Agoura Horse Property - Custom & Equestrian Real Estate by Nona Green

 
Friday, July 07, 2017
TO: Nick Newkirk, City of Agoura Hills Parks and Recreation Department
Dear Nick,
Thank you for your email. I want to point out that giving horse and pet owners a head's up falls short of solving the primary problems with fireworks near open space and in an equestrian community.
At best, homeowners who have advance notice can arrange to be present should a horse be injured so they can timely administer first aid. Perhaps the owner can confine a horse to a small area where it is less likely to be impaled or break a leg. There is not a way to put earplugs in their ears, or sedate them such that they won't be frightened. In the most sensitive animals, fireworks can induce colic, ulcers, or a heart attack.
The distance from Chumash Park to the conservancy land behind the high school is 1000 feet. To quote a phrase on the Federal Government website, this Sunday's display (and for that matter, all the displays at the high school) may be in violation of Federal Law:https://www.fws.gov/news/blog/index.cfm/2015/7/2/Celebrating-our-Independence--Tips-for-Watching-out-for-Wildlife which says the explosives cannot be within 3/4 mile of protected wildlife habitat.
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I appreciate that you're sensitive to my concerns. Does that mean the duration of the explosions can be shortened? Are you using silent fireworks? How about a pledge to eliminate them from future events at Chumash Park?
I realize that fireworks are a tradition on the 4th of July. In this case, this event is a concert in the park on the 9th, and I question the value of this display when there are deleterious consequences to the environment. Please tell me what needs to happen for them to stop.
Thanks Again,
Nona Green
On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 7:59 AM, Nick Newkirk <nnewkirk@ci.agoura-hills.ca.us> wrote:

Nona,

Thank you so much for your email and letting us know about your concerns.

If it comforts you at all, the City of Agoura Hills makes every effort to not only keep the area safe from any fires that may break out, but also reach out to the local horse community via the HOA in the hopes that people will take whatever steps necessary to keep their animals safe. We have the fire department present at the event as well as local sheriff that will keep the firing area safe as well as handle traffic flow after the show is completed.

We are very sensitive, and have been over the past several years, to make every attempt for this to be a safe and enjoyable event for all parties involved. If you have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to email me or call me!

Nick Newkirk

Recreation Supervisor

City Of Agoura Hills

(818) 597-7325

Dear City of Agoura Hills and Waste Management,

It is regretful that there will be fireworks this weekend at Chumash Park. The park is adjacent an equestrian community and less than a mile from open space, home to wildlife.

It would seem that this venue is inappropriate for fireworks which are known to cause significant harm to the environment and wildlife. Especially in a high fire severity zone, the timing is suspect, not only due to the fire risk, but the nearby recent brush fires have already compromised air quality. This activity should not be encouraged in this area, especially this time of year, especially here.

Horses and other animals can be seriously injured when frightened by the sounds. Birds are disoriented and are known to abandon their nests, Perhaps this coming weekend, the quantity and magnitude of the explosive devices can be limited.

Please be informed. I appreciate your consideration.

Nona Green

A concerned neighbor

On Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 6:05 PM, City of Agoura Hills - Department of Community Services <agourahillsrec@ci.agoura-hills.ca.us> wrote:

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Agoura Hills Chiropractor Dr. Namira Alibhoy treats patients whose physical maladies may be caused by horseback riding. Unbalanced riding may be a contributing factor - it may also be a factor in causing horses discomfort as well.

http://www.drnimira.com/blog/the-riders-spine-the-key-to-stability-on-and-off-your-horse

Comments: 0

 
Monday, March 13, 2017

https://www.municode.com/library/ca/los_angeles_county/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIT22PLZO_DIV1PLZO_CH22.40SPPUCOZO_PT5REREZO

This zoning is for unincorporated Los Angeles county that is NOT in the Coastal Zone.

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Friday, October 21, 2016
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Take a Horse Book, Return a Horse Book

Do you love to read? Horse books are our favorite, and we have lots to share. Come and see our new free exchange library of horse related novels, biographies and informational books! If you have extra horse books to share, this is a great place to leave them and pick one up you've never read before.

