Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

MARCH 16, 2004 DRAFT MINUTES RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL

DRAFT

MINUTES

RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING

MARCH 16, 2004

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m. by Mayor pro tem Clark at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.

Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Stern, Long, Wolowicz, and Mayor Pro Tem Clark

ABSENT: Mayor Gardiner

Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager Carolynn 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; Deputy Planning Director Gregory Pfost; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and, Minutes Reporter Debra Presutti.

Mayor pro tem Clark advised that Mayor Gardiner is away on business so, in his absence, he would preside over the evening’s meeting.

City Manager Evans led the Pledge of Allegiance.

PRESENTATIONS:

Certificates of Appreciation

Mayor pro tem Clark described a major gas leak that had occurred recently in the Ridgegate East condominium complex around 3:00 a.m., noting this emergency necessitated the immediate evacuation of approximately 100 residents by the Lomita Sheriff’s Station to a temporary shelter at Ridgecrest Intermediate School. He mentioned while the County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments, City staff, and the utility companies responded admirably to the situation, it was the conduct of several community members that helped avert potential disaster, protect lives, and assist the evacuees until they were able to return home.

Mayor pro tem Clark invited Assistant City Manager Petru to join him in presenting Certificates of Appreciation on behalf of the entire community to Wayne Hall, Patrick Corwin, Joan Lewis, Kay Lear, Rick Licciardello, Brent Kuykendall, and George Ellis for their quick thinking and compassionate actions.

Presentation by Metropolitan Water District (MWD)

Adan Ortega, Jr., Vice President of Internal Affairs for the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), explained that the MWD was created in 1928 to build an aqueduct from the Colorado River with the express purpose of bringing water to Southern California to help spur much of the development that has occurred in the area since. He noted that MWD is a wholesaler of imported water and in 2003 sold 57 percent of the water in this region to 26 member agencies, serving a population of over 18 million people with population growth expected to increase by approximately 220,000 per year. He indicated that after the drought in 1993 MWD became the largest agency in the United States to promote water conservation measures, adding the South Bay has the largest water recycling program in the country, making it virtually drought proof. He explained that continued efforts in the areas of conservation and recycling would help guarantee that enough water is held in storage facilities to buffer a drought or other unpredictable future circumstances.

Mr. Ortega noted MWD has worked with local governments to develop a 25 year integrated resources plan to ensure the reliability, affordability, quality, adaptability, and diversity of the region’s water supply. He indicated that in addition to subsidizing 53 recycling projects and 22 groundwater recovery projects in Southern California, MWD is currently considering funding certain desalination projects on a performance basis. He also indicated they have invested as much money promoting outdoor water conservation in the last two years as they did during the previous drought, saying since 50 to 70 percent of residential water is used outdoors, encouraging people to rethink their landscape ethics creates great potential for saving an enormous amount of water. He commended Rancho Palos Verdes for its tradition of native vegetation, saying MWD has received very positive results introducing this sensibility to other areas not just as a water conservation mechanism but also as a way to preserve regional landscape heritage.

He stated one result of these myriad programs is Southern California residents have a lower per capita consumption of water than many places throughout the West, which is a remarkable achievement. In spite of this, however, MWD is not content to rest on its laurels, preferring instead to make future growth management plans. He concluded by stating MWD is fully prepared to meet recently legislated requirements dealing with growth and reliability over the next 20 years, adding their stability is driven by continued integrated resources planning and cooperation among the various agencies and local governments in the region.

Mayor pro tem Clark thanked the speaker for his concise presentation, and Councilman Stern requested contact information for those members of the community interested in further information.

Mr. Ortega informed residents can log onto their website at bewaterwise.com, saying the site provides a wealth of information from nurseries that carry native plants to setting sprinklers, including the introduction of a new version of sprinkler controllers activated by satellites and other technologies.

Presentation by Water Replenishment District

Adeline Yoong, of the Water Replenishment District, explained that the Water Replenishment District (WRD) is a regional groundwater management agency responsible for two of the most utilized basins in California, serving 43 cities and approximately 4 million people. She indicated over a third of the 240 billion gallons of water used in this area comes from groundwater which is essentially recycled water stored in aquifers, adding much of the water in use today is the same water that existed when dinosaurs roamed the earth. She provided a brief history of the region’s water supply, describing the early 1900’s as a period where there was more groundwater being pumped in the region than Mother Nature could replenish, causing a drop in water levels, the drying up of wells, and an encroachment of seawater, threatening the groundwater supply. In response, court decisions limited the amount of water being pumped from the basin, a series of barrier wells were constructed along the coast to prevent seawater coming inland, and the Water Replenishment District was formed in 1959 to provide supplemental water.

She explained three sources of water are used to replenish the basin: storm water, recycled water, and imported water; and, the role of the WRD is to manage the basin’s groundwater replenishment by monitoring its quality and quantity and preventing seawater intrusion and other forms of contamination.

Mayor pro tem Clark inquired what WRD’s reaction is to private venturing into the field of desalination.

Ms. Yoong responded, although WRD has not taken a position on the issue, several of the municipal agencies they work with, such as the City of Long Beach and the West Basin Municipal Water District, are exploring desalinization. She noted a technology used in desalinization is currently being utilized at one of WRD’s facilities to clean or "desalt" brackish water but added the high cost of desalinization is preventing its use on a large scale. She continued by describing the process of percolation ponds where water is placed to filtrate through the soil and replenish the aquifers of the central basin, saying the West Coast basin, which supplies water to RPV, is replenished primarily through three seawater barriers. She explained when the water table drops below sea level, brackish water infiltrates these wells, trapping salty water in the South Bay region. She indicated WRD uses a desalter to desalinate this water in combination with the pumping of imported and recycled water into the wells to replenish the basin and create a hydrologic balance which prevents further seawater intrusion. She noted the treatment facility in Long Beach uses state of the art technology to treat recycled water, creating near distilled water quality.

Ms. Yoong mentioned WRD also has a safe drinking water program, which assists in cleaning and restoring wells removed from service because of contamination. Looking toward the future, she said WRD plans to optimize its basin management through storage and conjunctive use programs, protection against drought, maintaining a high quality of water, and minimizing replenishment costs. She concluded by saying WRD offers public tours of some of their groundwater facilities and suggested coordinating a visit.

