Rancho Palos Verdes City Council





STAFF COORDINATOR: Matt Waters, Administrative Analyst II, Recreation and Parks


Approve the work plan for the Open Space Planning, and Recreation and Parks Task Force.

Award a professional services contract to RRM Design Group to assist the Open Space Planning, and Recreation and Parks Task Force; and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a professional services agreement with RRM Consultants.

Adopt Resolution No. 2003- _____, amending Resolution 2002-45, the budget appropriation for FY 02-03, authorizing a budget increase in the amount of $40,000 for consultant services to support the Open Space Planning, and Recreation and Parks Task Force.

Authorize Staff to work with RRM Design Group Consultants to conduct an umbrella needs survey.


The City Council met on May 21, 2002 to consider appointments to the Recreation and Parks Committee. At that meeting, the Council decided to establish an Open Space Planning, and Recreation and Parks Task Force to advise the Council on a range of recreation and open space issues affecting residents of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The Council appointed the applicants for the Recreation and Parks Committee to serve on the new Task Force and directed Staff to return with a proposed work plan.

At the July 2, 2002 meeting, Council reviewed a proposed list of tasks and work plan for the Task Force that was prepared by Staff. Council directed the Task Force to develop a process

for dealing with assigned tasks and other tasks it deemed appropriate. The Task Force was

further directed to report back to Council with the results of its initial efforts.

At their first meeting on August 14, 2002 the Task Force reviewed a list of tasks related to open space and recreation that was prepared by Staff and based on City Council discussions and input from the Community. The Task Force modified the original work plan in a number of ways, including the creation of subcommittees and procedures. The Task Force has met five times and has divided into seven subcommittees, which have all met separately and reported their progress to the entire Task Force. Chair Kevin Yourman has prepared a report on the progress of the Task Force to date, which is attached to this report.


The Discussion section is divided into three sub-sections: Subcommittees/Work Plan, Needs Assessment Options, and Consultant.


The Task Force has decided to use subcommittees in order to address its workload more efficiently. Below is a list of the subcommittees that have been formed and a brief description of the purpose of each one:

1. Athletic Facilities Subcommittee

  • Develop a plan to improve athletic facilities (Outdoor facilities, not including pool)
2. Upper Point Vicente Subcommittee
  • Develop a plan for the utilization of Upper Point Vicente Park, including a Community Center, pool, gym, etc…

3. Equestrian Center Subcommittee

  • Develop a plan for an Equestrian Center

4. Senior Citizen Center/Cultural Development Subcommittee

  • Develop a plan for a Senior Citizen Center
  • Research opportunities for cultural development

5. Open Space Subcommittee

  • Review all open space currently owned by Rancho Palos Verdes
  • Identify improvements to be made (shoring up trails, marking informative trails, benches, water fountains, etc.)
  • Update the Trails Network Plan
6. Land Acquisition Subcommittee
  • Explore property that the City may potentially acquire and dedicate as open space
7. Maintenance and Improvement Subcommittee
  • Review and address needs for maintenance and improvement of developed parks and explore leasing properties from other agencies

The Task Force may propose future modifications to this list of subcommittees.

Subcommittee/Task Force Format/Procedures

Each subcommittee has taken on a specific task, such as developing a plan for an equestrian facility. Subcommittees meet informally and present updates, studies and reports to the larger Task Force.

The subcommittee/Task Force process is expected to follow this basic format:

    1. Subcommittees meet and draft initial conceptual plan.
    2. Subcommittees present initial plans to the Task Force for review and approval.
    3. Once approved, subcommittees draft more detailed plans. Staff members will be requested to assist subcommittees, as needed, at this time. Graphic plans (where appropriate) and cost estimates should be provided in final recommendation to be voted upon by Subcommittee.
    4. Subcommittee recommendation is presented to Task Force for consideration.
    5. Upon initial approval of Task Force, subcommittee plans would be reviewed by Staff.
    6. After Staff review and final approval by the Task Force, the subcommittee plan would be presented to the City Council as part of a comprehensive Task Force Report; or, if deemed appropriate, each subcommittee’s plan could be presented to the City Council separately.

Under this plan, the Task Force will balance competing interests and develop final recommendations to be presented to the City Council. The end product of the Task Force will be an update of the Parks Master Plan transforming it into the City’s Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan.

