FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. - A neighborhood battle is brewing in a Fayetteville subdivision over the fate of deer in the area.
Some residents are opposed to a home owners' association plan to control the deer population, while others say the deer have become a nuisance and something must be done.
On an almost nightly basis the Goldbergs look forward to a visit from the neighborhood deer. They and others in the Whitewater Creek subdivision have an online petition in opposition to the Home Owners Association plan to control the deer population here.
"It would have been nice to have a paper ballot perhaps mailed out. I feel that there's an emphasis on lethal methods of controlling the deer population," said Robert Goldberg.
He said the HOA passed a deer eradication program without much prior notice to residents at a sparsely attended meeting a couple weeks ago. Others say something has to be done about the overpopulation of deer.
"I have tried numerous years to plant a garden; it doesn't happen because the deer eat it. Flowers around our house, they eat it all," said Ed Worell.
The HOA president didn't want to go on camera but told residents in an email that the HOA office has been inundated with complaints about safety and health arising from the deer. The email also stated deer are host to ticks, carriers of Lyme disease and other ailments. It said deer are expensive expensive to relocate and often die if attempted. Another concern in the email was deer-vehicle collisions at the subdivision. The HOA said it's working with the USDA Wildlife services. The email said the federal agency plans to use high powered rifles with noise suppressors, infrared and night vision technologies to control the deer population at the subdivision.
"They come in have certain type of weapons to eradicate the deer. How do you feel about that? I"m concerned about the ammo," said resident David Schear.
In the email, the HOA said residents can opt out of allowing the hunting of the deer on their property. Donna Heinlen said she will not allow it outside her home.
"We love our wild animals and we don't someone getting rid of them when they represent such a large part of the reason why many of us live here," said Heinlen.
Ed Worell, on the other hand, believes he will let it happen on his property.
"I don't see how with as many deer as we have I don't see how the herd can be healthy if we don't do something about it," said Worell.
The email did not indicate when the deer eradication program would begin. Some residents told Fox 5 News they were told it could be within a month or two.
The email did state the venison would be handed over to a charity.