Chickens of Burgaw NC
Our family recently moved to Burgaw, NC. We have a small backyard flock of chickens and planted a garden, mainly to assist with the education of our three young children. We believe it is beneficial to them to learn about where their food comes from and they love the chickens and collecting their eggs for breakfast each day.
Our neighbors on both sides are long time Burgaw residents and expressed their happiness at having the chickens next door.
We have recently received a citation from the town of Burgaw claiming that our chickens violate code due to being "agricultural use" in a residential zone. "Agricultural use" is only permitted in the "Residential Agricultural" zone of the town.
The sole section cited by the planning director in her letter is the definition of agriculture per the Town of Burgaw Unified Development Ordinance. That definition is found in section 6-2 and reads as follows:
"Agricultural—Livestock: The use of land for dairying, pasturage, animal and poultry husbandry, and the necessary accessory uses. Intensive livestock operations as defined by this ordinance are excluded.
Agricultural—Other Than Livestock: The use of land for the production of cash grains, field crops, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and for horticulture and floriculture."
We believe that it would be impractical to extrapolate the prohibition of backyard poultry from the definition provided, as it would be to use it to prohibit backyard gardening or fruit trees.
Meanwhile the only reference to "fowl" in the Burgaw Code of Ordinances is where it states
"Sec. 4-1. - Running at large.
No person owning or having control of any animal or fowl shall permit it to run at large within the corporate limits."
We plan to appeal the planning director's interpretation, and ask those Burgaw residents who agree that this is an error on the part of the planning department to sign in support.