Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

MEMORANDUM

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: SEPTEMBER 3, 2002

SUBJECT: SIX (6) MONTH REVIEW FOR CONDITIONAL LARGE DOMESTIC ANIMAL PERMIT NO. 005, for property located at 2 west POMEGRANATE (Original applicant: Portuguese Bend Pony Club; Property Owner: Patricia M. Brown, Trust)

Staff Coordinator: Dave Blumenthal, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt Resolution No. 2002-__, approving the six (6) month review of Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005 (CLDAP 005), which allows the Portuguese Bend Pony Club to keep 17 horses on a 13.78-acre parcel.

BACKGROUND

On June 5, 2001, the City Council approved CLDAP 005 for an initial period of two (2) years. As a condition of approval, a six (6) month review for compliance with the conditions of approval is required. The review is to be done six months after installation of the rings, installation of the sprinkler system, or occupation of the use. The applicant began preparing the installed the rings and sprinkler system in late fall of 2001; as such, the six-month review is now due.

On July 11, 2002, the Equestrian Committee conducted a duly noticed public hearing to review this matter. The Equestrian Committee recommended approval of the six (6) month review by a 4-0 vote, with Members Bara and Leon abstaining. A copy of the Equestrian Committee minute excerpts is attached.

On August 15, 2002, notice of this public hearing was mailed to the 32 property owners within 500 feet of the subject site, as well as the Portuguese Bend Community Association. Additionally, the notice was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on August 17, 2002. No letters or other public comments have been received by staff since the last notice.

SITE DESCRIPTION

The subject site is a 13.78-acre parcel located on the southwest corner of Pomegranate Road and Peppertree Drive, within the Portuguese Bend Community. The northern portion of the site is currently improved with a feed room, tack room, stadium area, turnout ring, dressage arena, two compost bins, and 14 corals. The southern portion of the site is currently un-improved, however, a cross-country course will be located on this portion of the property.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Staff has reviewed the proposed application for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Upon completion of this review, it has been determined that this request is categorically exempt from CEQA, pursuant to Guideline Section No. 15301 (Existing Facilities).

Categorical Exemptions are projects, which have determined not to have a significant effect on the environment and have been exempted from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. Section 15301 (Class 1 Exemption) includes the permitting and operation of use that involves no expansion of the use. It is Staff’s opinion that the review of the CLDAP meets this provision and therefore qualifies for a Class 1 exemption.

DISCUSSION

Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005 allows the Portuguese Bend Pony Club to keep 17 horses on the site, as well as, provide riding lessons; training and educational programs; provide an above ground sprinkler system for dust control; and provide a cross-country course on the southern portion of the site.

The conditions of approval include, but are not limited to, allowing no more than 17 horses to be kept on the property, proper fly control be provided, a frequent waste disposal system be implemented, a sanitary condition be maintained on the site, all buildings and corals be maintained in a neat and orderly condition, and the site be visited on a daily basis to feed and water the horses. Additionally, the conditions of approval require that there be a six (6) month review of the Pony Club to ensure compliance with the conditions.

On June 27, 2002, Staff conducted a site inspection to review the Pony Club’s compliance with the conditions of approval. During the site visit staff noted that there are currently 14 horses being kept on the property. The corals for the horses are located in such a manner that they are screened from adjoining properties by the natural landscape of the property. Staff further noted all the buildings, which were previously located on the property line, have been relocated such that they are on the subject property and that the above ground sprinkler system has been installed. Additionally, the buildings, corals, and property are being kept in a neat and well-maintained condition. In lieu of waste removal, the Pony Club has opted to use composting of waste, which is permitted by Condition "19" of CLDAP 005. Staff noted during this inspection that all but two conditions of approval were being complied with. These two conditions were the request to provide a map of the cross-country trail and to post contact information for the Barn Manager and District Commissioners on the site. A subsequent site inspection on July 2, 2002 indicated that the Pony Club was complying with all of the conditions of approval of CLDAP 005.

