Residents have spoken out in one Lancaster County township – over a proposed change which would permit stabling of two horses on a half-acre lot.

Voices were strong against the idea. From Lancaster Online:

East Hempfield Township residents panned a proposal to let Plain sect households stable two horses on residential lots as small as a half acre, prompting the supervisors Wednesday to postpone a vote.

“If an Amish person puts a horse barn and two horses next to me, my quality of life goes down the drain,” Lloyd Pickell of Spooky Nook Road said.

“This is craziness … and cruel to a horse,” David Hughes said.

The supervisors voted 5-0 to table the measure after eight residents and two attorneys urged them to reject the change during a half-hour hearing. No one spoke in favor.

“I’m sure (the Amish are) good neighbors, but having horses in a residential development doesn’t make any sense,” Terrence Fenstermacher of Brookside Drive said.

Colleen Jacobson of Chapel Forge Drive called the proposal “totally unprecedented.”

“I don’t think you understand what you’re doing,” Jacobson said, noting that she spoke with zoning officers at four municipalities. “No one recommends a half an acre for one horse, let alone two.”

That sounds like a pretty strong rebuke by at least a segment of the non-Amish, non-horse-stabling part of the community. No Amish attended the meeting.

Township resident Richard Szarko was the main objector when we first came across this story. It looks like there are others on his side. Szarko says that he’ll sue the township if the zoning changes are made.

East Hempfield Township Manager Cindy Schweitzer says that the township has in fact not seen “a trend” of Amish wishing to move into smaller properties.

So in this township at least – which as noted in the previous post, is not an area of heavy Amish settlement in Lancaster County – this issue seems to be stemming mainly from an isolated case.

Image credit: Julia Rubinic/flickr

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