Pink flamingos and a petition join County’s chicken flap

In a follow up to the chicken flap in Walton County, there is some good news for Christina Kluge. She reports that a new coop is in, courtesy of a good neighbor and the kindness of friends  – old and new. It means she gets to keep her chickens, but they have been relocated to the neighbor’s property for the time being.

“The Code enforcement said my ‘new’ coop is in a good spot, and he will sign off on it! YAHOOOOOOOOO,” Kluge wrote. “Now to get the zoning amended so I can eventually move them back.”

Christina Kluge with her chickens. Photo credit: Sharma Kaefer Ferrugia
Christina Kluge with her chickens. Photo credit: Sharma Kaefer Ferrugia

A complaint by someone had Walton County code enforcement pay Kluge a visit a week or so back, forcing her to find alternative accommodation for her chickens. Kluge, who refers to the birds as her “girls,” said they are pet chickens and when she got them she was not aware that it was not allowed under the Walton County Zoning Ordinance. She now has a petition going to drum up support to get the ordinance changed, not just for her and her “girls,” but also other chicken owners who may not know that they too are in violation.

“I really want this story to get out to all,” Kluge said. “Boss Brothers just got another 300 chicks in. People are buying these babies with no idea they cannot have them.”

Susan Boss said she is supporting Kluge in her endeavor, saying more and more of her business is coming from people in the area with backyard flocks.

“I told her I would go with her to the Walton County Board of Commission meeting,” Boss said. “I think there are many people who may have backyard flocks who are not aware of the ordinance.”

Walton County is not alone in dealing with this issue. As people look to eating more healthy foods, more backyard chickens are being kept for fresh eggs. Paulding and Cobb counties have similar battles going on at the moment as well. Kluge has decided to following in the path of “The Chicken Chick” in Connecticut who is in a similar battle and solicit the help of anther bird to build solidarity for her cause.

“I’m getting over 50 pink flamingos in soon. I’m going to put some in my yard in support of having chickens. I spoke to Susan Boss at Boss Brothers Country Store, and she is going to put them in her store so folks can get one to put in their yard in support of amending the code ordinance,” Kluge said. “‘The Chicken Chick’ has started this in CT.. She was in a fight to keep hers on her property, and won. But her town of Suffield still does not allow them, so she is in the same fight as me. She told me that there are a lot of pink flamingos in yards!”

Kluge plans to address the Walton County BOC in May and in the meantime is soliciting signatures through an online petition. If you support the cause, you can click on this link and sign the petition. You also pick up a pink flamingo from Boss Brothers store and place it in your yard as a show of solidarity.

Since there was somebody who complained, there obviously are people who don’t agree with any changes to the ordinance. If the item is placed on the agenda following the May meeting, anybody who is not in support of any changes to the ordinance will then have an opportunity to voice their opposition prior to any vote being taken by the BOC.

About Sharon Swanepoel 2641 Articles
Sharon Swanepoel is the Publisher and Editor of Your Local News, which includes Loganville Local News, Monroe Local News and Walton Living Magazine.
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  • Anonymous

    Don’t be fooled, people…this story makes her out to be some kind of victim. This woman lives in a subdivision with covenants that clearly specify, “no livestock.” She knew when she got the chickens that she had already signed that paperwork…OF COURSE her neighbors complained! I would have, too! Would YOU want to live near someone with 20+ chickens roaming around in your yard?

    I babysit for a couple different families in this neighborhood, so I know exactly who she is. When I take the kids out for a walk around the subdivision, I see what she does…she lets these chickens out to roam free every day – they poop in her neighbor’s yards, tear up their grass, flowers, and pine straw, and even cause traffic concerns for drivers…I’ve seen people have to swerve to miss hitting them while driving. How incredibly inconsiderate of her! I really think it’d be worth reporting the truth, Patch…BOTH sides of this story. If she wants to be a farmer, fine…but move somewhere else…you can’t do that in a subdivision…you’re breaking the law.

    And MOST importantly…she should step outside of herself for ONE second to try and see how this affects her neighborhood. I feel so bad for the people that live around her. Stop being SO SELFISH and think about someone besides yourself for a change!

