Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO:

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: CITY ATTORNEY AND DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: NOVEMBER 5, 2002

SUBJECT: CODE AMENDMENT (CASE NO. ZON2002-00543): LANDSLIDE MORATORIUM EXCEPTION REVISIONS

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt Ordinance No. ___U, adopting Revisions to Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on Land Use Permits) of the Municipal Code and declaring the urgency thereof; and 2) introduce Ordinance No. ___ to adopt Revisions to Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on Land Use Permits) of the Municipal Code.

BACKGROUND

On September 5, 1978, the then-City Council adopted Ordinance No. 108U, thereby enacting a moratorium on land use permits within the City’s landslide moratorium area. Ordinance No.108U provided for exceptions to the landslide moratorium under the following circumstances:

  • Repairs or renovation of existing structures or facilities which do not increase the land coverage of those facilities or add to the water usage of those facilities.
  • Reconstruction of an existing building or structure where a portion not to exceed fifty percent (50%) of the value thereof has been damaged or destroyed by fire or other casualty.
  • Permits for previously existing structures.
  • City-directed Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Report.
  • Any City-approved project to mitigate the potential for landslide.

Over the next seven years, the landslide moratorium regulations were amended many times (see the attached Landslide Moratorium ordinance history). These amendments included expansion and refinement of the various categories of exempt projects in the landslide moratorium area. On January 14, 1988, the then-City Council adopted Ordinance No. 223, which amended Ordinance No. 108U and provided for an additional exception to the landslide moratorium under the following circumstances:

  • The City Council may also approve exemption of minor projects not involving new buildings, and one detached garage per parcel, not exceeding an area of six hundred (600) square feet, without windows, with water service and drainage limited to minor fixtures (no bathroom or kitchen fixtures) and approved through the building permit process, provided that a geology report is submitted by the applicant and approved by the City Geologist indicating that the project will not aggravate the existing situation and a use restriction covenant preventing the garage from being used for any purpose other that parking of vehicles and storage of personal property approved by the Director of Environmental Services, is recorded.

The City’s landslide moratorium regulations were eventually codified in Title 15 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code (RPVMC). Over the next twelve years, the above-mentioned exception was refined and expanded to allow the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement to review LME requests up to the 600-square-foot threshold and requiring City Council review of requests exceeding this threshold. In addition to the 600-square-feet of minor additions, owners of developed properties could also seek approval for a garage not to exceed 600 square-feet in size. The Code therefore allowed, and continues to allow, garages separately from other minor projects to resolve situations where parking requirements are not met. On June 6, 2000, the then-City Council adopted Ordinance No. 357, which included the following exceptions for new construction on developed properties in the Landslide Moratorium Area:

  • Minor projects on those lots which are currently developed with a residential structure or other lawfully existing non-residential structure, that involve additions to existing structures, decks or enclosed patios, and do not exceed a cumulative project(s) total of six hundred square feet per parcel, and do not involve any new buildings; provided, that a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the Director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this Chapter. In addition to the six hundred square feet of additional floor area for residential structures and for other permanent detached accessory structures, the Director may approve a landslide moratorium exception permit for one detached garage per parcel, which does not exceed an area of six hundred square feet, without windows or any plumbing fixtures. If the lot is served by a sanitary sewer system the permit may allow the installation of windows and plumbing fixtures. All permits shall include a requirement that a use restriction covenant in a form acceptable to the City which prevents the garage from being used for any purpose other than parking of vehicles and storage of personal property is recorded with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder. Such covenant shall be submitted to the Director prior to the issuance of a building permit. Prior to the approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such minor projects, the applicant shall submit to the Director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the City to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the City Geotechnical Staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation. A landslide moratorium exception permit for a project in excess of six hundred square feet per parcel, which would otherwise meet the criteria of this subsection and Section 15.20.050 of this Chapter, may be approved by the City Council under the standards set forth in this subsection.
  • Construction of permanent detached accessory structures which do not exceed a cumulative project(s) total of six hundred square feet per parcel, on lots which are currently developed with a residential structure or other lawfully existing non-residential structure; provided that a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the Director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this Chapter and does not include any additional plumbing fixtures, unless the lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. The approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such a project shall be conditioned to require that a use restriction covenant in a form acceptable to the City, which prevents the permanent detached accessory structure from being used as a separate dwelling unit, is recorded with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder. Such covenant shall be submitted to the Director prior to the issuance of a building permit. Prior to the approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such permanent detached accessory structure, the applicant shall submit to the Director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the City to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the City Geotechnical Staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation. A landslide moratorium exception permit for a project in excess of six hundred square feet per parcel, which would otherwise meet the criteria of this subsection and Section 15.20.050 of this Chapter, may be approved by the City Council under the standards set forth in this subsection.

