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Woodland Hills

Tell us what Woodland Hills means to you

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

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Woodland Hills rules, Tarzana drools.

— Kory the Karate King
June 4, 2013 at 4:59 p.m.

I first saw Woodland Hills in 1960 as my family was interested in a ranch on "Chalk Hill". I remember looking over where Parkman Jr. High is and it was sage brush. Ventura Fwy was built but Taft was not quite complete. We finally moved there in 1966 on Kelvin Ave up by "NBC Land" which was a field. I graduated from Taft in 1969 and later from CSUN. I really loved Woodland Hills because it was cool at night from sea breezes yet nice and warm in the daytime for swimming in our pool. I had a surf band and used to drive the neighbors nuts (not to mention my parents..). But I had 4 sisters and lots of friends from all over the Valley from my band so our house was party central and there were alot of parties in those days believe me. ..That is, from what I can remember...My family was connected to the "movie industry" (I had been a child actor myself) and there were many from the industry in our lovely neighborhood. It was very "entertaining" to say the least. The girls at Taft were drop dead gorgeous "California Girls" and I was spoiled as (I married one). I just have great memories of our house and the fun times we had surfing at Malibu, customizing our cars and vans, taking trips up to Big Sur or going up into the hills on our dirt bikes (watch out for the rattlesnakes though in the mornings and evenings). I saw some huge ones. The Manson Family was close by and I learned later they prowled our neighborhood to steal stuff out of cars. (My van was robbed but it was partly my fault because I left the doors open in those days). No gangs, but all the housekeepers were illegals from Mexico. We had a maid named Maria. God Bless her.

— William Clarke
September 30, 2012 at 4:12 p.m.

Topanga Vintage Market loves Woodland Hills because the community has embraced our vintage market. So many nice folks! Look for the sea of tents in the Westfield Promenade parking lot at Oxnard and TCB from 8 to 3 on the 4th Sunday of every month!

— Patrice Curedale
September 3, 2012 at 11:28 p.m.

Safe, friendly community! Low crime rate! Has an amazing outdoor ice rink in the Winter "Woodland Hills ice"

— Wendy Elliott
August 12, 2012 at 4:11 a.m.

My family moved to Woodland Hills in 1961 from Temple City, near where I was born. Dad rented a home on Berdon Street, which I drive past whenever I visit. In 1962, the house he had built on Mulholland Dr was completed and we moved in about 6 months before JFK was killed. I walked to Woodland Hills Elementary School when Theron Arnette was the principal. I then went to Parkman Junior High by bus and then Canoga Park High, either with my Dad, who was a teacher and counselor there (Some of you probably remember him) or I thumbed or rode my bike. I set out on my own in 1974, returned for a couple of years to work at Roy Surrey Union (The 76 Station, where we gave full service!) at the corner of Topanga and Ventura, then joined the Air Force in 1978. I never returned for more than a week to visit until 2004, when cancer and a few other life-changing events happened and I moved back in with Dad. Before I left again in late 2010, I, with the help of my Dad, put in the huge 40,000 square foot cactus garden that lines the dirt strip up on Mulholland in the 21500 block. (No, not the one on the corner of Topanga!) I spent 3 years putting the first 250 plants in, another 2 years moving mulch, just an hour or two at a time since I'm disabled. I talked to hundreds of people, neighbors, over those few years about how much they liked it, always baffled as to why they weren't doing the same in front of their own homes. Sadly, it seems that people are simply indifferent to the dirt blight that the city has saddled the street with for 40 years. To their credit, the city did donate all of the mulch and most of the dozen trees that are also in the garden along with the cactus. I HOPE that people are still enjoying it. If you find a few minutes or an hour of extra time, I hope you'll stop by, say hello to Dad...I'm sure you'll find him...and offer to help with the weeds. I spent hundreds of hours battling them, and Dad, at 88, can't possibly do it all himself. I'd hate to see it all die off. Enjoy it please. I did it for you.

— Rod C. Venger
October 14, 2011 at 11:35 a.m.

