HERMOSA BEACH : City Council Adopts 'Film-Friendly' Policy

This city's reputation in the film industry might have been tarnished last year, but city officials are determined to bring film crews back into the city's neighborhoods.

Under a policy approved Tuesday by the City Council, Hermosa Beach will promote its photogenic streets using the California Film Commission, a branch of the state Department of Commerce.

"It's high time we encourage filming in this town," said Councilman Robert (Bergie) Benz.

Among the promotional activities under consideration is a bus trip through the city for location managers to scout out potential filming spots.

Last month, the council voted to amend the city's zoning codes to permit filming in and around homes, hoping to prevent a rerun of last year's battle with residents over the filming of the television show "Beverly Hills, 90210."

A Torrance Superior Court judge ordered the show's producers to stop filming at an oceanfront home after residents complained that the crews, trucks and heavy equipment disrupted the neighborhood. The judge ruled that the filming violated city laws prohibiting business activity in residential areas.

The council said the city's former zoning codes failed to reflect the city's "film-friendly" position.

The new policy only restricts filming in residential areas between 7 and 10 a.m. unless producers get written permission from nearby residents.

In addition, crews need residents' approval to film more than five straight days or more than 20 days a year.

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