Jump to content
BC Boards

Livestock variance


Recommended Posts

I am purchasing a new house on 4.2 acres. Eventually I would like to keep some sheep for training. In my new township they require 10 acres to keep livestock but I can petition the zoning board of appeals for a variance. I don't mind petitioning but it is expensive. Has anyone had any experience with this sort of thing? This land is out in the country surrounded by dairy farms and up until a couple of years ago there were lots of sheep around.


Also, I'll have 3 of the acres to devote to sheep full time, the rest could be some occasional grazing. Is it unreasonable to think that I could handle 8 sheep on this amount of land? I do figure I'll have to feed hay.


Thanks for any info


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will depend on the lots of things. How is the land currently zoned? Has the zoning board issued variances for situations like yours in the past? Will the neighbours complain?


I would start by talking to a township official (supervisor or zoning officer if possible) about what you would like to do, and see what they say. If they think it will work out, I would do it sooner rather than later. You should also attend a zoning board meeting, to get the feel of how things work in that township.


Have a plan that you can present, and ask for the variance to be for a few more animals than you plan on keeping, just in case.


I've got a field around 2 acres, that I can rotate 3-6 sheep on depending on the season and weather.


Good Luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Laws will vary from state to state, but in New Hampshire to obtain a variance the applicant must prove four things:


1.) That the existing zoning presents a hardship (very hard to do).


2.) That the proposed use would not create a nuisance.


3.) That the proposed use would not detract from the purpose of the zoning ordinance.


4.) That the proposed use would not diminish surrounding property values.


Here in New Hampshire, I think you'd have a very steep uphill climb to get a variance to keep animals on your lot. No idea what the laws are like in Michigan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...