You know the old saying: if at first you don't succeed, build a golf course. At least that was the lesson developer Jim York learned in getting his plans for a Rancho Palos Verdes "event garden" approved. York's original plans for houses and event space on an empty tract overlooking the ocean, first floated years ago, were quashed by residential zoning regulations that permitted the housing but no events. But now he's back, and the planning commission has approved plans for the newly-christened Catalina View Estates, which will include "an organic farm, golf course and outdoor dining and reception area" according to the Daily Breeze. What makes the event space kosher now when it wasn't four years ago? The golf course. When you build a golf course, you're allowed to include additional structures like event facilities. Who knew? (Donald Trump, apparently, who's no stranger to this zoning trick.)
It's off to a great start; nothing's been built yet, but York has already received several noise and other complaints from neighbors after holding a series of events on the property last year. In approving the plans, the commission has imposed 94 (!) conditions of operation, which will surely provide a clear and easy-to-follow guide. As for that farm, York says he "enjoy[s] growing things" and calls it his "retirement gift to [him]self." No word on whether his organic avocados will be served to event guests.
· Developer moves ahead with plans for farm, golf course, outdoor dining at Rancho Palos Verdes site [DB]
· Crafty Developer Playing Head Games With Rancho Palos Verdes [Curbed LA]