Westlake Village is a city located in Los Angeles County, California, USA. The population was 8,368 at the 2000 census. This city located in the Conejo Valley is known for its affluence and secluded character, and is considered one of the wealthier communities in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Westlake Village is a planned community built around an artificial lake straddling the Los Angeles-Ventura county line; it is a master-planned suburb of lakeside condos and suburban homes. Like neighboring Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks, its mix of safe streets, good schools, picturesque hillsides, hiking and equestrian trails attract residents seeking serenity.
The original community was divided by the Los Angeles and Ventura County boundary and known simply as "Westlake." In the late 1960s/early '70s, the Ventura County portion, or roughly two-thirds of the community, was annexed by City of Thousand Oaks; in 1981, the remaining third eventually incorporated as the City of Westlake Village. Information in this article applies primarily to the latter incorporated area.
It is a common, if somewhat confusing practice, for many businesses and residents of the Thousand Oaks portion to use "Westlake Village" as the city in their mailing address or in conversation. To further confuse things, the USPS ZIP code boundaries cross county and city lines for the zip codes 91361 and 91362. Only those familiar with the local boundaries, streets and street numbers can accurately determine whether a particular location is really in Thousand Oaks (Ventura County) or Westlake Village (Los Angeles County).
About 3,000 years ago, Chumash Indians moved into the region and lived by hunting rabbits and other game, and gathering grains and acorns. On-going excavations, archaeological sites, and polychrome rock paintings in the area provide a glimpse into the social and economic complexity of the ancient Chumash world. In 1770, Captain Gaspar de Portola led a party of Spanish explorers and missionaries, traveling north on the route that became known as El Camino Real. The party camped near a Chumash village, believed to be the site of present-day Westlake Village. Father Juan Crespi, chaplain and diarist of the expedition, wrote: “We are on a plain of considerable extent and much beauty, forested on all parts by live oaks and oak trees, with much pasturage and water.”
When the Spanish finally did settle the area, they were given huge land grants, the largest of which was Rancho Simi, given to the Pico family. When Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, California became Mexican territoy, and a few more land grants were given. When California was admitted to the union in 1850, most of the land that later became Ventura County was divided among only 19 families. The picturesque future Westlake Village site among rising knolls, arroyos, barrancas and ancient oaks was recognized as the central part of two Mexican land grants: Rancho El Conejo and Rancho Las Virgenes. In 1881, the Russell brothers purchased a large portion of the land for cattle ranching. According to Patricia Allen, historian and family descendant, Andrew Russell beat the competition in buying the land by racing across 6,000 acres (24 km²) on a fifteen-minute trip in a buckboard and sealed the deal with a $20 gold piece. The price per acre was $2.50. The area continued to be known as the Russell Ranch although it was sold in 1925 to William Randolph Hearst and again in 1943 to Fred Albertson. The Russell family leased back part of the land to continue its successful cattle ranch operation while the Albertson Company used the vast area as a movie ranch. Many movies and television shows were filmed here, including “Robin Hood,” “King Rat,” “Laredo,” and various episodes of “Tarzan,” “Buck Rogers,” “Gunsmoke,” and “Bonanza.”
In 1963, the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company bought the 12,000 acre (49 km²) ranch for $32 million and, in partnership with Prudential Insurance Company, commissioned the preparation of a master plan for a “city in the country.” Prominent architects, engineers, and land planners participated in designing the new community, a prominent example of planned 1960's-style suburbanism.
The original tract was divided by the Los Angeles/Ventura county line. In 1968 and 1972, the Ventura County side, two portions of Westlake Village consisting of 8,544 acres (35 km²), were annexed into the city of Thousand Oaks. In 1981, the Los Angeles County portion (3,456 acres or roughly 1/3) of the Westlake Village master community was incorporated as the City of Westlake Village. Today, a population of 8,905 resides within this city.
Although the city has grown rapidly from the 1980's onward, recent decades have seen an influx of gated communities (or even neighborhoods retroactively installing gates) as well as the increasing urbanization of areas once filled with ranch homes meant for equestrian communities. Also, the 1960's style of suburbanization present in Westlake Village made the car king, and some of the area's artery roads have become infamous for their lack of safety features for pedestrians. After the recent slaying of an Agoura Hills resident on Lindero Cyn. Blvd.  the city has begun a campaign to increase pedestrian awareness, a move met with skepticism on local blogs .
Much of Westlake Village is surrounded by open space, including hiking and horse trails, as well as the vast Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The town borders the Malibu hills, and is nine miles (14 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean. Coastal breezes seep through canyons to allow Westlake to stay up to 10 degrees cooler and considerably less smoggy than nearby San Fernando Valley during the summer months.
In addition to its role as a bedroom community for Los Angeles via the Ventura Freeway, it is also home to many large commercial offices and the headquarters of the Dole Food Company, Pleasant Holidays, K-Swiss, ValueClick and J.D. Power and Associates. The Ventura Freeway, is one of three of Westlake's lifelines to Los Angeles and Ventura, which include Pacific Coast Highway, and the 118 Freeway. It is a short drive to the nearest mall in Thousand Oaks.
Like many upscale hamlets, Westlake Village is well served by golf courses and country clubs. The Westlake Golf Course, off the 101, is verdant if noisy. More exclusive venues include Sherwood Country Club to the west and North Ranch Country Club to the north.
In actuality, over half of what is considered to be Westlake Village is actually in the Thousand Oaks city limits. The city limit line crosses halfway through Westlake Village, in the middle of the Westlake Golf Course, halfway between Lakeview Canyon Rd. and Lindero Canyon Rd. Another mistaken belief is that Lake Sherwood is part of Westlake Village, which is also false. It resides on the Thousand Oaks/Ventura County side. The name Westlake Village has to do with its location, west of the lake, Lake Sherwood.
Westlake Village is located at GR1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.7 km² (5.7 mi²). 13.5 km² (5.2 mi²) of it is land and 1.2 km² (0.4 mi²) of it (7.95%) is water. It is located approximately 40 miles (64 km) West of downtown Los Angeles in the Conejo Valley. Other communities in the surrounding area include Thousand Oaks, Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Newbury Park, and Malibu.(34.141973, -118.819514)
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 8,368 people, 3,270 households, and 2,491 families residing in the city. The population density was 620.1/km² (1,605.9/mi²). There were 3,347 housing units at an average density of 248.0/km² (642.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.70% White, 6.08% Asian, 0.82% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 2.17% from two or more races, . Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.61% of the population.
The median income for a household in the city was $105,267, and the median income for a family was $109,310. Males had a median income of $88,179 versus $38,568 for females. The per-capita income for the city was $49,596.
There were 3,270 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.8% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.8% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.8% under the age of 18, 3.9% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 31.9% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males. About 2.5% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.
In 2007, YogaWorks opened an eco-friendly membership-only yoga center.
Notable current and former residents of Westlake Village include:
5. ^ http://www.wlv.org/city_hall/city-history.asp City-history Official website of the City of Westlake Village, history page.