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Manchester town officials says farm’s goat yoga is a zoning violation

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MANCHESTER — Aussakita Acres Farm is known for teaching goat yoga.

Town officials said they are not following Board of Zoning regulations. The farm has been teaching it for close to three months, but it was until the end of July when the owners received a cease and desist letter in the mail notifying them goat yoga is a violation.

Every weekend, people traveled from all over just to go to the farm to spend time with the goats.

“They sit down, the goats come over, they start nibbling and climbing on everybody,” said Tracy Longoria, owner of Aussakita Acres Farm.

Recently, the farm’s goat yoga session has been put on a hold.

“They had about a hundred people there I understand. It’s not zoned properly for health and recreation use, then it needs to be properly zoned or the use can’t take place there,” said Scott Shanley, the general manager of Manchester.

However, Longoria said there is only about 40 people each class.

The farm’s cease and desist letter said goat yoga is not considered a farm activity because it does not have anything to do with farming or agritourism.

However, Longoria said she disagrees.

“Unfortunately, the Town of Manchester does not have a definition in their regulations of what farming or even what agriculture is,” added Longoria.

Shanley said in order for the farm to continue to have goat yoga, they will have to fill out the Board of Zoning appeals form where the farm can hold a hearing.

The letter also stated a zoning officer went to inspect the property, something Longoria said she is not too happy about since she never gave permission for that and was not home when it happened.

“It’s not a comment on her or what she’s trying to do. It’s a matter of where in town it is, how it’s zoned,” added Shanley.

The farm will be meeting with the town attorney and the mayor next week to discuss options of keeping goat yoga for the community.

As for now, this case stands to be appealed.

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