IOW considers ordinance changes for horse owners
By Nicholas Langhorne (Contact) | Tidewater News
Published Monday, August 9, 2010
ISLE OF WIGHT‚ÄîNew horse owners could face stronger regulations if proposed changes to the county‚Äôs zoning ordinance are approved.
The proposed changes include requiring new horse owners to work with Soil and Water Conservation District officials to formulate a waste management plan, adjusting the number of horses allowed per acre and requiring a 35-foot buffer zone between the owner‚Äôs property line and where the horses will be pastured.
‚ÄúThis basically protects the horse community in residential areas from nuisance complaints,‚Äù said Rachel Chieppa, the county‚Äôs rural economic development manager.
If approved, the proposed changes would not be retroactive, and ‚Äúpreviously appropriately permitted operations‚Äù would be ‚Äúgrandfathered,‚Äù or considered legal non-conforming uses, Chieppa said.
The county formed an equine task force in 2007 to serve in an advisory capacity in response to citizen complaints and confusion about what was or wasn‚Äôt allowed under zoning ordinances.
‚ÄúWe started having some complaints regarding too many horses per acre and we had some smell issues to come up in the residential areas, so we began looking at it,‚Äù Chieppa said. ‚ÄúWe spent about 18 months to two years working on the various components of it.‚Äù
The county‚Äôs economic development department is holding two equine informational meetings on Tuesday, Aug. 17, for public input on the proposed zoning ordinances. The first meeting begins at 3 p.m. and the second begins at 6; both will be held at the courthouse complex.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre trying to be as inclusive as possible,‚Äù Chieppa said.