a full moon."
    The male fowls would be allowed limited time on the property "for purposes of fertilization" but they’d have to keep quiet while they were there. Any rooster caught crowing for a prolonged period of time would subject the property to a two-year moratorium on all rooster visits.
    Hens do not need roosters around to lay the unfertilized eggs used for eating. Each hen will lay an egg a day on average.
    The law also regulates how to shelter chickens, store their feed and dispose of their waste.
    Proponents say the ordinance is needed to prevent any squabbling among neighbors in places where suburbanites want to try their hand at chicken farming.
    Hart, who owns the Rosedale Mills feed store on Route 31, says it’s a growing trend among people looking for a healthier diet of homegrown food.
    "Most people keep the chickens so they can have fresh eggs," Hart said. "We used to sell 1,000 chicks a year. Last year we sold more than 3,000."
    Hart also sells chicken coops to people all over the state. One couple comes in from New York to buy supplies for a pair of chickens they keep on an outside deck, he said.
    He also hosts a Chicken Chat in the spring and the fall for people to share ideas about raising poultry.
    He recounted a conversation last spring between a little girl and an old-time farmer who attended the gathering. The child was asking for advice on what to do with a hen that pecked and broke the eggs laid by other hens.
    "The guy said, ‘I just wring their necks,’" Hart recalled. "I told him ‘No, no, no, you can’t tell people that. These people think of their chickens as pets!’"
    Mayor Jim Burd said the ordinance is a good balance between the town’s suburban lifestyle and rich farming history.
    "Our agrarian roots are the backbone of the township and we want to do what we can to keep that going," Burd said.


    HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP: Chickens may find new roosts
    http://www.centraljersey.com/articl...alley_news/news/doc4d81297dd5080423809413.txt
    DATE POSTED: Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:05 AM EDT
    By John Tredrea, Staff Writer HOPEWELL VALLEY NEWS

    Residents whose homes are on lots at least one-half acre in size would be able to keep up to six chickens on their properties under a measure introduced by the Hopewell Township Committee Monday night.
    The proposed ordinance, scheduled for a public hearing and adoption vote April 25, is backed by the Residential Animal Agriculture Subcommittee of the township’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.
    For homes on lots larger than one-half acre, up to four additional chickens may be kept for each additional half-acre. Mature roosters would be prohibited. However, roosters may visit the property, for purposes of fertilizing chickens, up to 10 per days per year, but no more than five days consecutively.
    A cockerel, or young male chicken, that crows would have to be removed from the property.
    Slaughtering chickens in public view would be prohibited.
    Chickens would have to be in a fully enclosed shelter, in the rear yard, at least 25 feet from any neighboring property line and at least 50 feet from any neighboring house.
    The size of the shelters would be limited. Feed and waste would have to be kept in tight containers.
    Chickens would be prohibited from running at large or disturbing the peace. There would be penalties for violations.
    The measure was backed Monday by John Hart, a farmer and former township mayor and member of the township’s Agricultural Advisory Committee, and Ted Borer, of the subcommittee on Residential Animal Agriculture.
    The proposed ordinance “is consistent with ordinances in townships across the country,” said Mr. Borer.


    Crow magnum
    http://www.nj.com/opinion/times/editorials/index.ssf?/base/news-1/130068632077050.xml&coll=5
    Monday, March 21, 2011
    TRENTON TIMES EDITORIAL
    Really?
    Hopewell Township has spent three years and countless legal hours working out an official response to the logistics and decibels involved in animal husbandry. Specifically, it's drafted an ordinance that lays down the law concerning the lifestyles and propagation of chickens.
    Among the regulations spelled out in the ordinance:
    - Slaughtering chickens in public view would be prohibited.
    - Chickens would have to be in a fully enclosed shelter, in the rear yard, at least 25 feet from any neighboring property line and at least 50 feet from any neighboring house.
    - The size of the shelters would be limited. Feed and waste would have to be kept in tight containers.
    - Chickens would be prohibited from running at large or disturbing the peace. There would be penalties for violations.
    - And while up to six hens would be allowed on half-acre lots, mature roosters would be forbidden because of their proclivity for crowing upon conquest.
    As Lisa Coryell reported in The Times last week, conjugal visits for the purpose of "fertilization" will be limited to 10 days a year, but no more than five consecutive nights.
    Any raucous and prolonged crowing could result in a two-year moratorium on all rooster visits to the scene of the cry.
    Proponents of the regulations say they're needed to prevent squabbling among neighbors in places where suburbanites want to try their hand at chicken farming.
    The ordinance began to take shape several years ago when a resident asked about rules for keeping chickens in the back yard so he could teach his children about the cycle of life. But some residents made it clear they did not want the soundtrack of that lesson to wake them up in the wee hours. And so town officials decided the laws on chickens were ambiguous and needed clarification.
    They may have done their job too well.
    This chicken ordinance represents the propensity to over-legislate instead of encouraging neighbors to talk things over, work things out, and live in harmony. Other towns have sought to outlaw barking, leaf blowers, and even the jangling tunes from ice cream trucks in their efforts to keep the peace.
    While each community has the right to decide what it will not tolerate, some of these laws can be more troublesome than the problem they're meant to address. And they represent the tendency to turn over to lawmakers what ought to be handled by individuals.
    It's also hard to believe that at a time when there are so many troubles and problems competing for municipal attention, Hopewell Township could devote so much time and energy to the matters of chicken mating and muting.
    Mayor Jim Burd said the ordinance, which is up for a formal vote in April, is a good balance between the town's suburban lifestyle and farming history. "Our agrarian roots are the backbone of the township, and we want to do what we can to keep that going," he says.
    But those who cultivated that agrarian past presumably had much more common sense than to try to legislate nature.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  10. AbeBot

    AbeBot Out Of The Brooder

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    This bag of donkey-hats need to get a real problem to fix. Idiots.
     

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