By Karen Brainard
Ramona Community Planning Group voted to support the county’s proposed tiered equine ordinance following a county staff presentation during the planners’ March 7 meeting.
Public comments on the ordinance and draft Environmental Impact Report close March 20.
The proposed ordinance creates four tiers for commercial horse stables so small operations will not need costly major use permits.
The tiered ordinance approach “provides flexibility,” said Carl Stiehl with the county’s Planning and Development Services’ Advance Planning Department.
He explained that commercial horse stable operators approached the county supervisors about three years ago, requesting the zoning ordinance be updated because it was getting difficult for them to operate their businesses and get their permits.
Stiehl said he held stable interviews around the county, including at Creek Hollow Ranch in Ramona. During the three years, Stiehl said he worked with John Degenfelder with Ramona Trails Association.
“We’ve had lots of meetings with folks,” said Stiehl. “Most folks are supportive of what we’re doing.”
The current ordinance was established in 1978, said Stiehl, so someone who started a horse stable operation before then, and have not expanded, will be grandfathered in.
“So we have lots of people who are grandfathered in,” said Stiehl.
To make the tiers work, Stiehl said the ordinance will be a little more restrictive for the larger facilities.
Stiehl said the ordinance will probably go to the Planning Commission for a vote in May and to the Board of Supervisors for approval in July.
The planners voted 13-0 in favor of the ordinance with Kevin Wallace abstaining.
To see the draft EIR, visit sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/advance/Equine.html.