The Portuguese Bend Club: An Extra Special Place
Hugging the southwest edge of the City's rugged coastline is an area called the Portuguese Bend Club. Even though Rancho Palos Verdes is a special place, the Bend Club is extra special. Why? Well, for starters, it's a private beach colony that has existed since the 1940s. Now, there are 94 homes there and their occupants live alongside a landslide that presents a tolerable amount of inconvenience.
Covering 38 acres with a half mile of coastline, this area was once a haven of summer cottages and small homes built on land leased from Palos Verdes Properties. They were the typical 1940s weekend places where people went to have a quiet time at the beach. Back then there was a clubhouse, restaurant, paddle tennis courts, a sandy beach, and a long dock where boats could tie up. The restaurant, dock and clubhouse are gone and have been replaced with a volleyball court, playground equipment and, of course, the club's signature palm thatched ramadas and picnic tables.
Saved By The Slide
The leases on the cottages were short, only twenty-five years, because Palos Verdes Properties was not sure what they wanted to do with the property. Then in 1956 a landslide started and dramatically changed any plans that may have existed. A number of homes began to slide and some of the roads had to be re-routed. Some residents gave up and saw their homes go into the ocean; others left the area.
In the late 1950s Palos Verdes Properties put 42 lots up for sale and they were offered to people who had lost their homes in the slide. Lot numbers were drawn from a hat and everybody paid the same price, about $10,000. Some of the buyers moved their houses from the slide area; others built new ones. Beginning in the early 1970s leases on the properties owned by Palos Verdes Properties began to expire and the company started to raise the rent. Then in 1975 the residents of the club united to negotiate the purchase of their properties. These negotiations went on for the next twelve years and by then, Portuguese Bend was owned by the Transamerica Corporation.
What You See Is What You Get
Purchase of the individual properties from Transamerica was finalized in 1987. At that time there were 51 beachfront homes and their owners bought their cottage sites, the beach, the common area which included 19 acres, the gatehouse and the roads. No parcel map of the area existed then, only a tax assessor's map, and property was bought on the basis of what you see is what you get. It wasn't until after the purchase from Transamerica that a survey was conducted to establish lot lines.
Transamerica retained a 19-acre area that stretched from the gatehouse down to the first house on Yacht Harbor Drive and, as recently as the early 1990s, they planned to construct homes there. The property, however, was subsequently purchased by one of the residents and now a home is planned for that site.
Problems Unique To Living With a Landslide
Living in a landslide area can get complicated: besides the club having its own seven-member board of directors, it is also within the jurisdiction of the City's Klondike Canyon Landslide Abatement District, which has its own five-member board composed of area property owners.
Until two years ago, homes in the club were on septic tanks, but because the area is so close to the Portuguese Bend slide, City geologists, including the late Dr. Perry Ehlig, recommended that sewers be installed. Now, all of the homes are hooked up to a private system and it has its own sewer pumps and lines.
Daily walks along the beach offer evidence of the changes caused by the landslide and if a person knows what to look for they can trace its course down under the last house on the beach.
House Sales - Word Of Mouth
Houses in Portuguese Bend Club go quickly. Seldom do they go on the market but are sold mostly through word of mouth. To head off any surprises, prospective buyers are given a packet of information containing everything they need to know about the uniqueness of the area, including details of the landslide. It's been said that the people who buy at the club are so enamored with living at the beach, they take this overstuffed folder and say, "That's very nice, but I don't care, I like it here."
Club Membership For Peninsula Families
The club offers year-round membership to
about 300 Peninsula residents. With membership comes the use of the
beach and all of its facilities-paddle tennis courts and volleyball
courts-on a year-round basis. The beach also attracts a breakfast, brunch
and dinner crowd; it depends on the time of year and, of course, the
Now that the sewer system is installed and, if the landslide continues to hold to its boundaries, the residents hope to continue improving the beach and making it available to more members so they can experience life at the beach in RPV.Contents
Mark Your Calendar for August 24
On Saturday, August 24TH the Lomita Sheriff's Station will celebrate 27 years of community service to the Cities of Lomita, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates, as well as the unincorporated areas of La Rambla Estates, and Westfield.
Captain Jay Zuanich and all of the station's personnel will host an open house from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Some of the exciting features at this open house will be the newly deployed Sergeant's Field Command Post Tahoe, SWAT, arson/explosives, an emergency operations mobile command post trailer, the Lomita Station's mounted posse, a drug sniffing K-9, and the Shakey Quakey House. Also on display will be patrol cars, the motors bike patrol, and off-road vehicles.
The Peninsula Emergency Response Team (P.E.R.T.), Disaster Communications Services (D.C.S.), Traffic Services Detail, S.T.A.R. (Drug Awareness/Resistance), and the Sheriff's Crime Lab will also have displays. The Los Angeles County Fire Department will demonstrate their fire-fighting equipment.
