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Sanford family files appeal to keep chickens

Posted July 1, 2008

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— A family has filed an appeal with Sanford’s Code Enforcement department in an effort to keep 14 chickens in their back yard.

The appeal allows Alexandra Reid more time to make her case to the Sanford City Council. She is scheduled to meet with the council on July 15. The appeal also prevents the Reid family from being fined $100 a day for each chicken. The family was supposed to start being fined Wednesday.

The Reid family has had the chickens more than three years. During that time the birds have won prizes at county and state fairs.

When the Sanford City Council recently found out the animals lived at the Reids' home, they informed the family the chickens are against a city ordinance that prohibits poultry, swine or goats within the corporate limits of the city.

The city cites concerns about noise, smell and health.

Alexandra Reid said other cities allow chicken coops. She recently lobbied for the council to change the ordinance, proposing rules for chicken coops in the city. She suggested the coops be kept neat and fully covered and be located on large pieces of land at least 50 feet from a dwelling.

“There was no real consensus to move in that direction,” City Manager Hal Hegwer said.


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  • SuperNupe Jul 10, 2008

    No chickens in the City limits huh?

    No more bojangles, KFC, or Smithfields.... I'd move out of town!

  • SuperNupe Jul 10, 2008

    LOL at Curious Georgia

  • oldschooltarheel Jul 10, 2008

    Sanford really should get with the program - urban agriculture is on the rise. Check out the GYO movement (grow your own - it's not just smoke anymore). Truly urbane sophisticated urban/suburban areas are promoting exactly what this family is doing. Too bad the pseudo-sophisticates down in Sanford aren't savy enough to value this family's endeavours.
    Perhaps the term, Victory Garden, is alien to them. Get with it Sanford!

  • batcave Jul 10, 2008

    alot of fuss over something you can get at a drive through, I mean if your not gonna crack the necks and eat em whats the point---eggs I guess. Your chicken in my yard its goin down.

  • Ajay F.S. Jul 10, 2008

    Also, I personally would not shoot an animal. I would chase them out of the yard and finally quit planting flowers in the main bed they were destroying. They would literally uproot the flowers I would plant in the one particular flower bed.

  • curiousgeorgia Jul 10, 2008

    Cary, Cary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

    A whole lot better with little downy chickens all in a pretty row.

  • Ajay F.S. Jul 10, 2008

    We contacted animal control before going this route who of course would not do anything. We gave him many chances to correct the situation. They were destroying our property. I guess we could have taken them to court instead. I respect his right to have his chickens; he should respect our right to not have his chickens in our yard. Now they are either in "coops" or tied up.

    The neighbor shoots dogs that enter his yard to protect his chickens. Needless to say, our dogs do not "free roam" as his chickens used to.

    Also, for the record, he used to fight them, but he doesn't anymore.

  • proud-bleeding-heart Jul 10, 2008

    I am disgusted that people think that they have a right to shoot their neighbor's animals. Landscaping or not..have a heart.

  • Bon Viveur Jul 10, 2008

    I keep chickens in my yard right here in chapel Hill. It's against the law, but i REALLY DON'T CARE. Oh they sent the animal control over, but since all my chickens are free range and just hang out in the yard, when the man came around I was like, Those ain't my chickens they are wild. they tried to catch a couple of them , but chickens are fast birds. I really just got them to make my neighbors mad anyway. When my rooster " the colonel" starts crowing at 5;00 a.m. I just laugh.

  • Ajay F.S. Jul 10, 2008

    I would say it really depends on your neighbor and his level of consideration. My neighbor has chickens. On a sultry summer day, they smell bad enough you don't want to stay outside. There is a fence between our yards, but for a while they were coming over the fence and tearing our flower beds up, slinging mulch when they were scratching. I had to admit it, but when the neighbor refused to stop this, my husband started shooting the ones that came over the fence. We work too hard on our yard to let chickens dig it up. Also, my teen-age son actually calls them noise pollution, and we have even had company ask how we can stand it.

    He has less chickens now, and it is better I guess, or are we just used to it?

    For the record, we lived here probably about 15 years before the neighbor started keeping chickens.