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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 8, 2005 Election
Measure C
Annexation of 152 Acres for Malibu Valley Inn Project
City of Calabasas

Advisory Vote Only

2,486 / 40.22% Yes votes ...... 3,695 / 59.78% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Should Calabasas annex 152 acres on Mulholland Highway east of Las Virgenes Road for the Malibu Valley Inn & Spa – a 203-room resort, 5 estate homes, facilities for swimming, equestrian use, tennis, fitness spa, restaurant, winery, shops, conference rooms, and underground parking as described in the project’s draft environmental impact report – in lieu of up to 81 estate homes on 443 acres if not annexed

Official Sources of Information
Impartial Analysis from Calabasas City Attorney Michael G. Colantuono
Introduction. This measure asks voters whether the City should annex 152.25 acres on Mulholland Highway between Las Virgenes and Stokes Canyon Roads for the proposed Malibu Valley Inn & Spa. The measure is advisory and does not bind the City, property owner, or Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which must also approve annexation. The City Council will, and LAFCO may, consider the election result before approving or rejecting annexation.

1988 Approvals. The land to be annexed includes the Malibu Valley Farms horse facility, 4 single-family lots, and vacant land. In 1988, Los Angeles County approved a tentative subdivision map, and other permits allowing development of 81 additional single-family lots on 443 acres. In 2003, the property owner successfully defended a lawsuit challenging the subdivision, the approval of which currently expires in 2008. Some lots will require Coastal Commission approval. Utility construction for this subdivision has begun.

According to the environmental impact report (EIR) for the subdivision: it requires 2,200,000 cubic yards of grading on 126 acres and removal of up to 78 oak trees; 25 houses could be seen from Mulholland Highway; and 170 acres would require brush clearance for fire safety. The draft EIR for the annexation says the subdivision would generate 948 weekday vehicle trips (up to 95 in the peak hour). The subdivision was consistent with 1988 zoning and planning, but not with the County’s North Area Plan, adopted in 2000 as an amendment to the County’s general plan, which regulates land use in unincorporated areas.

Calabasas would receive no property taxes from the subdivision, but will receive sales taxes when its residents shop in Calabasas. Because the subdivision map is vested, further mitigation of the subdivision’s traffic, aesthetic and other impacts may not occur except as to Coastal Commission approvals.

2005 Proposal. The proposed resort would include 81.7 acres, 203 guest units, swimming and tennis club, spa and fitness center, 2 restaurants, retail stores, horse facilities, small winery, and 4-acre vineyard. The resort would include a reception building, conference center, above- and below-ground parking and five new single-family lots, for total new construction of 341,489 square feet. The resort, Malibu Valley Farms on 60.11 acres, and an additional area of 10.2 acres to be developed as four single-family lots would also be annexed. More than 300 acres would remain undeveloped.

According to the draft EIR for the annexation: it requires 500,000 cubic yards of grading on
30.79 acres and removal of 72 oak trees; 34.55 acres would require brush clearance for fire safety; and resort buildings could be seen from Mulholland Highway and Malibu Creek State Park and would generate 1,878 weekday vehicle trips (up to 128 in the peak hour). The project is consistent with Calabasas zoning and planning designations to be adopted if annexation is approved, but not with the County’s North Area Plan.

The City would receive hotel bed taxes and part of sales and property taxes if the project is annexed. EIR and annexation approvals would provide opportunities for further mitigation of traffic, aesthetic and other impacts.

  Official Information

City of Calabasas

Draft EIR - Malibu Inn & Spa
News and Analysis

The Acorn

Suggest a link related to Measure C
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Arguments For Measure C Arguments Against Measure C
A YES vote advises the City Council to replace an approved 81-lot subdivision in Los Angeles County with an Inn and Spa in the City of Calabasas.

Replacing the subdivision with the Malibu Valley Inn and Spa: 1) Reduces both grading and disturbed area by over 400%
2) Cuts building square footage in half
3) Saves over 300 acres from development
4) Increases the City of Calabasas' income over 10 years by $25 Million
5) Provides restaurant, equestrian, health spa, tennis, and swim facilities available to the community

The Inn & Spa provides local students with access to an Olympic sized pool, stadium tennis court, summer jobs and instructional programs in wine-making, horse husbandry, and resort management..

The Inn & Spa is designed for equestrian friendly access by providing hitching posts, water troughs and livery stables to care for horses while riders enjoy the facilities. It also includes arenas for pony clubs and local Corrals.

If the Inn & Spa is not built, homes will be. The Inn & Spa is consistent with the North Area Plan policy which recognizes that resorts, lodgings, and equestrian facilities are needed to maximize recreational opportunities in the National Recreation Area.

PKF Consulting, a leading resort and hospitality consulting firm, conservatively estimates that over the first ten years of operation the Inn & Spa will provide $25 million in revenue to the City of Calabasas. The City of Calabasas will not receive any of that revenue if the project is not annexed.

The Calabasas Park Homeowners Association board, which represents the majority of households in the Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation, unanimously supports the Malibu Valley Inn & Spa.

Please vote - and join us in advising the City Council to continue to move for annexation of the Malibu Valley Inn & Spa.







Vote NO because:

Over 3,000 additional weekend car trips and almost 2,000 weekday car trips per day on Las Virgenes/Malibu Canyon Road would create even worse traffic backups and smog and may cost millions to taxpayers for unmitigated and underfunded improvements.

It goes against the Los Angeles County North Area Plan and the Calabasas General Plan, which state that annexation should not occur for the purpose of increasing density, that development must conform to the land, and that resource protection has priority over development.

It is 2 times larger than The Commons. Unlike The Commons, however, it is not in the right location. This dense urban development is not compatible with state and national parkland on a scenic highway in the heart of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Commercial zoning can be sold with the land.
The developers could sell the property immediately, with its new commercial entitlements, to a different, even less desirable, Commercial venture. .

It is not an "equestrian resort".
91 % of the commercial project area is devoted to hotel rooms, a huge convention center, restaurants with liquor licenses, offices, and retail use, and just 9% is for spa, tennis, and swimming usage. Where are the horse facilities? They already exist ... on Stokes Canyon Road. They don't justify a 341,000 sq ft hotel/convention center, however, especially since they are operating in violation of Coastal Zone regulations.

Calabasas will not benefit from the tax revenues.
Our open vistas; hills, clean air, and relief from urban congestion are what make Calabasas such a desirable place to live. Project tax revenues would be spent fixing the traffic problems.

The threat of 81 homes is overstated.
The developer does not have a coastal permit for any development within the Coastal Zone.

The project is opposed by
Save Open Space/Santa Monica Mountains
The Sierra Club
Monte Nido Valley Homeowners Association

Malibu Canyon Community Association President

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Created: January 28, 2006 14:42 PST
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