Mayor pro tem Clark thanked Ms. Yoong for her presentation and indicated the information provided by the Metropolitan Water District and the Water Replenishment District will be available to the community on the City’s website.

Presentation by Los Angeles Air Force Base Regional Alliance (LAAFB).

Mayor pro tem Clark recused himself from this presentation and left the Council chambers; Councilman Stern chaired this portion of the meeting.

Joe Arrow, Executive Director of the South Bay Economic Development Partnership and co-chair of the Los Angeles Air Force Base Regional Alliance, explained the Department of Defense has mandated a base realignment and closure program known as BRAC which may potentially impact the LAAFB located in the South Bay. He commented that although this base does not have a runway, perform military exercises, nor include a large military installation, it is critical to the economic health of the South Bay and the entire state of California for a variety of reasons. He explained it is home to the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) which awards billions of dollars of contracts annually and is the primary customer of the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit engineering consulting firm, noting both provide value far beyond their economic impact in the form of intellectual capital created by their teaming with many other aerospace, consulting, and third-tier supplier firms as well as many colleges and universities.

Mr. Arrow indicated, if the LAAFB is realigned or moved elsewhere, the region would lose financial and employment benefits as well as the intellectual framework provided by this facility.

Jerry Say, Chairman of the Board of the South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce and co-chair of the Los Angeles Air Force Base Regional Alliance, indicated the Alliance was formed last year at the urging of Congresswoman Jane Harmon, Supervisor Don Knabe, and El Segundo Mayor Mike Gordon to begin to address the issue of possible realignment of the LAAFB and SMC and the subsequent loss to the community this action would create. He remarked that Los Angeles and the South Bay in particular have reached a point where new markets and technologies continue to be developed which will benefit not only the local region but also the nation as a whole. He explained the Regional Alliance has been working diligently to develop a case for retaining the facility, saying their strategy is to seat knowledgeable representatives on the BRAC Commission before voting ensues in September 2005, noting they have retained several consultants in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to assist in the process.

Mr. Say concluded by saying the large budget required to provide these consultants is being aided by pledges of financial support from the discretionary funds of Supervisor Knabe and Mayor Hahn as well as the cities of Torrance, Redondo Beach, and El Segundo, adding the Regional Alliance is requesting all cities in the South Bay and the greater Los Angeles area to contribute whatever funds they can to ensure the process continues moving in the direction of retaining the LAAFB at its current location.

City Manager Evans suggested Council move directly to Item No. 11, the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Process, and reminded Council members the question of how the funds would be used arose at the last meeting during a discussion on whether or not to contribute funds to the Regional Alliance.

Councilman Stern thanked Mr. Arrow and Mr. Say for their excellent articulation of the program and recalled the previous meeting in which Council clearly indicated their support of the measure, saying the question was what contribution would be appropriate.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to contribute $5,000 initially to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Process with the prospect of considering additional future contributions.

Councilman Wolowicz expressed gratitude to Mr. Arrow and Mr. Say for their time, efforts, and contributions to the economic benefit of the South Bay, noting that a great number of RPV’s residents work in the space and high technology industries and the initial amount of money being committed is very well spent.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Stern, Long, Wolowicz

NOES: None

ABSENT: Mayor Gardiner

RECUSED: Mayor Pro Tem Clark

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Lilia Finley Gautier was selected as recycler of the month. Mayor pro tem Clark reminded everyone what a worthwhile program recycling is and thanked all of those who participate.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Mayor pro tem Clark requested Item No. 9, the Appointment of a Chair for the Equestrian Committee, and Item No. 10, an Update on Construction of Palos Verdes Drive South, be placed ahead of the Public Hearing on the Agenda.

Councilman Long proposed removing Item No. 6, the Ocean Trails Conditional Use Permit No. 162, Revision "V," and placing it immediately after Item No. 10.

City Manager Evans informed he received a call from Mr. Kaplinski requesting to continue Item No. 6, saying they are not prepared to address the matter. He suggested continuing the item to the April 20th City Council meeting.

Councilman Stern requested to delete Item No. 13, the Burbank vs. State Water Resource Control Board – Supreme Court Amicus Brief, from the Agenda.

City Manager Evans informed it was unclear whether the City of Burbank would need RPV to join them when the item was originally placed on the Agenda, saying it is irrelevant now.

Councilman Wolowicz requested to remove Item No. 5, the Extension of the NCCP Lobbyist Consultant Agreement, from the Consent Calendar.

Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the Agenda as amended. The motion was approved without objection.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Joe Baxter, Rancho Palos Verdes, informed Council that he recently obtained a permit to install a small stucco wall near the edge of his property on PV Drive East and, subsequent to building this wall, he was informed that the Equestrian Committee objected to its placement. He commented, unlike most other streets on the Peninsula which have limited traffic and are quiet and easily negotiated, PV Drive East has considerably more vehicular traffic, hilly terrain, sharp curves, and continuous sidewalks suitable for pedestrian traffic on only one side. He stated, unlike PV Drive North, it does not offer rural equestrian trails or expansive areas on which to ride horses, providing instead a vehicular corridor to travel from one side of the hill to the other.

Mr. Baxter explained that for the last 20 years a wooden fence has been located on the same footprint as the permitted stucco wall and, in an effort to be a good neighbor and reach a consensus with the Equestrian Committee, he offered to relocate the wall an additional two feet from the guardrail, providing approximately eight feet of clearance from the guardrail to the wall for traffic. The Equestrian Committee declined this offer, insisting the wall be placed ten feet from the guardrail. He opined the City correctly assessed the situation in issuing the initial permit and noted relocation of the wall will create costs including removal of the permitted wall, hauling away the debris, and reconstruction of a new wall at the required ten-foot distance. He requested Council give this matter due consideration as he worked with Director Allison to move forward and meet these demands.

Director Allison explained that after the Public Works Department issued the permit to construct the wall the Equestrian Committee contended it would be more desirable to have additional room between the wall and the guardrail. He indicated they are working with Mr. Baxter to remedy the situation.

Charlene O’Neil, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated she has used this trail for about 25 years and her recollection is the fence was farther back than it is currently positioned. She requested Council take into consideration the safety issues of traffic volume and the size of many vehicles traveling PV Drive East and provide ample space for people to walk horses.