During the July 11, 2002 Equestrian Committee public hearing, there were four people who spoke in favor of the review (including two persons representing the Pony Club). The representatives of the Pony Club indicated that they have completed all of the site improvements that were required by the conditions of approval and that they have tried to work with the surrounding neighbors if a problem arises. In addition to the persons in favor of approval of the review, one letter was received in opposition. This letter was sent by Mr. and Mrs. Sheffer, who own the unimproved parcel located at 6 Pomegranate Road. The Sheffer’s concern is the undue odor that is caused by keeping 17 horses on the property. The Sheffer’s letter has been attached to this staff report for the Council’s review. The Equestrian Committee noted the concern, that the Sheffer’s were originally opposed to the project, and that they live out of the area. The Committee had no further discussions on this concern.

Early in the six-month review period staff received calls from concerned residents about potential violations on the property regarding the operations of the facility. However, follow-up investigations to these calls indicated that these complaints were on items within the scope of the permitted operations of the Pony Club and there was no violation. However, staff did receive one complaint that proved to be founded. The Pony Club was running a de-rocker through the dressage ring without the knowledge that taking earth from one portion of the lot to another portion of the lot requires approval of a Grading Permit. Upon receiving notification from staff that a Grading Permit is required for this type of operation, the Pony Club immediately applied for, and received, a Minor Grading Permit for 48 cubic yards of grading (24 cubic yards of cut and 24 cubic yards of fill).

It should be noted that Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005 will expire on June 5, 2003, at which time the City Council will have an additional opportunity to review the Pony Club’s compliance with the permit, if the applicant wishes to extend the CLDAP at such time.

CONCLUSION

Based on the written and oral testimony received during the public hearing, the Equestrian Committee has found that Portuguese Bend Pony Club is complying with the conditions of approval for Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005. Therefore, the Equestrian Committee recommends that the City Council approve the six-month review of CLDAP 005.

FISCAL IMPACT

The City Council’s action in this matter will have no fiscal impact upon the City.

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to the Equestrian Committee’s recommendation, the following alternative is available for the City Council’s consideration:

1. Identify conditions of approval, which need to be modified, added and/or deleted, and direct staff to prepare the appropriate resolution to be brought back at a future meeting.

Respectfully submitted:
Joel Rojas, aicp, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed:
Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:
Draft Resolution No. 2002-__, approving the six (6) month review of CLDAP 005
Minute Excerpts for Equestrian Committee meeting on July 11, 2002
Equestrian Committee Resolution No. 2002-01, recommending approval of the six (6) month review of CLDAP 005
Conditions of Approval for CLDAP 005
Correspondence received from Mr. and Mrs. Sheffer, dated June 30, 2002

RESOLUTION NO. 2002-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING THE SIX MONTH REVIEW OF CONDITIONAL LARGE DOMESTIC ANIMAL PERMIT NO. 005, FOR THE PORTUGUESE BEND PONY CLUB, 2 W. POMEGRANATE ROAD

WHEREAS, on June 5, 2001, the City Council approved Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005, allowing the Portuguese Bend Pony Club to keep 17 horses on a 13.78-acre parcel within the Portuguese Bend Community. Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005 allows the Portuguese Bend Pony Club to keep 17 horses on the site, as well as, provide riding lessons; training and educational programs; provide an above ground sprinkler system for dust control; and provide a cross-country course on the southern portion of the site. As a condition of approval, a six (6) month review for compliance with the conditions of approval is required; and,

WHEREAS, on July 11, 2002, the Equestrian Committee conducted a duly noticed public hearing to review this matter. The Equestrian Committee found and recommended that the City Council find that the Pony Club is operating in accordance with the conditions that were approved with Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005, by a 4-0 vote, with Members Bara and Leon abstaining; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that review of the Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit will have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the review has been found to be categorically exempt under Class 1 (Section 15301); and,

WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Ranchos Palos Verdes Development Code, the City Council held a duly noticed public hearing on September 3, 2002, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE AND RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The Portuguese Bend Pony Club is complying with the conditions of approval of Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 005.

Section 2: The time within which the judicial review of the decision reflected in this Resolution, if available, must be sought is governed by Section 1094.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure and other applicable short periods of limitation.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 28th day of August 2002,

_______________________

John McTaggart, Mayor

ATTEST:

____________________
Jo Purcell, City Clerk

State of California )
County of Los Angeles ) ss
City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, JO PURCELL, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2002-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting thereof held on August 28, 2002.

_________________________________

City Clerk