Rancho Palos Verdes City Council






OCTOBER 15, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m. by Mayor McTaggart at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Ferraro, Gardiner, and Mayor McTaggart

ABSENT: Clark, Stern

Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager Carolyn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Deputy Planner Director Greg Pfost; Associate Planner Dave Blumenthal; and Minutes Secretary Dianne McGivern.

City Manager Les Evans led the Pledge of Allegiance.


The winner of the recycle drawing was Dana Harvey, who retains an undisclosed address. Mayor McTaggart congratulated the winner and encouraged all to participate in recycling.


Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the Agenda as submitted. City Manager Les Evans requested that the council move the item on the large domestic animal nonconformity statement to the November 5 meeting at Mr. Sutton’s request. Councilwoman Ferraro so moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the motion. Motion carried.


The Council adopted a motion, made by Councilman Gardiner, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, 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. Motion carried.

Ordinance No. 381 - Adoption of the 2001 California Building Codes and Amendments. (1203 x 201)


Resol. No. 2002-89: Agreement For Electronics Recycling Event (1301 x 1204)

(1) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute an agreement with SoCal Computer Recyclers for an Electronics/Computer Recycling Event; (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION 2002-89, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2002-45, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002-03, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY'S SOLID WASTE FUND IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,200.

Civic Center Window Replacement Project. (1204 x 1201)

Accepted the work as complete; (1) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bonds; (2) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to CTI Construction 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder contingent on no claims being filed on the project.

Gifts For Parks (1201)

The City Council accepted the Gifts for Parks donations and directed staff to prepare letters for the Mayor’s signature expressing the Council’s thanks and appreciation.

Peninsula High School Yearbook Advertisement

Authorized staff to place a full-page color advertisement in the 2003 Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Yearbook for a cost of $400.

Resol. No. 2002-90: Register of Demands


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

AYES: Gardiner, Ferraro & Mayor McTaggart

NOES: None

ABSENT: Stern and Clark

# # # # # # # # # # # # # #


Appeal of the Planning Commission’s Denial of Planning, Case No. ZON2002-00282

Councilman Gardiner moved for staff recommendation to continue this matter to the November 19th meeting.

Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru indicated there were no speakers on the subject.

City Attorney Lynch advised the Council to open the hearing and continue the matter to the November 19, 2002 agenda. Councilman Gardiner so moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro and carried.


Presentation by Libby Aubrey on the Crestridge Properties.

Ms. Libby Aubrey introduced the project as a matrix of form and function, thereby dubbing the project the Take Heart Matrix. She addressed the Council by pointing out the necessity of housing requirements that would serve to meet community requirements. She described the current project by Standard Pacific as lacking in completeness and further described the Standard Pacific project as an attempt to build low income housing to meeting government requirements and also provide affordable housing for residents 55 years and up. She indicated that Mayor McTaggart suggested the possibility of rezoning the area to meet both of those needs.

Ms. Aubrey informed the Council that Rolling Hills Estates Senior Planner David Waba announced that RHE has a plan to build townhomes on Deep Valley Road, where there currently exists vacant medical buildings, to satisfy their need for senior housing. She commented that it is a positive proposal as the Bristol Farms and Longs Drugs shopping center is within walking distance. This proposal also addresses a need for housing to younger individuals and new families on the Peninsula.

Ms. Aubrey discouraged the Council not to only rezone the Crestridge property in question, but to rezone the entire 9.77-acre Crestridge property as well as the 19.63 acres of City-owned property on the Indian Peak side of the hill.

Ms. Aubrey indicated that proceeding in this way will fulfill an endeavor in both form and function, providing not only housing for those 55 and older, but also accommodating those with young children, young adults, high school graduates, those in their 30’s. She pointed out that a "synergy of creative resources" would be accomplished through this plan.

Ms. Aubrey went on to address demographics, pointing out that the current proposal allows for 144 housing units. She stated that it is not the current seniors that will be living out their years there, but the baby-boomers who are up and coming into their senior years. She directed the Council’s attention to the 2002 Census, pointing out the ages 25 to 64 year olds make up a majority of the current residents of RPV. Her point was that most of those people 55 and older would be driving for up to 25 years more. The result will be an expectation of minimum of 350 cars on Crenshaw Boulevard every day. She indicated that the Belmont facility traffic would be in addition to that.

