I didn't know C&R don't allow chickens!

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by JanetR, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. JanetR

    JanetR Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2011
    Long Island NY
    I live in a community with a homeowner assoc. I checked the bylaws which prohibit "livestock". I thought I would be ok b/c my 6 chicks are pets. Well, I didn't know we also have covenants and restrictions which prohibit coops and poultry. My neighbor inquired to the president if chickens are allowed and I was informed (by being yelled at in public by our treasurer) that I have to get rid of my chickens. There is a board meeting Sept 10 ( I am a member) where I can propose ammending the C&R, but today the pres. emailed me saying not to get my hopes up b/c board members do not want to make the changes!
    Not fair! they are making judgements before they hear my side. The C&R were written 30 years ago before backyard chickens were a trend, and we are a rural community that has WILD TURKEYS in the woods that were intentionally released about 5 years ago.
    Has anyone had success changing your C&R?
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    First, you need to thoroughly familiarize yourself with your CC&Rs. Generally they override any other association documents: they are essentially its constitution, whereas bylaws and rules are more like statutes or ordinances.

    Typically the board has no power to change the CC&Rs; only the membership has that power, and many of the very old associations actually have no power in their document for change. Some self-renew every X number of years (10 or 25 years are common lengths), with an opportunity to rewrite during that last year. Others simply sunset out. Some states provide laws that give a means short of 100% agreement of members to amend the CC&Rs. In both this case and CC&Rs that state a means of amendment, it is typical to require 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the membership to approve changes.

    The board usually has the authority to create and alter rules and often has the authority to change the bylaws as well. In some cases the membership must approve changes to the bylaws. In either case, a percentage of the membership can usually force an issue to ballot via petition.

    Some states have open meeting laws, and if yours does, there is direct evidence that they have been violated: "today the pres. emailed me saying not to get my hopes up b/c board members do not want to make the changes!"

    Are you saying you are a board member, or re-stating that you are an association member?
     
  3. JanetR

    JanetR Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2011
    Long Island NY
    Are you saying you are a board member, or re-stating that you are an association member?

    I am a board member since July 2010. The pres emailed back that besides my neighbor, the treasurer and former pres, one other board member asked him and he told him - I don't know how this member knew to ask.

    I understand that the board can vote to submit a proposal to the HOA and 75% need to approve.
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Most likely gossip. Check your state's open meeting laws to see if there is a conflict. Being on the board, you have the unique opportunity of working within the organization in a positive manner to get the provisions you want.

    Make a point of being reasonable and working with the other board members, not working against them. That can backfire as I know from experience (not me, a former board member who had things to contribute, but fought the same fight over and over and would never let an issue rest--even when she was voted down 8 to 1 over and over; all on stupid stuff She felt that the folks who had lived here since way back when should have more of a say than those who had purchased more recently; never wanted to do real repairs--just paint over it so it is pretty--or plant flowers, but don't bother to maintain the trees. By the time her term was up, if she said A, everyone else automatically said Z, without even considering whether A might actually be worth considering.

    Good luck!
     
  5. JanetR

    JanetR Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2011
    Long Island NY
    Thank you for your advice. I have been making a list of answers for every objection the board may have. As soon as I found out I was illegal I reached out to my neighbor, left him a voicemail and offered to show him what I have and assured him I would take care of any concerns he may have. He never replied.
    Keep your fingers crossed.
     

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