Components of Final Subcommittee Reports

The final study/reports prepared by each subcommittee, and approved by the Task Force are anticipated to include as a minimum:

    1. A conceptual plan, preferably with a graphic component
    2. Cost estimates for construction and maintenance including potential funding sources
    3. Estimated time frames and phasing of implementation

Staff Review

All studies/reports, before final presentation to the City Council, also need to be reviewed

by the Planning Department and City Attorney for comment on possible environmental, General Plan, and zoning issues; Public Works on cost estimates and logistics; and Finance on proposed financing plans.

General Plan Update

The City Council recently created a General Plan Update Steering Committee to oversee the City’s first major update to this guiding document. The Task Force will work closely with this Committee. It is important that the policies and goals of the General Plan Steering Committee and the recommendations of the Task Force do not conflict. The Task Force may also use the modified General Plan goals and policies as a basis for the development and completion of each of its tasks.


Undertaking all these tasks is a massive effort with enormous ramifications for the future of open space and recreation in Rancho Palos Verdes, and should not be commenced without first developing a process to insure that the needs of the community are addressed as accurately as possible through some combination of survey and public input. Below are two possible approaches; the first addresses just the open space and recreation needs of the community, while the second is an umbrella approach which encompasses a number of groups that have expressed interest in understanding the needs and wants of Rancho Palos Verdes residents.

Open Space Planning, and Recreation and Parks Task Force Needs Survey

At its November 13 meeting, the Task Force recommended performing a needs assessment. The Task Force has not yet determined a preferred methodology or timeline for assessing the recreation and open space needs and desires of the community. Among the possible approaches being considered are phone surveys, mail surveys, focus groups, community workshops, or some combination of the above. Staff anticipates that RRM Design Group, the consulting firm recommended to work with the Task Force, will be responsible for researching, conducting, and analyzing a thorough, statistically valid needs assessment. They have the necessary resources to assess existing recreation and park facilities and evaluate community usage and opinions of existing recreation, parks, and open space utilizing a variety of methods including public workshops, meetings with stakeholders, and surveys.

Umbrella Needs Assessment

Besides the Open Space Planning, and Recreation and Parks Task Force, the Finance Advisory Committee, General Plan Steering Committee, and the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy have all expressed interest in assessing the current needs and opinions of the community. Staff concurs with RRM Design Group’s estimation that doing one umbrella needs assessment for all four groups will result in a minimal increase in the cost and timeframe of doing a single needs assessment, and will be significantly less expensive than performing four separate assessments.


The size of this Task Force and its work plan represents a significant increase from the role previously undertaken by the Recreation and Parks Committee. Considering Recreation and Parks’ current staffing levels and resources, Staff determined that a consulting firm was needed to take the lead in coordinating Staff and Task Force efforts. Staff considered hiring full-time personnel for this role, but the limited duration of the Task Force makes the hiring of a consultant the more prudent and appropriate approach. At the July 16, 2002 City Council meeting, Staff requested $100,000 for consultant services. Council approved $25,000 in initial funding for consultant selection and to assist with the process, with the understanding that after the Task Force reviewed the work plan, and a preliminary budget was established with a prospective consultant, Staff would return to Council seeking additional funds, if necessary. Staff mailed out request for proposals to 27 consultant firms and received seven proposals.

The proposals were evaluated and narrowed to three finalists according to the following criteria. Ability to:

  • Successfully complete the project within the agreed upon timeframe and within a reasonable budget
  • Demonstrate existing knowledge of the Peninsula and RPV
  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the key issues impacting the Recreation and Parks Department surrounding the delivery of services in RPV in the coming years
  • Adequately Staff and manage the project
  • Meet City’s and Task Force’s goals and objectives for proposed work
  • Conduct a community needs assessment to evaluate community usage and opinions of existing recreation, parks, and open space
  • Assess existing recreation and park facilities
  • Estimate maintenance, operational, and fiscal impacts of Task Force recommendations
  • Identify viable funding alternatives (including Federal, State, and private sources) and strategies to address necessary improvements, property acquisition, new park and recreational facility development
  • Demonstrate experience with similar projects

Recreation and Parks Staff, Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru and Task Force Vice-Chair Jim Knight interviewed the three finalists on November 25 and 26, 2002. Based upon their proposal and their high level of experience and professionalism, RRM Design Group was the unanimous choice of the interview panel. The Task Force unanimously endorsed RRM Design Group after hearing a presentation at their December 11, 2002 meeting.

