Myth or Fact: Affordable Housing in Pacific Palisades

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The Palisades Bowl mobile home community in Pacific Palisades, along Pacific Coast Highway  is considered affordable housing.

Myth Busters Episode #1

One of my son’s favorite television shows when he was little was Mythbusters. Each episode focused on popular beliefs, Internet rumors or other myths. The cast would examine each myth and then either confirm or debunk it.

Circling the News is now offering its own series “Myth Busters B.S.”

At a City Council meeting on June 24, Councilman Mike Bonin rued the fact he had not been able to get affordable housing in Pacific Palisades.

Is it a FACT or B.S. that there is no affordable housing in the Palisades?

A reader wrote, “I recall that when the self-righteous people on the City Planning Commission considered the Jack in the Box project during a so-called hearing, they made the same observation about the lack of affordable housing in the Palisades that Mr. Bonin has now stated.  I believe that some people later said that the apartment complex at the foot of Palisades Drive across from the shopping strip was affordable housing that was created as part of the trade-offs in getting the Highlands development approved many years earlier.”

Another reader wrote, “There are 100 city-controlled low to moderate income housing in the in Palisades since 1988 [base of Palisades Drive]. Why is this an unknown or ignored fact?”

In addition to the 100 affordable housing units at the base of Palisades Drive, there are three mobile home parks, all considered low-income and all governed by the Mellow Act, which was adopted by the state of California in 1982 to preserve the overall number of residential dwelling and affordable units within the Coastal Zone. The most recent challenge to the act was in 2010, when the owner of the Palisades Bowl Mobile Home sought to change the property from rentals to ownership.

At Palisades Bowl, a 170-unit park, the land is owned by Edward Biggs and leases are protected under rent control (Mobile Home Residency laws can be found at

In 2015, the L.A. City Council requested that City Planning prepare a permanent ordinance that implemented the state Mellow Act (No. 15-0129-S1). A draft document was released in December 2019.

Tahitian Terrace, which was built above PCH and Temescal Canyon in 1963, has about 250 homes, all under rent control. According to one source, the average annual increase is about three percent.

At Malibu Village above PCH (south of Sunset), the owners of the 29 homes own the land and their mobile homes. They pay property tax, but no rent.

Total number of affordable units in Pacific Palisades 549.

Bonin’s claim of “no affordable” housing?

The Claim is B.S.



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6 Responses to Myth or Fact: Affordable Housing in Pacific Palisades

  1. Joan Blanchard says:

    The mobile parks may have affordable rents but to buy in in Tahitian Terrace is now close to 2 million. Affordable?

  2. Martina Dilillo says:

    Thank you Sue for bringing theses facts to light. It appears Bonin has selective amnesia, very conveniently. Thank goodness he is going! Looking forward to reading about future episodes of myths buster! Thanks so much for your valuable contributions to this community.

  3. Julie Hanner says:

    Are we looking at just mobile homes as the affordable housing metric? I’m no fan of Bonin’s but he’s right on this point. Spec builders took over the Palisades a decade or so ago and all affordable small homes are now torn down to build more oversized homes crammed on to small lots. Certainly that’s what’s being referred to, not a handful of government controlled apartments and mobile homes.

  4. Sue says:


    Find me anything in Los Angeles in the million dollar prize range–that’s why so many people are leaving the area. Sue

  5. Sue says:


    I’m curious how many people in Pacific Palisades inherited the smaller homes from parents – and then sold them to developers. The lot size hasn’t changed here. What has changed is people building lot line to lot line, which is not environmentally friendly. About 550 units in a town of 28,800 is not a small number. And 100 of those units are one, two and three bedroom apartments at the base of the Highlands. Sue

  6. Jo says:

    FYI: It’s the Mello Act (not Mellow).

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