Step in the Right Direction – Residential Design Guidelines

By Monica Litjen Moore
A series of six community and neighborhood workshops were held regarding the proposed residential design guidelines and related zoning amendments. The comments from these workshops were considered by the City’s consultant teams in developing initial and revised drafts of the proposed Residential Design Guidelines. The design guidelines and zoning amendments are intended to ensure that new residential structures and additions to existing residential structures are compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.

As the proud owner of an “older” (1911) home and an almost life long resident of Redondo, I have watched our neighborhoods overrun by huge, cookie-cutter, stucco boxes, many of them pastel in color. Any official ordinance or guideline that suggests or even might mandate that new construction be more sensitive to our existing but quickly dwindling historic resources is to be applauded and supported. In my opinion, this is a step in the right direction and long overdue.

It is a fact of life that we must realistically live with new construction and I am encouraged to see the “suggestions” regarding lot coverage, massing, setbacks, garages and landscaping. There are definite design lessons to be learned from our older homes in town, like a front porch for instance. These guidelines meet the challenge to preserve the feel of our neighborhoods without totally stifling creativity or dictating a single architectural style. The ultimate goal should be good taste, resulting in enabling ordinances that preservationists and developers can live with but do not further compromise our historic structures and neighborhoods.

In addition to viewing the draft recommendations online (, copies are also available at the Redondo Beach Main Public Library (303 North Pacific Coast Highway), the Redondo Beach North Branch Public Library (2000 Artesia Boulevard), and at the Planning Department (415 Diamond Street).

So far, public testimony has been evenly split on the guidelines. Your written support is still needed before the Planning Commission makes its recommendations to City Council for a final decision. Please write a letter or email the Planning Commission before their March 20th meeting. Comments should be addressed to the Planning Commission and sent to

If you have any questions regarding the proposed guidelines, please contact Randy Berler, 310-372-1171 ext. 2488.