[Adopted 2-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2709-13; amended in its entirety 11-4-2020 by Ord. No. 3009-20]
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Art. VI, Pilot Program for Raising of Chickens, adopted 10-18-2011 by Ord. No. 2678-11.
Any other ordinance or Code provision notwithstanding, up to 15 selected households within the Township of Maplewood will be permitted to raise no more than five chicken hens per property for the purpose of household egg gathering. Roosters are not permitted.
No licensee is permitted to sell backyard chickens, chicks, or eggs laid by backyard chickens.
The following shall be eligible to participate in the pilot program: The program will consist of 15 households for residents of single-family homes which meet the set criteria set forth in this article. No apartments, condominiums, cooperatives, dormitories, or residential facilities shall be included.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, where the Health Officer has found evidence of a rat infestation in any area (the location and boundaries of which will be defined by the Health Officer), no resident in said area shall receive approval to raise chickens until such time as the Health Officer certifies to the Board of Health that such rat infestation in said area has been ameliorated and there has been no evidence of rats therein for a period of not less than six months.
The structure to house the chickens shall be no more than 30 square feet in dimension and no higher than six feet in height as measured from ground level.
A fenced-in run area for the chickens will be permitted. The run area may not be more than 36 square feet and must be attached to the housing structure. All structures, including the run area, must be located behind the front setback line or the front face of the building structure, whichever is further from the front curb. No structure or run area may be located closer than 10 feet from the property line or 30 feet from a neighboring house, unless consent is received from the neighbor in question.
Structures and run areas must be rat-resistant and constructed with a surface under the chickens raised off the ground, made of wire, slatted wood, or similar material, designed to allow animal waste to pass through and be collected on trays made of impervious material underneath to all for frequent disposal. Alternative designs may be employed which, in the opinion of the Health Officer, accomplish the same purpose of waste collection and frequent disposal.
Chickens may roam in the fenced-in rear yard of the permittee under supervision.
Diseased chickens must be removed promptly.
Prior to being given a permit to participate in the program, each interested party must secure the written consent of all contiguous property owners. Any such consent will not run with the land but will be specific to the neighbor giving consent. However, any consent given pursuant to this article shall be effective, regardless of any change in ownership of neighboring properties.
All structures must be kept in good repair, shall have a waterproof roof and walls, be free from rats and vermin, sunlit and ventilated and in a clean and sanitary condition at all times.
Structures and runs must be rat-resistant and be constructed with a surface under the chickens raised off the ground, made of a tin tray designed to allow animal waste to pass through and be collected on trays made of impervious material underneath to allow for frequent disposal. Alternative designs may be employed which, in the opinion of the Health Officer, accomplish the same purpose of waste collection and frequent disposal.
No food may be kept overnight on the floor of the structure housing for chickens or in the run area. All food must be kept in a secure area and in secure containers and daily feed and water must be secured to the structure of the chicken housing to ensure it will stay in place in efforts to prevent rats and other vermin and allow for sufficient quantity and quality to satisfy the bird's physiologic needs.
Chickens may not be slaughtered on any outdoor property in the Township of Maplewood.
An application for a permit to maintain household chickens must be made to the Township Health Officer and must include a photograph or diagram of any structures which will house the chickens, including any areas for a run and the signed consent form from all contiguous neighbors.
There will be an application fee of $30 which must accompany the application.
All permits will be issued for one calendar year, terminating on December 31 of the licensing year.
All applicants for permits will be subject to inspections by the Department of Health of the Maplewood Township, at the discretion of the Department of Health. Should the Health Officer determine that the applicant is not in compliance with the provisions of this article, the laws of the State of New Jersey, or Maplewood's Health Code, the Health Officer may, in his/her sole discretion, revoke any permit issued pursuant to this section. No license will be suspended without a hearing on notice to the licensee to be held before the Township Administrator. Upon notice, the family owning the chickens will have a period of two weeks to comply.
The evidence of rats or other vermin shall be cause for the revocation of a permit.
Any person or party violating any provision of this article shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000. Upon written notification the family will have up to two weeks to abate the violation. The actual length of time will be stipulated in the written notification. Each day that a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.
In the event that a permittee wishes to no longer participate, the permittee must make arrangements for the relocation of the chickens and removal of all structures at the permittee's sole costs and expense.