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    West Hills

    Tell us what West Hills means to you

    • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?

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    Boring? Well yes, but if that means peaceful, friendly and quiet then it's a good place to live. Everything is close by, but it still has a small town feel. If I was still 21 I'd probably live Downtown or in Hollywood, but I'm not so I prefer to just visit those parts of L.A. when I choose to.

    — John C
    April 28, 2012 at 1:10 a.m.

    It means a beautiful neighborhood with safety and peace and quiet.

    — Mark W.
    March 22, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.

    Colder and warmer than the cities that surround it. Quieter by day and by night. Nightime visits on my block include many owls, possums, mockingbirds, and the occasional coyote trotting past my front yard. Early morning sees many varieties of small birds--sparrows, finches, hummingbirds, jays--and a family of red-tailed hawks has nested in the trees on Archwood for years now. I can actually see many stars at night, and smell the wild brush from the hills around Castle Peak (El Escorpion Canyon). I can be hiking in wilderness in 5 minutes, or shopping/movie-going/dining in 10. Beach in 30 or so, Downtown in 45 on a good day. Great schools, great neighbors. What's not to love?

    — Melinda
    January 27, 2012 at 3:43 p.m.

    I grew up in Canoga Park, then it turned into West Hills. It was a great place to grow up - we didn't have any issues with maps then. I think it's sad that some people are freaking out about the map. Good grief!! Maybe you should go to Shadow Ranch and listen to the leaves rustle in those giant eucalyptus trees, remember what's important, and appreciate how beautiful it is instead of getting your undies in a twist over a map.

    — Christine
    October 19, 2011 at 4:58 a.m.

    Growing up in West Hills, I always appreciated the calm and easy going nature of the community. Walking around the neighborhood late at night to enjoy the cool air is possible, and it feels like a small town in a lot of ways. I like how West Hills is still in the city of Los Angeles, but far enough away from the jammed freeways and the metropolis. It does get a tad boring without any homegrown entertainment, but it's an excuse for a drive into the city. Downtown, the Westside, Hollywood, and the beach can become places to visit, rather than places to live. The ability to come home to tree-lined streets and calm nights is really undervalued in many ways. I go to college in the Westside, and I can't stand the traffic, the bustle, and the ingrained nature of its inhabitants to avoid relaxation. I come home a lot, and play football in my front yard. Grill out back. West Hills is a gem.

    — Alex S
    September 9, 2011 at 12:06 a.m.

    After college I was working in Century City with a large company who then moved to Thousand Oaks. TO was too far. My company told me about a place with good schools. I moved as a single man into our family home in 1983. Best move I ever made. I got married and raised a family of two boys. For me this was a slice of Leave it Beaver and I loved it. Boys all went to Welby Way, then one to Hale Middle the other to Lawrence. Things have changed but the essential character has not. Parks are filled with families, no loud music, no gang bangers. People have pride of ownership and family. My boys have known no other home and while its boring for them, they love "coming home".

    — Richard Marchand
    June 28, 2011 at 8:15 a.m.

    I love raising my daughter in West Hills. It's kind of boring and theres not much to do after 11pm but I love it here.

    — Joe
    June 16, 2011 at 6:06 p.m.

    I used to live in C.P. a long time ago. It was a great place to grow up. I remember palm trees, dirt roads and orange groves near Justice St. School. The only downside I guess is that mess sitting up on the hill called Rocketdyne. Seems like it's finally getting the attention it needs. Otherwise, C.P., Westhills whatever you want to call it is a wonderful place.

    — Nabisco
    March 14, 2011 at 9:54 a.m.

    Mike, you are wrong on both counts.

    The Nordhoff median is recognized as the boundary by the city of Los Angeles and by the neighborhood councils of West Hills AND Chatsworth. The Times made a simple mistake and refuses to admit it.

    As for crime -- according to the Times' own data base, West Hills' crime "spike" since Sept. 28 consisted of one violent crime and 16 property crimes. This adds up to a crime rate that is lower than Chatsworth's, Woodland Hills' or Canoga Park's.

    West Hills is, in fact, one of the safest communities in Los Angeles. Just ask any cop in the area and he or she will tell you.

    — Dan Brin
    October 13, 2010 at 10:43 p.m.

    The map is totally correct. Latimes have no need to change anything. Regardnig the crime, canoga park, west hills and winnetka area always had high crime. I am not sure why latimes found this even to be unusual when it's normal for that area.