Hot dogs and sodas will be available all day, with proceeds going to the Station's Employee Fund.
Station and jail tours will be conducted throughout the day and visitors can have their photograph taken with a posse horse, in a Sheriff's patrol car, and with a motorcycle deputy.
For more information contact Lomita Station 310-539-1661 or Sergeant Dave Rozas at 310-891-3227.Contents
Traditional Celebration At Civic Center
Bring your family and friends to listen to live music performed by Sweet Surrender and the Palos Verdes Symphonic Band, shop in the expanded arts and crafts area, and visit the midway which will feature a variety of rides and games for all ages. For those seeking additional adventure, take a helicopter ride and get a bird's-eye view of the celebration and the City's coastline.
If you like competition, be sure to join in the pie-eating and hula-hoop contests and, for sheer entertainment, take in the Jim Gamble puppet show. Get to know more about your community by visiting the information booths sponsored by local civic organizations. For animal lovers there's a petting zoo, pony rides, dog acts and obedience demonstrations.
Admission to the celebration is free and there is complimentary shuttle service along Hawthorne Boulevard between Ralph's Market and the Golden Cove Center. On-site parking will be available for $2 per vehicle.
For the past several years, members of the City's Recreation and Parks Committee have worked to reduce the City's subsidy of this event by soliciting donations and merchandise. Several homeowner associations and area businesses have been long-time supporters of this event. To add your support of this local community event, please call 544-5260 and indicate your interest.
For vendor or booth information and applications, call Conte Productions at 310- 781-2020, or for general information, call the RPV Recreation and Parks Department at 310-544-5260.Contents
Two Winners a Month
If you are a recycler of paper, bottles, cans, newspaper, cardboard, plastics and green waste, you can win $250! Each month two lucky residents receive a check for $250 as a "thank you" for their recycling efforts.
Check your July billing from Waste Management and Ivy Rubbish for the "Recyclers of the Month" post card. Fill it out and mail it to City Hall.
At every regular City Council meeting, two post cards are drawn and, after verifying that the sender does recycle, those lucky people get a check for $250.
If you already recycle, thank you and please continue. If you don't, please start so you can be the next winner.Contents
Don't Let Your Neighborhood Become a Parking Lot
The City's code, Section 10.08.010, states, "The Sheriff shall remove to a safe place every vehicle which has been parked or left standing upon a highway for seventy-two or more consecutive hours."
This is how the code is enforced by the Sheriff:
The Lomita Sheriff's Station recommends that residents make a sincere effort to park their personal vehicles in front of their home or on their property.
The Sheriff's station receives numerous complaints from the public regarding large recreational vehicles, boats, and commercial equipment parked on the residential streets. A good neighbor is considerate about the appearance of their neighborhood and will make arrangements to park their large vehicles on their private property and out of sight. Better yet, they can store large vehicles at a storage facility.
If a resident has a question about parked vehicles, call the Lomita Sheriff's Station Traffic Office at 310-539-1661.Contents
Tours are scheduled as follows:
The docents also offer hikes at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and Ladera Linda Community Center. These hikes are enjoyable for scout groups, schools, families or anyone interested in learning more about the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Reservations are required for hikes at Abalone Cove and Ladera Linda, and a nominal fee is charged. For more information, please call the hike line at 310- 377-0360, extension 309.Contents
July: There will be no service on Independence Day,Thursday, July 4th,. Thursday customers will be serviced on Friday. Trash and green waste will be picked up on Friday, July 5th. The trash and green waste for Friday customers will be picked up on Saturday, July 6th. There will be no change to the regular Monday and Tuesday services.
August: No Change
September: There will be no service on Labor Day, Monday, September 2nd,. Trash and recycling for Monday customers will be picked up on Tuesday, September 3rd. Tuesday customers will have their trash and recycling picked up on Wednesday, September 4th. There will be no changes to the regular Thursday and Friday services.
IVY RUBBISH DISPOSAL:
July: Trash will be collected as usual during the week. However, recycling will not be picked up on Thursday, July 4th. Instead, recycling will be picked up the following Thursday, July 11th. There will be no changes to the Friday trash and recycling pick-up.
August: No Change
September: No ChangeContents
Shakespeare By The Sea Returns
Shakespeare by the Sea is bringing their production of Much Ado About Nothing to the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall site on Sunday, July 21 at 6:00pm; the pre-show begins at 5:30pm. Bring your picnic baskets and blankets to RPV's Civic Center lawn and settle in to watch and listen.
This comic classic is a mischievous mélange of courtly romance and delightful intrigue. Shakespeare by the Sea is sure to delight your senses and spark your imagination with their highly accessible, family friendly, always-free productions.
