County Explores Social Host Ordinance for Palos Verdes Peninsula

Los Angeles, CA—Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion offered by Supervisor Janice Hahn to explore enacting a “social host” ordinance in the unincorporated communities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula to discourage underage drinking.

Social host ordinances aim to discourage parties that involve underage drinking by levying fines against the property owner of a home where underage individuals drink alcohol. 

“I know that there are parents who say that ‘if kids are going to drink, I would rather they drink in the house,’” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This is an irresponsible mindset. Kids that drink at these parties are drinking and driving. Social host ordinances give law enforcement and communities another tool to discourage underage drinking parties and hold parents who host these parties accountable.”

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is comprised of four cities (Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates) and two unincorporated areas (Westfield and Academy Hills).  While each of the four cities on the Peninsula have passed or are in the process of passing social host ordinances, no such ordinance exists in the two unincorporated areas situated in the middle of these cities. 

“I want to support the efforts that cities on the Peninsula are making to protect their kids,” said Supervisor Hahn. “We need consistency if we want these policies to be effective and we cannot allow our County unincorporated neighborhoods on the Hill to become magnets for these parties and underage drinking.”

Several PTA members and elected officials from the Palos Verdes Peninsula testified at the board meeting to support Supervisor Hahn’s motion including Rolling Hills Estates Councilmember Judy Mitchell whose city recently passed a social host ordinance.

“In order for our social host ordinances to work, we need consistency across the Peninsula,” said Councilmember Mitchell.

The motion passed today instructs County Counsel, in consultation with the Sheriff, County Public Health, and the District Attorney, to report back to the Board on the feasibility of a social host ordinance in Westfield and Academy Hills that mirrors the similar ordinances in the surrounding cities. County counsel will deliver a report to the Board in 30 days.

Individuals who testified included:

Rod Uyeda, Former Manhattan Beach Police Chief,

David Lesser, Mayor of Manhattan Beach

Rauda Frank, Beach Health Services

Ann Schmidt-Lampe, PTSA

Heather Matson, Palos Verdes Peninsula City Councilmember

Beth Meyerhoff, Palos Verdes Peninsula Councilmember

Christin Sunana , Counselor at Peninsula High School

Judy Mitchell, Rolling Hills Estates City Councilmember