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Local News in Brief : Horizons of Calabasas Cityhood Unit Expand

Proponents of a new city of Calabasas at the west end of the San Fernando Valley said Wednesday night that they are considering asking nearby Santa Monica Mountain residents to join them.

Members of a 2-month-old incorporation study committee said they mighty be willing to double the size of their proposed city to include the rural communities of Monte Nido and Cold Creek.

Committee members meeting in Calabasas Park said the resulting 14-square-mile, irregularly-shaped city might have a population of 12,000.

But Ruth Benell, executive director of the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission, urged committee members to be cautious in drawing potential city boundaries.

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Benell, whose agency evaluates cityhood proposals to ensure their financial viability, told homeowners that fire-protection expenses for undeveloped wildland could outstrip tax revenues generated by urbanized areas.

She also disclosed that an industrial and commercial section of Calabasas that the homeowners had counted on as a source of revenues will not be available to them if they decide to incorporate. Benell said that this area, north of the Ventura Freeway at Parkway Calabasas, has already been included within a newly established Hidden Hills City sphere of influence, a first step toward annexation.

Committee member Betty Noling said each Calabasas-area homeowner group would be asked to contribute $100 to help defray the $2,200 cost of filing incorporation papers with the county. Signatures of at least 25% of Calabasas’ 7,000 registered voters would be needed to initiate the incorporation process.


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