Rancho Palos Verdes City Council




NOVEMBER 5, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor McTaggart at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:05 P.M., the meeting reconvened.

Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT:Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, Stern and Mayor McTaggart


Councilman Clark led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Also present were City Manager Les City Manager Evans; Assistant City Manager Carolynn Assistant City Manager Petru; City Attorney Carol City Attorney Lynch; Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Senior Planner Kit Fox; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Denise Bothe.

Mayor McTaggart urged those who haven’t already done so to go to the polling stations to vote.


Mayor McTaggart announced the name of this month’s recycle drawing winner, Mr. Bud Giovanni, who will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service.


Mayor McTaggart stated that Councilman Clark participated in the Jack Parks Memorial Golf Classic of Elected Officials on September 27, 2002; announced that Councilman Clark won first place; and on behalf of Contract Cities Association, he presented him with the perpetual trophy.

Councilman Clark expressed his surprise with winning the perpetual trophy and noted his gratification of winning the perpetual trophy in the same year that Mayor McTaggart is serving as the president of Contract Cities Association.


Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to approve the Agenda as submitted. Motion carried.


City Clerk Purcell stated that the City Council had been provided a copy of the amended parks and recreation construction schedule, adding the word "duplicate" to the document; and that additional late correspondence had been provided to the City Council with regard to Educational Access Channel item and the Policy for Naming of Public Facilities and Monuments.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the Consent Calendar as follows:

Motion to Waive Full Reading

Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Council members after the reading of the title.


Approved the Minutes of the August 28, 2002, adjourned regular meeting.

Claim against the City by Cheryl Robinson

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Claim against the City by Lantz Simpson

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Annual Destruction of Records




September 2002 Treasurer’s Report

Received and filed.

Register of Demands


The motion to approve the Consent Calendar carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Ferraro & Mayor McTaggart



Assistant City Manager Petru presented a trailer of the first episode of Rancho Palos Verdes City Talk, which premiered on Channel 12 the prior evening. She stated that the program will be shown throughout the month, prior to every City Council meeting.

Mayor McTaggart advised that 12 episodes will be created throughout the year and that each City Councilmember will participate in the various episodes.

City Manager Evans credited Councilman Clark, who originally introduced the idea to City Council; to Mayor McTaggart, Councilman Gardiner and Assistant City Manager Petru for working on the Ad Hoc Committee, getting this project off the ground; and to Gabriella Holt, who acted as Producer/Director on the program. He commended Finance Director Dennis McLean and PV on the Net for the graphics on the introduction.

Assistant City Manager Petru advised that the pilot episode of RPV City Talk can be viewed on the City’s web site; and noted that subsequent episodes will be archived there as well. She invited the community to submit any comments to staff in regard to the RPV City Talk.


Ordinance No. 382U: Revisions to Chapter 15.20 (Moratorium on land use permits) of the Municipal Code


In answer to questions from the City Council, Senior Planner Fox explained that the current period of validity of a moratorium exception is six months; that the 600-foot limitation is cumulative for the parcel, with the exception of the garage; and stated that staff would look at the cumulative expansion of a new project where there were earlier additions.

Neil Siegel, 38 Cinnamon, expressed his opposition to the proposed ordinance because of the lack of scientific evidence to indicate that 600 square feet or any size limit is in any way material or conducive to the issue of safety; and he urged the City to maintain the 1.5 factor of safety, or greater, which is scientifically supported as material and conducive to safety. He urged the City to apply this 1.5 factor of safety uniformly and consistently throughout the City.

Mr. Siegel explained that in July 2002, he submitted plans to the City to do remodeling on his house in Portuguese Bend, proposing to add just over 1,000 square feet to the existing house; and stated that approximately 500 feet would be new footprint and another 550 feet would be an addition over the existing garage. He stated that the City required him to obtain a geology report, which was prepared and submitted by a licensed geologist who has done a lot of work in the area. He advised that the 2.65 factor of safety his geologist calculated had been verified and approved by the City’s geologist consultant; and that he has in his possession written confirmation from the City that his application has been deemed formally complete. Mr. Siegel pointed out that he had spent thousands of dollars to comply with all of the City’s rules and ordinances; and expressed his belief that it would be grievously unfair to change the rules so many months after his application had been submitted and unfair to anyone else in his same situation. He stated that it would be unreasonable to prevent him from proceeding on the remodel that provides so much margin over the City’s established factor of safety of 1.5. He added that both adjoining neighbors have reviewed his remodel plans; that these neighbors support the plans; and that he also has a letter in support of his plans from the Architectural Committee of the Portuguese Bend Community Association, reflecting that he has successfully gone through their approval process. He reiterated that he had filed the application under the established guidelines on record, stating that a factor of safety greater than or equal to 1.5 in conjunction with ordinary design and planning factors will govern development in the Portuguese Bend area.

Mr. Siegel noted for Councilman Clark that the existing house is 3,400 square feet and that the proposed remodel will add approximately 1,000 square feet.

City Attorney Lynch stated for Councilwoman Ferraro that the way the proposed ordinance is drafted, it would apply to Mr. Siegel’s application; and suggested that the City Council may consider amending the language to state that any application that was already deemed complete would be excluded – pointing out that this would only include one application that is currently in the approval process.

Mr. Siegel noted that Dr. Bob Douglas, who is a professor of Geology at USC, would verify that there is no scientific basis for the 600-foot limitation. He noted for Mayor pro tem Stern that his geologist’s calculations were based on a local factor of safety.

