No cows, pigs, goats, ducks, chickens or even rabbits are permitted in the Suburban Residential zoning district that surrounds much of the City of Plymouth. The zoning district is immediately outside the city limits and controlled by the Plymouth Plan Commission. It was noted that the Rural Residential zoning district does permit horses.
In the past two years, four individuals have sought and received variances that permit a limited and specific amount of livestock in the zoning district. On 9A Road two properties have received variances, one for a horse and a goat while the other was only allowed to have 10 chickens and 2 goats on a 5 acre parcel. The third variance was a 19 acre tract on Muckshaw Road where the plan commission approved a variance without specific limitations although no commercial production is allowed and animals are for personal use and enjoyment and 4H projects. Just last month a 6.5 acre parcel on South Michigan Road was approved for up to 6 cows as 4-H projects.
During Tuesday’s Plymouth Plan Commission meeting, Plan Consultant Ralph Booker proposed a change in the policy to permit livestock in the Rural Residential zoning areas and as a special use in the Suburban Residential zoning district. The special use would still need to come before the BZA for approval.
After a discussion the plan commission voted 5 to 4 against moving forward with Bookers proposal and will stay with the current zoning ordinances. That means anyone living in the 2-mile zoning district can’t have any type livestock except horses in the Rural Residential zoning district unless they are grandfathered in.
Tuesday night’s discussion also included enforcement and violators. Plan commission members said the city should do more to enforce its current zoning ordinances.
Booker said the city doesn’t actively seek livestock violations in the 2-mile zoning district. Instead they take action when they are notified of a possible violation.