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

Monday, November 03, 2014

Las Virgenes Municipal Water District elections have never received the media attention that the November 6, 2014. Maybe because we're in drought, maybe because irrigation restrictions have gone into effect Sept. 1, water is on everyone's mind.

When searching for facts about the candidate positions on the controversial $13M water tank in Westlake Village (candidate Jay Lewitt supports, Barry Steinhardt opposes) they were hard to find. Instead, the rumors and accusations sound like a Chinatown sequel. We do know, that three present Board of Directors membere (Caspary, Peterson, and Renger) have been reprimanded by the Los Angeles District Attorney's office for approving the construction of the tank in a meeting that violated the Brown Act requiring a public forum on the matter.
Rather than vote for the candidate that has the most and/or the loudest friends, I asked one question of each:
Q: How would you reconcile the notion that the water district thrives by selling the most water possible, with the need to conserve?
A: (Jay Lewitt): "Conservation and a thriving Water District are not mutually exclusive ideas. I believe in continuing to lead the way in conservation, and to consistently improve District operations by working with staff. As a Board Member I will be a reasonable voice looking at ways to make sure the Board is run well and representing the interests of the rate payers in the short and long run. LVMWD provides multiple services, including sewage treatment and reclaimed water services to businesses. Our community thrives when we plan for long term water stability in our region, including increasing potable water storage. We need leaders who are willing to work together and do their homework when it comes to planning and overseeing the operations of the water district." ---Jay Lewitt
A: (Barry Steinhardt): "Our water district should not thrive by sales, but by serving the community. There are three
criteria I use to do this: safety, reliability, and cost. Note that none of those include size of
our budget, sales, or profits — because that’s not our job. While our Board majority, and my
opponent, want to focus on building out to focus on water usage growth such as the tank and rate
increases, my focus is on safe water, reliability of system, conservation, and lower bills.
How do we get there? Simple.
Our overhead is way too high.
Yes, I’ve been able to make progress in the last four years, despite opposition from the majority
of the board and staff, but we have a lot farther to go. To give you just a few ideas. We need
to look at assets sitting idly (like our old HQ building that still sits empty years after we moved
out). We need to install modern technology to make it easier for us to run the District with
fewer employees — and continue the attrition of our head count to phase those savings in. We
need to have a real competitive bidding process, rather than using the same vendors just because
it’s easier on our staff. The list goes on and on, but none of these things can happen so long as
we continue to have a Board majority that brakes the law, and refuses to discuss items in the
open. And, it certainly won’t happen if my opponent, who supports those that the DA has found
in violation of the Brown Act, if elected.
Lower usage means we don’t need projects
When we build, build, build as we have been for years — with even more on the horizon — it
increases our total costs to deliver water. We need to only build projects that are vetted, and
shown to be needed. And, we need to think about them strategically — not just because our staff
wants to keep building. $650 for every household to build the tank in Westlake Village. And,
there’s another $3000 per household of projects on the horizon. Whether that money was
collected in the past, or in the future, it’s your money — and it’s money that can be saved, or put
to better use.
We’re spending in the wrong place.
Our District was asked by the community to invest in easy-to-implement, conservation
measures. Unfortunately, our District does not have ANY conservation programs of its
own. We only use the regionally available ones, and unlike other water districts, we don’t even
supplement those with additional incentives.
A lot of people like their grass. That’s why what the District calls “a lot of interest” in the Mow-
No-Mow program actually is only about 1% of our customers. Now, we should continue to offer
programs like this, but we need to add incentives to them. And, we need to also make it super
easy for our customers to add moisture sensors if they do want to keep their grass. In the end, we
could see substantial water savings, not the minimal amount that we have.
Real conservation equals real savings on our water bill. Even if the “per gallon” price goes up,
we’ll be able to make the actual dollars paid by residents go down ... but not if we keep going on
the path our Board majority and my opposition wants to see.
I could go on.
I don’t want this to be too long an answer — and I could go on and on with additional
ideas. The take away message is this. Our water bills have almost DOUBLED in the last ten
years. Inflation only accounts for 25% of that. If you don't like that trend, then I need your help
to continue my fight against rate increases, overspending, overbuilding and what amounts to be
ridiculous government waste.
Don’t be swayed by the spin doctors. Any resident that has questions is welcome to reach out to
me — happy to provide you with real facts." - Barry Steinhardt
Maybe the above answers will help at least one voter decide.
Comments: 0

