Based on the inaction of the Warren County Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting Tuesday evening, it remains a violation of the county zoning ordinance to possess chickens in residential areas.
The commission expressed an informal desire not to change the ordinance and, in absence of action, current regulations stand.
In many zoning districts, including residential zones, the ordinance currently requires that for the resident to have chickens, they must be kept 150 feet from all property lines according to the county's agricultural regulations.
Many residential parcels are smaller than the 300 feet by 300 feet dimension that would be required, according to the zoning ordinance.
"Personally, I don't see why we should be changing the ordinance to (protect) someone who is in violation," Chairman Dale Forbes said during Tuesday's meeting.
However, Zoning Officer Aaron Kalkbrenner questioned whether the ordinance in its current form is enforceable due to some secondary use language regarding hobby farms.
A hobby farm is defined in the county zoning ordinance as "any parcel of land which is used primarily for the enjoyment of raising agricultural products, livestock and poultry." Such farms are listed in the ordinance as permitted uses in residential 1 and residential 2 districts.
Kalkbrenner said that definition is not relevant because few people own a property "where they only have animals for pleasure." He said the farm is secondary to residential use in most cases.
He asked the commission to review the definition, but no action was taken on that suggestion.
The issue originally came before the commission last August after the Planning and Zoning Office, according to Kalkbrenner, had "received a couple of complaints regarding regulations governing fowl and unconventional pets."