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The Atlanta Backyard Poultry Meetup Group Message Board Local Chicken Laws and Ordinances › Dekalb county code info

Dekalb county code info

A former member
Post #: 6
I saw several folks from the Roswell email replies were asking about Dekalb county regs. For those of you that live in unincorporated Dekalb, here's the pertinent regulations I found while reasearching this before I got my chickens last year. I have talked to the lady at the code enforcement office directly and she confirmed that chickens are considered livestock and you have to have at least two acres to keep them. It didn't stop me, but I asked all my surrounding neighbors first if they were okay with me having a few chickens so I've not had any issues so far, hopefully never will.

The one thing I found bizzare while trying to find out if it was legal or not, the County Extension agent had no clue if it was okay or not. You would think they would have that info available since it is something dealing with agriculture.

Hopefully we can all support each other in our efforts to get these stupid regulations changed. It's not like we're running a broiler operation in our backyards (but I think when people think of chickens, that's what automatically pops into their head- a big stinky chicken house)!


ARTICLE IV. SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS

Sec. 27-733. Agriculture and forestry.

(e) Livestock. Livestock shall only be permitted on a lot containing two (2) or more acres. All buildings used for animals shall be set back not less than two hundred (200) feet from any property line. All animals shall be maintained at least one hundred (100) feet from any property line. There shall be not less than five thousand (5,000) square feet of fenced lot area not covered by the principal structure for each animal.


Sec. 27-31. Definitions.

Household pet means a domestic animal that is customarily kept for personal use and enjoyment including domestic dogs, domestic cats, canaries, parrots, parakeets, domestic tropical birds, hamsters and guinea pigs. Household pet does not include livestock, poultry, pot bellied pigs, pit bulls, and snakes.

Livestock means domestic animals and fowl customarily kept on a farm including horses, mules, donkeys, cows, cattle, sheep, goats, ducks, geese and turkeys.
Allison
user 8365623
Decatur, GA
Post #: 12
Thanks so much for this info. I searched and search thru the county code and never found this--very helpful. We have been advising folks in uninc. Dekalb to just make sure it's ok with their neighbors and keep their coops clean and quiet, and we've never heard reports of problems as long as flockkeepers are respectful and considerate of their neighbors. Bribing with eggs works, too! =)

Robert
RobertinAtlanta
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 7
Funny how the city of Atlanta and Decatur allows chickens but according to this information- the unincorporated areas of Dekalb has tighter restrictions then the city! So seeing how Oakhurst has a chicken tour- that must be inside the city limits of Decatur..

http://www.oakhurstga...­
Mary B.
user 9489287
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 1
How do we go about requesting this be changed? I live in unicorporated Dekalb in the Wakefield Forest Subdivision (old - no home owners association). We only plan to have 2 RIR hens (maybe 3) and will have coop. Will notify neighbors, who I doubt will be a problem. I'm sure they'll appreciate the eggs.

Any suggestions?

Mary Beth
dana
user 9114551
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 11
i'm so glad this discussion has come up! i checked and checked and made phone calls long before getting chickens, and found NOTHING that said i couldn't proceed. i talked to my neighbors, and they were okay, as long as no roosters were part of the mix. i built a beautiful coop and obtained five chicks, each a different breed. it turned out that one of my girls was a guy --transhendered, i believe, is the politically correct term--and when the crowing began, one neighbor managed to track down the ordinances that i couldn't find and made it clear that she had a thorough understanding of the implications of lot size and number of 'livestock'. away went the rooster, and now i feel like i'm making moonshine everytime i go out to get the eggs. holy schmoly, i don't see how keeping a few gentle chickens can be a problem.

evenso, it's probably time for us unincorporated dekalb folks to flock together and strategize about how to change the ordinances. anybody up for a conversation? would andy guide us?

Mario
user 3662053
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 1
I'm new to the site. It's refreshing to see people in my area doing the "urban chicken" thing. I've become very excited about the prospect of getting 2 or 3 hens for egg consumption since I love eggs and wanted to feel empowered with a small sense of food self sufficiency. I was disappointed to learn that the local ordinance in Unincorporated Dekalb County where I live seems to prohibit chickens in homes with fewer than 2 acres.

I strongly support the previous post suggesting that we Unincorporated Dekalb folks strategize about changing this ridiculous ordinance. Where to begin?

(Mario)
A former member
Post #: 117

SO WHERE WAS EVERYONE WHEN OUR MEMBER; ANN MARIE NEEDED OUR SUPPORT ON SUNDAY?

I counted ONLY 5 members, other than Andy, Jen and myself who took the initiative to come out and support ANN MARIE at that difficult time. THANKS ALL OF YOU WHO DID SHOW UP!!

After the meeting ended, HeatHer (with her two chicken adoring girls in tow) spoke with the HOA President and I truly believe he left with a better understanding.

WAY TO GO HEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kim
Quillgirl
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 1
Newbie in Uninc Dekalb chiming in... I'm disappointed to find out my area doesn't allow chickens, but wondering how to go about getting this changed. We are floating between areas that DO allow chickens (Atlanta and Decatur.) MY HOA has no ordinance, so I thought I was safe. My only neighbor that would be bothered is very supportive of the chickens... Folks against my back fence legally have chickens because they are in Decatur. <pout>

Interesting that I also live in an area near Emory that has had a roaming flock of free-range wild turkeys for many years with most neighbors very protective of them, news articles about them, and great fanfair. Sadly their choice to roost on my porches can be a bit overwhelming... too much poo! Blech! So big flocks of free range pooing turks is ok, but contained orderly flocks of chickens isn't ok? Hmmm...no fair.

How do we get this changed?
A former member
Post #: 182
The first thing is to find out who on the city council is willing to listen to you . Then you will need to present the facts and amend the current restrictions. If there is no opposition, you shouldn't have a problem. If you run into a brick wall let me know and I will be happy to help in any way that I can.

Andrew Wordes
Kim
Quillgirl
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 5
I have done more digging and have read through most of the codes pertaining to livestock in the DeKalb County ordinances. The ordinance sited earlier in this thread showed a need for a 200Ft setback, etc. But was actually taken from the supplemental codes that pertain to commercial ventures.

When I looked at the RESIDENTIAL specifics, it appears that livestock are permitted for lots that are listed as R-200, R-100, R-80, and R-75, but not R-60. Here is an example:

The following principal uses of land and structures shall be authorized in the R-75 (Single-family Residential) District:
(a) Detached single-family dwelling.
(b) Personal care home, family.
(c) Personal care home, registered.
(d) Agriculture uses as follows:
(1) Keeping of pigeons (See section 5-17).
(2) Livestock.
(3) Riding stable.

So, I am breathing a bit easier. It would come down to my HOA regulations and they have none pertaining to livestock or poultry. :-) Someone may want to double-check, but that's my finding. If you have a lot zoned for livestock, it appears you can have them but accessory buildings (like coops) must be in the back yard. To check your zoning, look it up on the tax appraiser's site for the county. Mine was listed as R-75.
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