Sunday, October 12, 2014
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There is one shrub that actually likes the drought and is covering the trails with thick clouds of green. NO, this is NOT a good thing: TUMBLEWEEDS are taking over.
The picture shows weeds taller than my horse along Chesebro Rd. in Agoura Hills.
The invasive non-indigenous plant migrated from Russia in the 1870's This year, dought conditions have helped a major infestation turn into a fire hazard: when the weeds dry up, they break away from their root to form a rolling ball of kindling. Some weeds grow over 30 feet in diameter.
Read LA TIMES article here.
Courtesy of
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Thursday, October 02, 2014
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Thinking about my Board of Realtors policy about Days on Market or DOM. Shouldn't the ticker STOP while the property is in escrow? Why should the public perceive that the property languished on the market when in fact it was tied up in escrow with a buyer that wasted everyone's time, lied, had "personal issues", or whatever, only to back out for no reason related to the property or agreed price? Even the week or two during inspections is a week or two that the property was not effectively on the market, and I contend should not be considered in the DOM calculation. What say y'all?

I posted the above to a consortium of real estate professionals and the "LIKES" piled up. Some said that their board has two tallies of Days on Market (DOM) one is Actual DOM and the other is cumulative. Looks like time for a policy change at my local Board. Of the three Boards to which I belong, they all report only the Cumulative DOM and not the actual DOM subtracting for time tied up in escrow.

There is a whole other related topic for another blog post: how to spot the signs of a flaky buyer. The truth is, some agents are better than painting a great picture of their buyer, than the buyer is reliable, stable, or motivated. No wonder about half of all escrows BOMB. My tract record is phenomenal, considering!

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Welcome to "Agoura Homes"! What makes "Agoura Homes" different form other Real Estate Apps? Have you ever been frustrated finding listings for sale that you can no longer buy? Well be frustrated no more! Our App has a direct connection into the Realtors Data Base called the MLS, so our data is always 100% accurate, And our App refreshes listings in Real Time! That means you will get information on New Listings hours some times even days before the other guys (this gives you a competitive advantage in submitting offers before everyone else!). We have a great support system for all of your Real Estate Needs so feel free to contact us with questions you may have through the App! Now enjoy the ease of use, and find exactly what you're looking for using "Agoura Homes"!

Agoura Homes

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Paradise Found in Topanga

Newly remodeled ZEN/contemporary decor. Exposed wood beams gorgeous use of slate and new fixtures - open concept design with exposed wood beams - an architectural beauty.

Two fireplaces, wood burning stove. Expansive redwood decking and a romantic open air SPA retreat off Master suite all provide indoor/outdoor living and entertaining with inspiring mountain views.

Terraced 2.7 acres, adjoining seasonal creek and Santa Monica Mountains conservancy. Private horse arena with large, shaded corrals, barn, tack room with bathroom, and easy access to mountain trails.

The grounds include an 800 sq. ft. high-tech yurt with bamboo floor, heating and a/c provides an exquisite office, exercise or yoga studio, filled with natural light and breathtaking views.

Nestled in the trees with lush landscaping, this unique sanctuary is located on a private cul-de-sac. Quiet, country living in splendor, with only the sounds of nature...yet only 10 minutes to Calabasas,Woodland Hills, and the Pacific Ocean.
Comments: 0

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I'm asking Nick, the State Licensed Pest Control operator who is Green Properties pest control operator, whether he notes "active infestation" of bedbugs when looking for termites or dry rot. Nick consistently notes rodent droppings when he finds them in the basement or attic. My guess is that he would probably not notice bedbugs, and until I have the conversation with him, he's not looking for them. My guess is that there is NOOOOOOO way he would ever examine someone's sheets and lingerie.

It's no longer an East Coast Thing. Los Angeles County is experiencing a pandemic outbreak. I became aware of the problem when talking to a client who owns apartment complexes. He's battling his insurance company to pay a $30,000 bill to rid the building of termites. Those bugs take a big bite out of the wallet.

