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Ordinances related to agriculture vary a good deal from municipality to municipality.   The matrix below is the beginning of an on-going effort to identify existing ordinances related to agriculture.  It will be expanded in the future to include zoning ordinances. If you know of a correction or addition, please notify Scott Millar, Senior Policy Analyst.

This information is intended to serve as a resource for town managers, planners, local governments, developers and interested citizens  by providing links to existing ordinances in Rhode Island municipalities.  We  do not distinguish between the quality of different ordinances; rather, this information serves as a public service clearinghouse.  Therefore, we do not necessarily endorse the content and wording of every ordinance.


  • RI General Laws Chapter 2-23.1 Notification to Farmers requires town and city councils to provide by ordinance for notification of farmers concerning local actions that have a direct and significant impact on agricultural operations.
  • While keeping chickens on residential properties for domestic use is not a commercial agricultural activity, we have included ordinances related to domestic chicken keeping because a number of municipalities have expressed interest in this topic.
  • Ordinances establishing municipal land trusts are included because of the important role they play in the preservation of farmland.


Municipality Notification to Farmers Livestock/ Domestic Chicken Keeping Retail Sales Farmers Markets Municipal Land Trust
Barrington Notification to Farmers, Chapter 60 Maximum Chicken Hens Permitted, Chapter 67 Sec 19
Bristol Requirements for stables, Sec 6-7Registration of bovine, horses, rabbits, and domestic fowl required, Sec 6-3Cleanliness and sanitation of places where animals and fowl are kept, Sec 6-4
Burrillville  Sec. 30-36. – Compliance with title 2, chapter 23.1 of the Rhode Island General Laws entitled “Agriculture and Forestry.” Keeping of horses, cattle, swine, fowl Sec 4-8 Hawkers and Peddlers — Exceptions to License Required, Sec 8-94
Central Falls Cattle Running at Large, Sec 8-6Keeping Swine, Sec 8-6Fowl not to be Kept in a Dwelling House, Sec 8-9
Charlestown Agriculture, Chapter 4 Hawkers, Peddlers, Solicitors–Exemptions and Limitations, 128-7
Coventry Animals or Fowl Creating Nuisance, Sec 97-8 no exemption under Hawkers & Peddlers Licenses -183 Coventry Land Trust
Cranston The Keeping of Domestic Chickens, Sec 6.04.40NOTE: THIS ORDINANCE VETOED Milkmen and farmers, ice and news vendors and lunch carts excepted, 5.40.130
Cumberland Notification to Farmers, Sec 30-182 Nuisances, Sec 4-3 Exemptions (Hawkers/Peddlers), Sec 8-77
East Greenwich  Business of Keeping Swine (23-18)Keeping Swine Restricted (23-19)  Transient merchants and Hawkers and Peddlers; permit required, 174-3. Land Trust, Chapter 143 — specific references to agriculture
East Providence Hawkers and Peddlers, Article II
Exeter  Sec. 18-261. – Exemptions from payments of license fees.
Foster Special Flood Hazard Areas (no livestock shelter), Sec 10-155.5: Link to pdf on GrowSmart website Hawkers, Peddlers Sec 90-12-22: Link to pdf on GrowSmart website Land Trust, Article XVI, Town Charter — specific reference to protecting farm lands
Glocester Hawkers and Peddlers, Chapter 190-2J License Land Trust Trustees, Chapter 95
Hopkinton Farm Viability Ordinace, Sec 5.5 Hopkinton Land Trust, Article VI — specific reference to agricultural land and agricultural uses
Jamestown Notification to Farmers, Sec 22 320-321 Swine, 10 191-192
