LaGrange City Council chews on possible grazing ordinance – Reuters

An ongoing discussion about adjusting a lawn care ordinance may soon emerge, but the concept has some council members feeling sheepish.

During the April 12 business session of the LaGrange Town Council, area resident Danny Simms offered to start his own yard maintenance business and needed advice from council. The workers of this company? Several goats and sheep. Sims explained that the animals would perform lawn maintenance through monitored organic grazing in a client’s yard, which could solve vegetation problems in the city.

“That might be the right way to control [vegetation overgrowth] without herbicides or heavy equipment,” Sims said.

Currently, the City of LaGrange’s Unified Development Ordinance does not prohibit maintaining the pasture-style yard, but it does define the necessary requirements. The UDO only describes ranching as incidental and only on a three-acre parcel.

The ordinance further explained that the UDO prohibits cattle from running free. Sims’ proposal includes having grazing animals enclosed in a portable electric fence on the client’s property and would only allow animals on the property for a few hours to a few days.

On Tuesday, LaGrange city planner Mark Kostial compared LaGrange’s ordinance to that of surrounding municipalities. The city of Athens, for example, allows grazing on consecutive days and with more frequency, Kostial said. However, a business permit is required.

He said that to his knowledge, animal grazing lawn care businesses like the one Sims offers are not permitted throughout Troup County.

Board members were mixed on the proposal, but agreed they would like to see a preview of a possible ordinance authorizing Sims’ business proposal. The order will be reviewed at a future working session.

“I could see us having a lot of complaints,” said council member Jim Arrington, who also owns a local construction company, Arrington Builders. He said he faced vegetation issues in his own work and noted that there were possible hazards in addition to possible noise complaints.

LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton said the order could be adjusted based on complaints.

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