Spider Pig, Spider Pig, Does Whatever a Spider Pig Does

Just saw this comment in the Bulletin Board section and thought it definitely deserved a place up front.

Didn’t know where to post this question so I found this thread and it seemed like the best place. I was driving through LFE last week and I noticed that someone had a pig in their backyard! They apparently were keeping it as a pet. It had a little house and there was a square fenced in area. PLEASE someone tell me that this is against codes in the Lake Forest Subdivision or in LaVergne!! I thought that farm animals were not allowed in residential neighborhoods?! Is there anything we can do about this because I’m sure this is not good for our home values!!



34 Responses

  1. If the person can keep it clean, the noise down, and keep it contained, then I’m inclined to not be bothered…but since the person did not mention any of this, just land values that could be effected by a percieved problem, then I suspect codes will soon become involved….dang it.

  2. I don’t know the people who live there at all, and my house is far enough away from it that I’m not affected by any potential noise or smell…….yet. But even if the owners kept it clean I think it is still a huge problem because of the perception of a pig in a residential area. I don’t know about other people but I wouldn’t want to buy a home in a subdivision if I saw that.

  3. I’m interested in what the city codes are as I live in Madison Square, and am hearing a rooster crowing in the morning.

  4. I sent an email to Kyle Brown (the codes department head of LaVergne according to the LaVergne.org website) on Sunday asking him if it was against codes to have farm animals in LaVergne. I haven’t heard back from him yet. We might not be able to do anything about things such as parking on lawns because it isn’t against codes, but certainly we should do everything in our power to help enforce things that already are (if in fact this is one of those things). I know the very first (and last) time I left a car parked on the street outside my house overnight I was slapped with a $90 fine. It also happened to be New Years Eve! So….it would only make sense to me that a pet pig in LFE should be fined until removed.

  5. …..or rooster for that matter.

  6. quote
    “I think it is still a huge problem because of the perception ”

    They used to say that about when a minority moved into the neighborhood also.

    Perception be damned people! You cannot live your life coddling other people fears, perceptions and worries, if they are a good neighbor leave them the heck alone.

  7. Are you the one that own’s the pig Gunner? You can’t possibly be comparing pigs to minorities? That actually seems kind of offensive to me. So you are okay with say a neighbor of yours letting their grass grow sky high or leaving trash all over their yard because you can’t worry about what other people will think? The reason people perceive farm animals in a residential neighborhood as a bad thing is because most likely they will be a nuisance in terms of noise and smell. As most likely this certain pig will eventually become to its neighbors if it is not already. Farm animals do not belong in a residential neighborhood….they belong on a farm. I can’t be the only person that feels this way?? Am I the only one that wants others to “perceive” Lake Forest as a good clean neighborhood free of roosters, cows, sheep, pigs, etc?

  8. I’m saying that you’re using the same hollow fear based wordage used by people for so long….such as ‘property values’ ‘visual nusance’ ‘etc.’ and so far nothing bad is happening.

    You already ran to the codes department just because that idea that the sky is falling hurts you. Wait till something wrong happens before you declare the sky is falling dear chicken little.

  9. quote
    “They used to say that about when a minority moved into the neighborhood also.”

    Wow, even acting like having a barnyard animal in a small backyard is being perceived the same as a minority moving into the neighborhood is a far reach. When i was reading through these threads I thought you might be the pig owner but now think you just wanted something to argue over. This is obviously ridiculous and poses a problem in our neighborhood that need to be addressed. Just how far will be too far? Are we going to have people with goat fences and horses in their backyard next? I would hope the majority of residents in the neighborhood would actually care about he appearance of their home and not want it to look like Green Acres.

  10. So far nothing bad has happened?? My home value has dropped 40K since I bought it 4 years ago. I understand our economy has something to do with that but I’m not fool enough to imagine that cars parked in front yards, unkept lawns, or pigs in backyards hasn’t contributed to the decline in our property values or lower housing sales. Why should we wait until the “sky falls” and people begin to have a full fledged farm in their backyard? We should take care of this problem now before it gets out of hand.

  11. Not jumping into the issue of right or wrong, but the issue might be what breed of pig it is. In alot of places, pot-bellied pigs are deemed pets, because they can be potty-trained and can stay inside, as opposed to run-of-the-mill pigs that are considered livestock or farm animals. I’ll be curious to see what kind of response you get from Codes. Deana, please let us know what happens with this.

