We the people want a reasonable equine ordinance in San Diego County!

  64,599 (Goal: 64,599)

Petitioning: The San Diego County equestrian community and people who simply enjoy horses

Petitioner: San Diegans for a New Equine Zoning Ordinance started on April 16, 2010

We the people want a reasonable equine ordinance in San Diego County!

PLEASE CONTINUE CIRCULATING THIS PETITION. IT HAS OVER 2,000 ONLINE AND HARD COPY SIGNATURES as of July 2011. We know there are millions of people who agree with this Petition and who would like horse stables to remain within reasonable driving distance for them to ride, take lessons, board their horse, unwind from the world, etc. More and more stables are being forced out of business due to the major use permit requirement that started out being $2,000.00 in the 1980's but due to CEQA/State/Federal regulations has become a $500,000.00 permit that takes many years to obtain, with no fee cap and no permit guarantee.

On July 13, 2011, During the Board of Supervisor's meeting, the Department of Planning and Land Use presented options to the major use permit requirement, after which the Supervisors voted unanimously for a tiered system of permitting, designating the funds for the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and the ordinance to be created. The process of enacting the new tiered ordinance is estimated to take 24 months. It was an emotional day! Some of us have persevered for more than four years to make this happen. Thank you David & Annette Puchta, the SDCHA, Sally Cobb, Oliver Smith and the VCCPG, Linda Smith, Judy Duncan, Cheryl Erpelding and Riding Magazine, Michell Kimball, the SDCEF, and everyone who has supported the cause directly or indirectly. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Thank you to all the speakers who attended the meeting and gave testimony. The video of the two-hour meeting is available for everyone to watch:

http://sdcounty.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2. Select video under the Board of Supervisors Land Use Meeting, July 13, 2011 archive.


We the people, hereby petition the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for the preservation of our Equestrian Culture and the establishment of a NEW Equine Zoning Ordinance that protects and promotes equestrian enterprise with reasonable permit fees and requirements.

Horses are being squeezed out of San Diego County because the current zoning ordinance requires a major use permit (MUP) to board even ONE horse on Agricultural property. By-right, the current zoning on the same property allows an unlimited number of occupant-owned horses and even an animal hospital. Horse boarding operations, small and large, are necessary because most horse enthusiasts cannot keep their horses at home. The Major Use Permit process requires $11,000.00 for a pre-application meeting, a $16,000.00 application fee, an average of $100,000.00 for engineers and County-approved consultants to complete the required California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) studies, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete the required onsite and offsite improvements. The County frequently raises the permit fees and offers no fee cap and no permit approval guarantee. All this to legally board ONE horse!

These oppressive and overly burdensome permitting requirements must be changed. We propose a new and reasonable equine zoning ordinance that provides, in lieu of a Major Use Permit, a standard of facility management that includes safe fencing, manure management, dust and odor control, storm water management and vector control, for the welfare of horses, participants and neighbors.

We invite each and every resident of San Diego County who appreciates horses and equestrian activities to get involved in this movement for a new equine zoning ordinance. Your signature on this petition is the first step. If we want our horse culture to remain, (boarding, breeding, training, lessons, etc.) whether it be one horse or more, we must let our voices be heard. It is possible to bring about change through a community-driven effort. The County of San Mateo succeeded in changing their Equine Zoning Ordinance, and so can the horse community of San Diego County.

In 2007, at a hearing for a horse barn permit, the Planning Commissioner stated, We have not heard from the horse community since the 1960s. We need you to form an organization and send two or three representatives to meet with us and tell us what you want. Three years have passed and the County has still not heard from the horse community. It is time to make our voice heard. It is time to become pro-active in our efforts to stop the continued loss of equestrian facilities in our County.

Equestrian Facilities are in accord with the General Plan Recreation Element goals of enhancing the physical, mental and spiritual well being of the County residents by providing opportunities for relaxation, rest, activity and education.