Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

OCTOBER 5, 2004 VIEW RESTORATION PERMIT NO. 123 - APPEAL (APPLICANT: JIM AND LUCY WHITE, 28541 PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST OCTOBER 5, 2004 VIEW RESTORATION PERMIT NO. 123 - APPEAL (APPLICANT: JIM AND LUCY WHITE, 28541 PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: OCTOBER 5, 2004

SUBJECT: VIEW RESTORATION PERMIT NO. 123 - APPEAL (APPLICANT: JIM AND LUCY WHITE, 28541 PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST; FOLIAGE OWNERS: MR. JOHN ZACCARO, 28541 PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST AND MR. AND. MRS. JIM MENJOU, 1 BRONCO DROVE)

Project Coordinator: Trayci Nelson

RECOMMENDATION:

Adopt Resolution 2004 - ___; affirming the decision of the Planning Commission and approving View Restoration Permit No. 123 upon finding that all applicable findings have been correctly made and all provisions of Section 17.02.040(C)(2) have been complied with.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Planning Commission's decision on View Restoration Permit No. 123 (VRP No. 123) was appealed to the City Council by Mr. John Zaccaro, one of the two foliage owners associated with the case. Mr. Zaccaro raised issues with the Commission's decisions that are addressed in this Staff Report. Staff is requesting that the City Council uphold the decision of the Planning Commission thereby denying the appeal.

BACKGROUND

On May 25, 2004, after conducting a duly noticed public hearing, the Planning Commission began its deliberations on the subject view permit (VRP 123). After lengthy discussions, a motion was made and seconded to approve VRP 123 with specific trimming and/or removal requirements for some of the view impairing foliage. However, due to the lateness of the hour, the unfinished discussion of the motion was continued to the Planning Commission meeting of June 8, 2004. On June 8, 2004, discussion of the motion was again continued, due to the lateness of the hour, to the Planning Commission meeting of June 22 2004 at which time the Planning Commission approved View Restoration Permit No. 123. Specifically, the Commission directed that several trees located at 28531 Palos Verdes Drive East (Zacarro Property - appellant) and 1 Bronco Drive (Mr. and Mrs. Jim Menjou) be trimmed so as to restore the view from 28541 Palos Verdes Drive East (Jim and Lucy White). The Conditions of Approval memorializing the Planning Commission's decision were distributed to the interested parties on June 23, 2004. On June 29, 2004, within the fifteen-day appeal period, Mr. John Zaccaro appealed the Commission's decision to the City Council. The appeal hearing is now before the City Council for consideration.

DISCUSSION

Planning Commission Decision

This case, which involves three properties (one applicant and two foliage owners), was a very difficult case for the Planning Commission to take action on given the topography of the sites involved and the mass of foliage primarily located on the appellant’s (Mr. John Zaccaro) property. While two foliage owners are associated with this case, only one, Mr. John Zaccaro, filed an appeal of the Planning Commission's decision, which is before the City Council this evening. Since the trees located on the second foliage owner's property (Menjou) are not involved in Mr. Zaccaro's appeal they will not be discussed in the discussion portion of this report.

In considering the applicant’s request for view restoration, the Commission found that several trees, planted at various locations on the property located at 28531 Palos Verdes Drive East (Zaccaro property) significantly impair the applicant's view. As a result, the Commission ordered that a variety of trees be trimmed in a variety of different ways so that the applicant's view would be opened through the trees and so that the integrity of the foliage owner's landscaping could be preserved. A description of the applicant's view and viewing area is contained on page two (Site Description and View) of the attached Planning Commission Staff Report dated May 25, 2004. Also contained in the attached Staff Report (pages three through seven) is a summary of the foliage and Staff's recommendation to the Commission. A summary of the Commission’s decision is contained in attached PC Resolution 2004-28. In addition, the minutes of the May 25th and June 22 2004 Planning Commission meetings are attached.

To assist the City Council in understanding the Commission's decision with regards to Mr. Zacarro's foliage, the excerpted portion of the PC adopted resolution pertaining to Mr. Zaccaro's property is provided below:

  1. Zaccaro Property (28531 Palos Verdes Drive East)

Photo No 1.

Pittosporum 1 and 2 (appx. Ht. 30-40 feet). Raise the crown to a height that is 6 to 10 feet above the Zaccaro residence. Said trimming shall occur every six months.

