Upcoming Election Nov. 3

There are 2 City Council seats up for grabs this November. Mayor Alicia Weintraub’s seat and Fred Gaines‘ seat. He is not running again. Four candidates will by vying for those two seats.

The two new candidates who have filed to run are Peter Kraut and Susan Fredericks-Ploussard. Peter is a resident of Saratoga Hills and a Calabasas Planning Commissioner. Peter also sat on the General Plan Advisory Committee (GPAC) several years ago. Susan Fredericks-Ploussard is a dentist who has an impressive resume. She is passionate about the environment and preserving our city’s open spaces and quality of life for residents. A third candidate, Dennis Washburn, has also qualified to run again.

Mayor Alicia Weintraub is running to keep her seat for another 4 year term. She has done a very good job of responding to the concerns and issues of her constituents, and has been an effective leader in this Covid-9 Crisis.

Calabasas LEAP Grant Application

Excerpted from the California Department of Housing and Community Development:

Local Early Action Planning Grants (LEAP)

Increasing the availability of affordable homes statewide is critical to bettering the quality of life of all Californians and to ending homelessness. In the 2019-20 Budget Act, Governor Gavin Newsom allocated $250 million for all regions, cities, and counties to do their part by prioritizing planning activities that accelerate housing production to meet identified needs of every community. With this allocation, HCD established the Local Early Action Planning Grant Program (LEAP) with $119 million for cities and counties. LEAP provides one-time grant funding to cities and counties to update their planning documents and implement process improvements that will facilitate the acceleration of housing production and help local govts. prepare for their 6th cycle RHNA much like the SB2 Planning Grants.”

The 2019-20 Budget Act provides a spectrum of support, incentives, resources, and accountability to meet California’s housing goals. Some specific elements include:

-Local and regional planning grants (LEAP and REAP)
-Prohousing preference points on competitive funding applications
-Additional funding resources
-Accountability (penalties for noncompliant housing plans)
-Reform (collaborative processes to reform regional housing needs)
-For regional governments and entities, funding is available through the –Regional Early Action Planning Grants (REAP). For more information, please visit the Regional Early Action Planning Grant Webpage.

The Local Action Planning Grants (LEAP), provides over-the-counter grants complemented with technical assistance to local governments for the preparation and adoption of planning documents, and process improvements that:

  • Accelerate housing production
  • Facilitate compliance to implement the sixth-cycle Regional Housing Needs Assessment.

We do not support applying for a LEAP grant that would commit the city to upzone, rezone, or bypass CEQA to qualify.

RHNA Allocations

SCAG will not formally be announcing the final 6th Cycle RHNA number allocations for several months. However, they have determined the following estimates for Calabasas:


353 Total

131 – very low
70 – low
70 – moderate
82 – above moderate

There will be an official appeal period.

History Preserve Calabasas

Old Topanga resident Toby Keeler, and Calabasas Highlands residents Liz Stephens and Bob Benson, founded Preserve Calabasas in 2007 initially to prevent the city from installing a stoplight at Headwaters Corner and thwart an urban intrusion into the rural community. 

Calabasas’ rural community was also significantly hillside/mountainous zoned, beautiful and unique. Fighting Viewpoint school’s commercial expansion during the second phase of the MOU — and fighting to protect ridgelines and other natural resource protective policies during the General Plan GPAC deliberations were battles also undertaken.

Liz Stephens
Toby Keeler

Toby Keeler and Liz Stephens were long time Federation delegates and activists fighting to preserve all of the Santa Monica Mountains – including our COG cities.

The Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation, Inc., has always played a significant role in fighting to protect the spectacular natural beauty of the city of Calabasas since its incorporation in 1991. And Preserve Calabasas was a natural component to absorb. Quality of life has always been one of the most important goals of the electorate.

It was the Measure N battle last year (2019), that attracted extra special attention for several reasons. A billion dollar real estate investment company AvalonBay, manufactured its own affordable housing crisis to enable themselves to build 161 new market rate units — when they were entitled to none. It was a precedent setting scheme that would have bypassed public input and the Planning Commission process in Calabasas entirely.

Measure N went down in flames — final votes tabulated were NO – 78.02% and YES – 21.98%.

Adding to this, the city is currently undergoing a Housing Element Update — and warrants special attention — as they are reviewing ridgeline, grading, and hillside policies and zoning — and looking at potentially up-zoning to accommodate the purported 6th Cycle RHNA numbers. These could have the potential to change the landscape and face of Calabasas permanently.

The entire city of Calabasas lies in a very high fire severity zone. RHNA allocations should be challenged (not just accommodated) based on many legitimate factors — including public safety, landscape constraints, location, conservation, urban sprawl, and upcoming state legislation.

There is no place for added dangerous density in the wildland-urban interface.

A t-shirt from 2007.