The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 11, 2002


Bedford Road stable approved for four horses

No more than four horses will be allowed on the Campagna property at 964 Bedford Road. That was the compromise reached on Thursday night, October 3, at the board of appeals hearing on the request of Joseph Campagna for a special permit to board six horses at his newly constructed barn.

The Campagnas' new state-of-the-art barn and paddocks, between Bedford and River Roads, are nearly completed. (Photo by Ellen Huber)
This was the third hearing on the matter, and throughout, there has been vocal opposition to the plan. The abutters were concerned that a commercial stable was being built on land which is a residential property. In addition, they doubted that six horses could be properly maintained on a property of that size. The exact size of Campagna's land was also in doubt. Campagna claimed that he was paying taxes on 3.5 acres of land, although the site plan produced by abutter Dana Booth indicated the piece was 2.5 acres. (There is a public right-of-way on the property, which seems to confound the acreage issue.)

The board had asked Campagna to present a surveyed plan of the land, indicating plantings, parking, stone boundaries, and placement of three paddocks and additional riding ring. The petitioner indicated that the size of his property was unclear, and in the worst case, it could be as little as 2.6 acres. Even at that size, Campagna indicated that he had plenty of land for the boarding of six horses.

Campagna also indicated that the fencing he is proposing is nine-foot-tall slip-rail fencing. Plantings would insure screening, and lighting would be minimal. The matter of manure was addressed again, and even the life cycle of flies in the manure was discussed. Campagna has a contract with Marabello of Concord to take unlimited amounts of manure for his composting and recycling business.

Plantings on River Road

Campagna initially ran afoul of local laws when, clearing his land, he removed the trees along River Road which is a scenic way where trees cannot be removed without permission. Campagna told the board he had just met with town administrator Madonna McKenzie, DPW superintendent Gary Davis, and a representative of New England Nurseries to develop a plan to replant that roadside. The plantings will be installed this October. Board chair Terry Herndon told the audience that he had spoken with McKenzie who confirmed that the town did not want to initiate planting before this time because of the severe dry weather this summer.

Abutters object

Another concern voiced by abutter Booth was the stone monuments or markers that were also taken down when the land was cleared and have not been replaced. Herndon also reported that the town wants to replace them and will do so, sending the bill to Campagna. "Not putting the markers back up is not his [Campagna's] fault," said Herndon.

Nevertheless, feelings against the permitting ran high. Abutter Kathy Booth objected to the "placement of everything far away from his house, right in front of our property." She also disputed his claim that he will be able to keep grass on his property with six horses. Unhappy with the number of horses to be stabled, she also objected to the running of a commercial property for which hours really can't be limited.

Abutter Warner asked that the number of horses be limited to four, and that the permit state that there be no storing of material and trailers outside the barn, no portable toilets, no metal sheds to feed the horses, and no tarps to cover materials outside the barn. He also asked that the permit be limited to one year.

When the board closed the meeting to discuss the petition they reiterated the main concerns to be the intrusion on the neighbors, the number of horses, and the standard questions regarding parking, trailers, and hours of operation. They cited the precedent for permitting a commercial riding academy in a residential area granted to the Dennisons of Stearns Street a number of years ago.

The board voted unanimously, although member Sauer was most reluctant, to grant a one-year permit to operate a boarding stable until November 30, 2003, with the following conditions:

limit of four horses

in addition to owner's trailer, only 2 trailers parked on the property at one time

parking to be off street and screened from abutters

fencing adequate

lights shielded

lighting to be limited to each end of barn, and one motion-detection security light

manure stored in lower level, and removed every nineteen days, with no grandfathering of conditions allowed

hours of operation 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

deliveries to barn made from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

no outside storage or composting of manure

no outside storage of horse trailers, metal sheds, building materials, supplies

all state requirements met for licensing

The petitioner has to continue the permitting process at the planning board before he can begin operation.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito