West Hills is a community in south western California, USA, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. It is located in the westernmost part of San Fernando Valley, about four miles west of Thousand Oaks.
Pre-Spanish contact history
In the Simi Hills and near Bell Creek and other local tributaries of the Los Angeles River were the native American tribes Tongva-Fernandeno and Chumash-Ventura*o, who once inhabited the West Hills area. Native American civilizations inhabited the San Fernando Valley 8,000 years ago. At the base of Escorpion Peak, near Bell Canyon Park, was Huwam, a village of the Chumash-Venturanos. This was a meeting and trading place for them with the Tongva-Fernandeno and Tataviam-Fernandeno people. According to legend, an eagle killed a mythical Chumash shaman named Munits after he murdered the son of a Chumash chief in a cave near Hu’wam, known as the Cave of Munits. According to the Chumash, Escorpion Peak is one of nine alignment points in their ancestral homelands that maintain the balance of the natural world.
Spanish and Mexican history
During 1797-1846, the area (future West Hills) was part of Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana (Mission San Fernando). Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando in Alta California later became part of Mexico’s independence from Spain. Rancho El Escorpión was granted as a separate land grant by Governor Pio Pico in 1845, to three Chumash: Odón Eusebia, Urbano, and Urbano’s son Mauel. West of present-day Woodlake Avenue in West Hills, the ranch consisted of adobe ranch buildings (present 1840s-1960s) situated alongside Bell Creek near present-day Bell Canyon Park.
Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana (Mission San Fernando) occupied the area (future West Hills) from 1797 to 1846. It became part of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando in Alta California after Mexico won independence from Spain. A separate land grant for Rancho El Escorpion was given by Governor P*o Pico in 1845 to three Chumash people: Odón Eusebia, Urbano, and Urbano’s son Manuel. West of present-day Woodlake Avenue in West Hills, its adobe ranch buildings (present 1840s-1960s) were situated next to Bell Creek near present-day Bell Canyon Park.
In the 2000 U.S. census, there were 30,814 people living in the 8.53-square-mile (22.1 km2) West Hills neighborhood -or 4,551 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities in the city. The city estimated the population had increased to 41,426 in 2008.
Median age was 39 in 2000, considered old for city and county neighborhoods. The county has one of the highest rates of residents aged 35 and over.
Within Los Angeles, the neighborhood was described as “moderately diverse” ethnically, with a high percentage of white residents. There were 70.9% whites, 11% Latinos, 11.3% Asians, 2.5% blacks, and 4.3% others who were born abroad. The most common place of birth for the 22.7% of residents who were born abroad was Iran (13.8%) and the Philippines (8.4%). This is a relatively low percentage for Los Angeles.
For the city and county, the median household income in 2008 dollars was $103,008. Los Angeles County had a high percentage of households earning $125,000 and above. Owners of houses and condominiums occupied 87.4% of the housing stock, whereas renters occupied 12.6%.
The county had one of the highest percentages of married people. There were 785 single-parent families in the city and county in 2000, an extremely low percentage.
In the city and county, 11 percent of the population is a veteran, and the percentages of veterans who served during World War II and the Korean War were among the highest in the county.
By 2000, 38 percent of West Hills residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree, a high percentage for both the city and county. There was also a high percentage of county residents with a master’s degree or higher.
The Los Angeles Unified School District operates public schools in this area.
- Capistrano Avenue Elementary School, 8118 Capistrano Avenue
- Enadia Way Elementary School (Enadia Technology Enriched Charter School), 22944 Enadia Way
- Hamlin Street Elementary School (Hamlin Charter Academy), 22627 Hamlin Street
- Haynes Elementary School, 6624 Lockhurst Drive
- Justice Street Elementary School, 23350 Justice Street
- Nevada Avenue Elementary School, 22120 Chase Street
- Pomelo Drive Elementary School, 7633 March Avenue
- Welby Way Elementary School, 23456 Welby Way
- Ivy Academia Entrepreneurial Charter High School, 7353 Valley Circle Boulevard
- de Toledo High School (formerly New Community Jewish High School), 22622 Vanowen Street
- Chaminade College Preparatory, high school, 7500 Chaminade Avenue
- Parkhill School, 7401 Shoup Avenue
- Crane Academy of Excellence, K-12, 23119 Vose Street
- Kadima Day School, 7011 Shoup Avenue
- Hill Point Montessori Preparatory School, 6601 Valley Circle Blvd.
- Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran, preschool, 23838 Kittridge Street
- West Valley Christian School, 22450 Sherman Way
Adjacent public schools
Public middle schools and high schools serving West Hills within their district boundary lines include:
- Hale Middle School—George Ellery Hale Charter Academy (Woodland Hills) 
- Christopher Columbus Middle School (Canoga Park) 
- Canoga Park Senior High School (Canoga Park)
- Chatsworth Senior High School—Chatsworth Charter High School (Chatsworth)
- El Camino Real Senior High School—El Camino Real Charter High School (Woodland Hills)
- Ivy Academia Entrepreneurial Charter School Tk-6 (Woodland Hills)
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument status and protection has been given to three ranches and a silent film star’s estate in West Hills, and two are now city parks. Furthermore, huge open spaces provide an undeveloped greenbelt and nearby recreation opportunities on the western edge of West Hills. Several neighborhood parks provide sports fields and courts, play areas for children, and community rooms.
All of these large Parks are open for walks, hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian riding; sunrise to sunset.
- El Escorpión Park: The area landmark El Escorpión Peak centered in the park offers hikes with impressive views of the Valley. The trailhead and parking are at the western end of Vanowen Boulevard, west of Valley Circle Boulevard (Castle Peak Park).
- Bell Canyon Park is directly adjacent on the northwest of El Escorpión Park, with trails along natural Bell Creek and up the north side of the Peak. The trailheads and parking are off Bell Canyon Boulevard just before the ‘Bell Canyon community’ gatehouse, west of Valley Circle Boulevard. Pedestrian access follows up the creek past the gated road to later loop around the Peak to El Escorpión Park.
- Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve parking and trailheads are at the western end of Victory Boulevard, west of Valley Circle Boulevard. Trails cross the huge natural park and connect west to adjoining Cheseboro-Palo Comado Canyon Park section of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, north to El Escorpión and Bell Canyon Parks, and south to Hidden Hills, creating a generous greenbelt for West Hills. There are also scheduled evening moonlight hikes, and daytime events.
- Roscoe/Valley Circle Park is a rustic linear open space park with panoramic views and an equestrian trail, west of Valley Circle Blvd. with access at Roscoe Boulevard, at West Stagg Street, and at Quiet Hills Court.
- Knapp Ranch Park has two sections: Kittridge Avenue east section offers these outdoor unlighted sports facilities: baseball diamond, basketball courts, a children’s play area, picnic tables, and tennis courts; Wooded Vista and Twisted Oak Drive west section offers walks, a picnic area, and panoramic views.
- The West Hills Sports Center/Adam Bischoff Soccer Fields has a pocket park, recreation center, and soccer fields. It is on the west side of Valley Circle Blvd. near Vanowen.
- Mae Boyar Recreation Center has basketball courts and a playground, on Highlander Rd.
- Taxco Trails Park is a pocket park, with a children’s play area and picnic tables on Platt Ave. and Saticoy.
- Lazy J Ranch is a pocket park, with a children’s play area on Valley Circle Blvd.
- Chase Park has a children’s play area and picnic tables.
- Hidden Lake Park, a neighborhood park at Lees Lake, Sedan Ave. off Roscoe Boulevard, directions at gate.
- Castle Peak Park is a small neighborhood open space park for picnics on Valley Circle Blvd., (not to be confused with El Escorpión [Peak] Park).
- Four Oaks Park is a neighborhood pocket park, with a children’s play area and picnic tables, on Cohasset and Melba Ave.
Homes for sale in West Hills, CA
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