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Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes

Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services


Proposed legislation has been submitted for consideration of opening all residential zoning to allow for a limited number of hens to be kept for private egg production. Although that legislation is a work in progress this paper is intended to help identify issues that may need to be addressed as they relate to the operations of Animal Care & Protective Services.

Background Information There has been a grassroots effort to legalize the keeping of a limited number of hens under specific conditions in all residential zoned areas of the City of Jacksonville. This would be a major expansion of such zoning that currently is limited to agricultural and rural residential areas. The main thrust behind the movement is two-fold: many people have already been keeping limited numbers of hens apparently unaware of current zoning, and there is a growing national movement to allow forms of urban agriculture (including the keeping of some animals that previously were restricted to agricultural zoning in most communities). Very recently limited problems have arisen from these rogue hens namely about ten loose hens and roosters in Riverside (MacArthur & Pine Grove). More problematic are dozens of existing populations of hens and roosters scattered throughout Jacksonville. These populations result in numerous calls to CARE that are addressed by staff as not within the scope of work for Animal Care & Protective Services (ACPS) and therefore no CARE issue is created for action. Several of these have been identified by field operations staff and are listed at the end of this paper. When a new ordinance is passed the question of enforcement becomes one that could change the workload for animal code enforcement officers in as much as the OGC has unofficially opined that ACPS would be responsible for enforcement actions. Historically, ACPS when it was called Animal Care & Control under previous administrations had budgeted thousands of dollars in overtime which were utilized for chicken roundups about once a month. These special enforcement actions would take place on the weekend and as many as 10-15 officers would sweep various neighborhoods trying to reduce the number of loose hens and roosters all of that work was done as voluntary overtime. The peak of overtime budgeting had nearly $250,000 budgeted for all kinds of animal control issues. In the past few years the overtime budget has been eliminated except for rare true
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emergencies that take place after hours and law enforcement of fire-rescue calls ACPS for assistance. The overall assumption that ACPS management has made regarding the formal legislation and the informal OGC opinion is that ACPS will be required on a regular basis to address already existing chicken issues as well as limited numbers of new issues that may arise. Some City Council Members have already been asking for clarification of what types of animalrelated services ACPS offers. This is a departure from the past several years where the definition of ACPS services was limited clearly to cat and dog issues only.

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services

Review of Similar Programs in Florida A review of the largest cities and counties by population was performed by the staff at ACPS utilizing available online public records and limited other research. The summary of that information is provided as an attachment to this paper. Of the 14 counties reviewed, only Pinellas County allows residential hens. A total of 6 allow hens in rural residential and hens & roosters in agricultural zoning areas. Another 7 only allow for chickens to be kept in agricultural zoned areas of the county. Orange County further restricts chickens to not being allowed within 100 feet of any residential zoning, and MiamiDade County and Lee County limit chickens within 100 feet or a residential structure other than the house of the chicken owners. Of the 17 cities reviewed, only 4 had programs set in ordinance that allowed for residential chickens (hens); they were the City of Miami, the City of St. Petersburg, the City of Sarasota, and the City of Ocala (Ocala requires 5 acres and planning commission action needed per property). The St. Petersburg ordinance in enforced by the police and a confirmed noise nuisance complaint can result in the banning of that property from further keeping chickens. The Sarasota ordinance limits odors to not go beyond the property line. Three cities did not allow chickens in any zoning within their jurisdictional boundaries (Tampa, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood). Four allowed chickens in rural residential and agricultural zoning, and the remaining six allowed chickens only in agricultural zoning. Many cities throughout Florida have instituted pilot programs whereby a limited number of residential properties would be allowed to maintain hens in a test program before
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being considered for ordinance revision. Nearly all use the same model of 25 properties being allowed to participate. The City of Bonita Springs has only had 8 applicants while the City of Orlando has a waiting list of more than 25 additional properties. These programs are set to run between 2-3 years which apparently is related to the productive years of hen egg-laying.