Hosted by Bright Star Saddlery in Agoura Hills

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Sunday, September 25, 2016
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Back in 1994, The City of Agoura Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy joined forces to create Old Agoura Equestrian Park. One thing was omitted from the development plan - arena footing. Only with the donation from the first horse show put on Agoura Horse Property, Inc. in 1994, was a truckload of sand added. Twelve years later, that sand is gone, and what is left is a combination of clay, rocks, and manure. The drainage in non-existent, so after any measurable rain, the arena is closed for days.
Poor footing can cause injury to horses - anything from a stone bruise to ligament tears to excessive wear and tear on joints over time. Many serious equestrians shun Old Agoura Park for that reason.
Finally, the City has apportioned funds for new footing, and bids are submitted. We can expect to see new footing in the area this fall, and expect Old Agoura horse property to increase in desirability as a result.
The description of proper footing can vary depending on the availability of materials, weather conditions, and is our case drought. A comprehensive article on the subject:
Comments: 0

 
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Introduction to Dressage in Southern California
Southern California is a hotbed for dressage enthusiasts. The international sport which has been included in the Olympics since 1996 (lookup #twohearts on Twitter for an after-view of last months games), was originally used by the Greek's to train their horses for war. It is considered the ultimate discipline in equestrian sports, as it lays a foundation for other all other types of recognized competitive riding (excepting maybe racing?). And discipline is the right word, as intense concentration and years of conditioning and practice is needed to excel at upper levels.
Southern California was the birthplace of California Dressage Society, one of the worlds largest dressage organizations. CDS is celebrating it's 50 year anniversary in 2017. DASC, or Dressage of Southern California has grown from a grass roots organization in 1977 to a 300 strong membership.
In the Los Angeles area, possibly the only fully accredited and legally complaint show venue is in Somis, California and is called Spirit Equestrian. Spirit Equestrian has from 10-20 shows per year, from introductory level to Grand Prix. The weather in Somis California is temperate with cooling breezes off the Pacific Ocean. This facility is offered for sale. For more information call Nona Green, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - 818 426-2292 www.agourahorseproperty.com
Comments: 0

 
Sunday, September 04, 2016

Before Trump vs. Clinton, before the debate about building a wall, there was no border between Mexico and California. Actually, California was part of Mexico, after Mexico declared independence from Spain.

The Reyes Adobe Day annual celebration in Agoura Hills, harks back to the days of the first Mexican settlers, some of whom were given large plots of land as a reward for serving in the military, and others who were well connected and could afford to make the trek to California and raise cattle.

California became US territory when it was conquered in the Mexico-US war of 1846-1848. The rudimentary surveys, and very inexact descriptions of those large ranches were not enough legal evidence for their owners to keep the US Government from taking their land. Or, the ranch owners owed such massive legal fees defending their rights, they had to give the land to the lawyers to settle their bill.

Reyes Adobe Days is a remembrance of those early ranches. From the perspective of the how the Adobe itself came to be, we might reflect on those early Mexican ranchers who were forced to give up their land upon which Agoura Hills has their festivities on Oct 6-9, 2016.

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Saturday, August 06, 2016
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You may have noticed the backhoes and water tanks visiting Chesebro National Park recently. Southern California Gas is conducting tests to check the structural integrity of their high transmission line that intersects the park and the Old Agoura neighborhood.

It takes the Gas Co about a month to get a permit since the county requires a biologist and an archeologist be present, and to monitor the safety of the park patrons who may be in the vicinity. The testing was purposely near where there is public activity - in this case, on trails popular with horseback riders and hikers.

A core sample is taken from the pipe to check for any deterioration.

The testing is not related to the mandated hydro-pressure testing required since the San Bruno pipeline explosion, nor is it related to the Porter Ranch leak.

Comments: 0

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Agoura Horse Property wrote this article to encourage homeowners to apply for a permit to sanction their non-permitted horse facitlities, at least temporarily. It's been 9 months since a few people applied for their Special Compliance Permit as part of the Local Coastal Plan. 9 months later, the county has not approved a single application. Hoax? Scam? Keep your $10,000+ and then bust you anyway?

This was the original article:

Do you have unpermitted horse facilities in the Coastal Zone? Time is running out for amnesty under the Local Coastal Program. The deadline for application submittal is October 10, 2016. There are a lot of different application materials required, so it is important to allow 3-4 months lead time to get all of the materials together.

All horse facilities in the Coastal Zone must comply with the LCP, or the property owner can be subject to zoning enforcement actions. This provision of the Los Angeles County Local Coastal Program (LCP) for the Coastal Zone seeks to legitimize horse facilities, even if they would ordinarily violate the LCP. Under the Special Compliance Program, improvements can be allowed even if they do not conform regarding setbacks from creeks or native plant and wildlife habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains. Facilities built between 1977 and 2001 are eligible for a Special Compliance Program permit.
If property owners can mitigate any effects on the environment, and they pay a fee of $10,196, they can get a temporary hold on enforcement for eight years. The homeowner can renew this hold for two additional eight-year terms. After 24 years, under the LCP, they will be required to restore habitat to its original condition (as it was before horse keeping).
A payment plan has been established to allow applicants applying for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) under the Special Compliance Program to pay the required fees in installments. Fees will be collected in installments over 12 months.

