As required by the city, horse manure composter has moved out of its 30-year location at the .
The move three miles east off of Ortega Highway outside of town, has structurally changed the business.
While company officials did relocate what didn’t sell during their version of March Manure Madness, they no longer have the ability to compost new material, said Joanne West, president and general manager.
“We had not accepted fresh manure since December 2011, when we knew we were being evicted,” she said. “So all of our existing material had time to compost, which takes several months to process, and was ready to sell.”
The new facility, at 31511 Ortega Highway on , however, isn’t set up for composting, West said.
“I was not given enough time/notification to acquire the site-specific permits necessary to run a composting operation at a new location,” she said. After her stockpile is gone, she’ll sell already prepared amendments.
Trouble for Sierra Soil began when the city bought the riding park in January 2010 as part of a much larger acquisition of 132 acres from landowner and developer . The city used bond money approved in a 2008 election which can only pay for land that houses recreational uses only.
When the San Juan Capistrano City Council extended the contract for sublessor Blenheim Facility Management, which operates the riding park, in December, the agreement called for Sierra Soil to vacate the property by March 31.
Old customers have made their way to the new location despite its off-the-beaten-path location, West said.
“It's encouraging that a few loyal customers have found us,” she said.