For more information about this and other free Shakespeare by the Sea performances, visit their website at shakespearebythesea.org or call 310-217-7596.Contents
Help Do The Most Good For The Most People
The next Peninsula Emergency Response Team (PERT) training session is tentatively scheduled to start this September and residents interested in joining this group should contact Sgt. David Rozas at 310-891-3227.
The Lomita Sheriff's Station sponsored PERT is a group of volunteers from the Cities of Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates. This group is trained in various skills to support the professional law enforcement, fire fighting and other emergency professionals assigned to the Peninsula region. PERT members are trained under federal and state guidelines that includes training in CPR/First Aid, disaster preparedness, fire suppression, and light search/ rescue operations.
Team members maintain a state of readiness for disaster at home, and participate as an organized emergency response team for neighborhood and community disaster needs. Their motto is, "To do the most good for the most people."
Meetings for PERT are held at the Lomita Sheriff's Station, 26123 S. Narbonne Avenue, at 7:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. Interested persons from the community are encouraged to attend. Some of the meetings are used for instruction or refresher courses in rescue techniques. Viewing this is always an option.
Because the meeting space is limited, anybody planning to attend one of these meetings or who would like more information about this program should contact Sgt. David Rozas at 310-891-3227.Contents
Jo Purcell, Director of Administrative Services/City Clerk, has seen a lot of change since she first came to work for the City back in 1976, barely two and a half years after the City was created in 1973. Back then, Rancho Palos Verdes was a coastal bedroom community with beautiful ocean views, clean air and a serene semi-rural ambience. City Hall was housed in a surplus military building with no central heating or air conditioning. Hot topics discussed late into the night at Council meetings included protecting the City's low residential density, preserving the pristine coastline and open spaces, and keeping taxes low.
Hey, wait a minute! That's all still true today!
The point is that Jo Purcell is the first employee to celebrate over twenty-five years of service with the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
And in recognition of this significant milestone and her dedicated service to the community, a banquet was held in Ms. Purcell's honor on May 18, 2002. Held locally at Giorgio's Restaurant, the fete was attended by the five current Council members, a former Mayor, staff members, former City employees and several of Jo's friends from the community. During the evening, Jo cheerfully withstood a good-natured roast by the City Manager, the Council members and others. After receiving her silver anniversary service pin and a lovely bouquet of flowers, Jo joined in the fun and related some of her more amusing experiences and observations about working for the City.
Ms. Purcell began her career with the City on May 3, 1976 as a Secretary/Deputy City Clerk. She was promoted to City Clerk in 1982 and added the title of Director of Administrative Services Director to her professional accomplishments in 1997. She holds a Masters Degree from California State University at Dominguez Hills in Public Administration. In addition to her duties as City Clerk, Jo is the City's Risk Manager and Public Safety Liaison. She is also the editor of this City newsletter and produces the City's public service announcements. Jo was also the executive producer for the City's Preserving the Peninsula series of videos shown on the cable access Channel 3. Those productions covered the revegetation and rehabitation of some of the City's coastal area and, more recently, a history of the City's General Plan.
The City of Rancho Palos Verdes is very fortunate to have such a dedicated and capable employee.
Thank you Jo, and congratulations on a very productive 25 years!Contents
The City of Rancho Palos
Verdes Recreation and Parks Department
Opportunities are also available for working with REACH, a dynamic program for youth, teens and adults with developmental disabilities. Program hours are weekday evenings and weekends.
Applicants must be a high
If you enjoy working with
the public in a variety of park settings,
On May 6th the Greater Los Angeles Chapter National Safety Council awarded PV Transit the Perpetual Sweepstakes Trophy Grand Prize for outstanding performance in vehicle safety. PV Transit drivers were recognized for operating two years of 658,920 miles without an accident.
Accepting the award were Steve Connell-General Manager First Transit, Al Spitzer-PV Transit Supervisor, Jane Gordon-PV Driver, Jim Renforth-National Safety Manager, and Martin Gombert-PV Transit. The award will be kept in the PV Transit driver's room.
Please call the following instructors if you are interested in attending these classes. Some of these instructors have registration information at Hesse Park, located at 20301 Hawthorne Boulevard, RPV.
The Recreation & Parks Department is seeking instructors for a variety of classes for all ages. If you are interested in teaching at one of the City park sites, please call the Recreation Supervisor at (310) 544-5267.Contents
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park
Fred Hesse Community Park
Ladera Linda Community Park
Robert E. Ryan Community Park
All parks in the City may be enjoyed by the public from dawn to dusk.
The leash law is enforced at all City parks.Contents
Nancie Silver, Holly Starr, Matt Waters, Carolynn Petru, Alberta Gray, Martin Gombert, Lauren Ramezani and John McCarthy.