The San Fernando Valley did not get to become its own city after last November's secession vote.
But on Friday, the Los Angeles City Council awarded it a consolation prize by officially recognizing the Valley as a geographically distinct area for the purposes of keeping data and statistics, a move that could affect planning and policymaking in the region.
Bob Scott, vice chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn., said the new designation would be a great help to Valley business and nonprofit groups, which rely on the data when writing grant applications or plotting business plans.
"We have always been lumped in with the rest of Los Angeles," he said. "There are certain harmless ways we can have an identity without alienating the rest of L.A., and one is to keep statistics."
The motion, pushed by Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, also calls upon Los Angeles County, the state of California and the federal government to follow suit when they collect information and calculate statistics.
Greuel, whose district includes Studio City, North Hollywood, Valley Village and other Valley areas, said the change would help city officials with planning and economic policies and "other policy decisions that are impacted by data."
Councilman Tony Cardenas, who represents parts of Van Nuys, Panorama City, Encino and other Valley areas, said the new designation would give the Valley "the ability ... to be able to say, 'This is our fair share.' "
Council members unanimously supported the idea.
But several also cautioned that officials must be careful not to lose sight of the fact that, as Councilman Ed Reyes put it, "We are all one city."