Chicken Permit


(A)   Purpose and intent. The purpose of this section is to outline conditions under which City residents may safely keep or maintain a limited number of chickens to assure appropriate chicken coops or structures in which to house chickens, and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general population of the City of Medford.

(B)   Definitions.  For the purpose of this section, the following terms have the meaning indicated:

ABUTTING PROPERTY. All property that abuts an applicant's property at 1 or more points except public streets.
BACKYARD.  That 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 intersected with an imaginary line established by the rear of the single family structure and extending to the 2 side lot lines.
CHICKEN.  A female hen of any age, including chicks. This definition does not include other kinds of fowl including but not limited to ducks, quail, pheasant, geese, turkeys, guinea hens, peacocks, emus, or ostriches.
COOP.  An enclosed structure, building or pen within which chickens roost or are housed.

(C)   Keeping of chickens.
Chickens may be kept or maintained upon the following:

(1)   Up to 4 chickens may be raised within a lot zoned R-l Single Family District, or a lot zoned R-2 One- and Two-Family District, upon notification of all abutting property owners.
(2)   Rental tenants of a single family dwelling or a one-two family dwelling that is zoned R-l Single Family or R-2 One and Two Family shall abide by the rules set forth in division (E) herein, and shall obtain written approval prior to the keeping or maintaining of chickens on the rental premise. The landlord's written approval must accompany the applicant's permit application.
(3)   Retail establishments may hold an unlimited number of chickens for sale.
(4)   Educational facilities are allowed to keep chickens for educational purposes only.
(5)   The Taylor County Fairgrounds is allowed to have an unlimited number of chickens during the Taylor County Fair.
(6)   Chickens may be temporarily allowed for special purposes such as a public picnic and other special events upon approval of the Zoning Administrator.
(7)   Chickens may be allowed in the local veterinarian's office for the purpose of observation or treatment.
(8)   In addition to 4 adult chickens, new born chickens (chicks) up to the age of 3 weeks may be kept in a residence or outbuilding.

(D)   Chickens are not allowed.
Chickens are not allowed to be kept or maintained upon the following:

(1)   Mobile home parks.
(2)   Vacant lots unless the person requesting the permit resides on the abutting property.
(3)   Any property zoned as R-3 Multi-Family Residential District. The keeping of chickens in any non-residential district will only be allowed with the speical approval of Common Council.
(4)   Condominiums.

(E)   Permit required.

(1)   No owner or tenant shall own, keep or maintain chickens within the corporate limits of the City without first obtaining a permit.
(2)   The applicant for a permit must notify all abutting property owners of their intention to keep or maintain chickens prior to applying for a permit, and the permit application must certify that all such property owners have been notified. A list of all property owners and their addresses, must be included with the permit application. No permit to keep or maintain chickens shall be issued unless all requirements are met.
(3)   The above requirements shall not be required for renewal of a permit as long as the permit is kept current.
(4)   The permit year shall commence on January 1, and shall end on the following December 31, and shall be renewed annually.
(5)   A permit granted shall not transfer to any other property or successor owners of permitted property unless all provisions of this section are met.

(F)   Fees.

(1)   The annual fee for keeping and maintaining up to 4 chickens shall be $15 and must be paid to the City Clerk at the time of application. This fee shall not be prorated. Amendments to the annual license fee may be made by Council resolution.
(2)   All renewal permits are due and payable to the City no later than January 31 of the permit year, or prior to keeping the chickens, whichever is later. Failure to timely renew and pay will result in forfeiture of the permit. Upon forfeiture an applicant shall be required to meet all initial requirements as set forth in division (E)  above.

(G)   Property requirements.

(1)   A coop and any attached enclosure shall be located in the backyard of the permit holder's residence and shall meet all applicable setback requirements for accessory buildings as set forth in the City of Medford Comprehensive Zoning Code.
(2)   A coop and any attached enclosure shall not be closer than 25 feet to an abutting residence in addition to the restrictions in division (G)(1) above.

(H)   Coop design.

(1)   All chickens shall be kept and maintained within a ventilated and roofed coop in compliance with any applicable state and local requirements.
(2)   All coops, including an attached coop enclosure, shall be enclosed with wire netting or equivalent material that will prevent chickens from escaping the coop or the attached enclosure.
(3)   The coop structural floor shall allow at least 4 square feet per chicken, and the height of the coop shall not exceed 6 feet above ground level.
(4)   The coop shall have a clear open space to allow the chickens to walk on the ground or a concrete slab.

(I)   Any person keeping chickens:

(1)   Shall keep or maintain chickens within a coop or attached coop enclosure at all times.
(2)   Shall not keep or maintain any roosters or male chickens.
(3)   Shall not sell any eggs.
(4)   Shall not slaughter any chickens on the premises.
(5)   Shall ensure that chickens are provided with access to feed and clean water at all times.
(6)   Shall consult with a veterinarian regarding chickens that appear ill, or on the occasion of a sudden death. If a disease that would be contagious to humans is diagnosed, recommendations to insure prevention or transmission of a disease must be followed as recommended by the veterinarian.

(J)   Sanitation.

(1)   Chickens and their coops shall be kept and maintained at all times in outdoor areas and shall not be permitted inside a residential premise or dwelling, except as provided in division (C)(8) above.
(2)   Chicken feed shall be stored and kept in containers, which make the feed inaccessible to rodents, vermin, wild birds, and other predators.
(3)   All coops and backyards where chickens are kept or maintained shall be reasonably free from chicken-produced substances including but not limited to chicken manure such that the air or environment around the chickens does not become noxious or offensive or create a condition that would reasonably promote the breeding of flies, mosquitoes, or other insects, or provide a habitat, breeding or feeding place for rodents or other animals, or otherwise be injurious to public health.

(K)   Inspection.  The City shall have the power, whenever it may deem reasonably necessary, to enter a building, structure, or property where chickens are kept to ascertain whether the keeper is in compliance with this section. The City Police Department may issue compliance orders and citations pursuant to the provisions of this section, and state law.

(L)   Enforcement.  The City shall revoke a permit to keep chickens in the event that the Police Department has issued 3 or more violations of this section within any 6-month period.

(M)   Penalty.  Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provisions of this section, shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit $10 per day from the date the citation is issued.

(N)   Restricted covenants.  This section is not intended to interfere with any restrictive covenants otherwise applicable.

(Ord. 956, passed 8-17-10; Am. Ord. 957, passed 9-21-10)