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Altadena's Equestrian Future

Partipants at a Tuesday Altadena Community Visioning meeting on trails, bicycle and equestrian use stressed road safety as an important component of improving Altadena for horse users.

Altadena's Equestrian Future

Maintaining Altadena as an equestrian community was one of several topics discussed Tuesday at a local trails committee meant to gather input for county consultants charged with compiling a report on envisioning Altadena's future.

At the same meeting there will also and bike improvements in Altadena

The meeting was attended by community planner Mina Brown, a consultant with RBF Consulting, which has been hired by Los Angeles County Community Development Commission to get feedback for updating the zoning regulations in the Altadena Community Standards District.  RBF has been meeting with interest groups as well as holding visioning workshops for broader ideas on how to shape Altadena's future.

The importance of maintaining the character of Altadena as an equestrian community was emphasized by several people at the meeting.  Resident Marietta Kruells, who had prepared a report on equestrian use, said the county allows any property of more than 15,000 square feet to stable up to three horses. 

An additional overlay area bounded by Mariposa, Casitas, Altadena, and the Arroyo allows for a denser population of equines.

The lack of sidewalks and curbing “helps create a relaxed travel mode,” Kruells said.  Streets are shared by cars, bicycles, horses, and pedestrians, and where there are sidewalks, they are used by both people and horses. 

“The sidewalks are trails,” she stated.  She recalled “because the use was not considered” when the utility replaced the vault.

Kruells noted the popularity of the Loma Alta Equestrian Center and the numerous access points to mountain trails, urging that development of the trails take equestrian usage into consideration.  “…The master plan should embrace the rural heritage and protect the equestrian lifestyle including appropriate zoning,” she said.

“Altadena is not like other equestrian areas,” Paul stated.  “You can have a horse on a modest income.”  She mentioned that the Loma Alta Equestrian Center is busy in the evenings and weekends with people of diverse backgrounds.  “It’s part of the more agricultural history of this particular area.”

Setting aside part of the right-of-way for trails to be used by people and horses would raise property values, several participants opined, citing upscale communities such as Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes.  Priscilla Benson said, “Trails are not something that degrades a community.  They enhance a community.”

One danger spot—the bridge on Lincoln Avenue at Vllia Zanita Street, which has no pedestrian crossing-was identified as being unsafe for all horse users.  

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