Council considers chicken regulations

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — Citizens in Vandalia may soon be allowed to have chickens in their back yard – if their yard is big enough and provided the Vandalia City Council approves that legislation.

It appears that there are enough votes on council to pass, however, after the matter originally came up as a rezoning request from a couple on Old Springfield Road. Their property is zoned residential and raising chickens is currently only permitted on property zoned agricultural.

While council was reluctant to rezone the property for this purpose, they did acknowledge the growing trend of people raising chickens and appeared to want to accommodate the applicant – with conditions.

Those conditions had their first discussion on Monday during a special council work session. During that meeting, council considered what type of regulations nearby communities place on the raising of chickens. The survey, which included Xenia, Clayton, Butler Township, Huber Heights, Tipp City, and others, showed that there’s a wide variety of lot size requirements as well as the number of chickens allowed.

Tipp City, for example, does not have a minimum lot size but only specifies that the chickens be kept at least 100 feet from an adjacent home. They also have no limit on the number of chickens that can be raised.

Xenia, on the other hand, has a minimum lot size of 5,000 square feet and a maximum of four chickens. Other cities have varying numbers of chickens based on how large the lot is.

The recommendation that council is considering includes the following guidelines for the City of Vandalia:

  • Chickens may be permitted on properties zoned RSF-1, RSF-2, RSF-3, RSF-4 and PUD, unless otherwise restricted by private development standards, as accessory to a principal single-family use when the lot size is 2 acres or more
  • No chickens be permitted at a ratio greater than 2 chickens per acre with a maximum of 8 chickens per property, regardless of acreage
  • Chickens shall be kept in a coop, enclosed pen or yard which shall be no closer than 25 feet from any side or rear lot line
  • Chickens and their subsequent enclosures shall be kept only in the rear yard
  • The chickens shall be provided an enclosed house or coop that is properly ventilated
  • Coops and enclosures shall be maintained to prevent offensive smells becoming injurious to the health, comfort, or property of individuals or of the public
  • If chicken coop exceeds 50 square feet in size, it shall be deemed an accessory structure and a separate permit will be required
  • Wings shall be clipped
  • All persons must comply with City Code Section 618.19 “Outdoor Feeding Prohibited”
  • and may not store feed outdoors
  • No person shall keep a rooster
  • No person shall sell products produced by said chickens from a residential property

The proposal will likely go before the Planning Commission in the coming months, but an exact timetable has not been established at press time for this edition. Council will consider that recommendation when considering final legislation.

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.