Community Signs Now Mark the Spot

The signs went up Wednesday and Valley Glen became official, ending a years-long process to allow the neighborhood to separate from Van Nuys.

"It makes us feel proud to belong to something special," said Peer Ghent, president of the Valley Glen Neighborhood Assn. "For all the projects we do, it gives us a better sense of being a neighborhood and a community."

A group of about 20 Valley Glen residents, standing just north of the Fulton Avenue and Burbank Boulevard intersection, watched as two city Department of Transportation workers mounted one of the new signs.

By the end of the day, 12 signs, with "Valley Glen" written in white letters on a blue background and a city seal centered above, were posted in the new neighborhood.

"What we have here is a little island of concern," said Marc Thurston, the former president of the neighborhood association who helped lead the renaming drive. "We feel that we can make a difference. We have created a community."

In February, City Councilman Mike Feuer endorsed the name change, provided some of the adjacent neighborhoods were given four months to decide if they wanted to join Valley Glen or remain a part of Van Nuys.

Feuer's decision came after much heated debate between some of the original petitioners who wanted Valley Glen to include only a 66-block area directly to the north and west of Valley College, and surrounding residents who either wanted to join Valley Glen or thought the whole idea was divisive.

"A compromise was obviously needed, however we still wanted as much community input as possible," said Feuer aide Josh Lownethal. "In the end, leaders of the Valley Glen association endorsed the more inclusive solution."

The result is a neighborhood encompassing more than 3,000 homes between Hazeltine and Whitsett avenues.

The northern boundary winds its way east from Hazeltine along Vanowen Street to Woodman Avenue, north along Woodman to Sherman Way, and southeast from Sherman Way to Kittridge Street along Tujunga Wash.

On the south side, the boundary line runs east on Burbank Boulevard from Hazeltine to Coldwater Canyon, then north to Oxnard Street and east to Whitsett.

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