Rights of Animal Owners Don’t Trump Neighbors
On March 12, Pelham voters will vote on several measures, including Article 3, which deals with the issue of livestock in residential zones. As a petitioner of this article, I would like to clear up a few misconceptions. The measure is intended to protect the quality of life of people who live in residential and mixed-use zones. At present in Pelham, there are no rules around the raising of livestock. Therefore, someone in a residentially-zoned subdivision with a very small lot can raise any number of pigs or cows with no restrictions, no oversight, and no setback requirements. Unfortunately, in more than one neighborhood, residents are currently faced with this exact situation, and must endure sights, sounds, and most importantly smells of farming in close quarters. If the owners are not responsible, the smell of pigs can be horrific, especially in the summer.
Some people who oppose this measure accuse the petitioners of buying houses next to a pig farm and subsequently attempting to shut it down. This is not the case. We have owned our homes long before the pigs arrived. The smell in this case affects every house on the street and many on adjacent streets. It’s important for Pelham homeowners to know that this could happen to anyone.
This measure does not affect poultry owners. Animal owners have rights, or course, but those rights do not trump the rights of their neighbors to enjoy their own backyards. For more information go to Facebook.com/pg/YesOn3 .