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Manchester board of zoning votes to allow Aussakita Acres Farm to keep goat yoga

MANCHESTER – After months and months of controversy over goat yoga at Aussakita Acres Farm, supporting community members stood by the streets of the Lincoln Center Building to rally.

Cars honked and gave a thumbs up as protesters chanted to keep goat yoga. The owners faced the board of zoning to appeal their case and at the end of the night, they voted to overturn the cease and desist order. This meant the farm won their case and is able to continue goat yoga after-all.

Community members took turn speaking at the podium and explained why the owners should not have goat yoga seized from them. Some argued the town does not have a clear definition of agritourism and compared goat yoga to corn mazes and hay rides, activities that were eventually accepted as fun, farm activities.

After the public hearing, the board deliberated and granted the owners their wish. This was followed by a big cheer from the crowd and the owners giving each other a big, congratulatory hug.

One of the owners, Tracy Longoria said she plans on adding more activities at her farm that will include the farm animals. And to move forward, she hopes her fight can be an example of anything possible.

“I definitely think that Manchester by itself definitely has some flaws in its regulations 100 percent. There's definitely problems there and I don't really know of any other towns that have had the difficulties that we have had. I have spoken to just about every other goat yoga farmer out there and they have not experienced anything like this,” said Longoria.

This case all stemmed from a neighbor complaint a few months ago. The neighbor just so happened to be a former board of zoning member who currently sits on the Wetlands Committee.

The owners eventually received a cease and desist letter in their mailbox but they said it never stated specifically what was being violated. They kept in contact with the town to get their hands on a copy of the complaint.

In turn, the board of zoning said the owners had the choice to appeal their case. This controversy got the attention of many people where a petition was started to show the farm support.