Goats brought in to clean up part of a Detroit neighborhood are getting the boot, after it was discovered that a city ordinance bans farm and wild animals.
The 18 goats were supposed to munch weeds and other troublesome vegetation from a four-acre lot, after which the land would be converted to an urban farming project.
“Once the vegetation was cleaned up, then we would have the volunteers come in, take the trash out of the area, and using the goats and the volunteers we would be clearing this ground for future agricultural use,” said Kevin Pollara, a consultant for the project in Brightmoor, a neighborhood on the city’s west side.
He said the project, called Idyll Farms Detroit, would have been a success, but the animals will be removed.
“We will be in full compliance. We will be removing the animals, because we’re interested in complying,” he said. “We’re not looking to fight with the city. We want to collaborate with the city.”
But he said the group will still try to get the city to change its mind about the farm project, and plans to reach out to Mayor Mike Duggan and the city council to try to get the ordinance changed.
Brightmoor resident Lisa Rivera had welcomed the project — and the 18 goats — and said she was disappointed the city was enforcing the ordinance.
“I mostly came here to see it and for my daughter because she loves baby goats,” Rivera told ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit in an interview at the site Friday.
“The city’s changing rapidly right now,” Rivera said. “There is a lot of vacant space that’s getting higher and higher and it’s just going to be filled with more crime and there is nothing but good that can come from having these goats here, really.”
She said the farm could have helped with a renaissance in Detroit.
“We could maybe set the new standard for like, urban farming in cities,” Rivera said. “Like Detroit could set the standard for that and that’s pretty exciting.”