Oak Park, California
Panorama of Oak Park and the Simi Hills
Location in Ventura County and the state of California
|• Senate||Fran Pavley (D)|
|• Assembly||Jeff Gorell (R)|
|• U. S. Congress||Julia Brownley (D)|
|• Total||5.290 sq mi (13.702 km2)|
|• Land||5.290 sq mi (13.702 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2) 0%|
|Elevation||1,106 ft (337 m)|
|• Density||2,600/sq mi (1,000/km2)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1817380|
Oak Park is an unincorporated community in Ventura County, California, United States. When developed in the Simi Hills in the late 1960s, a single road provided the only access to the community from Agoura Hills, California in neighboring Los Angeles County. As of the 2010 census, Oak Park had a population of 14,266, down from 14,625 at the 2000 census. For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Oak Park as a census-designated place (CDP). The census definition of the area may not precisely correspond to local understanding of the area with the same name.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (February 2016)|
Oak Park has had human occupation from about 5500 B.C. to the present day. It lies within a zone including the early Millingstone Horizon and inland Chumash Indians. Indians camped throughout the area as they collected acorns, yucca, and other food. The sites in the area include major villages, smaller camps and several rock shelters.
The location of Oak Park was originally part of Rancho Simi, a Spanish land concession in Alta California given in 1795 to Francisco Javier Pico, a soldier of the Santa Barbara company, and his two brothers, Patricio Pico and Miguel Pico by the Spanish government. Lindero Canyon Road follows the western border (lindero in Spanish) of the land grant.
Oak Park was formed from ranchland owned by Jim and Marian Jordan, stars of the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly. The land was purchased by Metropolitan Development Corporation in the 1960s. Homes were developed starting in the late 1960s. Kanan Road (named after a local family) was the only access road to the community, from Agoura Hills, California in neighboring Los Angeles County. As such, the community was served by police and firefighters based in the nearest Ventura County city, Thousand Oaks, 10 miles (16 km) away, with L.A. County services responding when able.
In 1967 Ventura County officials who were concerned about the isolation of the community proposed a land swap with L.A. County, but they were rebuffed. The isolation—coupled with the distance to junior and senior high schools—also drove down the property values, and homeowners found it difficult to sell their properties.
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors created a Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) in 1975 to represent the community to County agencies. The MAC persuaded the Ventura County Board of Supervisors to trim Metropolitan Development Corp.'s initial development plan from a population of 26,000. Today there are about 15,000 residents. All available land within Oak Park has now been developed, with the remaining vacant land owned by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District.
The community was initially served by the Simi Valley Unified School District, with the nearest post-elementary schools being Sinaloa Junior High (about 20 miles (32 km) away) and Royal High (about 22 (35 km) miles away). Since the Simi Valley Unified School District had no plans to build post-elementary schools in Oak Park, the residents seceded and formed Oak Park Unified School District in June 1977. Medea Creek Middle School started at the current location of the school district in 1980 using portable classrooms. The campus was affectionately called "Bungalow Hill" by students. The middle school was grades 6 - 8 with 6th graders spending morning hours at Brookside Elementary and afternoons at the middle school. The following year when Oak Park High School opened for classes, Medea Creek Middle School shared the campus. Oak Park High School's class of 1983 was the first graduating class. They were the maiden class; they were upperclassmen each year 9th through 12th grade.
