Chicken Enforcement - Lehigh FL


Lehigh Acres family raising chickens to survive tough economy, cited by Code Enforcement    Jun 13, 2011 at 4:39 PM 

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla.- Dianna Caminos is turning to her backyard to survive unemployment.

"I'm trying to do whatever it takes to help my family right now during these hard times," Caminos said.

She and her husband are both out of work. They recently took a leap of faith, spending the last bit of their tax return on a stab at being self-sufficient.  "Why not try to be able to help ourselves? I would think they'd want to encourage that, so it would get more people off of food stamps and off of Medicaid," Caminos said on Monday. 

They're growing their own vegetable garden and raising ten hens for a constant supply of free, fresh eggs.  "We keep our coop clean. We are out here twice a day cleaning it," Caminos said.

But Lee County Code Enforcement says farm animals can't cohabitate in residential neighborhoods. Now, the Caminos have until Friday to clear out the coop or face some serious fines.

"Times are changing. These ordinances were put in place back in the 90's when business was booming. Lee County was prospering, everything was going really well at that time. But now it's not. That is totally not the case now," Caminos said.

She is now starting up a petition to change the ordinance she believes is outdated. So far, she has about 60 signatures, but time is ticking before her family farm could be shutdown.

"If they take my chickens away, they're taking food off my family's table. And to me, that's just not right," Caminos said.

Lee County Code Enforcement tells WINK News they are now looking into the possibly of changing the ordinance because of the support of some county commissioners.

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