Mayor pro tem Stern expressed his belief that the allowance of 600 square feet is a reasonable accommodation for people who find themselves currently living in this area; and stated that he recognizes that there is no scientific basis for that 600-foot limitation, but that he believes it is a reasonable balance which provides some latitude for these residents’ homes without allowing them to basically build a new home in this landslide area. Mayor pro tem Stern noted that he would support accommodating the resident whose plans have gone through the application process thus far.

Dr. Robert Douglas, 33 Sweetbay, geologist, stated that the 600-square-foot figure was arbitrarily selected; that there is no scientific, building, safety, or geotechnical reason for that figure; explained that the concern in the past was to limit development and to limit the ground water contribution; and that because sewers are now in place, that should no longer be a concern. He stated that the current moratorium gives the homeowner some flexibility; explained that it is very difficult to put all home additions into 600 square feet, stating that a one-size-fits-all condition will create problems for the homeowner; and expressed his belief that excessive up-sizing of future remodeling projects can be controlled with neighborhood compatibility and aesthetics issues. He stated that there should be some flexibility to allow, when necessary, some additional space for the homeowner.

Councilman Gardiner pointed out that the underlying factor of safety is unknown in this landslide area; and stated that he would support a reasonable figure to accommodate some additional living space for those residents who are already living there.

Councilman Clark addressed the need for some reasonable accommodation to permit additional living space on the existing homes in this area; noted his support for the 600-foot limitation, but stated that it should be flexible enough to accommodate someone who may have a compelling argument for wanting a little more than 600 feet, suggesting possibly a variance process; and pointed out that if this body proceeds on that basis, policies would have to be established so that in no case could an individual homeowner create an equal or approximately equal amount of existing square footage than what already exists. Because Mr. Siegel’s application has been deemed complete, Councilman Clark noted that he would support allowing his request to proceed through the process.

Addressing Councilman Clark’s suggestion for some flexibility, City Attorney Lynch suggested that the City Council could consider amending this ordinance to state 600 square feet at staff level and anything between 600 and 1,200 square feet would come before City Council for approval; and that instead of a variance process, she would recommend that this be done by way of a moratorium exception finding.

Mayor pro tem Stern expressed his belief that homeowners might routinely stretch the 600-foot limit and that he would prefer to see a set figure, reiterating his belief that the 600 feet creates a reasonable accommodation to allow for a minor addition.

Councilwoman Ferraro noted her support for some flexibility beyond the 600 feet, possibly permitting up to 1,000 square feet.

Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief that 600 feet is an adequate figure that will allow for plenty of additional living space in this landslide area.

With regard to Section 6 of the proposed ordinance, City Attorney Lynch suggested striking the words "…approved by the City Council…" and adding the words "…deemed complete by City staff…"

City Attorney Lynch noted for Mayor pro tem Stern that Mr. Siegel will still have to come before the City Council for a hearing on the moratorium exception; and that assuming the City Council approves his request for the moratorium exception application, Mr. Seigel will then have to go through the planning process, possibly including Planning Commission consideration, and neighborhood compatibility.

Councilman Clark noted his appreciation of the clarification that approval of this ordinance does not constitute an approval of Mr. Siegel’s addition, that approval of this ordinance only grants Mr. Siegel the right to proceed with some square footage above 600 feet.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to adopt as amended Ordinance No. 382U_ 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. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Ferraro & Mayor McTaggart


Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern to INTRODUCE 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 as amended. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Ferraro & Mayor McTaggart



Educational Access Channel

Assistant City Manager Petru presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Consider input from the local educational institutions regarding the need and potential benefits of a dedicated educational access channel; and, (2) Decide whether to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2002-94, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DIRECTING COX COMMUNICATIONS TO ESTABLISH AN EDUCATIONAL ACCESS CHANNEL PURSUANT TO THE OCTOBER 17, 2000, CABLE TELEVISION FRANCHISE AGREEMENT.

Councilman Gardiner thanked and commended Assistant City Manager Petru and Gabriella Holt for their work on the cable education channel; noted the distinction between the education channel and the City’s government channel; and commented on the favorable response which has been received in regard to the education channel. He explained that they have reached sufficient momentum to convene some meetings, gathering those at the professional level who can get this program launched; suggested that those individuals meet to determine what resources will be required and how to allocate those resources to carry this through; he suggested that these individuals present to City Council a progress report from that meeting; and at that time, the City Council can determine if there is sufficient likelihood that the programming will be generated, either live or taped, that will justify having Cox place such a channel on the cable television network. He mentioned that SCROC has some interest in supporting this project.

Mayor pro tem Stern noted his support of this endeavor.

Howard Story, representing El Camino College, stated that he is in charge of the media services department, which includes the distance learning programs; stated that many of his students are from RPV; and explained that El Camino College has had its own cable learning channel for approximately 17 years. In addition to the cable learning channel, he advised that he also works in the film and video curriculum and that many of the students work as interns throughout the South Bay area, including Cox Cable. He stated that the proposal to create an RPV education channel is an excellent idea and that he would be interested in providing his assistance and giving El Camino College an opportunity to extend its curriculum to RPV residents. He mentioned that his students and/or college representatives would be available to assist in this endeavor. Mr. Story explained that there are many challenges to providing this type of programming, such as how to get the programming into the correct broadcasting format, which can run into a significant cost factor.

