Chickengate 2011–The fallout

4 May

The city came to my house yesterday for what I assumed to be a determination about the care of my animals, whether or not they had adequate space & whether or not my coop had enough setback from my neighbor . Know that I have been extremely embarrassed by my home for a very long time. We bought our house because it was located in an amazing community, it was a classic bungalow & we had big dreams of restoring it to it’s original beauty. It hasn’t quite happened that way. We still love our community, but bit off way more than we could chew with the house. So, for years I have let very few people in. Even my business partner of 7 years has only been in once. So, when all this started up about my animals…the neighbor, attention & article, I felt invaded.

So, sorry…back to the animals. The part about the house will make sense in a minute. The city code enforcement shows up & before they have even entered the back yard, they told me the exterior of my home needed to be repaired & painted. As if we wouldn’t have already done it if we had the money. The city officials moved to my backyard where the animals are kept. It was determined that my animals had adequate space & that I maintained sanitary conditions. They also determined that some cleanup was needed in the yard, which included removal of some overgrowth & some construction debris. These were things we were already working on. They also determined that I would need to move my coop, which I anticipated & that they would be notifying me of where it needs to be located. All of the things about the yard I anticipated, but the house?! Thanks to this woman, I now have to do work that I am simply not sure we can afford. I am sure that she takes great pleasure in this.

Meanwhile another article runs about the situation which was totally biased on the other side. The reporter interviewed several of my neighbors, many if not all had many wonderful things to say which he never quoted. One of my neighbors stated that every time she hears the animals, it reminds her of when times were simpler. Yet another stated that anytime he has someone over, he takes them immediately to see my animals. AND, yet another neighbor said many positive things, but the reporter took the interview & turned it around to sound negative. Furthermore, this reporter apparently stood on the other side of my fence & took pictures of my yard while my kids were playing outside which frankly, I find creepy. He even initially posted a picture of my daughter on the site, which I immediately requested to be taken down. I am all for presenting both sides, but this was simply not done. I keep trying to remind myself that the articles do not matter. BUT, he did quote the complaining neighbor saying that she “can’t entertain in her yard because of the smell” (there is none) & that she “can’t cook in her kitchen.” Are you kidding me?! No one’s opinion matters except for the city’s & I just need to make sure I comply with their requests. Of course, this is not over for my neighbor since she has now decided to take her fight to the city commission & the mayor. I believe she will have a fight on her hands as this community is very supportive of urban agriculture.

This has all put a great strain on me & my family. I would love to bury my head in the sand & hope it will all go away. But, since this woman has made it her personal mission to go this route, I simply have to keep moving on & hope that the universe had some big plans for us. I have to believe that this is happening for a reason. And a good reason at that.


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