Horse farm gets reprieve after exceeding limits

Hassan resident Trudy Reierson was given a conditional use permit (CUP) to have livestock in excess of what the town ordinance allows.

Town officials received a complaint that Reierson had an inordinate number of horses on her 10.74-acre property.

The Hassan ordinance governing the number of livestock animals would allow approximately 26 horses on the Reierson farm.

The Hassan resident, who breeds horses for show, had as many as 59 horses and donkeys at one time, however, before the economy soured, according to her admission to board supervisors.

As of the Jan. 3 town board meeting, she said she had 35 animals, which is still over what the town ordinance allows.

Heated debate ensued as to whether a cap should be placed on the number of horses the woman could have on her farm, and how long she should be given to conform to Hassan’s ordinance.

Board supervisor Steve Swanson wanted a cap on the number of horses she could have and said this is a Hassan problem. Others on the board, though, said it will be a Rogers problem, and wanted to give Reierson a break until the economy improves her situation.

Board Chair Bob Ivey said a cap was not needed since Reierson was trying to reduce the number of horses she had.

At one point the horse breeder told town board members she would not be breeding horses any longer until she had greatly reduced their numbers since she could not afford to feed them.

Later, however, she commented that the number of horses is in part due to transient horses — those that are there for breeding purposes for three or four weeks — and that she would have more horses in May as she would be breeding them at that time.

Board members agreed she must reduce the number of horses on her land and that she would have to comply with the town ordinance in five years.

Reierson was awarded the CUP on a 4-1 vote.

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