HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) --In one Alameda County neighborhood, horses are welcome, but some residents are questioning how many horses are too many. Horse owners and other residents took their issue to a special commission meeting held at Hayward City Hall.
The Fairview District is just outside the city of Hayward. Resident Claude Davis says the Alameda County ordinance for horse owners has been stretched too far.
"The smell in the summer is just awful. The flies, there are just too many," Davis said.
The zoning law allows for two horses per acre. Over the years, the county let some neighbors have as many as 10 horses, which has prompted complaints about manure run-off during storms and illegal horse boarding.
"When we moved here, we purchased this home, we worked so we could have the animals. And now, they say the county has made a mistake," Fairview resident Hilda Zendejas said.
At a special zoning meeting five residents asked for conditional use permits to have between five and 10 horses on their property.
"The county has continued to involve our entire community, whether we like it or not, creating tension between neighbors," Fairview resident Brenda Park said.
Both sides blame the county for misinforming the horse owners and bending the ordinance.
Alameda County Senior Planner Phil Sawrey-Kubicek he'd not sure how these people were informed.
As of 11 p.m., the Alameda County zoning board has denied three of the five permit requests. That means the homeowners have 180 days to remove the extra horses from their property.