Wet Winter Expected!!!!

Slope Drain Maintenance is a High Priority...

The "El Nino" weather pattern appears to be gaining strength this year as the eastern trade winds continue to collapse over the Pacific Ocean allowing warmer tropical waters to continue moving northward towards Southern California. This weather pattern typically brings a higher than normal precipitation average, particularly during the winter months. According to the National Weather Service, a similar weather pattern was experienced in the winter of 1982-1983, when the Los Angeles area received 31.25 inches of rainfall, in contrast to the average of 14.77 inches! Based on the expected heavy levels of rainfall, it is imperative that property owners with slope drains (also known as bench drains or swales), remove any obstructions from all such drains on their property. Drains of this type are found in all areas of the City and because they are a part of the property they traverse, property owners are responsible for their maintenance. Good Swale Photo Bad Swale Photo

Clearing bench drains of all obstruction will limit property damage caused by slope failure, erosion, and excess stormwater runoff.

Don't wait for the rainy season which typically begins in late October. Do your part now and clear drains of leaves, vegetation, and any other debris or obstruction.

If you have any questions regarding the City's requirements for slope drain maintenance, contact the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Code Enforcement Division at (310) 377-6008.



Rancho Palos Verdes as well as the Peninsula Library District and the Peninsula School District will be holding elections on Tuesday, November 4 and City residents will soon be receiving their sample ballots in the mail. Don't throw away this red, white and blue pamphlet because it contains voting instructions, a copy of how the candidates will appear on the official ballot you will receive at the polling place, and the candidates' statements.

If you are unable to go to the polling place on election day you can vote by absentee ballot. The back cover of this pamphlet is a tear-off application for an absent voter ballot and should be submitted to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk no later than October 28. If you are going to vote in person, this back cover also contains the address of your polling place. Keep this handy so you know where to vote on election day. Polling place information will also be available on the Internet @ http://rrcc.co.la.ca.us about three weeks prior to the election. Of course, your polling place information can still be obtained from the City Clerk's Office at City Hall, telephone number (310) 377-0360.

Equestrian Overlay (Q) Zone Nonconformity Statements Submittal Deadline Set for October 3, 1997 !!!!

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes recently adopted new Equestrian (Q) Zone regulations. There are four such zones in the City: the Portuguese Bend Community, the Eastside (northern Palos Verdes Drive East), the Crestridge area east of Crenshaw Boulevard, and along the south side of Via Campesina. These changes will likely result in situations where existing legal equestrian uses and structures will become "nonconforming." To address these issues, the new codes include a provision allowing property owners to submit documentation (Nonconformity Statements) of their existing nonconforming uses. If approved by the City, these existing conditions will be made legal and can continue in perpetuity, except as follows:

· The boarding of five (5) to eight (8) large domestic animals on a lot or parcel or on any combination of contiguous lots or parcels which are owned or under control of the same individual(s), shall be permitted to continue until the lot(s) or parcel(s) is/are sold or transferred, or until February 1, 2007, whichever time period is longer. For purposes of this Section, change of ownership shall not include inter-spousal transfers in cases of divorce, transfers of property to the transferor's children or inheritance by a spouse or child.

Nonconforming conditions involving the boarding of more than eight (8) large domestic animals shall be discontinued within twelve (12) months after the effective date of the ordinance. (The effective date is May 15, 1997.)

The provisions described above do not apply to any lot or parcel or combination of contiguous lots or parcels which are owned or under the control of the same individual(s) where the boarding of (5) or more large domestic animals was being conducted lawfully on July 1, 1975. In such cases, acceptance and verification of the written Nonconformity Statement by the Director shall permit the nonconforming condition to continue in perpetuity.

The following information must be included in all Nonconformity Statements:

1. The ownership of the lot or parcel.

2. If the nonconformity involves the keeping of more than four (4) large domestic animals on a vacant or developed lot or parcel, or on any combination of contiguous lots or parcels which are owned or under control of the same individual(s), a statement identifying the owner of each animal kept on the subject property.

3. The conditions for which the waiver is requested.

4. Permission from the owner for a City representative to enter upon said lot or parcel to verify the nonconforming condition.

5. Any additional information as may be required by the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (Director).

After submittal, the Nonconformity Statement will be verified by City Staff, and upon acceptance by the Director, will be recorded with the County Recorder in order to clearly describe the nonconforming uses and/or structures that are allowed to continue on the property.

If no written Nonconformity Statement is submitted to the Director pursuant to Section 17.46.080 of the Municipal Code, or if the property owner does not allow the Director or his/her representative to verify the nonconforming condition, it shall be presumed that the nonconforming condition was illegal at the time of adoption of Chapter 17.46 of the Municipal Code (May 15, 1997). Therefore, the City stresses the importance of submitting these statements to preserve the legally existing equestrian uses you may be enjoying on your property!!

