Residents Voice Concern Over Proposed Ridgeline Development – Calabasas, CA Patch

Residents Voice Concern Over Proposed Ridgeline Development

A scope meeting at the Topanga Community House asked local area residents for their input on a 40,000 acre project, which is proposed to be constructed along Calabasas’ scenic pathway.

Residents from both sides of Calabasas Peak’s ridgeline gathered at the Topanga Community House on Wednesday and voiced concerns about a proposed project that includes the development of four 6,000-square-foot homes along the popular scenic pathway.

The project, which includes the four proposed parcels and the installation of a 277,000 gallon water tank, would be located southwest of the intersection of Calabasas Peak Motorway and Old Topanga Canyon Road, said Lloyd Zola, an environmental impact report (EIR) consultant on the project, who is under the supervision of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning. The location of the parcels would be approximately 690 feet from Old Topanga Canyon Rd.

The EIR, a report that’s required by state government, will examine the physical changes and environmental impacts of the proposed project and is a key determinant in the county’s final decision on the fate of the development.

Wednesday night’s meeting was a discussion about what nearby residents would like to see investigated in the project’s EIR.

According to the proposal, each home would be built on four separate 10-acre parcels and would also require the paving and widening of the motorway, which is frequented by local hikers, mountain cyclists and equestrians. Also, the project would remove 45,000 cubic yards of dirt from the project site, said Rudy Silvas of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

The removal of the dirt from site would require 4,500 truckloads, which are equal to 9,000 journeys from the site near Old Topanga Canyon Road, Silvas said. The trucks would most likely move through the Old Topanga Canyon community of Calabasas.

At the meeting, residents voiced concerns and expressed suggestions on a number of issues, including fire safety, the threat of landslides, visual impacts, traffic hazards, protection of local fauna and flora and other issues.

Many homeowners were especially alarmed about the proposed water tank and expressed concern that it might lead to further development along the scenic ridgeline.

“I have been hiking these trails for over 40 years and pretty soon we might as well have trail moving through Beverly Hills,” said resident Cynthia Maxwell. “We will have all these 6,000- and 7,000-square-foot homes and we won’t have the experience of nature that we truly want to have . . . it slowly is being eroded by these types of developments.”

Approvals requested by the developers, Crown Park Holdings, LLC, Red Label, LLC, Elite Brands, LLC and Mar Vista Holding, LLC, include a conditional use permit to allow grading of more than 5,000 cubic yards on each parcel, a variance for the development of a significant ridgeline and an oak tree permit to allow encroachment into a protected oak tree zone, according to county documents.

However, additional requirements may be added into the draft EIR based on what environmental impacts the public requests to be inspected, said Mi Kim, head of Zoning Permits West of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

“We have culture, too. … It’s a rural culture,” said Mary Ellen Strote, a Calabasas area resident. “This [project] is urbanization”

The deadline for public suggestions for the project is Sept. 15.

To view the proposed plans and any other documents related to the project, click here.

Residents and others can submit comments via mail by sending them to the attention of Rudy Silvas at the Department of Regional Planning, 320 W. Temple St., Room 1348, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Also, comments can be sent via fax to 213-626-0434 or emailed to rsilvas@planning.lacounty.gov.

After the draft EIR is completed, there will be a 45-day public review period. Consequently, the proposal will then move to a series of county planning commission hearings for further comments from the public.

What are you thoughts on the possible development along the Calabasas scenic pathway?

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