The unincorporated areas of the county, such as Ramona, Valley Center, Alpine and many others have had an interest in updating the zoning laws and requirements and making it more affordable and less cumbersome particularly for horse owners at their private homes, to house and keep equine.
The grassroots effort started some years ago in Valley Center and grew quickly and continues to garner support on a regular basis from private citizens, organizations and agencies. A meeting date has been set for Jan. 24 to finalize the draft plan.
"The purpose of the meeting will be to report to stakeholders regarding the stable visits and the planning group presentations over the past year and to provide stakeholders with an overview of the draft ordinance and EIR now that they are completed," said Carl Stiehl of the County Planning Department. "The meeting is also a venue for general discussion stakeholders would like to have regarding the ordinance and EIR prior to public review."
As the County continues to move forward with the Equine Ordinance possible zoning changes, information unfolds for those of us with horses. The intention seems to be to assist in and regulate ‘boarding’ horses but not in ‘keeping’ horses. Many of us in Ramona are allowed to keep our horses at home, but legally are not able to board the horses of friends or family at this time without a major use permit, which is extremely costly.
Depending on the current zoning of your property the regulations will be different of course, but ‘boarding’ is considered a business currently, even if it’s only one horse. Therein lies the birth of the need for assistance from the County for property owners that are allowed to house horses in some capacity.
The Jan. 24 meeting is set for 2-4 p.m. at the County building at 5500 Overland Ave. Room 120, San Diego, 92123.
At the end of the month the 45 day public comment period should open giving us another opportunity to weigh in on this issue.