NORTH OGDEN — Pigs are now allowed to be kept in North Ogden, but with very tight restrictions.
In a recent 4-1 vote, the city council amended a zoning ordinance to allow people to keep up to two pigs in agricultural zones of 1 acre or more, but only from April to August and only for educational purposes, which in most cases will mean for 4-H.
The council has deliberated the measure for the past few months after 10-year-old Candice Marsh asked if she could raise pigs for the Weber County Fair this summer through the 4-H club.
The council was set to approve the measure until several neighbors of the Marshes protested, saying the smell and appearance were unbearable and that the Marshes had been violating the current zoning by keeping pigs.
The Marshes said they had been unaware that the zoning prohibited pigs and now that they knew, that was why they approached the council. They also promised they would keep the pen cleaner and odor-free.
The council decided to tighten restrictions and require that the zoning include all the rules and restrictions of 4-H within the rezone. Kent Bailey was the one dissenting vote on the measure and expressed concern for the neighbors of people raising pigs. He also wanted only one pig per acre rather than two.
Councilman Justin Fawson’s motion for only one pig failed due to lack of a second. Councilman Wade Bigler then moved to allow two pigs, and that passed.
“My biggest concerns are with the concerns of the adjacent homeowners and the objectionable smells,” Bailey said.
City Attorney Dave Carlson pointed out that the city does have an animal nuisance ordinance and that could also be used through the code enforcement department. Councilman Dave Hulme also suggested that a requirement to remove manure weekly be included in the ordinance, but after much discussion, that idea was scratched because it would be too difficult to enforce.
Several 4-H members had spoken with council members in favor of raising pigs. Some council members said they wanted to try the ordinance amendment to see if it would work. If it becomes a problem, it can be changed.