Rancho Palos Verdes City Council






MARCH 18, 2003

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Ferraro at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.

Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: McTaggart, Clark, Gardiner, Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro

ABSENT: Mayor Stern

Also present were City Manager Les Evans; City Attorney Carol 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; Administrative Services Director/City Clerk Jo Purcell; and Minutes Secretary Dianne McGivern.

City Manager Les Evans led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro honorably recognized the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Decathlon Team for their recent performance. She presented each of the students with a City pin and certificate of recognition.

Ted Vegvari of PV On The Net introduced and presented the award-winning video "Kitchen Katastrophe." He stated that students between the ages of 11 and 18 wrote and completed the 3D modeling and animation video that still receives requests for involvement in competition.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro announced on behalf of Mayor Stern that City Manager Les Evans was working with the United States Marines to utilize former Marineland property for their war exercises.

City Attorney Evans read a prepared statement in which he outlined his views and position and an indication of upcoming meetings with Colonel P. O’Donogue of the Marine Corps to further clarify the details of such potential events.

Councilman Clark read an email from Colonel P. O’Donogue stating that City Manager Evans has been in full cooperation with the Marine Corps.


Sun Yik Lin, of Rancho Palos Verdes, was the Recycler of the Month.


City Clerk Jo Purcell indicated that a letter had been received from Mr. Esfahni, the applicant on Tract Map No. 52666, requesting a reconsideration of Paragraph 19 in the Agreement.

It was the consensus of Council to remove this item from the Consent Calendar and make it the first matter of business heard after the Consent Calendar.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the agenda as amended. Motion carried.


Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the Consent Calendar as amended.

Motion To Waive Full Reading

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

Minutes Of The February 8th. (301)

Approved the minutes.

Appeal of Denial of Planning Case No. ZON2002-00282. (1804)

Continued this matter until April 15th.

Councilman Clark suggested forming an ad hoc committee to the neighborhood compatibility committee to review zoning lot coverage and setbacks. He stated that these items were crafted into the code in the 1970’s and have become outdated.

Councilman Clark requested the Council visits without delay the "right to build height" matter versus view impairment of structures to assist the Planning Commission in their deliberations over applications.

Household Hazardous Waste/ Electronics Waste Round-Up Siting Liability Agreement With Los Angeles County. (1204 x 1402)

Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the proposed Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Waste Collection Program Siting Liability Agreement with the County of Los Angeles and County Sanitation District No. 2 of Los Angeles County.

Resol. No. 2003-18: Funding Request For Beverage Container Recycling

And Litter Cleanup Activities FY 03-04.(1204 x 1301)

(1) Authorized the submittal of the funding request to the Department of Conservation’s Division of Recycling for funding programs related to beverage container recycling and litter cleanup activities for FY 03-04; and, (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION 2003-18, AUTHORIZING THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS TO EXECUTE ALL NECESSARY FORMS FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECURING PAYMENTS, AND IMPLEMENTING AND CARRYING OUT THE PROGRAMS.

Resol. No. 2003-19: Educational Access Channel. (305)


Amendment To The City Manager’s Employment Agreement. (1202)

Approved the fourth amendment to the City Manager’s Employment Agreement.

Resol. No. 2003-20: Register of Demands.


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

AYES: Clark, McTaggart, Gardiner & Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro

NOES: None

ABSENT: Mayor Stern

ABSTAIN: Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro on the minutes of February 6th.

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Final Tract Map No. 52666 (Applicant: 3200 PVDW, LLC). (1411)

The staff report of March 18 recommended that Council execute and file a Subdivision Improvement Agreement, An Affordable Housing Agreement and authorize the recordation of Final Tract Map No. 52666. Amended Paragraph No. 19 of the Affordable Housing Agreement to reflect the applicant’s compliance with the City’s Affordable Housing Requirement upon the sale of the first lot or any portion thereof, or issuance of the first building permit; staff to prepare a revised agreement accordingly. Approved execution and filing of Subdivision Improvement Agreement, an amended Affordable Housing Agreement, and authorized the recordation of the Final Tract Map No. 52666.

