There are two meetings this week that would be of interest to the local horse community.
Tonight, Nov 9th, the Equestrian Advisory group for the first time.
Tomorrow night, Nov 10th, there will be an open house to let you know about what is being discussed by the Rural Lands task force.
But before I go on more about those meetings, let me tell you that I am getting confused! I love the fact that our city and county officials are finally looking at making the area more horse friendly. The tough part is that there are so many groups and meetings that sound alike, I’m having a hard time keeping them straight - and I make it my business to keep up on these things. I have spent several hours figuring out the names of these task groups and what they are about. I hope this helps.
Like I have been saying for a bit now, I think the tide is turning and local governments are realizing the need for the citizens of our county to enjoy a ‘back to the land’ life style and are aligning the codes and zoning to facilitate that.
Urban Livestock Task Force (Urban Livestock review) has completed its job.
In response to a complaint about horses on small acreage in the Vancouver UGA and resulting concern from some that the County was going to restrict the keeping of horses on smaller parcels, the Board of Clark County Commissioners (BOCC) appointed a task force on urban livestock
The Board of Clark County Commissioners adopted an urban livestock ordinance at its hearing on October 6, 2009. The ordinance takes affect on November 1, 2009. The new ordinance is Section 40.260.235 of the Clark County Code.
The Rural Lands Task force is an ongoing group working on the Rural lands review
Current rural land zoning in the county was established in 1994 with the adoption of the County's first comprehensive plan under the Growth Management Act (GMA). The County has completed two comprehensive plan updates since then (2004 and 2007), but their focus has been on urban areas and how to accommodate projected growth.
After completion of the 2007 update of the Growth Management Act, the BOCC directed a review of rural lands.
The first phase is completed with task force recommendations listed here.
They are working at making our county more Ag friendly, perhaps even encouraging Ag use on appropriate land. If you have not taken the online survey that I talked about in a previous blog, click here to get your opinion counted. They are listening.
This is the new kid on the block and is also from the Community Planning people.
Equestrian advisory group was formed because of the interest shown by horse people in the Rural lands Review. (see they are listening)
Their first meeting will be tonight, Nov. 9th, and is open to the public.
The advisory group will help develop an equestrian plan focusing on the following elements:
• Equestrian trails
• Equestrian overlay district to supplement existing zoning
• Best management practices
• Economic development opportunities at the county fairgrounds
For more information, please contact Laurie Lebowsky in Community Planning at (360) 397-2280 ext. 4544 or e-mail Laurie.Lebowsky@clark.wa.gov.
The seven-member Equestrian Advisory Group will look at topics ranging from trails and events to zoning that could support equestrian-related housing developments.
Just to add one more element, the city of Vancouver has created the City of Vancouver - Urban Livestock Advisory Group. I am a member of this group and we have been meeting since the middle of August. We are working on possible code changes that would allow the raising of farm animals within the City limits. These would affect the residents of the City of Vancouver with an eye out for the folks in the Urban Growth Boundary that will become part of the city in the future.
OK, so I hope this makes the issues a bit clearer. Or if not, at least you know about the discussions going on in the area concerning our horse keeping.