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LOS ANGELES – Representatives of the homegrown Los Angeles Horse Council met with Los Angeles Equine Committee members Jan. 24, reviewing the LAHC’s effort for a “Equestrian Bill of Rights.”

The Bill of Rights is the LAHC’s set of equine specific precepts for use by city and county officials that, if adopted, will set in clearer course for equestrian lifestyle in the future.

“This Equestrian Bill of Rights is a guide and translation dictionary that will mandate and help all parties to speak the same language when anything equine is on the table,” said LAHC President Royan Herman.

Herman, Bill of Rights author and board member Fritz Bronner, and LAHC Treasurer Barbara Underwood delivered 4,000 signed “Bills” from people who support this effort to the committee presentation. The goal before appealing to the L.A. City Council is 5,000 signed copies, and the LAHC is working to accomplish that in the weeks ahead.
Exhibits also included a map of the 15 Council Districts in the city with plans for overlay pages, showing all equine-zoned land in the city.

“The Equestrian Bill of Rights has been printed to resemble our USA Bill of Rights,” said Herman. “One copy is mounted, and the second is a scroll tied with baling twine. The plan of the now joined L.A. Equine Advisory Committee and the Los Angeles Horse Council is to set up a major media event for introduction of the Bill.”

Herman plans for the bill to be delivered by stagecoach to the lawn of City Hall. She said the scroll will be unfurled and council members will be encouraged to sign at the bottom of the document, “much as our Founding Fathers did,” she adds.

Herman added that two council members have agreed to sign the document, and Councilman Paul Krekorian has spoken in public of his support for a yes vote on the future of the bill.

During a question-and-answer segment at the LAHC-L.A. Equine Advisory Committee meeting, discussion arose on an issue that Herman says “exemplifies why difficulties exist between equestrians and city/county departments such as Planning, Building and Safety, Zoning, Animal Control, Transportation, Sanitation, etc.”

It was brought out that a woman who kept horses on her RA1K property lost her right to keep her own horses on her land, and Herman said her horses were not licensed with the city. When a new neighbor pulled a permit to build a guest house, the permit was approved. Herman said the horseowner learned too late than she could not house her horses inside the required 35 feet from the new living structure. The horse-owner appealed and lost on the basis of her horses not having been licensed.

“There is not an RA1K lot in the horse community that cannot legally accommodate horses,” Royan said. “By this example, it becomes easy to see the value of the LAHC Equestrian Bill of Rights.”

Additional information on the LAHC and its Bill of Rights can be obtained at the website: http://www.losangeleshorsecouncil.org/.

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