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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
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MEET THE CANDIDATES: AN INTERVIEW WITH DEBORAH KLEIN LOPEZ

Neigh...borhood News: What are your primary goals and objectives for the City?

Lopez: I grew up in Agoura Hills and benefited from the best our town has to offer: access to open space, great public schools, and a safe, caring community. My husband and I returned to raise our family here so that our children could benefit from the same opportunities I had growing up. But as we know, the qualities we love about our town require constant vigilance, and I have been working for decades to protect and improve our community.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Growing up at the base of the Santa Monica Mountains shaped my core values which would carry over into my adult identity and activism. An avid hiker who has traversed nearly every trail in the Santa Monica Mountains including the 65-mile Backbone Trail, I became an outspoken advocate for the preservation of open space and native habitat and for making sure our footprint on this earth is as light as possible. My dedication was noticed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and I was appointed to serve as a Director on the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains. My sacred time in the mountains has given me an intimate and unique understanding of their fragility if we aren’t faithful stewards.

I want to bring this vision to the City Council so that our decisions can be viewed through this environmental lens. Any development must come with an obligation to respect the community and its guidelines. For me, the presence of the Santa Monica Mountains, visible from virtually every point in the city, is the guide. We should consider only developments that preserve ridgelines and night skies, that incorporate the natural landforms vs. grading them flat, that consider traffic impacts and how to mitigate them for their projects, etc.

Environmental sustainability is also about initiatives beyond brick and mortar buildings: ensuring our wildlife can thrive in its native habitat, making sure our residents have access to clean energy, adapting to new business models that reduce commuting and our carbon footprint, etc.

GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOLS

I am a product of the Las Virgenes Unified School District. My parents moved here when I was 12 years old for the great schools, and I attended Lindero Canyon Middle School and Agoura High School. Decades later, my children have benefited from the same strong public school system, a reason that many families continue to settle here.

Strong city-school partnerships are essential for our community. They keep our neighborhoods healthy and our property values high. But the school environment has changed greatly over the past decade in terms of funding, safety, traffic and more. With children currently in school, I have an intimate understanding of contemporary issues, as I’ve contributed at the highest levels of school site leadership as Parent Faculty Club President at Yerba Buena Elementary, Lindero Canyon Middle School and Agoura High School. In addition, I served as the campaign manager of Measure E, a parcel tax measure that secured $27 million in stable funding for our schools, which would earn me the 2017 Friend of Education Award from the Las Virgenes Educators Association. I have cultivated strong relationships with our school district officials and will continue to build on our well-established city-school partnerships in every way.

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY

I’ve been approached many times to run based on my long record of leadership and public service, but my tipping point came when the three Councilmen lined up behind the developer of the massive, out-of-character Cornerstone development last year. They decided on a narrow 3-2 vote to refuse to order an updated environmental impact report despite powerful arguments and impassioned testimony from the community. Many of us felt that Cornerstone was not representative the vision of Agoura Hills or of the Specific Plan, but our voices were ignored and it was only a costly citizen-funded lawsuit that curtailed the project. This cannot happen again.

I felt that Cornerstone was indicative of a larger issue: that fewer and fewer voices around the community were being heard. In my leadership roles, my top priority has always been to engage people and get them invested through one-on-one meetings, events, social media and active-listening campaigns. Our city can – and must – do the same.

We must modernize the ways we reach out to residents so that we can meet them where they are at. It’s time to employ new strategies to expand public outreach so that people feel invited and invested in their community. Regular newsletters that explain upcoming agendas, social media use and in-person events are just some ways to better include residents in the conversation about our city workings. I bring this to the table as the next generation of Agoura Hills leadership.

NN: Do you want to see the City aligned with California's more progressive values? If not, why, and if so, In what way?

Lopez: I believe the priorities I detailed above reflect our State’s goals, and this is where my experience with State Senator Henry Stern is an advantage. I was the Senator’s very first campaign staffer, stayed with him through Election Day, and worked in the District office as well. This gave me an intimate understanding of how state action impacts local policy. It is a partnership that will ensure our local voices are heard at the state level.

Who do you see as your primary opponent and how will you govern differently than you see that person governing?

I don't see this as a contest against any opponent. For me, this campaign is the beginning of a continuing conversation and exchange of ideas between me, as your elected representative, and the people of our city, moving forward together. The best decisions are made when government and the people work together, seeking public input at the beginning of the processes, not at the end when it’s too late to make a difference.

That said, there is one big difference between myself and my fellow candidates: the partnerships I’ve made and the strong endorsements that reflect that. I am the only candidate endorsed by our first mayor and former State Assemblywoman and Senator, Fran Pavley. In addition, I am supported by trusted leaders like Congressman Ted Lieu, State Senator Henry Stern, Mayor Pro Tem Linda Northrup, Councilwoman Illece Buckley Weber, many former mayors, all five school board members and hundreds more. I am endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters and the National Women’s Political Caucus. These endorsements show recognition of partnerships and decades of hard work in the community. I would come to the dais with these relationships already in place. I’m ready to serve!

NN: Anything you'd like to add?

