Exploring the Hollywood Riviera

The Hollywood Riviera is an ideal place to call home for many reasons but certainly high on the list is the location.  Sitting between the beach and the hills of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the Riviera gets the best of both worlds.  It’s just a short walk to the beach but the sloping hillside location makes for some tremendous ocean views and beach breezes.  The area actually extends all the way to the ocean as one of the premier streets, Paseo De La Playa, has a number of spectacular homes with large properties extending to the high tide line along Torrance Beach.   While the beach and the views are certainly a highlight, there’s plenty of reasons that the neighborhood is ideally situated.  As it’s on the border of the South Bay and the peninsula it’s a bit removed from the busy feeling of some other South Bay cities but close enough to enjoy it all.

Just down the street is the very charming shopping and dining area known as Riviera Village.  From weekly farmers markets, to holiday festivities to the appeal of strolling past the shops and restaurants on a summer evening.  It’s a wonderful small town feel with an abundance of places to visit.

Beyond the Riviera Village is the Redondo Pier area and King Harbor.  Offering a fishing pier, a variety of restaurants and bars, whale watching boats, kayak and paddle board rentals and more, this area really epitomizes the beach lifestyle.  Famous landmarks like Old Tony’s with it’s crows nest upper bar with endless views of the ocean feel more like being on a ship than in a restaurant.  Other popular spots are Kincaids, The Bluewater Grill, Shade Hotel, the Portofino Inn, R-10 Social House, Naja’s, and the Cheesecake Factory overlooking the harbor and boats.

Just up the hill are the various shopping centers and charming areas of Palos Verdes including Malaga Cove, Lunada Bay and more.  Palos Verdes is also a great place to take a hike or go for a bike ride.

For outdoor activities the area doesn’t disappoint.  Take a jog or  ride on the oceanfront bike path that extends all the way from Torrance Beach to Redondo, Hermosa, Manhattan and all the way to Santa Monica.  The area also happens to be the beach volleyball capital of the world with courts seemingly everywhere.  If the water is your thing, there is great surfing all along Redondo and Palos Verdes, snorkeling and diving off of PV or exploring the Redondo marine canyon.

Large shopping centers are a short drive away and include the South Bay Galleria, the Del Amo mall, Manhattan Village and plenty throughout the area.    For additional dining options explore the charming downtown areas of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and pier plaza, and the Old Torrance downtown area.

 

Hollywood Riviera View Protection – Torrance Hillside Overlay Restrictions

Without question ocean views are pretty important and in most cities they’re not protected in any way.    You may buy or live in a house that has spectacular ocean views only to have them disappear at some point.  It’s not just the views that are impacted but the light and breezes as well.    These ocean views have immeasurable value from both a quality of life aspect as well as monetarily.   Big ocean views can be the difference in hundreds of thousands, and sometimes even millions of dollars.  In many of the South Bay cities these views are unprotected and it’s not rare for a home’s stunning ocean views to disappear when the one story home next door gets torn down and new and much larger home replaces it.

Certain areas of Torrance are the exception. Primarily found in the Hollywood Riviera and Seaside Ranchos neighborhoods the city has incorporated much stricter building guidelines known as the “Hillside Overlay” area.  (see map below)

See the homes currently for sale in the Hollywood Riviera

In 1977, the Hillside Overlay Area was established in Torrance, CA in order to address issues concerning building, remodeling, and protecting views and privacy.  All new construction (meaning both new homes and expansions on current structures) are subject to review and input by neighbors including “flagging”  where a mock up of the future structure are marked with plastic flags  to approximate the outlines of any proposed addition to the structure prior to permit approval so that neighborhood input may be obtained.