Oak Park is located at 34°10'18" North, 118°45'28" West (34.171756, -118.757899). It is bordered by the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area on the north and east and Rancho Simi Open Space on the south. It sits within valleys in the Simi Hills capped by Simi Peak which borders the community to the north. The elevation in Oak Park varies from 960 to 2,157 feet above sea level. (Does not include Simi Peak at 2,450 ft)
The CDP has a total area of 5.29 sq mi (13.7 km2). All of the area is land and none of it is covered by water. However, there are many small creeks in the area. The largest of these creeks are Medea Creek and Lindero Creek, which are tributaries of Malibu Creek, the only waterway that pierces the Santa Monica Mountains. The Malibu Creek watershed covers 105 square miles and contains 225 stream segments.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Oak Park had a population of 14,266. The population density was 2,610.6 people per square mile (1,007.9/km²). The racial makeup of Oak Park was 11,473 (83.1%) White, 141 (1.0%) African American, 32 (0.2%) Native American, 1,556 (11.3%) Asian, 9 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 162 (1.2%) from other races, and 438 (3.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 826 persons (6.0%).
The Census reported that 14,625 people (100% of the population) lived in households, and none (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 5,158 households, out of which 2,112 (40.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,054 (59.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 590 (11.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 184 (3.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 204 (4.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 34 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,046 households (20.3%) were made up of individuals and 258 (5.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68. There were 3,828 families (74.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.14.
The population was spread out with 3,622 people (26.2%) under the age of 18, 1,004 people (7.3%) aged 18 to 24, 3,031 people (21.9%) aged 25 to 44, 4,981 people (36.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,173 people (8.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.7 years. For every 100 females there were 92.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
There were 5,297 housing units at an average density of 1,001.2 per square mile (386.6/km²), of which 3,842 (74.5%) were owner-occupied, and 1,316 (25.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.5%. 10,706 people (77.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 3,104 people (22.5%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,625 people in approximately 5000 households. The population density is 3,567 people per square mile (1,393/km²). The racial makeup of the town is 92.41% White, 0.01% African American, 0.26% Native American, 6.41% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 1.16% from other races, and 2.59% from two or more races. 4.35% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
49.7% of the households have children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.7% are married couples living together, 9.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 11.5% are non-families. 8.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 2.9% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.11 and the average family size is 2.83.
In the town the population is spread out with 33% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 31.4% from 45 to 64, and 5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36.3 years. For every 100 females there are 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 94.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $106,921, and the median income for a family is $121,170. Males have a median income of $91,698 versus $42,083 for females. The per capita income for the town is $33,905. 7.5% of the population and 5.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 8.4% are under the age of 18 and 0.0% are 65 or older.
Among residents age 25 or greater, 11% have no education beyond a high school diploma, 22% have some college education without earning a degree, 10% have an associate degree, 35% have a bachelor's degree, and 18% have advanced degrees.
The community is served by the Oak Park Unified School District (OPUSD), which has three elementary schools (K-5), a middle school (6-8), Oak Park High School (9-12), and Oak View High School (an alternative high school for ages 16 and above).
Oak Park High School offers baseball, boys and girls basketball, cheer, Cross Country, dance, football, golf, lacrosse, boys and girls soccer, softball, boys and girls tennis, track and field, and boys and girls volleyball. Oak Park is in the Tri-Valley and Frontier League depending on the sport.
Flora and Fauna
85 species of birds have been observed with breeding activity of 32-64 probable. 12 species of raptors were observed. Nesting of 7 was confirmed including American kestrel (Falco sparverius), barn owl (Tyto alba), screech owl (Otus asio), red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus). The turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus) breed on adjacent slopes. Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperi) and northern harrier (Circus cyanus) may nest in Oak Park. Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) lack suitable nesting habitats and probably live in nearby areas. Two non-raptor birds are classified as sensitive including coastal black-tailed gnatcatcher (Polioptila melanura californica). Possibly less than 1600 pairs of this bird remain alive. The second is grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum).
Three species of amphibians were observed in Oak Park: western toad (Bufo boreas), Pacific treefrog (Hyla regilla), and bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). 8 other amphibians occur in this area and may be present.
The Oak Park area and the Simi Hills are part of a wildlife corridor that link the San Gabriel Mountains (Los Padre National Forest) and Santa Susana Mountains to the Santa Monica Mountains. This is a critical path between mountain ranges where animals can find others of the same species for mating.