Sidney Croft, Attorney at Law, 3858 Carson Street, Suite 127, Carson, requested the Council to reconsider the requirement for a $500,000 bond. He stated that the developer has enough incentive to complete the affordable housing, as they will not be able to market other units until the affordable unit is available.

City Attorney Lynch stated that the bond is representative of an assurance by the developer to complete the affordable housing unit in a timely manner. She stated that the developer was a joy to deal with and the City has every confidence in them; however, should there be an alteration in plans, such as a change in ownership, the City would need financial assurance to complete the project to prevent future litigation.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that the Council has full discretion over the decision, as the issue is not addressed by the Code.

Councilman Clark inquired whether the securing of a bond had precedence.

City Attorney Lynch stated that this was the first occasion.

Councilman Clark asked whether in the future it would be the recommendation of staff to require a bond in similar circumstances.

City Attorney Lynch stated staff’s recommendation would be affirmative; however, the Council retains jurisdiction over the decision.

Councilman Gardiner inquired into the purpose for the bond.

City Attorney Lynch stated that under circumstances where the affordable housing unit does not get constructed for any reason, that there is a pool of money with which to complete it.

Councilman Gardiner commented that the burden should fall onto the developers.

Councilman McTaggart suggested in lieu of the bond to have another developer agree to construct the affordable housing unit. He stated that requirements would not cease on behalf of the state; that, in fact, they will become greater.

Councilman Gardiner indicated that the City would not be able to enforce an agreement with another developer serving as a third party.

Councilman Clark suggested putting a freeze on any certificate of occupancy until the affordable unit is constructed.

City Attorney Lynch stated that the sale of some of the units would provide capital to build the affordable housing unit.

Mr. Croft indicated that the current discussion entailed unlikely events. He stated that the developer has more incentive than anyone to complete the affordable housing unit, as they would not be allowed to sell the last six units until that is accomplished. He commented that those last units are the ones that provide the profit to the developer.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that the City has a duty to protect the residents from any eventuality.

Councilman Clark cited the example of Ocean Front Estates, which has been stalled for years.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to retain the requirement in the contract.

Councilman McTaggart indicated a desire to find an alternate way to solve the problem. He stated that putting up a bond was a seemingly tremendous burden; however, in light of the discussion he would acquiesce to the motion.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro asked whether the decision had to be made immediately.

City Attorney Lynch responded that in order for the developer to record their final map, the decision had to be made.

Councilman McTaggart proposed that the developer not be required to post a bond until the first home is completed.

City Attorney Lynch suggested either by the time the building permit for the first house is sought, or, that the first lot is sold. She stated that she would add to Paragraph 19, "prior to issuance of the first building permit or sale of the first lot, whichever occurs first," with the balance of the language remaining. Councilman Clark so moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner. Motion carried.


Review of Large Domestic Animal Nonconformity Statement No. 26. (1804)

Senior Planner Kit Fox presented the staff memorandum of March 18 and the following recommendation: determine the maximum number of large domestic animals that may be "grandfathered" for keeping and/or boarding on the property at 16 Peppertree Drive. He referred to the staff report as containing basic evidence for determining the number of horses to be permitted on the Suttons’ property.

Planner Fox stated that after reviewing all of the materials collected, staff believed the evidence supported the Suttons’ claim regarding the number of horses present on their property as of February 1, 1997. He stated, however, that support for more than six horses legally boarded on the property on July 1, 1975 was not present.

Planner Fox summarized that under the pre-1997 code, a maximum of ten horses could be kept on the property in perpetuity, six of which could be boarded in perpetuity and one could be boarded subject to "sunset" provisions of the current code.

