Controversial Barn Expansion in Arcadia Undergoes Public Review

The proposed construction would include a manure transfer facility between Gates 5 and 6. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

Public comment session closes Sept. 10

By Terry Miller

Santa Anita Park proposes to expand horse stabling and ancillary services on the 36-acre North Parking Lot, off of Colorado Place between Gates 5 and 6. The development would be comprised of nine canopy-style barn structures which would house up to 816 stalls for horses, 70 tack and 70 feed storage bins, 36 office spaces, an employee café and recreation area, and a two-story 27,360-square-foot grooms’ building housing 104 dormitory units. Also included is a 14,450-square-foot covered manure transfer facility.

Peter Sun and Nicole Morece said Arcadia, as lead agency, has determined the project may have a “Significant effect on [the] environment,” therefore requiring an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

Santa Anita Park has been in its current location since 1934. It includes a grandstand building that features restaurants and other guest-related service facilities; pedestrian plazas in front of the grandstand building and in the middle of the racetrack; a service yard; large expanses of surface parking; and horse barns on the western portion of the property.

The project site is surrounded by the facility—as described above—to the south and west, and Colorado Place to the east. Offsite land uses northeast of Colorado Place include mixed commercial, office, institutional, and residential uses such as Santa Anita Church, the Kindegarten–eight Barnhart School, The Village apartments, Motel 6, Peppers Mexican Grill & Cantina, and office buildings. The nearest residences are located approximately 180 feet northeast, across Colorado Place on Santa Rosa Road. The nearest school, Barnhart School, is directly across Colorado Place from the project site but the school’s main access is from Colorado Boulevard to the north.

Draft application materials describing the project are available at the City of Arcadia Planning Division .The city welcomes input and comments regarding preparation of the EIR. The Notice of Preparation (NOP) and Initial Study are available for a 30-day public review period which ends Sept. 10, 2018. Pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15082, responsible and trustee agencies and other interested parties, including members of the public, must submit any comments in response to this notice no later than 30 days after receipt of the notice.

The proposed project would provide 721 parking spaces and 10 trailer spaces. The existing Colorado Battery would be relocated to the southeast portion of the project site. The proposed barn structures would be state of the art—similar to those constructed at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.—and designed, per the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, to be compatible with and complement the historic and aesthetic character of Santa Anita Park’s grandstand.

The under-roof area of the barns would vary depending on the number of stalls, but each would be a minimum of 16,320-square-feet and a maximum of 31,960-square-feet, with elevations of approximately 38 feet. These canopy structures would be designed to minimize co-mingling of roof runoff with runoff from the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) production areas. Roof runoff (with appropriate roof filters) would be directed to the flood control channel, as under existing conditions. Runoff from the CAFO production areas (surface runoff) would be collected into retention structures, treated, and re-used onsite.

The addition of new barns would facilitate up to two sales events per year, with approximately 300 horses being present, together with breeders, owners, and purchasers. Horse racing days are also expected to increase in the future by up to 40 days per year.

The proposed project would include use of a forklift and manure baler in its daily operations. Additionally, an onsite truck would also be used daily to collect the manure from its bins and transport it to the onsite manure transfer facility. Manure would be transported daily in a single load to Monterey Mushrooms, approximately 333 miles north in Morgan Hill, Calif.

September 6, 2018

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