Thousand Oaks, commonly referred to as "T.O." by residents, is a city in southeastern Ventura County, California, in the United States. It was named after the many oak trees that grace the area, and the city seal is adorned with an oak.
The city forms the most populated part of a regional area called the Conejo Valley, which includes Thousand Oaks proper, Newbury Park (which is really just a portion of the city, plus some unincorporated areas), Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, and Oak Park. The Los Angeles County/Ventura County line crosses at the western city limits of Westlake Village.
The City of Thousand Oaks along with Newbury Park were part of a master planned city, created by the Janss Investment Company in the mid-1950s. It included about 1,000 custom home lots, 2,000 single-family residences, a regional shopping center, 200-acre (0.81 km2) industrial park and several neighborhood shopping centers. Today, real estate in the area is very expensive, with median home prices around $722,500. It is located in the Northwestern area of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The city was recently named one of Money Magazine's Best Places to Live.
The area's recorded history dates to 1542 when Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landed at Point Mugu and claimed the land for Spain. It eventually became part of the 48,671-acre (197 km²) Rancho El Conejo land grant by the Spanish government, thus becoming the basis of the name Conejo Valley (conejo means "rabbit" in Spanish, and there are many in the area). It served as grazing land for vaqueros for the next fifty years.
The Janss Family, developers of Southern California subdivisions, purchased 10,000 acres (40 km²) in the early 1900s. They eventually created plans for a "total community" and the name remains prominently featured in the city.
Jungleland USA was one of Southern California's first theme parks. Wild animal shows entertained thousands in the 1940s and 1950s. Many TV and movie productions used the park's trained animals and were filmed there, including Birth of a Nation, Tarzan, and The Adventures of Robin Hood. The Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center today stands on the site of the park.
The City of Thousand Oaks was incorporated on October 7, 1964. It is known for being entirely a planned community, as the city is one of few that have actually stayed with the master plan. As a result, the city has fewer of the problems of other cities of similar size, such as traffic congestion and pollution, although increased development in Moorpark and Simi Valley in the late 1990s and early 2000s caused the 23 freeway to become heavily congested during both morning and afternoon rush hours. A major widening project began in 2008 to alleviate most of this congestion. Because of its desirable environment and location, property values have appreciated more than 250% in less than ten years, primarily during the mid-90s to early 2000s.
Newbury Park is located in the westernmost part of the city within the 91320 zip code. This area was once controlled by Ventura County as an unincorporated area, but was later annexed by the City of Thousand Oaks through votes by Newbury Park communities. The only communities that chose to remain county areas, Casa Conejo(and Lynn Ranch), was Newbury Park's first planned community built from 1960 to about 1965.
Thousand Oaks is located at It is situated in the Conejo Valley.(34.189489, -118.875053).
Although Thousand Oaks has a downtown area (focused around the Janss Marketplace mall, The Oaks mall, and W. Thousand Oaks Blvd.), a large portion of the city's inhabitants live in suburban communities a distance from the commercial centers of the city. The large housing districts near Lynn Road to the north and west are an example of this sprawl, despite attempts by Ventura County planners to reduce it.
|Simi Valley |
SR 118 via SR 23
|Westlake Village |
|Santa Monica Mountains, including Malibu |
SR 23, Kanan Road
The region has a mild, year-round Mediterranean Climate or Dry-Summer Subtropical zone climate, with warm, sunny, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. Vegetation is typical of Mediterranean environments, with chaparral and grasses on the hillsides and numerous western valley oaks. Its elevation ranges from about 500 to 900 feet(excluding the mountains and hills). The area has slightly cooler temperatures than the surrounding areas, as it receives cooler air from the ocean through various hill and mountain passes. On March 10 and 11th of 2006, snow fell on the peak of Boney Mountain, the first snow to fall in the area in about 20 years. Snow also fell on Boney Peak on December 17 and 18th of 2008.
|Weather data for Thousand Oaks, California|
|Record high °F (°C)||92 |
|Average high °F (°C)||68 |
|Average low °F (°C)||41 |
|Record low °F (°C)||25 |
|Precipitation inches (cm)||4.18 |
|Source: weather.com Jun 2008|
(Temperatures vary by zip code)
According to the 2000 census, there were 117,005 people, 41,793 households, and 31,177 families residing in the city. The population density was 823.5/km² (2,132.8/mi²). There were 42,958 housing units at an average density of 302.3/km² (783.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.09% White, 1.06% African American, 0.54% Native American, 5.87% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 4.51% from other races, and 2.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.10% of the population.
