Need help quick!!!

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Chic Life, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. Chic Life

    Chic Life New Egg

    Apr 30, 2009

    So, glad I found this awesome site. Sorry, but no time to waste.

    Well, recently my dad, who lives in Owasso, OK, received a letter from the county (Rogers County) telling him he had 30 days to remove his chickens or be fine $500 or a year in jail. They've been living at that location for about 2 years now without any reports until someone recently complained of them having chickens.

    The letter states that this is "...against Rogers County Ordinance. Your subdivision is zoned RS-40 (residential single family home on a minimum of 40,000 square feet of property). Poultry is prohibited in any residential zoning."

    Please help. I need to know soon of what I can do so I can help him. If you need to see the full letter, please let me know soon as he now has less than 30 days before they take further actions on him.

    Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch~!
  2. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    I don't know who to see about this, but I am sure someone here can guide you in the right direction.
    Good luck, I hope everything works out for your Dad![​IMG]
  3. SMan

    SMan Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2009
    Ridgefield, Wa
    Call your city or county manager or mayor (basically who ever is in chanrge), explain your situation and ask for process to change code and/or a variance. Also ask for a hold on the fine till a final decision is made, the man at the top is usually the only person who will grant a hold/stay. Also talk to the department that issued the letter and explain things to them. Just find out what you need to do, BUT get ready to move the chickens if need be while you fight.

    And remember NO is like because, it doesn't mean a thing till you pester them to death first.
  4. Chic Life

    Chic Life New Egg

    Apr 30, 2009
    Thanks for the recommendations guys.

    Well, since I've never dealt with any high profile people or authority figures before, how should I approach them? How should I prepare my speech and proofs or evidence if necessary? Who should I contact first? Who should I contact last?

    Well, the thing about my dad is that he does not speak any English at all and is not very knowledgeable or aware of the laws and regulations in Oklahoma. He is 75 years old and doesn't have any other interests besides raising chickens and gardening in his own backyard. So, taking away his chickens is like taking his life away. He would be really sad to be without his chickens. His chickens and gardens are his only way of entertainment by watching them grow and run around the backyard.

    He was tearing up inside when I spoke with him the other day on the phone. I myself was pretty teared up inside as well just hearing him going through this. I wanted to be able to do something to help him keep his chickens. He is getting old and I want him to be happy for the rest of his life. Being able to raise chickens in his own backyard is a dream of his. I've never seen anyone take such good care of their chickens like he took care of his. They were like his children. He is out night and days with them most of the times. Plus, the family loves the chickens very much, too.

    Please help. Time is running out. I have to do something quick as I don't live in Oklahoma. Any advice is very much appreciated it.

  5. SMan

    SMan Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2009
    Ridgefield, Wa
    Just be nice, leave them (Manager/mayor) a message and shoot them an e-mail. Call the people who sent the letter and explain the situation to them, maybe he's grandfather. Remember 2 things-

    A. They are people, so treat them as you would like to be treated

    B. They work for you (believe it or not all civil servants report to their stakeholders) so don't take because or no without an explanation, and reference to the actual code.

    Request a variance fast and try to get a extension on the 30 days.
  6. Just a Country Girl

    Just a Country Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2009
  7. Chic Life

    Chic Life New Egg

    Apr 30, 2009

    Thanks so much for the quick reply. I really do appreciate it.

    I guess the only and best option is to go down and talk to one of those guys and explain the situation. The problem is that I don't live in town with my dad at this time. Can I call instead? However, I will try to visit him sometime this summer. Any advice on how I should go about explaining my dad's situation to them? Out of those people, who has the most power in making the final decision? Should I talk to all of them if possible? I've never had any experience talking with any of these county government or commissioner before, it could be a little intimidating. How easy going are these guys? Can I talk to them like I talk with regular people like you and I?

    What is a Selectman?

    I don't know that many people that are animal lovers who can guide me through this tough situation. My only hope now is you guys in this forum and maybe some other online resources. You guys are great. I feel much more relieved now than before.

    I'll let you guys know how things went. In the mean time, please don't hesitate to throw in any advice that you feel may be helpful in solving this problem. I'm always on the look out for ways on how to get through this.

    Thanks everyone.
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You found this forum, which has an extensive amount of information on local chicken laws and ordinances. Now please read through it. There are multiple steps that can be taken to fight this sort of thing. First step is to research state and local law, and the resources are here to do that. It is quite possible this letter was not even in compliance with local law. And even if it was, it is quite possible it can be challenged and defeated on a local level.

    Of course, a decent local attorney would be a great help. It would help if he had chickens or some other livestock....

    If you want to fight for this, it will take time and effort, but it can be won. In the end, he is living a "green" (very popular now) lifestyle, and, IMHO, is exercising a basic civil right.

    How awful that someone made an issue of this for this gentleman. And how awful that some jerk would do this to a 75 year old man who lives for his chickens.
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    People in the northeast call city council members selectmen. I seriously doubt that is what they are called in Oklahoma (I was born and raise in North Texas).

    I am guessing from some of the things that you've said that you are relatively young? (the older I get the less I am intimidated by talking to people--and you have never met a person who is shyer than I have been most of my life)

    When you call, ask to speak to someone who is conversant with zoning ordinances, that you have some questions that you are trying to help your father resolve.

    Then explain that he has lived in his home for 2 years and had chickens the entire time, and was given to believe that they were permitted. But that he recently was cited for having them, and you are wanting to clarify exactly what the relevant zoning and ordinances say so that you can explain to him.

    One very specific question you need to determine is whether he is governed by city or county zoning--if the county cited him, and he lives inside city limits there is probably a jurisdiction problem. Quite frankly, if he is inside city limits, I would check with the city first. Only after checking with them, or if he is outside city limits would I check with the county.

    Be polite and respectful, and ask lots of questions. Take notes, and be sure to ask people politely for their names, and call them by their name when you are speaking with them.

    Another question you need to ask is the process for getting a variance so that he can keep them.

    A first time civil offense (and the first notice of it)should not have a $500 fine or a year in jail--something doesn't fit.

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