This week’s featured locale is not for the poor or middle class: Rancho Palos Verdes. This mostly residential city sits atop the bluffs and hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, which is on the southwestern edge of Los Angeles County. It is well known for its beautiful scenery, exclusive residences, and other hardships.
In the early 1900s, the Palos Verdes Peninsula was a cattle farm and agricultural area, mostly farmed by Japanese families. In 1913, Frank Vanderlip bought the entire peninsula from Jotham Bixby. Vanderlip, having a lot of foresight, intended to develop the peninsula into an exclusive and fashionable residential community. The first homes appeared in the 1920s, but growth was very slow. By 1953, the Vanderlip estate sold much of its land to a mining company which developed a master plan to develop the area.
The three other cities on the peninsula, Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates incorporated before the building boom took of in the late 1950s. The area of Rancho Palos Verdes was unincorporated L.A. County until 1973. Residents in the unincorporated area became angered with the County’s allowable density for the area
because it was allowing poor people move there because it was allowing for unbridled development. Thus, they incorporated to stave off apartment buildings and control their land use.
Rancho Palos Verdes is home to the now closed Marineland aquatic park. The park was boring, so this land is now being developed into housing and hotels. The Trump National Golf Course at Ocean Trails, where a recording of The Donald yells at you, is also located here. Despite the fact that three of the course’s holes slid into the ocean in 1999, Trump still bought it in 2004. He is developing the area around it into a “luxury” resort/hotel/residential complex. Portugese Bend, a continuing landslide, has the honor of being partially caused by septic runoff from nearby homes. For junkies of The OC, this is where it is filmed. And you can ride horses there.
· Rancho Palos Verdes, California [Wikipedia]
· City of Rancho Palos Verdes
· History of Palos Verdes