Although North Liberty city code allows residents to obtain a permit to raise chickens, the HOA board has determined that chicken coops are not permitted by the
protective covenants for Cedar Springs.
City Ordinance 55.23 – the ordinance in question – specifically states, “Private restrictions on the use of the property shall remain enforceable and shall supersede the permit. The private restrictions include, but are not limited to, deed restrictions, condominium restrictions, neighborhood association bylaws, covenants and restrictions, and rental agreements.”
More than 220 responses to the board’s recent survey showed that 65.6% of respondents agree with the HOA board, with 59.6% saying they would not be comfortable with a chicken coop in a neighbor’s back yard.
Recognizing the degree of support that does exist for chicken coops, however, the HOA board has decided to take the following steps regarding coops already in existence in Cedar Springs:
- The HOA will form a project team to visit chicken coops in our development, see the structures and the chickens, and provide a summary to the board. The project team will include board members and other association members, including at least one chicken coop owner.
- The project team will review North Liberty’s regulations now in place for domestic chickens within city limits, then determine whether additional standards should be recommended in the context of considering possible individual variances to our protective covenants and restrictions.
- Once this information is in hand, the HOA board will approve or decline to issue a renewable, one-year conditional waiver that both a chicken coop owner and the HOA board will sign and keep on record. These will be individual agreements.
- Until it is possible to achieve the steps described above, the HOA board will provide each chicken coop owner with a temporary waiver that will be in effect until the project team’s study is completed and the board has been able to evaluate each case individually.
There was an over 56% response rate on the survey about chicken coops that was sent to HOA members.
Question 1: Do chicken coops violate HOA covenants?
- Yes 65.6%
- No 34.4%
Question 2: Would you be personally comfortable with a next-door neighbor installing a chicken coop in their backyard?
- Yes 40.4%
- No 59.6%
A number of people also shared written comments on their survey responses, and the board has read and given thought to all of them.
Thank you for participating!