Los Angeles Planning Department worked for over a decade with the Coastal Commission on this compromise that would allow homeowners to keep their horses in coastal communities of Topanga, Monte Nido, and the canyons of Malibu. Although the county doesn't intend to seek out people who do not apply for the temporary permit, the county will have the right to enforce full compliance. Having an un-permitted, non-exempt horse facility could affect the resale prospects for a property.

All of the people who I've asked about the outcome of their application under the Special Compliance Program say they had no problem obtaining approval. Some people were able to prove that their horse facility existed before 1977 (pre-Coastal Commission), in which case the county will issue a letter stating that the homeowner is forever exempt from enforcement. The feedback is positive, with people saying that they felt that they could trust the staff at Los Angeles County Planning Department to guide them to a successful outcome.

Tony Shafer (AShafer285@aol.com) is an independent geographic information scientist who may be hired to help demonstrate whether a structure existed pre-1977. If the horse corrals are on a steep slope, close to a stream, or close to habitat, an analysis by a biologist and oak tree consultant may be advisable.

For more information, visit the One-Stop Center for a free consultation:
26600 Agoura Rd. Ste 110 Calabasas, CA
Or contact Josh Huntington 213 974-6462, or Marie Waite 818 880-3799.
Or email: HFP@planning.lacounty.gov

Click to view related property
Comments: 0

 
Monday, April 18, 2016

This letter from the President of The Sierra Club expresses dissapointment that our elected officials are caving in to special interests when it comes to the environment. Board of Supervisors meeting on the matter is May 3, 2016



Disappointment City
This letter begins with a sigh.
A large, loud sigh that implies disappointment. The kind of sigh that follows the news that a friend, someone you expected to be on your side, somebody who always had your back, does something disappointing and inexcusable.
It's also the kind of sigh that says "Here we go again."
In the last few weeks, one of the most important environmental laws for many Californians, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), has been under attack at the legislature--again. That law requires developers to honestly disclose the environmental impacts of proposed development projects.
Some developers, including public agencies that build roads, clean up toxic waste, or plan the future, view CEQA as an inconvenience.
Honestly, they're right. It's inconvenient to tell the people who live near a freeway or the site of a new high rise exactly how much pollution that freeway or high rise might create or attract. It's inconvenient to then suggest and put into place measures to make sure that pollution from that road or building is reduced or mitigated.
Honesty and responsibility that take into account that other people share the commons are simply inconvenient.
It would be a much easier world if there was nobody else who mattered and each developer or city government could just build whatever at a whim. Much easier, that is, for the builder.
It wouldn't be much easier for the rest of us, the ones who have to breathe the air near the freeway or walk on the sidewalk near the giant parking garage attached to the high rise. It would be anarchy--polluted anarchy, at that.
And that's why Sierra Club California has been standing guard to protect CEQA from being weakened ever since we were formed. We do it for the rest of us, the Californians who won't rake in the profits or get the annual bonus or job promotion for pushing through a project as fast as possible. We do it for the Californians who have to live with the consequences of the project's impacts on air, water, traffic, walkability, noise, open space, natural areas, and wildlife.
A few weeks ago, the governor attempted to attach a CEQA exemption to funding for toxics cleanup at an abandoned lead battery smelter plant in Southern California. Environmental justice groups, local community groups, and statewide environmental groups (including Sierra Club California) pushed back. The governor (at least for now) backed down. The proposal for the money is moving forward without the CEQA exemption.
Score one for the public good.
Then came another assault on CEQA from the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti. This latest assault is carried in a bill authored by Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez.
The bill, Assembly Bill 2356, is the sort of legislation that takes a small flock of attorneys who are CEQA experts to fully understand. Fortunately, there is just such a flock, including Sierra Club California staff and volunteers.
In a nutshell, AB 2356 would change the CEQA law in a way that would allow a city like Los Angeles to let infill planning escape the honest scrutiny and disclosure now required by CEQA.
The result would likely be more pollution without mitigation. It would also counter at least one key court decision that affirmed that CEQA disclosures are important to protect the environment and public health.
We are opposing AB 2356--which is no surprise, really, given our history and mission to protect the environment.
What is a surprise is that this bad bill is coming from our friends.
Eric Garcetti ran for mayor on a platform that promised environmental protection and sensitivity to the need to rein in pollution, including climate pollution.
Jimmy Gomez was once on staff of two of the most environmentally progressive elected officials in Los Angeles County, Mike Feuer and Hilda Solis. He has had good scores on our annual legislative report card on environmental votes.
The bill's proponents argue that the changes in it are needed to achieve a greater good: higher density development that will make for more walkable cities that, in the end, should reduce long-term pollution.
We generally like denser urban development. But why do we have to give up solid, open environmental impact reporting and mitigation to get it?
In the last several years, legislators and the governor have tried to justify their legislative efforts to weaken CEQA by claiming the weakening is needed to achieve some other environmental good. Former Assembly Speaker John Perez and former Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg were particularly fond of ending the legislative session with such bills.
We have never bought the argument that CEQA needs to be sacrificed to achieve environmental progress. Californians deserve honest disclosure and analysis and environmentally better developments. Without the first, we're not persuaded it's likely or possible to consistently get the second.
So when we see another bill from our friends that is presented as an improvement rather than as the attack on public disclosure that it is, we get to work and try to kill the bill.
And, with heavy disappointment, we sigh.
We try not to roll our eyes. But we sigh.