-When I Googled "bedbugs Los Angeles" local outlets for major media posted three unrelated articles about outbreaks in different locations of LA.

-It's a bad sign when there is a page full of paid ads for bedbug lawyers, err bedbug litigation experts.

So I would be remiss if I didn't include a wiki-link to learn about bedbugs, which make me now leery of a student bringing home dorm furniture:

Detection dogs are the best way to inspect and find bedbugs. Eradication is a multi-step approach and involves heat and pesticides.

To help prevent bed bugs from entering your home, pack clothing in sealable plastic bags before a business trip or vacation. Upon returning home, unpack those items outside in the garage and give your suitcase, backpack or briefcase a good once-over and cleaning.

The same applies for backpacks, gym bags and laundry brought home by college students. Give these items a good cleaning and immediately wash clothes and bedding in hot water. If an item cannot be washed, you can place it in the dryer at the highest setting for 10 minutes.

Bedbug infestation can cause rashes and allergic reactions, and a bit of creepy crawler paranoia.

The evolution of a Real Estate Company's local disclosure is as follows: A homeowner has a bedbug infestation and sells his home to an unsuspecting buyer. The buyer sues and wins damages against the seller. The broker gets dragged into the suit - because they always do. BINGO - the next incarnation of the Area Disclosure and the Buyer's Inspection Advisory says the seller should disclose, and the buyer should inspect for bedbugs. Currently, they mention wood destroying pests and wildlife, but we can count on bedbugs having their special section, due to the money involved in eradication.

Comments: 1

Monday, August 18, 2014
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I don't normally pitch products, but I really use this one everyday.

Shawn O'shine wash wand.

I took this thing for granted until I broke the one I've had for 10 years. It woundn't have broke except that I screwed it on so tight to the end of a hose, that I over torque'd it trying to get it off. I called West Valley Feed, where I purchased the thing, and Sharon said they not only don't carry it, they thought it was no longer made.

Luckily, the label was still legible and I googled the name Shawn O'shine (goofy name - maybe the inventor was named Shawn?) and viola! I found the website for the horse wash wand AND the facebook page.

What a relief! I swear this thing saves time, water, and my horse's patience while I wash him head to hoof. He is 16.1 hands and I'm barely 5 foot 3 inches, so the long wand let's me get his forehead and behind the ears, even when he imitates a giraffe. There is a valve where you can adjust the pressure, and even turn it off without going to the hose-bib.

I'm glad I don't have to live without my Shawn O'shine horse wash wand. The dogs get the treatment too, and I can wash them and rinse completely in a few minutes.

Comments: 0

Saturday, August 09, 2014

READ THIS letter from the Conejo Valley Association of Realtors. This is a game changer for the residents of Agoura, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Cornell, and Westlake Village. These areas are served by Realtors who may be associated with only one Board of Realtors, in which case those Realtors may not be exposing thier clients property to real estate agents in the entire region.

Luckily, and Nona Green has been and will continue to be members of all THREE area Board of Realtors, gauranteeing maximum exposure for our clientele.

August 8, 2014

Dear CSMAR [Conejo Simi Moorpark] Brokers and Agents,

As you may be aware, the California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (CRMLS) will be leaving the CARETS data exchange group next week. Due to this departure, the Ventura County Regional Datashare (VCRDS), which is comprised of the CSMAR and VCCAR Associations, will no longer have access to CRMLS listings, and CRMLS will no longer have access to VCRDS listings.

VCRDS will continue to share listing data with SRAR’s CRISNet MLS, the iTech MLS, and theMLS/CLAW (Combined LA, Westside).

At the request of CMRLS, all CRMLS listings, agents, and listing history will begin to be removed from the VCRDS MLS system late in the day on Monday, August 11th. Removals will continue through Wednesday, August 13th.

Please make sure to PRINT or SAVE any CRMLS Listings you may need for your files or reference, including listings on which you were the Selling agent. This information will NOT BE RECOVERABLE following the completion of the data removal.

The likely effects of this data removal include:

  • Saved searches, hotsheets, and statistics may return fewer results.
  • DOM/CDOM numbers may change, as the calculations may lose reference listings.
  • Listings may disappear from Carts, including Autoprospecting and Client Portal carts.
  • CRMLS Agents will be removed from our Agent search, and may disappear from the Co-Agent section of listings, and the Selling Agent portion of Sold or Leased listings.
  • A delay in listing updates from the iTech MLS from 6:00PM on 8/10 to 10:00PM on 8/11.

