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Thousand Oaks, California
City of Thousand Oaks
Mount Clef Ridge as seen from Tarantula Hill, Thousand Oaks
Mount Clef Ridge as seen from Tarantula Hill, Thousand Oaks
Official seal of Thousand Oaks, California
Seal
Nickname(s): 
T.O.
Location in Ventura County and the U.S. state of California
Location in Ventura County and the U.S. state of California
Thousand Oaks, California is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Thousand Oaks, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Location in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Thousand Oaks, California is located in California
Thousand Oaks, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Location in California
Thousand Oaks, California is located in the United States
Thousand Oaks, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Ventura
Incorporated October 7, 1964
Government
 • Type Council/Manager
Area
 • Total 55.41 sq mi (143.51 km2)
 • Land 55.26 sq mi (143.13 km2)
 • Water 0.14 sq mi (0.38 km2)  0.27%
Elevation
886 ft (270 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 126,966
 • Rank 2nd in Ventura County
47th in California
 • Density 2,291.39/sq mi (884.72/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP Codes
91320, 91359–91362
Area code(s) 805/820
FIPS code 06-78582
GNIS feature IDs 1661567, 2412065

Thousand Oaks is the second-largest city in Ventura County, California, United States. It is in the northwestern part of Greater Los Angeles, approximately 40 miles (64 km) from Downtown Los Angeles, and is less than 15 miles (24 km) from the Los Angeles neighborhood of Woodland Hills. It is named after the many oak trees present in the area.

The city forms the central populated core of the Conejo Valley. Thousand Oaks was incorporated in 1964, but has since expanded to the west and east. Two-thirds of master-planned community of Westlake and most of Newbury Park were annexed by the city during the late 1960s and 1970s. The Los Angeles County–Ventura County line crosses at the city's eastern border with Westlake Village. The population was 126,966 at the 2020 census, up from 126,683 at the 2010 census.

History

Old oak tree, Thousand Oaks CA
Majestic old oak tree in Thousand Oaks

The area was once occupied by the Chumash people, and 2000-year-old cave drawings may still be seen at the Chumash Indian Museum, 3290 Lang Ranch Parkway, in the Lang Ranch section of the city. The Chumash village was known as Sap'wi, which means "House of the Deer".

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 acres (196.96 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.

In the late 19th century it was on the stagecoach route between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. The Stagecoach Inn was built in 1876, and is now a California Historical Landmark and a popular museum.

The Janss family, developers of Southern California subdivisions, purchased 10,000 acres (40 km2) in the early 20th century. 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 television 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. Jungleland closed in May 1968, in part due to competition from other amusement parks such as Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland. 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, the first incorporated city in the Conejo Valley. Some sources mistakenly state that Thousand Oaks was incorporated on September 29, 1964, which was the date that voters approved the incorporation and selected the name. However, the incorporation only became official once the certificates of election were filed with the California Secretary of State, and then the record of affidavit was filed with the Ventura County Clerk. It is known for being a planned community, as the city is one of few that have actually stayed with the master plan. Increased development in Moorpark and Simi Valley in the late 1990s and early 2000s caused the Moorpark Freeway (Highway 23) 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 appreciated more than 250% in less than ten years, primarily during the mid-1990s to early 2000s.

The Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks

Newbury Park is located in the westernmost part of the city. This unincorporated area was annexed by the city of Thousand Oaks through votes by Newbury Park communities. The only communities that chose to remain county areas are Casa Conejo, which was built from 1960 to about 1965, and Lynn Ranch, an old neighborhood in the western portion of the city. Thousand Oaks also annexed the parts of neighboring Westlake Village (then simply known as "Westlake") that were located in Ventura County, in two portions in 1968 and 1972.

Thousand Oaks is encouraging mixed-use retail and housing development along the downtown portion of Thousand Oaks Boulevard. The city is "built-out" within the confines of the Conejo Valley and has adopted a smart growth strategy as there is no room for the sprawling suburban growth the city is known for.

