Monday, March 05, 2012

Milton considers front yard horse arenas.

Courtesy The Milton Neighbor.

By Angela Abbamonte

Milton City Council is considering changing the zoning for agricultural districts as it relates to animal housing in front yards.

At the Feb. 22 meeting, the council generally decided on a minimum of five acres in order to have barns and riding arenas. The final decision was deferred to the March 19 meeting in order to give time for staff to clean up the amendment.

Currently, on non-residential parcels with a minimum of 10 acres, buildings housing animals are considered “accessory structures” and need to be a minimum of 100 feet from property lines.

On parcels with single family residence buildings housing animals and riding arenas are only allowed in the rear or side yards.

City council’s discussion went through front yard uncovered riding areas, uncovered with lighting and bleachers, covered riding areas and covered with lighting and bleachers.

For all but the last scenario – covered riding arena with lighting and bleachers – council discussed a five acre minimum along with a special use permit. For the covered and lighted arena a 10 acre minimum was discussed.

Before the discussion of the amendment, Laura Bentley with the Milton Horse Council said she thought it was wise for the council to evaluate smaller parcels of land.

“I have a 10-acre horse farm and I thought what that might be like if I put a covered riding arena in the front of my property where I’m very close to neighborhoods on each side,” she said.

“I think it would really change the complexion of my area and I think you might have the potential to affect negatively more people than positively.”

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