On September 17, 2002, the City Council considered a request for a landslide moratorium exception (LME) for a proposed 1,977-square-foot addition to an existing single-family residence in the Portuguese Bend community. The City Council noted that the size of the proposed addition was equivalent to the size of some existing homes in the Portuguese Bend community, and expressed concern regarding unknown geologic substructure conditions as noted in the recent report by geotechnical consultants Cotton-Shires. Additions of the magnitude proposed in this LME approximate new structures, causing concern regarding resultant geologic impacts that would likely be akin to the impacts accompanying development of vacant properties with new residences, if the Landslide Moratorium did not prohibit new development of that magnitude. The City Council ultimately denied this LME request without prejudice, and directed Staff to prepare a revision to the landslide moratorium regulations to limit the maximum size of proposed additions to six hundred square feet (600 SF). Staff has prepared the attached ordinances in response to this direction from the City Council.

DISCUSSION

This code amendment is comprised of revisions to two sections of Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on Land Use Permits) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code (RPVMC). Specifically, Sections 15.20.040(H) and 15.20.040(L) would be revised as follows (additions underlined, deletions struck out):

  1. Minor projects on those lots which are currently developed with a residential structure or other lawfully existing non-residential structure, that involve additions to existing structures, decks or enclosed patios, and do not exceed a cumulative project(s) total of six hundred square feet per parcel, and do not involve any new buildings; provided, that a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this chapter. In addition to the six hundred square feet of additional floor area for residential structures and for other permanent detached accessory structures, the director may approve a landslide moratorium exception permit for one detached garage per parcel, which does not exceed an area of six hundred square feet, without windows or any plumbing fixtures. If the lot is served by a sanitary sewer system the permit may allow the installation of windows and plumbing fixtures. All permits shall include a requirement that a use restriction covenant in a form acceptable to the city which prevents the garage from being used for any purpose other than parking of vehicles and storage of personal property is recorded with the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder. Such covenant shall be submitted to the director prior to the issuance of a building permit. Prior to the approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such minor projects, the applicant shall submit to the director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the city to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city geotechnical staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation. A landslide moratorium exception permit for a project in excess of six hundred square feet per parcel, which would otherwise meet the criteria of this subsection and Section 15.20.050 of this chapter, may be approved by the city council under the standards set forth in this subsection;

  1. Construction of permanent detached accessory structures which do not exceed a cumulative project(s) total of six hundred square feet per parcel, on lots which are currently developed with a residential structure or other lawfully existing non-residential structure; provided that a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this chapter and does not include any additional plumbing fixtures, unless the lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. The approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such a project shall be conditioned to require that a use restriction covenant in a form acceptable to the city, which prevents the permanent detached accessory structure from being used as a separate dwelling unit, is recorded with the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder. Such covenant shall be submitted to the director prior to the issuance of a building permit. Prior to the approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such permanent detached accessory structure, the applicant shall submit to the director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the city to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city geotechnical staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation. A landslide moratorium exception permit for a project in excess of six hundred square feet per parcel, which would otherwise meet the criteria of this subsection and Section 15.20.050 of this chapter, may be approved by the city council under the standards set forth in this subsection;

These revisions would allow the Director to continue to review LME requests, but would not allow these requests to exceed the 600-square-foot threshold. The Director’s decision to conditionally approve or deny a specific LME request could be appealed to the City Council pursuant to Section 15.20.070 (as is currently the case), but the grounds for the appeal could not include a request to exceed the 600-square-foot threshold. It should be noted that these revisions would not apply to LME requests for properties in the Seaview community (i.e., the so-called "landslide moratorium area outlined in blue"), which qualify for exceptions under RPVMC Section 15.20.040(K) as follows:

    1. The construction of residential buildings, accessory structures, pools/spas and grading in the "landslide moratorium area" as outlined in blue on the landslide moratorium map on file in the director’s office; provided, that a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this chapter. Such projects shall qualify for a landslide moratorium exception permit only if all applicable requirements of this code are satisfied, and the parcel is served by a sanitary sewer system. Prior to the issuance of a landslide moratorium exception permit, the applicant shall submit to the director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the city to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city geotechnical staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation.

