GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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April 27, 2013

Neighbors raise hurdles to horse barn

ROCKPORT — Citing various health and noise concerns, a group of Rockport residents have effectively stopped the construction of a barn at 16 Mary Helen Way for the time being, where Tim and Allison Wile are looking to house two horses.

The couple had gained town approval from Rockport’s building inspector, the Board of Health and the Conservation Commision in early April, Allison said.

”We’ve already hired a contractor, ordered materials and dug a foundation,” Tim Wile said. “We’ve spent thousands.”

Wise said that he can still construct the 576-square-foot barn in the center of their backyard, but the Wiles cannot house horses until complaints filed with the Board of Health and the Zoning Board of Appeals have been dealt with.

During a Tuesday Board of Health meeting, Health Agent Leslie Whelan said the board heard from a number of people citing concerns about the barn. The Board of Health is set to do a site visit at the Wiles’ house today to further examine the proposed barn.

Last week, two neighbors — Carole Roberts of 14 Mary Helen Way, and Rob and Annette Hale of Summer Street — filed for zoning relief with the Zoning Board of Appeals. Under state law, any appeal to a permit can be filed with 30 days of when the permit was granted; the filing essentially means the barn construction is now at a standstill.

Carole Roberts declined to comment on the story, indicating a group of residents has retained a lawyer about the proposed barn.

Robert Hale also declined to comment, and did not respond to calls placed by the Times on Friday regarding the lawyer who is acting on behalf of the neighbors.

Marybeth Murphy of Pleasant Street, while not an abutting neighbor or involved with the group of residents hiring a lawyer, said Friday that she, too, has concerns about the barn.

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