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

Monday, October 01, 2007
I almost missed this myself. This past Thursday night in the Malibou Lake Clubhouse we had what amounted to a pep rally to raise money for a lawsuit against Los Angeles County for approving Sage Developments plan to build out Triangle Ranch. I heard about it the week before the meeting from Colleen Holmes, president of Cornell Preservation Organization. I tried to get the word out in Neigh...borhood News yet alas, the Post Office didn't cooperate by delivering in time. My apologies. The lawsuit will cost upwards of $150,000. That's doesn't seem like that much if you break it down - 300 people at $500 each to protect the future of the scenic 300+ acres between Cornell and Kanan, home to Medea Creek, home to hiking and horse-back riding trails, home to Ladyface Mountain - gateway to the Pacific Ocean. Kudos to the family who pledged $5000. I can't remember his name, but he formed SAVE TRIANGLE RANCH, inc. which has non-profit status. Contributions made out to that organization are tax deductible. CPO will be getting their 501c3 license in a week or 2. I know firsthand what a hassle and expense it is to incorporate as a non-profit organization as I did it for Friends of Old Agoura Park back in 1993. What a joke! A couple of thousand dollars could have gone to the 4H SCHOLARSHIP FUND, instead of for filing fees, taxes, and attorneys. I digress... I pledged $1000 to the legal fund against Sage Development. I was concerned that after contributing $400 to the Old Agoura HOA to mount a defense against Heschel, that the money would not amount to enough to do the job. By making a pledge, I would hope that unless enough pledges are amassed, my money would not be collected. Old Agoura did not have enough to file a lawsuit. Also, the attorney, Frank Angel, and the Old Agoura HOA president, Jess Thomas, stressed how the Heschel project did not conform with the guidelines, or the philosophy of the North Area Plan. As Zev Yaroslavsky put it, the HOA was "barking up the wrong tree" as he read the text of the North Area Plan - where it listed acceptable projects to include schools! Bottom line, when you are given only 3 minutes in a public hearing venue to summarize your case - for all the money that's spent, it would be nice to be better prepared! The Triangle Ranch opponents can learn from Old Agoura's mistakes and point out the specific passages in the North Area Plan that render the Sage Development project illegal. I feel more passionate about opposing Triangle Ranch. Truth be told, I never was opposed to Heschel, provided that they have their own entrance off 101 freeway rather than Palo Comado Drive. I personally would rather have a school there than large estate homes or McMansions. It's so hard for developers to get it right and build what is most needed. We have enough huge homes already. We can use more good schools. I was asked to testify that Heschel would reduce property values in Old Agoura. Can't do that when I suppose just as many folks would move TO the area because the school is there. But the traffic situation MUST be addressed. More ramblings later...
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