Backyard Chicken Keeping Pilot Program
On September 15, 2016, City Council approved Ordinance Number 2016-36 which establishes a 2-year Pilot Program for the City of St. Cloud residents of single family homes and duplexes to be able to keep up to 4 chickens in their backyards. Click on the links below for a copy of the Ordinance and the Application Package.
- Ordinance Number 2016-36 (PDF)
- Application Package (PDF)
Please Note: If you wish to obtain a "Temporary Backyard Chicken-Keeping" Permit, you will need to participate in a "Chicken Keeping" class. The Osceola County Extension Services offers the "Backyard Poultry Basics" class. For the convenience of St. Cloud's residents, the class will be scheduled on a quarterly basis, right here in St. Cloud! At this time, the date for the next class has not been determined.
For additional information, please call the Planning and Zoning Department at 407-957-8427.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will the pilot program last?
The pilot program will be in place for 2 years. Unless terminated earlier or extended by City Council action, the program will expire on September 15, 2018.
How many permits will be issued for this program?
Only 50 permits will be issued per year, on a first come first served basis. 1 permit per parcel ID
How many chickens will I be allowed to have?
Each permit issued will allow up to 4 chickens. No roosters will be allowed.
If your community has a home owner's association, you must get their approval first.
How much is the Temporary Backyard Chicken Keeping permit?
The Permit fee is $25 and is good for one year. Renewals are $10.
What is the Temporary Backyard Chicken Keeping permit good for?
The Temporary Backyard Chicken Keeping permit will allow the Planning and Zoning Department to review the coop and run design and placement to ensure it meets the Ordinance's requirements. It will also give the Building Department an opportunity to review the coop and run design and construction materials and methods. An approved Temporary Backyard Chicken permit will give the applicant permission to keep up to 4 chickens in their backyard.
Will I need a separate building permit from the Building Department?
A separate permit may be required as follows:
Coop and Run Construction - you will be required to obtain a separate building permit from the Building Department for an accessory structure.
Pre-Fabricated Coop and Run - you will not need a separate building permit
Fence for Run Area Only - you will not need a separate building permit
Please contact the Building Department at 407-957-7224 if you have any questions regarding building permits.
How much room do I need for my chickens?
You will need at least 3 square feet per chicken in the coop. Please read Ordinance Number 2016-36 since it indicates specific requirements about the coop and run placement, size, covering, fences, etc. In order to apply for a permit you must sign an Affidavit indicating that you have read and understand Ordinance Number 2016-36 and its requirements. You may contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 407-957-8427 if you have any questions.
According to the Ordinance Number 2016-36, a "fenced pen enclosure/run is required". If I have a fully fenced backyard, will that be sufficient?
No. Your backyard does not qualify as the pen/run area. A separate fenced area (usually connected to the coop) is required for your chickens. The maximum size of the coop and pen shall be 120 square feet.
Ordinance Number 2016-36 states "chicken coops and pens shall be completely screened from adjacent roadways and neighboring parcels by a six-foot tall opaque fence or wall erected on the property line". What does this mean?
An opaque fence is one that is impenetrable by light; neither transparent nor translucent. Wooden or vinyl slat fences are good examples of opaque fences if there are no spaces between slats. Pickett fences, chain link fences or chain link fences with slats are not opaque fences.
The purpose of the opaque fence is to "screen" the chicken coop from your neighbors. Since your backyard does not qualify as the pen/run area, you will need to provide your chickens a separate fenced area (usually connected to the coop).
If you have an opaque fence in your rear yard, your pen/run area does not need an opaque fence since you are already providing "screening" with your opaque fence. This means your run area can be constructed of chicken wire, chain link or similar non opaque material. However, if you do not have an opaque fence in your rear yard, your fenced run area will need to have an opaque fence.
Where can I get information about the Backyard Poultry Basics class?
The City will schedule classes that will be provided free of charge to City residents. Dates and times will be posted on the City's Calendar and on this page.
I obtained a Temporary Backyard Chicken Keeping permit and have chickens but now I'm moving. What do I do?
If you wish to relocate your chickens to your new house, you will need to notify the City in writing. You must indicate your permit Number , your new address and include a new coop sketch based on the new property. An Affidavit will be required from the property owner if other than yourself. If your community has a Homeowner's Association, you must get their approval.
I obtained a Temporary Backyard Chicken Keeping permit and had chickens for a while but I decided I don't want them anymore. What do I do?
You will need to notify the City in writing of your desire to discontinue backyard chicken keeping. A final inspection will be completed within 30 days to ensure that the chickens, coop and pen have been removed from the property.
Can I sell the eggs my chicken lay?
Chickens shall be kept for personal use only. Selling chickens, eggs, or chicken manure, or the breeding of chickens for commercial purposes is prohibited.
For information, please contact the Planning and Zoning Department at 407-957-8427 or email the Planning Department.