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A suburban area of Southern California in eastern Ventura County, CA and extreme western Los Angeles County, CA approximately 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles and 25 miles from Ventura city. It is situated in an inland valley separated from the Pacific Coast and Malibu by the scenic Santa Monica mountains. Encompassing the municipalities of Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village, it also contains the areas of Newbury Park, Ventu Park, Lake Sherwood, North Ranch, and several other smaller neighborhoods. Occasionally, the city of Agoura Hills (and rarely, the western part of Calabasas) is included in consideration of the Conejo Valley. The elevation is mostly 500 to 900 feet above sea level; the coastal plain (beyond the Conejo Pass) lies to the west and the San Fernando Valley (via the Calabasas Grade) extends to the east. The region enjoys a mild, year-round Mediterranean climate, with warm, sunny, dry summers and cool, rainy winters. Vegetation is thus typical of Mediterranean environments, with chaparral on the hillsides and numerous western valley oaks giving the region's largest city its name.

The social environment of the Conejo Valley is comfortable and relatively safe. It is a very wealthy area, with the average real estate value of close to $1 million. Average household income is six-figure, and expensive cars and SUVs are constantly seen on the freeways, streets, and parking lots around the region. Cost of living is high, with taxes, rents, and merchandise reflecting the area market. The region's largely White population contributes to its sameness and lack of cultural diversity and heterogeneity. Stars of the Hollywood entertainment industry often own homes in the Conejo Valley, notably in North Ranch and Lake Sherwood. The local entertainment options are extremely limited, with pricey shows at the Civic Arts Plaza not offering much to the otherwise sterile, bedroom-community scene. The area shuts down around 9 or 10 p.m., and residents are forced to travel to the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles for much of their late-night amusement. There is no rail line through the region, making it utterly dependent on automoblies, thousands of which are daily seen clogging the US 101 and CA 23 freeways serving the area. Due to its upper-middle-class foundation and presence of disproportionately large numbers of police, violent crime is low. The City of Thousand Oaks is always ranked among the nation's safest cities of at least 100,000 population. The Conejo Valley schools are excellent, making the region extremely desirable for family living. Also popular with wealthy retirees, the area affords a safe, pleasant environment. In short, it is a nice place to live, but other places are more interesting to visit.
A long-time Conejo Valley resident, he used to work in Newbury Park and still lives in the Westlake section of Thousand Oaks.
by MEDical Man October 18, 2006
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