ECORP assisted the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation with environmental services for proposed operational changes at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. Virginia Robinson Gardens is a unique 6.2-acre publicly accessible historic estate and gardens in the City of Beverly Hills, operated and maintained by the County. Built in 1911, it was once the residence of Virginia and Harry Robinson (of Robinson’s department stores) and was the first of the opulent residential estates built in the city. Guests to the property included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marlene Dietrich, Lillian and Walt Disney, Elvis Presley, Sophia Loren, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, and Charlie Chaplin. Shortly before her death in 1977, Mrs. Robinson bequeathed her estate to the County.
The County works in partnership with the Friends of Robinson Gardens to preserve the estate for the public to enjoy and experience. The Gardens offers tours to the public, educational information for elementary schools, and a limited number of special events per year. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is designated as a California Point of Historical Interest, and is on the City of Beverly Hills Local Register of Historic Properties.
In October 2021, ECORP initiated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review process for the expansion Project. ECORP prepared a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report along with technical studies including air quality/greenhouse gas, historical resources, noise, and traffic. Public outreach services, including public meetings, were also provided to address predominantly traffic and noise concerns from the adjacent Beverly Hills residents. Over 150 comment letters were received.
On November 15, 2022, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in favor of the Project and expanded the operational capacity of the Gardens. Virginia Robinson Gardens is now open by appointment for up to 140 visitors a day, Monday through Saturday, as well as most holidays. The facility is also now permitted to offer 12 special events per year.