City of Charlotte Ordinance Pertaining to the Keeping of Chickens, Livestock in Residential Areas

This information was received from Mark Balestra, Division Director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control Division on Wednesday, September 21, 2011:

The keeping of chickens and other livestock requires a permit issued by the Animal Care & Control Division of the CMPD. This is in place for two reasons, one to ensure that the farm animals are being maintained in a manner in accordance to code and humane treatment and secondly to ensure that they do not in any fashion constitute a public nuisance in their community. Some forms of nuisance include but are not limited to noise, odor, safety etc.

I have included the ordinance section below for your review.

Charlotte City Code Section 3-102: City Permits

(a) Permit Required: It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep, have, or maintain any equine animals, cloven-hoofed animals or other livestock or any chickens, turkeys, ducks, guineas, geese, pheasants, pigeons or other domestic fowl in the city without first receiving from the bureau a permit to do so or to continue to have any of such animals or fowl after a permit has been denied.

This section shall not apply to, and no permit shall be required for, any agricultural operation within G.S. 106-700, which pertains to nuisance liability of agricultural operation, or to any rabbit that is kept exclusively inside its owner’s residence. The permit shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance and shall be renewed annually. The annual fee for such permit shall be $40.00 per household. The application shall list all such animals and fowl on the premises. Before a permit is issued an employee of the bureau shall inspect the premises to determine if the keeping of the animals or fowl on the premises will endanger or is likely to endanger the health, safety, peace, quiet, comfort, enjoyment of or otherwise become a public nuisance to nearby residents or occupants or places of business.

(b) Denial:When a permit is denied for any reason, the applicant shall be given a written explanation of the reason for denial.

(c) Compliance required prior to issuance: An owner or possessor of such animals or fowl shall comply with the following applicable subsections before a permit is issued. Compliance with the following applicable subsections will create a rebuttable presumption that a permit shall be issued. That presumption may only be rebutted by specific findings supported by competent evidence that, despite compliance with the following, the presence of such animals or fowl is still likely to endanger the health, safety, peace, quiet, comfort, enjoyment of or otherwise become a public nuisance to nearby residents or occupants or places of business:

(1) Fowl and other specifically identified animals: The keeping of chickens, turkeys, ducks, guineas, geese, pheasants or other domestic fowl or rabbits shall be in compliance with the following:

a. Such animals must be confined in a coop, fowl house or rabbit hutch not less than 18 inches in height. The fowl must be kept within the coop or fowl house and the rabbits in the hutch at all times.

b. The coop or fowl house must be used for fowl only and the hutch for rabbits only, and both must be well ventilated.

c. The coop, fowl house or hutch shall have a minimum of four square feet of floor area for each fowl or rabbit.

d. The run must be well drained so there is no accumulation of moisture.

e. The coop, fowl house or hutch shall be kept clean, sanitary and free from accumulation of animal excrement and objectionable odors. It shall be cleaned daily, and all droppings and body excretion shall be placed in a flyproof container and double-bagged in plastic bags.

f. The coop, fowl house or hutch shall be a minimum of 25 feet from any property line.

g. No more than 20 such fowl or rabbits shall be kept or maintained per acre. The number of fowl or rabbits should be proportionate to the acreage.

(2) Pigeons: Pigeons, while allowed to fly to and from the premises, must be provided with adequate space on the premises, and sanitary conditions must be maintained.

(3) Cloven-hoofed animals: The keeping of cloven-hoofed animals, equines and other livestock shall be in compliance with the following:

a. Such animals must be provided with adequate shelter to protect them from the elements.

b. The shelter shall be kept clean, sanitary and free from accumulations of animal excrement and objectionable odors.

c. The shelters for cows and other large livestock, which are covered by the zoning ordinance in appendix A to this Code, shall be kept at a minimum of 75 feet from any property line. The shelters for goats and other small livestock shall be kept at a minimum of 25 feet from any property line.

d. Each cow or other large livestock, excluding equines, shall have a minimum pasture area of two acres. Each goat, sheep or other small livestock shall have a minimum pasture area of one-fourth acre.

(4) Slaughter: Any slaughter of any livestock or poultry not regulated by state law or otherwise forbidden or regulated shall be done only in a humane and sanitary manner and shall not be done open to the view of any public area or adjacent property owned by another.

(5) Annexation: An owner or possessor of animals on property that is newly annexed has 90 days from the date of annexation to bring the property into compliance and to have obtained permits required by this section.

(6) Exceptions: A permit shall not be required for animals of any kind if the animals are kept by a governmental authority or other appropriately certified and recognized academic institution, museum, raptor center, etc.

(d) Revocation: The bureau may revoke any permit:

(1) When the permit has been mistakenly issued without compliance with this section;

(2) When the applicant has submitted false information;

(3) For a violation of any of the sections of this chapter;

(4) When, in the opinion of the bureau manager, the health, safety or welfare of any person or property is menaced by the keeping of such animals; or

(5) When the animals become a nuisance.

If a permit is revoked, the applicant shall be given a written explanation of the reasons for the revocation. Upon the determination of a violation of this section, and if the violation pertains to a correctable condition on the property, the owner shall have 30 days in which to bring the property or condition into compliance with this chapter

(Code 1985, § 3-37; Ord. No. 2840, § 4, 12-13-2004)

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Published on October 10, 2011 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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