Calabasas Mayor David Shapiro gave the annual “State of the City” address Wednesday night. The theme of his talk was “CommUNITY” – stating that we are all one community, uniting together to do good, and there is no place for hate.
He outlined the sound finances of the city with its AAA credit rating, and General Fund at 78%, greater than the minimum reserve requirement of 50%. “With this we can do things for our entire community. We can invest millions of dollars in our infrastructure,” Shapiro said, mentioning improvements to the Community Center, Tennis & Swim Center, parks, playgrounds and streets.
He talked about Calabasas being business-friendly, with no business tax, registration or license fees, which has brought major employers to the city including Wella Company, The Cheesecake Factory AMAWaterWays, Yamaha Guitar Group and more. New businesses are moving in all the time, including Naked Wardrobe headquarters, a new Malibu Canyon Urgent Care, Veterinarian Eye Clinic, V Pilates and others. New restaurants in the city include Crossroads Kitchen, Cafecito, Hank’s Bagels, Barney’s Burgers, Meez Restaurant and Crumbl Cookies.
Shapiro said that the City was also very forward-thinking in developing an Auto Overlay Zone, making it easier to auto dealerships to come into specific areas of the city, including Kia and Cadillac of Calabasas that joined Audi, Mercedes and BMW/Mini Cooper.
The Cambria Hotel, Anza and Hilton Garden Inn all contribute to the City’s finances through the Transient Occupancy Tax.
Updates from Michael Klein, Community Development Director, included adoption of the Safety Element and Circulation Element of the General Plan to comply with new state laws related to climate change and wildfires and a new Electronic Plan Submitted option on the City website for applicants and contractors.
Other highlights of the State of the City included news that the Craftsman’s Corner Annexation is moving forward, Wild Walnut Park is getting upgraded and that the Agoura Calabasas Community Center should open in early 2024. Shapiro also complimented the City’s partnerships with the Calabasas Park Homeowners Association, the Mayor’s Youth Council, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Las Virgenes Unified School District, Lost Hills Sheriff Station and County Fire Stations 68 and 125.He also gave a shout out to The Commons and its 25th anniversary in Calabasas, and their link to commUNITY as each month one business in the center donated 25% of their profits to a good cause.
Shapiro also recognized the 10th year of the Calabasas Film Festival and was particularly grateful to the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce, noting all that they do for the community, including Law Day, the Mayor’s Luncheon, Pumpkin Festival, wine event, bowling fundraiser and educational grants.
The Organization of the Year Award was presented to the Rotary Club of Calabasas for all they do in the local community and their partnership with the city for the “Neighbors in Need” program.
Shapiro presented the Business of the Year Award to Francois Reihani, owner of La La Land Kind Cafe. “They follow the concept of ‘community’ by their everyday positive message, and hiring practices of providing jobs to aged-out foster youth,” said the mayor.