Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

DATE: FEBRUARY 3, 2004

SUBJECT: RIDGEGATE DRIVE STREET VACATION

Staff Coordinator: Nicole Jules, Sr. Engineer

RECOMMENDATION:

Approve the request to formally initiate the vacation of Ridgegate Drive and direct staff to continue to work with the Ridgegate Drive Community throughout the vacation process.

BACKGROUND

The Ridgegate Drive Community has been pursuing traffic calming on Ridgegate Drive since 1996. The Ridgegate Community is comprised of two Home Owners Associations: the Ridgegate East H.O.A. and the Miraverde H.O.A. (collectively referred to as "the Ridgegate Community" or "the Community").

Table 1 is a chronological list of meeting dates and subsequent actions. The Community’s concern of speeding vehicles and cut-through traffic is the basis for the request. The General Plan identifies Ridgegate Drive as a collector street, thus making it ineligible for the City’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program. However, in an effort to work constructively with the Community, Ridgegate Drive was evaluated for traffic calming measures through the Traffic Committee process. Additional speed limit signs and rumble strips were installed at various locations per the City’s Consulting Traffic Engineer.

TABLE 1 – Summary of Meetings

Date

Action

September 1996

Maintain 30 mph, extend red curb, trim shrubbery for improved sight distance

September 2000

Ridgegate considered for Traffic Calming measures

November 2001

Deny request for speed humps,

Install edge line, use speed trailer and increase enforcement

March 23, 2002

Install 30 mph speed limit signs at both ends of Ridgegate

July 29, 2002

Install rumble strips per Consultant Traffic Engineer and stencil "30 mph slow down" on pavement where appropriate

February 24, 2003

Initiate process involving HOA to re-install RPM’s, conduct effectiveness study after re-installation, inappropriate to consider Ridgegate a residential street.

April 15, 2003

City Council – Request Neighborhood Survey

At the February 24, 2003 Traffic Committee meeting, the committee voted (3-1) that evaluating Ridgegate Drive as if it were a residential street is inappropriate. Dissatisfied with the Traffic Committee’s decision, the Community addressed the City Council for action. At the April 15, 2003 meeting of the City Council, Staff presented an update on the Ridgegate Drive traffic calming request and the Traffic Committee’s recommendation that Ridgegate Drive could not be evaluated as a residential street. At that meeting, Council directed Staff to survey the Ridgegate Community to inquire about speeding conditions, to determine if residents perceived a problem, and what action should be taken.

Staff met with the Ridgegate Community liaisons to construct the survey and appropriate attachments. 603 surveys were mailed on June 3, 2003, to every resident in the Ridgegate Community. A copy of the survey is included as an attachment to this report. 388 of the 603 surveys mailed out were returned. Table 2 summarizes the survey responses.

TABLE 2 – RIDGEGATE TRAFFIC CALMING SURVEY RESULTS

CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES

Ridgegate Traffic Calming

Neighborhood Questionnaire

RESULTS SUMMARY

603 surveys Mailed

388 surveys returned

64% overall response

1) Do you feel there is a speeding problem on Ridgegate Drive?

YES = 321 NO = 58 NO RESPONSE = 9

2) If you feel there is a speeding problem, which of the following would you support? (Circle One)

A. Installing upgraded rumble strips. = 25

    1. Installing six speed humps. = 67
    2. Installing a pair of cul-de-sacs on Ridgegate Drive separating the East Ridgegate and Mira Verde complexes. = 102

D. Vacating or privatizing Ridgegate Drive back to the Ridgegate and Mira Verde HOA’s to allow them to install devices of their choosing. = 156

NO RESPOSE = 46

3) If you chose option C or D above, would you be in favor of your HOA supporting the cost of the option?

YES = 187 NO = 87 MAYBE = 28 NO RESPONSE = 85

Based on the response, the Community appears to be interested in privatizing Ridgegate Drive through the City’s right-of-way vacation process as outlined in Resolution No. 90-93.

DISCUSSION

Resolution No. 90-93 establishes the requirements and procedures for initiating the process to vacate City rights-of-way. This process precedes the formal process to vacate a public street that is set forth in the California Streets and Highways Code. Section 1: Request for Vacation, has been partially satisfied by the Ridgegate Community. On November 3, 2003, the Director of Public Works received the formal request for vacation from the two affected homeowner’s associations, Ridgegate East H.O.A. Inc. and Miraverde H.O.A., Inc. Additionally, both HOA’s have paid the required trust deposit fee of $2,000.00 as outlined in Section 3 of Resolution No. 90-93.

Lastly, the requirement that the signatures of at least 50% of the directly affected property owners be submitted to the City has not been satisfied. Considering the history of this Community, the City could accept the survey results as satisfying the signature requirement portion of Section 1. Alternatively, the City Council could direct that a petition be circulated by the two HOA’s to satisfy this requirement.

Section 2: Initial Review, requires Staff to review the application and present the request to Council. Accordingly, attached for your review is a copy of the vacation request on behalf of the Mira Verde HOA and Ridgecrest East HOA so that the City would formally commence the street vacation process. It should be noted, however, that commencement of the process is not a decision by the City Council that the street will be vacated, since such an action can only be taken following a duly noticed public hearing.

The right-of-way vacation process has the potential of being a lengthy and costly endeavor. The following is an outline of the necessary steps required during the remainder of the vacation process:

  • Property Assessment and Valuation
  • Traffic Committee Review – Impact to transportation network and Federal funding.
  • Planning Commission Review – for consistency with the General Plan.
  • Vacation – Council approves or denies the request.

CONCLUSION

The Ridgegate Community has endeavored to satisfy the requirements of Section 1: Request for Vacation of Resolution No. 90-93. The City Council can accept the results of the survey in lieu of obtaining the signatures of at least 50% of the directly affected property owners or it can request that those signatures be obtained by petition before the process is formally commenced. Adopting Staff’s recommendation will initiate the formal process to vacate Ridgegate Drive and will allow Staff to continue to work with the Ridgegate Community during the street vacation process.

FISCAL IMPACT

The recommended action results in no fiscal impact. All costs related to the vacation process will be borne by the applicants.

Respectfully Submitted, Reviewed,

________________________

Dean E. Allison Director of Public Works

________________________

Les Evans City Manager

 

Attachments:

Resolution No. 90-93

Mira Verde & Ridgecrest East HOA Vacation Request Letter

Ridgegate Traffic Calming Survey