Victory
Petitioning City Council, Pasadena California

Let's really make backyard hens legal in Pasadena CA!

The current code says it is legal to keep hens, but includes space restrictions that make it unfair and discriminatory to most Pasadena residents.

Letter to
City Council, Pasadena California
Pasadena is at the forefront of a nationwide movement aimed at improving our quality of life by pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle. This green movement advocates waste reduction, resource management and recycling efforts. Gardening, composting and recycling are key steps that every citizen can make toward a greener lifestyle.

A small flock of backyard hens can also contribute to our efforts to garden sustainably. Chickens till the earth, eat weeds and bugs, and return fertility to the soil. It is legal for residents of Pasadena to keep up to 10 hens for egg-laying or as pets.

However, the municipal code restricts where chickens can be kept as follows:
" . . . no person shall keep chickens . . . owned or controlled by him . . within 50 feet of any street line or within 50 feet of any property line, or within 100 feet of any dwelling, house or structure used as a dwelling, church, school, hospital . . . unless such house or structure is occupied by him . . . "

Since the average residential lot size in Pasadena is barely 50 feet wide, the reality is that most residents cannot comply with this restriction, making the code unfair and discriminatory.

We propose a minor modification of the code to eliminate this discrimination, by changing the wording to the following:
" . . . no person shall keep chickens . . . owned or controlled by him . . within 35 feet of any street line, or within 35 feet of any dwelling, house or structure used as a dwelling, church, school, hospital . . . unless such house or structure is occupied by him . . . "
All other aspects of the code which regulate nuisance behavior are already well-written and fair, and require no amendment.

By eliminating the unfair distance restriction, Pasadena will join a growing number of cities that are taking steps to permit a hobby, and promote a lifestyle, that is wholesome for us and our children.