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Seattle Municipal Code for Urban Farms and Community Gardens

Find information about new laws about urban farms and community gardens.

It addresses:

  • Urban areas

  • Residential areas

  • Agriculture

  • Domestic animals

  • Land use regulations

  • Building codes

  • Public regulations

See the new Municipal Code in full. For the code information in layperson's terms see the Client Assistance Memo, or CAM 244, which contains information on aquaculture, community gardening, horticulture and urban farming :

For more information about urban livestock please read on.

Urban Livestock / Animal Husbandry Information from the Department of Planning and Development's CAM 244

Animal Husbandry

Animal Husbandry is a use where animals are reared or kept in order to sell the animals or their products, such as meat, fur or eggs, but does not include pet daycare centers or animal shelters and kennels.

Residential Zones: Not permitted, except through specific regulations related to the keeping of small animals and domestic fowl.

Commercial Zones: In NC1, 2, 3, C1 zones, permitted as an accessory use. Can be a primary use in C2 zone.

Industrial Zones: Not permitted.


Keeping of Animals

In addition to animal husbandry regulations, the City has specific regulations for the keeping of small animals, which is not considered animal husbandry. The keeping of small animals, farm animals, domestic fowl, and bees is permitted outright in all zones as an accessory use to any principal use permitted outright or to a permitted conditional use subject to the standards of Section 23.42.052. Small animals, domestic fowl, farm animals and bees have specific regulations as follows:

  • Small Animals

Up to three (3) small animals are allowed (cats, dogs, rabbits, goats, etc.), accessory to each dwelling unit or business establishment. On lots of 20,000 sf. ft. or more, up to four (4) small animals are allowed. One additional small animal is permitted for each 5,000 sf. ft. of lot area in excess of 20,000 sf. ft.

¨       In no case is more than one (1) miniature potbelly pig allowed. Miniature potbelly pigs may be no greater than 22 inches in height at the shoulder or more than 150 pounds.

¨       Goats may be kept if they are Miniature, Dwarf or Pygmy. Goats must be dehorned, and male goats must be neutered.


  • Domestic Fowl

Up to eight (8) domestic fowl may be kept on any lot in addition to the small animals allowed. On lots greater than 10,000 sf. ft. that include either a community garden or an urban farm, one (1) additional fowl is permitted for every 1,000 sf. ft. of lot area over 10,000 sf. ft. in

community garden or urban farm use.

¨       Roosters are not permitted.

¨       Structures housing domestic fowl must be located at least 10 feet away from any residential structure on an adjacent lot.


  • Farm Animals

Farm Animals: Cows, horses, sheep and other similar farm animals are permitted only on lots at least 20,000 sf. ft. On these lots, one farm animal for every 10,000 sf. ft. of lot area is permitted. Farm animals and structures housing them must be 50 feet from any other lot in a residential zone.

¨       In Single-Family zones, commercially operating horse farms in existence before July 1, 2000 on lots greater than 10 acres are considered a permitted use


  • Bees

Bees are allowed outright when registered with the State Department of Agriculture. No more than four  (4) hives, each with only one (1) swarm, are allowed on lots less than 10,000 sf. ft. Hives may not be located within 25 feet of any lot line, except when hives are 8 feet or more above or below the grade immediately adjacent to the lot on which they are located.


For more info, contact the Seattle City Clerk’s Office at (206) 684-8344, or by email at

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