Vague ordinance..

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Tomtommom, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Tomtommom

    Tomtommom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2013
    Montevallo, AL
    I have read our ordinance for Montevallo, AL dozens of times.. I have been aware of it for years, and I a realize it's never EVER enforced.

    Sec. 4-26. - Unlawful owner activity.
    It is unlawful to:​
    Abandon a dog;
    Permit a dog or cat to run at large;
    Permit loud and frequent barking or yelping of any dog;
    Permit a dog to urinate or defecate on the property of another;
    Hinder the chief of police or any other city official who is enforcing sections 4-23 to 4-26;
    Keep an unlicensed dog that is required to be licensed;
    Harbor any vicious dog unless said dog is behind a fence with a sign thereon, clearly visible from off the owner's property, warning of a vicious dog in the city.
    (Code 1982, § 7-7; Ord. of 8-23-1955; Ord. No. 98C, 4-27-1998)

    OK, I have seen TONS of cats walk around freely. I have seen TONS of unlicensed dogs, my own included. I honestly don't think anyone licenses their dogs here. Considering the dates on the ordinances, the city may not even care. I have had animal control come by after we called them for an issue, and they saw my dogs, and didn't mention a thing.

    However, the city has been by before because my weeds were too tall (I am NOT kidding...) and a second time because we had some furniture in the yard that we needed to haul off.

    Sooo, I am concerned with the following ordinance:
    Sec. 4-21. - Public nuisance.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to keep any domestic or farm animal or fowl, including cats and dogs, within the city in such manner as will be a public or private health hazard, safety hazard, or a public or private nuisance because of obnoxious odors or noises, scattering of garbage, disruption of gardens, destruction of property, or destruction of beneficial wildlife protected by federal, state, or local law.
    (Code 1982, § 7-1; Ord. of 6-28-1955; Ord. No. 90A, 3-26-1990; Ord. No. 92G, 5-17-1992)

    It's vague to say the least. I -think- this says fowl is ok, if it sticks to the rules. But let's face it, the city could at any time decide my girls are a hazard or nuisance. They will be confined in a coop&run setup, so they're not doing any harm to anything. They don't stink and they will be no more noisy than my neighbors dog.. but if someone complains, "nuisance" is such a vague term.

    We live in a spacious neighborhood. 1/3 acre lots with 1950's homes, so very large yards with small houses. We're encouraged to have well kept vegetable gardens (we have a seed to table project) and we have a bicycle rental program.. FFA program.. stuff like that. They're all about the sustainable eco stuff ;) I just want 3-4 chickens. I am purposely placing them in a spot so they will be hard to see from the road.

    Think I'll be ok? (Don't have my girls yet, been planning for like 2 years, just worried about the city)
  2. Tegan

    Tegan Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2013
    How I'm reading it it seems ok. But be sure to check ZONING as well. Chickens aren't mentioned in any other area then zoning in our ords.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    I think with a nice setup and no roosters you should be fine. The first concern would be the 'health hazard' aspect and as long as you keep the feed secured from vermin and maintain good hygiene conditions in the coop you are golden. With the 'nuisance' aspect, keep them in a large run and don't keep roosters. They can't irritate dig up the neighbors garden from a run and hens just aren't that noisy.

    If you are really worried and want to keep it on the descrete side just in case, just make the coop look like a shed (you could even modify a shed into a coop if you wanted) and plant some bushes around the run. Honestly, my lot is .11 acres and my neighbors hardly ever notice my gals. With 1/3 of an acre and mellow breeds you should be just fine.
  4. In our town the code reads "domestic fowl running loose" is a nuisance. So there you go...I think you will be fine.

    I would not call and ask, better to ask for forgiveness, then beg for permission!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  5. Tomtommom

    Tomtommom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2013
    Montevallo, AL
    Yeah, I feel the same way. I don't want to call them and just end up waking a sleeping dog.
  6. admts50

    admts50 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2012
    Upstate NY
    We also have very similar town ords. However we talked to all our neighbors to see if they would have a problem .... all seemed genuine in their answers of "of course we would have no problem with you having chickens", or "thats cool!" or "sure thats no problem - just give us eggs". With those responses we figured we would be ok since any "problem complaints" would come from those close by. good luck!
  7. apteryx

    apteryx Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2013
    My reading of the ordinance is that you would be ok as long as you have good flock hygiene, don't let them roam the neighborhood, etc (as other posters have said).
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Check zoning for allowed uses in your zone. That is often where uses like being allowed to keep poultry are mentioned.

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