WARREN, MI backyard chicken laws?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by sarahnichole531, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. sarahnichole531

    sarahnichole531 New Egg

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Warren, MI
    I live in Warren, Michigan (Macomb County). I'm very interested in raising chickens and I'm having a hard time figuring out if I'm allowed to have them. I would like to buy a cool and maybe have 4-5 hens and have their eggs. Is this possible for me? Please help. Thankk you :)
     
  2. sarahnichole531

    sarahnichole531 New Egg

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    Sep 20, 2015
    Warren, MI
    I would like to have a coop*. darn autocorrect.
     
  3. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

  4. Moe happiness

    Moe happiness New Egg

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    Mar 12, 2016
    Hi Sarah!
    I live in Warren too!
    I'm thinking of getting 2 chickens. Did you figure out the ordinance? It is not clear on their website....
    Moe
    Warren, MI
     
  5. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you in Macomb township as well?

    https://www.municode.com/library/mi/macomb_township,_(macomb_co.)/codes/code_of_ordinances?

    I did a quick search for 'fowl' at it appears the township does have a few laws in regards to the number per size of lot...

    Here is the ordinances for the city of Warren...

    https://www.municode.com/library/mi/warren/codes/code_of_ordinances

    Again a quick search for 'fowl' popped some further regulation within city limits... One interesting ordnance is this...

    That can really limit the places you can legally have them especially in neighborhoods and small lots where finding a place 300 feet from a dwelling can be troubling... Also that part is very broad, and I mean very, it does not appear to exempt even your own house as it says 'any' , so even your own coop would have to be 300+ feet away from your own house, and public place is also very broad, since roadways and sidewalk are public places meaning the coop has to be set a football fields length into your properly, a lot of small residential lots are not that deep...

    I just did a casual glance at the laws, please do your own further study and make calls...
     
  6. ChickenPeanut

    ChickenPeanut New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2016
    Wouldn't the RTFA supersede Warren's ordinances? I'm trying to understand all of this before getting a few chickens so I can defend myself. We have a 0.25 acre lot in Warren so we wouldn't be able abide by the 300 ft. ordinance, but there's no such requirement for RTFA and GAAMPS, correct?
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    The Michigan 'Right To Farm Act' regardless of the name does not grant you the right to farm in any way shape or form, all it proves is an affirmative defense to nuisance lawsuits against farmers. Meaning that if a new neighborhood went up next to a farmer or a farmer decided to farm a plot of land near a neighborhood where allowed by zoning and the residents of the neighborhood complained about dust, smell, noise, mud, or what not and tried to sue the farmer as long as the farmer was following the acceptable farming practices as outlined in Michigan's GAAMP (Generally Accepted Agricultural and Management Practice) they would likely not prevail in the lawsuit and it would be dismissed...
     
  8. ChickenPeanut

    ChickenPeanut New Egg

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    Mar 15, 2016
    So, that means Warren's 300-foot ordinance would prevent me from keeping 2-4 backyard chickens regardless of the Michigan RTFA's protection of farmers? This is the conclusion I came to a couple years ago when I looked into all of this, but I always kinda wondered if my conclusion was correct. I appreciate your input!

    I'm also wondering about the part where you say "...where allowed by zoning...". Is that where I could get busted if I tried to keep backyard chickens in Warren and tried to defend myself with RTFA?
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    Again Michigan's RTFA does not grant you the right to farm, local governments are allowed to prohibit farming and pass laws to restrict farming at will, nothing in the RTFA prohibits them from doing so...

    Against the RTFA does not grant you the right to farm, Warren has laws that limit where you can keep chickens and the RTFA is not a defense against a law prohibiting their keeping... When I said "where allowed by zoning" that means where it's legal to farm, as zoning laws are what dictate what the property can and can not be used for...

    Assuming you lived in Warren and were in fully in compliance to all of they laws/ordinances as well as GAAMP, and someone tried to sue you for a nuisance related to the chickens you would have a valid defense under RTFA, but only if you were in full compliance with all other laws/ordinances...
     
  10. wingless

    wingless Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2011
    Ann Arbor, MI
    This is the part of Michigan's Right to Farm Act that DOES prevent local governments from prohibiting farming:

    "(6) Beginning June 1, 2000, except as otherwise provided in this section, it is the express legislative intent that this act preempt any local ordinance, regulation, or resolution that purports to extend or revise in any manner the provisions of this act or generally accepted agricultural and management practices developed under this act. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a local unit of government shall not enact, maintain, or enforce an ordinance, regulation, or resolution that conflicts in any manner with this act or generally accepted agricultural and management practices developed under this act."​

    There are also 4 cases that have made it to the Court of Appeal since 1999 which happened to involve farms in residentially zoned areas. In 3 of those cases the 3-panel Appeals Court ruled that the farms were protected by RTF. The 4th case was a split decision, with our current Attorney General, Bill Schuette, the dissenting voice that said that that farm (although zoned residential) was protected by RTF. Glad to provide references to these cases if you like.

    There is a long, extensive thread on this issue on BYC: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/182280/michigan-right-to-farm-law-what-does-it-mean

    This BYC thread hasn't been as active in recent years, because many of us organized into the Michigan Small Farm Council so we could advocate for small farm rights - including RTF rights - at the state level.
     

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