Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING & CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: NOVEMBER 18, 2003

SUBJECT: TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR THE PROPOSED SOUTH COAST COUNTY GOLF COURSE AT THE FORMER PALOS VERDES LANDFILL

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Senior Planner

RECOMMENDATION

1) Review the Staff report and the City’s options for reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the proposed South Coast County Golf Course;

  1. If acceptable to the City Council, adopt Resolution No. 2003-__ approving a $5,000 budget appropriation for profession/technical services related to the review of the DEIR, to be used to either:
    1. Retain the services of The Source Group, Inc. for technical review of the DEIR; or,
    2. Contribute to the City of Rolling Hills Estates’ costs related to the technical review of the DEIR; and,

3) If Recommendation 2B is selected, direct Staff to contact the City of Rolling Hills Estates and work out a formal arrangement for sharing the cost of its consultants.

BACKGROUND

As a part of the November 5, 2003 Border Issues Status Report, Staff suggested retaining the services of a consultant to review and comment upon the certain technical aspects of the DEIR for the proposed South Coast County Golf Course. Staff also noted that the City of Rolling Hills Estates has retained with a team of consultants to prepare its comments on the DEIR. The City Council asked Staff to further research the consultant team retained by Rolling Hills Estates before deciding whether to hire our own consultant, and continued this matter to tonight’s meeting.

DISCUSSION

Cost Estimate and Resumes from The Source Group, Inc. (TSG)

In March 2002, TSG reviewed and commented on the Notice of Preparation and Initial Study (NOP/IS) for the South Coast County Golf Course project with the City Council’s authorization. TSG has previously worked with the City on soil contamination issues at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. TSG’s NOP/IS comments, which focused on the issues of soils and geology, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, and air quality, were included in the final NOP/IS comments that were forwarded to the County in April 2002. With the release of the DEIR, Staff believes it may be useful to retain TSG to comment on these same issues.

Staff has obtained the attached cost estimate of $3,024 to review the DEIR and prepare comments, not including attendance at any City Council meetings. Also attached at the request of Councilman Gardiner are copies of resumes of TSG staff that would be involved in the review. Councilman Gardiner was also interested in having the DEIR reviewed by a Certified Safety Specialist. Although TSG does not have a Certified Safety Specialist on its own staff, TSG uses an outside Industrial Hygienist who is so certified, and this person would be able to review and comment on the DEIR.

If the City Council wishes to retain TSG’s services, a budget appropriation will be necessary, for which a draft Resolution is attached to this report. Staff estimates that the total cost of this review would not exceed $5,000.

City of Rolling Hills Estates’ Consultant Team

As mentioned on November 5, 2003, Staff has also contacted the City of Rolling Hills Estates, which has retained the services of a number of consultants to review the DEIR. The consultants and their respective areas of expertise are listed in the table below.

Issue Area

Rolling Hills Estates’ Consultant

Aesthetics

None (RHE Planning Staff)

Air Quality

Bill Piazza

Air Quality Dynamics

Woodland Hills, CA

Biological Resources

Susan J. O’Carroll, Principal Planner

Willdan Associates

Industry, CA

Cultural Resources

Geology and Soils

Tom Evans, Civil Engineer

Arroyo Geotechnical

Baldwin Park, CA

Hazards and Hazardous Materials

Susan L. Mearns, Ph.D.

Mearns Consulting Corp.

Santa Monica, CA

Hydrology and Water Quality

James Farrow, Associate Hydrogeologist

Komex Environmental, Ltd.

