What is a reasonable setback?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by mountanaman, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. mountanaman

    mountanaman Out Of The Brooder

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    Two neighboring villages (we are looking at to move) allow chickens but have the following setback rules for coops/enclosures:
    1. 50 feet from your property line
    2. 150 feet from neighboring residence
    I would say 90+% lots in this area are 60ft x 150ft, at most. Suburbs. This essentially eliminates chickens in village #1 (you would need 100+ft wide) and greatly limits chickens in #2 (depending on the placement of the homes within your neighbors' lots).

    Depending on the lot we buy we may need to petition the village to rewrite the ordinance. I'm hoping this is an easier task since chickens are already legal. It's just a matter of convincing that the current setbacks are excessive. I would plan to argue that the current ordinance is discriminatory against all but the "wealthiest" with abnormally large lots (who, let's face it, are probably least interested in raising their own birds). The town i lived previously had a 25ft setback from neighboring residences - which seemed reasonable - and allowed most single family detached houses to have chickens. 50ft from a neighboring residence seems like a good compromise.

    Thoughts? What are the setbacks in your town? Anyone ever get this changed? Negative anecdotes about insufficient setbacks? etc.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It could be argued as discriminatory against tiny lots, but nonetheless, the distances involved are very close in. This may not work. It may be argued that tiny lots cannot reasonably provide distances for nuisance. I wish you luck on your attempt to get things changed, but buying, hoping for an ordinance revision is a risky deal, imho.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  3. wren

    wren Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Duval county FL has a 50 foot setback law and St John's county has none. In both counties you must be zoned ag or farm or open rural. Lots of people here have chickens anyway with no roosters and hope not to get turned in.
     
  4. mountanaman

    mountanaman Out Of The Brooder

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    Fred's Hens :

    It could be argued as discriminatory against tiny lots, but nonetheless, the distances involved are very close in. This may not work. It may be argued that tiny lots cannot reasonably provide distances for nuisance. I wish you luck on your attempt to get things changed, but buying, hoping for an ordinance revision is a risky deal, imho.

    I am of the opinion that chickens are no more of a "nuisance" than dogs, swimming pools and pickup trucks with leaky mufflers.

    All else being equal, we are certainly looking for a lot that will legally allow chickens. But not at unreasonable expense (or sacrificing house quality, or less desirable location, etc). Getting an ordinance change is simply plan B.

    I've seen a lot of reference to setbacks anywhere from 15 to 50 feet from property lines. I'm just wondering what is the standard.​
     
  5. BobbleHeadOwl

    BobbleHeadOwl Out Of The Brooder

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    Our city just recently changed the ordinance dealing with setbacks. Previously, the coop had to be at least 30' from any residence/business. Now it's been changed to 100', and this effectively bans chickens from the vast majority of the city's lots. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the CC meetings until they were done and over with, so I didn't get to hear what the exact arguments were. The ordinance seems to base the distance on sanitation issues, which we all know is a bunch of bunk. If a person isn't going to maintain their coop when it's only 30' from their home, they're certainly not going to maintain it any better when the coop is further from their own living space.

    Frustrating.
     
  6. mountanaman

    mountanaman Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:the set back applies to your own house too? that seems quite silly.
     
  7. BobbleHeadOwl

    BobbleHeadOwl Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Yes, the ordinance says it must be 100' from ANY residence/business. It doesn't make any sense to me either.
     
  8. Markp1964

    Markp1964 Out Of The Brooder

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    Set backs are a sham, the way for people who don't know animals to either make them impossible to keep ( the tiny lot dodge) or to make it seem like the neighbors will be insulated from smell and noise. Good care will eliminate the smell and noise objections. If you have to push for a measured distance, go for no coop within 25 feet of another structure.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  9. mountanaman

    mountanaman Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:That's what i'm thinking. I mean, Chicago allows chickens, successfully, and most lots don't have much of a yard at all to speak of. I'll site examples of other towns with similar, and then if they want to compromise (say 50ft) it will still be an improvement.
     
  10. new chick 203

    new chick 203 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our town allows chickens, but all out buildings have to meet the set back codes which made it impossible for me too. However, I've gotten around it so far by having a movable chicken tractor on wheels. They had to admit that if it was movable then the building codes didn't really apply. I am planning on building something larger and I will have to apply for a variance. I'm sure they will give it to me since I'm on good terms with the neighbors, but it takes time and a fee to apply for it. Just something to think about.
     

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