Olive Branch City Hall at Christmas

Members of the Olive Branch Board of Aldermen dealt Tuesday, Dec. 17, with moving three street projects ahead and the board also passed on a group of planning and zoning requests.

But the aldermen and women were also asked if they would consider redefining the city’s animal ordinance.

A pot-belly pig is at the center of that particular request from resident Tony Schelly, who wants his animal to fall under the ordinance’s definition of a pet, instead of being considered livestock.

Mayor Scott Phillips said Tuesday night Schelly was facing a misdemeanor charge in municipal court after complaints that the pig at his residence is a nuisance for smell in particular. Phillips did add in his Tuesday night remarks that a surprise visit he made to the home found no bad odors that he could smell on the half-acre lot.

Schelly told aldermen his animal is being raised as a pet and should not come under the livestock definition of the ordinance.

“Pets are animals that are kept for pleasure,” Schelly said. “Livestock are animals kept for use, specifically farm animals kept for use and/or profit. Pot-belly pigs provide nothing but companionship.”

Schelly said he has had two pigs over the past five years, saying the loss of his first animal “was like losing my best friend.”

The resident countered claims that his pigs were smelly and that pigs are considered to be aggressive, which Schelly said in his case his pigs are not that way.

Phillips said the home was well-kept “with no smell” but added Schelly does have a summons for court. The mayor continued by saying Schelly made some good suggestions and the board will take the matter under advisement to consider if a change to the ordinance is warranted.

Among other items on the agenda Tuesday evening, board members approved MDOT step 1 project activation for a traffic signal project at Davidson and Stateline roads, and overhead high-mast lighting at two interchanges. They are at Craft Road and U.S. Highway 78, and at U.S. Highway 78 and Bethel Road.

Board members moved forward the three planning and zoning new business items and one old business item from the Nov. 19 meeting. The items included a final subdivision plat for Olive Branch Logistics Center, and a preliminary plat application for the Woods Trade Center, to be located near the Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center.

Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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