Urban Hens (Chickens)

To have Urban Hens (Chickens) on your property, a Special Use Permit is required. The following are list of conditions for approval:

  1. The maximum number of chickens allowed for tracts of land 10,000 square feet in area or less shall be limited to six hens and the maximum number of chickens allowed for tracts of land greater than 10,000 square feet in area shall be ten hens.
  2. Only female chickens (hens) are allowed.
  3. A permit shall not allow the permittee to engage in chicken breeding or fertilizer production for commercial purposes.
  4. Enclosures:
    • Chickens shall be kept in an enclosure or fenced area at all times. Chickens shall be secured within a henhouse or chicken tractor during non-daylight hours.
    • Enclosures shall be kept in a clean, dry, odor-free, neat and sanitary condition at all times.
    • Henhouses shall provide adequate ventilation and adequate sun and shade and shall be impermeable to rodents, wild birds and predators, including dogs and cats.
    • Henhouses and chicken tractors.
      • Henhouses shall be designed to provide safe and healthy living conditions for the chickens with a minimum of four square feet per bird while minimizing adverse impacts to other residents in the neighborhood.
      • A henhouse shall be enclosed on all sides and shall have a roof and doors. Access doors shall be able to be shut and locked at night. Opening windows and vents shall be covered with predator and bird-proof wire of one-inch or smaller openings.
      • The materials used in making a henhouse shall be uniform for each element of the structure such that the walls are made of the same material, the roof has the same shingles or other covering, and any windows or openings are constructed using the same materials. The use of scrap, waste board, sheet metal, or similar materials is prohibited. Henhouses and chicken tractors shall be well maintained.
      • Henhouses shall only be located in the rear yard unless the setback requirements cannot be met in which case they may be kept in a side yard but within the required setbacks.
      • Henhouses and chicken tractors shall be located at least ten feet from the property line and at least twenty-five (25) feet from any principal structure, and shall meet all other accessory structure provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.
  5. Odor and Noise Impacts:
    • Odors from chickens, chicken manure or other chicken-related substances shall not be perceptible to persons of reasonable sensitivity beyond the boundaries of the permitted tract of land.
    • Noise from chickens shall not be loud enough beyond the boundaries of the permitted tract of land at the property boundaries to disturb persons of reasonable sensitivity.
  6. Predators, Rodents, Insects, and Parasites: The Permittee shall take necessary action to reduce the attraction of predators and rodents and the potential infestation of insects and parasites. Chickens found to be infested with insects and parasites that may result in unhealthy conditions to human habitation may be removed by an Animal Control Officer.
  7. Feed and Water: Chickens shall be provided with access to feed and clean water at all times. The feed and water shall be unavailable to rodents, wild birds and predators.
  8. Waste Storage and Removal: All stored manure shall be covered by a fully enclosed structure with a roof or lid over the entire structure. No more than three cubic feet of manure shall be stored on the permitted tract of land. All other manure not used for composting or fertilizing shall be removed. The henhouse, chicken tractor, chicken pen and surrounding area shall be kept free from trash and accumulated droppings. Uneaten feed shall be removed in a timely manner.
  9. Chickens at Large: The Permittee shall not allow the Permittee's chickens to roam off the permitted tract of land. No dog or cat or other domesticated animal which kills a chicken off the permitted tract of land will, for that reason alone, not be considered a dangerous or aggressive animal or the county's responsibility to enforce its animal control provisions.
  10. All County entities reserve the right to perform inspections of the facilities at any time they deem necessary.
  11. Changes to the scope of operation of this facility or ownership shall require another hearing before this Board.
  12. An annual inspection of the property will be conducted and an annual renewal fee shall be paid to continue the use.
  13. This Special Use Permit is non-transferable and shall expire if not renewed annually.
  14. If a dispute should arise concerning the interpretation herein, a hearing shall be scheduled before the Zoning Board of Appeals and they shall make the final interpretation.