Animals in Urban Areas

PAS Report 85

Historic PAS Report Series

Welcome to the American Planning Association's historical archive of PAS Reports from the 1950s and 1960s, offering glimpses into planning issues of yesteryear.

Use the search above to find current APA content on planning topics and trends of today.



Information Report No. 85 April 1956

Animals in Urban Areas

Download original report (pdf)

In small isolated communities and on the outskirts of metropolitan areas there is still room for animals. Here land is plentiful enough for urbanized man to keep animals for food, for commercial purposes, and for yard and household pets.

Even so, animal ways sometimes disturb. Animals make noise, emit odors, draw flies, create dirt and filth, and are sometimes dangerous. Consequently, zoning ordinances require distance between the source of animal disturbances and the sphere of human recipients. Disturbing features that come not so much from animals per se as from man's management of animals in groups can also be minimized by space standards.

Another device to ease man's irritation at being in close quarters with someone else's animals is to limit their number. "Not more than three hogs weighing more than 50 pounds each," and "no more than two adult animals per acre and their immature offspring" are only two of many provisions regulating the degree to which land can be used for animals.

As in many other zoning matters, distinctions between commercial and noncommercial uses play an important part in regulating animal land use. A use accessory to a dwelling — such as keeping saddle horses for family riding — must not be permitted to become a business. Or keeping rabbits and poultry to supplement purchased food supplies must not be conducted on such scale as to constitute commercial farming.

Keeping and raising animals usually is permitted in large-lot zones. In this report, residence districts with required minimum lot areas of up to and including five acres have been analyzed; those with larger required areas have not been included. Though this division may seem arbitrary, for several reasons it appears that the five-acre district is the realistic top limit of zones that are under predominantly urban influence.

In rural farming areas there is no need to be concerned about lots being too small. The pressure to subdivide agricultural land occurs in the outer fringe areas. Furthermore, rural farming areas traditionally have resisted regulation by state or county governments. And finally, a five-acre minimum lot size for a residence zone has been upheld by the courts (see Fischer v. Bedminster Township, Supreme Court of New Jersey, December 22, 1952, 92 A 2d 378, ZONING DIGEST for March 1953; page 37).

In effect, the existence of a zoning provision establishing a minimum of five acres (or one, two, or three acres, as the case may be) is a signal that urban development is imminent, if not actually under way.

A farm, as defined by the Bureau of the Census, is all the land on which agricultural operations are performed by a person, either by his own labor alone or with the assistance of members of his household or hired employees. In the 1950 census, places of three or more acres were counted as farms only if agricultural products with a value of $150 or more, exclusive of home garden products, were produced in 1949. Also in the 1950 census, places of less than three acres were counted as farms if the value of agricultural products sold in 1949 amounted to $150 or more.

Maintaining a small subsistence farm has become a way of life for low-income families in many parts of the country. The seasonal factory worker, the person of marginal income, and the part-time worker are less vulnerable to economic change if they can produce some of their own food supply. Hogs are especially suitable for this purpose. Usually, they are purchased as shoats and raised to maturity. An average family may utilize five or six pigs in a year.

If zoning maps could be studied along with the ordinance provisions covered in this report, it would be possible to get a better idea of the various zoning districts in the urban-rural hierarchy. Even without them, it is probably safe to say that, with a few exceptions, these districts are under metropolitan dominance.

Donald J. Bogue, in a housing research study,1 comments:

Villages and other rural-nonfarm residences far outside the built-up portion of the city may consist largely of homes of commuters who work in the city or its suburbs. The labor market area of metropolitan centers is known to be much more extensive than the built-up area. Living on a suburban farm has become a very common residential adjustment for many urban workers. Commuting to work from a distance of 15 miles outside the limits of the central city is not at all infrequent, even for residents of the smaller S. M. A. 's. Village and other rural-nonfarm clusters outside the densely settled part of the city also may contain businesses catering to the flow of traffic into and from the city, or establishments producing for, or otherwise connected with, firms in the city. [Editors's underscoring]

How strongly the desire to keep chickens, rabbits, or a goat figures in the rush to the suburbs is hard to say. Possibly the refugee from the city is not even conscious of his wish to have animals. Certainly the average man's picture of pleasant suburban living includes a dog and perhaps a cat, as well as a lawn and a barbecue pit. And the "gentleman farmer" type of suburbanite, who lives on a grander scale, may have in mind a private stable and a few cows as well.

The overlap areas between town and country are virtually the only places left where man can enjoy the advantages of urban society and at the same time reap the personal and economic benefits offered by domestic animals. The authors of an increasing number of zoning ordinances appear to recognize this phenomenon.

