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Westlake Revelations' charter is to disseminate factual information about issues. Specifically, to explain topics without stating opinions so that the citizens can deal in fact ... instead of fiction ... and then make up their own minds based on real information.

: Call-time pass-by-reference has been deprecated; If you would like to pass it by reference, modify the declaration of module_invoke_all(). If you would like to enable call-time pass-by-reference, you can set allow_call_time_pass_reference to true in your INI file in /home/wlrev/public_html/modules/fuzzysearch/fuzzysearch.module on line 324.

Vote for Local Schools in Avery's Give Back to Schools

Synopsis

Avery is running a program to "Give back to schools". It's based on voting from the community, much like the Reader's Digest campaign a couple years back. The difference is, however, that Reader's Digest is working hard to keep the voting very realistic (you'll see when you vote). You can vote once per day for each school and login either with your facebook account, or with a standalone account.

The vote has just begun -- and runs until September 14. As a result, if the community comes together and regularly votes for schools (hopefully all the local schools), even a small town like Westlake Village can do well.

Impact of Construction: Water Rate Increases Coming

[Disclaimer: While not relevant to how the facts contained in this article were gathered, the author of this article (Neil Ticktin) lives in Westlake Village's Three Springs. Ticktin is currently opposed to the tank because it has not been shown as necessary, let alone the best solution, by LVMWD. If in the future, the tank is shown as necessary and the best solution, Ticktin would be open to its construction. The facts below have been verified over the past several months through LVMWD's documentation as well as by any additional info LVMWD staff provided directly to date.]

Synopsis

As has been written about over the past several months, Las Virgenes Metropolitan Water District would like to add a 5 million gallon storage tank as part of an infrastructure upgrade project. It's now clear that this has an impact on all LVMWD customers (not just Three Springs or Westlake Village even), including water rate increases to all LVMWD customers.

The tank is expected to be located at the Westlake reservoir, with construction traffic on Lindero Canyon Road, Triunfo Canyon Road, possibly Westlake Blvd., and Three Springs Drive. The District's primary reasoning for spending $6-8 million in building the tank includes planning for substantive population growth, increased reliability of the water system, rising overhead costs, water usage growth, conservation, lower water acquisition rates, and increased fire protection.

In short, if the storage tank is built, LVMWD will need to raise rates sooner or by a larger amount, or a combination of both for all LVMWD customers.

Here are "Quick Facts" related to the water tank construction as it applies to all LVMWD customers.

Additional High School Ranking Info

Westlake Revelations readers responded en masse and quickly with a set of similar questions (both really good questions, btw):
1) How did xyz school rank?
2) What about private schools?

LVUSD High Schools (for comparison) were:

Agoura High School
Medal Awarded: Silver
National Rank #1022
State Rank #198

Calabasas High School
Medal Awarded: Silver
National Rank #654
State Rank #122

Here are the rankings of other public high schools that you asked about:

Westlake High School
Medal Awarded: Gold
National Rank #307
State Rank #59

Thousand Oaks High School

US News Awards Silver Medals to LVUSD High Schools

US News & World Report has just released the rankings for best high schools in the U.S. Of the 21,776 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia, schools were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals based on state proficiency standards, college preparation, and other factors. (Nebraska didn't report enough data to be analyzed.)

City Council Votes 4-0 Approving Selleck Project

Tonight, after a nearly 6 hour City Council meeting that began with an impressively comprehensive and informative presentation by the City's Planning Director Scott Wolfe, followed by a great deal of detail on architecture, planting and design by Selleck and his consultants, and a very long stream of public speakers both for and against the project, the City Council voted on the proposed project for Lot C. As noted earlier, Councilman Slavin recused himself on this issue.

Selleck Project Comes to Vote Wed Night

Synopsis

On Wed night, the Westlake Village City Council will consider and is expected to vote on the proposal from Selleck Design Group for the retail shopping center to be developed on Lot "C" ... where the Lowe's and Opus projects were previously planned.

Realistically, the Council is deciding whether this should be zoned for retail (which means the approval of this project), or if it should remain zoned for office buildings to be built. Residential is not a possibility because of deed restrictions. And, it cannot realistically remain open space or become a park -- it's private property and the owners have well defined rights, just as a homeowner does. While the City cannot decide what should go on a property, it can judge whether something meets the rules, or if a proposed project would serve the City better.

The most commonly discussed issues amongst residents and in the City related to the proposed development are:

* impact of traffic congestion
- retail has slightly more car trips, but causes no real congestion since they are spread out throughout the day
- office buildings cause congestion bad enough to force intersections to "fail", impact focused on AM/PM peak times.
* type of retail (brands and types of retail)
* sales tax revenue to the City (retail provides revenue, office buildings do not)
* look of design and signage (color of signs, types and quantities)
* environmental impact report (of all types)
* development agreement (parameters City would require if approved)
* and others.

The latest 3D renderings are now available, and are included below for reader perusal.

