When it comes to standing up to developers, Harry Miliner's pigs have proven more powerful than some public protests or governmental growth policies.
Late last year, the Howard County farmer enlisted the aid of five Hampshire pigs to force the developer of a small housing development next door to take steps to control the storm water that was running off onto Miliner's property.
Miliner contended that the runoff had turned his horse pasture into a muddy wallow, and since he said he was having trouble getting the attention of the county or developer, he decided to establish a pigpen there, complete with a sign that read: "Future Site, Rt. 103 Pig Farm."
The sign, decorated with a pink pig, could easily be seen from one of the development's four houses, which sat 17 feet from Miliner's property line. Miliner said he was hoping no one would want to buy a new house that sat that close to a bunch of pigs.
He never really got a chance to test his theory.
Soon after his story was publicized, Miliner got a call from the developer, F.G. Marker Co. Inc., agreeing to create a swale or small hollow to direct some of the water elsewhere. The developer also planted pine trees on the berm.
"I'm not going to get into who was right or who was wrong," said Dan Marker, a company vice president. "But we have resolved the problem."
Marker said the company recently received a contract for a new house, and Miliner sold four of the pigs and kept one for a neighborhood pig roast.
"We invited all our friends who were so supportive of us and had a wonderful time," Miliner said.