The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees voted Monday, May 2 to have the Planning Commission draft language for a proposed ordinance that could allow residents to house chickens in residentially-zoned areas.
The current township ordinance in regards to the housing and keeping of animals restricts the housing or keeping of animals to farms, with the exception of domestic pets such as dogs and cats, along with housing animals in private stables.
Under a proposed amendment, the housing or keeping of chickens would be permitted under certain conditions.
The amendment would allow for a maximum of four hens over the age of one month to be kept per parcel, but roosters would be prohibited.
Under the amendment, the principal use of the person’s property must be for a single-family dwelling and parcels located in subdivisions or condominium developments would require written approval by the participating subdivision or condominium association.
The amendment would also require hens to be put in a covered or fenced enclosure in a rear yard at all times, and that the enclosures must be located at least 40 feet from any residential dwelling on an adjacent parcel unless written permission is granted by the owners of affected residences.
The enclosures would also have to be constructed, repaired and maintained, and feed for the hens would also have to be protected in order to prevent rats, mice, or other rodents from being harbored in the walls of an enclosure and from coming in contact with the hens.
The amendment would also prohibit the slaughtering of chickens at a residence.
Township Trustee Steve Kaplan said the Planning Commission will have the opportunity to recommend the ordinance to the board for final approval, but that a final decision is about 12 weeks away.
He added that some residents are interested in housing chickens for the purpose of producing eggs.
This would not be the first instance of chickens being housed in a residential area in the lakes area.
Milford Village resident Archie Noon recently moved ahead with plans to build and utilize a chicken coop in his backyard, despite the village’s animal control ordinance stating that no person or persons may house or keep farm animals, wild or exotic animals, dangerous animals or dangerous dogs anywhere within the village.