Soap Box Derby: This Weekend

Tomorrow, Sun May 6th, is the 6th Annual Soap Box Derby. 10am-2pm, Farmers Insurance Building Parking Lot, Opposite City of Westlake Village City Hall and Library, 31051 Agoura Road, Westlake Village -- and the event has everything from Soap Box races to a NASCAR display, Car Show, Magicians, Games Music, Community BBQ, Obstacle Course, and Sheriff and Fire Dept displays.

This year's Soap Box Derby event once again includes Big Sunday, and is a chance for Westlake Village and surrounding area residents an easy to give back to the community and help those in need.

Acorn, CLU & Time Warner: Congressional District Candidates' Forum

Synopsis

Our friends at the Acorn want to reach out to Westlake Revelations readers about the upcoming Congressional District candidates' forum on Monday. Full invite is below.

Coming to Vote: Selleck's Proposed Retail Development on Lot C

Synopsis

Originally scheduled for this past week, the City Council has continued the Public Hearing date for the Russell Ranch Road Retail Project to May 9, 2012, at 6:30 pm in the City Council Chambers at Westlake Village City Hall. Primarily, the continuation was due to Councilman Robert Slavin recusing himself from both the ad hoc committee and voting on the project. "While the City Attorney clearly opined that there's no conflict of interest, I opted to recuse myself to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest and possibly taint the decision," said Slavin. The rescheduling gave the Council time to appoint someone new (Councilman Davis) to the ad hoc committee (Councilman Rutherford continues on the committee), as well as to give more time to the community to review the documents.

There's a large amount of information available, including site plans, renderings, and more. These 40+ documents are available on the City web site (http://www.wlv.org/whats_new/russell_ranch_retail.asp). Alternatively, a more convenient, smaller file size combined document set is on the Westlake Revelations web site at:

Traffic is one of the biggest concerns amongst the residents (and the City). When people say "traffic" it's more about perception rather than the total number of cars in that day -- specifically, congestion, wait times at traffic signals, and ease of getting through intersections. This is both from the way the City looks at it, as well as what most people think. Indisputably, of all the development proposals to date for Lot C (Lowes, Opus, Selleck), the Selleck proposal is by far the one with the least traffic impact for the city despite having slightly more projected car trips than Opus. No other realistic concepts have been suggested, let alone applied for, to date that would have less traffic impact than Selleck's proposal.

While the City can help guide a developer on what it would like to see, the Council cannot decide what goes on a property. They can simply approve new rules for something they believe to be in the best interest of the City and residents, or decide that the existing rules are being met by the developer's proposal. What is currently allowed by the rules is an office development. Selleck's proposal asks the City to approve a retail development, giving what he believes is better for the City (less traffic, much smaller building square footage, more services for residents, and substantial tax revenue). The City Council's responsibility is to now decide if it thinks it is in the best interest of the City to approve this proposal compared to what is already allowed (office space).

LVMWD reveals ties between water rate increases, conservation, and storage tank

Las Virgenes Metropolitan Water District (LVMWD) held a public financial planning workshop on April 18th. During this meeting, District staff presented their estimates of operating expenses over the next five years for water, sanitation and recycled water funds. Staff believes that it will be necessary to raise water rates to cover increased operating costs currently funded by reserves. These increases in water rates are on top of the pass through rate increases expected from it's supplier (the Metropolitan Water District).

May 6th Soap Box Derby: Last Call for Driver Registration

If you are building a car, or want to enter in the Westlake Village/Soap Box Derby car show, this is your last call. Full information at http://www.westlakerevelations.com/soapbox -- registrations must be completed by Thurs April 26 for all drivers in the Soap Box Derby.

This event has been a tremendous success over the last several years, and is expected to be even better this year. This year's event includes:

• Soap Box Derby racing
• Big Sunday
• DJ: Music and Dancing by Time of Your Life
• Antique, Classic and Current Model Car Show

Survey Results for "Shoppes at Westlake Village"

A couple of weeks back, Westlake Revelations conducted a survey of what people would want in the proposed retail project *if• it is approved. The survey was never intended to ask whether residents wanted the project. That's a different and separate question. While broad and very useful, it’s wasn't intended to be a strict scientific survey.

The goal of the survey was to involve the broader community in the discussion in advance of an approval, if an approval happens. This allows the council to incorporate feedback in during the process rather than afterwards which is difficult to do.

It's difficult to do a synopsis of a survey, so below are results for readers to see for themselves:

LVMWD Community Workshop on Tank Construction/Justification

Synopsis

On Saturday, March 26th, Las Virgenes Metropolitan Water District held it's second community workshop to discuss it's Backbone Upgrade program including the construction of a 5-million gallon storage tank (next to the 3 billion gallon reservoir above the Three Springs development in Westlake Village). The water district presented their information to make their case for why the proposed storage tank is necessary. The public was invited to speak. Comments were both in favor and against the proposed expansion of the system.

In short, the water district believes it has "made the case" for the tank. Several members of the public that have reviewed the materials closely do not agree with that assessment. Others simply do not want it near their neighborhood due to traffic or environmental issues.

Those interested in whether the water district has justified the $6-10 million tank project should read on and form their own opinion.

