Sad About City Code

Rabbit Talk  Forum

Help Support Rabbit Talk Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

GreenhornBunnyGirl

https://www.change.org/GrandRapidsRabbits
Joined
Jan 6, 2024
Messages
44
Reaction score
60
Location
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Today I finally got clarification on the verbiage of my city's municipal ordinances, and it's official; you can't raise more than two rabbits within the city limits. So, I'm a bit saddened... The things I had been most excited about with regards to getting into the hobby was raising litters for meat and fur, and keeping a few of the better ones to show and line breed.

I'm down. But I'm not out.

Since I'm not allowed to breed, I can't really focus on meat/fur breeds to the full extent I had hoped. But it does give me a reason to look more into wool breeds I had kind of glossed over before, and focus on learning all the ins and outs of rabbit care and rabbit showing while I have a smaller, more manageable herd. It also means I can save money on starting up, since I don't have to plan for grow out cages or butchering equipment.

There's some silver linings to be found on the clouds that have rained on my rabbit parade! 🌦️☔🐇

And perhaps someday I'll be able to house my rabbits in a city with more relaxed ordinances. But for now, my bunny dreams are going to have to be a bit smaller than I had originally anticipated. 😔
 
That sucks.

To be fair, I have found that most of those codes are not heavily enforced provided you are an excellent neighbor. I think it is like the "2 refills per coffee rule" we had at a restaurant I worked at--I enforced it like twice in 10 years, for people who were generally being jerks both times. It was an out that let me end their service without actively banning them from the restaurant.

I have more than my share of backyard critters, which is why my neighbors get free eggs a few times a year, and I pay extra for a fly predator subscription, keep my rodents and manure under careful management, and have tall fences and a beautiful front yard. We go out of our way to be the good neighbors, always ready to help out, never bothering anyone else. I am lucky that I own my own place though--animals and renting is hard to manage.

That said...have you looked into quail? :cool:
 
We've had a similar experience. When we lived on less than 1/4 acre in town, where they "generously" allowed 6 chickens on an acre and issued "breeding permits" for anyone who wanted their pet to have a litter, we had numerous chickens, rabbits, and quail. (How many? Around, um, "six," figured by using chicken math. ;))

1705624252433.jpeg

Like @eco2pia, we went out of our way to be good neighbors: we built a darling coop, covered/enclosed our rabbit cages in an open shed, kept things clean and odor-free, shared eggs, bred very good-natured animals and welcomed neighbor kids to pet the bunnies and eat veggies and berries out of the garden. We kept a low profile and never had any complaints; in fact our yard was the most popular place in the neighborhood. But we always knew we were one cranky phone call away from being targeted by the municipal animal control people, who are frequently not your friends.

Now we're in a rural area (which bizarrely still carries some antiquated covenants, that everybody totally ignores), and it's so much less stressful. As @eco2pia points out, it is a lot easier when you own your place rather than renting. Here's praying that you'll get a more opportune place in the future, and in the meantime be able to truly enjoy a couple of little woolly bunnies. :)
 
How difficult would it be to rent a house just a little outside of the city limits and commute to work? As I recall, GR covers a bit of ground but moderate population density.
Michigan generally is still pretty rural.
 
"1102 Farm Animals. No farm animal shall be kept or allowed to be kept within any dwelling or dwelling unit or within one hundred (100) feet of any dwelling, dwelling unit, well, spring, stream, drainage ditch or drain. For purposes of this Chapter, farm animals shall mean any horse, swine, cattle, sheep, goat, llama, chicken, goose, duck or turkey. Farm animal also means any other Animal, raised for commercial profit, slaughter, or more than 2 breeder rabbits. "
Would breeders include kits or, just bucks and does ?
 
"1102 Farm Animals. No farm animal shall be kept or allowed to be kept within any dwelling or dwelling unit or within one hundred (100) feet of any dwelling, dwelling unit, well, spring, stream, drainage ditch or drain. For purposes of this Chapter, farm animals shall mean any horse, swine, cattle, sheep, goat, llama, chicken, goose, duck or turkey. Farm animal also means any other Animal, raised for commercial profit, slaughter, or more than 2 breeder rabbits. "
Would breeders include kits or, just bucks and does ?
I would take that as 2 breeders. Not sure if that would be 1 male, 1 female. Or you could argue the male is a pet and have 2 does that are for breeding. Then just don't keep any litters old enough to possibly breed.
 
