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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of Calabasas
Measure F - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


3,795 votes yes (35.19%)

6,990 votes no (64.81%)

100% of precincts reporting (15/15).

Shall the Ordinance No. 2016-333 approving changing the existing Zoning from Planned Development + Residential Multifamily (20) + Open Space Development Restricted + Scenic Corridor to Commercial Retail + Residential Multifamily (20) + Open Space Development Restricted + Scenic Corridor + Development Plan to accommodate: 67 Single-Family Detached Homes and two Affordable Duplexes; a 72,872 square-foot, three-story hotel; and preservation of approximately 61.0 acres as Permanent Open Space on a 77-acre property at 4790 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas be approved?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Measure F is a referendum over adoption by the City Council of Ordinance

2016-333 which approves a zone change to allow development of 67 single family

detached homes, 4 affordable units within two duplex structures, a 72,872 square

foot, three-story hotel; and preservation of approximately 61 acres as permanent

open space on a 77 acre property at 4790 Las Virgenes Road. The project is

commonly known as Canyon Oaks. A referendum requires a Council-adopted

ordinance to be submitted to the voters of the City for approval or rejection.

Background: Prior to adoption of Ordinance 2016-333 the zoning for the

property was Planned Development-Residential Multifamily (20) and Open

Space Development RestrictedScenic Corridor. This zoning along with the

associated General Plan designation envisioned possible development of up to

155,000 square feet of commercial development and 180 multifamily residential

units, and would preserve approximately 61 acres as permanent open space. This

does not mean that an application for a project of this size or density would be

submitted or approved, just that such project would be compliant with the former

zoning and associated General Plan designation. Environmental review and 

public hearings of any such proposed project, along with consideration of

required approvals by the Planning Commission and City Council would still be


Ordinance 2016-333:

Under Ordinance 2016-333 the zone change and associated

General Plan amendment allow development of 67 single family homes, 4

affordable units within two duplex structures, and the 72,872 square foot hotel,

and preserves approximately 61 acres as permanent open space.

A YES VOTE on Measure F would result in approval of Ordinance 2016-333,

which, along with the associated General Plan amendment, would establish land

use authorization for development of 67 single family homes, 4 affordable units

within two duplex structures, and the 72,872 square foot hotel, and preserve

approximately 61 acres as permanent open space.

A NO VOTE on Measure F would reject Ordinance 2016-333 and mean that the

development project described above (67 single family homes, 4 affordable units

within two duplex structures, and the 72,872 square foot hotel), could not be

implemented. The city will be prevented from approving the same or

substantially similar development for a period of one year. A no vote does not

change the previous zoning and General Plan designations for the project site

(see Background) and these would remain in effect.

August 18, 2016


City Attorney



Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

We urge your YES vote on Measure F. A YES vote on Measure F will preserve

lower density zoning. A no vote would re-establish a higher density zoning and

allow for more building.

The single family homes and hotel approved by the City Council represent an

over 50% reduction in the amount of building to be allowed on the City’s largest

remaining vacant developable commercial parcel (at the Las Virgenes Road and

Agoura Road intersection).

The City’s 2030 General Plan and current zoning allow for building up to 155,000

sq. ft. of commercial space and 180 multi-family residential units at this site.

After a full Environmental Impact Report was considered at numerous public

hearings, the City Council voted to limit the project to a single 73,000 sq. ft. hotel

and 71 single family homes. This cuts in half the size and density of the allowed


The City Council’s action will protect 61 acres as permanent open space, includes

the planting of over 400 new oak trees, and requires the builder to remediate a

hazardous landslide condition which could threaten public safety.The City

Council denied the developer’s request to exceed the City’s three story height

limit. The approved project will result in three times less vehicle traffic than

allowed under the current higher-density zoning.

In addition, the proposed hotel is expected to provide over $500,000 per year in

revenue to the City which can be used for additional Sheriff’s patrols, youth and

senior programs, and enhanced beautification, environmental and community


The zoning revision approved by your City Council strikes the proper balance

between our community’s desire for lower density development, open space

protection, fiscal responsibility, and respect for the rights of private property

owners in our City.

Please vote YES on Measure F.


Calabasas City Councilmember


Calabasas City Councilmember


Calabasas City Councilmember



Arguments AGAINST

Vote NO because...

