SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Dozens of horses in South San Jose are in danger of becoming homeless due to the possible sale of one of the last of its kind grazing ranches.
The Lakeview Stables on McKean Road near Calero Reservoir is 135 acres of barns, corrals, hills and open pastures where horses can graze on natural grasses and run.
“This is like going back to nature, like the old west almost in the sense that the horses get up on the hills and they run free,” said Carol Burke, who boards her horse at the stables. “You can’t find this anywhere.”
Like other ranches in the South Bay that have slowly been sold off over the decades, Lakeview could soon face the same fate.
“It’s absolutely devastating. Absolutely devastating,” said Hannah Spodick, another boarder who rescued her horse Fiero from an abusive situation and made a home for him here.
She doesn’t know where Fiero and his stable mates would go if this was closed.
“We have 70 horses trying to be re-housed in the Bay Area. That’s just tough,” said Spodick.
The owner of the land put the ranch up for sale last summer. Santa Clara County was immediately interested, but only to connect its park and trail system.
“We want to make a trail that connects between Calero County Park and Santa Teresa County Park,” said Santa Clara County Parks spokesperson Tamara Clark. “There’s mountain bike riding, there’s hiking, so people can enjoy it.”
If the sale goes through, the county would demolish the buildings and clear the land. The county says the old wooden barns and other buildings have fallen into disrepair and would be too expensive to restore.
“It would require 9 to 15 million dollars in improvements to be made to bring it up to a county standard,” Clark said.
But stable operator Jan Kearny is hoping for some sort of compromise where the stables could be restored through private donations.
“The county could take half of the land. If we had 70 acres, we could still do what we do and they could still have the trails go through,” Kearny said. “They could get what they want and we get what we want. We would be preserving the horse era. That would be gone if this goes.”
The owner of the property, who reportedly lives at least part time in China, was not available for comment.