Located at the southern base of craggy, “rustic-beautiful” Simi Peak and offering a rare combination of access to nature, convenient suburban life, and easy-access urban proximity on just 2600 acres within eastern Ventura County, the idyllic, pristine community of Oak Park is bordered on the south by the Los Angeles County cities of Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, on the west by the North Ranch neighborhood of Ventura County city of Thousand Oaks, and on the north and east by the popular Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
While the developed portions of Oak Park are primarily residential (single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments), in recent years new shopping/ commercial centers have risen in order to supply its residents with a wide range of product and service offerings. Considered small by today’s standards, the original commercial center is located at Kanan Road and Sunnycrest. Much larger shopping/ commercial centers have in recent years been built at the southeast corner of Kanan and Lindero Canyon Roads (Oak Park Shopping Center) and the northeast corner of the same streets.
As with the other communities of the Conejo Valley, Oak Park has always placed great importance on balancing housing and commercial needs with extensive greenbelts and a number of beautiful parks, including six neighborhood parks; plus Medea Creek Natural Park, and Oak Canyon Community Park. The parks have been built and maintained by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District.
Though not an incorporated city, through the work and efforts of its then residents, it was able in 1977 to form its own school district, the Oak Park Unified School District (OPUSD), by seceding from the Simi Valley Unified School District; when over 90% of those voting approved of the change. This route was taken after a number of requests to join the nearby Las Virgenes Unified School District were denied in the early and mid 1970’s.
Today, Oak Park has three grade K-5 elementary schools, one grade 6-8 middle school, and two grades 9-12 high schools. The OPUSD is, like the two other districts serving the Conejo Valley, considered to be among the finest in the state (public and private); with its schools regularly receiving “Distinguished School” and other prestigious awards. Dedicated in February of 2004 and adjacent to Oak Park High, the Oak Park community Library is run under a joint operating agreement between OPUSD and the County of Ventura.
While its residents back in the 1970’s were given a three-choice opportunity to become part of the city of Thousand Oaks, to form its own city, or to remain unincorporated, the majority of its people living in the area at the time (as is and was the case with the residents of the various unincorporated “pocket” areas of Newbury Park) felt that their interests would best be served by remaining an unincorporated community within Ventura County.
Since it was (and still is) considered to be a significant “independent” population and economic presence within the county, relatively recently the Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) was created in order for its residents to present their community to both the Ventura County Supervisors and Ventura County generally. Consisting of elected members, MAC oversees matters which are pertinent to Oak Park. Prior to the formation of MAC, the Oak Park Civic Association had for many years handled community needs and issues.