Rolling Hills Estates is an equestrian oriented city with many homes permitted to maintain horse facilities; and there are several equestrian centers. The city is located on the North border of the Peninsula, from Torrance to the Peninsula Center at the top of the hill. The city boundaries reach upward along Crenshaw boulevard to include the Peninsula Center commercial district and home communities along Highridge and Crest roads. Rolling Hills Estates has many lots of 1/2 acre or more, especially within the equestrian overlay. The city has 25 miles of public horse trails, with horse passage tunnels under Hawthorne and Crenshaw Boulevards, and has 10 miles of bicycle paths.
Rolling Hills Estates has a beautiful private golf course and clubhouse (Rolling Hills Country Club) located at Palos Verdes Drive East just North of Palos Verdes Drive North. The clubhouse is also a popular wedding venue. Adjoining the golf club on the East at Montecillo Drive is the private 'Jack Kramer' Tennis and Swim club. A former county landfill site (approximately 100 acres), was annexed in 1982, and is located on the North side of the city between Hawthorne and Crenshaw Blvd. The South Coast Botanical Garden, operated by the County of Los Angeles, is located on the North border of the city East of Crenshaw Blvd. and has gardens, lakes and community facilities on 87 acres of magnificent grounds. The Palos Verdes Reservoir is located at the Southeast intersection of Palos Verdes Drive North and Palos Verdes Drive East. There are also five churches in Rolling Hills Estates. The city has 178 acres of city parks, 371 acres of open space (parks and recreation), 342 acres of institution/public property, 228 acres of streets and highways; and approximately 49 acres of vacant land. The commercial Chandler sand and gravel facility at the Northeast perimeter of the city is a planned future development including redesign of Rolling Hills Country Club and approximately 110 new luxury homes. The 28.5 acre Linden H. Chandler Preserve is to be preserved as open space with 7.8 of these acres to belong to the city. The 91 acre quarry is in process of being developed to include the new Rolling Hills Country Club clubhouse. Nansen field is an 8.6 acre recreational park located on Hidden Valley Road that is owned by the Seaman of Norway Inc. and is operated by the Scandinavian Center At Nansen Field (SCAN). The park was purchased and developed for sailors from Norway for athletic activities while in local ports. Weekends are often reminiscent of European countryside soccer games. The facility has a small clubhouse and an occupied caretaker's cottage. Today there are 28 neighborhood areas within the community, each with its own special character, architectural style, and Homeowners Association. These Associations often represent citizens directly before the City Council and serve as neighborhood social organizations as well. The Peninsula Center that began construction in 1961 is a regional shopping district with major department stores, shops and restaurants. The completely redesigned upscale theme mall 'Promenade on the Peninsula' includes restaurants, an ice rink and movie theaters. Cultural facilities including the Norris Theater performing arts center are located here. This center is under a redevelopment plan combining commercial and residential high rise projects. The streetscape master plan can be viewed at the city website.
The city is served by Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. PVPUSD schools have constantly ranked among the best in California and the nation. The Washington Post once ranked the district's largest high school, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (PVPHS) in neighboring Rolling Hills Estates as the 8th best public or private high school in the nation. Also, Chadwick School is a well known K-12 private school that serves the area. Another private school is Christ Lutheran Church and School. It ranges from preschool to 8th grade. Rolling Hills Country Day School, adjacent to the South Coast Botanic Garden, offers a private K-8 education. Rancho Palos Verdes also includes Marymount College.The latest survey conducted by U.S. News in 2007 reports that PVPHS still ranks among the top 100, at 89th place, and the reopened Palos Verdes High School (PVHS) in Palos Verdes Estates trails closely behind, at 93rd place.
Schools Served by the PVPUSD:
• Cornerstone at Pedregal Elementary
• Dapplegray Elementary
• Lunada Bay Elementary
• Mira Catalina Elementary
• Miraleste Elementary
• Miraleste Intermediate
• Montemalaga Elementary
• Palos Verdes High
• Palos Verdes Intermediate
• Palos Verdes Peninsula High
• Point Vicente Elementary
• Rancho Del Mar High School
• Rancho Vista Elementary
• Ridgecrest Intermediate
• Silver Spur Elementary
• Soleado Elementary
• Vista Grande Elementary
The City Council is often called upon to make technical decisions on a variety of issues. Assisting and advising the Council in this duty are the Planning Commission and the Park and Activities Commission.
The Planning Commission strives to preserve and enhance the special rural character of the community by reviewing and regulating development proposals and by periodically updating the General Plan, most recently revised in 1992. The seven-member Commission also reviews and approves requests for other planning permits including zone changes, variances, neighborhood compatibility and precise plans of design for all residential remodels and new development.
The Park and Activities Commission acts as an advisor to the City Council in all matters pertaining to parks; cultural, recreational and special events; beautification and maintenance of public areas, including equestrian trails, pedestrian walkways and bicycle pathways; operation of recreational facilities; and coordination of annual City events; equestrian trails.
Upon recommendation of the Mayor and appointment by the Council, seven residents of the City serve as volunteers on each commission. In all cases, their actions are subject to review and final approval by the City Council.
The City government also consists of many special committees and subcommittees, which the City Council calls upon to review matters of specific concern. Most of these committees include at least one member from the Council and each of the two Commissions, as well as other concerned residents of the community. Among the various committees currently assisting the Council are the Traffic & Safety Committee and the Equestrian Committee.