FREMONT — Canyon Heights homeowners say dozens of goats might lead to their neighborhood going to the dogs.

Their complaints, aimed at a longtime resident who has been raising livestock in a residential zone, may spur the city to shut down the ranch.

Steven Rose lives among the well-manicured homes on Morrison Canyon Road in the quiet, tree-lined neighborhood.

He also has been raising dozens of goats there to sell them for as much as $425 each.

The problem is that Rose's business violates the city's zoning code, said Leonard Powell, community preservation manager.

On Friday, the goats were gone from the ranch.

But for weeks, angry neighbors have been complaining to authorities that the animals have eaten through nearby fences and increased noise, dust and flies in the area.

Extra automobile and truck traffic delivering livestock-related goods also has raised their dander, Powell said.

Rose could not be reached for comment.

He owns the home and ranch at the base of the hills near Niles Canyon, where Fremont has a distinctly rural feel. However, the stockyard sits on the edge of a housing tract — near dozens of homes and roughly half a mile from hundreds of young students attending Vallejo Mill Elementary School.

Rose has been raising South African Boer Goats at Fremont and Tracy sites. The ranch's Web site directs prospective customers to its Goats For Sale Page and also offers registered Jacob Sheep and our guardian llamas for sale.


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Meanwhile, the city's code enforcement officers sent two separate notices to Rose last month, informing him that his Fremont property is in violation of land-use codes and for unlawfully storing inoperative vehicles and a growing pile of debris.

The most recent warning notice, sent Oct. 18, gave Rose 10 days to correct the violations. But he has yet to do so, city officials said Thursday.

They haven't cleaned up their act and they're still in violation, Powell said.

The ranch first was built on the 1.25-acre site in 1948, eight years before Fremont incorporated as a city. The property had been a farm for decades when, in the early 1990s, the land was rezoned for

single-family residential uses.

That land-use designation typically prohibits agricultural uses, Fremont Zoning Administrator Barbara Meerjans said.

But the city grandfathered in the Rose Ranch, allowing it to operate there because it pre-dated the zoning change. That legal non-conforming use granted to Rose expired when the ranch stopped operations for nearly two years, according to city officials.

From the city's perspective, he lost the right (to operate) when he ceased using

the site as a farm and then restarted it, Meerjans said.

Authorities said they are unsure when the livestock returned there, but neighbors first reported complaints to authorities about two months ago.

In the meantime, Fremont officials have been reviewing their options of how best to enforce punishment for the infractions. They may soon start issuing citations to Rose, Meerjans said.

City officials say they plan to meet with the ranch owner in the next week or so to further discuss the issue.

Authorities also may impose fines on Rose of hundreds of dollars per day and charge him with a misdemeanor if changes aren't made, according to city documents.