Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2014 January 8

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January 8[edit]

Neighborhood name change[edit]

How can I legally get the named changed for my neighborhood to something more fitting ? Example  : it is now Elysian Valley , better known as Frogtown , because the community is adjacent to the Los Angeles River . — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.175.162.198 (talk) 06:22, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Are you saying that Frogtown is currently the nick-name of the area, but you want that to become the legal name instead of Elysian Valley? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:30, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
To change the official name, you would approach the city council/selectmen, or whatever they are called there. They likely accept short statements from the public during their meetings. If there's enough interest, they would call for a vote, and possibly a referendum.
However, many places have unofficial names, too, and you can refer to those whenever you like. You are free to call your place the "Frogtown Diner" etc., without needing approval from anyone (unless that's the name of another diner). StuRat (talk) 08:29, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
I very much doubt that you'd get much support for this change. It's all very well to use the name in jest - perhaps even routinely - but (for example) people who own property in that area are going to see their addresses change from what sounds like an up-scale neighborhood to one that sounds like a dump. That could actually impact their property values in the future - and they aren't likely to take that lying down. But as other have said, the way ahead is to raise the point during "Any Other Business" at your local council meeting - or to ask your representative at those meetings to place it on the agenda so that a discussion may take place. Personally, I'd say you were wasting your breath - but who knows? SteveBaker (talk) 12:30, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. The trend is to move to upscale names, like East Detroit changing to Eastpointe. StuRat (talk) 16:33, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
You might also need the approval of the state legislature and the U.S. Postal Service.    → Michael J    01:26, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Neighborhood names usually have no official status. They come about and evolve through usage. Real estate agents usually play a part, especially in areas that are undergoing gentrification. --Nelson Ricardo (talk) 16:21, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
  • There was a move by the town I grew up in to acquire a unified zipcode, which it couldn't, because there were multiple other towns of the same name in NJ. There was a referendum to change the name, therefore, and an essay contest for which I came in second place. I suggested Mirkwood. I can't remember the winner. In any case, the name was never changed, as the referendum couldn't get enough votes for one alternative, due to inter-neighborhood rivalry. μηδείς (talk) 03:20, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    • A similar situation is going on near where I live in North Carolina. One of Raleigh's fastest growing exurbs is the unincorporated community of Cleveland, Johnston County, North Carolina. There's already an officially incorporated town by that name in NC, so before it incorporated, the area would have to agree on a name. The most common name for the area is "40-42" (named for two major highways that intersect there), but town names cannot be numerals. There are towns with spelled out numbers (like Ninety Six, South Carolina) but IIRC, the Postal Service will not recognize numerals as part of an official community name. Other variations on "Cleveland" (like New Cleveland, Cleveland Crossing, Cleveland Community, etc.) have failed to gain traction. Of note is the fact that, if incorporated, the new community would well over an order of magnitude larger than the other Cleveland, North Carolina. Failure to agree on a name has been cited as one of the reasons why it has not incorporated; the nearby community of Archer Lodge, North Carolina had no such problems and incorporated fairly easily. --Jayron32 04:00, 10 January 2014 (UTC)