[Adopted 5-14-2013 ATM, approved by Attorney General 8-30-2013; amended 5-13-2014 ATM, approved by Attorney General 9-4-2014 (Ch. XX of the 1973 Bylaws)]
On October 17, 2012, the Special Town Meeting amended Section V in the Protective Zoning Bylaw of the Town of Ipswich by adding footnote "31" to the following accessory use within the Table of Uses: "Keeping, raising and breeding of farm animals, such as poultry, horses, livestock, or other farm animals, or insects for use only by residents of the premises on less than one acre or more." The Zoning Bylaw, as amended, allows households to keep chickens by-right (i.e., without a special permit), subject to certain conditions. One of the conditions is that the household obtain "any certificate or approval from the Town Animal Control Officer or Board of Health as may be required by separate bylaw or regulation."
In addition to the provisions of the Zoning Bylaw described in § 109-1 above, and to promote the public, health and general welfare of the residents of Ipswich, this Chapter 109, Article I, separately and independently requires the issuance of a certificate of approval for the keeping of chickens on residential lots less than one acre in area. This Chapter also authorizes and directs the Ipswich Police Department, through its Animal Control Officer, to adopt an application form and rules and regulations governing the keeping of chickens. These rules and regulations shall specify the application process, inspections, and general requirements associated with said use.
No chickens shall be kept on a residential lot having less than one acre of area and/or in violation of the rules and regulations authorized by and promulgated pursuant to this Chapter 109, Article I. Any person who violates this Chapter 109, Article I, and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant hereto, including the failure to obtain the required certificate of inspection or comply with its terms and conditions, shall be subject to the penalties described in §§ 109-5 and 109-6 of the Ipswich General Bylaws. Violations may be enforced by the Animal Control Officer or a Police Officer, subject to the provisions of Chapter 300, Penalties, of these General Bylaws. However, the Animal Control Officer or Police Officer have the option of enforcing violations non-criminally pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D, rather than by a criminal complaint in District Court.