Our society is so solidly covered by rules and regulations that it is impossible not to find hundreds of them that are downright silly. In fact, there is an entire website (http://www.dumblaws.com/) dedicated to pointing out these bizarre dictates.
We began this REGonomics series by looking at the crazy spittoon law in Buffalo, New York. Considering that the city is under 7 feet of snow right now, I wonder if the expectorant police are out issuing $1,500 fines to businesses as they try to dig out. What we mentioned in that column was that even though crazy laws might not be enforced there is a cost to them. The fact that an 1800s spittoon law is still on the books in Buffalo, and could be punishable by a $1,500 fine, 15 days imprisonment and loss of a business license is simply scary, for what is to stop the City from randomly deciding to enforce the provision?
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, today we feature a turkey-friendly law in the little city of Louisville Colorado. I have a warm place in my heart for Louisville, for when my hometown of Boulder, Colorado was dry – and therefore there were no restaurants – Louisville was a mecca for ethnic dining. Of course by ethnic in 1970s Colorado we meant Italian, but hey, the restaurants there were great. Who knew that they could be raising ducks and turkeys in their backyards?
This Thanksgiving Turkeys Run Free in Louisville Colorado
One of the fastest growing areas of the country is the Front Range of Colorado, an area that stretches south from Cheyenne Wyoming to the City of Pueblo. One town that has benefited greatly from this growth is Louisville, a city of some 20,000 people located between Denver and Boulder. Louisville was founded as a coal mining town in 1877. As a mining town, Louisville was populated by mostly French and Italian immigrants and even after the mines closed after the Second World War, these ethnic communities remained. This may be one reason that Louisville allows residents to keep poultry on their property.
According to Louisville Code 6.16.020, Keeping of certain animals prohibited, it is unlawful to keep most farm animals in the City. These include cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses, roosters, or more than six female chickens (hens). If one is found with a cow (or 6 chickens) on their property, they are subject to a fine of not more than $2,650.00, as shall be adjusted for inflation on January 1, 2014 and on January 1 of each year thereafter, or by imprisonment not to exceed one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment. In other words, were all of Louisville’s citizens to wish to have a pet duck, or fresh eggs, they would have to pay a total of $19.1 million in fines (adjusted for inflation of course).
But nay, the good Burgomeisters of Louisville are of a Libertarian bent one might think, for other than allowing people to keep up to 6 chickens, they can also keep up to three ducks, geese or turkeys, or any combination thereof. With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s really great to be a citizen of Louisville as you can actually raise your own tur-duck-in without any worry about the long hand of the law coming down on you.
Unfortunately, the code allowing the absolute freedom to have foul in Louisville is subject to review come December 31 of 2015. Let us hope that freedom will continue to reign in Louisville and the government does not figure out that there is a wealth of fine money available by making pet ducks and geese illegal.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at John Dunham and Associates.
Do you have a ridiculous regulation you want us to discuss? Send us an email.