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Chickens and Beehives

Chicken CoopYou can keep chickens or maintain beehives in the residential areas of Midvale City! However, before you set up your chicken coop or beehive, please take the time to consult this page for detailed information on the necessary requirements and steps to obtain approval for your new feathered or buzzing friends.

Permit Required
In order to have chickens or beehives on your residential property, you must obtain an Administrative Conditional Use Permit (ACUP). ACUP applications are subject to review and approval by the City Staff and do not necessitate a public meeting. Nonetheless, the application process includes sending notifications to nearby property owners, which typically results in a 3 to 4-week duration for completion.

Step 1: Determine how many chickens or beehives you can have
    To qualify for chickens, your property must meet the following criteria:
  • Be located in a single-family residential zone (SF-1 or SF-2).
  • Be primarily occupied by a single-family dwelling (chickens cannot be permitted on properties with duplexes or multi-family dwellings).
  • Be at least 6,000 square feet in size.
    To qualify for beehives, your property must be located in a single-family residential zone (SF-1 or SF-2).

    If your property satisfies these requirements, you may be eligible to have chickens or beehives! 

Step 2:  Determine how many bees or hens are allowed on your property
The number of chickens or beehives permitted depends on your property size. Consult the table below for specific allowances:

Chickens
Lot Size
(Square Feet)
Hens
Allowed
<6,000  0
6,000 - 9,999  5
10,000 - 11,999  6
≥ 12,000  8

Beehives
Lot Size
(Square Feet)
Colonies
Allowed
≤ 21,780  2
> 21,780  5

Step 3: Properly Position the Chicken Coop or Beehives
Once the number of allowed chickens or beehives is determined, they must be located appropriately. The following requirements must be satisfied in locating and maintaining chickens and beehives:

     For Chickens:

  • Chickens must be located in a secure enclosure that includes a coop.
    • The coop shall be covered, weatherproof, and well-ventilated.
    • The enclosure, including the coop, shall be predator-resistant.
    • The coop shall have a minimum floor area of at least two and one-half square feet per chicken.
    • If chickens are not allowed to roam within an enclosure outside the coop, the coop shall have a minimum floor area of six square feet per chicken.
    • The coop shall be structurally sound and located in a rear yard at least thirty feet from any neighboring residential structures and at least ten feet from the primary residential structure on the property. The coop shall also meet the minimum setback for accessory structures within this zoning district. The coop and enclosure shall be hidden from the public view through the use of opaque fencing materials, vegetative screening, or other means allowed within this part. Because a corner lot technically does not include a rear yard, the owner of a corner lot may choose one of the “side” yards to function as a rear yard for the purposes of keeping chickens and locating the coop.
    • The coop and enclosure shall be maintained in a neat and sanitary condition and shall be cleaned as necessary to prevent any odor detectable at a property line. At a minimum, the coop and enclosed area shall be cleaned weekly, although waste may be composted so long as the composting area meets the setback requirements that apply to the coop and prevent any odor detectable at the property line.
    • No chicken shall be permitted to roam outside the coop or enclosure.
  • Chicken feed shall be stored in rodent- and predator-proof containers.
  • Water shall be available to the chickens at all times. A watering device that incorporates a water-warming device shall be supplied, used, and maintained.
  • Chickens shall not be slaughtered on the property.
     For Beehives:

  • Beehives must be kept in Langstroth-type hives with removable frames and in usable condition.
  • Beehives must be located at least 25’ away from any property line or a flyway barrier at least 6’ tall will be required.
  • A water source must be located on the property and at least 20’ away from the hive.
  • A sign with the name, phone number, and other identifying marks (such as registration number), must be posted in a visible and conspicuous location on the property.
  • All honey bee colonies must be registered with the Utah Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  • All colonies must be maintained with marked queens and re-queened annually. A colony shall be re-queened if it exhibits unusual aggressive characteristics, such as swarming or stinging/attempting to sting without provocation.
  • No colony or colonies may be kept if they interfere with the normal use by people or animals of public property or property of others.

Step 4: Submit application
Once you've finalized the layout for your chickens or beehives, it's time to submit your application. Make sure to include the following information with your application:

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Property Owner’s Affidavit and Agent Authorization (if you are not the property owner of record)
  3. Applicable Fee
  4. Details on the coop/beehives demonstrating compliance with construction and location requirements.
  5. Site Plan, drawn on either an 8.5”x11” or 11”x17” sheet of paper, which should include the following:
    • Name and address of the applicant
    • Scale
    • North arrow
    • Accurate dimensions of the subject property, drawn to scale
    • Adjacent streets and properties, including their names
    • Location of existing and proposed structures on the subject property and immediate neighbors
    • Existing improvements, such as fences, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, driveways, etc.
    • Existing landscaping, including trees, shrubs, and other planting areas
    • Any other distinctive features on the property, such as ditches, hillsides, etc.

Please email your completed application to the Planning Department or bring it to City Hall. The review process for Administrative Conditional Use Permit applications typically takes around 3-4 weeks.

Step 5: Approval
Assuming your application is in order, you can expect to receive an approval letter from City Staff within approximately 3-4 weeks of submitting your application. Once you receive approval, you are then allowed to proceed with setting up your chicken coop, enclosure, or beehive(s). However, it's important to note that City Staff will conduct an inspection to ensure that the setup is complete and that all the conditions of approval have been met. To schedule this inspection, please reach out to the Planning and Zoning Department. Typically, the inspection can be scheduled and completed within just a day or two upon request.

Step 6: Enjoy
Once the inspection is complete, you are free to enjoy your new chicken or bee friends!

You are expected to maintain the chicken and beehive facilities for as long as the chickens or beehives remain on your property. Failure to do so may result in the City revoking approval and requiring the removal of the chickens or bees.

For more information regarding chickens or bees, please refer to the Midvale City Municipal Code or email the Planning Department.