Raising Backyard Chickens In Marin County

Raising Backyard Chickens In Marin County

We are in the process of replacing our fence and my husband is building the chicken coop so of course we get alot of questions from our neighbors about what we are doing.

When my husband responds that we are building a small chicken coop he gets a range of answers from: “Don’t worry, I won’t rat you out” to “Isn’t it illegal to have chickens?”.

Well the short answer is that most cities in Marin and the county will allow a small flock but they usually have the restriction of no roosters.

The best course of action if you are even considering raising chickens in your backyard is to check with your local planning department and see if they are allowed and if there are any restrictions.

Here are some numbers to the local planning departments in Marin that might be helpful to you.

Belvedere 415-435-3838

Corte Madera 415-927-5064

Fairfax 415-453-1584

Kentfield 415-499-6269

Larkspur 415-927-5038

Marin County 415-499-6269

Mill Valley 415-388-4033

Novato 415-899-8989

Ross 415-453-1950

San Anselmo 415-258-4616

San Rafael 415-485-3085

Sausalito 415-289-4112

Tiburon 415-435-7390


Here are some local planning department numbers in Sonoma/Napa:
Healdsburg 707-431-3300

Petaluma 707-778-4301

Santa Rosa 707-543-3223

Sonoma 707-938-3681

Sonoma County 707-565-1900

Windsor 707-838-1021


6 thoughts on “Raising Backyard Chickens In Marin County

    1. hey donna, love the blog! we are building out coop now and will have the DIY pictorial up soon….i am so glad we decided to build our own instead of buy one because it has all the specifications I wanted (exterior access nest boxes, lots of ventilation, etc.)

  1. Hi Tammy,

    I came across your blog from a google alert. 🙂 At the risk of being a smidgen invasive, I just wanted to share that the organization I work for – Animal Place – has an adoption program for chickens rescued from egg farms. We are in northern California and have placed many hens in the Novato and SF Bay Area region. So if any of your readers are ever interested in rescuing hens instead of buying them, then they can just google Animal Place and check out our Rescue Ranch program.

    1. Hi Marji, I am familiar with the organization. It is great. I read that you recently rescued a bunch of hens from an egg farm and also the sweet blog post about the bunny. Here is a link for those interested in donating or adopting rescued farm animals http://animalplace.org/

  2. I found your website after getting a letter from the county planning dept. I have 2 chickens in a coop in my side yard. Some idiot neighbor says the chickens are attracting rats and he ratted out myself and 3 other neighbors with chickens. The county sent me a letter saying the coop and chickens had to be 30 feet from the house/prop. line. Unrealistic in residential area. San Rafael (Marinwood) Any suggestions?

  3. I know this is an old thread but found it because we are in the process of building a backyard coop. We are out of the city lines (Marin County Property) and we have some neighbors that have become very interested in our new project. Guess I need to make sure we are good for any future complaints. Wonder if the 30ft rule implies to county as well? We have a bit of property but the best spot (most level) is about 15ft from the street/property line but no neighbors houses are within 30.

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