Our family moved to Woodland Hills in 1952 and rented up at the west end of Providencia just west of Canoga Ave. After a year's wait, we moved into our new house at the Northwest corner of Canoga and Dumetz. I loved the neighborhood as a 4-6 year old and walked by myself to Woodland Hills Elementary School for kindergarten and 1st grade, thankful for the friendly cross walk guards on Topanga Canyon Blvd. We planted our 1953 Christmas tree in the front yard on the south side of the garage and today it is a huge beautiful evergreen. My favorite house was the "island" house north of our place on the east side of Canoga, surrounded by 3 streets. I still think it's cool and check it out when I visit the neighborhood. Unfortunately, our property taxes were too much (so I was told) and in 1954, we moved to Roscoe Blvd in Canoga Park, a move I regret to this day. I wish we could have stayed in Woodland Hills. In the ensuing years, we would return annually to Woodland Hills at Christmas and tour Candy Cane Lane, my favorite Christmas memory from my childhood. I don't remember the exact location of Candy Cane Lane and don't even know if the tradition continues to this day. There was Church Lane and Candlestick Lane and possibly another Lane I can't remember the name of but each house had a Candy Cane or a Church or Candlestick or some such symbol out in front of the house to designate the Lane. We loved it. Thank you to each owner that participated in the wonderful Christmas decorations. In the early 1960's, my friend and I would ride our bikes from Canoga Park to the Woodland Hills Golf Course near my old house. We rode south along Canoga Avenue, a 2-lane paved road completely lined with pepper trees. There was nothing but farm land south from Vanowen to Ventura. Never had a problem with the cars. We would retrieve errant golf balls at the golf course that left the fairway and landed over the fence in the streets and yards. The generous golfers would give us a dime or quarter when we gave them their ball back. We'd amass a 2 or 3 dollar "fortune" and head for the candy store. I remember it like it was yesterday. I missed the old neighborhood so in 1974, my wife and 2 daughters rented the tiny Spanish style house on the east side of Don Pio Avenue about halfway between Ventura and Dumetz. It has since been added to and restored and we still check it out when we visit the Valley. Our oldest daughter was able to attend Woodland Hills Elementary School for kindergarten through 2nd grade. One of our favorite pasttimes was to walk down Don Pio to the ice cream parlor on Ventura Blvd for a family treat.We left Woodland Hills and moved to Northeast Washington in 1976 and never moved back but we still check out the old neighborhood on our family visits. I don't visit Canoga Park, although I graduated from Canoga Park High in 1966.

— Steve Holden
May 10, 2011 at 5:12 p.m.

I live on Bascule now and have the only horses in the area. I wish I could find someone with some history on my home. It has the biggest tree on the street and has nesting birds of pray. My Family and I love it here. We have been here for 10 years and never plan to move. We are homesteaded here permanently. Would love to hear more stories. Thanks for sharing.

— Christy
March 1, 2011 at 1:43 p.m.

I have lived in Woodland Hills for over 22 years, I moved from Thousand Oaks. Now I feel it is time to move out of Woodland Hill although I live in the hills, I can't stand the to go down to the mall and witness the every changing diversity plus the increase in crime, it is no longer the safe place I remember. The traffic is horrid, I go shopping in Calabasas and try to avoid any area around Warner Ctr. to closed in feeling now.

— BJoyce
February 21, 2011 at 10:27 p.m.

For Micheline Koby: Hi, Micheline. I know your friendly mule. He was really cute and sometimes would come to the fence where the gate was on Bascule. We named him Jackson, and lived right across the street from the 7-acre property. It was owned by Mr. Kamp (Kamp's Broiler Meat Stakes, the ones that were frozen with a pat of butter on top). Mr. Kamp died and the property was eventually sold; there are expensive homes there now with large lots. Thank you for bringing some pleasant memories of my youth back to me.

— Joann
November 8, 2010 at 12:03 p.m.

I moved here 2 months ago from the south to be with my finacee. Coming from a very small town (2705 people) to this area was very scarey for me. Having heard all the horror stories about LA and it's many burb's. Now I feel as comfortable and safe here as I did back home. I walk each day along Topanga to the mall and the only thing I fear is getting across the roads without getting ran over. The area is beatuifull and the people have been lovely to me. Now if I could just find a job that didnt require me to drive I'd be set. The only thing I don't feel comfortable doing here is driving .

— S Grimes
October 5, 2010 at 10:12 p.m.

great to be close to natural areas along mullholland drive and topanga canyon, yet close to schools, offices and shopping.

— william
September 30, 2010 at 11:51 p.m.

The neighborhood has become much more diverse the the last few years. At least the apartment community close to the mall. Large number of Indians and Iranians. Take a trip to the mall or Walmart and you will not be hear a lot of English being spoken.

— Jim
July 2, 2010 at 12:35 a.m.

I moved to Woodland Hills in the summer of 84. It was nice and not to crowded. Now it seems the riff raff is moving in this direction. The fallbrook mall is now dirty. You drive through the parking lot and there trash laying on the ground and some of it flying to neighborhoods. It seems people or the people who comes over just dont care about picking up after themself. It is also getting crowded. However; the homes are nice and the schools still have credibilty.

