Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

MEMORANDUM

MEMORANDUM

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: DECEMBER 17, 2002

SUBJECT: REQUEST TO PLACE COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUES ON CITY PROPERTY

RECOMMENDATION

1) Approve the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy’s request to place a commemorative plaque on the City owned Forrestal property in recognition of a $500,000 endowment donated by Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg that will provide funds to assist the Conservancy in managing the City’s property; and 2) Agree that similar plaques may be placed near the entrance to the proposed Portuguese Bend Open Space Preserve and Aqua Armaga Canyon, if those privately held properties are acquired by the City and managed by the Conservancy.

BACKGROUND

On June 5, 2001, the City Council entered into a formal partnership agreement with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to share management responsibilities for the City owned 163-acre Forrestal property. Under the terms of the agreement, the Conservancy is responsible for the habitat enhancement and vegetation management of the property. Earlier this month, Barbara Dye, the Conservancy’s recently appointed Executive Director, notified Staff that the Conservancy has been offered a generous donation of $500,000 from Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg that would be used by the Conservancy to maintain all of the properties for which the Conservancy has stewardship obligations (please see attached letter from the Conservancy dated December 4, 2002). As described by Ms. Dye in the attached letter, funds generated by the endowment will assist the Conservancy in performing its management obligations for the Forrestal property. In recognition of Dr. and Mrs. Ginsburg’s generous donation, the Conservancy is seeking to place a commemorative plaque at the entrance to the Forrestal property and is hoping to place similar plaques on other properties, if they are acquired by the City and managed by the Conservancy. Since the placement of such commemorative plaques involves current or possibly future City owned property, Council authorization is required.

DISCUSSION

As described in the attached letter from the Conservancy, the proposed commemorative plaque would be made of brass and mounted on a large piece of PV stone. The dimensions of the plaque are proposed to be 2’ x 1 ½’ and the overall height of the plaque, including its base, is proposed to be 5 feet, as measured from adjacent grade. The wording of the plaque has not been finalized, but a sample of the text is contained in the Conservancy’s letter. Currently, management of the City’s Forrestal property is overseen by the Forrestal Steering Committee, which is comprised of representatives from the City, the Conservancy, local environmental organizations and adjacent residents. On December 11, 2002, the Forrestal Steering Committee reviewed the plaque proposal. The Steering Committee unanimously recommended approval of the proposal and identified two preferred locations for the plaque adjacent to the entrance to the property from Forrestal Drive (see locations A and B on the attached map). Given the Steering Committee’s recommendations, the Conservancy is proposing to place the sign at location A (see accompanying map and photo). The cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining the sign will be the responsibility of the Conservancy.

As the Council is aware, the City, in a joint effort with the Conservancy, is trying to acquire private properties that would be added to the Portuguese Bend Regional Open Space Park , as well as the Aqua Armaga Canyon property. If acquired, it is anticipated that the Conservancy would assume management obligations for these additional properties. Since the Ginsburg’s endowment would assist the Conservancy in managing these additional properties, the Conservancy is also seeking a commitment from the City Council to allow the placement of similar commemorative plaques near the entrance to the Portuguese Bend Regional Open Space Park and at Aqua Armaga Canyon. Even with such a commitment, if the properties are acquired by the City and managed by the Conservancy, the specific height, design and location of said plaques would need to be reviewed and approved by the City Council or some other committee appointed by the City Council.

CONCLUSION

In recognition of a generous donation of $500,000 offered by Dr. and Mrs. Ginsburg that will assist the Conservancy in managing the City owned Forrestal property, the Conservancy seeks City Council approval by the end of the year to place a commemorative plaque on the Forrestal property. Furthermore, because the endowment will also be used by the Conservancy to manage any additional properties acquired by the City, the Conservancy seeks a commitment at this time (due to the donation being contingent on the Conservancy receiving this commitment before the end of the year) to place similar plaques near the entrance to the Portuguese Bend Regional Open Space Park and at Aqua Armaga Canyon. Given that the Ginsburg’s endowment will assist the Conservancy in performing its management responsibilities, will likely reduce the amount of City contribution needed towards management of current and future properties, and will be viewed favorably by the Resource Agencies as they begin to review the City’s proposed NCCP, Staff recommends approval of the Conservancy’s request.

FISCAL IMPACT

As the purchase, installation and maintenance of the proposed plaques will be the responsibility of the Conservancy, no cost to the City is anticipated as a result of the recommended action. Furthermore, approving the placement of the plaques and thus facilitating the Conservancy’s receipt of the donation, would likely reduce the amount of City contribution needed towards management of current and future properties

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

Reviewed,
Les Evans
City Manager

ATTACHMENTS:

Conservancy Letter dated December 4, 2002
Location maps and photo of proposed Forrestal property plaque site