No yard sales, no film shoots, no pet breeding. Just a few blocks southwest of bustling Pico and Robertson boulevards is the planned residential community of Beverlywood. Incorporated in 1940, it remains an immaculate development of about 1,354 single-family homes, all part of the Beverlywood Homes Assn. area.
Developer Walter H. Leimert envisioned neatly manicured homes in a planned environment subject to a single set of codes, covenants and restrictions. Today, architectural design standards are strictly upheld and enforced by a review committee.
Application is required for additions or changes, including exterior paint color. One homeowner opted for purple, was cited by the association and eventually repainted an approved shade of blue.
Landscaping regulations, including lawn trimming specifications of "no more than four inches in height," are also enforced. Common areas are kept pristine and well planted.
What's in a name?
Beverlywood boundaries are well marked, but neighboring streets have adopted the name, to the chagrin of the homeowners association. Incorporated Beverlywood is bordered roughly by Robertson Boulevard on the east, Monte Mar Drive on the north, Beverwil and Roxbury drives on the west and Beverlywood Street on the south.
"Everyone says hello," said homeowner Pessie Davis. "Our neighborhood is like a big happy family. Kids play in the street and run from house to house. It's like living in the 1950s."
Good news, bad news
Several private schools have sprung up along Pico and Robertson to meet the demands of a growing family neighborhood. As a result, parking has become a critical issue, with nearby residential street space in high demand. The limited supply has residents lobbying for restricted parking in front of their homes. As traffic has increased with growth, speed bumps have been added along residential streets to slow passing cars.
With large rooms and yards, the homes have attracted families in growing numbers, particularly young Orthodox Jewish families. For religious Jews, driving is prohibited from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, creating a need for proximity to places of worship. Within walking distance are an abundance of synagogues, kosher restaurants and specialty stores.
On Elm Drive, Pico Glatt Mart is typical, bustling with chatting residents on a Friday morning while they shop for challah, poultry and other Sabbath specialties.
Circle Park is a common spot for residents to stop and visit. Centered in the vehicle roundabout of Beverlywood, the cozy park has a grassy lawn and flowers maintained by Beverlywood Assn. dues. Nearby Irving Schachter Park features playground equipment.
The original modest one-story homes with flagstone facades are giving way to stone-accented mansions, some more than 4,000 square feet. Since design review strictly regulates landscape, architectural design and materials, the look is cohesive within the association.
Public schools are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Scores on the 2003 Academic Performance Index included 775 for Canfield Elementary and 750 for Palms Middle School. Hamilton High scored 636 out of a possible 1,000.
On the market
Within the association there were about four homes for sale in late December, including a five-bedroom remodel on Kirkside Road for $1,499,000, and a four-bedroom, 2,772-square-foot home for $995,000 on busier Beverly Drive. With sparse inventory, starter homes frequently bring more than their asking prices, such as one listed for $699,000 that quickly sold for $747,000 in August.
Historical values Single-family detached resales:
Year...Median Price 1990...$535,000
*year to date
Sources: DataQuick Information Systems; Beverlywood Homes Assn., http://www.beverlywood ha.com; the Multiple Listing Service, http://www.themls.com ; L.A. Unified School District, http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us ; Mittleman Management Co.; the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council, http://www.soro.org ; the Asch family; Walter H. Leimert Co., http://www.leimert.com .