The purpose of this South Burlington, Vermont ordinance is to provide standards for keeping no more than 6 noncommercial, domesticated female chickens in a lot and to ensure that the domesticated chickens do not adversely impact surrounding neighborhood properties. To do so, the city of South Burlington requires a person to obtain an annual permit and to demonstrate compliance with the criteria and standards listed in this ordinance. A violation of this ordinance will result in a $25 fine and may result in a permit revocation; a violation of this ordinance also provides grounds for removing chickens and chicken-related structures from a lot.
101. Permit required.
103. Number and type of chickens allowed.
104. Non-commercial use only.
106. Odor and noise impacts.
108. Predators, rodents, insects, and parasites.
109. Feed and water.
110. Waste storage and removal.
112. Permit Revocation
114. Removal of chickens
The South Burlington City Council hereby ordains:
The purpose of this Ordinance is to provide standards for the keeping of domesticated chickens. It is intended to enable residents to keep a small number of female chickens on a noncommercial basis while creating standards and requirements that ensure that domesticated chickens do not adversely impact the neighborhood surrounding the property on which the chickens are kept.
(a) An annual permit is required for the keeping of any domesticated chickens. The annual permit is personal to the permittee and may not be assigned.
(b) The fee for an annual permit to keep chickens is twenty dollars ($20.00). The fee for a renewal of an annual permit shall be ten dollars ($10.00).
(c) An applicant for a permit to keep chickens must demonstrate compliance with the criteria and standards in this Ordinance in order to obtain a permit.
(d) The application for a permit shall be submitted to the City Manager or his/her designee.
(a) “Agriculture” and/or “farming” practices and/or structures as defined by the Vermont State Statutes or Vermont Secretary of Agriculture shall be exempt from this Ordinance.
(b) Any use permitted as “Keeping of Livestock” under the South Burlington Land Development Regulations shall be exempt from this Ordinance.
(a) The maximum number of chickens allowed is six (6) per lot regardless of how many dwelling units are on the lot. In the case of residential condominium buildings without individually-owned back yards, the maximum number of chickens allowed is six (6) per each such building. The maximum number of chickens allowed on land owned by a fire district is fifteen (15).
(b) Only female chickens are allowed. There is no restriction on chicken species.
Chickens shall be kept for personal use only; no person shall sell eggs or engage in chicken breeding or fertilizer production for commercial purposes.
(a) Chickens must be kept in an enclosure, chicken tractor, or fenced area (chicken pen) at all times during daylight hours. Enclosures must be clean, dry, and odor-free, kept in a neat and sanitary condition at all times, in a manner that will not disturb the use or enjoyment of neighboring lots due to noise, odor or other adverse impact. The chicken pen must provide adequate sun and shade and must be impermeable to rodents, wild birds, and predators, including dogs and cats. It shall be constructed with sturdy wire fencing buried at least 12” in the ground or securely wrapped on all sides and the bottom. The pen must be covered with
wire, aviary netting, or solid roofing.
(b) Chickens shall be secured within a henhouse during non-daylight hours. The structure shall be enclosed on all sides and shall have a roof and doors. Access doors must be able to be shut and locked at night. Opening windows and vents must be covered with predator and birdproof wire of less than one (1) inch openings. The use of scrap, waste board, sheet metal, or similar materials is prohibited. The henhouse must be well-maintained.
(c) Henhouses, enclosures, chicken tractors, and fenced areas shall be kept no less than twenty (20) feet from all property lines. This requirement may be reduced to five (5) feet from a property line with written approval from the neighboring property owner. Such written approval must be granted no greater than thirty (30) days prior to submittal of an application under this Ordinance. Henhouses shall not exceed thirty (30) square feet in size and may be located within a structure approved through the Land Development Regulations or be freestanding.
(d) Henhouses, enclosures, chicken tractors, and fenced areas located on land owned by a fire district shall be kept no less than thirty (30) feet from all property lines. This requirement may be reduced to ten (10) feet from a property line with written approval from the neighboring property owner. Such written approval must be granted no greater than thirty (30) days prior to submittal of an application under this Ordinance. Henhouses located on land owned by a fire district shall not exceed seventy (70) square feet in size and may be located within a structure approved through the Land Development Regulations or be freestanding.
(e) Henhouses, enclosures, chicken tractors and fenced areas shall only be located in rear yards if a primary residence exists on the property. For a corner lot or other property where no rear yard exists, these facilities shall be not be located any closer to a public street than the
primary residence. Henhouses are not allowed to be located in any part of a home.
(a) Odors from chickens, chicken manure, or other chicken-related substances shall not be perceptible at the property boundaries.
(b) Perceptible noise from chickens shall not be loud enough at the property boundaries to disturb persons of reasonable sensitivity.
Only motion-activated lighting may be used to light the exterior of the henhouse.
The property owner and/or chicken owner shall take all necessary action to reduce the attraction of predators and rodents and the potential infestation of insects and parasites that may result in unhealthy conditions to human habitation may be removed by the City, through the animal control officer, or any other designee, and the cost of the same shall be borne by the property owner and/or chicken owner.
Chickens must be provided with access to feed and clean water at all times; such feed and water shall be unavailable to rodents, wild birds and predators.
Provision must be made for the storage and removal of chicken manure. All stored manure shall be covered by a fully enclosed container or compost bin. No more than one, twenty (20) gallon container of manure shall be stored on any one property housing chickens. All other manure shall
be removed. In addition, the henhouse, chicken pen and surrounding area must be kept free from trash and accumulated droppings. Uneaten feed shall be removed in a timely manner.
Each violation of this ordinance shall be subject to a $25.00 fine; each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. The city shall retain the right to inspect any property to determine whether a violation has been corrected.
A permit may be revoked without reimbursement of any fee for:
- Misrepresentations on an application;
- Violation of the provisions of this ordinance or other City of South Burlington regulations,
and failure to correct said violation upon re-inspection.
- Where there is a risk to public health or safety
Any revocation or suspension pursuant to this section may be appealed to the City Council by filing a notice thereof with the secretary of the Council within ten (10) days of such revocation or suspension.
Any violation of this ordinance may be enforceable by injunction or other action available at law.
In addition to the penalty stated in Sec. 111, any violation of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be grounds for an order from the city to remove the chickens and the chicken-related structures. The health officer or animal control officer may order the removal of the chickens
upon a determination that the chickens pose a health risk. If a chicken dies, it must be disposed of promptly in a sanitary manner.
In the event that any section, subsection or portion of this Ordinance shall be declared by any competent court to be invalid for any reason, such decision shall not be deemed to affect the validity of any other section, subsection or portion of this Ordinance.