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Council Looking to Upgrade Boulevard

City officials are continuing their push to devise plans to transform a four-mile stretch of Thousand Oaks Boulevard into an upscale commercial corridor.

The City Council in two weeks is scheduled to meet with staff members to review ways to enhance one of the city’s oldest business districts, which stretches from Rancho Road just west of the Civic Arts Plaza to the eastern edge of the Oaks Mall and the Janss Marketplace on Moorpark Road.

The city has received about $1 million in Community Development Block Grant funds and additional transportation funds from the federal government to use on the project.

A continuing difficulty on the revitalization plan is that different sections of the boulevard have different needs. For instance, a shop on the south side of the street might need more parking while a business directly across from it might have ample parking but sparse landscaping.

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“It’s hard to get a large group to agree on a theme,” said Martin Anderson, proprietor of Conejo Valley Stamp & Coin Inc. on East Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Anderson, a strong proponent of boulevard revitalization, said, “You have localized problems and we don’t all agree on what we think the future should be,” he said.

The Mayor’s Business Roundtable has also been a vocal advocate of boulevard improvement, according to some of its key members.

“We need to grow into a boulevard, a true boulevard,” said Mario Diaz, chairman of the organization. “Think of the world-class boulevards around the world. I’m not saying we’re going to build a Champs Elysees around Thousand Oaks, but we don’t have anything that represents the city or the style of life here.

“This is a very close-knit and family oriented community and we should have a center of town that reflects that.”

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