EUGENE, Ore. — Country living is coming to the city of Eugene.
City councilors approved an ordinance Wednesday, allowing more urban animals. The council voted six to one to allow Eugene homeowners to own a restricted group of farm animals. Now the task is to educate those aspiring urban farmers and try and keep non-farming neighbors happy, too.
Pam Basilius runs A Peaceful Sanctuary, a micro-farm just outside Eugene city limits.
“I always wanted chickens and I always wanted land, so this is the perfect place for me,” Basilius said.
Now people who want to have animals, like Basilius, won’t have to move out-of-town to do so.
City Council approved its urban animal ordinance Wednesday. Residents can now own a combination of up to six chickens, six rabbits, three miniature goats, one mini pig and up to three bee hives. The number of animals was decided to please both sides of the street.
“This really is a compromise of what those allowances were requested to be in the beginning, and hopefully this will give people more choices, more opportunity, but still keep that respect for the neighbors that are non-farmers,” said Kristie Brown, Eugene Planning and Development.
The city expects to get some complaints from non-farming neighbors, but Basilius says she sees a lot of community benefit to emerge from this change.
“You have eggs, you have fertilizer, I think they do allow things for you to promote in your community because you have extra eggs and you can share with your neighbors. They take very little space and they’re quiet,” Basilius said.
The ideal clean and quiet urban farm set-up doesn’t create itself; experts say it’s a product of passion, care and lots of research, something the city says it’s focused on doing moving forward.
“I think we’re going to have to put a lot of energy into our education, education of farm animal owners, can how they can try and mitigate that impact to their neighbors,” Brown said.
“I think if anybody is going to get goats they need to do your research of all things. They’re a lot different than chickens or dogs or cats,” Basilius said.
How many, and what kind of animals, all depends on how big your backyard is. Those details and the other rules are outlined in the full ordinance.