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Church Activities Spark Complaint

October 02, 1986

I was 8 years old when we moved to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. My parents bought their lot in 1949 and we moved into our home in 1953.

Prior to moving, we spent many weekends visiting the Malaga Cove area, familiarizing ourselves with our new neighborhood. It was not unusual in those days to find an occasional fox or peacock wandering across our path.

My very first memory of our new home was that of children racing their bikes to the Malaga Cove schoolyard. It was Easter Sunday, and they were all gathering to find Easter eggs hidden by the local parents in the tall grasses of the fields. Other memories include summer treks to the swimming pool, where we discovered garden snakes (and others) weaving themselves into the cracks in the stone walls.

As one would expect, since 1953, the Malaga Cove area has grown up. Growth, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Many wonderful long-time friends share the neighborhood and have developed a high degree of interdependence. It has been an area of great stability, where the residents take pride in (and enjoyment from) their properties.

Some growth, however, is not good or desirable. Over the years I've watched the growth of the Neighborhood Church as well. When I visit my parents, who still reside in the same home, I'm often shocked at the flow of traffic from the church. It appears that not only is there a religious following, but alcoholics, overeaters, various and sundry other "problem" and social groups, and an unending parade of weddings that take place there. The net result has been a feeling of a "rotating door" of activity or business being conducted. This is not compatible nor consistent with the tone of the neighborhood.

Although I no longer live at my childhood residence, I feel that my siblings and I have a vested interest in what happens in this neighborhood. I am frankly shocked by the City Council's attitude in this matter. It is very apparent that the total population of this neighborhood does not wish to have additional social and business gatherings take place in their neighborhood. I have to ask myself why, after strenuous efforts and many years of protest against this, these longtime residents, who have supported the community far more than the average, are having a deaf ear turned to them?

I would like to see, in this paper, a rational explanation for the City Council's behavior. I feel compelled to ask why ? Why is this issue still open? What's in it for you , City Council? I understand the residents' position, they've made that very clear. I understand the position of the Planning Commission in its denial of the grading and building permits. I can even understand the environmental impact study recommendations. What I do not understand is the reopening and reconsideration of an issue which has been decided. Is there so much income potential from this venture that it would sway your judgment and forever, irrevocably alter the residential, rustic nature of this neighborhood? I can find no other reasonable explanation. Are you merely trying to wear out this very consistent body of citizens? Again, I must ask why? I sincerely hope the readership of this paper will do the same.



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