Homeowners in Lucasville, N.S., see a hearing by a provincial agency on Wednesday as one of their last chances to deal with ongoing concerns about a local horse farm.
In 2002, Memento Farm set up an equestrian operation, also known as Goldring Stables, with about 35 horses.
The 4.2-hectare property is zoned mixed use, which means agriculture is permitted but a commercial business is not.
That didn’t come to light until 2014 when the property owners, Cathy and Clayton Goldring, wanted to expand one of their buildings.
Long list of grievances from neighbours
To remedy the situation, HRM planners suggested a development agreement. A public information meeting was held in 2015.
That’s when people living close to to Memento Farm aired a long list of grievances, including:
- Offensive odours and runoff from manure piles.
- The condition of the private road and dust created by traffic.
- Rodent problems.
- Noise from equestrian competitions.
“We need some manure management here,” said Iris Drummond, chair of the Lucasville Community Association, who’s lived in the area for 40 years. The horse farm is located behind her property.
“You just can’t spread manure on rocky, swampy ground.”
The minutes of the public information meeting show that Clayton Goldring explained he was unaware of any issues because he had never personally received any complaints.
In fact, Goldring told CBC News he did make changes to his manure-handling practices after that meeting — which satisfied inspectors from both the agriculture and environment departments.
“They recommended a couple of changes which I have done,” said Goldring. “I have letters saying there are no problems and the file is closed.”
But the Goldrings decided to pull out of the development agreement process and opted instead to eliminate any commercial aspects, such as riding lessons…