Planning and Zoning Guide for Horse Friendly Communities

Since land is saved locally, it is vital that horsemen understand the basics of planning and zoning and how this impacts horse keeping, breeding, competing and recreating, as well as equine related businesses in their communities, in order to retain access to horses and enjoy their benefits.

by Christine Hughes, AICP


Planning and Zoning Guide for Horse Friendly Communities


Purpose of this Guide

Horsemen and community members must understand the planning and zoning process and learn to participate in order to include favorable equine language in plans and ordinances. Planning and zoning decisions can affect how land is taxed, what it may be used for, and which standards and regulations are applied to it. These regulations determine not only whether individuals may keep horses on their own property, but also whether horses have access to community parks and trails.

Ignoring the planning and zoning process will inevitably lead to lands and access lost to horsemen through poorly planned development and citizen’s unfamiliarity with livestock, agriculture and the benefits of open land.

Some people are excited about the community planning process. Those folks can be found serving on government planning committees and councils, and they virtually glow with anticipation when it’s time for the comprehensive plan to be developed or updated.

So why is it necessary to stick your nose in where ‘they’ know best?

Published January 2015

About the Author

Visionary community engagement and policy specialist with a background in directing and implementing strategies to achieve policy goals, tracking and reporting on policy issues, engaging interest groups and local/regional government agencies, change-management processes, and ordinance, plan, and policy development; focused on building relationships and collaborative communications across various levels of government and stakeholder groups.

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