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Valley Perspective

Chatsworth Equestrians

March 11, 2001

Re "Horse Owners Snort at Home Plan," Feb. 23.

Years ago, after horse owners had been pushed into the last small corner of the San Fernando Valley, they were promised by city government that this final refuge would remain horse country forever. Just to prove it, the city created a document called the Chatsworth / Porter Ranch General Plan.

If the general plan is adhered to, then Chatsworth remains horse country and all of the existing horse ranches are protected under its guidelines.

On the other hand, if the city allows a wealthy association of good old boys--Los Angeles City Councilman Hal Bernson; Mayor Richard Riordan; real estate developer and former airport commissioner and harbor commissioner Ted Stein; and Cardinal Roger Mahony--to have their way with the general plan, then several existing horse ranches will become illegal the instant the first shovel of dirt is lifted on Stein's proposed project.

During the last few days, I've had the opportunity to attend two neighborhood meetings to hear proposals for fighting the church and Stein. At one, held at Chatsworth train depot, several hundred people showed up and many opened their checkbooks to the Chatsworth Land Preservation Assn., one of the groups leading the charge against this general plan change. Other local groups that have rallied behind CLPA are the Chatsworth Equine Cultural Heritage Assn. and Equestrian Trails International.

It will be interesting to see if good can still triumph over evil in the shadow of the Santa Susana Mountains, where Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger once showed us the way.

JERRY ENGLAND

Chatsworth

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