Some of the most highly desired properties to own in Southern California reside in Palos Verdes. Larger lots, lush landscapes, and often sweeping views offer much to its homeowners. In 1913, Frank A. Vanderlip, Sr. a New York banker, purchased the Palos Verdes peninsula land formerly used for crops and cattle since 1880 to fulfill his vision of a rural farming community all while seeing the potential for development as a residential city by the sea that he found similar to that of the Italian coastline.
Realizing the need to protect the lush landscapes and Vanderlips Italian Riviera vision, yet even more importantly, the future property values and protection against overgrowth, an Art Jury was established in 1923 that is still in effect today. The Art Jury is a home association that operates as a separate entity from the City of Palos Verdes as an extension of the official Homes Association.The jury wields the ultimate power and carries out such tasks as enforcing deed restrictions, determining building setbacks, and dictating the type of architecture allowed. Likewise, the Art Jury must review any modifications to the exterior to homes and commercial buildings for painting, additions, landscaping, trims, windows and door (including garage) changes.
Plans for any property changes must be presented to the Homes Association for Art Jury approval. The Homes Association holds the power to levy assessments for those not compliant. Interestingly, any violation can result in the Association placing a lien on the property which can affect the title during sale or refinancing, though to date, only one incident has occurred since the establishment of the jury.
Art Jury members include a mix of architects, engineers, and lay members which are appointed by the Board of Directors of the Homes Association in Palos Verdes. This membership is a volunteer position carried out by those passionate about protecting the architectural character of Palos Verdes. The Homes Association and Art Jury have jurisdiction over more than 5,500 properties, city-owned land, parkland and right of way in more recently formed Palos Verdes Estates and the Miraleste area of Rancho Palos Verdes.
To make changes to a property in Palos Verdes, visit the Homes Association office at City Hall on Palos Verdes Drive where The Art Jury does convene weekly for plan review. The office is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Tuesday for reviews.
Though the added step and a bit of wait time to make changes to a property may not be ideal for some, the residents here can take comfort in knowing the integrity and growth of their community and their real estate investment will always be protected.