Here's Kansas City, Mo for comparison :

"Number of animals or fowl; keeping of roosters. Except where fowl, rabbits or other small animals are kept for sale within a bona fide produce market, commission house or store for the purpose of trade and while so kept are confined in small coops, boxes or cages, or where such animals or fowl are kept for purposes of research in a laboratory, or in areas zoned for agricultural use, it shall be unlawful for any person to keep or maintain, within 100 feet of the nearest portion of any residence or dwelling except for a dwelling occupied by the owner or keeper of such animals, more than 15 chickens or other domestic fowl four months or more of age or more than 50 chicks or other domestic fowl under four months of age, or more than ten rabbits or other small animals over the age of four months, or more than 25 rabbits or other small animals under the age of four months. No rooster which crows shall be kept within 300 feet of any residence or dwelling except that of the owner or keeper. "
 
Today I finally got clarification on the verbiage of my city's municipal ordinances, and it's official; you can't raise more than two rabbits within the city limits. So, I'm a bit saddened... The things I had been most excited about with regards to getting into the hobby was raising litters for meat and fur, and keeping a few of the better ones to show and line breed.

I'm down. But I'm not out.

Since I'm not allowed to breed, I can't really focus on meat/fur breeds to the full extent I had hoped. But it does give me a reason to look more into wool breeds I had kind of glossed over before, and focus on learning all the ins and outs of rabbit care and rabbit showing while I have a smaller, more manageable herd. It also means I can save money on starting up, since I don't have to plan for grow out cages or butchering equipment.

There's some silver linings to be found on the clouds that have rained on my rabbit parade! 🌦️☔🐇

And perhaps someday I'll be able to house my rabbits in a city with more relaxed ordinances. But for now, my bunny dreams are going to have to be a bit smaller than I had originally anticipated. 😔
Ya, sometimes it's better not to ask. Now you're on their radar, so harder to just do. Internet search revealed lots of local restrictions on chickens and the ducks I first wanted. Including the 100ft fr neighbors lot line. I found that odd since I'm always cleaning up after wild geese, deer, and other wild life visiting. And others dogs..
Discovered no mention of rabbits (I wasn't going to ask and point out their omission) quail ,here, are specifically exempt. They are considered captive game birds, not poultry. Some need a DNR permit. Coturnix quail are even exempt from that. So we have a small aviary with jumbo Coturnix in the rabbit yard. They give us eggs every day and hubby has gotten really good at grilling the extra birds. The rabbit yards are surrounded by high fences hedges and gardens
People are ok with "pets" but get weird if we say we eat them. So I harvest in the house out of sight. Always asked "how many" I have learned to say 2 family groups and avoid the raised eyebrows when full nests can mean big numbers. Makes me angry that they all can have big preditor animals (dogs) who can be even louder, without restrictions. I don't walk my animals around the neighborhood leaving crap in everyone else's yard. Feel there should be cleanliness rules. Not discriminate against specific animals. Thought of launching a fight for animal equality , then decided it was better to keep a low profile. Some keep their animals hidden, inside, in garages, in garden sheds, in greenhouses. Make sure they still get some sun and fresh air everyday. Find a way to enjoy some new pets...
 
That's one thing about the US I don't really understand, all those levels of rules and laws, from federal, to zoning, down to HOAs, encrouching on so many aspects of life. What stumps me is when people boast about how "free" they think they are in the US without realising that it doesn't look that way from outside.

Of course we too have rules, but as long as it doesn't bother anyone (like a rooster in a residential area that is not rural) I can do whatever I want on my property, noone can tell me how many rabbits I can have as long as I care for them properly (and it really needs to be bad that someone steps in) and don't cause environmental harm. Not allowing rabbits, or limiting the number just because of location sounds so ridiculous. That's noones business.

Not to mention that instances when people get punished for a too high lawn, or the wrong weeds on their lawn, or stuff like that.
 
That's one thing about the US I don't really understand, all those levels of rules and laws, from federal, to zoning, down to HOAs, encrouching on so many aspects of life. What stumps me is when people boast about how "free" they think they are in the US without realising that it doesn't look that way from outside.
That's because you're hearing from the Americans (generally urban/suburban) who have an issue, not from the rest of us who aren't bothered by pesky zoning laws. I'm "free" to have 50 or 500 rabbits here, my choice (although that makes me tired just thinking about caring for that many), and no one cares how tall my grass is or that it's filled with dandelions for the bees, bunnies, and tortoise LOL (unless one considers other silently judgmental farmers with opinions on how tidy a neighbor's farmyard should be ;-) ).
 