Best Regards,

Comments: 0

Wednesday, July 02, 2014
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Adding a Pool? Don't dig yourself a HOLE!

If you own in a rural or horse zoned property, where you dig the pool will dramatically affect the future resale potential of the property.
One home in the equestrian neighborhood of Old Agoura was ideal for keeping horses. Not only was there ample area at the back of the half acre lot for corrals, the property is located across the street from the public riding arena.
The home was purchased a couple of years ago by a couple who didn't have horses. They added a swimming pool at the back of the lot. The city may have goofed when they issued a permit to place the pool in that location. The zoning ordinance for the area states that a property shall not be rendered untenable for horse keeping. (Read Page 7 B-3 of the Ordinance for Equestrian Zoned property) While there still is an area on the property where horses can legally be corralled, that area is quite small, and keeping a horse so confined would be inhumane by some standards. Also, the remaining area is too close to the pool (think dust) to be practical.
Had the owner asked the advice of a savvy real estate salesperson, they might have located the pool closer to the residence, and kept horse the keeping potential intact.

Homes in equestrian neighborhoods that are horse friendly, will appeal to a wider pool of buyers. In fact, folks with horses, or who have other agricultural uses in mind, will pay a premium for a property that a non-horse person might not pay.

Comments: 2

Thursday, June 19, 2014
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Need brush clearance? Who ya gonna call? GOAT busters.....
Goats make better weed whackers, and they're cuter. They are also quieter and omit less carbon.

Jan Gerstel, President of the Morrison Ranch Estates explains,
"The HOA commissioned the goats to do our weed abatement of over 28 acres. This will take approximately 30 days. The goats are contained within a electrified (just a shock, not dangerous to people) and moved as they eat all the weeds in the area. Each goat eats about 8 pounds of weeds a day and we have over 300 goats.

This is an eco-friendly alternative to having men on the hills with weed whackers making loud noises and posing a danger of a spark lighting a fire on the hillsides. As a matter of fact, the goats are less expensive than the weed whackers."

Goat pictures submitted by, June 19, 2014

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Friday, June 13, 2014
Hidden Hills residents Stine and Alex Van Halen will host a Ride-on Demonstration and Fundraiser this weekend!
The non-profit Ride-On has helped hundreds of children and adults with various neurologic disorders. Practicing Hippotherapy, Ride-On has made a difference for many families for whom other types of therapy has not been met with success.
Derived from the Greek hippos (horse), "hippotherapy" literally refers to treatment or therapy aided by a horse. The theories of physiotherapy practice are applied; the physiotherapist gave directives to the horse handler as to the gait, tempo, cadence, and direction for the horse to perform. The movement of the horse is carefully modulated to influence neuromuscular changes in the patient.
Ride-on is located in Newbury Park and in Chatsworth. As a non-profit that give scholarships to people who can't afford this therapy and whose insurance won't cover it.
Caution: This video may cause you to shed a tear:
Click to view related property
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Tuesday, June 03, 2014
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Lawns are fading in popularity - they are water hogs, and homebuyers more and more are scrutinizing the water bill when they buy a home. An assortment of raised bed gardens can be a beautiful and edible alternative. encourages the use of these attractive and practical landscape features, as this home for sale in Old Agoura depicts.

The Las Virgines Municiple Water District will credit customers up to $2500 to remove a lawn. With the savings, it is relatively easy to contstruct an attractive arrangement of raised bed gardens.

Raised beds create an environment for plants that is controled as to soil amendment and water conditions, drainage, and weed abatement, so everyone can have a green thumb. Untreated lumber that is naturally rot/termite resistant (think cedar or redwood) is a better material than creosote soaked railroad ties or any other treated material that may be toxic.

Rural and horse zoned neighborhoods will naturally embrace the trend. In tract neighborhoods, there are still Rules and Regulations on the books that insist lawns be maintained. These restrictions will not be enforceable for much longer as politics trends in favor of the environment and water conservation. features a home for sale in Old Agoura with an assortment of colorful flowers and edibles in raised beds - lovely rock walkways with sitting areas winding through the garden made it an even nicer place to commune with plants. From Agoura Hills June 3, 2014

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Segregation in 2014? In the Conejo Valley? Really?

