IOW zoning changes withdrawn

Published 2:37 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ISLE OF WIGHT—Isle of Wight County is withdrawing its request for proposed zoning ordinance amendments for owners of horses and other equines.

“I think it’s completely off the table for right now until we kind of see what the state is going to do and perhaps we’ll get some additional information,” said county spokesman Don Robertson.

Meetings set for Tuesday, Aug. 17, to solicit public input on the changes have been cancelled.

The proposed changes to the county ordinance would’ve required new horse owners to work with Soil and Water Conservation District officials to formulate a waste management plan, adjusted the number of horses allowed per acre and required a 35-foot buffer zone between the owner’s property line and where the horses will be pastured.

The proposed changes would not have been retroactive, meaning “previously appropriately permitted operations” wouldn’t have been affected, said Rachel Chieppa, the county’s rural economic development director.

Robertson said the county looked at some of the comments and questions raised about the proposed amendments, which proved controversial with some in the county.

“And maybe even the more compelling issue,” Robertson said, was the fact that the state may be preparing to impose its own changes that would affect waste management — mandated either by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Environmental Quality.

“It was just one of those things that we believe needs some more work and needs more time to flesh out some of the details,” he said.