— Dan
June 6, 2010 at 4:23 p.m.

I have Lived here for the last 10 years or so of my life. I live up in the hill and it is super safe and quiet. I can go running at 3 in the morning and be fine.

Only dangers are the huge fire scares we get ever fall. The La Virgines Wild Park burned up about 5 years ago. Thankfully, the firefighters are saints and stopped the flames.

Kind of a boring place to grow up as a teenager. But great quiet and safe place to raise a family. Expensive as hell.

— Ryan
May 12, 2010 at 12:12 p.m.

Our family moved to Woodland Hills in the Summer 0f 1961.

I was in 8th grade and was anxious to go to Taft High which had just opened. I lived on top of Chalk Hill with a view to the West of Woodland Hills. Litton Industries was the only building from the freeway going South between DeSoto (which did not go further north than Burbank Bld and Topanga, for more than a mile. There were virtually no buildings on the north side of Ventura Blvd from Winnetka to Topanga. I remember watching the daily progress of the Valley Music Theatre started as a large dirt dome, covered with concrete and the dirt then removed. I worked there as an usher. Topanga Plaza in 1967 was like walking into Disneyland the first time we visited. It was the first indoor mall I had ever seen. Lots of good memories from those days. It has certainly grown .

— Mark Evans
April 6, 2010 at 1:40 p.m.

Woodland hills is 78% white and devoid of any culture. (Unless you count mayo sandwiches culture.) My girlfriend and I were driving out of Canoga Park and into the woodland hills area for the holliday, once we got into the residential section a police officer was behind us the whole time. They dont like us Canoga folk waltzing into their nice clean community. Im a 21 year old white male and Woodland hills is unfriendly even to me.

— Andy
January 19, 2010 at 11:33 a.m.

Woodland Hills is the Jewel of the Valley. Tree lined streets, fantastic restaurants, an active Neighborhood Council and a great team of LAPD officers. We live in the heart of Woodland Hills. I even moved my office to within walking distance of our home. Everyhting we need is right here. This is LA at it's finest! 30 mins to the beach and easy access to freeways. Great shops and a growing night life.

— Paul Shively
December 13, 2009 at 11:25 p.m.

We moved to Woodland Hills in early 1972. We moved to Canoga Park in 1977. Those 5 years were the best years of my childhood. I went to Serrania Elementary School. Back then there was a very large farm on the north side of the playground. Right next to the jungle gym, sandbox, and various other playground equipment of the day. Right there next to our playground there was the old grey mule that kept use entertained during our recess, and lunchtime play. He was so friendly, we would feed him Mulberry leaves everyday. so we could pet his soft nose. He was so sweet.

Halloween was the best. One year, and only one year the owners of the farm gave the ultimate in treats!! They were Asian, and this particular Halloween an older gentleman sat at a little table in their driveway and sculpted this taffy-like candy into the most incredible works of art. My little brother received a beautiful dragon, whose tail wrapped all the way down the wooden stick it was created on. I got a graceful butterfly. The detail was unbelievable, and truly magical for all of the children who had the patience to wait for their little work of art. A vast array of flowers, insects, mythical creatures, and extra ordinary animals came alive right before our eyes. It was magical watching this little man dip, twist, and clip life into those balls of candy. My brother, and I went home and displayed our treasures proudly in our little bedrooms. They got really hard like glass, but after about a year they had warped into a yellow furry blobs. I will never forget it as long as I live.

I felt so safe there. As young as eight we would walk everywhere... EVERYWHERE. I shudder to think of the thought of my grand daughters traipsing all over the place like we did as children.

The final fun memories were of the grassy hills we would "sled" down on flattened cardboard boxes, and the huge tree swing all the kids would gather at to take turns swinging over a pretty deep, but small canyon, at least 50 ft. to the ground. Thrilling.

Again, things that would scare me to death if I thought my little ones would do today. It was a different time then. I am glad I got to spend that time in Woodland Hills.

— Micheline Koby
November 23, 2009 at 6:31 p.m.

We moved from Encino to Woodland Hills about 5 years ago, to get a bigger house and yard. We also wanted a more "child friendly" neighborhood. I'm pleased with the house and the yard. The neighborhood was good and is improving. Most of the residents lived here for 40 years, raised their children and now have moved or are retiring. So the neighborhood is in transition. There are some rental properies in the neighborhood but the tenants are watched closely and problems reported quickly.

