There’s a lot of squawking going on at Auburn Lake Trails. A group of 10 “pro-chicken” volunteers have been working with the Board of Directors since August 2012 to try to get the current CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) changed to allow chickens in Auburn Lake Trails. The group originally started as a board-appointed task force that separated in January 2013 in order to split off into pro- and anti-chicken groups.
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“There are a handful of very vocal ‘anti-chicken’ members who are bound and determined to not let this change happen,” said Ana Edwards, one of the coordinators for the pro-chicken group. “They have been verbally abusive, threatening, and there are reports of them bullying people into voting no. Our banner was stolen from the Pilot Hill Grange, but nobody has stepped forward to accept responsibility. The pro-chicken people are trying to stay positive and just do our best to reach as many property owners as we can to just let them know that this change is on the ballot and people need to vote.”
On April 27 the group held a chicken festival at ALT in order to promote awareness for an upcoming election Saturday, May 11. In attendance was researching veterinarian Dr. Lisa Heath, who presented a PowerPoint on the pros of chickens. The group has also launched a Website to answer questions from curious homeowners (altchickens.com). The Website offers myth-busters and a Q&A regarding chickens, and also lists the proposed rules and regulations suggesting that having a chicken would be a privilege and not a right and including limitations such as:
• Coop design must be included with the application;
• The maximum number of chickens allowed will be determined by lot size;
• The chicken coop must be cleaned regularly to prevent the accumulation of excrement. The excrement will be disposed of by composting or removal from the property in a way that will control potential unpleasant odors from affecting the neighbors; and
• Coops must be placed no less than 30-feet from any enclosed living area to prevent potential negative impacts to neighbors.
The current ALT CC&Rs states, “Only a reasonable number of common household pets may be kept on each Lot so long as the same are not kept, bred, or maintained for commercial purposes. No other animals, livestock, or poultry shall be kept, bred, or raised on any Lot. (CC&R Article VIII).”
There is an exception for horses under an equestrian section. The full CC&Rs can be found at auburnlaketrails.org.
According to the pro-chicken group, there are a significant number of property owners who would like to see changes made to the CC&Rs. The BOD requires two-thirds of the property owners to vote yes in order to change the CC&Rs, which translates to approximately 750 votes.
“Everyone should have the right to vote on change. We had to fight just to have that right,” said Edwards of the difficulty they had in getting the chicken issue placed on the ballot. “In my opinion, it should be a non-issue for the BOD to put something on the ballot and allow property owners to vote yes or no. It should also be a non-issue to inform the property owners of this vote.”
For more information contact Auburn Lake Trails office or visit altchickens.com.