I went down to the courthouse on Monday to file the appeal of the decision from the zoning board of appeals. You know, the one where they voted 4-1 in the interpretation of the zoning ordinance against backyard chickens. Andy, The Chicken Whisperer, found the codes in Virginia Beach conflict with each other. One says no poultry, the other says ANY ANIMAL can be considered a companion animal. Well, chickens CERTAINLY fall under the category of companion animal as they are CERTAINLY…..wait for it………ANY ANIMAL.
I went to file whatever form I had to file for my appeal. Or, so I thought….. Yeah…..spent the day in the law library in the basement of the courthouse. Did you know that asking to file appeal with the circuit court of Virginia Beach involves so much more than filling out a form, signing your name, and paying the fee? Apparently, this requires the drafting of a “legal document” and requires an attorney or someone with the time and energy to understand the process. Did you know that the clerks in circuit court are not allowed to answer questions about the procedure as this is considered “legal advice”? (I half expected Ashton Kutcher to pop out with a camera telling me I was being punked….) I spent five hours in the basement law library researching wording and formatting of legal documents required to file an appeal with the circuit court. It was not a fun undertaking however it was definitely an enlightening experience. I drafted my “legal document” to the very best of my ability, with the help of the librarians, (the help was limited as they are also not allowed to give legal advice)…..okay….I went back up to the circuit court clerk to file my “legal document” , pay my fee for filing the “legal document”, and get a date for the next leg of the backyard chickens in Virginia Beach journey! WAIT JUST A MINUTE!!!!! HOLD ON!!……Not so fast…..I waited a moment and and waited another moment, and another……finally asked if they would be giving me my court date then or would I receive my summons and date in the mail……they looked at me like I had two heads…(I looked around again almost positive Ashton Kutcher was rolling in the floor around the corner at my “being punked”…) I was informed at this point, they could not answer that question as it was legal advice and they were not attorneys and could therefore not give me legal advice. Ya’ll are looking around for Ashton at this point too, right?
Back to the basement and the law library. The rest is just boring….I filed, that part is taken care of. There is no legal precedence for what I am attempting to do in Virginia Beach. Apparently, no one has taken it past the point of being shot down by the zoning board, at least not that I could find.
On a more enjoyable note, the wood chips were delivered a couple days ago for my chicken pen from a very nice gentleman named Bruce, owner/operator of Baker”s Tree Service. Very nice guy. He gave my neighbor a great price on a huge tree problem, it was less than half of what the other tree service people gave her a price of. Clean equipment, speedy service…..there is a good plug for Baker’s Tree Service. Excellent customer service….what more could one ask for?
My chickens are doing great. I got an enormous egg a few days ago. It was like a double jumbo…..no kidding….bigger than a duck egg. Biggest egg I have ever seen in person! I saw somewhere on a chicken coop site, don’t remember which one, but a lady had a big iron cauldron with dirt and dust in it for her chickens to take their dust baths in. I don’t have a huge iron cauldron, but I do have a big tub for mixing cement in that is now in the pen with sand, DE, and dirt. They seem to love it. My daughter was a little shocked they use it. She thought I was a little nuts for putting it in there. They still use some of the holes they have dug for their dirt baths but the majority use the big tub. I so enjoy watching their antics!