Richard Bara, Rancho Palos Verdes, read a letter written by Ray Van Dinther, of the Equestrian Committee, which outlined that on March 5th the City of RPV was informed a wall was being built in a public right-of-way for which Planning, Building and Code Enforcement said they could find no permit; March 8th a City employee informed he could find no violation but instructed the homeowner to obtain a permit to construct the wall; March 9th Permit No. 5949 was issued after notification to the City of a possible violation; March 12th members of the Equestrian Committee met at the property with the homeowner and Director Allison and recommended a minimum required safe passage for pedestrians and equestrians should be no less than ten clear feet; the homeowner and Director Allison argued an existing wall was in place earlier and two properties on the south side of PV Drive East were also encroaching into the right-of-way. He noted these two properties are severely encroaching into the public right-of-way, as are many other properties along the length of PV Drive East without recourse from the City, making the roadway a serious danger to pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrians. He opined there is no reason to continue this dangerous precedent and urged the City to take this opportunity to begin rectifying the encroachments along PV Drive East.

Mr. Bara continued reading Mr. Van Dinther’s letter outlining the reasons the Equestrian Committee believed the permit must be considered illegal as follows: 1) no due process was followed; 2) according to City Council policy an encroachment up to six feet will only be considered under application; 3) the permit was issued after notification was provided to the City of a possible violation and construction had already begun; 4) according to the policy statement, the Traffic Committee should be involved in this matter since pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrians are forced into oncoming traffic due to the extreme bend at this juncture in the road; 5) the area has been cordoned off by the homeowner, leaving no access to any part of the public right-of-way, creating an extremely unsafe situation. In regard to No. 5 Mr. Barra indicated the homeowner had positioned a sign informing people to drive onto their lawn and around during construction, adding the sign was very flimsy and often down.

Mayor pro tem Clark extended Council’s wishes in support of Ms. Van Dinther’s recovery and remarked they are now aware of this situation through e-mails and these presentations, staff is engaged, and the matter may come back before the Council.

Councilman Wolowicz queried whether staff has looked into the encroachments referenced in Ms. Van Dinther’s letter.

City Manager Evans responded that PV Drive East has never been surveyed so it has not been determined exactly where the right-of-way is located, adding there are many difficult places along the roadway where slopes, fences, or vegetation force pedestrian/equestrian traffic onto or near the pavement. He suggested looking at the whole area with the Equestrian Committee to explore the possibility of placing trails where needed.

Councilman Long mentioned there seemed to be conflicting information and inquired if staff believed there was a system failure which permitted encroachment into the right-of-way, saying, if so, he is interested in determining whether the ordinance or policy needs to be corrected to prevent any future occurrence.

Director Allison responded there was a system failure, which the Public Works Department is now correcting.

Tim Beck, Torrance, representing Friends of Sacred Cove, commented he was at Sacred Cove, the area between Portuguese Bend and Inspiration Point, in early March and noticed a 90 percent decrease in beach usage from what there had been 15 years earlier and expressed serious concerns about safety and privacy issues along that stretch of coastline. He requested Council place an item on the agenda in the next couple months to explore whether this situation can be improved. He described his safety concerns, saying several people in various states of disrobe were consuming alcoholic beverages, adding City Council’s previous ordinance to prevent nudity has not succeeded. He noted trash is accumulating on the beach and worried that a violent act is waiting to happen. He indicated Friends of Sacred Cove would present the matter to the Coastal Commission for legal recourse against what they perceive as loss of beach usage if Council cannot achieve a better situation.

Mayor pro tem Clark queried if Friends of Sacred Cove is a formal organization.

Mr. Beck responded, while they are not incorporated, they are a group of individuals who have used that beach over many years, noting they do not visit it nearly as often because of the dangerous situation created by the lack of security and the fact there are not enough persons on the beach to provide a watchful community to guard against acts by gang members or other unsavory individuals who now frequent the area.

City Attorney Lynch explained the ordinance was not adopted to discourage beach use but rather to discourage people using the beach without clothing.

Councilman Stern inquired what Mr. Beck believes the ordinance is unfriendly thereby dissuading people who might otherwise frequent the beach from doing so.

Mr. Beck opined Susan Brooks was running for Congress on a "family values" ticket when the City took the beach over from the County 15 years ago, saying the City’s enactment of that ordinance had the net effect of chasing the normal community away. He noted there are restrictive parking ordinances that could also be brought to the Coastal Commission’s attention.

Councilman Long noted his understanding of Mr. Beck’s safety concerns but requested an explanation of his privacy concerns, saying this is a public park and public land.

Mr. Beck indicated his belief that citizens have certain inalienable privacy rights such as the right not to be photographed, saying Friends of Sacred Cove would like Council to modify the ordinance to include a privacy component prohibiting unauthorized photography, a concern the founding fathers did not have.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Long noted his participation in Whale of a Day, saying it was quite a joy.

Councilman Stern expressed regret at missing the Whale of a Day event for the first time in many years. He stated he attended a subcommittee meeting on March 12th dealing with Cox Cable, saying since it was a closed session matter he would not report on it.

Councilman Wolowicz noted his attendance of Whale of a Day on March 6th where he had the pleasure of presenting on behalf of the Mayor a Certificate of Appreciation to the San Pedro Marching Band, saying this was their fifth appearance and made the an day extra special event. On March 9th he met with Cox Cable representatives Jim Leach and Art Yoon to glean general background information. On March 10th he attended an Eastview Homeowners Association meeting with Kit Fox on the disposition of the Navy property and its relationship to HUD and homeless housing. He explained this is a very involved issue that has gone on for the last three to four years, saying Council has already sent letters and held meetings with representatives Dana Rohrbacher and Jane Harmon on the matter. He added that although the matter looks bleak he would continue to pursue it.

On March 15th he attended the South Bay Police and Fire Memorial Foundation Golf Tournament hosted by the City, noting nine independent cities were there representing their police and fire departments.

Mayor pro tem Clark expressed regret that he was unable to attend the Memorial Golf Tournament. On March 4th he attended the monthly California League of Cities L.A. Division dinner meeting, where the guest speaker was Mike Madrid, the League’s Director of Public Affairs, saying Mr. Madrid had a very insightful perspective on the League’s November ballot initiative entitled the Local Taxpayers and Public Safety Protection Act. He commented since 1992 the cities and counties across the state have lost approximately $44 billion worth of local revenue to the State government and Mr. Madrid provided an excellent overview of the political perspectives behind the push to qualify this initiative.