Geography

Thousand Oaks is located at 34°11′22″N 118°52′30″W / 34.18944°N 118.87500°W / 34.18944; -118.87500 (34.189489, -118.875053). It is situated in the Conejo Valley.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 55.2 square miles (143 km2). 55.0 square miles (142 km2) of it is land and 0.15 square miles (0.39 km2) of it (0.27%) is water.

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.

Climate

The region has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa in the Koeppen climate classification) or dry-summer subtropical zone climate, with hot, sunny, dry summers and mild winters with moderate rainfall. 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 11, 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 18, 2008.

Climate data for Thousand Oaks, California (91360)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 93
(34)
94
(34)
101
(38)
105
(41)
113
(45)
113
(45)
115
(46)
116
(47)
115
(46)
110
(43)
99
(37)
96
(36)
116
(47)
Average high °F (°C) 69
(21)
70
(21)
73
(23)
78
(26)
83
(28)
88
(31)
95
(35)
97
(36)
93
(34)
84
(29)
75
(24)
68
(20)
74.75
(23.83)
Average low °F (°C) 39
(4)
41
(5)
42
(6)
45
(7)
49
(9)
53
(12)
57
(14)
57
(14)
55
(13)
49
(9)
43
(6)
38
(3)
48.08
(9)
Record low °F (°C) 19
(-7)
18
(-8)
26
(-3)
30
(-1)
33
(1)
36
(2)
42
(6)
42
(6)
38
(3)
27
(-3)
23
(-5)
20
(-7)
18
(-8)
Precipitation inches (cm) 3.6
(9.1)
4.8
(12.2)
2.9
(7.4)
1.0
(2.5)
0.3
(0.8)
0.1
(0.3)
0.0
(0.0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.1
(0.3)
0.9
(2.3)
1.3
(3.3)
2.8
(7.1)
17.9
(45.5)
Source: weather.com
(Temperatures vary by zip code)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1950 1,243
1960 2,934 136.0%
1970 35,873 1,122.7%
1980 77,072 114.8%
1990 104,352 35.4%
2000 117,005 12.1%
2010 126,683 8.3%
2020 126,966 0.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
Ancestry in Thousand Oaks
Origin percent
German American
  
15.8%
Mexican American
  
12.9%
English American
  
11.7%
Irish American
  
10.7%
Italian American
  
7.2%
Russian American
  
3.4%
Chinese American
  
3.3%
French American
  
3.2%
Polish American
  
3.2%
Scottish American
  
2.7%
Indian American
  
2.7%
Norwegian American
  
2.2%
Swedish American
  
2%
Dutch American
  
1.5%
African American
  
1.3%
Other
  
18.9%

The city neighborhoods were built for the blue- and white-collar class in the 1950s. Today it is an upscale city with highly educated residents. The 2010 United States Census reported that Thousand Oaks had a population of 126,683. The population density was 2,295.8 people per square mile (886.4/km2). The racial makeup of Thousand Oaks was 101,702 (80.3%) White, 1,674 (1.3%) African American, 497 (0.4%) Native American, 11,043 (8.7%) Asian, 146 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 6,869 (5.4%) from other races, and 4,752 (3.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21,341 persons (16.8%). The largest ancestry group is German-Americans 20,381 (15.8%), followed by Mexican 16,640 (12.9%), English 15,092 (11.7%), Irish 13,802 (10.7%), Italian 9,287 (7.2%), Russian 4,385 (3.4%), Chinese 4,256 (3.3%), French 4,127 (3.2%), Polish 4,127 (3.2%), Scottish 3,482 (2.7%), Indian 3,482 (2.7%), Norwegian 2,837 (2.2%) and Swedish 2,579 (2%).

The census reported that 124,941 people (98.6% of the population) lived in households, 1,390 (1.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 352 (0.3%) were institutionalized.

