Calabasas City Council Shoots Down West Village Project

by Marc Tahler

Calabasas City Council has unanimously rejected a 180-unit residential project based on its environmental impact report.

New Home Co. has been plugging away at expanding its footprint in the city with West Village at Calabasas, a mixed-use complex on a vacant 77-acre lot at 4790 Las Virgenes Road, near the eastern terminus of Agoura Road.

The Irvine-based builder — which has developed units throughout California, Arizona and soon Colorado — had already created the 72-condo Calabasas Avanti, at 23600 Park Sorrento, which sold out by early 2019.

However, based on its final environmental impact report, New Home Co. saw Calabasas City Council oppose the West Village project in a 5-0 vote May 17.

“Each of the City Councilmembers cited various reasons for their individual votes to deny the project, and wildfire mitigation was one of those subjects prominently mentioned,” said Mayor James Bozajain. “One of the overriding factors was the City Council’s interpretation of the Open Space Initiative, codified by voters in 2005 and then again in 2015. Most of us, myself included, specifically mentioned that our ordinances relating to open space preservation prohibited approval without a two-thirds vote of the public. In light of the 5-0 rejection of the proposal, the developer/applicant will need to decide what to do next.”

Opponents to the project, including environmentalists, believe that the City Council followed its community’s consciousness in rejecting the project.

“The City Council not only did what’s right for residents, it did what’s right for the wildlife that makes Calabasas so remarkable,” said Tiffany Yap, senior scientist for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Officials should think twice before approving any hillside development that eliminates wildlife connectivity and increases the chance of yet another wildfire.”

A day after the vote, New Home Co. spokesperson Mike Hoye said that the developer had no immediate comment.

“At this point, they are figuring out internally what the process is for moving forward,” Hoye said.

Published on 2021-05-20 19:29:30