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Mathews planners endorse change to horse stable setback rules

The Mathews County Planning Commission Tuesday voted to recommend that the board of supervisors approve a request for a zoning change for private or commercial stables. 

If approved by the board of supervisors at its meeting at 1 p.m. this coming Tuesday, the zoning ordinance amendment would allow for a stable to be built 100 feet from a residential lot line, rather than the current 200 feet.

Mathews Planning and Zoning Director Thomas Jenkins told the commission and the board of supervisors during a joint public hearing that Gordon Penick III of Cardinal had requested the zoning change because, although he has adequate acreage for horses, his lot is too narrow to meet the setback requirement under the current ordinance.

Jenkins said that such a request would normally be handled as a variance for a setback, but this one would fail the hardship test, since an applicant would be hard-pressed to prove that not having a stable would be a hardship. Therefore, this change would be co...

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