Seattle, Washington resident - seeking guidance on HOA issue

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by TurboPaved, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. TurboPaved

    TurboPaved Hatching

    Nov 26, 2016
    Hi BYC friends! I'm a new member. A fellow member suggested that I post my question here. Below is a copy/paste of my original post in the New Members forum.

    My wife and I 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, and our unit is along the outside perimeter of the complex.

    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.

    Many thanks in advance!
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    If they are legal per zoning and code, and not in violation of your CC&Rs, the neighbor has no grounds. Even if they were able to get the rules changed, you would almost certainly be protected by grandfathering.
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Songster

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    The city is unlikely to side with him, Seattle is very open to the idea of urban chickens.

    You might have a fight with the HOA depending on who is running it - some of them are run by council, some by an outside agency, etc. If possible you might want to contact the HOA in advance and find out where they stand. You might need to collect statements from other neighbors in your complex stating they don't have a problem with the chickens, have photos or videos of your set up showing the animals are clean and well cared for and not a nuisance, etc.

    Worst case scenario, (if this guy gets his way) you should see if you can have your chickens grandfathered in. You won't be able to get more birds but at least you can keep the ones you have.

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