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Suit Seeks City Ban on Peafowl

May 09, 2003|Eric Malnic | Times Staff Writer

The squawking continues over the peacocks in Palos Verdes Estates.

Some residents are fond of the birds, which roam freely over parts of two neighborhoods in the upscale, semirural community. Others detest their shrill cries in the night, their appetites for flower beds and the messes they deposit on lawns and cars.

For a while, it appeared that a compromise had been reached: Some trapping would be permitted in Lunada Bay and Malaga Cove, but a city management plan would ensure that the flocks did not fall below a self-sustaining level of 21 birds in each neighborhood.

That compromise is now in jeopardy.

Resident and lawyer Dorothy Acciani and her husband, Robert, a deputy city attorney in Torrance, went to court Thursday in downtown Los Angeles in an effort to ban the colorful birds from their community altogether.

Judy Smith, assistant city manager of Palos Verdes Estates, said the Accianis and some of their neighbors contend that the management plan violates covenants dating back to 1923 that prohibit residents from keeping poultry and some other domesticated animals.

Smith said the outcome may hinge on decisions about whether the peacocks are poultry or some other prohibited creature, and whether they are being "kept."

The Accianis, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, are not new to the fray. Several years ago, they started trapping the birds, which were turned over to people in other communities who welcomed them.

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