Against HOA Rules, How Hard Would You Fight?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by kimmypie, May 11, 2011.

  1. kimmypie

    kimmypie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I called our city and chickens are allowed, he didn't even ask where in the city we live. I called and asked if I was calling the right number to see if we could have chickens and he answered "you can have chickens". [​IMG] The only restrictions are no roosters and the chickens have to stay on our property. We have a 6 foot privacy fence so I don't think that would be an issue with heavier breeds, plus we would only let them free range if we are out there to protect our garden. Anyway, it's against our HOA rules. We are in a relatively new area and we have a "master" HOA with home owner board members. So there is a company that runs the HOA and sends out fines and such, but the board members own in the neighborhood. I emailed the HOA Board President and asked him if there was any chance to change that rule or if there could be any exception made. I haven't heard back.

    Our HOA does almost nothing. I've read through the rules and the majority of the people in the neighborhood break them all of the time (no trash cans in view of the street, yards have to be maintained, no parking on the street long term, every change to our yards has to be approved by the HOA, etc) so they aren't very strong against breaking the rules in the 4.5 years we've lived here. But now I asked so they know who I am. Maybe I should have just done it and asked forgiveness, but I'm trying to go about this in an honest way. I've had my heart set on chickens and I will be so disappointed if they say no exceptions, no way to change the rule, sorry you're screwed. I would rather find out now before putting time/money into chicks and a coop though.

    Anyway, the point of this post. How hard would you fight against the HOA to change the rule? And if you would fight...how do you even go about it if they strike me down?
     
  2. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do your CC&Rs expressly prohibit chickens? I'd be curious to know the wording. It is REALLY difficult to change CC&Rs (I'm president of our HOA). If you are fully privacy fenced, and the city allows it, you have the option (in my opinion) to ask your immediate neighbors if they would be o.k. with you having chickens. If your surrounding neighbors dont' have a problem with it, you could probably get away with it...b/c who else would know?

    Don't make the mistake I did, by asking 2 out of 3 of the neighbors (thinking there was enough buffer between me & a third neighbor since we both have 1/2 acre properties), and then find out that 3rd neighbor hates chickens and won't stop complaining about them.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  3. kimmypie

    kimmypie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The response I got from the HOA said "It states that "No animals, livestock or poultry of any kind may be raised, bred, kept or permitted on any portion of the District Property, with the exception of dogs, cats or other usual and common household pets............""

    We do have a privacy fence, the only problem is that there is a path that leads through the block from one street to another and we live right next to the path. If we were buffered from whoever walking by I would probably be more comfortable. Once I get a for sure answer my husband and I will discuss it and weigh the options. Coops can be pricey to build, we don't want to do it and then immediately have to get rid of chickens that my kids have fallen in love with.
     
  4. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ouch....that's pretty restrictive. Our CC&Rs allow for dogs, cats, tanked fish, caged birds and other conventional household pets. I just put my chickens in the "caged birds" category, though I know that the rule was written with the intention of allowing parakeets, parrots, etc. Unfortunately for me, my chickens break a county ordinance, so the HOA is the least of my worries now.

    You'd definitely have a real uphill battle to have chickens...good luck!
     
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Makes you wonder exactly what is considered "common household pets". Chickens seem to be pretty common to me. [​IMG]
     
  6. kimmypie

    kimmypie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:And why, just because they are "common" are they okay?? The neighborhood cats scratch up my trees, poop in my front flower beds, and dogs are barking often through the day.

    Basically HOA rules are very hard to change? When we moved here chickens weren't even on our radar but even so we didn't get a copy of the HOA rules until everything was signed, sealed and delivered. We want to move, but in the current market it's not feasible. I hate to put the plans for chickens on hold, but I don't want to get fined and have to get rid of the chickens anyway.
     
  7. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never thought in a million years I'd have chickens either. And then when I wanted them, I never thought in a million years someone could tell me what small animal would be "legal" to live in my backyard. The reason CC&Rs are hard to change is that they usually require a vote of, at minimum, a majority of the residents to approve, and sometimes 75%. Some volunteer on the HOA board has to schedule a meeting and give notice to all residents so that the potential change in rules can be discussed. People normally will not even show up to these meetings b/c they don't care. Then, ballots would have to be drawn up so that residents could vote on the issue. Then residents would actually have to care enough to vote and return their ballots to be counted. They usually just throw them in the trash. I know this b/c our HOA board had to go door-to-door to cover 92 homes just to get enough ballots to approve this year's budget. We were not allowed to spend any money on landscape maintenance without getting it approved, and without going door-to-door we wouldn't have received enough ballots back because no one cares.

    Being on the board this year, I thought I might try to change our CC&Rs so that the wording would in no way prohibit chickens. Unfortunately, I would have to do all the leg work because no one else cares about the issue, and I'm not even sure the sentiment of my fellow neighbors would be in agreement with me to allow chickens (and since I already have them...I'd hate to draw attention to the fact). I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but like changing city/county zoning ordinances, it is a long, difficult process.

    Though the real estate market sucks right now, we are going to go ahead and put our home on the market this summer just to see if we could sell it. Horrible time to sell....but probably a great time to get a deal on an acreage property.....with no HOA!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
  8. hippiechick53

    hippiechick53 Out Of The Brooder

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    "common household pets" Wouldn't that be defined differently depending on who you asked? I consider my chickens to be "common household pets" [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Tampa Area, Florida
    Quote:And why, just because they are "common" are they okay?? The neighborhood cats scratch up my trees, poop in my front flower beds, and dogs are barking often through the day.

    Basically HOA rules are very hard to change? When we moved here chickens weren't even on our radar but even so we didn't get a copy of the HOA rules until everything was signed, sealed and delivered. We want to move, but in the current market it's not feasible. I hate to put the plans for chickens on hold, but I don't want to get fined and have to get rid of the chickens anyway.

    I did not say it would definately be ok. You said...

    The response I got from the HOA said "It states that "No animals, livestock or poultry of any kind may be raised, bred, kept or permitted on any portion of the District Property, with the exception of dogs, cats or other usual and common household pets............""

    ...if this is accurate you could push the point that chickens are considered common pets by many people. This may be your loophole. [​IMG]
     
  10. crossgirl

    crossgirl Day Dream Believer

    Mar 15, 2011
    Lakeland, FL
    My chickens are pretty common, nothing fancy here, and they *are* pets! [​IMG]
     

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