Wish me luck. I'm meeting with city leaders tonight

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by nakactress, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. nakactress

    nakactress In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    My neighbor retalited on me and the city ordered me to get rid of my chickens.

    Let me start from the begining.
    When we moved here over 2 years ago, our neighbor across the street let there many dogs roam the neighborhood and they seemed to poop in our yard daily. I tried for 2 years to get them to stop with nothing but laughs and no respect. One day when their dogs discovered my backyard I walked over calmly(more so then I ever had been) and the owner wouldn't even acknowlegde my exsistance. I decided then, that its way overdo for animal control to get involved.

    I waited soo long because I knew the heartache of a neghbor down the street who moved here from California with her 3 dogs and some teenager with nothing better to do called animal control that she had too many dogs. I saw her pain as she had to give up one of her family members.

    Besides cleaning up poop, my 6 year old is extreemly allergic to dogs. It's one of her most severe allergies. We can't have normal pets. Her allergist suggested getting chickens.

    I looked up code and saw chickens were allowed and I picked up 4 chicks from IFA.

    Fast forward to today. We recieved a nussiance notice and copy of the following code with intructions that our chickens have to be removed by Septmeber 5th 2008:

    H. Accessory structures used for the keeping of livestock shall not be constructed closer than forty feet (40') to any street and the main building, fifty feet (50') to any property line and one hundred feet (100') to any neighboring main dwelling unit.

    My dh is a structrual engineer and knows we can get excemptions to 20 feet instead. But the notice said in the officer's handwriting that chicken's weren't allowed in any residential area.

    Here are other codes I found which has changed since I last looked(grrr)

    "Family food production" means the keeping of not more than two (2) cows, two (2) sheep, two (2) goats, twenty (20) rabbits, fifty (50) chickens, fifty (50) pheasants, ten (10) ducks, ten (10) turkeys, ten (10) geese and twenty (20) pigeons, provided that an additional number of animals equal to two (2) times the number listed above, and an additional number of fowl equal to five (5) times the number listed above may be kept for each one-half (1/2) acre of the lot over and above the minimum number of square feet required for a single-family residential lot in the zone, and provided that not more than three (3) of the above listed kinds of animals and fowl are permitted at any one time on any lot smaller than one-half (1/2) acre. (Ord. 96-15, 6-19-1996)

    So does that mean we are in our rights to have only 3?

    13.20.040: LOT AREA:
    The minimum lot area for any dwelling, school, church, greenhouse, aviary or apiary, or for the keeping of animals and fowl for family food production, shall be ten thousand (10,000) square feet. The minimum lot area for any fowl, poultry, rabbit, or for raising or grazing horses, cattle, sheep or goats (except as permitted for family food production) shall be one acre. (Ord. 96-15, 6-19-1996)
    We use for family food production

    We are above the sq. feet.

    8.04.175: LIVESTOCK:
    "Livestock" means animals kept for husbandry, including, but not limited to, fowl, rabbits, horses, mules, burros, asses, cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, swine, and other farm, hoofed domesticated animals, excluding dogs, cats, and ferrets. (Ord. 06-45, 9-6-2006)

    So that means if you keep pet rabbits you have to abide by this code?

    I'm sooo upset about this. They don't stink, we don't have a rooster. They stay in the coop. They are pets and the only pets we can safely allow(since my dd has several life threatening allgeroes).

    How can they be mad at ME for not wanting to clean up poop?

    What's frustrating is I'm out of town until the end of Sept. so my dh who doesn't do anything with the chickens has to deal with this.

    Plus I know of 3 other houses in our neighborhood with chickens.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2008
  2. Quail_Antwerp

    Quail_Antwerp [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Mrs

    Aug 16, 2008
    I think you should be able to fight that.
    Talk to the other people in town that have chickens and see if they were served the same notice or not.
  3. nakactress

    nakactress In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    I already did and I'm the only one. I did a serch here and found just this month areas around Salt Lake may have laws changed in favor of chicken owners.
  4. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    you said the law changed since you checked, did you have your chickens already, I mean is there a Grandfather clause here if you already had them when the law changed? Sounds like you can only have 3 if you have less than 1/2 acre but its confusing.

    As for the dogs, I would have been standing in my yard flinging poo onto their house a long time ago.... :thun
  5. nakactress

    nakactress In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    It is confusing and yes we had our chickens before the zoning changed so our argument.
  6. sticks22

    sticks22 Songster

    Aug 5, 2008
    Grove, oklahoma
    I would try consulting a lawyer. Most will offer free advice! Just a thought!
  7. smpezzi

    smpezzi Songster

    Jun 4, 2008
    FIGHT it, your chickens should be grandfathered in also see if the doctor would be willing to put his chicken suggestion in writing you can fight under American's with Disabilities due to allergies! I would consult an attorney also you may find one willing to send letters to the board on your behalf for a minimal fee.
  8. nakactress

    nakactress In the Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    Good idea about the allergist. We have an appointment schedule in October. If anything, I'll keep the chickens elseware until the fight is over.

    I'm hoping we can qualify under grandfather but I've written the city council and mayor regarding our situation.

    My dh spoke with the city code officer and he kept saying chickens are not allowed in residential areas, period.

    My dh told him about the "family Food production" code and the officer said that was only for R1 zoning. My dh said we are in R1 zoning and the officer said, "Um, I'm not at my computer, I'll give you a call in an hour" My dh the engineer has the zoning in front of him. Only the code doesn't specify which R1 zone...it's all confusing and complicated.

    That was last night and he hasn't called back. If he comes back with something then we will try to win on grandfather. I wish I had kept a copy of the zoning when I 1st looked it up before we had chickens.

    So it seems the code officer is going to be a really big stinker about this. He claims he's made 15 households get rid of chickens. We were on the rader because of the retaliation from neighbor. So far my friends down the street have not been cited. I really hope to keep it that way.

    Not only have I written our Mayor but I wrote the mayor of Salt Lake City asking him to ask Mayors of Salt Lake County to take his lead and revise codes so families can be more self sufficant which includes keeping back yard chickens.

    I believe the county is in the process of changing te code for all of Salt Lake County so I need to hold off the Code Officer until all is said and done. All that takes time. I hope my letters to the city council and mayor will help.
  9. steffpeck

    steffpeck Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Erda, UT
    Good Luck!! I would fight it for sure!
  10. utahmethodist

    utahmethodist Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    SLC, UT
    Holy smoke! Are you in Salt Lake City proper or in one of the unincorporated areas? My reading of the City ordinance indicates that you can keep up to 25 hens if you apply for a permit, keep them 50' from homes, and disinfect the coop 3x/year. Unfortunately I have to remain "illegal" since my property line is 49.5' from my house.

    Your situation really bites! You should fight this for sure. I was at an urban chicken lecture put on by Wasatch Community Gardens recently and there were a lot of people there interested in fighting to change outdated anti-chicken ordinances in Millcreek, West Valley, and other communities. It was also mentioned at this lecture that there are currently around 29 poultry permits in Salt Lake City but they estimate there are more than 10 times that many households with chickens.

    [​IMG] Fight the man! [​IMG]

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