Saturday, December 09, 2006

Agoura Hills general plan update underway

Agoura Hills general plan update underway
By Stephanie Bertholdo

Agoura Hills residents have been invited to help shape the future of their city by attending a joint meeting between the City Council and the planning commission.

According to Allison Cook, senior planner, the Dec. 13 meeting will give residents the opportunity to learn about how the city's general plan will be updated. The document is a framework for city development over the next decade.

Commercial, residential and industrial development is outlined in the general plan, as well as traffic patterns, natural resources, hiking trails, streets, sidewalks and other public works. Also addressed by the plan are issues pertaining to noise, public safety and the local economy.
The update is a three-phase process. The city already conducted several workshops and mailed a written survey to more than 23,000 Agoura Hills residents earlier this year to see how they feel about a variety of city issues.

Survey questions ranged from what people enjoy most about living in Agoura Hills to what they would like to see in the way of transportation, land development, community services and business opportunities. An independent firm analyzed the results and prepared a report, which will be shared at next Wednesday's meeting.

The second phase of the update will begin next year. City staff will prepare reports on traffic, conservation, parks, infrastructure, recreation, housing needs, population demographics, open space and community services. Included will be updated goals, policies, objectives and programs that should be a part of the general plan. The third phase will finalize land use documents and analyze potential environmental consequences pertaining to the California Environmental Quality Act.

The meeting is expected to draw many residents with con
cerns about the Agoura Village plan. City officials view the village south of the 101 Freeway as an eclectic future town center mixing retail and commercial businesses with housing units in a "pedestrian friendly" atmosphere. Opponents see the plan as a threat to the environment and a violation of the exisiting general plan.

Mary Altmann, a Malibou Lakeside resident who formed Citizens for Sensitive Development, a group opposing the development, has filed a citizen's lawsuit to stop or at least delay the development.
The general plan update meeting will be from 6 to 9 p.m. next Wednesday at city hall, 30001 Ladyface Court in Agoura Hills.

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