The Rancho Palos Verdes City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the establishment of a field archery range in the Portuguese Bend Landslide area south of Palos Verdes Drive South. Tish and Marta Haney, sisters whose residence is about 400 feet from the proposed range, asked the council to keep it north of Palos Verdes Drive South, where it had been the practice site for the South Bay Archery Club since before the city incorporated in 1973. The Haneys told the council that archery at the new site would risk the safety of hikers who use the area south of the roadway.
"I don't think you'd want it in your back yard," Marta Haney said.
Use of the range north of Palos Verdes Drive South ended in 1987, when the city began extensive grading to slow the Portuguese Bend Landslide. But the grading changed the topography of the area. The close proximity of several residences and the absence of a gate that would block unauthorized access to the site led the city to help the club find another practice area.
City staff denied the Haneys' contention that the new site is an area used by hikers and reported that the new range poses less danger than the old one, which contains hiking trails.
"I believe that this is a safe location for the archery range," Councilwoman Jacki Bacharach said. "It's far enough away from (the Haney) house."
The council action upheld a decision by the Planning Commission that had been appealed by Lois Larue, a council meeting regular who lives several miles away from the proposed archery range. Larue told the council that the city didn't have "enough money in (its) bank account to pay for the people who are going to be injured at this archery range."
The council set several conditions on the range, including the placement of signs to alert hikers, cyclists and equestrians to the range and prohibiting alcoholic beverages and cigarette smoking. Additionally, the club must provide on-site emergency communication equipment, such as cellular telephones or citizen band radios.
Of the two homes in the vicinity of the range, the Haneys' is the closest. The occupants of the other home did not object to the range.
Archers will shoot at 14 target hay bales stacked away from a gated dirt road leading to the range from Palos Verdes Drive South. Stray arrows will be deflected by a steep slope behind the bales, according to a staff report.