Tag Archives: joseph pond

What We Allow Will Continue

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Here we are again.

My friend, Joseph Pond, lost yet another battle with Cobb County on May 8th. The testimony of a neighbor from across the street (not adjacent to the property) determined the fate of Joseph Pond’s variance request:

The second case was my request. A show of hands from the public was eleven people supported and six people did not. I presented my case; three people presented opposition. One person was the President of a local civic organization that has opposed poultry in Cobb County from the beginning. She stated that several of the HOAs surrounding my neighborhood did not support my Variance. My neighborhood does not have an HOA. The second person to oppose is the President of a neighboring HOA. He stated that he and his association did not support my Variance. The third person was a member of the same HOA. During the discussion, an email was read from my neighbor that lives across the street- she opposed my Variance request. The neighbors on both sides of me supported my Variance and signed a petition stating such. The neighbor behind me, in a different neighborhood, did not support or oppose. The Board denied my request for a Variance.

I’m not sure how many times I have to say it, but this isn’t about chickens. It’s about property rights. It’s about neighbors staying on their side of the fence. It’s about local and county governments knowing their place. It’s about denying elected officials the ability to persecute individuals based on personal vendettas or political incest (look at the relationships between the Commissioners and the Board members). It’s time to put them back in their box.

If you recall the story of Andrew Wordes, few offered to help until it was too late. Few offered to acknowledge the political connections that continued the denial of rights. I’m not saying these stories are the same. They are not. But who’s to say that your neighbors won’t dictate what color you paint your house or what type of play ground you can build for your children or whether or not you can plant that garden you’d been planning? (This is not the time or place to retort about HOA’s because we are far beyond that at this point…the County and your neighbors are regulating and approving your back yard activities.)

I said it before and I’ll say it again. It could be you. It could be any issue.
I’m asking you to acknowledge that these kinds of things happen each and every day. I’m petitioning for you to consider the issue in a different light. I’m imploring that you do something to help.

If Mr. Pond is to continue his battle, he needs a legal counsel, but he needs help. You can donate here. (If the goal is not met, the money will be returned)

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Who’s In Your Backyard??

I’m a girly-girl. I like fashion, conservative politics and my puppies. I’m young by most standards and am still in the phase of my life where I’m “doing me”. I work hard but most days I can’t walk away from a good pair of Vera Wang boots. So you can imagine my own surprise when I became so passionate about chickens…..Yes, chickens.

Of course it all started with a very special friend named Andrew Wordes. And it certainly wasn’t just about chickens. But chickens were the start of it and chickens were the end of it. A select neighbor, and then the City of Roswell, did not want chickens on Andrews property. They said the chicks and hens were a nuisance (but a couple pigs were okay!).  They tried to enforce new ordinances, take him to court and ultimately harassed him to the brink of him taking his own life. Certainly not all cases (at least the ones we hear about) end up this way- and thank God for that. But we see it all over the state and the country. Right here in a Cobb County, a man is a facing is own battle with the county.

Residents in South Carolina, Nebraska and Rhode Island, among many others, are speaking out for the right to do as they please on their own property. A man up north was fined $5,200 for growing cucumbers in his yard and a homeowner in Orlando was given only a few days to dig up his garden because he ‘violated city codes’ on crop growing. And most outrageously, a couple was fined $1,650 for their noisy toddler in a condo complex. All were labeled ‘nuisances’.

Let’s consider a few aspects of what a nuisance is…
1.) Are chickens in your neighbors yard affecting whether you eat, sleep, breathe, work, produce, or live your life?—NO. Only roosters are loud.
2) Are chickens in your neighbors yard a health hazard? — NO. Yes, they do their dootie, but so do dogs. Most chicken owners keep their coops and backyards neat and clean. Rarely does one receive a health code violation.
3) Are chickens coops an eye sore? –NO. And if it’s in the backyard, who gives a darn?
4) Why does it bother you if someone has a garden on their property? It’s better than overgrown weeds and brush or trash and if you’re a good neighbor, you’d likely get some nice produce.
5) Does the sound of a child’s laughter really grind your behind THAT much? In the middle of the day?!?

What it comes down to is a bunch of snooty suburbanites who simply can’t handle the idea of their precious community have any characteristics of farms, whether it be animals, coops or crops. Homeowners associations are a nasty excuse for “acceptable” regulation. Why should you dictate what I do on my property? If I want to garden, I should garden. If I want to raise chickens, I should raise chickens. If I want to have a goat and play with it in the backyard of my suburban house in my Vera Wang boots while my toddler is laughing and jumping around, then I should do so. Without the intervention, permission, regulation, oversight or taxation of any level of government.

I’ll never forgive or forget what the City of Roswell did to Andrew. It was despicable and nothing short of tragic. But I’m asking you to think twice before you get your panties in a wad over what someone else is doing on their property. What happened to love thy neighbor? Why have we become this pathetic dependent on government to solve even the smallest disputes? I thought property rights were one of our very core foundations? Privacy? Freedom? At the end of the day, it may be about chickens for you…but for the person with the chickens, or the garden, or the toddler, it’s about property, protection and personal liberty. The federal government can tax us and control many of our activities, but we are most vulnerable at the local level– where no one is paying attention.