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Lakewood, California  is a planned, post-World War II community. It is said to be a compromise between an urban grid and the arrangement of winding “drives” and cul-de-sacs.

The City of Lakewood is located in southern Los Angeles County, about 23 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Lakewood incorporated on April 16, 1954 and the area of the city is 9.5 square miles. Lakewood’s population was estimated by the State Department of Finance to be 81,224 in May of 2014.

The economic base of the city is primarily commercial/retail. Almost 3,000 businesses are located in Lakewood.

Contract services represent about 40 percent of the city’s operating budget. Lakewood contracts with private firms for trash collection, signal maintenance, and street sweeping. By contract, Los Angeles County provides law enforcement, road repair, building inspection, and street light maintenance. Parks, recreation and cultural activities, community development programs, parkways, medians and tree maintenance, the water utility and general administrative services are provided directly by the city.

Lakewood is a general law city. The five city council members are elected for overlapping four-year terms. The mayor is selected by the council from among its members and serves for a one-year term. The city council appoints a city manager and a city attorney.

In addition, the council appoints the Community Safety Commission, the Planning and Environment Commission, and the Recreation and Community Services Commission.

Lakewood is predominantly owner-occupied (about 72 percent in 2010). In Los Angeles County, less than half of the total housing units were owner-occupied in 2010. Lakewood is predominantly a single-family community with 85 percent of its housing units being single-family detached structures.

Lakewood has about 150 miles of streets and 300 miles of sidewalks. More than 36,000 trees line city streets and shade city parks. About 150 acres of the city are devoted to parks and other landscaped open space.

It is famously, the home of the first Denny’s Restaurant. In 1953 Harold Butler founded Danny’s Donuts, which was renamed Denny’s Restaurant in 1959.

It is home to the gorgeous Lakewood Country Club and the Lakewood Center Mall.

Lakewood was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportstown USA” in 2005 for the State of California.

The median home cost in Lakewood is $437,600. Home appreciation the last year has been 20.20 percent.

There is a home for every palate in Lakewood, from the 1 bedroom condo to the sprawling country club estate.

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