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SCVNews.com | New Community Standards for Agua Dulce | 01-23-2012
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Homes and businesses in Agua Dulce could soon see a new set of rules intended to preserve the rural nature of the community.

The Regional Planning Commission will consider a major revision to Agua Dulce’s Community Standards District at a hearing next month in Los Angeles.

The revision has been in the works since early 2010. Meetings between county planners, the Agua Dulce Town Council and other community members led to a town vote in May 2011 that yielded a 35-24 vote approval, with eight abstentions and numerous comments.

Turn up the clock to January and the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning is ready to run with the new plan.

The Agua Dulce Community Standards District was adopted in 1985 “to protect the secluded rural character of the community, to enhance the community’s unique appeal, and to avoid the premature need for costly linear service systems such as sewers and water systems within the community.”

Some components of the original regulations will survive the revision, such as a minimum 2-acre lot size for new subdivisions with a minimum depth of 165 feet and a minimum width of 165 feet. Also continuing are rural street standards that allow for narrower streets without sidewalks, curbs or gutters.

The revision imposes several new rules for developers of residential and commercial property.

As proposed, commercial and industrial property developers would be required to use an Old Western, Southwestern, Spanish mission, Victorian or native American architectural style for their buildings.

Additional permitting would be required for structures built within 50 feet of a significant ridgeline, and new homes and accessory buildings would have be be set back a significant distance from the street.

New subdivisions of four or more lots would have to provide new trails, and all trails must meet specific design and maintenance standards.

The rules call for smaller business signs in commercial and industrial zones, along with screening of utilities and equipment so they’re not visible from the street.

Some of the new rules are more lax than typical county standards.

For instance, residents could keep up to five dogs on a 1-acre or larger residential or agricultural lot. Property owners could also keep one cargo container as an accessory building on a lot of 1 to 5 acres, and two cargo containers on a 5-acre or larger lot.

Good news for home-based entertainment businesses: Animal training and recording/motion picture/video studio uses will be allowed.

The hearing will be held Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. in Room 150 of the Hall of Records, 320 W. Temple St., Los Angeles. Questions may be directed to county planner Brianna Menke at 213-974-6476. Callers from Agua Dulce may dial 661-253-0111 and request a toll-free connection.

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