60 years after Jim Crow Laws were outlawed, student population in each Conejo Valley school is either predominantly white, or dramatically diverse in comparison. 83% versus 60% white in each of two schools that are less than 2 miles away from each other.
In 2000, the federal government decided that anti-segregation laws were no longer needed. In this short period of time, the educational system in many towns across the country is completely separate, and definitely not equal. This article in the April issue of The Atlantic, sheds light on this phenomenon.
Accelerating the return of segregation, is the accessibility of city and school ethnic data on the internet. Real estate information websites that offer MLS data, also provide links to the racial composition of the neighborhood, and school information sites like show the racial composition of the schools. As a real estate agent, by law, how many whites, blacks, hispanics, jews or gays live in an particular area is none of my business. Meanwhile, the websites do a fine job of steering people to one area over another.
This past weekend, I overheard one white mother talking to another about her pre-schooler, "you are lucky if can keep your kid out of Sumac Elementary* - it's heavily Hispanic".
The response from the pre-schooler's monther: "Well I definitely would worry about my kid being ignored while his teachers are attempting to translate lessons into Spanish."
In a school that has embraced dual language immersion and the L-STEM program, has extraordinarily high average test scores and an excellent reputation with parents, is white flight happening?
Please read the Atlantic article and then share your thoughts on the subject. Thank you from Agoura Horse Property, Inc.
*Sumac Elementary, located in Agoura Hills, is a school within the Las Virgenes Unified School District.
Comments: 0

Friday, April 18, 2014

Home Warranty Companies grew as a cottage industry in the mid 1970's. The 3rd Party Warranties were a listing tool originally, as real estate companies campaigned "list with us and we will pay for a home warranty". Over the years, the policies became a standard application for all residential real estate transactions and realtors were afraid to NOT recommend to a buyer that a warranty is in place. Deductables rose, and the quality of service declined. That was when you can get service: often the warranty companies would declare a defect to be a pre-existing condition, and thus decline the claim. If a homeowner submitted one too many claims, the Warranty Company would typically cancel the policy.

When the claim is not honored, the client may be frustrated that they wasted time getting nowhere. The agent may become a scapegoat.

The lawsuit alleges conspiracy by the Home Warranty Companies with contractors to do the least expensive repair rather than good industry standard service or replacement.

Some companies do deliver, and sometimes whether a claim is honored depends on the sales representatives relationship with the real estate agent who ordered the policy on behalf of their client.

In some transactions, such as a short sale or bank owned property, the seller won't pay for a home warranty. The buyer must decide whether they want to come up with another $500-$1000 for a policy. It may be better to put that money aside to hangle any repairs that may be needed after the escrow closes.

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

"Well little lady..." Save the Date: Saturday April 12, 2014 12-4PM

Ranching and Riding in the Santa Monica Mountains

Before it was parkland, the Santa Monica Mountains was home to farms and ranches. Two presentations (starting at 12:30 and 2PM) will explain and demonstrate the rich ranching histories of King Gillette Ranch and Malibu Creek State Park (formerly known for decades as the 20th Century Ranch). Meet the horses and a Mounted Volunteer Patrol team that help keep our parks safe today. View restored carriages from the 1800's. Bring your camera!

Santa Monica Mountain Interagency Visitor Center Park Store is operated by Western National Parks Association, a nonprofet partner of the National Park Service. Your purchases help support national parks across the West. For more information call 805 370-2302 or email is promoting this event and Equestrian Trails Inc Coral 36 is the sponsor and organizer for the Western National Parks Association.

Comments: 0

Monday, March 31, 2014

If you have a three foot circle of land that you don't need, the Gas Co. might pay at least $2,000 to put a pole there. The site needs to meet various criteria, and just any location may not work. Mounted on the pole would be a A/C or solar powered Data Collection Unit, 25"x15.5"x9" weighing up to 80 lbs.

The Southern California Gas Co. is looking to install a dozen or more Data Collection Units in Calabasas and in Agoura Hills as part of the rollout of its $3 billion advanced meter system upgrade.

