The history of Porter Ranch began in the late 19th century as Benjamin Porter purchased a part of the Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando land grant in the foothills above Northridge.
The area known today as Porter Ranch remained the last undeveloped area of the San Fernando Valley within the Los Angeles city limits until major construction began in the 1970s. In the early 1980s the community was a major filming location for the blockbuster film E.T. the Extra-terrestrial. Granada Circle is featured during the trick or treat scene and Porter Ridge Park, at end of Reseda Blvd. at Sesnon, was used for the scene at the end of the movie. Porter Ridge Park is referred to as “E.T. Park” by the locals of Porter Ranch.
Porter Ranch was originally the northern most portion of Northridge until the 1990s when the name was changed to Porter Ranch as the community grew into an area of its own. Eventually the entire 91326 zip code stopped using the name of Northridge and replaced it solely with Porter Ranch.
Much of Porter Ranch is master-planned communities of mainly single family homes, some with gated entrances and others with open access. Most of the area was developed by Nathan Shapell, Chairman & CEO of Shapell Industries from the 1970s, and continuing today by other developers. Some of the developments in Porter Ranch include Northridge View Estates, Tuscany, Renaissance, Aldea, Porter Ranch Estates, Verona, Cortile, Bella Vista, The Heights, Portofino, Promenade and Westcliffe at Porter Ranch
Recent statistics reflected the median household income was over $120,000, a high figure for the city and the county of Los Angeles. In all of Los Angeles County, Bel-Air, Hidden Hills and Rolling Hills were communities with the most similar household incomes and Porter Ranch was rated the wealthiest neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, with Encino as the runner-up.
Most residents of Porter Ranch make a commute to work into nearby Simi Valley, Woodland Hills and other areas of Los Angeles.