Noise Complaints Prompt Possible Ban on Roosters Inside City Limits

A proposed change to Oxford’s Land Development Code could ban roosters from inside the city limits.

The first reading of the proposed change is scheduled to be heard by the Oxford Board of Aldermen Tuesday night during their regular meeting. The change is one of several tweaks being suggested by the Planning Department.

Currently, in the Land Development Code some agriculture uses—including owning fowl— are allowed in areas zoned Agricultural and by special exception in areas zoned Suburban Residential. However, the suggested change would allow hens in Suburban Residential, Estate Residential and Agricultural zoning and allow roosters only in areas with Agricultural zoning.

“Keeping hens usually do not cause concerns, but roosters create noise issues in neighborhoods,” said City Planner Judy Daniel. “We have recently had several complaints about this.”

The proposed change would also allow sheep as well as horses in Estate Residential, with certain standards.

With the city in the process of annexing 12 miles of county land, some residents are concerned they will no longer be allowed to own roosters. However, Daniel said most of the land being annexed will likely be zoned Agricultural where all livestock is allowed.

“So maybe not many would be affected,” she said. “I presume that a rooster living with a family in an area to be annexed (not zoned Agricultural) would certainly be allowed to live out his life.”

Daniel said the city would likely not pursue for a “few years.”

“But after that, we’d need to consider complaints in districts other than Agricultural. The reality is that roosters usually only cause concern in higher density suburban type areas, not in rural areas.”

A public hearing is expected to be held July 3 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

The suggested changes to the Land Development Code can be viewed here.

By Alyssa Schnugg, staff reporter. She can be reached at


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