Gus goes home to Malta family

It may have taken over a year, but a Malta family living in an R-1 residential zone will soon have their horse living on their land.

The Town of Malta Planning Board approved a special use permit to allow Jim and Mary Pellerin to keep one horse on their 10-acre property located at 404 Eastline Road. It brings to a close a long journey that began when they purchased a quarter horse for their daughter, only to find the town didn't allow equines to live in residential areas.

The entire family was in high spirits after the Tuesday, Aug. 19, decision.

I was holding my breath the whole time, said Mary Pellerin.

She said that if Gus gets lonely, she might consider coming back with another application (although two horses would be plenty for her).

The family is eager to bring Gus to his permanent home. The Pellerins appeared numerous times before the Town Board before it decided in July to allow R-1 residents with at least 3 acres of land to apply for a special use permit to keep a horse. The decision was applauded by local equestrian advocates.

The Pellerins moved ahead quickly with a permit application, securing a spot on the agenda at the next available Planning Board meeting.

Several neighbors of the Pellerins came to the meeting, which allowed for public comment.

Kate Bailey, who lives on Eastline Road and is active in the equestrian community, spoke not only of the Pellerins' situation but the need to allow equestrian use in general.

"The Pellerins have been seeking the best advice possible on the management issues," she said. "This is a positive use of land, and I don't see how it would be detrimental to the vision of the Town of Malta."

The board was primarily concerned with how Gus's manure would be handled and the effect it would have on nearby wells. It was decided that the proposed manure pile was in the proper location though, and discussion was closed quickly.

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