San Fernando Valley

The battle over Part of Sherman Oaks

Daily News staffer and blogger Steve Rosenberg lives in the latest part of Van Nuys that wants to transfer its real estate karma into Sherman Oaks — and he isn't especially sympathetic to the cause. "It's no secret that the name Van Nuys is held by many in much less esteem than is Sherman Oaks," he posts, but he says the backers of Part of Sherman Oaks just want to realize the gain from buying VN and selling someday in SO.

It's a one-time gain, a potential cash calf in the midst of the worst real-estate price retreat in memory.

I wonder how those already in Sherman Oaks feel about this effort? Adding dozens or more homes at any given time to the "Sherman Oaks inventory" of properties for sale could theoretically lower the average price of a Sherman Oaks home.

Actually the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council voted to oppose the name change, as did Van Nuys. (The Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association hasn't taken a stand.) Residents of PoSO let Rosenberg's thesis have it in the comments, e.g.: "Let me understand this. I am never in Van Nuys, but I still live there?" If it matters, that area north of Burbank Boulevard and west of Hazeltine Avenue is only Sherman Oaks-adjacent because the border was adjusted north in 1993 in another seige of anti Van Nuys-ism. Historically, it's closer to the original core of Van Nuys than to the original core of Sherman Oaks at Ventura and Sepulveda, but then neither core really applies any more.

Historical footnotes:

  • In the unlikely event that the latest war over Sherman Oaks comes to blows, there is geographical precedent. There have been two military battles fought on the Valley floor, one with lances and sabers between rival Mexican armies in 1831 (2 dead, Gov. Victoria chased back to Mexico), and a day-long cannon skirmish in 1845 (one dead horse, Gov. Micheltorena routed.) The precise locations are lost to the ages, but the best guesses put the battlefields not far from the disputed tract.
  • Rosenberg includes Winnetka among his previous Valley renamings, but it doesn't really belong with the post-modern West and North Hillses and the Valley Glens and Villages. Winnetka began as the Weeks Poultry Colony in 1922 and was named by founder Charles Weeks.

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