Concerned about the gradual disappearance of stables and trails in the neighborhoods near Griffith Park, hundreds of residents of Burbank, Glendale and northeast Los Angeles are forming a group to try to stave off development of areas now used for horseback riding.
A leader of the new group, called Rancho Equestrian Protection Assn., said the organization plans to lobby city officials to designate the neighborhoods as "historical equestrian areas." That would make it harder for developers to get the zoning changes needed to replace trails and stables with houses, apartment buildings or shopping centers.
"We want to have a designation which would transcend the transitory wishes or desires of any political body in the future," said Alexander Haagen III. "It's critically important that we keep this area from disappearing."
Haagen, 42, is a Beverly Hills-based real estate developer who learned to ride in the Griffith Park area and now boards horses there. He said the formation of the equestrian protection group was prompted by the application for a zoning change of a Glendale stable owner who wanted to sell his land to an apartment builder.