RRM has the flexibility and the multi-disciplinary experience to focus and maximize the efforts of Staff and the Task Force and help lead this project to a successful conclusion. RRM has significant experience with similar projects and more than adequate staff and resources. Among their more high-profile projects are the Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk Refurbishment Plan and the Port of Los Angeles Consensus Planning Process. Project Manager and RRM owner T. Keith Gurnee has extensive experience with public outreach, land conservation, complex political strategy management, and long-range master planning. Mr. Gurnee has also served on the San Luis Obispo City Council and Planning Commission.

If retained, RRM could perform the following

  • Conduct a thorough needs assessment
  • Coordinate Staff and Task Force efforts
  • Assess existing recreation and park facilities
  • Research options for possible recreation uses
  • Analyze relevant open space sites for potential strengths and weaknesses
  • Identify and analyze potential funding sources
  • Estimate maintenance, operational, and fiscal impacts of Task Force recommendations
  • Assist in creation of mapping and graphic components
  • Prepare initial designs and cost estimates
  • Assist Staff and Task Force in finalizing reports
  • Assist in presenting all relevant information to the City Council

While all three Consultant finalists submitted impressive proposals, RRM’s professional and dynamic presentation, unanimous selection by the interview panel, subsequent unanimous endorsement by the Task Force, stellar references, and strong experience with similar projects made them the obvious choice for this complex and challenging assignment.


The recommended actions were not anticipated in the adopted FY 02-03 Budget, and a budget adjustment is required.

The FY02-03 estimated General fund revenues in excess of adopted expenditures are only $827. Therefore, the additional appropriation for this project cannot be funded within this year’s anticipated revenues and will have to be drawn from the General fund reserve. The amount of the projected General fund reserve available for appropriation (which is the total General fund reserve less the General fund reserve policy level of $6,451,870) is summarized below.

General fund reserve available, 7/1/02









View Restoration Tree Trimming



Open Space/Recreation Task Force Consultant



Weed Abatement (Parks Maintenance)



Additional Student & The Law Classes



Civic Center Modifications (transfer out)



Open Space Land Purchase



Additional PVIC Park Maintenance



Storm Water Program additional funding



Temporary Trailers at PVIC




General fund reserve available, net


$25,000 in "available" General Fund Reserve funds have already been allocated for consultant services to assist the Task Force in FY 02-03. The attached budget resolution increases the appropriation by $40,000. An additional $35,000 in Recreation and Parks Administrative Program is being reallocated for consultant services, bringing the total allocation for consultant services to $100,000.


The appropriate use of open space is one of the most vital issues for residents of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The Open Space Planning, and Recreation and Parks Task Force recognizes that the magnitude and complexity of the community issues to be addressed requires a clear and systematic approach. This work plan prepared by the Task Force provides a workable roadmap to develop a vision of the future of recreation and open space in Rancho Palos Verdes.

The work plan being addressed by this Task Force represents a sizable increase from that previously undertaken by the Recreation and Parks Committee. The current level of Recreation and Parks Department Staff and resources necessitates the use of a professional consulting service to facilitate this project, coordinating efforts of Staff and the Task Force. Based on a rigorous recruitment process and interviewing of three consultants, Staff highly recommends retaining RRM Design Group. Their expertise and experience would be vital in every step of the process, from the initial research and community input stages to the eventual presentation of the Task Force’s findings to the City Council.

Respectfully Submitted,
Ron Rosenfeld
Director, Recreation and Parks

Les Evans
City Manager


Resolution No. 2003-
Open Space Planning, and Recreation and Parks Task Force Chair Report
Subcommittee Chair Reports (6)
Subcommittee Conceptual Plans (3)
RRM Design Group Preliminary Scope of Services and Cost Estimates
Original Proposed Task List July 2, 2002
Subcommittee Rosters



WHEREAS, Section 3.32 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code provides that all expenditures in excess of budgeted allocations must be by supplemental appropriation of the City Council; and,

WHEREAS, on June 12, 2002 the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 2002-45, approving a spending plan and authorizing a budget appropriation for the 2002-2003 fiscal year; and,

WHEREAS, the services of a professional consultant are required to support activities of the Open Space Planning And Recreation And Parks Task Force; and,

WHEREAS, a budget increase in the General Fund is necessary to authorize expenditures for the aforementioned professional consultant.


Section 1: The following increase be made to the fiscal year 2002-2003 General Fund budget:

General Fund:

Professional/Technical Services #001-510-35 $40,000

PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED this 7th day of January 2003.





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, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2003- was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at regular meeting thereof held on January 7, 2003.