By: Melanie Williamson
The Brownhelm Zoning Commission met on Thursday, August 8, to discuss a proposal to change the zoning of certain residential areas to strictly residential disallowing farm animals.
The issue came up after a resident in the Greystone housing development on Middle Ridge road complained to the township about a neighbor raising pygmy goats on their property. The letter received by the township requested that the township approve rezoning to prevent other neighbors from raising farm animals on their property without a conditional use permit and the approval of surrounding neighbors. The complaint also requested that the zoning for animals be changed, so that only owners with at least five acres to raise farm animals.
This is a portion of the letter, which was shared on Facebook as Brownhelm residents encouraged others to attend the meeting and be heard. “Keep in mind, this isn’t just a Greystone issue, it is a Brownhelm Township issue. The people who have moved into the township have come here to experience the community, tranquility of the area, and expect quiet enjoyment of their property. The Greystone community is one of the many gems in Brownhelm Township where the people take care of their homes, their property, and desire to keep it a residential neighborhood, not farmland. At this point, there are no standards in place to prevent a cattle, sheep, goat, llama, or chicken farm from being put in someone’s backyard, and certainly no limits on the quantities…”
These requests were met with a great deal of protest from other Brownhelm Township residents, many of whom showed up for the zoning meeting to voice their protests. Tensions rose as those for and against the rezoning had their say. Many of those opposed to changes argued that Brownhelm is farm country, and that is how they want to keep it.
After hearing out many of those in attendance the zoning board voted unanimously not to act on the suggested rezoning, which