"As part of the City's "Comprehensive Clean-Up Program," city staff inspected property located in Knoxville at @%#$ North Seventh. It was determined that a violation(s) of City Code exists. More specifically, the violation(s) include the following listed items. These numbered items may be referenced to the coordinating numbered code sections on the attached page.So, that is the letter I received in the mail yesterday (along with a phone call on Wednesday). The letter goes on to say, "blah, blah, blah ... you have 14 days to get rid of the chickens ... blah, blah, blah ... if you don't get rid of them you are going to have to pay some serious fines ... blah, blah, blah ... Please remember the character of a neighborhood depends on everyone taking pride in their surroundings to maintain quality and beauty for the entire community of Knoxville."
The City has recently received a complaint about this property: There is a violation of Section 9-6B-2:Farm animals are not allowed in the City. Please make other arrangements for them."
Okay, so above you can see the picture of our movable chicken pen if you have never seen it before. I know that it isn't very pretty, but what about the house around the corner that has over 200 action figures and stuffed animals covering the yard! Or, the house up the street that looks like it is falling down and is for sale for only $20,000 dollars. Possibly we should consider doing something about our neighbors who moved out and only mowed their lawn ONCE this entire summer!
The law is the law, and I have already moved my chickens down to my dad's (more on that visit tomorrow) because I don't want to be in violation of city code. It just doesn't look good for a pastor to be knowingly breaking the law! But, I guess I just don't understand why it is the law. In West Des Moines (really fancy suburb of Des Moines) it is legal to have up to 30 chickens in your backyard! But, in Knoxville (a smaller rural community) we can't have that kind of filth.
Oh well, I'm really not to concerned ... I'm just disappointed because it was my one connection to the farm this winter. The chickens were my "doing" instead of just reading about it all of the time. We had been experimenting with feed rations, winter shelter, and other stuff and we had been having good results. But, now they are just down in the corner of a shed near my cows.
Just to show that I can be a "glass half full" kind of guy ... earlier this week my church board approved a motion to sell the parsonage that I live in, now it has to go to the congregation. The sale of this house would do a lot to help get the church out of debt and that is my main concern, but it will also help us make a move to the country. If the house was going to be listed this spring we would have moved the chickens anyways, this just forced us to do it earlier.
So, the moral of the story ... if your moving to Knoxville, IA don't bring your chickens into town! :)
**By the way, the second picture in this post is of the chickens in their new shed home**