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Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.
Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.Saturday, March 28th, 2015 at 7:51pm
2015-04-02 / Letters to The Acorn

SAYS DEVELOPER NOT FORTHCOMING

"I am torn between anger and laughing out loud at the weekly baloney contained in developer Benjamin Efraim’s shameless advertisement for the so-called Agoura Equestrian Estates.

It starts by saying “it is consistent with the wishes of the Old Agoura Community,” which is like saying Mary Todd Lincoln enjoyed herself at Ford Theater.
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Efraim states that the meadow is “not critical linkage to the wildlife corridor,” but that is directly contradicted by the National Park Service, which stated, and I quote, “We support efforts to protect the full property as public open space and to protect the Liberty Canyon Wildlife Corridor and even called it the sole documented crossing linkage area for their signature top predator.”

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy also shines the light on developer Efraim’s disinformation campaign by saying, “The current preferred alternative in the report by Caltrans locates a dedicated wildlife freeway overpass close to the subject property, and that any proposed development has a greater potential for permanent, unavoidable adverse impacts on the freeway crossing and on the habitat linkage as a whole.”

Where does developer Efraim get his information? He pays for it, of course.

Efraim’s ad says, “there is no evidence of hazardous substances.” That’s funny because a highly credentialed geologist told our City Council, “There may be a future problem of hazardous materials moving onto the site from the unlined portion of the landfill that was used for the placement of barrels of acid wastes, pesticides and other toxic materials that was close to the site boundary and which contains faults, joints, fractures, folds and shears that would allow these materials to move off site.”

Efraim’s claim that a second residence cannot have a kitchen is also patently false.

He concludes by saying, “Please don’t let undocumented accusations influence you,” to which I reply, “yes, please do not.”

So who are we to believe? The National Park Service, the SMM Conservancy, the Audubon Society, a top geologist, an environmental scientist who calls the Environmental Impact Report “deficient,” or a developer in it for the money who I believe is greedy and intends to acquire entitlements to this property and never build a single home.

Larry Brown
Agoura Hills
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Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.
Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.Saturday, March 28th, 2015 at 7:43pm
MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS...
15-04-02 / On the Town
The Acorn EPICURIAN

BREWS, CHEWS, AND A MUSE

“It’s all about the beer,” said Ladyface Ale Companie’s Cyrena Nouzille, who started this unique European-style brewpub and restaurant in Agoura Hills with her husband, Jean-Luc, and brewmaster David Griffiths.
The concept, which began over 13 years ago with a vision and a home-brew kit, has blossomed to an all-encompassing alehouse and brasserie featuring beer and food created with Belgian and French influences.
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It’s obvious the menu is driven by the founders’ passion for the brew; the artwork and décor also reflect their love for beer, and Cyrena Nouzille even makes jewelry from the bottle caps.
And although she says its name was inspired by the Conejo Valley mountain that stands tall by the restaurant and its expansive patio, personally, I think it captures the essence that is Lady Cyrena herself: a humble yet strong powerhouse who’s passionate about her business and has a deep-rooted sense of community and respect for the environment.
BREW CREW—Cyrena Nouzille, co-founder of Ladyface Ale Companie. ELA LINDSAY/Acorn Newspapers People offered me menu suggestions even before I visited Ladyface because the word about the restaurant has spread in the five years it’s been in operation.
As recommended, I sampled the creamy and flavorful mac and cheese.
“It’s made with Gruyere, white cheddar and fontina cheese,” Nouzille said. And it’s topped with a surprising why-didn’t-Iever think-of-it-before touch of crumbled salt and vinegar chips.
The warm pretzel was another delicious dose of comfort food. It comes with a smoked cheddar cheese fondue sauce worthy of complementing any number of other goodies. And the beef sliders with shiny brioche buns offered many tasty bites, along with the freshly cut, crispy fries that accompany them.
“The beef comes from the Novy Ranch, founded by a Simi Valley vet who is adamant that it has no hormones or antibiotics and is grass-fed,” Nouzille said.
Most of the menu is carefully sourced from California, and what doesn’t come from local farms and15-04-02 / On the Town

