Rancho Palos Verdes City Council





APRIL 15, 2003

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:04 p.m., the meeting was reconvened.

Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Clark, Ferraro, McTaggart and Mayor Stern

ABSENT: Gardiner

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; Senior Planner Kit Fox; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Minutes Secretary Dianne McGivern.

Senior Planner Kit Fox led in the pledge of allegiance.


City Manager Les Evans drew the card for the recycler of the month.


Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, for approval of the agenda. Motion carried.


City Clerk Purcell mentioned that Mr. Edward Sutton would like to have Item the resolution regarding his large domestic animal nonconformity Statement No. 26 removed from the Consent Calendar and reset on another date. She stated that he would also like to speak to the item. Ms. Purcell indicated that new information was distributed for the Council to review.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, for approval of the Consent Calendar as amended.

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

Edward Sutton, Rancho Palos Verdes, claimed that he was not aware of the March 18th hearing on his item. He indicated that he had provided more documentation for his claim regarding the number of animals and the dates applicable. He stated that the letters indicate that he consistently had ten animals on the property. He indicated his willingness to cooperate with the City.

Mayor Stern asked why Mr. Sutton did not have notice of the meeting on March 18th.

Senior Planner Kit Fox indicated this his name and address were included on the notification sheet that contained all the names and addresses of interested parties.

Mayor Stern stressed the finality of the decision made by the Council on March 18th, despite his absence.

Councilman Clark questioned expressed disagreement with Mr. Sutton’s attempt to reopen the hearing. He stated that all of the pertinent information submitted by Mr. Sutton was available to the Council in February and was considered. He also expressed surprise that Mr. Sutton did not attend the March 18th meeting.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro indicated similarly that she was perplexed over Mr. Sutton’s absence. She also indicated that there was no request for an extension beyond March 18th.

Mr. Sutton replied that he did not know about the March 18th meeting; that in addition, he had a letter from his physician indicating health issues.

Mayor Stern inquired about the letter from the physician.

Senior Planner Kit Fox indicated that a letter was received in January prior to the January 21 meeting.

Mr. Sutton stated that one of the letters was missing pertinent dates. He indicated a desire to submit a new, complete letter.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro expressed regret that the decision was made with incomplete information. She stated that to be fair, reconsideration should be made to include all of the information currently available.

Councilman Clark pointed out the consistent testimony by the neighbors that there had been no more than three to five horses kept on the property in 1997.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro indicated that despite that information, at the time, Mr. Sutton had not had an opportunity to either rebut or to bring in his own evidence since he was unaware of the hearing.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved to reopen the public hearing and to schedule it for a future date.

Richard Bara, Rancho Palos Verdes, indicated that shortly after the 1997 period in question, he witnessed a number of horses on the property. He encouraged the Council to reopen the public hearing.

Councilman Clark seconded the motion, indicating that if Mr. Sutton does not appear at the future hearing, that the current decision by the Council should be re-affirmed by the Councilwill stand.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that proceeding that way is inappropriate.

Councilman McTaggart stated that already a large amount of time had been spent on the issue. He expressed doubt that any further evidence would change his opinion.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro pointed out letters in the current packet that had not been previously available.

Mayor Stern and Councilman Clark voted yes to reopen the public hearing

Council set May 20th to be the date for reopening the public hearing.


Emergency Preparedness Task Force - Final Recommendations. (401)

Jack Karp, Rancho Palos Verdes, Chairman of the Emergency Preparedness Task Force, introduced and thanked each member of the task force who was present at the meeting. . He presented the final report, and summarized the six items as recommendations to the Council.

Councilman Clark stated that Supervisor Don Knabe, wasrecently appointed last year to the President’s to the National Homeland Security Council, would like to have his team liaison with RPV based on the efforts of the EPTF.

Councilman Clark recommended establishing an emergency preparedness committee to further the important work begun by the EPTF.

City Manager Les Evans indicated that the task force was inexpensive; that professional minutes have been preserved. He indicated that approximately $20,000 per year would encompass a committee’s expenses.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, for the establishment of a emergency preparedness committee comprised of seven members. Motion carried.

Mayor Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to recruit from the current membership of the EPTF to serve on the committee; and that the City Clerk should contact the existing group and find out who was interested in serving on the seven member committee. Motion carried.

Resol. No. 2003-24: Planning Case No. ZON2002-00282. (1804)

Senior Planner Kit Fox presented the staff memorandum of April 15th, and the recommendation to adopt the proposed resolution.

Tim Hamilton, 4100 MacArthur Boulevard, Newport Beach, Capital Pacific Homes, stated that there would be no application for Lots 1, 2 and 3. He mentioned that the options were created to provide a more varied street scene.

Mayor Stern indicated that the bulk and mass view is what concerned the Council.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that the changes on the first floor would not affect the footprint, but that the second level changes are of concern.

