Calabasas, California

Calabasas, CA

Introduction
Calabasas is a city in Los Angeles County, California in the western United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 23,123. The city was formally incorporated in 1991.

Leonis Adobe, the adobe structure on 23537 Calabasas Road, dates from 1844 and is one of the oldest buildings in the greater LA area. An extensive 2006 Secondhand Smoke Control Ordinance caused the city to receive international attention.

Name
It is generally accepted that Calabasas means "pumpkin," "squash," or "gourd," derived from the Spanish calabaza. Some historians hold the theory that Calabasas is a translation of the Chumash word calahoosa.

The City's official logo, depicting the red-tailed hawk flying over the Santa Monica Mountains, symbolizes a commitment to preserving the community's natural beauty and semi-rural quality of life. The City logo is featured on the Calabasas City flag which is flown in front of City Hall and hangs in the City Council Chambers.

Communities
Vista Pointe is located along the transverse ranges that run parallel to and in between the 101 Freeway and Parkway Calabasas Road.

From Parkway Calabasas: Vista Pointe, Calabasas Hills, Calabasas Park Estates,Calabasas Country Estates, The Oaks, Westridge.

From Park Granada or Mulholland Drive: Mulholland Heights, Mulwood, Las Villas, Bellagio, The Ridge, Creekside, Clairidge, Calabasas Highlands, Mountain Park, Cold Creek, Park Moderne a.k.a. 'The Bird Streets'.

From Las Virgenes: Deer Springs, Stone Creek, El Encanto, Archstone, Mountain View, Mont Calabasas, Malibu Canyon Park, The Colony at Calabasas.

Civic Center
In July 2008 under the financial leadership of Dr. Gary Lysik, Chief Financial Officer for Calabasas, the City completed construction of a brand new civic center and library complex. Located at 100 Civic Center Way, the two building complex is the first municipal-owned and constructed 'green' civic center structure in the state of California. It is estimated that the complex cost approximately $45,000,000 to complete. This figure includes the outright purchase of the land on which the complex sits.

Public services
Calabasas funds its own public transportation in the form of a shuttle and trolley service. It augments the service provided by the LACMTA: line 161 [2] and funds its own library (as opposed to using the County library system), runs the Calabasas Tennis & Swim Center, has a protected and maintained historical district called "Old Town Calabasas", and funds an award-winning government access television channel called CTV - The Calabasas Channel.

Brandon's Village Universally Accessible Playground
Brandon’s Village is a universally accessible playground at Gates Canyon Park in Calabasas that serves over 5,000 special needs children from Calabasas and the surrounding communities. Designed by Shane’s Inspiration, a non-profit organization that designs and builds universally accessible playgrounds, Brandon’s Village is about one acre in size and all playground equipment is over 70% independently playable for children with disabilities and will also provide meaningful and stimulating play opportunities for able-bodied children. Brandon’s Village opened in 2006 thanks to a generous donation from the Friedman Charitable Trust.

Environmental stewardship
Safeguarding the environment and the protection of open space has been a longstanding priority for the residents of Calabasas. Calabasas played a vital role in the 10-year battle to save Ahmanson Ranch, a 2,983 acres (12.07 km2) property in the Simi Hills in Ventura County nestled at the western edge of the San Fernando Valley, from development. The land was sold by Seattle-based Washington Mutual to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in late 2003 for $150 million. Ahmanson Ranch is now known as the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserveand is protected from further development.

Calabasas voters overwhelmingly passed Measure D in 2005. The ordinance protects and preserves the existing areas of Open Space in Calabasas by requiring two-thirds voter approval before any land in the City designated as Open Space may be redesignated for another use.

In 2007, the Calabasas City Council adopted Ordinance 2007-233 banning retail food establishments, nonprofit food providers and City facilities from using food packaging materials made of expanded polystyrene, known popularly by the trademark name Styrofoam. The ordinance requires food service establishments in Calabasas to start using environmentally acceptable packaging by March 31, 2008, and report on-going compliance with this ordinance on the first business day of each calendar year.

Technology center
During the dot-com bubble, a number of technology companies appeared on a stretch of Agoura Rd. parallel to the 101 Freeway, leading that area of Calabasas to develop a reputation as the "101 Technology Corridor". These businesses included computer-networking companies Xylan (later Alcatel), Netcom Systems (later Spirent Communications}, Ixia Communications, j2 Global Communications, and Tekelec, as well as video-game publisher THQ, and software companies Digital Insight and NetSol Technologies.[4][5][6][7] Although some of these companies have since relocated, been acquired, or ceased their operations, the area continues to be home to a significant technology presence.

Secondhand Smoke Ordinance
In February 2006, under the leadership of then-Mayor Barry Groveman, Calabasas enacted the Comprehensive Secondhand Smoke Control Ordinance which prohibits smoking in all public places in the City of Calabasas where other persons can be exposed to second-hand smoke. These places include indoor and outdoor businesses, hotels, parks, apartment common areas, restaurants and bars where people can be reasonably expected to congregate or meet. Under the law, smoking outside in public areas within the city is restricted to select "Designated Smoking Areas." The law went into effect in March 16, 2006, garnering much local and national media attention. The full text of the ordinance may be found at Calabasas' official website.

The Comprehensive Second-Hand Smoke Control Ordinance has been expanded in the beginning of 2008 requiring 80% of rental apartment buildings to be permanently designated as non-smoking units by January 1, 2012.

Geography
Calabasas is located at 34°8′18″N, 118°39′39″W (34.138363, -118.660917).

The city is located at the northwestern part of the San Fernando Valley and comprises a portion of the Santa Monica Mountains. It is 22 miles (35 km) away from Downtown Los Angeles. It is bordered by the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles to the northeast, Topanga to the southeast, Malibu to the south, Agoura Hills to the west, and Hidden Hills to the north. The historic El Camino Real runs east-west through Calabasas as U.S. Route 101.

Calabasas is often considered similar to its neighboring two cities to the east, Woodland Hills and Topanga, because of similar demographics, size, geography, and low-density general plans. Calabasas is unique from these two for its extensively developed independent infrastructure.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.1 km² (13.1 mi²). 33.9 km² (13.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.38%) is water.

During hot seasons of the year, the weather is almost always 6-8 °F cooler in the city of Calabasas compared to the bordering community of Woodland Hills because the Calabasas Hills form a barrier against the heat of the San Fernando Valley, and nearby canyons funnel cool air to the area from the Pacific Ocean.

Part of the city, near Calabasas High School, has all of its streets named patriotically. There is Declaration Ave., America Way, Liberty Bell St., Paul Revere Dr., Founder's Dr., etc.

One of the oldest neighborhoods in Calabasas is Park Moderne, or the Bird Streets. A former artist colony, remnants remain of the club house, pool and cabins scattered across streets with bird names, such as Meadow Lark, Blackbird, Bluebird and Hummingbird.

Demographics
As of 2005, there were 23,123 people, 8,350 households, and 5,544 families residing in the city. The population density was 590.4/km² (1,528.8/mi²). There were 8,350 housing units at an average density of 218.9/km² (566.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.92% White, 1.18% Black or African American, 0.13% Native American, 7.71% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.31% from other races, and 2.71% from two or more races. 4.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The city, much like some surrounding areas and into parts of the West San Fernando Valley, has a concentration of Jews and Persians. Many of the people of the two ethnic groups mentioned are second and third-generation Americans.

There were 8,350 households out of which 44.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.3% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.3% were non-families. 17.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 27.9% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $93,860, and the median income for a family was $107,330. Males had a median income of $87,049 versus $46,403 for females. The per capita income for the city was $48,189. About 2.1% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 1.7% of those age 65 or over.

Politics
In the state legislature Calabasas is located in the 23rd Senate District, represented by Democrat Sheila Kuehl, and in the 41st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Julia Brownley. Federally, Calabasas is located in California's 30th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +20[9] and is represented by Democrat Henry Waxman.

Education
Calabasas residents are zoned to schools in the Las Virgenes Unified School District.

It is known among long-time residents that the infamous Menendez brothers attended and graduated from the local high school, Calabasas High School, prior to moving to Beverly Hills.

Between the years of 1997 and 2001 Calabasas High School had hired a new principal at the beginning of every school year.

In January 2004, A. C. Stelle Middle School was opened on the corner of Mulholland Highway and Paul Revere Ave.

Calabasas is also home to the private Viewpoint School

Source: Wikipedia.com - All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. (See Copyrights for details.)

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