Information on Urban Agriculture
It's understandable that many are looking for new things to keep them busy at this time, with a large part of our population now being told to stay home and multiple businesses and events cancelled. One trend that seems to be growing rapidly is urban agriculture; the idea of practicing farming techniques while living in close quarters with others. And in particular, chicken farming and bee farming are booming in popularity; chickens and bees require relatively fewer resources than other farm animals to be adequately raised. Curious about raising your own chickens or putting up a beehive? Then read on below for some important information on how to do it the right way. The limited keeping of chickens and beehives may be permitted in association with one single family residence, per parcel subject to the following conditions:
- No more than two beehive stands shall be allowed.
- No more than 6 chicken hens or chicks shall be allowed.
- Chickens are defined herein as domestic female chicken hens. Roosters are prohibited.
- Chickens shall be kept for the household's personal consumption only. Commercial use such as selling eggs or chickens for meat shall be prohibited.
- There shall be no slaughtering or processing of chickens.
- Adequate shelter, care and control of the chickens is required. Any person permitted to keep chickens shall comply with all the provisions and requirements of the Town and State Code regarding care, shelter, sanitation, health, rodent control, cruelty, neglect, noise, reasonable care and other requirements pertaining to, but not limited to, the adequate care and control of animals in the Town.
- The owner of the chickens shall take necessary action to reduce the attraction of predators and rodents and the potential infestation of insects and parasites. Chickens found to be infested with insects and parasites that may result in unhealthy conditions may be removed by an animal control officer.
- Chickens shall not be allowed to roam free. They shall be kept in an enclosed secure area not to exceed a total of 128 square feet hereinafter known as a pen. Pens shall include a coop (enclosed structure) containing a minimum of two square foot per hen and an open run area containing a minimum of eight square feet per hen.
- The materials used for pens shall be uniform and kept in good condition in order to protect the safety of the chickens.
- Pens may be portable and shall meet setbacks at all times.
- Pens and beehive stands shall have setbacks of 15 feet from all property lines and 50 feet from dwellings on adjacent properties and be no closer to the street right-of-way than the primary dwelling.
- All pens shall be located away from any drainage areas that could allow fecal matter to enter a storm drainage system or stream.
- All pens shall be constructed and maintained so as to be impermeable to rodents, wild birds, and predators, including dogs and cats, and to prevent such animals or other pests from being harbored underneath, inside, or within the walls of the enclosure. All pens must be kept dry, well-ventilated, and in a sanitary condition at all times, and must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent offensive odors. All manure not used for composting or fertilizing shall be removed promptly. Odors from chickens, manure, or other chicken related substances shall not be detectable at the property boundaries.
- All approved urban agriculture uses shall maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary manner and are required to present measures for food storage and containment and disposal of waste prior to approval and shall maintain compliance with all presented measures.
- No dog or cat that kills a chicken or chick will, for that reason alone, be considered a vicious animal.
If you're interested in keeping chickens or bees, you must adhere to the guidelines above. And good luck! You might discover your inner farmer along the way. Below is a printable version of our Urban Agriculture Permit Application. Please fill it out and send it to us at P.O. Box 660, Pulaski, Virginia 24301 Urban Agriculture Permit Application