Hermosa Beach, California
"The Best Little Beach City"
|Incorporated (city)||January 14, 1907|
|• Mayor||Raymond Jackson|
|• Mayor pro tempore||Justin Massey|
|• Councilmembers||Rob Saemann|
|• City treasurer||Karen S. Nowicki|
|• City clerk (Appointed)||Myra Maravilla|
|• Total||1.43 sq mi (3.69 km2)|
|• Land||1.43 sq mi (3.69 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2) 0%|
|Elevation||26 ft (8 m)|
|• Density||14,000/sq mi (5,300/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|Area code(s)||310 and 424|
|GNIS feature IDs||1652719, 2410749|
Hermosa Beach (Hermosa, Spanish for "Beautiful") is a beachfront city in Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California, United States. Its population was 19,728 at the 2020 U.S. Census. The city is located in the South Bay region of the Greater Los Angeles area; it is one of the three Beach Cities. Hermosa Beach is bordered by the other two, Manhattan Beach to the north and Redondo Beach to the south and east.
The city's beach is popular for sunbathing, beach volleyball, surfing, paddleboarding, bars, cycling and running. The city itself extends only about 15 blocks from east to west and 40 blocks from north to south, with Pacific Coast Highway running down the middle. Situated on the Pacific Ocean, Hermosa's average temperature is 70 °F (22 °C) in the summer and 55 °F (13 °C) in the winter. Westerly sea breezes lessen what can be high summertime temperatures in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the county and help keep the smog away 360 days of the year.
A paved path, called The Strand, runs along Hermosa's beach from Torrance Beach in the south approximately twenty miles north to Santa Monica. The Hermosa Beach Pier is at the end of Pier Avenue, which is one of the beach community's main shopping, dining and entertainment areas.
Hermosa Beach was originally part of the 1784 Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant that later became the ten-mile (16 km) ocean frontage of Rancho Sausal Redondo. In 1900, a tract of 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) was purchased for $35 per acre from A. E. Pomroy, then owner of the greater part of Rancho Sausal Redondo. Messrs. Burbank and Baker, agents, bought this land for Sherman and Clark who organized and retained the controlling interest in the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company.
In early days, Hermosa Beach — like so many of its neighboring cities (Inglewood, Lawndale, Torrance) — was one vast sweep of rolling hills covered with fields of grain, mostly barley. During certain seasons of the year large herds of sheep were grazed over this land, and corrals and large barns for storing the grain, as well as providing shelter for horses and farm implements, were located on the ranch between Hermosa and Inglewood. The Spanish words Rancho Sausal Redondo mean a large circular ranch of pasture of grazing land, with a grove of willow on it.
The first official survey was made in the year 1901 for the board walk on the Strand, Hermosa Avenue and Santa Fe Avenue; work on these projects commenced soon after. In 1904 the first pier was built. It was constructed entirely of wood even to the pilings and it extended five hundred feet out into the ocean. The pier was constructed by the Hermosa Beach Land and Water Company. In 1913 this old pier was partly washed away and later torn down and a new one built to replace it. This pier was built of concrete 1,000 feet (300 m) long, and paved with asphalt its entire length. Small tiled pavilions were erected at intervals along the sides to afford shade for fishermen and picnic parties. A bait stand was built eventually out on the end. Soon after, about 1914, an auditorium building was constructed; it has housed various enterprises and at present the public rest rooms, the Los Angeles Life Guard Service, and the local branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library occupy rooms in the building. This pier is municipally owned.
The Los Angeles Pacific Railway, a trolley system, was the first trolley service in Hermosa Beach, running the entire length of Hermosa Ave. on its way from L.A. to Redondo Beach. A few years later it was merged with most other trolley companies in the region to form the new Pacific Electric Railway Company, informally called the Red Cars.
The Santa Fe Railway was the first railroad to run through Hermosa Beach. It was seven blocks from the beach. The street that led to the tracks was called Santa Fe Avenue, but was later renamed Pier Avenue. There was no Santa Fe railway station for Hermosa, but Burbank and Baker built a railway platform on the west side of the tracks near Santa Fe Avenue, and later the railroad company donated an old boxcar to be used as a storage place for freight. In 1926, the Santa Fe built a modern stucco depot and installed Western Union telegraph service in it.
The first city election for city officers was held December 24, 1906. On January 14, 1907, Hermosa Beach became the nineteenth incorporated city of Los Angeles County.
Hermosa Beach is located at (33.866314, -118.399681).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2), all of it land.
