City Allows Livestock Where County Does Not

Although the city now allows goats and chickens in residential areas, the county, oddly, does not.  #

12 Responses to “City Allows Livestock Where County Does Not”


  • This story made me so frustrated. An acre and a half and they can’t have chickens and miniature goats? Would 1.5 acres of lawn be better?

  • If that is what the county resident prefers, it’s their decision. One of the commenters at the meeting remarked how some some livestock stinks. Maybe they do not want to smell the funk. I don’t suspect that many of the residents in Carrsbrook and Woodbrook will want free range chickens clucking about. If they allow them in Ednam I’m going to take pictures.

  • Most of the county residential areas would have HOA’s that would probably rule out livestock ownership, even goats and chickens, if the County changed its policy.

  • I think we need to make sure they dont vote. The goats and stuff that is.

  • I appreciate the county’s perspective: zoning doesn’t allow it. It doesn’t really matter if every employee of the county and every Board of Supervisors members thinks that they should be allowed to have goats and chickens if zoning doesn’t allow it. The solution, of course, is to amend zoning regulations. It looks to me like Albemarle just hasn’t caught up to where Charlottesville and so many other urban areas have in the past few years, in which small, quiet, non-odorous livestock can be kept on reasonable sized plots of land. I have to assume that the Board of Supervisors will amend this before too long. Presumably it’s just never come up before.

  • It has come up before; however, the County has historically been so focused on growth and urban goals that anything percieved as a “rural” issue never comes up. Indeed I’d argue that this whole duality of growth area / rural area, while useful, needs to be reexamined. We’d be much better off thinking in terms of density and services, with “local food” being a service.

    In other words, we’ve created growth areas devoid of life, with failing stream quality, virtually no greenspace, and little access to local healthy food. We need to strive for a sense of ecological density, not just population density. In practical terms that means more native plants, more greenspace, stream daylighting and sustainable urban agriculture. As is, non-native lawn grass is the second biggest “seed crop” in the United States, with terrible consequences for our streams and health.

  • The city’s allowing goats and other livestock has caused many problems that no one has talked about. Rats have taken over the Meadowcreek community garden. We have trapped over 100 of them in the past week and they are eating everything. The media needs to go down there at night with cameras and shine a light. Not a pretty shot.

  • What’s attracting the rats? Is someone storing animal feed near the gardens?

  • @Cville Dude – goats eat hay. Rats do not. There isn’t really much chance that goats would be attracting rats in the numbers that you are talking about. Especially since there are probably less than a dozen goats in the city.

    Poultry eat grain, and this could be attracting a few rats, though most folks know that grain is expensive and they prefer to have their animals eat it rather than the wildlife so they don’t leave it laying around to be snarfed up by rats.

    I think it is more likely that what you are seeing is a natural fluctuation in populations. This happens. For years we had tons of squirrels, this year, we don’t have any, we do, however have a ton of rabbits. That is the way Mother Nature rolls.

    I just don’t think the evidence is there to show that more livestock = more rats. The number of restaurants in town is on the rise as well, why not that as the source?

  • I thought the chickens and goats were in North Downtown.

  • I read through the code after reading this article and I, too, could not find any place that indicates that the goats and chickens violate the zoning ordinances cited in the ticket. I even looked up subsection 5.2 on allowed structures in R-1, and nothing related to goat pens and chicken houses is in there. Two goats, a few chickens, and a rooster are not enough stock to make a farm to fall under ag zoning. Clearly, this is a single-family detached residential property. Given the low-density of animals per acre, why aren’t the goat pen and chicken house treated like dog houses, vis-a-vis structures, when it comes up?

  • Goats are NOT dirty animals being vegetarians why would they even want to cohabit with rats?? They eat hay do rats? I don’t think so! Two miniature goats on an acre could not cause this problem of over 100 rats; something (perhaps human refuse) maybe causing this problem.

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