In the main table in this report, number 1, zoning ordinance provisions dealing with animal land uses are classified by minimum lot size of residence districts on the assumption that the acceptability of animals belonging to other people bears a relationship to their proximity. Dimensional standards also appear in the other compilations. All tables are at the end of this report, for reference purposes.

A few special problems, where the conflict between urban and rural characteristics is especially sharp, are discussed in the following section.

Some Special Problems

Fur-Bearing Animals; Chinchillas

The raising and breeding of foxes, mink, beaver, and lynx for the sale of their pelts call for land areas considerably larger than five acres. Outdoor runs and pens are required for their keeping. For carnivorous fur-bearers, special equipment and buildings are often needed for the preparation and storing of food. Killing, skinning, fleshing, drying, and pelting are all part of the operation of a fur farm.

For these reasons alone, fur farms are assigned to agricultural zones characterized by large minimum lot areas. Animal odors and the psychological effects of the pelting operation on fur farm neighbors are additional justification for not permitting them in suburban areas.

The new chinchilla business presents a somewhat different regulatory problem. Until 1954, chinchillas were raised almost entirely as breeding stock. Small and inoffensive, a few pairs of these attractive rodents could be kept in a house, a basement, or a garage, much as if they were household pets.

However, by 1954, the supply of animals had grown to the point where pelts could be marketed. On June 21, 1954 the Farmers Chinchilla Cooperative of America held an auction, and on that day chinchilla raising became a full-fledged industry. Even so, and because of the nature of the animal itself, chinchilla raising for commercial purposes differs from commercial raising of other fur animals.

One of the problems in western states — where the chinchilla business got its start — is to determine the point at which it ceases to be a hobby permissible in any residence district and becomes a commercial enterprise. It is clear that a few chinchillas, properly attended to, are less annoying to neighbors than, for instance, a barking dog or a night-prowling tomcat — even though the auction block may be the destination of the chinchillas.

Consequently. the definition of "household pets" has on occasion been extended to include a limited number of chinchillas. This is illustrated in the zoning ordinance for Salt Lake County, Utah:

Household Pets. Animals or fowl ordinarily permitted in the house, and kept for company or pleasure, such as dogs, cats, and canaries, but not including a sufficient number of dogs to constitute a kennel as defined in this ordinance. Household pets may also include the keeping of not more than ten (10) pairs of chinchillas.

Under the Salt Lake County ordinance, chinchillas are allowed as household pets in residential zones where minimum lot areas range from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet.

The next step is to establish the difference between small- and large-scale chinchilla raising. Here again, the resemblance of this animal to small pets rather than to the usual commercially raised fur-bearers seems to override the general rule that activities carried on in a residence district shall be strictly noncommercial. In Salt Lake County, for example, the following activities are permitted in Residential Zone S-1A, minimum lot area one-half acre:

The keeping of animals and fowl for family food production; the keeping of not more than fifty (50) pairs of chinchillas, provided that an additional one hundred (100) pairs of chinchillas may be kept for each five thousand (5,000) square feet in the lot over and above one- half (1/2) acre; private stables; horses for private use only and not for rental.

Two things should be noted about this provision and others like it. One is the inference of physical resemblance between chinchilla keeping and the keeping of other small domestic animals. The other is the fact that chinchilla keeping, alone of the animal groups listed, is for a commercial purpose.

This brings us to one of the points of contention on zoning regulation of chinchilla raising. Breeders are inclined to emphasize the "non-nuisance" attributes of this activity and to claim that they should, therefore, be permitted to keep chinchillas in unlimited numbers in residential zones. This argument displays confusion between zoning and nuisance control. Other entrepreneurs could claim with equal justification that their operations do not constitute a nuisance to nearby residents. The exclusion of purely commercial uses from residential zones is in accord with sound zoning practice, regardless of nuisance considerations. Partial exception of chinchilla raising already constitutes a compromise. It is advisable to draw the line when the chinchilla becomes a commodity; that is, when the number of pairs owned by a breeder indicates that he intends to market the pelts.

Up to this point, chinchilla keeping, raising, and breeding have been considered activities that are incidental to the principal residential use of a lot. There are two situations when they clearly should be classed as commercial fur farming: (1) when the number of pairs exceeds the maximum permitted by the ordinance in connection with a principal dwelling, and (2) when chinchilla fur farming is the principal use of a parcel. Some tests of the latter are whether the animals are marketed, whether they are killed on the premises, whether their pelts are marketed, and whether the owner has another primary occupation. Chinchilla farms are zoned no differently from other farming activities carried out on a commercial scale.

