Across the pond

The county line runs down the middle of the lake in Westlake Village. (KEN HIVELY / LAT)

Westlake Village is a manicured, master- planned suburb of lakeside condos and sprawling ranch homes. Like neighboring Agoura Hills and Thousand Oaks, its family- friendly fusion of safe streets, quality schools, picturesque hillsides, and hiking and equestrian trails attracts residents seeking serenity.


FOR THE RECORD:
Westlake Village —A Sept. 19 Neighborly Advice column about Westlake Village incorrectly identified Oak Forest Mobile Estates as the Sherwood Forest Mobile Home Park. Also, the community lies inside the western border of L.A. County, not the eastern border.





Beginnings

The community of Westlake Village emerged in 1966 when the American Hawaiian Steamship Co. began constructing a lakefront residential development straddling the L.A.-Ventura county line. Since the county line runs down the middle of the lake, many Westlake residents actually live in Thousand Oaks, even if their mailing addresses state Westlake Village.

The 5.4-square-mile city of Westlake Village, incorporated in December 1981, lies inside the western border of L.A. County and has roughly 8,800 residents.

Good news, bad news

Much of Westlake Village is bordered by open space, including hiking and horse trails, as well as the vast Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The town is nine miles inland from the Pacific, and coastal breezes seep through canyons to allow Westlake to stay up to 10 degrees cooler and considerably less smoggy than nearby San Fernando Valley during the summer months.

The 101 Freeway, Westlake's lifeline to Los Angeles and Ventura, is routinely congested during rush hour, although less so on weekends.

Shopping is limited to supermarkets and boutique stores. Residents must trek to Thousand Oaks or Woodland Hills to find the nearest regional mall.

Westlake Village is peaceful and proud of it. The tree-lined uniformity of this blueprinted 'burb isn't for trendy urbanites seeking a cosmopolitan scene.

Drawing card

Though known primarily as an upscale bedroom community, Westlake Village is home to several major corporations, including Dole Food, K-Swiss and Homestore. State Farm Insurance has offices there, and other major employers, including biotech giant Amgen, are nearby.

Outdoor activities abound. In addition to hiking and riding, the beaches of Malibu and Ventura are 20 minutes away via mountain roads or the 101. "The quality of life is great," said Century 21 broker associate Arlene Bryant, who has sold homes in the area for more than 20 years.

Historical values

Single-family detached resales:

Year...Median Price

1990...$506,250