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services

City of Miami Chicken Enforcement Model The City of Miami has one of the longest running allowances for residential chicken ownership. In that community the enforcement is covered by Animal Services and they have a dedicated enforcement unit consisting of 5 animal control officers, vehicles and equipment necessary for enforcement. That unit operates 5 days a week and brings in on average 10 birds per day. The separation of this unit from other animal control duties allows for segregation of work, statistics and budget; although the sub-unit does fall under the Animal Services section and utilizes some of the same supervisors, managers and facilities. Chickens are not maintained by Miami Animal Services on a regular basis when picked up they are taken to feed stores or other outlets and if none are available they are euthanized as disposed of in accordance with state laws. If the City of Jacksonville were to choose to implement citywide residential zoning for hens, Animal Care & Protective Services strongly supports establishing a separate sub-unit like the Miami model. Ideally with more than ten times the geographic area and double the population of Miami starting with a unit of similar size would be a recommended staffing level. However, if that were not possible the minimum useful size would have to be at least three officers, vehicles and related equipment. ACPS would recommend that this unit do all code enforcement related to residential chickens rather than having Municipal Code doing the coops and ACPS doing the birds our officers are qualified to perform all code enforcement and certified to perform animal control (fully empowered to do both under local ordinance). The rough estimate of capital investment the first year would be between $142,500 and $237,500. The annual cost of labor and expendable resources would be between $195,000 and $325,000. A more detailed proposed budget would be formulated before a formal proposal was to be submitted for review.

Enforcement

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services

Most code enforcement actions within the City of Jacksonville are driven by citizen complaints. Therefore it is an assumption that revised code to include residential chickens would be treated no differently. As currently drafted the proposed legislation would fall under the responsibility of the Municipal Code Compliance Division (MCC) in as much as it addressed under Zoning Code 656. Logically the MCC Code Enforcement Officers would simply address violations of the code and not have any responsibility to apprehend any loose fowl. Under a separate chicken violation dedicated subunit scenario ACPS would be willing, and is qualified, to perform the full spectrum of code enforcement as it relates to residential chickens. This would be beneficial to MCC by not adding workload and beneficial to the citizens by not having to be referred to two different sections. As the current practice, supported by legislation, of Animal Care & Protective Services (ACPS) with regard to chickens/roosters is that they are not handled by ACPS except for gamecock fighting birds under the enforcement of animal fighting and animal cruelty. All other hen and rooster problems are dealt with as a personal nuisance that is the responsibility of the affected parties to resolve or civilly litigate. On an extremely limited case-by-case basis ACPS has periodically addressed hen and rooster problems; however, the vast majority of such calls/complaints are not responded to in any manner by Animal Code Enforcement Officers. Should response to poultry-related calls be added to the services that ACPS provides, the apprehension of at-large fowl poses several concerns: 1. Capture of hens/roosters is a labor and time intensive process often tying up most of the available officers for several hours. And capture is not always successful in as much as chickens can fly for short distances and run on the ground under brush or through openings in fences. 2. There are already free-roaming hen and rooster populations in Jacksonville that could pose an immediate spike in complaints should the public be told that ACPS now handles poultry-related calls. In looking at the prioritization of calls, since all currently received citizens complaints are not always able to be resolved, the apprehension of hens and roosters would be an extremely low priority response. In fact, the vast majority of such complaints would receive no response given current resources/staffing.

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services

3. As residents become attached to their newly acquired flock as family pets, there would be a growing desire that ACPS keep the hens for reclaim by the owners for a certain holding period. Currently there is no such holding period required and it is a rare situation where birds are held and special feed and other supplies are purchased to maintain them in temporary housing at the old West 1st Street kennels. However, if hens/roosters were to become regularly picked up and held by ACPS, the City of Jacksonville would have to build proper housing for the species since the use of dog kennels would not be acceptable to various animal welfare concerns. Existing staff would not only be spread thinner by having to care for the chickens at a second location, it also would have to travel in a City vehicle to perform the work.