Ms. Aubrey indicated again that Standard Pacific has provided a wonderful plan for seniors; however, her belief was that it is not the current seniors that will be the people who will live out their sunset years in those units. Instead, it would be the baby boomers. She did address the need for the current seniors to have a senior’s center.

Ms. Aubrey stated that those in the 55 and above age group will be active seniors, intent on keeping their health up. She described her creation of an RPV bridge connecting the project to the Peninsula Shopping Center. She introduced aspects of the project that include walking pads, hiking paths, walking paths with shade trees, fountains, parking, a community room, exercise facility, units numbering 50, drive-through area to pick up and drop off participants, an Olympic size pool, jacuzzis, a circular glass dome for non-impact activities such as pilates, et cetera, an atrium area to sit and have lunch, a physical therapy area, massage and health alternatives, gentle arts such as jujitsu, and sufficient security guards for the seniors.

She spoke in favor of her proposal because of its location, being near the Norris Center. She made reference to five educational conservatory buildings, which include a TV, film, broadcast and sound studio that supports Cox Communications; computer animation studio, a dance, choreography, mime and puppetry, theatre movement building; a music building with instrumental and vocal soundproof rooms and cubicles; lighting and costume, mannequins, et cetera.

Mayor McTaggart inquired of Ms. Aubrey as to how her plan proposed paying for the aforementioned amenities.

Ms. Aubrey indicated that she is seeking grant financing. In addition, she expressed hope that Standard Pacific would join in.

Mayor McTaggart made reference to the beginning of the proposal when Ms. Aubrey quoted him as supporting zone change. He indicated that on numerous occasions he expressed opposition to a zone change because he recognized the plan incorporated by the city’s fathers and Marilyn Ryan that they were forward thinking in having a zone set aside for institutional use.

Mayor McTaggart opined that Ms. Aubrey’s plan would include a zone change, and, as of that date, he is still opposed to a zone change.

Councilman Gardiner pointed out that some guidelines ought to be drafted to give applicants guidance in their proposals.

Mayor McTaggart referred to specific plan overlays for Western Avenue as being an example.

Councilman Gardiner referenced the dining facility onsite that had been previously discussed, as opposed to bringing meals in from restaurants and outside providers.

Councilwoman Ferraro indicated that the plan was not conforming to institutional zoning, and by having the element of having on-site dining would perhaps qualify it as institutional zoning. She stated that RPV has so little property zoned as institutional, and that she was not sure whether or not Standard Pacific was willing to continue when the Council spoke to that issue with them. She indicated that that in itself was guidance to the applicant.

Ms. Aubrey indicated that she invited Mr. Alan Boeker to answer questions.

Councilwoman Ferraro inquired of Director Rojas whether the area of the proposed conservatory was a section open hazard. Mr. Rojas indicated that indeed that the cliff prohibits development as it is very steep and there is a landslide in that area. As such, it is not available for development.

Councilwoman Ferraro indicated that she would be opposed to building in that area.

Ms. Aubrey suggested installing a retaining wall. Councilwoman Ferraro again indicated that that would not be the subject of approval.

Mayor McTaggart stated that it is becoming more and more difficult to build in the current environment because of the state’s requirement to provide low and moderate income housing in addition to regulating the time in which it is possible to build, i.e., taking five months out of the year away, making it very expensive to build low and moderate income housing.

Claudia Smith addressed the Council in support of Libby Aubrey by stating that the proposal would accommodate all age groups on the Peninsula. She explained that Ms. Aubrey has created a vision and a plan for the Crestridge portion of the matrix, provided for a bridge allowing easy access to nearby shops, thereby diminishing traffic.

Ms. Smith indicated delight in that Ms. Aubrey’s plan is done with a spirit of joy, happiness and serenity.

There was discussion between Council members as to what institutional means.

Councilman Gardiner indicated that Ms. Aubrey’s plan is the first proposal containing broader aspects. He indicated that it sort of changes his perception of what might be a good project if institutional meant more than just senior citizens.