Even when classed as a commercial enterprise, a chinchilla farm may be distinguished from other fur farms (except rabbit) because of differences inherent in the animals themselves. In Los Angeles County, for instance, chinchilla and rabbit farms are permitted in Zone A-1 Light Agriculture, whereas mink and fox farms (along with alligator and ostrich farms) must be located in Zone A- 2 Heavy Agriculture.

Animal Hospitals

In the early days of zoning, all uses with obnoxious characteristics were relegated to one zone, usually a heavy industrial district and sometimes an "unrestricted" district. Dog pounds, veterinary offices, and small animal hospitals possessed the nuisance characteristics of odor and of noise from barking, whining dogs, and animals resisting confinement.

However, a number of zoning ordinances adopted within the past five years have permitted animal hospitals in other than industrial zones. One reason for this change of classification is the new structural treatment of animal shelters. Air-conditioning makes it possible to have completely closed buildings and runs; soundproofing removes the major objection to location near other commercial uses. An animal hospital, then, is one of those uses that has carried a bad name but no longer deserves it — if it is soundproofed, air- conditioned, and has no outside pens. Under these conditions, and with requirements for distances from residences it may even be permissible in a neighborhood business district.

Also contributing to a changed zoning classification for animal hospitals is the residential movement to suburbs. If people living in low-density, semirural areas keep more animals than city dwellers, then they also create a bigger demand for veterinary services. Furthermore, animal hospitals are similar to other animal uses in these areas and can be made subject to similar space and area requirements.

Therefore, the two kinds of use districts to which animal hospitals and veterinary offices are functionally related are low-density suburban districts and business districts. Numerous examples of agricultural zoning of animal hospitals are listed in Table 1. Examples of business zoning of animal hospitals are to be found in Table 3. However, since most, if not all, ordinances mentioned therein are partially pyramidal, animal hospitals first permitted in a residence district may also be allowed in commercial and industrial districts.

Although these provisions are not necessarily designed for suburban areas, the location and construction requirements specified are also appropriate for decentralized business zones surrounded by residential development.

Riding Stables

Like animal hospitals, riding stables are commercial. Yet, using animals as they do, they have some of the problems peculiar to animal land uses. Consequently, when deciding upon an appropriate zone for the location of riding stables, both the commercial and animal characteristics should be taken into account.

In suburban or semi-rural areas, a distinction should be made between a private stable (as shelter for saddle or farm horses) and a public stable (as shelter for horses kept for remuneration). Thus, for example, the Los Angeles zoning ordinance defines a private stable as "a detached accessory building for the keeping of horses owned by the occupants of the premises and not kept for remuneration, hire or sale." A public stable is "a stable other than a private stable."

Other kinds of phraseology used to distinguish commercial and private stables appear in Table 2. Employment of the pre-automobile term "livery stable" — the feeding, stabling and care of horses for pay: and the keeping of horses in readiness to be hired — also separates commercial stables from those for family use.

Early in the 1900s, a private stable was a normal auxiliary use in residence districts. (In those days, a garage was considered the nuisance.) Some provisions that permit private stables in any residence district may simply be carry-overs from an old zoning ordinance.

Whether they are for private or commercial use, stables are often required to conform to dimensional standards, although, as is the case of many other kinds of animal land uses, the existence of such standards and what they consist of depend on the character of the district.

In highly urbanized areas, private stables are seldom permitted and public stables are treated as a commercial use. Practice seems to permit the location of public stables in commercial or industrial districts. However, because they are used mostly as a recreational facility, they should be suitably located in relation to bridle paths in public parks.

Table 4 shows provisions for equestrian buildings in various urban zones. (Some of these ordinances also provide for private and public stables in open development districts.)


Although dogs and cats are probably the most ancient of household pets, our commercial civilization has complicated their domestic status, To prevent the operation of a dog kennel, camouflaged as the keeping of pets, some cities have seen fit to limit the number of adult animals permitted in a household at one time. Thus, in Muskegon, Michigan a "kennel" is defined as "any premises on which four or more dogs four months old or older are kept." Kennels are classed as a commercial use. A similar definition prevails in Los Angeles, where a commercial kennel is permitted in agricultural and industrial zones and also in a suburban residential zone on approval of the zoning administrator (see Table 2).

In Pensacola, Florida, on the other hand, a kennel is a place where five or more dogs are kept. And in Salt Lake and Los Angeles counties, the keeping of only three or more dogs, four months or more old, constitutes a kennel.

