Have to quit before I start.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Mattsculpt, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Mattsculpt

    Mattsculpt Chirping

    Oct 29, 2011
    Proctor, Arkansas
    I live out in the country on a gravel road surrounded by soybean and rice fields. I thought I did my homework, and had checked all ordinances with the county about keeping poultry. Asked if there were any restrictions on keeping chickens and was told no there were none on the property. I talked with my close neighbors. Other neighbors had chickens and no one seemed to mind. I ordered my chicks 3 months ago. I really happy to finally have my dream of a little hobby farm. I went to work on the coop about 3 weekends ago.

    Yesterday morning I got the call that my chickens were shipped and on their way. Woo! Hoo! I got the brooder set up. Everything was ready to go.
    A few hours later as I was putting the finishing touches on my coop, a guy at the end of the street came by to tell me that I can't keep chickens due to a covenant restriction on the property. Seems he brought a lawsuit on one of two other neighbors that are keeping chickens. I had never even heard of such a thing but sure enough, buried in the title insurance was a one line reference to restrictions on the deed in book…page… I called the county and there it was, a
    blasted list of restricted covenants that I never knew existed. Guess the clerks office didn’t bother to look anything up the first time I asked them. Only animals I can keep are dogs, cats and pet birds, excluding fowl.

    Apparently I’m a member in homeowner’s association set up by the original landowner which has never met.
    This isn’t some posh gated community, its bare 1 acre lots surrounded by farmland with doublewide trailers on them for Pete’s sake. In spring half the lots are flooded, in summer the mosquitoes are so bad you can’t hardly go outside and all winter the wind howls like a banshee. Not exactly a prime subdivision next to the golf course in La Jolla.

    Anyway my chicks arrived this morning. Beautiful healthy little birds I now have to sell.

    I don’t know whether to be angry or sad.
    Mostly I just feel sick.

  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Geeze, how disappointing and what timing - finding out just as you are finishing the coop. I hate the fine print and housing associations. What a pain!
  3. featherfinder

    featherfinder Runner Lover

    Apr 16, 2011
    Pinallas Park, Florida
    If you are part of the homeowners association then cant you set up a meeting with the others and have it changed to where chickens are allowed?
  4. SherrieT

    SherrieT Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Barrington, RI
    A Homeowners Association is MUCH different than the Covenants that it sounds like you are under. I found this information:

    Quote: It sounds like your neighbor took the only route he could with the covenants - he took them to courts. You might want to check into the lawsuits he said he brought against them. Maybe he did or maybe he didn't really. And if he did he just might have lost. And then take a look at his place and compare it to the Covenants. He might be going against some of them too
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012

  5. KBlue

    KBlue Songster

    Apr 21, 2011
    Katy, TX
    I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that if the deed restrictions (of all stripes) had not been enforced for a certain period of time then they (all) become null and void. You'd probably have to talk to a real estate lawyer to get the specifics. But if others in the area have violations that have never been addressed, the HOA cannot suddenly start picking and choosing which ones to enforce. Something to think about.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Adenium

    Adenium Songster

    Jan 28, 2012
    What timing for this guy to march up and inform you of the restrictions! I feel for you. Our town only recently changed rulings on chickens, and to be honest we ran it by our neighbors and would have tried to have them anyway - it's just a few little hens.

    I'm guessing there's no way to appeal to his barely-there better nature? Is it possible to talk to him to determine his problem with having chickens nearby and assuage his fears? Is he worried about the place being packed with them, or having crowing roosters or manure odors?

    I would think perhaps anyone under these rules could get together and change them, depending on how the covenant was set up. Any homeowner's association should certainly be able to meet and make appropriate modifications - and new buyers should be given the relevant information when they move in to avoid any issues.
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Covenants do not cease to exist just because there has been no enforcement; but that IS grounds to get a court to nullify provisions that have routinely been ignored for a long period of time. You are very correct that enforcement cannot be a case of pick and choose who to to enforce against and who to ignore.

  8. Get a copy of the bylaws for your HOA and find out what it would take to change that! The bylaws may even contain provisions for dissolving the HOA. Don't let this guy use it to bully the neighborhood.
  9. SherrieT

    SherrieT Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    Barrington, RI
    It's not a HOA

  10. KBlue

    KBlue Songster

    Apr 21, 2011
    Katy, TX

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