Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

DATE: OCTOBER 7, 2003

SUBJECT: NEIGHBORHOOD BEAUTIFICATION GRANT AWARDS (CYCLE 14)

Staff Coordinator: Pam Mitchell, Administrative Staff Assistant

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Award thirty-five (35) of thirty-nine (39) Neighborhood Beautification Grants totaling $135,095.
  2. Approve the application from the West Portuguese Bend Community Association subject to a revision to the proposed fencing.

BACKGROUND

Since 1989 the City has annually awarded neighborhood beautification grants. The program awards funds directly to members of homeowners’ associations and other neighborhood groups to construct beautification projects. The program is funded from revenues from the City’s curbside recycling program. Since 1989, grants totaling nearly $793,500 have been awarded.

The base grant amount is $3,000, and the program includes a matching component of up to $1,500. Under the program the maximum grant amount is $ 4,500.

In May, the Public Works Department sent notices to the Homeowners Associations, Community Associations, and all libraries and schools within the City. By July 18, 2003, the closing date for applications, 39 applications had been received.

DISCUSSION

After review of the thirty-nine applications to determine funding eligibility and compliance with Public Works and Planning regulations, staff recommends that thirty-five applications be approved.

The applicants are summarized in Exhibit "A". The most common grant request is for landscape improvements. However, grants are also requested for other improvements such as entry signs, new irrigation systems, fencing, pedestrian path improvements, a fountain, and new lighting.

Some of the projects will require a Public Works and /or Planning Department permit. Staff from both departments took extra care to spell out for applicants the requirements for the permit needed.

Staff recommends that four applications be denied. The reasons for the denials are as follows:

  1. Island View Terrace HOA request for vinyl siding was denied because the request is for maintenance of their building.
  2. Peacock Ridge HOA request for entrance door replacement was denied because the request is for maintenance of their building.
  3. Community Association Tract 16540 request for landscaping along Palos Verdes Drive South was denied due to lack of required documents.
  4. Green Hills Memorial Park request for an entrance sign was denied because as a for profit business they do not meet eligibility guidelines

The staff recommendations include the conditional approval of an application from the West Portuguese Bend Community Association. Staff believes their application has merit, but it proposes fencing along Palos Verdes Drive South that would be out of character. They propose a white vinyl fencing along the right of way. Staff is requesting that their application be approved subject to a revision to the type of fencing proposed.

Some characteristics of the applications recommended for approval:

Who applied?

  • HOA’s: 24
  • Community Groups: 6
  • Schools: 4
  • Church: 1

What did they apply for?

  • Landscape improvements along the street right of way
  • Entry signs
  • New irrigation systems
  • Fountain
  • Fencing
  • Pedestrian path improvements

Have they applied before?

  • 9 out of 39 are first time applicants
  • 11out of 39 have received awards, 3 or fewer times
  • 19 out of 39 have received 4 or more grants

How much did they ask for?

  • 24 requested $3,000 plus the $1,500 matching
  • 3 requested $3,000 plus matching funds less than $1,500
  • 9 requested $3,000 only with no matching funds
  • 3 requested less than $3,000

One of the two documents required for submittal with all applications is minutes of a Homeowner’s Association meeting at which time the application is approved. Because some of the HOA’s and Community Groups do not hold regular meetings, nine of the applications do not have minutes. However, they have produced proposals with the appropriate signatures from their organization.

A second requirement is bids from two contractors for the proposed project. It was brought to the City’s attention that some of the HOA’s and community organizations have difficulty obtaining two bids. Fourteen of the applications have only one bid. However in every case staff reviewed the application and the costs are fair and reasonable.

CONCLUSION

Adopting the staff recommendation will award thirty-four beautification grants, and a conditional approval of one grant, totaling $135,095. Award letters will be sent to the applicants, and upon receipt of an invoice for completed work a check will be issued.

FISCAL IMPACT

The adopted FY 03-04 budget includes adequate funding for the recommended action awards grants totaling $135,095. The adopted budget includes adequate funding for this program.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dean E. Allison

Director of Public Works

Reviewed by:

Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

Exhibit "A" Application Summary (Cycle 14)

Exhibit "B" Typical projects (photos) applied for

Exhibit "C" Peacock Ridge HOA and Island View Terrace, Denied Requests

Exhibit "D" West Portuguese Bend Community Association proposed fencing