Once named Ocean Park Heights in hopes of relating itself to the neighboring City of Ocean – now the community of Venice – in 1924, Mar Vista adopted its current name, and soon after, was incorporated as an independent city. Its incorporation was short lived however, as Mar Vista residents, following the trend of other local cities, quickly began to seek greater access to Los Angeles’ water supply. By 1926, residents had weighed their options and decided to merge with the City, with the annexation becoming official on March 10, 1927.
By the 1950s, with Mar Vista growing into a vibrant community, residents and neighborhood associations decided to fight to prevent up-zoning in the area. As a result of their effort, the area is considerably less dense than many of its neighboring communities. Yet, despite this lack of density, Mar Vista today has grown into an economically diverse community hosting nearly 38,000 residents.