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Supervisors will consider Equine Ordinance on Sept.11


August 21, 2013
After 24 months of meetings with horse owners and a few others interested in the issue, the Board of Supervisors are scheduled to hold hearings on the Tiered Equine Ordinance, POD 11-011 on Wednesday Sept. 11, at 9 a.m.

This ordinance addresses the issue of horse owners boarding horses on their property. At the time the Board of Supervisors requested ordinance options to update existing horse regulations, it was determined that most horse boarding operations in the unincorporated areas were violating the law.

After receiving the board's direction, staff held a series of meetings with equine stakeholders and developed options to present to the Planning Commission and the Board.

Critics of the process point out to the fact that almost everyone who participated is a horse owner, and that very few land owners who do not own horses were involved (note: see an opinion piece on A2 by one non-horse owner who was involved, Bob Davis).

In July 2011 the board directed staff to develop a tiered ordinance for the permitting of commercial horse stables. County staff members were directed to investigate and develop best management practices and permit streamlining options that would protect and promote equine operations.

The resulting tiered permitting system being proposed allows different levels of permit requirements depending on how intense the horse operation is.

Existing law requires a Major Use Permit for some properties located in the County regardless of the size and intensity of the equine operations. Staff members have attended more than a dozen planning group meetings to present the project and interviewed more than 20 different horse stable operators in the County regarding the project.

On June 13, the Planning Commission reviewed the draft ordinance and environmental impact report (EIR). The board voted 4-0-1 to recommend approval to the Board of Supervisors and to adopt the environmental findings.

Additional information, including the draft ordinance, maps of affected areas and the final EIR may be found at www.sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/advance/Equine.html.

The Board Chambers are located at the County Administration Center, Room 310, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego. Be sure to arrive before 9am to submit a speaker slip if you wish to address the Board.

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