Mr. Hamilton requested that Condition No. 11 be changed to "detailed grading plan" rather than "detailed rough grading plan" as that is an inaccurate term.

Mr. Fox indicated that in Conditions 15 and 16 there is discussion of certification being obtained following Phase 1 revegetation being completed. He stated that Mr. Hamilton requested clarification on the word "certified."

Mr. Fox stated that the intention was to have the biological consultant issue a certificate that the revegetation had been accomplished and therefore the project could continue.

Mr. Hamilton pointed out that the new designs were smaller than originally planned, with options for larger homes. He stated the reason for the change involved the current demographic situation vis-à-vis large, ocean front homes.



Mayor Stern declared a recess at 8:32 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 8:44 p.m.


Mayor Stern reported on a meeting with Ocean Trails representatives and City staff. He stated that a meeting would be forthcoming to educate the public. Mayor Stern, along with Councilman Clark, met regarding the Pointe View project with Mr. York. He also met with City Manager Evans and the Marine Corps regarding training exercises.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro announced a Community Sunrise Service at the Salvation Army on Easter Sunday, commencing at 6:00 a.m.

Councilman McTaggart reported a meeting with the Contract Cities Liability Trust Fund Oversight Committee, which oversees claims against the sheriff’s department. He reported $20 million in the account. He reported attending the COG Steering Committee to discuss the budget on the same day as the Contract Cities Executive Board Meeting held at Alpine Village.

Councilman McTaggart attended the April 7 SCAG meeting to discuss future lobbying efforts. He attended the round table meeting on April 9th at the airport to discuss the over flight issue. He reported at meeting on the 10th regarding water issues.

Councilman McTaggart reported attending the Vector Board meeting on April 10th regarding the West Nile Virus. He indicated that it is moving across the country. He stated that the MTA South Bay Sector Governance Council met in Carson on the 11th regarding bus safety and the installation of GPS systems to track the buses.

Councilman McTaggart met on April 12th with Ken Dyda to discuss the Seniors Center. He made a presentation at Silver Spur School on the 14th and presented a $200 recycling award to the school. He also stated that he made the same presentation at Cornerstone.

Councilman Clark attended Federal Women's Annual Recognition Luncheon where a living quilt memorializing the victims of 911 was presented. He stated that on March 27th, he visited Sacramento to attend the League of California Cities Revenue and Taxation Policy Committee. On March 28th, he also made a similar recycle aware presentation at Mira Catalina School on behalf of the City Council.

Councilman Clark indicated that on the 29th he attended the annual Ladera Linda Homeowners Association dinner dance. On April 4th, he attended The Switzer School South Bay Women of the Year Awards Luncheon. On April 7th, he spoke at the RPV Council Homeowner’s Association regarding activities of the Council. On the 8th, he spoke at the annual Crest Homeowner’s Association. regarding the same topic.

Councilman Clark on the 14th of April met with Ken Dyda regarding the architectural design of the Seniors Center.


Larry Zamos, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in opposition to the traffic signal installed at Vallon and Hawthorne. He claimed it was a nuisance and stated that over the years, he had complied with City requirements regarding his property in the interest of being cooperative. He claimed that putting in this traffic light was done haphazardly, without thought or consideration of the residents. He demonstrated that he formerly had a million dollar view that is now obstructed by traffic lights and City utilities.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that she had encouraged the homeowners association to agendize this item in pursuit of a solution.

Betty Strauss, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in favor of the rules for memorials. She suggested installing a bronze plaque in honor of the women who worked in pursuit of the Fourth City (RPV) incorporation.

Via Rivera Pilot Program Interim Report.

Director of Public Works Dean Allison presented the staff memorandum of April 15 and the following recommendations: (1) Receive and file the Via Rivera Interim Report; (2) Continue the pilot program in its current form; and, (3) Present a final report to Council two months after completion of the program.

James Sweeney, Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked the Council for the radar speed boards and the police presence. He indicated that speeds have significantly been reduced. He stated that according to real estate agents, property values increase when speed bumps were installed.

Ken Denzel, Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked the City for the signage. He indicated that he had videotaped people speeding. He stated that before 7:30 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. people are still speeding.

Greg Reinhardt, Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked the Council and the deputies. He stated that despite the current efforts being made, speeding is a continuing issue.

Councilman McTaggart related a complaint from a resident in the Basswood neighborhood who stated that the installed speed bumps are bone jarring.

Sgt. Paul Creason indicated a willingness to be on patrol whenever the City desires.

Mayor Stern suggested that random patrols by the sheriff might be more effective.

Councilman McTaggart suggested doubling or tripling the fines for speeding in that area as a solution. Councilman Clark agreed.

Director Allison stated that the plan was to continue for a few more weeks and then cease the program for evaluation. He indicated that at that point, alternatives will be considered.