Sincerely,
Kathryn Phillips Signature
Kathryn Phillips
Director
Comments: 0

 
Sunday, April 17, 2016
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Horses like to sleep in a soft bed just like their owner's do.

How do we solve the problem of having to cut down trees, or having to dispose of tons of soiled bedding?

My horses are not currently in stalls (Lucky to live with my horses on my property with a super large paddock), so I make a big "mattress" of about 1.5 feet of bedding. I noticed that I don't go through bags and bags of bedding like I did when they lived at a barn. I realized that if I routinely forked and turned some of the shavings, a few tosses whenever I thought about it, that I was effectively mulching the shavings, and as they degraded, they turned to a sweet smelling compost. I even preferred this mulch over a new bag of tannic acid smelling shavings (or whatever the shavings producers may be adding to retard mold on the shavings - are there such additives? need to do more homework for another article). The mattress of shavings lasted indefinitely.

Once the mulch is degraded, where it is too fine to withstand moisture and turns into muck when pee'd-on, THEN I add more clean shavings, or rice hulls, which when combined with shavings, seems to forestall the degrading of the bedding.
It gets trickier if your horse lives in a stall most of the time.
To my delight, while I haven't yet verified availability in the United States let alone Southern California, the Swedes have been recycling horse manure into bedding. Ok, I want to be partners with the genius who charges ranchers to pick up their manure, and then sell the stuff back to them as bedding.
Here is an article about a company that is successfly selling recycled manure as bedding: https://www.horsejournals.com/greenscene-agritek-revolution-horse-bedding
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Friday, March 18, 2016
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To live within proximity of a good school is the desire of most parents. Conejo Valley and Las Virgenes Schools are some of the best, drawing many families to the area. In addition to the school's academic aptitude, the prowess of their football teams is also an attraction.

Oaks Christian High School's football team, led by coach Jim Benkert, ranks an impressive number 22 in the California Interscholastic league.

I haven't seen the film Concussion yet, but I did watch League of Denial and wondered if there has been any effect, on any level, on high school sports.

For anyone who does not read the newspaper or watch the news on TV, or who lives in a cave, the NFL is paying millions of dollars to the families of deceased football players who were posthumously diagnosed with CTE, short for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. These players are believed to have suffered brain damage due to repeat blows to their heads. The payments are required as part of a lawsuit settlement.

I asked the former coach of Agoura High School, Charles Wegher, a few questions. Wegher resigned last year, and new coach Kamran Salem is just settling-in. Here is the exclusive email interview with Wegher:

1) How do you see the changes to high school football as a result of pubic awareness about the risks of contact sports?

In my opinion, I think it is inevitable that there will come a time when school districts and the insurance companies who underwrite them will no longer be able to ignore the research and they will be forced to discontinue their high school football programs. Moreover, this past year, Ken Stabler and Frank Gifford passed away and the revelation that they both had CTE really resonated with the generations that grew up watching them play. As more and more football stars of years gone by begin to die and their brains show signs of CTE, I think more and more parents are going to begin questioning whether the risk to their children's health is worth it. When this happen, I think the sport as we know it now is doomed. Youth football numbers are already shrinking. I think it's just a matter of time before the "Is it worth it?" discussion starts to become a bigger part of our public discourse.

2) Do you think there is any urgency for change, or do you feel that more money needs to be spent or more studies done to find a causal relationship between contact sports and neurological problems later in life?