Mr. Story noted for Councilman Gardiner that El Camino College is able to provide the programming in a multi-formatted manner, that they are no longer restricted to ¾-inch tapes; and he mentioned that most cable stations are moving to the newer technology.

Bobby McNeel, representing L.A. Harbor College, stated that he would be interested in participating in this program; advised that Harbor College currently has its own television station, Channel 43 on the AT&T broadband; and advised that Harbor College recently received a grant and is now in the process of developing curriculum and starting a television program at Harbor College – noting his anticipation that they’ll be up and running in this curriculum and offering classes by spring of 2003. He added that they are currently in the process of purchasing the necessary equipment that will be fully digital; and that they will have the capability of broadcasting as well as doing production work.

Councilman Clark stated that this is a worthwhile endeavor to pursue; noted his support to gather those experts from each of the interested institutions as the next step; and commended Councilman Gardiner for bringing this idea forward.

Councilman Gardiner added that this program will have the potential to provide the students on the peninsula an opportunity to get in front of the camera, to work with pre/post-production, editing, etc., which will give them experience to leverage them into universities. He suggested that this remains at this time a work in progress; that City Council direct staff to invite representatives of the interested institutions to meet and confer; and that the subcommittee members continue to sit in on the meetings, including representatives from Cox, to discuss and delineate the issues. He added that Cox Cable would need 30 days’ notice to place the channel on cable television network.

City Manager Evans pointed out that as of January 1, 2003, Assistant City Manager Petru’s attention will be mainly focused on the budget process; and suggested that the interested parties meet and provide a report and make some recommendations at City Council’s second meeting in December.

Councilman Gardiner noted for Mayor pro tem Stern that Cox Cable has indicated that they will take students, for example, train and certify them on the equipment at Hesse Park so that they can assist RPV with its educational production; and he mentioned that Cox Cable is not able to accept any students under the age of 18 as interns.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to continue this matter to the second meeting in December, allowing time for the subcommittee to work with the interested institutions and provide a report, with recommendations to City Council. No objection was noted.


Mayor McTaggart recessed the meeting at 8:25 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 8:35 P.M.


Councilman Clark stated that he and Mayor pro tem Stern, as City Council subcommittee members, attended the periodic meeting with Ocean Trails; noted that the landslide repair is continuing; advised that in the last couple of weeks, workers had experienced some problems with installing a 370-foot long MSE wall drain at the 100-foot depth; stated that they are still on schedule to open June 2003. He advised that four large pumps are on site to pump rain water off this site should it become necessary; and explained that they’ll get beyond this area of significant concern by the middle of December when they have moved from an elevation of 11 to above an elevation of 70, which is above the bentonite layer.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that Ocean Trails has been urged to make sure that the City and its residents are advised of all the activities on site and to have minimal inconvenience to the residents. He noted that the residents will experience some inconvenience during the rebuild of PVDE and PVDS and that these inconveniences will be minimized as much as possible. He stated that Ocean Trails anticipates the roadwork to take approximately 3 to 4 months.

Mayor pro tem Stern advised that he attended the annual League of California Cities meeting in Long Beach to cast the City’s vote on various resolutions and noted that the resolution proposed by Councilman Clark which pertained to undergrounding was unanimously approved.

As the City Council liaisons to Long Point, Mayor pro tem Stern advised that he and Councilman Clark met with the Lowe’s representatives on October 7 to address some of the issues that are moving forward through the Coastal Commission.

Mayor pro tem Stern advised that he had met with the incoming executive director of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Barbara Dye, to discuss the mutual interest in the acquisition of the Portuguese Bend area.

City Manager Evans advised that staff anticipates very shortly to be able to provide the City Council with a brief report on what the Land Conservancy’s proposal is; and stated that at that, a negotiator will have to be named.

Director Rojas commented on the Coastal Commission’s consideration of the Land Conservancy issue; advised that the Coastal Commission found substantial issue with the appeal, setting the stage for a de novo hearing, which most likely will be set for January 2003; and expressed his belief that staff will be able to adequately address those issues and be prepared for the January Coastal Commission hearing.

Councilwoman Ferraro stated that she attended the last PV Transit meeting, which is now meeting quarterly; advised that ridership is up; that they are considering the purchase of additional busses; and pointed out that PV Transit is for everyone, for the entire community, and she encouraged everyone to use PV Transit. She advised that a representative will be working with Max Transit for some possible overall planning of the transportation systems in the South Bay area. She stated that Judy Mitchell, from the Council of Rolling Hills Estates, is the new Chair, and Susie Seamans, from Rolling Hills Estates, is the new Vice-Chair and Secretary/Treasurer. She mentioned that they anticipate doing a Public Service Announcement to encourage the public to use PV Transit.

Councilman Gardiner stated that the neighborhood compatibility meetings have been productive; and that he anticipates a report to be presented soon to City Council on the group’s findings. He advised that he was invited to attend a meeting at Senator Lowenthal’s office to discuss the landfill and golf course; that the thrust of the meeting was focused on the landfill; and he commented on Senator Lowenthal’s methodical approach to get to the exact science of whether this site posses a danger to the public.

