Quorum needed to change fence height restrictions

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In a POA election, only primary members may vote. But other household members and friends can still have an influence on an election by researching issues and making sure the primary members vote – and vote well. An issue that affects all property owners is once again on this year’s ballot: an amendment to the CC&Rs on fence height.

This amendment was placed on the ballot in 2007, 2008 and 2009. A majority of voters have shown in the past they want this amendment to pass. So why hasn’t it? Because not enough voters voted. Changing a CC&R requires a quorum – or two-thirds of voters voting – and that is a rare occurrence in Canyon Lake.

The Architectural Control Committee (ACC) has received many requests for taller fences over the years, but due to the current CC&R restriction, they have not been able to approve these requests. The Board of Directors has received many appeals for this request as well. Currently, unless there is a topographical hardship, the fence height limit is held to the 5-foot restriction.

Two of the reasons often given for wanting taller fences is greater privacy and/or the fact that many of the standard fence heights for those nice new pre-fabricated fences is 6 feet.

In recent discussions about the ballot measure, some candidates and members have expressed concern that the ballot measure doesn’t designate a specific height and, therefore, would be left up to the discretion of ACC members.

The Association has tried to answer this concern by stating, “If the CC&R restriction of fence height is modified, Rules & Regulations (which can be voted on by the Board of Directors) will be put in place that will restrict the fence height limits which the ACC will be required to follow, unless circumstances warrant a variance on a particular member’s lot.”

The explanation continues, “While the specific rule has not been written, the Association does recognize that there should be some guidelines for the ACC to use when approving an application for installation of a fence. The recommendation to the Board of Directors would (be to) establish a maximum height of 6 feet, which would be practical for most members’ lots . . .”

Board members, staff members and residents themselves have fought for the fence-height amendment over the years. It’s now in the hands of prime members who are willing to pick up their ballot, cast their vote and put the ballot in the mail by May 5.

To learn more about this issue, visit canyonlakepoa.com, click on “Governance,” then click on “2016 Board of Directors Election,” then scroll down to “Ballot Propositions” and click on “White Paper – CC&R Amendment.”

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Sharon Rice