The Glendale City Council on Tuesday voted to expand horse-keeping zones in a west Glendale neighborhood, but widened the area only to include four of 43 houses being considered.
The vote represented a partial victory for residents on both sides of the issue.
The council rejected a proposal to expand the zone to 43 more properties, to the relief of residents who complained that horse manure, flies and odor would degrade the area. But council members voted 4 to 1 in favor of another proposal that allows horse keeping at four of the houses, partially appeasing equestrian enthusiasts who wanted new zones throughout their six-acre neighborhood.
"It's a shame," said Sheri Robinson, a resident of the area whose property already is zoned for horses. "Why inhibit somebody who has a big enough lot to keep a horse? But I'm happy that the four got passed."
The west Glendale area is a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood near Griffith Park, the park's Equestrian Center, and several private stables and feed stores. It includes the 1400 blocks of Garden, Randall, Fairfield and Lake streets between Sonora and Davis avenues.
The four houses rezoned Tuesday for horses are on the south side of Randall next to properties already zoned for horses. Those properties are separated from Garden Street by an alley, which is used to store manure dumpsters and as an entrance for horse riders.
Council members who supported the proposal for limited expansion said they believed that only the lots with access to the alley could reasonably keep horses without disturbing their neighbors.
"I personally feel it's inappropriate for the other two blocks to be given a horse overlay because of the small lots and lack of access to an alley," Councilman Jerold Milner said.
In an unusual move, Mayor Larry Zarian and Councilwoman Ginger Bremberg initially voted against rezoning just the four houses and backed the second proposal to expand the zoning to all 43 properties, which Councilmen Richard Jutras, Carl Raggio and Milner voted against.
But after both measures failed to get four of the five council votes needed to pass, Bremberg asked that the proposal for limited expansion be reconsidered and then reversed her vote. Zarian again voted against the proposal.
"Since we have reached an impasse and we are very firm in our positions, I'll be the one to say four lots are better than none," Bremberg told the other council members.
Residents who petitioned the city in February to rezone the entire area had argued that expanding horse-keeping zones would raise property values and establish the neighborhood as one of the last "ranchos" in Los Angeles.
"We are spending all our energy trying to keep a few people, maybe two or three, from keeping a horse in their back yard," Jane McVay, a Fairfield Street resident, told council members Tuesday. "I'm not putting a horse in my back yard, but I'll welcome any because I think they'll be great neighbors."
But several other residents complained that broad rezoning for horses would cause problems with manure, flies, odor and privacy. They also said they feared that their property values would suffer.
"We love our properties too, with our small surroundings, but we use them for gardening and other outdoor deals," said Edward Schneider, a Randall Street resident. "You bring more horses in, you bring more problems."
The Planning Commission in July voted against allowing horses throughout the west Glendale area. City staff recommended only limited rezoning, saying most of the lots appeared to be too small and, without access to an alley, inadequate for keeping horses.
Residents of the four houses affected by the zoning change are required to provide a minimum of 3,000 square feet per horse and to keep it in a stable 35 feet from the rear of the lot and 10 feet away from neighboring properties, according to city staff.
All the lots are large enough to keep at least one horse, but some may require back-yard structures to be removed or modified, city planners said.