Oak Park ecosystems include several within the chaparral (inland sage scrub, rocklands, northern slope chaparral scrub, southern slope chaparral scrub) and riparian woodland (coast live oak riparian forest, valley oak woodland, southern willow scrub, walnut stands, and oak savanna). Southern California grassland has largely disappeared from the site by overgrazing and housing.
The chaparral and grassland are frequently altered by fires started by natural causes and humans. Both Indians and ranchers have altered the local landscape through fire and grazing. Oak Park's last large uncontrolled fire was on October 8, 1982.
The recorded flora during the last EIR of Oak Park included 202 vascular plant species distributed among 52 families. Half are found in 5 families: sunflower(Asteraceace), grass (Poaceae), pea (Fabaceae), Mustard (Brassicaceae) and figwort (Scrophulariaceae). Non-native plants constitute 13% of the flora. There are 4 plants classified as sensitive: Catalina Mariposa Lilly (Calochortus catalinae), Wind poppy (Stylomecon heterophylla), Santa Susana Tarweed (Hemizonia minthornii ), and Nolina Parii
Water is provided by the Calleguas Municipal Water District though the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District. Oak Park sewage is collected and treated by the Triunfo County Sanitation District at the Tapia Water Reclamation Facility on Malibu Canyon Road in Los Angeles County. A joint venture of Calleguas, Las Virgenes and the Triunfo built a pipeline and pump station in 1994 to distribute reclaimed water for landscaping and golf course irrigation.
Open space and parks in Oak Park are managed by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District.
- Rock Ridge Open Space
- Sunrise Meadows Open Space
- Wistful Vista Open Space
- Chaparral Park
- Deerhill Park
- Eagle View Park
- Indian Springs Park
- Mae Boyar Park
- Medea Creek Park Trail
- Oak Canyon Community Park
- Oak Park Community Garden
- Oak Park Community Center and Gardens
- Valley View Park
- Canyon Cove Trail (to Wistful Vista Ridge)
- China Flat aka Dead Cow / Simi Peak
- Golden Eagle Trail aka Rock Ridge Trail West
- Medea Creek Trail
- Oak Canyon Community Park Nature Trail
- Palo Camado Canyon / Doubletree Trailhead
- Sandstone Hills Trail
- Suicide aka Rock Ridge Trail East
- Sunrise Meadow Trails - Creekside and Ridge
- Wistful Vista Trail
- "California's 26th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
- "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau.
- Clewlow et al, 1978
- Belmond, Sylvie (June 21, 2012). "Oak Park's history glimpsed through movies filmed locally". The Acorn. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- Flans, Robyn (September 12, 2016). "Mystery Ranch near Oak Park is a film buff's dream". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Pool, Bob (April 2, 2006). "Rebuffed, Then Polished". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- McClellan, Doug (June 24, 1993). "OAK PARK : Area Excluded from Express Bus Service". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- Pascual, Psyche (December 16, 1991). "Annexation Studied as Alternative to Cityhood : Government: A committee is focusing on whether Oak Park can afford more services if it merges with Thousand Oaks instead of incorporating on its own.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- Davis, Maia (June 29, 1991). "OAK PARK : County to Consider Study on Cityhood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- Terada, Jason (April 14, 1997). "Status Quo Holds Sway in Oak Park". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- Wahlgren, Eric (November 10, 1995). "OAK PARK : Settlement May Benefit Library Plan". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- McClellan, Doug (February 11, 1993). "OAK PARK : Community Now One for the Book". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Oak Park CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
- Leung, Wendy (September 16, 2016). "The cows are gone, but Oak Park has small-town feel at 50". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- Oak Park Environmental Impact Report, 1982
- Pols, Mary F. (June 15, 1994). "Reclaimed Water Will Begin Flowing to Oak Park : Conservation: The treated sewage will soon run into the community to be used to irrigate median strips and parks.". Los Angeles Times.