- What are the goals of the Beautify Lunada Bay project?
The primary long-term goal is to is restore attractive, locally native, drought tolerant plants toopen space areas in Lunada Bay that have suffered from benign neglect over the years. These include barren and weed-covered bluff tops, and areas along Lunada Canyon and above Lunada Bay. A second goal is to make existing walking paths accessible year-round by community members desiring to take quiet strolls through these open space areas.
- What are the goals of the pilot project?
The pilot project will be a proving ground for basic features such as the plant palette and walking path design that may be extended over time to other open space areas. The second goal is to create an outdoor classroom for students at Lunada Bay Elementary School and to add open-space related projects to the educational experience of Palos Verdes High School students. The third goal is to provide opportunities for community members who like to pull weeds, build walking paths, and be involved in other activities in this beautiful place we call home.
- How is the pilot project being funded?
Approximately 85% of the funding for the pilot project has been provided by donations from members of the community. The remaining ~15% was provided by the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association. The Lunada Bay Homeowners Association’s contribution ($9,000) covered the development of formal design and construction documents. In addition, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is providing staff time for project management as in-kind support to the project, and the City of Palos Verdes Estates is providing boulders/rock material for the trails and water for irrigation. The City will also provide mulch once the planting is completed.
- How has the city of Palos Verdes Estates contributed to the pilot project?
The City has provided guidance for the project, has conducted Parklands Committee and City Council reviews with unanimous approval in public forum at City Hall, as well as permit review and approval for the habitat restoration effort. The City of Palos Verdes Estates is also providing some materials including stones, mulch, and water. The City has provided no direct funding to the project.
- Where can I see plans for the pilot project and later phases proposed by Beautify Lunada Bay?
The plans for the pilot project are at the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association web page for the Beautify Lunada Bay project (see http://blb.lbhoa.org). Planning for the next phase will begin after the pilot project is completed, and will follow the same process used for the pilot: open meetings will be held to discuss options for Phase 2, and information collected from those meetings, as well as lessons learned from the pilot, will be used to develop a draft plan. The draft plan will be presented to the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association Board, and the City’s Parkland Committee and City Council. Once approved, the plan would be implemented over a series of years at a rate determined by the availability of funds and volunteers.
- Will restoring the bluff top block views or require the placement of fences?
A key message from residents in the area of the pilot was that the new plants not block views, and the plants selected for that area will have a maximum height of ~3 feet when mature. Plants for other areas will be chosen with minimal impact on views as a primary constraint. The project has no plan, intention or desire to install fences.
- Is the Beautify Lunada Bay program coordinated with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy?
Yes, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy is a partner in the restoration effort and is providing guidance on plants to be used, assisting with managing the contractor, and organizing and training volunteers. The PVPLC, a nonprofit organization, also accepts donations that are used for the project.
- What process was required to approve the pilot project and what is the current status of later phases?
The project began in 2014 as a concept, and since that time, a series of meetings were held in the Multipurpose Room at LB Elementary School to collect community input and provide information. Flyers were hand-carried to residents along Lunada Canyon informing them of the concept and inviting their attendance. LBHOA membership was routinely noticed on the project concept, development, and plans via email and on the LBHOA website, as well. The formal plans were developed based on input provided at those meetings, and the concept and plans were presented to the City’s Parklands Committee and City Council at public meetings for their comment and approval.
- How will the restored bluff top be maintained and how will maintenance be funded?
The objective is to minimize the long-term costs, so the plants will not need watering after ~3 years and should require little maintenance. The trails will be decomposed granite bordered by rocks, which should minimize maintenance of trails. Occasional weeding will be required to eliminate invasive plants, and this should be a great activity for volunteers.
- How can residents provide input into the plans to restore the bluff top?
Once the pilot has been finished, and depending on funding and availability of volunteers, plans will be developed for continuing from the pilot toward the bluff top above Lunada Bay. Local residents will be invited to help develop these plans.
- How can I get involved with Beautify Lunada Bay?
BLB is a resident-led project organized by the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association. Individuals can email their desire to get involved to BeautifyLunadaBay@lbhoa.org
- How can I contribute to Beautify Lunada Bay?
Financial contributions can be donated to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy at http://www.pvplc.org; earmarked “for BLB”. Contributions are tax deductible. Residents can also be involved as volunteers in various activities including planning, fundraising, building of trails, planting, mulching, and weeding. To volunteer or to just be on the mailing list for updates, please email BeautifyLunadaBay@lbhoa.org
- How wide will the walking path be?
The path will be ~6 feet wide for walking side by side and will have stone borders– a natural and more durable solution than the plastic bender-board used in other parkland areas. The pathway will be made of decomposed granite stabilized with a natural soil binder, creating a more stable and accessible footing for traffic.
- How will the community decide about moving forward after the pilot?
As noted in the response to Question 5 above, planning for the next phase will begin as the pilot project nears completion, and will follow the same process used for the pilot: local residents will be invited to open meetings to discuss options for Phase 2, and information collected from those meetings, as well as lessons learned from the pilot, will be used to develop a draft plan. The draft plan will be presented to the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association Board, and the City’s Parkland Committee and City Council. Approvals by these entities will be key to moving forward. Once approved, the plan would be implemented over a series of years at a rate determined by the availability of funds and volunteers.
- Can we have a vote on this initiative?
Let the residents of LB decide?
The property in question is owned by the City of Palos Verdes Estates, and the City Council is the ultimate decision-maker on any modifications. Plans will be developed with community input and presented to the City. The project can only proceed if there is sufficient community support via volunteers and funding, and the public will have several opportunities to voice their opinion and offer suggestions. Hopefully, major issues can be worked at community meetings before being brought to the City.
- What is the BENEFIT to me as a resident if this project really takes off?
Just as well-maintained homes and properties help make the community more attractive, open space that is blooming year-round with flowers will have the same effect. In addition, while some of these areas are “open,” they are actually covered with invasive weeds such as castor bean and foxtails. According to WebMD for dogs, the foxtail plant is a grass-like weed: “The barbed seed heads of the foxtail plant can work their way into any part of your dog or cat, from the nose to between the toes and inside the ears, eyes, and mouth. They can even simply dig themselves directly into a patch of skin…an embedded foxtail can lead to serious infection for your dog. It can even lead to death if left untreated.” And “Just one castor bean has enough ricin to kill an adult within a few minutes.” Our open space areas have both of these plants. Walking a dog in some of these areas can be hazardous to the dog, and the heavy presence of gopher holes makes them unpleasant or dangerous for humans, as well–a good example is the south side of Lunada Canyon from Via Anacapa to the ocean. The BLB effort would include a decomposed granite trail, similar to that in the PV Drive West median, and replace seasonal weeds with native plants, adding beauty and butterflies to the experience.
- Will the project make the area more likely to draw visitors and increase traffic and litter?
The major attraction for Lunada Bay is the ocean views from the bluff tops, not these open space areas. The addition of walking paths and native plants would not enhance those bluff-top views, but would certainly make the areas above the ocean more attractive and fitting for our fine community.
- The bluff is slowly eroding, and we had signs warning people to stay away. Will the project reduce erosion?
Some of the plants have deep roots that can actually help stabilize these areas. While erosion will naturally occur, the plantings will hold soil, soften rainfall, and storing excess water in their leaves and roots, which will likely slow the rate.
- Will watering the plants make the bluffs erode more?
Plants will be on a 3-year watering schedule to assure that they become established, transitioning them gently to rely on natural rainfall and dew. A drip system will provide exactly the amount of water necessary, water will not saturate the ground or run off into the canyon or ocean.