It seems now that not everyone is equally susceptible to CTE. Some people seem to be able to play for a long time without experiencing the affects of the disease. If it can be determined why some people are more susceptible than others and those that are more susceptible are prohibited from playing, that might help save the game. The test to determine this would just be part of the physical exam for football. I think the statistic at the end of the "Concussion" was 30% of former professional players complained of some symptoms of CTE. If the other 70% really are able to safely participate, that would be encouraging. But much research has to be done to determine how much damage is being done to whom and at what level (youth, high school, college, etc.). If research shows the a high percentage of youth level football players are showing signs of the disease, then I think the discussion is over at that point.

3) Do you think the benefit of playing sports in general, outways the risks. Please explain.

The benefits of playing "sports in general" far outweigh the risks. I firmly believe that youth sports all the way up through high school are a very powerful way to develop character in young people. Learning the lessons about teamwork, integrity, selflessness and leadership are all very important things that kids learn from participating on sports teams. After high school, I think there is less opportunity to shape character, and therefore the value of post-high school athletics is diminished. Certainly, the professional level is strictly about entertainment, and the same could be said for most big time college football and basketball programs.

4) Do you think that the enthusiasm for football wane if a non-contact version was played?

I think if you take the contact out of football, the interest would definitely wane. I think the violence is part of the allure of the game for most fans and participants.


5) Before participating, do the players and their parents sign an acknowledgement of the risks, and a waiver of liability on the part of the school?

Yes. All football players and their parents must sign a waiver acknowledging the risks before they can participate.

6) Any general comments? Any better questions I should ask!?

CTE is somewhat different than other injuries in sports in that you don't know that you are getting it while you are playing. If you blow out a knee or twist and ankle, those things are real time injuries that affect your decision making about whether you want to continue participating while you still have the option to do that. With CTE, you don't know whether or not you are getting it until you start feeling symptoms years later. That makes it more dangerous that other injuries.

There is controversy that the fear of CTE could be as bad as the disease itself.

I also wonder about the validity of comparing football to other sports (or sitting on the couch as one defender of the sport commented). I ride horses, and there have been falls. Even golfers can get hit in the head. The thing that singles out football is that the objective is to take another player down, and rather than being avoided, headbashing is glorified.

I wonder if kids who go into football are aggressive or self-destructive to begin with, or does the sport make them that way. Maybe these kids would be worse-off if they didn't have an outlet for their energy. Well, I guess that's one more subject for debate.


So I am posting this, asking the same questions to the parents. Comments welcome.

Comments: 1

 
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Please encourange LA County Regional Planning to approve this center. I have seen firsthand how 4H, Pony Club, and other family oriented programs involving horses enriches kids lives. Mayisha Akbar is the Mother Teresa of Southern California. If she wants it, it's a good thing.

URGENT! CALLING ALL SUPPORTERS OF THE MAGIC JOHNSON PARK EQUESTRIAN CENTER.

WE NEED YOUR PRESENCE AT THE UPCOMING HEARING. THANK YOU!

EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON...

EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON PARK MASTER PLAN PROJECT – NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING –

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS – FEBRUARY 23, 2016 AT 9:30 A.M.

Notice is hereby given that the Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, February

23, 2016 at 9:30 a.m., in Room 381B of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, 500 West Temple

Street, Los Angeles, California 90012 for the above referenced project, which was approved by the

Regional Planning Commission on December 9, 2015. Interested persons will be given an opportunity to

testify.

EMAIL YOUR SUPPORT RIGHT NOW!

Feb. 22, 2016

Dear Board of Supervisors:

It is urgent that you support the EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON PARK

MASTER PLAN PROJECT, and especially include your support for the

EQUESTRIAN CENTER. It has been well proven that horses give positive

reinforcement to youth and adults alike in the community of Richland Farms

agricultural area.

It's about kids and horses and benefits to the community that other park

activities won’t bring. This is a unique way to keep children out of trouble

with healthy activities with horses, so outright proven by the Compton Jr.

Posse Youth Equestrian Group.

You can endorse the Equestrian Center which will open the amazing world

of horsemanship. Learning about caring for horses gives children and

adults alike a special bond between the horse and the friends they will

make. Caring for and about each other helps everyone learn responsibility,

self-control, and compassion.

Help this neighborhood with a viable Equestrian Center.

With sincere regard,

[your name, address, phone, & email]

Please email immediately to: PublicHearing@bos.lacounty.gov

Comments: 0

 
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 30, 2015

Granted you will need ArcGIS or another fancy program to download and view the data. It was a nice XMAS gift to see that LA County Department of Public Works has enhanced their information website to include park trails.

