Calabasas, California

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Calabasas, California
City
City of Calabasas
Aerial view of Calabasas, near the intersection of Las Virgenes and U.S. Highway 101
Aerial view of Calabasas, near the intersection of Las Virgenes and U.S. Highway 101
Official logo of Calabasas, California
Logo
Location of Calabasas in Los Angeles County, California
Location of Calabasas in Los Angeles County, California
Calabasas, California is located in USA
Calabasas, California
Calabasas, California
Location in the United States
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Country  United States
State  California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated April 5, 1991[1]
Government
 • Type Council-manager
 • Mayor Lucy Martin[2]
Area[3]
 • Total 13.3 sq mi (34.4 km2)
 • Land 13.249 sq mi (34.27 km2)
 • Water 0.051 sq mi (0.131 km2)  0.38%
Elevation[4] 928 ft (283 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)[5]
 • Total 23,058
 • Estimate (2013)[5] 24,153
 • Density 1,700/sq mi (670/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91301, 91302, 91372[6]
Area code 818[7]
FIPS code 06-09598
GNIS feature IDs 239994, 2409955
Website www.cityofcalabasas.com

Calabasas (Spanish for "Pumpkins") is a city in Los Angeles County, California located in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley and in the northwest Santa Monica Mountains between Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, West Hills, Hidden Hills, and Malibu, California. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 23,058, up from 20,033 at the 2000 census.[8] The city was formally incorporated in 1991. It is noted for its wealthy residents and gated neighborhoods.[9]

The Leonis Adobe, an adobe structure in Old Town Calabasas, dates from 1844 and is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the greater Los Angeles area.[10]

Name

It is generally accepted that the name of Calabasas is derived from the Spanish calabaza meaning "pumpkin", "squash", or "gourd"[11] (cf. calabash). Some historians hold the theory that Calabasas is derived from the Chumash word calahoosa which is said to mean "where the wild geese fly." [12] Owing to vast presence of wild squash plants in the area, the squash theory is more prevalent among local residents. At the top of the Calabasas grade, which is east of Las Virgenes Road on the original El Camino Real, legend has it in 1824 a Basque rancher from Oxnard spilled a wagon-load of pumpkins on the road en route to Los Angeles. The following spring, hundreds of pumpkin seeds sprouted alongside the road. The area was named Las Calabasas - the place where the pumpkins fell.[13]

In honor of its namesake, the City of Calabasas and the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce hold an annual Pumpkin Festival in October, including carnival games, exhibits, demonstrations, and live entertainment. The festival has evolved from a small-town fair to a significant annual event. Though the current Pumpkin Festival is held at Juan Bautista de Anza Park in Calabasas, the original festival was believed to have taken place where the traveling wagon carrying pumpkins overturned and started the area's first pumpkin patch.

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

Communities

Steeplechase

Vista Pointe is located along the transverse ranges that run parallel to, and between, the Ventura Freeway (U.S. 101) and Parkway Calabasas.

From Parkway Calabasas: Hidden Hills West, Westridge, Calabasas Hills, Calabasas Park Estates, and The Oaks.

From Park Granada or Mulholland Drive: Mulholland Heights, Mulwood, Las Villas, Bellagio, The Ridge, Creekside, Clairidge, Calabasas Country Estates, Calabasas Highlands, Mountain Park, Abercrombie Ranch Estates, Cold Creek, and Park Moderne.[14]

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

Mont Calabasas, a community on Las Virgenes Road was annexed into the city of Calabasas in 2011. Prior to annexation, the neighborhood was located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County.

From Lost Hills Road: Saratoga Hills, Saratoga Ranch, Deer Springs, and Steeplechase.

The most celebrity populated neighborhood in the general area of Calabasas is Hidden Hills, a separately incorporated city, which is featured on the E! TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians.[citation needed]

Civic Center

In July 2008, the city completed construction of a Gold LEED-certified 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 California. The complex cost an estimated $45,000,000 to complete. This figure includes the outright purchase of the land on which the complex sits.

The Civic Center complex contains: the Calabasas Library, meeting rooms, and an amphitheater, and the Calabasas Channel (CTV).

Public services

Leonis Adobe in Old Town Calabasas

Calabasas funds its own public transportation in the form of a shuttle and trolley service.[15] It augments the service provided by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority): line 161[16] and funds its own municipal library (as opposed to participating in the Los Angeles County library system), runs the Calabasas Tennis and Swim Center, and has a protected and maintained historical district called "Old Town Calabasas".[17]

Calabasas has United States Postal Service post office locations in Suite 10 at 4774 Park Granada, and at the Malibu Shell Post Office at 4807 Las Virgenes Road.[18][19]

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department operates the Malibu/Lost Hills Station at 27050 Agoura Road in Calabasas.[20][21]

Events

The city sponsors many annual events including:

  • The Pumpkin Festival[22]
  • Eggstravaganza[23]
  • The Fine Arts Festival[24]
  • The Fourth of July Spectacular[25]

Brandon's Village

Brandon’s Village is a universally accessible playground located at Gates Canyon Park in Calabasas. It serves over 5,000 special-needs children from Calabasas and surrounding communities. Designed by Shane's Inspiration, a nonprofit organization that designs and builds universally accessible playgrounds, Brandon’s Village is about 1 acre (4,000 m2) in size. Its playground equipment is over 70% independently playable by children with disabilities, and also provides meaningful and stimulating play opportunities for children without disabilities.[26]

Environmental stewardship

Safeguarding the environment and the protection of open space has been a longstanding priority for residents of Calabasas. The city played a vital role in the 10-year battle to save Ahmanson Ranch, a 2,983-acre (12.07 km2) property in the Simi Hills in Ventura County at the western edge of the San Fernando Valley, from development. The land was ultimately 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 Preserve and is protected from further development.[27]

In 2005, Calabasas voters overwhelmingly passed Measure D. The ordinance protects and preserves 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.[28]

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.[29] The ordinance requires food-service establishments in Calabasas to use environmentally acceptable packaging starting March 31, 2008, and to report on-going compliance with this ordinance on the first business day of each calendar year.

In 2011, the City Council passed Ordinance 2011-282 which banned grocery stores, convenience stores (minimarts), liquor stores, drug stores, and pharmacies from furnishing single-use plastic carryout bags. The ordinance also requires that if those businesses furnish paper carryout bags, they must charge customers 10 cents per bag.

Technology center

During the dot-com bubble, a number of technology companies were located on a stretch of Agoura Rd parallel to the US 101 Freeway, leading that area of Calabasas to develop a reputation as the "101 Technology Corridor". These businesses included medical technology company Atlas Development Corporation and several computer-networking companies Xylan (later Alcatel-Lucent), Netcom Systems (later Spirent Communications), Ixia Communications, j2 Global Communications, and Tekelec, as well as video-game publisher THQ, and software company Digital Insight.[30] Although some of these companies have since relocated, been acquired, or ceased operations, the area continues to be home to a significant technology presence.

Notable people