Van Nuys area becomes Sherman Oaks

SHERMAN OAKS, Calif. The area is a half square mile area bounded by the 405 Freeway, Hazeltine Avenue, Oxnard Street and Burbank Boulevard.

Van Nuys residents that lived south of Oxnard Street felt they had more in common with Sherman Oaks than their own community. So for the past two years, residents had been lobbying to get the boundaries changed to be considered part of Sherman Oaks.

Three days prior to leaving office, Councilmember /*Wendy Greuel*/ sided with residents. On Tuesday, the full council went along with the proposition. The council voted in favor of the name change 10-2.

"If they want it because they perceive it will increase the values of their property, so be it," said /*Richard Alarcon*/, L.A. City Council. "If they want it for other reasons ... like them or not ... who are we to say they can't have a name change?"

Those behind the name change effort claimed the neighborhood of 18,055 homes was once part of Sherman Oaks. Councilman /*Tony Cardenas*/, who was one of two votes against the change, said there was no evidence of that claim. Cardenas hinted that it had more to do with race than historical boundaries.

Van Nuys was once the historical heart of the San Fernando Valley, but has recently fallen on hard times.

Van Nuys residents who opposed the campaign, watched in frustration as neighborhoods pulled away and changed their names.

"We've already had all of these sections taken away from us ... Valley Village and [Valley] Glen and all the other sections," said Norma Jean Vescovo, /*Van Nuys Neighborhood Council*/. "Van Nuys is dwindling and dwindling."

Neighborhood councils in both Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks opposed the name change.

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