The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 13, 2006


Third time a charm to board horses on Fiske Street?

Over the course of 21 years, Bonnie Jacobellis has tried without much success to run a horse boarding business on the 4-1/2-acre grounds of her home at 164 Fiske Street. In 1985, she was granted a special permit to board four horses, but it was subsequently denied when it came up for renewal in 1986. Strong opposition from abutters who complained of auditory and visual disturbances as well as an increase in noise and the fly population were largely responsible for the permit to be denied. Eighteen years later in 2004, Jacobellis applied again for a special permit to board only three horses, but was denied once more because of opposition from abutters.

At last Thursday's Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) meeting, Jacobellis appeared for the third time before the board to request a special permit to board up to six horses on demand — for local people when they take vacations and the like — as well as to offer riding lessons, but only to the owners whose horses she would board. Jacobellis currently has three horses, though one recently was sold. She has stalls for five horses and lessons would be given in her back field. Since she does not have a riding ring, Jacobellis believes that the lessons would be few and infrequent. Furthermore, Jacobellis stated that she would set business hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to restrict the comings and goings of horse owners and would be very "picky" about the horses she boarded. Larry Sorli, the town animal inspector who also conducts barn inspections, stated he would be willing to visit the property regularly to ensure that it meets the requirements set forth by the board.

In support of her application, Jacobellis submitted several letters from friends and neighbors, including an in-person plea to the board from a friend on Concord Street who felt that "[Jacobellis] shouldn't be penalized because Fiske Street is Fiske Street." At just 16 feet wide, Fiske Street is already a challenge for the existing traffic that drives on the road.

Abutters Ruth Toscano and Marcy Guttadauro, who contested Jacobellis' application back in 2004, appeared again to challenge Jacobellis' new application. Toscano has lived in Carlisle for 30 years and in the past was concerned about people on horses trespassing on her property after allegedly receiving permission from Jacobellis. She also had many questions of Jacobellis concerning horse trailer use, manure management, traffic on the road, and about the type of riding lessons that would be taught.

Guttadauro worried about having a horse boarding business next door if Jacobellis' application is granted. "I don't want [Jacobellis' application approved] at all. This would change what I see out of every window in my house. I see all the cars that go back and forth in the driveway."

Additionally, the Hrasnas, who also abut the Jacobellis' property are "totally opposed" to Jacobellis running her horse boarding business. Increased traffic was one concern, and another was manure, "The horses leave big piles of manure in the middle of the road. Drivers drive around it and would seem to rather hit a pedestrian than run through the pile."

Two of Jacobellis' other neighbors, however, felt differently about the application. In a letter to the ZBA, the Barrows deferred comment in the "spirit of friendly neighborhood relations" and would accept the ZBA's ruling. Richie Woodworth, who is building a new home on Fiske Street, stated he would be in favor of granting the permit if it had a clear set of restrictions.

Because the ZBA had additional hearings on the agenda and was running short of time, deliberations and a decision were deferred to their next meeting on November 2.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito