What is my ordinance saying?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by JulieZ, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. JulieZ

    JulieZ Songster

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    Trenton, Florida
    I am on 5 acres with pain in the butt neighbors that call zoning for every little thing. Before I take another step, I would love to hear what everyone has to think of the stuff below. I'm trying to locate the fine line and bust through red tape so I can "mate" barred rocks for their eggs, incubate them & sell off 3-5 day old chicks to the local farmers. I am going to have at least 30 chickens of my own (for eggs/pets for my family) in the next couple of months. My "covenant" of rules reads (skipping the filler about swine) ....

    "LIVESTOCK. Chicken FARMS and commercial LIVESTOCK breeding or raising are not permitted. Horses, cattle, fowl and domestic animals shall be permitted provided that same do not become a nuisance or annoyance to the owners of the other lots."

    *Livestock ... that is not a chicken. Livestock consists of cows, pigs, goat, sheep, etc. Am I calling this right?
    *Chicken FARMS ... I do not have a farm. I have a lot of chickens that lay fertile eggs. Incubation of eggs will be done in my home. My house is not a farm.

    Am I stretching too far or am I truly limited to not incubating eggs? If neighbors find out I am making any form of profit, it's on. Living in the country ... it gets around on who is doing what in the local towns.

    What yaw'll think?

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Chirping

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    What's their definition of a farm?

    No way you could make a profit selling even 300 or 500 chicks a year. After all, you have your property maintenance, insurance, taxes, and utilities. Then add in the feed and upkeep costs for the hens and roos. I don't see where there would be a "profit".
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Get a few exhibition birds and enter a show occasionally. [​IMG] Almost all exhibitors breed their birds, and while some do live on farms, many do not.

    Your biggest issue is the complete vagueness of "do not become an nuisance or annoyance to the owners or the other lots." Unless those terms are specifically defined, it gives a huge amount of leeway to the neighbors. There are a lot of things I can be annoyed about. Gee, I don't care for the kind of trees you planted, or the colour of your house; I'm annoyed. You planted annuals, not perinneals. You have cats; I scared of them, so I'm annoyed and it's a nuisance. Your lifestyle is too green/isn't green enough. etc. While those all may be legitimate feelings or opinions, none should have legal bearing. Thoroughly research your city/county/state nuisance laws and make sure you are in compliance with those. Make sure your coops are attractive, and fit in as well as other animal facilities in the neighborhood. Place them where they are as far from neighbors' houses as possible.

    Generally a business that has no obvious presence is allowed in a residential neighborhood. I somehow doubt that you incubator will attract extra traffic, advertising signs or excess noise or emissions. BTW, farms do not raise and sell chicks, hatcheries do. A chicken farm is either an egglaying facility or meat growout; they generally have thousands of birds.

    If your sole purpose for chickens is breeding and selling chicks, then that is a small scale hatchery, and could be argued is a commercial operation. If that is a sideline, where you are wanting to offset costs, probably not.

    One question I would ask is whether you have spoken with any local farmers to find prospective customers?
     
  4. Arcane Araucana

    Arcane Araucana In the Brooder

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    What are your 5 acres zoned? If you are zoned agricultural and permitted to keep poultry by the county or city ordinances that apply to your residence; those ordinances would apply regardless of what your CCRs say. According to the zoning attorney I consulted, he said that city/county zoning ordinances would override any CCRs if the CCR restricted an activity permitted by the applicable zoning ordinance. Of course, that's for Arizona. You would need to check the laws and zoning ordinances for Florida.
     
  5. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chirping

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    Check what your lot is zoned as. If it is zoned as agricultural, or somewhat similar, then your neighbors are jsut wasting their time. If, in your research, you find out there are some things that your neighbors do, hold that over their heads and make a bargain. I'm thinking that your neighbors are more concerned with what future prospective buyers will think about their house when they decide to sell it off. Maybe they're afraid that any rooster in your backyard will cause prospectives to want to lower the selling price. Another part of me is thiking that you should just tell your neighbors to go fly a kite (to put it nicely).
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Quote:No, CC&R's can be stricter than ordinances or laws, which is not the same as conflicting with them. CC&Rs are a contract between the association and the individual homeowner. This is for Arizona, but it is pretty much the same for all states.

    Only when CC&Rs actually conflict does law or ordinance override. For instance, if the ordinance disallows chickens, the CC&Rs cannot allow them. Arizona law has several specific laws that govern planned communities (Arizona Revised Statutes Title 33-18xx) and condominiums (Arizona Revised Statutes Title 33-12xx). (There are also titles for mobile home parks and time-shares.) These primarily deal with things like notification, voting, amending the documents, assessments, etc., but there are a few very specific things that have been written into law, because of overly restrictive CC&Rs: parking a public serviced vehicle on the street when a resident's job requires the vehicle, flying a flag, placing "Children at Play" caution markers in the street, etc."

    My understanding from various posts I have read is that Florida laws tend to be slanted in favour of the association. I do not know if that is in fact true, but that is the impression I have received.
     
  7. MyCooper

    MyCooper In the Brooder

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    Make an anonymous inquiry about a "home based business" - which is what it sounds like you are going to be doing. It doesn't sound like you qualify as a farm. My friends ran a ferret shelter in their home and had to fill out some paperwork with the city and let neighbors know (not get approval, however).

    Just fyi, I was *shocked* to see the amount of information disclosed in the packet of material the City staff are submitting to the City Council about our livestock and chicken ordinance. The sign in sheets from the various events or inquiries to the staff, including name, address, phone, and email were all submitted as part of the package and now available for virtually anyone to see. When you make the inquiry, be discrete.
     
  8. JulieZ

    JulieZ Songster

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    Trenton, Florida
    Took me awhile but I wanted to make sure I had a good update before I typed back & with my last court stop today, the red tape was pulled away & I got my answer !!!

    I can have AS MANY chickens as I want according to my ordinance AND county laws. I told them I was not running a farm or getting into commercial selling ... which I'm not.
    The amazing thing ... if a local farmer asks for, let's say, 100 eggs to be incubated so he can buy them ... I'm still not a farm. I'm "off setting" the cost of my own chicken feed, supplies, etc. Advisement was to keep a log to prove I'm not trying to farm & any profit shows it goes for the off set. You can bet I'll be doing just that.

    UNLESS someone complains (as my neighbors would with too many roosters I'm sure so I've decided to limit myself to 1 roo for each x-amount of breeds - that is maybe 4-5 in the future.), I'm good to go. Sure wish it was this easy for everyone else.

    Thanks everyone. Yaw put tips in the air that made my running to the courts much easier. With a little smile & lots of thanks while making sure to toss in "I don't want to do anything wrong" comments ... it sure does put the country folks in the court house on your side. But let's not count my chickens before they hatch. My neighbors are real predators !!!
     
  9. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Crowing 8 Years

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    Maybe you can offer your neighbors a few fresh eggs and they might be quiet about any problems. [​IMG]
     
  10. Joz

    Joz Songster

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    Your particular zone will have a list of permitted or allowable uses.

    Some home-based businesses are allowed up to X% of your residential square footage.

    Sounds like complainers bear the burden of proof re "annoyance" or "nuisance". Photos of your chickens in their flowerbeds, noticeable smell at their house, timed/dated decibel meter readings... seems like such things should be required to prove that your pets are a "nuisance" to them.
     

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