Seen in the pictures of Westlake Village above are road signs and
mountains greeting travelers to this LA County city next to the
Ventura County line.
The City of Westlake Village is a Los
Angeles County municipality created in 1981. Located on the eastern
side of the Ventura/Los Angeles County line, Westlake Village was
formed in 1966 by the American Hawaiian Steamship Company. It
includes a total land area of 5.4 square miles and a population of
8,836. Less than nine miles from the Pacific Ocean and 38 miles west
of downtown Los Angeles, it is approximately 900 feet above sea
level. The community is framed by the Simi Hills to the north and
the Santa Monica Mountains to the south.
The City of Westlake Village is
located in the heart of the Ventura Freeway (Highway 101)
“Technology Corridor”. The Corridor stretches along the freeway from
Calabasas westward through the Oxnard plain, and is recognized as
one of Southern California’s major R&D and technology growth areas.
A host of high-tech manufacturing and Research and Development
firms, biotechnology companies and healthcare organizations are
located here, including the corporate headquarters of Dole Food
Company and K-Swiss.
Events and activities include Summer
Friday Fun Nights with concerts, shows and entertainment at the
Westlake Village Civic Center. There are also play for children and
a variety of camping, hiking, bicycling and other sports available.
Native settlers include Chumash
Indians. In 1770, Captain Gaspar de Portola led a party of Spanish
explorers and missionaries, traveling north on the route known as
the 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”.
Spanish settlers were given huge land grants that included the
largest Rancho Simi, given to the Pico family. Westlake Village 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. The area
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 acreage 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,”
In 1963, the American- Hawaiian Steamship Company bought the 12,000
acre ranch for $32 million in partnership with Prudential Insurance
Company and commissioned a master plan for a “city in the country."
The original master-planned community of Westlake Village is
transected diagonally by the Los Angeles and Ventura County line.
The Los Angeles County side, consisting of 3,456 acres, was
incorporated as the City of Westlake Village in 1981 and became the
82nd municipality in Los Angeles County. The Ventura County side,
comprised of the remaining 8,544 acres of the original Russell
ranch, was annexed into the City of Thousand Oaks in two portions in
1968 and 1972.
With Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area adjacent to
Westlake Village, a variety of nature trails are available for
hiking, mountain biking, picnics, horseback riding and camping.
Westlake Village maintain numerous scenic sidewalks, green belts,
and protected bike lanes. Visitors can enjoy these outdoor
activities plus golfing, tennis, swimming, fishing, boating and
Westlake’s 150-acre lake is stocked with bass, blue gill and
catfish. Docking privileges, fishing licenses, boating and sailing
are available to residents. Nearby commercial harbors offer sports
fishing, whale watching and tours to Channel Islands National Park,
five islands that begin just 12 miles off the mainland, where the
marine sanctuary contains giant kelp forests that shelter more than
1,000 species of ocean life. Hiking and camping is permitted on all
the islands and there are many sea caves and deserted coves that
attract snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as kayaking and
boating. Many excellent state and county beaches and campgrounds are
scattered along the coastline just 9 miles across the Santa Monica
Mountains. Swimmers, sunbathers, and surfers enjoy nearby Malibu,
Point Dume, Zuma, Leo Carrillo, County Line, Sycamore Cove and Point
Mugu beaches. Birdwatchers can watch migratory birds heading south
for the winter. Herons and egrets in the protected areas.
11public golf courses, 10 tennis courts and several swimming pools
are open to the public. The Conejo Recreation and Park District
manages 33 developed parks, 5 play field parks, and 1 district-wide
park in addition to the 1,300 acre Wildwood Park, 12,000 acres of
open space and 75 miles of trails. The District offers more than
2,500 organized recreation and leisure programs each year. Westlake
Village manages three city parks and a recreation program as well.
Organized sports available for youth through area organizations
include soccer, football, softball, baseball, basketball, swimming,
boating, and track and field.
Buses into the Los Angeles area are provided by Rapid Transit
District. Taxi and bus services are available within the local area.
Greyhound Bus Lines pass through Thousand Oaks daily and maintain a
flag stop. Metrolink commuter rail lines connect Ventura County with
four other counties and are accessible from a station 10 miles north
of Thousand Oaks in Moorpark, or from Simi Valley, 15 miles north of
Thousand Oaks. Amtrak has a station and ticket office in Oxnard,
about 30 miles west of The Conejo. Three commercial airports are
located within a 45-mile radius: Los Angeles International;
Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport; and Oxnard Airport. Several bus,
van and limousine services offer transportation to and from the Los
Angeles and Burbank airports.
Mann Village 8 Westlake Village
180 Promenade Way
Westlake and Thousand Oaks Boulevards
Westlake Village Twin
477 Lakeview Canyon Road
777-7876 or (818) 889-8061
City of Westlake Village, 31200 Oak
Crest Drive, Westlake Village, California 91361
Phone: (818) 706-1613 Fax: (818) 706-1391 wlv.org