Mankind is motivated by wanting something, or needing something. And when you have a piece of land that families both want and need, the world is your oyster.
For Rolling Hills I selected an area just South of Palos Verdes Drive, three miles from the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive and Gaffey. The area selected contained 600 acres. Day after day, when the fog would roll over the hills from Point Vicente to Redondo and flood all of the Los Angeles Basin with fog, then sweep in from Point Fermi—Rolling Hills would be in sunshine. The climate was ideal.
I wanted to build a village – I wanted to build a community. It was going to take other skills besides mine to take care of the people’s needs and wants.
I contacted Harry Cheney with whom I had worked in the development of Palos Verdes Drive North, after Labor Day, 1935, we spent hours and hours in the living room of Rancho Elastico, where no one could disturb us, planning Rolling Hills. I explained to Harry Cheney what I knew to be on market – that some buyers would want a piece as small as an acre, but a large majority would want a larger parcel – five acres or so.
The 600 acres would be used for two classes of single family homes. The flatter area, immediately to the south of Palos Verdes Drive, would be for one-acre home sites. Because it was flat, it would be 100% usable. It was at an elevation of 474 feet. The balance of the road rose gradually to Crest Road at an elevation of 1,200 feet.
After we had the fundamental idea pretty well worked out in our mind, we contacted George Martinson, who was also my Attorney as General Manager of the Palos Verdes Corporation.
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Hanson, A. E. Rolling Hills: The Early Years, February 1930 through December 7, 1941. Rolling Hills, CA: City of Rolling Hills, 1978. Print.