Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council November 2023: Issue #11

Sherman oaks residents enjoy the Encanto screening

Welcome to the November 2023 edition of the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council's (SONC) newsletter, the Ziff Flyer.

Message from the President
Lindsay Imber

This Saturday, the Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council in partnership with LA Rec and Parks, will present a free movie at Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park. We invite you to join us the evening of Sat Nov 4 to watch Inside Out under the stars. Further details are available following this message.

When we last spoke, the SONC Board prepared to consider the issue of development at 5501 N Ethel Ave.

At our October meeting, SONC adopted a position AGAINST the Housing Element's proposed densification of R1 and multi-family neighborhoods beyond what SB9 and ADU laws allow. Click here to view our accompanying letter.

Accordingly, we also unanimously voted to adopt a position opposing the excessive R1 densification posed by 5501 N Ethel. You may find our Ethel letter here.

Due to previous issues with City Hall's expedition of items without adequate public review, our adopted position allows us to opine on similar updates should they arise in the future using identical language as our letter.

In this vein, we invite you to attend our board meeting on Monday, November 13, 2023, which will feature a motion from the Government Affairs committee relative to conflicts of interest and ethics issues at City Hall. City Council seeks to establish a dedicated Office of Compliance that would identify conflict-of-interest questions relative to Council Files and other city business and to advise City Councilmembers on these matters.

Our motion under consideration declares this approach does not go far enough—as evidenced by a series of arrests, indictments, and scandals in City Council over the past decade—and seeks to further empower a new Office of Compliance or other entity to establish, maintain, and enforce an adequate review system and to penalize violations of policy. It is high time Councilmembers serve the people they represent and not special interests, as evidenced by the aforementioned Ethel decision.

If there are ethics issues going on at City Hall that City Council itself thinks are significant enough to merit the creation of an Office of Compliance, it would be inappropriate to limit this new body's ability to do the job of the people in keeping our Councilmembers honest.

If we're going to get serious about fighting corruption at City Hall, half-measures like creating an Office of Compliance but stating they are only an advisory body for City Councilmembers are supremely insufficient.

Please see the below calendar for a list of upcoming SONC meetings and events. Always refer to the SONC website's calendar for up-to-date details.

Thank you for your continued interest in the Sherman Oaks community. Stay safe and be kind to one another.

With Pride and Determination—


🎞️ SONC Fall Movie Event: November 4 🎞️

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council, in partnership with LA Recreation & Parks, presents a free movie night.* Join SONC on Saturday, November 4 for a screening of Inside Out under the stars at the Hazeltine softball fields portion of Van Nuys Sherman Oaks park. Bring blankets, chairs, or something else comfortable to sit on.

The weather forecast for Saturday calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 82° F during the day, but in the range of 70-79° F between 5pm-9pm.

*A previous version of our flier erroneously stated that Council District 4 was co-sponsoring this event. This is inaccurate. CD4 will not be in attendance.

📅 Upcoming SONC Meetings:

To view up-to-date details, please visit the SONC calendar.

Planning and Land Use (PLUM) Meeting

November 2, 2023, 6:30 PM

Vision Sub-Committee Meeting

November 2, 2023, After PLUM

Human Services Meeting

November 6, 2023, 6:30 PM

Public Safety Meeting

November 14, 6:30 PM

Executive Committee Meeting

November 9, 2023, 6:30 PM

SONC Board Meeting

November 13, 2023, 6:30 PM*

*At Sherman Oaks East Valley Adult Ctr (5056 Van Nuys Blvd)

Finance Committee Meeting

November 22, 2023, 6:30 PM

Government Affairs Meeting

November 28, 2023, 6:30 PM

Outreach Committee Meeting

November 30, 2023, 6:30 PM

Traffic & Transportation Committee Meeting

See Website for Meeting Date

Airport Committee Meeting

See Website for Meeting Date

Please visit the committee

page links for meeting agendas and to confirm dates, times and locations.

How to Attend SONC Committee Meetings

Whereas the monthly Board meeting takes place at the larger Sherman Oaks East Valley Adult Center (5056 Van Nuys Blvd), most SONC committee meetings are held at Sherman Oaks Martin Pollard Branch Library, 14245 Moorpark Street, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423. Meeting locations, dates, and times are listed on the applicable agenda so be sure to double check before the meeting you wish to attend.

For information on specific times and locations for each meeting please consult the SONC website calendar page:
How to Receive Agendas When They Are Posted

Subscribe to LA City's Early Notification System (ENS) to be notified via email of all upcoming Board & Committee Meetings and to receive meeting agendas.

SONC Committee Updates
SONC Planning & Land Use Committee
and Vision Sub-Committee
Jeff Kalban, Chair

It is time for us to stand up as a community and tell the city “No more bad planning!"

A seven story, 200-unit apartment house has been approved for 5511 Ethel Avenue, Sherman Oaks, in

the middle of a single-family neighborhood. This is allowed by the Mayor’s Executive Directive 1 (ED1). However, the Mayor said that was not the intent and ED1 has now been revised to exclude single-family zones.

However, the City Council and the Planning Department are proposing to rezone single-family zones to

permanently allow apartment buildings via the Housing Element and Community Plan Updates. The only

restriction being proposed is the amount of square footage allowed to be put on the property. No height

limit and no limit on the number of housing units. Here is an example of what would be allowed on a

7,500 square foot property designated as Transit Oriented Communities Expansion (TOC EXP).