Mayor McTaggart highlighted the following meetings he had attended:

Mayor’s breakfast and lunch, wherein he explained the proposed education channel to the School Board; noted that he attended the Sanitation District meeting that night; and the Contract Cities Association Board meeting at Alpine Village; 17th, attended the Library Task Force meeting, and the Solid Waste Task Force meeting;18th, participated in the City Talk taping for RPV;22nd, Cable Subcommittee meeting;

23rd, visited the Ocean Trials site;24th, dedication of Los Angeles County Sanitation District’s Joint Treatment Plant, Full Secondary and COG meeting in Lomita;

30th, SEMS training (standard emergency preparedness training); and

31st, SCAG meeting, Growth Visioning Committee, and noted that he flew to Sacramento after the meeting to attend the Storm Water Regulation Committee meeting, stating that, hopefully, some legislation will be passed to modify some problems that exist with the storm water program.


Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, stated that Dr. Robert Douglas is the chairman of ACLAD and that Mr. Siegel is on the board of directors; noted that the ACLAD newsletter suggests that all residents in RPV should pay for dewatering Alta Mira Canyon; and noted her opposition to two of the City Council members serving on a subcommittee for the landslide area.

Request for City Grant for School of Champions

Assistant City Manager Petru presented staff report and the recommendation to decide whether to award a grant in the amount of $3,000 to the School of Champions.

Peter Alper, 6022 Scotmist Drive, RPV, expressed his belief that young cyclists don’t have truancy or drug problems and that they grow up to be responsible citizens.

Erik Burr, 3674 Cliffsite Drive, RPV, stated that he attends Peninsula High School and that he is a member of the South Bay Wheelmen club; and explained that being a cyclist keeps him fit, busy and out of trouble. He commented on the cycling programs offered at colleges and the potential for cycling scholarships; and stated that he has become familiar with the South Bay area as a result of his cycling activities.

Mr. Burr noted for Mayor McTaggart that there are approximately 360 South Bay Wheelmen members. He noted that most of the club’s members are over the age of 30.

Ted Ernst, 4140 Via Nivel, Palos Verdes Estates, stated that he has been a cyclist for many years; that he is a member of South Bay Wheelmen; commented on the health benefits of cycling for youth and adults; and advised that young people who are trained on cycling become better automobile drivers and learn good habits which carry them throughout life. He advised that within the next two years, two professional cycling velodromes will be available in Southern California -- one in Encino (remodeled wooden track) and one in Carson, the National Training Center and Sports Complex. He mentioned that the National Cycling Federation is considering moving its main facility to Southern California from Colorado; noted his belief that the peninsula will be a destination for those cyclists training for world championship events in Carson; and he urged the City Council’s support of this request for funding.

David Kramer, 28503 Lomo Drive, RPV, stated that he is a member of the South Bay Wheelmen; advised that he competes in cycling events; noted that he puts more miles on his bicycle in one year than he does with his car; and stated that he would like to see his tax dollars go to this program. He noted the necessity to educate the public of bicycle safety and awareness.

Councilman Clark questioned the status of discussions with the School District to allow School of Champions to present their programs on its campuses.

Libby Aubrey commented on her activities with the School District, stating that she has been visiting various homerooms and talking with students; that she had drafted and posted program announcements at the schools; and that it is her intent to speak with the school principals to determine what has to be done to get this program into the schools. She stated that she also has been working with Cox Cable and Fuji bikes for assistance. She noted that at this time, she has not had an opportunity to talk with any representatives from the other peninsula cities but that she fully intends to do so. She advised that she is currently working with the Parks & Recreation staff to schedule two free clinics.

Councilwoman Ferraro questioned if Ms. Aubrey has anything official with the School District and whether the organization has official 501(c)(3) status.

Ms. Aubrey stated that at this time, she does not have anything official with the School District; advised that she has a separate, but similar, proposal with the L.A. Unified School District; and commented on the $3,000 insurance estimate for liability insurance. She advised that the organization has 501(c)(3) status; and mentioned that Congresswoman Jane Harman and L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn have offered their assistance with this program.

Mayor pro tem Stern questioned if anyone has signed up for the free clinics.

Ms. Aubrey expressed her belief that the turnout will be favorable, but that she does not have anyone signed up for this program at this time.

Ms. Aubrey noted for Mayor McTaggart that it is her belief that obtaining an insurance rider from the schools will not be permitted and that the organization will have to carry its own insurance. She stated that if the $3,000 funding is not given, that any other sum will help with various costs.

Mayor pro tem Stern expressed his belief that this program will be of benefit to the community and to the safety of bicycling; and noted his hope that this program will grow and become useful to the community; and moved to grant the requested $3,000, making a budget adjustment. (This motion was later withdrawn.)

Councilman Clark seconded the motion. He echoed Mayor pro tem Stern’s comments; and added that the peninsula’s topography invites a lot of cycling activities. He noted his concern with this being a start-up program; and urged the applicant to request funding from other peninsula cities.

Councilwoman Ferraro expressed her desire to stay within the budget as much as possible; pointed out that the $3,000 grant would require a budget adjustment; noted her concern that this is a new venture and that there still is not a clear picture of what the program will offer; and stated that she could not support the motion at this time to grant the organization $3,000. She urged the applicant to continue working with the schools, to get up and running and then to re-apply for grant funding during the next budget cycle. She noted her concern that the School District has not officially come on board and that the other peninsula cities have not been contacted. She stated that she would support a $500 donation to help get this program started.

Mayor McTaggart echoed Councilwoman Ferraro’s comments, noting his concern with making a budget adjustment; and stated that he would approve a $950 grant. He urged Ms. Aubrey to contact the other peninsula cities for funding.

