A plan to expand allowable horse-riding facilities and opportunities on the open land of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve is to be presented to the Parks Recreation and Open Space Commission (PROS) at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 5. Public attendance and comment is encouraged.
This month’s regular PROS meeting will be at the Cambria Fire Department conference room, 2850 Burton Drive, because the primary election is being held in the meeting’s customary location at the Veterans Memorial Building.PROS is to make a recommendation to the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors, which would consider the equestrian proposal at a later date.
The ranch’s Master Environmental Impact Report and Development Plan currently is under review by county planners for a conditional use permit that’s needed for any future development of trails, community park or other projects.
Horseback riding is currently allowed on a case-by-case basis on the ranch, under the land’s management plan. The Cambria Community Services District’s ranch manager must give permission for each riding event.
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Riders usually trailer their horses onto East Ranch and ride under Highway 1 onto the West Ranch’s multi-use trails and the open areas.
Part of this proposal could expand those uses. But, separate from that, a proposed self-sustaining program would be centered near the ranch’s eastern boundary, where previous East Ranch residents’ kept their horses.
Under that portion of the plan, children, especially those with medical conditions or impairments, could take riding lessons at a weeklong camp to be held in a temporary, portable corral on East Ranch. Later, the same area and portable arena also could be utilized for special events, a riding schedule, riding lessons and equestrian activities for youth groups, using the existing bull pen for warming up.
PROS Commissioner Steve Kniffen said he’d like to see the latter use approved separately. “I’m for anything that can help a blind kid, or a sick kid,” he said, especially if the uses are temporary. Other portions of the proposal could be considered separately, Kniffen suggested.
Commissioner Joyce Renshaw said she believes the full equestrian proposal goes against the management plan. Commissioner Jeff Miller said he thinks no action should be taken at this time, because the master development plan is up for county approval.