  12. What ever kind of pig it is, it’s quite large. However, I drove by that house on Sunday and the pig was no longer there. Has anyone seen it since Sunday?

  13. I believe I saw it on Saturday morning. I will definitely post here as soon as I get a reply from Codes.

  14. I’ve got to go with Deana here; farm animals do not belong in a subdivision zoned for medium density residential.

    I understand where you’re coming from on the chickens gunner, but I think that’s a totally different issue. Chickesn can be kept in a relatively small area and are relatively quiet, plus they provide a recurring food source. The only food you’re getting from a pig is once it is slaugtered.

  15. I just passed by the house that I’m referring to and the pig is still there.

  16. What is wrong is you fall to the default position that it is a problem without it being one. I say it is not a problem until it IS ONE.

    So it now is a problem because you called codes. So they will now remove a “problem” animal without there being a problem besides someone predicting one.

    That’s why I’m bothered.

  17. If the Codes department removes the pig it’s because its very existence in our neighborhood is a “problem” and violates our codes which were created for a reason.

  18. Would you want a rooster across the street from you crowing at sunup and sundown? A “few chickens” do take up a small area but have you even been around them? They stink, BAD.

  19. I received a reply email from the codes department. Apparently it’s not against any LaVergne codes but may be against the restrictive covenants of LFE. However, I think the covenants may differ per phase of LFE, so it could be illegal in parts of the subdivision but not others. I will be checking my paperwork tonight to see if I have a copy of them. Here is the full email if you’re interested:

    Currently the City of LaVergne Municipal Code has no stipulations on what types or number of animals a person can have on their property. The animal control ordinance is located in the municipal code.

    Highlight: City Records, click on Public Records
    Click on City of LaVergne
    Click on Public Information
    Click on City Publications
    Open Municipal Code
    Open Title 10

    You might want to check the Restrictive Coveneants for your phase of Lake Forest Estates to see if it has any mention of animals allowed and not allowed. If you did not receive a copy at closing you can contact your realator or you can obtain a copy at the Register of Deeds office in Murfreesboro.

    Register of Deeds
    Jennifer Gerhart – Elected Official
    319 N. Maple St. Room 133
    P.O. Box 5050
    Murfreesboro, TN 37133-5050
    Phone: (615) 898-7870
    Fax: (615) 898-7987
    E-mail: register@rutherfordcounty.org

  20. I’m of the mindset that my neighbors are free to do what they please so long as:

    * It isn’t unsightly.
    * It doesn’t repeatedly cause a disturbance to me, or to my fellow neighbors.
    * It doesn’t attract violence

    For example, I would get upset if my neighbor had a pig that made my surrounding areas smell like a sewer, or sound like a farm at all hours of the night. Just the same as I would get upset if my neighbor had a dog that barked all night long.

    If my neighbors had pigs, and the pigs were trained to be quiet, kept fenced in, and didn’t smell; it wouldn’t bother me. If the pigs were fenced in for all the world to see infront of the house, or near the street, that’s a problem; but behind the house? not a problem.

    People keep pets; so long as their pet is THEIR pet, and I don’t have to share the experience of THEIR pet I’m fine with whatever they want to do.

    Other things that irk me: Knee high grass, trash in the front yard, or broken down cars that are visible from the street. I purpousfly park a truck behind my house so that my neighbors don’t have to witness it’s ugly sight, and so that I don’t have something ugly sitting in my driveway.

    It’s still functional, works great, it’s just old and has it’s share of years run into it; and I’m doing myself a favor as well as everyone else by not making them look at it every day.

  21. Yeah well the pig I’m talking about is in their backyard, however, their house is at a corner of 2 intersecting streets. So while you are driving down the street you pass directly beside the pig. That is how I saw it in the first place.

  22. Deana, are you going to get the covenants? If so, I’m sure most of us would be interested to learn if any covenants actually exist!

  23. This is a very intriguing conversation. Considering the specific restrictions placed in the municipal code, I’m surprised to find that keeping farm animals in a residential area is not also illegal.