Staff has prepared both urgency and non-urgency ordinances for this code amendment. This amendment will apply to any current LME requests that have not yet been approved by the City Council, as well as any LME requests submitted on or after the effective dates of the ordinances.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Staff has reviewed the proposed code amendment for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Accordingly, Staff has prepared an addendum to the Negative Declaration prepared for the last major landslide moratorium revisions in June 2000 (see attached copy). This addendum is included as Exhibit ‘A’ to the attached draft Ordinances.

CONCLUSION

Planning Staff and the City Attorney’s office have prepared the attached draft ordinances in response to previous City Council direction. As currently proposed, these ordinances will re-establish the maximum 600-square-foot limitation on LME requests that was originally enacted in 1988. Therefore, based upon the information and analysis provided above, Staff recommends that the City Council adopt Ordinance No. ___U, adopting revisions to Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on Land Use Permits) of the Municipal Code and declaring the urgency thereof; and 2) introduce Ordinance No. ___ to adopt revisions to Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on Land Use Permits) of the Municipal Code.

FISCAL IMPACT

The current application fees for LME requests are $110.00 for Director-level review (i.e., up to six hundred square feet) and $730.00 for City Council-level review (i.e., over six hundred square feet). In addition, the fee for reviewing the geotechnical reports associated with an LME request for additions to existing structures is $1,500.00. If the draft ordinances were adopted as proposed, all LME requests would be initially reviewed by the Director and would only be heard by the City Council on appeal (and after payment of a $940.00 appeal fee). As such, Staff believes that the proposed code amendment could result in a reduction the number of LME requests submitted and in the revenue from such requests. However, given the small number of such requests typically submitted each year, this reduced revenue is not expected to have a significant adverse fiscal impact.

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to Staff’s recommendation, the following alternatives are available for the City Council’s consideration:

  1. Based upon City Council discussion and public testimony, the City Council may direct Staff to revise the draft Ordinance, and re-agendize the revised draft Ordinance for introduction and first reading on a future date certain.
  2. Based upon City Council discussion and public testimony, the City Council may provide additional direction to Staff, and remand the draft Ordinance back to Staff for further review and refinement.
  3. The City Council may decide to take no action on the draft Ordinance, thereby disapproving this code amendment.

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas, AICP, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed:

Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

Draft Ordinance No. ___U

Draft Ordinance No. ___

Landslide Moratorium Ordinance History

Negative Declaration prepared for Code Amendment No. 45

[Urgency Ordinance]

ORDINANCE NO. ____U

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADOPTING AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 15.20 (MORATORIUM ON LAND USE PERMITS) OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE, AND DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF

WHEREAS, on September 17, 2002, the City Council directed Staff to formulate revisions to the Municipal Code in order to clarify the City’s landslide moratorium exception regulations as they apply to additions to existing structures and to accessory structures and uses; 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), the City determined that only minor technical changes or additions are necessary to the Negative Declaration for Code Amendment Number 45 / Environmental Assessment Number 714, which made miscellaneous amendments to Chapter 15.20 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, on June 6, 2000. The ordinance amendment proposed herein establishes controls on granting certain exceptions to the Landslide Moratorium that are more strict than those previously established through Code Amendment Number 45, with the goal of limiting the size and correlative impact of certain additional development on previously developed properties undertaken in the Landslide Moratorium Area. Therefore, under CEQA Guidelines § 15164 and the City’s Local CEQA Guidelines § VI. B., preparation of an addendum to the negative declaration adopted for Code Amendment Number 45 is deemed proper.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The City Council has reviewed and considered the amendments to Sections 15.20.040 H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Municipal Code.

Section 2: The City Council finds that the amendments to Sections 15.20.040 H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Municipal Code are consistent with the Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan and Coastal Specific Plan in that they uphold, and do not hinder, the goals and policies of those plans, in particular to balance the rights of owners of developed properties within the Landslide Moratorium Area to make limited, reasonable improvements while limiting the potential impacts resulting from these improvements upon landslide movement, soil stability and public safety within and adjacent to the Landslide Moratorium Area.

Section 3: The City Council further finds that there is no substantial evidence that the amendments to Sections 15.20.040 H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Municipal Code would result in significant environmental effects, or a substantial increase in the severity of such effects, because the minor revisions to the Municipal Code will provide for limited, reasonable improvement of existing, developed properties without weakening the current landslide moratorium or increasing the potential for environmental impacts of future development in the City. Further, the proposed amendments impose greater limitations on new construction in the landslide moratorium area, and will actually serve to reduce potential significant adverse environmental impacts in the area. The City Council considered the Negative Declaration adopted for Code Amendment No. 45/Environmental Assessment No. 714, and Addendum No. 1, which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A", prior to making its decision regarding the code amendments contemplated herein.

