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New horse ownership regulations

Escambia County Commissioners have voted to make an amendment to an ordinance in the county's land development code.
The change would mean people could start building stables on smaller pieces of land.
One stable owner and a horse back rider has mixed feelings on the change.

Plenty of walking and running space, even a place to bask in the Sunday sun. This horse is one of several who lives at the  Pensacola Riding Center in Escambia County.

"I think it's very important to have land for the horses. They need it to move," says Gerard Kirsch

Gerard Kirsch has done a lot over the past 19 years to make his 12 acre piece of property into the ideal location to raise, board and train horses.
He says there are pro's and con's to changing an ordinance in the county's land development code for stables.

"Sometimes people can't afford to have a lot of land so i am for everything that makes the horse population go up."

Commissioners voted to remove the 100 thousand square foot lot size requirement for stables and adopted a two acre requirement.

Jennifer Bamford has been riding horses for more than 20 years. She thinks 2 acres may be too small of a requirement in some cases.

"One horse needs a  minimum of 1 acre and then you need space to ride on top of that," she says.

Under the new ordinance, stables must also be more than 50 feet from any property line and more than 130 feet from an adjacent residence.

"There are good neighbors and bad neighbors. Some people say they don't like horses but they don't know why," says Gerard Kirsch.

The county says the changes were made to bring the stable regulations in-line with the county's land development code. It's important to note- stables that were previously approved will be grandfathered in.

The new regulation will apply to residential and commercial properties.