Visual representation of how RPV feels about the California housing crisis.

Dubbed as Southern California’s “hidden, rural, and coastal gem,” Rancho Palos Verdes is a great place to live. Filled with great beaches, amazing golf courses, and beautiful horses, it is certainly an attractive place with a median home price of $1.8 million. The city has a suburban feel with a population of around 40,000 (53.5% White, 32.6% Asian, 13,9% Other race) while being ranked as the fourth safest city in California. Residents have an average household income of $181,600 with a median age of 50 with 77.6% owning a home.

Perhaps that is the problem. It is a rich and beautiful small town and the locals want to keep it that way. Maybe the city wants to preserve their neighborhoods and allowing ADU’s will ruin their white-picket fence neighborhoods. Perhaps building ADUs or more homes will bring in more people leading to desecration of the area or golf courses.

On January 1, 2020, the city had updated their ADU zoning to comply with state mandate, accommodating ADU’s. Too bad they lied. When homeowners looked to build an ADU for their aging parents, they were denied. They wanted a 495 sq. ft. prefabricated Exemption ADU only to get rejected on the grounds of failure to comply with architectural standards. Exemption ADUs can be up to 800 sq. ft and 16 ft in height, with 4 feet side and rear yard setbacks.

This project should be fully accommodated as it fits well within the state’s exemption category and that local design requirements may not be applied, which was confirmed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. HCD also stated that the architectural requirements detailed by the city do not apply due to the ADU falling under state exemption category.

What is CaRLA doing about it? What we do best. We are taking them to trial.

On June 22, 2022, CaRLA filed a lawsuit against Rancho Palos Verdes in an effort to combat the city’s unlawful disapproval of the proposed ADU project. We are more than confident that we will win this lawsuit. Before coming to a lawsuit, history has shown us that this is not the first time Rancho Palos Verdes had a violation against the HCD. In fact, they have 19 violations and clearly do not care. To see our Petition of Writ of Mandate and Complaint, click here. Essentially, we are asking the judge to write a mandate in order to force the city to approve. Issues like this are very prevalent in California and contribute to the housing problem. Cities cannot flat out deny applications that should be allowed.