Code Violation - Lake County, FL

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by sayhill, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. sayhill

    sayhill New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2012
    Yes, when I looked up our case number online, it said the original complaint was against my neighbor. She had a rooster for five years and the people that complained have lived across the street that whole time. I agree the rooster was annoying, but these people have ulterior motives as well. This was the second thing they turned my neighbor in for in less than a month. We've heard they would like for her to move out so one of thier family members can buy the house. It seems we just got caught in their drama.
     
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    I can see how your neighbor would be cited for having a rooster as part of the noise ordiances but to own chickens in the city, give me a break! I hope you can fight this because the rules are very vague.
     
  3. samalec

    samalec New Egg

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    I am in a somewhat similar situation to yours. My chickens were killed by my neighbor's dog last year and I called up the county to ask some questions regarding dogs and chickens, etc. I was told that I was not zoned (R6-i think) to have chickens and if I got caught with them I would receive a hefty fine. I live in an old neighborhood, no HOA, with barking dogs everywhere, just outside of Mt. Dora city limits.
    I have been in touch with the county commissioners and they have told me that they "might" change things this summer to "allow" us to keep a few chickens for personal use.
    Others in the county have told me that if I consider the chickens to be pets, then the county has to let me keep them, but I'm not so sure about that.
    Please keep me informed of the outcome of your hearing. The commission is aware that this is an issue in our county. They have received a great deal of info from me regarding chicken ownership regulations in other counties and cities in Florida and the rest of our country.
    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you (and the rest of us) with resolving this issue.
     
  4. Gayle Harris

    Gayle Harris New Egg

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    Good luck dealing with Lake County Board of Commissioners and their "code enforcement crew" . Lake County's Code Enforcement is only available during normal business hours. No night and no weekends. Recently one of my neighbor's received a notice on their door, but no one has answered the contact number during the day for the county, they have just gotten a recording on the phone. If you call after hours the number to contact is the Lake County Sheriff's Department. Their response is it is not their job description to handle none life threatening code enforcement calls. Period. We live in the neighborhood at John's Lake behind the Honda Dealership and have had to deal with the noise of car wash blowers since 2010-non stop. Lake County exempted the nuisance. I would welcome a rooster crow. From 1999 until 2007 Lake County allowed an illegal concrete operation behind us and did very little to remove them until they thought they were going to put Plaza Colina shopping extravaganza across the street from us on SR 50. Which failed because they could not provide services and had NEVER managed to get a Comprehensive Plan compliant with the State of Florida until 2010 and then only by stipulated agreement The County picks and chooses who they are going to make abide their Land Development rules and "Comprehensive Plan" objectives. If you have a couple of chickens and a garden feeding your family that is in your family's best interest. It is not the business of government-local or otherwise to become a nuisance to its residents. We have been told on several occasions by different BCC members if we did not like where we lived..then move. If you hire a lawyer to register on their lobbyist list and he or she goes and smoozes the county, you will be able to keep your chickens. THAT IS HOW LAKE COUNTY DOES BUSINESS. Point being, they know you will just get rid of your chickens...but it is not right. You could just hide your chickens Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm. Another little tidbit we have repeatedly been told by Lake County is their is no code violation unless it is witnessed by a code enforcement officer, But that probably just applies to business. By the way, they do have a "family garden" ordinance now. Watch those "killer" tomatoes!

    Regards,

    Gayle Harris
    17535 Jefferson Street
    Winter Garden, Florida (Lake County)
     
  5. Gayle Harris

    Gayle Harris New Egg

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    By the way can anyone explain to me why a "LEED GREEN BUILDING" get preference over a patch of radishes and a couple of chickens? I am a bit confused on what government across this country considers "green" living.

    regards,

    Gayle Harris
    Lake County Florida
     
  6. samalec

    samalec New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2013
    Yes, I was also told "it's only wrong if you get caught," but I can't justify doing that while teaching my children to be honest. Thanks for the heads-up about gardens, I was unaware that my backyard garden might be a a nuisance and a danger to society.
     
  7. sayhill

    sayhill New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2012
    Sorry for the delayed response, I'm an accountant so tax season has consumed my life these past few months! We actually decided to cancel the hearing and give our chickens to a friend. After scheduling the hearing, I asked the code enforcement officer if we could be fined for the time between when we originally received the notice and the hearing date if they ruled against us. He was not helpful whatsoever (and had not been during the entire process) and gave me the vaguest answers. I feel like I constantly had to email him back to clarify what he was saying. I was told that it was in the power of the person in charge of the hearing to fine us for the time before the hearing date, but this particular code officer had not seen that happen (however he said he had not been around long because he was new). Even though it seemed unlikely, my family and I could not risk the fine. Just based on dealing with this particular code enforcement officer, I did not have high hopes for whoever was overseeing the hearing.

    The thing that really ticked me off was that in my email to cancel the hearing, I told him Lake County Code enforcement needs to put their interpretation of the code on their website as an FAQ or something to notify the public. He basically responded saying that was an issue for their legal people (or something to that effect) and he couldn't do anything about it. I wasn't even given anyone else to contact, just a "that's not my problem" attitude. Most people I talked to at the code enforcement office said this was a somewhat common question, so I do not get why they can't just put a stinking FAQ on their website??

    And the kicker is that the neighbors who called code enforcement on my next-door neighbor's chickens are the loudest neighbors we have! They open their garage door and play drums and electric guitar with a loud amplifier. A few weeks ago, my mom had to go ask them to turn the volume down. We could hear it in our house even with all the windows and doors closed! Maybe if they had talked to our next-door neighbor first instead of vindictively calling code enforcement about the rooster, all of this could have been resolved without everyone being forced to get rid of their hens.
     
  8. Captain Cluck

    Captain Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, there's you answer. Keep track of EVERY time they disturb the peace with their drumming and loud music, then call in a noise complaint. If your neighbors also call in complaints at the same time, these yahoos will have to settle down. and give you some peace.

    Meanwhile, see what you can do to get the crazy ordinance either changed or challenged. Keep ownership of your hens while they are off your property so you can get them grandfathered in (and put fertile eggs under them to hatch biddies out every few years to keep birds on the place so you can stay grandfathered - some GF laws only apply to the animals in existence at the time of the writing of the law and they want no more after those die off. See if you can get that part negated, too, if it is in there.)
     
  9. LeelooD

    LeelooD Out Of The Brooder

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    Counties can be more stubborn than cities about changing their codes regarding chickens. Chickens were recently allowed in Orlando! Pinellas County activists were successful in getting their ordinance changed and I know a lot of others are working on it, especially in the Central part of Florida. I am in Escambia County way up in the northwest part of the state. We have been working for a year to get our ordinance changed. Pensacola, the largest city in the county, allows chickens, but the county doesn't in residential areas. The irony is that lot sizes are often much larger in the county, but even if you have 2 1/2 acres, you technically can't own them if you are zoned residential. We had a rough start with Animal Control and one commissioner trying to obstruct us behind the scenes, but things seem to be changing as we gain more support, especially from within the government! Sadly, they don't really care how many citizens support something, but if insiders want it, then it stands a better chance of getting done!
     
  10. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't see why we have to live in such a way that everything we do is governed...I don't want to live somewhere that tells me what I can and can't have.
     

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