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Council Agenda: Goat Vote, Comprehensive Plan Review and More

See what's on the docket for the Herndon Town Council's last meeting of 2013 on Tuesday.

Herndon Town Council to tackle 'goat vote,' five-year Comprehensive Plan review and more for its last meeting of 2013 Tuesday. (Patch File Photo)
Herndon Town Council to tackle 'goat vote,' five-year Comprehensive Plan review and more for its last meeting of 2013 Tuesday. (Patch File Photo)
The Herndon Town Council will tackle adoption of its five-year Comprehensive Plan Review, recognition of this year's Holiday Homes Tour hosts and the so-called "goat vote" in its last meeting of 2013 Tuesday evening.

The 'Goat Vote'

A group of town residents have been advocating for a zoning ordinance text amendment (ZOTA) in favor of allowing residents to keep miniature breed, dwarf or pet goats in their backyards as pets and as a means to provide their own fresh dairy.

This issue was first presented over the summer.

READ: Letter to the Editor: Town of Herndon, Please Allow Me to Keep My Miniature Pet Goats

At its meeting Tuesday, the Council will hold a public hearing on the issue and vote on a proposed ZOTA that would allow residents to keep such animals on their property, with some restrictions.

  • In residential districts, on lots of at least 15,000 square feet or more in size that include a home, one Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig may be kept as a household pet that is kept primarily indoors. When outside and not accompanied by its owner, the pig must be kept in a fenced rear yard with a minimum fence height of 4 feet, made of materials sufficient for keeping in a pig. There are no guidelines when the pig is outside accompanied by an owner or caretaker.
  • On lots that are less than 10,000 square feet, no more than two such animals may be kept, in addition to any kids under 12 weeks old. Fence heights must be at least 6 feet high, and no structures such as coops or large cages can be erected within 5 feet of the fence. The sale of any dairy from the animals is prohibited.
  • Zoning permits are required for the keeping of these animals, and can be revoked if the animals are found to be a nuisance or if the ZOTA guidelines are not adhered to.
In previous Council discussions, some members have expressed concerns over odors, noise, and potential impacts to real estate values.

Adoption of Five-Year Comprehensive Plan Review

By Virginia code, municipalities must review their Comprehensive Plans every five years to see if any changes or amendments are needed, and to ensure they are meeting the needs of residents.

The Town of Herndon's 2030 Comprehensive Plan was adopted in August, 2008. The plan was a complete replacement of the 2010 Comprehensive Plan adopted in 1990, and has been amended many times. 

The 2030 Comprehensive Plan recommended the development of detailed plans for certain special areas.  These plans were then developed and adopted by Town Council after gathering community feedback. The Downtown Master Plan was adopted on Feb. 22, 2011 and the Metrorail Station Area Plan was adopted on Feb. 28, 2012.

During the fall of 2012, the town's Planning Commission held public meetings to determine if additional amendments to the plan were advisable in the months and years ahead. The staff requested input from residents through homeowner associations, as well as through the media. Notes from these meetings are available on the Town website.

During the Tuesday night meeting, the City Council is expected to vote to officially adopt the findings of the Comprehensive Plan Review. The public is invited to address the Council with any feedback before the vote.

Recognition of Holiday Homes Tour Hosts

The Town Council will be recognizing the five families that opened up their homes to tour-goers for Saturday's successful Holiday Homes Tour. The hosts will be recognized with certificates of appreciation.

Public is Invited to Meeting

The Town Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, located on the bottom floor of the domed Council building at 765 Lynn St. Designated portions of the meeting are set aside for public feedback on both non-agenda and agenda items.


Share your thoughts. What do you think—should the Council vote in favor of the "goat vote?" Do you have an opinion on the five-year plan review? What did you think of the Holiday Homes Tour? Tell us in the comments below.


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John Strother December 17, 2013 at 11:41 AM
if they allow goats that the owners use the diary from, then they must allow cows for the same purpose. This opens up the whole barn yard animals to be called pets.

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