The mountains on one side of us comprise the Santa
Monica Mountains National Park. The park is full of
trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. And the
mountains are quite scenic, with interesting rock
formations, waterfalls, caves, Indian rock paintings, and
fossils. It's hard to believe that all of this is just
outside of L.A.
The amount of wildlife is surprising, including deer,
mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, and an occasional black
bear. The city is designed with a lot of open space
between neighborhoods to act as wildlife corridors.
Thousand Oaks is one of those "master planned
communities" that has actually stuck with the plan.
The population is currently about 110,000, and sometime
in the next decade we will hit the planned maximum of
130,000. For more facts and statistics about the city,
check out the official city
Because the master plan calls for slow, regulated
growth, there are limits on the number of homes and
businesses that can be built each year. Because of that,
and because everyone wants to build here, the developers
have to do more than usual to get their projects approved
by the city.
If a residential developer wants to build a housing
tract, he has to provide roads, parks, schools, etc. If a
commercial developer wants to build a shopping center, it
has to be artfully designed, and probably include things incorporated in the
center pictured here: a fountain or two, outdoor sculptures, sidewalk cafes,
valet parking, and music (usually broadcast through speakers, but live
on the weekends).