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Amendment 8 Vote Results

posted Apr 30, 2016, 1:07 PM by EastHatchet Admin

    The inconclusive results of the membership vote in Spring 2015 to amend our Declaration to prohibit the growth of commercial marijuana products on East Hatchet Ranch prompted a majority of the members at the July 2015 Annual Meeting to request a repeat of the vote. It was later suggested that, in order to minimize the consequences of unreturned ballots (as happened in previous votes), a new vote be conducted to change the requirement to 75% of responding members (rather than 75%% of all members) to approve an amendment, as long as 68% (239 members) of the entire membership responded. It was felt this would be a more fair way to conduct a vote. Under the proposed amendment, a minimum of 239 ballots would have to be returned, and 75% of those (179) would have to approve the proposed amendment.   

    The vote on this proposed amendment was conducted from November 15, 2015, to January 15, 2016. The results were very similar to those of the spring 2015 commercial marijuana prohibition vote. Of the 351 ballots that were sent out, 271 were returned. Of those who voted, 212 approved the amendment and 59 opposed it.  Once again, the votes of a large majority (78% of those who responded) were insufficient to approve the amendment.

    In its (almost) 20 years of existence, our Declaration has been amended seven times.  Six of these amendments were made by the developer when he was the Declarant. The HOA has only amended the Declaration once by vote, changing two small items at that time.  Both changes were very simple and noncontroversial – one involved dumpsters and the other allowed real estate signs. Despite the lack of any controversy, it still took two attempts to get these simple changes. There is no doubt that significantly more challenging issues are in our future than dumpsters and signs. Having such a restrictive voting requirement will cause much more important ballot issues to fail due to the inaction of a significant minority who choose not to vote.    

    According to the wishes of the majority of members at the 2015 Annual Meeting, the Board will again be preparing a second vote in early 2016 to specifically prohibit the growth of commercial marijuana products.