2017-06-15 / Letters

Fashion show not eco-friendly

The May 11 Christian Dior fashion show was apparently a smashing success, at least in the fashion world. It was held in the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve.

Early that afternoon, cars started filling up all of the open curb areas up and down our Calabasas residential street.

Now, I’ll grant that the streets are public rights of way as are the parking spaces along them, but when loads of strangers started coming into this area and were standing around waiting for a shuttle bus, I got even more curious.

It turned out that the Dior show had commandeered these residential streets for staff parking without even a “howdy-do” to give us mere locals a heads-up that this was coming.

From what I can gather, the Dior folks took over about 20 unspoiled acres of supposedly protected land, northwesterly away from the original Ahmanson Ranch buildings, and proceeded to physically clear that land for the fashion-show venue, creating new roadways in the process.

News articles said that some 800 A-list guests were transported by four-wheel Gators to the show’s site after arriving by some 200 SUVs.

Once there, they were reportedly treated royally: tents galore, prime beverages and food, hot air balloons on display, a Dior ad to compete with the iconic Hollywood sign and a new adobe-style building with a very visible Dior sign.

Then I found that the City of Calabasas 2030 General Plan document includes maps detailing the locations of endangered plants and animals within the preserve’s area. Superimposing this information on a Google Earth image of the presumed site, I was able to see that the show’s venue was right in the middle of areas denoting the habitats of burrowing owls and Braunton’s milk-vetch plants, both listed as sensitive biological resources,

Once again, I find all this hard to believe. So much for endangered species being “preserved and protected” in this public preserve.

Carl Ehrlich

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