    — Mike
    October 4, 2010 at 1:44 p.m.

    We have lived in West Hills since 1993, raising our daughters. Couldn't think of a nicer neighborhood. We know all our neighbors, schools are good and my children have great friends

    — LA Girl
    October 1, 2010 at 4:31 p.m.

    The Times still gets the northern border of West Hills wrong.

    The border between West Hills and Chatsworth extends westward from the intersection of Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Nordhoff Street along the median of Nordhoff Street, continuing west until it reaches the western limits of the city of Los Angeles.

    This boundary is acknowledged by the Neighborhood Councils of West Hills and Chatsworth. It is recognized by the city of Los Angeles and all of its agencies. In fact, the Times is unique in its insistence that the "Chatsworth Reservoir" (actually the Chatsworth Nature Preserve), which has no people in it, is a "neighborhood" of its own.

    I urge the Times to set its pride aside, admit error and correct this mistake.

    — Daniel Brin
    June 11, 2010 at 6:29 p.m.

    My family and I moved into our new home in a tract bounded by Vanowen, Shoup, Victory and Fallbrook in 1958. There was no West Hills, only Canoga Park. There were few developments yet. Shoup had palm trees down the center and ditches on either side, no curbs or storm drains. Flooding was a problem on major streets in the area during rain. There was no Fallbrook Mall, no Topanga Plaza, no West Hills Hospital. We lived way out in the far west Valley, no 101 Freeway, no Hamlin St. grammar school. I believe school-age children went to Highlander. My oldest daughter was 6 mo old at the time. By the time my children went to school, they went to Hamlin Elementary, Charles Evan Hughes Jr High (no middle school), then to Canoga Park HS. By then Hale Jr Hi had been built and also El Camino High. More tracts grew up around us and the shopping centers developed. In time we found we now lived in West Hills. There was much ado about the name change. Everyone had an opinion on the boundries because this involved home values. In time we raised three girls who went on to college and became women of whom I'm very proud. I think my girls enjoyed their youth there. We all knew our neighbors, not so much now. I sold the house to my oldest daughter in 1997 and she lives there still with her girls. I'm fortunate that my family all live near me and we still have a connection to that first house for which we paid $17, 295 with an FHA mortgage! What has made it a good place for us is that it was a place we could afford. Since we lived there so long, there has been continuity. One daughter teaches at a school in the area and every now and then has a student who's the child of someone she knew growing up. Another daughter lives near by so we still gravitate in the same circle of our lives. I feel lucky.

    — Louise Lasnick
    May 18, 2010 at 5:08 p.m.

    i grew up in West Hills as a kid on Pondera Circle and i loved it i played baseball at west hills baseball field and went to Hale middle school the neighbors were nice and if i could move back there i would for my sons sake

    — William Dominguez
    May 15, 2010 at 6:38 p.m.

    The map is very important. We are pride owners within the community and had to fight for Corporate Pointe to NOT become a strip mall. I now wish LAUSD and U.S. Post Office would get the boundaries correct. West Hills is a wonderful community where neighbors know and watch out for each other. Where parents can still let kids play in front yards. It's a great place to live!

    — SoccerMom
    March 3, 2010 at 12:33 p.m.

    David, what did I say to merit such a nasty response from you? All I did was explain why maps are important and why it is important for the Times to get our community's boundaries right. You didn't say a word in your post to refute anything I said.

    Why do you think it's important to defend the Times' designation of the Chatsworth Nature Preserve -- an area with no people in it -- as a separate "neighborhood" when every current map from every city agency says otherwise? How does one have to be a "jerk" in order to point out the absurdity of that?

    Aside from the nasty crack at the beginning of your post, I agree with a lot of what you said. We have a beautiful, safe community, one of the most prosperous in the city, but we need to be more than that. That's why I'm working with other citizens to get some creative culture going in this berg. For one thing, I'm working with several nonprofit organizations to establish a performing arts center here.

    Two and a half years ago, a nonprofit I head called the Cinema Heritage Project set up a giant inflatable screen in front of the house at Shadow Ranch to show "The Children's Hour," a 1961 MGM drama that was filmed at the site. We gave tours of the house and had members of the movie's cast and crew address the audience. We even aired an exclusive telephone interview with Shirley MacLaine. We have other plans in the works (though you'll never read about them in the Los Angeles Times).

