For Laurette Healey, having her neighborhood become part of Sherman Oaks has been a longtime wish.
Now that wish is closer to being granted.
A Los Angeles council committee this week approved a petition to move a half-mile strip of Van Nuys that includes 1,800 homes into neighboring Sherman Oaks. The matter will go before the full council in the coming weeks.
"It's been a long, long process, but an interesting one. What I've learned is the renaming of a community is an extremely emotional issue," said Healey, who has lived in the area for more than 10 years. "People really have a strong feeling. This was no exception."
Residents in the area believe Sherman Oaks is more fitting because most people shop there and their children go to school in that area.
Shifting neighborhood boundaries has long been an issue in the San Fernando Valley, with some residents not wanting to be associated with areas they believe have bad reputations. Van Nuys has seen several neighborhoods break away, including Lake Balboa and Valley Glen.
The committee's approval on Tuesday was propelled by the neighborhood group Part of Sherman Oaks, which was spearheaded by Healey. The group gathered signatures from hundreds of residents and business owners in the neighborhood bordered by the 405 Freeway, Oxnard Street, Hazeltine Avenue and Burbank Boulevard.
The move to Sherman Oaks has also been supported by the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce and Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, whose district includes the area seeking to move.