“Tree and View” ordinance cleared for takeoff!

They finally did it!! After decades of hearing from hillside residents and six years of meetings, emails and urging from the Riviera Homeowners Association, the Torrance city staff came back with a draft View Equity ordinance which was approved unanimously by city council at the last council meeting on Oct. 4!!!


The View Equity ordinance is based on the model of our  neighboring city of Rolling Hills Estates, and will give residents a process to resolve view disputes that cannot be resolved in informal conversation. The draft ordinance may be found here as part of the Oct 4 meeting agenda, along with attachments presented by city staff.  Soon this will be updated with minor modifications and incorporated into the Torrance Municipal Code.  You can also view the city council meeting deliberations (item 9D on the agenda) by clicking here.

We think this is long overdue.  Our hope is that just by having an ordinance on the books,  neighbors will be more likely to trim trees before they become a problem, and not grow trees to cause an intentional view obstruction.   If the ordinance acts as a deterrent–that’s great!!  If disputes cannot be otherwise resolved, at least now there is a path that will lead to a resolution.

Thank you to all of you who came out repeatedly for many long nights at council meetings, community meetings, individual meetings with mayor and council, visits with neighboring planning directors in other cities, emails and calls.  They all helped bring forward an issue that has long been ignored.

Along with the Hillside Overlay ordinance, the new View Equity ordinance will enhance the value of homes with ocean and city views, reduce the ambiguity over responsibility among neighbors to preserve each others’ property values, and retain the character of this unique “Jewel of the South Bay”.

PCH Safety improvement project

Per the Torrance construction start notice, beginning Monday October 17, work will begin on the safety improvements along PCH which consists of tree removal, a new guard rail, and fencing.  Work will proceed through January; working hours are weekdays from 9AM to 3PM.  Southbound PCH between Janet Lane and Calle Mayor will be reduced from two lanes to one during working hours.  Parking will be limited at times along the residential side street parallel to PCH.

Stretch of PCH impacted by safety improvement project

Stretch of PCH impacted by safety improvement project

The RHA will continue to work with Torrance Public Works, Caltrans, and our neighbors along PCH to promote the best outcome for this project.  It’s important to note that the second project phase for incorporating new landscaping is tentative for now, and dependent on the outcome of the first, safety-related phase. For more detailed information, view the city’s project website.

Membership drive underway

Our annual fall membership is now underway; we need your support to continue our ability to represent our community, provide college scholarships and other support for our neighbors, bring you news that impacts your street, your neighborhood, and present meaningful topics for our meetings which remain open to all residents.

Please visit our membership page for a printable copy of your renewal form, or use the Paypal button to quickly and easily register your support for the RHA.  We thank you for your ongoing commitment.

Trees and Views Ordinance – on deck!

Torrance city staff will report back to city council on Wed. October 4, with their new, revised draft ordinance. They have been charged by council to include an Advisory Opinion from a city representative as part of the process, recommend fees, and write an ordinance that resembles the one in Rolling Hills Estates.  They have also been told to develop a plan to  implement the ordinance step by step in different neighborhoods, rather than have it start in all areas of the Hillside Overlay at once.

For a refresher course on the ordinance, its history, and prospects, attend our General Meeting this Wednesday September 21 from 7:00 PM at Richardson Middle school featuring Torrance Councilman Kurt Weideman, who will discuss the Hillside Ordinance and how it affects Hollywood Riviera homeowners.

We need a fair, legally binding process to resolve view disputes between tree owners and view seekers. This is the time to do it!!  We encourage all homeowners to attend the Oct 4 city council meeeting and express your own views.

So Long, Summer!

It’s time to say goodbye to summer! Did you hang out with friends and family? Did you take any exciting trips? Come fill the El Retiro Library display wall with memories of your best moments of summer! Drop in anytime the Library is open,  between now and September 22.

Clean up time again

The annual Coastal Cleanup Day is *yikes!* tomorrow morning Saturday Sep 17 9AM til noon.  You like the beaches clean, so pitch in!  Locations include Torrance Beach, Rat Beach, and Redondo Beach.  For details, and to sign up, click on this Heal the Bay website.

Nearby Coastal Cleanup sites

Nearby Coastal Cleanup sites

New news

The Riviera Reporter, our venerable printed newsletter, should be landing on your doorstep this weekend.  You can find it here on our website also, as always, along with decades of earlier ones – featuring a wealth of interesting historical tidbits.  See how busy we’ve been this summer, checking out your wonderful yardscapes and pursuing your homeowner interests with the city.   And you’ll find all you need to know about sending in your voluntary homeowner association dues, to help us keep the shine on your Hollywood Riviera, jewel of the southbay.

Another way to contribute

Psst:  got a few extra hours – per year?  The RHA needs you.  Email our co-presidents to find out how!

History of the Hollywood Riviera – the movie

For the month of August, the Torrance Historical Society has been hosting Late Night Thursdays at the Museum. 
Tonight, you can watch the History of the Hollywood Riviera DVD by Sherwin Rubin (it will be playing from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM – stop by any time). The DVD is only about 25 minutes long — it will continue to loop until closing.  You’re invited to pop in and view their extensive collection of photos and city-related memorabilia — including maps of the oil wells, and a blueprint of how to construct an oil derrick! 

Environmental projects for Torrance

The South Coast Air Quality Management District held a Community Meeting in Torrance on August 24 to discuss ideas for environmental projects in Torrance which will be funded with monies received in a settlement agreement with ExxonMobil.

SCAQMD staff is proposing to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit project(s) amounting to approximately $2.77 million dollars tobe implemented in the City of Torrance. The proposal to release the RFP will be before theSCAQMD Governing Board on Friday, September 2, 2016, for consideration.

Some of the suggestions so far for how to best spend the money have included air quality monitoring devices, reverse 911 calls, improved alarm systems and solar energy programs.

More information on this subject, with contact information, can be found here on the AQMD website.

Recent burglaries

Please note that there have been two recent Riviera burglaries – one lower (Calle Mayor) and one upper Riviera (Paseo de las Tortugas).

As always, please be vigilant! If you see something – say something!!!  If your street doesn’t have a Neighborhood Watch, start one!

El Retiro Book Group

Meets the first Tuesday of the month 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.  The next meeting features
The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages  – Tuesday, September 6, 2016
It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father–but no one will tell her exactly where he is. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: he’s working on a top secret government program.

Upcoming Meeting —“What the Hillside Overlay Ordinance Means to Homeowners”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 7 PM
All homeowners in the Riviera are invited to our general meeting at the Richardson Middle School Cafeteria, 23751 Nancy Lee Lane. Our speaker will be Torrance Councilman Kurt Weideman, who will discuss the Hillside Ordinance and how it affects homeowners.

No parking signs coming to the Riviera

The City Council has approved plans to expand the No Parking (one day a week) signs to our part of Torrance, in accordance with the mandated need for 100% street sweeping.  The city’s schedule for implementation has not been published yet, but the RHA will continue to monitor this and provide information as it becomes available.

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