    Instead of striking a cynical pose and calling people names, why don't you step up for your community? Why don't you try to fix what's wrong with it? Why don't you speak in its defense when it needs defending?

    — Daniel Brin
    March 2, 2010 at 9:45 p.m.

    Daniel Brin, You are a Jerk, and should learn how to talk to people. The Times is doing something fantastic here, and if you and West Hills can do better, start your own website!

    Most of West Hills is suburban, with lots of families. Soccer Moms galore. Most people are avid consumers. Also, many are early embracers of new technology,and enjoy fine foods and delicious wines. People from this area consider themselves more intelligent than most people in the Valley, and usually spend more money than they can afford. Growing up as a child in West Hills, is nice, mostly safe, even late at night, although the major problem with West Hills is that it is completely lacking in Creative Culture. Most people that live here are 9-5ers, and dont really have much creative energy whatsoever. Overrun by babyboomers, and their busybody lives, they seem to forget about the world around them... causing terribly skewed world view issues, and a large lack of cultural open-mindedness... even though they'd like to think they are culturally open-minded because they eat chinese, mexican and thai food on a regular basis.

    West Hills has its big small town charm, and corporate restaurant/fast food influence deeply rooted in its culture. There are more and more independently owned and operated cafes and restaurants opening, but not nearly enough.

    MUCH too corporate for my taste, although on a personal level the people that live here are usually very friendly, right off the bat.

    I'd say theres a good mix of Socially Liberal and Fiscally Conservative people that live here, and most people are more on the conservative side.

    — David Trent
    March 2, 2010 at 4:53 a.m.

    Maps are important, Joe and K.R. That's why the Times has put so much time and effort into this project.

    I can think of three reasons why it's important for the Times to get this right:

    1. People need to understand the correct boundaries of the various government jurisdictions so that, when they need to petition their representatives in government, they'll know where to go. Especially in the far western areas of West Hills, many people don't even know whether they live in the city of Los Angeles, in unincorporated areas of the county or even in Ventura County.

    If you have a crime problem in your neighborhood, or if you have potholes, or if a tree fell on your street, or if a telephone company is erecting a huge, ugly cell tower next to your house, you need to know where to call to get the problem fixed.

    2. The people who live or work in our community should have a say in the larger issues of planning and zoning that affect all of our lives.

    When the Times, through ignorance, arrogance or simple stubborn pride, decides that no part of the Chatsworth Nature Preserve is within West Hills, it undercuts our community's credibility when we speak out on matters that affect the Preserve.

    A few months ago, the Fire Department constructed a helicopter landing pad on the Preserve, just north of Fallbrook Avenue. People in West Hills were not alerted, let alone consulted. Why? The fire captain who was in charge of the project had no idea it was in West Hills. He told the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council about it instead.

    There are many zoning issues that affect us here -- development projects at Corporate Pointe and Dayton Canyon immediately come to mind. If we want, for example, to stop the construction of hundreds of homes in Dayton Canyon, we need to muster all of the authority and clout we can summon to wage that fight. Many old maps place Dayton Canyon outside of West Hills, but it is within our boundaries.

    3. I can summarize the third reason in two words: "community pride."

    Every community needs to have a sense of pride. Pride isn't a mere matter of vanity. It's the key to generating volunteerism and activism among the citizens. West Hills is no exception. We have a great quality of life here, but if we want to protect and improve it, we need to nurture our sense of civic pride.

    If we say nothing while an imperious Downtown institution arbitrarily decides who and what we are, what does that say about us?

    — Dan Brin
    January 17, 2010 at 10:39 a.m.

    Wow, I didn't know other people from West Hills are so serious about maps

    — joe
    January 4, 2010 at 12:55 p.m.

    Forget the boundries and colors of lakes, let's talk about the early day's. My family moved to the corner of Sherman wy./Royer av. in 64', what a place to grow up! Agriculture every were, a sheep herder used to bring his flock across the Valley up/down Shoup av. twice a year, Francis Lederer, the art gallery. Absolutly no development at Castle Peak, Bell Cyn and any thing west of Valley Circle blvd. Let's hear more!

    — K.R. Jeters
    December 30, 2009 at 12:06 p.m.

    I see you've corrected the western boundaries of West Hills. Good for you!

    Now please replace the areas in the north that you've arbitrarily removed from our community.

