Recently, I received a survey card from the City of Milton.
Not one question was about the dying equestrian community. A question did cover “rural character”, but in today’s Milton, when a new subdivision constructs a black fence at the entrance, such is considered “rural character.”
Upon incorporation in 2006, all emergency vehicles had horse decals showcased. Today, only the fire trucks have it. Fire and police have a horse patch on their uniforms. Watch — that horse patch will drop off soon. There used to be the “Milton Round Up,” a festival with horse themes prominent. It too has died, with “Crabapple Fest” being the annual celebration.
Milton has blocked the presentation of the proposed horse protection ordinance “Liberty’s Law” (libertyslaw.blogspot.com) countless times even though other municipalities that don’t claim to be “an equestrian community” allowed its presentation. Since then, two horses have died due to fireworks and many others are terrorized due to fireworks and harassment.
The recent five year parks plan has no equestrian facilities included. Milton continues to spend millions on land with their Greenspace Bond money. Many of the few remaining horse farms are for sale and not one has been purchased for remaining equestrians hanging on. Check active horse farm listings, they are all open to a developer’s call. Over 70 percent of Milton is subdivisions now.
Economics sway decisions. For most, our property is our biggest asset. An area’s changing of the guard can have a dramatic effect. Horse farms, pastures, and serenity are the exact opposite of subdivisions, manicured lawns, noise pollution and related traffic. One is not better than the other, just completely different. To believe that both can co-exist is not reality.
Milton could have been the equestrian capital of Georgia if the powers offered incentives and related infrastructure out of the gate. Look at how Peachtree City became the golf capital of the state. However, a different road was taken and the end result is today. Have you seen Crabapple lately?
I encourage the dwindling demographic of land owners to unite and look out for one another. The City of Milton is pulling no punches trying to hold onto a falsehood, be it with tax incentives or illegal land rules, killing our property values and futures in the process. They ignore the reality that Milton is Dunwoody — light already with more change to come and not horse friendly. They have refused to give the equestrian lifestyle a voice, protection or support. All they do is wallpaper horse pictures on city letter head, signage and website. With such a facade and facts, why would any horse person want to stay or move here? Life is short and there is cheaper land offering true serenity elsewhere.
— Tim Enloe, Milton