Robert Maxwell, Rancho Palos Verdes, referenced the two critical dates, July 1, 1975, and February 1, 1997 as being essential for grandfathering. He stated that in the absence of horses present on those dates, there could be no grandfathering granted at this time.

Mr. Maxwell provided a photograph, dated September 1975, referencing the area in question. He pointed out the Sutton property, noting the condition of the grounds as being graded and lacking horses. He demonstrated a little corral further up Peppertree Drive that had horses in 1975.

He stated in conclusion that he had consistently protested legal boarding of horses.

Daphne Clark, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that there was one old horse on the Sutton property at the time she moved in. She stated that the horse lived on mud, as there was no barn or facility or shelter. She stated that Mr. Sutton would allow her to ride by his corrals when her children were young and that she remembers no more than four horses being present at any time.

Ms. Clark recalled an incident in 1997 when Mr. Sutton had imported horses for an inspection by the City. She stated that the inspection never took place and the horses left after the weekend. She said that was the only time there was ever more than four horses on the Sutton property.

Ms. Clark stated that Mr. Sutton is not allowed to keep horses according to the terms of his criminal probation.

Jeanne Smolley, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that in 1975 the Suttons had one thoroughbred horse; in 1997, they had three. She further stated that there were never more than five horses in 1997.

Ms. Smolley reiterated that Mr. Sutton cannot even go near horses, even if they are on his property, as a condition of his criminal probation.

Betty Strauss, Rancho Palos Verdes, indicated that in 1975, there was one horse on the Sutton property. She stated that she took walks every morning with her dogs by the Sutton property.

Ms. Strauss related an incident in 1997 regarding a young woman who desperately was trying to find someone to help the horses on the Sutton property. Ms. Strauss stated that the young woman indicated four horses present at that time.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro noted that Mr. Sutton was not in attendance at the meeting.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that staff had received no requests for continuance of the hearing.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, for the default number of four horses to be allowed on the Sutton property. With no objection noted, the motion carried.


Resol No. 2003-21: Crest Road Limited Parking. (1204 x 1502)

The staff report of March 18th presented the following recommendations: establishment of a Limited Two (2) Hour Parking zone on Crest Road from Crenshaw Blvd. easterly to the Saint John Fisher Church driveway; (2) adoption of the proposed RESOLUTION NO. 2003-21, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING LIMITED PARKING ON CREST ROAD FROM CRENSHAW BLVD. EASTERLY TO THE SAINT JOHN FISHER CHURCH DRIVEWAY.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to waive staff report and to adopt staff recommendation. No objections noted, the motion carried.

Council/Staff Strategic Planning Workshop. (307)

City Manager Evans explained that each year the City conducts a workshop to discuss goals and objectives. He inquired of the Council whether they intend on having a strategic planning workshop; and, if so, to choose a date agreeable to all.

Council set Saturday, May 3rd from 9:30 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. as the date and time for a City Council and Staff Strategic Planning Workshop.


Councilman Clark reported that he attended the League of California Cities on March 6th, 2003, where there was discussion of the state’s budget crisis. On March 7th, he and City Manager Evans attended a special hearing conducted by the State Senate Committee on local government regarding reaction to the Vehicle License Fee loss. He stated that both he and City Manager Evans testified before the Committee. He remarked that included in his testimony was the fact that both the Democratic and Republican parties represented in this region all support the restoration of VLF fees to the City.

Councilman McTaggart attended on March 5th the Contract Cities Liability Trust Fund Oversight Committee in Norwalk. On the same day, he attended the COG Steering Committee. Councilman McTaggart stated that he will not be available to attend the meeting on April 27th, and would need to send someone else; perhaps Mayor Stern.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro asked the City Manager to check the Mayor’s schedule for his availability.

Councilman McTaggart attended on March 6th a meeting regarding the conference scheduled for Indian Wells. He commented that at the Housing Committee at SCAG, a summary document reflecting public policy regarding the current fair share housing policy was made available. He stated that venture capital in this region is lacking as we receive only 11 percent despite having 48 percent of the population.

