County Sued Over Chicken Prohibition

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.

5 Responses to “County Sued Over Chicken Prohibition”


  • I lived in that area and was aware of several chicken coops near by, some well tended, some not as well. The rooster matter came to a head when the neighbor in our duplex decided to keep an indoor rooster. At first I thought they had an amusing alarm clock. Then I realized it was a real rooster.

    What seems silly to me is that this shouldn’t have anything to do with this being part of a “growth” area, indeed developed areas should hardly be considered part of the “growth” area. We have nuisance laws that should suffice to manage noise and smell issues, and so long as the animals are not trespassing, then this should be a non-issue.

  • “We have nuisance laws that should suffice to manage noise…”

    I personally would kill to see CPD out in force with their decibel meters chasing chickens around someone’s yard.

    My neighbor has about eight chickens whose coop abuts Rancho Notso Grande. She is a racist shut-in and a bit of a lunatic, but I have never had a problem the chickens.

  • Should be “Now a county man is suing the *county*…”…?

  • Should be “Now a county man is suing the *county*…”…?

    Mmm, yes, that does make a great deal more sense, doesn’t it? :) Thanks, Andrew!

  • “I personally would kill to see CPD out in force with their decibel meters chasing chickens around someone’s yard.”

    And I’d love to see your indirect minimum tolerance for such violence amply rewarded, by proving NDS would be equally close in tow and lurking within the nearby shadows.

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