Falconry school gets approval

MANCHESTER - The application for a new falconry school to be located on Benson Road has been approved by the Manchester Development Review Board.

The decision was issued Monday, May 12, once the required number of signatures needed for approval - four - were obtained.

Jeffrey Nyweide and Shelly Gibson applied for the permit and the school itself would be run by Rob Waite who was the General Manager of the British School of Falconry that was located at the Hildene Meadowlands before it closed last November.

At a DRB meeting last month, residents of Benson Road expressed concerns that centered mainly around the traffic and condition of the road. However, the DRB found "no cause to require a traffic impact analysis," and determined that the project would not cause "unreasonable congestion or unsafe conditions."

At the hearing last month, Ross and Teresa Birns - who used to operate FollenderWerks out of their home on Benson Road - said that the traffic created by the school would likely be less that what their business had created while it was located there. At that time, the couple said there would be daily UPS deliveries.

There was also discussion at the hearing about clearly marking Lye Brook - a frequently used swimming hole - to alleviate unnecessary traffic on the road.

Due to all the aforementioned information the DRB found that the criteria had been met.

One stipulation that was included in the permit, according to the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, is that Nyweide and Gibson would pay a sum not to exceed $500, which would supplement the costs associated with additional calcium chloride treatments of the road to reduce dust.

The board also did find that there would be any impact on the capacity of existing or planned community facilities. In addition, the board did not feel that construction or operation of the project would "result in any stream or wetland impact, water pollution or cause any undue impact on air quality.

According to the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the application proposed the construction of a 160 square foot reception shed and an 888 square foot weathering building. In addition, the birds would not be housed on the property overnight and would be transported daily by a handler.

To deter drop-ins and onlookers, the site's location will not be published on the businesses website.

A typical lesson includes two people and a handler, with a larger family being the biggest group.

The frequency in which lessons will take place is not expected to be exorbitant either.

"Lessons are conducted one at a time and further limited as birds do not fly at the same time nor can they repeatedly be used throughout the day," according to the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

The school will be open seasonally from May to October and operating hours will depend on the light and weather conditions.


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