Roosters in the Urban Unincorporated Area

The Washington County Board of Commissioners recently rejected a proposed ordinance that would regulate the keeping of roosters and male peacocks within the urban unincorporated area of the county. Details of the draft ordinance are provided below.

Ord# Description Board of Commissioners Meeting(s) Staff Contact
777 Ordinance No. 777 proposes to amend the County Code Title 6 Animals to prohibit the keeping of roosters, male peacocks and other male fowl known for its loud call by residents inside the urban growth boundary but outside of cities.

Board rejected proposed ordinance at public hearing on April 1, 2014

Tom Harry, Sr. Planner (503) 846-4875


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On April 1, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners voted not to pursue this potential ordinance. As a result of this vote, no regulation of roosters or male peacocks in the urban unincorporated area will be pursued at this time.

When would the ordinance take effect?

If adopted by the Board of County Commissioners, the proposed ordinance would take effect 30 days after it is approved. At least one public hearing must be held prior to Board action on this proposed ordinance. Check back to this page periodically for hearing dates.

What parts of the county are considered urban unincorporated areas?Rooster1

The urban unincorporated area of Washington County lies within the urban growth boundary but outside of city boundaries. Residents can determine whether a property is within the urban unincorporated area. Follow the instructions below.


  1. Click the InterMap link:
  2. Enter address
  3. Select address from the list
  4. Click "Districts Overlay Information," then
  5. Look at "Jurisdiction" line near top of page


What are the rules regarding roosters in other jurisdictions?

Some cities within Washington County have rules prohibiting roosters within some or all of their boundaries:


Are there rules about roosters and chickens in the rural areas of Washington County?

Roosters are allowed in the rural areas of Washington County. Chicken coops or other structures larger than 51 square feet holding poultry or livestock must be located in a side or rear yard at least 30 feet from any property line and at least 100 feet from any neighbor's dwelling.


Rooster2Where should complaints be made, once the ordinance is in effect?

Residents are encouraged to problem solve with their neighbors to address issues with noisy animals and other nuisances. If a resolution cannot be reached and when the ordinance is in effect, residents may then contact the Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at (503) 629-0111.