Some think that Valley Village was formed in 1991. Historically this area has been Valley Village for more than sixty years. According to the Los Angeles Times, a new community was born and articles of incorporation were granted in May 1939. Plans were laid for launching community beautification by 500 women in June 1939 at a meeting on the grounds of the King Charney Rancho on Magnolia Boulevard. At that time the plan called for a model community featuring parkways, cycling paths, a series of small parks, recreation centers and other amenities.
In 1986 residents began to form a homeowners group to address the threat of uncontrolled high-rise buildings and the Valley Village Homeowners Association (VVHA) was born. Inasmuch as the Post Office branch always had carried the name Valley Village, it was felt that it was time to resurrect the name. The request was taken to the Los Angeles City Council and with the help of former Council Members Joel Wachs, John Ferraro and Zev Yaroslavsky (now a county supervisor) it was approved.
To complete the process, a “Specific Plan” was needed to restrict height and guarantee low density in regards to private home or commercial new construction.
The Specific Plan prohibits certain types of commercial enterprises, it regulates the placement of balconies and rooftop installations on apartment buildings, and requires appropriate landscaping around them. No new commercial buildings may be higher than 36 feet and no homes higher than 30 feet. There are other restrictions as well.
Before a development starts, the VVHA endeavors to dialogue with the developers in order to build good will and monitor compliance. This is certainly beneficial to both sides. The Specific Plan, conceived by the dedicated board members, took seven years to be approved and was ratified in February 1993. These planning restrictions work and have proven to be invaluable.
Through the efforts of VVHA there are Valley Village signs on the major streets identifying our community. The Association continues to work hard to make this a better place to live where neighbors know and care about each other.
With the inception of the Neighborhood Council system adopted by the City of Los Angeles in 2001, VVHA gained a powerful ally in Neighborhood Council Valley Village as a champion for quality of life issues. Development plans are now routinely required to be presented to the neighborhood council for review and amended if warranted. The two organizations work closely for the betterment of life for the stakeholders of our community. NCVV, along with the community at large, is indebted to the VVHA for its pioneering efforts to insure Valley Village remains a great place to live.
(excerpted in parts from the VALLEY VILLAGER – 2006)