Mapping LA Neighborhoods
MAPPING L.A. > San Fernando Valley

Van Nuys

Tell us what Van Nuys means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?


Van nuys is much like Mexico. Dirty, lots of crime and prostitution. You can say what you like but the fact that I come from a bad hood and think Van Nuys is a lot worse should tell you something. The buses are overcrowed always! The streets are so filthy and gross. There is always bums hanging outside walgreens asking for change. The house my I was staying at with roommates almost got broken into. My van got tagged. helicopters flying around every night, no joke. My laptop was stolen out of my van when I was sleeping in it, No joke. Made a police report but am very sure they wont catch the gangbangers or whoever did it. This is just like Mexico! A cop shot someone about a mile from my van and they were looking for bullet shells next to my van. Hispanics run this area and it shows. They have their own culture and they could care less about American culture. That's the truth. You want me to learn spanish? How about learning Elnglish since that's the spoken language here. Just a bad bad city that will only get worse. Mark my words.

— Ryan R.
October 27, 2012 at 10:56 a.m.

van nuys is so lame nothing to do in this beat up city .

— g
October 18, 2012 at 6 p.m.

Grew up in the Valley - went to Monlux Elementary, Madison JrHS & NoHollywood HS. The Valley was a great, great place to grow up in the '60's & '70's - trick or treating was a blast - so many, many memories - went back a few time since moving away in 1976. Definitely, not the same at all.

— A.J. Cohen
August 20, 2012 at 3:54 p.m.

Moved back to Van Nuys last year after graduating college and getting a job in San Francisco. I just bought my first home here. Over all it is a nice place. There are bad parts of course however it is a great place to live. I bought my home for a good price and hope to keep it for the long term. I agree with the vast amounts of apartment complexes, something needs to be done, I will get involved and write to the representative at least, as we all should!!

— Daniel
June 7, 2012 at 11:02 a.m.

A little bit more than a year ago we moved from NOHO (North Hollywood for the ones not familiar with the acronym) to Van Nuys. We lived in the one of the “nicest areas” of NOHO right between Toluca Lake and Burbank. In Van Nuys we now own the biggest and best-looking house on our block and we have not had a single problem with thieves. I’m not going to deny the fact that there are appear to be a lot of thugs” in schools, but as far as my knowledge goes, all of LA County’s schools have been dealing with this very same problem (that is unless the school is either a Charter or private.) It is up to us citizens that make the best out neighborhoods AND schools. I have seen how “rich” kids are a mess because they have BAD parents. And yes, they do join “gangs” as well, although their gangs might not be your typical Latin gang, they do have and join them. But that is not what I’m here for.

Van Nuys is mainly a Latino/Hispanic community. The biggest problem that I have experienced are APARTMENTS, there are tons of them. Most of these Apartment complexes are being poorly managed. Tons of discarded furniture and sometimes personal belongings lay outside for weeks. In some instances, cars are illegally parked on front of Complexes making the street looking more cluttered. On top of that, apartment residents and their visitors have a bad habit of littering the streets. Many apartments, are way past their life expectancy, just by judging at their facades. I can only imagine what these apartments are like from the inside.

The troubles mentioned above are troubles that every city in Los Angeles have, I must say. The difference is that the City of Van Nuys appears to overlook these issues. The matter here is finding out weather these issues are being overlooked due to lack of proper city management or if for lack of citizen’s involvement. I hope to soon be able to find out.

If you are considering Van Nuys to live in I suggest for anyone to visit the area during weekend evenings and during rush hour on weekdays. If you are comfortable with what you see and hear, then this is the place for you. If you simply don’t “feel it” then move on. Just keep in mind that because an area might look better to the eye it does not necessarily make it a better neighborhood. Looks are deceiving.

— Souleil
March 29, 2012 at 3:19 p.m.

Just checking this site again, and I'm very sad to read comments about what has changed in VN over the past few years. I visit LA a couple of times a year and usually drive past my parents' former home near Sepulveda and Sherman Way. The area has certainly gone downhill. Many homes are ill-kempt and have bars on their windows to deter intruders, the streets are dirty, and apartment buildings are cluttered with "yard sales". Depressing to see your old neighborhood go to seed.

— Peter VNHS 1960
October 28, 2011 at 9:20 p.m.

I've been growing up in Van Nuys since I was born, I gotta say there's some nice parts & some bad parts but other than that it feels like home because I have alot of friends that live in the neighborhood & I have fun with the family. Its not bad like people are saying in there comments

— Joshua
August 26, 2011 at 11:37 p.m.

Mark ,

If you are reading this pls i wanted to tell you so much how i loved ducker's . You n I were good friends we walked home everyday from Madison Jr. together. hope you get this hun :)

— Teri Carr
August 10, 2011 at 3:59 p.m.