The DCUs pick up signals from small communications devices that will be attached to existing meters. The units then transmit the data to a central gas company hub.

When asked if there is any harmful radio wave or other environmental concerns, a representative said that the Utility Company "has all the answers to those types of questions".

The system, which was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, allows the utility to remotely monitor gas usage and provide that information to customers. It eliminates the need for meter readers to drive around Southern California, which will reduce the utility’s carbon footprint.

When the entire system is operational, the communications devices will power on for a fraction of a second each day and send gas usage information to the units. They will not enable the utility to shut off gas or respond remotely in the event of a leak.

“It’s much different than ‘smart meters’,” the representative said, referring to meters used by electricity providers that allow them to turn power on and off.

The cost of the entire system is being absorbed by the gas company’s ratepayers, but utility officials estimate that the investment may yield operating and environmental benefits of more than $3.5 billion, which will be passed on to customers over the life of the project.

The utility estimates the advanced meters will take 1,000 Southern California Gas vehicles off the road every day. That will eliminate 6.3 million vehicle miles and approximately 140,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year.

Comments: 0

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A few community leaders will be meeting to discuss the discrepancies concerning the Local Coastal Program prepared by County Planning under the direction of our Supervisor, Zev Yaroslavsky. The plan passed handily at the Board of Supervisors meetings on the 11th and 18th of last month with support from the Monte Nido Equestrian Trails Inc. Corral 36, and the Monte Nido Valley Community Association, however, controversy erupted over some equestrian provisions and the once united front disintegrated. As a result, much questionable information has surfaced so Ben Saltsman was asked to come to Monte Nido at a open meeting, to clear up the questions. The goal is to reestablish a united front, if possible, in preparation for the California Coastal Commission hearing on the LCP scheduled for April in Santa Barbara. The Commission MUST adopt the LCP in order for the County to assume permitting authority which is vital for the continued enjoyment of equestrian activities in the Coastal Zone of the Santa Monica Mountains.

Ben is Zev's Planning Deputy and the primary political link from our community to Zev and the County bureaucracy. He and Planning Department staff will be at the meeting to answer your questions. Date: Friday, March 21-- at 6:30 PM. The location of the meeting is to be announced.

Even though Regional Planning approved the Los Angeles County Local Coastal Plan, concern is brewing that ambiguities in the 800 page document might burden equestrians with regulations that might have the effect of banning horse-keeping. Equestrian groups and environmentalists backed the LCP because they thought it was supportive of horse-keeping. Were they deceived? Two documents disseminated by Ruth Gerson, head of the Recreation and Equestrian Coalition is causing folks to wonder:

Local Coastal Program, LCP WHITE PAPER MARCH 7, 2014

The Los Angeles County LCP is basically a way to ensure that there are no horses in the Santa MonicaMountains in 20-30 years for you, your kids and grandkids. There was so much misinformation, ambiguity, contradictions and other negative aspects in the document that it was difficult to read and sort.

It was represented to us that we would only have to go to the County for CDPs, coastal developmentpermits, and that was one of the reasons we supported the LCP. However, that is not true. Any use that is not principally permitted is appealable to the California Coastal Commission. Equestrian facilities and uses are not considered a principally permitted use in any zone. And, while every equestrian CDP can be appealed to CCC, the LCP gives opponents a discounted fee to bring the appeal. It is amazing that the only principally permitted use in the new Resort Recreation Coastal Zone is a low impact campground.

The LCP required all equestrian facilities to use “wildlife permeable” fencing that cannot have more than3 rails nor be higher than 48 inches. However, that was changed; and not all fencing has to be “wildlife permeable” and the height is okay up to 6 ft and the rails are negotiable. Fencing was to be wood in some sentences, not wood in others, non-flammable in some, and a mixture throughout the document.

Since agriculture was prohibited, we insisted that horses be removed from the definition of agriculturewherever it was prohibited; and that was done. They are also not considered pets. Their livestock definition includes horses, mules and all equidae.

The County does not understand the word “boarding” for horses. They think it just means to feed thehorse, as people receive board and room. Boarding is what allows many who do not live in the SMMNational Recreation Area to have their horse cared for and kept near access to public trails and lands.