Average air temperature - (summer 74 °F (23.3 °C)/ winter, 55 °F (12.7 °C))
Average water temperature - 60 °F (15.5 °C) (summer 68 °F (20 °C)/ winter 50 °F (10 °C))
|Climate data for Hermosa Beach, California|
|Record high °F (°C)||91
|Average high °F (°C)||65.7
|Average low °F (°C)||48.0
|Record low °F (°C)||27
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.02
Hermosa Beach has an average of 325 days of sunshine a year. Because of its location, nestled on a vast open bay (Santa Monica Bay), morning fog and haze is a common phenomenon in May, June and early July (caused by ocean temperature variations and currents). Locals have a particular terminology for this phenomenon: the "May Gray" and the "June Gloom". Overcast skies are common for June mornings, but usually the strong sun burns the fog off by noon. Nonetheless, it will sometimes stay cloudy and cool all day during June, even as other parts of the Los Angeles area will enjoy sunny skies and warmer temperatures. At times, the sun shines east of PCH, while the beach area is overcast.
As a general rule, the temperature is from 5 to 10 °F (3 to 5.5 °C) cooler than it is inland. A typical spring day (mid-April) is sunny, pleasant and about 68 °F (20 °C). In the summer, which stretches basically from May to late October, temperatures can reach to the mid-80s Fahrenheit (about 30 °C) at the beach. In early November, it is about 68 °F (20 °C). In late January, temperatures are around 63 °F (17 °C). It is winter, however, when the hot, dry Santa Ana winds are most common. In mid-December 2004, temperatures soared to 84 °F (28 °C) in Santa Monica, for a few straight days, with perfectly sunny skies.
The rainy season is from late October through late March. Winter storms usually approach from the northwest and pass quickly through the Southland. There is very little rain during the rest of the year, on average, there is just about 14 inches of rain per year in the city.
Hermosa Beach usually enjoys a cool breeze blowing in from the ocean, keeping the air fresh and clean. Therefore, smog is less a problem for Hermosa Beach than elsewhere around Los Angeles.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Hermosa Beach had a population of 19,506. The population density was 13,673.6 inhabitants per square mile (5,279.4/km2). The racial makeup of Hermosa Beach was 16,928 (86.8%) White (80.9% Non-Hispanic White), 229 (1.2%) African American, 49 (0.3%) Native American, 1,111 (5.7%) Asian, 46 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 325 (1.7%) from other races, and 818 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,632 persons (8.4%).
The Census reported that 19,491 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 11 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 4 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 9,550 households, out of which 1,878 (19.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,254 (34.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 460 (4.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 325 (3.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 710 (7.4%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 64 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,644 households (38.2%) were made up of individuals, and 606 (6.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04. There were 4,039 families (42.3% of all households); the average family size was 2.80.
The population was spread out, with 3,093 people (15.9%) under the age of 18, 1,242 people (6.4%) aged 18 to 24, 8,516 people (43.7%) aged 25 to 44, 4,898 people (25.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,757 people (9.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.0 years. For every 100 females, there were 111.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.1 males.
There were 10,162 housing units at an average density of 7,123.5 per square mile (2,750.4/km2), of which 4,255 (44.6%) were owner-occupied, and 5,295 (55.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.4%. 10,083 people (51.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,408 people (48.2%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Hermosa Beach had a median household income of $101,655, with 3.4% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,566 people, 9,476 households, and 3,553 families residing in the city. The population density was 12,982.4 inhabitants per square mile (5,012.5/km2). There were 9,840 housing units at an average density of 6,880.7 per square mile (2,656.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.58% White, 0.80% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 4.40% Asian, 0.22% Pacific Islander, 1.68% from other races, and 2.91% from two or more races. 4.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 9,476 households, out of which 14.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.6% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 62.5% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.95 and the average family size was 2.65.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 12.0% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 55.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 112.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 113.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $81,153, and the median income for a family was $104,645. Males had a median income of $67,407 versus $50,295 for females. The per capita income for the city was $54,244. About 1.7% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.
There are eight hotels and one youth hostel in the city.
The wide flat beach makes Hermosa Beach one of the most popular places to play beach volleyball, from professional to amateur. Hermosa Beach is home to the AVP Hermosa Beach Open tournament, and several amateur CBVA tournaments during the year. The Strand stretches north to Santa Monica and south to Redondo Beach, and is a popular place for walkers, joggers and biking. Of the three Beach Cities, only Hermosa Beach owns its own beach. The other two cities' beaches are owned by the county of Los Angeles.
