What can I do Now? NO Chickens in FARM town?????

perrycountychicken1

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 21, 2009
36
0
22
Millerstown, PA
I live in a small town (not more than 700 residents) and my home is over 150 years old sitting on a parcel of land that is about 1/2 acre. Our town is surrounded by farm land. Dairy farms, Goat Farms, Chicken Farms etc, (you get the picture) and on my property there is an origional Chicken Coop so i did the logical thing and i cleaned it up and fenced it off and put chickens in it. 10 hens, no roosters, no mess, no smell,, no noise, in a coop and area that could easily accomodate 25 - 30 chickens. 2 weeks after i put my darling and much loved girls in their new home i get a letter from the "BOROUGH COUNCIL" stating that i have violated Ordinance #77, Subsection 1 which reads;

" it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to keep any chickens or other fowl, pigs, horses, cattle, goats, rabbits, sheep or any other livestock at any place within the Borough unless the enclosure is not less than 200 feet from any residential dwelling.

Any person who shall violate this provision of this ordinance shall pay a fine of $300.00 and the cost of prosecution."

What will happen next? what can i do? None of my neighbors care about the chickens except that everyone is excited by fresh eggs (because we share with all those around us from our little garden strawberrys, tomatoes, eggplant, herbs etc.).

So with that i say "Help" all suggestions will be greatly appreciated. The last thing i want to do is give up my flock.
 

chicks4kids

Songster
10 Years
Apr 22, 2009
2,681
16
229
Northern Indiana
Maybe you could go to a town meeting with your neighbors who support your chickens as well and find out exactly why you cannot have them (besides the 200 ft rule). Since your property is such a small area, Maybe you could write up your own guidelines as to what kind of set up one should have housing wise and predator protective wise to allow you to have them. Check your state laws because state laws supercede town ordinances. When was this ordinance passed?? And personally, I'd want to read the entire Ordinance on the matter--I hope they just didn't send you a section of the ordinance. Find other people in your area that have chickens and start talking, find out if they had any problems like that, and ask them for suggestions-they may know a guy who knows a guy, etc. that may be able to offer some good advice or insight into the matter.

You can always call a lawyer too. They will give you a consultation (usually without charge) just to hear your case. I'm not an advocate of Sue! Sue! Sue! But it may be worth looking in to.

I hope that gives you some ideas. Good luck!
 

perrycountychicken1

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 21, 2009
36
0
22
Millerstown, PA
Quote:thanks for the info and the direction, we're not sue advocates either but we have contacted a lawyer to see where we can go wwith this. we're not willing to give up the girls. and we will keep posting to this thread to update the progress. Now is not the time to lay down!
 

dtgoldog

Hatching
9 Years
Apr 22, 2010
2
0
6
I too have an old house with pre-existing buildings that pre-date the current codes. We've been able to lots of stuff out of the current rules because the township said we are 'grandfathered' in. We no longer have horses but did when we moved in, current zoning states more acreage than we had but we were able to have the horses because the barn and fenced field were already there. I would think that your pre-existing chicken coop would fall under that same scenario, so you may want to check on that.
 

Stevo

Songster
9 Years
Apr 14, 2010
359
7
121
Howell, NJ
I would think if it was illegal to build a chicken coop within 200ft of a residential building then at the same time it would be illegal to build a residential building within 200ft of a chicken coop. Have them move thier buildings or have the boro grandfather the existing coop legal.
 

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