SUP 21-02 Gorman (Horses in R2 Zoning)
Josh Gillespie, AICP
Summary (Project Description from Narrative)
9292 Little Skyline Drive, Orange, VA 22960
Chris & Maria Gorman
We are requesting a special use permit to keep 2-3 personal horses on the property. The horses are for pleasure only and we adhere to the rule of thumb of approx. 2 acres per horse for proper pasture management. This is not to be a commercial equestrian operation.
We are proposing to add some additional fencing to the existing fences, to create one or two pastures that will be properly maintained and rotated, as to maintain grass growth, parasite management and also prevent any run off. In the future, we might construct a small run-in shed to shelter horses from extreme rain, snow, or heat.
Allowing horses on the property will benefit local county businesses as we will purchase feed and hay locally. We will employ local workers to help maintain the property, as well as local craftsmen (vets and farriers). I do not foresee any costs to the county by allowing horses on the property.
We are restoring an historic farmhouse on the property and creating pastures that will be land improvement and more aesthetically pleasing for the neighbors. We are hoping to restore the property to the well maintained, beautiful working farm the neighbors tell us it once was. There are only a couple of homes adjacent to 9292 Little Skyline. We intend to leave the tree line and brush between us as boundary and privacy buffer to protect their privacy and not disrupt their current views. The property was in disrepair and neglected for years. There will be no change in traffic volume, no additional utilities, no grading or proposed subdivision. We do not intend to add additional driveways or roads. We have already met with the neighbors and will continue to develop good relations with them. We do not feel a fiscal impact analysis is needed at this time, as there will be no cost or benefit to the county. We also are not doing any building, have any wetlands not clearing of forests that might warrant an environmental impact analysis.
As stated, “Priorities such as protecting historical areas and natural resources, preserving our farm lands” is at the heart of the Orange County Comprehensive Plan. I believe we are doing all the above by restoring an historic home, protecting and preserving the land. The plan states the county will, “Permit and encourage agricultural and forested uses, outdoor recreational uses, uses based on cultural, natural or historic resources or open spaces, and accessory uses in direct support of these uses.” Allowing horses encourages outdoor recreational activities and supports protecting open space from subdivision. The property currently has many neighboring horse farms in the immediate area.
The addition of horses to the property aligns with the Comprehensive Plan, maintaining the mix of communities within the county and preserving the rural character. The Equine community is a highly active part of Orange County. The Comprehensive Plan includes strategies for implementing a non-motorized recreational trail system which would include accommodating equestrian users.
We thank you for your consideration of our special use request.
Chris & Maire Gorman
For questions regarding SUP 21-02, please email Planning Services.