Mayor pro tem Stern and Councilman Clark withdrew their motion for the $3,000 grant.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to grant the applicant $950.

Councilwoman Ferraro requested that during the next budget cycle, this applicant, if applying for grant funding, provide a more extensive summary of where this program has gone between now and then, noting her expectation that the clinics will be up and running.

It was the consensus of the City Council that the applicant also seek funding from other peninsula cities.

The motion to grant $950 to School of Champions carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Ferraro, Stern, Clark & Mayor McTaggart



Expansion of the Student and the Law Program at Peninsula High School During


Councilman Clark highlighted the popular demand for this program and questioned if Palos Verdes Estates is contributing to this program.

Assistant City Manager Petru stated that as far as she knows, PVE does not contribute to this program.

Councilman Clark expressed his concern that this City, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates are underwriting this benefit to residents of PVE.

Mayor pro tem Stern supported Councilman Clark’s preference that PVE participate in the funding of this valuable course which benefits its residents.

Councilwoman Ferraro highlighted the value of this program and concurred that PVE should be approached to help fund it.

Councilman Clark commented on the popularity of this program and the waiting list to participate; and questioned whether some of the open slots get taken up by the students from PVE, which does not participate in funding the program, and questioned whether the students from the cities that fund this program should be accepted into the program first.

Councilman Gardiner questioned the equity of students from participating cities having to sit out the course while students from PVE are enrolled in the program; and expressed his opinion that this is not a question of penalizing PVE residents, but a question of penalizing those residents from the cities who do pay for this program.

City Manager Evans advised that this City has the money in its General Fund to support this program; explained that this funding will officially put the estimated expenditures for this year over the estimated revenues; and noted that it will be over budget by less than $10,000. He stated that a balanced budget will be presented to the City Council in June; and noted that with this funding, some of the programs in the current budget may have to be cut next year to accommodate continuing this program.

Councilman Clark noted his support for this program and expressed his desire that it be expanded because of its popularity; reiterated his opinion that it is inequitable for the other peninsula cities to underwrite students from PVE, which is not participating in the funding of the program; stated that before he would support this recommendation, he would like to see some conditions put in place to the class enrollment in which students from participating cities which fund the program not wait out a semester to get this class in favor of students from PVE. Councilman Clark questioned if any representative from PVE, City Manager or City Council, has been approached to fund this program; and if not, he asked that this City contact the City Manager of PVE in regard to this matter.

Assistant City Manager Petru noted for Councilman Clark that she is not aware if PVE has been approached to support this program.

Mayor McTaggart supported Councilman Clark’s comment with regard to the equity of enrollment; and stated that the students seem to be very enthusiastic about this program. He noted that it would be beneficial for PVE police officers to explain the differences, if any, in its laws.

Lieutenant John Herrera stated that he is not aware of whether PVE had been approached to participate in this program and advised that he will obtain that information and report back to Assistant City Manager Petru and City Manager Evans. He stated that he will also talk to Palos Verdes Estates’ City Manager to discuss this program and solicit their support.

Councilman Clark moved to continue this item to a future meeting; that City Manager Evans contact the PVE City Manager to discuss that city’s participation in this worthwhile program; and that the Sheriff’s representative contact law enforcement officials from PVE about this program and solicit their participation.

Lieutenant Herrera advised that he will review the enrollment and report to City Council what percentage of PVE students are participating in this program.

Mayor pro tem Stern seconded the motion. There being no objection, it was so ordered.

Border Issues Status Report

Senior Planner Fox reviewed the current status of border issues.

Senior Planner Fox noted for Councilman Gardiner that he had not heard any official statement regarding the delay of the EIR for the golf course at the former Palos Verdes landfill; and stated that as far as staff is aware, there was never an official due date for the EIR, but that it is expected to be done before the end of the year.

Mayor McTaggart asked that the soils contaminant at the southwest corner of Green Hills Park be identified prior to any approval for capping.

Director Rojas advised that staff is currently in the process of obtaining that information in regard to the contaminant; and noted that the applicant has gone through the State’s process for remediation and that they have obtained approval of their remediation plan to cap the site.

Mayor McTaggart stated that the residents living near this site should be apprised of the project activities.

Councilman Clark requested information on how the 44 acres of the Navy housing that was formerly allotted to the Harbor-UCLA Research and Education Institute will be reallocated. Senior Planner Fox advised that staff will research the matter and report back to the City Council.

Mayor McTaggart requested more definitive figures on how much piping was replaced for the sewer lines and storm drains at the Garden Village Shopping Center.

Ordinance No. 384: Amendment of Regulations Applicable to the Issuance of Business Permits and the Regulation of Massage Establishments

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to waive staff report. No objection was noted.

City Attorney Lynch advised that staff recommends adding that the hardship waiver application exemption process will only apply to existing businesses where massage services are provided as a secondary service and that no more than one massage therapist would be present on the premises providing the service at any one time – noting staff’s intent to keep the exception limited to only those types of businesses like nail/beauty salons where this is truly an ancillary service.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to concur with staff’s recommendation, incorporating the amended language as noted by City Attorney Lynch, and to (1) INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 384 OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING TITLE 5 OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE BY AMENDING REGULATIONS GOVERNING MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS AND MASSAGE TECHNICIANS; (2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2002-96, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DELEGATING THE ADMINISTRATION AND ISSUANCE OF BUSINESS AND REGULATORY PERMITS FOR PROSPECTIVE MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS AND MASSAGE TECHNICIANS WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS TO THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES; (3) Approve the proposed Agreement with the County of Los Angeles to authorize the County Department of Health Services to inspect massage establishments and administer examinations of prospective massage technicians on behalf of the City; and, (4) Authorize Staff to publish a Notice of Public Hearing for the November 19th Council meeting to adopt a fee schedule to recover costs of County Health Services. Motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Ferraro, Stern, Gardiner, Clark & Mayor McTaggart



Mayor McTaggart recessed the meeting at 10:15 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 10:23 P.M.

