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Why is West Hollywood a city?

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Bristol, United...
posts: 154
Why is West Hollywood a city?

just seems a bit random it being its own city, that's like silverlake being a city lol.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 13,606
reviews: 57
1. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

There's lots of small cities bordered by, or surrounded by, the City of Los Angeles - many of these are considered to be famous parts of "Los Angeles", by which most people think of Los Angeles the city. They are all, however, completely within Los Angeles county. These areas include West Hollywood, Burbank, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica, along with Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and others. Why some are separate cities as opposed to simply neighborhoods within the City of Los Angeles - well, for that you'd have to read up on some civic history...

Anaheim, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
posts: 23,686
reviews: 13
2. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

The entire Southern California area is confusing in regards to what is a city, where the borders are, etc.

The folks who live in West Hollywood want to be their own city, mainly due to an issue regarding rent control pricing.

But for example, Universal Studios Hollywood (not just the Theme Park, but the entire property) is normally stated to be in Universal City, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, but part of it is in the city.

Hollywood is a community of the city of Los Angeles.

Santa Monica is its own city in LA County, while Venice Beach is part of the city of Los Angeles.

3. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

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Palmdale, California
Destination Expert
for California Desert
posts: 1,213
reviews: 44
4. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

Hello jasonh1987, and welcome to the Los Angeles forum.

You're a young guy from overseas who may not know California history or Los Angeles history. Here's the skinny on the story you seek: Back in the 19th and 20th Centuries, what is now known as West Hollywood was simply unincorporated Los Angeles County. Los Angeles never annexed it, and Beverly Hills didn't want to annex it. . . it was a place for trolley cars, eateries, and apartments for working class folk, and not for rich people at all. Over time, the desire to have their own say on local matters, like policing, led to a vote on incorporation in the late 1980's, which passed. West Hollywood was no longer just the name of an unincorporated Los Angeles County island, but a true incorporated city in Los Angeles County.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department remains the local law enforcement entity, now under contract with the new city, and has good relations with the residents and city leaders. Ultimately it's a local control thing, which if you knew what it was like to be lost in a maze of over 10 million residents to govern, you'd understand. Local control means better attention to things that need fixing, improving, and doing. Ask Burbank, Glendale, and Beverly Hills if they would like their street department, for example, to be run by the City of Los Angeles. . . you'd get a resounding "NO!" from both leaders and residents alike. Trust me on this.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 33,719
reviews: 338
5. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

West Hollywood was an unincorporated area surrounded by other cities, because it was unincorporated it was an easier place to open gay night clubs not hampered by the city laws of Beverly Hills or Los Angeles.

But as men dancing with men was illegal in Los Angeles County up into the 1980's, any time someone from the LA Sheriff's Department wanted to harass gay men, they could raid any of the clubs on Santa Monica Blvd and arrest people or just roust and harass them in general.

A coalition of gays got together with a coalition of seniors who wanted rent control laws as rents in LA were spiraling upward and a coalition of newly arrived Jewish immigrants who were also being harassed by LASD and came together to incorporate as a city so they could control law enforcement in the city and control rents in the city.

Thus was born the City of West Hollywood (zip code 90069) that soon passed some of the strictest rent control laws in the U.S. and became the first city in the U.S. to create a same sex domestic partnership registration for its residents and to offer same sex domestic partner benefits for city employees.

Oh and they voted to allow same sex couples to dance with each other.

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 8,759
reviews: 13
6. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

jasonh....

By the way, silverlake is Silver Lake, two words.

It was named after Herman Silver who was a very prominent Jewish Leader in the LA area and proponent of water issues in LA.

Dr. Z

Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 23,397
reviews: 50
7. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

The simple answer to your question is that the residents of West Hollywood don't wish to be part of the giant city of Los Angeles.

california
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Palm Desert
posts: 11,253
reviews: 137
8. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

And the City of Los Angeles probably would not have accepted the annexation, either.

Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 23,397
reviews: 50
9. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

Is that because WeHo is so awesome that L.A. would feel inadequate having our neighborhood as part of the city of L.A., migb?

california
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Palm Desert
posts: 11,253
reviews: 137
10. Re: Why is West Hollywood a city?

More likely because the costs of servicing that high a population density would be a huge drain on the general fund budget.