Mayor pro tem Clark also attended Whale of a Day and commented there was a tremendous turnout, with over 3,000 residents and members of the public. On behalf of the entire Council, he complimented City staff, Ron Rosenfeld in the Parks and Recreation Department, and everyone else involved in making the event a spectacular success, adding it was also a beautiful day in terms of actually seeing whales.

On March 11th he attended a kick-off reception with several other dignitaries and elected officials in support of qualifying the League’s ballot initiative.

OLD BUSINESS/CITY MANAGER REPORTS:

City Manager Evans indicated he had nothing to report and requested to roll the Agenda Format matter over to the April 6th meeting in view of the Mayor’s absence.

Miscellaneous Items for Action:

None.

Continued Items for Action:

Agenda Format: proposed revisions. (From December 16th to March 16, 2004.)

Continued Items Listed for Information Only:

None.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Motion to waive full reading.

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

Minutes.

Approved the minutes of December 6, 2003; Adjourned Meeting, January 12 and 13, 2004; Adjourned Meetings in Sacramento; February 3, 2004 Regular Meeting; and, March 2nd Adjourned Meeting as amended.

Resol. No. 2004-18:Crest Road Resurfacing Project.

ADOPTED RESOLUTION 2004 –18, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, APPROVING PROGRAM SUPPLEMENT AGREEMENT NO. 004-M, AND AUTHORIZED MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE THE AGREEMENT

Resol. No. 2004-19:Hazard Mitigation Grant Application.

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2004-19, APPROVING THE APPLICATION FOR FEMA HAZARD MITIGATION GRANT FUNDS ADMINISTERED BY THE CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES.

Resol. No. 2004-20:Register of Demands.

ADOPTED RESOL. NO. 2004-20, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ALLOWING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEMANDS AND SPECIFYING FUNDS FROM WHICH THE SAME ARE TO BE PAID.

# # #

ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR AND/OR TAKEN OUT OF ORDER:

Resol. No. 2004-21: Extension of NCCP Lobbyist Consultant Agreement.

Councilman Wolowicz questioned why Item No. 5, the Extension of the NCCP Lobbyist Consultant Agreement, would extend the term through June 30th, saying his understanding was that an advisor or consultant would most likely be needed through August.

Director Rojas answered the current request is through June but the need will most likely continue through August.

Councilman Wolowicz queried if staff’s intention is to request another extension through August and wondered if it is too soon to anticipate whether the need for the consultant would continue beyond August.

Director Rojas answered due to a budget issue they will return for another extension, adding it is too soon to tell whether the need will extend beyond August.

Councilman Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to approve the staff recommendation and (1) Extend the consulting agreement with Conservation Strategy Group (Joseph Caves), a professional lobbyist assisting the City/Conservancy in its efforts to secure state bond monies for funding the Portuguese Bend acquisition transaction, through June 2004; and (2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2004-21, APPROVING A $15,000 BUDGET APPROPRIATION TO COVER THE COST OF THE EXTENDED CONSULTING AGREEMENT.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Long, Wolowicz, Stern and Mayor Pro Tem Clark

NOES: None

ABSENT: Mayor Gardiner

Appointment of Chair for the Equestrian Committee.

Mayor pro tem Clark commented both candidates (Richard Bara and Gordon Leon) are experienced as Chair of the Committee and are extremely qualified, saying whoever is not appointed will work with the appointee as a leadership team and, hopefully, become Vice Chair.

The vote was as follows:

Councilman Long: Gordon Leon

Councilman Wolowicz: Richard Bara

Councilman Stern: Gordon Leon

Mayor Pro Tem Clark: Richard Bara

Since the vote taken resulted in a two to two tie, the matter was continued to the next agenda when all five members of Council were expected to attend.

Mayor pro tem Clark indicated Gordon Leon’s tenure as last year’s Chair would be extended in the event there is an Equestrian Committee meeting prior to the matter being readdressed.

Update On Construction Of Palos Verdes Drive South.

Mayor pro tem Clark noted a number of residents have contacted Council members over the last several weeks expressing concern over the construction progress on PV Drive South and asked Vincent Stellio, Vice President of the Trump Organization, if he would provide an overview on where they are in terms of completion and what issues have created the current situation.

Mr. Stellio responded that the grading work is currently in progress which is not visible from the road; that it has taken a considerable amount of planning and careful staging to keep the traffic flowing and provide access for residents. He noted some of the difficulties responsible for slowing the project’s progress have been major construction requiring relocation of road sections and turn modifications while trying to ensure minimal impact on traffic flow; issues with the utility companies, including coordinating schedules to allow them to locate and mark their utilities and obtain approval of the work by their consultants and the City; and, delays caused by weather. He indicated the public might not be aware that when it rains work does not automatically resume the next dry day, saying due to the soils and clay materials in the area a geologist must certify the subsurface is stable before work can proceed. He mentioned there have also been changes in the scope of work such as the City’s request for rubberized asphalt due to constant land movement in the area.

Mr. Stellio explained there are a great number of people involved in a project of this magnitude, adding the Trump Organization has made every attempt to move the project forward quickly and efficiently in spite of all the coordinating, revising, recalculating, and redoing required since the project’s inception. He indicated the asphalt should go down this week and, if that goes according to schedule, completion of the major work is anticipated for the beginning of May, leaving minor things like rubberizing the asphalt, which should involve only a couple of additional days.

Councilman Wolowicz noted his surprise at the number of calls he received on the project regarding not only the delays but also safety concerns. He stated there is a great deal of confusion on the part of motorists coming from both directions in the area of the highway rebuild and requested Trump’s crew and City staff take measures to eliminate that confusion and create a safer traffic situation.

Mr. Stellio agreed the area is rather precarious, saying the major problem at the moment is a bottleneck of traffic, which will be eliminated when the last section of roadway is finished, and relocation of the utilities is completed. He added they too are very concerned with safety and suggested setting a meeting with City staff on Friday to discuss and resolve the issue.