Municipalities are empowered in various ways to regulate dogs. They may require owners to secure a license before dogs are permitted to run at large; they may adopt ordinances preventing dogs from running at large the year around, during the garden season, at nighttime, or on school grounds; or they may restrict barking, howling, growling, or fighting dogs from running at large. Measures for the prevention of rabies are widespread. Dog kennels may be regulated under the authority to license dogs, and they may be supervised for public health reasons.

In short, dog ordinances are numerous and diverse. The zoning regulation of dogs should be concerned mainly with the distinction between keeping dogs as household pets and keeping dogs for remuneration.

Hog Ranches; Livestock Feed Yards

The chief point to be emphasized about hog ranches and livestock feed yards is that they are among the agricultural uses generally excluded from areas that border on suburban development. To prohibit them, ordinances either specifically except them from the permitted farming uses or they limit the number of animals that can be kept on a parcel of land.

Hog ranches are a special case when utilized for the disposal of garbage or offal, as well as for the production of meat. Odors resulting from storing large quantities of garbage, and its attractiveness to rats, make farms of this sort especially obnoxious. The steady stream of garbage trucks gives them traffic generating characteristics unlike other farming operations.

To prevent this kind of hog raising in an A-1 Light Agriculture Zone, the Los Angeles County zoning ordinance specifies that:

. . . a person shall not keep a hog or pig of any age either for his personal use or otherwise less than one hundred fifty feet (150') from any highway or less than fifty feet (50') from the side or rear lines of any lot or parcel of land.

. . . a person shall not feed any such hog or pig any market refuse or similar imported ingredient or anything other than table refuse from meals consumed on the same lot or parcel of land, or grain.

This section does not permit a hog ranch [defined as any premise where three or more weaned hogs are maintained].

Livestock feed yards, maintained for the conditioning of livestock prior to slaughter, are also considered noisome. In addition, they require sites on interstate highways or railroads.

Table I

Animal Uses in Residence Districts, By Minimum Lot Area Categories

5,000 Square Feet
Los Angeles, California — "R1" One-family
Keeping of COWS, GOATS, HORSES, or other domestic LIVESTOCK, but in no event for commercial purposes. On lots having an area of 20,000 square feet or more.
The sale of POULTRY, RABBITS, or CHINCHILLAS. On lots having an area of 20,000 square feet or more, and limited to those raised or produced on the premises, but no retail stand or building, or killing or dressing of said animals for commercial purposes shall be permitted.
6,000 Square Feet
Bellingham, Washington — R-2 Residential
The keeping of POULTRY, RABBITS, BEES, CHINCHILIAS, COWS, HORSES, and SWINE in conjunction with the residential use of the lot. On property having a site area of 20,000 square feet or more; in accessory buildings situated no closer than 30 feet to the nearest side property line, 40 feet to the rear property line, and 250 feet to the front property line.
Eugene, Oregon — RA Outer Residential2
Hatching and raising of POULTRY and FOWL; the raising of RABBITS. The number over the age of 6 months shall not exceed one for each 500 square feet of property; provided that no roosters over the age of 6 months shall be kept. The number of young under the age of 6 months allowed on the property at any one time shall not exceed three times the allowable number of adult fowl and/or rabbits.
The raising of BEES. The number of colonies of bees shall be limited to one colony for each 1,000 square feet of lot area.
The keeping of COWS, HORSES, SHEEP, or GOATS, but under no circumstances for commercial purposes. On lots having an area of at least 10,000 square feet.

The total number of all such animals (other than their young under the age of 6 months) allowed on a lot shall be limited to the square footage of the lot divided by the total minimum areas required for each animal as listed below:

Horse . . . . . . . . .10,000 square feet
Cow . . . . . . . . . .10,000 square feet
Goat or Sheep . . 5,000 square feet

General provisions:

Animal runs or barns, chicken or other fowl pens, and colonies of bees shall be located on the rear half of the property, not closer than 70 feet from the front property line nor closer than 50 feet from any residence.