Telecommunication Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way

With the aid of a Power Point presentation, Director of Public Works Allison presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Receive an update on the installation of telecommunication facilities within the public right-of-way by wireless providers; (2) Receive an update from Sprint and AT&T on the installation of cellular facilities at three locations where the City has received negative feedback from residents; and, (3) Provide staff with direction regarding the review process.

City Attorney Lynch explained that the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the California Public Utilities Code mandates that telecommunication providers, telephone companies, etc., must be allowed to place their facilities in a city’s public right-of-way; and that they must be allowed to put in wires, poles, antennas and other facilities to facilitate telephonic/telecommunications. She explained that the City does have the jurisdiction to do things to address safety issues; to attempt to move things around to address view issues; but stated that what a city can’t do is come up with flat prohibitions due to the telecommunication’s right to both enter the market and reasonably provide service. She added that these companies are allowed to place facilities so that significant gaps in coverage are avoided; and that the needs and concerns have to be balanced in terms of significant gap in coverage versus City concerns, whether aesthetic or view, that the City has to reasonably accommodate those constraints. If there is opposition to the placement of one of these facilities, she stated that the company must demonstrate why the placement of a particular site is acutely important to the telecommunication operations, such as defeating their ability to broadcast properly.

Mayor McTaggart suggested that a sign be erected at the proposed site, indicating a contact phone number for those residents who wish to provide input within the 30-day mockup period.

Leslie Daigle, 1111 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar, representing AT&T Wireless, advised that the permitting process had been completed at the Headland site, including the 30-day mockup process; that when the installation of the permanent facility took place, the adjacent homeowner had trimmed her tree the same day and had noticed the facility for the first time. Ms. Daigle noted the homeowner’s opposition to the installation of the facility; and commented on AT&T’s attempts to work with the homeowner. She noted that this facility was placed on an existing pole; that it’s located within the City’s public right-of-way and not on the homeowner’s property; and expressed her belief that the view impact is minimal. Ms. Daigle stated that her company has been responsive to the desires of the City Council, but stated that it does not appear AT&T’s efforts will satisfy the homeowner’s concerns for her view. She advised that AT&T hired an arborist who gave an estimate, which exceeds $5,000, for a tree to replace the existing vegetation; and noted that the arborist pointed out that there is the possibility that the trimmed vegetation will grow back into its original state, which would solve the problem with view. Ms. Daigle stated that according to the homeowner, the tree is dying and that it will not grow back its canopy to screen the view of this facility – pointing out that the homeowner is the responsible party who trimmed the vegetation. She added that the homeowner is concerned with the monthly maintenance of the facility and that AT&T has offered to set up a routine maintenance schedule. She noted that the offer for additional placement of vegetation remains on the table; and stated that if the homeowner would prefer to contact her own arborist and get a bid on sufficient vegetable, that would be acceptable to AT&T.

Ms. Daigle noted for Mayor pro tem Stern that she has directly spoken with the resident and that it seems AT&T’s efforts to satisfy this resident’s concerns cannot be met at this time.

Councilman Clark questioned if AT&T considered an alternative site within this vicinity that will satisfy the need for coverage.

Ms. Daigle advised that they had evaluated poles within this area for this particular facility; explained that one of its advantages for this site is that it’s approximately 10 feet higher than the road – pointing out that they get an extra boost from that elevation, which eliminates the overall need for additional sites. She pointed out that it is AT&T’s goal to have minimal sites on the peninsula as possible. Ms. Daigle explained that there would be several complications in moving this facility with respect to other poles because of the separation requirements being mandated by Edison; and that it would create a situation where they’d have to increase the size and height of other poles, thus creating an additional view impact.

Mayor McTaggart questioned if the vegetation creates a problem for transmission signals.

Mangesh Kulkarni, representing Wireless Facilities, Inc., noted that the vegetation does create reception problems and that they try to avoid vegetative areas as much as possible; but that their hands are tied in this instance because of the need to utilize existing poles.

Mr. Kulkarni noted for Mayor McTaggart that the separation from higher voltage lines is what creates the level at which the antennas cannot be any higher; that Southern California Edison has a standard separation requirement which mandates that AT&T must stay 6 feet below the secondary lines – pointing out that since they are placing these facilities on existing poles, the height level is limited. He added that with higher poles, there is greater coverage but more view impact.

Councilman Gardiner questioned if it would be feasible to install new poles.

Ms. Daigle pointed out that just moving down the road a bit does not solve the problems with neighbors’ opposition to these facilities.

Councilman Gardiner requested clarification on the process for measuring the level of fall-off as one moves away from this location during signal testing.

Mr. Kulkarni stated that it solely depends on what they are trying to achieve, such as supporting voice as well as data; that it requires a high signal base; advised that the optimal signal is 85 dbm; and that the propagation map does reflect the amount of fall-off as you move from a subject site to determine the optimal location. He stated that they initially do computer modeling and field tests. He noted that this site was not field-tested and that a propagation map is not available for this particular location but that one could be produced.