Pittosporum 3 and 4, Oleander, and Calycanthus. Trim down to the level of Zaccaro ridgeline which is 3 feet above the White building pad and trim biannually beginning six months after the initial trimming or until such time as the foliage grows to a point that is 4 feet above the White building pad.

Photo No 2.

Brazilian Pepper. No action at this time.

Maple and Cedar. No action at this time.

Pittosporum. No action at this time.

Aerial Photo Foliage on Zaccaro Property

Giant Palm. Remove lower fronds to restore the view through the tree.

Ficus. Trim down and shape to the level of the ridgeline. Said trimming shall occur on a biannual basis beginning 6 months after the initial trimming.

Chinese Elm. Trim down to the ridgeline of the Zaccaro residence. Said trimming shall occur every 6 months.

Schefflera. Trim down to the level of the ridgeline. Said trimming shall occur on an annual basis.

Ash. Raise the crown to a level that is 6 to 10 feet above the ridgeline and lace heavily. Said trimming shall occur on a biannual basis beginning 6 months after the initial trimming and during the cool months (November through March).

Various View Impairing foliage. Shall be trimmed to the level of the ridgeline. Said trimming shall occur biannually beginning 6 months after the initial trimming.

Appeal Issues

The main grounds of the appeal, as discussed in the letter of appeal dated June 29, 2004, (attached), are repeated below (in bold), followed by staff's discussion of the appeal points.

1. "…..In late 2000, Jim and Lucy White applied for a room addition permit. ….The addition would require a variance that would permit the addition to encroach on my property and on the legal set-back required by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. …..In 2001, Jim and Diana Menjou and John and Joyce Zaccaro, met with the City, paid the appeal fee and processed the application form so that the permit would not be granted to the White’s for the monster addition they had planned. On several occasions, employees of the Planning Department…….met with the Menjou’s and Zaccaro’s……and lobbied the Menjou’s and Zaccaro’s to drop their appeal so that the variance could be granted…… The Menjou’s and Zaccaro’s met with the [White’s] architect, Russ Barto, and agreed to drop the application providing that the White’s would not cut foliage or request a view." [Summary of pages two through four of the Zaccaro appeal]

This issue is related to a home remodel project that was completed by the applicants, Jim and Lucy White, and which is not related to the Planning Commission's decision on View Restoration Permit No. 123. Apparently a meeting occurred between the Zaccaro’s and their neighbors, the Menjou’s (the other foliage owner involved with this application that did not appeal the Commission's decision), where a private agreement was reached between the neighbors with regard to the White's proposed addition and some foliage on the White's property. The essence of the agreement was summarized in a letter from Russell E. Barto (the White's architect) to the City's Planning Staff dated August 20, 2001. The text of the letter, attached as Exhibit C herein, is repeated below for ease of reference:

Dear Eduardo [Current Associate Planner for the City]:

I met with the appellants, Mr. Zaccaro and Mr. Menjou, over the weekend, and we have reached a compromise satisfactory to all parties. Mr. and Mrs. White agree to increase the setback for the addition from the northerly property line abutting the Zaccaro property from five feet to ten feet; the Whites also agree to retain the existing landscaping along the easterly property line abutting the Menjou driveway. In return for these two changes Mr. Zaccaro and Mr. Menjou agree to withdraw their appeal.

The foliage in question belongs to Mr. White, the view applicant, and is not subject to the decision made by the Planning Commission on View Restoration Permit No. 123. Furthermore, disputes and disagreements dealing with private agreements of this nature are civil matters that the City does not mediate.

  1. "Economic issues …this decision will result in an enormous financial burden on me if that decision is not revoked by the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council. …The decision will literally prevent my heirs (after my death) from owning my home (they simply could not afford it) and, of course, probably negate the sale of my property. As currently mandated, I would be required to cut and trim foliage on my property not once, but in most cases, twice a year, at an approximate cost of $7000 annually. That amount is almost half of my mortgage payments. ….the decision on VRP 123 puts an enormous lien on my property."
  2. The intent of the View Restoration and Preservation Ordinance is to protect and restore views. The current process is designed so that residents are encouraged to meet via the pre-application process and try and reach agreement without full City involvement. When mutual cooperation and agreement cannot be achieved, a decision is made by the Planning Commission in accordance with the applicable City codes and guidelines. In making its decisions, the Planning Commission makes every effort to strike a balance between restoring a view and maintaining the integrity of the foliage on a property. In Staff’s original recommendation to the Planning Commission, some trees on the Zaccaro property were identified for removal however, Mr. Zaccaro severely objected. As such, the Planning Commission granted Mr. Zacarro’s preference for trimming the trees instead of removal (page 20-21 Planning Commission minutes May 25, 2004, and page 6 Planning Commission Minutes June 22, 2004). Thus, much of the long-term tree maintenance required of Mr. Zaccaro is a result of his own request to have trees trimmed and not removed, since the cost of removing the trees would have been borne completely by the applicants (the Whites). In addition, Mr. Zaccaro has the ability to trim his foliage much lower than the levels required of him by the Planning Commission so that he does not have to trim the foliage so frequently.