The desired level of enforcement by ACPS must be defined more clearly in order to most accurately assess the impacts of the proposed residential chickens. After a more finalized ordinance is drafted and a clear indication provided by Council on the expectations of enforcement, the Neighborhoods Department would be able to formally study the proposal and make cost estimates and other impact estimations.

Impact on the maximum efficiency model established by ACPS: By including animals other than cats and dogs into the scope of services provided by ACPS, the City of Jacksonville would be corrupting the highly specialized, maximum efficiency model currently in operation. The Animal Care & Protective Services Division methodically has narrowed its focus to strictly dog and cat issues with the emphasis on stray animals. This has allowed for reduction of staff training, equipment, and needed space for varying species. By narrowing the focus the staff with limited resources has been able to build a level of expertise in cat and dog related issues that afford them the ability to respond and resolve issues most effectively. The separation of resources and ultimately statistics (like euthanasia) by using a separate non-domestic animal unit to deal with everything other than cats and dogs would keep the efficiencies currently enjoyed and provide clear cost-benefit for each of the two very different function. It also would not blend euthanasia numbers for the shelter since there are

limited options for chickens/roosters meaning euthanasia may be higher than with cats and dogs. Enforcement Options: 1. Status Quo MCCD would only address issues related to zoning and land use related to residential chickens and ACPS would treat all hen and rooster calls the same across the City by explaining that such matters are a private nuisance that must be resolved by affected parties or litigated to find court resolution (no at-large birds would be collected, no noise complaints would be taken). 2. Self-Regulation Allow the residential chicken advocates provide all enforcement and complaint handling in a manner similar to the Parking Posse for disabled parking violations. 3. Segregated Subsection or Activity Establish a subsection of ACPS to deal with zoning and animal issues related to the residential chicken provisions. This would allow for assessment of exact costs of the program, allow for response and enforcement not to affect other existing services, and it would not disrupt the maximum efficiency model currently used by ACPS. 4. Moratorium Establish a moratorium for one year related to residential chicken zoning expansion beyond what is currently allowed in rural residential and agricultural areas, after a proposed and detailed plan is submitted for implementation after the moratorium. With full details identified as to what will change and what level of enforcement would be expected, the Neighborhoods Department could undertake a more formal research project to determine costs and other program impacts through modeling and comparison with other similar jurisdictions already operating very similar programs. 5. Limited Trial Program similar to other areas using 25 permitted homes to participate in a pilot program to assess better the costs, benefits, and impacts.

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services

Logistics, Costs and Possible Housing of Chickens One of the misunderstood parts of residential chicken enforcement that ACPS would be facing is the apprehension of loose birds, feral birds that were biddies that got loose and grew up without human subsistence, roosters and possibly other not allowed fowl is the huge
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amount of labor it takes to apprehend hens and roosters that are not roosting in their own yard. With almost five years of personal experience in dealing with loose chickens in residential areas it has become very evident that the capture of these birds is more difficult on average than the apprehension of dogs. The use of traps is ineffective in most cases and difficult to master, not to mention the cost and high degree of lost traps if they are not continuously monitored. The average successful response involves 4-5 people with nets surrounding the birds and moving quickly before they run or fly. Once disturbed the birds must be given time to settle down before trying again. It usually will take 2-4 hours to apprehend the majority of hens in a flock and/or to acquire the rooster. It is for those reasons that a special unit that can concentrate on these issues seems the most productive. If chickens continue to be classified as agricultural animals and therefore have no required holding period, ACPS would be allowed to continue to take the birds immediately to feed stores, give them to interested citizens and/or immediately determine disposition without the need for longer term housing. If however the residential chickens are to be classified as pets there will be a number of issues related to housing and feeding of birds to allow an owner to reclaim their property. In the latter case it would be logical to require identification through a poultry tag on the wing or around the leg that is registered like cat and dog licenses to assist ACPS in reuniting the bird with an owner and holding that owner responsible for the costs associated with the work and care provided. Currently there is no established housing available that is well suited or designed for chickens; and such housing would be required if these animals were to be treated like pets. The result would be added staffing costs for care, capital investment in a properly designed and built housing facility and costs of proper food and care supplies for the birds. This all would have to be done ideally separate from where the cats and dogs are housed due to the inherent stress mixing those species would create for the animals. Nearly every community, even those providing zoning exceptions for residential hens, identifies chickens and other fowl as agricultural animals and not pets. ACPS would strong recommend that designation continue in Jacksonville and that all efforts to define any fowl as pets be avoided for both local ordinance reasons as well as other laws at other levels of government.

