Mt. Pleasant neighborhood split over solution for goose controversy

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Residents in Belle Hall Plantation are split down the middle after rumors about a homeowners association plan to kill geese have been circulating throughout the neighborhood.

Some residents agree with managing the goose population while others claim that it is animal cruelty.

Lou Iscll has lived in Belle Hall for 14 years.

"We were the first house on this street," Iscll said. A longtime Belle Hall resident, he is also very familiar with the HOA. "When the HOA transitioned from the developer to the people that live here, I was the first elected president."

He is also familiar with the geese that live in the pond behind his home.

"I'll wake up at sunrise and be out in the yard doing work and you'll hear them come and see six geese land on the water. I think that's something that we don't want to lose," Iscll said, despite the fact that a flock of geese tore apart his backyard. He said he found a non-lethal solution to keeping them away. "I put up a string wondering what they would do if they saw a fence. They see it from the water, they swim up to look at it, and they leave."

Bob Johnson has also been a Belle Hall resident for 14 years. He and Iscll agree that the geese population has skyrocketed.

"For the way it is now, this spring and summer, there are certainly too many around impacting the public health," Johnson said. "We've had 25 of them marching single-file down the street and leaving 'memories' behind them."

"This year the number of geese has gone way up," Iscll added.

When the rumors circulated about the HOA and their alleged plans to manage the population, it responded with an email to residents and a Facebook post. It said no decisions have been made and no applications for permits have been submitted to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The HOA did, however, reference addling, the process of pouring bio-degradable oil onto goose nests.

"That's what they've done before in prior years and had relative success with it," Johnson said.

While Johnson agrees with managing the population that way, Iscll has other solutions.

"Just like everything else, they have to be managed," Iscll said. "You manage them by keeping an available food supply that's not disruptive. You also have to keep them from concentrating."

The HOA says they will send out a notification to residents when they decide on a way to manage the geese population.

We reached out to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. They reported addling is legal in the Belle Hall area, so long as a permit is obtained.

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