There were 41,793 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 19.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city the population is spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there were 96.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $89,953, and the median income for a family was $99,870. Males had a median income of $82,815 versus $50,604 for females. The per capita income for the city was $54,304. About 2.2% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.2% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.
Thousand Oaks is among the safest large cities in the nation. The city consistently ranks as the first or second safest large city (population between 100,000 and 499,999) in the United States in annual surveys (the main competition being nearby Simi Valley, as well as Amherst, New York which has claimed first place 7 times in the last 12 years.
Thousand Oaks is one of the few cities of over 100,000 that does not directly elect its mayor; rather the council members take turns rotating into the position. Amongst former members of the city's council is the late Ed Masry, attorney and activist. Masry achieved recognition beyond his own community when Albert Finney portrayed him opposite Julia Roberts in the 2000 Academy Award-winning film, Erin Brockovich.
Today the city boasts a very active, and historically "slow growth"-minded city council. Along with the ordinances protecting the numerous oak trees, the city's leaders and residents alike boast of the ring of protected land, free from development, that surrounds the city's borders and which may account for the accelerating land values in recent years. More than 15,000 acres (57 km²) have been preserved as "open space" containing more than 75 miles (121 km) of trails.
The Republican Party often holds meetings during presidential and gubernatorial campaigns in a building adjacent to the City Hall.
The city's economy is based on a small range of businesses, with biotechnology, electronics, automotive, areospace, telecommunications, healthcare, and financing occupying most of Thousand Oaks's employment sector. Amgen, Baxter International, General Dynamics Corporation, Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, and Skyworks Solutions offer many high-tech jobs and have corporate headquarters in the city, while Countrywide, Verizon, Verizon Wireless, Volkswagen, Audi, General Motors, and WellPoint manage regional offices. The city was also the former home to the corporate offices of Wellpoint and GTE, which later became Verizon, which relocated in the last decade. As the city is usually considered a suburb, many residents also commute to neighboring Los Angeles. J.D. Power and Associates is headquartered in Thousand Oaks. J.D. Power began moving its employees from its former headquarters in Agoura Hills, California to its current headquarters in the Westlake section of Thousand Oaks in the weekend after April 11, 2002.
Thousand Oaks is serviced by the Conejo Valley Unified School District. It includes numerous elementary schools, Colina Middle School, Redwood Middle School, Los Cerritos Middle School, Thousand Oaks High School, Newbury Park High School, and Westlake High School. Also part of the school district is Sequoia Middle School, located in Newbury Park. Oaks Christian High School, while located immediately outside of Ventura County, matriculates numerous students from the county. La Reina High School is a private Catholic all-girls junior/senior high school. California Lutheran University is located in Thousand Oaks.
The Thousand Oaks Library system is consistently ranked as one of the best public libraries in California. The Library consists of the Grant R. Brimhall Library in Thousand Oaks and the Newbury Park Branch Library in Newbury Park. A 22,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) Children's Library was added to the existing 62,000-square-foot (5,800 m2) main building in June 2006. The Children's Library expansion resulted in an improved Children's Services area, a 3800 gallon salt-water aquarium, quiet study rooms, a technology training room, a Children's programming room, and additional seating and shelving capacity for both the Children's services area and Adult services area. Both the main library and Newbury Park Branch offer free wireless internet access.