It's one of the worst neighborhoods around. There are alot of conspiracies in the hood. Drugs, prostitutions, corrupted officers and gang members. Peolpe will try to set you up every day. Why do you have to live in an area like that. If it's your home you should feel safe, and why do you have to watch your back all the time. Get the drugs, gangs and the prostitutions out and it would be a better place to live.

— former resident
August 8, 2011 at 9:16 p.m.

okay its not that bad ive lived in van nuys my hole life. just be street smart.

— khris
July 5, 2011 at 5:02 p.m.

For some this is another "ghetto" of the city of Los Angeles and for others this is a nice place. Van Nuys has some ugly parts as some nice parts, just like any other area of the valley. Is near Sherman Oaks, for some just another middle class community, not as attractive and nice and beautiful like Bel Air, SantaMonica or Palos Verdes. If you have a stigma of Van Nuys, or any other area of LA, I suggest to first visit the location before you label it, you might get surprised.

— Jose
June 29, 2011 at 5:21 p.m.

Man stop whining about Van Nuys being so bad I come from South Central and Pico Union and Van Nuys doesn't compare and I love Van Nuys and have no intentions to move anytime soon

— resident
February 7, 2011 at 10:56 a.m.

Good Post Diana P....

— El Ghoul
January 6, 2011 at 11:36 a.m.

i have a security company and the problem is that not many owners are willing to spend a little money to make it safer......then they wonder why they are having more empty apartments

— ivan
November 18, 2010 at 10:01 p.m.

"Van Nuys (es very nice)"--or--so the Hispanic rock group "Los Abandoned" would tell you.

Maybe their line "Upper lower middle class" says it all. Fine distinctions--people trying awfully hard to "draw lines"-- Everyone here is "drawing lines"--not trying to include.

— jon
November 9, 2010 at 12:35 p.m.

ahh van nuys blvd back in the early 1980's when cruzzing down the blvd and listning too the go'go"s we got the beat"

— rose hill 90032
November 8, 2010 at 10:01 p.m.

This place is not recommended to anyone to move here. Too many prostitutes and gang members. The cops aren't doing anything about it because most of us here are broke!!!!!

— ME
November 7, 2010 at 10:26 a.m.

I grew up in Van Nuys (and I don't care that that part of Van Nuys is now Sherman Oaks, so get over yourselves and later lived on my own a half block from the courthouse. It was a quiet, family oriented neighborhood. I seriously didn't worry as much about crime as I do over here on the Westside, which is supposedly a MUCH better neighborhood. There is crime everywhere. What really bothers people is what colour the people are who live in these neighborhoods. Brown in Van Nuys is bad, White in West Los Angeles is good. That's what people think and that's the real issue. It's a shame.

— Annie
October 20, 2010 at 10:02 p.m.

I moved to Van Nuys about a year ago. I was hesitant because of the stigma, but after living here I have a new view on Van Nuys. It's lovely and safe. I take walks at night with no problems and find the people friendly. My favorite thing about living here is the farmers Market down the road. I love it here!

— William
October 6, 2010 at 9:25 p.m.

as a visitor from europe..i was 3 times in van nuys..its a safe place at night its dangerous everywhere..stay at home folks..

— michael
October 6, 2010 at 2:40 p.m.

Okay .car was tagged....then someone hit my car and took off...walls in neighborhood constantly covered w/ gang symbols......mexican yep they were hispanic.. folks constantly roaming thru the tash bins to collect stuff to recycle.....foks always begging at the Ralphs on Van Nuys and Burbank.....My neighbor just beat up his wife 2 wks ago.....found out from police yesterday he killed her.....UGH.......I am tired of Van Nuys.......Make no mistake.....I will be moving as sooon as my lease is UP.

— Linda
September 30, 2010 at 10:16 p.m.

The geographic area within north to Oxnard Blvd, East to Hazeltine, West to Sepulveda, and South to Burbank Blvd, is NO longer part of Van Nuys. Ths area was annexed into Sherman Oaks in 2009.

— Jon
September 30, 2010 at 11:20 a.m.

Thanks for the comment Teri. Duckers Deli was one of the last true family owned deli's of its'' kind. Great memories, great food.

— Mark Ducker
September 2, 2010 at 1:56 p.m.


u mentioned Ducker's Deli on Woodman &

Sherman Way. I went to School with Mark

Ducker a heck of a guy. loved Van Nuys bback in the day. :)

— Teri Carr
August 1, 2010 at 8:17 a.m.

I lived in Van Nuys close to the courthouse for three years while I was in middle school. I did not go out much since there was not much to do. I remember being wary of gangs. The area did not have much to offer, maybe Tommy's on Victory. The area has changed since I lived there in the late 80's, and has seemed to decline somewhat.

— R
July 24, 2010 at 11:30 a.m.

