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 19, 2002

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

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt Ordinance No. 383, adopting revisions to Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on Land Use Permits) of the Municipal Code.

DISCUSSION

On November 5, 2002, the City Council conducted the first reading and introduced Ordinance No. 383 to adopt revisions to the City’s landslide moratorium regulations. Therefore, Staff recommends that the City Council adopt Ordinance No. 383.

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

Reviewed:
Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

Draft Ordinance No. 383

ORDINANCE NO. 383

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 deemed complete by City Staff 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 19TH DAY OF NOVEMBER 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. 383 passed first reading on November 5, 2002, was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on November 19, 2002, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:

AYES:

NOES:

ABSENT:

ABSTAIN:

__________________________________
CITY CLERK

EXHIBIT ‘A’ TO ORDINANCE NO. 383

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.