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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS
FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING & CODE ENFORCEMENT
DATE: OCTOBER 5, 2004
SUBJECT: BORDER ISSUES STATUS REPORT
Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Senior Planner
Review the current status of border issues and provide direction to Staff, as appropriate.
This month’s report includes:
The following is the regular monthly report to the City Council on various "border issues" potentially affecting the residents of Rancho Palos Verdes. The complete text of the current status report is available for review on the City’s website at:
Current Border Issues
RE/MAX Office Building, Rolling Hills Estates
The previous application to demolish and reconstruct the existing real estate office at 2483 Palos Verdes Drive North has been withdrawn by the applicant. The property was purchased by the developer of the abutting Butcher Ranch subdivision in late July 2004, to be included as a part of that project (see discussion below). As such, this item will be removed from future Border Issues reports.
Butcher Ranch Subdivision, Rolling Hills Estates
While reviewing the Rolling Hills Estates website on September 14, 2004, Staff noted that the Butcher Ranch project had been revised to include the RE/MAX property at 2483 Palos Verdes Drive North. The revised project now proposes thirteen (13) residential lots, a commercial recreation lot adjacent to the existing Jack Kramer Tennis Club and a new local street connecting to Montecillo Drive. The City of Rolling Hills Estates will prepare a revised Initial Study to determine the nature and extent of the environmental review required for the revised project. Staff expects to comment on this revised Initial Study in the near future.
Chandler Quarry Reuse Plan, Rolling Hills Estates/Torrance
On September 7, 2004, the Rolling Hills Estates City Council and Planning Commission held a joint workshop on the reuse of the Chandler landfill site. Representatives of the Rolling Hills Country Club presented a conceptual site plan (see attachments) and scale model of the project to decision makers and residents of Rolling Hills Estates and Torrance (portions of the Chandler property are located in Torrance). The current plans call for 129 single-family homes, the relocation and expansion of the existing Rolling Hills Country Club clubhouse to 45,000 square feet, and the lengthening of the course to 7,000 yards. As reported in the Peninsula News and Daily Breeze on September 9, 2004, many attendees were concerned about the design of the proposed subdivision and the safety of the project with respect to its potential to trigger landslides on downslope properties, such as occurred on Carolwood Lane in Torrance. Staff will continue to monitor this project in future Border Issues reports.
Mixed-Use Condominiums at 981 Silver Spur Road, Rolling Hills Estates
On September 14, 2004, the Rolling Hills Estates City Council unanimously approved the revised project, which lowered the main roof of the structure to the 44-foot height limit but allowed the tower element at the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Silver Spur Road to exceed this height limit. Staff intends to remove this project from future Border Issues reports unless instructed to do otherwise by the City Council.
Office/Retail Building at 5883 Crest Road, Rolling Hills Estates
On September 20, 2004, the Rolling Hills Estates Planning Commission adopted a resolution memorializing its approval of the office/retail building at the northeast corner of Crest Road and Highridge Road. Some Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes residents expressed concern about the project at the Planning Commission hearings, and this action will be appealable to the Rolling Hills Estates City Council. Staff intends to follow the progress of this application and report back to the City Council in the November 3, 2004 Border Issues report.
Yipes Fiber Optic Cable Installation Project, California Public Utilities Commission
On September 9, 2004, Staff forwarded the attached comments on the Yipes fiber optic cable installation project to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Staff’s comments focused on concerns about additional aboveground utility poles, the condition of City streets after the completion of construction, the use of directional drilling in the active landslide area, and the location of staging areas for equipment and material. Staff asked Yipes and the CPUC to keep the City apprised of any specific future cable routes proposed within the City.
Crest Road Boundary Issue, Rolling Hills
The City of Rolling Hills has confirmed that it is negotiating with the County to purchase the County parcel (APN 7574-020-900) on behalf of the Rolling Hills Community Association in order to maintain its use as a gatehouse and private street right-of-way. Staff forwarded the attached comments on the proposed sale of the County parcel to the County on September 20, 2004. Staff also sent the attached letter to the owner of the abutting private property (APN 7574-020-008), advising him that his property is located in Rolling Hills, not in Rancho Palos Verdes as he had been previously told, based upon Resolution No. 77-35 adopted by the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council on May 19, 1977.
New Border Issues
Lunada Bay/Via Castilla Land Swap, Palos Verdes Estates
On September 16, 2004 and September 18, 2004, respectively, the Daily Breeze and Peninsula News reported on a land swap in Palos Verdes Estates to replace a controversial commercial project with a City park (see attached articles). The development project was proposed for a vacant former service station site in Lunada Bay at the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive West and Via Anacapa. The Palos Verdes Estates City Council voted unanimously on September 14, 2004 to acquire this site for development as a City park. In exchange, the project proponent withdrew the application for the commercial project and will receive a City-owned residential lot on Via Castilla.
The Via Castilla property directly abuts Clovercliff Park, located at 28801 Golden Meadow Drive approximately one-half block north of Vista Grande Elementary School (see attached diagram). Clovercliff Park was originally public right-of-way that was vacated and developed by the City as a passive 0.17-acre "vest pocket" park with a path, landscaping, seating on large boulders and distant westerly views of the Pacific Ocean. Although the City of Palos Verdes Estates will apparently retain a pedestrian trail easement on the Via Castilla property in order to preserve connectivity to and though Clovercliff Park, the remainder of the property will probably be developed with a single-family residence. At this point, it is not clear what—if any—impact such development would have upon the recreational experience of Clovercliff Park users or Rancho Palos Verdes residents along Golden Meadow Drive.
It should be noted that, at its meeting of June 9, 2004, the Open Space Planning and Recreation and Parks Task Force took a position "[encouraging] the City of Palos Verdes Estates to preserve the land abutting Clovercliff Park as open space to provide access between the two communities and protect the existing views." This position was reflected in the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Strategic Plan. However, to Staff’s knowledge this position has never been formally conveyed to the City of Palos Verdes Estates. Copies of the Task Force Minutes and Strategic Plan are attached to this report.
If the City Council has any further concerns about this matter that it would like to express to the City of Palos Verdes Estates, Staff would appreciate direction from the Council as to its preferred method to convey these concerns.
Former Border Issues
Rolling Hills Covenant Church Expansion, Rolling Hills Estates
On August 28, 2004, the Peninsula News reported that Rolling Hills Covenant Church is considering further revisions to its proposed expansion project, which was denied by the Rolling Hills Estates City Council on June 8, 2004. In conjunction with the construction of a new sanctuary building and other site improvements, the previous project proposed to export 34,400 cubic yards of soil to Green Hills Memorial Park in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. At this point, it is not clear if such export will be proposed in connection with any revised future project. Staff will continue to monitor this project, and will place it back on the regular Border Issues report at such time as a revised proposal is formally submitted to the City of Rolling Hills Estates.
Joel Rojas, AICP, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement
Les Evans, City Manager
Peninsula News and Daily Breeze articles regarding Chandler landfill reuse (9/9/04)
Conceptual site plan for the Chandler landfill site (9/2/04)
Staff comments on the draft MND for Yipes Fiber Optic Cable Installation Project (9/9/04)
Letter to County regarding sale of County property in Rolling Hills (9/20/04)
Letter to property owner regarding Crest Road boundary issue (9/20/04)
Daily Breeze and Peninsula News articles regarding PVE land swap (9/16/04 & 9/18/04)
Diagram of Clovercliff Park and Via Castilla lot
Open Space Task Force Minutes and Strategic Plan (excerpts)
Peninsula News article regarding revised Rolling Hills Covenant Church plans (8/28/04)