La Tuna Canyon, Los Angeles, California

Sun Valley
Neighborhood of Los Angeles

Stonehurst Recreation Center building
Sun Valley
Sun Valley
Location within Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley

Coordinates: 34°13′03″N 118°22′10″W / 34.2175°N 118.36944°W / 34.2175; -118.36944

Sun Valley is a heavily Latino neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles, California. The neighborhood is known for its overall youthful population and moderate racial diversity. More than half the population was born outside the United States.

The neighborhood was first known as Roberts, in the1880s, and in 1896 it became known as Roscoe.

There are three recreation centers in Sun Valley, one of which is a historic site. The neighborhood has thirteen public schools — including John H. Francis Polytechnic High School and Sun Valley High School — and four private schools.


The 2000 U.S. census counted 75,848 residents in the 9.42-square-mile Sun Valley neighborhood—or 8,048 people per square mile, about an average population density for the city. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 81,788. In 2000 the median age for residents was 28, considered young for city and county neighborhoods; the percentage of residents aged 10 or younger was among the county's highest.[1]

The neighborhood was considered "moderately diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles, with a high percentage of Latinos. The breakdown was Latinos, 69.4%; whites, 17.9%; Asians, 8.1%; blacks, 1.9%; and others, 2.7%. Mexico (54.5%) and El Salvador (11.9%) were the most common places of birth for the 51.9% of the residents who were born abroad—a high percentage for Los Angeles.[1]

The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $51,290, considered average for the city but low for the county. The percentages of households that earned $20,000 to $60,000 were high for the county. Renters occupied 46.1% of the housing stock, and house- or apartment-owners held 53.9%.[1]


Sun Valley is bordered on the northeast by Shadow Hills, on the southeast by Burbank, on the south by North Hollywood and Valley Glen, on the west by Panorama City and on the northwest by Pacoima, Hansen Dam and Lake View Terrace.[2]

Situated at the base of the Verdugo Mountains, Sun Valley is prone to flash floods, and one such flood on Sunday, February 20, 2005 at 2237 (10:37 PM PST) destroyed a portion of the 8000 block of Tujunga Avenue and killed a Los Angeles City civil engineer when a sinkhole 30 feet deep opened.[3]

Nearby places

Relation of Sun Valley to nearby places, not necessarily contiguous:[2]


In 1874, California State Senator Charles Maclay (for whom Maclay Street in San Fernando is named) acquired 56,000 acres (230 km2) of land across the San Fernando Valley. The area extended from Sunland Blvd. all the way west to the Chatsworth Hills. East of Sunland was Rancho San Rafael, a large land grant to Jose Maria Verdugo by the Spanish Crown. By 1876, the Southern Pacific Railroad was constructed through the eastern San Fernando Valley, linking Southern and Northern California.

Around the 1880s, Sun Valley was originally known as Roberts, which was the name of a general store—and the only business in the area. At that time, the area was classified as one of the five healthiest places in the United States to live (before smog), and, with the increased accessibility of the railroad, parcels of land in the area were being sold off to families coming to the area. The population of the Greater Los Angeles area at the time was about 200,000.

In 1896, Roberts changed its name to Roscoe. There is speculation that the name for the community came from a railroad employee by the name of Roscoe, who was killed in a train wreck during a train robbery near Sunland Blvd. and San Fernando Road. There are some spurious reports in later years that it was named after famous actor, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, after he had made movies on location in the area. However, Roscoe was already the name of the community before motion pictures were in widespread use. By 1905, there were seven families living in Roscoe. In (or around) 1915, the first gas pump on Route 99 (San Fernando Road/the main route between Glendale and Bakersfield) was installed at Sunland Blvd. and San Fernando Road by Alex Ratner. The Ratners were a new family in town and have remained active and supportive members of the community ever since. Ratner Street is named for this family. Adom Ratner-Stauber, involved in real estate development and property management in the area,[4] is the great-grandson of Alex. The change to the current name of Sun Valley was made in 1948 by residents in a movement spearheaded by the Chamber of Commerce. Vestiges of the former name remain in the name of Roscoe Elementary School and the telephone exchange 76x-xxxx (RO[scoe]x-xxx).

