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Part of Van Nuys is now Sherman Oaks despite opposition

Posted By Karen Young On July 14, 2009 @ 11:18 pm In News,Stories | 3 Comments

pamela-turski90BY PAMELA TURSKI

One day before part of Van Nuys officially became Sherman Oaks, the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council (SONC) discussed the heated topic in its monthly board meeting July 13 at Sherman Oaks Elementary School.


Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council Board Members Photo: Pamela Turski

Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council Board Members Photo: Pamela Turski

However, despite tension and opposition, on July 14 the Los Angeles City Council voted 10-2 to officially declare the community of 1,855 homes (8 % of the the homes in Van Nuys) bounded by the San Diego (405) Freeway, Hazeltine Avenue, Oxnard Boulevard and Burbank Boulevard, part of Sherman Oaks. Councilmembers Tony Cardenas and Jose Huizar voted against the name change.

Both Neighborhood Councils, Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys,  opposed the name change, as have many residents of both communities. But just days before leaving her post, City Controller Wendy Greuel (then a Council Member) lent her support to the name change.

“This has been a vicious campaign.  It pits neighbor against neighbor,” said SONC President Jill Banks Barad. “Leaders of this effort have made statements that include they are of ‘common complexion and values’ as people in Sherman Oaks,” said Barad.

“SONC voted almost unanimously to oppose the annexation.  It’s a terrible slap in the face to neighborhood councils, who are not only being ignored, but defied.”

“Sherman Oaks does not want to annex this community, to take this community away from Van Nuys.  This is the first time a community is attaching itself to an existing community, not renaming itself, e.g., Valley Village.  If they so hate Van Nuys, let them break off and become something else, like East Lake Balboa or whatever,” said Neil Roden, Business Representative, Area 7.

The process to initiate a name change for a neighborhood in Los Angeles requires filing an application, collecting 500 signatures (or 20% of the community if less than 2500 residents), and approval by the City Council.

“The process needs to be changed.  It’s divisive, and it’s too easy,” said Tom Capps, Residential Area 2 Representative.

In other business, the Board welcomed special guest speaker Jeffrey Childers, LADWP Government Relations and Neighborhood Council Liaison, to discuss changes to expect with regard to the DWP’s new pricing structure and efforts to promote energy conservation during the high-demand summer months.  For 2009, energy conservation rates were put into effect July 1 and will remain in place through the end of September; for 2010 and each year thereafter, rates will be in effect for the entire summer billing period, from June 1 through September 30.  By reducing consumption during the peak hours of the day, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., customers can reduce energy use and potentially lower their electric bills.

For residential customers, the rates are based on consumption, with each customer allotted a set amount of energy at the lowest rate.  This amount, Tier 1, is the amount needed for basic services; Tier 2 and Tier 3 reflect higher usage and are billed at a higher rate.  Since hotter temperatures cause electrical appliances to run less efficiently, LADWP has divided the city into two temperature zones, with people in the hotter zone able to use more energy for the same price.  Also available to customers is Time-Of-Use (TOU) pricing, a separate rate schedule that allows customers to shift energy use to off-peak periods for a lower billing rate.  For complete pricing and zoning information, please visit www.ladwp.com.  Further, Childers said interested customers can request a water conservation specialist to come out and show residents how to minimize water usage.

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council meets the second Monday of each month; there will be no meeting held in August.  The next meeting will be a Candidates’ Forum held on September 14 at Sherman Oaks Elementary School, 14755 Greenleaf Street, Sherman Oaks 91403.  For more information:  SONC (818) 503-2399,  www.shermanoaksnc.org

Pamela Turski is a Sherman Oaks-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Sun Community newspapers.  She may be reached at PamelaTurski@gmail.com

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