1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Rockledge, Florida - Let's Change the Law

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by CrosStitching, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    70
    3
    33
    Jul 25, 2012
    My name is Erin, and I am ready for a change in the Rockledge, FL municipal code to allow for the keeping of Chickens.
    I've been doing a lot of research online looking up current codes in Rockledge and Melbourne, FL where chickens are currently allowed with permits (free permits, I think).

    If anyone lives in the City of Rockledge and would like to help me with this effort, please message me.

    Thanks!!!

    Erin
     
  2. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    70
    3
    33
    Jul 25, 2012
    I am calling our planning/zoning official today at the suggestion of our code enforcer to find out what the first step is in changing our cities code. Wish me luck!
     
  3. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    70
    3
    33
    Jul 25, 2012
    Apparently our official is working to put in a new park and edible garden in a lower income area this weekend, so I'll plan on mailing him this letter on Monday. What do you think?

    Hello Mr. Griffin,

    I was referred to you by Ms. Maddie Curtis. For the past few months, I have been looking into owning a few chickens as pets. After doing extensive research, contacted Ms. Curtis to find out if it was even legal to keep chickens in Rockledge. I was very disappointed to find out that it is not legal, and she suggested I contact you to request a change in Zoning Regulations for the residential Rockledge area.

    For my own personal use and at the request of my husband, I researched the benefits, requirements, expenses, and even drawbacks as keeping chickens as pets. My research was very encouraging and I learned a great deal that persuaded me to believe chicken keeping would be a good option for our family. My husband and oldest son are severely allergic to dogs and cats, but chickens would not pose a problem. But since I am requesting a change that should apply to, and benefit, everyone, I'd like to list the benefits and most common concerns when keeping chickens as pets. I have attached this file as a word document for your convenience.

    The following is my suggested proposal for the change to the municipal code that would govern the keeping of these pets. I have taken into account the average lot size for single-family homes, the amount of birds needed to provide for an average family of four, noise and nuisance regulations, enclosure requirements, and distance from neighbors.

    Under Section 88.00
    a. Small flocks of poultry will be allowed within residential areas under the following conditions:
    1. No more than four (4) hens shall be allowed for each single-family dwelling.
    2. No roosters shall be allowed.
    3. Hens shall be included in the number of four (4) allowable pets along with dogs, cats, and other domesticated pets.
    Ex: 2 hens, 1 dog, 1 cat for a total of four domestic pets.
    4. Hens must be kept in secure enclosures and are not allowed off of the owner’s property. Under direct supervision, hens may be allowed to free range in a fully enclosed, fenced-in yard.
    5. Enclosures must be kept at least 25ft from the nearest neighbor’s residence.
    6. Hens must be housed in clean, humane coops that are regularly maintained to prevent offensive odors.
    7. Feed must be stored in pest-proof containers, such as a 5 gallon bucket with tight fitting lid.


    This is a collegiate essay that I found most helpful in understanding and creating chicken laws in residential areas.
    http://media.timesfreepress.com/docs/2009/01/Ordinance_research_paper.pdf
    It is a comparison of 25 United States cities where chicken keeping is allowed and the different laws within these cities. It was written to help city councils make informed and wise regulations in favor of keeping chickens within residential backyards.

    The urban chicken movement is growing in popularity and is something many cities (such as Melbourne) have decided to, or are in the process of considering to support. I believe that Rockledge is the perfect city for a reform of the current law to take place. Backyard hen keeping is a wonderful companion to the urban garden movement that our city supported just this weekend by planting an edible garden at the new Anderson Park. I know our city cares about sustainability as evidenced by the recent recycling initiatives and by offering the old hobo garbage cans to residents for composting use. Hen keeping is another great way to encourage natural recycling, that is sustainable, while also offering residents charming pets who give back with daily with fresh organic eggs. I sincerely hope that my request will be given careful consideration and thought. I would be happy to answer any questions that may arise and research additional concerns that you may have.

