Livestock in Sawmills town limits now legal

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 07:17 AM

Sawmills residents who own livestock within the town limits are no longer automatically breaking the law.

An amendment to town ordinances approved Tuesday by the Sawmills Town Council specifies livestock that are allowed, including horses, cows, llamas, alpacas, goats, sheep, mules, donkeys and swine.

Previously, Sawmills did not have any regulations about livestock within the town limits, which made owning livestock illegal. However, it was not regularly enforced, and many residents do own livestock. The idea to amend the law stemmed from a man looking at real estate in Sawmills and asking whether he could own livestock on his land.

The measure adopted Tuesday still makes livestock illegal in subdivisions, such as Doe Run, Virginia Acres, O.J. Lane and Shady Oak. Elsewhere, livestock must be contained and kept on property that is at least an acre. Owners can have two animals per half-acre. However, all properties four or more acres are exempt from the limit.

Issues concerning chickens, geese, ducks and other birds in the town limits have separate regulations. The fowl must be contained. Poultry farms, meaning more than 50 adult birds, need conditional use permits.

Councilman Joe Wesson he had many concerns when the proposed regulations were first brought before the council in June because he believes that residents should do what they want with their property as long as they don't disturb their neighbors, but he was satisfied with what passed Tuesday.

“This was something I was really concerned about, trying to get something that could work for the whole town because we’re so diversified as we are,” Wesson said. “I think this is going to work really good, and I think it’s good for on down the road.”