Johnston  Slaughterhouses, Chapter 286 Hawkers and Peddlers, Article III, 248-16B Land Trust, Chapter 31, Article IV — specific reference to agricultural land and agricultural uses
Lincoln Violations and Penalties (animals at large), Sec 75-1Horse Stables, Commercial, Chapter 144 Exceptions (peddling/soliciting), 187-7 Land Trust, Chapter 24
Little Compton Notification to Farmers, Chapter XX Animals at Large, Sec 4-2.1 Peddlers and Hawkers, Sec 6-1.1 Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust, Appendix A
Middletown Maintenance of Places Where Animals Kept, Violation, Nusiance Abatement, Sec 90.04 Persons Exempted from Licensing Fees, Sec 115.04
Narragansett Article IV-Farm Animals, Sec 6-76 to 6-78 Licenses (Peddlers and Solicitors), Divison 3, Section 14-367 Land Conservancy Trust, Article III, Division 3 — specific reference to preserving farmland
New Shoreham Act establishing the Municipal Land Trust — specific reference to farmland
Newport Swine prohibited, Sec 6.08.080  Farmers Market, Chapter 4.56
North Kingstown  Sec. 12-17. – Notice required. Permit to keep swine, Sec 3-19Animals on Sidewalks  Farmers Market, Article XV
North Providence Permit required to keep swine, Sec 4-1Keeping swine – area restrictions, Sec 4-2Nuisance Abatement, Sec 4-20 ARTICLE III. HAWKERS AND PEDDLERSExceptions: Sec 23-16 Link to pdf image on Grow Smart website
North Smithfield Animals and Vehicles on Sidewalks, Sec 15.1
Pawtucket Animals and Fowl (Noise), Sec 286-10Keeping of certain animals restricted, Sec 116-8.1Raising or breeding of animals prohibited, Sec 116-8 Exemptions (Peddling and Soliciting), Chapter 302-3
Providence Maximum Number of Chicken Hens Allowed, Sec 4-37.3Stables, Ch 5, Article IIIKeeping swine restricted, 23-19Business of Keeping Swine, 23-18 Farmer’s Markets/arts-and-crafts shows, Sec 14-184
Richmond Care of Domestic Livestock, Chapter 6.18 Hawkers, Peddlers, and Door-to-Door Salesperson, Exemptions and Limitations, 5.20.050 Richmond Rural Preservation Trust, Chapter 4.30
Scituate Keeping of Hogs, Sec 3-10Keeping of fowl, Sec 3-11Nuisance abatement, Sec 3-7 Exemptions (Hawkers and Peddlers), Sec 6-83 Land Trust, Article III, Sec 10-51 through 10-57 – specific references to agricultural land and agricultural uses
Smithfield Livestock, disposal of dead animals, Chap 126, Article IPiggery, Chapter 126, Article 2 Peddling and Hawking, Exceptions, Chapter 268-1 Smithfield Land Trust, Chapter 59
South Kingstown Notification to Farmers, Chapter 10.5 Restriction on Swine, Sec 3-2Certain animals walking on sidewalks prohibited; exception Sec 3-1 Exemptions from payments of license fees, Sec 9-53
Tiverton Keeping Swine, Sec 10-3 “Hawkers,” “peddlers” and “door to door” salesman defined, Sec 58-32
Warren The Keeping of ChickensLivestock at Large, Fowl at Large, Keeping Swine, Sanitation, Nuisance, Article I, Chapter 3Cattle on sidewalks, Sec 18-3 Hawkers and Peddlers, Applicability, Chapter 11, Sec 201
Warwick Noisy animals, animals destroying property, nuisance animals generally, Sec 4-14 License required (Peddlers and Hawkers), Sec 46-2 Warwick Land Trust, Article III, Sec 51-51 through 51-59
West Greenwich
West Warwick Abatement of Nuisance Animals and Conditions, Sec 4-24
Westerly Proximity of livestock enclosures to residences, Sec 7-22Business of keeping chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, and other fowl, Sec 76-23Confinement of Certain Animals Required; noise disturbances; emergency euthanization; wild animals, Sec 76-6 Municipal Land Trust, Chapter 30
Woonsocket Obstructing streets and sidewalks by animals, vehicles, etc., Sec 16-5