Ms. Daigle stated that her company will work with Mr. Kulkarni to produce the requested engineering data to support the need for coverage and optimal placement at this site.

City Attorney Lynch noted for Councilman Gardiner that there must be some analysis, some data that enables AT&T to access where they should optimally place their facilities.

Ms. Daigle noted for Mayor McTaggart that she does have a map of the areas that AT&T is proposing to serve. Ms. Daigle explained that there are some challenges on the peninsula because of its topography which exposes the facilities to a lot of interference. She noted that customers are rolling over into the new technology, new features; and advised that the industry is transforming from voice only to voice, video and data. She stated that AT&T has been present on the peninsula for approximately 6 months; and that they have almost half of their sites permitted. She stated that most of the proposed site installations have gone smoothly.

Rob Searcy, 15233 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, representing Sprint PCS, explained that Sprint has been able to work out some compatibility and flexibility issues in how it addresses the community’s concerns; advised that over the last year, approximately 20 sites have gone into the construction phase and that they have approximately 10 sites to go. With regard to Ganado Drive, Mr. Searcy stated that they’ve been able to eliminate two of the proposed four antennae in response to the resident’s concerns – pointing out that eliminating two of the antennae reduces the facility’s performance.

Mr. Searcy noted for Councilman Gardiner that the poles have the extension arms because State law requires that there must be a climbing separation of the antennae away from the face of the poles; that these arms must be a minimum of 6 feet; that the extension arms can be placed on each side of the pole; and that the extension arms sticking out over the street creates the most efficient coverage design. He noted that turning or shifting the antenna can cause some interference.

Mr. Searcy noted for Councilman Clark that these facilities carry line-of-sight technology, that they would not work underground; and explained that the telecommunication companies are finding creative solutions to minimize the visual impacts. With regard to the Geronimo Drive location, Mr. Searcy stated that the mockup had been completely removed and that Sprint is currently investigating an alternative location within that coverage ring. He explained that an omni antenna has a propagation of 360 degrees, whereas a directional antenna propagates a signal in one concentric direction.

Jaspal Singh, RF Engineer with On The Air Communications, Inc., and representing Sprint PCS, stated that directional antennae are used in canyons and hills, noting that the main objective is to cover the roadway. He stated that these sites are being updated with the new technology.

Mayor McTaggart noted his concern with the boring of holes in these poles.

Scott Gobble, representing Southern California Edison, advised that the average life of a utility pole is 40 to 50 years; stated that a pole can safely be drilled 8 to 10 times at different levels; advised that the Public Utilities Commission will be conducting a hearing on December 10, 2002, to discuss a proposal to allow a certain number of unmetered installations for each one of the cellular companies – pointing out that currently, there is no opposition to that proposal. He commented on the construction standards for utility poles; and stated that the extension arms may not encroach less than 3 feet on either side of the pole. Mr. Gobble noted for Mayor McTaggart that there are two main distribution voltages on the Palos Verdes Peninsula: one at 4,160 and the other at 16,360. He stated that the main voltage line is 66,000 volts.

Mr. Gobble addressed Edison’s concern that placement of these mockups places individuals in an unsafe situation due to the high voltage lines; and suggested that a photo and telephone number be exhibited at the subject site, believing this to be a safer alternative for notifying the residents of the proposal.

Mayor pro tem Stern expressed his belief that the mockups are the only way to realistically determine if the facility is going to be a problem; and that he does not believe a picture would be an effective solution.

Mr. Gobble advised that Edison’s allows meters to be placed on poles for cities and municipal jurisdictions but not for any commercial applications.

Ardis Prescott, 28861 Geronimo Drive, stated that she was not notified that a telecommunications facility was to be placed near her home; advised that the mockup was placed closer to the high wires than what was proposed for the permanent facility; and questioned the proliferation of these facilities within the City.

Mayor pro tem Stern noted the need for the telecommunication companies to comply with the requirement that the mockups resemble as close as possible the permanent placement of the facilities.

Marilyn Daron, 28855 Geronimo Drive, stated that she had not received notification for the placement of the facility that is located in front of her home; noted that she voiced her concerns to City Hall; and addressed her opposition to the placement of these facilities in residential neighborhoods.

Mike Sverdlov, 30778 Ganado Drive, echoed the previous neighbors’ comments; stated that his sidewalk flower bed had been torn apart for the placement of one of these facilities and that the dirt and flowers were not put back in place; and stated that he had not received any notices of this proposal.

Director Allison stated that the mockup facility on Ganado Drive was moved to a better location than what was currently proposed; and advised that the Public Works Department will correct the condition of his flower bed.

Joan Barry, 30770 Ganado Drive, noted her displeasure with the increasing erosion of her views with the addition of the Sprint antennae; noted her opposition with the proposal to place an electric meter box directly across the street from her driveway; stated that she did not receive any notice with regard to this installation; and expressed her belief that these facilities will have a negative impact upon the property values. She urged the City to put a halt to the proliferation of these facilities which impact the residents’ views; and suggested that consideration be given to placing these facilities at the back of school grounds, away from the view of neighbors.

John Dailey, 30753 Ganado Drive, presented staff with signed petitions in opposition to these facilities.. (Mr. Daily’s petition is on file with the City Clerk’s Office.). In summary the petition objected to the appearance of these antennas and the lack of communication from Sprint prior to installing them. These residents urged the City Council to stop Sprint’s invasion of view and privacy."

