Last I checked, there is already a Costco, a Staples, an Albertson’s and dozens of other stores and fast food restaurants at that intersection. I’ve lived and/or worked in Agoura Hills for 10 years and have never found myself at any great disadvantage because of the lack of cheap designer t-shirts or laundry detergent that is $1 less than you can find at a grocery store.
There is a parcel of land near Costco and the cemetery called Lot C. A developer owns it and wants to develop it. Currently, the area is not zoned for retail use, but the developer has made a deal with Target as the anchor store and wants the city of Westlake Village to rezone the area to allow for a new shopping center.
When I first learned about this I sighed and tried to ignore it. But the more I read about it, the more nauseous and filled with dread I become. My family, as well as countless others, moved to this area because it is slower, greener, and has more available free parking than the valley or points east. If a Target and all its accouterments moves in literally down the street from my house, our exodus will have been in vain.
The other night I did an experiment. I had several errands to run and a variety of non-related items to purchase. I had a choice: drive 15 minutes to Target and purchase all the items in one place or stay here in Westlake/Agoura and hop from store to store.
Both were good choices. I can get a picture frame at Michael’s, a printer ink cartridge at Staples, high-end hair conditioner from CVS, milk and bread from Albertson’s, Ralph’s or Vons and storage containers from any of those places.
I chose to drive to Target, because I was in the mood to be at Target. And guess what – I am in the envious position of having TWO (2) Targets to choose from: the one in Woodland Hills or the one in Newbury Park. Let’s face it, the farther you get from LA, the nicer things are, so I went to Newbury Park. At 7 p.m. on a Tuesday evening, there was little traffic, and the panhandlers I often see in the parking lot there (yes, even in Newbury Park) were absent.
It was a pleasant shopping experience. The drive was not a big deal. I live in Agoura Hills, and I could not do that if I couldn’t afford to pay for the gas that took my car to Target in Newbury Park. I happily planned to write this post and tell you that, no, we don’t actually need a Target in Westlake Village.
But then this morning, I read the letters in the Acorn, our weekly local newspaper.
“Personally speaking, having to drive 20 miles on my weekends to Target is not only inconvenient but expensive.”
“The community should be pleased that the developers have been able to secure the participation of a retailer like Target, with its reputation for quality goods at fair prices, and reinvestment in local schools and charities.”
-Stephen and Deborah Smith
Quality goods at low prices? How about disposable items, dirt cheap? Anything you purchase at Target can be expected to spontaneously disintegrate at a moment’s notice. Don’t get me wrong – I obviously love a good Target haul, but I’m under no illusion that the products will enrich my life or that the company’s “giving back” initiatives are anything but self-serving.
Here’s a newsflash, Westlake Village: you get what you pay for. Invite a shopping development into your town for a few tax bucks and you’ll get a legion of new cars coming here every day, more garbage, more pollution, and boatloads of low-price crap manufactured in China.
What happened to think global, buy local? Why not put your money where your mouth is and support local small business instead of making Agoura Hills and Westlake look like every other place in America?
So inflamed am I by this proposal that I am actually going to attend next week’s Public Hearing at Westlake Village City Hall. It’s happening on Wednesday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m.. I will have to either get a babysitter or bring my children, both of which I would sooner avoid, but that’s how you know that my feelings on this matter are so strong.
Here is a good synopsis of the Lot C development issue at a site called Westlake Revelations, where I also found the image above. Shout out to this site – I didn’t have to call the city or try to navigate their clunky website to find this info.
As a veteran mom blogger I write about whatever is happening around me. At Agoura Hills Mom, I write about living in and exploring Agoura Hills and the surrounding areas with family, friends or just on my own.