Potential Changes to Livestock Zoning Laws in Two NEO Communities

Major changes could be coming to one Cleveland neighborhood seeking to enhance community self-sufficiency by changing livestock zoning laws. Last week, Lakewood City Council’s Housing Committee resolved three issues regarding legislation that would create a pilot program to allow residents to raise hens in their backyards. The committee has recommended the establishment of an 18-month pilot program; if the measure is approved by the Council, a limited number of Lakewood residents will be allowed to build chicken coops, purchase hens, and raise them for one season. Continuation of the program will depend on further review by City Council at the end of the 18-month pilot program. Additional details about this exciting opportunity can be found here.

In Broadview Heights, where residents are currently allowed to raise chickens and livestock, the future of livestock zoning laws seems less clear, as the current code leaves much to be desired by advocates and opponents alike. Under existing code, residents are not allowed to keep any animals, including livestock and poultry, in such a way that might create harsh and unpleasant odors or unsanitary conditions. Considering the ambiguity of this code, the Broadview Heights City Council’s Rules, Ordinances and Franchises Committee in August recommended limiting chickens to no more than six on lots measuring at least one acre. This proposal has been met with significant opposition from some residents who feel the committee failed to consult important stakeholders, including local experts and chicken owners. As of September, City Council has decided not to move forward with its proposed regulations and has instead passed the issue to the administration, frustrating many residents. More information can be found here

Working Group(s): 
Community Food Assessment
Working Group(s): 
Land Use & Planning