A partner of the Los Angeles Suburban Homes Company, Gen. Moses Hazeltine Sherman, developed Sherman Oaks. The company had subdivided 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land that would become Sherman Oaks. In 1927 each acre was sold for $780. Sherman's other major venture was the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad.
In 1991, a group of homeowners living in the Chandler Estates area successfully petitioned former Los Angeles City Councilmember Zev Yaroslavsky to re-draw the boundaries of Sherman Oaks from Magnolia to Burbank Blvd to the north, and from Coldwater Canyon to Van Nuys Blvd to the west, with the goal of including their neighborhood. This request was not anything new to the San Fernando Valley; other neighborhoods had either sought to change their names, or sought to attach themselves onto more affluent neighborhoods to escape from what they saw as growing urban blight and the collapse of their social status. Residents in the area argued, however, that the area was originally part of Sherman Oaks, but was labeled Van Nuys instead through the creation of ZIP codes in 1962; some residents were able to produce a few property deeds to present their case.
Just a few weeks after the Chandler Estates area successfully seceded from Van Nuys, Magnolia Woods, a 45 block area bordered by Van Nuys Boulevard on the east and the San Diego Freeway on the west, and between Burbank and Magnolia Boulevards, also successfully petitioned Los Angeles City council member Marvin Braude to secede from Van Nuys and join Sherman Oaks. Petitioners in the area argued that their neighborhood was also part of Sherman Oaks, though they were only able to produce 22 deeds showing so. As a result of this change, Van Nuys Middle School became separated from its namesake neighborhood.
Finally, in 2009, the Los Angeles City council voted to redraw neighborhood boundaries again to allow an area of about 1,800 homes in Van Nuys to be included. This proposal attracted criticism from locals.
The 1994 Northridge earthquake caused damages in the surrounding area. The Community Redevelopment Agency sought to manage the rebuilding efforts. The homeowners in the Sherman Oaks area later won a lawsuit to prevent the agency from managing efforts.
Van Nuys Boulevard at Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks
La Reina Theatre, although closed, still stands on Ventura Boulevard. Parts of the space have been converted for retail use.
As of the 2010 census, according to the San Fernando Valley Almanac, Sherman Oaks had a population of 52,677 people and 25,255 households. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 82% non-Hispanic white, 5% Asian American and 3% African American; 11% were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Other races made up less than 1%.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the 2000 U.S. census counted 61,166 residents in the 9.15-square-mile Sherman Oaks neighborhood, including a wide swath of the Santa Monica Mountains--or 6,687 people per square mile, among the lowest population densities for the city. In 2008, the city estimated that the resident population had increased to 65,436.
In 2000, the percentages of residents aged 19 to 49 and 65 and older were among the county's highest. The percentages of divorced residents and of widows were among the county's highest. The average household size of two people was low when compared to the rest of the city and the county. Renters occupied 58.9% of the housing stock and house- or apartment-owners held 41.1%.
The neighborhood was considered "not especially diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles, with a high percentage of white residents. The breakdown was whites, 73.8%; Latinos, 11.8%; Asians, 5.7%; blacks, 4.4%; and others, 4.4%. Iran (14.1%) and Mexico (8.8%) were the most common places of birth for the 26.2% of the residents who were born abroad--an average percentage for Los Angeles.
The neighborhood had a median household income of $69,651 in 2008, which was high for the city of Los Angeles but about average for the county as a whole. (Median household income reports the amount of money earned by the household that falls exactly in the middle of the pack.) The percentage of households that earned $125,000 and up was high for Los Angeles County.
Richard Close, the president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association (SOHA), stated that, as paraphrased by Dinah Eng of the Los Angeles Times, in 1978 Sherman Oaks "played a key role in the drive for Proposition 13" and in 2002 "was the epicenter of the ill-fated San Fernando Valley secession movement".
Van Nuys Middle School
Sherman Oaks Elementary School
Notre Dame High School
Forty-five percent of Sherman Oaks residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, a high percentage for both the city and the county. The percentage of those residents with a master's degree or higher was also high for the County.
LAUSD schools within the Sherman Oaks boundary include:
Van Nuys Middle School. The school was in the Van Nuys community until 1991, when City Council member Marvin Braude directed that a 45-block area that included the school be renamed as part of Sherman Oaks. The school continued to use the name "Van Nuys Middle".
The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park is in Sherman Oaks. Dinah Eng of the Los Angeles Times wrote in 2002 that the park "is a popular site for family gatherings". The park has an auditorium, two lighted baseball diamonds, six unlighted baseball diamonds, lighted indoor basketball courts, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a 60-person community room, a lighted American football field, an indoor gymnasium without weights, picnic tables, a lighted soccer (football) field, and lighted tennis courts. Located in the same place as the park, the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Pool is a seasonal outdoor heated swimming pool.
The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Senior Citizen Center (also known as Bernardi Center), also on the park grounds, has an auditorium and multi-purpose room; its banquet capacity is 200 and its assembly capacity is 300. The senior center also has two community/meeting rooms; one can hold 50 people and one can hold 30 people. The senior center has two kitchens, a play area, a shuffle board place, a stage, and two storage rooms. The Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Tennis Courts facility in the Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park has eight courts.
In addition the city operates the Sherman Oaks Castle Park, with arcade, batting cages, and miniature golf facilities, in Sherman Oaks.
^Ken Ellingwood & Richard Winton (February 17, 1997). "Drawing Flak but Not Retreating; Politics: Pasadena Mayor William Paparian has taken on crusades all his public life. Although he gets plenty of criticism, he is unapologetic about his stands". Los Angeles Times.