• 50°

Granite Quarry’s new math: One animal unit equals five chickens

GRANITE QUARRY — In the recent past, town employees have often seen residents walk into Town Hall and ask, “Can I keep chickens?”

Granite Quarry Town Planner Steve Blount and others almost always have answered that chickens are no problem, thinking town ordinances did not address the issue. But Blount says they actually do.

Both the town’s Unified Development Ordinance (generally the document spelling out zoning requirements) and the Code of Ordinances have regulations governing livestock.

The problem was, Blount said, they seemed to be at odds with each other.

The Board of Aldermen agreed with Blount’s recommendations Monday night on tweaking those ordinances and spelling out more clearly when chickens and other farm animals are allowed inside the town limits and how they must be managed.

Here are some of the main points:

• For cattle, goats, sheep, horses, chickens, cows, llamas, alpacas, ostriches and similar animals, there has to be a minimum lot size of 2 acres.

• Not more than one of the above animals is allowed to be kept, maintained or stabled per acre, although an exception is made for chickens. Five chickens equal one animal unit, so 2 acres is adequate for 10 chickens.

• The keeping of hogs in town is not permitted.

• Pot-bellied pigs are considered pets, like dogs or cats, and the new livestock rules don’t apply to them.

• All livestock, including chickens, have to be contained within a fence and cannot be any closer than 200 feet to an adjacent house.

• The fencing has to be set back at least 10 feet from adjacent property lines or side streets.

• Livestock cannot be kept in the front yard of a residence.

• In accordance with a state statute, as many as five beehives are permitted on a single parcel, provided the hives are placed at ground level or attached to an anchor or stand.

• Every person who owns or maintains a penned lot, shelter or other place where animals are kept “shall maintain the same in a sanitary and humane matter.” If that’s not the case, the conditions will be reported to an animal control officer and subsequently to the Rowan County Health Department.

Blount noted that another provision of the reworded regulations says “odors and noises created by the keeping of livestock shall not be objectionable to adjacent residences as determined by the town’s planner,” which is Blount himself.

As for the question of how stridently these new provisions will be enforced, Blount noted it’s almost always complaint-driven.

“Our code enforcement starts with a complaint,” he said.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.




Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill


COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic


Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call


Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures


Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?


County begins accepting restaurant grant applications


Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses


Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief


Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings


Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment


Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss


Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators


Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police


Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies


After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status


39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual


Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership


Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education


After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both


East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status


Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame


Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame