Raising chickens in Newport News, VA may run afoul of the law

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by IRChicken, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. IRChicken

    IRChicken Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2011
    NEWPORT NEWS — Michael Morris picked up his brown-feathered chicken, Gladys, and petted her like a cat or dog.

    "These are my pets," said Morris, who feeds the chickens apples and grapes. "I enjoy watching them interact. They all have different personalities. They're not very bright, though."

    Morris, who this spring acquired five hens and one rooster from a farm in York County, said Wednesday he was upset recently to see a city complaint notice on his door last week. He lives in the historic Huntington Heights neighborhood in Newport News, and owning chickens runs afoul of a city ordinance that disallows farm animals. Hampton has a similar ordinance.

    "This is not the Soviet Union," Morris said. "Nobody should be able to say what we can and can't do."
    Atiya Pope, animal services director for Newport News, said that the law doesn't permit chickens for residents who live within 175 feet of their neighbors. She said roosters, especially, can be too loud.

    However, Pope said that the city inspector who visited Morris' house last week found that the coop was "immaculate."

    "He has a great set-up for the chickens. It was ideal conditions," Pope said. "As long as we don't get continuous complaints, we don't enforce (animal laws) too heavily. What we're most concerned about is sanitation."

    Pope said the city's animal control laws are outdated — some of them are 50 years old — and she would like to see the laws revamped.

    Raising chickens in Newport News, VA may run afoul of the law - Daily Press

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