On Februrary 6th 2020, the City of Calabasas Planning Commission will hear public testimony on the fate of the Juan Bautista de Anza’s Historic Trail for future use by equestrians.
Personal comments need to REFERENCE: New Home Company Development, WEST VILLAGE AT CALABASAS, File # 160003152; include your thoughts about why we need a Trail Head Parking Facility including a complete bathroom facility, potable water, and sufficient parking for not only hikers and cyclists, but buses for school children and equestrian large horse trailer rigs with multiple horses onboard.
TO: Planning Commission, City of Calabasas
RE: New Home Company Development, WEST VILLAGE AT CALABASAS, File # 160003152
Request to insist on adequate parking for equestrian use at the JUAN BAUTISTA DE ANZA NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILHEAD
The Anza trailhead is now being buried behind the Rondell Oasis Hotel which is currently under construction. The LAST area available for a proper TRAILHEAD within the City of Calabasas is the land now owned by a corporation under the name –NEW HOME, a development company. The vacant land has story poles on the south side of the Mobil Gas Station on Las Virgenes Road, at the intersection with Agoura Road.
Aside from the immeasurable cultural and historical significance of Juan Bautista De Anza trail which should be accessible if it is to be preserved for all posterity, there is a significant economic benefit.
Some of the established and long-enduring horse-related businesses in the City include Calabasas Saddlery, Far West Farms, Malibu Valley Farms, Acres West Equestrian Center, and West Valley Feed (consolidated in Agoura), Horse TV, and I even count Sagebrush Cantina. There is a network of businesses supporting equestrians including trainers, veterinarians, horseshoers, dentists, grooms, trailer mechanics, blanket services, hippotherapists, equine-assisted psychotherapists, supplement distributors, and too many others to mention. These are people who dine, shop, buy gas, pay taxes, hire accountants, hairdressers, gardeners. I counted 300 business listings in the Southern CA Horseman’s Directory, and I made it only to the ‘M’s. ELCR (Equestrian Land Conservation Resource) has statistics indicating that the industry’s contribution to the US GDP is greater than that of the entertainment business.
One of the last thriving Chapters of the United States Pony Club (think of Boy and Girl Scouts for horse kids) located in Calabasas, disbanded. Recent fires have destroyed many monuments located on public lands and many businesses won’t recover. The toll is great for one of the last remaining horse-friendly towns in the greater LA area. it is critical to PLAN NOW for the future of the horse industry in this area. Horse owners need trails. Access to public lands for equestrians is of paramount importance. We can not afford to lose a single trailhead. Without adequate parking for several large horse rigs, it is access denied. One by one, Los Angeles County has lost its equestrian communities as a result of choking off access to dwindling public trails. Hopefully, Calabasas will be spared this fate. Equestrian communities of Hidden Hills, Monte Nido, Old Agoura, and the Mulholland Corridor support commerce in the City of Calabasas. Those communities need the support of the City of Calabasas Planning Commission.