Last Call: Survey for Desired Retail at "Shoppes at Westlake"

Last call for those that want to express an opinion about the "Shoppes at Westlake Village" development. Again, the survey is asking that if the development is approved as retail (converting it from the developer's already established rights to build a large office complex), what types of retail would you like to see.

The response to the survey has been overwhelming. This is your last call to take part. Survey has been extended by one day until end of day on Tuesday, March 27. Survey is at:
http://www.westlakerevelations.com/phpQ/fillsurvey.php?sid=20

Original post at:

Concept Review of Senior Housing at Former Westlake Hospital Site

Synopsis
----------
The City of Westlake Village will conduct a concept review of a senior housing project at former Westlake Hospital site on Lakeview Canyon Road at it's regular meeting on March 28th. No decision or vote will be made on the 124 unit facility, but it's a chance for the council and community to get a preview and comment, and state concerns.

Full Announcement
---------------------
City of Westlake Village City Council to conduct a Concept Review for a proposal by One Eighty for a senior housing project at former Westlake Hospital site on Lakeview Canyon Road.

Survey: Desired Retail/Restaurants at Shoppes at Westlake Village

Dan Selleck is a developer who has proposed a center at Lot "C" -- where Lowes once proposed a project. As the EIR period closes, the City Council will soon be voting on this proposal.

It's time for area residents (including those outside of City of Westlake Village) to speak up as to what they would like to see within this project -- for example: store and restaurant types, and even if you want something like an In n' Out Burger. This is not a survey about if the development should be approved as proposed -- that's a different question that the City Council will consider.

Soap Box Derby Returns, May 6

Disclaimer: Westlake Revelations is a sponsor of Soap Box Derby, and Westlake Revelations' creator founded the Soap Box Derby event in Westlake Village and continues to chair the event.

Synopsis

Soap Box Derby returns on Sunday, May 6th 2012 (overall event open from 10am-2pm). 2012 will be the SIXTH annual event and this year is looking to be the largest Soap Box events we've ever done with more racers, more activities, and more of pretty much everything in one form another. The Triunfo YMCA/Westlake Village Soap Box Derby is very much a community event that the community makes happen. We're expecting around 1000 people to attend, more than 100 kids racing, and at least 120 volunteers on race day.

Interested in building a Soap Box Car and racing? If you are in the YMCA Family Programs, you'll hear directly about how to sign up. For those outside the Y, see sign up and other information at http://www.westlakerevelations.com/soapbox/

This year's event will also include Big Sunday activities (Big Sunday is the largest citywide community service event in America). Big Sunday activities, headed up by Dave Moorman, will include not only a drop off point for donations (food, clothes, baby items, school supplies, kitchen items), but also will have volunteers sorting donations from the previous week and craft projects to brighten the day for a senior in a care facility or for a medical shut-in. Volunteers needed for this activity: see below and contact Dave Moorman .

Joe Hecht's DJ/Entertainment company "Time of Your Life!" will be on hand to provide the event with music, entertainment, and general fun for kids and adults of all ages.

Bouncers and more. Looking to have fun with the kids in between the Soap Box races? The Y will have a number of games, bounce houses, and more.

Agoura Hills NASCAR racing team High Point Racing will bring their NASCAR racing trailer, late model cars, and have drivers and the team on hand to answer questions about racing.

Westlake Village Boy Scout Troop 485 will be operating the community BBQ that will not only have economically priced meal deals on hand, but also help raise money for the scout troop's activities.

Richard Johnson will be heading up an expanded car show with a variety of antique and classic cars, as well as newer models. Attendees and car show drivers will be able to vote on their favorite cars, with prizes being. Volunteers needed for this activity: please contact Richard Johnson .

Anyone who has kid related services and is interested in participating in the display tables should contact us for more information.

LVUSD's New Superintendent

Synopsis

Tonight, LVUSD's Board of Education voted 5-0 to approve the contract for the new Superintendent. Current Deputy Superintendent Dr. Dan Stepenosky will start officially in his new position beginning August 1, 2012 and expiring July 31, 2015.

In a few comments, Dr. Stepenosky was clear that he intends to have a "laser focus on learning and collaboration." Over the next few weeks, Dr. Zimring and Dr. Stepenosky will be working on a transition plan.

Don Zimring to Head Brandeis Hillel Day School in No. California

Synopsis

The Board of Trustees of Brandeis Hillel Day School, based in Marin and San Francisco, has announced Dr. Donald Zimring as the new Head of School, beginning in August 2012. The full announcement is below, and a FAQ about Dr. Zimring has been posted on the Brandeis Hillel Day School web site at http://www.bhds.org/data/files/news/ThoughtsonEducation/QA_About_Donald_...

Dr. Zimring's contract with LVUSD expires on August 1, and he will start with Brandeis Hillel in August.

Do you live in Three Springs?

Westlake Revelations is hosting a new email list specifically for Three Springs residents. If you live in Three Springs, simply reply to this email and we'll take care of it for you, or subscribe at:

http://www.westlakerevelations.com/threesprings

This will be a low volume email list for timely communications and issues related to Three Springs. As always, Westlake Revelations promises that your email won’t be sold, rented, or shared.