We are accustomed to seeing some accommodations for emotional support animals in the housing context. Recently, a Borough’s zoning hearing board and the Court of Common Pleas were asked to resolve a similar issue in a zoning case. The facts and issues in the case touched on urban agriculture issues that are becoming increasingly more common in addition to the interpretation of certain terms in the Borough’s zoning ordinance. Like short-term rentals, emotional support animals and urban agriculture are uses that are not typically addressed in zoning ordinances, thereby leading to cases just like this.
A young boy with autism lived with his mother and grandfather in a two-family residential building on property owned by the grandfather and located in the Borough’s commercial zoning district. The boy’s family acquired eight ducks as therapeutic pets after he had a positive experience with a friend’s pet duck. The ducks were kept at the residential property, living outside in a fenced yard but also spending some time inside the house. The Borough had attempted to deal with the keeping of animals on a residential property in the past. Continue Reading When Are Ducks Pets?