Sunday, February 5, 2012

Michigan - Napoleon Township

Napoleon Township amends zoning ordinance to allow chickens in certain residential areas

If you haven’t heard yet, the chickens are coming home to roost in Napoleon.
With the recommendation of the Napoleon Township Planning Commission, the township board Tuesday approved an amendment to the “Maintenance of Animals” section of the zoning ordinance.
The section limits the raising of “livestock, poultry, rabbits, fur-bearing animals and other farm and non-farm animals” to lots greater than 5 acres, in an agricultural district. However, the amendment opens the barn door just wide enough to allow a few chickens on smaller lots in residential areas.
Among the features of the new chicken code:
• No more than five chickens per property. None may be a rooster.
• The chickens may be kept on a residential lot of at least 1 acre. However, private restrictions, such as deeds, neighborhood association bylaws and covenant deeds, trump the ordinance.
• The coop must be covered, enclosed and kept in good repair.
• No house chickens; they are restricted to the back yard.
• If the chickens are a nuisance or hazard to neighbors, the coop will be closed.
Napoleon Township Clerk Dan Wymer said the ordinance is in keeping with a trend toward “urban agriculture” in many communities.


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