Recently, I was flipping through the latest issue of a promotional magazine from a big box home improvement store and found instructions on how to build your own backyard chicken coop. I’m sensing the idea of keeping your own urban chickens is growing in popularity, just as the push for local, organic and sustainable food also grows.
I even found a Facebook page dedicated to promoting backyard chickens and the altering of Alexandria city code to make fowls easier to keep. Currently, city code states the following regarding keeping fowls:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or allow to be kept within the city, within 200 feet of any residence or dwelling not occupied by such person, any fowl. The word "fowl," as used in this section, shall include, but is not limited to, chickens, hens, roosters, ducks, geese, pigeons or any domesticated barnyard bird.” (Code 1963, Sec. 4-2)
Without a large plot of land, current city code precludes most residents from owning backyard chickens.