Ludington council to consider chicken ordinance

February 27, 2023

Ludington council to consider chicken ordinance

LUDINGTON — City Council is expected to take action on a chicken ordinance when it meets today for its regular bi-monthly meeting. If passed, the resolution will allow the keeping of chickens, with restrictions, in the city limits. The ordinance will have a sunset clause with it ending in two years and the option to renew upon review of City Council. 

Any person wishing to keep chickens must obtain a permit, available at the city’s municipal complex.  The initial permit is valid for one year. 

Some of the restrictions include: 

  • Chickens may only be kept on a lot containing a single-family dwelling. 
  • Chickens may only be kept on a lot which is at least 7,200 square feet in size.
  • Chickens may only be kept by an occupant of a dwelling unit located on the real property on which the chickens are kept. 
  • All properties interested in possessing chickens must have a properly designed and constructed coop, which may be located only in the “rear yard” of the property (defined in the city’s zoning ordinance). The city manager, building inspector and/or code enforcement officers may permit an alternative placement where a rear yard does not exist due to existing building placement or for properties that do not have a rear yard, proving that there are no detrimental effects on adjacent properties. 
  • The yard of each property in which a coop is located shall be further enclosed by a containment fence. 
  • All coops shall be designed with adequate yard space for each chicken, and the square footage of the coop and any optional chicken run(s) combined shall not cover more than 50 percent of the rear yard area. Coops and chicken runs must be clean and resistant to predators and rodents. 
  • All coops and chicken runs shall comply with applicable setbacks and zoning ordinance provisions. 
  • No person shall keep or allow to be kept more than four chickens. 
  • Chicken feed must be in rodent resistant and weather proof containers, and must be kept within the coop or chicken run. 
  • Chickens may not be butchered, slaughtered or otherwise killed, for any reason or any purpose, outside of the principal structure or any accessory building on the property on which chickens may be kept. 
  • The person keeping the chickens shall abide by all health and safety standards at the city’s property maintenance code. 
  • Rooster are prohibited. 

In a separate ordinance, the Council is expected to take action on the cost of fees for the chicken permits, which is being proposed as $25.

City Council meets at 6 p.m. at the city’s municipal complex, 400 S. Harrison St.

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