Judge Pauses California Development over Wildfire Safety Concerns
The judge halted this development over concerns that, upon completion, it will block evacuation routes for EXISTING communities. California courts are finally recognizing that safety - especially as it applies to disaster risk mitigation & evacuation - should be a priority. Again, no one is saying "don't build", but someone has to start to say that we must build responsibly, thoughtfully, even meticulously when it comes to the welfare of - not just the new community being introduced, but AS SIGNIFICANTLY, the tax-paying, highly invested residents of local communities who are already dug in deep and will be imperiled by thoughtless, haphazard, dangerous development.
Did you know that the vulnerable Santa Monica Mountain wildlands share the same Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone as the southern portion of the City of Agoura Hills? Not the same rating - they are both within the borders of the very same VHFHSZ, depicted below in red. The ONLY thing that separates them is the imaginary boundary line between the City of AH and the Unincorporated County area.
KANAN ROAD is a LIFELINE during disaster. It's the singular evacuation route for specific sections of the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu.
The City of Agoura Hills is building Agoura Village at the mouth of this evacuation route, at the intersection of Kanan and Agoura Roads.
Every vehicle evacuating north on Kanan Road, in an attempt to reach the 101 Freeway, must cross this critical intersection to reach safety.
Currently, without development on the s/e and s/w sides of the intersection of Kanan and Agoura Rds, this intersection is often overwhelmed. Is safe and swift evacuation on Kanan Road a reasonable expectation upon completion of Agoura Village? That is the question.
Now, due to State-mandated, high density housing, the City is planning to build the vast majority of this high-density housing in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone in the southmost part of the city, just yards from its border with Unincorporated Los Angeles County.
Is the safety of existing communities being ignored in favor of expediency and convenience?
Our mission is to protect the Santa Monica Mountains and our primary evacuation route, Kanan Road, by advocating against excessive development that impacts the environment, open space, habitat and welfare of our surrounding communities.
Our goal is to insure the safety of all area residents, giving them a voice by providing information, analysis and legal action when their input is ignored.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Our goals are in keeping with the SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS CONSERVANCY ACT,
as described in sections 33000 - 33010 of the California Public Resources Code
California Code, Public Resources Code - PRC § 33000 This division shall be known as and may be cited as the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Act.
California Code, Public Resources Code - PRC § 33001 The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the Santa Monica Mountains Zone, as defined in Section 33105 , is a unique and valuable economic, environmental, agricultural, scientific, educational, and recreational resource that should be held in trust for present and future generations; that, as the last large undeveloped area contiguous to the shoreline within the greater Los Angeles metropolitan region, comprised of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, it provides essential relief from the urban environment; that it exists as a single ecosystem in which changes that affect one part may also affect all other parts; and that the preservation and protection of this resource is in the public interest.