McConnell’s Trace in Lexington, Kentucky is an idyllic subdivision featuring a clubhouse with fitness center and tanning, and a large pool with a splash pad for the kids.
Despite its attractive amenities, McConnell’s Trace now lacks one important feature: the freedom of its residents to choose their dog’s breed.
Anderson Communities, the property’s developer, sent out letters to homeowners outlining a change in the existing dog restrictions. Previously, the policy referred only to “aggressive breeds,” but did not specify individual dogs.
Now, 11 breeds including Huskies, St. Bernards and any pups that appear to be Pit Bull-type dogs have been singled out and banned from the community.
“We want a mother and her child to feel safe when walking to the mailbox or hiking on the Town Branch Trail,” Anderson said in an email to the Lexington Herald Leader. “We want McConnell’s Trace to be the safest place to raise a family.”
According to the deed restrictions for McConnell’s Trace Subdivision, the banned breeds are as follows:
- German Shepherds
- Doberman Pinschers
- Pit Bulls (including American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and “any dogs containing characteristics of these breeds”)
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Great Danes
- St. Bernards
The letter sent to homeowners last week states that residents who already own restricted dogs will be permitted to keep them, but must adhere to the new deed restrictions going forward.
“Should you already own a pit bull, Rottweiler or other restricted breed, and you live in a section where the previous Deed of Restrictions did not specifically prohibit your pet, you will be permitted to keep your dog,” the letter reads. “Please note, however, that all future pets must meet the breed requirements.”
According to Dennis Anderson of Anderson Communities, the company has banned these 11 specific breeds from their properties since 2006 and all deed restrictions signed since then have included the prohibited list. Some homeowners acknowledge having received the breed restrictions when they moved in, but others say they did not.
Lexington planning director Jim Duncan said deed restrictions are set up by the developer before oversight is turned over to the homeowner’s association – in this case Anderson Communities. The process of changing or updating these restrictions usually requires a percentage of votes from the homeowners, but in this case no such vote occurred and the HOA did not “write the language.”
Residents have planned an emergency public meeting for those concerned about the ban, with “furry companions” welcome. The bi-annual Homeowners Association meeting is also coming up at the end of May where the issue will surely be discussed.
For more information on the McConnell’s Trace breed ban, see the coverage from the Lexington Herald Leader.
What do you make of the developer’s list of banned breeds? Should the homeowners attempt to change the Deed of Restrictions? Share your thoughts in the comments!