Ville de Marion examines the rules for potbellied pigs | Local News

Some little pigs go to market and some little pigs stay home. But can this house be in the town of Marion?

At Tuesday’s meeting, the city council again discussed a civil citation for keeping a pot-bellied pig within the city limits of Marion.

Eli Ramos of East Oak St. received a civil citation earlier this year for keeping a pot-bellied pig on his property. Ramos appeared before the board for a call during the July 19 meeting. At that time, the council instructed staff to gather data from surrounding towns to see how pot-bellied pigs were treated in those townships.

City Clerk/Public Information Officer Landdis Hollifield conducted research, which showed that five of the 12 towns did not allow any kind of pork within their municipal boundaries. Seven of the 12 cities allowed pigs in some cases, but had specific requirements for square footage, setbacks and cleanliness for those with pot-bellied pigs. Many of these towns also limited each household to one pot-bellied pig.

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After hearing the research, council members advised staff to come up with an ordinance that would allow one pot-bellied pig per household if setback requirements and cleanliness requirements were met. Council member Don Ramsey proposed that there be a required separation of 50 feet between potty pig enclosures and dwellings. Other council members also recommended that closure be required of owners of potbellied pigs and that cleanliness requirements be put in place.

The council voted unanimously to suspend Ramos’ civil citation and asked staff to present an amended ordinance at an upcoming meeting that would change the city’s current animal ordinance and allow a pot-bellied pig per residence if the conditions for keeping such an animal were met.

In other cases, the Town Hall of Marion:

• Failed to recognize a Citizen of the Month. Although the recognition was originally scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting, the person chosen for this honor will be recognized at the September meeting.

• Introduced to a new employee. Heather Cotton, Director of Planning, introduced Vance McNees to the board. He is Marion’s new urban planner. She also introduced Kyle Case, who is based in Lenoir and works with the North Carolina Department of Commerce as the ARC Community Economic Development Planner, Northwest Region.

• Heard a request from Rick Condrey and Ric Luther, representing the Foothills Community Theatre. Condrey asked the city council to help the local community theater financially. Community theater, which is separate from the McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA), has experienced financial setbacks, he said. The board did not vote on Tuesday to help the theater organization but agreed to consider that request and come back with a response in the near future. Council member Ann Harkey urged Condrey and other Foothills representatives to contact The McDowell News, WBRM and social media about the financial issues.

• Heard an update from the Director of Public Works, Brant Sikes, on the Water System Backflow Prevention and Cross-Connection Control Program.

• Adjournment of the meeting in memory of Director of Social Services, Lisa Sprouse, who passed away early Tuesday morning, and Pleasant Gardens firefighter, Terry Love, who passed away recently.

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