Nonconformity Statements can be submitted to the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard until 4:30 pm on Friday, October 3, 1997. The office hours are from 7:30 am to 11:30 am Monday through Friday, and from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm Monday through Thursday. It should be noted that the City Council, on duly 15, 1997, adopted an urgency ordinance which extended the deadline for submitting these statements from duly 15, 1997 to October 3, 1997 to ensure adequate time for their preparation by property owners.

Should you have any questions regarding the contents of this article, need assistance in preparing a Nonconformity Statement, or have other questions related to the equestrian regulations, please do not hesitate to contact the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement at (310) 377-600X.


The Public Works Department will be very busy this fall as they continue their program to upgrade roadways citywide. Construction in various areas will begin in September and continue through January 1998. Projects include the major rehabilitation (asphalt overlay) of approximately 100 residential roads in various neighborhoods throughout the city, as well as Palos Verdes Drive East from Ganado Road to Colt Road, and Montemalaga Drive from Silver Spur Road to the City limit. Also scheduled is the reconstruction of Palos Verdes Drive South from Narcissa Road to Peppertree Drive. Total value for these projects is nearly $4 million which is just the latest round in the City's multi-year program which began in 1993.

The program seems to be working. A recent evaluation of the City's roadway condition revealed that two thirds of the City's road network is now rated as very good or excellent, compared to only one third in 1993. The improvement is even more noticeable on such major arterials as Hawthorne Boulevard, PVDS, PVDW, PVDE, Crest Road, and Crenshaw Boulevard, where more than 80 percent have a quality rating of excellent, compared with 35 percent in 1993.

More road improvements are planned. If we haven't been in your neighborhood we will be soon. If you have any questions regarding the roadways in your neighborhood call the Public Works Department at 310-541-6500


Providing meals for people who are unable to prepare adequate meals for themselves, is an organization called Meals On Wheels. This is a non-profit community service dedicated to helping people who are disabled, aged and chronically or temporarily sick by supplying nourishing meals at a nominal cost. Founded in England during World War II, this program got its foothold in this country in Philadelphia back in 1954 and has since spread throughout major cities in the United States. Meals on Wheels is supported by volunteers who package and deliver the meals and by contributions.

Volunteers package and deliver the meals five days a week, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 11:30 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. There are no deliveries on weekends or on holidays. Each delivery consists of a hot dinner to be eaten at mid-day and a light supper for later. Menus are varied and the food is attractively packaged.

There are two Meals on Wheels facilites that serve the City of Rancho Palos Verdes: San Pedro Meals on Wheels which delivers to residents living on the east side and Meals on Wheels for the South Bay which serves the remainder of the City from the Salvation Army facility in Redondo Beach.

Residents who live on the east side and who wish to have this service should call the San Pedro Meals on Wheels at (310) 832-7335. For all other parts of the City, residents can call the Meals on Wheels for the South Bay at (310) 318-2827.


Although many of us would like to update and improve our homes, the thought of dealing with the City to obtain the necessary approvals and permits can be intimidating. However, following the steps listed below--along with a little advance preparation--should make this experience as efficient and painless as possible.

Ask First - Unfortunately, some homeowners don't find out that their dream addition is an impossible dream until they come to the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department to get building permits. Before you begin designing your project, check with the Planning Division for the setbacks, minimum open space requirement, building height limit and property dimensions for your lot. These factors will help determine where and how you may legally build on your property. Also, if your proposal does not precisely meet these requirements, a planner can explain to you the process involved (usually a Height Variation, Grading Approval, Minor Exception Permit or Variance) to permit your project.

Be a Good Neighbor - Many of us live in neighborhoods which are governed by homeowners' associations or art juries. Before you submit your plans for Planning and Building approvals, check with your homeowners' association or art jury for their requirements. It is often helpful to complete the review process through these bodies prior to submittal to the City for approvals and permits.

The Basics - Most home improvement projects that alter the structure or building footprint will require Planning approval and a Building permit. The Building Division will require that you provide proof of Planning clearance before you apply for permits. Submitting a complete package of information will greatly speed up this process. At a minimum, you should provide:

  • A completed Planning approval application (usually a Site Plan Review), including the homeowner's signature;

  • A site plan showing the property lines, the "footprint" of the building, the location of all driveways and parking areas, and the setback dimensions from all property lines;

  • Floor plans with room dimensions and uses (e.g., BEDROOM, FAMILY ROOM, etc.);

  • Exterior elevations with the building height clearly shown; and

  • Any structural drawings and details, energy calculations, soils reports or other information needed by the Building Division to determine your project's compliance with the City's building codes.

