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print email Source: Editorial: Proposed equine ordinance lacks safeguards and will lower property values
Mitigating the impacts of horse urine odors
September 13, 2013 | 08:12 AM

As the catalyst and founding member of the VCCPG's Equine Subcommittee in 2009, I worked diligently spending most of my time researching other equine zoning laws, and three of us devoted our Saturdays writing what we thought to be a reasonable permitting process for commercial horse stables. We used the valuable and important public protection measures within the Major Use Permit, but we made it specific to a horse stable, with far less processing time and costs. We believe this is what Tier 2 should look like, and it should be property specific, not a blanket right to board 10 horses per useable acre. With our stable, Tapestry Meadows, we mitigate all urine odors which are extremely unhealthy for horses and humans, by training the horses to urinate in a pile of sweet pdz, pelleted absorbent, and soft pine shavings at the top of the pile. Because horses do not like their legs splashed with urine, they learn to use the pile. In 10 years of boarding all types of horses, we have trained every horse to use the pile, some horses take a few days to learn and some taking a few weeks, but all of them eventually comply. It is one of the most important BMPs a horse stable can practice. I have spoken at length to County staff who wrote the Tiered ordinance, and they are aware of the health hazards of horse urine. Because this Tiered ordinance is now law, people affected by neighboring horse stables need to read the ordinance and understand the required BMPs for horse stables. Neighbors must understand and exercise their rights to file a code enforcement request for investigation (available online) when they are impacted.

Sally Cobb
VC Sports