R. H. Estates

Despite its tentative approval a month ago of a development concept for a 300-acre residential project centered on the old Chandler quarry, the city Planning Commission this week shelved the proposal so the city of Torrance can participate in the planning process.

About 55 acres of the development, and 250 of the homes, would be located in Torrance, according to the developer, Cayman Development Co. of Rolling Hills Estates. In both cities there has been vocal opposition from residents concerned about traffic, street access to the development and the preservation of horse trails in the quarry area.

Planning staffs in Rolling Hills Estates and Torrance now will work with Cayman on details of the development, which involves massive grading to fill the quarry and reconstruction of the Rolling Hills Country Club golf course, city officials said. An environmental impact report on a variety of land use and zoning concepts for the property will be paid for by the developer. Although Cayman has disclosed a general concept for the development--which would be the largest in Rolling Hills Estates' history--it will not complete a specific development plan for several weeks, said Dave Eadie, Cayman's vice president.

David Ferren, Torrance planning director, said the city is concerned about what the development would do to the Alta Loma Park area. Cayman has proposed taking dirt from beneath the park for quarry fill and lowering and reconstructing the park. Homes along Delos Drive, which now face the park, would be left with bluff views. Ferren said access to the Cayman development from this area also would be a problem because "it is a giant cul-de-sac." He said the city "has to look at these things" before making any decisions about the project.

One matter to be thrashed out by planners is Cayman's proposal for clustered town homes in the Rolling Hills Estates portion of the development. In response to residents' concerns about density, the Planning Commission in May rejected condominiums and town homes. Eadie said this prohibition threatens the present design concept and Cayman is "prepared to offer salient arguments" in favor of retaining the town homes.

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