Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO:

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR & COUNCILMEMBERS

FROM: CITY MANAGER

DATE: NOVEMBER 5, 2002

SUBJECT: POLICY FOR NAMING OF PUBLIC FACILITIES AND PLACING OF MONUMENTS AND OTHER MEMORIALS

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt a policy for the naming of public facilities and placing of monuments and other memorials on City property.

BACKGROUND

At the City Council meeting on June 12, 2002 Mayor McTaggart presented a proclamation in memory of Jeannette Mucha to Valerie Mucha, and said that he was going to propose to the Council that the Forrestal Nature Preserve be renamed the Jeannette Mucha Nature Preserve. On August 12, 2002 the Mayor placed the matter before the City Council for action. The following paragraphs are excerpts from the minutes of that meeting:

Councilman Gardiner stated that the generic question is, "How should the City recognize those who give so much of their time in service to the city?" He asked if there were a City procedure or policy regarding recognizing citizens who have served the City.

Mayor pro tem Stern echoed Councilman Gardinerís feelings and stated that the Council should concentrate more on a policy for commemorating those who have served. He suggested that a commemorative wall be proposed.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that this item be tabled for later consideration so that the Council can create a policy for this procedure.

Councilman Gardiner moved that this item be continued, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern. Motion carried 4-0-1 (Councilwoman Ferraro having left the meeting).

DISCUSSION

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes has lacked a uniform policy to assist the City Council and to guide staff in the naming of City facilities, including parks and open space areas, buildings, streets and other public amenities. In addition, there are no formal policies or guidelines for honoring City leaders, nor for memorializing persons whose loved ones simply want to provide a remembrance in the form of a bench or tree.

Although the City has no formal policy for naming public facilities and sites in honor of persons, there are precedents. Fred Hesse Park and Community Center is named for a City founder, Robert Ryan Park is named for a former Mayor and Councilmember and Vanderlip Park is named for an original Peninsula landowner. There is a GPS monument at Portuguese Point named in honor of Dr. Perry Ehlig. There is a trail below Ocean Terrace Drive known as the McBride Trail in honor of the man who constructed it. There are also three small memorials, one near Ladera Linda Community Center, one at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center and the other near Inspiration Point that honor persons who died prematurely. Finally, there have been numerous requests from iniduals to install park benches or plant trees in memory of deceased loved ones, many of which have been granted.

Attached is a proposed Policy for the recognition of those who have contributed to the vision of Rancho Palos Verdes as well as others who have been proposed for some form of memorial marker. The development of a Policy to guide the naming of City facilities, the permitting of monuments, benches and trees is intended to enable these processes to be conducted in an equitable, objective and consistent manner. In addition, the establishment of a "Wall of Honor" will offer a new formal opportunity for honoring community leaders.

Respectfully submitted,
Les Evans
City Manager

Cc: DRAFT Policy

DRAFT POLICY:

It shall be the policy of the City Council to name City facilities in the following manner:

General
The policy of the City is to name facilities in a manner that will provide an easy and recognizable reference to the Cityís residents and visitors.

Geographic Location
Whenever possible, City facilities will be named for their geographic location. The geographic location may be based on the identification of the facility with a specific place, neighborhood, street, topographic or other natural feature, such as a drainage course, tree or plant species, or historical precedent.

Inidual / Organizational Recognition
The naming of City facilities in honor of iniduals or community organizations will be a rare event, and will be considered under the following conditions: The inidual, a family or a community organization has made exceptional contributions to the City, including one or more of the following: a) financial gifts, b) public service as an elected official, c) public service as a community volunteer, or d) long term sponsorship agreements.

There should be a well-defined connection between the contributions of the inidual or community organization and the City facility.

The significance of the contribution from the inidual/organizations needs to be evaluated in relation to the impact of the City facility. Iniduals and organizations that have made contributions of regional or community-wide significance may be considered for naming of facilities that serve the entire City. Iniduals and organizations that have made significant contributions to a particular area or neighborhood may be considered for the naming of facilities that serve these areas or neighborhoods within the City, including recreational and other amenities within City parks.

Only a current Mayor or City Councilmember may nominate an inidual to have a City facility named in his or her honor, and the determination will be made by the City Council.

