Horse owners say they are happy and relieved that Playa del Rey Stables will remain open until Aug. 1, 1986, 11 months beyond the date Summa Corp. had planned to evict them from seven acres of the Ballona Wetlands.
Summa granted the lease extension after patrons of the stable said they needed more time to find new homes for their horses. The company originally intended to evict the horses Sept. 1.
Summa plans to build a 225-unit housing complex for the elderly on the property west of Culver Boulevard near Nicholson Street.
"It's a tremendous relief," said horse owner Evelyn Crumpton. "I feel as if I've had a reprieve from execution, or that Kapr has."
Crumpton's 29-year-old mare Kapr is one of several old horses that might have been destroyed if the stables had closed this summer, according to stable owner Bob Harvey. Moving the horses and acclimating them to new homes might have been too traumatic for them, Harvey said.
Other horse owners had complained that Playa del Rey was the last stable conveniently situated on the Westside. They said they would have to go as far as Malibu or Palos Verdes and pay considerably more for stalls for their horses.
About 30 horses were removed from the stable by their owners after the eviction notice arrived in March, Harvey said.
The additional time granted by Summa should allow the owners to find new stables, company spokeswoman Chris Henry said.
Harvey and some of his customers are searching for a nearby location to relocate the stables. They are consulting with owners of properties in the Baldwin Hills and the Mission Canyon landfill.
Summa also agreed to allow riders to extend their riding area 150 feet east of the old stable boundary.
At the time of the original eviction notice, Summa limited riding to the immediate stable area because horses had damaged the environmentally sensitive wetlands, according to Henry.
Summa has been ordered by the Coastal Commission to restore and protect 209 acres of wetlands before it can begin construction on adjacent property of the $1-billion planned community called Playa Vista.
Ruth Lansford, a founder of the environmental group called Friends of the Ballona Wetlands, said she supports the extension of the stables' lease in Playa del Rey as long as horses are not allowed on the wetlands.
Some of the horse owners claim that they have not damaged the wetlands and want more room provided for riding along fields through the marshland.
But most riders expressed satisfaction with the lease extension.
"I'm looking forward to this year now," said Dori Bruns.
Bruns was on her first day of retirement after 20 years as a Los Angeles County social worker when she learned that the stable would close. She had planned to use her two horses to give lessons at the stable.
"I was really devastated when I heard about the closing," Bruns said. "I did not know what I was going to do. But now with another year we will have time to look for another location."