George and Kathleen Rowe, Cypress Texas couple could lose home feeding ducks after $250K HOA lawsuit is filed against them for causing disturbance.
It started out as therapy, but it has turned into anything but as a retired Cypress, Texas couple stand to now lose their home following a city lawsuit for feeding neighborhood ducks.
George and Kathleen Rowe were hit with a $250,000 lawsuit last month after neighbors complained that ducks were destroying their gardens and defecating on their property, the Houston Chronicle reported.
A lawsuit filed by the Lakeland Community Homeowners Association claims the Lowes broke community rules and engaged in activities that cause ‘unclean, unhealthy, or untidy’ conditions, that could cause ‘nuisance’ in common areas and that could ‘disturb or destroy vegetation, wildlife, wetlands, or air quality.’
The HOA is seeking a judicial order requiring the Rowes to cease feeding the ducks.
‘Defendants are violating…provisions by continually and habitually feeding wildlife in the Community and within the Common Area,’ the lawsuit reads. ‘Specifically, Defendant, Kathleen A. Rowe, repeatedly feeds ducks on the common area despite being informed that such activity is prohibited — and despite agreeing to cease such activity.’
‘They’re picking on me…’
If the couple loses the suit, they must pay up to $250,000 in fees. If they can’t pay the fees, the lawsuit says the HOA will try to foreclose on their home.
In a response to the HOA’s petition, the couple deny the HOA’s allegations that their activity caused such damage to the neighborhood.
Richard Weaver, an attorney representing Kathleen Rowe, told Insider this was the ‘silliest lawsuit’ he had ever seen, and said that feeding ducks did not create a disturbance in the neighborhood.
He also said that the Rowes plan to sell their home and move.
‘It is sad to see Lakeland Village Community Association waste its money by paying lawyers to pick on Ms. Rowe,’ Weaver said.
Kathleen Rowe told the Chronicle she and her husband moved into the neighborhood and watched the birds from their porch. She felt bad for the domesticated waterfowl, who she imagined grew in an incubator and did not know how to survive in the wild on their own.
‘They’ve never had a mother,’ Kathleen Rowe told the Chronicle. ‘I feel like I’m just stepping in.’
Weaver told Insider that Kathleen Rowe had found comfort in feeding the ducks after her daughter died 10 years ago.
‘The HOA told me ‘the ducks don’t belong here. If they die, that’s ok.” Kathleen Rowe said in a statement to Insider. ‘Well, I can’t live with that.’
Rowe’s pressing concern is, ‘Who will feed the ducks when we’re gone?’