“It’s all about the beer,” said Ladyface Ale Companie’s Cyrena Nouzille, who started this unique European-style brewpub and restaurant in Agoura Hills with her husband, Jean-Luc, and brewmaster David Griffiths.
The concept, which began over 13 years ago with a vision and a home-brew kit, has blossomed to an all-encompassing alehouse and brasserie featuring beer and food created with Belgian and French influences.
It’s obvious the menu is driven by the founders’ passion for the brew; the artwork and décor also reflect their love for beer, and Cyrena Nouzille even makes jewelry from the bottle caps.
And although she says its name was inspired by the Conejo Valley mountain that stands tall by the restaurant and its expansive patio, personally, I think it captures the essence that is Lady Cyrena herself: a humble yet strong powerhouse who’s passionate about her business and has a deep-rooted sense of community and respect for the environment.
BREW CREW—Cyrena Nouzille, co-founder of Ladyface Ale Companie. ELA LINDSAY/Acorn Newspapers People offered me menu suggestions even before I visited Ladyface because the word about the restaurant has spread in the five years it’s been in operation.
As recommended, I sampled the creamy and flavorful mac and cheese.
“It’s made with Gruyere, white cheddar and fontina cheese,” Nouzille said. And it’s topped with a surprising why-didn’t-Iever think-of-it-before touch of crumbled salt and vinegar chips.
The warm pretzel was another delicious dose of comfort food. It comes with a smoked cheddar cheese fondue sauce worthy of complementing any number of other goodies. And the beef sliders with shiny brioche buns offered many tasty bites, along with the freshly cut, crispy fries that accompany them.
“The beef comes from the Novy Ranch, founded by a Simi Valley vet who is adamant that it has no hormones or antibiotics and is grass-fed,” Nouzille said.
Most of the menu is carefully sourced from California, and what doesn’t come from local farms and orchards is still chosen for its freshness. The salmon, for example, comes from Skuna Bay in Vancouver.
“These fish are open-ocean raised, which is very different from farmed salmon in tanks.” Nouzille summed up her philosophy, which spills over into every bite and sip at Ladyface: “The Earth sustains us and we should take care of it.”
“We spend way too much on the straws,” she laughed—just one example of the restaurant’s use of environmentally friendly biodegradable products.
In the kitchen, Chef Adrian Gioia has free rein to create his magic, and he brings his dry sense of humor to the menu with playful names such as the Chicken and Crêpe, basically good oldfashioned, down-home chicken and waffles.
“I let everyone have as much creative freedom as possible,” added Nouzille. This simple concept extends to the beautiful paintings on the walls, created by her mother, Carla, to reflect the essence of the Ladyface brews themselves, like the one that represents their robust Blue-Belly Barleywine, named after the lizards that roam the area.
As the Conejo Valley’s first brewery, Ladyface offers a multitude of choices for any beer lover. And Lady Cyrena is very knowledgeable about them.
“All lagers and ales are beers,” she explained, “but not all beers are lagers.”
With my untrained palate for beer, I was delighted by their La Grisette Belgian Wheat Ale, an old-style brew that was originally made to quench the thirst of miners, Nouzille said.
“There are four components to making beer,” she added. “Over 90 percent of it comes from water, and the Las Virgenes Water District provides us with a great source of that.”
For anyone interested in the entire process, private tours of the brewery are available. Everything is made on the premises and the large steel vats by the bar area are not just for decoration.
“They’re the holding tanks,” Nouzille said.
Try the Blind Ambition for example, a beer that was styled after brews made by monks in Belgian monasteries, or the Reyes Adobe Red, brewed especially for Reyes Adobe Days each year. Buy the latter and you’re supporting the historical site and park it’s named after.
I suggest sampling items from both the food and beer menus because either way, you can’t lose.
“We also have a full bar with wine and hand-crafted cocktails,” Nouzille said.
And perhaps she sums up the Ladyface experience best: “We started as a brewery, but people are coming for the food, too.”
The Ladyface Ale Companie Alehouse & Brasserie at 29281 Agoura Road is open at 11:30 a.m. daily and closes when the last person leaves. Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and there’s a 10 p.m. late-night menu on Friday and Saturday.
For details, call (818) 477- 4566 or visit www.ladyfaceale.com.

