Permit denied for illegal ownership of animals that created smell and health concerns for neighbors

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – For about a year, residents who live on Coke Oven Hollow Road, just past Kincaid in Fayette County, have expressed their concerns about the smell coming from illegal livestock in their residential area. 

According to Fayette County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Mauzy, an appeal for a special use permit by the property owner to have several goats and chickens has just been denied. 

Residents, neighbors and those on the case describe the smell as “horrid” and for some even “sickening.” 

“I’ve actually been there too and noticed the smell and you know, heard from a number of people that live there about how bad it is,” Mauzy said. 

The livestock lives behind an unoccupied house with visible mold from piles of hay inside and around the home. This, on top of the smell, have caused a great deal of health concerns for the neighbors.

Because the homes are so close together in this zone, having any kind of livestock at all is a zoning violation. 

“That particular property of area was zoned ‘rural residential,’ and you’re not allowed to have livestock there, but it is something that is listed as something you can apply for a special use permit,” Mauzy said. 

And that is what the property owner did for his backyard farm.

However, Mauzy says this is something a property owner is supposed to do before they even put livestock on a property.

The property owner’s request for a special use permit in front of the zoning board was denied and his recent appeal in circuit court was also denied. 

Now, the property owner must remove the animals from the property.

With this order, the hope is that neighbors can start to enjoy the outdoors again. 

“I was just glad that we had a good outcome for the rest of the property owners there, so that they can hopefully go back to enjoying their property themselves and be able to sit out on the front porch or have a cookout or whatever,” Mauzy said. 

If you are curious about the kind of zone you live and what animals are permitted, you are encouraged to call your county or municipality’s zoning office. 

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.