Neighborhood Presses for Identity It Lost in 1962

A group of homeowners living on the southern fringe of Van Nuys want to have their neighborhood recognized as Sherman Oaks--a community designation they say they once had, but lost decades ago when postal boundaries were drawn.

Residents of the upscale Chandler Estates neighborhood, several of whom claim that old property records list their homes with a Sherman Oaks address, say they were mistakenly made part of Van Nuys when the U.S. Postal Service introduced ZIP codes in 1962.

Before then, residents said, they were considered Sherman Oaks residents and many still think of themselves as such, putting a Sherman Oaks address on their mail and telling people that's where they live.

Longtime residents said they have nothing against Van Nuys, and are not trying to divorce themselves from the problems plaguing that community. They said they are not like residents of North Hills--who recently seceded from Sepulveda--because they are trying to regain a name lost and not change their identity completely.

"We'd just like to be put back to what we were originally," said Helene Vitagliano, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1946 and has a property deed that lists her home with a Sherman Oaks address. "I have nothing against Van Nuys."

About 2,000 signatures--representing about 90% of the residents in the area--have been submitted to Los Angeles City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky asking that the Sherman Oaks community boundaries be redrawn to include their neighborhood.

The northern boundary of Sherman Oaks is Magnolia Boulevard, but organizers of the drive want it to be Burbank Boulevard between Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard.

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