East County News Service
January 26, 2016 (Ramona) — The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has withdrawn its plans for an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course at the Golden Eagle Farm in rural Ramona off Highway 78.
The announcement came during a Ramona Community Planning Group meeting after vocal opposition from neighbors over noise, traffic, lighting and disruption of peace and quiet in the rural community.
Nancy Riegler, co-owner of the Oasis Camel Dairy, raised questions over whether approval might lead to other law enforcement uses, such as a firing range.
Kevin Carey, a local horse breeder and attorney, also spoke against the project and promised a well-funded battle to fight the project “tooth and nail” if approved.
Currently the Sheriff’s Department uses the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium for training that includes high speed pursuits, but interference from the trolley, other traffic, light poles and the presence of homeless people make the site far from ideal.
Jody Mays, support services director for the Sheriff’s Department, told the planning group that the department will initiate a search for a new site—and that residents’ concerns were key factors in that decision.