Yesterday at 1:01 PM I got a phone call from Ms. Robinson of the Palos Verdes Homes Association. “Mr. Davidson?”
“We received your letter regarding the racially restrictive covenants and wanted to let you know that those were amended quite some time ago.”
“And filed with the county?”
The polite and professional Ms. Robinson then gave me the date, number of the recorded document, and number of the amendment. She explained that the reason the association had whited out all of the CCR booklets was because they were somewhat historic, being the original ones printed when the city was formed, and because there were so many of them that reprinting and replacing wasn’t as practical as whiting out the racist language.
When I mentioned that a resident had come in a few days ago and asked about it, and had been told that the covenants hadn’t been amended, she told me that she would speak with staff to clear up any misunderstandings.
I told her that my title search hadn’t come up with an amendment to the racially restrictive covenants, but armed with the document number and amendment number I said I would try again. She very graciously responded that if I either couldn’t find it or if the documents that were returned had discrepancies that I should contact her and they would figure out how to proceed.
Far from being defensive or angry or upset, she acknowledged the ugly history of the covenants and told me that the association had cooperated with a researcher to provide background about the covenants as they related to the community’s design by the Olmsted brothers.
I sent off the information she provided to the title company and within a couple of hours had the result. The Palos Verdes Homes Association had indeed amended their CCRs in 2000. The amendment_no_214_to_declaration_of_establishment_pv_homes_association is here, and reproduced below as JPEGs.
I suppose it’s still indefensible that it wasn’t until the 21st Century that the racial language was deleted, and it’s pretty lame that a community as wealthy as this one is too cheap to print out new CCRs–especially when the whited out language is sometimes still visible–but seventeen years ago isn’t exactly yesterday, and however incrementally slow, progress is still progress.
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