2017-03-16 / Community

Rasnow open space donation now official

Land is free, but other costs total $500,000
Acorn staff report

A plan for the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency to accept a donation of 82 acres of open space at the north end of Ventu Park Road cleared its last hurdle Tuesday.

The Thousand Oaks City Council, which operates COSCA under a joint agreement with the Conejo Recreation and Park District, voted 4-0 in favor of the acquisition. Councilmember Joel Price was absent.

As a condition of donating 82 acres of land in the hills above Newbury Park to the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, the Rasnows are requiring the city and park district to reroute the Los Robles trail, which currently crosses a private road the family uses to access their property on the top of the mountain.This image shows the conceptual design for the trail realignment. Courtesy of COSCAAs a condition of donating 82 acres of land in the hills above Newbury Park to the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, the Rasnows are requiring the city and park district to reroute the Los Robles trail, which currently crosses a private road the family uses to access their property on the top of the mountain.This image shows the conceptual design for the trail realignment. Courtesy of COSCA

Although the land is being provided to COSCA by the Rasnow family of Newbury Park at no cost, the city will have to spend around $500,000 out of its open space fund to make the deal work. Of that, around $240,000 will go toward legal fees, surveys, title reports and other costs related to the acquisition, and $260,000 toward the cost of rerouting the Los Robles trail below the Rasnows’ existing gate, a condition of the family’s donation.

To that end, COSCA will create 1.5 miles of new trail, build trail fencing, install signs and do some minor brush clearance. The price tag is related to the challenge of building a trail on a very steep hillside, Community Development Director Mark Towne said.

In all, the acquisition cost is $6,116 per acre, which is considerably less than the $40,000 COSCA typically pays to acquire an acre for open space, officials said.

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