Tree and View Ordinance – final countdown?

Tomorrow’s Torrance City Council meeting (February 28 7:00PM) features another vote on the Tree and View ordinance, which recently was reviewed by the Planning Commission.  We think this will be the final approval.

The Planning Commission agreed with three suggestions that residents and Riviera Homeowners board members made to the draft ordinance:

1.)  Having a staff member come to the homes of the view seeker and the tree owner to make a decision about view obstruction is a very powerful and important element of this ordinance.  This is listed in the ordinances as “Advisory Opinion”. The Planning Commission would like to see “Advisory Opinion” by staff to  be mandatory, or at least recommended with the possibility to “opt out.”  We agree.  City staff currently has Advisory Opinion  as optional.

The Advisory Opinion from a staff member is very important, because if neighbors cannot agree and they ultimately go to court, then the Advisory Opinion is admissible as expert opinion in a court of law, and the court will agree with the city’s opinion.   If there is no Advisory Opinion, then the neighbors may go through mediation and arbitration sessions (which are very expensive) but if they cannot reach an agreement, the only path left is a court case.  Without an Advisory Opinion in a court case, the outcome depends wholly on the presentations of both sides and their attorneys–the result is up for grabs.

The view equity claim with the Advisory Opinion would cost $640.  The view equity claim without the Advisory Opinion would be $85 – the city’s cost to send a notice to your neighbors, BUT the view seeker would have to pay for mediation and arbitration fees. ( See 92.41.100 Advisory Opinion in the ordinance)

2.)  The Planning Commission considered the clause in the Rolling Hills Estates model that says that view seekers may petition to restore views from TWO locations of their home, not just ONE location. We agree that a view seeker should be able to propose two vantage points. (See definition of “View” in the ordinance)

3.)  Planning Commission and staff seemed willing to consider that a view can be from a bedroom or bedroom balcony (which is not in the RHE ordinance).

So the ordinance we get may or may not contain these items.

If having the city adopt this ordinance is important to you and your view, your enjoyment of your home, and your property value, please come on down one last time and voice your support for a tree and view ordinance that will do the job!

The Torrance City Council agenda and staff reports for the February 28, 2017 meeting are available (see Item 10A) at:

In addition, there will be a Workshop Regarding Torrance Refinery at the same City Council meeting (Item 6B) to discuss recent operational failures and the use of Modified Hydrogen Fluoride (MHF) at the refinery.  The Torrance Refinery has been the source of much concern in the Riviera as in other parts of Torrance and nearby municipalities.

February General Meeting out of this world

Featured speaker Jim Montgomery offered a detailed and super exciting talk about his experiences working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Curiosity rover way up there on Mars, covering the build, launch, and landing of the rover, and his efforts in guiding it through ancient water channels, sand dunes, and mountain slopes.  It was thrilling for all of us in the audience to be transported (virtually, of course) to another planet for an hour and to be able to ask our questions about the mission, and about the future 2020 launch of Jim’s (sorry, NASA’s) next Mars rover.

Jim Montgomery of JPL transports Riviera residents to another planet

Jim Montgomery of JPL transports Riviera residents to another planet

To learn more about these exciting explorations, Jim provided these links:

The meeting also offered a chance to learn the latest ‘developments” regarding Legado and Centercal — both are in Redondo Beach but have significant impacts in the Riviera as well.

RHA Scholarship applications due soon!

As in past years, the RHA is pleased to present scholarships to deserving high school seniors thanks to the membership dues collected from Riviera residents.  Please make sure your senior (or someone you know) doesn’t pass up this opportunity. Due date is March 13.  For details, click here.

Have you seen the signs?

To advertise our meetings, the RHA posts signs in visible spots around the Hollywood Riviera.  Recently some have gone missing.  If you know where any might be hiding, send an email to    No questions asked, we’ll come pick them up.