Animals, chickens, and/or other fowl shall be properly caged or housed, and proper sanitation shall be maintained at all times. All animal or poultry food shall be stored in metal or other rodent-proof receptacles.
7,500 Square Feet
Los Angeles, California — "RS" Suburban
Animal land uses as permittted in Los Angeles "RE" Residential Estate (11,000 square feet) and under same conditions.
8,000 Square Feet
Redlands, California — R-S Suburban Residential
Animal land uses as permitted in Redlands A-2 Agricultural (1-1/2 acres) and under same conditions.
9,000 Square Feet
Midland, Michigan — Residence "A-2"
Animal land uses as permitted in Midland Residence "A-1" (12,000 square feet) and under same conditions.
Oklahoma County, Oklahoma — R-5 Residential Estates
HORSE, MULE, COW, GOAT, HOG, or similar size animal Not to exceed one animal for each 10,000 square feet of area, excluding land covered by structures, in each parcel of land in one ownership.
Small animals and POULTRY. Provided that on all lots of less than 20,000 square feet such animals or poultry are for domestic use of the residents of the lot or parcel only and are not kept for commercial purposes.
10,000 Square Feet
Omaha, Nebraska — 1st Suburban
Agricultural uses, including the usual farm structures, dairy farms, commercial POULTRY farms and commercial LIVESTOCK farms. Shall not be established within one-half mile of a designated residential district.
Public and private riding academies. No stable, building, or structure in which horses or other animals are kept may be located nearer than 100 feet to the nearest property line of such riding academy, nor nearer than 300 feet to a designated residential district; and not more than 10 animals for each acre of the tract in which the riding academy is located.
11,000 Square Feet
Los Angeles, California — "RE" Residential Estate
The keeping of POULTRY, RABBITS, and CHINCHILLAS. In conjunction with the residential use of the lot, and provided such activities are not for commercial purposes.
Riding HORSES. Same; and only on lots having an area of 20,000 square feet or more.
Private stable as accessory building. On a lot having 20,000 square feet or more; and its capacity does not exceed one horse for each 5,000 square feet of lot area.
12,000 Square Feet
Midland, Michigan — Residence "A-1"
Private stables [defined as any detached accessory building for shelter of
HORSES not kept for remuneration, hire, or sale].
When located 100 feet from all property lines.
Farm animals and POULTRY except SWINE, on a noncommercial basis. When adequately housed and fenced on a parcel of land not less than 50,000 square feet with all fences and buildings therefor at least 100 feet from all property lines.
Midland, Michigan — Agricultural
Kennels, animal hospitals, riding stables, ANIMAL and POULTRY farms, except SWINE. When located on a site of 5 acres or more in area, provided all animals are adequately housed and fenced, with such housing, pen, corral, or barnyard at least 100 feet from all property lines.
Dairy farms and HOG farms. When at least 20 acres or more in area and provided all buildings housing farm animals or poultry are at least 100 feet from all property lines.
14,000 Square Feet
Redlands, California — Residential Estate
Animal land uses as permitted in Redlands A-2 Agricultural (1-1/2 acres) and under same conditions.
15,000 Square Feet
Chadron, Nebraska — AR — Agricultural Residential
General farming} POULTRY, and RABBIT farms, APIARIES and buildings incidental to their use. Not including the conduct of a business or stands or store buildings for this purpose, but permitting the sale of the product of the farm on the premises.
Clark County, Indiana — "A1" Agricultural
General agricultural operations.
Animal hospitals or kennels; livestock sales or auction; stock pens. As a special exception, and except that such uses shall not be permitted within 300 feet of an R zone.
Animal breeding and raising for experimental laboratory or fur production purposes, as distinguished from general livestock raising. As a special exception, and except that such use shall not be permitted within 300 feet of an R zone.
20,000 Square Feet
Los Angeles, California — "RA" Suburban
Agricultural uses; farming; breeding, hatching, raising, and marketing of POULTRY, FOWL, RABBITS, CHINCHILLAS, FISH, FROGS, and BEES; and the keeping of domestic animals. The sale of agricultural and farm products, poultry, rabbits, chinchillas, fish, frogs, and bees shall be permitted only if produced or raised on the same premises.

Custom hatching shall be permitted only on a lot having an area of 2 acres or more.

The killing and dressing of any of said animals, poultry, or fish for commercial purposes shall be permitted only in an accessory building located on a lot having an area of 2 acres or more and shall be limited to those raised on the same premises.

