This has been a frustrating week for me! For those of you who do not know, I do live in an HOA (and yes, HOA's discourage chickens). Somebody decided they would like chickens the “right way” and decided to bring it up to the board. Well, to change the vote we need 68% of all homeowners to actually come in and give a “yes” vote for chickens. No shows (including the builders, who own two of the seventy-one lots), people behind on their dues (there are a few homes in foreclosure, but that does not mean they are behind in their dues), and people who rent count as an automatic “no”. Unless, of course, the builders or landlords are willing to come and vote “yes” for a neighborhood they don't even live in. So much for the “do it and pray” tactic. Since it was brought up they walked around searching backyards for coops and gave a “friendly notice” that they will need to be removed.
Let's see, 71 homes: 2 lots, 3 foreclosures, I believe there are at least 4 renters although I do know somebody who knows one of the landlords and she said she would give a yes vote. 9 people pre-voted “no” on a neighborhood poll and 5 pre-voted “yes”. That would mean I need 42 of the remaining 48 people to be willing to take time out of their day and vote yes for chickens. It's a long-shot to say the least. I will be pursuing it (and my chickens have a good home in the meantime), but it might just mean we will not be able to have them until we move.
Yes, I know HOA's are horrible and when we moved here “non-HOA” was at the top of our list. Unfortunately, we live in HOA world Arizona (approximately 89% of the homes in Chandler are in HOA's but I couldn't find Tucson statistics. On average, 75% of newly built homes are built into an HOA and since Arizona has seen a lot of new construction over the last 15 years almost everything here is in an HOA). When we looked, the non-HOA homes were the ones that had “protected home values” that the HOA homes always claim. The HOA homes were in foreclosure, had liens from being in an HOA, and had a fewer amount of people willing to buy it because of the HOA. Supply and demand meant that we just couldn't afford one of the few non-HOA homes. We looked for almost a full year (living with my in-laws in the meantime since we had moved here from Kansas City)… homes with “no HOA!!!” at the top of the listing always got top dollar and sold fast. We finally had to give in and purchase an HOA home.
We did choose a home in an HOA that seemed to be chicken-friendly. At the time that we purchased there were 3 homes that had chickens in their backyard, including one with a rooster. We talked to them and other neighbors and a few more expressed interest in getting backyard chickens. We thought we were home-free.
In any case, I will be writing up responses to the basic non-chicken arguments and I will post them here as I do. If they do not help me, hopefully they will at least help another HOA stuck person. I'll keep you posted as to how our fight goes. Arizona just passed (through the Senate – not the House yet) a law that says cities cannot ban chickens, only make noise/smell/amount ordinances. They say it is a freedom of property to choose the pets you want and the ordinances should take care of the rest. Good for them, it doesn't apply to HOA's, but at the very least, if it passes, it will be an interesting court case when somebody challenges the HOA's ability to do something the state deems illegal. Of course, HOA's have nearly unlimited funds and most homeowners not so much. We had to pay a few thousand dollars for a lien the previous owners had acquired for not paying their own dues. Only a few hundred of that were their delinquent fees. The rest… lawyer dues.
In case you missed it, here were the posts from this week!
- DIY Simple Bird Feeder Preschool Craft
- The Cost of Cloth Diapers – Prefold and Cover System
- What Carnivore Manure Should you Avoid in the Garden
- Salmonella and Feeding Eggshells to your Chickens
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