CALABASAS : Judge Rules City Must OK Road Expansion
The city of Calabasas must allow a 1/4-mile portion of Thousand Oaks Boulevard to be widened to accommodate traffic for the proposed Ahmanson Ranch housing development, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ruled.
The city refused to approve the road expansion, citing environmental concerns, but Judge Diane Wayne ruled Monday that it must issue the permit needed to expand a two-lane segment of Thousand Oaks Boulevard to four lanes.
“The city believes that the expansion of this portion of Thousand Oaks Boulevard . . . would clearly disrupt the community in that it would add thousands of cars to the existing roadway,” Deputy City Atty. Steven Quintanilla said.
Thousand Oaks Boulevard will be one of two entrances to the giant Ahmanson development, which calls for 3,050 houses, two golf courses and 400,000 square feet of commercial space in the hills southeast of Simi Valley.
Although the project is in Ventura County, the only road access is through Los Angeles County, including the city of Calabasas.
Steve Craig, the city’s environmental coordinator, said: “It is reasonable to presume the city will appeal this decision.”
Ahmanson representatives said the court ruling was an important step forward for the project, which has been stalled by lawsuits.
“Ahmanson needs this to provide the necessary traffic flow for its project,” said Steven Weston, an attorney for Ahmanson Land Co.
A proposal to extend Thousand Oaks Boulevard 1,000 feet to the Ventura County line was approved in May by a Los Angeles County hearing officer.
The 1/4-mile section to be widened has already been graded, Weston said, but further construction will not begin until the transfer of open space is completed.
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved the Ahmanson Ranch development in 1992 on condition that the developer acquire and turn over 10,000 acres of mountain land to state and federal park agencies. But the development deal has been stalled because of a legal battle between Ahmanson Land and the cities of Los Angeles, Calabasas and others.