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Riders falling off horses amid Richmond farmland feud

Riding stable claims horses are getting spooked by alleged illegal use of the farmland next door

A farmland feud has broken out in Richmond between a horse riding stable and its new, apparently “noisy,” neighbour.

The riding instructors and landowner at Blue Meadow Farm have a less than cordial relationship with neighbour Daniel Cheung, who bought the agricultural property last fall on Steveston Highway at Palmberg Road – just west of No. 6 Road.

Since Cheung moved in, the instructors, Janice Foley and Yolanda Oliphant, along with farm owner David Kao, say their new neighbour has caused nothing but aggravation, claiming he is using the site as a dumping ground for his logistics business, Canwest Marine Services.

The instructors and Kao claim Cheung has dump trucks carrying shipping containers moving in and out of the site all day long, as well as large piles of wood being unloaded and sold, all of which, they say, is contrary to the uses permitted for farmland in the city.

Claims of young riders falling off spooked horses

They claim the noise is so bad that, on several occasions, horses have spooked, causing their novice riders to fall off.

The City of Richmond confirmed it does have an “active file” for the property, but couldn’t comment further.

Cheung, meanwhile, told the Richmond News that he has been working with the city to resolve the issue and claimed that the large stocks of lumber is to build a new perimeter fence.

“The number-one concern here is safety,” said Kao.

“It was all very friendly to start with, when he moved in. He said he was going to renovate the house.

“But they started moving containers in under the name Canwest Marine. That’s when it started to get really noisy.

“Over the months, there have been more and more containers coming in, more dump trucks bringing the containers in and out. They sometimes have 15 on site at a time, causing a lot of noise pollution.

“And they are dumping so close to our property line; there are sensitive animals here.”

Foley, one of the instructors at the farm, said the horses only need to move a few feet when spooked to cause an unsuspecting rider to fall off.

“There is often loud crashing noises from wood getting dumped and moved around. And there are chicken shacks there without a permit. The shacks have tarp flapping around in the wind, also spooking horses.”

Cheung allegedly unbothered by bylaw infractions

Kao said he has tried to reason with Cheung, but claimed his new neighbour was indifferent about the prospect of bylaw fines and even suggested Kao could buy the property if the noise bothered him that much.

Kao added that he would love to see the alleged operations next door cease, along with the dismantling of any “illegal buildings.”

No idea what neighbour's problem is: Cheung

Cheung told the News that much of the offending material on site belonged to the former owner and that he has taken steps to clear it away.

“I’m not doing anything illegal. The neighbours are crazy, I don’t know what their problem is,” he added.

When the News visited the property last week, at least four containers and two dump trucks could be seen, along with an excavator and large piles of lumber.