I just got busted


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 8, 2009
Fort Wayne
I'm so sad. The neighborhood assoc. president just drove up and asked if our neighbors had chickens. I had to admit it was ME. She said she's been getting calls (NOT from people on my street, and there is no one behind us) alerting her to the fact that chickens are not allowed in the city and someone on our street has chickens!

I knew I was taking a chance. The good news is, the assoc. president is fine with me having chickens. She doesn't care a bit and either do ANY of my neighbors.

Our city (Fort Wayne) does allow chickens in the city if you have 5 acres. You can have up to 100 chickens per acre. Ugh! You'd think they'd let me have my 3 little hens in their cute little coop on my 1/2 acre. They just started laying too!

Well, I feel like I have a long road ahead of me. I will do what I can to change what I can. I feel very intimidated though.

Thank you for all the information here on this site. I just love BYC.
Dang I want to move to the country.
Okay, here's a question--if your association has no rules against it, why was the association president investigating it? If it is a city issue, the city should be the ones investigating.

You can apply for a variance--first, find out if any have been granted for a handful of hens, and if so, exactly what restrictions were placed upon them. Then find out the procedure for applying for a varience and follow it.
Excellent advice. Don't be intimidated. If the city hasn't contacted you, start doing some quiet research.

Is it true the city doesn't allow them on smaller plots? Verify that- quite often people spout laws and ordinances without having seen any real proof themselves. Get it in writing.

Who is calling, if not the neighbors? Someone doesn't want to complain directly to you?

What are the neighborhood covenants regarding pets? Why does the HOA president feel they have authority to enforce city law/ordinance? They don't.

Do your research, but for now, do it quietly. If it's a city problem, the city needs to contact you first. Meanwhile, make sure your chickens are quiet and that the coop and run are pristine.

Good luck to you, be calm and rational- but above all, do your research.
The ironic thing is poultry is expressly prohibited in our neighborhood covenants and yet the city's ordinances are rather ambiguous, stating only that livestock is not allowed unless you have 5 or more acres. What exactly is livestock, I want to know... 3 chickens?

But the hoa pres. is totally fine with the chickens and is pulling for me to get some kind of exemption.

I have no idea who is calling. Just people who drive by? It's my own darn fault since I let the chickens roam in my front yard. I just got comfortable since all my neighbors knew and didn't care... I figured other people would care even less...

Thanks for the advice. I'm gonna be building my case nice and quiet...
The HOA president and neighbors SAY they don't care- to you. Might be a different story behind closed doors.
If it's against covenants and you knew it, why did you get chickens? That is making the assumption that the covenants and restrictions were made known to at the time of purchase.At the time of purchase it was your intention to follow the rules, right? They didn't change the rules on you, did they?
Hate to be a wet dish rag. Doesn't matter if everyone or no one is complaining.And unfortunately it doesn't even matter how many rule other neighbors are not following.I think the HOA lady was trying to give you a hint without causing a problem. Kind of like, I see'm now but maybe tomorrow I won't see'm.
I am pro- chicken, personnally, I'd like to see every one own chickens, chickens in every neighborhood. For now if I were you I'd keep real quiet, super low profile, maybe it will just go away.
Well the thing was, I never intended to have chickens. Ever. Until my daugher brought home a little chick from school...

I'm still gonna try to change the law. That's one of the nice things about living in our country. I can at least try.
Been thinking about this situation. You have two seperate problems regarding the same issue.
Problem 1 HOA covenants
Problem 2 City/Town ordinance

Hoa covenant is like a contract you pledged to uphold when you purchased your property.

Ordinance is the law.

You intention to never have chickens is not an excuse. Fact is at the time that you signed you were aware of the rule. Time and situation does not change the rule. I imagine you can get the rule changed maybe. But, the HOA pres has done been to your home. That didn't fall out the sky, some one complained. More than likely to get the rule changed either it will take a majority vote or the permission of all your neighbors.
You best bet to keep your chickens-- is to be ignored. I haven't seen one HOA where a resident HOA nazi doesn't spend their entire waking hours dreaming up ways to mess with the neighbors. Garauntee your's will be no different.

The ordinance, good luck fighting city hall. It can be done, but it is going to take allot of time and resources.
I don't think much of Housing Authorities, they really have no authoritiy unless they sue. It reminds me of a HOA that tried to tell us we could not shrimp from a navigational canal in the keys. We laughed at him and he called the sheriffs office. But instead they sent Marine Patrol who informed him to stop harassing us as fishing and shrimping on navigational waters is a protected right. He went cussing and stomping all the way back to his car.

If I was you I would worry about the city because sooner of later someone will complain. Work on getting your variance now, as your chickens are clearly pets.

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