County’s Open Forum On ‘Chickens Ordinance’ Reopens


Los Alamos County has re-opened its Open Forum topic on the proposed Chickens Ordinance, and residents are invited to visit the link here to leave comments.

The ordinance was written after residents made requests for the Council to consider an amendment to the County Code to allow the keeping of a small number of chickens in all residential districts. Section 6-2 of the Code currently prohibits the keeping of chickens within the County, except in the residential agricultural districts (R-A) zone and in all other residential districts, excluding Pajarito Acres and La Senda, if chickens are kept within 200 yards from a residence regularly used for human habitation.

The proposed amendment expands the current ordinance to permit the practice of keeping chickens within all residential districts in the County subject to certain conditions:

  • Must be for residential, noncommercial purposes;
  • Maximum of 6 on any lot;
  • Must be at least 16 square feet of permeable land available for each chicken;
  • Must have at least 2 square feet of shelter space per chicken;
  • Adequate shelter must be provided;
  • Shelter must be kept clean, dry, odor-free and in sanitary condition at all times;
  • Adequate fencing must be provided;
  • Chickens must have access to the sun during daylight hours and kept in secure shelter at night;
  • Cannot be kept closer than 35 feet to a dwelling unit on abutting property;
  • Cannot be kept in front, rear or side setbacks;
  • Cannot be kept closer than 100 feet to a water well;
  • Keeping and maintaining chickens must comply with all applicable health and safety laws;
  • All areas devoted to chickens must be constructed and maintained to discourage insects and rodents; and
  • No roosters are allowed.

This ordinance is scheduled to be considered at a public hearing Nov. 14. Open Forum will remain open until one hour before the Council meeting, which is noon on Friday, Nov. 14 in Council Chambers. Note: Friday council meetings have a 1.5 hour time limit and end promptly at 1:30 p.m.

The Open Forum report will be downloaded and given to Council right before the meeting. Previous comments from the previously posted “Poultry Ordinance” Open Forum topic in September will also be given to Council for reference, as many of those comments were about keeping chickens in residential areas and are still valid. However, residents who previously commented on Open Forum’s September poultry ordinance can visit the new topic and leave new comments.