Why Montessori was denied

Regarding the proposed—now denied—Montessori day care beside the 101 Freeway at the former Coco’s site reported on in The Acorn: Public safety and the health of young children supersede commerce.

In addition to a day care, there are currently 71 other permitted land uses listed in the Municipal Code for CR zoning, including a restaurant, a more compatible use given the Rondell Hotel project directly across the street. The property owners can propose any of those.

The planning commissioners were within their legal rights to attach conditions that must be met prior to approval. Those conditions came out of concerns raised by the planning commissioners or in written or spoken public comments.

The Calabasas City Council had enough evidence to support its findings for denial of the site plan and it is within its legal rights to attach conditions.

If the applicant or property owners believe there is no health risk to the children at the day care site, then let them prove that by providing an air quality report that relies on data collected by onsite air quality monitors that shows levels meet regional air quality thresholds; by performing soil sample tests of the outdoor activity area that show it’s not contaminated with lead; and by conducting traffic and noise studies when A.E. Wright Middle School is in session to accurately reflect conditions that impact those two matters.

With the exception of the architectural review panel, I attended every meeting in the application process for this project, raising public safety concerns in each.

The proposed project isn’t in compliance with the city general plan because the project’s outdoor activity areas have no air quality mitigation or harm reduction measures. This is a requirement that must be met in order for the site plan to receive approval.

The City Council voted, rightly and legally, to deny approval.

Joe Chilco

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