Councilman Long noted his amazement that the conditions of approval for this project carried no time limit, saying it was originally anticipated construction would take 11 months and is now dragging on to approximately 16 months if the currently projected targets are correct. He mentioned, while he is grateful for the clarification provided, he will expect a detailed explanation if there is delay beyond April 2004.

Mr. Stellio explained what was originally permitted in November 2003 was expected to take 11 months. He indicated the road work did not actually begin for an additional three months to allow the engineers time to provide a plan which addressed safety concerns and traffic flow, putting the project behind two months from the inception. He added they are probably ahead of schedule if consideration is given to all the uncontrollable delays due to rain and the utilities issues. He commented their primary concern has always been maintaining the flow of traffic, saying there may have been ways to do things faster which would have created a much more significant impact on traffic.

In conclusion Mr. Stellio indicated his scheduled goal is to open the golf course in June, saying that cannot occur until the road is completed. He indicated he would do anything in his power to meet Council’s demands, alleviate the issues of concern, and move things forward as expeditiously as possible.

Paul Tetreault, Rancho Palos Verdes, President of the Homeowners Association of Ladera Linda, mentioned this undertaking has basically taken place in their front yards, saying everyone in that community as well as those in Seaview traverse this section of roadway on a daily basis going to and from work, taking children to school, running errands, et cetera. He commented there seemed to be periods of activity followed by little or no activity at all and indicated his concern with not only the esthetics but also, more importantly, the safety issues created as this project drags on. He indicated the roadway just east of PV Drive East is probably the most dangerous section of highway in RPV, creating a serious problem that Council needs to keep a watchful eye on. He thanked Councilman Long for agendizing the item and requested Council continue to put pressure on the developer to finish the project, adding he is pleased to learn the golf course cannot open until the roadway has been completed.

Director Allison indicated staff had spoken to the Ocean Trails group and they agreed to make some corrections and devote more resources. He mentioned they have worked with the organization throughout the entire project and noted the City has included additional items in their scope of work, saying at times the level of productivity has been slowed to reduce the impact to motorists. He stated the current schedule would be adhered to.

Councilman Long asked what remedies Council had if it concluded that sufficient progress is not being made on the roadway and conditions of approval in that respect are not being reasonably satisfied.

City Attorney Lynch answered there is currently no remedy because there are no time constraints, adding Council could place time frames on the progress as an added condition of approval. She suggested making continued Item No. 6 an agendized public hearing on April 20th to allow time to give notice if Council decides to take that action.

Councilman Wolowicz requested a daily assessment or log of the progress being made on the remaining work.

Director Allison indicated that is a very efficient way to oversee the work and resources being committed, saying the organization prepared daily reports and that staff would obtain copies of, monitor, and report to Council.

Councilman Stern commented if their schedule is to open the golf course in June it might not be worth Council’s time to place additional or different conditions on the project.

Mayor pro tem Clark agreed, saying completing the road was just one of multiple conditions placed on the Trump Organization before reopening of the full golf course.

Mayor pro tem Clark inquired if infrastructure is in place to situate a signal at the intersection of PV Drive East and PV Drive South, saying he predicts with the new homes going in, the build out of Ocean Front Estates, and potentially a new resort there would be an absolute need for a signal there, adding that it was already challenging to turn left onto PV Drive South.

Councilman Long moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Clark, to close the item and directed that Council be informed of any further delays beyond the current April 2004 timetable in order to consider whether to reagendize the matter.

Recess and Reconvene: Mayor pro tem Clark recessed the meeting at 9:23 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 9:35 p.m.

Councilman Long requested to reconsider the previous motion after being advised by City Attorney Lynch that it is ambiguous whether the golf course can be opened before the road is completed. It was the consensus to consider the next matter on this item, Revision V to CUP No. 162.

Ocean Trails - Conditional Use Permit No. 162, Revision "V."

Councilman Long moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to Receive and file the report on the Construction of Palos Verdes Drive South; with regard to the CUP, bring back as a noticed meeting, staff to include recommendations to clarify ambiguity identified by the City Attorney and any other amendments deemed necessary; additional suggestions can be brought back at the April 6th meeting.

Councilman Stern requested an explanation of the ambiguity, saying he understood it to be a clear condition.

Director Pfost explained, while it has always been implied, the condition does not specifically say the road must be completed prior to opening the golf course

Councilman Stern queried if the requirement that the trails and parks be completed is equally ambiguous.

Director Pfost answered in the affirmative.

Councilman Wolowicz inquired if there are other issues that might be similarly ambiguous.

City Attorney Lynch stated she could not answer that question since there are over 600 conditions contained in the conditions of approval, adding staff will scrutinize them and bring any additional suggestions to Council’s attention.

Urgency Addition To Agenda: Revisions To The Ocean Trails Clubhouse

Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to add an item dealing with the Ocean Trails Clubhouse revisions on an emergency basis. He stated he was informed the previous day that revisions to the Ocean Trails Clubhouse which Council approved some months ago would be going before the California Coastal Commission on Thursday and their staff was recommending a number of conditions, two of which he believed might be problematic. Motion carried without objection.

Deputy Director Pfost briefly reminded Council they had approved the clubhouse improvements in August and November of 2003 and reported after he reviewed the Coastal Commission report he found additional conditions being proposed which he felt important to bring to Council’s attention. He stated Coastal Commission staff specifically indicated no events such as weddings or other private affairs requiring reservation of all or a portion of Ocean Trails Park shall be held there other than the six major events already allowed as conditioned, saying they are concerned about the general public’s ability to use the park and trails during such an occurrence. Another item would require the proposed decks could not be used for restaurant service in direct opposition to the developer’s original intent to have outdoor dining tables.

Councilman Stern indicated Ocean Trails Park would be a City park, saying everyone agrees it is important to keep it open to the public, but the Coastal Commission would place unnecessary and unwarranted restrictions by eliminating the scheduling of weddings and other such events. He said it is more appropriate for the City to maintain jurisdictional control over the park with the flexibility to address these situations on a case-by-case basis. He stated the patio concern is more of an Ocean Trails issue but opined the dining facilities are positive public amenities, benefiting the general public and the local community by providing a wonderful opportunity to enjoy outdoor dining in this beautiful location.

Councilmen Long and Wolowicz stated Councilman Stern had addressed their concerns, and Mayor pro tem Clark remarked he had spoken very eloquently on behalf of the entire Council in this matter.

Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to Grant staff permission to appear before the Coastal Commission and present remarks as outlined in statement entitled "Proposed Remarks to Coastal Commission, March 18, 2004 meeting, Greg Pfost, Dep. Planning Director."

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Natural Communities Conservation Planning (NCCP) Subarea Plan: Comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).

City Clerk Purcell reported that notice of the public hearing had been duly published and that no written protests had been received by the City. Mayor pro tem Clark declared the Public Hearing open.

Director Rojas presented the staff report of March 16, 2004 and indicated that since the EIR could be rather confusing, if any members of the public had questions he and Barbara Dye, Executive Director of the PV Land Conservancy, would be happy to meet with them and explain things.

Bob Nelson, Rancho Palos Verdes, indicated his approval of the draft but noted after careful review he found it fraught with a number of minor errors creating major concerns involving funding. He stated Section 2820 contains a long list of mandatory findings the California Department of Fish and Game must make before approval, saying the DEIR does not adequately address funding to carry out the conservation actions identified in the plan over the next 50 years, adding the NCCP would consider the sufficiency of these mechanisms for long-term funding of all components of the plan and its contingencies. He opined the City should be fully prepared to speak to these issues given the State budget situation and urged the matter be submitted to the Finance Advisory Council to address the lack of financial information. He further indicated the NCCP would create a win-win situation by allowing the City to acquire the land and establish a preserve with a conservation plan and a definition of those areas that could be developed; the environmental groups would win by obtaining this acreage to work on over the next 50 years; the developers would win because those areas available would be identified. He urged the plan move forward expeditiously to the FAC with a report back in 30 days answering the findings required in Section 2820 with regard to funding.

Ken Delong, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced his opposition to the NCCP, saying he is greatly concerned by the amount of money being proposed for the land acquisition. He indicated his investigation into funding for Props 12 and 40 found approximately $870,000 available to RPV, presumably being set aside for the land purchase, saying this money is conditioned to be used specifically for recreation and parks and he finds it a far stretch to consider the plans for this land acquisition as recreation and parks. He stated his belief there are far better uses these funds could be put to which would be of greater benefit to the citizens of RPV such as girls softball and soccer fields, issues that have previously come before Council yet remain unresolved. He urged Council to forget the special interest groups and take this opportunity to address the desires of the City’s taxpayers.

Sandy Friedfeld, Rancho Palos Verdes, illustrated what she believed are similarities between this project and the still to be completed Forrestal Preserve, which she reminded was the unsuccessful culmination of attempts by several developers to make a financially viable project out of a piece of rock and other vertical land, noting the one successful project was that of the developer who chose not to develop his land but rather hold onto it and sell it back to the City for a handsome profit. She indicated the special interest group that pushed RPV into ownership of the Forrestal property is the same group that is now pushing the City into acquiring more useless land at a greatly inflated price with the concern for native flora and fauna superseding that of Homo sapiens who need and deserve more active recreational space. She opined the vast majority of the land in question couldn’t be developed under the City’s codes, saying it would be much better to allow its private ownership rather than duplicate the error of Forrestal many times over. She further indicated RPV citizens would be required to support ongoing maintenance and unknown liabilities connected with the property’s ownership forever while being allowed limited use of this regional preserve as determined by the current planning. She stated the whole concept is absolute nonsense and urged Council to scratch the entire concept once and for all.

Jack Downhill, Rancho Palos Verdes, reiterated concerns he expressed to Council last July over the dangers of wildfire in the area and the subject of financing for the project. He noted his personal experience of having property in the path of two separate wildfires in the 1970’s, saying areas bordering developed areas can easily turn into wildfires. He also repeated his position that a well-intentioned group with impoverished budgets would not be able to handle this project, saying the $100,000 tentatively budgeted would not even begin to pay for the continued maintenance of this acreage. He voiced concern over the conceptual aspect of the DEIR, saying the NCCP and its very specific goals is now driving the City to satisfy a certain concept. He indicated the founding fathers were not thinking of gnatcatchers and cactus wrens but of open space and a rural atmosphere, saying the money potentially being paid to realize the current concept is nonsense. He indicated the DEIR also fails to address the capacity of the Land Conservancy to manage the budget and their capabilities as an organization to handle this kind of project and urged Council to more carefully examine this prospect.

Barbara Sattler, representing the California Native Plant Society, said they are pleased to see the NCCP at the draft EIR stage and expressed gratitude to the City and the Land Conservancy for all their diligence and hard work, adding they are hopeful the acquisition and preservation of the area’s natural communities will soon become a reality because the very survival of these sensitive species and ecosystems depended on how well the conservation plan is crafted and enacted. She indicated the baseline biological data for everything within the plan is very critical and voiced some initial concerns as follows: the scope of the DEIR is unclear as to which if any of the sub plans will require additional CEQA evaluation; the draft NCCP mentions an implementing agreement and various sub plans which would provide critical definitions of management practices within the NCCP many of which are not defined and may create significant impacts that have not been addressed by the DEIR and which need full public review and input; the plan’s mention of various utilities and Public Works projects that may be allowed in the preserve which may also have significant impacts to habitat and wildlife; a continuing concern about the classification of some open areas of coastal sage scrub as grasslands on the NCCP map. She thanked Council for the opportunity to comment, adding they will further review the DEIR and provide additional observations and comments.

Brooke Cooper, Rancho Palos Verdes, representing the Palos Verdes Peninsula Horseman’s Association, voiced gratitude to Council for their commitment to the preservation of open land in RPV. She explained she has boarded horses at the Portuguese Bend Riding Club for many years and is very familiar with the subject area and the trails, saying she was surprised to see the DEIR does not indicate which trails will remain open and which will close, which will be open to horses, and whether an equestrian center will be built on the 17 acres of land just outside the preserve. She indicated she found the terms of the proposed project so indefinite as to make any meaningful analysis pursuant to CEQA almost impossible. She stated if details such as public access, trail use, definitions of active and passive recreation, et cetera are not set forth in the DEIR, the impact of future recreation in the City, one of the items the DEIR proposes to address at this point, cannot be determined. She noted, while the public has been informed, plans for the preserve include construction of a 17-acre equestrian facility, the DEIR indicates the project identifies existing and future recreational uses compatible with management of the proposed area but does not encompass the development of any specific recreational activities or facilities, creating ambiguity on how these activities might impact recreation for equestrians. She mentioned other problematic impacts to surrounding residents, such as measures to control predators -- including people’s cats, fire and brush clearance, and whether neighboring landowners will be able to access the preserve from their property or be required to go to a staging area to gain access. She also mentioned 47 acres are being donated by developers on condition their projects are approved, saying if the projects are not approved, they are not required to donate the land, some of which is essential to the connectivity of habitat, especially the Filiorum parcels. She concluded by saying, without definite terms for the project, the City is not in a position to effectively consider the unique impacts they might create on recreation and other values of RPV.

