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BEACH: SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

Panel Says Nay to Plans for Stables

March 28, 1998|SUSAN DEEMER

A proposed equestrian center on a city-owned field would lead to jobs for the needy if one church has a say.

Ocean Hills Community Church is seeking to build and operate the center, citing the chance to provide jobs for the needy helped through the congregation's outreach program.

"The next step for us is let's get these people out of this food line and into a work line," said Mark Beimford, president of Ocean Hills Outreach Inc. "This is the reason why we want to operate the equestrian center."

But so far the city isn't buying.

A city advisory committee studying the equestrian center plan recently rejected the church's proposal and three others--including one from Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates.

All four proposals required the city to invest $100,000 to $400,000 in sewer and water lines, electrical connections and other infrastructure needs.

"The committee rejected all four because the city is unwilling to spend public funds for the stables," City Manager George Scarborough said.

A final decision on the proposals will be made by the City Council at its April 7 meeting.

The city recently agreed to consider a stables project to help accommodate about 150 horses displaced from Creekside Equestrian Center, a private stable that was recently sold.

Horse owners, who were told to leave Creekside by June 30, said they have been unable to find open stalls in Orange County. So the city agreed to seek bidders to construct stables on a portion of a 55-acre parcel it owns at Camino Capistrano and Junipero Serra Road.

The council also is considering allowing existing stables to house more horses per acre to deal with the shortage.

The April 7 council meeting will be at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto.

Information: (714) 493-1171.

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