Section 4: The City Council further finds that the amendments to Sections 15.20.040 H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Municipal Code are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare in the area.

Section 5: Based on the foregoing, Sections 15.20.040 (Exceptions) H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code are amended to read as follows:

15.20.040 H. Minor projects on those lots which are currently developed with a residential structure or other lawfully existing non-residential structure, that involve additions to existing structures, decks or enclosed patios, and do not exceed a cumulative project(s) total of six hundred square feet per parcel, and do not involve any new buildings; provided that the landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this chapter. In addition to the six hundred square feet of additional floor area for residential structures and for other permanent detached accessory structures, the director may approve a landslide moratorium exception permit for one detached garage per parcel, which does not exceed an area of six hundred square feet, without windows or any plumbing fixtures. If the lot is served by a sanitary sewer system the permit may allow the installation of windows and plumbing fixtures. All permits shall include a requirement that a use restriction covenant in a form acceptable to the city which prevents the garage from being used for any purpose other than parking of vehicles and storage of personal property is recorded with the Los Angeles County register-recorder. Such covenant shall be submitted to the director prior to the issuance of a building permit. Prior to the approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such minor projects, the applicant shall submit to the director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the city to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city geotechnical staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation.;

15.20.040 L. Construction of permanent detached accessory structures which do not exceed a cumulative project(s) total of six hundred square feet per parcel, on lots which are currently developed with a residential structure or other lawfully existing non-residential structure; provided that a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this chapter and does not include any additional plumbing fixtures, unless the lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. The approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such a project shall be conditioned to require that a use restriction covenant in a form acceptable to the city, which prevents the permanent detached accessory structure from being used as a separate dwelling unit, is recorded with the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder. Such covenant shall be submitted to the director prior to the issuance of a building permit. Prior to the approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such permanent detached accessory structure, the applicant shall submit to the director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the city to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city geotechnical staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation.

Section 6: After the effective date of this Ordinance, it shall apply to all landslide moratorium exception permits and any subsequent development applications submitted on or after the effective date of this Ordinance, and all applications that have not been approved by the City Council prior to the effective date of this Ordinance.

Section 7: In order to protect the public health, safety and welfare it was necessary for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes to adopt an urgency ordinance establishing a moratorium on certain permits in that area of the City identified as the "Landslide Moratorium" area due to the presence of landsides and the potential that new development could further destabilize the area. These amendments are necessary due to the recent report by Cotton, Shires & Associates, which clarified that the geologic substructure underneath one of the areas within the Landslide Moratorium has not been ascertained, which makes large additions to existing structures more problematic. The amendments herein will limit the scope of additions or expansions of existing homes within the Landslide Moratorium area, which will enhance and maintain land stability, and avoid adverse health, safety and welfare impacts that could result from active land movement in the area. Therefore, this ordinance is necessary for the public health, safety and welfare and shall take effect immediately upon adoption as an urgency ordinance.

Section 8: The City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this Ordinance and shall cause the same to be posted in the manner prescribed by law.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED THIS ____DAY OF ________, 2002.

_________________________________

MAYOR

ATTEST:

____________________________

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, do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; the foregoing Urgency Ordinance No. ____U was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on ______________, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSENT:

ABSTAIN:

__________________________________

CITY CLERK

[Regular Ordinance]

ORDINANCE NO. _____

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADOPTING AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 15.20 (MORATORIUM ON LAND USE PERMITS) OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE

WHEREAS, on September 17, 2002, the City Council directed Staff to formulate revisions to the Municipal Code in order to clarify the City’s landslide moratorium exception regulations as they apply to additions to existing structures and to accessory structures and uses; 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), the City determined that only minor technical changes or additions are necessary to the Negative Declaration for Code Amendment Number 45 / Environmental Assessment Number 714, which made miscellaneous amendments to Chapter 15.20 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, on June 6, 2000. The ordinance amendment proposed herein establishes controls on granting certain exceptions to the Landslide Moratorium that are more strict than those previously established through Code Amendment Number 45, with the goal of limiting the size and correlative impact of certain additional development on previously developed properties undertaken in the Landslide Moratorium Area. Therefore, under CEQA Guidelines § 15164 and the City’s Local CEQA Guidelines § VI. B., preparation of an addendum to the Negative Declaration adopted for Code Amendment Number 45 is deemed proper.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The City Council has reviewed and considered the amendments to Sections 15.20.040 H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Municipal Code.

