On April 23, 2019, City Council amended Section 15-2-24 of the City Code, commonly referred to as the "Chicken Ordinance" to increase the number of permitted chickens from four to six. Residents, who meet requirements, may apply for a permit to keep chickens within city limits.
General Requirements, Terms & Conditions to Keep Backyard Chickens
[141KB] Application to Keep Chickens
Steps to Apply for a (Backyard) Chicken Permit ([179KB] Pasos a seguir para solicitar un permiso)
1.You may apply for an chicken permit online via the Permitting Web Portal or mail the completed [94KB] Application to Keep Chickens ([125KB] Aplicación para la crianza de pollos), required documentation, and $25.00 permit fee to the Planning and Zoning Division of the Department of Planning and Community Development, 409 South Main Street, 2nd Floor. Required documentation includes:
- Site layout showing proposed location of pen and confirmation of setbacks from property lines and the setback from streams, tributaries, ditches, swales, stormwater management facilities, drop-inlets, or other storm drainage. See City Code for required setback distances.
- Information or drawing of enclosed and covered pen that contains at least 4 square feet per bird.
- Verification of Virginia Livestock Premises Registration. Register here.
2. Planning and Zoning Division will send accepted application to Animal Care and Control. Animal Care and Control will schedule to visit the property, and if approved, will provide a Chicken Permit to the owner. Please note the chicken pen must be erected on the property for the Animal Control Officer to inspect during their visit.
3. The Chicken Permit shall be displayed on the chicken pen at all times.
4. The permit is valid for one (1) year and must be renewed annually to continue to keep chickens.
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Resources on Avian Health and Disease
- 2022 Detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
- Defend the Flock Program - free tools and resources to help poultry producers and backyard flock owners follow property biosecurity practices, which helps keep birds healthy and reduces the risk of infectious diseases.
- Printable Resources
- Recomendaciones de bioseguridad