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print email Source: Editorial: Proposed equine ordinance lacks safeguards and will lower property values
New equine zoning ordinance
September 12, 2013 | 07:52 AM

Having owned and operated a public horse boarding stable for 10 years on my 10 acre ranch in Valley Center, and having spent $200,000 and 7 years processing the required major use permit only to have fees and requirements raised continually, I am uniquely qualified to comment on this article. Thanks to my going public with the plight to legalize my stable and the stables of my fellow equestrians throughout the County of San Diego, I persevered in the midst of much opposition and naysayers, educating the VCCPG in 2009 whose 15 members joined my cause and appointed an equine subcommittee where for two years we studied other counties' equine zoning laws and worked with the DPLU to process a Tiered ordinance, first suggested by SDC Farm Bureau president Eric Larson at the first SDCHA meeting in 2007. With over 2,000 signatures on my Petition for a new and reasonable ordinance, and my continued efforts to educate the public about the outrageous MUP requirements, four years later the BOS has approved a new ordinance. However, as I have stated several times throughout the two years of stakeholder meetings, and in my speech to the BOS yesterday, allowing 10 boarded horses per useable acre by right, with no public review or neighborhood input, is going to create impacts impossible to mitigate including reduced property values, despite the required BMPs. Valley Center has countless 2.5 acre properties with 2 useable acres for 20-horse boarding stables to pop up everywhere. This article is very accurate. I have warned the public repeatedly to get involved and to read the new draft ordinance, to speak their mind at the BOS and Planning Commission meetings, to write letters, etc., but very few members of the public have responded. Yesterday I spoke on behalf of non-horse property owners, encouraging the Board to reduce the Tier 2 numbers to a maximum of 5 boarded horses per acre, but after two years they were ready to approve the new ordinance and as Diane Jacobs stated, we'll see if there are problems resulting from it.

Sally Cobb
Bear Valley