zoning says no to chickens BUT...

sakmeht(Zone 6)March 15, 2011

So, city zoning says we have to have the coop at least 50 feet from the neighbors property line, however our property isn't that big and I'm thinking about trying to fly under the radar on this one. Our home owners association allows 3 hens, no rooster. I've gone around to all of the neighbors that are immediately adjoined to my property and they are all cool with me having chickens. So I'm thinking, why not? The odds of me getting turned in are slim, right? Has anyone else done this and gotten away with it? Anything I'm overlooking? I know the worst case would be that I DO get turned in by SOMEONE, whoever it might be!

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

If you are OK with taking the risk and potentially having to get rid of the birds...

Usually the 'no chickens' thing falls under your city's noise ordinances, and mostly applies to roos. Lots of places allow up to 3 hens, though. You also have to follow the rules as to where to place the coop--but check again, maybe they mean 50 feet from your neighbor's HOUSE, not property line.

Heck, call your city hall and ask around, it can't hurt!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 6:25PM
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sakmeht(Zone 6)

Okay, so I'm glad I followed up with the city. It's 30 feet from the property line, 50 feet from a neighboring house! That is do-able!

However, I have to apply for an agricultural permit that's $45. and she's sending out the paperwork to me. What's up with that?

Anyway, I'm just so happy that we can legally have chickens here!! Thank you Velvet for suggesting I double-check. Yay!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 6:54PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

yeah our county has a poultry permit too! Anything to get them extra bucks!
Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 8:59PM
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I think you're doing the right thing by asking the neighbors and checking with the city. The license is probably a livestock license. I also have a livestock license that I have to renew every for $35 dollars. It says on the license that I have agreed to only house a certain number of chickens, and I'm below that number.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:56AM
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I'm in the midst of trying to figure out my Townships by-laws regarding livestock, and it's a total pain! We live rurally, and it almost seems like ANY building designed to hold livestock isn't allowed unless you're on 2+ acres. Blah. Hopefully I get a happy ending like you!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 11:01AM
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I believe inspectors are now using all those free online satellite photos of property to figure out what people are doing in their back yards. It may not require a neighbor turning you in, they'll simply notice a structure that looks like a chicken coop in the aerial photo and drive over to see what it is.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 4:16PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

yes google earth is one my husband uses in Real Estate.I don't know how often they are updated but stuff in the yard is pretty vivid

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 5:45PM
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About the whole thing with google earth, I have looked at property that im quite familiar with and the pictures are from 6+ years ago. Im not sure if it is updated more frequently in other areas.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 9:57PM
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sakmeht(Zone 6)

I'm going through this permit application and I have to have a notarized letter of intent, plus copies of the pages of our association rules regarding keeping chickens, plus statements from me about how many, how big, how will I care for them, etc, etc... What a drag!
Plus, it says the coop must be 30 feet from any residential structure, not just the neighbors houses. That's NOT good news in my case. I'm seriously thinking about having a brain freeze regarding this permit. "Whoopsie, did I forget to turn that in?" *Sigh*

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 4:35PM
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sakmeht(Zone 6)

Hmm, maybe I could disguise the top of the coop to look like a kiddie pool or something! LOL

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 5:12PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

One of the best ways to stop the neighbors from turning you in is to occasionally take them a few fresh laid eggs. That gets them invested in the chicken project. Something in it for them if you succeed.

It also stops complaints if you keep the pen very clean so you don't breed flies, and you keep quiet chickens and no roos.

If your city requires a license, it is possible that there might be a fine if you get caught and not just an order to get rid of the birds.

Does the law specifically say "chickens"? If so, get a couple of egg laying ducks. They lay more eggs than a chicken does.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 2:46AM
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sakmeht(Zone 6)

So I called the City back and asked about the "50 feet from any residential structure" and she assured me that it only refers to the neighbors houses, not our own. Which is good. I'm back in the green. All my neighbors are cool with it. CC&R's give me a green light, so I got the letter notarized and sent the whole shebang in with a check and an article on chicken-keeping in the city as well as a picture of a likely coop that I'd use. I'm pretty confident about the verdict and I feel better knowing that I'm doing it this way instead of playing forgetful. At least I'll know that everythings legal and my chickens are mine, etc, etc... thanks for the sounding board, guys! :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 6:13PM
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With regard to Google Earth, I recently noticed a satellite photo of my yard and the detail is vivid. You can make out small individual trees, garden paths, lawn portions of the yard and my 4x6 chicken coop (the roof) with the 14x14 fenced-in, chicken wire run around it. Most of my neighbors were okay with the chickens and appreciated the eggs, but there's always that one neighbor who is not happy with it. In my case, this neighbor was not even an abutter, but I had to notify everyone within 200 ft of my property line about my intent to house a few chickens which included this neighbor and about 9 others. Kind of humiliating.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 8:29AM
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