    • George Burdell

      LPD witness protection program

    • Chris Price Kluge

      For one “anonymous”, that in itself is offending to me. If you are going to comment and say things you have no knowledge of, then at least give your name, so you can stand for what you believe. I signed, or knew of NO covenants when buying my house over 17yrs ago.The first time I knew of an”expired/unenforced” covenant, is when another “anonymous” person sent a copy in the mail to me, with such misguided infomation. I have had my girls for over 2years and no one has ever uttered a word to me about them causing any problems. You should stick to information that you know is factual! I love “most” of my neighbors, and have helped them out on mulitple occasions! I would have been glad to make any changes needed to make them happy, if they would have just come to me and presented te problem to me.
      Selfish is far from the truth in this matter!

  • Loganville123

    I’m a Walton County resident, and I’m with Anonymous on this one. There’s another side to this story I’m sure. I have personal experience in this area and can promise you that most (not all) people that want to be “urban farmers” feel that that have a RIGHT to raise chickens, pigs, or whatever, even if they live in a neighborhood with specific laws or covenants against it. Shame on this lady for being so selfish and disrespecful to her neighbors, and shame on Boss Brothers for selling chicks and not encouraging buyers to check the laws for their respective areas first. Of course, it sounds like they now get to sell flamingos too, so good job Boss Brothers on being responsible (sarcasm). If anything comes out of this, Boss Brothers should, in the future, be LEGALLY required to inform their customers of county ordinances regarding the sale of livestock.
    If this person started raising chickens in a residential neighborhood where there are specifc covenants against it (not to mention county laws), then she is giving the middle finger to both her neighbors and the folks at the zoning department. I suspect she actually knew this all along, as you are informed of any covenants when you purchase your home. Shame on her for thinking her rights are superior to everyone elses. Moreover, if she truly feels that these are pets, then shame on her for letting them roam free too. In fact, because she thinks of them in that manner, what reasonable person would own that many “pets” and let them do whatever they want anyway? What if we were talking about 10-20 dogs or cats? I sincerely doubt that the author would be writing a piece about that.
    This is an unfortunate situation for all involved. Ms. Kluge obviously cares for her birds, but I think she is wrong in this instance. She is obviously fighting this and can’t see the damage she is causing.
    The real victims here are the neighbors (who are probably too intimidated to say anything), their peace, and their property values. In fact, if this ordinance changes, anyone in a residentially-zoned neighborhood could very likely be in the same situation as those around her. This is a slippery slope, and this ordinance needs to stay in place. I hope the BOC votes against changing it.

    • sswanee1

      Thank you for commenting and giving the other side of this story. I would like to do a follow up but can’t do it with anonymous sources. Could you please contact me at sharon@monroelocal.org if you are prepared to comment for a follow up story.

      • Loganville123

        Sorry Sharon, thank you for responding, but I won’t be doing that. “Sources,” or those with differing opinions, can (and sometimes should) be anonymous. It’s simply been my experience in life that law abiding citizens tend to suffer the most when confronted by folks that thumb their nose at the others and the law.
        All anyone needs to do is spend a little time on Google searching for Ms. Kluge’s address and then the Walton County Comprehensive Land Development Ordinance and Subdivision Regulations to verify that she is breaking the law (took me less than 5 minutes this morning). How about you also looking into the Protective Covenants that are on file for the neighborhood she lives in? They can’t be that hard to find. Also, since they have inserted themselves into this issue, how about an honest interview with Boss Brothers about selling poultry and not informing their customers to check laws/covenants first? How about checking their business license/zoning to see if they can even legally sell chicks begin with (they also sell food/candy)? Something is just not right here.
        All of these facts were easily found. So the ball is in your court if you want to do a follow-up piece. Thanks.

        • sswanee1

          I understand, and by posting here, even though it is anonymous, you are giving some of the other side of the story. I have, however, stayed clear of quoting anonymous sources just for self preservation. Rolling Stone magazine recently found that it really is not safe to use anonymous sources. However, your points on a follow up are valid and if it goes further I will take those into consideration. Thank you again for contributing to the dialogue.