Attachments

  • Farm Front View.jpg
    Farm Front View.jpg
    443 KB · Views: 0
Anyway Green horn, it looks to me like the Grand Rapids ordinance would allow you to have at least one buck and one doe. Any kits would have to be sold or sent to freezer camp by breeding age.
Also , do you have job / family ties keeping you in GR ?
 
That's one thing about the US I don't really understand, all those levels of rules and laws, from federal, to zoning, down to HOAs, encrouching on so many aspects of life. What stumps me is when people boast about how "free" they think they are in the US without realising that it doesn't look that way from outside.

Of course we too have rules, but as long as it doesn't bother anyone (like a rooster in a residential area that is not rural) I can do whatever I want on my property, noone can tell me how many rabbits I can have as long as I care for them properly (and it really needs to be bad that someone steps in) and don't cause environmental harm. Not allowing rabbits, or limiting the number just because of location sounds so ridiculous. That's noones business.

Not to mention that instances when people get punished for a too high lawn, or the wrong weeds on their lawn, or stuff like that.
Sounds like I'm moving to Austria
 
That's because you're hearing from the Americans (generally urban/suburban) who have an issue, not from the rest of us who aren't bothered by pesky zoning laws. I'm "free" to have 50 or 500 rabbits here, my choice (although that makes me tired just thinking about caring for that many), and no one cares how tall my grass is or that it's filled with dandelions for the bees, bunnies, and tortoise LOL (unless one considers other silently judgmental farmers with opinions on how tidy a neighbor's farmyard should be ;-) ).
That's the dream...I'm hoping to be in that situation in 5-10 years
 
Grandville ( SW of GR metro ) makes no specific mention of rabbits , just says animals generally should be in ' suitable' enclosures. Something to consider depending on your situation :)

"Sec. 5-5. - Control of dogs, cats, other animals and fowl; violation as civil infraction.
SHARE LINK TO SECTIONPRINT SECTIONDOWNLOAD (DOCX) OF SECTIONSEMAIL SECTION
(a)
No person owning, possessing or having charge of any dog or cat shall allow such dog or cat to be at large or stray beyond the premises of such person unless such dog or cat is held properly in leash, meaning a physical restraint not more than eight (8) feet in length, or unless such dog or cat is engaged in lawful hunting or hunting practice and accompanied by a person.
(b)
All other animals and fowl shall be kept and contained within suitable enclosures, except that it shall not be unlawful for any person to permit such animal or fowl to be outside such enclosure if within the immediate control of a competent person and on a suitable leash or controlled by another suitable method of physical restraint.
(c)
A person who violates any provision of this section is responsible for a municipal civil infraction in accordance with section 1-9 of this Code; and subject to payment of a civil fine, plus costs and other sanctions for each infraction or repeat offense, as provided by section 1-9(c) of this Code. "
 
Hey folks! Thanks for all the advice, well wishes, and pats on the back; it really helped me get past my sad little funk! <3

Anyway Green horn, it looks to me like the Grand Rapids ordinance would allow you to have at least one buck and one doe. Any kits would have to be sold or sent to freezer camp by breeding age.
Also , do you have job / family ties keeping you in GR ?
It's funny because technically I don't live in GR! But any rabbits I'd own would live in a Grand Rapids zip code. I live in an 1 bedroom apartment in a small town just south of the city. Since I lack the space to have rabbits in my own home, a friend of mine who owns their own home has agreed to let me sublease some space in their backyard.

I suppose I could potentially house two rabbits in my apartment, yes. But I don't feel it would be a good quality of life for them; in staunch opposition to the House Rabbit Society's belief that rabbits should never be kept outside, I think rabbits benefit from being more outdoors than indoors. Plus, that'd be better for my partner and I; I don't think he'd appreciate having a rabbit hutch near our kitchen (which is the only viable place given our apartment's size). 😂

I don't anticipate living here forever...but I also have no idea how long I'll live here in the greater Grand Rapids metro area either.

In the meantime, I'll work to change the legislature. The Urban Agriculture Committee has a meeting coming up in March, and I've drafted a tiny proposal to add an article to the municipal city code to create laws and permits for backyard rabbits. It's basically just a reworded version of what they already have in place for backyard chickens, which are already accepted!