We are on the eastern edge of Woodland Hills and enjoy being close to Pierce College, the Occupational Center, baseball fields and many, many grocery and retail shops. The bike path is wonderful for riding to Jamba Juice or places further east. My husband takes public transportation, which is only a couple of blocks from our home, into work each day.

We have a local LAPD officer who has been very present for our Neighborhood Watch meetings and has nipped problems before they can take hold. The only possible negatives I can think of are, it's VERY hot in the summertime (107 degrees at times) and there is some slow, ground movement (not surprising since the Valley is basically sand). Area traffic has also increased in the last few years (but show me a place where it has not.)

Overall this is a very family friendly area. Not to urban but with plenty of options near, unlike a true suburbia. I rarely find the need to go "over the hill", except for fun trips to the beach.

— Kimberly Daniel
November 11, 2009 at 9:39 p.m.

This map differs from what the Woodland Hills/Warner Center Neighborhood Council recognizes as Woodland Hills

http://whcouncil.org/page2.php?snum=9

— Camron S.
September 22, 2009 at 1:22 p.m.

My first impressions of L.A. were Woodland Hills.

I was sent to Canoga Park from Toronto to study my company's latest aquisition in the technological upgrade in computerised phototypesetting, we stayed for about 8 weeks in a motel at Oxnard and Topanga.

I had left a very cold, dreary, and gloomy Toronto early that morning and arrived to a cloudless and warm sparkling afternoon in Woodlands.

I was immediately enthralled with California and this delightful neighbourhood. I was a recent immigrant to Canada from the U.K. (1967) but the idea of making another move to the U.S. loomed very large in my mind.

It was the mid 70's. I had a well paying and very specialised position in a Toronto newspaper, and I was halfway through the construction of a home in Ontario, and now the father of 2 infant boys... My wife would not hear of it.

I repeatedly described the area in detail, the endless sunshine, I was fascinated with the roofs, low pitched with small boulders on them, every backyard had a pool, The beautiful palms that grace L.A. everywhere. All to no avail, but I was just in love with the place.

The Topanga Plaza opened the first week I was there. There was an ice skating rink right in the concourse. The area was still under development past the Mall, houses in various stages of construction all up Topanga. 24 hours after I arrived there was a small earthquake just to remind me of exactly where we were on this planet.

My work has taken me to many places since that time, including Hong Kong for 12 years which I enjoyed immensely, but I have long since regretted not making that move to the U.S. Woodlands is where I would definitely have settled.

I now live in Vancouver. My partner has all her sisters in Orange county, the other end of this immense city. I have made trip down I5 several times, recently I took a tour round the Woodlands area. I could hardly recognise it, now it is a mature neighbourhood, but still attractive, I would have loved to have grown up with it.

— W.Palmer
September 10, 2009 at 9:33 a.m.

Woodland Hills is a place of many good memories for me. Our family moved there in 1947. One of many post WWII families to move to "The Valley" at that time. We staked our tent (literally) in the area called Walnut Acres. ( a former walnut orchard) as my father began building our house. Fallbrook ave. was a two lane street, part of it was still dirt road up to Vanowen,we kids would walk down the middle of the street because there were so few cars. There was a dry creek that ran behind our property, and my sisters would ride their horses all the way to Canoga Park. I remember the Dairy farm on the corner of Topanga & Ventura Blvd. the wide fields of Alfalfa growing along Topanga blvd up to Vanowen. It was a kids paradise for play , nothing but wide fields, creeks and orchards to roam for miles. The "Big Snowfall of 1949" turned Woodland Hills and the valley into the ultimate play land.

I could go on and on but, I will stop here.

— Jeanne Powers-Smith
September 6, 2009 at 1:43 a.m.

I'm a real estate agent in the San Fernando Valley. Woodland Hills is one of the most popular areas to live in the San Fernando Valley. If you are thinking of moving to the valley, you will enjoy this area.

You also have access to the Westfield shopping center in Woodland Hills.

The disadvantages are if you need to travel to Downtown LA or to the other side of the Valley or to the Santa Clarita Valley, you will most likely be stuck in traffic.

The top areas of the Valley are as follows: Studio City, Toluca Lake, Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Encino.

Hope that helps :-)

Richard Johnston

Rodeo Realty

— Richard Johnston
August 25, 2009 at 2:13 a.m.

