The backyard chicken class was on a Saturday so the rest of the day Saturday and all of Sunday was spent searching the internet, looking at zoning maps, and dwelling on the fact that I already ordered 4 chicks and now I cannot legally have them. I pondered continuing the project and taking my chances but what if someone “turned me in”. How could I tell the kids their chicks had to go? I took a half day off from work on Monday and went to our county government office to speak with someone in zoning. Surely, there had to be a permit or something so I could keep my 4 chicks.
I approached the counter and spoke with a gentleman from the Planning and Zoning Commission. I asked if there was a permit so I could have animals on my property. “Oh, you would like a few horses?” he said. “No, just 4 chickens!”. He then said, “Just a moment” and exited to the back of the room. He returned with a paper that he handed to me. In his 10 years working for the county, he has never had a call from residents not zoned for poultry that want chickens on their property until this past year. He now receives 2-3 calls a month from people who want to raise chickens. He ended that they have a meeting on March 10th, gave me his business card, said I can email him in the beginning of April, and he would let me know the outcome. He was very confident that the addendum to our zoning would be approved. Whew….
But I couldn’t wait that long. I had to know what the vibe was from the council members. Were they pro or against chickens? My youngest daughter, J, and I decided to attend the meeting ourselves just to get a general feeling on if this would pass. J brought her new chick from the backyard chicken class as well as the rooster she received from her Grand parent’s vacation in Hawaii. Who knew that chickens run wild all over the islands?! She felt that the council members would have to vote yes for the cute factor.
We sat for an hour while they discussed old business. We both sat straight up when the topic of chickens was brought to the floor. The council members were all open to the notion and all of the people who spoke were pro chicken. I could now breathe a sigh of relief that this was going to happen. Weeks went by and we still worked on the coop feeling confident that chicken ownership would prevail. April 2nd I emailed the gentleman from the Planning and Zoning Commission. Here was his reply:
RE: 9-2-4 poultry raising ordinance
At their meeting yesterday, the Scott County Board of Commissioners adopted the Zoning Ordinance updates recommended by the County Planning Commission on March 10, 2014. The adopted language for poultry raising is as follows:
9-2-4 Poultry Raising
On parcels less than 10 acres in the RR-2, RR-3, RR-1C, UTR-C, and UER-C Zoning Districts, limited raising of poultry animals (chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese & related fowl) may be permitted subject to the following regulations:
a. The maximum number of poultry animals shall be limited to: 10 animals on lots between 0 – 2.49 acres; 20 animals on lots between 2.5 – 4.99 acres; 40 animals on lots between 5.0 – 9.99 acres. Lots 10 acres or greater shall be regulated according to other provisions in this chapter.
b. Roosters are not permitted on any lot or parcel less than 10 acres.
c. Poultry shall at all times be confined to the property and must be kept in enclosed structures, coops, or runs. Enclosures, coops, and runs shall be set back 30 feet from any property lines, and shall be located closer to the residence on the subject parcel than to any other adjacent residence.
d. The poultry facilities shall be maintained and animal waste properly disposed so to effectively control odor and insects.
Let me know if you have any questions on the adopted language.
VICTORY!!! Wait a second, we can have 10 chickens on a lot between 0-2.49?! I only ordered 4 chickens. I need to start thinking of what other chickens I want and add to my order…