The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 14, 2001


Board of appeals says no, for now, to boarding horses on River Road

"It's not that easy to get rid of manure," objected Peter Morey, veterinarian and abutter to the property owned by Joseph Campagna at 964 River Road. Campagna was before the board of appeals (BOA) on December 6 requesting a special permit to board six horses at his yet-to-be-built barn, and manure was a big part of the discussion. That and several other unresolved issues prompted the board to deny the application. The denial was "without prejudice," permitting Campagna to re-apply at any time.

Board members peppered Campagna with questions and raised many concerns about the prospects of boarding six horses in addition to his own two horses on the approximately 2.5 acres of land which has just been cleared.

Tree clearing 'troublesome'

The clearing of this land has itself raised controversy, as River Road is designated a "scenic road" by the town. This prevents owners from cutting trees along its edge, without permission. Campagna was apparently unaware of this rule and did not obtain the necessary permission. Although this issue is not within the purview of the BOA, board member Hal Sauer said that the tree-cutting was "troublesome" in that Campagna apparently continued cutting even after being told of his violation. Campagna said that those statements were "false." Sauer continued, "A special permit is a privilege and requires the good faith of the person."

The applicant said that he intends to build a horse barn, 36 by 54 feet, for which he has the necessary permit as the barn meets the setback requirement. The barn is to have eight stalls, and he plans to board horses, taking advantage of the proximity of his land to Foss Farm, which has 55 acres of land and has many horse trails. Further, he said it is his intention to cut a driveway through his property from River Road to Bedford Road to allow easy access to the barn for cars and trailers.

Sauer questioned the applicant about the amount of manure that would be generated by so many horses and how access to Foss Farm would be accomplished. Campagna assured the board that he is designing the barn to drop manure under the floor of the barn and haul it away. It is his intention to either haul it to farmer Mark Duffy's land at the state park or to the community gardens, although neither plan has been finalized.

Access to Foss Farm?

In regard to access to Foss Farm, Campagna will be proposing to the conservation commission to create some trails across the street on conservation land which would provide access to Foss Farm. He said he was expecting to speak to the commission in January.

Board chairman Terry Herndon questioned Campagna about the safety of crossing Bedford Road. "It is a dangerous road,&quo t; said Herndon. Asked about the hours of operation, the applicant said he hadn't thought about that yet, but wouldn't want people there after dark.

Abutters object

A number of abutters spoke in opposition to this commercial barn. Richard Warner of 91 Bedford Road was concerned about run-off from this lot getting into the ground water. He is concerned about a buildable lot that has a septic system planned which would be near the Campagna land. In addition, Warner told about the previous owner, Deborah Hinchliffe, who had only two horses, but piles of manure. He also asked the board to consider a limitation on parking of trailers.

Kathy Booth of 44 River Road objected to the commercial aspect of this operation. She pointed to three other commercial properties aready in the immediate neighborhood. "Living in a residential area, I'm resistant to any more commercial properties."

Morey, of 998 Bedford Road, had lots of objections. As a vet he said, he was familiar with horses. "No matter how you rotate six horses [in the paddocks], they eat [the vegetation] all up. Horses go poop outside, and that creates a public health problem. With the previous owner, we had nothing but horse flies."

Morey said that one couldn't stop people coming with trailers. Finally he said," This is a small piece of land. With the road cutting acrossthere is probably no more than one acre of pastureWhy does he need a boarding stable?"

Too many unresolved issues

The board decided to deny the application without prejudice, which allows the applicant to come back when more of the specifics are available. The board felt that too many issues have not been worked out, including:

· access to Foss Farm

· disposal of manure

· monitoring for pollution

· parking that meets town require-


· hours of operations

· legality of a cut-through road on

the property

· hazardous traffic situation for horse


2001 The Carlisle Mosquito