New BYC Member from Seattle! Ideas on legal resources for keeping chickens???

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by TurboPaved, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. TurboPaved

    TurboPaved New Egg

    Nov 26, 2016
    Hi BYC members! I'm a Seattlite new to the poulterer scene. Wife and I adopted seven hens earlier this year, and we couldn't be happier with our decision. I've visited BYC a number of times, finally decided to join the community.

    We have one of each: Gold Sex Link, Cuckoo Maran, Blue Silkie, Easter Egger, and a Delaware, as well as two other chickens we adopted from someone else who couldn't hang on to them any longer. Our friends and their kids enjoy coming over to see the chickens and leave with a dozen fresh eggs. We look forward to many fun years with our feathered pets.

    However, we now find ourselves embroiled in a bit of a tiff with our HOA. We moved into a new townhouse complex that was built only last year in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Seattle. The complex and the HOA therein is a sign of said gentrification. We keep our chickens on our rooftop. We just found out that one of our townhouse complex neighbors filed a complaint with the city about our chickens for the sole reason (verbatim) that he "doesn't think chickens belong in this kind of townhouse complex."

    I reviewed the laws, and I'm confident that we're abiding by all of the laws and codes in the city, county, and state. As for the HOA bylaws, the builder said that he made the bylaws very flexible and unrestricted as possible. However, this neighbor said that if the city doesn't agree with him that chickens are against code--which they're not--then he wants to get the HOA to create a new bylaw outlawing chickens on the premise.

    It's not about noise or about attracting raccoons, neither of which is a problem because they're on the rooftop, and neither of which was ever brought up by this neighbor in the email and verbal communications we had. He just truly believes that chickens shouldn't be allowed in this type of community. One of his arguments was "well, what if everyone in the HOA started raising chickens?!" Guess what my answer was... ;)

    I know that this is a long shot, but has anyone else experienced this kind of situation where one neighbor in a townhouse HOA is trying to create new HOA rules to outlaw chickens, even though they're being lawfully kept on the roof and away from other units' properties?

    Does anyone on BYC have suggestions, ideas, or resources I can review to push back?

    The chickens are a mainstay of our family, and we don't like being pushed around by uppity busybodies just because of our legal choice of pets.

    Thanks, and excited to learning from your experiences in raising chickens!

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