Section 2: The City Council finds that the amendments to Sections 15.20.040 H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Municipal Code are consistent with the Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan and Coastal Specific Plan in that they uphold, and do not hinder, the goals and policies of those plans, in particular to balance the rights of owners of developed properties within the Landslide Moratorium Area to make limited, reasonable improvements while limiting the potential impacts resulting from these improvements upon landslide movement, soil stability and public safety within and adjacent to the Landslide Moratorium Area.

Section 3: The City Council further finds that there is no substantial evidence that the amendments to Sections 15.20.040 H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Municipal Code would result in significant environmental effects, or a substantial increase in the severity of such effects, because the minor revisions to the Municipal Code will provide for limited, reasonable improvement of existing, developed properties without weakening the current landslide moratorium or increasing the potential for environmental impacts of future development in the City. Further, the proposed amendments impose greater limitations on new construction in the landslide moratorium area, and will actually serve to reduce potential significant adverse environmental impacts in the area. The City Council considered the Negative Declaration adopted for Code Amendment No. 45/Environmental Assessment No. 714, and Addendum No. 1, which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A", prior to making its decision regarding the code amendments contemplated herein.

Section 4: The City Council further finds that the amendments to Sections 15.20.040 H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Municipal Code are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare in the area.

Section 5: Based on the foregoing, Sections 15.20.040 (Exceptions) H. and L. of Chapter 15.20 of Title 15 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code are amended to read as follows:

15.20.040 H. Minor projects on those lots which are currently developed with a residential structure or other lawfully existing non-residential structure, that involve additions to existing structures, decks or enclosed patios, and do not exceed a cumulative project(s) total of six hundred square feet per parcel, and do not involve any new buildings; provided that the landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this chapter. In addition to the six hundred square feet of additional floor area for residential structures and for other permanent detached accessory structures, the director may approve a landslide moratorium exception permit for one detached garage per parcel, which does not exceed an area of six hundred square feet, without windows or any plumbing fixtures. If the lot is served by a sanitary sewer system the permit may allow the installation of windows and plumbing fixtures. All permits shall include a requirement that a use restriction covenant in a form acceptable to the city which prevents the garage from being used for any purpose other than parking of vehicles and storage of personal property is recorded with the Los Angeles County register-recorder. Such covenant shall be submitted to the director prior to the issuance of a building permit. Prior to the approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such minor projects, the applicant shall submit to the director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the city to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city geotechnical staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation.

15.20.040 L. Construction of permanent detached accessory structures which do not exceed a cumulative project(s) total of six hundred square feet per parcel, on lots which are currently developed with a residential structure or other lawfully existing non-residential structure; provided that a landslide moratorium exception permit is approved by the director, and provided that the project complies with the criteria set forth in Section 15.20.050 of this chapter and does not include any additional plumbing fixtures, unless the lot is served by a sanitary sewer system. The approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such a project shall be conditioned to require that a use restriction covenant in a form acceptable to the city, which prevents the permanent detached accessory structure from being used as a separate dwelling unit, is recorded with the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder. Such covenant shall be submitted to the director prior to the issuance of a building permit. Prior to the approval of a landslide moratorium exception permit for such permanent detached accessory structure, the applicant shall submit to the director any geological or geotechnical studies reasonably required by the city to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the city geotechnical staff that the proposed project will not aggravate the existing situation.

Section 6: After the effective date of this Ordinance, it shall apply to all landslide moratorium exception permits and any subsequent development applications submitted on or after the effective date of this Ordinance, and all applications that have not been approved by the City Council prior to the effective date of this Ordinance.

Section 7: The City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this Ordinance and shall cause the same to be posted in the manner prescribed by law.

PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED THIS ____DAY OF ________ 2002.