  3. "Privacy….The height of the pool wall foliage being recommended in the decision would permit anyone standing on the White’s patio to look directly into a small patio outside my master bedroom and into my master bedroom and bathroom…."

The Planning Commission ordered that the trees be trimmed to the level of the Zaccaro ridgeline and not to the patio garden wall as originally recommended. In making its decision, the Commission felt that there would be no impact to the outdoor privacy of this area since there are no gathering areas where the foliage near the pool is located. In fact, the natural gathering areas on the Zaccaro property are located behind the residence, which is where Mr. Zaccaro’s own view, which was restored through a separate View Restoration Permit (VRP No. 126), is taken from. As to the issue of the master bedroom, in keeping with the language of the View Restoration Guidelines, blinds, shades and draperies can be used to protect indoor privacy.

4. "In my opinion, Chairman Mueller was nor fair in our hearings. His actions during the entire course of the hearings of these two lengthy meetings have been biased in favor of the White’s. He has bullied the other Commissioners…….and his leadership and direction is not consistent…….All interested parties were given as much time as they needed to present their various cases. The records will show that this is true. Mrs. Menjou and myself were given five minutes and no more. This is not ample time to give a person whose life is about to be changed, and at a great cost. It is simply unfair!"

The Guidelines stipulate time requirements for each participant of a public hearing. However, the Planning Commission and the City Council can vary from those requirements. A review of the minutes from May 25, 2004 Planning Commission meeting shows that Mr. Zaccaro’s testimony and question and answers with the Commission goes longer than any other participant beginning on page 19 and continuing through page 21. Additionally, there was no objection from anyone to the closing of the public hearing. Furthermore, during the second hearing on June 22, 2004, the public hearing which had been closed during the May 25th meeting, was reopened (page five of the minutes of June 22, 2004) to allow the Commission to ask questions of the participants in reference to the matter of the private agreement between the parties concerning the White's remodel (issue No. 1 of this appeal). Mr. Zaccaro’s testimony begins on page six and continues through page seven. As such, Staff believes that there is no evidence to support the claim that he was not given a fair hearing or ample time to make his points.

5. "The motion itself…….At the May 25th meeting, due to the complexity of the staff report, Commissioner Karp suggested that the Commission members go as a group to the sites affected by the application. He felt that would clarify the issue for the Commission and be a fair way to handle it. That suggestion was not acceptable to Commissioner Mueller and it was discarded......"

The Commission as a whole did not agree that an adjournment to the site was warranted in light of the fact that each participating Commissioner is required to visit the site in order to participate in the public hearing.

6. "Before the final meeting on June 22nd, the Menjou’s and Zaccaro’s tried to come to an agreement with Mr. White in order to resolve our own problems. At one point, an agreement was reached between the Menjou’s and White’s and an agreement with Mr. Zacarro appeared possible, when Mr. White once again, reneged on his agreement, making it impossible to come to any solution. It would appear that this is Modus Operandi for the White’s….they agree and then they break the agreement"

Staff’s understanding of this situation is that while attempts to come to a private agreement at the time seemed promising, no agreement could be reached (see June 22, 2004 staff report and attachments) and as such, the Commission made a decision on the matter.

CONCLUSION

Staff has found no basis contained in Mr. Zaccaro’s appeal, nor uncovered any other information since the June 22, 2004 Planning Commission hearing, that would warrant altering the Planning Commission's original decision. Staff therefore recommends that the City Council dismiss the appeal, and affirm the Planning Commission's decision memorialized in PC Resolution No. 2004-28.

ALTERNATIVES

As an alternative to Staff's recommendation, pursuant to Municipal Code Section 17.02.040(C)(2)(g), the City Council may wish to consider the following options:

1. Approve View Restoration Permit No. 123, but impose additional or different conditions as the City Council deems necessary to fulfill the purpose of Municipal Code Section 17.02.040(C)(2).

