Backyard Chickens in Albemarle County (VA)

Chickens are not allowed in Albemarle County. But bees are!

I was asked the chicken question on Twitter after my story from 10 years ago was one of the most-easily-found stories about chickens in Albemarle County.

Does anyone know if the Albemarle county code limits chickens (or even specifically mentions roosters) in a R-2 zoned area?

So I emailed the County, and got a quick response:

“Chickens are a form of livestock, and livestock is part of an Agricultural use.

Although Agriculture is allowed in the Rural Areas (RA) district it is not an allowed use in the R2 Zone (18-10.14.2 – Permitted Uses).

Agriculture is defined as (Section 3 – Definitions):

Agriculture. “Agriculture” means an agricultural operation, the keeping of livestock or poultry, or both, regardless of whether the keeping of livestock or poultry qualifies as an agricultural operation. The term includes accessory processing facilities for agricultural products grown or raised solely on the farm on which the agriculture is located, such as fruit packing plants and dairies. The term does not include any processing facilities permitted only by special use permit.

Just an FYI, for future reference, “Urban beekeepingis allowed by right in the R2 zone as long as all requirements of 5.1.63 can be met.”

Huh. Chickens, yes. Bees, no. At least bees are quieter?

Image courtesy of.

Also, RIP The HooK archives.

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