Special use permits approved for Vaughn equestrian center

406 Arena was approved for two special use permits during Thursday’s county Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting.

Jessica and Dusty Fryberger purchased the 180-acre property off U.S. 89 in Vaughn a few months ago and have been working to restore and improve the property that had been steadily declining, according to supporters of the project on Thursday.

Now that their special use permits are approved, the Frybers can move forward with their planned events this month and begin opening the facility to the public.

The ZBOA was originally scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on the SUP applications on Sept. 20, but a lack of quorum pushed the hearing to Oct. 4.

The property had been violating county weed rules under previous ownership and the Frybergers have submitted a week management plan and been mowing to get the vegetation under control.

“We’re doing our best to take over a really bad situation,” Jessica Fryberger said.

The Frybergers plan to offer horse boarding, events, shows, clinics and competitions. The property also has indoor and outdoor arenas that are available for scheduled open riding times and facility rental, according to the Fryberger’s website for what is now called 406 Arena.

Jessica Fryberger said during Thursday’s meeting that they have a waiting list of about 30 people for horse boarding and at least 15 for open riding.

A neighboring couple in the residential area submitted letters to the county sharing their concerns related to the proximity of the corrals and grazing on the manmade dyke on the property.

Jessica Fryberger told ZBOA members on Thursday that they are moving the corrals to add some distance to the residential area and make space for a landscaping buffer. She said they have no plans to pasture animals on the dyke.

She said that they’ve been cleaning out the existing corrals that have year’s worth of waste and are implementing a strict waste control program to ensure corrals and the entire facility are regularly cleaned and minimize any smell.

No one spoke in opposition to the SUPs during the meeting.

Several supporters of the project told the ZBOA members that currently, the property is a negative in the community and the Fryberger’s plan to improve and utilize the property would benefit the community in terms of offering things to do, places to board/ride horses, attracting visitors and potentially adding jobs for local youth.

Chris Hedstrom told the ZBOA that “they’ve made huge strides,” in improving the property and Cassidie Gasvoda said having a facility for housing horses and indoor riding would be beneficial to the area.

“Being able to ride year-round can do nothing but good,” Gasvoda said.