WHO WE ARE:
We are Hensforth. We are fighting to defend our property rights and to preserve Eldorado as the tolerant friendly place that it was when we moved here and can become again.
We had all hoped that the GREAT CHICKEN CONTROVERSY would go away or be solved through mediatrion or consensus. But alas, the ECIA Board has made the decision to use Eldorado assessment funds to file suit against pet hen owners. After a year of debate and controversy, the Board simply abdicated it’s duty to resolve this fairly and gave the lawyer carte blanche to sue a few hand picked families. The Association assessment fees will be used to cover the ECIA lawyer’s costs while the individuals unfairly targeted will have to pay their own defense costs. We are asking the community to help. If you only give $20 it will help. Whatever you can do will be greatly appreciated. This is an easy way to make your voice heard.
WHERE IT STARTED: Last year, a small group of residents began pressuring the ECIA and staff to cite other residents who were known to have pet hens. Not one of these citations alleged a nuisance of any kind but only cited the mere existence of backyard hens. Many of these cited families have kept pet hens for many years in the privacy of their own back yards and had never had a problem but suddenly, anonymous complaints were filed. This provoked a discussion in the community about what our pet covenant said, what it meant and if indeed hens could be pets. The ECIA attorney gave the opinion that the covenant was open to interpretation so an ad hoc committee was formed to come up with a survey taking the temperature of the community on the issue. The anti chicken residents were not happy with that step so pressured the ECIA to skip the survey and to go immediately to a covenant vote. A covenant vote was conducted that sought to give the community a clear choice. An amendment that expressly allowed chickens as pets and one that expressly forbid them were offered. 848 people voted for amendment A which allowed hens as pets, 999 voted for amendment B that dis-allowed them and 946 did not vote at all. Neither of the amendments received 50% + 1 votes required by our bylaws so the vote to change the covenant failed and has no impact on the interpretation problem.
Soon after the failed vote the residents who were determined to rid Eldorado of pet hens began personally threatening the ECIA board if they did not continue the process of citations.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY:
The ECIA has filed suit against 9 lot ownerts that have pet hens in their backyard. One owner who had chickens and a variance heard and tabled in June of 2011 has been included in the group. One of those cited only has 2 hens and another lives on a four acre horse approved property. Two of them have previously received variances. The longest hen ownership in the group is 23 years! These brave people are willing to stand up for what is right and fight for all of our personal property rights. And stand against the overreach of power by the ECIA board and staff.
We in Hensforth believe that the current pet covenant as written allows individual choice and see nothing in the covenants or bylaws that that empowers the ECIA board and staff the power to make the choice for us. We believe that it is wrong to waste our assessment fees to sue other lot owners for such a questionable reason. We believe that this entire controversy is about much more than pet hens. It is about our right to live quietly and freely on our own property. A few families are being targeted unfairly and are being forced to fight the overreach of the board for all of us. We ask for your assistance.