The project is too big for this sensitive canyon. Invaluable scenic vistas would be


The costs far outweigh the benefits: 4,000,811 million cubic yards of soil would

be moved, cutting down hills and using the dirt to fill in the valley to create flat

building pads.

Existing designated open space would be lost, converted without the 2/3 vote by

residents required by city ordinance.

Over 1,500 new car trips per day would heavily impact already congested roads.

The threat of maximum build-out is grossly overstated.

“The build-out is worst case it’s nothing that I think would ever

happen...Most people I talk to realize...that it would never be built out to

capacity. That just isn’t realistic.” (Councilmember Mary Sue Maurer)

The project’s current size is not acceptable merely because it is less than the

maximum allowed by law.

The site is constrained by steep slopes, an ancient landslide, iconic viewshed,

rare natural springs and wetlands, rare plant communities, heritage oaks,

wildlife corridor, adjacency to parkland and residences.

Viable alternatives exist proposed by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy:

19 estate homes, houses only, hotel only. A smaller project would have less

grading, less traffic, less impact on views, open space, resources, and people.

The development sets negative precedent because it goes against critical General 

Plan policies: development must conform to the land, resource protection has

priority over development, development must fit the character of the community,

wetlands receive highest protection, tax revenue is not a reason to approve


The project was opposed by James Bozajian, Mayor,Mary Sue Maurer,

Councilmember, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, California Native Plant

Society, Save Open Space/Santa Monica Mountains, Las Virgenes Homeowners

Federation, Calabasas Coalition, Malibu Canyon Community Association,over

90% of residents commenting on it.


President,Malibu Canyon Community Association



Replies to Arguments FOR


This isn’t low density development, open space protection, fiscal responsibility,

or respect for residents’ rights.

Less than maximum buildout is not “low density.”

“maximum development intensity...does not imply that all parcels could be

developed at their maximum intensity or that any specific parcel is entitled to

maximum intensity.” (General Plan II-8)

1,500 car trips per day is two to three times more traffic than proposed smaller


The 3-story hotel is 6,356 square feet larger than the 4-story version.

“The subject landslide under current land use conditions doenot pose any

 substantial public safety threat,” according to Santa Monica Mountains

Conservancy land use experts.

A 7.5 acre area is available for building without touching the landslide, which

would drastically reduce the amount of grading.

General Plan policy is to “discourage development within potential landslide

areas as “a higher priority solutions.”

Open space is lost, not gained.

The landslide is protected open space, not a “public safety threat.”

The landslide constitutes 23 of the 61 acres of already designated open space

on the property, which would be bulldozed to increase development.

The General Plan states the city “...will not sacrifice the area’s natural 

environment or its residents’ quality of life in the pursuit of municipal income.”

Another 3-story hotel approved 120 yards away will provide revenue.

The project undermines the substantial public investment into irreplaceable

multimillion dollar views of parkland and natural habitat surrounding the

property to generate taxes for “beautification” and “environmental” projects.



Mayor Pro Tem, City of Calabasas


Mayor, City of Calabasas


Deputy Director,Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy


Founding President of Calabasas Park Homeowners Association



Replies to Arguments AGAINST

We have all worked hard to make the City of Calabasas the beautiful community

that it is today. That has included strict restrictions on development and strong

protections for our open space. Your YES vote on Measure F will insure that

these principles will continue to guide our City.

The proposed project represents a fraction of the potential building allowed

under the existing zoning.

The project also represents the culmination of a 25 year effort by the City to

scale back development at this site. In 1990, the County was processing permits

for a shopping center larger than The Commons, a 350 student school and a

church for 1,000 worshipers all at this location. That project was defeated, and

beginning with the first Calabasas General Plan in 1995 the City has acted to

downsize any development on this property. In 2008, the City restricted 61 of the

site’s 77 total acres as permanent open space.

This is the smallest and least impactful of the numerous projects proposed for

this property. It is aligned with the General Plan’s vision for the site, while also

meeting the needs of the neighboring community, the environment and the

entire City.

Don’t be fooled by the opponent’s baseless claims or wishful thinking. Calabasas

is a great place to live because our City has actively and prudently guided

development and protected our environment. This is a good project for our City

 that strikes the proper balance. We strongly urge your YES vote on Measure F.



Founding Calabasas Mayor


Past Chair, Calabasas Planning Commission


President, Calabasas Park Homeowners Association


President, AC Stelle Middle School PFC


President, Greater Mulwood Homeowners Association



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