Regular readers know that I belong to a group, 4 Chesapeake Hens, that advocates changes to the zoning laws in Chesapeake, VA. Current law allows chickens only on land zoned agricultural. There is one exception: owners of "residential estates" of 3 acres or more my have four hens kept in a pen.
Potential changes are before the Planning Commission right now. Unfortunately, the proposed changes are still unnecessarily restrictive and expensive. The Planning Department has proposed that hens be allowed upon all single-family residential lots, but only four hens, which must be kept confined to a pen, with easements for the coop, and with a six foot privacy fence around the back yard, to boot!
We are most upset about the privacy fence, but fellow chicken activist and political guru, Andrea Margrave, recently published this detailed account of why the four-hen limit is also a terrible expense. The laws Andrea refers to (about buying chicks in flocks of six) are at the municipal level in Chesapeake but are also reflective of Virginia state code: