Roaming Horses Spur Residents To Call For Law On Confinement

Posted: June 08, 1989

Horses seeking greener pastures in Birmingham Township have a few Meetinghouse Road residents standing in their way.

Ivan Feiner told supervisors Monday that they should adopt an ordinance requiring that horses and other large animals be penned and not allowed to run free.

Feiner complained that his neighbors, Eric Renwick and Mike Walls, were letting horses run loose. The horses had caused near-accidents on Meetinghouse Road, said Feiner, who has lived in the township for about a year.

"This is no longer a green township," said Feiner, a Philadelphia lawyer. ''With the development we have, I think the supervisors should consider an ordinance to protect themselves from liability if an accident occurs."

Another Meetinghouse Road resident, Ed Protesto, voiced agreement with Feiner.

"If anything happens to my children, I will sue the township and the Wallses," Protesto said.

The supervisors remained unconvinced of the need for an ordinance.

Because the supervisors also received a copy of a letter that Feiner wrote to Renwick about the horses running unattended, officials said they thought the matter may be more a dispute among neighbors than a situation that calls for their attention.

Supervisor Charles Eeles said the township solicitor, Sondra Slade, recommended that the supervisors stay out of what she thought was an argument among neighbors.

"I don't want the supervisors to get involved with civil disputes," said Supervisor Lloyd Roach, also a Meetinghouse Road resident.

They directed Feiner to present his proposed ordinance in the form of a letter to the supervisors.

Feiner said after the meeting that he thought the supervisors were protecting Renwick, a close friend of the board.

"I guess they don't want to hurt a friend with the ordinance," Feiner said.

Roach said his friendship with Renwick, a 40-year resident of Birmingham, had something to do with his reaction to the proposed ordinance.

"He (Renwick) is an old man who doesn't need this hassle," Roach said.

Mike and Jennifer Walls, who rent the property from Renwick and operate a boarding stable, said they had no problem with an ordinance.

Jennifer Walls said they had four fenced areas on their property but had been unable to use the land because last year's drought had made the grass brown and dry.

"We let a lactating mare and her foal run on a 90-acre open field because she needed good grass," Jennifer Walls said.

The Wallses said the horses were always watched while running free.

The grass is getting greener and the horses will be penned in more often, the couple said.

In another matter, the supervisors said they would hold hearings at 7:30 p.m. June 26 and 27 on T.J.E.M. Associates' proposal for land known as the Yovanovich tract.

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