American with Disabilities Act and zoning

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Advocate, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Advocate

    Advocate New Egg

    Jul 9, 2012
    I am looking for any information anyone might have on getting a zoning variance for chickens for a boy who has disabilities. He had to get rid of his chickens because of zoning laws. His chickens were very therapeutic for him.
  2. chardob

    chardob Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 8, 2012
    Sorry, but most towns/cities do not recognize chickens as therapy animals, and therefore it is illegal to keep them inside town limits.

    If you live in a small town you might go plead your case before the mayor, but in larger towns you would probably be wasting your time.

    Have you tried other animals? Rabits for example can be legally kept and are very soothing.
  3. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    [​IMG]. I've never fought legal issues but I think it could be done. You'd have to have a strong case which it appears you are doing. Have they thought about indoor chickens?
  4. dndlc

    dndlc Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2014
    The ADA does not cover housing and comfort animals.

    The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Fair Housing Act (FHA) does. And since it is Federal Law it supersedes any local, county, city or stat laws.

    UD/FHA require ANY agency governing homes, including rental property and home owners associations, to make a reasonable accommodation for disabled individuals to have comfort animals.

    You must have a medically documented disability and your doctor must give you a letter stating the type of comfort animal and number of comfort animals he recommends.

    As long as your request is reasonable the governing agency must make a reasonable accommodation.

    If they do not, then you file a disability discrimination complaint with HUD. HUD will investigate your complaint and make a determination as to whether the governing agency discriminated against you, or your son.

    If they find discrimination they will REQUIRE the governing agency to make an accommodation. If the agency does not, HUD can fine them up to $16,000 per violation (goes to HUD) and require the agency to pay damages to your son (goes to you!).

    Best of all ... it costs you nothing!!!
  5. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Hi dndlc ! and [​IMG]

    What a great post!! [​IMG] Thank you! [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  6. dndlc

    dndlc Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2014
    We have WON!

    They said it couldn't be done!

    But we have PREVAILED!!!

    We have WON against our Home Owners Association!

    Their tail feathers are tucked between their legs as they run to do damage control!

    We live in a well established Houston suburb in Harris County TX.
    The HOA rules are over 30 years old.
    We obtained 6 chicks as comfort animals for my wife who has a disability.
    We were told we could not have back yard hens, even tho my wife has a disability.
    We were told to get rid of them or be fined.
    We requested a meeting with the HOA board members to educate them.
    They promised us a meeting with the board.
    They 'blind sided' us by bringing in their attorney to represent them with out telling us.
    We provided copies of the federal law. The attorney tried to spin the law.
    The forced my wife thru bulling and cohertion to get rid of her hens.
    They really upset my wife.

    They really ****** me off!

    I went straight to the feds. My wife filed a discrimination complaint.
    The complaint has been investigated and found in our favor.
    Now the HOA says they will 'allow' my wife to keep her 6 hens plus give her a small monetary settlement.

    It's not over yet!
    The HOA thinks that they have the power to 'allow' when Federal Law makes it my wife's right to own these hens.
    Typical HOA thinking they are all powerful.
    The only action the HOA can take is to COMPLY with the law.
    They do not have the power or authority to 'allow' anything in this matter.

    We are turning down the offer for a small monetary settlement.
    We are going for a summary judgement against the HOA.
    This will set precedence in Texas that will be applicable to all states.
    Disabled home owners or residents, including children, will have the right to have back yard hens as comfort animals.

    Pass this along. Share it on FaceBook and other social media.

    Tell every one you know ... the HOAs are going down!!!
  7. AME Chickens

    AME Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 5, 2014
    Eastern CT
    GREAT TO HEAR and good job on you and your family for standing up for all chicken owners!!
  8. dndlc

    dndlc Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2014
    Our girls are like our family.

    And ya' don't mess with family!!!
  9. flyladyrocks

    flyladyrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2014
    Indianapolis, IN
    WOOHOO!!!! Congratulations! I hate home owner associations, so thankful we don't have one in the middle of the city!

    No doubt they will be therapeutic for your wife. So happy you get to have chickens!

    Originally Posted by dndlc
  10. tridentk9

    tridentk9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2014

    It's not as simple as that. HUD (and ADA for Service Dogs and work issues) does not mean you can just bring in anything no matter what HOAs and landlords say. You are supposed to submit a request for reasonable accomodation. There are reasons that can be denied, ie unable to get insurance, etc. But the request is supposed to be submitted before the Service Dog or Emotional Support Animal is brought in. Even then once the animal is in place, conditions can lead to revocation of accomodation. One thing to remember is that the rights belong to a person not the animals.

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