City Attorney Lynch defined it as including educational facilities, school sites, school churches, places of worship, et cetera.

City Manager Evans added city halls, prisons.

City Attorney Lynch explained that the reason why the housing has been geared more towards seniors is because one of the categories is homes for the aged like Canterbury. She indicated that is one of the many categories, but that general housing is not one of the listing categories.

Councilman Gardiner suggested having a dance studio for kids five to ten.

City Attorney Lynch agreed and added a day care center.

Councilman Gardiner moved to receive the presentation. Council thanked Ms. Aubrey for her presentation

San Ramon Drainage and Landslide Stabilization Project – Request for

Additional Funding

Director of Public Works Dean Allison updated the Council on the project. He indicated that 80 percent of the project is complete, resulting in 80 percent expenditure of the funds available. He indicated that the storm drain system is in place and that the outer structure is in place also. He said that currently, soil is being imported to backfill the embankment. Once that is finished, concrete drainage devices and landscaping to restore private properties will be accomplished.

Mr. Allison reported that the project is behind schedule because some unstable material was encountered at the bottom of the canyon, primarily in the area of the outer structure. Excavation of material found to be unstable dictated a redesigning of the outer structure amidst construction.

Mr. Allison indicated that the project has been delayed approximately 100 days. He explained the need for an additional $140,000 to complete the project, as the outer structure expanded the budget by about $90,000. In addition, corrugated pipe in disrepair was encountered. He directed the Council’s attention to pictures available. He indicated that the work could be performed in the form of a change order under the current contract. Mr. Allison informed the Council that there are funds available in the baseline budget, set aside for miscellaneous drainage improvements.

Mayor McTaggart asked Mr. Allison if there is something to be learned from the current experience.

Mr. Allison stated that in a rush to beat the rains, pressure was put on the consultants; nevertheless, everyone has done a very good job given the challenges. He indicated that the neighbors are still happy.

City Manager Evans suggested that to avoid this situation in the future, it is wise to start replacing the old corrugated metal pipes. He indicated there are about 20 of them to replace.

Mayor McTaggart thanked staff and encouraged them to bring forth such information so that the Council can make educated decisions and prevent disasters. He indicated that it would take many years to get the storm drain improvements done. In the meantime, he added, the sanitary sewer drains have to be addressed.

Councilman Gardiner suggested looking into a general obligation bond as it might be prudent to complete them all early and pay off the bond before damage has to be repaired.

Mayor McTaggart stated that it may seem like a sound idea, however, it might be too much work for staff in an abbreviated time period.

Councilman Gardiner responded that he does not suggest doing them all at once, but if funding were the critical path item then that would be a reason to consider it.

Mayor McTaggart requested an analysis to determine the feasibility of proceeding.

Councilman Gardiner asked Mr. Allison if this was the location that dirt had to be brought in at a great cost, to which Mr. Allison indicated affirmatively.

Mr. Allison offered that excess dirt was available in Sub-Region 1. There will be approval required, but it would be a timing issue.

Mayor McTaggart indicated that not only is timing an issue, but also questioned whether the dirt is good dirt. He explained that there is both good and bad dirt. Mayor McTaggart indicated the necessity for completion and inquired of Mr. Allison when the storm drain project will be completed.

Mr. Allison indicated that December 15 is the target date for total completion. He stated that weather sensitive elements would be done early November.

Mayor McTaggart pointed out that a lesson learned from this project is to talk to the residents, convince them of the viability of the project, and then treat them fairly. He indicated that one of the residents complimented Mr. Allison on the way it was running so smoothly.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved to adopt staff recommendation. Councilman Gardiner seconded.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Ferraro, Mayor McTaggart

NOES: None

ABSENT: Stern and Clark

PVIC Storm Drain Construction – Award Of Contract.

Director of Public Works Dean Allison explained that the storm drain would be built with the PVIC expansion. He indicated that storm remediation work at Point Vicente is nearing completion. He reminded the Council that the Army Corps of Engineers is onsite; that they will begin moving their material within a week and that they expected to move more material than originally expected. Mr. Allison opined that in view of that fact, they must have done a very good job of sampling and testing.

