Reduce the Backyard Chicken restrictions in Manchester NH

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To Whom it may Concern

This Petition is being submitted to the Manchester NH Board of Alderman requesting that the overly restrictive ordinance limiting Backyard Chicken Ownership in this city be loosened, many lots in Manchester NH are 5000 square feet and this is a safe and acceptable size for the keeping of backyard chickens. The following changes are being proposed, reduce the required lot size from ½ acre to 1/10th acre, and reduce the minimum distance from property lines from 20’ to 5’.

8.30 The Keeping of Domesticated Chickens (09/14)
1. Purpose. It is the intent of this Section to allow for the keeping of domestic chicken
hens in residential areas for the sole use and enjoyment of the residents of the lot on
which such animals are kept. It is also the intent of this Section to protect and
promote the health, safety, and welfare of residents by not allowing chickens of a
number and type that would otherwise constitute a nuisance or menace to the public
health and safety or cause disturbance of the peace in neighborhoods.
Chickens kept as domesticated pets by the residents of a dwelling unit shall be
maintained in accordance with all applicable City of Manchester ordinances and
regulations, New Hampshire RSA 644:8 Cruelty to Animals, as well as the following
provisions: Article 8. Supplementary Regulations for Specific Uses
Page 8 - 21
a. Locations Allowed. Domestic chickens are allowed as an accessory use on any
lot which is at least one tenth (1/10th) acre in size, is located in the “R-S”, “R-1A”,
“R-1B”, “R-2”, “R-SM” and “R-3” zoning districts and which is utilized for
residential purposes.
b. Number and Type of Chickens Allowed. Up to six (6) chicken hens of any
breed may be kept. Roosters are prohibited.
c. Limitations. The keeping of chickens shall be for personal use only, and the
owner of the property must be a resident of a dwelling unit on the lot where they
are kept. No person shall sell eggs or engage in chicken breeding, slaughtering or
any commercial activity related to the keeping of the hens.
d. Henhouses and Fenced Areas Required. All hens shall be kept within
structures and fenced areas and shall not be permitted to roam free nor to be kept
or raised within a dwelling. Structures and fenced areas for hens must be located
in side or rear yards and must be set back a minimum of five (5) feet from
property lines. Henhouses and fenced areas must also meet the following
(1.) Henhouses and fenced areas must, at all times, adequately contain the hens,
provide them with adequate ventilation, be kept in a neat and sanitary
condition, and be maintained in a manner that will not disturb the use or
enjoyment of neighboring lots due to noise, odor or other adverse impact.
The henhouse must provide a minimum of three (3) square feet per hen; and
(2.) Henhouses and fenced enclosures shall be no more than six (6) feet in
height, be enclosed on all sides, and shall provide adequate protection for
the hens from weather and wild or domestic animals; and
(3.) The henhouse must be located upon a permeable surface that prevents waste
runoff and the materials used in making the henhouse shall be uniform for
each element of the structure. The use of scrap material shall be prohibited;
(4.) All chicken feed must be securely stored and protected from the elements;
(5.) All stored manure shall be composted in a fully enclosed structure or
container and no more than three (3) cubic feet of composting manure shall
be stored on the involved lot. All other manure not used for composting or
fertilizing shall be removed from the property.

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