Some Planning officials and Councilmember Raman tell us this is not their intent. Their intent is “gentle” density, courtyard housing. Remember, the 7 story Ethel Project was not the mayor’s intent either, but it is what was written in ED1 until amended. Intent has no legal standing. What is written is the law.

There is no law that mandates rezoning residential areas for more density (more housing). But there seems to be a philosophy the Planning Department and Councilmember Raman follow that wants to rezone single-family areas. Have they forgotten SB9? SB9 allows a duplex, an ADU and a junior ADU on a lot. Four residences where one exists today. That is enough.

We owe it to current generations who have their life savings tied up in their homes to protect single-family areas and for future generations that will want housing options and ownership.

We also owe it to renters to protect the current multi-family developments from being rezoned as proposed in the Housing Element and Community Plan Updates.

Why destroy housing to build housing?

There are properties currently zoned commercial or manufacturing or are publicly owned that are appropriate for residential development and large enough for creative designs that will enhance livability and the environment. LA has abundant zoning capacity to meet all the state’s mandate for more housing.

Let’s learn from ED1 and be watchful and vigilant as the Planning Department continues to rezone our


Join us. We meet at the Sherman Oaks Library for Vision 6:30 the first Thursday of the month and the

Planning, Land Use and Land Management Committee (PLUM) 6:30 the third Thursday of the month.

SONC Outreach Committee

Kylee Peña, Co-Chair

Brett Collier, Co-Chair



Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at the Sherman Oaks Street Fair! It was amazing to meet so many neighbors in one place. If you signed up to get this newsletter at the street fair, welcome! Let us know what else you'd like to see communicated.

And don't forget to join us for a fall movie night under the stars on November 4th as we screen Inside Out at VNSO Park. While it might be snowing in other parts of the country already, let's enjoy our mild weather and amazing parks together.

Our next committee meeting will be held at Sherman Oaks Public Library on November 30th at 6:30PM. We had to adjust from our usual date again due to the holidays, but we'll be back on the third Tuesday of each month in the new year.

Have suggestions for how you'd like to see us show up in our neighborhood? Reach out!

SONC Public Safety Committee
Susan Collins, Chair

The Public Safety Committee meeting for November 2023, will be held on: TUESDAY, November 14, 2023, starting at 6:30pm at the Sherman Oaks Public Library, Meeting Room, located at: 14245 Moorpark St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.

The Public Safety Committee meets on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, at 6:30pm, in the Sherman Oaks Library.

If you have a question or concern about safety - this meeting is a great resource to find solutions.

Subscribe to SONC's 

Early Notification System via the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment to receive all agendas for council meetings and committee meetings.

Subscribe to ENS

The Office of District 4 Councilmember Nithya Raman provides Sherman Oaks with a dedicated field deputy to handle resident and business owner issues at the city level. Ryan Ahari is the Sherman Oaks Field Deputy, and also services Van Nuys. If you need assistance with City services, agencies, and departments (graffiti, trash, abandoned properties, and more), you can reach Ryan through his CD4 web page here or call (213) 424-2412 and Ryan's email address is:

In addition to contacting Ryan, for any issues related to homelessness anywhere within Council District 4, you can contact Senior Homelessness Deputy Sarah Tanberg ( or Homelessness Deputy Josh Scarcella (

Click here to download the SONC Guide to Free Resources in the Sherman Oaks area
Volunteer Opportunities:
Volunteer with
The Valley of Change

Feed Our Friends In Need
Second Saturday of Month!

Community Cleanup
Second Sundays!

'Come to the Corner'

Email Contact:

For more information please visit:
Stay connected:
Twitter: @ValleyChange
Volunteers Cleaning Communities Come and Join Us to make a difference meet new people get some exercise and have some fun
Volunteer with NHIFP

Take advantage of helping out your community.

North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry is looking for volunteers.

To sign up, please visit:
LA Regional Food Bank

If you are interested in volunteering with the LA Regional Food Bank, please visit this link.
Questions, concerns, please email: 
L.A. Works

Join L.A. Works and learn about all the volunteer opportunities available here in our great City of Los Angeles!

Facebook - @laworks 
Twitter - @LAWorksNow 
Instagram - @laworksnow
Please visit
Van Nuys Neighborhood Watch news

Get Involved In Your Community

If you are interested in becoming a Block Captain and starting a Neighborhood Watch Program in your neighborhood, please contact your Senior Lead Officer at the email addresses or phone numbers listed below to obtain further details. There are 4 senior lead officers assigned for all of Sherman Oaks:

Jose Saldana


(818) 731-2565


Mariana Romo


(818) 731-2563


Joel Gutierrez


(818) 731-2560


Kristan DeLatori


(818) 731-2562


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If you live, work, own property, own a business, or belong to a non-profit organization, school, or religious institution in Sherman Oaks, you are a stakeholder in Sherman Oaks. We hold monthly Board of Directors and various committee meetings which you are invited to attend to learn about and participate in your community. Join SONC's Mailing List today.
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What is a Neighborhood Council?
The Neighborhood Council system enables meaningful civic participation for all Angelenos and serves as a voice for improving government responsiveness to local communities and their needs. We are an advisory body to the City of Los Angeles, comprised of stakeholder volunteers who are devoted to the mission of improving our communities.

Neighborhood Councils advise the Mayor, City Council and City Departments on the City budget and will give local residents greater say over the decisions that affect our lives. You can view a brief video explaining what Neighborhood Councils do and what it means to be a Neighborhood Council member here.
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