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services

Concerns, Comments and Impacts

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services

One clear concern that ACPS has is trying to determine what the expectations of City Council and the Mayors Office will be for enforcement of chicken/fowl-related violations if the new legislation is enacted. Since we currently do very little but still end up catching a hundred birds or so a year, if that level of service is anticipated to continue we would have little overall negative impact of the change. If however the level of enforcement were expected to rise to the level we provide for cats and dogs we would have substantial additional work not primarily produced by new chickens but because of the hundreds of birds already roaming Jacksonville. Clearly a limited pilot program like is currently being put into place across several communities in Florida is less risky than an overnight change from not being allowed to being allowed everywhere. That said, however, the community cat management program did just that with great success and now is the singular national model used as the basis for other communities. Since nothing like this has ever taken place before on this scale anywhere else in the country we would be risk-taking pioneers, and there simply needs to be the same commitment to assisting ACPS if it runs into unexpected service demands and costs that have not been budgeted for this year. Unlike many other divisions we did not see past years staffing and budgets return this year and we are operating at almost 50% of the general fund budget of 5-6 years ago and with only 2/3 the staffing and 1/3 the officers of that time. We have successfully been able to handle the existing workload but expanding the workload will mean that there are not enough people to respond to every call and additional prioritization and service cutbacks will be needed without new resources. ACPS has never taken a position either for or against the implementation of residential chickens but only has tried to raise concerns of potential impacts and costs related to different service level demands. There is absolutely no way to know the true impacts until the change takes place. We hope that there would be no major impact but have to be prepared for any impacts that might take place.

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services
CITY Jacksonville Miami Tampa St. Petersburg Orlando Hialeah Tallahassee Fort Lauderdale Port St Lucie Pembroke Pines Cape Coral Hollywood Gainesville Miramar Coral Springs Ocala Sarasota COUNTY Miami-Dade Broward Palm Beach Hillsborough Orange Pinellas Lee Polk Brevard Volusia Pasco Seminole Sarasota Marion No ? No No No No No No No No No No No 100' residence No No No No No No No No No No No No 25 100' property line 4 25' structure, 10' prop line No No No No No 4 No No No No No No No No 100' from dwelling on adjacent prop 100' residence, 50' property line 100' residence, 50' property line POPULATION SQ. MILES Ord. 827,908 875 408,750 55 6-1(b) 346,037 171 244,997 138 4-31 243,195 111 229,969 20 182,965 104 168,528 36 166,149 117 157,594 34 157,476 120 143,357 31 125,326 62 124,302 31 123,338 24 56,945 39 12-1221 52,211 26 8-2(2) POPULATION SQ. MILES 2,554,766 1898 1,780,172 1320 1,335,187 2386 1,267,775 1266 1,169,107 1003 917,398 608 631,330 1213 609,492 2009 543,566 1557 494,804 1432 466,457 868 425,071 345 382,213 725 332,529 1663

Res. Hen Setback No 15 100' residence

Permit No No

Ag (sec. 33-279) & Rural Residential (sec. 33-226; 33-230) Agricultural & Rural Residential Agricultural Zoning only Agricultural Zoning only Not within 100' of residential zoining districts Yes- 3 sq ft/bird Agricultural & Rural Residential Agricultural Zoning only Agricultural Zoning only Agricultural Zoning only (sec. 72-290) Agricultural & Rural Residential Agricultural Zoning (sec. 30.102) Agricultural Zoning only Agricultural & Rural Residential

agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural

** Most area allowing residential hen programs have limited pilots not in ordinance limiting the number of participants to 25 (some with waiting lists other than have not reached the 25 threshold). These pilots have time frames raning from 2-3 years before any official action is to take place to formalize any residential chicken codes.

