• Petitioned City of San Diego

This petition was delivered to:

City of San Diego

Save Downing Stables and stop the land grab!

    1. Ray Fornario
    2. Petition by

      Ray Fornario

      Imperial Beach, CA

Not only will it force out 70 horses, but a number of these horses are rescue animals that would have been destroyed had the owner of the stable not rescued them and gave them a sanctuary. .
San Diego has more horses per capita then any county in the country. There are close to 700,000 horses in the state. The horse industry contributes 7 billion dollars a year to our economy. The California horse industry produces goods and services valued at 4.1 Billion dollars. The horse industry employs 130,200 jobs.  In this down economy, San Diego should be encouraging businesses, not putting them out of business. 

 The city has made the permit process so expensive, time consuming, confusing and difficult to get, that many equine businesses just move out of San Diego. The cost of a permit here in San Diego has risen to 1000 times higher then any other place in the state.  That can cost upwards of $300,000 dollars to complete the permit process just  to run a commercial stable!   Plus you have to comply with CEQA studies that takes years to complete and costs usually are over $100,000.
They even have initial "pre-application fee" of $11,000 and is "mandatory".

There has been a commercial horse boarding stable on this property for many decades and  the city didn't care.  Now all of a sudden  they want to make an example out of the owner for code compliance issues on another piece of her property, which have already been addressed.  Our stable is leased as a separate entity and the only compliance issue they are in violation of is not having the "elusive" permit.. 

In 2012 the city will change the code(supposedly) to make it easier for ranches to get a permit and open(almost none have them currently)and grandfather in the ones that are still running. 

The 70 year old owner goes to court on the 30th of this month to explain why she is in violation of her probation, for not obtaining the proper permits, and still allowing the stables to be open.  If they succeed in forcing her to close it will be the 3rd stable they will have closed in the immediate area, in the last few years.  

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 100 signatures
    2. I have spoken to our congressman and the city councilman

      Ray Fornario
      Petition Organizer

      They cannot help us. They believe this is a lost cause because it involves the legal system here in California. I told the congressman that it is only a lost cause if we don't do anything about it. I am trying to get as many signatures as possible to give the judge on November 30th and grant n injunction to stop the city from closing the stable and evicting the horses.

    3. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • almost 3 years ago

      I support this cause. Please also check out my petition to address human trafficking in the province of bc. http://www.change.org/petitions/minister-of-public-safety-and-solicitor-general-increase-octips-budget-to-750000-annually-and-rehire-robin-pike

    • Jeannette Plant JUNCTION CITY, OR
      • almost 3 years ago

      This stable helped me to deal with my career Navy Husband's long deployments, when he was stationed on a submarine at Point Loma. My friends and I enjoyed many hours on horseback exploring the nature preserve. This is one of the most charming ways of playing tourist in San Diego!!

    • Debbie Lewis KENTFIELD, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      We are losing too many equestrian properties, that are quite salvagable.

    • Jennifer Hogan SAN MARCOS, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I have been forced out of a stable in the past for the same reason. It was a well run facility with caring owners who could not afford the unnecessary improvements required by the county. We really had no need for a sidewalk behind the pasture, but to stay open it would have cost nearly $100,000.00 for the required improvements and the owners could not comply.

    • Diane Thomas LONG BEACH, CA
      • almost 3 years ago

      I used to board my horses in Long Beach, the area had low crime, and because most horse people required kids who hung around the stable to be polite and have adequate grades most kids stayed out of gangs and in school. Then developers wanted the land for hi rise condos (later abandoned) but the horses were gone now the tax base dropped because about 20 ticky-tacky houses went in along with gangs a soaring dropout rate and a high rate of teen pregnancies because there were no more safe supervised activities for kids in the neighborhood. I believe contact with all animals is good for people particularly children and communities should promote stables, dog parks and any other thing that promotes kindness and caring for animals which in turn promotes the same toward people,


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