Oregon extends public hearing on whether owner can keep pet pig

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon City Council last month extended a public hearing to Nov, 26 to determine whether the owner of a pet pig could keep it in the yard.
        The request was for a Special Use Exception (SUE) in an R-2 Medium Density Zoned district for the purpose of housing the Juliana pig named “Newton,” at 125 S. Coy Road.
        Mayor Mike Seferian said the matter came before the Planning Commission in June.               
        “We determined to accept this SUE with the pretense of revisiting it at the Oct. 15 Planning Commission meeting to evaluate the activity of housing the pig at this residence,” said Seferian, who is also a member of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission voted 4-1 in favor of the SUE, he added, with the following conditions: The installation of a fence in the yard, there can be no odor, and the permit would only last until the end of the pig’s life.
        At the Planning Commission meeting, neighbors were concerned about whether the pig would have a “negative effect” on property values of the surrounding houses.
        Councilman Terri Reeves said at the Planning Commission meeting that he spoke on behalf of several neighbors in expressing concerns about the upkeep of the property, particularly overgrown grass.
        Planning Commission Chairman Scott Winckowski said he had visited the property more than once and agreed there could be a little more effort on its maintenance. He also believed that the owner had an attachment to the pig regarding its value as a pet.
        Nicole Kesling, of 125 S. Coy, said a fence was installed around the perimeter on three sides of the yard.
        “We brought some pictures to show we are in compliance with everything we had talked about at the Planning Commission meeting – such as putting up a privacy fence so that the neighbors couldn’t see Newton anymore. Also, we did landscaping and kept up the property,” said Kesling.
        Her property consists of 1.28 acres of land, she said.
        Reeves asked about the life expectancy of a Juliana pig.   
        “It’s between eight and 10 years. He’s now two years old, so six to eight more years. If this permit is issued, it would only be for the life of Newton. We would not get any more hoofed animals after that,” she said.
        “That was one of the conditions,” said Seferian. “So the permit would end with his life.”
No odor
        Kesling said there was no odor.
        “Pigs are very clean. They pick one corner and that’s where they go to the bathroom. We haven’t had any issues with smell.”
        The pig’s waste is placed in a bag and disposed of in the garbage, she said.
        “He’s similar to a dog. He sleeps in a crate in the house. He’s only outside to go to the bathroom or enjoy being in the yard. He’s not loud. If the fence wasn’t up, you wouldn’t even know he was there. He’s very clean. He’s like a pet. He has toys, lays down and likes to have his belly rubbed,” she said.
        Newton, she said, is 60 lbs. and is fully grown. He won’t get any bigger.
        “He’s on a very special diet. He can’t climb a fence. He’s pretty sturdy and low to the ground,” she said.
        Reeves said he goes by the location every day.
        “There were several people who had some concerns about the pig being in a residential area. I don’t know if I would want to be in a residential area with a pig next to me,” he said.
        “Talking with neighbors, they are worried their property values are going to go down. They don’t believe a pig should be in their neighborhood. Most people living in a residential area would not want to have a pig in their neighborhood,” he said.
        Reeves also thought the fence should have been installed sooner.
        “It just seemed like it took a long time to get that fence up,” he said.
        “I think if we took a vote tonight,” he added, “we’d have enough votes to turn it down.”
        Reeves then made a motion requesting that the hearing be extended to the Nov. 26 council meeting, where a final vote on the SUE would take place.


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association