The keeping of domestic animals shall be permitted only in conjunction with the residential use of the lot.
Farms or ranches for the grazing, breeding, raising, or training of HORSES or CATTLE; SHEEP or GOAT raising; AQUARIUMS; ALLIGATOR, OSTRICH, MINK, or FOX farms. On lots of 5 acres or more.
SWINE Not to exceed 5 and on lots of 5 acres or more; more than 5 a conditional use.
Private stable as an accessory building. On a lot having 20,000 square feet or more and capacity of stable does not exceed one horse for each 5,000 square feet of lot area.
Dog kennels, or the breeding, bearding, or sale of DOGS or CATS. Conditional use
Riding academies or stables. Conditional use.
New Orleans, Louisiana — S-Suburban
Farming, including the usual farm buildings and structures, and animal raising, trapping, and fishing.
Riding stables and DOG kennels.
Oklahoma County, Oklahoma — R-6 Residential Estate
Animal land uses as permitted in Oklahoma County R-5 Residential Estates (9,000 square feet) and under same conditions.
Omaha, Nebraska — 2nd Suburban
Animal land uses as permitted in Omaha 1st Suburban (10,000 square feet) and under same conditions.
Redlands, California — R-A Residential Estate
Animal land uses as permitted in Redlands A-2 Agricultural (1-1/2 acres) and under same conditions.
One-half Acre
Warren Charter Township, Michigan — R-U-F Rural Urban Farm
Raising or keeping of FOWL, RABBITS, domestic animals, including HORSES and COWS. Provided they are properly housed and fenced so as not to become a nuisance and permitted according to the following:

One-half acre or more: fowl and/or rabbits for owner's consumption;

One acre or more: 2 horses;

Two acres or more: 2 horses and 1 cow, or 3 horses and dog kennels, or the raising of fowl and/or rabbits for sale.
Accessory buildings or structures. Located not less than 75 feet from any dwelling.
One Acre
Anne Arundel County, Maryland — Agricultural (All land not included in any other zoning district)
Farms and farming uses.
Commercial riding stables. 200 feet from any lot in any residence district, or any lot occupied by a dwelling, school, church, or institution for human care.
Small animals, including POULTRY Not to exceed 50 in number and kept in structures located 50 feet or more from the lot line.
Davis County, Utah — A1-A Agricultural
The keeping of animals and FOWL for family food production.
Private stables. For not more than 4 horses.
Livestock grazing and TURKEY farms.
Keeping of CHINCHILLAS. Not more than 50 pairs; provided that an additional 100 pairs may be kept for each 5,000 square feet in the lot over and above 8,000 square feet.
Davis County, Utah — Agricultural A-2
Same as A1-A; and commercial brooders and hatcheries, fur farms, PIG farms, DOG kennels, animal hospitals, public stables, riding academies, rodeo grounds.
One and One-half Acres
Redlands, California — A-2 Estate Agricultural
Agricultural uses permitted in A-l district (5 acres) except APIARIES and commercial raising of FOWL or other LIVESTOCK. Not less than 5 acres, located not less than 300 feet from any premises being used or subdivided for use as "Estate Agricultural" purposes or any more restricted residential use.

All buildings and enclosures for livestock not less than 50 feet from all property lines; not less than 100 feet from all structures used or intended for human occupancy; and not less than 100 feet from a public park and/or residential district.

No grazing shall be permitted in any required yard.

