Township of Bordentown, NJ
Burlington County
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[Added 2-22-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-02]
No persons shall own, keep, harbor or maintain any chicken within Bordentown Township without first applying for and obtaining an annual license from the Township of Bordentown. The application shall be made on forms provided by the Township Clerk and shall contain a certification by the applicant that the requirements and conditions established in this chapter will be met by the applicant. Said license shall be expire on the last day of March following the issuance of the initial license, and shall be renewed no later than April 30. The licensee must be the owner in fee of the property. No person renting or leasing a property may be issued a license. Licenses shall not be issued for vacant properties.
The keeping of chickens shall only be permitted on property which conforms to all of the following criteria:
The principal use of the property is residential; and
The residence is a detached, single-family dwelling unit; and
The keeping of chickens on such property will be fully compliant with all of the conditions set forth within this chapter.
This chapter shall not apply to qualified farms in zones where farming is permitted, and where such farm has a minimum of five contiguous acres.
Following application by a person for an initial license for the keeping of chickens, and before the issuance of a license by the Township Clerk, the Zoning Officer shall inspect the premises where chickens are to be kept in order to ensure compliance with the conditions of this chapter. In the event that the Zoning Officer finds the premises do not meet the conditions established in this chapter, they shall notify the property owner. The property owner shall not be issued a license until the violations are corrected.
The fee for the first issuance and any subsequent renewal of an annual license to keep chickens shall be $10. The fee for late license renewals after April 30 shall be $15. The fee shall cover administrative expenses for the inspection and regulation of the keeping of chickens.
For applicable properties, the keeping of chickens is hereby authorized and shall be licensed only under the following conditions:
Minimum lot size to keep chickens: A minimum lot size of 1/3 acre (14,520 square feet) is required.
Number of allowable chickens. No more than four chickens shall be permitted on any lot less than or equal to 1/2 acre (21,780 square feet) in area. No more than six chickens shall be permitted on any lot more than 1/2 acre or less than or equal to two acres (87,120 square feet) in area. For lots greater than two acres in area, up to 12 chickens shall be permitted.
Roosters and cockerels prohibited. The keeping of roosters (mature male chickens) and cockerels (young male chickens) is prohibited on the licensed property, even for the purpose of fertilization.
Slaughtering. The slaughtering of chickens on the premises in prohibited.
Shelters required. Chickens shall be provided with a fully enclosed shelter (coop) and may be provided with a run (fenced enclosure), conforming to:
Shelters and runs shall be in the rear yard only.
Shelters and runs shall be located a minimum of 10 feet from any property line and a minimum of 25 feet for any residential dwelling, both on and off premises.
The maximum permitted area of any shelter is 80 square feet. The total area of a shelter and any attached run shall not exceed 150 square feet.
The maximum permitted height of a chicken shelter shall be six feet.
Chickens may roam outside the shelter and run areas in a back yard which is completely enclosed with a fence for no more than two hours per day, provided that a resident, of at least 18 years of age, is present the entire time.
The shelter must be appropriately sized for the number of chickens, and shall be kept dry and well-ventilated with provisions to admit sunlight into the structure. The shelter must be predator-proof. The structure and exterior of the shelter shall be maintained in good repair and shall reflect a level of care and maintenance consistent with the surrounding neighborhood.
Storage of waste; odor. Storage of manure, excreta, and other waste substances shall be located at least 25 feet from any lot line and at least 50 feet from any residential dwelling, both on and off premises. If stored on the premises, it must be properly composted per USDA guidelines, or stored in a properly sealed, watertight container for disposal off site. There shall be no perceptible odor emanating from the shelter, run, yard, or waste storage.
Storage of feed. Animal feed stored outdoors shall be kept in sealed containers with tightly fitting lids.
No running at large. No person shall permit, suffer, or allow, whether intentional or not, a chicken to run at a large in the side or front yard of the property, or upon any public street or property, or any neighboring property.
No disturbing the peace. No chicken shall be allowed to disturb the peace or quiet of the neighborhood by creating a noise across a residential property line continually for more than 10 minutes or intermittently for more than 30 minutes. However, if chickens create noise by being provoked by neighboring animals, it shall be the responsibility of the owner of the chickens to provide a suitable location for the shelter, run, or roaming area so as to avoid creating noise. The owner of any legal, licensed animal on an adjacent property shall in no way be held responsible for noise created by chickens.
Selling of eggs prohibited. No eggs produced by the chickens shall be sold, nor shall any advertisement or solicitation be permitted.
Following reasonable notice by the Township, a licensee shall permit the Township animal control officer (ACO), or other enforcement official, to inspect the premises where chickens are kept in order to ensure compliance with this chapter. Inspections may be routine, or for the specific purpose of investigating a complaint regarding the keeping of chickens. When an enforcement official is refused entry or access, or is otherwise impeded by the owner from conducting an inspection, the owner shall be in violation of this chapter and subject to revocation of the license and penalties as set forth herein.
Failure to comply with the conditions and regulations set forth in this chapter shall result in the revocation of the license by the Township Clerk, after due notice from the animal control officer to the licensee and failure of the licensee to correct the violation(s) within 30 days of the notice. Any property owner who shall have had a license revoked must, within one month following the revocation, remove all chickens and any chicken coop and related improvements from the property. Failure to do so shall constitute a violation of this chapter. Any person who shall have had a license revoked may not reapply for, nor shall they be granted, a new license for a period of two years following such revocation.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction in the Bordentown Township Municipal Court, pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for each violation. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense and subject to the fine listed herein.