Agoura Horse Property wrote this article to encourage homeowners to apply for a permit to sanction their non-permitted horse facitlities, at least temporarily. It's been 9 months since a few people applied for their Special Compliance Permit as part of the Local Coastal Plan. 9 months later, the county has not approved a single application. Hoax? Scam? Keep your $10,000+ and then bust you anyway?
This was the original article:
Do you have unpermitted horse facilities in the Coastal Zone? Time is running out for amnesty under the Local Coastal Program. The deadline for application submittal is October 10, 2016. There are a lot of different application materials required, so it is important to allow 3-4 months lead time to get all of the materials together.
All horse facilities in the Coastal Zone must comply with the LCP, or the property owner can be subject to zoning enforcement actions. This provision of the Los Angeles County Local Coastal Program (LCP) for the Coastal Zone seeks to legitimize horse facilities, even if they would ordinarily violate the LCP. Under the Special Compliance Program, improvements can be allowed even if they do not conform regarding setbacks from creeks or native plant and wildlife habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains. Facilities built between 1977 and 2001 are eligible for a Special Compliance Program permit.
If property owners can mitigate any effects on the environment, and they pay a fee of $10,196, they can get a temporary hold on enforcement for eight years. The homeowner can renew this hold for two additional eight-year terms. After 24 years, under the LCP, they will be required to restore habitat to its original condition (as it was before horse keeping).
A payment plan has been established to allow applicants applying for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) under the Special Compliance Program to pay the required fees in installments. Fees will be collected in installments over 12 months.
Los Angeles Planning Department worked for over a decade with the Coastal Commission on this compromise that would allow homeowners to keep their horses in coastal communities of Topanga, Monte Nido, and the canyons of Malibu. Although the county doesn't intend to seek out people who do not apply for the temporary permit, the county will have the right to enforce full compliance. Having an un-permitted, non-exempt horse facility could affect the resale prospects for a property.
All of the people who I've asked about the outcome of their application under the Special Compliance Program say they had no problem obtaining approval. Some people were able to prove that their horse facility existed before 1977 (pre-Coastal Commission), in which case the county will issue a letter stating that the homeowner is forever exempt from enforcement. The feedback is positive, with people saying that they felt that they could trust the staff at Los Angeles County Planning Department to guide them to a successful outcome.
Tony Shafer (AShafer285@aol.com) is an independent geographic information scientist who may be hired to help demonstrate whether a structure existed pre-1977. If the horse corrals are on a steep slope, close to a stream, or close to habitat, an analysis by a biologist and oak tree consultant may be advisable.
For more information, visit the One-Stop Center for a free consultation:
26600 Agoura Rd. Ste 110 Calabasas, CA
Or contact Josh Huntington 213 974-6462, or Marie Waite 818 880-3799.
Or email: HFP@planning.lacounty.gov