Support amending ordinance in Cape Carteret, NC

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by ncfishman, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. ncfishman

    ncfishman Hatching

    Dec 11, 2014
    Cape Carteret, NC
    I have requested the local city commission to amend an ordinance to allow the responsible keeping of a few chickens. If anyone local could lend support, I would appreciate it. Below is the letter I sent for reference.

    Eddie Seegers and fellow commissioners,

    More than 30 municipalities in the state already permit raising chickens within their limits, including Chapel Hill, Fayetteville, Cary, and neighboring Cedar Point and Swansboro. I’d like to request the Town of Cape Carteret consider doing the same and amend its ordinances to move chickens from the town’s definition of livestock to the definition of household pets.

    The two major concerns about raising chickens are misconceptions from people who are not familiar with the animals. They do not stink: A well-maintained coop will not smell, and the manure produced by four or five hens is about the amount produced by an average dog. And they are not loud: Hens, which go to bed at dusk and remain quiet overnight, produce minimal noise at a level comparable to a conversation between adults and much lower than that of a barking dog. Roosters are the noisy ones, and they are rarely permitted in chicken ordinances. The benefits, on the other hand, are substantial. The manure can be composted and repurposed as nutrient-rich fertilizer. They control flies and other pests. They dispose of weeds and kitchen scrap. They lay healthier eggs compared to store-bought.

    The neighboring township of Cedar Point amended its ordinances in September, 2013 on Restricted Animals (3-5) to ‘No animals, livestock or poultry of any kind, other than traditional household pets and chickens for domestic egg production only, shall be kept or maintained with the Town, except on bona fide farming operations (3-5.1).’ Chris Seaberg, the Town Administrator indicated that they have had no complaints since the ordinance was amended and when asked if he would make any changes he responded “No, if any issues arise they would reconsider the issue at that time.” The nearby city of Swansboro changed its ordinance nearly a year ago to permit chickens within the town. Since then there have been zero complaints, according to Swansboro Planner Jennifer Holland, who studied other local ordinances when drafting one for the town.
    I would not anticipate an extensive amount of time or effort to develop any necessary rules and regulations associated with this. I propose following the lead of our neighboring cities in drafting regulations for the proper care of backyard chickens in Cape Carteret. They include: A limit of six chickens; Chickens only in back yards, and the structures to house them must follow rules that govern other accessory structures; No commercial use of the chickens; Enforcing the same nuisance laws that govern pets; No chickens at multifamily residences; and No minimum lot size.

    As a voting member of this community, I appreciate your consideration of this matter and can provide you with more information on suburban chicken keeping. Feel free to contact me at: 252-503-1738 or

  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    That's impressive! I'm on our local town council and formerly served on the Planning and Zoning Commission, and I know just how I'd react to a letter like that. Well written, non-judgmental, and no hostility in a single word. Well done! The only thing I'd have recommended you add would have been actual copies of the ordinances of the other towns - just those sections which apply to chicken keeping. Since your letter is already sent, I'd recommend having those copies on hand so that if they request further information you can immediately comply.

    You'd get a "yes" vote from me, even if I didn't have chickens myself!
    1 person likes this.

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