Dumb Laws–Simi Valley and the Urban Chicken

By Debra Tash

There must be something with Simi Valley and birds.  First we discover their aversion to crows now it’s chickens.  At the July 21st Council Meeting a very articulate teen named Hannah got up and spoke during Public Comments.  You can find her comments at the 29 minute mark if you go the Simi website: HERE She wanted to do a 4H project and she choose one of the less noxious animals to raise, chickens.  Now Simi Valley doesn’t have an outright ban on these birds, no feeding prohibition like it does with crows but there are very few zones (overlay areas) within the city where chickens can be kept.  They various overlays are listed below:

A     Farm Animal Overlay     
FC     Freeway Combining Overlay
H     Horse Overlay
L     Limited Farm Animal Overlay
SB     Sexually Oriented Business Overlay
SP     Specific Plan (1)
TAPO   Tapo Area Planning Overlay
LAAPO Los Angeles Avenue Planning Overlay
MU       Mixed-Use Overlay
NVD     New Vehicle Dealer Overlay

As you can see there really are only three suitable zones.  We seriously doubt they would allow a chicken in the SB Sexually Oriented Business Overlay…at least we hope not.  

Although Simi does allow farm animals in those selected zones, Hannah, pointed out that one still needs to get a Conditional Use Permit to have chickens on their property, a lengthy and very costly process for a few lousy birds.  She said that a resident can keep six outdoor canaries and chickens, especially hens, are a lot a less noisy.  They only cluck softly after laying an egg, which for anyone would be something to clunk about it.

Please let me stay

Please let me stay

The 4Her researched poultry permits all over the county and used the city of Thousand Oaks as an example where someone can get a poultry permit.  She outlined the process, which was presented to the Council for consideration and said,  “What neighbor doesn’t like fresh eggs?” And she’s right, bribing neighbors is always a good idea if you want to get your permit approved.  She also wasn’t asking for roosters to be allowed. It’s well documented that roosters will crow at streetlights.  One of our staff says they do and that’s good enough for us.

Though the Council couldn’t deliberate on the matter at that meeting, they directed staff to study a poultry permit and bring it back for their consideration. Crows may still be on the outs but it’s looking good for chickens in the city of Simi Valley thanks to a young 4Her.


Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of Citizensjournal.us, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, residing in Somis

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