A few months ago, after I wrote this story about the city’s brush management issues, we had some fun over here writing about one rather unusual form of brush management: Goats.

Fred Sainz, the mayor’s spokesman, told me at the time that the city wasn’t considering, and never had considered, using goats to clear some of the thousands of acres of overgrown city land. But then Scott Lewis dug out this wonderful old photo of former mayor Dick Murphy, Councilman Jim Madaffer and some goats (We just had to run it again).

And today, the City Council had its second reading of an ordinance that will clear the way for using goats for brush management in the coastal zone of the city.

Back in 2005, the city council OK’d a number of new brush management strategies in the wake of the Cedar Fire. One of the strategies was the use of goats.

But Amanda Lee of the city’s Development Services Department told me that the goat policy didn’t go into effect in the city’s coastal zone. That’s because the Coastal Commission had a number of concerns about using goats in coastal areas, Lee said.

Since then, the city and the Coastal Commission have been butting heads over this issue, Lee said, and they recently came to a compromise that is embodied in the ordinance passed by the council today.

The new ordinance will allow the use of goats for brush management in the coastal zone for a trial period of five years.

Let’s hear it for the goats.


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