Mr. Allison stated that the Corps would restore the site to its original condition; that project being completed by January 2003. He indicated that the main focus is the building expansion, which includes storm drain installation. Mr. Allison expressed a desire to conduct work on the storm drain system while the Army Corps is present in the event that contaminated soil is discovered.

Mr. Allison explained that the project was put out for bids. Of the 14 bids received for construction, the most responsive bidder was SRD Engineering, Inc. Mr. Allison recommended awarding the construction management contract to Merit Civil Engineering for construction management/inspection duties for the Point Vicente Interpretive Center Storm Drain Construction Project.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to award the contract to SRD and Merit.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Ferraro, Gardiner, Mayor McTaggart

NOES: None

ABSENT: Stern and Clark

Annual Holiday Reception

Assistant City Manager Petru asked the Council to select a date for the Annual Holiday Reception.

Mayor McTaggart suggested using the first Monday in December as the date so as not to compete with neighboring city’s receptions.

Ms. Petru advised that the first Monday in December is December 2, 2002 and the location is Hesse Park. It was the consensus of Council to select this date for the 2002 holiday reception.

General Plan Amendment Initiation Request (GPAIR) for 6100

Palos Verdes Drive South

Associate Planner Dave Blumenthal reviewed the applicant’s request to revert 6100 Palos Verdes Drive South back to a residential property from its current commercial office status. He stated that the applicant is asking for a fee waiver in connection with this application and any future applications relating to changing the land usage zoning on said property.

Mr. Blumenthal outlined the history of the property, indicating that in 1997 the Council approved a general plan amendment and coastal specific plan amendment that changed the land use designation from residential to commercial office.

He stated that by rezoning this land back into residential, there would be potentially less environmental impacts and consistency with surrounding properties in terms of General Plan designation and zoning on Sea Cove Drive.

Mr. Blumenthal reiterated that the applicant is requesting a fee waiver. He indicated that the Code allows the Council, at its discretion, to approve fee waivers under certain conditions. They include either the applicant or the use benefit a charitable organization, education purposes or the applicant can prove that it would be a financial hardship. Mr. Blumenthal stated that staff could not justify any such requirements.

He stated that staff believed that the applicant’s request for the general plan amendment and zone change does have merit and that it would be appropriate for the applicant to submit a formal application.

Robert Haase, 20 Sea Cove Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, pointed out that the property began as a residential property. He stated that at one time he rented an office there, but has now changed his mind. He stated that he thinks the property being residential will add to its surroundings and he indicated that structural drawings are being prepared which will convert the structure into a residence. Mr. Haase appealed to the Council regarding the fees, indicating that to date he has spent $4,700. He indicated that he is retired and that it is a hardship for him.

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, encouraged the Council to waive the fees. She said that Mr. Haase had appealed the decision to the Coastal Commission to approve the Long Point development and said that Mr. Haase would be spending time and money on his appeal.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved for staff recommendation, seconded by Councilman Gardiner. No objections noted, motion passed.

Resol. No. 2002-91: Traffic Signal Improvements

Councilman Gardiner moved to waive staff report, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, which recommended: (1) Authorizing an expenditure of $66,000 for the replacement of existing incandescent traffic signal lamps to light emitting diodes (LED’s); (2) Accepting a $29,000 rebate from Southern California Edison Company for the planned replacement of the existing incandescent traffic signal lamps to a light emitting diode (LED) configuration; (3) ADOPTING RESOLUTION 2002-91, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2002-45, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002-2003, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S TRAFFIC SIGNAL MAINTENANCE PROGRAM WITHIN THE GAS TAX FUND.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro to approve the staff recommendation. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Ferraro, Mayor McTaggart

NOES: None

ABSENT: Stern and Clark

Proposition 46 – Housing & Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2002.

City Manager Evans indicated that Councilman Clark requested this item be on the agenda. He explained the item as being a proposition that the League of Cities favors and encourages cities to embrace. The proposition includes a $2 billion bond issue that provides shelter and housing. He indicated that it is a generally favored issue.