          • Loganville123

            Interesting comparison to the Rolling Stone article (you are referring to Rolling Stone reporting on a rape by college fraternity members that turned out to be completely false and made up, right?). What happened there was a lot more than Rolling Stone trusting anonymous sources. It was a result of them failing to use journalistic integrity and investigate the story, as fact checkers disproved everything rather quickly. They ran the story because it likely promoted an agenda and a narrative they wanted to advance (like the Duke University rape case).
            Author, Here are some steps, facts, and sources so that you can do a follow-up. (1) Find this individual’s address on http://www.whitepages.com. (2) Do a history search on the property with that address at (SOURCE) http://www.georgiagis.com. This site is a graphical information system used to find property history in Georgia. According to this site, the property is 1 acre and was originally sold on 10/1/92 to David Alvey (the Twin Oaks Development started in 1991 based upon the oldest recorded sales). Matthew Kluge took ownership of the property on 12/29/97, and Christina Kluge became the owner on 11/13/02. (3) Find the covenants. The covenants associated with this property (source – PROTECTIVE COVENANTS, TWIN OAKS WEST, LAND LOTS 191, 4TH DISTRICT, PLAT BOOK 52, PAGE 106, WALTON COUNTY, GEORGIA) were filed in 1991. Covenant # 6 states “NO SWINE, POULTRY, OR LIVESTOCK SHALL OCCUPY ANY LOT. (4) Compare the dates of ownership to the effective date of the covenants. (5) Go to Google and search for the applicable ordinances. The COUNTY COMPREHENSIVE LAND DEVELOPMENT ORDINANCE AND SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS FOR WALTON COUNTY, GEORGIA (see http://www.waltoncountyga.gov/fileadmin/files/sitecopy/Planning/documents/2014WCLDO4-01-2014.pdf) states, on page 218, that “No free-range animals/poultry shall be permitted within any platted subdivision.” Took me about 20 minutes this morning to find all this stuff and type this reply.
            Sadly, Ms. Kluge will probably convince the BOC to change the ordinances and the whole county will suffer, as law-abiding and respecful citizens tend to go about their lives and not get involved in junk like this. However, one day they’ll discover the difficulty of selling their home because of an inconsiderate neighbor. They’ll end up dropping the price just to get it sold to someone that doesn’t mind living next door to farm animals in a residential neighborhood (a smaller subset of home buyers I can assure you). Guess what – EVERYONE’S home values drop along with them.

    • Chris Price Kluge

      “suspect” is the key word! NO, I had no idea I was in any vilolation to any ordinance. I have had my chickens for over 2years, and had ALWAYS only heard good things about them, from my neighbors. No one ever uttered a word that they in any way posed a problem. I would have made changes to make them happy, if I had only known. I have lived there for 17yrs, and know most of my neighbors. All it would’ve taken is a call. There are no covenants in my neighborhood. that is, an “enforcable” one. I did not even know there had ever been one. What I was mailed was 30yrs old, and has never been enforced. Like I said I’ve lived there 17years, and never knew anything about it. Whose on the board? Where do “we” meet? How many violations have occurred? Who enforces it, and how do we respond to a violation when there is no board, where was my letter that I was in violation of it??? Please get your facts, before you go on an emotion tirad with false information.

  • Colonel Sanders

    I agree completely with the other people posting comments here. This lady seems to be completely inconsiderate of her neighbors. How incredibly ridiculous that you would want to raise some 10 – 20 chickens in a subdivision?! That would be ridiculous no matter what type of pet it is! The solution is simple – buy some land and have a farm. The sad thing is painting this person to be some kind of victim! I don’t like it when a neighbors dog poops in my yard can you imagine what it must be like for here neighbors if they have 10 – 20 chickens pooping in their yard, sidewalk, or driveway?! I can’t believe how inconsiderate some people can be that she thinks her DESIRE to have roaming chickens somehow trumps everyone else’s right to not have their property invaded by her “pets”! She sounds a little off – does anyone know if she may have some sort of loss/abandonment issues that she is trying to compensate for by having all these “girls”? Maybe this is a cry for help.

    • George Burdell

      Colonel Sanders

      Boy, you’re the one to talk.!

    • Chris Price Kluge

      Haha! Really? I have 12 chickens, and love fresh eggs. I also have gotten close to my hens. If that lables me “having abandoment” issues, then there are 100’s of folks with the same problem living all around me!
      It is a “cry for help” in that the BOC amend the code! I’m still crying, and will be for quite a while!