Coop Restricted Special Features Agricultural & Rural Residential Yes Not allowed in any zoning Yes Police confirmed noise violation & revoke ability to own "Pilot program but not in code" Agricultural Zone only (98-451) Agricultural Zone only (sec. 5-11) Agricultural Zone only (sec. 6-6) Gen Use & Utility Zones (sec. 158-137) Not allowed in any zoning Agricultural Zone only (sec. 11.1 & sec. 2.5) Not allowed in any zoning Agricultural Zone only (sec. 30-72) Ag (sec. 713.2) & Rural Residential (sec. 704.3.2) Agricultural Zone only (sec. 250172) coop/pens 5 acre minimum; by planning commission action (sec. 122-1221) Yes-4 sq ft/bird No odor at prop line

Animal Designated agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural agricultural

CC- 18th and Pearl- 10+ CC- Buffalo and Virginia- 20+ CC- 33rd and Evergreen- 50+ CC- Division and 11th- Estimated 40+ chickens. The colony was wiped out except for 1 Roosters and two hens. This was 2012. CC- Highway and Edgewood- 50+ chickens- Last check of area showed five hens with biddies in the area. CC- Hubbard and 1st - Numerous chickens in apartment complex. ES- Starfish and Beachwood- 10+ Guinea Fowl ES- Dunkin Donuts on San Jose- 15+ NE- Parkway Blvd off North Main- 35+ NW- Doris Road- 15+ Peacocks NW- 10400 block Plummer Road- 35+ Chickens and Guinea Fowl (Second Marijuana grow operation we assisted with we removed over 100 Fowl from the property one year earlier) NW-Beaver and Cahoon- 30+ chickens- Sweep removed 20 or more a year ago. 3 hens with biddies seen in June 2013. NW- Cahoon and Arizona- 20+ Chickens NW- North Cisco Gardens- 75+ chickens- Numerous attempts to capture but area is rural. Minimum impact on population. These were seen. This colony also has Guinea fowl. NW- Moncrief and Old Kings- resident evicted and let one rooster and four hens loose roughly a yearroughly 25 chickens roaming area. NW- Orme and Jones Road- This house we busted two years ago that had the Marijuana grow operation and the Cockfighting Pit. We removed as many of the chickens we could catch as well as dogs and pigeons. There are now roughly 45 roosters and hens in the yard and roaming the neighborhood which is still vacant. NW- Poinsetta- 30+ chickens. Long term problem area. NW- 11200 block of Bridges- 100+ chickens. Resident reportedly a rescue but many chickens at large. NW- Osceola and Bulls Bay- Estimated 250+ chickens. Numerous attempts to capture but area is rural. Minimum impact on population. The entire neighborhood off of Osceola is home to chickens. WS- Firestone and Conant/Lake Weir- 20+ WS- Commonwealth and Rudd- 25+ WS- Green and McDuff- Estimated 30+ chickens. In 2012 the colony was knocked to a few chickens. Now there are several Roosters and hens. WS- Lenox and Plymouth- 30+ chickens- Some were captured but are now reproducing again. WS- Patricia and Dorito- 100+ chickens. Sweep in 2012 removed 140 chickens in September 2013. Last check in June showed at least 6 hens with biddies. WS- Monroe Smith- 100+ chickens. Over the course of years hundreds of chickens have been captured in this neighborhood. Last check revealed 5 hens with biddies. WS- Pine Grove and McCarthur- 15+ Chickens roaming area WS- Patience Ct off of Hipps Rd- 20+

KNOWN FREE ROAMING, EXISTING CHICKEN & FOWL LOCATIONS

Review of Proposed Universal Zoning for Limited Residential Chickens in the City of Jacksonville & Impacts to, or Changes Needed in, Animal Care & Protective Services

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