The medians have been maintained by the Morrison Ranch Homeowners Association for more than 35 years, but the association has turned over the job to the city.
The existing trees in the medians will remain, although coastal live oaks will be added in some of the medians, said Ramiro Adeva, director of public works.
“It’s a major gateway to the city,” he said of Kanan Road.
All of the existing shrubs, including junipers, will be removed from the medians and replaced with a variety of plants, including dwarf coyote brush, anchor bay plants that feature blue flowering branches, canyon snow iris and English lavender. Pine muhly grass will also be used in the center medians, as will Mexican sage and Bert’s California fuchsia, which is identifiable by its bright red flowers.
Agoura Hills City Councilmember Denis Weber, a 30-year Morrison Ranch resident who has served on the HOA board, said the junipers were planted when Morrison Ranch was first developed over 35 years ago.
“ They have not been maintained very well during that time, and the council has been wanting to change the look of that part of the city for years,” Weber said. “(We) finally have the chance to do so as we’ve embraced a new plant palette for the city, and it makes sense to do something new and clean up this major entrance to the city.”
Councilmember Linda Northrup said she is excited about the change in landscaping on the five medians.
“I love anything related to the beautification of our city,” Northrup said.
Councilmember Illece Buckley Weber said she moved to Agoura Hills in 1992 and drives this stretch of Kanan Road every day.
“I’m thrilled to be updating the medians with modern, native and drought-resistant landscaping.”
She said the city will not cut down trees unnecessarily— only when they absolutely must be replaced. Sometimes, she said, trees pull up sidewalks.
“Not a lot of trees fit in the tree wells,” she said. “As lovely as sycamore trees may be, they do not fit in the sidewalk tree wells.”
Some trees have already died in the medians in the Morrison Ranch area, including the evergreen pears. Some of them have been infected with a fungus and are losing their leaves.
“I’m almost certain they will be removed,” Buckley Weber said.
Adeva said that in addition to the new plantings, the irrigation will be changed to a drip system to save water. The city will continue to use recycled water.
“We decided it was such a unique and important corridor since 20,000 cars go down that specific section of Kanan Road,” Adeva said of the beautification plan.