Proposed Ordinance to Address Fowl Noise

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 17, 2013

Public Hearing Postponed until April 2014
UPDATED: 10/23/2013
Sponsored by: County Administrative Office

Board Considers Ban on Roosters in Urban Unincorporated Area

UPDATE: A public hearing for this ordinance has been postponed until April 1, 2014. Board members expressed an interest in learning more about how the ordinance would be implemented and providing more information to the public on this issue before taking further action.

ORIGINAL MEDIA RELEASE: The Washington County Board of Commissioners is considering an ordinance to forbid the keeping of roosters, peacocks and other loud male fowl within the county's urban unincorporated area but outside of cities.

A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for 10 a.m. on November 5 at the Shirley Huffman Auditorium, Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building, 155 N. First Avenue, Hillsboro.

The new ordinance is under consideration due to the increased number of complaints the county has received from residents living near urban unincorporated dwellings where roosters may be kept. The frequency of complaints has increased from one or two per month four years ago to the current eight or more per month, according to county staff.

The proposed ordinance would not regulate broods of chickens, which are generally less noisy. The proposal would also have no effect on the keeping of roosters in the rural area or within cities that allow roosters. Only those living within the urban growth boundary but outside of city boundaries in Washington County would be subject to the proposed ordinance.

If enacted, the Washington County Sheriff's Office would be in charge of enforcing the ordinance. If a resident complains about loud birds and a deputy is requested, warnings or citations punishable by a $250 fine could be issued. Residents could contest a citation by requesting a court hearing.

More information about the proposed ordinance can be found on the county's web page at:

Media Contact:

Philip Bransford, Communications Officer