Thousand Oaks Council approves controversial new apartment project

4-1 vote, with Claudia Bill-de la Pena dissenting, City celebrates 50 years!

By Kelsey Stuart and Shelby Baker

Apparently there are conflicting opinions on the city’s vision 2064 and the present situation.

Various residents of Los Feliz Drive dug their heels in to stop the construction going on.

Los Feliz Drive Apartment rendering (Source: Architect, via Thousand Oaks)

Los Feliz Drive Apartment rendering (Source: Architect, via Thousand Oaks)

Kay Sikra, a resident on Los Feliz drive, took the stand in defense of her neighbors. She brought a number of pictures depicting the scene that surrounds the lot the Justus Commercial Group is planning to build a 45-unit luxury apartment complex.

“Our neighbor, they rent their house, and they were required to do home repairs at their expense or face city fees,” Sikra said.

Sikra argued that the luxury apartment will fail to attract working professionals because the communities surrounding the apartments are so dilapidated, she also mentioned concern for the growing, “Traffic Tsunami,” if the complex was at maximum capacity.

Senior architect, Nicholas Deitch, of Main Street Architects + Planners INC. responded with assurance that the luxury apartment will include all the needed open space requirements and contribute to the vision of 2064 to offer a five minute walk to the boulevard, “The city has been very focused on energizing Thousand Oaks Boulevard, we recognize the families and the properties here, our objective is about making the project work the best.”

On February 11, 2014 the TO City Council approved the “Thousand Oaks 2064” program to map out the next 50 years of development in Thousand Oaks. The Council secured seven meetings over the course of seven months to have town members meet and discuss what the next 50 years will look like for five areas: Environment, infrastructure, economy, municipal services, civic and community.

The Justice Group’s 45-unit building that will be built at 1815 and 1825 Los Feliz Drive by the Justus Commercial group will do just that, argued June-Marie Justus.

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Zoning map of the Los Feliz Dr. neighborhood (Source: meeting presentation image)

“We have been actively involved in our community for 30 years, this is a husband and wife investment group, we have put emphasis on the living experience, reconstituting suburbia and the multi generational developments to meet the Vision 2064 objectives,” Justus said.

Council Member Al Adams agreed, stating the city has to do something with its growth, “The question is where do we build? We have to bring in young professionals, they are attracted to live-work areas in a contemporary setting.”

The proposed 45-unit will offer 1-2 bedrooms, with a modern contemporary design, opposite from the city’s traditional Spanish style stucco buildings.

Los Feliz Drive Apartment Site Plan Rendering (Souce: Thousand oaks)

Los Feliz Drive Apartment Site Plan Rendering (Souce: Thousand oaks)

The council approved the construction in a 4-1 vote, with Claudia Bill-de la Pena dissenting. The construction is expected to begin April 2015 and be completed in a year.

Council member Claudia Bill-de la Pena was unsure of the development, and took in the residents concern for traffic concerns by questioning the maximum density of 30 units per acre, “Not everything needs to be at max density, ” she said, noting that a little more room at lower density could be an easier transition for the community.

Residents on Los Feliz, particularly homeowners that have been in the community, are arguing the construction.

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Surrounding Los Feliz neighborhood (Photo: Kelsey Stuart, Citizensjournal.us)

“I’m more excited about the new property than all the lower-income housing they keep building here,” Tom Pleman said, a home owner for the last 22 years on Los Feliz. “But once the city decides, it’s just a dog and pony show.”

Pleman said that members of the Los Feliz community want to raise the home value and create a lasting impression, as they are a block from the main street in Thousand Oaks.

There are more angles to the prospective revitalizing of Thousand Oaks boulevard and how this will envelope the surrounding five-mile radius to meet the goals of Vision 2064, Citizens Journal will bring you those next week.

 

March 27 presentation of Thousand Oaks 2064 plan

 

Celebration of 50 years of Thousand Oaks incorporation

In the aftermath of celebrating its 50-year anniversary, the City Council of Thousand Oaks honored multiple committees and special volunteers to cumulate its achievements as a town on Tuesday night’s council meeting.

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Celebration of Thousand Oaks 5oth Anniversary (Photo: Kelsey Stuart, Citizensjournal.us)

Senator Fran Pavley, the first mayor of Agoura Hills, honored the city with a recognition award, “It’s an honor to represent the city of Thousand Oaks, I remember way back when there were three female mayors throughout the main cities.”

Pavley commended the city on its perseverance in maintaining open space protection, noted it as a model for energy efficiency on wastewater, and stated she is looking forward to the next 50 years.

In memory of appreciating the last 50 years, Mayor Andrew Fox highlighted 27 volunteers in the Friends of the Civics Arts Plaza in recognition for their hard spent hours to the city that have helped to create its artistic and affluent atmosphere, http://www.civicartsplaza.com/friends.

“These volunteers have been here since the beginning, they have helped to seat over 5.5 million patrons and directed over 11,000 school buses a year that have brought in 1 million people,” Fox said.

Fox said that the 20,000 hours they work a year would add up to $200,000 per volunteer, “That is $4 million they have saved the city.”

As the 50 volunteers trickled out toting big smiles and glossy certifications, the city recognized the YMCA for its 50 years of service to the community, “I was sad they left so fast, I was going to hit them up too,” Janice Wise said, PR Director for the YMCA.

The aura lifted from so many joyful certifications of achievement as the public comments rolled in.

 

Previous CJ article https://citizensjournal.us/2064-visioning-project-city-of-thousand-oaks-looks-into-the-future/

Thousand Oaks – Thousand Oaks Blvd. Specific Plan

http://www.thousandoaksblvd.org/plan.htm

Thousand Oaks Visioning 2064 Municipal Services – City of

 

Kelsey Stuart is a freelance journalist in Ventura County, she is a published writer of more than 200 articles ranging from the Fresno Bee to the Ventura County Star, and everything in between.  

Shelby Baker recently graduated with a BA in Political Science Cum Laude. She has done research, humanitarian, and mission work in Brazil, Bolivia, and India. Most recently, Shelby spent two months in India researching culture, religion, and society and volunteering as an English teacher. She is pursuing a career in international justice.

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Laurella Hernandez

The city of Thousand Oaks is implementing an oppressive and disturbing system of community gang stalking and Voice to Skull technology to harass low income homeowners out of the target revitalization area. developers, police, community safety committed, city planning, and public health professionals are collaborating to torture residents that own older homes on Low Felix Dr. What an abominable act of psychological violence influences and council leaders are secretly unleashing on innocent residents. This is a wonderful community revitalization vision but your methods are CRIMINAL. DRIVE OUT homeowners to acquire real estate in poor condition, to capitalize on the redevelopment. This form of government abuse will NOT be tolerated. what elitist so-called leaders exploit the poor for capital gain?! Thousand Oaks City Planners and first responder, we DEMAND you stop harassing our families or you will be faced with a class action lawsuit! Stop the H8!