Malibu Surfside News

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Deer Creek Area Residents to Protest Proposal for Tiger Facility at Ranch

• Up to Five Big Cats to Be Housed at Site

BY BILL KOENEKER


Just when Deer Creek area residents thought it was safe to go back out into the blackened burned landscape, neighbors have found out a Pacific View Road property owner has applied for a conditional use permit to keep wild tigers on the property for filming purposes in the entertainment industry, according to Ventura County documents.
“After the recent fire, the last thing our neighborhood needs is 700 pound Siberian Tigers,” said one homeowner, who did not want his name used.
The CUP is sought to keep up to five tigers in an enclosure that will be eight-foot high chain-link fence with chain-link roofs.
“We intend to send a letter of protest to the case planner, to county official[s], to the local head of the National Park Service and to the Chief of the Ventura County Fire Department,” reads a daisy chain email obtained by the Malibu Surfside News. “Don’t forget the bad experience that our neighborhood had with a similar situation. The facility on Yerba Buena housed several chimps, exotic snakes, a lion and exotic animals…at least one neighbor was bitten by the ‘tame lion.’”
The property currently consists of an existing residence, guest house, garage and barn with two water tanks totaling 11,200 gallons and a well.
“The applicant is proposing to build an eight-foot perimeter fence of 2338 feet in length, encompassing approximately 7.16 acres. The residence, garage and equine barn will be located within the perimeter fence area. This area was previously used for horses and is devoid of native vegetation.
“There will also be three animal enclosures and an arena within the perimeter fence area. This request includes the ability to increase fence height without a CUP modification.
“The enclosure will be eight-foot-high chain link fence with chain-link roofs. The arena chain-link fencing will be 16 feet in height. The arena fence will be 556 feet in length and will encompass 0.31 acres.
“There will also be a small shallow pool for the animals within the arena fence. The three enclosures will be 2400 square feet, 1334 square feet and 2400 square feet respectively,” according to the Ventura County planning document, which goes on to state the pool will be 432 square feet and approximately four-feet deep.
All of the trees in the arena area are pepper trees, and no protected trees will be affected by the project, according to the applicant.
In letters of protest sent to Ventura County officials, including Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, residents say they strongly protest the application. “This is not a wild animal park, this is a residential community, and we strongly protest bringing big cats into the neighborhood and putting the safety of our children and pets at risk.”
The applicant told county planners members of the public will not be permitted on site and there will be no additional employees other than the property owners and their immediate family.
“The animals will enter and exit the property by vehicle through a series of gates. All fence height requirements are dictated by existing USDA and CDFG approved permits,” the application states.

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