Okay, so you live in a neighborhood that you are pretty sure has some kind of home owner’s association or at least has covenants, but you do not pay anything monthly or yearly. No one ever has meetings and the homes are older – built in the 80’s or so. So why can’t you have chickens?
Well, there probably are what is called CCR’s. This is Covenants, Codes and Restrictions respectfully or CCR’s. They are a recorded document and you can find them on State of Alaska DNR web site – that’s where the recorders office and records are kept. Or you can call your local title company and give them the name of your sub division and they can find them for you and email them to you. They are very good about this
You will find that most CCR’s say “no livestock of any kind, shall be bread or kept including poultry, yadda, yadda, yadda.” Some will say you can have up to say 5 chickens but no roosters. But most, just none at all.
Some of the newer associations are allowing chickens to be kept, but not bred. This keeps the problem of a commercial venture being undertaken in your neighborhood. CCR’s are a double edge sword. On the one had it keeps your neighborhood from perhaps “going to the dogs” but it also prevents certain freedoms that you may feel that you deserve.
So how do you solve a CCR problem? Well, first it depends on the problem.
Offended: If you have a neighbor that has chickens with roosters that are crowing all night because they are dumb, then if you have an active homeowner’s association, you can go to the board members and file a formal complaint. If you don’t have an active association, you can present the complaint to the “offending neighbor” with a copy of the CCR’s and ask them to stop as per the CCR’s. Now, let’s say they don’t stop, what do you do then? Well, then you back to the CCR’s and you read in there exactly what your “recourse” is for CCR offenders. Those documents will directly you as to what to do next.
Offender: If you have the chickens that the neighbor doesn’t like then you can work it out several different ways. You can review your CCR’s and make sure that it states “kept”. Sometimes it just says bred and if that’s the case, you can have chickens, you just can’t breed chickens. If it says, chickens yes, but no roosters, then it’s time to toss those ol’ boys into the pot and invite your neighbors over for chicken and dumplings. If there are many neighbors that want chickens and only a few that don’t, you actually can amend the CCR’s to allow chickens. The CCR’s will tell you how many of your neighbors have to agree to allow chickens and you must have them sign a legal document in front of a notary, and get it recorded to change the CCR’s. Usually its written like this: These CCR’s may be amendment by approval of at least 50% of the total number of membership votes (which is one vote per lot in the subdivision) either in person or in writing. All members are to be notified of a proposed amendment in writing.” This can be done, it’s not difficult. You get your document written (usually by an attorney), you inform the board or the powers that be that you want to make an amendment, you go door to door in your neighborhood and you have your neighbors sign a for the amendment change, you have a notary go with you door to door and they notarize signatures, and once your reach over 50% you can legally change the CCR’s.
Yes there is leg work involved, but if you really want chickens, you can change these things. There are so many people that really want chickens right now and it’s become quite popular and many people would like to change their CCR’s. So give it a try, get your CCR’s, if you need a copy of yours, email me your subdivision name and I can get you a copy, the document to have your CCR’s changed will not be very expensive. I would say Dana Dalrymple in Palmer would be the best one to write your document, and then find yourself a “mobile – notary” and you are ready to rock and roll with your chickens!
Just an FYI, your neighborhood may require 70 or 80% to change the CCR’s. Another thing to look at is to see if your CCR’s have expired, some have – read them carefully, and you may not even have to do the amendment.
So, you can change your CCR’s, it isn’t difficult, it isn’t expensive, it’s just a process and you need a certain percentage of your neighbors to agree – this could mean ‘Happy Egg Gathering!’
Your Friendly Realtor, Cora Carleson