2. Disapprove the application upon finding that all applicable findings cannot be made or all provisions of Municipal Code Section 17.02.040(C)(2) have not been complied with.

3. Refer the matter back to the Planning Commission to conduct further proceedings. If this alternative is selected, the City Council shall state the grounds for the remand and shall give instructions to the Planning Commission concerning any error found by the City Council in the Commission's prior determination.

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas,

Director of Planning, Building

and Code Enforcement

Reviewed:

Les Evans,

City Manager

Attachments

Exhibit "A" - City Council Resolution No. ______

Exhibit "B" - Letter of appeal from Mr. Zaccaro dated June 29, 2004

Exhibit "C" - Planning Commission Staff Report of June 22 and May 25, 2004 with attachments

Exhibit "D" - PC. Resolution No. 2004-28

Exhibit "E" - View Restoration Guidelines

Exhibit "F" - Excerpted Planning Commission Minutes, May 25, 2004 and June 22, 2004

Exhibit "G" - Additional file correspondence received September 16, 2004 (Jim White)

C.C. RESOLUTION NO. 2004-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING VIEW RESTORATION PERMIT NO. 123 TO TRIM AND/OR REMOVE FOLIAGE AT 28531 PALOS VERDES DRIVE EAST AND 1 BRONCO DRIVE.

WHEREAS, on October 5, 2001, Mr. and Mrs. White, owner of property located at 28541 Palos Verdes Drive Eats (herein "the applicant"), in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, filed an application requesting a View Restoration Permit ("Permit") to restore a view from their property that is significantly impaired by foliage owned by Mr. John Zaccaro, at 28531 Palos Verdes Drive East and Mr. and Mrs. Jim Menjou at 1 Bornco Drive (herein "the foliage owner's"), in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes ("City"); and,

WHEREAS, notice of the Planning Commission ("Commission") hearing was mailed to the applicants and the foliage owner on March 13, 2004; and,

WHEREAS, on April 13, 2004, after all voting members of the Planning Commission had visited the sites, the Commission held a duly noticed public hearing to consider the request, at which time, the item was continued to May 25, 2004; and,

WHEREAS, on May 25, 2004, after all voting members of the Planning Commission had visited the sites, the Commission held a duly noticed public hearing to consider the request, at which time, all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence. However, due the lateness of the hour, the item was continued to June 22, 2004; and;

WHEREAS, on June 22, 2004, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No.2004-28, thereby conditionally approving View Restoration Permit No.123; and,

WHEREAS, on June 29, 2004, within the 15 day appeal period, Mr. John Zaccaro (foliage owner) appealed the June 22, 2004 Planning Commission decision to the City Council; and

WHEREAS, on October 5, 2004, the City Council held a duly noticed public hearing to consider the appeal, at which time, all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE, AND RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The applicant at 28541 Palos Verdes Drive East has a view, as defined by Section 17.02.040 of the City’s Development Code, of the city lights.

Section 2: The applicants’ viewing area, as defined by Section 17.02.040 of the City’s Development Code, from the White residence, is taken from the great room (which includes the family room, dining room and den), and the outdoor patio area. The view is the same from each location.

Section 3: The applicant has a view that is significantly impaired by several trees on property located at 28531 Palos Verdes Drive East and 1 Bronco Drive.

Section 4: On November 6, 2001, all parties, including City Staff attended a pre-application meeting in an attempt to resolve the conflict. Thus, all parties have participated in the required pre-application process and have completed the early neighbor consultation process.

Section 5: Based on evidence provided by the applicant, the subject foliage at 28531 Palos Verdes Drive East and 1 Bronco Drive significantly impairs the applicants’ view. All of the subject foliage exceeds the height of the ridgeline of the primary structure or 16 feet and significantly impairs the view from the applicants' viewing area.

Section 6: The subject properties are located less than one thousand (1,000) feet from the applicant's property as the foliage owner's properties are directly adjacent to the applicants' property.

Section 7: The applicant and the foliage owner's properties preceded the Subdivision Map Act and were created via a Record of Survey per book 62, page 36 and 37. Additionally, the applicant's home (28541 Palos Verdes Drive East), and Foliage owner John Zaccaro's home located at 28531 Palos Verdes Drive East, were built in the same year, 1953; while the Menjou home at 1 Bronco Drive, was built approximately eleven years later in 1964. Since the foliage found on all properties is not native to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, and since standard building practices generally dictate that lots are created using mass grading techniques that involve the removal of all existing vegetation to create the building pads, along with the foliage owners own testimony during the Planning Commission Hearing, Staff believes that the foliage in question did not exist as view impairing foliage when the lots were created.