    Depending upon the type of project, you may need to submit additional information to either the Planning or Building Division. In reviewing your plans, Planning and Building Staff will tell you specifically what additional information is needed. The Planning, Building and Code Enforcement public counter is open from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM, Monday through Friday for planning and building information and permit submittals. The building inspectors are available from 7:30 AM to 10:00 AM only. The public counter is also open for planning information and permit submittals from 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Thursday.

    Time in a Bottle - Many of the horror stories about Building permits revolve around the time it takes to review plans and issue permits. From a Planning Division standpoint, many types of minor improvements (e.g., skylights, bay windows, room additions of less than 120 square feet, etc.) can be approved "over-the-counter," allowing you to submit immediately into Building plan check. Larger, more complicated improvements may require a planner to visit your property (to verify that the proposed structure and/or existing foliage do not impair other property owners' protected views) and may take anywhere from a day to a week to review. Projects requiring approval by the department Director or the Planning Commission will generally take at least 60 days to process.

    For the Building Division, certain minor structures and "sub-trade" permits (e.g., plumbing, electrical, mechanical, etc.) are also often "over-the counter" permits. More complicated projects may require formal Building plan check, which may take up to 2 weeks for each new submittal or resubmittal. The turnaround time for Building plan check is also a function of the size of the Building Division's backlog at the time you submit and may vary accordingly. Even if the Building Division can't immediately issue your permit, they can frequently provide you with guidance and valuable information at the public counter.

    The Bottom Line - How much is this going to cost? The City has published fees for all Planning and Building approvals and permits, and fee schedules are available for your review. Fees are established by the City Council and reasonably reflect the City's costs of providing services, as mandated by State law. Planning and Building Staff can generally provide you with "ballpark" figures for the fees for your project. Other fees you may encounter are for school facilities. These fees, which are payable directly to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District prior to Building permit issuance, are assessed on all new construction and all additions of 500 square feet or more to existing structures.

    Armed with this information, obtaining Planning and Building approvals and permits for your home can be a surprisingly pleasant experience. If you have questions about any aspect of the process, please contact the Planning Division at (310) 377-6008 or the Building Division at (310) 541-7702, or come in during the counter hours listed above. The Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department is located at City Hall, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.


    Privatized recreation classes for the 1997 Fall Session will be held at the City's park sites. Registration information can be picked up at Hesse Park or by calling the individual instructors Cheri Ackerman (310) 547-5073 Tap and Children's Combo Dance Classes (4 years - Adult)

    Vi Ballard (310) 373-9740 Mommy & Me (Birth to Crawling) Mommy & Me for Working Parents (Birth to Crawling)

    Ann Bosma (310) 375-2064 Aerobic Dancing: Lite Impact (Adult)

    Stan Corzine (310) 318-2690 Tai Chi Chuan (Teen/Adult)

    Jacquelyn Fernandez (310) 377-2965 Women's Exercise & Fitness Class (Adult)

    Larry Johnson (310) 831-5307 Tennis - Beg/Int/Adv (Youth, Teen, Adult) Pee Wee Tennis (4-7 years) Michele (310) 517-0295 Yoga Revitalization (Adult)

    Jeanne Murphy (310) 377-8507 Ladies Exercise (Adult)

    Sachiye Nakano (310) 544-1624 Awareness Through Movement - Feldenkrais Method (Adult)

    Krysia Reitz (310) 791-0689 Hatha Yoga - Intermediate (Adult)

    Barry Sacks (310) 519-4622 Mommy & Me (18 - 30 months) Wee Tots (2 1/2 - 4 years)

    Suika Education, Inc. (310) 323-5221 Suika Baby Club (Birth - 3 years)

    Susan Tsai (310) 377-2603 Singing for Fun (7 years - Teen/Adult) Hatha Yoga (Adult)

    May Ying-Wong (310) 541-2226 Southern California Youth Leadership Workshops in public speaking, writing and playwriting for Grades K-6 (5 - 12 years)

    If you are interested in teaching classes at one of the City's parks, contact the Facility Coordinator at Hesse Park at 541-8114.


