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

Monday, May 25, 2015

Luxury homes with five or more bedrooms are in demand as sober living homes. Sober living business owners will pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars more per month than a typical renter. The extra cash is tempting landlords. The proliferation of sober homes is changing the character of upscale, low-density neighborhoods such as Monte Nido, Malibu and Cornell, and may be contributing to the shortage of available rental housing. A sober living home business owner recently leased, with an option to purchase, a home on Balkins in Old Agoura. Nearby homeowners are distraught over lights left on all night, constant traffic and noise, and the revolving door of strangers.

A sober living home provides a controlled environment where recovering alcoholics and addicts can replace destructive habits with new healthy ones. When it is well run, a sober living home is hardly recognizable from any other home with a large family. Others are a nightmare for the neighbors, causing excessive traffic, noise, cigarette smoke and light pollution. Sober home business owners like to choose homes in areas where there are minimum 1 acre lots, to minimize the potential for complaints. Sober living home business owners say that their tenants don't drink or party, don't have noisy children or pets, and are the ideal neighbors.

Why are they allowed next door? It's a business after all. The answer to that question can be confusing. State law deems addicts as handicapped - they are a protected class, and it is illegal to discriminate against them. So if they want to live in a typical residential neighborhood, that is their prerogative per state law, provided no more than six clients plus staff take residence. On the other hand, they are not allowed to be a nuisance or otherwise break any laws.

If you sell your home, do you need to disclose to someone who is buying your home, that "HAPPY HEALTHY RECOVERY HOUSE" is across the street? If they are a protected class, much like a minority race or religion, wouldn't it be discriminatory to say there was "one of those" across the street? It is the seller's statutory responsibility to disclose any material fact that might influence a buyer's decision to purchase the home. I have had buyers reject a home next to a sober living home out of concerns about criminal activity. Some buyers would think twice before buying next door or even on the same block. It would seem only fair that a buyer be given the opportunity to investigate whether the sober living home was the subject of any complaints or to inspect the street for cigarette butts or other paraphernalia. An attorney for the California Association of Realtors is advising brokers to disclose the known presence of a sober living home is in the vicinity.

Several municipalities have enacted ordinances that require sober living homes to obtain a license or maximize the distance between sober living homes. These are currently being challenged in the courts as being discriminatory. At the very least, sober living homes will be held to a high standard so that good ones simply thrive unnoticed, and bad ones are shuttered..

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Yesterday while showing a horse ranch in Moorpark, I saw something I don't recall seeing ever before ... a blooming Century Plant (Agave). And this one was the size of a mature African elephant, with a stem that had to be at least a foot and a half in diameter, and maybe 25 feet tall. They are called Century Plants, because it could seem like 100 years before these plants ever bloom. In order to bloom, this plant had to have been near the end of it's 30 year life span, and will die after blooming.

Apparently the plant doesn't mind the dry whether. For that matter, while riding the trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, I've noticed as many blooming yuccas this spring than I've ever seen. Anyone who thinks lawns are pretty, really needs to see these plants flourish with nearly no watering. A landscape of manzanita, yucca, and sage that is ultra drought tolerant, is more beautiful than a water sucking lawn any day.

Anyone who wants to see this rare vision can call Nona Green, 818 426-2292 and consider buying an amazing 20+ Acre working Ranch with a 3 BR home, all for only $1,200,000.

"Agave July 2011-1" by Alvesgaspar - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Just the other day, I was empathizing with a developer client how the City of Agoura Hills was driving him crazy. The City engineers want seemingly over-the-top measures to stabilize a slope where an ancient landslide was discovered by the geologist.

Yesterday, I received a call from an attorney representing the United States Government, specifically the Natural Resources Conservation Service, to establish the value, before and after, of a Somis Ranch that was "red-tagged" due to a neighboring citrus orchard sliding onto it.

The lawsuit alleges damages of $8M from loss of use, relocation expenses, loss of business and goodwill, and punitive damages resulting from the citrus orchard's negligence. The grading and irrigation needed to plant the citrus grove allegedly caused a 1000 year old landslide to re-activate.

I speculate that the plaintiffs in the case were given a Natural Hazard Disclosure Report when they purchased the horse ranch. Such reports satisfy a seller's statutory requirement to disclose the presence of natural hazards, such as a landslide area or earthquake fault, in the area. I wonder if the NHD missed this one.

This news article came out right after the landslide did the initial damage:

There are many lessons to be learned here. I have new perspective about the city and countys job to oversee development. I see more clearly the need for regulating agriculture including vineuards, and one of the reasons why new vineyards were banned in the coastal zone. welcomes your comments.

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