End Fairview Township's Ban On Sustainable Living And Urge Municipalities Nationwide To Do The Same
Our family has been homesteading in Fairview Township (zip 16415) in Pennsylvania since 1976 on nearly three acres of land zoned A1 Rural. When our family purchased this land, the adjacent acreage was nothing but corn field.
Our zoning allowed for agriculture, even Horses and Ponies were specifically mentioned in zoning as allowed. Sometime during the 1980's the township slipped in a ban on chickens, goats, cows and swine. Most were unaware and kept raising these animals in peace. In the 1980's, some adjacent property was developed into a suburban neighborhood comprising of small homes on quarter acre lots. Meanwhile, our home remained A1 rural and we continued homesteading on our land.
On April 23, 2013 our family recieved a certified letter from the township office citing two zoning violations. One demanded that we eliminate our 16 chickens (organic egg laying hens) an our two pigmy dairy goats by May 7, only two weeks later. The second violation stated we are not permitted to have on our property our vintage Farmall Type A tractor that we use almost daily on our small farm, and originally belonged to my grandfather who worked it on his 150 acre farm in Ohio. The two violations, if not corrected will essentially end our families homestead and cease our journey to living a self sufficient lifestyle. The violation notice threatens fines of $500 per day, per occurance if not disposed of by May 7, 2013.
We have many friends and neighbors who live in our same zoning district of A1 Rural who also raise chickens and other animals as they have for years, and are frightened that they will be next.
Our township clearly opposes self sufficiency and homesteading, and we hope to change this for our community, and those like us nationwide.
We the people of Fairview Township residing on property that is zoned as A-1 Rural, and the people of neighboring communities and communities nationwide, petition the township Supervisors to treat everyone fairly in the A-1 Rural district and amend the zoning ordinance to clarify that farm animals are allowed in the A-1 Rural District.
We chose to live in a rurally zoned area so that we may have the right of producing our own food and homesteading on our property. We recognize that there are many people who have had farm animals for years without worry or fear of punishment from the township officers, and yet others have been treated harshly for doing the same. Fairview Township should follow the same set of rules for everyone and allow farm animals.
There is increasing interest among homeowners locally and nationally to raise backyard chickens and family dairy animals, and we petition Fairview Township to lift the restrictions on farming as the State of Pennsylvania has already urged you to do.
We urge you to use this as an opportunity to be an example of how a local government can support those in their community who want to live self sufficiently and homestead on their land as opposed to banning such activity unfairly.
The End Fairview Township's Ban On Sustainable Living And Urge Municipalities Nationwide To Do The Same petition to Farivew Township Supervisors was written by End Fairview Township's Ban On Sustainable Living and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.