MORGANTOWN – Thirty individuals are suing a woman in their neighborhood for having a chicken coop on her property that they claim is a nuisance.
The plaintiffs all own property in the Hopecrest Addition in Morgantown and Tracey Lea Frisch also owns property in the subdivision along with her husband, according to a complaint filed in Monongalia Circuit Court.
The plaintiffs claim in 2013, Frisch built a chicken coop and began raising chickens on her property and at times there have also been turkeys and ducks on the property.
In 2015, Frisch had about 10 to 13 chickens at any given time on the property, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim the chicken coop, the chickens and the resulting condition of the yard has rendered the property unsightly and outside the generally accepted character of the other homes within Hopecrest Addition.
Frisch's harboring of chickens has resulted in the constant presence of a foul and noxious odor, which not only can be smelled while on public sidewalks and streets, but can also be smelled on the plaintiffs' private property, preventing the plaintiffs from enjoying their property, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim because of the terrain in Hopecrest Addition, the resulting waste is washed down to the edge of the public sidewalk and street whenever it rains.
The presence of the chickens also attracts "new, unwanted and dangerous predatory animals to the neighborhood, including raccoons and coyotes," according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim by maintaining the chicken coop on their property, the defendants are in breach of restrictive covenants and are a private nuisance.
The plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction, a permanent injunction, and compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Stephen B. Farmer and Matthew H. Nelson of Farmer, Cline & Campbell PLLC.
The plaintiffs include George Armstead, Ginny Armstead, Madonna J. Bird, Walter C. Bird, Barbara J. Tucker Bucy, Gisela Compley, Adrianne Dering, Alexander W. Dering, Mary Ann Farmer, Aimee Fominko, Pam Gross, Ron Gross, Carolyn J. Hampson, Rebecca Henderson, Robert Henderson, Frank Hillgartner, Stephen M. Lacagnin, Connie Merandi, Frank Merandi, Judith Raese, Lisa Salati, Rebecca Singleton, James M. Stevenson, John R. Verno, Kenneth Z. Weiss, Saralouise Weiss, Moldy K. Wilkins, R. Andrew Wilkins II, Jack S. Yorty and Robin L. Yorty.
Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 15-C-577