Posted: 12/04/2009 09:51:25 PM PST
Updated: 12/04/2009 09:51:25 PM PST
PACIFICA — A ranch owner has run afoul of city, state and federal laws by building several horse structures without a permit and endangering local wildlife habitat by illegally filling a creek with construction debris, according to officials.Millard Tong founded Millwood Ranch four years ago, a 166-acre horse boarding and riding facility tucked into the hills behind Pacifica's Linda Mar neighborhood. In the past year and a half, he has received five stop-work orders from Pacifica building officials for illegal construction work, ranging from July 2008 to November 2009. Tong finally halted his construction work on Nov. 4 after city officials arrived with police officers, according to city officials.
The most serious violation at Millwood Ranch involved the illegal dumping of soil in an 85-foot stretch of sensitive creek bed in violation of the federal Clean Water Act. This prompted a cease-and-desist order from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in late October and could make Tong liable for serious fines and cleanup requirements.
Other work on the ranch involved grading a hillside, constructing roads, and moving vast amounts of earth without a permit, according to local and state officials. These and other problems have resulted in a flurry of site visits and enforcement letters from the California Department of Fish and Game and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.