By PVE Trails & Open Space Conservancy

PVE  TRAILS thru Parklands & Paths

 

ENCROACHMENTS on PVE's Open Spaces.

 A Study of Encroachments and Inadequate Clearings on both right-of-way (R/W) and Parklands was prepared by Palos Verdes Estate (PVE) residents with extensive consulting backgrounds and submitted to City Staff in September of 2013 and to the Council in early 2014. Even though there are Municipal Codes address unauthorized encroachments on all City owned land, regardless of whether the land is right-of-way or Parklands, the PVE City Council and staff claimed they were limited to removing encroachments upon Parklands by resolution R05-32. However, a new R/W ordinance was approved. Please see  Parkland Use Policy.    


Still, it appears R/W and Parkland encroachments may need to be addressed differently from those on R/W. The  2013 encroachment study was revised and updated with A Study on Parkland Encroachments, exclusive of R/W encroachments, completed in June, 2014, which is summarized as follows: 


  • Over 100 homes in PVE have unauthorized encroachments upon Parklands that involve more than several hundred square feet.


  • Of these, over 80 involve expanded backyards. Some of these are not adjacent to trails and can be difficult to observe.


  • The most typical unauthorized encroachment are plantings and/or fencing that extend the back or side yard of a residence for private use upon public land.


  • However, a few dozen encroachments involve such "hardscape" as; walls, terraced planters, patios, parts of driveways, areas of pool decks, stairs, solid fences, outdoor furniture, bird baths, graded lawns with sprinklers and/or such play equipment as trampolines, swings, play houses, etc. Several encroachments also include parts of garages or sheds.


  • Often unauthorized encroachments are clustered together. It therefore appears that if someone "gets away" with an encroachment, adjoining neighbors are likely to follow.


  • There are up to a dozen Parkland areas that are deliberately blocked preventing access to public lands.


  • Besides encroachments upon public lands, there are at least a couple situations where a public trail crosses private property.


  • Other than enforcement involving nearly 50 unauthorized encroachments along PVE's Boundary Trail in 2005, there have been only a couple other recent efforts to remove unauthorized Parkland Encroachments since then. Essentially the City appears to have ignored Parkland encroachments (as well as R/W encroachments), many of which have become more egregious in the past few years.


A major drawback with the R05-32 ordinance involving the removal of unauthorized encroachments upon Parklands is that it allowed five years to remove an unauthorized encroachment, after it is observed and notice is given, and there are no fines or penalties.  And, if a home is sold with such an encroachment, the City is supposed to notify the new owner of the encroachment shortly after the purchase (but apparently doesn't) and the responsibility to resolve the encroachment lies with the new owner. Especially for a resident who may be leaving PVE and selling their home within five years, this policy provided minimal deterrent and is therefore not believed effective in preserving PVE's Parklands.


  The PVE City Council approved of the PV Homes Association decision to sell this area of Parklands to the owner.  (According to www.pveopenspace.com, this appears improper and is being contested.)