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The City of Thousand Oaks, located in beautiful Ventura County, 12 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, is nestled against the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounded by more than 14,800 acres of natural publicly owned open space.
This open space contains 75 miles of trails for hiking, biking, or just leisurely walking. While this natural acreage gives our community the best of nature, another source of pride in our community is the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Opened in 1994, this jewel of cultural arts has become a beacon for our region featuring world-class entertainment, musicals, concerts, children’s shows, ballets, and much more. Thousand Oaks, a family-oriented community of 128,000, is home to excellent schools, outstanding parks, and myriad shopping opportunities, including the largest auto mall in the nation, according to J.D. Powers and Associates.
Incorporated in 1964, Thousand Oaks is a master planned community. The City provides a wide range of services to residents whichinclude a city-owned library, teen center, senior center, cultural center, quality infrastructure, and natural open space. The City has been fortunate to have had a balanced budget throughout its history due to conservative management. To keep the balanced budget in place in the face of state budget cuts, City leaders have enacted a selective hiring freeze with approximately thirty positions frozen (not being filled). Even though Thousand Oaks is still growing, the City is not adding any new positions while maintaining current programs and services.
City leaders have not added any new programs or positions for several years; cutbacks have been made in a variety of areas where possible.
With a very involved community, the City has more than 30 commissions, boards, and committees that provide citizen input to the City Council. Among these are the Residents Roundtable, Business Roundtable, Arts Commission, Council on Aging, and Youth Commission. The City is helping generate interest in civic careers by participating in Groundhog Job Shadow Day and internships with our local school district and colleges. City leaders also support staff memberships in organizations such as MMASC, CAPIO, LCC, CSFMO, GFOA, etc. Because of our involved community, the City of Thousand Oaks takes communicating with residents seriously. Customer service is emphasized from helping at public counters to answering phones. Our residents are our customers. Any avenue of communication is used to let residents know about services available, public hearings, etc. Everything from press releases to the City website to ads to town hall meetings are used to “get the word out” to the community. The City also has its own government cable access channel, TOTV, to air City Council and commission meetings for residents live and as repeats throughout the week.
Thousand Oaks is a premiere Southern California community with family-friendly amenities. More than 40 years of achievements have made Thousand Oaks one of the most sought after places in California to live, work, and play.
Since incorporation in 1964, the City of Thousand Oaks has earned well-deserved accolades:
This community has evolved from a rural Ventura County settlement into an attractive and desirable Southern California City. Thousand Oaks offers the ideal mixture of commercial, industrial, residential and recreational space in an exceptional location.
The City's history dates to the Chumash Native Americans who dwelled in the Conejo Valley hundreds of years ago. In 1542, the area was discovered by Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who claimed the land for his Spanish king. The area remained virtually unsettled until the early 1800s when the Spanish governor granted 48,671 acres of land grants to loyal soldiers - land which included the Conejo Valley. (Conejo is the Spanish word for rabbit which are abundant in the area.)
Throughout the 19th Century, early pioneers migrated to the area. The first post office was built in 1875, and the small settlement became a stop on the stagecoach route between Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the invention of the motor car and the construction of a highway between those two major cities, the Conejo Valley began to evolve.
In the early 1900s the Janss Family purchased 10,000 acres of farm land and began planning a "total community." The family would leave a positive local imprint, and the Janss name remains highly visible in the Conejo Valley.
Chicken ranches, dairy farms and apricot orchards dotted the valley when Louis Goebel opened his Lion Farm in 1927. Crowds flocked to see Goebel's performing jungle animals. In later years, his tourist attraction was called Jungleland. Soon the motion picture industry discovered the Conejo Valley's beauty. Scenes from "Birth of a Nation," "Tarzan," and "The Adventures of Robin Hood" were filmed here. Today, that trend continues with movies, television shows and commercials being filmed or videotaped within the City and adjoining areas.
By 1961 there were two shopping centers, an industrial park, schools, churches and a four-year liberal arts college in the growing town. On Sept. 29, 1964, the community voted to incorporate and selected the name, City of Thousand Oaks, honoring the abundant, majestic oak trees in the area. In the first years of Cityhood, nearly 20,000 persons lived within the 14.28 square miles of the newly drawn boundaries.
Since incorporation, the City has developed into a quality community, integrating effective planning and citizen involvement. Having grown to 56 square miles with more than 127,000 residents, City officials remain dedicated to offering an envious family lifestyle.
In an effort to maintain its natural environment, more than 15,000 square acres have been designated as "Open Space" containing more than 75 miles of trails. This preserved space allows residents to enjoy the same natural beauty that the Chumash Native Americans first enjoyed hundreds of years ago.