Next MKPOA meeting 

Wednesday, July 10th, 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

St. Matthews Episcopal Church Music Room

1031 Bienveneda Ave   

click here for the Agenda

click here for Directions to the Music Room

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P.O. Box 1307, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 

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www.MarquezKnolls.com - MarquezKnolls@gmail.com - 310-454-7774

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Marquez Knolls Property Owners Association


     The Marquez Knolls Property Owners Association was founded in the 50’s by the Lachman Family after they bought the hillside property from movie star Jack Conway (alas Jacon Way) to administer and manage the CC&Rs for most of the 23 tracts they developed.  Over 600 homes were built to maximize the spectacular hillside views.  

     The association has grown to include over 1,200 homes, adding adjacent tracts to the initial boundaries, now covering an area from Bienveneda to Palisades Drive, and Sunset to the Mountains (gated communities are excluded).  There is great commonality:  potholes, graffiti, crimes, fire safety, traffic, speeding, blocked roadways, building/construction violations, noise, coyotes, snakes, deer, cougars, lost and found dogs, cats and turtles. 

     MKPOA's mission is to enhance and protect the quality of life in Marquez Knolls.  The organization promotes and encourages the preservation of the beauty and healthful environment by informative, educational, mediational, and other lawful activates for the benefit of its residents.  

     An important role of the CC&Rs has always been the protection of the views.  Today’s MKPOA’s significant focus is still to assist in the preservation of these views.  The organization has written Amicus Briefs, appeared in court on depositions and recently petitioned the Supreme Court to re-hear a case. 

      The association has influence and exchanges information with the Pacific Palisades Community Council, other Home Owner and civic organizations, and our LA City Councilmember.  MKPOA can communicate directly with LAPD, LAFD, DWP or State Parks.   MKPOA is there for personal questions such as street parking regulations, watering schedules, downed trees, and most recently on what to do when a cougar took down a deer on private property.  Over the years it has helped to solve a thousand problems and has answered a thousand-and-one questions.  What is yours?    

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Un-Paused from COVID

     COVID paused many organizations, including MKPOA.  On March 19, 2023 we celebrated the first annual membership meeting since 2019.  Turnout was energizing.   Over 50 Marquez Knolls residents attended and 16 new Board Members were elected.  

     When COVID prevented in-person elections in May of 2020, the then duly elected Board Members agreed to remain in place as acting Board Members until new elections could be held.  Little did we know what the future would bring.  

     We extend our sincere appreciation to those dedicated members who served diligently for the last four years and steered the organization through the turmoil of the new normal: mandatory distancing, isolation, masks, and the search for scarce everyday essentials.  They maintained the necessary (if minimal) administrative details to keep the organization viable.  Our sincere appreciation goes to:

     Haldis Toppel, President  -  Gene Cameron, VP/Secretary   -  Jackie Lee, Treasurer - 
Louise Martin, Membership  -  Lou Del Pozzo, Realtor Relations  -  Marie McKenna, Communications  -  Cathi Ruddy, CC&R Advisor  -  George Rosenberg, CC&R Advisor  -  
Richard Miller, Legal Advisor, (decd.)

Greetings from your new 2023/24 MKPOA Board

Howard Robinson, President
Robert Gold, Vice President
Mark Galanty, Secretary
Robert Trinkkeller, Treasurer
Dikran Dalian, Holly Davis, Michael Edlen,
Daniel Ehrensaft, Marie McKenna,  Marc McTizic,
Mark Rhomberg, Jackie Lee, Peter Zomber



Cuts off nearly 200 Homes above Jacon/Lachman Intersection

     On the morning of February 2, 2023, a watermain ruptured and flooded the intersection of Lachman Lane and Jacon Way.  The water pressure broke through the pavement and started to wash out the sub-roadbed, potentially creating a dangerous sink hole.

     The intersection became impassable, cutting off 190 homes above on Jacon, El Oro, and Enchanted Way with no alternate exit or emergency entry.  While the road closure lasted only a few hour and was mostly an inconvenience, it demonstrated a rather plausible scenario, where the closure could be caused by a land slide, an earthquake or a downed tree, cutting residents off from exiting for days or preventing assistance from emergency vehicles.  The thought of being cut off by fire immediately solicits memories of the Paradise disaster.

