Why We Believe The Community Needs New Leadership at PVHA
1. To protect and preserve the parkland and open spaces of Palos Verdes Estates and to ensure protective deed restrictions are maintained and enforced.
2. To bring transparency and accountability to PVHA.
- Improve communication with the public through the website and social media
- Create opportunities for greater interaction between the Homes Association and the public
3. To clarify and improve the Election Process.
- Encourage participation and publish requirements for board candidacy (including minimum number of signatures to self-nominate)
- Publish timetable and deadlines well in advance of ballot preparation
4. To look for opportunities to clarify, simplify and streamline the Art Jury process.
- Seek better alignment between PVHA and CIty of PVE approval process
Our POSITIONING STATeMENT
For nearly a century, the Palos Verdes Homes Association (PVHA) has been the capable steward of the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) in the 1923 Protective Restrictions that serve as the “Constitution” of our very special community in Palos Verdes Estates. But in the past three years, many residents believe members of the current Board of Directors have lost their way and are doing great damage to our community. It is time to intervene.
When the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD) sought permission in the courts to ignore our CC&Rs and deed restrictions in order to sell property, PVHA “did the right thing” and vehemently defended those restrictions in court. But shortly after winning that case in 2011, PVHA Board members were part of a most shocking transaction whereby they agreed to sell 1.7 acres of parkland to a private owner for his own private use – and to make matters worse, this homeowner had flagrantly violated restrictions in the 36 years he had owned the adjacent property by building extensive encroachments on parkland. Why did the PVHA Board members abandon their mission and why did they reward this bad behavior?
Over 150 residents have written letters and appeared in PVHA and PVE City Council Meetings to express their strong objection to this unprecedented sale of parkland. A group of residents called Citizens for Enforcement of Parkland Covenants (CEPC) filed a lawsuit in May 2013 to reverse the sale of parkland; this past summer, the Court found in favor of the Plaintiffs -- declaring the actions of the PVHA and the City of PVE “ultra vires” (illegal). The court specified that the deeds transferring parkland property on Via Panorama from the City to the PVHA and then to a homeowner to be illegal and that encroachments be removed. Yet the PVHA directors continue to act against the best interests of our community and have decided to appeal the Superior Court decision. Examples of their poor stewardship include:
- Their attempt to deceive the public by hiding the parkland sale from the public by deleting reference of that sale in their Press Release on the 2012 MOU (see email from PVHA attorney Sid Croft here)
- Their pursuit of the illegal sale even after three Title Insurance companies refused to insure the transaction
- Their unresponsiveness to communications from CEPC, which left CEPC no alternative to launching a lawsuit, which continues to cost the PVHA and its members money
- Their defense based on ridiculous arguments such as:
- The word “shall” in the CC&Rs and deeds actually means “may” and hence adherence is optional
- The PVHA can violate their own restrictions whenever they elect to do so
- The Marketable Record Title Act applies and hence there is no need to follow any of the CC&Rs. This is the exact opposite of the position the PVHA took in the PVPUSD case, which it won, and would trigger judicial estoppel (which prohibits arguing both sides of an issue in different pleadings)
- Their letter of support in July 2015 (click here) for a proposed re-routing of the most popular trail in PVE (Paseo del Sol Fireroad) that involved a 300-foot fence that would deny public access to a portion of parklands, as well as offering to partially fund the project. This alarming position was taken a month after the CEPC ruling that declared the deed restrictions viable, thereby ensuring public access on the very same tract of land in perpetuity
- Their special meeting to vote on appeal, subsequently filing a notice with the court that PVHA had decided to appeal (under penalty of perjury), and then retracting from this position by stating they had not voted to appeal during the special secretive Board meeting
- Their decision to appeal the CEPC ruling, with rationale that shows ignorance of the facts of the case and which will continue to bleed public resources.
For all of the background on this issue, including statements from all sides and all the relevant documents and press articles, see www.pveopenspace.com.