    Abalone Cove Shoreline Park Mon. - Fri. 12 noon - 4:00 p.m. Sat. & Sun. 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Fred Hesse Community Park Mon. - Fri. 9:00 a.m. - dusk Sat. & Sun. 10:00 a.m. - dusk

    Ladera Linda Community Center Mon., Wed., Fri. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sat. & Sun. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Point Vicente Interpretive Center Everyday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Robert E. Ryan Community Park Mon. - Fri. 12 noon - dusk Sat. & Sun. 10:00 a.m. - dusk


    The City's green waste recycling program began on August 4th and the results are encouraging. We are, however, continuing to get questions such as:

    Q. When is the green waste picked up?

    A. On the same day as your recycling pick up.

    Q. Is there a limit to the amount of green waste that can be left at the curb for pick up?

    A. No, there is no limit to the number of containers, however, they cannot weigh more than 60 lbs. Make sure you use containers that have lids and a "Green Waste" tag. Branches should be tied in 3' x 3" bundles. DO NOT USE PLASTIC BAGS FOR GREEN WASTE.

    Q. How do I obtain extra "Green Waste" tags?

    A. Ask your driver, call Waste Management customer service at (310) 768-311 or go to City Hall.

    Q. Will my green waste be picked up on a non-recycling day?

    A. Yes, however, it will be handled as regular refuse and not be credited towards the City's recycling efforts.


    Openings for new commissioners and committee members:

    There are six different ways to make a contribution to your city:

    Planning Commission View Restoration Commission Traffic Committee Recreation & Parks Committee Finance Advisory Committee Public Access Cable TV Committee

    Become a City Commissioner or Committee member!

    In December of this year the City Council will start recruitment for the City's commissions and committees: these are advisory boards to the City Council. Except for the Planning Commission and the View Restoration Commission, which currently meet twice a month, these boards generally meet once a month. All meetings are held in the evening.

    These are nonpaying volunteer positions and to be eligible for appointment, you must be a resident of the City, a registered voter and complete an Application for Appointment available at City Clerk's Office. All candidates will be interviewed and appointed by the City Council. Call the City Hall at 377-0360 for more information.


    To give the public an opportunity to meet and listen to candidates for public office on the Peninsula, the League of Women Voters has scheduled the following forums: Rancho Palos Verdes City Council and Library District Candidates - Sunday, October 12 at the Peninsula Center Library from 1:30 P.M. until 3:00 P.M. School Board Candidates - Wednesday, October 22 at Rancho Vista School at 7:00 P.M. For more information on these forums, contact the League of Women Voters at 378-4768.


    Volunteers Needed for Beach Clean-up at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

    The Los Serenos docents are sponsoring the Saturday, September 20 clean up at Abalone Cove Beach Park and are looking for volunteers to help in this effort to clear our beaches of debris. Clean up will begin at 9:00 A.M. in the parking lot at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park located at 5907 Palos Verdes Drive South, across from the Wayfarer's Chapel. Parking is free for those who arrive before 9:00 A.M. Wear sturdy shoes, a hat and gloves. Also, you will probably need to use some sun block. Volunteers will be furnished with plastic bags for the trash and recyclable items. For further information contact Elena Johnson at 377-5370.

    Train to be a Docent at Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center and Abalone Cove Shoreline Park

    Starting on Wednesday, September 17 is the four month training session for volunteers who want to become docents at Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center. Classes are held every Wednesday morning at the museum located at 31501 Palos Verdes Dr. West. Participants will study the natural and cultural history of Southern California and in particular the Palos Verdes Peninsula and its environs. Classes consist of lectures on marine life, the history of the native American and Spanish inhabitants of the area and the early European explorers. Included in the course are also several field trips. Upon completion of the training, participants will be able to conduct both formal and informal educational tours of the museum.

    Starting on Thursday, September 18 is the docent training program for Abalone Cove Shoreline Park. This course offers extensive training on Marine Animals, tidepool life, geology and local plants and animals. Graduates of this course will be able to convey an appreciation for the beauty and fragility of nature to park visitors at both Abalone Cove and the Ladera Linda Community Park.

    If you are interested in becoming a docent, call the Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center at 377-5370.


    Waste Management

    October: No changes

    November: Thanksgiving Week: No change to the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday pick-up. Trash scheduled to be picked up on Thursday, November 27, will be picked up the next day. Trash scheduled to be picked up on Friday, November 28 will be picked up the next day. There is no change to the Saturday pick-up schedule.

    Ivy Rubbish Disposal

    October: No Changes.

    November: Thanksgiving Week: No changes in trash collection. However, recyclables will not be picked-up on Thursday, November 27 but instead will be picked-up the following week.


    If you change your own car oil, you can get all the necessary containers from your trash hauler. Both the oil drip can that you place under your car while draining the oil and a one gallon container that you can leave at the curbside for pick-up by the recycling truck, are available free of charge by calling your trash hauler, Ivy Rubbish Disposal at (310) 530-2899 or Waste Management at (310) 768-3111.