Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Improving the City Codes for Backyard Hens

During out last legalization meeting we discussed contacting our council members to tell them that we support backyard hens.  Many times council members are unfamiliar with the benefits of backyard flocks and they want to be educated.  The recent paper by Jaime Bouvier is a well written and thorough review of the issue.  Neither pro nor con and is available on the web.  I suggest that everyone read it and email or print this information for their council members, friends and neighbors if there are concerns or they just want to become more educated on the top.

Illegal Fowl: A Survey of Municipal Laws Relating to Backyard Poultry and a Model Ordinance for Regulating City Chickens

September 2012

Citation: 42 ELR 10888
Issue: 9
Author: Jaime Bouvier
As the movement toward keeping backyard chickens continues to grow, many cities are facing the decision of whether to allow residents to keep chickens and, if so, how to effectively regulate the practice. A survey of municipal ordinances in the top 100 most populous cities in the United States that concern keeping and raising chickens offers lessons that may be applied to designing a model ordinance. This survey reveals that chickens are, perhaps surprisingly, legal in the vast majority of large cities. The survey also identifies regulatory norms and some effective and less effective ways to regulate the keeping of chickens. A proposed model ordinance, based on the background information and survey results, could be adopted by a city or easily modified to fit a city’s unique needs.

Jaime Bouvier is Visiting Legal Writing Professor, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

The Contents include:
I. The Benefits of Backyard Chickens
II. Cities’ Concerns With Backyard Hens
III. Some Necessary Background on Hens for Developing Urban Hen-Keeping Ordinances
IV. The Current State of Municipal Ordinances Governing Backyard Chickens
V. Model Ordinance

We had a good legalization meeting which was well attended and at the same time we aren't speaking about hundreds of people wanting chickens, this is really about 10-20 people interested in any particular city who can't keep chickens based on current codes.

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