Section 8: Trimming or removing the foliage as recommended by Staff, will not cause an unreasonable infringement on the privacy of the foliage owner’s in that the view impairing trees do not currently provide privacy to either foliage owner. The Zaccaro foliage is primarily located in a corner front yard area that is not currently used as an outdoor gathering area nor does it appear that it ever was used for outdoor entertaining. Additionally, the majority of the Menjou foliage Parallels the driveway and garage are of the home. Thus, neither area is considered a gathering area. Indoor privacy can be addressed, as stated in the View Restoration Guidelines, by window treatments.

Section 9: Trimming and/or removing the subject foliage as identified in the attached, Conditions of Approval (Exhibit "A"), is necessary in order to restore the applicants view.

Section 10. In Staff’s original recommendation to the Planning Commission, some trees on the Zaccaro property were identified for removal however, Mr. Zaccaro severely objected. As such, the Planning Commission granted Mr. Zacarro’s preference for trimming the trees instead of removal. Thus, much of the long-term tree maintenance required of Mr. Zaccaro is a result of his own request to have trees trimmed and not removed, since the initial cost of removing the trees would have been paid completely by the applicant’s (the White’s).

Section 11: Pursuant to Section 15300 of the California Environmental Quality Act, the proposed project is categorically exempt under Class 4 of that section because the work required to restore the applicants' view does not include the removal of scenic and mature trees as identified by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan (Visual Aspects; Figure 41).

Section 12: Based on the foregoing information, and on the information and findings included in the Staff report and evidence presented at the public hearing, the Planning Commission hereby orders the trimming and/or removal of foliage at 28531 Palos Verdes Drive East and 1 Bronco Drive in order to restore the view at 28541 Palos Verdes Drive East, as provided in, and subject to, the conditions outlined in the attached Exhibit "A".

Section 13. The time within which the judicial review of the decision reflected in this Resolution, if available, must be sought is governed by Section 1094.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure and other applicable short periods of limitations.

Section 14. For the foregoing reasons and based on information and findings contained in the Staff Reports, minutes, and records of the proceedings, the City Council hereby approves View Restoration Permit No. 123 subject to the Conditions of Approval contained in the attached Exhibit "A", which are necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED on the 5th day of October 2004.

Attest:


Mayor

City Clerk

State of California )

County of Los Angeles )ss

City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, Jo Purcell, City Clerk for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2004- was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting held on October 5, 2004.

 

______________________

City Clerk

EXHIBIT "A"

CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL

VIEW RESTORATION PERMIT NO. 123

  1. Zaccaro Property (28531 palos Verdes Drive East)
  2. Photo No 1.

    Pittosporum 1 and 2 (appx. Ht. 30-40 feet). Raise the crown to a height that is 6 to 10 feet above the Zaccaro residence. Said trimming shall occur every six months.

    Pittosporum 3 and 4, Oleander, and Calycanthus. Trim down to the level of Zaccaro ridgeline which is 3 feet above the White building pad and trim biannually beginning six months after the initial trimming or until such time as the foliage grows to a point that is 4 feet above the White building pad.

    Photo No 2.

    Brazilian Pepper. No action at this time.

    Maple and Cedar. No action at this time.

    Pittosporum. No action at this time.

    Aerial Photo Foliage on Zaccaro Property

    Giant Palm. Remove lower fronds to restore the view through the tree.

    Ficus. Trim down and shape to the level of the ridgeline. Said trimming shall occur on a biannual basis beginning 6 months after the initial trimming.

    Chinese Elm. Trim down to the ridgeline of the Zaccaro residence. Said trimming shall occur every 6 months.

    Schefflera. Trim down to the level of the ridgeline. Said trimming shall occur on an annual basis.

    Ash. Raise the crown to a level that is 6 to 10 feet above the ridgeline and lace heavily. Said trimming shall occur on a biannual basis beginning 6 months after the initial trimming and during the cool months (November through March).

    Various View Impairing foliage. Shall be trimmed to the level of the ridgeline. Said trimming shall occur biannually beginning 6 months after the initial trimming.

  3. Menjou Property 1 Bronco Drive
  4. Photo No. 3

    Aleppo Pine. No action at this time.

