The City of Rolling Hills Estates

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Originally planned as an equestrian community, Rolling Hills Estates is one of four prestigious communities on the beautiful Palos Verdes Peninsula. The City is frequently confused with its neighboring equestrian city: Rolling Hills which is a self-contained gated community. Rolling Hills Estates winds through and around the 3 other communities of Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills. The City covers 4.18 square miles of “rolling hills” and is located on the northern side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. All four Peninsula cities are known for their strict building and development codes with limited lot coverage.

Rolling Hills Estates has approximately 3000 residential housing units: 2,272 single family homes (many are located on the minimum ½ acre lot), 600 single attached residential units (townhomes), and 38 multiple residential units. The City had a building boom in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. Since the 1990’s, only about 90 homes have been built and there is virtually no available land for residential building. Like the other Peninsula cities, Rolling Hills Estates has witnessed a revival in teardowns and remodeling, in some cases to take advantage of the large lots and city light view.

Rolling Hills Estates differs from its sister communities in one major aspect: it has a mile long shopping complex, commonly known as Peninsula Center. This commercial area has a shopping mall with an ice skating rink; small shopping centers; retail stores; office buildings; restaurants; movie theatres; banks; and boutiques, giving Rolling Hills Estates a tax base to fund local amenities. The commercial area is very low scale and is buffered from the surrounding homes. With the shopping, restaurants, Norris Theater for the Performing Arts, Palos Verdes Art Center and movie theaters, the commercial area functions as the social and business center for the entire Palos Verdes Peninsula.

All four cities on the Palos Verdes Peninsula are served by the renowned Palos Verdes Unified School District, known for its school scores in the high 90+ percentile (among the highest in the state with the largest number of National Merit scholars in the country). Education is a priority with Peninsula residents, who recently overwhelmingly approved a bond issue for updating and remodeling the schools.

As with Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills, the city contracts with Los Angeles County for police and fire protection. The crime rate is low with zero homicides. Although, like the other Peninsula cities, Rolling Hills Estates is located in an area considered a “high” fire area with the thousands of acres of undeveloped rolling hills dedicated to open space on the Peninsula

There are six parks, 25 miles of the most beautiful horse trails in Los Angeles County and 10 miles of bicycle paths. The city hall has a hitching post and the mayor sponsors a breakfast horseback ride each year. There are also a large city owned horse stable, equestrian parks which are the site of numerous horse shows, as well as public and private tennis clubs, a botanical garden, a private golf course and hopefully in 2004 a new public golf course.

Since it became a city in 1957, Rolling Hills Estates has continued to preserve its unique rural atmosphere while remaining responsive to the changing needs and interests of their residents. The City has a strong commitment to meet the needs of the citizens, and is dedicated to taking an active role in maintaining the high quality of life which makes this community an attractive place to live. Rolling Hills Estates encourages residents to participate in city affairs and welcomes expressions of concern and opinions. In this way, the City can continue to develop and establish common goals and objectives which are manifested through the enactment of City ordinances; through the establishment of municipal policies and plans; and through the allocation of public funds. The leadership of Rolling Hills Estates states:

“This mutual partnership between City officials and residents is the foundation upon which our special community is built.”

Pamela Lieb
Pamela Lieb