Wayne, Michigan :: City Ordinance


6 Years
Sep 11, 2013
Wayne, Michigan
The boyfriend and I recently bought our first house, I contacted City Hall about local ordinances; They informed me:

"The City of Wayne does not allow backyard chickens unless you have 1/2
acre lot which is not many yards in the City."

This was disappointing to me and I started looking up "how to" petition a city ordinance. After some research, I found out about the MRTFA, which sounds great on so many levels...There's a great forum on this site dealing with that, thanks everyone =)


BUT, what I really want to do, is change the City Ordinance, because I believe everyone should be able to raise chickens and provide for their family without going thru the fuss of creating an LLC or "selling" for profit...Problem is, I'm not sure how to start the process of amending a city ordinance or create a petition.

I don't own any chickens....yet. Any ideas or suggestions?
i myself have signed a few petitions to get things change. you have to get so many signitures and then just take it to city council for a vote, or put it through on the ballads for people to vote on.
I live in Wayne also and I can put you on touch with a citizen who has gone through the process of putting something ib the ballot. the city administration it's not easy to work with. we've got to stick together.
Agreed! I was at City Hall after work today gathering more info on the matter. They were happy to help until I asked how a person would go about amending an ordinance, seemed like their demeanor changed at that point. Hope I didn't screw things up, and ruin the element of surprise by inquiring.

Anyhow Mr. Miller told me "to write a letter to the City Council for them to even entertain the idea". He gave me the ordinance code for reference (Keeping of Farm Animals 610.16), and the link to view it online here.

The keeping of pigs, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and more than two rabbit is prohibited, except where the requirements of one-half acre under this chapter are met and, provided further, that pens, corral fences or similar enclosures for such farm animals are not closer than 20 feet to adjacent property lines or closer than 40 feet to any dwelling. Special permission to keep farm animals may be obtained from the city on written consent of all adjoining property owners and if land requirements are met.

With this in mind, the half acre requirement is the main obstacle, which prevents most of the city from acquiring chickens if wanted. Especially considering most lot sizes are between 5000 - 6000 sq ft and the requirement is 21780 sq ft.

I guess this means we should form a petition, get ALOT of signatures and start putting together a letter. Any advice or assistance, especially from someone who has put something on the ballot would be great help and a great start!

But yes, you are right. Stick Together and Backyard Chickens in the City of Wayne will be possible.


Just out of curiosity I looked up the chicken ordinances for the city of Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. They may help in amending ours.

Ann Arbor: Chapter 107 (Animals) - 9.42 Keeping of Chickens - Here
Ypsilanti: Ordinance 1100 - Here
Permit - Here
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i myself have signed a few petitions to get things change. you have to get so many signitures and then just take it to city council for a vote, or put it through on the ballads for people to vote on.

Hey chickentrack, where at did you try to petition for a change? Do you live in the City of Wayne also?
I posted this question to the Wayne Pride News Facebook page yesterday and more than 50 people responded. The strong majority were in favor of chickens. The City of Wayne in general does not like citizens initiatives, but that is changing some. Check the page it is www.facebook.com/waynepridenews and read the responses. I think you'll be encouraged.
There is a resident, Ron Roberts, who just got an initiative on the ballot. He can answer your questions. I know for sure he had to collect about 650 signatures from registered voters in the City of Wayne. He also had to develop the ballot language. The process takes a little time but if you started now you could get it on the ballot for the August election 2014. Too late for November 2013.

The other way to get this done is to ask the council to change the ordinance. It is a much easier process. If you could gather a pool of supporters and some sample language from other communities that allow chickens that would make it easier. Also talking to a couple of the council people one--on-one to ask for their support is helpful.
That is alot of positive support! I'll start collecting some ballot/sample languages. This is defiantly going to be a challenge for me!

If you don't mind me asking are you the owner of the Wayne Pride News page?

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