Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING & CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: SEPTEMBER 3, 2002

SUBJECT: UPDATE ON WESTERN AVENUE BOUNDARY ISSUES

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Receive and file, and provide direction to Staff as deemed appropriate.

BACKGROUND

At its meeting of January 12, 2002, the City Council asked for a map depicting the City’s boundary along Western Avenue, with the intention of reviewing any existing boundary issues or conflicts with the City of Los Angeles. Staff investigated this matter and identified three potential boundary adjustments at the City Council meeting of March 11, 2002. At that time, the City Council asked Staff to conduct additional research on the relative pros and cons of the three boundary adjustment scenarios, and to report back to the City Council at a later date. Staff now presents the results of this additional research for the City Council’s consideration and input.

DISCUSSION

The three potential boundary adjustments are discussed individually below.

Potential Boundary Adjustment No. 1: Western Plaza Signs

Small portions of the lots that make up the Western Plaza shopping center (29105-29229 Western Avenue) that include the existing freestanding signs along Western Avenue are located in Los Angeles, while the buildings and the parking lots for the shopping center are in Rancho Palos Verdes (see Map 1 in the attachments to the March 11, 2002 Staff report). The potential boundary adjustment would annex this area into the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

As discussed in the March 11, 2002 Staff report, the City unsuccessfully attempted to resolve this boundary issue in 1986, shortly after the annexation of the Eastview area. If approved, this boundary adjustment would add approximately 4,500 square feet (0.10 acre) to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. Based upon the most recent property tax roll data, Staff estimates that this would add approximately $30,000 to the total assessed valuation for the City but would generate insignificant additional property tax revenue (i.e., less than $25 per year). Therefore, the tangible costs to the City of pursuing this annexation (i.e., LAFCO filing fees, City Staff time, preparation of surveys and title reports, etc.) would significantly exceed the tangible benefits to the City. However, the intangible benefits of this adjustment—which would allow the City to apply consistent signage standards to all of the signage for the Western Plaza shopping center and, by extension, improve the aesthetics of the Western Avenue commercial corridor—may outweigh the tangible costs borne by the City.

Potential Boundary Adjustment No. 2: City Boundary South of Western Plaza Shopping Center

The City boundary south of the Western Plaza shopping center skews across Western Avenue as the road curves to the southwest, intersects with the easterly edge of the Western Avenue right-of-way near Peck Park and continues along the easterly side of the street to the intersection with Summerland Avenue (see Maps 2 and 3 in the attachments to the March 11, 2002 Staff report). The potential boundary adjustment would realign the City boundary to either run down the center of Western Avenue, or to run entirely along either the easterly or westerly edge of the public right-of-way.

The public right-of-way of Western Avenue (State Route 213) is under the control of CALTRANS. Improvements and maintenance within the public right-of-way of Western Avenue, although generally coordinated with the City’s Public Works Department, are ultimately a State responsibility. CALTRANS has "abandoned" many State highways in urbanized areas of California when requested by local jurisdictions, but there has been no formal request for such "abandonment" of this segment of Western Avenue. As such, Staff believes that pursuing the realignment of the City boundary along Western Avenue between the Western Plaza shopping center and Summerland Street would provide no practical benefit to the City unless and until CALTRANS relinquished the public right-of-way.

Potential Boundary Adjustment No. 3: The Terraces Condominiums

The 38-unit The Terraces condominium complex at 1450 Brett Place is split by the City boundary such that nearly two-thirds of the site and nearly one-half of the units are wholly or partially in Rancho Palos Verdes (see Map 4 in the attachments to the March 11, 2002 Staff report). The potential boundary adjustment would either annex the portion of the complex currently in the City of Los Angeles so that the whole complex would be in Rancho Palos Verdes, or would de-annex the portion of the complex currently in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes so that the whole complex would be in Los Angeles.