Running parallel to The Strand is a lovely linear trail known today as the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt. Once part of a railroad easement, this narrow 24-acre (97,000 m2) strip had long been the subject of heated controversy and pressure from various commercial interests. After years of litigation and wrangling, the city was poised to permit intensive retail and condominium development in the mid-1980s when a grassroots group spearheaded by activist Rosamond Fogg forced the matter to a vote. The City Council at the time was divided over whether the matter was of much importance but after an energetic and passionate campaign, the citizens found that the greenbelt was a vital recreational resource and mandated its preservation for the use and enjoyment of residents and visitors. This ballot initiative passed by almost 87%, the highest in California history. On the same Ballot, the public approved a referendum added a utility user's tax by 2% to help pay for the purchase, to be sunset after the property was acquired. As a result, the Hermosa Valley Greenbelt has the quality of a rural country lane, home to the monarch butterfly and many bird and animal species. At any time of day or night joggers and walkers enjoy its soft woodchip trails and graceful landscaping. The Greenbelt is also now part of the federal rails to trails network. The AIA R/UDAT (Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team) found that Hermosa Beach, thanks in large part to the existence of the Greenbelt, was a "world class pedestrian city".
The city also has eight other parks:
According to the 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city's various funds had $32.4 million in revenues, $33.9 million in expenditures, $93.8 million in total assets, $12.2 million in total liabilities, and $23.0 million in cash and investments.
The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:
|City Department||Department Head|
|Administration||Suja Lowenthal (City Manager)|
|Recreation & Community Resources||Lisa Nichols|
|Personnel and Risk Manager||Vanessa Godinez|
|Police Chief||Paul LeBaron|
|Public Works||Joe SanClamente|
The Beach Cities Health District, provides health and wellness services to the residents of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Redondo Beach. The voters of the three beach cities elect the 5-member Board of Directors to 4-year terms. One of 78 California Health Districts, it was created in 1955 as South Bay Hospital and took on its current name in 1993. Beach Cities Health District opened AdventurePlex, a Manhattan Beach fitness center for kids and their families, in 2002. Filled with mazes, tunnels, outdoor rock climbing walls, complex ropes courses, and an indoor gym, AdventurePlex challenges children physically and intellectually in health-focused recreational activities.
The United States Postal Service Hermosa Beach Post Office is located at 565 Pier Avenue.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department has a sectional lifeguard headquarters located at the Hermosa Beach Pier since the new building opened its doors since 2006, currently commanded by Capt. Tracy Lizzotte who leads the entire "Team HB" as part of "Team South" in the L.A. County Lifeguard. Currently located at 1200 The Strand housed a lifeguard garage where response vehicles have parked.
In the California State Legislature, Hermosa Beach is in the 26th Senate District, represented by Democrat María Elena Durazo, and in the 66th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Al Muratsuchi.
In the United States House of Representatives, Hermosa Beach is in California's 36th congressional district, represented by Democrat Ted Lieu.
In the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama won 61% of the vote compared to 36% for John McCain.
Hermosa Beach has its own elementary school and middle school but high school students are served by either Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach where rankings are in the 80 to 90th percentiles. Hermosa Beach residents are zoned to Hermosa Beach City School District for grades Kindergarten through 8. Before Proposition 13 passed, Hermosa Beach had five elementary schools (North, South, Hermosa View, Prospect Heights, Valley Vista) and one junior high school (Pier Avenue).
Residents of Hermosa Beach were in South Bay Union High School District until 1993, when it dissolved.
In 2005, Hermosa Valley and Hermosa View schools were honored as U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Schools, along with 33 California schools and less than 300 schools across the nation. The award was based on academic achievement. Hermosa schools are among the top 10% of schools in the state with students scoring at or above the 90% in the highest grade tested in reading and math. For the award, the Department of Education reviewed growth in scores over a three-year period.
The district has three schools:
At the high school level, public school students can choose between two schools:
The Hermosa Beach City School District as a whole received a score of 915 on the 2006 California Academic Performance Index, neighboring Manhattan Beach Unified School District scored just below at 906 making it one of California's best performing districts. Each individual school also ranks at the top of its respective category.
|School||2006 API Score|
|Hermosa View Elementary||950|
|Hermosa Vista Elementary|
|Hermosa Valley Middle||910|
|Mira Costa High School||852|
Hermosa Beach also has one private school:
At one point the International Bilingual School, a Japanese preparatory school for grades K-9, moved to Hermosa Beach. In 1992 the school moved to Palos Verdes Estates.
In addition to the Los Angeles Times, Hermosa Beach is served by the hometown Easy Reader, local daily the Daily Breeze and local weekly the Beach Reporter. The most popular local sites are EasyReaderNews.com and SouthBayEvents.com, which offers a weekly entertainment guide, as well as a full local business listing.
Hermosa Beach has been the sister city of Loreto, Baja California Sur, since 1967.