04/26/2013 07:28 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Backyard Chickens OKed For Maryland Couple Jessica Mills-McLaughlin And Michael Morgan


It took the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals just 16 minutes to give Jessica Mills-McLaughlin and Michael Morgan permission to keep chickens on their property.

The board had to hear the case for a special exception to permit limited agricultural use on a property smaller than 3 acres. Mills-McLaughlin and Morgan live on less than an acre at 5667 Stone Road, near Mount Zion Road.

Zoning board members toured the property and saw that neighbors have big gardens, horses and chickens -- either agricultural types of activities or the potential for them, they said.

"Very much an agricultural area," said Brad Dyjak, alternate board member.

Chairman Alan Duke was absent, and Carole Jaar Sepe, vice chairman, presided.

Other board members agreed unanimously with Dyjak when he made the motion to allow the special exception.

The 6-by-8-foot coop that Morgan built must be moved off and kept off the septic field, they told him, but otherwise, the couple's plan is fine. They said neighbors approved, and no one except the applicants came to speak at the hearing.

Mills-McLaughlin said she plans to get eggs from heritage chickens she purchased at a local producer. The couple also received permission to keep dwarf goats if they follow through with their thought of doing so.

"Good luck there," Dyjak said after the meeting.