A video of the City of Palos Verdes Estates Council Meeting to approve the settlement is available here.
Today the lawsuit over the Panorama Parkland was resolved. The Parties* found common ground on their mutual priority for preserving parkland. The lawsuit was originally filed by John Harbison and CEPC to unwind a sale of parkland property from the Homes Association to the Luglianis. The property was conveyed by the City to the Homes Association as part of an agreement between the City, the Palos Verdes Unified School District and the Luglianis. The Court of Appeal held “the public did benefit from this litigation—namely through the protection of a public park.” Under the settlement, the Luglianis and the Homes Association will comply with the provisions of the CC&Rs that allow for re-designation of land use with the consent of the neighboring property owners. Harbison and CEPC support this re-designation in light of two facts: (1) the City is going to deed restrict the Bluff Cove properties (approx. 4 acres) along Palos Verdes Drive West (that are currently R1 Residential zoned) by imposing the same restrictions that are on all other City-owned open space. As a result, the City of Palos Verdes Estates will enjoy a net increase in deed-restricted open space property. (2) Unlike the original sale from the Homes Association to the Luglianis, under the agreement, the Homes Association will employ the proper mechanism under the CC&Rs including the explicit consent of the public within 300 feet of each property. The Agreement will create a view easement and restore natural parkland for the public to enjoy. All Parties affirm the continuing legal validity of the deed restrictions maintaining parkland. In addition, the Parties are resolving the ROBE Quorum litigation creating a more democratic election process for the Homes Association.
All Parties are pleased to have found a solution that increases parkland for the benefit of our residents. The Luglianis agreed to restore the flat portion of the Panorama parkland properties (approx. 0.4 acres) and return that to city ownership for the residents to enjoy. The Homes Association and Harbison were instrumental in identifying the portion of the property of most value to the community. The Homes Association is helping to fund the restoration.
This settlement completely resolves the lawsuit over Panorama Parkland.
*Parties to the Agreement are Citizens for Enforcement Parkland Covenants (CEPC), John Harbison, Palos Verdes Homes Association (Homes Association), City of Palos Verdes Estates, Ried Schott, Residents for Open Board Elections (ROBE) and Robert and Dolores Lugliani (the Luglianis, property owners of 900 Via Panorama).
The Daily Breeze reports here on the unprecedented move by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes to issue a legislative subpoena to a former city official. Jeff Lewis voices his concern about the potential for abuse in the article.
In January, the Second District Court of Appeal issued its opinion about the validity of the property deed restrictions and the propriety of the 2012 sale of parkland in Palos Verdes Estates. The Palos Verdes Homes Association — still convinced it has the absolute power to sell parkland — asked the California Supreme Court to weigh in and hear the case. On April 11, 2018, the Supreme Court declined. Thus, the 2015 ruling by the Superior Court and the January 30, 2018 Court of Appeal ruling are now the final word on whether the Palos Verdes Homes Association has the power to sell parkland.
In January, the Second District Court of Appeal issued its opinion about the validity of the property deed restrictions and the propriety of the 2012 sale of parkland in Palos Verdes Estates. The Palos Verdes Homes Association filed a Petition for Rehearing asking the same three appellate justices who decided the case to change their mind. Today that request for a rehearing was denied. In addition, the Court of Appeal strengthened its earlier decision by adding the following footnote to the opinion on the validity of the deeds:
The Association argues that it had the right to transfer the parkland to the Luglianis because this original declaration was never properly amended. But, the Chairman of the Association’s board expressly consented to the terms of the 1940 deed. By expressly agreeing to those terms, the Association cannot now argue that Bank of America had no power to include them.
The Daily Breeze reports here on the going legal dispute over the quorum for board elections for the Palos Verdes Homes Association:
The next hearing is set for Feb. 15, where Jeff Lewis, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said he will ask the judge to lower the threshold for a quorum. A quorum hasn’t been reached since 2009. In 2017’s election, just 1,589 votes were cast.
The Daily Breeze reports on a parent group upset that PV High allowed a suspect in a gang murder to continue attending PV High. From the article:
On Monday, attorney Jeffrey Lewis said about a dozen parents forming the group Residents Against Gangs at School sent a letter to the Palos Verdes Peninsula school board asking for Terrell to be removed from campus and home-schooled, or transferred to a continuation school. He said the district was “needlessly exposing itself to moral and financial liability should any harm befall any student due to Terrell’s continued attendance at school.”
“The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District has been silent about what steps are being taken to protect Palos Verdes children from Terrell and his accomplices,” the letter said. “While Terrell does enjoy the presumption of innocence in a court of law, there are serious safety concerns raised by Terrell’s continued attendance at school. At best, Terrell is a distraction to teachers, staff and other students. At worst, most law enforcement officers would say that allowing an 18-year old gang member suspected of a felony to attend a high school presents a clear and present danger to other students.”
The Daily Breeze published this article about the lawsuit filed by Jeff Lewis to lower the quorum requirements for the Palos Verdes Homes Association annual elections.
The Daily Breeze published this article about the lawsuit filed by Jeff Lewis against the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District’s Board for violations of the Brown Act.