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Jun 15

The Chickens Are Coming!

Comments (2) 10:15 AM posted by admin |

The chickens are coming (on July 7th).

The proposed City of Ypsilanti Chicken Ordinance in all its glory.

1. THE CITY OF YPSILANTI ORDAINS That Section 14-13 of the Ypsilanti City Code be added with the following language:

Sec. 14-13. Keeping of Female Chickens (Hens)

(1) Any person who keeps hens in the City of Ypsilanti shall obtain a permit from the City prior to acquiring the hens and pay a $10 permit fee. This permit shall be kept by the owner and presented upon demand by any city official or police officer. Permits shall not expire, but are non-transferable and do not run with the land. A permit may be obtained prior to June 1, 2010 by any property owner of a single-family or two-family zoned property within the City of Ypsilanti.

(2) Notwithstanding the issuance of a permit by the City, private restrictions on the use of property shall remain enforceable and take precedence over a permit. Private restrictions include, but are not limited to, deed restrictions, condominium master deed restrictions, neighborhood association by-laws and covenant deeds. A permit issued to a person whose property is subject to private restrictions that prohibit the keeping of hens is void. The interpretation and enforcement of the private restriction is the sole responsibility of the private parties involved.

(3) A person who keeps or houses hens on his or her property shall comply with the following requirements:

  • Must obtain a permit pursuant to subsection (1) of this section.
  • Keep no more than 4 hens.
  • The principal use of the person’s property must be for a single-family dwelling or two-family dwelling.
  • No person shall keep a male chicken (rooster).
  • No person shall slaughter any hens.
  • Any person keeping hens shall remain subject to animal noise controls codified in Section 14-11 of the Ypsilanti Code of Ordinances.
  • The hens shall be provided with a covered enclosure and must be kept in the covered enclosure or a fenced enclosure at all times. Fenced enclosures are subject to the provisions of Section 122-714 of the Code of Ordinances.
  • A person shall keep hens in the backyard only. For this subsection, “backyard” means the portion of a lot enclosed by the property’s rear lot line and the side lot lines to the points where the side lot lines intersect with an imaginary line established by the rear of the single-family or two-family structure and extending to the side lot lines.
  • All enclosures for the keeping of hens shall be constructed, repaired and maintained in a manner to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents from being harbored underneath, within, or within the walls of the enclosure.
  • All feed and other items associated with the keeping of hens that are likely to attract or to become infested shall be so protected so as to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents from gaining access to or coming into contact with hem.

(4) If the requirements of subjection (3) are not fully complied with, the City may revoke any permit granted under this section and/or initiate prosecution for a civil infraction violation.

Please keep in mind this ordinance is coming for first reading only. This doesn’t mean that you may have chickens now.

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  1. Comment by Building Place
    June 15, 2009 @ 12:13 pm


    This is great! The 4-hers in my house will be very excited!

  2. Comment by Lynne Fremont
    June 15, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

    What?! No slaughtering hens? You guys take the fun out of everything. Of course I suppose that if one finds out that a chicken previously thought to be a hen is actually a rooster, they can slaughter the rooster and then find themselves killing two birds with one stone and in compliance with both sections d *and* e 😉

    Seriously though, I like this ordinance even though I dont want to keep any chickens myself.

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