Tuesday, March 13, 2012

INDEPENDENCE Legalizes Chickens!

Read all about it!  The Independence City Council passed their Chicken Ordinance on Tuesday, March 13, 2012!  The new law will take effect in 30 days.  Congratulations to the Independence City Council, city staff, citizens of Independence and the MI Chicken Revolution Independence Team! 
The new law will take affect in 30 days!  What is the new law?
Here are the basics:

  • Up to 5 hens
  • Coop/run and a fenced yard required
  • Permit required (fee to be established)
  • Set backs are required
  • Renters must obtain written approval from the property owner
  • A certification of completion from a chicken husbandry course, or a completed 
    quiz contained at the end of the City of Independence “Primer for Keeping of 
    Backyard Chickens”
  • Notice of the application will be sent to the property owners abutting the
    property where the chickens will be housed. Abutting property owners have 10
    business days to respond with written comments prior to issuance of a decision.

Here are most of the details: 

6.5.020 Keeping of Chickens.
A. Not withstanding any conflicting provisions within the Independence Development Code, no
person shall keep chickens within the city, except under all of the following conditions:
1. A resident of a single-family dwelling in a residential zone may keep five (5) or fewer
chickens on the lot or parcel on which the resident resides, in conformance with this
Chapter and upon issuance of a permit under Section 6.5.030 of this Code.
2. Roosters are prohibited.
3. Except when under the personal control of the permittee, chickens shall be confined at
all times within a chicken facility.
4. No chicken facility, either temporarily or permanently, shall be located within twenty
feet of any adjacent residence, or within ten feet of the permittee’s residence
5. A chicken facility shall be located in the rear yard of the permittee’s residence, and shall
comply with setback requirements of the Development Zone in which it is located.
6. A chicken coop shall be dry and adequately sealed to prevent cold air and moisture from
entering the coop; it shall be maintained in good repair to protect the chickens from
injury and to prevent entry of other animals that may be dangerous to the chickens.
7. A chicken facility shall provide protective shading and adequate shelter areas designed
to minimize harmful exposure to weather conditions.
8. Waste matter shall be removed from the chicken facility as often as necessary to
prevent contamination, reduce disease hazards and minimize odors.
9. All food for chickens shall be stored in metal, rodent-proof containers.
10. Storage of bedding materials shall be designed to prevent vermin infestation.
11. Fencing shall be designed and constructed to confine all chickens to the owner’s
12. Chickens must be kept in a covered, enclosed coop from dusk to dawn.
13. A chicken coop shall not exceed one hundred and twenty square feet.

B. Prohibitions:
1. Retail sale of eggs from the residence is prohibited.
2. No chickens may be permitted to run at large.
3. Chickens may not be slaughtered or killed in the City except pursuant to the lawful order
of state or county health officials, or for the purpose of euthanasia when surrendered to
a licensed veterinarian for such purpose, or as otherwise expressly permitted by law.

6.5.030 Permit Required.
A. Terms; Conditions of Permit. A permit to keep chickens shall be valid for three years from
the date of issuance, and may be renewed for additional three year terms. Every permit
shall be subject to the following conditions:
1. Application. An application for a permit to keep chickens shall be accompanied by an
application fee, in an amount set by resolution of the City Council, and shall include the
a. The name and mailing address of the person to whom the permit will be issued;
b. The physical address where the chickens will be kept, if different from above;
c. A sketch plan and affidavit evidencing that the chicken facility will meet the
standards in this section;
d. A certification of completion from a chicken husbandry course, or a completed
quiz contained at the end of the City of Independence “Primer for Keeping of
Backyard Chickens”; and
e. When the applicant is not the owner of the property where the chickens will be
located, the applicant will obtain signed consent from the property owner for the
keeping of chickens on the property.
2 .The granting of a permit under this chapter shall be treated as an administrative action,
and shall be administered by the City Recorder. Applications will be processed in the
following manner:
a. The application will be reviewed by the City Recorder for completeness, and will
not be acted upon until all information as contained in 6. 5.030 (A)(1) is received.
b. Notice of the application will be sent to the property owners abutting the
property where the chickens will be housed. Abutting property owners have 10
business days to respond with written comments prior to issuance of a decision.
c. Within 5 days after the close of the comment period, the application will be
reviewed and a decision rendered.
d. Written notice of the decision will be mailed to the applicant and any interested
party that requested a copy of the decision.
e. Decisions will be based upon the information supplied with the application, and
the criteria in subsection 4 below.
f. A decision may be appealed to the City Manager or designee, either by the
applicant or abutting property owner. The appeal must be filed within 5 days of
date of notice, and be accompanied by a fee as established by Council resolution.
3. Renewal.
a. A permittee may apply for renewal of a permit no later than 5:00 p.m. on the
permit expiration date. The application shall be accompanied by an affidavit that
the chicken facility meets the standards in this section, together with the permit
renewal fee.
b. A renewal application shall be reviewed by the City in accordance with Section 4
c. A late fee, in an amount as established Council resolution, shall be charged for any
renewal application received after the expiration date. No renewal shall be
granted if the application for the renewal is received more than thirty days after
the expiration date.
4. Grounds for Denial/Revocation. An application for a permit to keep chickens or a
renewal of a permit may be denied or revoked for any of the following reasons:
a. Applicant provided inaccurate, misleading or incomplete information on the

application for, or in connection with the permit.
b. The permittee failed to comply with the conditions of a permit issued pursuant to
this section.
c. Applicant failed to provide the sketch plan and affidavit in accordance with 6.
5.030 (A)(1)(c) of this Code.
d. Permittee’s actions present a reasonable doubt about the permittee’s ability to
perform permits and Code conditions, or to keep chickens without endangering
the public health, safety or welfare.
5. Revocation. In the event of revocation, the City Recorder shall issue a written notice to
the permittee specifying the reason(s) for the revocation and provide the permittee
with 10 business days to correct the deficiency(ies). If corrected within the 10-day
period, the permit will be reinstated.
6. No Transfer. Any permit granted hereunder is personal in nature to the grantee at the
premises identified in the application and is non-transferable to another property or
another resident of those premises.

6.5.040 Violation.
A. Violation of any section of this chapter is punishable, upon conviction, by a fine in the
maximum amount of $250.00. Each day a violation continues to exist shall constitute a
separate violation for which a separate fine or penalty may be assessed.

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