As a real estate broker specializing in rural and equestrian properties, I frequent the LA County Data Portal to see the location of everything from Significant Ecological Areas (SEA) to flood zones. If I choose, I could fine the Tsunami Inundation Areas. I could locate all the active water wells in LA County - which may come in handy when LVMWD shuts us off completely. In short, there is not much you can't find on this site.

Comments: 0

 
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 19, 2015

Congress made permanent a tax deduction for land deemed open space. Once a tax deduction was allowed in 2006, the amount of donated land by conservation easement increased by 33%. That boon to environmentalists came to an end in 2014 with the expiration of the allowable deduction.

Conservation Easement Incentive Act

As part of a 2015 year-end package of tax incentives to benefit charitable acts, Congress made permanent the deduction for conservation easements. Since many municipalities barter development rights for open space, this will ease the pain of land owners and developers who would be required to dedicate a portion of the land as such.

In essence, when the developer of the Chesebro Meadow dedicates 57 out of the 72 Acres as open space, the taxpayer is footing the bill for his entire development.in the form of Federal tax deductions.

Comments: 0

 
Wednesday, November 04, 2015


On September 1, 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the Historic Preservation Ordinance. As of Oct.1, applications are being taken to deem a property a Landmark and afford the owner certain protections and benefits. The ordinance was passed to identify properties of historic interest and importance for the educational, cultural, economic, and general welfare of the public.

There are two properties that just came on the market for sale in Agoura which meet some of the criteria for registration as a LANDMARK.

Agoura-Woodland Hills Pony Club

The United States Pony Club is an institution dating back to 1954. The USPC aims to teach children to be well-rounded horse people with complete knowledge of riding on the flat, in the open, jumping, and horse care.

"The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., develops character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth..."

The Agoura-Woodland Hills Pony Club is one of the first clubs on the west coast and resides on 52 acres at the end of Chesbro Rd. The land, including the adjacent 30 acres leased to a herb farm, is beautiful - and is for sale.

Shanti Anantam Ashram

The importance of Alice Coltrane to 20th-Century music cannot be overstated. While she passed away in 2007, Coltrane's work as a composer and multi-instrumentalist in the realm of avant-garde and spiritual jazz continues to influence legions of musicians.

Coltrane quest for spiritual enlightenment inspired her artistry. Along with the Beatles and other musicians in the 1960's, Coltrane introduced the western world to Indian religions. She established her Vedantic Center in 1976 as a nonprofit organization. The Center still serves as a sanctuary today on 47 acres in Triunfo Canyon. "The land is conducive to spiritual practice and development." It is sublime - and it is for sale.

Could either of these properties qualify as a historical landmark? If not, they will still be an important footnote in the annals of Agoura history - and now they are for sale. Call Nona Green for more information 818 426-2292

References:
http://thevedanticcenter.org
www.ponyclub.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Pony_Clubs

Comments: 0

 
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
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Two Women to Clean up the Mess

Illece Buckley Weber and Linda Northrup were elected to fill the two vacancies on the Agoura Hills City Council. Voters were adament that future decisions of the council not go the way they have been.

When Agoura Hills City Council members agreed to sell the 71 Acre Chesebro Meadow, the goal was to settle a lawsuit with the buyer. In hindsight, the expense of continuing the suit, and the liability should the city have lost in court, was a paltry sum compared to the value of the meadow measured in dollars AND in its critical benefit to the survival of many species in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The city figured they might lose the lawsuit, and their defendant was the only buyer to come forward. The public did not have any vote on the matter - a deal was struck. While it seemed like the only option at the time, the sale of the Chesebro Meadow for less than $1M was unfortunate. The sale was contingent on the Final Environmental Impact Report certification. While there are other conditions to be met, including the annexation of the land to the city, certifying the FEIR was the first step.

The second mistake may have been a foregone conclusion - tethered to the sale agreement. At the City Planning Commission and Council meeting, experts gave compelling testimony why the FEIR was inadequate, and yet 3 out of 5 planners, and 3 out of 5 council members voted to certify that document.

On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, registered voters of the City of Agoura Hills had the opportunity to elect two members of the City Council.

Three candidates voted that the FEIR inadequately addressed fire evacuation safety or the potential effects on the development to a proposed wildlife crossing. They were Chris Anstead, Linda Northrup, and Illece Buckley Weber.

The Old Agoura Homeowner's Association endorsed Northrup and Buckley Weber because they deemed the FEIR inadequate. Their votes counted this time.

Comments: 0

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
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Los Angeles Regional Planning will decide today if Matt Osgood's proposed development at the corner of Piuma and Cold Canyon must adhere to the Local Coastal Plan

From the Monte Nido Valley Newsletter:

Development of 15 tract homes coming our way!

