Vague City Ordinance.. am I just going to get shut down?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Luke13:34, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Songster

    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    Hi. I'm new here and don't have any chickens as of yet, but plan to get our first chicks in the Spring (still doing all my research, clearing the area behind the garage and needing to build a coop/run).

    I sent an email to the Ask City Hall person on my town's website to ask if the keeping of chickens was legal. This is the reply:

    "Chapter 56, Animals, No person shall keep any swine, goats or fowl in any place or manner which, in the opinion of the Health Officer, may become a menace or nuisance to any other person. "

    So.. to me this says that I CAN keep chickens, as long as they are not a menace or nuisance. However, if I have one neighbor suddenly decide they want to cause trouble, they could call the health officer and I could get shut down. I want to raise chickens not only as a way to get eggs and to have a pet, but for my special needs child. She loves animals - especially birds. Keeping chickens would allow her to socialize with other kids through 4-H and gain self-confidence through exhibitions. I don't want to spend the money on the startup costs, however, if her little heart is just going to get crushed by one person complaining.

    Should I try to contact the Health Officer before we move forward?

  2. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    I sure would contact the Health Officer-sounds like it is at his/her discretion who gets to keep birds and who doesn't. Very strange...
  3. 1_FnkyFrm

    1_FnkyFrm Songster

    Jun 6, 2010
    Knoxville, Tn
    Would be a good idea to talk to your neighbors too..
  4. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Yep, start with talking to neighbors and officials. If everyone gives you the thumbs up, you'll need to keep everyone happy by having an attractive and predator-proof coop and keeping your animals and pens VERY clean. And no roosters. And the donation of a dozen eggs every now and then would be another good plan.
  5. sprawli

    sprawli In the Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    I live in a small town and serve on the Zoning Ordinance Commission. That ordinance is not well written. One thing we, as a committee, have to avoid is making an ordinance so arbitrary like that. You may also want to talk with a city councilperson and make them aware of how that ordinance reads. It sure gives a lot of power to one person to possibly show prejudice or favor. And what happens if the current officer is ok with it, and then the next one isn't? Precedence also carries a lot of weight with ordinances. Does anyone else in town have chickens? Sounds like a very dated ordinance to me... You may want to ask when it was written.
  6. sprawli

    sprawli In the Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    Quote:Very sound advice no matter what the ordinance says. We just started getting eggs and will soon be passing them out to the neighbors...
  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Be careful about handing out eggs....what if one gets sick and you can be sued for it. That is why I do not give away eggs to neighbors for peace keeping. Only if they ask for some, I will be more than happy to give out extras.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: