Chickens and Chicken Coops

Chickens in Residential Districts 

With the exception of lots zoned RE-1, Residential Estate District, which shall be subject to the livestock restrictions put forth in Chesapeake Zoning Ordinance (CZO) Section 6-2101, six (6) or fewer female chickens may be kept as an accessory use in all single-family residential zoning districts. This is subject to the following requirements set forth in CZO Section 14-101.C.2.f.:

  • The chickens shall be housed in a fully enclosed accessory structure that meets the requirements of subsections 14-102.B.1-6 of the CZO.
  • The accessory structure shall be located in the rear yard. A permit is required for the accessory structure.
  • Nothing herein shall be construed to permit the slaughtering of chickens on property zoned for residential use.

Chickens and Other Livestock in Residential Estate Districts

Unless otherwise permitted by this ordinance, the keeping of small and large livestock other than swine shall only be permitted as an accessory use on lots within the RE-1 district; provided that all stables and enclosures shall be located in accordance with Section 14-102.B. of this ordinance. In no event shall swine be permitted on property zoned RE-1, with the exception of Vietnamese potbellied pigs, which may be kept in conformance with the criteria in Section 14-903 of this ordinance. RE-1 lots keeping livestock shall be subject to the table below which provides the permitted animal units for large and small animals. In determining the number of livestock permitted, combinations of animals are allowed, provided that the required ratio is not exceeded. Further, only acreage within the RE-1 zoning district may be used to count toward the permitted number of animal units.

AcreagePermitted Large and/or Small Animal Units
Less than two (2) acresOne-half (0.5)
Two (2) to less than three (3) acresOne (1)
Three (3) to less than five (5) acresTwo (2)
Five (5) to less than eight (8) acresThree (3)
Eight (8) or to less than ten (10) acresFour (4)
Ten (10) or more acresFive (5)

Chickens and Other Livestock in A-1 Residential Districts

  • There are no limits to the number of livestock animals within the A-1 district.
  • Location of livestock and related structures must comply with CZO Section 14-102.D.