(a)   Permit Required. A permit shall be required to keep chickens on premises zoned residential or used for residential purposes which are less than five acres. No permit shall be issued to a person and no chickens shall be allowed to be kept unless the owners of all residentially zoned adjacent properties as defined below, consent in writing, to the permit and this consent is presented along with an application for a permit. Written statements waiving the distance requirement, set forth below shall also be submitted at the time of application and become part of the permit if issued. Application shall be made to the Building Department and the fee for the permit shall be as determined by resolution of the Township Board.
      (1)   The Building Department shall act upon all permits within 21 business days of application. Permit denials, other than for lack of adjoining property consent, shall be subject to appeal to the Township Board, which shall act within 21 days of any such appeal. Appeals must be filed in writing with the Township Clerk within ten days of any decision by the Building Department.
      (2)   A property owner, who is unable to obtain the consent of all residentially zoned adjacent properties, shall be permitted to appeal within 14 days of a failure to obtain such consent to the Charter Township of Clinton Zoning Board of Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall set a hearing within 45 days, and provide notice to adjoining property owners from whom consent was not obtained by first class mail advising of the hearing date. At the hearing date, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall act upon the appeal, unless information necessary to make a determination is not available and complete. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall consider the coop location, including distances from neighboring property and structures occupied and unoccupied, the dimensions and characteristics of the coop, the number and nature of hens to be maintained, as well as all relevant evidence, in order to determine whether there is a reasonable likelihood of a lack of harmony, noise or odor disturbance, vermin harborage, or the creation of conditions injurious to the peaceful and quiet enjoyment of surrounding property owners' property.
      (3)   Permits expire three years after the date of issuance. A person who wishes to continue keeping chickens shall obtain a new permit on, or before the expiration date. Application for a permit renewal shall be filed at least 30 days prior to permit expiration. Permits shall not be subject to renewal if three or more complaints have been verified by the Building Department, establishing a violation of this section, or any other Township ordinance, or a nuisance type condition has occurred within the duration of the license.
   (b)   Private Restrictions Enforceable. Notwithstanding the issuance of any permit by the Township, private restrictions on the use of property shall remain enforceable and
take precedence over a permit. Private restrictions include, but are not limited to deed restrictions, condominium master deed restrictions, neighborhood association by-laws, and deed covenants. A permit issued to a person whose property is subject to private restrictions that prohibit the keeping of chickens is void. The interpretation and enforcement of the private restriction is the sole responsibility of the private parties involved.
   (c)   General Requirements. A person who keeps or houses chickens shall comply with all of the following requirements:
      (1)   Have been issued a valid permit.
      (2)   Keep no more than four hens and no hens which make any calling sound disturbing to surrounding property owners.
      (3)   The principal use of the person's property is for a single family dwelling, or a two family dwelling.
      (4)   No person shall keep any rooster.
      (5)   No person shall slaughter any chickens, or sell any eggs.
      (6)   The chickens shall be provided with a covered enclosure capable of supporting wind and snow loads. The enclosure shall not exceed a height of six feet, and the chickens must be kept in the enclosure. The coop and enclosure area shall be considered an accessory structure under this code.
      (7)   The enclosure shall be no larger than 100 square feet and made of material to make it inaccessible to predators, rats and other rodents.
      (8)   The coop must be located within the enclosure and be a minimum of 18 inches above grade to prevent rodent harborage.
      (9)   Persons shall not keep chickens in any location on the property other than in the backyard, meaning the portion of the lot enclosed by the properties rear lot line and the side lot lines to the point where the side lot lines intersect with an imaginary line established by the rear of a single family, or two family structure and extending to the side lot lines.
      (10)   No chicken enclosure shall be situated closer than ten feet to any property line of any adjacent property.
      (11)   All enclosures shall be constructed or repaired, as to prevent rats, mice, other rodents and predators from being harbored underneath, within, or gaining access within the enclosure. No covered enclosure under any circumstances shall be located closer than 60 feet to any occupied residential structure on adjacent property, however, this requirement can be waived as follows:
         A.   The principal use of the applicant's property is for a single-family    dwelling, to obtain such a waiver the applicant shall present at the    time of applying for a permit, a written statement of all adjacent land owners that there is no objection to the issuance of the permit.
         B.   The principal use of the applicant's property is for a two-family dwelling, to obtain such a waiver, the applicant shall present at the time of applying for a permit, the written statements of all adjacent land owners and of the occupants of the other dwelling, stating that there is no objection to the issuance of the permit.
      (12)   Adjacent property means all parcels of property that the applicant's property comes into contact with at one or more points, except for parcels that are legally adjacent to, but are in fact separated from applicant's property by a public or private street.
      (13)   All feed and other items associated with keeping of chickens that are likely to attract, or become infested, or infected by rodents, or other animals shall be protected to prevent infestation.
      (14)   Three or more verified complaints, as established by the Building Department, whether charged or not charged as an offense, which are violations of any Township ordinance, including this section, or involving nuisance type conditions, shall subject the permit holder to revocation proceedings before the Building Director with the same appeal process as a permit denial.
      (15)   If any of the foregoing requirements are not complied with, within seven days of notice from the Township (unless emergency circumstances exist, and then it may become immediate), the Township may revoke any permit and/or initiate prosecution for a misdemeanor violation. Permit revocation is subject to appeal in the same manner as a denial.
   (d)   Any violation shall be a separate offense and shall be a misdemeanor subject to penalties for a misdemeanor as prescribed by this Code of Ordinances.
(Ord. 457. Passed 7-15-19.)