[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Bradford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-14-1983 by Ord. No. 1983-01]
From and after the effective date of this article, the State Dog Law, Act 225, effective January 1, 1983, as may be amended from time to time, shall be considered to be the dog law of West Bradford Township until such time as West Bradford Township shall determine it is necessary to enact further ordinances regulating dogs within the Township.
Editor's Note: See 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.
Penalties shall be as prescribed in Act 225, State Dog Law, enacted January 1, 1983, and as may be amended from time to time.
[Adopted 1-7-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-01]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHICKEN PEN
- A fenced or other type enclosure for the purpose of allowing chickens to leave the henhouse while remaining in an enclosed, predator-safe environment.
- HENHOUSE or CHICKEN COOP
- A structure for the sheltering of female chickens.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Any condition or usage whatsoever related to the keeping of chickens within the Township of West Bradford which the Township shall find to adversely impact the properties surrounding the property on which the chickens are kept as a result of noise, odor, unsanitary animal living conditions, unsanitary waste storage and removal, the attraction of predators, rodents, insects or parasites, nonconfined chickens leaving the property, and unsightly or dilapidated henhouse, chicken coop, enclosure or area where the chickens are kept, or other adverse impacts.
The purpose of this article is to provide standards for the keeping of domesticated chickens. It is intended to enable residents to keep a small number of female chickens on a noncommercial basis while limiting the potential adverse impacts on the surrounding properties. The Township recognizes that adverse impacts may result from the keeping of domesticated chickens as a result of noise, odor, unsanitary animal living conditions, unsanitary waste storage and removal, the attraction of predators, rodents, insects or parasites, and nonconfined animals leaving the owner's property. This article is intended to create licensing standards and requirements that ensure that domesticated chickens do not adversely impact the properties surrounding the property on which the chickens are kept.
An annual permit is required for the keeping of any domesticated chickens in the Township of West Bradford. The annual permit to keep chickens is personal to the homeowner and may not be assigned. In the event the homeowner is absent from the property for longer than 60 days, the permit shall automatically terminate and become void.
The first permit year shall expire on December 31, 2013. Thereafter the permit year shall be from January 1 to December 31 of each year.
A zoning permit shall be required for the construction of a henhouse and chicken pen or other chicken enclosure less than 500 square feet. A building permit shall be required for the construction of a henhouse and chicken pen or other chicken enclosure 500 square feet or greater.
Leg banding for identification purposes of all chickens is required. Bands must identify the owner's name, address and telephone number.
The fee for an annual permit to keep chickens shall be resolved in the annual fee schedule published by the Township.
A minimum lot size of one gross acre is required to raise chickens.
Three chickens are permitted on a lot between one and 1.99 gross acres.
Four chickens are permitted on a lot between two and 4.99 gross acres.
There is no limit to the number of chickens on lots of five gross acres or larger.
No roosters shall be permitted on lots less than five gross acres.
There is no restriction on chicken species at any lot.
Chickens shall be kept for personal use only; no person shall sell eggs or engage in chicken breeding or fertilizer production for commercial purposes. The slaughtering of chickens on the permittee's property is prohibited.
Chickens must be kept in an enclosure or fenced area at all times. During daylight hours, chickens may be allowed outside of their chicken pens in a securely fenced yard, if supervised. Chickens shall be secured within the henhouse during nondaylight hours.
Enclosures must be clean, dry and kept in a neat and sanitary condition at all times, in a manner that will not disturb the use or enjoyment of neighboring lots due to noise, odor or other adverse impact.
The henhouse and chicken pen must provide adequate ventilation and must be impermeable to rodents, wild birds, and predators, including dogs and cats.
A henhouse shall be provided and shall be designed to provide safe and healthy living conditions for the chickens while minimizing adverse impacts to other residents in the neighborhood.
The structures shall be enclosed on all sides and shall have a roof and doors. Access doors must be able to be shut and locked at night. Opening windows and vents must be covered with predator- and bird-proof wire of less than one-inch openings.
The materials used in making the structure shall be uniform for each element of the structure such that the walls are made of the same material, the roof has the same shingles or other covering, and any windows or openings are constructed using the same materials. The use of scrap, waste board, sheet metal, or similar materials is prohibited. The henhouse shall be well-maintained.
The henhouse shall be constructed a minimum of 18 inches off of the ground.
The henhouse shall be constructed to provide a minimum of four square feet of space per chicken.
Chicken pens. An enclosed chicken pen must be provided consisting of sturdy wire fencing buried at least 12 inches in the ground unless the fencing wraps around at the ground and becomes the flooring and extends to and continues up the opposing wall. The pen must be covered with wire or solid roofing.
Odors from chickens, chicken manure, or other chicken-related substances shall not be perceptible at the property boundaries. Any odors perceptible at the property boundaries shall be considered a public nuisance.
Perceptible noise from chickens shall not be loud enough at the property boundaries to disturb persons by creating a public nuisance.
Chickens must be provided with access to feed and clean water at all times; such feed and water shall be unavailable to rodents, wild birds and predators.
A written waste storage and removal plan must be submitted with each permit application. Provisions must be made for the storage and removal of chicken manure. All stored manure shall be covered by a fully enclosed structure with a roof or lid over the entire structure. No more than three cubic feet of manure shall be stored. All other manure not used for composting or fertilizing shall be removed. In addition, the henhouse, chicken pen and surrounding area must be kept free from trash and accumulated droppings.
Any material misstatement or omission shall be grounds for denial, suspension or revocation of the permit.
The applicant shall submit a signed affidavit to the Township stating there has occurred no change to the coop structure and/or number of chickens. Upon receipt of the affidavit and renewal fee, a permit not to exceed one year will be issued.
The Township shall deny a permit if the applicant has not demonstrated compliance with all provisions of this article.
A permit to keep domesticated chickens may be suspended or revoked by the Township where the Township finds that the keeping of the chickens creates a public nuisance as defined herein or where there is a risk to public health or safety or for any violation of or failure to comply with any of the provisions of this article or with the provisions of any other applicable ordinance or law.
Any denial, revocation or suspension of a permit shall be in writing and shall include notification of the right to and procedure for appeal.
A person may appeal the issuance, denial, suspension or revocation of a permit to the Board of Supervisors by submitting a written request of appeal to the Board of Supervisors within 30 days of the date of the Township's decision to issue, deny, suspend or revoke said permit. The Board of Supervisors shall then consider the appeal at a public meeting within 45 days of the receipt of the written request of appeal, unless the person shall agree to and grant an extension of this period.
In addition to any other enforcement action which the Township may take, violation of any provision of this article shall be a summary offense, and a fine not exceeding $1,000 may be imposed. Each day that a violation continues will be treated as a separate offense.
In addition to the penalty stated in § 112-16, any violation of the provisions of this article or of the permit shall be grounds for an order from the Township to remove the chickens and the chicken-related structures. If the homeowner fails to remove the chickens and their related structures, the Township may enter the property and take whatever steps are necessary to remove the chickens and related structures at the homeowner's expense.
The Chester County Health Inspector, Health Officer, or contracted animal control officer may also order the removal of the chickens upon determination that the chickens pose a health risk.
If a chicken dies, it must be disposed of promptly in a sanitary manner.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall submit a monthly report to the Board of Supervisors stating the number of permits issued in the previous month, the number and types of complaints reported in the previous month, the nature of any enforcement activities, and any other information relevant to the oversight of provisions in this article.
To the extent this article is inconsistent with Chapter 450, Zoning, of the Code of West Bradford Township, the provisions of this article shall take precedence.