A two-year fight to keep a tie to Millbrae’s rural past intact appears to be over.
Despite the efforts of a group of horse owners who had the support of council member, among others in the community, a cooperative horse stable tucked away in the Peninsula hillsides will soon close.
Skyline Stables, a Millbrae institution for more than 60 years that sits on land owned by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, will soon be forced out of its 13-acre parcel by the SFPUC, Millbrae councilmember Gina Papan told Patch.
“It’s regrettable because they've been there so many years,” Papan said. “They were good, sustainable property users and it was nice to have that element in Millbrae.
"Some were trained (in rescue) and having them close by is a benefit. During times of emergency you never know when those horses might come in handy”
Skyline Stables has been struggling to remain at its current location since 2010, when a proposed SFPUC water storage tank project triggered an notice.
The horse stable owners had sought to build a new stable, but it became apparent that the hurdles to rebuild were too steep.
Skyline Stables President Christine Hanson has notified the council that the group has given up.
Hanson said in an email to Papan that the group had considered building smaller stables, but that didn’t appear to be a workable option because it would have required fewer members contributing to the same SFPUC rent.
They consulted with an environmental planning group (TRA Enviro) that worked on the city’s storm processing plant on the permitting process, but in the end it became apparent that the cost of a full Environmental Impact Report that would have bolstered their permitting chances was prohibitive.
“Those factors, combined with the time limit in our agreement with SFPUC running out, combined to work against us,” Hanson said in the email.
“We are still looking to try to put something together, perhaps on a private property in Woodside. But, it looks like we’ve unfortunately lost the chance to keep horses in Millbrae.”
Papan said losing the stables is sad day for Millbrae.
“It’s symbolic of our history and the community as a whole,” she said. “(The horses) are still in our community, they're still going to be in San Mateo County, but to have them in Millbrae I thought was a nice aspect of our community and a benefit to the community with the easy access to trails right there so people could get out there and ride.”
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