Moorpark is a city in Ventura County in Southern California. Moorpark was founded in 1900. The town grew from just over 4,000 citizens in 1980 to over 25,000 by 1990. As of 2006, Moorpark was one of the fastest-growing cities in Ventura County. The population was 34,421 at the 2010 census, up from 31,415 at the 2000 census.
|• Mayor||Janice S. Parvin|
|• State Senator||Henry Stern (D)|
|• Assemblymember||Jacqui Irwin (D)|
|• U. S. Congress||Julia Brownley (D)|
|• Total||12.47 sq mi (32.28 km2)|
|• Land||12.28 sq mi (31.80 km2)|
|• Water||0.19 sq mi (0.49 km2) 1.72%|
|Elevation||515 ft (157 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,962.86/sq mi (1,144.01/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
93021-2804 (General Delivery), 93020 (P.O. Box)
|GNIS feature ID||1652754|
The origin of the name "Moorpark" is unknown, but most sources agree that the town was named after the Moorpark apricot, which used to grow in the area (hence the apricot flower on the town's seal and flag). The apricot, in turn, was named for Admiral Lord Anson's estate Moor Park in Hertfordshire, England, the apricot was introduced in 1688.
Some of Moorpark's previous unofficial and official names include Epworth, Fremontville, Penrose, Fairview, and Little Simi.
Chumash people were the first to inhabit what is now known as Moorpark. A Chumash village, known as Quimisac (Kimishax), was located in today's Happy Camp Canyon Regional Park. They were hunters and gatherers who often traveled between villages to trade. The village of Quimisac once controlled the local trade of fused shale in the region. The area was later part of the large Rancho Simi land grant given in 1795 to the Pico brothers by Governor Diego de Borica of Alta California.
Robert W. Poindexter, the secretary of the Simi Land and Water Company, received the land when the association was disbanded. A map showing the townsite was prepared in November 1900. It was a resubdivision of the large lot subdivision known as Fremont, or Fremontville. An application for a post office was submitted on June 1, 1900, and approved by August of that year. The application noted that the town had a railroad depot. The town grew after the 1904 completion of a 7,369-foot (2,246 m) tunnel through the Santa Susana Mountains. Moorpark was then on the main route of the Southern Pacific Railroad's Coast Line between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The depot remained in operation until it was closed in 1958. It was eventually torn down around 1965.
Moorpark was one of the first cities to run off commercial nuclear power in the entire world, and the second in the United States, after Arco, Idaho, on July 17, 1955, which is the first city in the world to be lit by atomic power. For one hour on November 12, 1957, this fact was featured on Edward R. Murrow's See It Now television show. The reactor, called the Sodium Reactor Experiment was built by the Atomics International division of North American Aviation at the nearby Santa Susana Field Laboratory. The Sodium Reactor Experiment operated from 1957 to 1964 and produced 7.5 megawatts of electrical power at a Southern California Edison-supplied generating station.
Moorpark College opened on September 11, 1967. Moorpark College is one of the few colleges that features an exotic animal training and management program. Moorpark was incorporated as a city on July 1, 1983.
In 1996, Moorpark's Little League All-Star team represented the West Region in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA.
In February 2005, a Siberian tiger named Tuffy that escaped from a local residence was shot and killed in one of Moorpark's parks. This created a great deal of uproar, because the animal control officers used a gun instead of a tranquilizer to kill the tiger, primarily because the tiger could not be shot from the proper angle for a tranquilizer to prove effective. Candlelight vigils were held for the late Tuffy. The couple who owned the tiger had moved from a licensed facility in Temecula, California, to an unlicensed facility in the Moorpark area of Ventura County. They lost their U.S. Department of Agriculture exhibitor license because they failed to notify the department of the move within 10 days. The wife pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor count of failing to maintain records of exotic felines. The husband pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, making false statements and failing to maintain proper records. Each was sentenced to home detention, three years probation, and fined $900.