Teenagers are a major focus of the community. AYSO soccer, Club Soccer such as Newbury Park Soccer Club and Conejo Valley United, Conejo Youth Basketball Association, Conejo Valley Thunder Wrestling, Pop Warner football, Little League baseball, CYFFA flag football, girls' softball, organized swim team leagues, ice hockey, and even organized lacrosse and field hockey involve hundreds andite even thousands of participants and their parents year in and year out.
In August 1994, a team from Thousand Oaks Little League became the first Little League team in Ventura County to win a World Championship, winning the Championship game 20-3. Two years later in 1996, a Senior Division (ages 14–16) Thousand Oaks Little League team won a National Championship. Two years later in 1998, a Big League Division (ages 17–18) Conejo Valley Little League team won a World Chanpioship, winning defeating a Venezuelan Team 10-9 and going 26-1 in tournament play. http://articles.latimes.com/1998/aug/23/sports/sp-15787 In 2006, Thousand Oaks won the World Championship in the Big League Division(ages 16–18) of Little League by defeating a team from Puerto Rico 10-0. . The Thousand Oaks Big League team were also World Series runner-ups in 2003 and 2005. In 2007, they were United States runner-up. In 2009, they won the United States Championship and appeared on prime time on ESPN. In the summer of 2004, the Little League National Championship team hailed from Thousand Oaks. The Conejo Valley East team of 11 and 12-year olds went 22-0 in local, regional, and World Series tournaments play claiming the national title at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania before losing in the international title game to the team from Curaçao, Caribbean.
In the 1970s California Lutheran University served as the training camp location for the Dallas Cowboys. The CLU football practice field used by the Cowboys as well as the CLU Kingsmen football team was replaced by a large sports complex in 2006. The Cowboys Clubhouse in Thousand Oaks still stands across from the complex, and is currently a family residence.
Thousand Oaks lies in the heart of the Conejo Valley, with the city of Los Angeles to the east and the city of Ventura to the west. The city is served by U.S. Route 101 (Ventura Freeway), as well as State Route 23. Highway 101 runs through the city and connects it with Los Angeles and Ventura. CA Route 23 connects to the 101 near Downtown Thousand Oaks, runs north toward Moorpark and Simi Valley, and essentially divides the city in two. Thousand Oaks is also served by Thousand Oaks Transit (TOT), which provides public transportation in the form of shuttles and buses. TOT buses provide service to Thousand Oaks as well as some neighboring communities.
The city boasts many amenities that other cities of similar size lack; among these is a regional transportation center. The new facility offers bus and shuttle lines to Los Angeles, Oxnard, Ventura, Simi Valley, and Santa Barbara via the VISTA, METRO, and LADOT bus lines. In addition to being a transfer station from Los Angeles and other nearby cities, it also serves as the primary station for TOT buses.
Commercial air travel is provided primarily by Los Angeles International Airport for regular commuters, while the Bob Hope Airport (in Burbank) offers an alternative towards domestic destinations. Thousand Oaks offers public transportation that runs to both airports, via the VISTA and LADOT bus lines. Los Angeles Intl. Airport is approximately 40 miles (64 km) southeast of the city, while Burbank Airport is approximately 35 miles (56 km) east of the city. The closest commercial airport is Oxnard Airport located approximately 10 miles (16 km) to the west in nearby Oxnard, California; however this airport provides service only to Los Angeles. General aviation airports include Camarillo Airport, which is approximately 15 miles (24 km) to the west of the city, and Van Nuys Airport, which is 25 miles (40 km) east of the city. Incidentally, Van Nuys Airport is also one of the busiest general aviation airports in the nation.
Currently, Thousand Oaks is undergoing numerous renovations and development. State Route 23 is in the process of being expanded to a six-lane highway, U.S. Route 101 is being upgraded, The Oaks Mall is being expanded by the Macerich Company, and the city has plans to renovate the old Downtown, near the Civic Arts Plaza on Thousand Oaks Blvd.
New homes are also being built in very few areas of the city. Primary areas of new residential construction are currently in-fill sites within the developed area of the community and not outward expansion.