The Palos Verdes Homes Association maintains certain quasi-governmental powers given to it by the original Palos Verdes Trust Indenture.(See the History of Palos Verdes Estates by Clicking Here )The Homes Association has independent functions to perform, primarily to maintain a consistent and basically uniform architectural standard for the City of Palos Verdes Estates and the Miraleste community in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, which were part of the original Palos Verdes Project and originally governed by the Homeowners Association prior to incorporation of these cities. These functions must be performed by the Homes Association to protect one of the most valuable assets that the community has, that is it's architectural integrity. Palos Verdes Estates is one of the few communities in Southern California, and indeed in the State of California, which has a comprehensive plan of both use and building restrictions. With the growth of the population and industry in Southern California, it is becoming increasingly important that use and building restrictions be perpetuated. The Homes Association under the Restrictions themselves, under the Trust Indenture, and under its Articles of Incorporation and By-laws, is given the power and the right to enforce these restrictions.
The Homes Association has the power to levy assessments to carry out its functions. Since the organization of the City of Palos Verdes Estates, only one assessment has been levied because the Homes Association has derived funds from assessing individual fees similar to a building permit when the owner wishes to make improvements to his property. This gives the Homes Association the financial means to pay the expenses and fees incident to the enforcement of The Restrictions so this burden will not fall upon individual owners in the event of concerted action to upset or defy the restrictions. The Homes Association is thus in a position to take immediate action in the event of violations.
The Restrictions provide for types of architecture, types of roofs, and minimum building costs. The Cities of Palos Verdes Estates or Rancho Palos Verdes has neither the right nor the power to regulate or control types of architecture, types of roofing, or minimum building costs. And, more important, the Restrictions were in effect until January 1, 1960, and they continue automatically for successive twenty year periods thereafter, unless a written recorded agreement is signed by record owners of more than one-half in area of the whole property, exclusive of streets and parks. Such a provision extending the restrictions is valid under the law. The City has passed a zoning ordinance which provides a simple and economical means of enforcing many of these essential zoning restrictions.
The deeds from the trustee to each original purchaser refer
specifically to the restrictions, the organization of the homes Association and
the Art Jury bind the purchaser to comply with the restrictions. The
restrictions and the original deeds are recorded, and being matters of record,
each subsequent purchaser is also bound by the restrictions. Any new
construction or modification to the exterior of any existing structure must
first obtain the approval of the Art Jury of the Palos Verdes Homeowners
Association. Any violation of this requirement can result in the Association
placing a lien on the property which can cloud title for subsequent sale or
refinancing of the Property.
Generally, the maximum size of a house (including garage) is limited by city ordinance to the smaller of a)30% of the lot size plus 1,750 square feet, or b) 50% of the lot size. This limit can be reduced by the planning commission to be more compatable with the neighborhood at the discretion of the planning commission. Height is limited to 30 feet for a two story house and 25 feet for a one story structure. The Art Jury's role is focused on design and determining that the building is consistent to the style chosen.
The Art Jury is appointed by the Board of Directors of the Homes Association and consists of both technical and lay members. The members of the Board of Directors of the Homes Association and the members of the City Council serve without compensation. They devote their time and effort to the affairs of the community because they are interested in the welfare of the community.The functions of the Art Jury are to pass upon building plans, to determine if they comply with the minimum cost restriction, the setback restriction, and if they conform to the type of architecture provided for in the area in which the building is to be erected. The expenses of the Art Jury are defrayed by the Homes Association. While it is true that mistakes have been made, on the whole, it is evident that the Art Jury has added to the beauty and sight lines of the Homes built in Palos Verdes Estates, and that, basically, the homes conform to a uniform plan.