    However, this specific situation does technically violate LaVergne Municipal Code Section 10-101 which reads: “Keeping in such manner as to become a nuisance prohibited. No animal or fowl shall be kept in such a place or condition as to become a nuisance because of either noise, odor, contagious disease, or other reason. (1983 Code, § 3-101)”

    The definition of “nuisance” from Merriam-Webster: “harm, injury; one that is annoying, unpleasant, or obnoxious”.

    Digging further into that definition for clarity, you’ll find…

    …the definition of “harm” from M-W: “physical or mental damage”

    …the definition of “injury” from M-W: “an act that damages or hurts; violation of another’s rights for which the law allows an action to recover damages; hurt, damage, or loss sustained”

    Considering the impact the pig has on the perception of the neighborhood, I’d fairly argue that the neighborhood as a whole (and thus each individual homeowner within the neighborhood) has suffered damage to the value of their home. Calculating that specific value, while extremely difficult and likely unsubstantiated without reviewing prior case law of similar situations, could be done by an attorney or judge, if necessary.

    All that being said, since their is no specific section within the code prohibiting the pig from residing in the owner’s back yard, the only two realistic remedies are:

    1) Removal of the pig from the premises (or removal by the authorities)


    2) Constructing a privacy fence or other barrier (within the limitations of the municipal code and/or neighborhood rules and regulations) to ensure that no one beyond the property line of the pig’s owner can see the pig with the exception of bordering neighbors who having expressed that there is no need to shield the pig from their view.

  24. Can someone email me at kathy@bobparks.com to tell me where the pig house is? Thanks! :)

  25. Yes I’m going to look tonight to see if I have the covenants in the paperwork I got at my closing.

    • Just FYI, this coversation got me interested in learning what covenants were in place in my subdivision, so I emailed the register@rutherfordcounty.org and they replied to me within about 5 minutes! Just email them and tell them your home addresss, they will email you any documents that pertain to your home.

  26. Quote
    This is a very intriguing conversation. Considering the specific restrictions placed in the municipal code, I’m surprised to find that keeping farm animals in a residential area is not also illegal.

    It used to be part of peoples life to have their own eggs laying chickens and such. Likely when the codes where first codified this was still the case for the most part.

    People keep pets; so long as their pet is THEIR pet, and I don’t have to share the experience of THEIR pet I’m fine with whatever they want to do.

    Really this should be the final word. Now why should my ‘pet’ not lay eggs…or lay its life down to become bacon, sausage and ham everyonce in a while should bother people is beyond me.

    As I type this I hear the neighbors dog barking. It’s part of the neighborhood, and I’m not so sensitive to suffer rooster-stress that I would “fear the bird”….or a pig.

  27. Kathy T, you can’t miss the house. The pig is in the back yard, it says “Wilbur” on his little doghouse, and there’s a spiderweb over his head that says, “SOME PIG”.

  28. I just checked my restrictive covenants and it unfortunately says absolutely nothing about farm animals or any animals for that matter. This is really a shame that my home value as well as others will most likely suffer because some people don’t respect or care about the property values in our RESIDENTIAL subdivision If I wanted to move to a farming neighborhood I would have. I guess I should have checked into this subdivision a lot more than I did before I bought here. Heres hoping that someone doesn’t move in next door to me that decides they would like to raise chickens, sheep, goats or worst of all PIGS.

    • Thanks Deana for the link to get neighborhood covenants. Madison Square’s say “no poultry of any kind or description shall be allowed or maintained on any lot at any time for any purpose”. These are signed by the builder but who enforces them? Looking through the list a few others are being broken right now.

  29. michaelinLV Great info! Thanks for sharing that!

  30. There’s a house on Elm street that actually has a miniature horse in the front yard. Elm is one of the older neighborhoods in Lavergne with nice, neat, clean homes, not a subdivision per se. The horse has been there for years and I’ve never heard of anyone complaining about it.

  31. Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants is placed upon the homeowners association (if there is one) or on the individual homeowners.
    The City does not enforce these regulations. Restrictive Covenants are recorded at the Register of Deeds office at the same time the Final Plat is recorded. These covenants are used to place MORE RESTRICTIONS than what is required by the local governing ordinances.

  32. I have actually seen the pig being walked down the street on a leash…I live down the street but far enough away where I don’t hear it….I is quite comcal to see a pig on a leash being walked through LFE….

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