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City Tables Issue, Wants Woman To Discuss Backyard Farm With Neighbors

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(WWJ/Sandra McNeil, File)

(WWJ/Sandra McNeil, File)

sandramcneill Sandra McNeill
After graduating from the University of Michigan, Sandra McNeill...
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LIVONIA (WWJ) - After a three-hour hearing, city officials have decided to “butt out” of the debate over a Livonia woman’s pet chickens and goats.

Kathryn Trestain appeared before the city’s zoning board Tuesday night to get permission to keep her six pet goats at her home on Brentwood Street, over the objection of her neighbors.

“They opted to table the decision for 60 days to allow me some time to break bread with the neighbors who were dissenting and who didn’t approve of having goats in the neighborhood and just to try to resolve it amongst ourselves,” said Trestain.

Some of Trestain’s neighbors are upset because they say the goats and her 30 chickens are unsanitary, too noisy and embarrassing. But Trestain said she had quite a few supporters on her side.

“I was really surprised to hear from people, some of whom I’ve never met, that had been at my neighbors or whatever and just had really gotten to know and love the goats,” she said.

Trestain told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill that her father bought to property because it did allow for farm animals in the city legislation — including cow, horses and chickens. She said she’s hoping the city will rule to add goats to that allowed list.

“(The goats) are family, they’re pets, they’re wonderful. They just have really great personalities. They all have names. They come by their name, they know their names,” she said. “A goat, unlike a dog, is not going to attack its prey. It’s not a predator. They don’t even have bottom teeth.”

Trestain said her idea to have livestock on her property is not that far out there.

“A lot of urban farms are popping up all over the country,” said Trestain. “People are saying, you know, enough. We don’t want genetically modified. We want organic. We don’t want pesticides, herbicides. We want our own.”

Trestain said she plans to get rid of the noisy roosters and said she would be willing to pay to have a privacy fence put up.

The Observer & Eccentric reported that board members appeared like they were going to reject Trestain’s request to add an exception for goats until she offered to meet with neighbors. The board then unanimously supported a motion to table the issue.

Trestain said the city’s decision to table the issue was “fair,” adding that everyone involved could use some time to think the issue over and talk about it together.

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