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CALABASAS : Development Plan Nearing Readiness

The creation of a plan for the future of private development and public works in the fledgling city of Calabasas has reached its final stages with the publication of a draft land use map and recommendations for traffic measures.

The Calabasas General Plan, which is non-binding, is meant to help city officials determine everything from where to preserve open space to where to widen roads and should be ready for public review by the end of the year, said Lloyd Zola, president of Planning Network, the city’s consultant.

The map and traffic guidelines give some idea of how the city’s approach to planning for the region will differ from that of Los Angeles County, which had jurisdiction over the area until Calabasas incorporated in 1991.

For example, the latest version of the Calabasas plan designates many areas near approved but unbuilt developments as open space. The county was more likely to rely on its negotiations with developers to preserve rural areas.

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“What we are trying to do is make the open space areas more explicit in our General Plan,” Zola said. “It helps give a guide to the city when someone comes back years later and asks to add to a development.”

The city must honor agreements made between developers and the county before 1991. But developers who change approved projects will be encouraged to comply with the new guidelines.

A guide for road improvements and other transportation decisions is expected to be approved within about a week, Zola said. It will highlight congested sections of the city’s main thoroughfares that need immediate attention.

For instance, the document recommends the widening of Las Virgenes Road between Agoura Road and Mulholland Highway from two to four lanes, with the addition of pedestrian and bicycle paths, Zola said.

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