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24 July 2017

Embracing and Preserving Milton’s Equestrian Roots

Written by Mayor Joe Lockwood

In Milton, we’re focused on preserving what makes our community so special — our rural character and our equestrian heritage. Over the last eight months, the Milton City Council has taken steps to not only preserve but also to stimulate our equestrian community by creating a dedicated committee to represent this unique community segment.

Following a series of committee appointments by Council members, the Milton Equestrian Committee is staffed, and I’m pleased to report they officially held their first meeting back in May. We’ve assembled an incredible group of dedicated volunteers — the best of the best when it comes to equestrian knowledge — and it’s safe to say they’ve hit the ground running. As a horse owner myself, I’m honored to have this group representing me and my fellow equestrian neighbors, and I look forward to supporting their efforts.

In addition to exploring innovative ways to create a thriving equestrian community, we’ve tasked this committee with addressing a number critical topics: zoning as it relates to the contemporary farmer, horse safety and welfare, trail planning, equestrian economic development opportunities, and networking and resource assistance.

We’ve asked the committee to examine our current zoning codes as they pertain to an actual functioning farm and to determine whether our zoning adequately serves the modern-day farmer. We’ve also tasked the committee with addressing horse safety and welfare, which includes noise considerations, traffic-related concerns, and barn safety with assistance from the Milton Fire and Rescue Department.

In addition, the committee will play an integral role in soliciting equestrian input for the City’s master trail planning process. We want to ensure that we’re incorporating riding trails and considering the needs of both horses and riders. The committee will also serve as a networking resource, connecting fellow horse owners with each other and connecting horse owners to needed resources and assistance.

Finally, the Milton Equestrian Committee also plays an important supporting role in assisting us with land conservation by advocating for the special needs of the equestrian community. By protecting and growing our existing horse population and finding ways to expand equestrian businesses, we are better positioned to help preserve Milton’s rural character. With all of us working together to support our agricultural and equestrian neighbors, we honor our rural roots and help fulfill the community’s vision.

My recent columns have focused on Milton’s first decade of operation, and there’s no doubt we’ve accomplished a lot together over the last ten years, but I, for one, am excited by what the future holds. Many equate growth exclusively with financial gains or new development; however, growth also comes from recognizing community assets, embracing strengths, maximizing potential, and adhering to a vision. And that’s just what we’re doing in Milton.

About the Author

Mayor Joe Lockwood

Mayor Joe Lockwood

Joe Lockwood is Mayor of Milton. 678-242-2500, CityofMiltonGA.us