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I'm looking to buy a property and am having trouble determining just what the rules/laws are. Not covenants. I'm looking at places with no covenants. But are there state laws regarding the minimum acreage for a horse and then is it county or city who can have their own but only within city limits?

I'm in South Dakota and all my searches just give me properties for sale or horses for sale... and the realtors are not very helpful with basic questions like this. Either they don't know either, or would rather change the topic.

Where can I go to find out the actual law regarding how much land I must own to keep a horse? In South Dakota... In Custer or Pennington, or Meade or Lawrence or Butte Counties... ? I appreciate the help.

vince mautino says 2016-01-05 16:49:03 (CST)

Here in Colorado it is the county that sets the regs. City may set a few more stringent ones.( Might even forbid them) The state usually does not control them

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Sharon says 2016-01-05 18:27:16 (CST)

I live in eastern SD, Minnehaha county specifically, which is the most populated county in the state. I have lived here my entire life and as far as I know, there are no laws regarding minimum amount of acreage required to keep a horse. I can't say for sure if the western part of the state and the counties you mention would be the same, but typically, the county I live in has the most regulations and zoning restrictions of any county in the state. I think there are still counties in SD that don't even require a building permit, and of course they would definitely be west of the river. My advice would be, if you want horses, to get horses and not worry about an acreage restriction. I have even seen a pony in a backyard in Sioux Falls, which is approaching, if not over 150,000 people. As you mentioned there could certainly be covenants prohibiting livestock in a subdivision type stetting, but out in the country on your own place, I think you're pretty safe. I know of folks that keep a horse on an acre of ground.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

G.D.Rose says 2016-01-05 18:51:32 (CST)

Hello I'm not from SD but close by, l would try the local county court house to see what the county ordinance for that county. I know of one property on the edge of belle fourche sd that is less than 6 acres and the have several horses there just one example

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Bohemian says 2016-01-05 21:57:53 (CST)

Thanks folks. I will call the county clerks tomorrow and get an idea of what we are looking at. I hope to learn there are no rules/laws, so that if something has no covenants, we are good. But it still surprises me that a realtor (several now) wouldn't just know that.

I appreciate your help here. I'll make some calls to each county tomorrow.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

hag says 2016-01-06 01:03:54 (CST)

If you have an animal control officer in the county you could check with them or call the sheriffs office. They should know of any laws since they will be the ones enforcing them if they are broken

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Bohemian says 2016-01-06 10:38:19 (CST)

I spoke with a clerk of courts in one of the counties. She said anything pertaining to land and livestock etc should be by the state of South Dakota and gave me this url to check. So, I'll go check there... but I think possibly calling a sherifs dept is a good idea you had.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Kate V says 2016-01-07 18:44:26 (CST)

I don't know about South Dakota, but here in Virginia, one would go to the county administrative buildings, to "Planning & Zoning" and that is where they would find all the "codes" for the county.

I needed to do this a few years ago, to be sure that everything I was doing was copasetic.......(and it was :) )

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Cheri says 2016-01-17 13:03:05 (CST)

Keep in mind the laws will not tell you what you CAN do, just what you Can't do. I'm in Iowa, the County Engineer would be one place I would check. The County Trustees another, though sometimes they can be extremely biased.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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