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CALABASAS : City Hears Input on Development Plan

Calabasas officials are optimistic that the city’s first General Plan will sail through the approval process and become law as early as May.

“There were about 40 people at the last hearing, and it was pretty low-key,” said Community Development Director Steve Harris.

Another hearing is set for Jan. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall, Harris said. At a subsequent workshop the Planning Commission will review the input received to date.

The commission will then hold a final hearing and the City Council may vote on it in May, he said.

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The city, which incorporated in 1991, began work on the plan in the fall of 1992. A citizens advisory committee worked on the project until last January, attempting to iron out such issues as the limits on housing growth.

“You were dealing with people who had never really done this before,” said Harris. “There wasn’t a planning commission when we started. There wasn’t a group of citizens who had been involved in development issues. So it was something that we had to create as we went along.”

The final draft of the plan allows for 2,400 new homes over the next 20 years--900 more than the original proposal. The increase was made at the urging of property owners, who claimed that the original draft infringed on their property rights.

The plan takes into account the problem of developing near and on hilltops where landslides are a danger. Developers will have to meet stricter grading and construction requirements there.

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Also, the plan would provide a significant obstacle to developer Ahmanson Land Co., which wants to build 3,050 homes, two golf courses and 400,000 square feet of commercial space in the hills southeast of Simi Valley on the border of Los Angeles County.

The plan would prohibit the widening of Thousand Oaks Boulevard and the extension of Las Virgenes Road to the county line, two key components in Ahmanson’s traffic plan for the project.


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