      • Shelley Shelnutt

        To all anonymous folks! Chris has been a dear friend of mine for a long time. She has helped our community through giving back to charities and local organizations such as Country Kids Camp. You are using some strong verbage such as inconsiderate, what is inconsiderate is the lack of consideration on the one complaining neighbor. All they had to do is explain their concern to Chris about the chickens. Chris lives on a couple of acres its not like she is living in Tara on a matchbox lot. This is Loganville we are a rural community this is why people live here. Is it fair that the neighbor can have a barking dog, one that leaves piles in your yard, gets in your trash and may bite you. Chickens do none of this, I know I have tons of them. As far as Boss Brothers goes KUDOS FOR STANDING UP FOR A CUSTOMER. Not many businesses would have the guts or compassion to do so and this just makes me wanna support Boss Brothers even more. The most aggravating thing is, Chris called the county before she got her chickens and they said she could have them. I’ve lived here my entire life…before subdivisions and covenants…things were much better when people had the freedom to have whatever pet they wanted. The chickens are not hurting anything! Someone just wanted to cause trouble.

  • Michele Bowen

    I am a neighbor of Chris Kluge and I would like to say something. I have lived here in this neighborhood for over 20 years and I have never seen Chris do anything wrong. So if she says she did not know she was in the wrong by having chickens well then she did not know. I have never seen her chickens out of her yard in someone else’s yard. They definitely do not cause a problem with the traffic. The only time I have seen her chickens is when me and my son walked down the road and actually walked into her driveway. I did not even know she had chickens. I don’t live but a couple houses down. My son just loved the chickens he got to pet them and he is only six. Really I was surprised at how they did stay only in her yard. She does not have 20+ chickens. She has less than 20. Chris takes good care of her chickens and does not let them wander around people’s yard or the street. Why would she let them wander around she loves those chicken she wouldn’t want them to get ran over. I don’t know who this anonymous person that seemed to think she knows everything but what she is saying is not true and I think Chris should be able to have her chickens back in her yard. If you are going to say something about Chris and her chickens then tell the truth. We see you don’t want to show your name you want to be anonymous cause you know what all you are saying is not true. These are what keeps Chris going in life and we all have different lives and different things that keeps us going these chickens happens to be what makes her happy so don’t take that away from her. Let theses chickens live in her own yard. They don’t bother us and I live only a couple houses down from her. To tell you the truth her chickens stay in her yard. It’s all these dog and cats that don’t. So whoever keeps on saying bad things about these chickens and Chris then you need to think about where your dog or cat is or if your animal is pooping in someone else’s yard. I believe Chris should be able to keep these chickens and everyone need to leave Chris alone. I’m not scared I will leave my name it is Michele Bowen and I just live a couple houses down from Chris. If you have something to say to me well you know where I live. My son also says please don’t take the chickens away we love the chickens and we love Chris

  • Mollie Walke Baines

    The underlying concern I have regarding this issue is for our community. Our wonderful, country- rural, Walton County. What in the world is happening to our beloved Loganville when neighbors can’t go to neighbors and work together for a solution instead of running to the authorties over such an easily remedied problem. Mrs. Kluge means her community no harm, that is apparent in her effort to inquire about the legality of her owning chickens before she ever acquired any of them. She was originally told she would be within code and that it shouldn’t be a problem. It was 2 years later that some selfishly motivated person chose to complain to authorities rather than make their concerns known to Mrs. Kluge in an attempt resolve this in a neighborly manner. I will proudly support anyone in my community that wishes to raise chickens in a safe and sanitary manner. Yes even in a neighborhood. The fresh eggs and enjoying these animals as pets should be enough reason to amend this ordinance. It seems that the neighbor complaining may be better suited living in a less rural county with more ordinances and covenants to protect them from “dangerous” chickens….maybe they should move to Gwinnett or Cobb County and leave the country to country folks.

  • The Real Anonymous

    Is this even serious? Its chickens for heavens sake. What horrible problems could these creatures actually be causing? “They walked in my yard and ate all the bugs and weeds, and my small child loved playing with them”. All the disgruntled folk that have posted in here without knowing any facts saying things like “There is another side to this story I’m sure” need to stop assuming because we all know what that does. I’m sure there are two sides to this story, and nobody here knows either of them except Ms. Kluge. If the person making the complaint feels strongly about it, guess what, there is an avenue for them to express their opinion. Its called the board meeting. This thing will handle itself there and only there. These meetings exist for people to be able to do exactly this. If nobody ever changed laws, or things of that nature, think about where’d we be. One last thing; this whole idea of chickens causing traffic troubles? A chicken will run from a squirrel. Even if it did happen to be in the road (not saying it should be) it would most assuredly run before a car came anywhere near it. Just let this thing sort itself out. Everybody always has to butt into everyone else’s lives and cause drama and trouble.

    The Real Anonymous -> Out

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