CALABASAS : Bridge, Path Near Old Town Area Opposed


Neighbors of Old Town Calabasas have vowed to block implementation of a master plan for the historic business district because they say it would invade their privacy and ruin a creek that runs near their homes.

They are particularly opposed to plans for a pedestrian bridge over Calabasas Creek and a walkway connecting Old Town to the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center. City officials and merchants say Old Town needs a face lift to bring more business to its Western-style shops and restaurants.

A walkway and bridge would make the area more pedestrian-friendly and enhance its Western charm, supporters of the plan say. But the residents of two condominium complexes near Park Sorrento say a walkway and bridge would bring trash, noise and crime into their back yards.


“Anybody walking there would be looking right into our units,” said Arnold Pepper, president of the Oak Creek Homeowners’ Assn. The plan would spoil the creek’s natural scenic beauty, resident said.

“In this area there are not many natural creeks left,” said one of them, Howard Burton. “I just think it’s overkill. They would be better off just leaving it as it is and enjoying it, instead of trying to make it something that it isn’t.”

Residents also fear that the city may try to condemn their land for the walkway. They also worry about reports that the city plans to cut down several eucalyptus trees that have stood for decades along the creek.

Calabasas City Manager Charles Cate said the master plan is at this point “a concept” that must be approved by the City Council. The city, he added, has no intention of cutting down the eucalyptus trees or seizing the land through eminent domain.

Condemning land, he said, “is something the government doesn’t take lightly. There has to be health, safety and public welfare issues involved.”

Residents say the dispute over the plan has been worsened by talk that Old Town merchant C. J. Evron plans to develop two parcels of land next to their homes. They say that development of the land would add to the noise and traffic generated by Old Town.


Evron said he has plans to put a restaurant inside his antique store but none at this point to develop the two vacant properties. In any case, he said, any plans would have to go through a formal approval process, including public hearings, where neighbors could voice their objections.

Residents have complained in the past to the city about a rooster owned by Evron and kept in a pen behind Evron’s store. Residents say the rooster crows in the middle of the night and keeps them awake, but Evron’s wife, Linda, says she doesn’t believe it. The couple has circulated a petition to keep the bird, but said they will get rid of it if there is no public support.