     Longtime residents who gathered at the flooded site vividly remembered an alternate exit route.  It was used decades ago during a similar flood on Jacon and a landslide on El Oro.   They are urging that such alternate exit be reestablished by the City of LA to prevent tragedies under the worst circumstances.  MKPOA contacted Traci Parks office with this request and has asked PPCC for assistance. 


*New Post

 “The only constant is change,”

Heraclitus – Greek philosopher.

The Autumnal Equinox, reminds us that it is a time of reflection, transformation and change. Summer gives way to fall, the weather begins to cool, while many of us crave pumpkin spice and prep for the holidays as we transition from one year into the next. A lot changed for all of us in 2023. We largely emerged from the shadow of COVID and began resuming our lives in earnest. This was a substantial change from the nearly three years of isolation, mask mandates, and social distancing, but a necessary chrysalis to bring us where we are today. Specifically, for Marquez Knolls, change is afoot. The MKPOA reemerged with a newly elected President, passionate Board Members and volunteers, each committed to the themes of reflection, transformation and change sorely needed in our community.

Change can be scary. The unknown is often daunting. Fear of change paralyzing. Remember the company Kodak? Founded in 1888, they became synonymous with capturing our lives in pictures for over a century. However, Kodak resisted the changes that were necessary to move them successfully into the next century, and the watershed events that followed cost them dearly. There is much we can learn from this cautionary tale. *(If you’re curious to know more, we’ve included links below).

Many of us may feel a sense of hopelessness about some of the changes happening around us. Personally, I felt this upon learning about the loophole that allowed the structure at Ida and Marquez. Moreso, upon learning about the reversal of view protection that the Eisen decision wrought and the repercussions it may have. I felt a moment of hopelessness and anger, before realizing I could take action.

***Be the change you want to see…

With a clarity of purpose, change can be exciting, galvanizing, empowering. We have an opportunity, to learn from these challenging moments. The opportunity is to embrace and anticipate change ensuring events like these can never happen again. This is a time to soberingly reflect and direct changes of our CCR’s, Bylaws and our commitment to the community, creating safeguards that will preserve our quality of life now and into the future.

This is the type of change the MKPOA is committed to.

We call upon you to embrace the change that is around you. We can allow change to happen to us, or together, we can be the catalysts for change. Ask yourself, ask your neighbor, what can you do to effect change positively?

Lastly, for us, the change of season is a time for renewed gratitude and celebration. As such, the MKPOA proudly presents the return of our annual Block Party! We invite all residents to join. Please RSVP and celebrate with us.

*The Rise and Fall of Kodak

Failure to Change

Barriers to Change

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MKPOA Amicus Actions - Eisen vs. Tavangarian

     On June 20, 2019, MKPOA was informed that the appellate court chose not to enforce a view restriction in CC&R paragraph 11, recorded in 1962, and instead ruled in favor of a neighboring property owner’s free use of land (Eisen vs. Tavangarian). It interpreted Paragraph 11 to apply to trees and hedges view obstructing, but not to obstructions due to remodeling/additions to the main house.

     Greenberg Glusker blog sums up the essence of the problem:  Paragraph 11 of the CC&Rs prohibits “any structures erected that may at present or in the future obstruct the view from any other lot.” The complaining neighbor in the Eisen vs. Tavangarian case prevailed at the lower court level when the judge found that various improvements to a newly renovated $9.4 million home “unreasonably obstructed” the plaintiff’s ocean views.
     The appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision.  It framed the issue as a seemingly straightforward question: “Does paragraph 11 of the CC&R’s apply to alterations or renovations to 
existing homes?”      

       In 2005, the same appellate court, in a case entitled Zabrucky vs. McAdams examined nearly identical CC&Rs of a neighboring tract in Marquez Knolls.  That court held that paragraph 11 applied to any alteration or remodel of an existing dwelling that “may at present or in the future unreasonably obstruct the view from any other lot.”

   Over a decade later, the Eisen court stated that the Zabrucky majority misread paragraph 11 of the CC&R’s.  The Appellate Court ultimately concluded that paragraph 11 restricts only building a new structure, and not making alterations to an existing one.……MKPOA became alarmed that the Eisen appellate court decision and its reasoning could weaken view protection for all Lachman CC&Rs with its interpretation of Paragraph 11, that has effectively removed view protection when your neighbor remodels the house.  The threat is that tear-down/renovation has become the “new normal” in Marquez Knolls.