Kay Bara, Rancho Palos Verdes, on behalf of the Horseman’s Association, indicated at the inception of this project they were in favor of the NCCP, saying things have unfortunately progressed in a downhill fashion: first, the old Pony Club site, ten acres of land with jumps, rings, et cetera, was taken for habitat connectivity; then, they discovered the horse trails were being considered for removal from Forrestal; next, they learned there is no mention of an equestrian park in the DEIR despite Council’s voting five to zero in favor of the conceptual plan for one. She indicated there are no trail maps in the DEIR, saying these things remain to be decided by the PUMP committee way down the line, creating the question of whether the community’s equestrian interests are going to be preserved. She stated she does not want to see horses become the endangered species in the area and noted, while they are still in favor of the plan, they would like to make certain their interests will be protected.

Jim Knight, remarked that nearly 30 years ago founding members of the City set forth a general plan which included preserving the unique character of RPV by protecting what little is left of its natural space, saying the NCCP is a fulfillment of that vision, preserving natural open space and habitats for their inherent biological, aesthetic, and educational values. He noted the PV Peninsula Subarea plan was originally envisioned to include four cities and thanked the members of this City Council for showing the foresight and leadership to make the process a reality. He thanked Bill Ailor for forming the PV Land Conservancy and dedicated people like Barbara Dye and her staff for providing a mechanism enabling long-term stewardship to maintain the remnants of PV’s natural open space. Noting when native species search for food and shelter, they know not of boundaries set by man, he expressed sincere hope the other cities on the Peninsula will follow RPV’s direction, putting forth their own Subarea plans to protect those natural habitat linkages that transcend political boundaries.

Barbara Dye, noting this is a very exciting evening with the process moving forward, thanked Council and City staff for their diligence and hard work. She expressed appreciation to all the people who made comments during the evening, saying their concerns will be addressed. In regard to some specific concerns, she explained as follows: on the issue of cost, she stated the Land Conservancy has performed an analysis to quantify both initial and ongoing maintenance costs and believe they have a good handle on base maintenance and will be able to obtain grants to perform additional improvements as things move forward; in terms of their capacity and ability to manage a project of this magnitude, she said the Land Conservancy’s budget for this year is over a million dollars, adding they have a very detailed accounting system in place and she would be happy to provide that information and their tax returns to anyone interested; responding to wildfire concerns, she stated fire protection is more important than anything and they are prepared to implement whatever safeguards the fire department advises; regarding the PUMP, or public use master plan, she explained it will be jointly developed by the Land Conservancy and the City and envisioned it will be similar to the Forrestal Committee where people are appointed to do specific tasks with approval from the Land Conservancy Board of Managers and the City Council, adding there will be a two-step process with ample opportunity for public input; on the matter of the equestrian facility, she indicated those 17 acres were removed from the plan, saying the decisions on its use will be left to other groups and processes because it is not really part of the NCCP, adding provisions were made for it, but it is not guaranteed.

Ms. Dye stated there is a unique window of opportunity to make this preserve a reality. She indicated the money residents have paid in bonds will be used to protect their quality of life as housing demands in the region increase and the pressures to develop much of this property continues, adding development can be fought over the next 20 years or the land can be purchased at a fair price and the next 20 years can be devoted to building trails, restoring habitat, and running educational programs. She complimented Director Rojas, saying he has been a pleasure to work with.

Mayor pro tem Clark conveyed appreciation to all the speakers on behalf of the entire Council, saying as Director Rojas indicated the item is on the evening’s agenda in order to seek public input rather than to make any decisions with respect to the NCCP or the land associated with it.

Director Rojas echoed this sentiment, saying the purpose of this hearing was to create a better document. He noted a theme in many of the comments in terms of details and how competing interests of trails, equestrian uses, active and passive recreation, fire control, et cetera will all come together, saying the first step is to create the preserve because without it, the issues of public use will not be up for debate but rather how private landowners will use the property. He agreed there is much to work out, reiterating the initial step is to create the NCCP, adding everything else will be done through noticed public hearings and each project will have its own CEQA process.

Councilman Stern inquired what the deadline is for further public comment and where those comments should be directed.

Director Rojas replied the deadline for public comment is April 5th, and they should be submitted to his e-mail address at joelr@rpv.com or mailed to City Hall.

Mayor pro tem Clark questioned if that is predicated on a 45-day period.

Director Rojas responded they have checked and everything is 45 days, saying there was some reference to the Subarea plan versus the EIR and staff will make the appropriate inquiries to clarify.

City Attorney Lynch indicated the EIR is 45 days, saying the confusion stems from the difference between the actual plan and the EIR document.

Councilman Stern extended compliments to Director Rojas, Barbara Dye, and everyone who assisted in putting this immense undertaking together, adding it is nice to see it moving forward after having been in the making for many years. He remarked it is a very substantial and worthwhile project for the City.

Councilman Long endorsed the previous comments, saying while expressions of doubt and concerns about the NCCP have been voiced, he remains persuaded it is an excellent idea for the community and a very wise use of City resources. He stated this is a unique opportunity with a small amount of seed money on behalf of the City to draw in other funds dedicated for exactly this purpose and added, if this money is not used to purchase land in RPV, it will be used to buy property somewhere else within California.

Councilman Wolowicz thanked Barbara Dye and Bill Ailor for providing explanations on these very complicated documents -- the draft EIR and the NCCP, saying he would like to ascertain that all the requirements of the DEIR have been addressed.

Director Rojas indicated he routinely checks to ensure all the CEQA mandated sections are included and the City Attorney’s office also reviews it for completeness.