Boarding includes feeding and also many other important aspects relative to caring for horses. Further, itshould not matter who owns the horses. LA County has always allowed 8 horses per acre, and that should not have been changed to reduce the number of horses based on phrasing of “area available.”

Lighting restrictions of a 4 ft height limit and a 60 watt bulb are totally unsafe around livestock.

And finally, do you know any lender who would subordinate your mortgage as part of a deed restrictionto LA County?

REC’s Comments - Local Coastal Program, LCP March 7, 2014

The coastal zone in the Santa Monica Mountains extends five miles inland and encompassesmuch of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The Los Angeles County LocalCoastal Program (“LCP”) will regulate land use in the portion of the National Recreation Area located in the coastal zone.

In 2006, Los Angeles County proposed a LCP that was vetted through a series of workshops atthe County Regional Planning Commission. Through that process, the equestrian community was able to work out provisions that protected equestrian facilities and use in the National Recreation Area. As a result of that process, the Recreation & Equestrian Coalition and other equestrian groups supported the LCP at the County Board of Supervisors in 2007.

Then there was seven years of silence. We now know that during that time, the County wasnegotiating behind the scenes with the agencies and anti-equestrian organizations on a new plan that would eliminate equestrian facilities and uses in the National Recreation Area. The equestrian community was not consulted.

On January 9, 2014, without any advance notice, the County released a new LCP, with almostfive hundred pages of complicated and overlapping new regulations that are aimed to driving equestrian facilities and uses out of the National Recreation Area. When it was released, the County told the equestrian community that it was the same plan we supported in 2007. Based on what the County told us, we reaffirmed our support.

Then we began to review the LCP and discovered it radically differs from the 2007 draft LCPin ways the County failed to disclose. The new LCP has a complex set of highly restrictive provisions that few, if any, existing facilities can meet. Every existing equestrian facility that does not comply with the new restrictions must be removed or phased out under the new LCP. Indeed, the LCP creates a new “resort-recreation” zone in the National Recreation Area, where the only principally permitted use is low impact camping. None of the existing equestrian facilities that support equestrian recreational access to the National Recreation Area comply with this new LCP. Plus, the LCP contains exorbitant fees and fines for any equestrian use that violates the LCP. The LCP openly talks about raising funds through these fees and fines to force landowners to “sell” their land at deeply discounted values using the money from the fees and fines they are imposing on the landowner under the LCP. In other words, the LCP will force non-compliant equestrian property owners to pay the County the money the County will use to buy their property!

Although the groups that oppose horses had months to look over the LCP and work with the County to come up with layers of regulations to restrict horses, the County gave the equestrian community less than a month to review the LCP and comment. The County refused to give the equestrian community more time. While the County agreed to some changes, we discovered that the changes the County agreed to make to protect horses are negated by other provisions buried elsewhere in the LCP.

The County is now rushing to have the Coastal Commission approve the LCP in April. Clearly the County is trying to push the LCP through before equestrians can organize. The process has certainly been rigged against equestrians.

The equestrian community needs to organize now to achieve three basic objectives:

1. All existing legal established equestrian uses and facilities must remain legal, conforminguses that are not subject to the new policies in the LCP designed to eliminate equestrian uses.

2. Existing equestrian uses and facilities that are not legal must be allowed to become legal conforming uses under the LCP at a reasonable cost, not a punitive cost.

3. The LCP must allow new equestrian uses and facilities and the anti-equestrian regulations (including mandatory 100-foot setbacks from drainages, mandatory 100-foot setbacks from habitat overlays, and restricting equestrian uses on 3:1 slopes) need to be revised to accommodate new and existing uses and facilities. This will require an all out effort. We need manpower and money for our lawyer andconsultants to help us stop the LCP at the Coastal Commission. What the County and the Coastal Commission adopt in the LCP will inevitably been extended to the rest of the National Recreation Area. We are fighting for the survival of equestrian uses and facilities in the National Recreation Area.

Ruth Gerson, President

Recreation & Equestrian Coalition - REC

PO Box 245 Agoura Hills, CA 91376


In rebuttal to these assertions, Los Angeles County Zev Yaroslavsky posted on his website:

Comments: 2

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