Hello from Wichita, KS. New member.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ekramer, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. ekramer

    ekramer New Egg

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    Jan 1, 2013
    Wichita, KS
    I'm really pleased to have found this wonderful website and forum. I have a long-standing interest in sustainable living, self sufficiency, and eco-friendly approaches to each. Add to that a small touch of prepper mentality, and you have a pretty good idea where I'm coming from. An interest in raising backyard chickens was my first introduction to this whole concept of living I've just mentioned, followed closely by eco-friendly home building concepts.

    My son gave me 6 chicks as an Easter gift last April. I resolved to raise them in my suburban back yard for egg production and just plain enjoyment of a new kind of pet. I shared that goal with three of my immediate neighbors, one of whom turned me in, to not only the city police, but also my neighborhood's Homeowners Association. The Police, when they knocked on my door a couple days later, were very matter-of-fact about seeing my six little fur balls. They didn't care, as long as I went down to City Hall in the next few days and procured a license (cost $25). Wichita requires it for 4 or more chickens. Twelve is max, and no roosters allowed within the city limits. I bought my license the next business day.

    But my Homeowners Association had a cow. They were appalled, stating no one had ever tried such a thing in the entire 20 years of the development's existence. I reminded the HOA that the 1990s were long gone, and that they had to get with the times. I said there was no prohibition against keeping chickens in the Covenants, and that the City of Wichita allowed a limit of 12. They, in turn, informed me they reserved the right to add a prohibition against chickens if they so chose, and that I would be held to any covenant change with no grandfathering protection. They invited me to defend my intentions before it came to a vote at the next Board Meeting. I prepared diligently, and gave an impassioned defense, but it was to no avail. I could tell before the first words left my lips they were against it, and sure enough the vote was unanimous against it.

    I've been fuming ever since, thinking about how George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would have conducted themselves if challenged in such a way. What would they have said? What about their emphasis on the pursuit of happiness, of personal liberty, and their hatred of tyranny. My opinions fell on surprising few sympathetic ears. Most everyone reminded me that no one forced me to buy in that neighborhood and that I knew about and signed to abide by the covenants and the HOA's decisions. But then, again, having never owned a house in a covenant neighborhood before, I never dreamed they would enforce the HOA covenants like a bunch of Nazi jack-booted thugs. Some lawyers I know said I was immune from criminal prosecution because I had my city license, but that I was still open to civil prosecution by the HOA due to the covenants I signed.

    OK. So I get it. I've got no leg to stand on, and only myself to blame for allowing my wife to talk me into buying in this snooty, uppity neighborhood run by control freaks. But she's from New York City and does NOT share my love of country living and self sustainability. Our friends call us "Green Acres", because I'm just like Eddie Albert, and my wife is the quintessential ZSA Zsa Gabor.

    Before signing up to be a forum member I was reading a BYC thread entitled, "The right to grow and raise your own food". That thread would have been useful if I was fighting the City of Wichita. But the HOA Board is not bound by constitutional legal rationale. They can legislate as they wish, and I can't do anything about it, except sell the house and buy another in the country.

    This, then, brings me to my first enquiry of the participants in this forum. Other than the thread I just mentioned reading, are there any other BYC threads I should reference regarding other recourses I might take? I should probably read my covenants more closely to see what the avenues are to have grievances redressed. Maybe I can launch a petition drive to have the new prohibitions struck from the Covenants. I'm looking specifically about fights with HOAs and what others may have done to overcome chicken keeping restrictions inside snooty neighborhoods. Point me. I'm open to advice.
     
  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    :welcome Glad you joined BYC :) There are many threads here on BYC that would help you. Try searching for them and I'm sure you will find many helping tips.
     
  3. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from a fellow Kansan, ekramer, and [​IMG]! Great to have you here but sorry to hear your HOA is so tyrannical. The thread you metnioned - "the right to grow and raise your own food"....did you find it here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/37/local-chicken-laws-ordinances-and-how-to-change-them

    I know a lot of folks have been helped by info located there. Also check the Kansas thread here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you

    I know some Wichita folks are one that thread - maybe they can lend you some advice. I wish you all the best and hope the powers that be see the light!
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    X 2 Welcome to BYC.
     
  6. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] [​IMG] from washington state glad you joined us!
     
  7. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us. x3. Lots of good luck [​IMG]
     

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