Equestrians defend stables

first_imgPICO RIVERA – Horse owners who board their animals at a stable targeted for closure by the city are refusing to simply ride off into the sunset. The boarders, who have formed the Pico Rivera Equestrian Boarders Association to fight the eviction, say they will not honor the city’s notice to vacate the Pico Rivera Stables, which are scheduled to close June 30. That could set up a showdown between the equestrians and the city, after City Council members Tuesday refused to push back the closing date. “I’m going to buy my hay, feed my horses and stand my ground,” said Susan Cermak, who boards two horses at the stables, which are next to the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway. “We may have to take legal action,” he said. Council members refused to push back the June 30 closing date, saying they already have given owners 110 days notice of the closure, far more than the required 30 days, Ramirez said. “We feel like we have been generous with the amount of time we have given them,” he said. Cermak said the city should provide money for the owners to relocate. “It would be nice if they could do that, because we are going to be homeless and tying our horses up at the riverbed,” she said, referring to the nearby San Gabriel River. Councilman Gregory Salcido said the city has no legal obligation to pay the boarders to relocate. “This is not an eminent domain situation,” he said. “Our relationship is with Ventura \, the company that runs the stables and Sports Arena for the city, not the tenants,” he said. Council members voted March 7 to close the stables. Officials said the city no longer could meet tough federal Environmental Protection Agency requirements to keep the facilities open. Officials also said the city is losing $14,000 a year operating the stables. Officials on Wednesday reiterated their plans to demolish the stables after June 30. Still on the table is an agreement with a developer to build a golf course on the property, but the developer so far has not presented any plans to the city, said city spokesman Bob Spencer. He also flatly denied a rumor circulated among some residents that a gaming casino is being planned for the stables property. “It could not be used for that. That is just not true,” he said. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsAbout half of the 90 boarders who kept their 163 horses at the stables moved out even before the city issued the closure notices in March. The remaining boarders are refusing to budge, saying the city must first provide them with documents showing why they must move. The group has requested from the city financial statements, a copy of the city’s original agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the property, and environmental documents. They also have requested to view plans for any pending or future development of the property, said Tonja Frederickson, who boards her horse, Bubbles, at the stables. She said the owners requested the documents “because we are so far not getting any concrete reason from the city on why they are doing this.” Mayor Pete Ramirez said Wednesday the city may have to force the owners out. last_img