Not more than one horse for each acre of lot area.
Two Acres
Los Angeles, California — "A2" Agricultural
Animal land uses as permitted in Los Angeles "A1" Agricultural (5 acres) and under same conditions.
Oklahoma County, Oklahoma — A-1 Agricultural
All types of agriculture, except animal feed yard or animal sales yard.
HOGS Not more than 3 garbage-fed or 20 grain-fed hogs.
Public stable or riding arena; kennels and animal hospitals.
Oklahoma County, Oklahoma — A-2 General Agricultural            
All types of agricultural uses, including a HOG ranch, animal feed yard, and animal sales yard.
All uses permitted in A-l Agricultural.
Two and One-Quarter Acres
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada — RA-l Limited Agricultural
Stable, barn, or the keeping, breeding, raising, training, boarding of HORSES, CATTLE, GOATS, or SHEEP. Upon granting of development permit by the technical planning board and subject to conditions.
Kennels or the keeping, breeding, raising, training, boarding of DOGS or CATS. "
Buildings or runs for the hatching and raising of live POULTRY, FOWL, RABBITS, FROGS, FISH, or WORMS. "
Three Acres
Fulton County, Georgia — "AG-1" Agricultural
Riding stables and the keeping of small animals. On a lot having an area of not less than 10 acres, and provided that buildings housing animals be at least 100 feet from all property lines.
Veterinary hospitals. Provided that buildings housing animals be at least 100 feet from all property lines.
Warren Charter Township, Michigan — AG Agricultural
General farming, including dairying, livestock and poultry raising, and similar bona fide agricultural enterprises or uses of land, except farms operated wholly or in part for the disposal of garbage, offal, and wastes from rendering plants.
Office of a veterinarian and animal clinics.
Public stables and riding academies. When located adjacent to existing bridle trails or when bridle trails are constructed and maintained on the same property with the stable or riding academy.
The raising of fur bearing animals. When approved by the board of appeals, provided that the area of such farm is 5 acres or more in size and the pens or cages be located not less than 100 feet from any front, side, or rear property line and further provided that such use will not be injurious to the surrounding neighborhood.
Accessory buildings. Not less than 25 feet from any lot line and not less than 100 feet from any dwelling
Five Acres
Los Angeles, California — "A1" Agricultural
Farms devoted to the hatching, raising, and marketing of CHICKENS, TURKEYS, or other POULTRY, FOWL, RABBITS, FISH, or FROGS. No killing or dressing of poultry or rabbits shall be permitted other than the poultry or rabbits raised on the premises and such killing or dressing is done in an accessory building.
Farms or ranches for grazing, breeding, raising, or training HORSES or CATTLE.
Riding stables or academies.
GOAT or CATTLE dairies. On a lot having an area of not less than 20 acres.
SHEEP or GOAT raising.
Swine keeping. Not to exceed 5; more than 5 a conditional use.
Dog kennels for the breeding, boarding, or sale of DOGS or CATS.
Accessory buildings: stable, barn, corral, pen, coop, kennel, POULTRY, or RABBIT killing and dressing room. Subject to regulations on location of accessory buildings.
Redlands, California — A-1 Agricultural
APIARIES. No hives or boxes housing bees are to be kept closer than 200 feet from any dwelling other than that occupied by the owner of the apiary.
Farms or ranches for the grazing, breeding, or raising and training of HORSES, CATTLE, SHEEP, or GOATS. Not more than 2 such animals per acre; and provided that no concentrated feeding is done in conjunction therewith, that such grazing is not part of or conducted in conjunction with any dairy, livestock feed yard, or any other specifically prohibited use.
Riding stables or academies. Minimum lot size not less than 5 acres and all buildings for the housing, feeding, or rental of such animals shall be at least 100 feet from any property line.
Farms or ranches for the raising of CHICKENS or RABBITS. Not more than 500 for each 20,000 square feet of lot area, provided, however, that said animals or fowl be kept at least 50 feet from any property line.

Table 2

Animal Land Uses Permitted in Any Residence District

Type of Use Conditions
Antioch, California
CHICKEN HENS or PIGEONS, and/or RABBITS or GUINEA PIGS, as an accessory use. Not to exceed 12 fowl and/or animals on a lot with a dwelling, provided that no such livestock may be kept closer than 40 feet to any dwelling and that they shall be kept in buildings approved by the health officer.
Clarkstown, New York
Commercial agricultural operations, including keeping, breeding, and raising of CATTLE (including dairies), SHEEP, GOATS, and HORSES, and rental of HORSES. On lots of 20 acres or more, and provided no animal housing is located within 200 feet of any lot line.
However, keeping, breeding, and raising of FOWL, PIGS, RABBITS, FOXES, MINK, RODENTS, PRIMATES, and other small fur-bearing animals for any commercial or laboratory purpose is not permitted.
Keeping of domestic animals (except PIGS) as accessory uses for individual domestic purposes or for cultivation of soil. Not more than 5 cats or dogs over 6 months old and not more than 25 fowl shall be kept on any lot; and no animals (except cats or dogs) or fowl shall be penned or housed within 50 feet of any lot line.
Fulton County, Georgia
Agriculture, horticulture, and general farming, including dairying, POULTRY raising, and other agricultural activities in barns, outhouses, and incidental buildings commonly required for the operation of a farm. Agricultural buildings shall not be located nearer than 200 feet to any side lot line or rear lot line and produce shall not be offered for sale on the premises.
Muskegon, Michigan
General farming uses, but not including commercial animal farms, fur farms, or kennels. Any building in which horses or other farm animals are kept shall be not less than 100 feet from any other lot in any "R" district.
Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
Private stable, as an accessory building. When located not less than 5 feet from any side lot line.
South Orange, New Jersey
The keeping of CHICKENS or FOWL, excepting ROOSTERS, as a nonprofit use only. Not more than 50, provided they are never allowed outside of a proper enclosure, no part of which shall be nearer any building occupied as a residence than 25 feet, or nearer to any street line than 50 feet.
Urbana, Illinois
Farm, including the raising of LIVESTOCK and the raising of POULTRY and small animals. On adequately fenced tract containing not less than 12 acres and having an average width of not less than 350 feet.

When tract is adequately fenced and contains not less than 3 acres.

