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City of White Plains News

Posted on: February 24, 2022

Fowl and Livestock Ordinance

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The Common Council of the City of White Plains hereby ordains and enacts as follows:

Section 1.        Chapter 5-2, Sections 5-2-1 and 5-2-2 are repealed in their entirety and the White Plains Municipal Code is hereby amended by adding the following:

Sec. 5-2-1. Purpose.

The following regulations will govern the keeping of Fowl and are designed to prevent nuisances and conditions that are unsanitary or unsafe. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep Fowl except in accordance with this Chapter.

Section 5-2-2 Definitions.

“Fowl” shall mean a domesticated bird, such as turkeys, chickens or ducks, which are kept for eating or producing eggs. Fowl are not considered “Household Pets” as defined in Section 2 of the City of White Plains Zoning Ordinance.

“Rooster” shall mean a male chicken.

“Coop” shall mean any cage, enclosure or structure for the housing of Fowl.  


Section 5-2-3. General Regulations. 

(A) No more than six (6) Fowl shall be kept at a single or two-family dwelling, except on lots over 5,000 square feet in accordance with Section 5-2-4.

(B) Setbacks. Coops shall be kept at least twenty (20) feet from the nearest point of any main structure or building not occupied by the owner of such Fowl. Coops shall not be located within ten (10) feet of a side yard lot line or rear-yard lot line. Coops shall not be located in a front yard.

(C) Dimensional Standards for Coops and Enclosures. Fowl shall be provided with a covered, predator-proof coop that is well ventilated and designed to be easily accessed for cleaning. The coop shall allow at least two square feet per bird. Fowl shall have access to an outdoor enclosure that is adequately fenced to contain the birds on the property and to prevent access from predators. Fowl shall not be allowed out of these enclosures unless a responsible individual, over 18 years of age, is directly monitoring the birds and able to immediately return them to the coop or outdoor enclosure if necessary. 

D. Sanitation. The coop and outdoor enclosure shall be kept in a sanitary condition to prevent the accumulation of waste or creation of offensive odors.  It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain a coop or outdoor enclosure in an unsanitary condition or in such as manner that odors can be detected 5 feet or more from such coop or outdoor enclosure.

E. Roosters. It is unlawful for any person to keep roosters as the breeding of chickens is prohibited. 


Section 5-2-4 Permit. 

1.         A permit issued by the Building Commissioner is required when: 

            (a) seeking to keep or maintain more than 6 Fowl on a lot over 5,000 square feet or         more in size.  An applicant can request an additional bird per 500 feet of lot area over  5,000 square feet; or 

            (b) seeking to keep or maintain Fowl on a parcel separate and distinct from the    applicant’s residence.   

2.         An application for a permit must contain the following: 

            a. The name, phone number, and address of the applicant. 

            b. The size and location of the subject property. 

            c. A proposal containing the following information.

                        i.          The total number of Fowl the applicant seeks to keep on the property.

                        ii.         A description of any coop or outdoor enclosure providing precise dimensions and the precise location of these enclosures in relation to property lines and adjacent properties. 

d.   A fee in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00).


Section 5-2-5 Keeping of Fowl on Multi-Family Dwelling Premises.

It shall be unlawful for an applicant to keep Fowl on property containing a multi-family dwelling, unless the applicant obtained a signed statement from all owners or tenants of the multi-family dwelling consenting to the applicant’s proposal.  

Section 5-2-6. Revocation.

The Commissioner of Building may revoke a permit at any time if the the terms of the permit are violated, if the permit holder has been convicted of violating this Chapter two or more times, or if the permit holder has not maintained the Fowl, coops, cages or outdoor enclosures in a clean and sanitary condition.

5-2-7. Penalty.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00), confiscation of Fowl, revocation of a permit or any combination thereof.

Section 2.  This ordinance shall take effect October 30, 2021.

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