They call it an "orphan" neighborhood, an area that does not have its own neighborhood council representing it in the city of Los Angeles.
It's located along a prominent stretch of Riverside Drive in an upper middle class part of the San Fernando Valley, sandwiched right between Valley Village and Sherman Oaks. But the neighborhood of Sherman Village is neither here nor there, not a part of either adjacent neighborhood council, and too small to have its own neighborhood council.
"We are a street without a country!" said Marilyn Molnar while pointing one block west to Coldwater Canyon as she was walking her dog down La Maida Street in Sherman Village. "Sherman Oaks starts over there, one block away... and I'm not sure which place starts at the end of the street. I think it's North Hollywood."
The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, or DONE, was formed in 1999, when the city charter established the neighborhood council system “to promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs,” according to its website.
But 12 years later, the people and businesses of Sherman Village are still unrepresented. It isn't the only neighborhood in Los Angeles that does not have its own neighborhood council. About a year ago, the NoHo West Neighborhood Council , becoming the 93rd neighborhood council in the city of Los Angeles. The area previously had been an orphan neighborhood.
There are several prominent locations and businesses in Sherman Village, including the site of the old North Hollywood Medical Center, which is where the show Scrubs was filmed. In fact, it was a this summer as it was being demolished that brought the neighborhood's oddness to Patch's attention. complex is now being built on the site.
Sherman Village includes about 75 homes, according to Neighborhood Council Valley Village President Tony Braswell, and is part of the 91607 area code, which is the area code of Valley Village. But the LAPD Van Nuys Division, which covers Sherman Oaks, patrols it. The LAPD North Hollywood Division patrols Valley Village.
The neighborhood is separated geographically to the east from Valley Village by the Tujunga Wash, and stretches west from there between Magnolia Boulevard and the 101 freeway to Coldwater Canyon Avenue. But the boundaries of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council end at Coldwater Canyon, and its board doesn't want Sherman Village to join them.
"Somehow, when they drew up the lines for the neighborhood councils, Sherman Village become an orphan. It's unclear why this happened," said Jill Banks Barad, president of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, in an email. "The City Charter says every neighborhood should be connected to some neighborhood council. We already have 70,000 in Sherman Oaks, so the proper place for Sherman Village would probably be the (Neighborhood Council Valley Village)."
According to Braswell, the Neighborhood Council Valley Village would welcome Sherman Village into its boundaries... if the people of Sherman Village wanted to join Valley Village.
But they don't.
"This all came up about two years ago. We were more than happy to have them, but it became our understanding that most of the people that live there, there's about 75 homes or so, wanted to be a part of Sherman Oaks," Braswell said. "We were working with the council office. My understanding was that this issue was going to be taken over by DONE. But I never really heard much more about it."
Braswell was asked if Sherman Village had any sort of leader or organizer Patch should speak to.
"I can't really say. There were a few people from there that came and spoke to us at a few meetings, but I really couldn't tell you who to call over there," Braswell said.
When contacted, the General Manager of DONE, BongHwan Kim, explained why Sherman Village is still an orphan. It seems it is caught in a bit of a neighborhood council love triangle with no resolution.
"With Sherman Village, about two years ago we did reach out to that group as well as the adjacent neighborhood councils, Valley Village and Sherman Oaks," Kim said. "Valley Village was willing to incorporate them into their boundaries, but Sherman Village felt that they were more identified with Sherman Oaks. However, the Sherman Oaks board wasn't interested in incorporating them. In order to make a boundary adjustment, we have to have the adjacent neighborhood councils in consensus about what to do with any orphan area."
--An earlier version of this story said condos were being built at the site of the North Hollywood Medical Center
-- Sherman Oaks Editor Doug Kriegel contributed to this report.