Maria and Christopher, who would have been our only El Cerrito garden on the tour, have had to withdraw because they are caught in the middle of the Great El Cerrito Chicken Debate.

It is currently legal to keep birds only if they are less than 1/2 lb each.  (For those who haven’t held a chicken lately, even a bantam—miniature chicken—will weigh more than a pound at maturity.)  It looks like this was written specifically to exclude chickens.

If a person wants to have chickens beyond their infancy (that is, over a half pound), one needs to apply for a Use Permit.  The application requires a $1000 fee which will not be returned if the application is denied!  Here is the municipal code.

Fortunately, some folks have drafted a new, more rational  and household-poultry-friendly ordinance. This would allow El Cerrito residents to have up to 4 hens on a property of at least 5000 square feet, so long as their pen/coop is at least 20 feet from a dwelling.

Here is the proposed animal ordinance

If you want to voice your support for reasonable urban hen-keeping, feel free to contact the following folks:  Karen Pinkos, Assistant City Manager, El Cerrito: 215-4302,  Planning Manager, Jennifer Carman: 215-4330,




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    I'm Catalin.  I have lived in Richmond, California, since 2009.  Before that, I lived many places, sometimes very simply without running water or electricity.  As a result, I really appreciate hot showers and washing machines!  I created this website to communicate about the tour and also to allow tour participants and hosts to communicate with one another.


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