I expect it'll take a long time for change to happen...but whatever comes of it, I have confidence it will help. If I still live here by the time the change happens, I get to breed the baby bunnies I desire! If I don't, I'll have set something in motion that might help other aspiring urban rabbit farmers. 🙂

For now, I'm making plans to just get two rabbits. Probably bucks because I've heard their temperaments are better (and so I don't have any accidental babies). Possibly different species, so I can explore a bit and figure out what breeds I'd like to raise long term! Possibly one of them being a wooly breed, so I can have something to dabble in and do with my bunnies while in between rabbit shows.

I'll take this time to learn all I can while my herd is small and manageable. Someday, when I have the chance to grow, I'll have some experience under my belt!
 
Wow, going to change the rules sounds pretty ambitious, but I guess somebody has to do it :)
Bucks are great, but you'll have to keep them seperatly, they don't get along, which isn't much of an issue if you didn't plan to keep rabbits together (my buck and his spayed cuddlebun are my two free range house bunnies).



Sounds like I'm moving to Austria


No, it's just that the things that are different are those that are obvious. Here, the whole mindset is way more narrow, it's different rules that got ingrained for centuries, millenia. Citicens are more little cogs in the gears of society, everything well defined and regulated - starting a business or chosing a profession isn't as easy as in the US. That has pros and cons, it brings security and freedom from worries, on the other hand it makes it more difficult to grab opportunities. But having distant relatives start a GoFundMe for their daughters surgery doesn't happen here, no need, that's a US thing.
Austrians that go to the US quite often fare pretty well, being used to a well working, disciplined system with a somewhat different set of work ethics. My sister married to the US 30 years ago, whatever job she started in she quickly tumbled up the career ladder to the point where it was too much , no fun anymore, and she quit and started something completly different. Schwarzenegger most likely would be a farmer or logger had he not moved to the US.
There are other differences in mentality, like the focus on money and income in the US, or that we are much less likely to move.

The US definitly has it's freedoms, there are no Part103 aircraft (light aircraft that you can design, build and fly in the US without a license) , for example, you need licenses, have restrictions, medicals, you name it.
Hunting is still something that was shaped by the privileges of nobility centuries ago, owning guns is something that is kind of granted, but you better don't step out of line anywhere, and police shows up in my home every 5 years to check how I store them.

Our country is way smaller, densly populated (the high alps are not much use for the population), and society formed over millenia, the US is brand new in comparision and to a significant part formed by people that were not too happy with the traditions and ways in the old world.

So, no, things are not necessarily better here, just different.
 
Hey folks! Thanks for all the advice, well wishes, and pats on the back; it really helped me get past my sad little funk! <3


It's funny because technically I don't live in GR! But any rabbits I'd own would live in a Grand Rapids zip code. I live in an 1 bedroom apartment in a small town just south of the city. Since I lack the space to have rabbits in my own home, a friend of mine who owns their own home has agreed to let me sublease some space in their backyard.

I suppose I could potentially house two rabbits in my apartment, yes. But I don't feel it would be a good quality of life for them; in staunch opposition to the House Rabbit Society's belief that rabbits should never be kept outside, I think rabbits benefit from being more outdoors than indoors. Plus, that'd be better for my partner and I; I don't think he'd appreciate having a rabbit hutch near our kitchen (which is the only viable place given our apartment's size). 😂

I don't anticipate living here forever...but I also have no idea how long I'll live here in the greater Grand Rapids metro area either.

In the meantime, I'll work to change the legislature. The Urban Agriculture Committee has a meeting coming up in March, and I've drafted a tiny proposal to add an article to the municipal city code to create laws and permits for backyard rabbits. It's basically just a reworded version of what they already have in place for backyard chickens, which are already accepted!

I expect it'll take a long time for change to happen...but whatever comes of it, I have confidence it will help. If I still live here by the time the change happens, I get to breed the baby bunnies I desire! If I don't, I'll have set something in motion that might help other aspiring urban rabbit farmers. 🙂

For now, I'm making plans to just get two rabbits. Probably bucks because I've heard their temperaments are better (and so I don't have any accidental babies). Possibly different species, so I can explore a bit and figure out what breeds I'd like to raise long term! Possibly one of them being a wooly breed, so I can have something to dabble in and do with my bunnies while in between rabbit shows.

I'll take this time to learn all I can while my herd is small and manageable. Someday, when I have the chance to grow, I'll have some experience under my belt!
Applaud your working for change. I have found with my silver fox the does are better temperament, and cleaner and get along better in a group. The bucks want to pee on everything! Marking territory.
 