In no event shall livestock, small animals, or poultry be housed or confined within 200 feet of one acre or less containing a dwelling.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (proposed)
Stables, buildings, or runs for the shelter or accommodation of live POULTRY, PIGEONS, or animals. Located not less than 30 feet from any dwelling.

Not more than 2 horses, or 2 cows, or 2 goats shall be placed in any private stable situated on a site having an area of 5,000 square feet, or less, provided, however, the capacity of a private stable for the shelter of horses may be increased where the site has an area of 5,000 square feet for the first 2 horses and an additional 2,500 square feet for each additional horse.

The keeping or housing of horses, cows, or goats for domestic purposes, or the keeping or housing of animals for breeding or commercial purposes, or the keeping or housing of more than 12 live poultry for domestic, wholesale, or retail purposes shall be subject to the approval of the city council.
Aviaries for the keeping or housing of caged BIRDS Not to exceed 50 adults and 50 chicks, provided such aviaries are located not less than 30 feet from any dwelling and otherwise conform to the provisions of this bylaw.

No retailing or wholesaling of such caged birds shall be permitted in any dwelling district.

Table 3

Zoning of Animal Hospitals*

Jurisdiction District Type of Facility and Conditions
Arlington County, Virginia C-M Limited Industrial Veterinary or dog and cat hospitals and kennels.
Cincinnati, Ohio Business B and C Animal hospitals and structures where small animals are boarded if 200 feet or more from any residence district.
Clayton, Missouri H Commercial (the 3rd of 4 commercial districts) Hospitals and clinics for animals.
Cleveland, Ohio Retail Business Cat and dog hospital or pet shop, if noise and odors are effectively confined to the premises.
Kansas City, Missouri C-3 Intermediate Retail Cat and dog hospitals, soundproofed and air-conditioned and without outside pens.
Los Angeles, California "A1," "A2" and RA Suburban Animal hospitals, as a conditional use.
Los Angeles County, California A-2 Heavy Agriculture Animal hospitals, provided that any building used is located not nearer than 50 feet from any school, public park, or street, or highway upon which such use fronts; or any area in any residential zone and all animals are located not less than 35 feet from any residence, dwelling house, or any building used or designed for the habitation of human beings; and not nearer than 100 feet from any school, hospital, or similar institution.
  M-1 Light Manufacturing Animal hospitals.
Maryland-Washington Regional District in Prince Georges County, Maryland C-2 As special exceptions, an animal hospital, animal boarding place, pet shop, and/or veterinarian, provided that the lot upon which such use is proposed shall not abut a lot in any residential zone, nor shall the proposed use be incompatible with or detrimental to any existing uses on abutting lots in a C-l or C-2 zone.
Muskegon, Michigan General Business Animal hospital, veterinary clinic, or kennel; provided that any structure or area used for such purposes, including pens or exercise runways, shall be at least 100 feet distant from any residential district.
New Orleans, Louisiana F Heavy Commercial No open kennels shall be maintained on premises.
Niagara Falls, New York C-2 General Commercial Animal hospitals.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts R-2 One-family Residential (10,000 square foot district) Kennels and veterinary hospitals for operations and treatment of injuries and noncontagious diseases, if approved by the board of appeals, provided the buildings and runs used in connection with such purposes shall not be within 90 feet of any street line or property line.

*See Table 1 for ordinances that permit animal hospitals and veterinarians in large-lot residence districts.

Table 4

Zone Location Of Riding Stables*

Jurisdiction District Type of Facility and Conditions
Des Moines, Iowa "M-l" Light Industrial Livery stable or riding academy
Louisville, Kentucky All commercial zones Livery stable or riding academy
Jefferson County, Kentucky "E-3" Industrial Livery stable or riding academy
Los Angeles, California "M2" Light Industrial Riding academy or stable
Chicago, Illinois Commercial Livery stable for not more than 8 horses; school for horseback riding
  Manufacturing Livery stable
Muskegon, Michigan "B-3" General Business Livery stable or riding academy, provided that any building used for such purposes shall be at least 100 feet distant from any "R" district

*See Tables 1 and 2 for numerous ordinances that permit stables in large-lot residence and agricultural zones.


1 Donald J. Bogue, Population Growth in Standard Metropolitan Areas, 1900–1950, Housing and Home Finance Agency. (Superintendent of Documents, United States Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. 1953.) 76 pp. 55 cents.

2 No lot area minimum as such. However, another provision indicates that a "residential site" is not less than 6,000 square feet. This ordinance also states that when an RA district is reclassified to another district, animal land uses "shall be completely discontinued within a period of six months from the date of reclassification."

Copyright, American Society of Planning Officials, 1956.