Los Angeles, CA

Land Use and Recreation

None (RHE Planning Staff)

Noise

Susan J. O’Carroll, Principal Planner

Willdan Associates

Industry, CA

Public Services and Utilities

Transportation/Traffic

Eric Zandvliet, Traffic Engineer

Willdan Associates

Industry, CA

The issue areas listed in bold italics in the table above are those that would be addressed by TSG in its review of the DEIR. As an alternative, if the City Council does not wish to hire TSG for this review, it could choose to rely upon the consultant team retained by the City of Rolling Hills Estates. Attached to tonight’s report are background materials regarding Mearns Consulting Corp., Komex Environmental, Ltd., and Arroyo Geotechnical from their respective web sites (http://www.mearnsconsulting.com, http://www.komex.com and http://www.arroyogeotechnical.com/). The City of Rolling Hills Estates expects to spend approximately $15,000 on the technical review of the DEIR. If this option is selected, the City Council may wish to consider sharing some portion of the costs of these consultants’ services, in a manner to be agreed upon between the cities at a future date.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

At the November 5, 2003 meeting, it was the City Council’s unanimous motion that the Mayor and City Manager contact County Supervisor Don Knabe regarding the City’s request for a 90-day extension of the public comment period for the DEIR. Mayor Stern did eventually speak with Supervisor Knabe on November 6, 2003, and after the conversation Mayor Stern reported that Supervisor Knabe was willing to extend the comment period to at least January 30, 2004. Supervisor Knabe also stated that he would consider extending the comment period further. However, as of the time of the preparation of this report, the comment period for the DEIR still officially ends on December 30, 2003.

CONCLUSION

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff seeks direction from the City Council regarding the technical review of the DEIR for the South Coast County Golf Course project. If the City Council elects to retain the services of TSG for this purpose or to share the City of Rolling Hills Estates’ costs for this review, Staff recommends that the City Council adopt Resolution No. 2003-__, thereby authorizing a budget appropriation of $5,000.

FISCAL IMPACT

If the City Council authorizes TSG to review and comment upon the DEIR, a budget appropriation of $5,000 will be required, the costs of which will be borne by the General Fund. There would also be fiscal impacts associated with sharing the cost of the City of Rolling Hills Estates’ consultant team, although the exact amount would need to be negotiated between the cities.

ALTERNATIVES

The alternatives available for the City Council’s consideration include:

  1. Retain the services of TSG for the technical review of certain sections of the DEIR for the South Coast County Golf Course.

2. Coordinate the technical review of the DEIR for the South Coast County Golf Course with the City of Rolling Hills Estates utilizing its current consultant team, either with or without partial reimbursement of the City of Rolling Hills Estates for its expenses related to this review.

3. Do not retain the services of a consultant for technical review of the DEIR for the South Coast County Golf Course.

As mentioned above, Staff assumes that the deadline to submit comments on the DEIR is still December 30, 2003. Therefore, Staff intends to present final draft comments on the DEIR for the City Council’s consideration on December 16, 2003.

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas, AICP, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:

Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

Resolution No. 2003-__

Cost estimate and resumes from The Source Group, Inc. for EIR review

Background information for RHE consulting team members

Letter from Mayor Stern to Supervisor Knabe (dated November 6, 2003)

RESOLUTION NO. 2003-__

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A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2003-42, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003-2004, TO INCREASE THE BUDGET FOR PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL SERVICES RELATED TO THE REVIEW OF THE DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT FOR THE PROPOSED SOUTH COAST COUNTY GOLF COURSE IN THE CITY OF ROLLING HILLS ESTATES

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 3, 2003, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 2003-42, approving a spending plan and authorizing a budget appropriation for FY03-04; and,

WHEREAS, the City Council desires to retain the services of a technical consultant to review and comment upon portions of the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed South Coast County Golf Course at the former Palos Verdes Landfill site in the City of Rolling Hills Estates; and,

WHEREAS, certain programs included in the FY03-04 budget will have expenditures in excess of the adjusted budget; and,

WHEREAS, the City Council desires that the FY03-04 budget be increased for each of these programs to assure budgetary compliance.

BE IT, THEREFORE, RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES:

The following adjustments be made to the FY03-04 budget:

Increase the General fund budget as follows:

Planning #001-401-35 Professional/Technical $ 5,000

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED THE 18th DAY OF NOVEMBER 2003.

___________________________

MAYOR

ATTEST:

______________________

CITY CLERK

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 November 18, 2003.

_____________________________

CITY CLERK

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES