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Sunnyvale seems okay with chickens but...

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by annaraven, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    So, I'm investigating the Sunnyvale Municipal Codes for animals.
    Chickens are mentioned in two places:

    6.16.090. Animals near residences.
    It is unlawful for any person to pen, enclose, or otherwise confine, any chicken, duck, pigeon, or any other bird or fowl, within twenty-five feet of an inhabited residence without the written consent of the occupant of such residence. It is unlawful for any person to stake, tie, or otherwise confine, any animal, except a dog, within two hundred feet of an inhabited residence, without the written consent of the occupant of such residence. (Ord. 1628-71 § 2 (part): prior code § 5-1.409).

    6.16.015. Nuisances by animals.

    (b) It is unlawful for any person to keep any rabbits, chickens, pigeons, hogs or pigs or goats, or cows or any animal or any fowl or birds in any pen, building, yard or enclosure within the city, in such a manner that the same becomes or is a nuisance.

    Does this mean I can keep a rooster as long as the neighbor doesn't object?? Anyone have an educated opinion?

  2. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley

    I'm hoping that someone will know. I'd love to keep my Marilyn (who turned out to be Merlin instead). DH is nearly in tears over the thought of losing hir. It *looks* to me like it's okay - since there's nothing specifically stating "hens only". Is that how ya'll would interpret that?
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sounds like if a neighbor says it is a nuisance, then it is a nuisance. If they really don't mind, they won't mind signing a statement. Just remember that roosters can be heard a lot farther away than next door.
  4. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Good point on the rooster being heard further. Of course, the neighbors across the street have a hound that bays regularly... and nobody's given them a hard time.
  5. Mrsfoote

    Mrsfoote Songster

    Jul 19, 2010
    Laurel Montana
    Sunnyvale CALIFORNIA Chicken Ordinance
    Are Chickens Allowed in Sunnyvale Yes
    Max Chickens Allowed ZONING ORDINANCES APPLY
    Roosters Allowed No
    Permit Required No
    Coop Restrictions: Sanitation, proximity, noise, zoning, building restrictions apply.
    City/Organization Contact name: Sunnyvale, California - Home Page Contact: Sunnyvale City Clerk: (408)730-7483 Email: cityclerk@ci.sunnyvale.ca.us
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:It is pretty common to have "nuisance" defined by law, and a nuisance ordinance. Generally, it is something that a typical person would find to be a nuisance, and deals with noise, odor, trash, unsanitary conditions, poorly maintained property (both structures and lawn), safety issues, etc.

    As to whether roosters can be heard next door or farther, it party depends on how far away "next door" is, and partly on the coop. [​IMG] I know several people whose coops are true buildings, and even the crowing of multiple roosters is a sound that you can only hear if you are standing immediately next to it or coop windows are open.
  7. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    So, someone asked about chickens in Sunnyvale on a mailing list. Which gave me an excuse to call and ask "for a friend who's moving to Sunnyvale". ;-)

    pen or coop 25 feet from dwelling
    kept in a way that it doesn't draw pests - flies, rodents
    If someone calls and complains, they would investigate and "educate the owner"!
    noise nuisance is handled by a different desk but is similar to barking dogs
    and there is NO limit on number of chickens! (as long as they're kept properly)

    So - there you have it. As long as you've got your recommended 10sqfeet per chicken run and 4 sqfeet of coop and everything's 25 feet or more from the neighbor's *house* (not the property line) and you don't have a noise problem, you're fine. So, if you have a backyard that's 20x40, you could, theoretically, keep 80 chickens, as long as they're not drawing flies and their eggsongs aren't driving the neighbors crazy. I still wouldn't keep a rooster in the city just because the crowing could disturb the neighbors at night and that's just rude.

  8. macdoogle

    macdoogle Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    San Diego
    I'm interested in this post because I may have a rooster soon as I'm hatching eggs. In this area roosters are allowed as long as neighbors don't complain about the noise. I'm looking at insulating my coop, but that may be hard. As long as City ordinance says I'm allowed to have a Roo, I'll see how things go. I've been bribing neighbors with eggs for a while.
  9. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Anna, so glad you were able to get solid info!

    I always advise against roosters in an urban or suburban environment unless someone is planning to breed chickens, knows 100% that they are allowed in their area, and 100% knows the neighbors (all of them) won't mind.

    There are just too many cons to having roosters in the city than there are pros. I've been to way too many meetings where "chickens are too noisy" is usually one of the top 3 big arguments against them. Often this is due to people having roosters in areas that they shouldn't, so it just makes it more difficult for the rest of the peeps that are trying to get a small backyard flock.
  10. macdoogle

    macdoogle Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    San Diego
    Quote:Well then. I may have to re-consider. I just want one quiet little Roo. Especially if it hatched from one of my eggs and it's sitting here on my shoulder as I type.

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