Hi Miss Kitty, I think you would love the Conejo Valley. There are beautiful neighborhoods and ecclectic ones too. There is Dos Vientos in Newbury Park, North Ranch in Westlake Village and Lang Ranch in Thousand Oaks to name a few of the more prestigous neighborhoods, like you might be accustomed to coming from Santa Barbara, however, we totally lack the amazing architecture you have.
My husband serves on Ventura County Sheriffs Search and Rescue so he has frequent opportunities to talk to all Ventura County based law enforement. Ventura County doesnt have cops that are idiots but if you are looking for strong expectations of following the law and people who actually serve their jail sentences, then Ventura County is a good place to be. In comparison, I recently sold a home to an LAPD officer who told me stories of how quickly they have to release what I would consider unsafe and considerable offenders of public safety because they lack the space and manpower to properly prosecute and house people who dont follow the law in LA County and I have heard the same for Fresno County.
Your property and family are seemingly more safe where the police are diligent and supported with funding. That is the case in Ventura County. I am a decent law abiding citizen and I love living in this county. Please let me know if I can help you decide if it's right for you too.