Citizens in the southern California town of Agoura are trying to “save face” — literally, save Ladyface Mountain, from the double scourge of Home Depot and Target. Here’s how residents have described the battle on their website: “Allowing two big boxes to be built in Agoura Hills would be a colossal mistake. The impact on existing business and the traffic they would generate would be unbearable. The addition of these big box stores would destroy many of the existing small businesses that have been in the city for 20 to 30 years. They have pumped tax dollars into the city coffers and employed local residents. Why doesn’t the city support them by encouraging the developer to bring businesses to this center that the city needs and that don’t already exist here? Then you would indeed be bringing in “new” tax dollars. The current scenario is a redistribution of tax dollars. Depot and Target are known as predatory retailers. They would work very hard at putting the local competition, and local tax base, out of business. When I hear “City Officials” being quoted in the newspaper saying that this project would bring in $750,000 in tax revenue and create 200 more jobs its obvious they are buying into the developer’s propaganda. Do they really believe it?. Or are they trying to sell us on the idea? The real truth is that a major portion of this $750,000 already comes from existing businesses in town like Vons, Ralph’s, Rite Aid, Sav-on, Do it Center, Roadside Lumber, etc. The list of affected businesses goes on and on. As far as the 200 new jobs, what about the affected businesses that will cut back or go out of business ??. They also don’t mention that Target pays $8.00 per hour and full time work is 28 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = $11,648.00 per year. Well below the poverty level for a family in this country!!. Do you think anybody who lives in Agoura Hills will actually work at these stores? I don’t think so!! Their affects on the dozens of small businesses in this town would be disastrous. It would forever change the flavor of our city. Recently City planners and officials across the country have confirmed that the long term affect of this type of Big Box Sprawl have actually had a negative financial impact on there cities. Have our city officials done their homework??? Have they asked the residents if they even want this type of project?? No !! They Haven’t!! The second major argument against this project is the traffic. It is a well known fact that the Kanan Road / 101 interchange is the largest single problem and source of complaints in the city. The new office complex on Canwood Street, the proposed J.H.Snyder project and the new Library and Civic Center will have a crushing impact on the traffic situation on Kanan Road and Reyes Adobe even with proposed improvements to the interchange.” Residents told me that this huge development lies right at the gateway into town, with the scenic Lady Face Mountain as a backdrop.
For more information on the growing battle in Agoura, visit their website at www.saveagoura.com. Contact Email: [email protected]