Salisbury Horses

“Outside this lovely home, drive down the circular driveway covered by mature trees and be greeted by an old barn and about 3 acres cleared ideal for horses.”

3063 main street salisbury mikedoiron.caThus reads the real estate listing I found online for a 5.6 acre property in Salisbury NB. It is now owned by the Dangremond family. They bought it so they could keep their horses Misty and Reiner at home instead of having to board them. A barn and cleared pastureland – ideal for horses!

Then, while putting up fencing last year, they were told that the property is zoned RU, Residential Use. They appealed for rezoning, a variance, or even a temporary permit to keep the horses there for even just a year. Denied.

Following the story on CBC NB news, I’ve hoped, even believed, that the town council would wind its neck in and allow the horses to stay. But the news report yesterday was that the horses must move.

Reiner and Misty beside barn
Horses beside their barn, from “Help Misty and Reiner the horses” gofundme page

A neighbour has offered to board the horses – yes, a neighbour. A distance of 150 metres, CBC says. Not a big distance for the Dangremond daughter to walk to see her pets. Also not a big distance for the town council to make whatever variance is needed so those pets can stay in their own barn.

I realize municipal planners must do what is best for their region now and in the future. Evidently, the town foresees residential expansion in the area where the Dangremonds live. But, if houses are not going to be built in the immediate future, why not make an exception for the Dangremond horses with as many caveats as the council deems necessary?

location of propeerty google maps
Location of property in Salisbury area – click for larger view

Zoning Labyrinth

This sad story reminds me of when we were still in Ontario, hunting for a small farm in Elgin County. John Blake of Elgin Realty warned me that what looked like a farm might not be zoned as one. So I started phoning municipal, township and county offices to get an overview of the zoning basics. No generalities, only a labyrinth.

One side of a road might be agricultural, the other – just as distant from a street light or a Tim Horton’s – is not. A township line at the edge of a property means another set of rules. Animals and farming may be “grandfathered” in after a zoning change, meaning they can stay only as long as those owners stay. Other times you can bring in new animals as long as the presence of farm animals is continuous. So, if the existing animals move off before the sale closing date, you can’t move new ones in. The planners told me to ask about each and every property.

Salisbury horses Reiner and Misty, photo Joseph Tunney CBC
Salisbury horses Reiner and Misty, photo Joseph Tunney CBC

That said, Salisbury has the chance to make a statement that matches its lovely rural-looking appearance. Let the Salisbury horses stay at home.

Misty and Reiner have a GoGetFunding page (updated July 7/17). You can also check the Facebook page Power in Numbers for Misty and Reiner.

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4 thoughts on “Salisbury Horses”

    1. Hi John, Albert County is also incredibly beautiful, with the Hopewell Rocks and all. From what I’ve read, the people of Salisbury are extremely welcoming of the family and the horses. The problem is with the town council and land use zoning. So, wherever, it is best to check and recheck the zoning restrictions. Thanks for your lovely invitation to the Dangremond family. I hope they see it.

  1. First about 2 horses contaminating water is a joke their pee doesn’t run 24/7. It is man who contaminates soil. Plus the real estate, or who ever sold this this farm should of informed family of. Zoning. So my question is if the farm is not zoned to house farm animals what is this family supposed to do with the land, or is there a developer wanting the property? It also sounds like more money to be collected if property was zoned urban then zoned rural. Re vote in favour of the horses staying.

    1. Hi Janice, thanks for writing. I had seen that the Salisbury town council denied the rezoning request by 3-2 this past Tuesday. But I didn’t know about the horse pee excuse until reading your comment. I found more about on CTV news. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad and just wrong! A comment on Misty and Reiner’s Facebook page nailed it, I think: Salisbury is a small farming village but wants to be a mini-Moncton. I hope the council comes to its senses and allows these horses to stay. There are ways to make exemptions for individual cases even if council wants to continue on its path to subdivision development. And horse manure fertilizes the soil. And yes, why was the property listed as “ideal for horses” when it was not zoned for horses? That’s a great big ‘oops’ to make.

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