    Thank you for your time and all your hard work,

    Sincerely,

    Erin Cross
     
  4. Carin

    Carin Chillin' With My Peeps

    162
    17
    91
    Oct 16, 2011
    South Africa
    My suggestion is to never limit yourself to only hens from the beginning. The potential noise from a rooster would be handled under a nuisance law that properly already exist. If needed that can be a negotiated settlement in talks. That will give the city a feeling of some win some loose. [​IMG]

    I am so thankful for living where I live in some aspects.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  5. robertamiyeko

    robertamiyeko New Egg

    5
    0
    6
    Jul 27, 2012
    The 25 feet from another house can also be hard if you live in an urban area. Right now in Long Beach, CA the codes are also being changed. A small building such as a shed or in this case a coop is allowed up to the property line. It would be nice for people who wanted to let their chicken free range to do that without direct supervision. This would allow people to use automatic chicken doors that would open and close at appropriate day light hours to keep them safe. Most working people can't watch their chickens all day but would still like them to free range.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  6. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    70
    3
    33
    Jul 25, 2012
    Thanks for your thought! I have adjusted the proposal to read as follows:

    Under Section 88.00
    a. Small flocks of poultry will be allowed within residential areas under the following conditions:
    1. No more than four (4) hens shall be allowed for each single-family dwelling.
    2. No roosters shall be allowed.
    3. Hens shall be included in the number of four (4) allowable pets along with dogs, cats, and other domesticated pets.
    Ex: 2 hens, 1 dog, 1 cat for a total of four domestic pets.
    4. Hens must be enclosed within the owner’s property at all times in a hen house, run, or fully-enclosed fenced-in yard with access to a hen house.
    5. Hens must be housed in clean, humane houses that are regularly maintained to prevent offensive odors.
    6. Feed must be stored in pest-proof containers, such as a 5 gallon bucket with tight fitting lid.

    I adjusted the 4th and 5th points and took out the distance and limited free-ranging. I wish we could have roosters here too, but it's just not possible on the .15acre lots we have. We'd hear them all day long and it would drive us all crazy :)

    Thanks for your help!
     
  7. whistle 3095

    whistle 3095 New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Jun 1, 2012
    Hello Erin Please keep us posted on your outcome as I live north of you in Palatka and would love some backyard chickens.My problem is I have 3 dogs so 1 chicken wouldnt do much for me.Will be waiting to see your outcome. Mrs Puckridge
     
  8. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    70
    3
    33
    Jul 25, 2012
    I will! You could always adjust the proposal to fit your needs and area. Rockledge lots are pretty small and close together and there is already a 4pet limit in place.
     
  9. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    70
    3
    33
    Jul 25, 2012
    Guess What! I just spoke with Mr. Griffin of our Zoning dept. and he said that the planning commission will be meeting to decide if chickens will be allowed on Sept. 4, 2012, at 6pm at Rockledge City Hall! He was in favor of the idea, and said that by combining some of Sarasota's and Orlando's regulations, they should be able to put something together for the city.
    Anyone can attend the meeting and speak, So mark your calendars!!!!

    Rockledge City Hall
    Sept. 4, 2012
    6pm


    Say YES to the Chickens!!!!
     
  10. CrosStitching

    CrosStitching Out Of The Brooder

    70
    3
    33
    Jul 25, 2012
    YAY!!! First hurdle conquered! Thanks to everyone who turned out for the meeting and on such short notice too. The meeting went very well and was supported somewhat enthusiastically by the planning/zoning board. They came up with some very nice work and the proposal was approved (6 to 1) by the board to be taken before the City Council for final approval on the third wed of this month! We're so excited and again thanks to Avid Homestead and the Extension Office coming out to support us and offer knowledgeable and practical answers to the boards questions/concerns and the residents too who were able to be there.

    Now we just have to get this passed through the City Council on
    Wed, Sept. 19th, 6pm
    @ Rockledge, FL City Hall


    Thanks!!!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by