There were 45,836 households, out of which 16,439 (35.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 27,206 (59.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,260 (9.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,925 (4.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,761 (3.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 284 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 9,728 households (21.2%) were made up of individuals, and 4,459 (9.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73. There were 33,391 families (72.8% of all households); the average family size was 3.15.

The population was spread out, with 30,076 people (23.7%) under the age of 18, 10,226 people (8.1%) aged 18 to 24, 29,853 people (23.6%) aged 25 to 44, 37,964 people (30.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 18,564 people (14.7%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.3 males.

There were 47,497 housing units at an average density of 860.8 per square mile (332.3/km2), of which 33,501 (73.1%) were owner-occupied, and 12,335 (26.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.8%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.6%. 92,510 people (73.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 32,431 people (25.6%) lived in rental housing units.

The median income for a household in the city was $121,088.

Transportation

Thousand oaks boulevard blvd california
Thousand Oaks Boulevard.
ThousandOaksCA typical street
A neighborhood in Thousand Oaks.

Roads

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 (the Ventura Freeway), as well as State Route 23 (the Moorpark Freeway). Highway 101 runs through the city and connects it with Los Angeles and Ventura. Highway 23 connects to the 101 near downtown Thousand Oaks, runs north toward Moorpark, and essentially divides the city in two. Thousand Oaks is also served by Thousand Oaks Transit, which provides public transportation in the form of shuttles and buses. TOT buses provide service to Thousand Oaks as well as some neighboring communities.

Public transportation

A regional transportation center provides bus and shuttle lines to Los Angeles, Oxnard, Ventura, Moorpark, Simi Valley, and Santa Barbara via the VISTA, Metro, and LADOT Commuter Express bus lines. In addition to being a transfer station from Los Angeles and other nearby cities, it also serves as the primary station for Thousand Oaks Transit buses. Metrolink Ventura County and Pacific Surfliner services are available at the train stations in Moorpark and Camarillo. The Amtrak Coast Starlight stops at the Oxnard Transit Center and the Simi Valley Amtrak/Metrolink Station.

Air

Commercial air travel is provided primarily by Los Angeles International Airport for regular commuters, while the Bob Hope Airport (in Burbank) offers an alternative for domestic destinations. Thousand Oaks offers public transportation that runs to both airports, via the VISTA, Metro, and LADOT bus lines. Los Angeles International Airport is approximately 40 miles (64 km) southeast of the city, while Burbank Airport is approximately 35 miles (56 km) east of the city. General aviation airports include Camarillo Airport, approximately 15 miles (24 km) west of the city; Oxnard Airport, approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of the city in Oxnard, California; and Van Nuys Airport, 25 miles (40 km) east of the city.

Conejo Valley Airport, also known as Janss Airport, was an airport in Thousand Oaks. It had the first qualified flying field in the Conejo Valley, and was opened sometime between 1946 and 1949 by the Janss Corporation, which had large land holdings in the area. The airport had 2,800 feet of unpaved runway, located parallel to Ventura Road, now known as Thousand Oaks Boulevard (near Moorpark Road). When the state established a highway through town in 1952, the airfield was moved to the south side of the 101 Ventura Freeway. The airport was often featured in movies, including Francis the Talking Mule (1950) with Donald O'Conner. Other movies filmed here include The Paleface (1948), Riders of the Whistling Pines (1949), and Overland Stage Raiders (1938).

The airport was no longer in use by 1962, and is the present location of Los Robles Greens Golf Course. The Janss Corporation later announced they would construct a new airport on the 1,400 acre Friedrich Ranch in Newbury Park, which they had purchased to develop the Rancho Conejo Industrial Park. Rancho Conejo Airport opened on May 5, 1960, and considered an executive airport. It had a 4,300 foot surfaced and lighted runway, and was described by the Los Angeles Times: "It was the finest executive aircraft facility on the West Coast... and will serve the needs of the fast-moving executives of the space-age industries." The airport was used in the filming of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World in 1963. The airport closed by 1965–66, and the land remained empty until 1991 when Shapell Industries constructed Rancho Conejo Village homes. The former site is northwest of the intersection of Lawrence Drive and Ventu Park Road in Newbury Park.

