So I have to apply for a variance to have chickens in Augusta, MI

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by cheraboo, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. cheraboo

    cheraboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had to move all of our birds a couple of weeks ago after a visit by the local police. I checked with the village hall and we are not allowed to keep livestock in village limits - never mind that this was the 2nd year we raised turkeys in our backyard for 4H AND we've had our breed birds for about a year and no one ever said anything. The good news is that we can apply for a variance so we can legally keep chickens but we have to have the approval of all of our neighbors whose yards border our yard. Then we take that to the next council meeting, which is Monday and ask permission.

    So Jacob and I are going to write something up and go see all 5 neighbors encircling our backyard and ask that they agree we can keep most of our hens. I just found out that our new next door neighbors, who are renters, are the ones that complained to the police in the first place. I'm really hoping their yard doesn't touch theirs so we don't have to go over there. I know it's petty but I just can't see myself going over and talking to these people when they couldn't bother stopping by to ask if we could do something about the crowing and quacking. Real neighborly to just call the police .... grrr... so anyway, keep your fingers crossed for us.
     
  2. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Doesn't Michigan have a statewide "Right to Farm" law? I thought I read that on here a couple of times.

    Where I am all the town and village and city ordinances against livestock and farm animals are superseded by a 4-H clause.

    Check your state and county variances.

    As for the Unneighborly Neighbors -- twop can play that game -- there are noise ordinances and trash ordinances and dogs at large ordinances and curfew ordinances and loud mower ordinances. Every time they make a peep or have a blade of grass out of place you can call the police too... or even the mayor -- mayors like those kinds of complaints. And since they are renters... pretty soon they are gone.

    Jenny
     
  3. cheraboo

    cheraboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Checking into the Right to Farm Act.
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Yes, the RTFA supercede's the city ordinance. The fact that your birds are 4H projects very much supports that they are a farming project, not just pets.
     
  5. cheraboo

    cheraboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should I skip the neighbors signatures and just print out a copy of the Right to Farm Act, highlight the applicable sections and present that at the village council meeting?
     
  6. cheraboo

    cheraboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got a copy of the village ordinance this afternoon. It says no livestock is allowed in the village unless a permit has been issued. I have to laugh because one of the conditions is that you can only have one animal on one acre of land unless the neighbors agree to "allow more, but then not more than two such animals per acre". Give me a break! An acre for 1-2 chickens? Ha! I get it when it comes to the larger livestock such as pigs and cows but chickens? So it looks like that'll be another item we have to lobby for a change.
     
  7. tasymo

    tasymo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Absolutely present the Michigan Right to Farm Act to your Village council. It's possible that they are simply not aware of it, and even if they are, didn't think the average citizen would know about it. If it looks like too big a headache for them, they may back down It worked for me! Just make it very clear to the council that YOU are not backing down.
     
  8. cheraboo

    cheraboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to thank everyone for their advice and hand holding. I am so nervous about tonight but we're going to go for it and we definitely are not going to quit. I've never been to a council meeting before so not really sure how things will go. I figure I'll play it by ear. I'm taking a copy of the RTFA, the GAAMP, a list of cities that allow chickens as well as towns in Michigan that have recently changed their ordinances to allow chickens and maybe a few misc chicken statistics. We're definitely going to make 4H a main focus. We'll have signatures of some of our neighbors - those who are willing to support us. All five of my kids will be there with me as DH is out of town for work. At least two other 4H families will be there to support us as well. The meeting is at 7P. Everyone please wish us luck. I'll post an update when we get home.
     
  9. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    Good Luck [​IMG] It sounds like you have good support with you, and you should be fine. Don't let them boss you around, and stick to your guns. [​IMG]


    Bluemoon
     
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    You might take copies of some of the rulings in RTFA cases that have made it to Michigan's Supreme Court. A couple were listed in a different thread.
     

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