City policy does not preclude additional opportunities for recognition that may be created in the future. For instance, the Point Vicente Interpretive

Center is planned to include exhibits that may be funded by inidual or corporate donations. Recognition of such donations may include a donor wall within the Interpretive Center, or recognition of a contributorís sponsorship of a specific exhibit.

It shall be the policy of the City Council to allow the placing of monuments and other memorials on City properties under the following guidelines:

Monuments
Monuments in memory of deceased persons may be permitted, in rare cases, on City property with permission of the City Council under the following conditions:

  1. The person memorialized is closely associated with the area where the monument will be located. The person memorialized is known to, and revered, by a significant number of City residents.
  2. The monument design is discreet and unobtrusive and designed to blend into the surrounding area. A small plaque on a large rock (4 cubic feet) would be appropriate. The location of the monument will be determined by City staff with approval of the City Council.
  3. Costs of design, installation and maintenance of the monument will be determined by the City and borne by the requestor at the discretion of the City. Only City personnel or City contractors may perform work on City property.
  4. The monument is only a marker and is not a place of worship, a cemetery or official gathering place. Flowers, and other memorabilia are not permitted and will be removed by maintenance personnel.
  5. The City is not responsible for damage or deterioration of the monument and may remove it at any time for any reason with permission of the City Council.

Benches or Trees
Benches or trees in memory of deceased persons may be placed in City parks, or other City spaces, at the discretion of the City Manager under the following conditions:

  1. The bench design, or tree species, will be determined by the City and the location of the bench or tree will be selected by the City.
  2. No plaque, inscription or other written memorial information may be placed on or near the bench or tree.
  3. Costs of design, installation and maintenance of the bench or tree will be determined by the City and borne by the requestor at the discretion of the City. Only City personnel or City contractors may perform work on City property.
  4. The bench, or tree, is only a marker and is not a place of worship, a cemetery or official gathering place. Flowers, and other memorabilia are not permitted and will be removed by maintenance personnel.
  5. The City is not responsible for damage or deterioration of the bench or tree and may remove it at any time for any reason without replacement.

It shall be the policy of the City Council to establish a "Wall of Honor" under the following guidelines:

Wall of Honor
The Wall of Honor will memorialize the names of distinguished community leaders who have made substantial contributions to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes under the following conditions:

  1. Persons nominated for the "Wall of Honor" shall have been dedicated community leaders who have contributed significantly to the quality of life offered by the City and realization of the vision expressed in the original General Plan. The honoree must have had a significant presence in the community throughout a good portion of their life and should have made notable impacts on sustaining the quality of life of the residents of Rancho Palos Verdes.
  2. Persons nominated for inclusion on the "Wall of Honor" will be deceased and will not have been previously honored by other actions of the City such as facilities named in their honor or other memorial.
  3. In order to maintain the significance of being named to the "Wall of Honor" the number of names on the "Wall" will never exceed the number of years the City has been incorporated.
  4. Only a current Mayor of City Councilmember may nominate a citizen to be included on the "Wall of Honor." The determination of the persons who will be included will be made by the City Council.
  5. The location of the "Wall" and the format of names and inscriptions shall be established by the City Council.

BACKGROUND

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes has lacked a uniform policy to assist the City Council and to guide staff in the naming of City facilities, including parks and open space areas, buildings, streets and other public amenities. In addition, there have been no formal policies or guidelines for honoring City leaders, nor for memorializing persons whose loved ones simply want to provide a remembrance in the form of a bench or tree.

Although the City has had no formal policy for naming public facilities and sites in honor of persons, there are precedents. Fred Hesse Park and Community Center is named for a City founder, Robert Ryan Park is named for a former Mayor and Councilmember and Vanderlip Park is named for an original Peninsula landowner. There is a GPS monument at Portuguese Point named in honor of Dr. Perry Ehlig. There is a trail below Ocean Terrace Drive known as the McBride Trail in honor of the man who constructed it. There are also three small memorials, one near Ladera Linda Community Center, one at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center and the other near Inspiration Point that honor persons who died prematurely. Finally, there have been numerous requests from iniduals to install park benches or plant trees in memory of deceased loved ones, many of which have been granted.

The development of a Policy to guide the naming of City facilities, the permitting of monuments, benches and trees is intended to enable these processes to be conducted in an equitable, objective and consistent manner. In addition, the establishment of a "Wall of Honor" will offer a new formal opportunity for honoring community leaders.