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CALABASAS : City Seeks to Annex Calabasas Road Sites

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Efforts to renovate Old Calabasas may bog down if the city is unable to annex a popular restaurant and adjacent museum, a project manager said Tuesday.

The proposed annexation of the Sagebrush Cantina and Leonis Adobe, which are part of the city of Los Angeles, would put the two-block section of Calabasas Road under one jurisdiction. That would make it easier to install wooden sidewalks and Old West-style street lights and benches, said LeeAnne Hagmaier, a consultant for the Old Town plan.

“It would be difficult to do anything constructive if there is a double process to get everything approved,” Hagmaier said. “We are going to make our recommendations regardless of jurisdiction, but the overlap could make it harder to get grants for the project.”

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But the proposal is opposed by most departments in the city of Los Angeles, said Valerie Pryor, who drafted the city administrative officer’s opinion. The loss of those properties--plus the Motion Picture and Television Hospital site that Calabasas also wants to annex--would cost Los Angeles about $150,000 a year in losses on property taxes and utility fees, she said.

Both cities must be in agreement for land to be detached from one city and annexed to another, said Michi Takahashi of the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission, which oversees boundary changes.

The issue will be taken up by the Los Angeles Planning Commission and City Council, although dates for hearings have not been set. Calabasas officials are willing to negotiate about utility fees, said City Manager Charles Cate.

The city of Calabasas has been developing a scheme to spruce up the Old Calabasas section, between Park Granada Boulevard and El Canon Avenue, with period lights and landscaping. The plans are expected to be finished by the end of the year.

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