_________________________________

MAYOR

ATTEST:

____________________________

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, do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; the foregoing Ordinance No. ____ passed first reading on _______________, was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on ______________, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSENT:

ABSTAIN:

__________________________________

CITY CLERK

[Addendum to EA/ND No. 714]

EXHIBIT ‘A’ TO ORDINANCE NO. ___

ADDENDUM NO. 1 TO ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT/

NEGATIVE DECLARATION (EA/ND) NO. 714

November 5, 2002

On June 6, 2000, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2000-35, thereby adopting a Negative Declaration for Environmental Assessment No. 714 and Code Amendment No. 45, amending Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on Land Use Permits) of the City's Municipal Code. The amendments were intended to allow for limited, reasonable use of developed properties within the Landslide Moratorium Area by expanding the variety of development projects that could be excepted from the moratorium without jeopardizing the public health, safety and general welfare. The amendments also included a requirement for the connection of existing developed properties to new sanitary sewer systems, with the intent of reducing the infiltration of wastewater into the active and inactive landslides, and improving gross soil stability within the entire Landslide Moratorium Area. Prior to its adoption, the Negative Declaration was circulated for public comment from April 19, 2002 through May 18, 2002 and no substantive comments were received from any persons or responsible agencies. In adopting the Negative Declaration, the City Council found: 1) that there would be no significant adverse environmental impacts resulting from the adoption of the amendments; and 2) that, although the adoption of the code amendment would serve only to effectuate changes to the language of the existing Municipal Code, the City Council recognized that separate environmental review would be performed for any projects to which Chapter 15.20 applied, prior to receiving any approvals from the City.

The City Council is currently considering the adoption of an Ordinance that would further amend Chapter 15.20 by contracting two of the current exceptions from the moratorium and limiting future use of developed properties within the Landslide Moratorium Area. The proposed amendment would eliminate the City Council’s discretion, as allowed under the current Sections 15.20.040 (H) and (L), to grant expansions larger than 600 square feet in the Landslide Moratorium area. Currently, the 600-square-foot per lot/parcel threshold is only a standard for determining whether a request for an exception from the landslide moratorium requires approval by the Director or by the City Council. Without the adoption of this Ordinance, the City Council would be able to continue to approve requests for landslide moratorium exceptions for projects in excess of a six hundred square feet (600 SF) per developed lot or parcel, with no upper limit on the maximum allowable expansion under the Code. As such, the City Council has determined that the proposed amendment would not result in new significant environmental effects, but would actually serve to reduce potential adverse impacts upon the environment by reducing the scope of future expansions to developed properties within the Landslide Moratorium Area. Furthermore, the City Council believes that the amendment is within the scope of EA/ND No. 714 that was prepared and adopted in conjunction with Code Amendment No. 45’s amendments to Chapter 15.20 that were adopted on June 6, 2000. As a result, no further environmental review is necessary.

Ordinance No. ___

Exhibit ‘A’

[Landslide Moratorium Ordinance History]

Landslide Moratorium Ordinance History

Ordinance

Date

Description

108U

9/5/78

  • Landslide Moratorium Area defined
  • Moratorium on land use permits enacted
  • Included 5 general exception categories

118U

5/15/79

  • Exception categories added for remedial grading and minor projects not involving new buildings

120U

9/4/79

  • Exception category added for previously-approved parcel maps

123U

11/20/79

  • Parcel map exception replaced with exception for previously-filed environmental assessments

128U

2/19/80

  • Definitions of ‘maintain’, ‘restore’, ‘repair’, ‘replace’ and ‘alter’ added
  • Standards for replacement of destroyed dwellings added

130U

4/1/80

  • Performance criteria for exception category for remedial grading added

131U

7/1/80

  • Exception category added for temporary minor non-residential structures

139U

2/3/81

  • Landslide Moratorium Area expanded to include Klondike Canyon

140U

9/15/81

  • Exception category added for lot line adjustments

143U

11/4/81

  • Exception category added for tentative maps in developed areas where no further development will be allowed to occur

148U

3/2/82

  • Boundary of Klondike Canyon portion of the Landslide Moratorium Area revised

155U

6/15/82

  • Standards for replacement of damaged structures revised

208

7/1/86

  • Revisions to exception categories include projects authorized by the Redevelopment Agency Board

223

1/14/88

  • Exception category for minor projects expanded to allow detached garages up to 600 square feet in area

247

9/5/89

  • Exception category added for lots in the Seaview community (i.e., "area outlined in blue")

249U

12/22/89

  • Revisions to exception categories for minor projects and temporary structures
  • Landslide mitigation measures added

276

12/17/91

  • Miscellaneous revisions and re-formatting

309

6/6/95

  • Exception category added for geologic investigation permits
  • Landslide mitigation measures expanded
  • Application requirement for LME added

357

4/6/00

  • Exception categories added for permanent detached accessory structures, discretionary permits with no impact on soil stability, and other very minor improvements
  • Sewer connection requirement added