Each of us founding this site has had the privilege of serving as Mayor of Agoura Hills, beginning with the very first City Council in 1982. In the 1970s, we were just "Agoura," part of L.A. County. Peaceful and still rural, families being drawn to the area by its oak studded hills, cool breezes, and the promise of a special place where they could put down roots. For the same reasons, however, it had also become a target for runaway development, the proliferation of ugly pole signs and billboards, rampant grading of hillsides, bulldozing of oak trees. It was rapidly becoming a poster child for uncontrolled growth, with county government distant and unengaged.
In December of 1982 unincorporated Agoura became the City of Agoura Hills after voters expressed their strong determination not to become another San Fernando Valley. Rather, this new city would preserve the beauty we saw in our hills, oak woodlands, and open spaces.
When a minimum-security prison was proposed to be built immediately east of Old Agoura shortly after incorporation, the citizens realized in a very vivid way that only a vigilant and engaged populace could protect the unique community they now had in their care. Although we live on the fringe of the Los Angeles Megalopolis, we were determined not to be swallowed up by it.
So far, that determination has held. In election after election, voters have supported those candidates who put forth a vision of a city that honors its natural resources and unparalleled viewsheds, that maintains a small town feel, and welcomes businesses that share those values but holds the line against those that do not.
Even in special elections, voters have expressed a strong desire to maintain our "Gateway" identity, voting by almost 80% in 1993 to start removing towering pole signs that blight the freeway corridor, and, in 2001, to limit the size of retail buildings to prohibit big box development.
Our beautiful city hall and library received overwhelming community approval for its warm Craftsman design, so appropriate situated at the foot of Ladyface Mountain. Similarly, the Agoura Village Specific Plan for low-key and pedestrian-oriented "Gateway" development at Kanan and Agoura Road had unprecedented support in the form of community input. Residents have consistently made clear a strong desire for the preservation of our open spaces and for small-scale projects consistent with our city that looks toward the mountains from every neighborhood.
Agoura Hills has matured and passed its 30th anniversary of cityhood. We believe that this is an appropriate time to reflect on where it all began and to share our thoughts and our concerns looking down the road. There are lessons to be learned, and opportunities before us, either to be captured or lost forever.
Please join with us to help shape the future of our special city. We will be sharing information and our thoughts on actions before the City Council and the Planning Commission. We will alert you to issues and events that we think will be of interest to you.
But most of all, we want and hope that you will join this blog with your comments and ideas about where you want to see our city head over the next decade.
Future articles on this site will discuss the pedestrian oriented Agoura Village Plan, the Wildlife Corridor, Creek Cleanup and Restoration, Traffic Calming, Lighting, Signage, Open Space, Trails and much more. We'll share more over the coming weeks. But mostly, we have established this site because we want to hear from you as our neighbors and friends. We want this to be an interactive place where your voice can be heard on an ongoing basis. We also hope that this will be a useful place where information will be shared and made available to our current and future City Councils. If you want to be alerted when new articles or photos appear, sign up to get an email.
Welcome! Please let us hear from you.