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One reviewer on https://www.yelp.com/biz/city-of-beverly-hills-beverly-hills-3, Owen H. describes Beverly Hills like this: “Fun city to visit. Lots of fancy clothing stores. Has a Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney New York, and many more stores on the beautiful Rodeo Drive. There are also many restaurants to try and great hotels. Parking here is surprisingly pretty easy here. They have a lot of underground lots under buildings. In between Little and Big Santa Monica Blvd., there is a huge lot extending for the beginning to the end and there are always at least a few parking spaces available. The houses (or should I say mansions) in this city are incredible. They are enormous. I enjoy just walking down the streets and looking at them. They are really beautiful.” Beverly Hills has always been known as a city for the rich and glamorous and it is – it is home to many Hollywood stars and personalities. It is located in Los Angeles County between Los Angeles and West Hollywood. It has a population of about 35,000 people.

Beverly Hills was originally a lima bean producing Spanish ranch. Some investors later bought it hoping that they would find oil – oil was being discovered in many parts of California – but when they found water instead they decided to develop it into a commercial and residential area. They started selling lots and the first home was built in 1907. Sales were slow though. It was an all-white community and there were restrictions on people of any other race owning a home there or even being there unless they were domestic servants. After the Beverly Hills Hotel was constructed in 1911 it attracted people and many who saw the land bought a lot and developed it. By 1914 there were enough people for it to incorporate as an independent city.

Wikipedia explains how it became home to the glamorous: “In 1919, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land on Summit Drive and built a mansion, finished in 1921 and nicknamed “Pickfair” by the press. The glamor associated with Fairbanks and Pickford as well as other movie stars who built mansions in the city contributed to its growing appeal.”

It continues, “In the early 1940s, black actors and businessmen had begun to move into Beverly Hills, despite the covenants allowing only whites to live in the city. A neighborhood improvement association attempted to enforce the covenant in court. The defendants included such luminaries as Hattie McDaniel, Louise Beavers, and Ethel Waters. Among the white residents supporting the lawsuit against blacks was silent film star Harold Lloyd. The NAACP participated in the defense, which was successful. In his decision, federal judge Thurmond Clarke said that it was time that “members of the Negro race are accorded, without reservations or evasions, the full rights guaranteed to them under the 14th amendment.” The United States Supreme Court declared restrictive covenants unenforceable in 1948 in Shelley v. Kraemer. A group of Jewish residents of Beverly Hills filed an amicus brief in this case. In 1956, Paul Trousdale (1915-1990) purchased the grounds of the Doheny Ranch and developed it into the Trousdale Estates, convincing the city of Beverly Hills to annex it. The neighborhood has been home to Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, Ray Charles, President Richard Nixon and, more recently, Jennifer Aniston, David Spade, Vera Wang, and John Rich.”

The population of Beverly Hills today is mostly white – 82% are Caucasians, while 9% are Asians and 3% are African Americans. The rest is a mix of races. Persian Jews (Jews from Iran) are the biggest religious groups and they are the largest population of this sect in the United States. There are several other things that Beverly Hills is notable, as explained on Wikipedia:

• In the midst of the 2015 drought, Beverly Hills was found to be one of the biggest water consumers in all of California. As a result, they were asked by the state to reduce their consumption by 36%, prompting many residents to replace their lawns with native plants. Meanwhile, the city government replaced the grass in front of the City Hall with Mexican sage.

• In September 2015, the City of Beverly Hills signed an agreement with the State of Israel to work together on water use as well as “cybersecurity, public health, emergency services, disaster preparedness, public safety, counterterrorism and art and culture”.

• In July 2016, the City of Beverly Hills received the Livability Award from the United States Conference of Mayors for its Ambassador Program, which takes care of the city’s homeless population.

• The Beverly Hills Community Dog Park was dedicated on September 6, 2016.

• In November 2016, the Beverly Hills City Council passed a resolution to condemn the decision made by the UNESCO to deny the Jewish history of Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel.

The cost of living in Beverly Hills is 239% higher than the state average, while the median home income is 42% higher than the California average. The crime rate is 25% higher than the average statewide, while the high school graduation rate is 19% higher. What prohibits most people from living in Beverly Hills is the cost of housing. The median home value is 724% higher than the California average. A 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home will cost around $6.3 million, while a 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom home will cost you around $8 million. A quarter of the population has children who are 18 years or younger and the city is served by the Beverly Hills Unified School District.

There are several employers in the city including the City of Beverly Hills which is the biggest, Beverly Hills Unified School District, Beverly Wilshire Hotel, The Beverly Hilton, The Beverly Hills Hotel, William Morris Agency and Saks 5th Avenue among others.

Beverly Hills may be out of the reach of most people but one thing is for sure – if you can afford to live there you will definitely bump into a famous personality once in a while.