Councilman McTaggart rode in an MTA bus at the MTA South Bay Sector Council. He stated on March 8th he attended the Assistant League Gala as a guest of Supervisor Knabe. On April 1st, he attended the meeting of the Vector Board in Culver City. He stated that the red ants are going to be a difficult problem to solve. He warned all those who hike.

Councilman Clark asked about the brown recluse spider.

Councilman McTaggart stated that there have been no discussions or concerns regarding the brown recluse being problematic at this time. He stated that he had received the technical information regarding the Africanized Honey Bee.

Councilman McTaggart stated that he took part in a demonstration supporting U.S. troops on March 15th at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Crenshaw, in the rain.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that the barbecue for the City’s 30th anniversary celebration will be on September 6th, with a dinner dance on October 17th. She stated that all of the residents are invited.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro mentioned that on May 17th, the hazardous waste roundup will take place. She stated that electronic waste would also be accepted this year.


Barbara Sattler, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed encouragement and support of the aerial mapping and imagery project.

Ms. Sattler also addressed the Marine activity. She stated that she hoped it would not disrupt the natural habitat.

Lois Knight Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that her neighbor would not grant her car rides because using the oil would help the terrorists; she expressed dissatisfaction with the "Kitchen Katastrophe," video; and, she praised Mayor pro tem Ferraro for her celebration of the students for their participation in the Peninsula High School Academic Decathlon. Ms. Larue questioned the lack of response to her request that the City oppose the Patriot Act.


Digital Aerial Mapping: Award of Contract. (1203)

Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas presented the Staff Memorandum dated March 18, 2003 and made the following recommendation: authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a professional services agreement in an amount not to exceed $136,925 with Stewart Geo Technologies, Inc., (formerly LanData Airborne Systems) to prepare new color digital orthophotographic maps that will be used to complete the City’s NCCP.

Director Rojas stated that the aerial maps would be used for delineating boundaries, including but not limited to, habitat, residential properties and vacant land. He indicated that three entities were interviewed to provide the maps and Stuart Geo Technologies was thought by staff to provide the best product.

Director Rojas demonstrated via Power Point presentation a sample of what the maps will project. He stated that having electronic versions of the maps would make them more versatile and useful. He indicated that because of the map would be used to complete the NCCP; the cost of maps is shared between the City and the federal government, each paying half.

Jim Knight, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in support of the maps. He stated that the maps are done via a low fly aerial, which provides much more detail than currently provided by most map companies. He stated that the four inch per pixel color is quite good resolution.

Mr. Knight explained his task of digitizing all the trails. He expressed a desire to include the GPS points on the trails and add notations of detailed descriptions. He stated that the open space task force elected to support this particular aerial topography system.

Director of Public Works Dean Allison explained that currently they are using it for the overlay slurry program. He stated that the maps would be useful when conducting the sewer investigation. He opined that the accuracy would afford the city a reduction in consultant fees.

Ken DeLong, Rancho Palos Verdes, questioned the justification of such a large expenditure for a mapping system. He stated that he was desirous of seeing the economic justification within the staff report. He stated that in light of the budget situation, it is not prudent to make this expenditure.

Mayor McTaggart addressed the budget inquiry. He stated that this is a shared cost with the federal government that will not remain available if it is not embraced now.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro indicated that the Planning Department had allocated $80,000. She indicated that with the federal government’s input, the cost to the City would only be approximately $68,000.

Councilman Clark stated that the staff report is inclusive of reasoning for the proposed expenditure. He pointed out that not only would the mapping system benefit the NCCP, but also the entire Planning, Building, Code Enforcement Department as well as other city departments.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve staff recommendation.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: McTaggart, Gardiner, Clark, Mayor pro tem Ferraro

NOES: None

ABSENT: Mayor Stern


The meeting was adjourned at 9:22 P.M. on motion of Mayor pro tem Ferraro.









City Clerk