General Plan Goals and Policies

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This document presents the goals and policies of the Thousand Oaks General Plan, as adopted by Resolution 70-381 on December 22, 1970, as amended by:

Resolution 94-218, adopted October 11, 1994
Resolution 96-158, adopted July 23, 1996
Resolution 97-8, adopted January 28, 1997

  • To enhance and preserve the spaciousness and attractiveness of the Conejo Valley.
  • To provide an integrated circulation and transportation system consistent with the Valley's form and needs.
  • To encourage commercial facilities which satisfy the Valley's mercantile needs, arranged and located to provide convenient access and compatibility with adjoining use through proper design.
  • To further encourage and develop the sense of community identity and foster citizen participation in local affairs.
  • To provide the framework for a planned and unified community containing a balance of living, working, shopping, educational, civic, cultural and recreational facilities.
  • To provide and maintain a system of natural open space and trails.
  • To provide and maintain a permanent park and recreational system of sufficient size and quality to serve current and future needs, consonant with community expectations.
  • To develop appropriate additional tools enabling commercial, industrial and residential development to flourish in an efficient and compatible manner.
  • To provide a high quality environment, healthful and pleasing to the senses, which values the relationship between maintenance of ecological systems and the people's general welfare.

General Development Policies
  • The General Plan is a guide for future development.
  • The City's unique natural setting will be a guide to its future physical shape. In general, development will occur in the low-lying areas with the natural hills and mountains being preserved in open space. A ring of natural open space will be created around the City. The City will support and encourage open space/greenbelt buffers around it, separating the City from adjoining communities.
  • Through good design and the implementation of appropriate development tools, a freeway corridor image will be created making Thousand Oaks visually distinct from surrounding communities, retaining the special qualities of the landscape, viewshed and open space which originally attracted people to the area.
  • Major City gateways, where the Route 101 and 23 Freeways enter the City and streets interchange with the freeways, shall receive special aesthetic enhancement.
  • Highly intensive land uses--major industrial and commercial centers--should be located in proximity to or within easy access of the Ventura Freeway corridor.
Residential Policies
  • An appropriate housing mix of 80 percent single family units and 20 percent multiple family units should be established for the Planning Area. Single family units will consist of detached single family homes; but attached units, townhouses and manufactured housing may be considered as single family units provided that such units do not exceed 20 percent of the total single family residences, and are developed at a density not to exceed seven units per net acre.
  • Multiple family units may include other forms and types of residential development.
    To protect the City's semi-rural character, residential areas zoned for private equestrian use should be preserved.
  • Very Low Density: Very low density shall mean development of between zero and two dwelling units per net acre; in areas of 10 percent to 25 percent slopes, a very low density will predominate. Such density shall be characteristic of large single family estate lots and equestrian estates. Within steeper slope areas, clustering of single family units could be achieved through density transfer procedures, while maintaining neighborhood compatibility.
  • For large properties in environmentally sensitive areas with natural development constraints, consideration should be given to establishing a "large parcel, private open space zone," allowing limited residential development.
  • Low Density: Low density development shall mean from 2 to 4.5 dwelling units per net acre. Such density would include predominantly single family detached homes or attached homes, provided not more than two walls are common to other dwellings and each home has a private yard.
  • Medium Density: Medium density development shall mean from 4.6 to 15 dwelling units per net acre which may include townhouses, garden and condominium apartments and mobile home units. Medium density areas should be located predominantly near major centers of activity, with the exception of mobile home units which should be selectively located in appropriate settings.
  • High Density: High density residential development will have a range of 15 to 30 dwelling units of any type per net acre and should be located primarily at sites accessible and close to major centers of activity and along the Ventura Freeway.
  • Hillside Development: Residential development should occur in valleys and along gentle hillsides. Areas of steep topography shall be reserved for natural open space.
  • In pockets of potentially developable land, within the surrounding mountains, only very low density housing should be allowed.
  • Hillside development criteria should promote high standards and encourage site design, grading and architecture appropriate to hillside terrain.
  • Extensive grading of natural slopes and silhouetting of structures on natural ridgelines shall be discouraged.
  • There should be no grading in slopes over 25 percent natural grade.
  • Graded slopes should not exceed 25 feet in height.
  • Housing: Strive to provide a balanced range of adequate housing for Thousand Oaks Planning Area residents in a variety of locations for all individuals regardless of age, income, ethnic background, marital status, physical or developmental disability.
    Maintain and enhance the present high quality, semi-rural single family residential character of the Thousand Oaks Planning Area.
  • Maintain and preserve existing neighborhoods through the application of appropriate zoning and development controls.
  • Promote the upgrading of substandard neighborhoods throughout the Planning Area to prevent costly and undesirable deterioration.
