Thursday, February 28, 2008

how to craft urban chicken ordinances/laws

The La Cañada Valley Sun reports the City Council of La Cañada Flintridge, California, (in the north part of the greater Los Angeles metro area; pop: ~21,000; map) will be reviewing (to pass?!) the following urban chicken ordinance at their March meeting:
The ordinance allows residents of all single family dwellings to have up to three hens, with larger lots allowing for more hens (roosters still being prohibited within the city) in increments of three, up to a maximum of 20 chickens or a mix of farm fowl. Ducks and geese would not be allowed on lots smaller than 15,001 square feet.

To be consistent with Los Angeles County municipal code, La Cañada farm fowl owners would be required to provide shelter for their animals; however, the animals would not be required to be confined in their coops, as exercise is important to the health of the fowl, city staff determined based on county and other area legislation.
In reading the article, you'll see the planning mission has done a great job of creating a sensible ordinance out of something that was a bit more draconian.

Here's hoping this ordinance provides a template for other townships to consider. Maybe we can create a reference list of the different types of ordinances/laws in place that permit urban chickens so that others seeking such laws have something useful to start from.

Here in Redwood City, CA, the code (Chapter 5, "Animals and Fowl") reads:


It is hereby declared to be a nuisance for any person or persons other than a licensed veterinarian and except as specifically provided in this Article, and it shall be unlawful to keep, maintain or feed within confined or unconfined areas live chickens, roosters over four (4) months of age, geese, ducks, turkeys, or similar fowl or rabbits; provided, that a maximum of three (3) chickens or three (3) rabbits, or a combination thereof not exceeding three (3), may be kept, maintained or fed as pets within confined clean coops or cages. (Ord. No. 1618, § 3, 1-6-1975; Ord. No. 1883, § 27, 11-7-1983; Ord. No. 1922, § 5, 10-14-1985; Ord. No. 2178, § 2, 8-9-1999)
What's the wording of your local ordinance?

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