Allow Vacaville residents to raise chickens NOW!
  • Petitioned Ron Rowlett

This petition was delivered to:

Vice Mayor
Ron Rowlett
Councilmember
Mitch Mashburn

Allow Vacaville residents to raise chickens NOW!

    1. R R
    2. Petition by

      R R

      Vacaville, CA

 

The City of Vacaville unfairly prohibits owners of properties less than 1 acre in size from keeping chickens (Vacaville Municipal Code, Sec. 14.09.077.0500). This policy discriminates against Vacaville residents unable to afford an acre of land to raise chickens. Recently, a Vacaville family was even fined $840 for "possession of an animal prohibited on less than 1 acre" merely for having four pet hens in their backyard. On the other hand, neighboring cities have embraced the concept of self-sufficiency, allowing residents to raise chickens for non-commercial, backyard hobby purposes. These nearby cities have honored the rights of their citizens to raise birds for backyard egg production, fertilizing of grass and gardens, reducing residential waste bound for overloaded landfills, small-scale hobby, and perhaps most importantly, preserving the rich cultural significance backyard chickens have played in the history of California and the United States.

 

According to urban-agriculture expert Jennifer Blecha, 65% of major cities allow chicken-keeping (Bennet, J., The New Coop de Ville: The craze for urban poultry farming, Newsweek, 2008). This includes California cities and counties like American Canyon, Anaheim, Berkeley, Davis, Fairfield, El Cerrito, Folsom, Irvine, Lafayette, Long Beach, City and County of Los Angeles, Oakland, Mountain View, Redwood City, Riverside, Rocklin, City and County of Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, San Leandro, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, Vallejo and many more. Locally, Davis allows up to 6 hens kept in enclosures at least 40 feet from neighboring houses; Fairfield allows chickens as long as no roosters are kept; and Vallejo allows up to 25 chickens if kept at least 15 feet away from neighboring houses. Last year, Sacramento struck down a law that made it illegal to keep chickens on plots under 10,000 square feet in size, similar to Vacaville's 1 acre restriction. Backyard chicken-keeping is a legitimate hobby - websites and online forums dedicated to urban chicken-keeping recieve some 6 million hits per month (Bennet, J., 2008).

 

However, Vacaville’s 1 acre minimum requirement unfairly prevents City residents from raising chickens for legitimate reasons like production of eggs, waste reduction, and hobby. The average backyard flock of 6-8 hens can provide 250-300 eggs each per year, amounting to 3 dozen fresh, healthy, nutritious eggs per week to supplement the diets of Vacaville households struggling during these difficult economic times. Chickens can consume kitchen scraps, help compost otherwise useless organic waste, and reduce overall residential waste headed to Recology Hay Road - Vacaville's already overloaded 640-acre dump estimated to reach maximum capacity and be permanently closed within the next 70 years. Moreoever, backyard chicken-keeping hobbyists oftentimes are at the forefront of efforts to save rare and endangered breeds of birds that are part of our rich national heritage - breeds that would otherwise go extinct if not for backyard enthusiasts in Vacaville and beyond.

 

Therefore, residents of the City of Vacaville propose that the City Council immediately adopt a backyard chicken-keeping ordinance that allows owners of lots smaller than 1 acre to raise small, carefully managed, non-commercial backyard flocks of chickens subject to the following restrictions:  

 

All feed should kept in sealed plastic containers at all times (whether chicken feed or pet food);

Owners of properties less than 1 acre should be allowed to raise a maximum of 10 hens;

Owners will be responsible for ensuring that backyard pet chicken flocks are kept in safe, sanitary, and humane conditions to reduce the likelihood of neighborhood nuisances;

All birds should be kept in enclosures at least 20 feet away from neighboring properties;

Roosters should not be allowed on properties less than 1 acre to prevent nuisances; and

Owners should permit City enforcement access to backyard flocks to ensure compliance with the backyard chicken-keeping ordinance.

 

Residents of the City of Vacaville urge the Mayor and City Council to immediately pass a resolution that adopts these provisions designed to permit chicken keeping for non-commercial purposes while preserving the peace and tranquility of Vacaville’s neighborhoods.

Allow Vacaville resident to raise chickens NOW!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. News: Squawk being raised over Vacaville chicken ordinance

      R R
      by R R
      Petition Organizer

      Front page of The Reporter - our efforts are being recognized!

    3. News: Vacaville residents advocate for chickens in backyards

      R R
      by R R
      Petition Organizer

      Check out our article in the Daily Republic!

    4. Reached 100 signatures
    5. Email from Vacaville Reporter!

      R R
      by R R
      Petition Organizer

      A reporter from the Vacaville Reporter contacted me about possibly doing a story on our petition drive!

    6. Action Alert: Vacaville City Council meeting at 7pm on June 26, 2012

      R R
      by R R
      Petition Organizer

      Vacaville chicken ordinance supporters are encouraged to attend the Vacaville City Council meeting to be held at 7:00 pm on June 26, 2012 in the Vacaville City Hall Chambers located at 650 Merchant Street, Vacaville, CA 95688. Individuals in attendance can comment during the business portion of the meeting on the need for revisions to the Vacaville Municipal Code in order to allow chickens on properties less than 1 acre. Those planning to attend can contact petition organizer at (707) 450-7944 or r.rangi@yahoo.com.

    7. Phone call regarding petition from Daily Republic!

      R R
      by R R
      Petition Organizer

      Good job, folks! Last night, I received phone call regarding our petition from a reporter with the Daily Republic, one of the main newspapers in the Vacaville / Fairfield area. Let's keep the momentum going!

    8. Decision-maker Dilenna Harris responds:

      Dilenna Harris

      Thank you for the 30 - 35 emails I've received in the last couple of days asking for an ordinance change regarding raising chickens in Vacaville. I will be checking into the matter, and would appreciate your entire membership being notif...


    9. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Ashley Westmoreland VACAVILLE, CA
      • 9 months ago

      I want to be able to have a couple chickens so I know where my eggs are coming from and I think this code is ridiculous.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Chris Dunbar VACAVILLE, CA
      • 9 months ago

      I Think this is a stupid law

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nikolaus Legard VACAVILLE, CA
      • 9 months ago

      I would like to own Chickens

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Miranda Strickland VACAVILLE, CA
      • 9 months ago

      I wanna raise Chickens but I can't! I want to save money by raising chickens in my backyard but I am unable because I live in Vacaville.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • mark vazquez SACRAMENTO, CA
      • 9 months ago

      We have this right in Sacramento everyone i have talked to likes it nothing better than fresh organic eggs

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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