Virginia Beach, VA - Backyard Chickens?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Hope0491, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Hope0491

    Hope0491 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Hey Everyone!

    Anyone know VA Beach laws?!

    Where do I go to find out if I'm zoned correctly? And how do I figure out if I need a permit?

    I want CHICKENS! I raised chickens my whole life and just got married and moved to VA Beach back in Feb.

    I REALLY miss my chickens! I finally bought a house that has a cute little fenced backyard (it is a row townhome though so it's around quite a few people).

    I want a little bantam cochin - just one!

    Can someone please help me out? I'm really tired of searching online and not finding anything out!


  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  3. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    va beach has some weird laws, since it's so reliant on tourism... i never lived there though. try googling va beach poultry regulations or some other combination of official-sounding words, if the site's URL ends in .gov then you're good. or you could call up animal control or somebody and inquire. [​IMG]
  4. freest8r

    freest8r In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2012
    The bad news is that backyard chickens are illegal in Virginia Beach unless you are zoned for agriculture. It is a $250 fine if you are cited.

    The good news is that we just started a group called "4 Virginia Beach Hens" to follow Chesapeake's lead and work with city council to make hens legal in Virginia Beach. We already have over 110 Likes on FB and we have our first meeting in December. Please join us if you would like to help.
    1 person likes this.
  5. freest8r

    freest8r In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2012
    We went and spoke at the Virginia Beach city council meeting tonight during the open forum time. Two of us spoke for 3 minutes each after official business. We had a really good crew there, as you can see from the picture. The huge show of support had an impact. We had conversations with a couple of the council members afterward and it looks like they are willing to help us draft an ordinance to bring before city council for official business.

    I don't know the timeline for this type of thing, but I am hoping that we will have more information in time for our next planning meeting on January 29th. The results tonight were very positive. It was exciting to get positive feedback right away, but even one of the sympathetic councilmen said he had concerns. We need to continue to grow our support so that we can have an even larger crowd at city council when backyard hens gets on the agenda.

    If anyone here is in Virginia Beach, or has friends and relatives in Virginia Beach, point them our way!


  6. FenikT

    FenikT Chirping

    Dec 5, 2012
    I shot Bryan Stevenson an email on FB regarding the Mayor's reply to my request for support regarding the backyard chicken initiative. The Mayor was quick to respond to my original email, however said he would not give his support to the cause. His concerns were two-fold - (1) the expectations of a "normal" residential lifestyle and chickens do not mix and (2) not all people can be expected to responsibly manage and provide upkeep of a flock.

    While I appreciate his quick and candid response, his answers were a bit brash and without substantive merit. I get the feeling most of the opposition from him and council members is more about not knowing vs. personal experience. Only one of the council members can truly say she was a farm hand at one point in her life. I could understand this level of naivety before the invention of the Internet, but a quick education in the truth is only a few keystrokes away. I also think pending cases involving Ms. Okroy have tainted the initiative (plus city govt doesn't want to do a 180 while her case is pending in state court).

    First, VB is trying to create a sense of new-age urbanism (town center, sandler center, light rail, arena deals) but doesn't want any country in the mix, despite the city being a farming community before incorporation as a city 50 years ago. Normal expectations would include safety/security, sufficient infrastructure and services, schooling, and responsive city govt. I don't see how a small flock of chickens would negatively affect any of the aforementioned. Secondly, no law or ordinance is followed by every person in the community. Compliance is assumed, requested, and appreciated but never fully achieved. This is why we have police and code enforcement officials...
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  7. freest8r

    freest8r In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2012
    We visited the Virginia Beach city council meeting for the 2nd time this Tuesday. Things are looking positive. We are working with Councilman DeSteph on the proposed ordinance and it will be going to the Planning Commission soon. We had one of our active high school students speak this time, and it went over very well. Attached is the video of her speech, along with the transcript. Enjoy!

  8. Owingsia

    Owingsia In the Brooder

    Sep 28, 2012
    Saluda VA
    If you live in Pungo or Blackwater areas of Virginia Beach you can have chickens any other place and you will have to wait. The city counsel moves slow. Good luck.
  9. Herducks

    Herducks Songster

    Aug 12, 2012
    Sebastopol, CA
    This si very intresting I hope you are able to change the laws to allow hens.

    My Aunt lives in VA Beach and is getting some hens, but plans on keeping them where she keeps her sheep in Chesapeake. It would sure be nice if she could keep them at her house!

  10. freest8r

    freest8r In the Brooder

    Nov 29, 2012
    We worked with Councilman DeSteph and we have an ordinance drafted and going in front of the Planning Commission in March. It allows for 6 hens in a single family backyard. We're still working out some of the details, but those are the basics. I'll keep this thread updated with the latest and you can also join us on Facebook to follow along and help out.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by