City Manager Evans stated that there is hesitation as the State is having financial problems.

Councilwoman Ferraro indicated that one of the arguments proffered for the proposition is that it will benefit battered women’s shelters. She stated that she read the entire packet and failed to find one reference to that assertion. She discouraged support of the proposition and cautioned the citizens to read propositions in their entirety before voting them in, especially as it relates to spending.

Councilman Gardiner expressed consent with Councilwoman Ferraro in that

there is no indication where the money will come from.

Mayor McTaggart indicated that the money comes from license fees.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to take no action. Motion carried.


City Attorney Lynch stated that there was no closed session.


Councilman Gardiner reported on the status of the cable subcommittee. He discussed current events within RPV and also the educational channels. As regards the RPV channel, he indicated the title is "RPV City Talk," and that the first host scheduled is Mayor McTaggart.

Councilman Gardiner discussed a meeting held with Steve Fowler, the general manager at Cox Communications, who indicated support for the Council’s broadcast and availed himself to iron out details. He stated that Channel 3 is available for broadcast, and that when Channel 3 becomes cluttered, a City channel would be available. He thanked Carolynn Petru and Gabriella Holt for their input and help and indicated that Gabriella is the volunteer cable television producer/director.

Councilman Gardiner opined that local students interested in broadcasting as a potential career path could become involved as interns.

As regards the educational channel, Councilman Gardiner gave a history to provide a definition of its purpose. He indicated his son was in a high school class in 1999. He stated that he inquired of his son whether his work would appear on television. When he learned that no one’s work was put on television, he went to talk with Kelly Johnson, Principal, about the possibility of broadcasting the students’ creative works.

Councilman Gardiner stated that two years later, after being elected to City Council, he discovered a franchise agreement outlining provision for an education channel. He once again discussed this with Principal Johnson to determine the viability of the project and was granted acceptance.

Councilman Gardiner described how he brought it before the City Council. He indicated that a committee was formed. He stated that after a feasibility determination was made, a letter went out to various local schools informing them of the next meeting. He explained that at that point, if the Council approves the project, a subcommittee would organize and plan the next steps.

Mayor McTaggart discussed his attendance at a Liability Trust Fund meeting in Norwalk where Sheriff’s liability cases were addressed. He indicated that financing of the fund was positive, with $19 million currently in the bank. He indicated he attended a MAX Transit meeting in Torrance where he was provided with a report on the disposition of the old buses. He stated that several of the buses were sold to El Segundo for $1.00 while others were auctioned off. Continuing, he reported that he attended a Los Angeles County Vector Control District field trip to the Los Angeles Hyperion/sewage treatment facility. On the 14th of October, Mayor McTaggart advised of his participation in a Boy Scouts of America executive nominating committee in Torrance. On October 15th, he participated in the storm water issue summit with Senator Bill Morro in Bellflower. He stated that the Sanitation District feels that the San Diego NPDES permit is even more stringent than the Los Angeles permit. He indicated that they exchanged ideas on how to solve current problems with NPDES through legislation.


Ken Dyda, Rancho Palos Verdes, discussed a goals report for the City. He described the goals report as the expression of the desires of the citizens for their new city. He stated that although the document has served the City well, the time has come for it to be updated. Mr. Dyda indicated that last May at a City Council workshop meeting, the Council decided to form a steering committee to accomplish this task.

Mr. Dyda stated that the steering committee established 14 sub-committees chaired by different people. He added that one category that was added was the seniors. He reported that each of the persons involved contacted approximately four other people in the community, which resulted in input from over 200 residents.

Mr. Dyda advised that the goals report for September 2002 had been completed. He invited Mayor McTaggart to join him at the podium for presentation of the report. Mayor McTaggart thanked Mr. Dyda and all those involved.

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, voiced an opinion that the Council, the planning commissioners should all receive a raise.

Ms. Larue addressed the item pertaining to Gifts for Parks, and stated the gifts were given July 4th, 2002, and that thank you notes had not yet been issued. She encouraged the Parks and Recreation Department to send letters to those donors.


The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m. on motion of Councilwoman Ferraro.