Petition by Bedford Loves Horses

WHEREAS, the Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Bedford cites Open Space as one of the key elements of Bedford's character and cites preservation of its Open Space as a major goal of the Plan; and

WHEREAS, the Plan cites the strong desire of Bedford's residents to maintain its rural character; and

WHEREAS, the Plan states that those aspects of the land with "significant scenic assets include areas adjoining scenic roads and ways, farms and horse stables"; and

WHEREAS, since the Comprehensive Plan was completed in 2002, there has been a steady decline in the number of properties in Bedford on which horses are maintained;

Therefore,

We, the undersigned, are asking for a renewed interest and dedication by the Bedford Town Board to ensure that the town zoning laws are consistent with the Plan's goal of supporting our resident equestrian properties.

We Support this Initiative Because,

  • Some of the Bedford zoning laws are overly restrictive with respect to equestrian property owners' legitimate needs such as having such necessary facilities as bathrooms and wash stalls in barns;
  • We are concerned that Bedford is losing equestrian properties to adjoining municipalities which are more "horse friendly," and as that happens, we are losing an important part of the historical character of our town;
  • Bedford's proximity to New York City and its history of having equestrian properties make it unique among Westchester County towns;
  • Bedford has one of the largest equestrian trail systems in the Northeast and we are saddened that there are fewer and fewer riders on our trails with each passing year;
  • Bedford's horse owners and riders are among the most significant supporters and champions of Bedford's open spaces, greenways and trail systems;
  • Many young professionals and families are drawn to towns that enable them to have horses on their property and also commute to New York City for work, and we are concerned that many potential residents are choosing nearby communities that are more supportive of the needs of equestrian property owners;
  • We are concerned that Bedford could potentially lose its unique charm if the zoning laws do not reflect the Comprehensive Plan's statement of recognition and support of this particular population of properties;
  • We want the town of Bedford to grow and flourish while retaining its unique charm.

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for presentation 12/5/2017