Hey all. My husband & I moved to Ellicott City in January '09. We came from our native Iowa, and we were really concerned about finding the right place to live. Although my husband works in Columbia, we quickly decided not to live there - to this day I find it to be extremely disorienting and essentially devoid of character. Anyway, we found this great little rental near historic Ellicott City, and we could not have possibly made a better choice!! It feels like living in the country, but we have friendly neighbors next door and it's less than a mile walk down the hill to the downtown area. The area we live in is technically in Baltimore County - we have an EC address but many of our neighbors have a Catonsville address.
Anyway, I posted this reply because we have chickens. The MDA (Dept. of Agriculture) requires that you register flocks over 5 birds. We have 4, but even if we had more I wouldn't register them. I'm confident that our neighbors are cool, because 1.) I talked to them about it, and 2.) several neighbors have "livestock" as well - chickens (and way more than 4,) alpacas, and a goat.
This is totally the lifestyle for us! I am really uninterested in HOAs and their regulations. I don't care about dandelions, or landscaping, or fence height. I just want my kids to have an awesome place to free range and play, and for them to have nice friends to play with. I walk my daughter to school, despite the fact there are virtually no sidewalks in our neighborhood at all. We make this life our own!
If you want to talk more about chickens, or rules about chickens, you can PM me. As far as the "parenting vibe" around here goes, I don't really know. I've met many other nice moms through my daughter's preschool, dance class, and going to the Y - some of them drive mini-vans or SUVs and drink Starbucks, but ALL of them are totally nice, cool to hang with, and LOVE our chickens!
PS - A fox will TOTALLY eat your garden. They love tomatoes. Be warned.