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

 

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.

 

Worried about the Down Payment? You may have options

One of the more common misconceptions is that you need a 20% down payment to purchase a home in the Hollywood Riviera   That’s not necessarily the case as many lenders can provide loans with less than 20% down, especially on a single family home.  Options can range from VA and FHA loas to a number of other creative ways of financing a home.

Lender programs:  Many lenders offer smaller down payments with first and second mortagages, smaller down payments or government backed programs such as VA loans and FHA loans.

View the current homes for sale in the Hollywood Riviera.