Goats are green-lighted in Pismo Beach



After a nearly yearlong campaign for city permission to legally house and walk his three pet goats, Pismo Beach resident Dana McGregor (along with his goats Goatee, Pismo, and Grover) has succeeded at long last.

At the Dec. 16 meeting of the Pismo Beach City Council, the council voted 4-1 to approve a request for a permit from McGregor that will allow him to keep and raise his three goats—who have gained local notoriety for their surfing abilities—in the backyard of his home in the 100 block of Valley View Drive.

McGregor first raised the issue in the spring of 2014 after receiving several expensive tickets for allowing his goats to graze within city limits. It had been illegal to keep goats in Pismo Beach until the council voted on June 17 to allow them through a formal permitting process.

Unsurprisingly, McGregor was the first applicant for a permit under the new statute, and city staff—along with the council—largely supported his application on Dec. 16, commenting that the goats were well cared for and noting the complete lack of any complaints from McGregor’s neighbors.

The only person to say “baaaaa humbug” was Councilwoman Mary Ann Reiss, who maintained her hard line against allowing goats within city limits and cast the dissenting vote for McGregor’s permit.

“I will maintain my position and vote against this,” Reiss said, adding that “not having a rural atmosphere” made McGregor’s neighborhood an inappropriate place to house goats.

As per the conditions of the permit, McGregor will be required to keep his goats at least 25 feet from any open water drainage system, and the goat pen in his backyard will have to be at least 10 feet from his property line.

“Staff has not received any complaints or neighbor inquiries about the goats at this location,” wrote Community Development Director Jon Biggs in his staff report recommending permit approval. “In his note provided with the permit application, Mr. McGregor indicates that he does clean up after the goats so that they do not create an odor or vermin nuisance.”

McGregor did not attend the Dec. 16 meeting, but he wrote in his permit application that, “hopefully in the near future goats can be considered with the same rights as a dog or cat, because they make great pets and are great for the city.

“Thank you for considering the local Surfing Goats as residents in Pismo Beach,” McGregor wrote.

McGregor’s goat permit is good for one year, and the council is slated to review his permit again in late 2015—at which time they will renew, revoke, or add conditions to the permit.

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