Cambria Community Services District directors have put a hold on a plan to install a temporary arena on the eastern part of Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.
The project had already been substantially pared down from a version presented during springtime public workshops.
Project plans included the use of a portable arena where riding lessons could be taken and summer camps offered to teach disabled children how to ride or work with or around horses.
Linda Finley, a backer of the plan, said at the June 28 CCSD meeting, “We’re not talking about trails. We’re talking about putting up a corral.”
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The program would be centered near the preserve’s eastern boundary, at the end of Rodeo Grounds Road.
CCSD directors didn’t think it was time to make a decision on the plan, they said, because the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve Master Development Plan, Conditional Use Permit and environmental impact report (EIR) are working their way through the county planning system. The report includes a list of amenities that could someday be provided in a community park on East Ranch.
Director Gail Robinette said, “Are we literally putting the horse before the cart? It’s absolutely clear to me that, yes we are. We need to have an approved EIR as the first step,” and then consider a revised equestrian plan later.
The directors voted unanimously to continue their consideration of the issue, telling project proponents to refine their proposal and wait to submit it again until the ranch documents have been approved.
The dozen members of the public who waited three hours to speak on the equestrian proposal were evenly split between opponents and proponents. —Kathe Tanner