Councilman Wolowicz indicated there are several critical items he wants to make sure he fully understands, such as the roles of management and who has ultimate decision-making authority, saying Council’s role needs to be firmly established before he is prepared to go any further with the document. He also indicated another item that looms large for him is fire danger and the fact that much of the project and the borders surrounding it may not be subject to normal disking, saying he would like staff to present a summary regarding fire concerns and what role the County fire marshal has played in determining the fire protection sections.

Director Rojas advised the plan is being developed with fire management as priority one, saying whatever fire clearance the fire department recommends is being incorporated into the plan.

Councilman Wolowicz continued by citing Section 6.2.3 of the NCCP regarding fire and brush management, noting the first sentence which says, "fire and brush management will be prioritized for human safety," should end right there rather than go on to include consideration of biological resources. He indicated he feels quite strongly the fire safety priority should be the city’s priority above all else, adding he has received a number of comments from citizens on the matter. He also queried whether there are any updates to the cost items contained in the NCCP, saying they have already reached quite a sizable number.

Director Rojas, noting Councilman Wolowicz reading from the Subarea plan, stated there will be updated figures fairly soon.

Mayor pro tem Clark commented that being a native Southern Californian he could remember a time when there was a tremendous amount of open space instead of the urban mass and over-density development prevalent today, noting that trend is not abating. He explained one of the reasons he served on the Planning Commission for four terms was his concern for land use in the City and preserving the quality of life and low density of the community. He opined at the heart of that is acquiring more open space to permanently dedicate for preservation, saying there is nothing greater the City can do to maintain the quality of life on this Peninsula.

There being no further public testimony, Mayor pro tem Clark declared the Public Hearing closed.

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

Request to support efforts by the California State Assembly Bipartisan Group.

City Manager Evans presented the staff report of March 16, 2004 and proposed that Council authorize a letter signed by all five Council members be sent not only to Assemblymen Canciamilla and Richman but to all members of the Assembly and the Senate with a paragraph encouraging other cities and legislators to join in this bipartisan effort.

Mayor pro tem Clark indicated many other cities are considering adopting this type of resolution. He stated members on both sides of the aisle, at some considerable risk from a political party standpoint, have said enough is enough in terms of party politics and that Californians expect more leadership and problem solving from their elected representatives. He explained the formation of this group is an attempt to make that happen and anything Council can do to formally and informally encourage this group’s growing into a caucus and then, hopefully, into a majority of both the Assembly and the Senate is to the betterment of all Californians.

Councilman Wolowicz echoed these sentiments and agreed the letter should be sent to all members to inform those throughout both houses of the City’s position, saying the progress that needs to occur is significant. He complimented Mayor pro tem Clark for initiating the item.

Councilman Stern agreed, saying he endorses the matter completely.

Councilman Long commented he and most other Council members either grew up in or are currently living in bipartisan households, saying bipartisanship can work and function at a household level and higher if people communicate with one another. He indicated one should always be able to talk with everyone on the body they are serving regardless of how divergent their views may be because solutions cannot be achieved if issues are not talked through.

Mayor pro tem Clark suggested Council members reflect on the letter and provide any inputs and edits to City Manager Evans.

Mayor pro tem Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Stern that Council members provide their input to the City Manager; letter to be placed on the next agenda. Motion carried without objection

March 30, 2004 Joint Meeting With Traffic Committee.

Director Allison presented the staff report of March 16, 2004.

Councilman Wolowicz indicated the joint workshop is an excellent idea, saying he is highly in favor of this kind of coactive discussion. He stated he is interested in clarifying some definitions and exactly what is included in the purview of the Traffic Committee.

Councilman Long said he would like a better understanding of the actual costs of enforcement.

City Manager Evans noted under the third item of the proposed meeting agenda, referred to as the Three E’s, an explanation would be provided by the sheriff’s department on their enforcement resources and costs as well as various alternatives.

Mayor pro tem Clark suggested including the Basswood case study as well as covering Via Rivera.

City Manager Evans indicated they have decided to begin with the Basswood study, move on to Via Rivera, then on to Eastview, the most recent case, which will hopefully lead to some possible alternative solutions.

Mayor pro tem Clark mentioned he recently read a very comprehensive set of articles on the dynamics of speed and safety in America today and suggested handing those out as part of the meeting’s packet, saying they give some perspective to the traffic issues being dealt with by the City.

Councilman Long requested inclusion of a chart of the major streets and speed limits in the city.

City Manager Evans indicated that information would be included.

Mayor pro tem Clark suggested extending a formal invitation to the Sheriff’s Department to attend the workshop.

City Manager Evans explained they have attended all the internal workshops and will be a major part of the joint meeting’s presentation.

 

COUNCIL DISCUSSION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS & SUGGESTION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:

Councilman Long said he is interested in better understanding what the City does to protect public property and public rights-of-way from encroachment and trespass, saying based on knowing what practices are in place decisions can be made whether there are any failures or procedures that could be improved.

Mayor pro tem Clark indicated it has been two years since City Council had a joint meeting with the Palos Verdes School Board, saying the general consensus was the meeting was an outstanding interaction and opportunity to exchange areas of common interest and concern as well as seek future commitments to work together on a variety of initiatives. He suggested inviting them to a joint meeting sometime this summer.

Mayor pro tem Clark noted in January Council members committed to attend a League retreat focused on team building which subsequent circumstances prevented and suggested dedicating a Saturday for a team building session with Council members, the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and facilitators.

Councilman Stern agreed this is an excellent idea, saying the tone the Council sets and how they interrelate is critical.

Mayor pro tem Clark also suggested a prescreening workshop with the Marymount College leadership since they have proposed a major project, saying this would provide an opportunity for the parties to interact and receive public input on the matter.

Councilman Long requested having as part of the City Manager’s report a timetable on each of the four goals Council outlined earlier in the year, saying he is very interested in keeping track of where things stand and bringing the infrastructure issue back to the table.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT

City Attorney Lynch reported the City gave further direction to their negotiators in the Cox Communications matter, saying the action was taken by two members since Mayor Gardiner was absent and Councilman Long recused himself. She also reported she provided a very brief update on the Abrams matter but no action was taken.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mayor pro tem Clark adjourned the meeting at 11:15 p.m. to Saturday, March 27th at 9:00 a.m. for a Community Leaders’ Breakfast in the Community Room at Hesse Park.