This article about a homing pigeon keeper who may lose his birds appeared on the front page of our paper today. I've attached the text below-or cut and paste this link to see the article with pictures:http://www.dispatch.com/live/conten...hole.ART_ART_12-10-07_A1_BD8NB8O.html?sid=101 Pets or pests? Homing pigeon coop riles neighbors Dublin man's homing-pigeon coop riles neighbors, prompts lawsuit Monday, December 10, 2007 3:06 AM By Dean Narciso THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH DORAL CHENOWETH IIIDISPATCH For four years, Yijing Sun has raised his homing pigeons in a coop in his Dublin backyard, but his neighbors say the coop violates deed rules. Five days a week, Yijing Sun drives to his job with a cooing cadre of homing pigeons in the back seat. At day's end, he leaves the Marysville Reformatory for Women, where he manages recreation programs, and heads to his car. The birds take to the sky. He admires them as they fly away, but they are not so well-received at their destination. Hours later, the 17 pigeons drop to the landing of an 8-foot-tall coop 20 miles away in the backyard of Sun's Dublin home. They enter a one-way door and feed, sleep and preen. "That's the fun," said Sun, with a boyish grin and enthusiasm that belie his 59 years. "No other pets can come back so loyally -- so exhausted, they just want to come home. That's amazing." Homing pigeons are Sun's hobby, one he learned as a 12-year-old in Beijing. He loves the peaceful birds, saying he has learned from their relaxed, reliable nature in the four years he has housed them in a hutch built with excess lumber from a neighbor's deck project. The cycle would continue if not for a group of his Dublin neighbors who say the coop violates deed restrictions in their Lowell Trace subdivision. His homeowners association told him in 2003 that outside structures such as coops and sheds are not permitted. Dublin already had given him permission to build the 6-by-6-foot coop. But it's unclear whether Dublin should have allowed the coop. According to Dublin's zoning laws, only rural districts, not residential, allow farming, horticulture or animal husbandry, including raising pigeons. A building permit was issued in error, according to a city memo. So the city told Sun in October that the pigeons would have to go. Sun then appealed the decision to the Board of Zoning Appeals, setting up a stalemate until the appeal is resolved. Meanwhile, the Lowell Trace Homeowners Association filed a lawsuit against Sun, claiming he is in violation of deed restrictions and asking that he remove the coop. Sun considers his pigeons household pets and said his neighbors are exaggerating the nuisance. "This is not so serious a topic," he said from his family room overlooking the coop. "The key is not to bother others." Neighbors say he is doing just that. "If he wants to raise pigeons in cages in his basement, just like a parrot, he wouldn't have a squawk with me," said Steve Seggebruch, a 15-year resident. "I don't know what he's trying to prove," said Jeffrey J. Onesti, who moved to the neighborhood in June. "Your neighbors are mad at you, your wife is against you, there's a lawsuit against you. Is it really worth it?" About 100 homeowners each pay $45 in annual dues to maintain the community. That money now goes for litigation. Chris Cline, the association's attorney, said it should enforce its deed restrictions or risk losing them. As communities allow exceptions, rules become harder to enforce in the future, he said. Sun concedes that his wife, Tian Wei, is not a fan of the pigeons. And he said he's sorry that the dispute has become personal with his neighbors. But he's convinced it's worth fighting. "We should have practiced increased cultural understanding. I think that would be better." Some of his neighbors agree. "I don't think your homing pigeons bother anyone," David and Robyn Frid wrote in a letter of support to Sun. "I didn't even know they were there." Even if the association wins the lawsuit, Onesti said, it might lose the battle. "The guy can't even get rid of the pigeons," he said, "because they'll just come back."