[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Township of Delran 11-24-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-22. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 5-2-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
Compliance with chapter required. No person shall own or harbor or cause or suffer to be owned or harbored any animal other than in compliance with this chapter.
Prior existing violations. If, on the effective date hereof, any person harbors domesticated farm animals in zones prohibited by § 389-3, in shelters nearer to neighboring dwelling houses than is permitted by § 389-3, or upon premises having an area less than that required by § 389-3 hereof, he may continue to do so if he otherwise complies with the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that no such person shall increase in number such animals, move nearer such premises to neighboring dwelling houses, or decrease the size of such premises.
Registration. Any person whose possession or ownership of animals is in noncompliance with the aforementioned provision of § 389-3, and who continues after the effective date hereof to own or harbor such animals as a prior existing violation, shall register such animals with the Board of Health upon a form to be supplied by the Board of Health. After three months following the passage of this chapter, it shall be conclusively presumed by the Board of Health and by any court wherein it is sought to enforce this chapter that the animals then unregistered were acquired after the effective date hereof.
Limitation on numbers and locations. It shall be unlawful to keep or harbor any horses, ponies, cattle, pigeons or poultry (regardless of the age or sex of such animals) except:
In areas zoned for agricultural use;
Upon premises on or at which the stable, pen, cage, coop or other facility to house such animal (should any be thereon situate) is farther than 150 feet from any neighboring dwelling house; and
In the case of horses, upon a field containing not less than one acre for each horse; in the case of cattle, upon a field containing not less than one acre for each such animal; in the case of ponies, upon a field containing not less than 1/2 acre for each pony; and in the case of sheep and goats, upon a field containing not less than 1/4 acre for each such animal.
Restraint. It shall be unlawful to keep or harbor any domesticated farm animal except upon premises surrounded by a fence of sufficient size, strength and design to restrain such animal from wandering; provided, however, that nothing herein shall prohibit the presence of a domesticated farm animal in or upon public or private property while in the presence and control of its owner or person in possession.
It shall be unlawful to own or harbor or cause or suffer to be owned or harbored any animal commonly thought to be of a wild nature, such as deer, raccoon, squirrel or bat, except in a secure enclosure.
Cages, pens, fields, stables, areas, coops or other enclosures maintained for the harboring of any animal shall be maintained in a wholesome condition, free from rats, flies and other disease-carrying animals and insects, and free from noxious odors.
Any license issued under the terms and provisions of this chapter may be suspended or revoked by the Board of Health of the Township of Delran for the violation by the licensee of any provision of this chapter, or whenever it shall appear that the business, trade, calling, profession or occupation of the person or corporation to whom said license was issued is conducted in a disorderly or improper manner or in violation of any law of the United States, the State of New Jersey or any ordinance of this municipality or of this Board of Health, or that the licensee or its agent is of unfit character to conduct the same, or that the purpose for which the license has been issued is being abused to the detriment of the public or is being used for a purpose foreign to that for which the license was issued.
A license issued under the terms and provisions of this chapter shall not be revoked, cancelled, or suspended until a hearing thereon shall have been had by the Board of Health. Written notice of the time and place of such hearing shall be served upon the licensee at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing. Such notice shall contain a brief statement of the grounds to be relied upon for the revoking, cancellation or suspension of such license. Notice may be given either by personal delivery thereof to the licensee or its agent or be deposited in the United States mail in a sealed envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to such person at the business address appearing upon said license. At the hearing before the Board of Health, the licensee shall have an opportunity to answer and present witnesses and may cross-examine other witnesses that may thereafter be heard, and upon due consideration and deliberation by the Board of Health, the complaint may be dismissed, or if the Board of Health concludes that the charges have been substantiated and sustained, it may revoke, cancel or suspend the license held by the licensee.
If any such license shall have been revoked, neither the holder thereof nor any person acting for him, directly or indirectly, shall be entitled to another license to carry on the same business within the Township of Delran unless the application for such license shall first have been approved by the Board of Health.
No provision of this chapter shall be applied so as to impose any unlawful burden on either interstate commerce or any activity of the state of federal governments.
The provisions of this chapter are severable, and should any part thereof for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remainder, but they shall remain in effect, it being the legislative intent that this chapter shall stand notwithstanding the invalidity of any part thereof.
Order for abatement. Upon the complaint of any citizen of the Township of Delran made verbally or in writing, the Board of Health shall investigate any violation of this chapter or condition declared by this chapter to be a nuisance and upon determining that a violation or nuisance exists, shall order in writing by mailing to the person or corporation violating the provisions of this chapter or creating a nuisance, a notice directing that the violation or nuisance be abated within 10 days of the mailing of such notice. Such notice shall be mailed to the occupant of the property upon which such violation or nuisance exists, or in the case of licensees, to the business address appearing upon such license, by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Complaint. In addition to and notwithstanding any other means of enforcement provided for by this chapter or by the laws of this state, and upon notice to him that any person or corporation shall have violated the provisions of this chapter, the Health Officer may, by complaint filed in the Delran Township Municipal Court, in which said Court is hereby vested with jurisdiction to hear such complaints, institute proceedings in the name of the Board of Health of the Township of Delran for the enforcement and imposition of the penalties hereinafter prescribed.
