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CENSUS 2000 | Snapshots

Simi Valley

March 31, 2001|DARYL KELLEY | Times Staff Writer

The 1990s brought a more diverse population to Ventura County. Due largely to an influx of Latinos in every local city, and a boom in upscale housing in the east county, the number of Ventura County residents rose to 753,000--up 84,000 in 10 years. The people pictured below represent the region's increasing diversity.

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Sean Navabi, 20, and Vanessa Keller, 17, are hillside neighbors in Wood Ranch, above a tour-quality golf course and behind huge iron gates in a neighborhood called "The Legacy." Their homes are among thousands built in pricey new subdivisions ringing the cities of eastern Ventura County.

Both moved here during the last decade from the San Fernando Valley, where Vanessa's father helped direct aircraft development at Northrop and where Navabi's parents run a carpeting business and teach school.

"I love it here. It's like new and fresh and just clean," said Vanessa, a senior at Royal High School. "Here it's still like, and I hate to say it, more of a white thing. In the whole Legacy, there's still just one black home."

Navabi is a producer of techno-music who studies at Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

"It's a very big difference up here," he said, as a housekeeper cleaned the $700,000 family home. "It's like it's our little kingdom."

"There's Simi and then there's Wood Ranch," Vanessa said. "The whole time we've been here, we've never had anything stolen. I think the people that live here may have more morals."

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