Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Rancho Palos Verdes (also known by the abbreviation RPV) is a city in Los Angeles County, California atop the Palos Verdes Hills and bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. A suburb of Los Angeles, it is known for expensive homes amidst large tracts of open space with expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. Rancho Palos Verdes is translated as "Ranch of Green Sticks", probably referring to the willows in the northeastern part of Bixby Slough (now known as Machado Lake) shown on earlier maps.

Rancho Palos Verdes, California
City of Rancho Palos Verdes

Location of Rancho Palos Verdes in Los Angeles County, California
Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°45′30″N 118°21′51″W
Country United States
State California
County Los Angeles
IncorporatedSeptember 7, 1973[1]
  MayorSusan Brooks[2]
  Total13.47 sq mi (34.88 km2)
  Land13.47 sq mi (34.88 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation220 ft (67 m)
  Density3,145.06/sq mi (1,214.56/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)310/424[8]
FIPS code06-59514
GNIS feature IDs255967, 2411516

The history of Rancho Palos Verdes dates back to the Tongva or Gabrielino Indians, who inhabited the site before the Age of Discovery. Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was credited as the first European to navigate the California Coast in 1542, which included the hills of Rancho Palos Verdes. Rancho de los Palos Verdes was established by a Mexican land grant given in 1846 by Governor Pío Pico to Jose Loreto and Juan Capistrano Sepulveda.

The city's most notable geographic features are the Palos Verdes Hills and cliffs, with grand vistas of the Pacific Ocean and of Santa Catalina Island. The city incorporated on September 7, 1973. The population was 41,643 at the 2010 census.


The Point Vicente Interpretive Center is a premier whale-watching site that provides spectacular opportunities to view the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale from December through April. The center opened in 1984 with a mission to present and interpret the unique features and history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The almost 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) expanded Interpretive Center, reopened on July 15, 2006, features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the peninsula, with a special emphasis on the Pacific gray whale. The Point Vicente Lighthouse, built in 1926, is adjacent to the center and is on the National Register of Historic Places. At another location along the coast, Wayfarers Chapel, designed by Lloyd Wright and built between 1949 and 1951, is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Portuguese Bend landslide, one of the largest continuously moving landslides in North America, is located along the southern coastal area. Together with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy in 2009, the city completed the acquisition of a total of two square miles of open space, the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, the largest preserve of coastal open space north of San Diego and south of Santa Barbara. The site of the former Marineland of the Pacific (1954–87) was redeveloped and is now occupied by the Terranea Resort, which opened in June 2009. The city is also home to Trump National Golf Course, one of eleven in the Trump portfolio of courses. The Salvation Army's School for Officer Training is located in Rancho Palos Verdes.

As with other cities on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, the city has had to find ways to control the population of wild peafowl. Frank A. Vanderlip spearheaded a group that bought 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) and began development of the peninsula. He is credited with introducing the birds here around 1910.[9] Some residents say the birds ruin their gardens, wake them up in the middle of the night with screeching, and defecate in their yards.[10]


Rancho Palos Verdes is located at 33°45′30″N 118°21′51″W (33.758216, -118.364256).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.5 square miles (35 km2), virtually all of which is land.


Historical population
Est. 201841,928[6]0.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]


The 2010 United States Census[13] reported that Rancho Palos Verdes had a population of 41,643. The population density was 3,092.6 people per square mile (1,194.1/km²). The racial makeup of Rancho Palos Verdes was 25,698 (61.7%) White (56.0% Non-Hispanic White),[14] 1,015 (2.4%) African American, 80 (0.2%) Native American, 12,077 (29.0%) Asian, 41 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 748 (1.8%) from other races, and 1,984 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,556 persons (8.5%).

The census reported that 41,303 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 313 (0.8%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 27 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 15,561 households, of which 5,187 (33.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 10,465 (67.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,218 (7.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, and 460 (3.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 304 (2.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships and 85 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 2,936 households (18.9%) were made up of individuals, and 1,810 (11.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65. There were 12,143 families (78.0% of all households); the average family size was 3.03.

The population was diverse in age terms, with 9,248 people (22.2%) under the age of 18, 2,352 people (5.6%) aged 18 to 24, 7,045 people (16.9%) aged 25 to 44, 13,344 people (32.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 9,654 people (23.2%) aged 65 or older. The median age was 47.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females aged 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

There were 16,179 housing units, at an average density of 1,201.5 per square mile (463.9/km²), of which 12,485 (80.2%) were owner occupied and 3,076 (19.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.4%. 33,015 people (79.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units, and 8,288 people (19.9%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the 2010 United States Census, Rancho Palos Verdes had a median household income of $118,893, with 4.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line.[14]


The city is served by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD), which includes Palos Verdes Peninsula High School and Palos Verdes High School, and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD, in the Eastview area of the city). Children living in Eastview have the option of attending public school in either the PVPUSD or the LAUSD. Also, Rolling Hills Country Day School (K-8) and Chadwick School (K-12) are well-known private schools that serve the area. Marymount California University, a private liberal arts institution offering bachelor's and master's degrees, is located in Rancho Palos Verdes.