Ive grew up and currently living in Van Nuys, some places are nice and full of hispanic and chicano culture but other areas are what people call undescribable, but Van Nuys is my home

— Andrew
July 23, 2010 at 9:30 p.m.

If you want to move in the Valley dont come to Van Nuys.Its is really bad just ask the people who live there

— Paul
July 18, 2010 at 2:49 p.m.

Now Van Nuys is filled with gangs and drug dealers.I see it all the time.It use to be good i just dont know what happened.

— Jose
July 18, 2010 at 2:47 p.m.

Although I know a lot of Van Nuys has problems, the area where we live west of Kester is very nice and we know a lot of the people on our street and in the area. We all had Thanksgiving dinner a couple of years ago. I bought in Van Nuys in 2001 because I found a house I wanted on a nice street at a price I could afford, and it is an easy commute to the west side. I get to where I work faster than many who live closer in miles. Although Van Nuys does have some undesirables, what neighborhood doesn't? If I lived in Bel Aire or Brentwood my neighbors might be bank execs, industry lawyers, drug barons, or some other criminal element.

— David G.
June 15, 2010 at 9:59 a.m.

Van Nuys can be easily compared to Tijuana, Mexico. Its ugly, dirty, crowded, drugs infested area, Gang members everywhere, plenty of strollers pushed by teenagers, college education is minimal, the police is ineffective and corrupted. In short, avoid this area by all mean.

— Shual
May 18, 2010 at 9:24 p.m.

During my one year stay in the valley, I lived half a year in VN in two different families and attended Grant high where it was easier to make friends than in my previous HS in Calabasas. I enjoyed biking and jogging all over the city feeling safe most of the time.

— finnish exchange student 1986
April 17, 2010 at 1:41 p.m.

I just stumbled upon this discussion while trying to figure out how & why the Van Nuys boundary had changed. I've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 28 years. Prior to this, between the ages of 18 to 20, I rented an apartment on Saticoy right off of Sepulveda. It was a working class, predominantly white neighborhood back then in 1980 to 1982. Previously, I had grown up in Sherman Oaks and attended U.S. Grant High School. A few years back, while on my drive to Orange County, I decided to show my wife where I had my first apartment. I'll be polite here and just simply say that I was shocked and aghast at what I saw. What happened?

— Steven Colson
April 2, 2010 at 4:30 p.m.

I just bought a house in Van Nuys (Lake Balboa?) in 2008. I live west of Balboa, north of Sherman Way, on the border of Reseda. My neighborhood is fairly quiet. A large chunk of people who own houses in my neighborhood have lived here for over 20 years.

I have 3 issues with the street that I live on:

-There are no street lights on my block, making my street really dark at night.

-The street asphalt is deteriorating and needs to be repaired; I put a request with the bureau of street service (BOSS).

-The houses immediately surrounding my house and across the street are multi-car households (3-5 cars) that always have cars overflowing onto the street and are constantly parked in front of my house for days at a time.

— Danny Mestas
February 7, 2010 at 10:33 a.m.

VV's note unfortunately did not include Bob's Big Boy drive-in, which was the leading social hub for teenagers and their hot cars from the 1950s until it closed and was torn down (sometime in the 1980s, if memory serves). Although the Toluca Lake Bob's and some others remain, it's just not the same as cruising Van Nuys Boulevard and Bob's on Friday and Saturday evenings back in 1958-67.

— Peter VNHS 1960
December 10, 2009 at 10:03 p.m.

I've noticed the people who grew up in VN have the most positive comments compared to those who just lived there.

At least we're not bickering over boundries like Sherman Oaks residents are.

Strongest memory for me is the excitement of Birthday parties at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor on Van Nuys Blvd near Sherman Way. (BTW a new Farrell's opened up at the Mission Viejo mall in Orange County)

— Vern
November 10, 2009 at 6:05 a.m.

Ah, gotta love the campaign! Apparently, by arbitrarily renaming our neighborhood to link it up to Sherman Oaks, our gang issues will suddenly disappear, people using our street as a dump will stop dumping, and "we won't see war no more," as the old freedom song promises. Fat chance. Try

Thing is, I'm actually rather proud to live in Van Nuys - I just don't want a bunch of people greedy for higher resale values on their homes changing my neighborhood's name.

— Peter Carlson
November 10, 2009 at 6:03 a.m.