Any person or corporation having been found guilty of a violation of the provisions of this chapter, upon complaint made pursuant thereto, shall, for each violation, be penalized not more than $500 per day per violation, or imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both, which penalty shall be paid to the Court and delivered to the Treasurer of the Township of Delran.
This chapter shall be effective upon its adoption and publication as provided for by law.
[Added 5-2-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-5]
A pilot program for the keeping of backyard chickens is hereby authorized. Keeping of backyard chickens shall be permitted in the Township of Delran subject to the rules and regulations as specified in this section. The pilot program shall terminate two years from the effective date of the pilot program unless the Township Council of the Township of Delran acts to continue same prior to that date. In the event the Township Council does not act to continue the program prior to said termination date, all persons with backyard chickens shall be grandfathered and be able to keep their chickens so long as no new ones are added and the guidelines of the pilot are maintained.
The following shall be eligible to participate in the pilot program: residents of single-family homes or residents of "twin" homes or "row" homes which meet the criteria set forth in this section.
For purposes of this pilot program, no more than 20 licenses may be issued at any one time. Any additional households wanting to participate may be considered on an individual basis by the Chicken Advisory Board established pursuant to Subsection J of this section in conjunction with the liaison to the governing body.
There shall be a limit of four chickens per license. No roosters are permitted.
The coop and enclosed run shall be kept at least 20 feet from the habitable portion of the neighboring residential dwelling and five feet from the property line. Garages, attached or otherwise, and accessory buildings shall not be considered a "residential dwelling" for purposes of calculating the required distance. Chickens may roam outside of the coop area in a backyard suitably fenced to keep them contained provided that a resident age 18 or older is present the entire time.
No person shall keep chickens on his or her property without first obtaining a license from the Municipal Clerk's office and paying the required fee therefor. No license shall be issued unless the applicant therefor has demonstrated compliance with all criteria set forth in this section. Every license issued pursuant to this section shall expire on December 31 of each year, excluding the December which occurs four months after the pilot begins. A license shall not be granted unless the applicant certifies that there are no deed restrictions which prevent chickens from being kept on the property.
A license fee of $10 shall be paid for each license issued pursuant to this section.
Each applicant wishing to participate in the pilot program or desiring to keep backyard chickens thereafter in the event the pilot program is not terminated shall be required to take a class on the basics of raising backyard chickens. Proof of attendance must be presented with the completed application. The Township will provide a class minimally once a year at a nominal fee for anyone who has not previously met this requirement. The handling of this class will be the responsibility of the Chicken Advisory Board. A member of the Chicken Advisory Board will review the application with the applicant prior to final submission. Applicants agree to allow chicken committee members to inspect the property for violations pursuant to the provisions of this section.
The following regulations and conditions for the keeping and housing of chickens shall be complied with:
The coop shall be the appropriate size for the number of chickens, which shall be at least three feet by three feet of space for chickens with a maximum size of 10 feet by 10 feet. The coop shall be inspected by the Township prior to the granting of a license.
The coop shall be dry and well ventilated with windows to admit sunlight.
The coop must be kept clean.
The coop and enclosed run must be made predator-proof.
Clean water must be provided, and food must be kept tightly closed in a metal container away from the coop and run at night.
The yard in the area where the coop is located shall be clean and free from odors.
There shall be no slaughter of chickens in the Township.
Waste will be handled in such a way as proper composting to prevent offensive odors or disposed in an environmentally friendly manner.
There shall be no selling of eggs.
A Chicken Advisory Board consisting of five members of the community shall be formed. The Chair will be appointed to a two-year term by the Mayor. The governing body will select the other four members who will also serve for two years. Besides the Chair, of the remaining members, one will be appointed Vice-Chair and the other, Secretary of the Board. The Board shall meet on a regular basis and keep minutes which shall be submitted along with quarterly reports to the governing body via the Township Council member selected by the Township Council as liaison to the Chicken Advisory Board. These reports will include any activities of the Board, as well as any complaints from residents concerning backyard chickens and the resolution, if any, of those complaints.
When a complaint is received by the Township, it will be forwarded to the Chicken Advisory Board for investigation by two members of the Board. If the Board finds a violation of this section, solutions will be discussed with the offending resident to allow him or her to meet the requirements of the pilot program as soon as possible. However, if after 30 days, the violation has not been remedied, the Code Official will be notified so that enforcement proceedings can be implemented. The Chicken Advisory Board will assist anyone desiring to no longer participate in the backyard chicken program to relocate his or her chickens.
Failure to comply with the conditions and regulations set forth in the section shall result in revocation of the license after notice and a hearing before the governing body. A violation of the conditions and regulations of this section which occurs during the effective period for the pilot program shall not result in additional penalties under Chapter 389 of the Township Code.