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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Great Chicken Dilemma

Please mommy, get me a chicken!
Since hubby and I are thinking about taking the next step in our Urban Homesteading Adventure, I went ahead and took a class on chickens. And I was mostly sold on the idea of getting some for our family. Hubby and the kids are in love with the idea.

The problem: Where we live isn't zoned for having chickens.

We live in an unincorporated part of the county. All of the incorporated cities in our county allow chickens. However, since we live in unincorporated land, we're at the county zoning rules' mercy. Since our house is not zoned for chickens, we can't have them.

Here is my problem with that. Our lot size is twice the size of lots in the cities that allow chickens. Our neighborhood (other than having larger lots) is exactly like any other neighborhood that allows chickens.

I've talked to a few people, and their solution is to get chickens anyway.  My problem with that is that it is technically breaking the law. Hubby has argued that violating zoning rules is not breaking the law because they can't put you in jail for it- they can just make you get rid of the chickens. Uhm, okay... but that's still going against the county rules, which is still wrong.

Needless to say, hubby and I are at loggerheads over this issue. He wants to get chickens anyway, and I would rather follow the rules. I am such a rule follower, that one time, on a retreat, my friends went hiking and I freaked out over violating a "No Trespassing" sign. I still thank God we didn't get arrested. (Wait. Does anyone know the statute of limitations on trespassing?) My plan is to challenge the county on this rule and work through the legal channels of trying to get them to change this rule. Hubby says that will take too long.

My other issue is that I don't want to be a bad example to our kids. The rule says "No chickens." If we knowingly break that rule, are we teaching them that it's okay to break the laws they don't agree with?

What would you do?


Kay Day said...

I see laws and rules as two different things. I won't trespass. I won't cross against the light.
But I will break rules. I'll go in the out door and take food into the theaters.
I would have to determine whether the zoning thing was a rule or a law and go from there. I mean, since I don't mind breaking rules.
I don't break all rules, mind you. But when they make no sense or cramp my style I will. :)

Delia said...

Even though I'm right there with you and wouldn't want to break the rule...I'm such a pushover that I'd probably end up doing it. And then I'd promptly get caught.

Danica/Dream said...

Kay, I think the zoning thing is closer to a law than a rule.

Delia, I'm probably closer to pushover as well, since everyone wants them. We found out the people behind us have them, and we went to see them today. And fell in love. They said they found something online that makes it legal to have chickens, so I'm pursuing that avenue. AND changing the law to make it clearer for everyone!