unincorporated Arlington, WA rural area with HOA not allow hens

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by NurseMomLife22, Mar 26, 2018.

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  1. NurseMomLife22

    NurseMomLife22 In the Brooder

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    Hiya! A little about me... and a question....

    I am a mom of two little boys, a nurse and wife. Last year we moved from the suburbs to an acre lot surrounded by trees. These neighbors cannot throw a rock from their home and hit ours at all. I read the CCNRs before we moved. They were written 12 years before. They specifically mentioned no poultry allowed on lot. Pets are allowed. It is my young family's dream to be more sustainable and add some hens to our little family. There are a million benefits and it fits our lifestyle to a "T". We make a lot of our own foods, grow veggies/fruits etc. I cut their hair etc... There are only 10 members of our HOA. We all have ACRE+ lots! Recently had the yearly meeting and I asked about allowing hens, up to 10, contained, maintained, no rooster, etc. 6 out of the 10 voted no. They say that they will bring rats to everyone... The fact is that we live in rural farmlands of Arlington, WA. I pass about 8 different kinds of animals to my home everyday. There are actually chickens at the end of one of our private roads in our little neighborhood. Those people are in a different HOA... but we are all considered the same "Lakewood Crest Neighborhood". In my head, this makes zero sense. The chickens are already here. This is the country--critters are already here. When we moved in, inspector found mice, snakes and wasps in our home with issues. I wasn't the least bit surprised. Also, the purchase and sale document had a disclosure statement that we had to sign acknowledging that we live near farms and it is zoned for farming. This blows my mind. I never thought for a second that I would have to be fighting this hard to get my HOA group to amend this rule for my family's well being and happiness to own a few hens on our own property in a rural country area. I am about to go around to my neighbors with a petition and explain my vision for my coop/run/veggie area. Also to note, we have about 8 cats that roam free in our neighborhood. They defecate and pee in my flower beds consistently. I do not raise a fuss. Also, neighbors have great danes and other dogs outside. Between their barking and poo, a few chickens in my yard would be nothing. Please advise.
     
  2. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    You might be out of luck unfortunately, as you've already brought it up to the HOA and most of your neighborhood is against it. Certainly it wouldn't hurt to try and change the minds of the 6 who voted no, if you approach them with a reasonable proposal about how you'd handle housing the chickens, pest control, etc.

    Regardless of the fact that you're on acreage and your town or county does allow chickens, your HOA can place further restrictions and by living in a neighborhood governed by an HOA you have to abide by their rules or else there's usually fines. This is why a lot of people on this site are firmly anti-HOA!

    If you think you can sneak in chickens without anyone finding out, you can risk it, but chickens aren't exactly silent. I'm on 4 acres but I can hear my hens 2 to 3 lots over. Maybe you can get away with it if you're the last house on the line and next to a house that is allowed to have chickens?
     
  3. Thyme4Chickens

    Thyme4Chickens Songster

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    Hi! I'm very new to chickens (as in, my chicks haven't even arrived yet!). I was wondering about interviewing the chicken keeper(s) and the members of the other HOA to ask them about their experiences. If they have not seen an increase in rats, that may be persuasive to your HOA.

    Also, perhaps research how to predator proof a coop/run from rats, and present this to your HOA? There are many threads over in the Predators/Pests section, here's one of them: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/rats-and-mice.1226399/#post-19663425
     
  4. aligarysmom

    aligarysmom Chirping

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    Ok, take this anyway you like. We lived in an HOA in another state. They had rules, but couldn't really enforce them. What exactly are they going to do? You are within the laws of the county, and unless you signed these HOAs they can't do anything about it, really. They can however, drive you crazy. I don't know what their recourse would be is all I'm saying.

    They tried this with my father, and he basically told them, take me to court. Which they never did even after years of placing things in the mailbox stating that he couldn't do certain things. OF course, you will have to decide if you want to upset 6 out of your 10 neighbors. It is possible that just because the board didn't vote it in, you could start a petition and get everyone else not on the board to sign something stating they wouldn't mind you having them.

    Either way the local government says you can have them, then you can. You aren't violating a law.
     
  5. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner Professional Chicken Tender

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    Sounds pretty clear you won't be getting chickens.
    Amazes me how many people move into HOAs knowing the rules and then soon after decide they shouldn't apply or should be changed to suit them.
    Harsh post but its reality.
     
  6. aligarysmom

    aligarysmom Chirping

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    I feel if people think certain rules should be applied then make them city law so they can be inforced. Otherwise they are recommendations. Nothing more
     
  7. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    Problem is some HOAs do take people to court. In the end, even if you win, how many people can afford thousands in attorney fees, never mind months of hassle and stress? To me it's just not worth it. Better to just not be in a HOA in the first place, even if that limits your choices in neighborhoods.
     
  8. aligarysmom

    aligarysmom Chirping

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    Yes I agree. But most don’t. Yep it’s up to you if it’s worth it.
     
  9. LittleMissCountry

    LittleMissCountry Songster

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    I would probably come up with a plan and presentation, with research showing the benefits of having chickens, and present it at the next meeting. If you can get support from the neighbors who already said yes, all the better. We live in a subdivision with 6 acre lots, and our HOA bylaws are written very vaguely, which we recently found out means that the board can interpret them to suit their purposes. I would actually prefer them to be written out in black and white.
     
  10. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    What they can do is this... they can fine you for violating the HOA rules. If you don't pay the fines, they can put a lien against your property. It's not a good situation. You don't want your HOA to be your enemy, but your friend. The HOA exists for a reason and many people like the services and regulations HOAs provide.

    What you can do is this... continue to be an active member of your HOA. Run to be on the board if you are not already on the board. Get other homeowners (who may share your views) be become active members of the HOA. Go to all the meeting. Make well thought out and informed comments on all the issues. Make clear and specific proposals to your HOA to be voted on. Look at other HOAs and towns and how they restrict chickens and make your proposal based on this. Show that you are open to regulating chickens even if they are allowed. Things like number of birds, if you can have roosters, if they must be fenced, type of fencing, structure/coop in relation to homes and property lines. Be involved beyond chickens, don't be labeled as a crazy chicken person, be labeled as a person who cares about and is invested in the community.

    I have lived with an HOA and I have lived without one. There are pros and cons to both. Being involved was the key to being happier with my HOA and I actually served as board president for several years before moving. Good luck.
     

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