Received a Letter From City Today

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by countrychickengirl, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. countrychickengirl

    countrychickengirl The Delaware Project

    Dec 4, 2009
    I am so devastated!! I received a letter from the city today stating that a complaint had been received and that our city does not allow the keeping of livestock and that my chickens must be removed by Sept 16. The code is as follows:

    Sec. 16-81.3 Types of nuisances
    Each of the following places, conditions or things is declared to constitute a public nuisance, and whenever the code enforcement officer determines that any of these conditions exist upon any premises, the officer may require or provide for the abatement thereof pursuant to this chapter:
    (19) Livestock (goats, chickens, pigs, cows, horses, mules, other varieties of fowl etc.) in the city except as permitted in an A-1 or A-2 zone.

    Am I stuck here??? Do I have any recourse??? I have been looking through all of the ordinances for the city and it seems that there is no way around this. However, several people nearby own chickens, cows, and goats - not to mention the hound dogs that start barking in unison every night at 7!!

    Any help would be appreciated.....


  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    That is wild that they already consider livestock a "public nuisance" no matter how it's kept. And I know about the boondocks! Are you in the city limits? What is Zone A-1 or A-2?
  3. kakayona

    kakayona In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2009
    I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.[​IMG]
  4. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2010
    Coatesville, PA
    As I read your description it says "may" not "must or Shall" you need to find out if there have been any exceptions in the past and why.

  5. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    I received a similar letter a few months ago... immediately I panicked.

    How many chickens do you have? Do you consider them pets? Are you selling them or their eggs, are you eating the chickens? This is basically what my township wanted to know. I made an appointment with the zoning officer, took lots of paper off the internet that talks about them as pets, used the 4H connection with my kids, etc. Basically got laughed at and told to live my life. They were regarded as pets and unless there are more complaints, reasonable complaints, then they would deal with it. He also offered to assist me with putting a proposal together to legalize them in my township.

    I have an idea of who called the township, but they remained annonomous... and because of that, the zoning office put the complaint on the back burner. I found that unless the problem is obvious, then they need to prove the problem... no proof, no problem...

    Good luck...
  6. countrychickengirl

    countrychickengirl The Delaware Project

    Dec 4, 2009
    Thanks for the advice - we have 11 total (10 hens, 1 rooster) and we consider them pets. We are using the eggs for food and are not butchering or selling anything. We are considered inside the city limits. A1 and A2 are different types of agricultural zones.

    Our next door neighbor also recieved the same notice today and she thinks it was her neighbor that made the complaint, but we are prepared to do the research and do what we can to have this ordinance changed. With all of the other "nuisances" that are going on around us, we feel that this is just crazy to tell us we have to remove the chickens.

    Keep your fingers crossed for us!!

    Thanks again!!
  7. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress 9 Years

    [​IMG] Best of luck to you!

  8. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Quote:ISTR that in Georgia chickens are legally not livestock according to the state, you might have recourse in a court of law.

    They could strike the definition parts that conflict with the state's definition.

    This would remove chickens etc from being considered a nuisance.
  9. chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

    chickfamilyonsleepyhollow Songster 8 Years

    Best of luck ... I hope you will be able to keep them [​IMG]

  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:This type of wording is often addressed in the "rules of construction."

    If keeping chickens and/or other fowl is and has been common in your area, you may want to band together with the neighbors who have been keeping them (and the longer the better) to seek a change to the ordinance, or ro have it ruled as uneforceable due to past non-enforcement.

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