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Chickens won't be allowed in residential areas of Martin County

Commissioners decide not to pursue any type of ordinance
Posted at 2:32 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 15:55:47-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Martin County has decided for now that chickens have their place, and that's not in a residential backyard.

The idea was up for discussion at Tuesday's Martin County Commission meeting.

Some people spoke vehemently against the proposal.

"Chickens are very filthy. They bring snakes, rats, foxes," Saadia Tsaftarides of Stuart said. "It's just ridiculous."

A representative from the Martin County Sheriff's Office wrote that chickens shouldn't be kept in any residential zoned location whatsoever due to noise and unsanitary conditions.

Map of where chickens are allowed in residential backyards
Currently, only unincorporated Indian River and St. Lucie counties allow backyard chickens in residential areas.

Residential chicken coops are currently permitted in unincorporated Indian River and St. Lucie counties. Only four out of nearly two dozen applications have been approved in St. Lucie County.

No backyard chickens are allowed in Palm Beach or Okeechobee counties.

"Our regulations, the existing ones, are the most important, the most effective and appropriate for Martin County," Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard said.

Amber D'Angelo, pushing for chicken ordinance in Martin County
Amber D'Angelo discusses why she is pushing for a measure to allow backyard chickens in Martin County.

In the end, commissioners decided Tuesday not to pursue any type of ordinance.

Amber D'Angelo, a Martin County resident, spurred the push to allow chickens in residential areas.

"I have a sister who has a little farm up in Pennsylvania, so they raise chickens for eggs and some chickens for meat," D'Angelo said. "I would just love to have an ordinance signed in."

D'Angelo said she was disheartened by Tuesday's vote but is looking at developing other possible avenues, perhaps a pilot program that commissioners might pass.