Wheatland to consider allowing some 4-H animal project on non-farm lots

The Wheatland Town Board showed some willingness Monday to work toward a way some farm animals could be allowed to be kept on residential lots in the town as 4-H projects.

That would represent a change in the current ordinance, which prohibits the keeping of most farm animals on residential zoned lots. Specifically prohibited are horses, donkeys, cows, bulls, chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese.

Town Chairman Bill Glembocki introduced the topic, saying he would like to start the process of revising the current ordinance to allow some non-pet animals to be housed on residential properties for youth projects.

He recommended establishing a certain distance from lot lines for quarters for such animals. He also said what type of project animals are allowed may also have to be restricted.

“The larger animals may have to find a larger home,” Glembocki said. Horses, steers and pigs were mentioned.

Several audience members spoke out during citizens comments about having adverse experiences with farm animals kept in residential areas.

“The smell was disgusting,” said one person, who said her neighbors were keeping pigs.

Lori Harpster, a leader of the Wheatland Willing Workers 4-H Club, said most of her club’s members do participate in animal projects. Some of those not living on a farm have been able to find farms to house their animals, but that can be logistically problematic at times, she said.

Town Supervisor Andy Lois, a farmer, said larger animals need to be in a different category.

“Pigs do foul the air,” Lois said.

Supervisor Kelly Wilson supported changes that could allow some animals for youth projects.

“I know it’s not going to be a solution that everyone’s going to be happy with,” Wilson.

Lois added: “I don’t think we want to cut any 4-H kids off.” 

Glembocki asked board member to come to future meetings with their thoughts on the what should be done.

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