Fruita allows property owner to add horses to pasture

A Fruita landowner can keep additional horses on his property under a conditional-use permit protested by some neighbors but approved by the Fruita City Council Tuesday night.

Council members voted 4-2 to grant the permit to Cory Potter, who owns 6.3 acres at 1658 K 1/4 Road in the Comstock West subdivision. The permit allows him to increase the number of horses on the land from two to five.

Council members Bruce Bonar, Bob Fuller, Stacey Mascarenas and Mel Mulder voted to grant the permit. Council members Lori Buck and Terry Moss voted to deny the permit.

Potter told the council he doesn’t plan to have more than two horses on the property but asked for the permit to be in line with the city’s zoning codes and in case he sells the property in the future. Fruita allows land owners in its community residential zone district to have one large animal per acre with a conditional-use permit.

But that explanation didn’t satisfy some adjacent homeowners who said they fear maintaining any livestock in a residential subdivision could create problems with flies, odor and dust.

“I’m of the belief ... that by putting livestock adjacent to homes in a subdivision in the city limits, you are lowering property values,” Comstock West homeowner Sonia Swartz said.

Jim Vanaman, president of the Comstock West Homeowners’ Association, noted that the association had already granted Potter a variance from the subdivision’s covenants, which prohibit any livestock.

Swartz also claimed that Potter acted threatening toward her when she declined to sign a petition he circulated in support of the conditional-use permit and vowed to plant a series of trees along his property to block other neighbors’ views.

Potter’s roommate denied that allegation, saying the trees could serve as a beneficial barrier to potential dust and odor.

Other neighbors said they enjoyed the horses.

“It’s my feeling the horses are a definite plus,” Danny Maynard said.


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