Continuing, Mr. Daily stated that the proper permits had not been pulled for the installation activities that were taking place near his home; stated that the bulldozer was digging up part of his parking strip; and stated that he received no notification. He suggested notifying homeowner associations with respect to the placement of these facilities.

Gail Allen, 28345 PVDE, RPV, stated that she received no notification in regard to the facility placed adjacent to her property; assured the City Council that she has tried to work with AT&T; advised that she currently has four utility poles on her property, three of which are sited along the side of her house; and she addressed her concern with the routine maintenance of these utility poles and the disturbance it creates upon her family’s privacy.

Ms. Allen noted for Mayor pro tem Stern that she had not seen the facility until she trimmed the dense canopied tree which blocked the view of this facility. She advised that the tree was trimmed by a company which does a lot of work on the peninsula; stated that the company indicated that the tree is dying and that it had an approximate 2-year life span remaining – pointing out that she will be viewing this telecommunication facility from her living room once this tree dies. She noted her concern that these antennae can be redirected with strong winds and that this could create additional visits by maintenance crews to her property; and explained that there are only two ways to access the property, either cut across her driveway or cut across the easement, which they have spent thousands of dollars on to make it look attractive.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that the scheduled maintenance program would be a reasonable solution to Ms. Allen’s concern for privacy.

Ms. Daigle reiterated that she will work with the RF engineer and get the requested data.


Mayor McTaggart recessed the meeting at 12:25 A.M. and reconvened the meeting at 12:30 A.M.

(Councilwoman Ferraro had departed the meeting during the break.)

Mayor pro tem Stern reiterated that the City must work with these telecommunication companies; noted his appreciation of those who provided input this evening and his appreciation that the companies are eager to work with the community in coming up with the best solution for all parties.

Mayor pro tem Stern moved to continue this matter to a future meeting.

Councilman Clark urged the telecommunication companies to develop creative alternatives for the placement of these facilities and to resolve the problems; and urged staff to review its process for notifying the residents of these proposals.

Councilman Gardiner urged the City and the telecommunications industry to look systematically at these concerns and placement of facilities; and concurred with Councilman Clark’s comment for an improvement in the City’s notification process.

Councilman Gardiner seconded the motion. Hearing no objection, it was so ordered.

Ordinance No. 385: Business License Ordinance Revision – Simplification of Tax Calculation

Finance Director McLean presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 385, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REGARDING THE CLASSIFICATIONS AND CALCULATION OF BUSINESS LICENSE TAX, AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE; and (2) Direct staff to prepare the necessary resolution to adopt a cost-based business license application processing fee to be presented during a Public Hearing at the November 19th City Council meeting; and, (3) Direct staff regarding the inclusion of the cost of staff time within the proposed application processing fee.

Director McLean advised that the applicant error/mistake rate is 20 percent; and explained that in order to simplify the process, staff is proposing to collapse the current list of categories to 4, as listed on Circle Page 2. He explained that the cost will be neutral to the applicant; that other than approximately 30 out of 1,500 applicants, the cost will be the same except for the $10 fee that is proposed. He explained that these approximate 30 applicants are taxi cab drivers or similar businesses which pay a flat fee rather than gross receipts. He reiterated that whatever an applicant’s cost for licensing is today versus what staff is proposing by trying to collapse to four categories will be the same except for the additional computer processing fee of $10.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that something does need to be done to correct the 20-percent error rate.

Councilman Gardiner expressed his preference that this report come back at a future meeting.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that the application fee, the processing fee that staff is proposing, is not a tax; that it’s a processing fee; and noted that the City Council does not have to impose this fee.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that he would support simplifying this process for staff; and that he would support the $10 processing fee if it keeps the revenue neutral.

Mayor pro tem Stern moved to approve staff recommendation. This motion died for lack of a second.

Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve staff recommendation without the $10 processing fee.

Mayor McTaggart questioned the urgency of this matter.

City Manager Evans explained that staff will be sending out the business license bills within the next couple of weeks.

Director McLean commented on the timeline to enable the inclusion of this change for the 2003 licenses; stated that this matter needs to be acted on at this meeting so that it can come back for the second reading at the next meeting. He reiterated that the amounts will be the same; and noted that the effective date of this change will be 30 days after the second reading, unless it is done by urgency ordinance.

Councilman Clark recommended reverting back to what this City currently does.

City Attorney Lynch suggested introducing this ordinance at this meeting; stated that a second reading of the ordinance will be done at the next meeting, including the public hearing on the fee; and advised that the present motion does not include the $10 fee. She stated that staff will clarify the report; and mentioned that if the City Council wants to make a change to the motion, all it has to do is decline to adopt the ordinance.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Stern, Clark, Gardiner & Mayor McTaggart



Vacancy on the City’s Equestrian Committee and the Open Space, Planning and Park & Recreation Task Force

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to waive staff reading and moved to leave the Planning and Park and Recreation Task Force as is. No objection was noted.

Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to continue this matter to the next City Council meeting. Motion carried.

Policy for naming of public facilities and placing of monuments and other memorials

Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to continue this matter to the next City Council meeting. Motion carried.


City Attorney Lynch stated that no action was taken on either of the items.


At 1:08 A.M., the meeting was adjourned on motion of Mayor McTaggart to Saturday, 9:00 A.M., Community Leadership Breakfast.