Torrance Municipal Code Excerpt (Hillside Overlay)

The basics of the hillside overlay are as follows:  Upon receipt of the complete application, the Community Development Director shall set a date, time and place for a public hearing thereon as soon as practicable and shall send notice thereof to the owners of land included within a three hundred (300) foot radius of the exterior boundaries of the land for which the permit is sought

No construction and no remodeling or enlargement of a building or structure shall be permitted unless the Planning Commission (or the City Council on appeal) shall find that the location and size of the building or structure, or the location and size of the remodeled or enlarged portions of the building or structure, have been planned and designed in such a manner as to comply with the following provisions:

  1. The proposed development will not have an adverse impact upon the view, light, air and privacy of other properties in the vicinity;
  2. The development has been located, planned and designed so as to cause the least intrusion on the views, light, air and privacy of other properties in the vicinity;
  3. The design provides an orderly and attractive development in harmony with other properties in the vicinity;
  4. The design will not have a harmful impact upon the land values and investment of other properties in the vicinity;
  5. Granting such application would not be materially detrimental to the public welfare and to other properties in the vicinity;
  6. The proposed development will not cause or result in an adverse cumulative impact on other properties in the vicinity.

Please note that most of the information on this page is from the City of Torrance website and regulations posted in 2018.  We cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of the information and recommend checking with the city for any/all information, regulation and restrictions.

Torrance Hillside Overlay

 

Homes We Like – 402 Via San Sebastian in the Hollywood Riviera

Call us suckers for big ocean views and clean coastal design, but the home at 402 Via San Sebastian definitely caught our eye. The home offers some fantastic ocean views and the clean design inspired by luxury coastal living makes for a fantastic place to call home. Sitting on a 10,000+ foot elevated lot, the home has expansive views of the oceean and coast. With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a bit over 1,500 feet the home fits in nicely with the neighborhood. Although it was originally built in 1954 the home was recently remodeled and reimagined. Listed with Jennifer Fematt of Douglass Elliman the home is currently priced at $1,750,000.  Contact us for more information on this home or to schedule a private showing.

402 Via San Sebastian Hollywood Riviera

Highest Sale Ever in the South Bay at $22,650,000 Happens to Be In the Hollywood Riviera

In 2018 the highest on market residential sale took place at 417 Paseo De La Playa.  We wrote several articles when it first hit the market as well as when it sold.  Although it was one address it was really two incrdible parcels of land with two stunning homes being sold as one.  With over 62,000 feet of oceanfront lot it was most definitely a legacy property and one that likely won’t be duplicated anytime soon.  While there are a few properties currently on the market in the $22,000,000 range, one at 1901 Manhattan Ave in Hermosa Beach and the other at 3001 The Strand in Hermosa Beach, there have only been 3 other homes that have sold in the rarified air of $20,000,000.

417 Paseo De La Playa was an incredible home with unblockable views not only of the ocean, but of both Palos Verdes and the coastline as well.   The homes offered over 10,000+ square feet of living space with just about all of it having stunning views.  Built in 2005 the homes offered resort style grounds with a massive pool and spa deck overlooking the Pacific.  The listing agent was Chris Adlam of Vista Sotheby’s International Realty.

 

Homes we Like – Big Views and a Beachy Vibe at 320 Paseo De La Playa

Although it’s surprising to still see this home on the market for over a month, we still think it’s a pretty affordable way of enjoying the good life in the Hollywood Riviera.  While homes on Paseo De La Playa are selling well into the multi millions (the largest of which sold over $22,000,000 in 2018!!!) there are still opportunities to carve out your beach niche in the area.  Just east of the parking lot above Torrance Beach is 320 Paseo De La Playa.  This condo/townhome offers some stunning and unblockable ocean views and sit’s just across the street from the beach.  Just reduced from $1,479,000 to $1,379,000 and listed with Redfin, this property may just be the beach home you’re looking for.

PRICE: $1,379,000
BED / BATH:  2/3
PRICE PER SQFT:  $811.18
LEVELS:  Two
GARAGE:  2/Detached
YEAR BUILT:  1976
SQFT(src):  1,700 (O)