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Supervisors approve SUP for applicants to keep horses in R-2 zoning

Supervisors approve SUP for applicants to keep horses in R-2 zoning

By Jeff Poole


With little discussion and only one comment from the public, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a special use permit application to allow a local couple to keep horses on a 5.9-acre site zoned general residential (R-2).

The application, submitted by Chris and Marie Gorman, asked to keep two or three personal horses on their Little Skyline Drive property.

A special use permit is required in R-2 to allow keeping of animals other than those customarily identified as household pets.

The Orange County Planning Commission had voted unanimously to recommend approval of the special use permit application, pending improving or replacing existing fencing prior to the arrival of any horses.

The subject property is 9292 Little Skyline Drive, bordered by Gov. Kemper Road to the west. It is adjoined by several other general residentially zoned parcels (R-2) to the south, and surrounded by general agriculturally zoned land (A-1) and to the north, west and east. “We are restoring a historic farmhouse on the property and creating pastures will be land improvement more aesthetically pleasing for the neighbors,” the Gormans wrote in their application. “We are hoping to restore the property to the well-maintained, beautiful working farm the neighbors tell us it once was.”

Much as the planning commission had, the supervisors asked the Gormans if they planned to construct any agricultural structures on the property to house the horses?

“Do you plan to create either a stable or a run-in shed or some type of shelter as part of this?” District 2 Supervisor Jim White asked. “I didn’t see anything specifically about the application. If this were ag property, you could do that by-right. I just don’t want to run into a conflict.”

“At some point, we might do a run in shed—maybe just enough for two horses between the fences,” Marie Gorman said. “As of now there is no plan to build a build a barn or a bigger structure. It was addressed in the previous [planning commission] meeting. We spent some time on that to make sure it was okay.”

District 5 Supervisor Lee Frame confirmed a run-in shed would be acceptable within the district and Orange County Planning and Development Services Director Josh Gillespie said it would be—as an accessory structure.

No one spoke at last Tuesday’s public hearing, but board clerk Alyson Simpson said she’d received one written comment from a neighboring property owner who supported the application.

Following a motion and a second, the board approved the special use permit application unanimously, 4-0. District 4 Supervisor and board chair Jim Crozier was absent.

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