Just a month later, in March 2005, the fairly complete remains (about 75%) of an unusually old mammoth, possibly the rare southern mammoth (Mammuthus meridionalis), were discovered in the foothills of Moorpark at the site of a housing development. The fossilized skeleton is believed to be from a 800,000 to 1.4 million years old mammoth, which is estimated to have had a weight of ten tons.
In 2006, the Moorpark city council transferred governance of their library from the Ventura County library system to their own newly created city library system. The library, which opened in 1912, celebrated its centennial in 2012.
On February 28, 2006, a housing proposal, North Park Village, which would have added 1,680 houses on 3,586 acres (15 km2) in the north-east area of the city, was defeated by a landslide in a city election.
In 1961, Julius Goldman founded Egg City, the largest chicken ranch in the United States at the time located just north of Moorpark, California. Many chicken coops were spread over acres of concrete, with millions of chickens in them. Local residents were somewhat irked by the farm, when the smell of it wafted to Moorpark on windy days. The odors also commonly flowed to the nearby town of Fillmore. The business suffered a setback in 1972, when millions of chickens were slaughtered because of the threat of Newcastle disease. Egg gathering was done from 36 houses by hand, with workers placing eggs onto plastic flats while riding electric carts. Liquid, dry and shell eggs were processed at the 8,000 sq ft hatchery facility warehouse with yolk and albumen available in individually. The farm finally closed in 1996. In early December 2006, a wildfire destroyed the dilapidated remains of Egg City.
Central Moorpark lies in a valley created by the Arroyo Simi river. It is situated on flatlands and mesas at the base of numerous hills. It is located immediately west of Simi Valley, California.
The city is divided by Highway 118, locally known as Los Angeles Avenue. Old Town Moorpark (Downtown) is located north of Route 118. Many newer residential communities can be found south of Route 118.
- Downtown is on High Street at the historic center of the city. The pepper trees that line High Street were planted by Robert Poindexter who was responsible for the plotting and mapping of the town. This area also features the High Street Arts Center (a Performing Arts center operated by the City of Moorpark), and various restaurants and businesses.
- The Peach Hill and Mountain Meadows neighborhoods are south of the Arroyo Simi. Moorpark High School is in this area, as well as many parks, including the Arroyo Vista Park and Recreation Center, the city's largest park. This area contains a large part of the city's population as over 75 percent of homes in Moorpark were constructed after 1980 here and in other new projects.
- Campus Park is named for Moorpark College. An additional substantial development is occurring to the north of the existing city, in the area of the Moorpark Country Club.
With its close proximity to Los Angeles, Moorpark too has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb on the coast, Csb inland), and receives just enough annual precipitation to avoid either Köppen's BSh or BSk (semi-arid climate) classification.
|Climate data for Moorpark, California|
|Record high °F (°C)||92
|Average high °F (°C)||69
|Average low °F (°C)||41
|Record low °F (°C)||25
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.7
|Source: The Weather Channel.|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Moorpark had a population of 34,421. The population density was 2,689.4 people per square mile (1,038.4/km2). The racial makeup of Moorpark was 25,860 (75.1%) White, 533 (1.5%) African American, 248 (0.7%) Native American, 2,352 (6.8%) Asian, 50 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 3,727 (10.8%) from other races, and 1,651 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10,813 persons (31.4%).
The Census reported that 34,421 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 10,484 households, out of which 4,863 (46.4%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 6,966 (66.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,113 (10.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 507 (4.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 483 (4.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 58 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,337 households (12.8%) were made up of individuals, and 434 (4.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.28. There were 8,586 families (81.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.55.
The population was spread out, with 9,459 people (27.5%) under the age of 18, 3,631 people (10.5%) aged 18 to 24, 8,825 people (25.6%) aged 25 to 44, 10,051 people (29.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,455 people (7.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.1 males.
