4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

La Mesa eases up on the chickens

2014 rules fixed

The old regs allowed not more than two birds for every 2,000 square feet. - Image by Matthew Suárez
The old regs allowed not more than two birds for every 2,000 square feet.

Access to local food is among La Mesa's health, wellness, and climate goals. But for some residents, fresh eggs were just out of reach. While they live in single-family homes, and chickens are allowed in all single-family residential zones, they've fallen through a crack, because of a zoning glitch, circa 2014.

"It was noted that there are a number of properties in the city that are zoned multifamily but are only developed with a single-family residence," said senior planner Allyson Kinnard in a report to the city council January 14. "Those residents are not able to benefit from the policies in place for chickens."

La Mesa chicken-keeper Daryl Kennedy lost more than a source of fresh food; he lost his four birds after tenants of a neighboring apartment complained to the city last year, and he had to give them up. He later asked the city to review the regulations. "The ordinance doesn't make sense," he said.

And it wasn't just that. The same fuzzy rules that banned his birds permitted some unlikely pets in cramped quarters. "You can have five dogs, 10 cats and two potbellied pigs. And that's all in a studio apartment, if you want them."

The 2014 regulations allow up to 20 hens (no roosters), not more than two birds for every 2,000 square feet, and no less than 25 feet between enclosures and neighboring dwellings. An analysis was done to determine how much area chickens typically need. It found that 20 hens on about an acre of land would require an 80-square-foot coop and a 200-square-foot fenced run.

"The use area that would be needed for 20 chickens is considerably smaller than your typical accessory outdoor building," Kinnard said.

That is, even the maximum number of birds allowed would only use a space about the size of a single car garage. An initial environmental study found no potential adverse impacts.

The planning commission held a public hearing in December, then recommended zoning and general plan amendments to allow poultry in all residential zones, including R2 and R3 lots containing a single-family home. The city council has agreed on all of the changes.

Kennedy, who has lost chickens to coyotes and wanderlust, wishes he could retrieve his lost flock. Thelma and Louise were last seen on Highway 8 going east, he said.

"I like my chickens. I'd like to have them back."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Order pizza and pinsa from Civico by the Park

Revamped Italian spot dishes pasta and pies, from vegan to seafood
Next Article

How the lockdown has changed National City crime

Mask snitches, domestic violence, mental health calls up
The old regs allowed not more than two birds for every 2,000 square feet. - Image by Matthew Suárez
The old regs allowed not more than two birds for every 2,000 square feet.

Access to local food is among La Mesa's health, wellness, and climate goals. But for some residents, fresh eggs were just out of reach. While they live in single-family homes, and chickens are allowed in all single-family residential zones, they've fallen through a crack, because of a zoning glitch, circa 2014.

"It was noted that there are a number of properties in the city that are zoned multifamily but are only developed with a single-family residence," said senior planner Allyson Kinnard in a report to the city council January 14. "Those residents are not able to benefit from the policies in place for chickens."

La Mesa chicken-keeper Daryl Kennedy lost more than a source of fresh food; he lost his four birds after tenants of a neighboring apartment complained to the city last year, and he had to give them up. He later asked the city to review the regulations. "The ordinance doesn't make sense," he said.

And it wasn't just that. The same fuzzy rules that banned his birds permitted some unlikely pets in cramped quarters. "You can have five dogs, 10 cats and two potbellied pigs. And that's all in a studio apartment, if you want them."

The 2014 regulations allow up to 20 hens (no roosters), not more than two birds for every 2,000 square feet, and no less than 25 feet between enclosures and neighboring dwellings. An analysis was done to determine how much area chickens typically need. It found that 20 hens on about an acre of land would require an 80-square-foot coop and a 200-square-foot fenced run.

"The use area that would be needed for 20 chickens is considerably smaller than your typical accessory outdoor building," Kinnard said.

That is, even the maximum number of birds allowed would only use a space about the size of a single car garage. An initial environmental study found no potential adverse impacts.

The planning commission held a public hearing in December, then recommended zoning and general plan amendments to allow poultry in all residential zones, including R2 and R3 lots containing a single-family home. The city council has agreed on all of the changes.

Kennedy, who has lost chickens to coyotes and wanderlust, wishes he could retrieve his lost flock. Thelma and Louise were last seen on Highway 8 going east, he said.

"I like my chickens. I'd like to have them back."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tijuana's respect for the body, goodbye Revolucion flower sellers. Frank Lloyd Wright and Tecate

Why Mexico loves Abe Lincoln, cardboard shacks replace by cultural beauty, Tijuana River brings us sewage
Next Article

Dirty Birds proprietor cuts $500 deal with ethics commission

Hitting up Faulconer’s staff for campaign cash draws hand slap
Comments
3

What doesn't make sense is keeping chickens in residential areas. They are not domestic pets and can be noisy and create a health hazard if not taken care of properly. What is next pigs?

Jan. 29, 2020

Chickens aren't that noisy. Roosters can be, in contrast. Like rabbits and other small animals, they can be very affectionate and fine domestic pets with personality.

Any creature, including humans can be a health hazard, if they are not kept in reasonably healthy conditions.

Jan. 29, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
March 7, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close