Will County rule change would allow pygmy goats and pigs
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org August 9, 2011 2:50PM
Brittany Pirc, 15, brushes her miniature Nigerian dwarf goat Patch in June at her home in near Elwood, before the goat had to be sent away. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 16, 2011 1:49AM
JOLIET — Pygmy or dwarf goats and pigs would be allowed as pets in unincorporated areas of the county under proposed zoning ordinance changes.
The changes were approved Tuesday by the county board’s land use and zoning committee. But the full county board must vote on the new language at its September meeting before the measure would take effect. Current county rules prohibit the pets, lumping them in with full-size farm animals.
If the full board approves the changes, Patch the goat will get to go home the next day. The 20-pound Nigerian dwarf goat was exiled from his home with the Pirc family in Jackson Township earlier this summer after a neighbor complained.
The proposed changes would not allow chickens or any other type of farm animal for backyard agriculture, said Curt Paddock, director of the county’s land use department.
Also, the changes would prohibit owners of the pets from using their animals’ meat, milk or fiber for personal consumption or sale. The animals could not be taller than 24 inches at the shoulder or weigh more than 150 pounds. And only one pig or two goats would be allowed per acre.
Since the eviction notice, Patch has been housed at a farm close to the Noel Estates neighborhood near Elwood where the Pirc family lives. Providence High School sophomore Brittany Pirc bought the brown-and-white pet goat at an animal swap at the Kankakee fairgrounds in April.
Without the zoning ordinance language change, Brittany’s mother, Tina, would have had to get a zoning change for her property or a court action to get the goat home. Both actions would have cost the family money without a guarantee of success.
Paddock said his department drafted the zoning ordinance changes because the miniature pet issue was “bumping up against provisions of our current code.”
The zoning changes will go to the planning and zoning commission for a public hearing later this month, then back to the county board’s land use committee in early September. The 27-member county board will vote Sept. 15.
Tina Pirc was happy to hear the land use committee OK’d the new zoning rules, and she is hopeful the full county board will approve them.
“Everything has really turned around nicely,” she said of her dealings with the land use staffers. “They’ve worked with us very well on all of this.”