The EqWine Relationship: Zoning for your Horses


We harvested our Cabernet grapes this past week!
Bella was as spooky as a black Halloween cat with the numerous white grape bins and workers' heads bobbing up and down amidst the vines, but she calmed down to get to work and help us harvest...


A great amount of equine law revolves around land use planning and zoning issues.  For example, zoning regulations can restrict the number of horses you can have on a particular acreage or parcel size.

Recently I have been working with an agricultural zoning case for a property with planned equestrian use. 
 In the particular county, a parcel zoned for agriculture allowed keeping your own horses, but a Zoning Permit was required to board other peoples horses.  And even if you didn't board other peoples horses but wanted to hold horse shows or equestrian events on the ag property, then a Use Permit would need to be obtained. 

Other permits we were dealing with:
Septic permit approval, building permits for barns and covered arenas, and approval of our manure management plan.

Another interesting property that I am working with is a horse property, but twenty percent of the property is reserved for "open space."  We've determined that the open space zoning would still permit some horse paddocks or a cross-country course, provided those uses would not interfere with the "natural condition of the property."

In general, horse boarding and training is not considered agricultural use of a property, but there are various permits and requests for zoning changes that might allow greater horse use.

Is your county strict with zoning? Or do they charge a horse ownership tax? (That's a real thing!)

{And speaking of EqWine, I was asked recently for some suggestions of horse related wines or wine labels.  Would you have any favorites to pass along to me? Thanks! }


Wolfie said...

It's an interesting topic. I am not sure, but I think that if you are zoned "agricultural" here in Ontario there are very strict rules as to your water supply, how you manage waste and pesticide use and to how you prepare your product and transport it for sale. I have no idea what type of zoning my BO has for her place. I think in her case, because she is a business that provides a "service", the rules are not as strict for her when it comes to zoning. She has her own water supply (well) and disposes of the manure on her property. At least 1/2 of her property is brush and treed. I wonder now if that is required under her type of zoning.

Corinna said...

All the hidden laws that we interact with on a daily basis, yet often fail to ever consider as we go about using properties restricted or controlled by zoning! (And water is an enormous issue in California- as it is in Ontario)

~ cheryl said...

My favorite horse-related winery is 14 Hands, located in Washington,
One of their popular blends is named 'Hot to Trot'. Very creative marketing campaign has made them very popular with the horsey set.

Corinna said...

Thank you Cheryl! I remembered there was one in Washington but couldn't remember the name. I'll have to look them up to see why its 14 hands/ the story behind the label. Does the taste match its marketing?