Hopewell Township reconsiders chickens


Hopewell Township officials are revisiting the municipality's livestock ordinance, which governs where certain animals can be kept, after a neighborly complaint about chickens.

Dubbed "The Chicken Ordinance," the proposed rule changes specify the number of chickens permitted in residential areas and how much acreage is required, said Keith Hunnings, the township's zoning and building code official.

The township's current ordinance covers livestock, but chickens were excluded. There are no acreage requirements and no limit on the number of chickens a residential resident can own and keep, Hunnings said.

Township officials said the change was prompted by a resident who complained about a neighbor's chickens.

The proposed update limits residents to a maximum of five chickens or other fowl on one-acre lots or less. There is no limit proposed on lots bigger than one acre.

No roosters — male fowl which, in the case of chickens, tend to crow — are allowed on any residential lots under the proposal or under the existing ordinance.

Open grazing pasture requirements do not apply to chickens or other fowl, Hunnings said.

The ordinance change is pending review by the York County Planning Commission. Once approved, the township must run legal notices in local publications to advertise the ordinance proposal.

A public hearing must be held prior to official adoption.

Township officials said residents are encouraged to attend the meetings when the dates are set.