Ladyface Bouillabaisse
By Chef Adrian Gioia
Fish stock1lb. fish bones1 onion, chopped1 carrot, peeled and chopped3 stalks celery, chopped2 bay leaves1 bunch thyme½ gallon water
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil; add the fish bones and cook for two or three minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the bones turn white. Add the vegetables, sautée another two minutes, and add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the solids.
Broth3 Tbsp. butter1 onion, sliced thin1 leek, sliced thin1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced3 cloves garlic, minced½ cup tomato paste2 Tbsp. thyme, picked andchopped3 medium russet potatoes, peeledand diced into 1” cubes½ gallon fish stock (see above)½ gallon water1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
In another heavy-bottomed pot, heat butter until it foams. Add the leeks, fennel, onions and garlic, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook about eight minutes. Add tomato paste and thyme. Stir vigorously for a minute to cook the paste. Add fish stock, water and potatoes. Bring to a boil; then simmer for 30 minutes. Add the cream and store a day or so in the fridge.
Stew1lb. mussels, cleaned and debearded 1 lb. Manila clams1 lb. white fish1 bulb fennel, sliced thin1 leek, sliced thinbroth (from fridge)
Lightly coat the shrimp and fish with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast for about two minutes, turn over and cook for another 2 minutes, depending on the size of the filets. Heat a skillet over medium-high, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and sautée mussels and clams for a minute. Add fennel and leeks and sautée another two minutes. Add enough broth to cover the shellfish, reduce the heat to low and cook until they have opened. To serve, put fish and shrimp in a shallow bowl, ladle the broth and shellfish over the top and serve with a piece of grilled baguette that has been brushed with oil. To make this a truly traditional dish, spread the bread with a simple aïoli of red peppers and mayonnaise known as rouille.
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Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.
Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.Saturday, March 28th, 2015 at 7:22pm
2015-03-26 / Letters to THE ACORN

Chesebro plan is misleading

The “developer” who has a contract with the City of Agoura Hills to buy Chesebro Meadow— only if they also approve a number of housing lots on the property—published a letter in last week’s Acorn. I put “developer” in quotes since he, as he told me, wishes to get approval of these lots so that he can then sell the property to someone who actually builds houses. It has far more value this way.

Although he acquired a purchase option with the city under an almost secret deal, if legal, he would have the right to try to make money off it. I and most people I talk with have no problem with that.

His letter, however, while trying to gain public support, does mislead your readers. I happen to know the rules from my decade on the city’s planning commission, including several years as the chairperson.

He states that he would not be including second units, but instead, guest dwellings with no kitchens and only for immediate family or temporary nonpaying guests.

Not true. Under the city’s zoning ordinance, the second units “shall include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.” They are allowed to be 700 square feet with their own required covered parking space. The city has eliminated the requirement that they be identical in colors and materials to the primary house. These units would be available for rent without limiting them to family members.

Mr. Efraim should know better than to mislead, since the publicly available development agreement escrow that he has with the city plainly calls these “guest houses,” which are legally called second units in the city zoning laws.

So, although he says this project will be “only” 15 homes, clearly the intent is to get approval for 30.

Phil Ramuno
Agoura Hills
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Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.
Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.Saturday, March 28th, 2015 at 7:20pm
2015-03-26 / Letters to THE ACORN

Old Agoura granny flats?

Mr. Efraim, the spokesman representing the developers of equine estates near Old Agoura, is either very naive or intentionally trying to mislead the public.

The suggestion that the guest houses in his development will be exclusively used by nonpaying guests makes me seriously question his credibility.
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Look at Airbnb, look at Craigslist— guest houses are either hotel rooms or rental properties throughout Southern California.

I live in a gated community in Agoura and am literally surrounded by “illegal” renters. Multiple complaints to government authorities has not changed this reality.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the equine estates development; I just wish they would be honest about it.

If you are developing 15 homes with 15 guest houses, you are developing 30 residential units at best; at worst the 15 guest houses will become commercial hotel rooms.

So, Mr. Efraim, don’t build a 500-hp Ferrari and tell me it will never be driven over 65.

Jim Thorton
Agoura
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Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.
Old Agoura Homeowners Assn.Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 6:39pm
Street Closures for the Great Race of Agoura Saturday, March 28, 2015 from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Street Closures for the Great Race of Agoura Saturday, March 28, 2015 from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Post Date: 03/27/2015 11:30 AM
The following are various Street Closures for the Great Race of Agoura Saturday, March 28, 2015 from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Please use caution. If you have any questions please call 1-877-478-7223 x4 or go to www.greatraceofagoura.com
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