Jim Jones, Rancho Palos Verdes, representing the Traffic Committee, stated that the committee studied 14 tools available for traffic calming, but that the real issue is changing human behavior. He stated that speed humps are the recommendation of the committee.

Barry Hildebrand, Rancho Palos Verdes, pointed out that the locals are the ones speeding; that people are speeding more now that the citations are being issued; that the speed bumps need to be of sufficient height to be effective; and, that legislation is pending regarding decreasing speeds in school zones.


Mayor Stern declared a recess at 9:59 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 10:09 p.m.

Resol. No. 2003-25: Tarapaca slope failure.

Director of Public Works Dean Allison presented the staff memorandum of April 15 and the following recommendations: (1) Authorize staff to contact the County of Los Angeles regarding project participation; (2) Authorize staff to investigate the feasibility of an assessment district as a potential funding source; (3) Request staff to investigate additional funding sources and assemble a funding plan for the repair of the Tarapaca Landslide repair that minimizes the use of general fund money; (4) Engage adjacent property owners to reduce the amount of surface drainage entering the head of the landslide; (5) Authorize the expenditure of up to $5,000 for additional engineering services: and, (6) ADOPT the proposed RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION 2002-45, THE BUDGET RESOLUTION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002-03, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND. 

Mayor Stern asked how long the soil had been sloughing.

Director Allison indicated that it is a reactivated landslide that had been dormant. He stated that the excessive rains in the 1980s were responsible for some of the activity. He stated that damage to a sewer line occurred at or around that same timeframe, and the repair occurred in the mid-1990s.

Councilman McTaggart asked whether the San Ramon improvements had affected the landslide.

Paul Guntill indicated negatively; that the outward structure was designed to reduce the velocity and momentum of land movement.

Councilman McTaggart and Mayor pro tem Ferraro indicated that the switchbacks seem to be getting worse.

Director Allison demonstrated through aerial photographs the condition of the cracks in the land.

Councilman McTaggart inquired into the direction of movement of the land.

Mr. Guntill indicated towards the canyon and oblique. He stated that the sides of the canyon are relatively stable in comparison to the cracks. He stated that clay is responsible for the deterioration of the land.

Councilman McTaggart suggested approaching the State of California under the landslide abatement district funds for relief.

City Attorney Lynch offered to research that funding option.

Mr. Guntill introduced options such as putting a storm drain in to control erosion at $1.2 million; to remove soil on a continuous basis; and, thirdly, to remove and replace the eastern side of the canyon at $800,000.

Councilman Clark asked where the funding would come from.

Director Allison suggested approaching the County of Los Angeles as they own a portion of the land. He indicated that the City of Los Angeles has budgeted for occurrences such as this.

Sara Dokter, Rancho Palos Verdes, suggested changing the name of the San Ramon Canyon project to the San Ramon Landslide.

Sam Van Wagner, thanked the Council for repairing San Ramon Canyon. He encouraged the Council to approve staff recommendation.

Jim Jones, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he noticed a change in the canyon. He indicated that in the past, he had observed water cascading down the hill and cautioned that in the future similar activity could be dangerous to the mobile home park across PV Drive East.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved for staff recommendation, seconded by Councilman Clark.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Ferraro, McTaggart, Clark and Mayor Stern

NOES: None

ABSENT: Gardiner

Ridgegate Traffic Calming Update.

Director of Public Works Dean Allison presented the staff memorandum of April 15 and the following recommendations: (1) Receive and file the Ridgegate Traffic Calming Status report; and, (2) Direct Public Works Department to conduct survey of residents of the area to determine if they feel there is a speeding problem.

Jim Jones, Rancho Palos Verdes, Traffic Committee, recommended on behalf of the committee to reinstall raised pavement markers in new locations and rows.

Charles Ingraham, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that the traffic calming issue is longstanding; that their neighborhood was put off due to other traffic problems that the City was dealing with. He stated that the community feels abandoned by the city vis-à-vis this issue. He indicated that there is no opportunity to cross a street that is three-quarters of a mile long. He expressed the concern that it is unsafe.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to issue a practical survey to the residents of Ridgegate regarding speeding issues. Motion carried.

Revised agreement with the County of Los Angeles to perform inspections and administer examinations on behalf of the City for prospective massage business license applicants.

City Manager Les Evans presented the staff report and the following recommendations: (1) Approve the revised 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, (2) Authorize Staff to publish Notices of Public Hearing for the May 6th Council meeting to adopt a new fee schedule to recover costs of County Health Services

Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, for approval of the staff recommendation. Motion carried.

Council and staff tactical planning workshop.

City Manager Les Evans presented the staff report and the recommendation to set a date and time for a City Council and Staff Tactical Planning Workshop.

Councilman McTaggart moved to set April 26th from 10:00 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. as the date and time for the City Council and Staff Tactical Planning Workshop. 


The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 p.m. on motion of Mayor Stern.



City Clerk