Remember the county woman who wasn’t allowed by zoning to have miniature goats? Now a county man is suing the city for the right to keep chickens, Samantha Koon reports for the Daily Progress. A.J. Miller lives on Bennington Road, which is in the suburban neighborhood just off Barracks Road, sandwiched between Georgetown Rd. and Emmett St. He had a flock of them in the spring of 2010, but after a neighbor complained about the smell, the Zoning Board of Appeals affirmed that county zoning regulations simply don’t permit chickens to be kept in the growth area. Miller has sued the county, arguing that his constitutional rights have been violated. (Although the fourteenth amendment declares that “no state…shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, there’s just not a case to be made here that there is a lack of due process of law here.)
It is strange that keeping chickens and goats is legal in the city, illegal in the urban ring, and then legal in the country. I’m not aware of any kerfuffles over goats and chickens in the city since that became permissible a few years ago. The county ought to emulate the city’s approach, and perhaps improve on it to deal with complaints about noise (i.e., no roosters) and smells (chickens shouldn’t smell at all.) I’ve got chickens and ducks, all hens—they don’t make any noise but quacks and clucks, and they certainly don’t smell like anything.