Paonia board nixes deer fences

By Tamie Meck

Paonia residents wanting to build a deer fence to keep deer from eating their tulips and vegetables will have to find another option after the board of trustees voted, 4-3, to remove a section on deer fencing from a proposed fencing ordinance. Mayor Charles Stewart cast the tiebreaking vote.

The section would have allowed for construction of deer fencing in rear and side yards in residential areas. The section was written by former interim manager Dan Dean, who said the town was approached by some residents about permits for deer fences.

"I don't favor deer fence at all," said trustee David Bradford. He called them "unsightly in an urban environment," and suggested deer only come into town during the winter. He and trustees Karen Budinger and Bill Bear voted for removing the section from the ordinance.

"I think people have a right to raise veggies without deer eating them," said trustee Suzanne Watson.

Trustee Bill Brunner said he'd be happy if no fencing ordinances existed at all, but that if one must be passed, that it be "as liberal as possible."

The draft ordinance, which was carried over from the Jan. 24 meeting, was tabled and referred the town's governmental affairs committee. A resolution to establish a fence permit fee was also tabled to Feb. 28, since passage of the fencing ordinance is necessary for its passage. Both items are expected to be on the Feb. 28 agenda.