The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 13, 2002


Bedford Road stable still raises questions

It has been nine months since Joseph Campagna first came to the board of appeals to request a special permit to operate a commercial stable at 964 Bedford Road. At that time, the barn was yet to be built, and the discussion that night had mostly to do with manure. The board denied the application without prejudice, asking the applicant to address their many unanswered questions before returning with his application.

This piece of property, located at the corner of River Road next door to the Carlisle Animal Hospital, has had a history of land-use issues. The past owner, Deborah Skauen-Hinchliffe, had horses also, and problems with the manure led to lawsuits and countersuits.

Abutters, including veterinarian Peter Morey, Richard Warner of 981 Bedford Road, and Dana and Kathy Booth of 44 River Road, objected to the petition last December, and their minds weren't changed by the detailed plans that Campagna submitted last Thursday night, September 5.

Six horses, ten cubic feet

Campagna has now built a six-stall barn. He has plans to board no more than six horses on his property. He stated that he has built a "state of the art" barn, with underground storage for equipment and manure, including a drop-through floor. He intends to have three paddocks in which the horses will be rotated so that he hopefully will be able to maintain a grassy cover on the three grazing paddocks. The front fourth paddock, which will be sand-covered, is designed for exercising and riding the horses.

Campagna told the board that six horses would create about ten cubic feet of manure and bedding a day that would need to be disposed. He plans to have a wagon below the drop-down floor of the barn which could hold up to 19 days of waste. He said he had a verbal contract with a man who would take his manure, and turn it into composted material to sell.

Parking issues

A major concern expressed last December was his suggestion that the horses would cross over Bedford Road, and access Foss Farm through an extension of a trail that Campagna would build and maintain. However, this trail request to Foss Farm was denied by another town board, and thus the horses will have to be trailered to wherever they will be ridden, including Foss Farm. Questioned about the number of trailers on this property at one time, the applicant said that he cannot envision more than two trailers on the site at one time. Campagna assured the board that the trailers would not be parked there, but would drive through to pick up or return horses.

The applicant assured the board he had adequate space to park a number of cars on his property, for the horse owners or workers. The town requires that parking be screened from the abutters, and Campagna said he intended to screen appropriately.

The board had asked for hours of operations. Campagna said that he really didn't understand what this entailed, but suggested 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. might be the normal hours of operation, but access couldn't be denied in an emergency, or if the owners were late in getting back to the barn.

Campagna had letters of support from a number of organizations such as the Massachusetts Farm Bureau, Mass Audubon, and the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture. These agencies had reviewed the site and approved it, according to the applicant. A spokesperson from the farm bureau was in attendance, and he assured the board that the space was adequate for the number of horses the applicant was proposing.

Abutters Warner and Morey both commented on the fine looking barn that the applicant had built. Warner was concerned that the property be maintained; about the storage of equipment and manure outside, that the applicant be limited to four horses, and that only a one-year permit be granted. Morey was also concerned with the number of horses the applicant intended to board on the property.

Plot plan requested

There was also some question about the exact acreage of this parcel of land. Last December, the applicant said that he had approximately 2.5 acres of land, but this time the acreage discussed was 3.5. Abutter Booth, along with associate board member Hal Sauer, asked that the applicant provide a certified plot plan, with easements, boundaries, location of barn, paddocks and driveways all drawn.The board voted to continue the hearing until October 3, so that the applicant may provide the requested document.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito