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  • Kevin Elliott

Council endorses goose control five-year permit

Rochester Hills City Council on Monday, March 26, passed a resolution to support the Heatherwood Village Homeowners' Association's application to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for a five-year permit for goose nest destruction.

The association has held consecutive nest destruction permits for more than a decade, said Deborah Barno, who applied for the DNR permit on behalf of the homeowners' association. She said the permit doesn't allow for goose "roundups," in which geese are captured and shipped to other locations. "We have found it useful in controlling the goose population," Barno said of nest destructions.

The association contracts with Holly-based Goose Busters to remove goose eggs. Barno said fewer geese seem to land at Arlington Pond because of the sense it's not a successful breeding spot.

In order to receive a permit, the DNR requires an applicant to petition signatures from at least 70 percent of lakeshore property owners, or the association can choose to ask the local governing board to endorse the application by resolution. Barno said there are about 40 lakeshore property owners surrounding the pond.

Barno said the association has never attempted to get signatures from the required homeowners, but that they are generally in favor of the nest destructions as they receive the brunt of the nuisance.

"I understand that – I have difficulty if they are not willing to sign the petition themselves that you have to come to council to ask council for authorization to do the nest destruction," said councilwoman Stephanie Morita. "I know there are other ways of controlling geese other than destroying eggs. I have some difficulty with this. I would have preferred you had the 28 homeowners that you needed to sign the petition, sign the petition."

Morita said one other association in the past five years had avoided a petition and that she voted against that resolution.

Councilman Ryan Deel disclosed that he owns property in Heatherwood Village and asked council if anyone would be opposed to him voting on the issue.

The resolution passed by a vote of 6-1, with Morita opposing.

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