Council Says Whoa To Horse Stable Expansion

A city council turns down a horse stable request. The Plattsmouth council said no to a request for a special use permit that would have allowed horse riding lessons and some small events at a stable in Swallow Hills north of Plattsmouth. The vote was 4 to 3.

(The property is outside the Plattsmouth city limits but within the city’s zoning jurisdiction.)

The Cassgram reports Cheryl Dorff, the applicant and the owner of the seven-acre property along with her husband Scott Gourley, said she’s run a riding lesson business at a different location for 14 years and said her business would have no employees and would only take place on her property. She has five horses and asked for permission for up to seven horses so she can also help the humane society and horse rescue organizations. She said she first was informed through city channels that the lesson business would not be a problem but then learned she would need a special use permit.

The Plattsmouth Planning Commission had unanimously recommended approval in January. Commission Chairman Marc Nichols said the request met all the criteria in the city ordinance.

Of those Swallow Hills residents attending the Monday night public hearing before the city council, the number of those opposed to the special use permit appeared to outnumber the supporters by more than 3 to 1.

Proponents said the small business would be a nice addition to the community and there would be minimal impact to the development that has 42 acreages.

Several opponents contended that the commercial use of the property would be a violation of the covenants and would not conform to the city’s comprehensive plan. The council was presented with a petition opposing the permit. Heather Anschutz said a “neighbor versus neighbor lawsuit” was filed Monday to stop the business.

There was little council decision before a vote on a motion to approve the permit. The roll call vote: Kerns- no, Brookhouser- yes, Riese- yes, Dugan- yes, Wiemer- no, Derby- no, Porter- no.

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