Economy

Amgenheadquarters
Amgen is the world's largest biotechnology firm and the largest employer in the Conejo Valley.
The oaks mall main entrance
The Oaks is the largest shopping mall in Ventura County.
Los robles medical center receiving
Los Robles Hospital has earned multiple top honors for its specialized care.
Sage Publications Headquarters Newbury Park
Sage Publications is headquartered in Newbury Park, CA.

While agriculture was the dominant industry in Thousand Oaks until the 1950s, a number of high-tech companies moved to Newbury Park in the 1960s. Today it is home to a number of high-tech and biotech companies, and has been dubbed "the next Silicon Valley".

The city's economy is based on a range of businesses including biotechnology, electronics, automotive, aerospace, telecommunications, healthcare, and financing. Amgen, Teledyne Technologies, SAGE Publications, and Skyworks Solutions have corporate headquarters in the city, while Bank of America, Baxter International, General Dynamics Corporation, Verizon, Verizon Wireless, Volkswagen, Audi, General Motors, BMW, Silver Star Automotive Group, and Anthem Blue Cross manage regional offices. Thousand Oaks also has large employers as Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center, Conejo Valley Unified School District, City of Thousand Oaks, Hyatt Hotels, and California Lutheran University headquartered in the city. 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. Hewlett-Packard was also previously located here.

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. The communities of Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, and Agoura Hills are served by the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, one of the few in California to receive four-star accreditation from the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Demographic data showed in 2002 that more and more of the local labor force was living within 20 miles of their place of work, and fewer Thousand Oaks residents were making the commute to Los Angeles. Over 40 percent of residents are employed as executives or business professionals.

Top employers

According to the city's 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

No. Employer No. of employees
1 Amgen Inc. 5,000
2 Conejo Valley Unified School District 2,700
3 Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center 1,641
4 California Lutheran University 1,296
5 Anthem Inc. 1,002
6 PennyMac Loan Services 835
7 Takeda Pharmaceutical Company 700
8 Skyworks Solutions Inc 670
9 City of Thousand Oaks 525
10 AmeriHome Mortgage 436

Points of interest

Dawn's peak aka tarantula hill
Dawn's Peak aka Tarantula Hill.

Wildlife

California-kingsnake-wildwood-thousand-oaks-ca
Kingsnake in Wildwood Regional Park.

Thousand Oaks' fauna includes mammals such as mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, grey fox and mule deer, as well as smaller mammals as the striped- and spotted skunk, California raccoon, Virginia opossum, Audubon's cottontail, long-tailed weasel, Botta's pocket gopher, ring-tailed cat, California vole, western brush rabbit, western gray squirrel, and several species of rats and mice, where the most common are deer mouse and Merriam's kangaroo rat. The dangerous lion often creates a hazard in suburban areas, but generally speaking is only found in the adjacent Simi Hills, Santa Monica Mountains, and the Santa Susana Mountains. Some of the amphibians and reptiles found in Thousand Oaks include lizards such as side-blotched lizards, southern alligator lizards and western fence lizards, as well as the southwestern pond turtle and crawdads, and numerous species of snake, including southern Pacific rattlesnakes, San Diego gopher snakes, striped racers, California kingsnakes, common kingsnakes, ringneck snakes, and western aquatic garter snakes. Some amphibians found in Thousand Oaks include ensatina, slender salamander, western toad, American bullfrog, California toad, Pacific tree frog, and the California red-legged frog.

Odocoileus hemionus 6017
Mule deer are among the most common mammals in Thousand Oaks.

