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The unincorporated community of Oak Park is located in eastern Ventura County on the southern base of Simi Peak, bordered on the west by the North Ranch neighborhood of the city of Thousand Oaks, on the south by the Los Angeles County cities of Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, and on the north and east by the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Oak Park's climate may be described as California Mediterranean.
*** Begin Right Sidebar ***Four times since Oak Park was first settled, the Santa Ana winds blew raging brush fires into and even through the community. Strict Ventura County fire codes and vigorous efforts by the County's Fire Protection District have always prevented any loss of lives or occupied homes.
In the first fire, the Jordan home — the vacant ranch house that was previously occupied by the couple who starred in radio's Fibber McGee and Molly — was destroyed. In the next two fires, flames traveled along Medea Creek or raced across the hill tops, finally reaching the Pacific Ocean in Malibu 10 miles away. At the end of September 2005, the Topanga fire was stopped when it entered Oak Park, but only after a mass evacuation of the community.
My daughter Heather — raised in Oak Park — now lives in Canada. She watched the progress of the Topanga fire on a local Los Angeles TV station via her cable service and on the Web. In response to the various news reports, Heather sent a letter-to-the-editor of the Ventura County Star, a tribute to the character of Oak Park residents.
*** End Right Sidebar ***
Oak Park is a compact community, occupying 2600 acres. Adhering to the community's master plan, pockets of medium and high density development are separated by open space and parks, which constitute over half the land area. This includes six neighborhood parks, Medea Creek Natural Park, and Oak Canyon Community Park. Because of the sensitive environment found in Oak Canyon Community Park, ball fields and tennis courts have been distributed to the neighborhood parks. The Oak Park Open Space is home to deer, coyotes, skunks, rabbits, snakes, owls, woodpeckers, hawks, and other wildlife. Signs of mountain lions are seen. Golden eagles are known to nest in Chesebro Canyon, less than a mile east of Oak Park.
The developed portions are primarily residential, with a mix of single-family homes, individually-owned townhomes with common-owned streets and greenbelts, and apartments. There are three commercial developments. Oak Park is home to a Mormon Church, an Episcopal Church, and a Chabad House. Surrounding communities provide Catholic, Methodist, and Lutheran churches and Reform and Conservative Jewish congregations.
The Oak Park Unified School District was established in 1978 by secession from the Simi Valley Unified School District. Oak Park has three elementary schools (K-5), a middle school (6-8), a high school (9-12), and an alternative high school. The District is considered one of the finest school systems — public or private — in California. Oak Park is within the jurisdiction of the Ventura County Community College District, whose nearest campus is Moorpark College. Oak Park residents may also attend Pierce College in the Los Angeles Community College District. Four-year colleges and universities nearby include UCLA, the newly opened California State University Channel Islands, California State University Northridge, Pepperdine University, and California Lutheran University. UC Santa Barbara operates an off-campus center in Ventura.
The Oak Park Library is a joint school and public library located on Kanan Road at the east end of Oak Park High School. This joint operation of the Oak Park Unified School District and the Ventura County Library Services Agency provides services both to the general public and students far in excess of what either agency could provide alone by avoiding the costly duplication of services and reference works. Students can access their high school library evenings, Saturdays, and during vacations.
Oak Park is in Zone 45 of the National Weather Service's prediction system. Using NWS terminology, we have a climate intermediate between coastal and inland valleys.
The California Department of Water Resources operates an automated weather station in Cheseboro Canyon (less than a mile east of Oak Park) that reports hourly data. Also, Medea Creek Middle School maintains a weather station that reports current data.
The Community Foundation for Oak Park organizes volunteers and collects donations in support of community programs and projects.
The following ordinances enacted by the Ventura County Board of Supervisors have special importance in Oak Park.
Division 6, Chapter 1, Article 1.1 of the Ventura County Codified Ordinances (§6113) declares that a property owner may be fined $1,000 for allowing a party to be held where under-age persons (minors and adults under the age of 21) consume alcoholic beverages on the owner's property. This applies whether or not the property owner is present when the alcohol is consumed.
Division 7, Chapter 1, §7251 prohibits parking oversized vehicles on residential streets in Oak Park.
The ordinance provides for exceptions for short-term occasional parking and permits for long-term frequent parking. Permits are issued upon the advice from the Oak Park Municipal Advisory Council (MAC). Permit applications and MAC guidelines may be obtained from Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks.
Complaints about parking and traffic violations — including violations of §7251 — should be reported to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) at 805-553-0800 or in writing. Written complaints to the CHP about any persistent traffic problem should indicate the location; date and time when it was most recently observed; a description of the vehicle, including make, color, and license plate number; whether you previously reported this violation; your name, address, and phone number; and whether the CHP may contact you. Written complaints should be mailed to:
While Oak Park has curb-side recycling as part of our weekly trash pick-up, certain items cannot be included. However, Oak Park residents can participate in the drop-off recycling programs conducted in the adjacent city of Thousand Oaks. Contact that city regarding disposal of paint, motor oil, insecticides, and other hazardous wastes.
Oak Park Now is another Web site about the community, emphasizing news, events, and activities within the community.
(NOTE: These links are here to satisfy your curiosity only. No endorsement of commercial listings in these links should be implied.)
Images of America: Oak Park (Arcadia Publishing, 2012, ISBN 978-0-7385-9538-2) is a photographic history of the community coauthored by Harvey Kern, David E. Ross, Derek Ross, and Harrvy Medved.
NOTE: The following reflects the November 2012 election. Some of these representatives do not take office until January 2013.
Oak Park Municipal Advisory Council
County Supervisor Linda Parks (2nd District)
Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (44th District, R)
State Senator Fran Pavley (27th District, D)
Congresswoman Julia Brownley (26th District, D)
Please send me E-mail with comments, additions, and corrections.
This page has been visited 60,872 times since 28 January 2004.
This page actually existed as early as 1996. The copyright notice was added in 2003; the 1999 date reflects the earliest known instance of this page in the Internet Archives. Counting visits did not start until 2004.