Village of Stamford
Local Law No. 1 of 2017

A Local Law Regulating the Keeping of Chickens

Be it enacted by the Village of Stamford Board of Trustees as follows:

§ 1. Legislative Intent, Authority and Findings

The Village of Stamford Board of Trustees (“Village Board”) hereby finds that the keeping of chickens can play a role in ensuring a source of local food and a sustainable environment, but that the improper maintenance of chickens in residential neighborhoods can cause nuisances to nearby residential properties, and create conditions which are unsanitary and unsafe. Therefore, it is the intent of the Village Board, pursuant to Article IX of the New York State Construction, Article 18 of the General Municipal Law, and Sections 10 and 20 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of New York State, to permit and regulate the keeping of chickens within the Village of Stamford (“Village”).

§ 2. Definitions

“Chicken” shall mean domestic hens. Roosters and other types of domestic fowl are intentionally excluded from this definition and are not intended to be permitted or addressed by this local law.

“Coop” shall mean a structure that is designed to house hens, which is enclosed on all sides by a roof, doors, and walls with or without windows. A mobile or portable structure that meets this definition shall be considered a coop for purposes of this local law.

“Hen” shall mean a female chicken.

“Run” shall mean an outdoor are that is enclosed on all sides, including the top, by fencing that is attached to or surrounding a chicken coop. A run shall have a doorway or hatch that allows hens to access the space.

§ 3. Permit Required

A. No person may breed, raise, harbor, or maintain hens in the Village without a permit issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. A building permit shall be required for the construction of a coop or run for the keeping of hens to ensure compliance with these provisions. A Certificate of Conformance from the Code Enforcement Officer shall be issued following construction and prior to a hen being bred, raised, harbored or maintained in a coop or run.

A. The Code Enforcement Officer may deny a permit to an applicant that cannot meeting the setback requirements or any other requirement of this local law. The Code Enforcement Officer may also deny a permit to anyone who has been or is convicted of animal cruelty violations, or is delinquent in the payment of any outstanding taxes or assessed fees.

§ 4. Regulations for the Keeping of Hens

A. General Limitations.

1. A coop and run shall only be permitted on unimproved parcels and parcels improved by a single-family residential structure.

2. There shall be no more than one coop and run on a zoned lot.

3. The maximum number of hens shall be six (6) per property.

4. Roosters are prohibited within the Village

5. Hens are permitted for personal use only. For profit sale of hens or eggs on the residential property is prohibited.

B. Enclosures required.

1. Hens shall be contained or kept in a fully enclosed coop and run. Hens may be permitted to exercise in a rear, fenced in yard with supervision provided the fence is a minimum of 5 feet high. Hens must be kept in the coop and run at all times if the coop and run are not located in a fenced yard. No hen shall be permitted to run at large.

2. Feed must be stored in an enclosed, rodent proof container at all times.

C. Minimum Standards for Condition of Coop and Run

1. The coop and run shall be located in the rear of the residential structure. A coop and run shall be permitted in the rear yard only and shall not be permitted in a side or front yard.

2. A coop shall be designed and built so that it provides ventilation and shade for hens, and protection from precipitation, cold weather, predators, wild birds and rodents.

i. Openings in windows or doors are to be covered/secured with wire mesh or screens to deter predators

ii. Access doors are required and are to be placed to provide for ease of cleaning.

iii. The enclose run must be attached to, or surround, the coop. The sides of the run must be made of wire mesh or screening to discourage predators.

iv. The run must be enclosed on all sides including the top or roof plane.

D. Area and Setback Requirements

1. A coop shall provide a minimum of four (4) square feet per hen. A run shall have a minimum of eight (8) square feet per hen.

2. A coop and run shall be at least five (10) feet from the property line and at least twenty (20) feet from a neighboring dwelling. This setback can be waived upon submission of written permission from the owner of the neighboring dwelling.

3. A coop and run shall only be permitted on parcels with a minimum lot size of 1/2 acre.

E. Sanitation and Nuisance Prevention

1. The coop or run shall be kept clean, dry and in sanitary condition at all times. Animal waste, uneaten or discarded food, and feathers are to be removed regularly with a minimum frequency of once per week.

2. Odor from hens, animal waste and related substances shall not create a nuisance for occupants of nearby buildings or properties.

3. Animal waste musts be collected, stored and disposed of regularly with a minimum frequency of once per week. Notwithstanding the foregoing, animal waste may be composted.

§5. Grandfathering

Any chicken coop and/or run existing prior to the effective date of this local law shall be grandfathered and permitted to remain in place with the 1/2 acre minimum lot size requirement set forth in Section 4(D)(3) waived, provided the following conditions are satisfied:

A. Only hens shall be permitted to be kept;

B. An inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer finds that the coop and/or run conforms with, or can be brought into conformance with the requirements of this local law within thirty (30) days of inspection; and

C. All other requirements of this local law are met.

§6. Violations

A. Any person found to be keeping hens without a Certificate of Conformance shall have thirty (30) days from the date of notification by the Code Enforcement Officer to come into compliance.

B. Any person found to be in violation of the standards set forth in this ordinance shall have seven (7) days from date of notification by the Code Enforcement Officer to achieve compliance. The Certificate of Conformance shall be revoked.

C. The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the discretion to immediately and permanently revoke a Certificate of Compliance if a person is found guilty of violating this local law.

D. Revocation of Certificate of Conformance shall signify the coop as a public nuisance and the coop will be removed from the property at the owner’s expense.
§7. Severability

The invalidity of any word, section, clause, paragraph, sentence, part, or provision of this local law shall not affect the validity of any other part of this local law which can be given effect without such invalid part or parts.

§ 8. Effective Date

This local law shall take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State.