  • Commercial/Residential: The Commercial/Residential designation in the Land Use Element shall mean that either residential or commercial land uses may be permitted on land so designated, provided that a Specific Plan has been adopted for the land and that the proposed uses are consistent with the uses authorized by the Specific Plan.
Commercial Policies
  • Major shopping centers and smaller neighborhood centers shall be sited at appropriate locations as dictated by density, access, convenience and need. Regional shopping centers shall be located within the Ventura Freeway corridor. Highway-oriented and other small commercial uses shall be situated at appropriate sites along major roadways.
  • Strengthen the City's commercial core area by improving and enhancing retail, office and service uses.
  • Commercial development should comply with the City's height restrictions. Exceptions, through height overlays, may be appropriate under certain conditions.
  • Strengthen the axis between the commercial core areas by improving and rebuilding unattractive and undeveloped areas along Thousand Oaks Boulevard.
Commercial/Industrial Policies
  • Employment centers which provide industrial and commercial employment, consistent with community needs, shall be encouraged.
  • Low profile and aesthetically designed signage shall be allowed for all developments; no billboards shall be allowed.
Industrial Policies
  • Industrial development should occur in the designated major complexes near the Ventura Freeway and at the western and eastern ends of the Planning Area (Rancho Conejo and Westlake industrial areas).
  • The City shall continue to encourage light industries that are highly specialized, scientific or research-oriented.
  • Small industrial areas in the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Corridor/Central City Area should be retained for light manufacturing and related uses.
  • Industrial development should comply with the City's height restrictions. Exceptions, through height overlays, may be appropriate under certain conditions.
Institutional--Governmental Policies
  • The City shall strive to coordinate planning goals with those of other governmental entities having jurisdiction in the Conejo Valley.
  • The City should strive to coordinate development with the provision of school facilities.
Recreational, Parks and Natural Open Space Policies
  • A park/open space system will include existing and future parks, golf courses and natural open space areas, both in public and private ownership.
  • The majority of natural open space acreage will be in public ownership.
  • Neighborhood parks and open spaces should be located within walking distance of residential areas.
  • A multi-use system of equestrian, biking and hiking trails should be implemented to provide access between and within open space reserves.
  • An open space system should extend into the community, with parks adjoining school sites and linear parks provided within arroyos and flood control channels where possible.
  • Wildlife corridors and sensitive ecological systems within the City's Planning Area, should be protected.
  • A range of cultural, recreational and historical facilities should exist in a variety of locations within the community.
  • Existing and future public parks, golf courses and COSCA lands should be kept free of incompatible private development.
Circulation Policies
  • A "T" shaped highway system--the Route 101 and Route 23 Freeways--shall continue to provide a primary link with other regional communities and serve as major connectors within the local street and highway system.
  • Improvements to local freeways minimizing diversion of through traffic to City streets shall be encouraged.
  • A mass transit system to provide City and area-wide circulation and meet community needs should be maintained and enhanced.
  • A variety of transportation modes should be encouraged.
  • A City-wide system of pedestrian and bicycle facilities that provide safe, continuous accessibility to all residential, commercial and industrial areas, to the trail system and to the scenic bike route system shall be provided and maintained.
  • Local traffic should be moved through the City on arterial streets to protect collector and neighborhood streets from traffic impacts.
  • Access to industrial areas shall be via major arterials to minimize impacts to residential areas.
  • Street improvements should focus on enhancing access to Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Moorpark Road and other major arterials.
  • The City shall balance vehicular circulation requirements with aesthetic, pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian needs which affect the quality of life.
  • The City shall maintain a Level of Service C on all roads and at all intersections. Lower levels of service may be tolerated to preserve or enhance landscaping and aesthetic integrity.
Additional Policies
  • Historic Preservation: Historical areas, facilities and natural features must be preserved by a program of legislative controls, tax incentives, direct acquisition by public agencies and private initiative.
  • Aesthetics: As the City ages, it is important to maintain, improve and enhance the City's aesthetic appearance.
  • Air Quality: The City shall place high priority on maintaining and improving local and regional air quality.
  • Archaeological: The City shall preserve and protect archaeological resources for future generations and the Conejo Valley's cultural heritage.
  • Conservation/Natural Resources: The City shall preserve and protect the unique biodiversity of the City's open spaces and wetlands, including natural arroyos and oak trees.
  • Economics: Sound financial planning shall be provided to guide future community operational and capital revenues and expenditures.
  • Social: The City shall serve as a catalyst to encourage the provision of necessary social services within the community.
  • Gateways: Gateways should present open, low-keyed, attractively landscaped entrances to the community.
  • Design and Environmental Review: Regulatory ordinances should be reviewed for their effect on physical design and the environment with special attention to avoidance of air, water, land and noise pollution and the preservation of the natural environment.