In July, the Fort Collins City Council adopted an ordinance, allowing city residents to keep and raise miniature goats within the City.  Some of the details of the ordinance are as follows:

  • Allows the keeping of two pygmy or dwarf goats plus their offspring
  • Residents must obtain a permit from the Humane Society
  • If a lot has more than one dwelling, all adult residents and the owner of the lot must consent to allowing goats on the property
  • Goats must be maintained on the rear 50% of residential lots
  • Certain predatory-resistant shelters must be provided
  • The goats must have access to the shelter during certain times and access to a fenced enclosure of a minimum size
  • Neither the shelter nor any fenced enclosure may be located less than 15 feet from any abutting property line without consent of the neighboring property owner

What if you live in a homeowners association that has covenants that prohibit the keeping of goats?  In that case, the covenants can still be enforced and goats may not be kept.  Just like when the City Council adopted the City’s chicken ordinance in 2008, the Council did not vote to override any restrictions imposed by the homeowners association. This means that homeowner associations may continue to enforce covenants prohibiting the keeping of goats.

However, in the case of chickens, some local ordinances expressly override any contrary prohibitions contained in association covenants so be careful to review both the covenants and relevant ordinance when determining which one controls.  In the case of Fort Collins, review the restrictions in the association’s covenants and rules and, assuming they don’t prohibit goats, it’s time to get your goat on!

David A. Closson
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