Thursday, November 26, 2015 • 09:12

New system allows for easier permits

March 05, 2014
The County of San Diego Zoning Ordinance, "County Zoning," generally affects all of the properties in the unincorporated areas of the County (that is, properties that are not boated within the boundaries of an incorporated city, including properties in Valley Center).

Horse Boarding and Training have been allowed only on a few "animal designator" locations, or on properties that had obtained a Conditional Use Permit—a complex and expensive process.

Recently, County Zoning has been modified to include a new 'Hose Stable' category that makes it much easier for property owners who want to offer horse boarding and training, in addition to keeping their own horses.

This new four-tier system is based upon the land size and capacity for Horse Stable horses on each property. Each property has a "useable area" calculated as the total area of the land parcel, less the area of all other improvements such as residences, swimming pools, patios, driveways, groves, lakes, steep slopes, etc.

The useable area (UA) is element for establishing the maximum number of Horse Stable horses allowed.

The tiers for Horse Stables are now:

Tier 1: Up to three horses—no permit required.

Tier 2: Four to 50 horses—ten horses/UA to maximum of UA—zoning verification required.

Tier 3: 51 to 100 horses—ten horses/UA to maximum of UA—administrative permit required.

Tier 4: More than 100 horses on more than ten UA—Conditional Use Permit required.

See the Animal Regulations section of the County of San Diego Zoning Ordinance, especially Section 3130 at: for more information on the new tiered system.

Additional County ordinances cover building permits, setbacks, parking, restrooms and other improvements on the property.

Finally, the County assumes "best practices" are in place in horse operations to be good neighbors. These include but are not limited to: noise, dust, pest control and manure management.

In summary, the County has implemented an opportunity for many property owners to engage in Horse Stable operations, which if properly done, could generate activities and additional income for many who embrace the equestrian lifestyle.

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