Does this sound like the Monte Nido you know? Large, suburban tract homes boasting manicured lawns and pseudo classic architecture. Fearfully bright night lighting that drowns out the stars. Structured fencing obstructing nature trails to segregate all that pesky wildlife lurking in the mountain nest.
This is Monte Nido’s future.

There is a 15-home tract development currently in the works for both sides of Piuma between Cold Canyon andthe first hairpin curve. These new tract homes come to us from developer Matt Osgood of Vintage Communities, a well-known Orange County residential property development company.

Vintage at Hidden Park in Agoura Hills is developer Matt Osgood’s model for
Monte Nido’s future. Why should we be concerned about this tract development? Consider its impacts on:
Environment
? Reduced open space: 15 homes averaging 4500 sq. ft, not including garages (up to 1600 sq. ft), pools and other hardscape on proportionally small lots of approximately 1 acre along a half-mile stretch of both sides of Piuma -- with some homes 30ft. from the edge of Piuma.
? Effects on wildlife habitat and passage: fencing, night lighting, noise
? Impediments to Backbone Trail and views
Community Safety
? Flooding: despite the drought, there is an historical flooding problem along Piuma (recall 1980, 1995, and 2005) exacerbated by recent build-out on the triangle. Fifteen new tract homes and their hardscape could create a rush of floodwaters to the homes below.
? Wild fires and exiting traffic back-ups: with Piuma as the main thoroughfare for evacuations and fire vehicle transport, an overrun of development can obstruct fighting efforts.
Community Character
? Large tract homes on proportionally small lots in proximity to each other don’t support the aesthetic originality of our “rural village.”
? Dark skies are threatened.
? Is this the genesis of the Oaks or Simi Valley in our mountain nest – aren’t there enough of those?

What you can do:
1) See it. Drive up Piuma, take in the view (possibly for the last time), witness the cleared out lots, and envision the impact this large subdivision will have as you enter Monte Nido.
2) Read the history of this development at:
http://archives.lvhf.org/newsletter/2012-02%20LVHF%20FEBRUARY%202012%20NEWSLETTER.pdf
3) Google “Matt Osgood Vintage Properties” and pull up articles like:
http://www.edcnet.org/news/PressReleases/12-07-24.pdf http://www.independent.com/news/2010/jul/29/new-owners-naples/
4) Check out Matt Osgood’s Vintage Communities at Hidden Park Estates in Agoura Hills at http://vintageathiddenpark.com to see his vision for Monte Nido.
5) Learn how the Naples community in Santa Barbara united and won against Matt Osgood’s planned development along their pristine coastline at http://savenaples-gaviota.nationbuilder.com/
6) Attend small group information meetings hosted by your neighbors to galvanize our community efforts and preserve the Monte Nido we love.
For five decades, the Monte Nido Valley Community Association, a respected and heeded voice of the Santa Monica Mountains, has held the line on inappropriate development in the Las Virgenes Valley. Working with county and state agencies, and sometimes through litigation, we have fought to defend this beautiful “mountain nest” that some would like to exploit for their own gain.
Support our efforts with a donation to the legal fund dedicated to fighting this tract development.
Send payment to: MNVCA at P.O. Box 8054, Calabasas, CA 91372 or donate online.
Many thanks,
Your Neighbors, MNVCA

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sometimes I think the Acorn deliberately writes an article so inciteful, just to see if anyone is reading their paper. What is sad is that people DO read the paper. A society raised on meat may be doomed to destroy the planet because of the sentiment espoused in their recent ignorant and factless editorial.

One doesn't have to go far to find good science linking cardiovascular disease and cancer to a diet of too much saturated fats and protein (animal product based) and yet, even if that were not factual, what about the inhumanity to countless innocent creatures, and the disastrous effects on the environment?. The animal product industry is the largest single source of torture AND greenhouse gases.

Over 120 school DISTRICTS, not just schools, have adopted Meatless Mondays and the Acorn thinks it knows better? Shame on them.

To read the original Acorn Newspaper editorial click here.

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Thursday, October 08, 2015
Image 1 of 3 Click to Enlarge Image
Dressage is an elegant sport, with only formal attire allowed at the upper levels - think dark coat with lapels.... Do riders at top levels ever wish they can wear something besides black. What about PINK!?

