Choosing privacy over prominence, Calabasas officials have decided to stick with their original plan for a new civic center, opting to nestle it near a scenic hillside rather than push it toward a busy road.
"It's private and beautiful back there, definitely more so than it would be on the street," Councilman Bob Hill said.
The civic center is part of the larger Calabasas Park Centre, a 67-acre development at Parkway Calabasas and Calabasas Road that will include office buildings, retail center and a movie theater. The retail complex is already under construction.
Calabasas officials grew concerned that the other buildings, especially the theater, "would tend to screen out or block the views of the civic center," according to an Aug. 7 memorandum by City Manager Charles Cate. Planning and Building Services Director Mark Persico suggested pushing the planned civic center, which will include City Hall and library, into a prominent spot along Calabasas Road.
But at a City Council and Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night, several residents said they preferred the original plan, which puts the center near the rear of the property, at the end of an access road called Park Centre Drive.
"They wanted to keep it back near the hillside and open space," Hill said.
Kilroy Calabasas Associates, which owns the land and is developing the office buildings, may donate some land earmarked for the civic center to the city. Hill said Kilroy representatives have offered 1.25 acres, but that negotiations with the city are continuing.