By Oscar Halpert For The Herald
LYNNWOOD — All Wesley Crossman wanted to do was rid his back yard of blackberry bushes without using pesticides.
After considering his options, Crossman, who lives off 40th Avenue W. in Lynnwood, and his wife, Barbara Eyrish, decided to try a novel approach: they rented goats.
They hired an Arlington-based company called The Goat Lady, which rents out goats.
“You can see they’ve defoliated almost all these vines out here,” Crossman said, as the goats chewed away on a one-third-acre portion of their large back yard.
Lynnwood regulations don’t prohibit possession of goats within city limits. But farm animals are not allowed to be housed within city limits permanently, planning manager Kevin Garrett said.
It’s a question that’s coming up as the city plans to annex parts of Snohomish County into its borders. At public outreach meetings, many people wonder if they can keep their farm animals once the city annexes their areas.
Garrett said the city plans to allow any residents of future annexed areas to keep farm animals on their property if that’s what Snohomish County rules allow.
“We would allow what the county allows,” he said.
Within city limits, residents are limited to three domestic animals, which usually means dogs and cats, said Lynnwood animal control officer Bernie Federmeyer.
The city charges pet owners a $5 annual fee for altered pets and $50 a year for unaltered pets. The city does not offer a kennel license.
Horses are allowed within city limits, but owners must provide each horse 20,000 square feet of space.
“That’s pretty tough anymore,” Federmeyer said.
“Normally, we’ll run into a situation where there’s an animal at large. We’ll give (owners) a verbal warning.”
A second offense brings a ticket with it, he added. The first violation is $66, the second $114 and a mandatory court appearance.
Crossman and Eyrish said they’d probably use the goat service again to trim back vines.
“As you can see, these goats are not union, they just keep working,” Crossman said.