Sec. 27-295.  Keeping of backyard chickens and ducks.


The keeping of hens, bantam hens or ducks in residential districts A, R-R, S-R, R-1, R-2, and R-3, only on property consisting of a detached single-family dwelling use, except when larger numbers permitted in A district or permitted under a conditional use permit, is allowed subject to the following:


(1)       Permit:


a.         Any person who keeps hens, bantam hens or ducks shall obtain a permit from the city through its Planning and Development Department, prior to acquiring the hens, bantams, or ducks. Application shall be made to the Planning and Development Department office and the fee for the permit shall be as set forth in Section 2-5 of this Code.


b.         Permits are valid for the calendar year and shall expire and become invalid on December 31of the calendar year after the date of issuance unless the permit is issued after December 1 in which case the permit will expire on the second December 31 following the date of issuance; prorating the fee is not allowed. A permit holder who wishes to continue keeping hens, bantam hens or ducks shall obtain a new permit on or before January 1 of the upcoming year. Application for a new permit shall be pursuant to the administrative procedures and requirements that are applicable at the time the person applies for a new permit.


c.         As part of the permit application, the applicant shall collect written approval from a minimum of 75 percent of the property owners, not tenants, within the area described in this section or as otherwise requested by the zoning official if the lot layout does not follow the descriptions in this section.  The approval requirements set forth in this section must include approval from all owners of property abutting the applicant's property.  The applicant shall use the form, as provided by the city, for the written approvals.


d.         Areas for property owner approval:


             (i)  An applicant shall provide written approval from those adjacent and near neighboring property owners described as all properties on the block face, on the rear of the block face, on the block face across the street, and on the end face of each block to the sides as the propsoed applicant's property; or
Diagram of required approvals regular block




             (ii)  If the lot layout of the neighborhood is not in a grid block pattern like described and depicted above, the applicant shall provide written approval from those adjacent and near neighboring property owners described as all properties a minimum of 200 feet from the applicant's property boundaries and directly across the street from and behind those properties 200 feet from the applicant's property boundaries. 
Diagram of required approvals irregular block




(2)       Hereinafter "hens", "bantam hens", and "ducks" will be referenced collectively as "chickens".


(3)       Number and size:


a.         No more than a total of four (4) chickens (hens, bantam hens, ducks or any combination of such animals) may be kept on any one (1) parcel as an accessory use to the one primary single-family detached structure.


b.         Each chicken may be up to a maximum of five (5) lbs. in weight.


(4)       Use and ownership:


a.         The principal use of the property shall be a detached single-family dwelling.


b.        The permit applicant shall be the owner and resident of the property, or if a rental property then the tenant/lessee shall be the permit applicant with a written consent statement from the property owner.


(5)       Setbacks and placement:


a.         A person shall not keep chickens in any location on the property other than in a chicken enclosure in the rear yard.


b.         No chicken enclosure or coop shall be located closer than ten (10) feet to any property line of an adjacent property.


c.         No chicken enclosure or coop shall be located closer than forty (40) feet to any residential structure on another person's property.


d.         No chicken coop shall be located closer than ten (10) feet to any other structure on the permitted lot for fire safety prupsoes.


(6)       Coops and enclosures:


a.        Chickens shall be provided with a covered, fenced, predator-proof coop and/or enclosure that is well-ventilated and designed to be easily accessed for cleaning.


b.        Chickens must be kept in a chicken enclosure at all times.


c.        Chickens shall have access to an outdoor enclosure that is adequately fenced to contain the chickens on the property and to prevent predators from access to the chickens.


d.        Chicken coops shall contain at least four (4) square feet of floor area per chicken.


e.        Chicken enclosures shall provide at least ten (10) square feet of open area per chicken.


f.         No chicken coop and enclosure combined shall exceed ninety (90) square feet of floor area or exceed seven (7) feet in height.


g.        All chicken coops and enclosures shall be constructed and/or repaired to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents from being harbored underneath, within, or within the walls of the coop/enclosure.


h.        All electrical installations shall meet or exceed the applicable National Electrical Code requirements. No temporary wiring (i.e. extension cords, etc.) shall be permitted.


(7)       Sanitation:


a.         Coops and enclosures must be kept in a sanitary condition and free from offensive odors to neighboring properties and prevent conditions that are unsanitary or unsafe. Coops and enclosures must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the accumulation of waste.


b.         All feed and other items associated with the keeping of chickens that are likely to attract or to become infested with or infected by rats, mice, or other rodents shall be protected so as to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents from gaining access to or coming into contact with the food and other associated items.


(8)       Roosters and crowing hens:


a.         No person shall keep roosters or any hens which have developed the rooster-like quality of crowing or making crowing-like sounds


(9)       Slaughtering:


 a.        There shall be no slaughtering of chickens outdoors or where the process can be seen by neighbors or the general public.


(10)     Running at large:


a.         Any chicken, permitted under this section, shall not be running at large on any of the public ways or upon the property of another.


b.        When a chicken is caught running at large, it shall be addressed pursuant to Sec. 4-6 of this Code.


(11)     Search, Examination, Revocation:


a.         A person who has been issued a permit shall freely and voluntarily consent to a search and examination of a chicken coop and enclosure on the permittee's property upon demand by any police officer, code official or zoning official


b.         If any of the requirements contained in this section are not complied with, the city may revoke any permit granted under this section and/or initiate prosecution of the permit holder and/or any other person violating this Code.


(12)     Permit Nontransferable:


a.         Any permit issued under this section shall be a personal privilege granted to the Applicant at the specific location named therein and shall not be subject to transfer.  In the event a new tenant leases property for which a permit was previously issued to a prior tenant, the new tenant is required to obtain his/her/their own permit in order to keep chickens on the leased property.


Source:  Ord. No. 4099, 4, 7-17-95; Ord. No. 4603, 1, 9-16-02; Ord. No. 5059, 2, 4-20-09; Ord. No. 5563, 70, 8-20-18; Ord. No. 5799, 13, 9-6-22; Ord. No. 5825, 3, 4-3-23;