Equestrian center project proposal in Quail Canyon ignites neighbors’ concerns

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By Todd R. Hansen
McNaughton Media

Plans for a horse boarding and riding project at Double T Ranch on Quail Canyon Road have drawn concerns from neighbors in the area.

At the top of that list is wildfire — neighbors say the canyon is already a dangerous and difficult evacuation situation for residents and animals, as the project could add as many as 48 more horses.

“We have had several major fires out here,” said Liann Stubblefield, who lives off of Pleasants Valley Road, about a quarter-mile from the canyon entrance, adding horses and other livestock died or were severely injured during the LNU Lightning Complex Fire.

She said the one thing that burned at her place was a manure pile from her three horses. She said it was located in the middle of a dirt area, so an ember must have hit and it went up. She said this project calls for 48 horses.

“For those who chose to evacuate during the LNU fire, it was a problem,” Stubblefield said, noting how difficult it was to get livestock out, or even know where to go.

Water supply, noise and the extra lights — and their potential impact on neighbors — are other concerns that also have been raised.

Tina Tomei has a conditional use permit application going through the Solano County planning process.

It calls for two covered riding arenas — the largest being 18,000 square feet — three training pens, three barns to house 48 horses, a ranch shop and storage structures and a caretaker’s home on 47.7 acres at 8325 Quail Canyon Road. No horse shows are planned, Senior Planner Nedziene Ferrario said.

Tomei was not available for comment. A call to the project architect was not returned.

A community meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the county Events Center, 601 Texas St., in downtown Fairfield.

The property is zoned Agriculture with a minimum lot size of 160 acres. The proposed project is an allowed use with a conditional use permit, Ferrario said.

The total acreage of the ranch was not immediately available.

The Solano County Planning Commission would have to approve the permit. There is no commission date set for consideration of the project, nor has a timeline for environmental review been established.

That section of Quail Canyon Road is a private, two-lane road. Ferrario said access to and from a second private road may also be available for the ranch, but that has not been confirmed.

Stubblefield said Solano County is not prepared for these kinds of events, and if the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is taxed to the point it cannot send resources — which happened during the LNU fire — then the situation only gets worse.

Neighbors also expressed their frustration over what they consider the lack of information that has been released about the project.

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