A Cheviot Hills couple has asked the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department to install two 60-foot-high fences on the Rancho Park Municipal Golf Course to shield their home from errant golf balls.
Although some neighbors have complained that the fences will affect their views and the values of their homes, the parks department has applied for a zoning variance in an area bordering the southeast section of the course that is zoned for residential use. The variance is required because the fences would exceed the 45-foot limit allowed by the zoning laws.
The Zoning Administration will hold a public hearing on the variance application at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the West Los Angeles Municipal Building, 1645 Corinth Ave.
Mark Pearlstein and his wife, Marilyn Hodge, of 10329 Monte Mar Drive, said they asked for the chain-link fences because golfers at the 13th tee, about 150 yards from their home, slice balls into their backyard.
$45,000 Price Tag
The fences would cost the city about $45,000, according to Richard Klink, a landscape architect for the recreation department. The proposed design includes steel poles, screened baffles and chain-links coated with black vinyl.
Steve Ball, administrator of the golf course, said the department acted after Pearlstein and Hodge brought in a petition signed by about 10 neighbors asking that something be done about the golf balls.
He said the department decided it could not alter the tee or the fairway to solve the problem of drives curving into the couple's yard, and so opted for the fences.
Pearlstein and Hodge said that in the last two years, two people have been hit by balls while working in their yard.
"It's nice to be able to go into your own backyard and not get hit by a golf ball," said Hodge. "For me, safety is more important than my view."
But some residents have circulated petitions in the neighborhood urging the city not to grant the variance.
"It's going to be an eyesore," said Muriel Bartmasser who lives at 10242 Monte Mar Drive. "These houses are going for $300,000 and up (and the fences) are going to reduce the value of my house and take away our view of the rolling hills of the golf course."
Helen Meigs, a real estate broker, said that the fences would lower home prices by $10,000 to $30,000. Home prices range from $300,000 to more than $400,000, she said.
Lesley Reisbord, who lives at 10241 Monte Mar Drive, said Pearlstein and Hodge should have realized that golf balls would land in their yard. "It's unfair for them now to ask to build a fence for a condition that existed when they bought the property," she said.
Hodge said the previous owner told them to complain to golf course officials when balls landed in their yard.
"We did know there would be some balls in our yard, but not six or eight balls on a Saturday," she said.
But William Pierce of 10317 Monte Mar Drive said about half a dozen balls fly into his yard each week and have broken several windows since the late 1960s.
"I hate to see any kind of fence going up, but if you're protecting someone, you've just got to do it," he said. "Those balls (off the 13th tee) come off like a cannon over there."