The Sylvania Township board of zoning appeals has postponed a decision on a zoning waiver request from a resident seeking to keep a pig in the family’s home.
The request was made by Todd and Melissa Crandall, of 9328 St. Angela’s Way, who contend that Milo, the mini potbellied pig, is not only a clean and inoffensive pet, but is also qualifies as an emotional support animal for Mr. Crandall, a counselor and founder of Racing for Recovery.
The township zoning department has noted that under the livestock and farm animal section of the zoning code, it specifically bans pigs among other animals from being kept on lots of one acre or less.
The department issued the finding against the pig in reaction to an anonymous complaint.
Stevan Groth, an attorney for the Crandalls, argued to the board that Milo is neither livestock nor a farm animal.
He contended that the pig is not being raised for breeding or for slaughter. He also noted that there has been no specific complaint about odor, waste, noise or anything else. The complaint, he said, was a vague, “Hey, there’s a pig in the neighborhood.”
Milo spends most of his time indoors and has his own room in the basement of the family home, he noted, adding that if the pig were to be overtly offensive, the township has nuisance regulations which could be enforced.
He added that the pig is beneficial for Mr. Crandall for generalized anxiety issues and that he submitted a letter with a “legitimate diagnosis from a licensed professional.” to that effect.
Mr. Crandall said Milo was initially brought home as a pet when the family lived elsewhere, but that he has bonded with it.
The family, with Milo, have lived in the township’s Twelve Lakes subdivision for about a year
Christina Rodriguez, staff attorney for the Fair Housing Center, said she considers the situation to be a fair housing issue and noted that in similar cases Milo would be known as a “medical devise.” She said landlords who as a rule ban pets often learn they can’t prohibit animals which serve a medically beneficial purpose.
John Billis, president of the Twelve Lakes Homeowners Association, said he sided with the township in objecting to a pig in one of the homes.
He said the homeowners association also does not allow pigs and that for all of the arguments made in favor of allowing Milo to stay in the Crandall household, “If it walks like a pig and it looks like a pig and it oinks like a pig, it’s a pig.”
After about 20 minutes of privately considering the issue, the board announced that more research was called for and that a decision will be announced at the meeting of Sept. 17 at 5 p.m.
Written by: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer
Stay up to date with Sylvania Township!
View a map of our important landmarks and offices.