Development seems to be a scary word if you utter it in Thousand Oaks. I picture movie posters of old, where Godzilla is replaced with a 4-story mixed-use development and people are running away from it screaming in hysteria rivaling Oscar worthy performances.
I keep hearing people say, “We are turning into the San Fernando Valley!” It’s frankly an absurd statement. Thousand Oaks is not in a building frenzy. For example, in the 10 years since the Boulevard Specific Plan has been put in place, only 180 units have been developed. And, as far as the conversations related to the land use map portion of the General Plan update, less than 3% of the entire city was facing potential areas of change.
Further, even if we added another 10,000 to 20,000 people over the next 25 years, our population will remain under 150,000 across 55 square miles. Under no scenario, facts, measures, and/or wildest figments of our imagination can/will Thousand Oaks become anything like the San Fernando Valley, which has 6,500 residents within a square mile.
In listening to the public comments and observing online conversations, I realized there are a lot of us who have no idea how the heck any sort of development happens/gets approved in our city (me included.)
So, I reached out to a local TO Blvd business owner (Oak & Iron, woot woot) and former planning commissioner for the city, Drew Pletcher, to have him give us the high-level insight on the general process. Thank you Drew for helping break down this complex process into something we can more easily digest.