So, umm, how DO you find out if you're a legal eagle or an outlaw?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Bettacreek, May 17, 2010.

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    I searched for any ordinances against poultry in my town and found nothing, so went ahead with it. I am now wondering, don't towns usually have something that at least says that you CAN have them? How do I find out if I'm actually abiding by the law?
     
  2. fargosmom

    fargosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You want to check out your city's ordinances. Most are posted on-line at the city's main site; sometimes you might have to contact the city for a copy. There will be a section concerning animal control and the chicken/poultry/livestock rules should be there. Either way you owe it to yourself to find out - if you're legal then great, but if you're not it will give you an idea of how careful you need to be - or maybe the next campaign for you to take to your city council!

    Good luck and I hope you're on the legal side!

    BTW - if you do find out the info - you should use it to update the BYC chicken ordinances page for your city.
    And . . . if you can't find anything out, and need to contact the city to ask, you can be "anonymous" and suggest that you're thinking of moving to town, but want to know before you buy property what the rules are. That way you're not outing yourself if it turns out you shouldn't have them. Best wishes!
     
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Do you have a town hall? Call them.. they will direct you to the right people..
     
  4. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    The only thing that I can find online is building ordinances and ordinances about how you can't let your dogs/cats poop on someone else's property without picking it up. [​IMG] I might check the library to see if they have anything. I'd like to be slightly sneakier than calling, we're a really tiny town and if I were to ask and it were illegal, I'd probably have an officer down here later that day. [​IMG]
     
  5. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Quote:I know what you mean... we hesitated a long time before asking...lol
    I sent my hubby in to ask... and i told him he had better NOT give our address to them if they ask....lol
    call from a pay phone or unlisted cell phone...lol... i would...
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  6. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Quote:I know what you mean... we hesitated a long time before asking...lol
    I sent my hubby in to ask... and i told him he had better NOT give our address to them if they ask....lol
    call from a pay phone or unlisted cell phone...lol... i would...

    Lol. I could always call from my pre-pay cell, which still has my Bellefonte address (an hour away) with a different area code. I'd just have to find some service up here, lol. That's probably what I'll do. I wonder if they even have caller ID?
     
  7. VigilanteChick

    VigilanteChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Good Luck!
    I knew keeping chickens in my town was against the current city zoning code, because there is a big movement to change the ordinance. I decided I'd like to see how the language was worded, and I read through the city code. twice. It's very long and there is no table of contents- at least not online, and I found NO mention of chickens, other than the definition, "poultry" are considered livestock. (and livestock was not mentioned again, except to say that you couldn't tie it up outside without providing water.)
    This made me really curious: many cities in Iowa never bothered to ban urban chickens, and I thought perhaps they are actually allowed here, too? so, I decided to be completely upfront and straightforward and I called animal control. I told them who I was, where I lived, and that I was interested in keeping chickens, AND that I had been searching the city code with no luck. I spoke with the person in charge of animal control and she actually laughed. We had a very nice chat about chickens. She let me know that she knows of a number of "illegal" chicken keepers in town, and as long as there are no complaints, it's not an issue. She feels she has better things to do with her time than to stalk chicken people, and she's never had a complaint about a chicken. I'm sure people do their best to get along with their neighbors, and don't keep roos, but it was good to hear. She also said that she couldn't find anything in the city code either, and her solution was to call the zoning office whenever a question came up. She suggested that I do that, in order to 1. find out the wording for myself, and 2. suggest that they make it easier to navigate the code, so that citizens could find out answers without taking up the time of the employees. I haven't made that call, yet.
    I took a great deal of comfort from my talk with animal control and it felt good to be above board. I do not feel like I have a target on my back. I'm not sure I'd get the same feeling from the city zoning office, which is the main reason I haven't be in touch with them! I had considered calling from a friend's out-of-state cell phone. lol.
    I hope this helpful. [​IMG]
     
  8. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    Here it is legal to own chickens got a complint that my coop was not 50 feet away from some ones house so I have to move my coop the boss at the dog pound got chickens this year so now worries there call the dog pound if there is one they should know one way or another.
     
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    THere can be any number of parts of the city ordinances and zoning code that you need to check. First place to check is ZONING CODE, which may or may not be part of the city ordinances. The zoning code identifies various types of zones for different purposes: residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, etc. There may be more than one zone for any of these categories, with somewhat different rules. A usual part of the code for each zone is the types of uses that are allowed or allowed with certain conditions (such as a use permit). Many, if not most, also contain a section called "rules of construction" that says that if something is not specifically allowed, it is disallowed.

    Once you determine that zoning either permits or does not prohibit poultry, then you need to check the remainder of the city ordinances to see whether there are any specific rules about chickens or animals in general.
     
  10. jenmamahen

    jenmamahen Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:You could always say that you're calling for a friend who is thinking of moving to your town and who already owns chickens.
     

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