    As I've pointed out before, the boundary between Chatsworth and West Hills is defined by the median of Nordhoff Street extended from Topanga Canyon Boulevard all the way to the western limits of the city. This boundary is recognized by the neighborhood councils of Chatsworth and West Hills, as well as the Los Angeles City Clerk's office and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. The next edition of the Los Angeles Almanac also will recognize this boundary.

    The Times accomplishes nothing by refusing to correct its mistake -- nothing except annoying people and contributing to the widespread belief that you don't take us seriously.

    — Daniel Brin
    December 5, 2009 at 5:42 a.m.

    What is the deal with your kids at the mall Friday night without you. Can't afford babysitting?

    — Patric O'Malley
    October 18, 2009 at 4:58 a.m.

    The boundaries of this map are still wrong. The northern border of West Hills aligns with the center median of Nordhoff Street, extending straight through the "Chatsworth Reservoir" between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and the western boundary of Los Angeles.

    The western borders of West Hills are also wrong.

    — Daniel Brin
    September 28, 2009 at 3:44 p.m.

    HIDDEN TREASURE

    The Orcutt Ranch, formally called Rancho Sombra del Roble, was the vacation and retirement estate of William Warren Orcutt and his wife Mary Logan Orcutt. The adobe residence, as well as the estate’s garden, ranch structures, oak trees, and citrus orchard have historic significance because of the distinction of its owner W.W. Orcutt, pioneer of the oil production industry in California and discoverer of the prehistoric fossils at the LaBrea Tar Pits.

    http://www.laparks.org/dos/horticulture/orcuttranch.htm

    — Ed Crowe
    August 31, 2009 at 6:42 p.m.

    I sent the West Hills Neighborhood Council map into the LA Times months ago. I thought that this issue was resolved.

    As far as demographics go, we have demographics for population on our website that show a greater population than your newspaper shows.

    POPULATION: 42,405*

    Percent of the Population by Age Group 2004

    0-4 6.2%

    5-9 6.3%

    10-14 6.8%

    15-19 6.1%

    20-24 5.5%

    25-29 4.2%

    30-34 4.6%

    35-39 7.0%

    40-44 8.9%

    45-49 8.6%

    50-54 7.5%

    55-59 6.5%

    60-64 5.0%

    65-69 4.2%

    70-74 4.1%

    75-79 3.8%

    80-84 2.4%

    http://www.westhillsnc.org/uploads/2008EconSumitReport.pdf

    I recommend that you check out the websites of the approximately 90 Neighborhood Councils before you start drawing boundaries. It is hard enough keeping track of Neighborhood Council Boundaries, City Council Boundaries, Assembly Districts, State Senate Districts, and Congressional Districts.

    West Hills chose to be an area that denotes a particular life style.

    I think that on the 2010 Census that West Hills is more ethnically diverse than it shows here.

    — Chris Rowe
    June 27, 2009 at 3:03 a.m.

    The Times has ignored our community's comments and disregarded reality.

    At the next meeting of the West Hills Neighborhood Council, I will introduce a motion to condemn the Los Angeles Times for its callous mistreatment of our community.

    — Daniel J. Brin
    June 15, 2009 at 8:29 p.m.

    Please add to my previous comment: There is a samll indentation near ElScorpio Park that belongs to the County of LA. It would be diffficult to show on your map though.

    Charles E. Gremer

    — Charles E. Gremer
    June 4, 2009 at 11:05 a.m.

    The northern boundary of West Hills DOES NOT dip down south of the reservoir. I continues straight across from Nordhoff to the county line (City limit). I, and my fellow West Hillians, worked long and had to establish the boundaries.

    Charles E. Gremer

    Founding President, West Hills Neitghborhood Council

    — Charles E. GEMER
    June 4, 2009 at 10:55 a.m.

    Four comments on the West Valley map:

    The unincorporated area on the northwest "shore" of Chatsworth Reservoir is known as Lake Manor.

    Chatsworth Reservoir shouldn't be colored blue: It's had no water in it in at least the last dozen years.

    Topanga Plaza mall at Topanga Canyon and Victory boulevards is now named Westfield Topanga.

    Mae Boyer Recreation Center on Highlander Road is a small park. I and shouldn't be labeled a recreation center.

    — Robert Bayer
    June 3, 2009 at 12:03 p.m.

    West Hills

    is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County.
    This neighborhood includes Unincorporated West Hills in its area and statistics.
    The neighboring communities are Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Chatsworth Reservoir, Hidden Hills and Woodland Hills.
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    About This Project
    West Hills is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
    About The Data Desk

    This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.