A small portion of Sylmar in the San Fernando Valley could be renamed Rancho Cascades, according to an application for the name change approved Tuesday by a Los Angeles City Council committee.

The northwest portion of Sylmar to be potentially renamed has a population of about 6,000, compared to Sylmar’s overall population that exceeds 100,000, resident Karen Ellis told the Health, Education and Neighborhood Councils Committee. Ellis is chair of a committee seeking the change.

Ellis said the area has unofficially been called Rancho Cascades for the last 18 years, after a previous effort to rename it resulted in a compromise and the informal designation.

“We are attempting to foster a better and safer community,” she said.

The application required at least 500 signatures in support of the change, and Ellis said her committee collected 630.

“An official name change to `Rancho Cascades’ — `Rancho’ to honor the historically equestrian nature of the area, and `Cascades’ in recognition of the Los Angeles Aqueduct that we live in the shadow of — will bring the community together and foster even more pride and civic participation amongst the local citizens,” the application states.

Ellis also said that a “smaller, more manageable neighborhood could best serve our community in this remote area of Sylmar.”

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