I moved to an apartment in Warner Center in 1982. I was immediately taken by the friendly atmosphere and close access to restaurants and businesses. I moved to North Hollywood in 1991 to be closer to work, but really missed the Woodland Hills atmosphere. In 1995 I moved back to Woodland Hills and bought a house south of the boulevard. In 2005, I sold the house and moved elsewhere, but plan to come back next year and get another house. The things I love about Woodland Hills, are: the quiet streets, local grocery shopping centers, close proximity to Warner Center, West Hills and Canoga Park, the Promenade and Topanga Plaza Malls, and almost instant freeway access. The traffic has always been a problem, but I had several routes to work that I could shift off onto, if my main route was clogged. It's just a special place.

— Gee Strongbear
August 22, 2009 at 7:08 a.m.

"Hidden treasures" in Woodland Hills have to include Boot Hill in the agricultural section of Pierce College's campus. It was quite hidden from notice until the recent clearing of the adjacent area for a parking lot. Boot Hill consists of painted sculptures depicting common folk, as well as comical tombstone inscriptions in a small grove of trees.

Another obscure spot at Pierce College is the short Trail for the Blind at the horticultural end of the campus, with interpretive signs in Braille and the readily touchable bark of various trees and other plants along the trail's guard rails.

Lastly, Woodland Hills Recreation Center on Shoup Ave. at Miranda St. has a short but very pleasant and varied walk uphill into the woods. The trail begins on either side of the Rec Center and goes up and over the park's back side, offering views of the West Valley and a peek at Warner Center. Beyond the back fence are two relatively secluded public tennis courts reachable from the park via Miranda St. and Farralone Ave.

— Arthur Goulet
July 18, 2009 at 4:27 p.m.

The boundaries on your map are acccurate. I lived in Woodland Hills for 18 years and I have recently moved away from L.A. city (but still close to Woodland Hills). The schools in the area are the best in LAUSD with motivated teachers, administrators, and engaged parents. The downsides are the extreme heat in the summer and the traffic (this has increased significantly since 1990) caused by all the offices in the Warner Center area. Fortunately, the recession has finally stopped the runaway development of land by developers. Something that city government hasn't had the stomach to do.

— John Vinas
June 3, 2009 at 3:26 p.m.

Mr. West,

First,I was a big fan of your father; read his column from the time I moved to Woodland Hills (Fall, 1966) until it ended. As a fellow writer & journalist (for nearly 62 years at this point), I admired his style and writing talent. I felt like I had lost a friend when he died. I loved his columns on Baja & Mr. Gomez pertiularly. I was editor of a camping & RV magazine (Wheels Afield, Petersen Publications) during the 1960s-

70s and camped in Baja areas frequently during that time - including at Punta Cabra, south of Ensenada and not far from your parents' Baja home, I suspect.

As for Woodland Hills, the area surrounding Woodland Hills Elementary School where I have lived for nearly 43 years was was more exurban in 1966. There ware few houses on Llano Drive east of Capulin Court then. The area across from us was a huge vacant lot, a playground for my 3 children & the McCurnin kids in the house at the corner of De La Osa & Capulin.

There were no storm sewwers then & San Feliciano was like a shallow creek during heavy rains. The PTA bought hip-high wader boots for faculty members so they could help kids cross the street. I recall seeing people canoe down San Feliciano several times during the 1960s. Gary's Market was a landmark at the northeast corner of Topanga Cyn Blvd & Dumetz (it's now a Starbucks).

I soon learned that Victor Girard Kleinberger originally developed the area (he named it Girard), planting 120,000 trees (and & watering them until they took root to create the "woodland" portion of its current name.

I recall how horses grazed on Jack Watner's ranch near the fences along Canoga Ave. - now the site of Warner Center.

One thing I was not absolutely clear about was the east & west boundary lines of Woodland Hills. I was a bit hazy about where Woodland Hills ended & Tarzana began; seemed to depend on which Chamber of Commerce or other civic group drew the lines. :) The western boundary north of the l01 Fwy seemed blurred at times, too.

BTW, I'm still writing, as a contributor to the Topanga Messenger, among other things, but I have also become a digital artist/photographer in latter years. I began dabbling in computer graphics in the mid-1980s, when tools were crude, but got serious about digital art during a period of legal blindness from 2003-05. I have been reasonably successful--winning some awards & selling 50-plus pieces--and have acquired the nickname "Grandpa Moses of the Cyber Age" because I am 82 & there are few other octagenarians practicing contemporary digital abstract art on computers these days. 8=)

Didn't mean to run on so long, but the combination of Jack Smith's son & thinking of Woodland Hill's past tripped some wires, I guess.

Sincerely,

Ken Fermoyle (aka "Grandpa Moses of the Cyber Age."

— Ken Fermoyle
June 3, 2009 at 9:39 a.m.

Woodland Hills

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County. It contains Warner Center.
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Woodland Hills is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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