The A. Louis Forsch family, relatives of Mrs. Alex Ratner, arrived soon after the Ratners and within a short time were the owners/operators of Roscoe Hardware. Ran by son Jack and grandsons Gary and Glenn, this was probably one of the longest continuously running businesses in Sun Valley until its closure around 2003.

Notable businesses

  • The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants[5] is located in Sun Valley, and is dedicated to helping Californians and visitors discover the beauty of California native plants. The organization operates the only nursery in Los Angeles County devoted exclusively to California natives, offering more than 500 species.
  • Lockheed Aircraft had many factories located in Sun Valley during WWII.
  • Legendary punk record company Frontier Records founded here by Lisa Fancher in 1980
  • Voskos brand Greek yogurt is made in Sun Valley.


The Consulate-General of the Dominican Republic in the County of Los Angeles is located in Suite 204 at 9001 Laurel Canyon Boulevard.[6]

Government and infrastructure

Los Angeles Fire Department Fire Station 77[7] is located in the Sun Valley area. The station is in the Battalion 12 district.

The United States Postal Service Sun Valley Post Office is located at 10946 Ratner Street.[8]


One of every ten of Sun Valley residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, a low percentage for both the city and the county. The percentage of the same-age residents with less than a high school diploma was high for the county.[1][9]

Schools within the Sun Valley boundaries are:[10]


  • John H. Francis Polytechnic High School, 12431 Roscoe Boulevard
  • Sun Valley High School, 9171 Telfair Avenue
  • Fernangeles Elementary School, 12001 Art Street
  • Robert H. Lewis Continuation school, 12508 Wicks Street
  • Richard E. Byrd Middle School, 8501 Arleta Avenue
  • Arminta Street Elementary School, 11530 Strathern Street
  • Strathern Street Elementary School, 7939 St. Clair Avenue
  • Saticoy Elementary School, 7850 Ethel Avenue
  • Glenwood Elementary School, 8001 Ledge Avenue
  • Roscoe Elementary School, 10765 Strathern Street
  • Charles Leroy Lowman Special Education Center, 12827 Saticoy Street
  • Carnelia Avenue Elementary School, 7451 Carnelia Avenue
  • Sun Valley Middle School, 7330 Bakman Avenue


  • St. Augustine Academy, 9000 Sunland Boulevard
  • Grace Community, 13248 Roscoe Boulevard
  • Messiah Lutheran School, elementary, 12020 Cantara Street
  • Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, elementary, 7802 Vineland Avenue

Public libraries

The Los Angeles Public Library operates the Sun Valley Branch.[11]

Parks and recreation

  • The Sun Valley Recreation Center in Sun Valley includes a public swimming pool,[12] lighted baseball diamond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a football field, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, lighted tennis courts, and lighted volleyball courts.[13]
  • The Fernangeles Recreation Center in Sun Valley includes a public swimming pool,[14] an auditorium, barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted indoor basketball courts, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a lighted football field, an indoor gymnasium with weights, picnic tables, and a lighted soccer field.[15]
  • The Stonehurst Recreation Center in Sun Valley is a historic site. The center has an indoor gymnasium and auditorium with a capacity of 400 people, barbecue pits, a lighted baseball diamond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a children's play area, a community room, a lighted football field, an indoor gymnasium with weights, picnic tables, a lighted soccer field, and volleyball courts.[16]


External links

  • Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Council
  • The Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants
  • Sun Valley Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Sun Valley Hills-A community website for CERT, emergency and other information
  • [4] Sun Valley crime map and statistics

Coordinates: 34°13′03″N 118°22′10″W / 34.2175°N 118.36944°W / 34.2175; -118.36944