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South Bay Digest

Rancho P. V. : Planners OK Town Homes

February 27, 1986

A once-controversial proposal to build town houses on 6.1 acres off Hawthorne Boulevard next to the Golden Cove shopping center was approved this week by the Planning Commission after two public hearings produced little criticism of the 49-unit project. When originally proposed as a 72-unit development in 1983, Golden Cove sparked the greatest land development battle in city history, which centered on density and whether the land should be used for homes or held for expansion of the shopping center.

By a 4-1 vote, with Commissioner Luella Wike dissenting, the commission approved permits and a tract map. They go to the City Council for final action. Approval came after the development plan was changed to reduce commission concerns, expressed at a January hearing, over traffic access and view impairment.

A roadway connected to the shopping center will permit cars to leave the town house development, although a two-way entrance road from Hawthorne Boulevard still will be the only way in. A second two-way roadway may be put in when the city develops Point Vicente Park directly to the south. Land for some town houses will be graded to a lower level so the buildings do not interfere with views from houses being built on the other side of Hawthorne.

Criticism of the development at the two hearings focused on the density, which some thought was too great, and concern that Hawthorne Boulevard traffic would become excessive. The Rancho Palos Verdes Council of Homeowner Assns. also raised the land-use issue, asking the commission to support commercial rather than residential use.

The City Council in 1984 changed the property from commercial to residential in the general plan after a study concluded there probably would not be enough demand for new retail business to warrant expansion of the shopping center.

The developer is required to market 12 units as affordable housing, based on the Rancho Palos Verdes median income of $55,300. The price would be about $150,000. The commission in March will discuss establishment of priority groups for the housing.

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