A Harris County resident is asking that her horses be allowed to graze on nearly 20 acres of land in Jefferson County.
Suizhao Wang alleges there are three or four horses grazing on 19.51 acres of land at 13562 Shellhammer Road. She bought half of the land in July 2013, but did not build a fence to separate it from the other half, according to the complaint filed Sept. 11 in Jefferson County District Court.
Wang signed a lease agreement to keep the horses on the land as is, which provides the animals with a place to feed, drink and rest, the suit states.
Wang filed an application in Jefferson County Appraisal District but was denied because her property was not used for agricultural purposes under the Jefferson County code, the complaint says.
"Jefferson County Appraisal District and ARB ruled that grazing horse is not agricultural activity but breeding horse is agricultural activity," the suit states. "It appears that the Jefferson Appraisal District advances a 'product theory' which would require a landowner to show that some agricultural product was produced in order to qualify for open-space land valuation."
However, Wang contends that her land should be considered agriculture as it produces crops for animal feed.
She seeks a declaratory judgment that horses are livestock and that the the degree of intensity requirement of one cattle per acre for agricultural qualification under the Jefferson County District Court is unrealistic. She also seeks costs.
Wang, of Houston, will be appearing pro se.
Jefferson County District Court case number: A196-104.
This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Jefferson County District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.