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Ahmanson Land Deal: Not Everyone Agrees

October 16, 1994

Every word of Susan Genelin's Valley Commentary article "Offer By Ahmanson Land Co. Is No Bargain" (Oct. 2) is true.

We need a Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy that works for the environment, not for developers. In the cases of the Ahmanson and Micor developments, our community is being asked to pay for these supposed "free" parklands, not only with public funds.

Should the Ahmanson project become a reality and Thousand Oaks Boulevard be connected to Las Virgenes Road, the stream of traffic from North Las Virgenes Road all the way to Malibu beach will be endless. Thus the real costs are the negative impacts of traffic and pollution that result from your increased density. We and future generations will pay for this every single day of our lives. And to lose our irreplaceable ecosystems as well makes this a bad deal for people and the environment.

Our community is with the conservancy 100% in its struggle to recover our neighboring land, currently owned by Japan-based Soka Corp. In this case, it is clearly working to obtain parkland, with the community and the environment both the beneficiaries.

The conservancy's mandate is to conserve the mountains! Many volunteers out here will help it fulfill that mandate without destroying the mountains in the process.

JOAN H. KAY

Calabasas

Kay is a board member of the Coalition to Preserve Las Virgenes * As a 17-year resident of the Conejo Valley and a 28-year resident of Ventura County, I must challenge the accuracy of the article by Susan Genelin, which suggested the Ahmanson project is a drain on the taxpayer.

I've followed this project from its inception, and this well-planned community certainly does not rely on public funding or the taxpayers' dollars. The development agreement indicates that no public funding is to flow to Ahmanson. It is a "developer-pays-all" contract including the cost of the remaining open space.

The accompanying cartoon, which cast Ahmanson as a company that is in the taxpayer's pocket, was an insult not only to the Ahmanson people but to all those readers who are aware that through the last 50 years Ahmanson has been a generous and responsible member of the community. It has made significant contributions to charities and institutions throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

I suggest that you check on the facts before printing inflammatory and misleading information. Remember that Ahmanson Ranch will bring many, many benefits to the region, including the preservation of over 11,000 acres of open space.

NORM LUECK

Thousand Oaks

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