A show coming up on Oct. 17, lets riders get into the spirit of helping fight breast cancer by waiving the dress code. Speaking of "spirit", once you ride at Spirit Equestrian in Somis, CA, you will be spoiled for life. The venue couldn't be more welcoming. Nestled on 20 acres amid the avocado and lemon grove covered hills of Somis, CA, Spirit Equestrian is a Premier Southern California competitive training and boarding facility featuring top-notch hunter/jumper and dressage trainers. Spirit boasts a unique microclimate fueled by cool ocean breezes, resulting in temperatures that average 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding communities of Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, and Simi Valley.

Spirit Equestrian owner Marie Knowles founded the popular October show in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
"Everyone is affected by this desease. We all have friends or family who has been afflicted. Since we're at the start of the show season, and because people can be creative with the PINK motif, we always have a lot of fun," says Marie.

Olympian Charlotte Bredahl took home a ribbon at last years show. Jan Ebling, and Hilda Gurney are regular competitors and fans of the event which raises several thousands of dollars for breast cancer research every year.

Dressage at Spirit Equestrian
October 17-18, 2015
Level 2

THINK PINK!! A portion of the proceeds are donated each year to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Conservative colors are waived for this event as long as you wear PINK!! Year after year this show has grown and we have been able to continue to increase our donation to this wonderful cause. Please help us make this show the best one yet!

http://www.spiritequestrian.com/events/2015/8/26/2015-october-dressage-at-spirit-equestrian-think-pink.html

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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Agoura Hills City Council votes 3 to 2 to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report prepared to assess the environmental impacts of the proposed Agoura Equestrian Estates project and 15 one acre home-sites. The site of the project is the Chesebro Meadow along Chesebro Rd., just north of Driver Ave. in Old Agoura.

The EIR acknowledged that the Chesebo Meadow is part of an area that links wildlife habitat north and south of the 101 FWY. Many environmental groups are pushing for a bridge across the 101 FWY to allow mountain lions, bobcats, mule deer and other species to survive in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Nevertheless, council memebers Weber, Edelston, and Koehler voted to certify the EIR in spite of expert testimony that said it was inadequate. They said that the law didn't not require that the EIR be perfect. Edelston thought that since some speakers had changed their mind over the years, having supported the Equestrian Estate project in the past, that their testimony was not credible.

Council member Harry Schwarz and Mayor Illece Buckley Weber opposed certifying the EIR. Schwarz thought the EIR did not adequately address evacuation measures in a flood or fire, and Schwarz thought the EIR did not thoroughly assess the impact on wildlife

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Thursday, September 03, 2015

Check out his video for a rendering of the crossing, and an easy way to donate $10 at a time.

Test "Lion" to 25383

Warning: There are COUGAR jokes in this video.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Spiritual Paradise for sale? Actually, the land and the structures are for sale, Spiritual Paradise comes with it at no charge.

47 Acre Campsite/Corporate Retreat/Equestrian Center/Nature Sanctuary; These are just a few of the potential uses for this property zoned Resort and Recreational in unincorporated Los Angeles County. Year round Triunfo Creek meanders though the property which is studded with heritage oaks and soaring sycamores. Surrounded by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the land is a refuge for wildlife including hawk, owl, deer, trout and turtles. The property consists of two parcels, each approximately 23.5 acres. Each parcel has an access road from Triunfo Canyon Road, and they share a bridge across the creek to acres of level to gently rolling land. There are several residences and accessory structures, a water well and storage tank, and sewer connection. The north half of the land is mountainous and connects with riding and hiking trails. This property would make a unique and ideal private estate site for one or two homes. Owner prefers to sell both parcels together, yet is open to selling just one. Buyer to verify square footage and bedroom/bath count - size reflects combination of multiple dwellings.

The property is owned by the esate of Alice Coltrane. She purchased the property in 1983 and today is still the site of her beloved Ashram. From the NY Times:

Alice Coltrane, widow of the jazz saxophonist John Coltrane and the pianist in his later bands, who extended her musical searches into a vocation as a spiritual leader, died on Friday in Los Angeles. She was 69.

Alice Coltrane

The cause was respiratory failure, said Marilyn McLeod, her sister and assistant.

Ms. Coltrane lived in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles near the Sai Anantam ashram in Agoura Hills, which she had founded in 1983. Known as Swami Turiyasangitananda, Sanskrit for “the highest song of God,” she was the guiding presence of the 48-acre ashram, set among the Santa Monica mountains, where 25 to 30 full-time residents study the Vedic scriptures of ancient India, as well as Buddhist and Islamic texts.

She was also the manager of Coltrane’s estate, as well as of his music-publishing company, Jowcol Music, and the John Coltrane Foundation, which has gives out scholarships to music students.

www.3430TriunfoCanyonRd.com

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