Oregon council oks zoning change for horses, pony

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon City Council on Sept. 23 approved a zoning change request to allow for the stabling and pasturing of two horses, one pony, or a donkey on 1261 S. Stadium Road.
        The zoning change request was for a Special Use in an R-1 Low Density Residential Zoned District. James and Judith Pileweski were the applicants for the property owner Clifford Bury.
        James Pilewski said at a planning commission meeting in August that he and his wife would like to purchase the Bury property. He said that the Bury’s have agreed to sell to them and create a stable and pasture area to the east of where they currently live. They have talked to their neighbors and explained what they would like to do and they have consented.
        The approximately 4-acre site is 272 feet deep and about 600 feet long. In the southwestern quadrant, they plan to build an equestrian style stable/barn that is aesthetically pleasing. Then they would fence the entire perimeter, other than the barn, with white three or four board horse fence made of a composite type material. The pasture itself would be sown in an equestrian type seed mix and would be maintained and mowed at a height of four inches. No manure would be stored on site. They planned on hauling the waste to a licensed composting facility or to the Waste Management Evergreen Landfill in Northwood.
        Pilewski said there would be a total of no more than three animals at the site.
        Richard Schneider, of S. Stadium Road, said at the Planning Commission that his main concern was drainage on the southwest corner of the lot because it fills up with water when it rains.
        Public Service Director Paul Roman said he did not know where the drainage went, but there was tiling on the Bury property.  
        He said there would need to be a drainage plan submitted to him for review and approval. They would also have to get a drainage easement through Bury’s property to allow a drainage path through tiling out to Stadium Road.
        The planning commission unanimously recommended approved of the zoning change with the condition that a drainage plan be approved by the public service director.
        The matter then went before city council, which approved the request by a vote of 6-0. At that meeting, Roman said a drainage plan had been approved since the planning commission meeting.
        “The bulk of the land has tiles in it. They all run north-south, with drainage going to the north.”
        There is a tile that is close to Schneider’s property,” he said. A Hickenbottom catch basin will be installed so that sediment doesn’t go into the pipe and plug it.
        “At the place where they will place it, they are also supposed to regrade the corner so that the common line drains to it. Any water you thought came from their property will go into that Hickenbottom catch basin. It will now be the low point on that property.  There will no longer be ponding on the property,” said Roman.
        “It’s definitely going to work better than it’s working right now,” said Mayor Mike Seferian, who also has a seat on the planning commission.
        James Pilewski, who had attended the council meeting, said he and his wife were lifelong residents of Oregon and that they have lived at their current address for 20 years.
        He said they had a dream, as he got closer to retirement, to purchase additional land to stable and pasture two horses and a companion of either a miniature horse, donkey or pony. He said they were grateful the Burys gave them the opportunity to buy the additional property to realize their dream.
        “We are essentially creating a Kentucky horse farm type setting for us and all of our neighbors to enjoy in Oregon. It’s something we look forward to.” He thanked James Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning, and Roman, for their assistance.
Two horses
        On another matter, the planning commission also recommended approval of a zoning change request for a Special Use in an R-1 Low Density Residential Zoned District at 210 S. Stadium Road, 226 S. Stadium Road and 230 S. Stadium Road for the purpose of housing two horses.
        The applicant/owner is James Bake, of S. Stadium Road. Lisa Bake spoke on behalf of James at the planning commission meeting. She said the horses were housed in Whitehouse and they wanted to move them closer to their home. They planned on converting a barn on the property into a stable at 210 S. Stadium Road, and use the rest of the property for a pasturing area. She said plans called for a bridge to cross a creek that goes between 210 S. Stadium Road and 226 S. Stadium Road so the horses can go across it to graze. A neighbor, who has a significant backyard, offered to lease part of his land if there was a need to expand the grazing or pasture area.
        Bake said they’ve owned the horses for about 12 years. One is 17 years old, and the other is 15 years old.
        “They were actually my daughter’s 4-H project when she was growing up,” said Bake. The daughter moved to New Jersey, so the Bake’s want to move the horses from the current location in Whitehouse, a 45 minute drive from Oregon, just to feed them.
        “It puts a big burden on us driving back and forth,” said Bake, who said she has health issues. “It’s less of a drive to move them here.”
        Plans called for the disposal of the manure by spreading it on fields of several area farmers who will allow them to do so. There is also a manure composting plant in Whitehouse as well as one in Luckey. As far as flies go, they are going to use “fly predators,” little insects that are put around manure areas in pastures that eat fly larvae to help cut down on the fly population.
        Bruce Brodie, 208 S. Stadium Road, said he and his wife supported the zoning change and believed it would be a good thing for the area. The planning commission then voted unanimously to recommend approval of the zoning change.
        City council also approved of the zoning change at its last council meeting.



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