There were 10,738 housing units at an average density of 839.0 per square mile (323.9/km2), of which 8,182 (78.0%) were owner-occupied, and 2,302 (22.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.9%. 26,688 people (77.5% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 7,733 people (22.5%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the 2000 census, there were 31,416 people in the city, organized into 8,994 households and 7,698 families. The population density was 1,651.9 inhabitants per square mile (637.7/km2). There were 9,094 housing units at an average density of 478.2 per square mile (184.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 74.42% White, 27.81% Hispanic of any race, 13.95% from other races, 5.63% Asian, 3.87% from two or more races, 1.52% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.15% Pacific Islander.
There were 8,994 households, out of which 54.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.0% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.4% were non-families. 9.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 2.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.49 and the average family size was 3.71.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 34.2% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 32.3% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 4.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.1 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $90,109, and the median income for a family was $96,532. Males had a median income of $55,535 versus $35,790 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,383. 7.0% of the population and 4.3% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.6% of those under the age of 18 and 7.3% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
In 2017, Moorpark had 12,235 jobs (up from 10,820 jobs in 2010) and retail sales of $281 million (up from $264 million in 2010). Most of these retail businesses are located along the community's Los Angeles Avenue corridor, with the community's historic downtown area, known as Historic High Street, as a secondary retail hub.
According to the City's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees (1823)|
|1||PennyMac Loan Services||881|
|2||Moorpark Unified School District||723|
|4||Pentair Water Pool & Spa||530|
|5||Benchmark Electronics Manufacturing Solutions||320|
|8||Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense||136|
|9||Test Equity LLC||121|
|10||Picnic Time, Inc.||120|
Arts and cultureEdit
A few events are held in the Moorpark area during the year, most notably Moorpark "Country Days", a single day parade and festival in late September or early October, American Civil War battle reenactments in early-November (in 2019 this annual event was cancelled), an "Apricot Festival", usually in the spring or summer, an annual fireworks celebration on the third of July every year, and the Moorpark Film Festival in August. The "Country Days" parade includes various vendors, entertainment, and family friendly games/crafts. Children march with their schools, sports teams, dance companies, etc. Local businesses are also encouraged to march. The July 3rd fireworks are popular around the rest of Ventura County, as people can go to the Moorpark fireworks on the 3rd, and still see their own local city's fireworks on July 4.
Parks and recreationEdit
Moorpark has 20 parks, all with a variety of amenities. Park hours for unlit facilities are from 6:00 a.m. to sunset. Lit facilities are from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The City's Dog Park is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST, and 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. DST. The City's Skatepark is open from 10:00 a.m. to sunset on school days, and 8:00 a.m. to sunset on all other days.
Park facilities, including picnic pavilions, ball fields, soccer fields, and tennis courts can be reserved for private use.
- Arroyo Vista Community Park
- Campus Canyon
- Campus Park
- College View Park
- Community Center Park
- Country Trail Park
- Dog Park
- Glenwood Park
- Magnolia Park
- Mammoth Highlands Park
- Miller Park
- Monte Vista Nature Park
- Mountain Meadows Park
- Peach Hill Park
- Poindexter Park
- Tierra Rejada Park
- Veterans Memorial Park
- Villa Campesina Park
- Virginia Colony Park
- Walnut Acres Park
Government and politicsEdit
The city government operates under a council-manager form of government. The Mayor is elected at-large for two-year terms, and four City Councilmembers are elected to staggered four-year terms. The Mayor and City Councilmember positions are non-partisan. Through 2018, the City Councilmembers were elected on an at-large basis. In April 2019, the City Council voted to transition to a district-based election system for the four City Councilmembers, beginning with the November 2020 municipal election. In the November 2020 election, Daniel Groff (District 2, Western Moorpark) and Dr. Antonio Castro (District 4, Downtown/Central Moorpark) became the first two Moorpark City Councilmembers elected to represent districts.
