Cary Urban Farming

Cary backyard chickens

Cary sometimes gets the reputation of not being amenable to crunchy urban farming lifestyles, but actually, Cary, NC was on the cutting edge of changing their ordinances to allow chickens and it wasn’t long before Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs followed suit! Specifics about what is and isn’t allowed inside Cary city limits and the Cary ETJ are as follows:


cary chickens

On residential lots larger than 6000 square feet, chickens are allowed with the following caveats:

  • You must be in the R-20, R-12, R-8, TR, PDD, MXD, TC-MDR, TC-LDR and TC-LDR-12 zoning districts.
  • Only hens are allowed.
  • Chickens may not free range.
  • You must have a permit. There is a one-time $50 processing fee for the permit.
  • Eggs, chicks, and all chicken products are for personal use and cannot be sold.Chickens must have adequate access to feed, clean water, and bedding at all times. The chicken coop, chicken pen and surrounding area must be cleaned of hen droppings, uneaten feed, feathers and other waste, and must be kept in a neat and sanitary condition at all times to preclude odors and aesthetic nuisances. All chicken feed is required to be stored in a secure container.
  • Manure must be stored in a waterproof container, composted on-site or bagged and disposed of with household trash.
  • For more detailed instructions, see the Town of Cary’s website.

beekeeping cary raleigh


The Town of Cary does allow and regulate domestic beekeeping in the city limits. In the R-80, R-40, R-20, R-12, R-8, TR, PDD and MXD zoning districts, and the MDR, LDR, LDR-12 and CB&R sub-districts of the Town Center where the minimum lot size exceeds 6,000 square feet, you can have up to a maximum of eight beehives. The number of hives is graduated based on property size and is as follows:

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The following additional regulations apply to keeping bees in Cary:

  • You must have a permit. There is a $50 fee for the permit.
  • Hives must be 10 feet away from the property line.
  • Bees that are or become a public nuisance are prohibited. See defining characteristics of nuisance bees here.
  • Your HOA must not prohibit beekeeping.


Urban Farming Cary NC

The Town of Cary does allow livestock within the city limits, however your property must be zoned R-40 or R-80 AND you must have a minimum of 1 acre of land.

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Larger livestock is only allowed in designated agricultural districts with one or more acres,