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Council Undecided on Proposal to Expand Horse-Keeping Zones


The Glendale City Council appeared split Tuesday on a proposal to expand horse-keeping zones in a west Glendale neighborhood.

After hearing from residents on opposing sides of the issue, two council members voted to allow horse-keeping at 43 houses, while three members voted to expand the zone to only four residences.

The west Glendale area is a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood near Griffith Park, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and several private stables and feed stores. The issue has caused a rift among neighbors. Equestrian enthusiasts believe that an expanded horse-keeping zone will increase property values. Others say horse manure, flies and odor will degrade the area.

The vote, however, was thrown out after council members realized that they could not legally enact a new zoning ordinance during a public hearing. They are expected to officially vote on the issue at the Aug. 14 council meeting.

All city zone changes require a four-vote approval. If members remain split on the issue, the zoning would remain as it is now, City Atty. Scott Howard said.

Some houses in the neighborhood, along the 1400 blocks of Garden, Randall, Fairfield and Lake streets between Sonora and Davis avenues, already are allowed to keep horses. An alley, which is used to store manure dumpsters and as an entrance for horse riders, separates property on Randall and Garden streets.

Councilman Jerold Milner said he favors new horse zones only at four Randall Street residences that border the alley. The other 39 lots do not have alley access. Councilmen Carl Raggio and Dick Jutras agreed.

Residents who petitioned the city in February to rezone the entire 43-house area said expanding horse-keeping zones would raise property values and establish the neighborhood as one of the last "ranchos" in Los Angeles.

"There is a distinct pleasure to being able to keep horses at home," said Francesca Miller, a Randall Street resident. "There are no issues about cleanliness that cannot be addressed."

In the initial vote, Councilwoman Ginger Bremberg and Mayor Larry Zarian indicated that they would support the proposal to rezone the entire neighborhood.

But several other residents complained that such rezoning would cause problems with manure, flies, odor and privacy. They also said they feared their property values would suffer as a result.

"Bringing horses back . . . has nothing to do with progress," said Steven Lane, who lives on Fairfield Street. "My current standard of living does not include manure in the streets, manure bins and congestion from horse trailers."

City planners said most of the neighborhood lots appeared to be too small and are inadequate for horse-keeping because they do not have alley access.

A zoning change would require residents to have a minimum of 3,000 square feet per horse and to keep the animal in a stable 35 feet from the rear of the lot and 10 feet from neighboring properties, according to planners.

The average lot in the west Glendale neighborhood is 5,500 square feet--large enough to keep one horse. But planners have said about half of the 43 lots would require major modifications for horse-keeping.

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