   Since June 20, 2019 MKPOA has written an Amicus Letter to the Appellate Court to reconsider the case - denied; has hired an attorney to submit an Amicus Letter to the California Supreme Court to review the case - denied; is investigating the option to revise the language in the CC&Rs to make it “court proof.”  To read more about MKPOA action defending CC&Rs: 

 click here - Amicus Actions Eisen vs. Tavangarian.


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Baseline Mansionization Ordinance (BMO) and Coastal Zone

      In early 2021, new construction on the corner of Marquez and Ida kept growing in volume and in height to 42 ft.  It loomed taller than anything else around, dwarfing the neighboring ranch-style homes and the Marquez School across the street. Taller than anything in the commercial district it now rises four  stories above Ida.   The neighbors complaint loudly.  City inspectors came and went.

     MKPOA and the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) were approached for opinions.  Each cautiously pondered over the so carefully drafted zoning code developed by the much beloved former Councilman, Marvin Braude with a 35 ft height limit. 

     City inspectors did find some violations but not with the floor area and not with the height limit. We heard the conclusion that its height and floor area are legal under current zoning laws and that its construction will continue.

     The Area 3 Representative (which includes Marquez Knollls) on the PPCC kept pushing for answers for our residents. 

     Our own MKPOA President,  Howard Robinson, a retired land-use consultant and chair of the PPCC Landuse committee discovered the anomaly.   

In layman’s language the legality of the Ida home is based on the following: when the Baseline Mansionisation Ordinance (BMO), or better known as the flatland anti-mansionization ordinance, was implemented in the City of LA, the areas covered by the Coastal Zone in the non-hillside areas were exempt because Coastal was expected to undergo its own revision of the zooming codes.  That never happened. It left the non-hillside R1 areas under Coastal with 40 year old antiquated zoning codes. 

     Coastal codes allow among others a 45ft heigh building and a building-site-x2 floor area which produces a massive volume for the building which is then higher than commercial structures in the Palisades.  Those structures are limited to 35 ft. since the Councilman Braude era.  PPCC unanimously supported  the modification of the “Coastal donut holes” to align with the standard R1 regulations which limit the height  to 35 ft.  among other rules.

     Interestingly, Mike Bonin introduced such a motion in early 2020 at the LA City Council.  It passed unanimously but was never acted upon.  MKPOA  will continue to advocate that PPCC pursues our current Councilmember, Traci Park, to follow up on the unanimous Bonin motions toward implementation of that change.   We have already planted the seed with Traci when she visited Marquez Knolls.

      We already see building permits filed under Coastal rules  in the Palisades.  Actions  to  implement regular R1 rules in the Coastal Zone are urgent or sooner or later we will see giant structures lining Marquez Ave. and other areas of the Palisades.

     P.S.:  The LUC produced a comprehensive report on Coastal and all other zoning restrictions in the Palisades.  It is published on the PPCC website www.PacPaliCC.org   along with a map of  other such area in the Palisades that currently allow this construction.   The report is invaluable 

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DWP Power Distribution Sub Station (DS104)

                           DWP Town Hall Meetings 

     On Feb. 29th, 2012, DWP held a Town Hall meeting to announce its plans to build a large power distribution substation in the western half of the Palisades. All supported DWP in their efforts to add the substation, but most objected to the proposed locations: Los Liones parkland behind Fire Station 23 or a vacant lot on Marquez Ave next to the Marquez Charter Elementary School. For more information click here.  It was considered by many one of the most vibrant community gatherings in recent years.  Over 200 people attended, 30 speaker voiced opinions on the proposals.

     A group of Marquez Knolls Residents and Marquez Charter School parents formed the "Coalition of Palisadians to Keep Marquez Charter Safe" to spearhead community's continuing efforts to oppose the DWP's proposal for the Marquez site.

     On January of 2023, DWP announced renewed plans to study the feasibility of a site for the construction of DS 104 with emphasis on  the Marquez site.  DWP invited Pacific Palisades residents and other interested parties to a public information Zoom meeting.  Nearly 30 people spoke for over one hour declaring opposition to the Marquez site.  There was not one supporting voice.  For additional information click on the links below.