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Demolition of Unpermitted Structures in Lunada Bay

Post Date:11/23/2016 8:37 AM

12/23/16 Update:

The City of Palos Verdes Estates, through its Police Department, is committed to providing a safe environment for visitors and residents who visit and live in the City.  Specifically, the Police Department actively patrols the Lunada Bay coastline during times of high surf for maintaining public safety and for the public's safe enjoyment of bluff top parkland.

While the Police Department is currently implementing its Lunada Bay patrol program during high surf periods, the City is additionally, currently, negotiating with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservatory Rangers for providing supplemental support in Lunada Bay.  The contract service will begin after January 1, 2017 once an agreement is final.  The SMMC Rangers will supplement Palos Verdes Estates Police enforcement in Lunada Bay coastline area only.  As needed, the City also maintains the ability to call upon the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for boat patrol although along with all coastal cities in Los Angeles County, no contract is necessary or being pursued for this purpose.  The use of observation cameras for policing purposes is also being evaluated.

The City looks forward to working with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservatory Rangers.  The Rangers will serve as an additional resource supporting the City's dedicated Palos Verdes Estates Police Department men and women who are committed to public safety and serving the public.  The City has not utilized contract services in this manner, and we believe the addition of Rangers will provide additional confidence to the public for the safe use and safety of those who enjoy Lunada Bay.

12/01/16 Update:

In October 2016, the City awarded a contract to AMPCO for the demolition of unpermitted structures in Lunada Bay, specifically including the Lunada Bay Patio structure.  Removal of the structures will restore the pristine, natural coastline, and it emphasizes and reinforces the City’s commitment to maintaining open space unencumbered by structures that are utilized for private purposes.

Work commenced on November 28th and was scheduled to be completed on December 2nd. During the overnight hours on November 29th, the contractor’s equipment and work area were severely vandalized.  The City condemns and will not tolerate such conduct.  The suspects slashed the large fabric containers used to haul rubble up to the bluff top.  They also scratched unattended construction vehicles and a commercial gas-powered air compressor trailer which had been delivered to the rocky shoreline by helicopter.  The suspects set fire to some equipment which caused minor to moderate damage.  The Palos Verdes Estates Police Department along with the LA County Fire Department’s arson investigators are actively conducting a criminal investigation.   There is no damage cost estimate at this time and no suspects have been arrested in the case.  The Police Department is actively investigating this criminal act.  Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact PVEPD  Sgt. Luke Hellinga at 310-378-4211 or report anonymously at or by calling 800-222-8477.

The City remains committed to the safety of the public and the safe use of public space, and it will maintain its efforts to ensure that the coastline can be safely enjoyed by visitors and residents alike.  Removal of the structure will continue without interruption, as it is clearly a step in the right direction.


In July 2014, City staff identified the unpermitted patio structure as an encroachment at a location known as Rocky Point along the shoreline and initiated internal discussions on how to address it.  Ultimately, in July 2016, the City Council discussed the options associated with the unpermitted structure and concluded that it should be removed.  Subsequently, an additional unpermitted structure was identified on the south side of the bay at a location known as Resort Point.  Since the City’s General Plan and Shoreline Preserve Master Plan seek to maintain the shoreline in its natural state, removal of the structures was seen as the best option to preserve and protect Lunada Bay.  

The City’s interest and commitment is to maintain our parklands and shoreline open space in a natural condition.  Removal of the unpermitted seating and patio areas in Lunada Bay continues the City’s efforts to remove unauthorized encroachments in parklands and supports the City’s goals of maintaining a pristine coastline. 

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