2017-03-16 / Editorials

Agoura Village gives city the identity it deserves

After more than 10 years of planning and enough debate and discussion to last a lifetime, Agoura Village has finally been given the green light. The Agoura Hills City Council last week denied an appeal to delay Cornerstone, the first Village project, meaning everything is now a go for the 8-acre development at Agoura and Cornell roads just south of the freeway.

While the vote was close—Cornerstone passed by a narrow 3-2 margin—we believe the council made the right decision in allowing the project to proceed.

The city is on the right track with Agoura Village. It’s not just another collection of shopping centers and not just another strip mall, but a tastefully planned commercial setting in the shadow of the Santa Monica Mountains, where dining, entertainment and shopping merge with residential living. It’s an eclectic new development that gives Agoura Hills the true town center it deserves.

The seeds for Agoura Village were sewn more than a decade ago when the city laid out its vision for the development. Last year, real progress was made when upgrades to Agoura Road were completed.

Wider, and more attentive to bicycles, pedestrians and parking, the new Agoura Road gives the area a fresh, modern look and provides a perfect welcome mat for Cornerstone and other projects sure to come. Agoura Village will be the place to be in just a few short years. Count on it.

The objections to the village are nothing new: more traffic, more pollution and more loss of pristine open space. A recent city survey shows the No. 1 concern of residents is traffic. But all cities—not just Agoura—are required by law to give land owners and developers a fair shake when they wish to build on their property. That means as long as the development meets specific plan, general plan and other zoning guidelines, it cannot be denied just because opponents think there’s too much building going on already. It’s for this reason that the Cornerstone appeal failed.

The traffic is problematic; we won’t deny that. The drip, drip, drip of additional cars onto the 101 Freeway due to new homes, offices and shopping centers has turned the the Las Virgenes and Conejo valleys into a clogged mess during morning and evening rush hours. Consider it the price of progress, and in a way we’re all culpable.

But aside from a pair of 40-year-old shopping centers on Kanan Road, the city has never had a main street of which it can be proud, and what is more apple pie than Main Street, U.S.A.? We support the Agoura Village vision and welcome this first major project known as Cornerstone.

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