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CALABASAS : City Wants Permit for Ahmanson Road Plan

October 11, 1994|FRANK MANNING

The Calabasas City Council has upheld a decision by the city Planning Commission to require the developer of Ahmanson Ranch to apply for a special permit to extend Las Virgenes Road 15 feet to the Ventura County line.

"We just felt the application was incomplete, and that additional information is needed to adequately process the application," said Mayor Karyn Foley.

"We agreed to go along with the ruling" and apply for the special permit, said Mary Trigg, a spokeswoman for Ahmanson Land Co.

Ahmanson Land initially filed for an encroachment permit to extend Las Virgenes Road to make way for the project, said Steve Harris, Calabasas' community development director. After reviewing the application, the city's planning staff sent Ahmanson a letter saying the application was incomplete.

To complete its application, Ahmanson must file for a conditional-use permit and conduct an environmental review of the road-extension proposal, Harris said, because the area is part of the Las Virgenes Road Scenic Corridor.

Ahmanson appealed the matter to the Planning Commission, which upheld the staff recommendation.

Ahmanson Land wants to build 3,050 homes, two golf courses and 400,000 square feet of commercial space in a hilly area southeast of Simi Valley near the border of Los Angeles County. The Las Virgenes Road extension is considered crucial to the project because it would be part of a major road system to the proposed development.

The entire project has met fierce opposition from residents and municipalities in the area, who say it would disrupt surrounding neighborhoods. Several communities, including Calabasas, have sued the developers in an effort to block the project.

The developers maintain that they have done all they can to minimize the impact of the project, approved two years ago by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors. An environmental study done on the project demonstrates that clearly, Ahmanson officials maintain.

All of the city of Calabasas' actions to date on the road-extension proposal have dealt with technical issues, city officials said. Eventually, the city will begin studying the actual merits of the project.

The City Council voted in August to appeal a Superior Court judge's ruling that Calabasas was legally bound to allow the widening of Thousand Oaks Boulevard to make way for the project.

Trigg said that Ahmanson wants to try to resolve the various lawsuits--which have been condensed into one--before moving forward with the project.

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