East County Magazine News Service
September 21, 2011 (San Diego)—County Supervisors by a 5-0 vote have approved an expenditure of several hundred thousand dollars to replace "outdated" ordinances and develop regulations for equestrian facilities.
The Board rejected Option A, which would have allowed equestrian facilities by right in rural areas. Instead, the County voted to embrace Option B, which aims to require smaller equestrian facilities to pay an annual ministerial fee and provide “best management practices.” Learn more here: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/advance/Equine.html
Some horse owners in rural residents are raising objections. “If you board even one horse, or if you hire out your services as an instructor or trainer, this ordinance could empty your wallet and be a real headache,” read a message by aposter on one backcountry forum.
The poster continued, “This is supposed to be an “easy, horse friendly” option. However, these Best Management Practices may not make your farrier, or your horse, very happy. For example, it may require that you install several inches of gravel. For larger facilities, a “discretionary permit” would be required. Estimated permitting costs would be several hundred thousand dollars. Such facilities would face years of paperwork and hearings.”
Those opposed to the plan note that Option A would have required the least amount of County staff time and been friendliest to small businesses, requiring no permits. Objections have also been raised to the County omitting horse clubs from its community outreach on the proposal.
Equestrian community members may contact planner Carl Stiel to voice your views and also to request to be included in meetings, review drafts of the ordinance, and ask the planner to attend your horse club meetings. His contact information is below.
Carl Stiehl, Land Use Environmental Planner II
Department of Planning and Land Use
5201 Ruffin Road, Suite B
San Diego, CA 92123-1666