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Part of Van Nuys Could Become Part of Sherman Oaks Today

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A home displays a campaign sign for the annexation | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist

A home displays a campaign sign for the annexation | Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist
[UPDATE: Shortly before noon, the City Council voted to approve the annexation. Read more here]

After battles a the neighborhood council level, the issue of annexing one part of Van Nuys into Sherman Oaks hits the Los Angeles City Council agenda (.pdf) today. As usual, it has not been without controversy and the issue of annexation--verse creating a new neighborhood name--is a first in recent times.

Before today, the issue came before a city council in June panel where Controller Wendy Greuel, who represented the area as a councilmember then, said she could find no reason to reject the proposal within the city bylaws and that she received around 1200 phone calls in support of the annexation.

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"Why should we have to do 1200 phone calls?" questioned Jill Banks Barad at last night's meeting of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council (disclosure: the author of this article is an elected member of the group who voted against the annexation). She explained now the council represents around 50,000 people and the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council represents a large number, too.

"The way it's done now... it's too easy," boardmember Tom Capps said of the process that has few rules. Although jokingly, a few members have threatened to try to annex a portion of Sherman Oaks into neighboring Bel Air. After all, you just need about 1200 phone calls to do so, right?

In fact, a city staffer told Barad plainly encouraged her to start the Bel Air process. "Other areas will use this as leverage to annex in other areas," she warned of neighborhoods in other parts of the city.

If the annexation goes through, a portion of Van Nuys, basically bounded by Burbank to the south, Hazeltine to the east, the 405 freeway to the west and Oxnard to the north--save for the industrial properties--will be Sherman Oaks.

Proponents say the residents of the to-be annexed area live, work, play and go to school in Sherman Oaks, not Van Nuys, among many other reasons.

- The Neighborhood Project: Sherman Oaks
- The Neighborhood Project: Van Nuys