Conservancy Should Be Following the Blueprint

Your editorial "Calabasas Needs to Follow the Blueprint" (April 17) mentions the support of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy for the 250-unit Micor project, upzoned by the City of Calabasas from 81 units. If we look behind all the major upzonings in the delicate Malibu Creek Watershed in the last few years, we will see the implied or direct stamp of approval of the conservancy.

The conservancy supported the new massive City on Ahmanson. Ventura's blueprint designated this magnificent 5,400-acre ranch as an open space greenbelt. This convoluted deal will create a new city next to the San Fernando Valley, and the public, not Ahmanson, will pay a total of $29 million for restrictively zoned hard-to-develop mountain properties. Public financing of developer windfalls can hardly qualify as a mitigation for the loss of precious native grasslands, oak woodlands, and pristine wildlife habitat.

General plans are written to insure orderly development and preservation of important resources for all people. They are formulated by consensus and are therefore not to be discarded lightly. Save Open Space will continue to insist that all jurisdictions and agencies follow the blueprint, including the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

MARY E. WIESBROCK Agoura Hills Wiesbrock is the director of Save Open Space. *

Your April 17 editorial, "Calabasas Needs to Follow the Blueprint" correctly chided the Calabasas City Council for wasting public money in court battles to proceed with approval of a development that was inconsistent with the established county plan. I disagree however, with your comment that the value of the project is not the issue. It is precisely the issue!

As you noted, the City of Calabasas was created and the council members largely centered their campaigns on the issues of protection of the natural beauty and the quality of life in Calabasas. Massive grading, dramatic upzoning and the destruction of a pristine wildlife habitat area, which includes a limited private open space dedication of undevelopable portions of the project site, can hardly be called an overriding benefit to the public or to the natural resources of Malibu Canyon.


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