Lopez:

  • I moved to Agoura (pre-“Hills”) in 1980, before the city was incorporated.
  • I have hiked nearly every trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, including the 65-mile Backbone Trail. I’ve climbed to the peak of Ladyface many times.
  • I have been married for 24 years to Fabricio and we have three children. My older daughter Amanda is studying Environmental Science and Policy and University of Maryland. My younger daughter Izzy is an equestrian and rides with Katy Rishoff weekly in Old Agoura. My son Marcus is an accomplished jazz piano player. My parents still live in Agoura Hills in the house I grew up in, close to where we live.
deborah klein lopez
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Thursday, July 4, 2013
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Do you share the sentiments expressed in this letter written by Larry Brown? Most offensive about the sale is the Agoura Hills City Council's secrecy. Just as the community was lulled into thinking that the plan was for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to buy the land, the deal was struck behind their backs. What is to say that the buyer, who has already pressured the city with a lawsuit, won't sue yet again for the right to do whatever they want with the land, regardless of the city's so-called restrictions? The Council's track record is to back down and succumb to the pressures of a lawsuit. They've caved to another developer who sued the city for approval of a project on the corner of Driver and Chesebro. Read the Acorn article by clicking HERE.
Please comment and share!

Dear Denis [Mayor of the City of Agoura Hills],


Speaking as an old friend who wants to communicate to you, as "heart to heart" as is humanly possible , I can not over state how sick to my stomach I am that the council can even consider not going through with the law suit to clear the title to the Heschel land. This is a mistake of cataclysmic proportions.

These [people] are already
acting like they own the place. They are trespassing on people's properties, driving a Mini Cooper and other vehicles all the way back and parking on top of the hill in the middle of fire season, leaving trash all over the place and generally being obtrusive.

Not long ago, Illece Weber told me there was "no deal as of yet", but given what I have personally witnessed, I simply do not believe that anymore. These guys have been back there disturbing the sanctity of the neighborhood for at least 6 weeks and there is no way on earth these guys are going to these lengths unless they believe they have a deal. I am not talking about ink or technicalities. I am talking about what is.

We are dealing with "open space" and not just any open space, but the very most strategic open space from the perspective of the homeowners, from the perspective of the city who requires a buffer, a wildlife corridor, and from the broader perspective who lament excessive development generally. It is my sincere feeling that you are grossly underestimating the value of this land and over estimating the downside should things not go our way. There is always a way to finance a project but once this land is gone, it is gone for good and the quality of life of many of your friends, particularly Ron and Kelly are going to be greatly diminished. It is my understanding that this developer is not trustworthy and has been embroiled in numerous law suits and he has already proven to me that he is a slime ball by playing both ends against the middle, not the tactic of an upstanding businessman.

I am extremely unhappy about this "penny wise, pound foolish" direction the council appears to be taking and all I can tell you is I intend to fight this project, and encourage the community to fight it with every tool at my disposal. We have worked far too long and hard to roll over for these creeps now.

Ironic that on the 10th of July, we will honor some of our locals for "the day of the cowboy". I feel compelled to remind the council that in order for these honors to amount to anything more than a mouth full of empty rhetoric, the council will have to remember what is important to cowboys.

Cowboys are about wide open spaces.

Cowboys do not back down from a fight, even when the odds are difficult.

Cowboys do not roll over, especially when threatened with blackmail.

Cowboys place honor above dollars and cents etc.

I can not place my opposition to this project in stronger terms. This open space is literally priceless and no matter what the numbers are, given the circumstances, they do not even begin to mitigate, no less justify the disgraceful consideration of this wrong headed capitulation.

Denis, I am begging you to rethink this. After coming this far and fighting so many battles, it is crazy to surrender .... and lose the war. Again, I intend to fight this development and to encourage everyone I know to do the same right down to the very end, win, lose or draw.

Comments: 3

 
Sunday, June 23, 2013
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Team Logan Fundraiser sponsored by Ewing and Associates Sotheby's in Agoura was a great success.

Logan Nobriga is the 9 year old son of Kyrsha Wildasin, who is the graphic designer for AgouraHorseProperty.com. Logan is undergoing treatment for leukemia. Kyrsha is unable to work full time while caring for Logan. The event, consisting of a Happy Hour and Silent Auction, raised over $11,000 to help with living expenses for the family.

"I am having the hardest time trying to figure out what to say that will adequately express my thanks for all of your thoughtfulness, hard work, support and love. Everything I write seems so lacking. The event was amazing and I am so happy I was able to make it. Hopefully I thanked and hugged each one of you personally, but if I didn't please know that I am beyond appreciative for everything you have done, not so much for me, but for Logan. Please know that what you are doing is affording me the opportunity to give him the care and love he needs to get through this. You are allowing me to put my head on the pillow at night at least knowing that our needs are met and I can use my energy to focus on what is most important, my son. My hopes are that one day I can give back or pay forward all the amazing kindness and compassion that has been shown to us and that Logan will have the kind of character you all have. Please take a moment to acknowledge yourselves and recognize that what you did was part of a miracle for us. I constantly pray for Logan to be taken care of and you all showed up. Truly amazing. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and soul.

With much love and gratitude.

Kyrsha xox"
Comments: 0

 
Thursday, July 5, 2012

I hope your dogs were not freaked by the fireworks last night. I went to a party and while I was gone, my retriever scratched screen doors to shreds (trying to get inside the house) and then dug her way out of the yard and started running in a random direction until a neighbor (thank you Dr. Peter Roth - Agoura Hills orthodontist and animal lover) found her a mile away from the house. Jeez, you'd think a so-called hunting dog would just "deal with it". Next year, I'm giving her a Valium and not letting her out of my sight.

Comments: 0

 
Thursday, June 7, 2012

Brownie Stanisch of Prospect Mortgage explains the appraisal process in today's market given the restrictions imposed by the Home Valuation Code of Conduct and The Consumer Protection Agency. Learn what is necessary for a custom property to receive the appropriate valuation-especially rural homes (like Old Agoura horse property) and homes which have been improved.

Video courtesy of Nona Green, CA DRE# 00692351

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