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Backyard goat trial gets go-ahead from Saanich

Overjoyed Gordon Head student Jillian McCue will soon be frolicking in her backyard with some kids — miniature goats by the names of Millie and Ivy.
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Jillian McCue, 12, has been lobbying Saanich council to allow miniature backyard goats for three years. "It's been kind of crazy how long the government takes for doing such a simple thing as allowing goats," she says.

Overjoyed Gordon Head student Jillian McCue will soon be frolicking in her backyard with some kids — miniature goats by the names of Millie and Ivy.

Saanich council has approved a 10-property pilot study to allow miniature goats on residential urban properties. The municipality will advertise for nine more homeowners to take part.

“They said that only one other person has volunteered,” said Jillian, 12, who has been campaigning for three years to have mini-goats in urban backyards.

Aspiring goatherds must get written approval from neighbours within 50 metres — down from 100 metres, thanks in part to Jillian, who called the larger distance “over the top.” Council agreed, deciding that 50 metres is enough to address potential concerns such as noise and smell experienced by people living near a property participating in the pilot study, said planning director Sharon Hvozdanski.

When the 18-month pilot study is complete in 2018, staff will undertake a broader public-engagement process.

Citizens with goat-related questions are asked to contact Saanich planning at 250-475-5471 or planning@saanich.ca.

kdedyna@timescolonist.com