The greening of Agoura Hills

Agoura Hills intends to become more environmentally conscious city by capturing, treating and reusing water that now ends up in the ocean.

City officials recently applied for a grant made available through a bond measure passed by California voters in 2006.

According to city engineer Ramiro Adeva, the Safe Drinking Water Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 84) appropriated $70 million for “urban greening” projects that reduce energy consumption, conserve water, improve air and water quality and provide other community benefits.

The city is seeking a $2.8- million grant to pay for the design phase of the Reyes Adobe Green Street Project. The state has earmarked $15 million for the first phase of municipal urban greening projects, and will release more funding annually in two additional cycles.

Adeva said cities are not required to provide matching funds for the project in the first phase.

The Green Street project would enable the city to build bioretention devices, underground infiltration chambers, rainwater harvesting mechanisms, irrigation cisterns and a drip irrigation system for Reyes Adobe Park and a one-mile stretch of Reyes Adobe Road from Lake Lindero Drive to Canwood Street. The upgrades will capture stormwater and runoff with a harvesting system that will store water for use during the dry summer season or whenever it’s needed. The water will also be used to irrigate the park, Adeva said.

The devices would allow the city to treat stormwater to remove oil, solvents, metals and other contaminants that eventually pollute streams and oceans. Consumption of water would also decrease since it would be recaptured.

Adeva said that new landscaped parkways to house the water claiming and cleaning devices along Reyes Adobe Road would serve as a traffic-calming device. Plants would be native to California and drought-tolerant, he said.

“This is a multibeneficial environmental project as it contains

water conservation, water quality improvement, trafficcalming components to it, while also encouraging pedestrianfriendly mobility to neighboring commercial businesses on Canwood Street,” wrote Louis Celaya, assistant to the city manager, in a report to the council.

If the city does not receive the grant money they will not proceed with the project, Adeva said.

Councilmember John Edelston said that the project was “very exciting,” so much so that even if the city does not win the grant he would like the city to move forward with the design phase.

Councilmember Dan Kuperberg said the city could identify other funding sources after the design phase was completed.

State officials will conduct a site visit in the summer and grant funds will be awarded in October.

If the city wins the funding, the design plans will be completed within a year.

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