Update on Legado Redondo

The Redondo Beach City Council met February 7th for a yes/ no vote on a settlement the City had negotiated with Legado attorneys in December. The proposal was ostensibly for a reduced-size, 115-unit plan (but with no reduced overall footprint), that did not also mandate any plan for a Palos Verdes Inn renovation prior to residential/commercial space construction.
The City Council voted 3-to-2 against the settlement.  Stay tuned to see what happens next.

Town Hall Meeting

Mayor Pat Furey will be “in town” – hosting a Town Hall meeting Thursday Feb 16 7:00PM at South High School.  Should be a good chance to get updated on city government initiatives here in South Torrance and city wide.

Space Talk

Hopefully, you’ve already added next Wednesday’s RHA General Meeting to your calendar.  Featured speaker Jim Montgomery will give the low down (or high up) on Mars exploration, the space program, and how we and future generations will engage with this infinite frontier. Come also for the latest on local Riviera issues, meet your neighbors, and enjoy the hospitality
For details, visit our website, or see our latest Riviera Reporter, out today.

View Equity Ordinance to go before Planning Commission

We have heard from the city that the draft View Equity Ordinance will be heard by the Planning Commission on Wednesday, Feb 1 at 7:00pm, in City Council chambers. Once the Planning Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council to adopt the Ordinance, without further revisions, it will be heard at the soonest available City Council meeting, likely on Feb 28 and will go into effect shortly thereafter. As before, residents are encouraged to attend the meeting, or submit written comments to the Community Development Department.

A draft of the ordinance can be found on the City of Torrance website.

RHA to award Scholarships again this year

One of the most rewarding activities of the RHA is the annual award of scholarships to deserving students who live in the Hollywood Riviera.  This year, the RHA will award two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors.  Please encourage eligible students to apply by March 13 this year.  Instructions can be found on our website here.  We love all our Riviera students!

2016 Scholarship winners Regina Mettey and Annaliese Segoviano receiving last year's scholarship awards

2016 Scholarship winners Regina Mettey and Annaliese Segoviano receiving last year’s scholarship awards

Wondering about Legado?

The developers proposing the mixed-use project at 1700 PCH (corner of PV Blvd) have come back with a revised plan. The City Council of Redondo Beach will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday Evening, February 7th, 2017, 6:00PM at 415 Diamond Street in the RB Council Chambers, next to the Main Library.  Located adjacent to the Riviera in the city of Redondo Beach, the “Legado Redondo” project will have important consequences for the area for many years, including the traffic impact at that corner.

Redondo Beach Election – 

We can’t vote in it, but the outcome will certainly affect us for generations to come. Contests are for a new Mayor, as well as City Council (including District 1 which abuts Hollywood Riviera). There’s also Measure C, which will determine the extent to which RB will  be able to build out the precious Harbor area. “What happens in Redondo doesn’t always stay in Redondo,” so make sure your RB family and friends are informed about candidates and issues (such as mixed-use zoning) that already impact us. Tell them to vote on March 7th. You can make donations, too!


“Exploring Mars and Beyond!”
Wednesday February 22, 2013

All homeowners in the Riviera are invited to our general meeting at Richardson Middle School Cafeteria, 23751 Nance Lee Lane.  Our speaker, the Riviera’s own Jim Montgomery, has a Phd in computer science and works for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena.  He will present an overview and recent results from America’s latest Mission to Mars with the MSL (Mars Science Lab) and the Curiosity Rover.  the MSL delivered the 2,000 pound rover to the surface of Mars over four years ago.  Curiosity has made numerous discoveries since that time. Montgomery will be involved with the Europa Lander mission in the mid-2020’s and other future robotic missions to the moon, Mars, asteroids, comets and other planets. There will be a slide show and video clips  We will have time for questions and answers from the audience.


Adult and interested high school and middle school students who attend with their parents are most welcome.
Doors open at 6:30.
Light refreshments served

Dues paid up?  Annual dues gratefully accepted!