"Palos Verdes Resident since 1947"

Rolling Hills Estates

This page is still under construction, so what you see is what you get  . . . for now.

The City of Rolling Hills Estates runs generally along the northern side of the Peninsula, from the PVE City limit to just past the reservoir at PV Drive East, with the Peninsula Center and Don Wallace’s old antenna farm thrown in later . . . more on that below.

In the early days (early to me is just after WW 2), Rolling Hills Estates was where you lived if you wanted horses and

The original RHE City Council being sworn in

weren’t insanely rich (at least by our standards at the time).  The City wasn’t incorporated until 1957, so there were some pretty funky things built (some are  “grandfathered in” and still exist) when it was LA County and no one was paying attention.  The original City ran along PV Drive North between the PVE City limits and the reservoir.  To give you an idea of how things have changed, my mom would occasionally take us grocery shopping at the Rolling Hills General Store at PV Drive North and Rolling Hills Road, which also had the only Post Office on the Hill other than the one at Malaga Cove Plaza.

I remember about 1960 when we had outgrown the house my parents had built in 1950 on Via Pinzon (my sister and I were getting too old to share a bedroom and my parents had just had baby Ellen), we looked in Rolling Hills Estates.  The Montecillo development was in the works but my father, very active with the Palos Verdes (recently Unified) School District, was not sure that the Montecillo development was going to be part of the PV District, so we had to eliminate that area.  We eventually bought a new house at 344 Via Almar in the Malaga Cove section of Palos Verdes Estates.

When RHE  incorporated in 1957, the Westfield area voted not to become part of the new City, and it still isn’t — the official address is Palos Verdes Peninsula.  I remember “helping” Tom and Barbara Mabin build 27235 Eastvale in 1956 (I was 9 and probably more liability than asset).  In those days, Crenshaw was still a horse trail/fire road and you could actually see their house looking up the canyon from PV Drive North.  It was a very avant garde house for the time and still stands out.  I almost bought it in 1980 but couldn’t get my old house sold in time — no snickers — I wasn’t a Realtor yet, but it was that experience that drove me into the business.

One of the major features of what became Rolling Hills Estates was the dump, now known as the South Coast Botanic Garden.  In the 1950’s there was no trash pick-up in PVE (or so my parents told me — maybe we just couldn’t afford it), so once a week my dad and I would load up the 1954 Ford Country Sedan station wagon and make a trip to the dump.  My dad had it down to a science:  we folded down the rear seat and put everything on a tarp.  When we got to the bottom of the canyon, we’d drop the rear gate, my dad would hit the gas of the mighty Ford V8, and voila!  Everything slid out the back and we were outta there. 

About 1960 plans for the Peninsula Shopping Center looked serious so RHE, desiring a commerical tax revenue base, annexed the entire valley where the Center now resides.  Happily, the prison that sat about where CVS Drugs is now had been closed in 1956.  More on that in my article “The Things You Always Wondered About Palos Verdes“.  About 1966 all that land on top of the Hill that now includes Wallace Ranch, Rolling Hills Park Estates, Hillcrest Meadows, Hillscrest Manor, and the Ranch was annexed.  Right after WW 1 the University of California had been looking at it for a campus, but they chose Westwood for the site of UCLA instead.  Wonder what they would have called it . . . let’s see, UCPV?  UCSB (South Bay) would have caused problems later, and the Wizard of Westwood just has a better ring to it than the Wizard of Palos Verdes.  See “The Things You Always Wondered” for Palos Verdes’ connection with the South Pacific during the early part of WW 2.

In 1962 we became the first among 7 original owners of property on Pleasant Hill Drive, a short cul-de-sac off Hidden Valley Road, having decided that the Via Almar house was too cold and too busy (our cats kept being flattened by cars “speeding” down Via Almar).  When we moved to 4 Pleasant Hill, there weren’t even sewers, but it was a very close-knit neighborhood (we still have reunions) and I know the other kids agree that it was a wonderful place to grow up.   In the mid-1970’s it was lengthened and has turned into one of the most coveted streets in RHE. 

Back in the day (1950’s) most people who lived in Rolling Hills Estates had horses.  As an example, 4 of the 7 original owners on Pleasant Hill Drive had  horses in 1962. As time has gone on, fewer and fewer residents have had horses.  Now, horse owners are primarily in The Lanes (Dapplegray and Strawberry), and Westfield (not RHE as discussed above).  It has gotten to the point that, in order to preserve the rural character of the City and prevent those nice big horse lots from being filled with big houses and other non-horse related structures, Rolling Hills Estates has begun restricting property owners from tearing down horse facilities on their properties.  Today, there is not horse one on Pleasant Hill Drive.

In general, Rolling Hills Estates offers relatively low density, about the best climate on the Hill, and very convenient commuting from the North side of the Hill.  House prices run from the high $900,000’s for a house in the Rollingwood development, to about $4 million for something newer and bigger on top of the Hill.