Hey folks! Thanks for all the advice, well wishes, and pats on the back; it really helped me get past my sad little funk! <3


It's funny because technically I don't live in GR! But any rabbits I'd own would live in a Grand Rapids zip code. I live in an 1 bedroom apartment in a small town just south of the city. Since I lack the space to have rabbits in my own home, a friend of mine who owns their own home has agreed to let me sublease some space in their backyard.

I suppose I could potentially house two rabbits in my apartment, yes. But I don't feel it would be a good quality of life for them; in staunch opposition to the House Rabbit Society's belief that rabbits should never be kept outside, I think rabbits benefit from being more outdoors than indoors. Plus, that'd be better for my partner and I; I don't think he'd appreciate having a rabbit hutch near our kitchen (which is the only viable place given our apartment's size). 😂

I don't anticipate living here forever...but I also have no idea how long I'll live here in the greater Grand Rapids metro area either.

In the meantime, I'll work to change the legislature. The Urban Agriculture Committee has a meeting coming up in March, and I've drafted a tiny proposal to add an article to the municipal city code to create laws and permits for backyard rabbits. It's basically just a reworded version of what they already have in place for backyard chickens, which are already accepted!

I expect it'll take a long time for change to happen...but whatever comes of it, I have confidence it will help. If I still live here by the time the change happens, I get to breed the baby bunnies I desire! If I don't, I'll have set something in motion that might help other aspiring urban rabbit farmers. 🙂

For now, I'm making plans to just get two rabbits. Probably bucks because I've heard their temperaments are better (and so I don't have any accidental babies). Possibly different species, so I can explore a bit and figure out what breeds I'd like to raise long term! Possibly one of them being a wooly breed, so I can have something to dabble in and do with my bunnies while in between rabbit shows.

I'll take this time to learn all I can while my herd is small and manageable. Someday, when I have the chance to grow, I'll have some experience under my belt!
Check out ideas for pet houses made from repurposed furniture. I have seen cute pics of tv stands, coffee tables, china cabinets etc that may fit other places. Thrift shops and the local dump may be good sources. Often cheaper than buying the wood. Heard some have even trained rabbits to accept a harness and leash for outside excursions.
 
Goo
Hey folks! Thanks for all the advice, well wishes, and pats on the back; it really helped me get past my sad little funk! <3


It's funny because technically I don't live in GR! But any rabbits I'd own would live in a Grand Rapids zip code. I live in an 1 bedroom apartment in a small town just south of the city. Since I lack the space to have rabbits in my own home, a friend of mine who owns their own home has agreed to let me sublease some space in their backyard.

I suppose I could potentially house two rabbits in my apartment, yes. But I don't feel it would be a good quality of life for them; in staunch opposition to the House Rabbit Society's belief that rabbits should never be kept outside, I think rabbits benefit from being more outdoors than indoors. Plus, that'd be better for my partner and I; I don't think he'd appreciate having a rabbit hutch near our kitchen (which is the only viable place given our apartment's size). 😂

I don't anticipate living here forever...but I also have no idea how long I'll live here in the greater Grand Rapids metro area either.

In the meantime, I'll work to change the legislature. The Urban Agriculture Committee has a meeting coming up in March, and I've drafted a tiny proposal to add an article to the municipal city code to create laws and permits for backyard rabbits. It's basically just a reworded version of what they already have in place for backyard chickens, which are already accepted!

I expect it'll take a long time for change to happen...but whatever comes of it, I have confidence it will help. If I still live here by the time the change happens, I get to breed the baby bunnies I desire! If I don't, I'll have set something in motion that might help other aspiring urban rabbit farmers. 🙂

For now, I'm making plans to just get two rabbits. Probably bucks because I've heard their temperaments are better (and so I don't have any accidental babies). Possibly different species, so I can explore a bit and figure out what breeds I'd like to raise long term! Possibly one of them being a wooly breed, so I can have something to dabble in and do with my bunnies while in between rabbit shows.

I'll take this time to learn all I can while my herd is small and manageable. Someday, when I have the chance to grow, I'll have some experience under my belt!

Good on you for getting after it. And making the effort, if you don't like how your local or any government entity is doing business. Do something about it. Your on the right track. I'm not a, well don't stick out or government will come down on you kinda guy. This is your government and you have the right to make changes and have a voice.
The reason a lot of these laws or regulations are in place is usually from a minority and because folks don't want to get involved or afraid to.
I'm proud for you for making your voice heard. Maybe contact any local rabbit groups or folks wanting to raise rabbits and grow your support group.
 
Back
Top