There have been observed a total of 171 bird species within the city limits. The most commonly encountered avifauna include the house sparrow, house finch, Brewer's blackbird, California towhee, eastern towhee, oak titmouse, acorn woodpecker, and California quail. Raptor population densities in the Conejo Valley, which therefore has some of the highest quantities of raptors in the U.S. Some of the raptors found in the City of Thousand Oaks include the golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, Cooper's hawk, marsh hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, red-shouldered hawk, ferruginous hawk, pigeon hawk, prairie falcon, turkey vulture, barn owl, great horned owl, screech owl, American kestrel, and the white-tailed kite.

Wildwood Regional Park is a natural habitat for an abundance of native animals, such as coyotes, hawks, crawdads, ducks, turtles, mule deer, numerous songbirds, mountain lions, several species of snakes, and numerous species of raptors.




Sports

CLU Rolland Stadium
Los Angeles Rams trains at California Lutheran University (CLU).
Jamon Brown
NFL-player Jamon Brown lives in Newbury Park.

Los Angeles Lightning is a local basketball team based at Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at California Lutheran University. Besides having been the summer camp for NFL teams Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys, CLU also served as the official training site of the 2008 and 2012 US Olympic Men's Water Polo teams. A nearby company, DesignworksUSA in Newbury Park, has designed the U.S. Olympic Team's bobsleds. Furthermore, Newbury Park has been the location of several Tour of California, a professional cycling race.

AYSO, club soccer (such as Apex Soccer Club, 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, rugby and field hockey have active programs. Conejo Simi Swim Club is the oldest (est. 1974) and most successful youth swim program in the area.

Ventura County Fusion, a minor-league soccer team playing in the USL Premier Development League, while based in nearby Ventura, has held home games at Newbury Park High School in Newbury Park. The Conejo Oaks semi-pro collegiate baseball team play in Thousand Oaks at Sparky Anderson Field. The Ventura County Outlaws is a rugby union team competing in the Southern California Rugby Football Union, based in Thousand Oaks.

The city is home to the Sherwood Country Club, a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The annual Chevron World Challenge golf tournament hosted by Tiger Woods took place at the course from 2000 to 2013.

Professional Football

For 27 years, California Lutheran University hosted the training camp for the Dallas Cowboys. The final camp was held in 1989. 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. The Los Angeles Rams' temporary headquarters and practice facilities are located on the same campus until the team constructs their permanent training complex in Los Angeles (in a separate July 2016 agreement, the Rams signed a three-year deal with UC Irvine to use that university's Crawford Field for the team's training camp.)

Baseball

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 Junior League World Series championship game 20–3. 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 Championship, defeating a Venezuelan Team 10–9 in the Big League World Series and going 26–1 in tournament play. 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 runners-up 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 2004 Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania before losing in the international title game to the team from Curaçao, Caribbean.

Education

CLU Main Street
California Lutheran University has been rated the 14th best regional university in Western United States.

Thousand Oaks is served by the Conejo Valley Unified School District. Academic scores in public schools are high. Several schools are scoring in the top ten percent of schools in California. It includes numerous elementary schools, Colina Middle School, Redwood Middle School, Los Cerritos Middle School. The high schools of the area include Thousand Oaks High School, Newbury Park High School, and Westlake High School. Also part of the school district are Sycamore Canyon Middle School and Sequoia Middle School, located in Newbury Park. Oaks Christian High School, while located immediately outside Ventura County, matriculates numerous students from the county. Ascension Lutheran School is located in Thousand Oaks, and serves students from prekindergarten through eighth grade. La Reina High School is a private Roman Catholic, all-girls junior/senior high school.

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.

For over ten consecutive years, California Lutheran University has been ranked among "Top 25 Universities in Western United States" by U.S. News & World Report published by America's Best Colleges Guide. It was ranked 14th as of 2018.

Notable people

See also: Newbury Park, California#Notable people

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