As discussed in the March 11, 2002 Staff report, the City has no building permit records for the original construction of these condominiums nor has the City subsequently issued any permits for the project. We are unaware of any municipal services that the City of Rancho Palos Verdes provides to this complex, and we note that all but one of the thirty-six owner-occupied units lists a San Pedro mailing address on their tax bill. As such, Staff believes that most residents of the complex identify themselves as San Pedro residents, although we have not approached the residents about a possible change in the City boundary.

Tax Rate Area

Total Assessed Value

Estimated Property Tax Revenue

1544

2,482,808

1,693.28

14

3,820,981

2,605.91

Total

6,303,789

4,299.19

In addition to being split between the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and Los Angeles, this complex is also split between two different tax rate areas (TRA’s), whose boundaries correspond to the City boundaries (the City of Rancho Palos Verdes corresponds to TRA 1544 and the City of Los Angeles corresponds to TRA 14). The table above summarizes the 2001 total assessed value and estimated property tax revenue to the City for each TRA. (see the attached Total Assessed Value (2001) and Jurisdiction Summary for details for each of the thirty-eight units in The Terraces condominiums). We assume—but have been unable to verify—that revenue from TRA 1544 accrues to Rancho Palos Verdes and revenue from TRA 14 accrues to Los Angeles. Assuming that this is the case, the annexation of this entire complex to Rancho Palos Verdes could increase property tax revenues by approximately $2,600 while the exclusion of the entire project from Rancho Palos Verdes could reduce property tax revenues by approximately $1700. These estimates are based upon the assumption that the City would receive approximately 6.2 percent of the total property tax for the units in this complex (the tax rate for these units averages 1.1 percent assessed value). Under either scenario, the tangible costs to the City (i.e., LAFCO filing fees, City Staff time, preparation of surveys and title reports, etc.) would exceed the tangible benefits to the City (i.e., net change in property tax revenue). An intangible benefit of annexation for the complex’s residents might be the ability to send their children to Peninsula (rather than Los Angeles Unified) schools. Otherwise, Staff does not believe that the annexation or exclusion of this condominium complex would have any significant intangible cost or benefit to the City as a whole.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff believes that the Western Plaza shopping center boundary has the greatest potential to benefit the City as a whole. The boundary adjustment for The Terrace condominiums might be worth pursuing if there is interest by the residents, but Staff believes that there would be less overall benefit to the City as a whole. With respect to the City boundary south of the Western Plaza shopping center, Staff believes that there is no benefit to adjusting this boundary at this time.

FISCAL IMPACT

The estimated fiscal impacts of the three potential Western Avenue boundary adjustments are discussed above. The direct costs of pursuing any of these adjustments would be borne by the City’s General Fund. However, some of these costs might be at least partially offset by increased property tax revenues or decreased costs for municipal services.

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

Reviewed by:
Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:
Total Assessed Value (2001) and Jurisdiction Summary for The Terraces Condominiums
Minutes and Staff report of March 11, 2002

Total Assessed Value (2001) and Jurisdiction Summary

The Terraces Condominiums, 1450 Brett Place

Unit

Total Assessed Value

Jurisdiction

Tax Rate Area

101

122,136

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

102

182,500

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

103

170,000

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

104

156,057

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

105

178,400

Both

1544

106

165,307

Both

14

107

162,690

Both

14

109

158,670

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

110

150,000

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

111

154,710

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

112

199,498

Both

14

113

172,890

Both

14

201

168,249

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

202

182,580

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

203

169,064

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

204

163,000

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

205

166,000

Both

1544

206

132,296

Both

14

207

163,200

Both

14

208

180,540

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

209

160,140

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

210

128,298

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

211

169,700

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

212

168,300

Both

14

213

170,624

Both

14

301

135,636

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

302

166,464

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

303

176,347

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

304

170,340

Rancho Palos Verdes

1544

305

176,035

Both

1544

306

142,948

Both

14

307

173,226

Both

14

308

166,800

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

309

132,944

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

310

162,000

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

311

196,900

Los Angeles (San Pedro)

14

312

226,300

Both

14

313

183,000

Both

14