The public school district which serves Rancho Palos Verdes consistently ranks top in the nation. The latest survey conducted by U.S. News, in 2013, reports that the PVPHS ranks 156th in the nation and 24th in the state,[15] while Palos Verdes High School (PVHS) in Palos Verdes Estates trails closely behind, at 269th in the nation and 43rd in the state.[16]

The Palos Verdes Library District operates three libraries on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, with Miraleste Library in Rancho Palos Verdes. Miraleste Library is open daily except on Sundays.[17]


Rancho Palos Verdes is a General Law city (it has no charter). The City elects five council members at large to four-year terms in staggered, non-partisan elections on the first Tuesday in November of every odd-numbered year. The mayor and mayor pro tempore are elected annually by the residing city council members. At this time all of the city council has served as mayor at least once.

As of December 5, 2017, the city council consists of:[2]

  • Mayor: Susan M. Brooks
  • Mayor Pro Tem: Jerry V. Duhovic
  • Councilmember: Eric Alegria
  • Councilmember: John Cruikshank
  • Councilmember: Ken Dyda

Mayor Brooks previously served on the city council in the early 2000s and was elected again in 2011. She has served as mayor two previous times and owns a consulting firm. Mayor Pro Tem Duhovic is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and served on active duty prior to entering the securities industry where he is a partner in a major firm. Mayor Pro Tem Duhovic previously served as mayor and has children in local schools. Councilmember Alegria was newly elected to the City Council in November 2017, previously serving on the City's Finance Advisory Committee. Councilmember Dyda, at 84 years old, was the oldest person ever elected to the city council. He was also elected to the original city council when the city was established in 1973 and has served as mayor twice previously. He is a retired aerospace engineer and is active in local charities. Councilmember Cruikshank was newly elected to the City Council in November 2017. He previously served on the City's Planning Commission.

As outlined in the City's Municipal Code, the city council hires a city manager to manage the day-to-day operation of the City and its staff. The current city manager is Doug Willmore. Previously, Willmore managed the City of El Segundo for 8 months and then the City of Bell for approximately three years.

County, state, and federal representation

In the County of Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes is located in the 4th Supervisorial District, represented by Janice Hahn.

In the California State Legislature, Rancho Palos Verdes is in the 26th Senate District, represented by Democrat Ben Allen, and in the 66th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Al Muratsuchi.[18]

In the United States House of Representatives, Rancho Palos Verdes is in California's 33rd congressional district, represented by Democrat Ted Lieu.[19]


Top employers

According to the City's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[20] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer Employees
1 Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District 1,970
2 Terranea Resort 730
3 Trump National Golf Club 260
4 Marymount California University 220
5 Keller Williams Realty 163
6 The Canterbury 115
7 Belmont Village 111
8 Trader Joe's 88
9 Ralphs 83
10 Green Hills Memorial Park 80

Emergency services

Fire protection in Rancho Palos Verdes is provided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and ambulance transport by McCormick Ambulance Service.[21]

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department operates the Lomita Station in the City of Lomita and provides law enforcement services for Rancho Palos Verdes.[22]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services operates Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in the Harbor Gateway, Los Angeles, near Torrance and serving Rancho Palos Verdes.[23]

Other nearby hospitals include Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Providence Little Company of Mary Hospital, both located in Torrance and San Pedro.

Notable people

Notable residents of Rancho Palos Verdes include professional poker player Barry Greenstein and artist John Van Hamersveld.[24] Merrill Moses, the Olympic water polo player, lived here. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park was once a longtime resident of Palos Verdes. Top-10 tennis player Eliot Teltscher also lived there.[25] Christen Press, a forward for the United States women's national soccer team and two-time World Cup champion grew up here.


  1. "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. "City Council". Rancho Palos Verdes. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  3. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  4. "Rancho Palos Verdes". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  5. "Rancho Palos Verdes (city) QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  6. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 20, 2019.<
  7. "USPS - ZIP Code Lookup - Find a ZIP+ 4 Code By City Results". Retrieved January 18, 2007.
  8. "Number Administration System - NPA and City/Town Search Results". Retrieved January 18, 2007.
  9. Bell, Alison (May 7, 2010). "L.A. Then and Now: Peacocks are one of Arcadia founder's legacies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  10. Barnes, Megan (February 19, 2015) "Rancho Palos Verdes to spend $34K to trap, move peafowl" South Bay Daily Breeze
  11. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  12. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Rancho Palos Verdes city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  14. "Rancho Palos Verdes (city), California".
  15. "Hours & Locations." Palos Verdes Library District. Retrieved on March 28, 2010.
  16. "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  17. "California's 33rd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  18. City of Rancho Palos Verdes 2014 CAFR
  19. "McCormick Ambulance Service areas
  20. "Lomita Station." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  21. "Torrance Health Center." Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Retrieved on March 18, 2010.
  22. Garrigues, Alana (March 31, 2015). "Iconic artist John van Hamersveld salutes Hermosa Beach surf culture in next downtown mural". Daily Pilot. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  23. Eliot Teltscher – One of the Greatest Jewish Tennis Players Of All Time | World Tennis Magazine
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