I grew up near Kester and Saticoy, VN had great places, residents of old Van Nuys will remember the following places that aren't there anymore:

Food Giant Grocery store, HiLo drugstore, Alpha Beta Grocery, Ed Pink Racing engine building (wow they were loud), Chandler's Lumber, Fedco department store, Butler Brothers dept store, Ajays Electronics, Vons grocery with the snack bar, "The Big Donut" (like Randy's Donuts with the large Donut on the roof), Cupids hot dogs, Pup-N-Taco, Lloyds Meat Market, The Copper Penny restaurant, Zodies Department store, Busch Gardens (the bird shows, log ride and elevated brewery tram tour were great), The VN Drive In, Sambo's restaurant and later Mambo's, Chiefs auto parts, Roy's Market, Ducker's Deli and Pepe's Go Carts. I'm sure I'm forgetting others.

— VV
November 10, 2009 at 5:55 a.m.

I grew up in VN in the early 70s. I have fond memories of my friends and I riding our Stingray bikes along top edge of "the Wash" flood control channel. starting behind Fedco and cutting through neighborhoods all the way to near Hazeltine. It was really like an urban version of "Stand By Me" where many an adventure occured.

— anonymous
November 10, 2009 at 5:20 a.m.

Van Nuys brought a lot of good childhood memories. Being able to travel anywhere in the great San Fernando valley and being able to return to home sweet home. These streets are old and paranormal activity has been witness by several neighbors as myself. I no longer stay in van nuys but it is always a place called home.

— Esther
November 9, 2009 at 8:11 a.m.

I lived in Van Nuys for the past 10 yrs. Recently I moved to a neighboring county. Then I receive adds in my mail that says... Beverley Hills qaulity, Van Nuys prices.... Now I know why I got the looks when I told others I live in Van Nuys.

— Ed
November 6, 2009 at 4:06 p.m.

Boy, poor old Van Nuys always gets a bad rap. I've lived in Van Nuys for 30 years. I attended and excelled at each of the Van Nuys public schools, bought property in Van Nuys and became a highly educated professional, shockingly, while brazenly walking the "gang infested" streets of legend/myth.

I now have children in each of those same schools. I stay because my community means much to me, I believe we can use more people like me, and our schools need students and parents like us. I've seen the area become more diverse, and, yes, there are instances such as the horrible tragedy on Kittridge Street. What I have never seen, though, is the outright racism exhibited by critics of the area - such as those who vehemently and loudly strive to disengage their properties from our much maligned "minority-ridden" zip codes.

My community has long been brown and black and yellow, and I am now seeing middle-class white Americans moving in to our "dangerous" streets. The home prices and rent-controlled apartments are bringing them in, and the community is as accepting, or nonchalant, as it has always been. Working class people busy with raising a family and paying the bills rarely have time to ostracize newcomers.

Thankfully, I earn enough now to allow me to live anywhere I want and when I visit those other "affluent" parts of the city I find neighbors who worry too much about how long garbage cans are left on the curb or whether someone's Christmas display is too bright. I prefer my neighborhood's "live and let live" style.

— Diana P
November 3, 2009 at 10:32 a.m.

I lived in Van Nuys back in 1969-1971 and attended school there. It is shocking how the neighborhood had deteriorated when I returned to show my kids the "old neighborhood". It is now a gang infested area- I was afraid to drive around it. I live in another state now and never intend to live in LA again. Too many people with too little education and family values.

— Trevor
November 1, 2009 at 5:22 p.m.

I was born in Van Nuys, but nowadays I feel like I'm in a foreign country. Most of my business (and hard earned dough) is spent in cleaner neighboring communities. Tired of grafitti on my walls and beer bottles on my lawn.

— Jack
September 24, 2009 at 8:39 a.m.

A wife missing for thirty years somewhere in the area. Last address Van Nuys. Kren where are you? Blue need to speak with you.

— Will
August 24, 2009 at 12:58 p.m.

Looks like all of Van Nuys south of Oxnard just became part of Sherman Oaks... time to update the map again!

— Anonymous
July 14, 2009 at 2:04 p.m.

Interestingly, you have Van Nuys Jr High (Middle School) in Sherman Oaks.

— Lee Mellinger
June 4, 2009 at 12:39 p.m.

My family lives on DeCelis Pl., one street West of Hayvenhurst in the San Fernando Valley.

I have lived in "Van Nuys" my whole life, starting in an apartment staring into the parking lot of Van Nuys High (also the school I attended) and I can honestly and objectively say the culture, environment, DECOR, vibe and scenery of my family's current residence on de celis is representative of the Van Nuys I have grown up in.

All the ethnic hispanic stores and restaurants continue from van nuys blvd to balboa.

All in all, as a 22 year resident (i'm 22 years old) of Van Nuys I would say the western most boundary of Van Nuys would extend out to Balboa.

I hope this last iteration of your LA map isn't final. Good luck with the rest of your readers' inputs.

— Taemoo Yin
June 3, 2009 at 9:54 a.m.

Van Nuys

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County.
Find Your Neighborhood

Search by address

Select a neighborhood

Select a region

Select a ranking

About This Project
Van Nuys is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
About The Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers in downtown L.A.