We live in an area with covenants. Lots of covenants. Most of them are regarding limiting anything that will affect a neighbor's view, so planting trees that will grow taller than the roof line or obstruct a previously unobstructed view are out. So is building up. Oh, how that would be cool - if we built up, we would have sweeping north and west views of Puget Sound. Not that we would ever plan on doing so, but either way it is verboten.
I've been wanting to plant some sort of fruit tree in the front yard and figured I should probably check with the community board for approval since they can and will take me to court if necessary if they don't like what I'm planting.
After a few emails and a couple of drive-bys, I finally met with the president of the board to show him where I was planning on planting a semi-dwarf fruit tree and describe to him how tall it was going to be. Since I don't want some behemoth in the yard (I want to actually be able to pick the fruit off of it without a two-story ladder), it turned out to be a relative non-issue. I should be getting written approval from the board next month.
I haven't totally decided what I'm going to plant since I wanted to make sure I could actually plant something before I got too far ahead of myself. I'm thinking of an apple tree or a plum. Our neighbor has an apple tree and I know when it does it's pollination thing. I've got my eye on a Honeycrisp or an Akane or a self-pollinating kind.
I also had asked about the recent "feeling" on owning chickens. The covenants say no to backyard poultry, but it was written before the city of Seattle started allowing it. The president thought chickens were cool and didn't think it would be too huge a deal, but in any case, I would need to present at the next community meeting and let them vote on the matter.
I live on the outlying edge of the community so there would only be really two neighbors "affected" by any chickens. I'm not sure I want to do the chicken thing yet, but it would be nice to know if it's even an option. I do know they have recently started approving solar panels and the like, so hopefully there's an interest in more sustainable living here.
In either case, I'm rather pleased that, at the very least, I can have a fruit tree in the front. Do you have any covenants that prevent you from doing something you want towards being more self-sufficient or sustainable?