When I first moved to Studio City, I was immediately confused when I started receiving mail.  About 70% of the time, the mail had North Hollywood listed as the city.  I knew this couldn’t be correct since I drove by the “Studio City” sign every time I came home.  Things got even more confusing when I would call a company to buy something (this was before Internet orders—not that long ago).  The order taker would inevitably ask me for my ZIP code and then proceed to ask me if I lived in North Hollywood, Studio City, or Toluca Lake.  What?!  Toluca Lake?  I was no where near Toluca Lake.

It wasn’t until I became a Realtor that I finally figured out what was going on.  I run into homeowners confused by this quite often, so I wanted to clear the air.  The City of Los Angeles has long been made up of many neighborhoods with names like Hancock Park, Whitley Heights, and the like.  But the boundaries were not always firm or even known by their own residents.  In the late 1990's the City of Los Angeles developed a system of Neighborhood Councils* to help the residents contribute to the development and success of their neighborhoods.  Thanks to this system, we now know the exact boundaries of each neighborhood.  It’s important to remember that Sherman Oaks isn’t really a city and neither are Studio City or Encino.  They are all part of the separate, and distinct Neighborhood Councils.  They have nothing to do with the ZIP Code either.  The ZIP Code is something that the post office has for mail delivery and just because your mail says Van Nuys, it doesn’t mean you live in Van Nuys.  That just happens to be the name of the post office that delivers your mail.

I’m a visual guy, so it helps me to see this kind of thing on a map.  Fortunately the City of LA has a way to look it up, but it’s a bit clunky and hard to find the button that will actually reveal the map.  If you want to see several of the local maps, I’ve put them all on one web page, so just go to LACouncilMaps.com to see exactly where you live.

By Todd Jones, Studio City Resident for 15 years and a local Realtor.
Todd can be reached at todd@ToddJonesHomes.com

*The LA Department of Neighborhood Empowerment web site states: “Neighborhood Councils are city-certified local groups made up of people who live, work, own property or have some other connection to a neighborhood. Neighborhood Council Board Members are elected or selected to their positions by the neighborhoods themselves.”