The city government operates municipal facilities throughout the community, including the Moorpark City Library, Moorpark Active Adult Center, Arroyo Vista Recreation Center and Community Park, Ruben Castro Human Services Facility, Moorpark Public Services Facility, and the Moorpark Police Services Center, which contains offices for the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol. The Ventura County Fire Department provides fire protection for Moorpark, with two fire stations in the city.
In the California State Legislature, Moorpark is in the 27th Senate District, represented by Democrat Henry Stern, and in the 44th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Jacqui Irwin. In the United States House of Representatives, Moorpark is represented by Democrat Julia Brownley in California's 26th congressional district.
In October 2020, there were 23,290 registered voters in Moorpark, with 8,845 registered as Democrats (38.0%), 8,045 registered as Republicans (34.5%), 4,993 registered with no party preference (21.4%), and the remainder split among other parties.
Moorpark is the home of Moorpark College, a public community college and part of the Ventura County Community College District. Moorpark College is also home to America's Teaching Zoo and the Charles Temple Observatory, both used for classes and community events.
- The city is serviced by Amtrak California's Pacific Surfliner and by Metrolink's Ventura County Line commuter rail system with service to Los Angeles, with a train station located on High Street in the center of the city. 
- The city of Moorpark has a mass transit bus system, known as the Moorpark City Transit.
Moorpark had the lowest crime rates in Ventura County according to public crime statistics in 2000, and according to Ventura County Sheriff's Department statistics from 2006. The FBI has ranked Moorpark as one of California's safest cities. It was ranked California's 8th safest city in 2017. No homicides were recorded in 2017 nor 2018. The 2018 FBI Uniform Crime Report reported a near record-low crime level.
Volunteers in PolicingEdit
The City provides a "Volunteers in Policing" (VIP) program that formally engages citizens in supporting the police department and the community that began in 1994. In 1994 the program began with an attempt to open a police storefront run by the Volunteers in policing. Now the volunteers do a wide variety of non-dangerous tasks in an effort to assist the local sheriff's department including: parking enforcement, wellness checks, and traffic enforcement.
In popular cultureEdit
A number of movies have been filmed in Moorpark. An example is Kings Row (1942) starring Ronald Reagan, which featured a scene filmed at Spring Road and Los Angeles Avenue. The film Paranormal Activity 3 has a portion taking place in Moorpark. J.J Gittes (Jack Nicholson) gets shot at an orchard in a scene in Chinatown (1974), which was shot at Trident Ranch. The big game scene in The Best of Times (1986) was shot at Moorpark Memorial High School, while scenes in The Great Man's Lady (1942) were filmed at Joel McCrea's ranch. Scenes from the TV series Super Soul Sunday starring Oprah Winfrey are filmed at Apricot Lane Farms. In 2018, the documentary The Biggest Little Farm was released, telling the story of Apricot Lane Farms. Also the Disney movie Magic Camp has scenes filmed in the High Street Arts Center on High Street.
In 2016, Mike Winters, the Vice President and Historian of the Moorpark Historical Society, published a revised history of Moorpark that covers the years from Moorpark's beginnings to the 1930s. The book, published by Arcadia Publishing is entitled Images of America: Moorpark.
- Frankie Banali, rock drummer (Quiet Riot)
- Brian Blechen, professional football player for the Carolina Panthers
- Kelli Berglund, actress
- Walter Brennan, screen actor
- John Chester, documentary filmmaker, TV director, and cinematographer
- Jan Ebeling, German-American equestrian, who competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics
- Tim Hanshaw, former NFL player (1995 drafted in the 4th round by the San Francisco 49ers)
- Rick Jason, actor
- Drake London, USC Trojans football wide receiver.
- Zach Penprase (born 1985), Israeli-American baseball player for the Israel National Baseball Team
- Dennis Pitta, professional football player for the Baltimore Ravens.
- David Pollock, actor and politician.
- Dillon "Attach" Price (born 1997), professional Call of Duty player
- Gary Sinise, actor
- Paul Winchell, ventriloquist, inventor, and the voice of Tigger.
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