    Pittosporun. No action at this time.

    Eucalyptus tree. No action at this time.

    Brazilian Pepper. No action at this time.

    Aerial Photo Foliage on Menjou Property

    Canary Island Pine. Shall be laced heavily. Said trimming shall occur annually during the cool months (November though March).

    Various View Impairing foliage. Shall be trimmed to the level of the rear/side yard fence, which is approximately 6 to 10 feet as measured from grade. Said trimming shall occur biannually beginning 6 months after the initial trimming.

  5. Due to the complexity of this case, which evolves substantial foliage, Staff along with the City Arborist will monitor the initial trimming to assure that all trimming is done in accordance with these conditions of approval.
  6. Upon completion of said trimming, if additional foliage on the subject property is found to be impairing the view, than the offending foliage shall be trimmed to a height as not to impair the view from the applicants' properties.
  7. Since the tree levels described in Conditions 1 and 2 are approximates, adjustments to the trimming levels may be made by Staff during the initial trimming to ensure that the applicants’ view is restored. Once the trimming is complete, the restored view shall be documented and subsequent growth will be allowed to grow up to one year after the initial trimming.
  8. The foliage owner shall be responsible to maintain the foliage in such a manner as to not significantly impair the applicants' view by trimming the foliage specified in this permit on an annual basis, or as specified above, if different, beginning one year after the initial trimming of the foliage is completed and verified by Staff.
  9. If any tree or shrub that is ordered to be culled, laced, or trimmed dies within one year of the initial work being performed due to the performance of the work, the applicants or any subsequent owner of the applicants' properties shall be responsible for providing a replacement tree or shrub to the foliage owner. This time period may be extended by the Commission if evidence is provided by a certified arborist that a longer monitoring period is necessary for a specific type of tree or shrub. However, if the city arborist determines that culling, lacing, or trimming said tree or shrub will in all probability cause the tree or shrub to die, and the foliage owner chooses not to accept removal and replacement as an option, either in writing or in public testimony during the public hearing, then the applicants will not be responsible for providing a replacement tree or shrub to the foliage owner. The replacement foliage shall be provided in accordance with the specifications described in section VI-E (Commission Action) of these Guidelines. If the work is performed by the foliage owner, said foliage owner shall forfeit the right to replacement foliage if the trimmed tree dies. If a tree or shrub dies it is subject to removal pursuant to Section 8.24.060 (property maintenance) of the RPV Municipal Code.
  10. The selection of the type of replacement foliage shall be made by the foliage owner from an approved list of foliage types provided by the Director of Planning Building and Code Enforcement or approved by the City View Restoration arborist.
  11. At least one year after the initial trimming is completed, pursuant to Section VI-J of the Guidelines (Commission Action), City Staff shall report to the Commission as to the adequacy of the maintenance schedule, as well as the foliage owners’ ability to maintain the foliage in compliance with these conditions of approval. The Commission shall consider the Staff report and determine if a public hearing to amend the conditions is necessary. If the Commission determines that a hearing is necessary, then a hearing will be held pursuant to Section VI-J of the View Restoration Guidelines and Procedures.
  12. The applicants shall, not later than 30 days after approval of this permit, present to the City, at least one itemized estimate to carry out the aforementioned work. Such estimate is to be supplied by a licensed landscape or licensed tree service contractor, acceptable to the City, which provides insurance certificates in a form acceptable to the City, and shall include all costs of cleanup and removal of debris and the cost if have an ISA certified tree trimmer or accredited arborist on site to perform or supervise the work being done. In addition, the applicants shall pay to the City an amount equal to the City accepted estimate and such funds shall be maintained in a City trust account until completion of work as verified by City Staff.
  13. The foliage owner shall select a contractor from the estimate(s) provided by the applicants or another licensed firm of their choice subject to approval by the City, to perform the required work. However, the foliage owners shall only be reimbursed for the amount of the lowest bid submitted by the applicants. If the foliage owners choose to do the required work, then the foliage owners shall not be compensated from the trust account and the amount in the trust account shall be refunded to the applicants.
  14. The applicants may reduce the scope of the trimming required by this Permit by giving the City and the foliage owner written notice of such decision within 30 days of this approval. The applicants shall deposit funds to the City in a trust account in an amount sufficient to cover the remaining work. However, trimming or removal of the vegetation that the applicants have chosen to eliminate would then require an entirely new View Restoration application and fee.
  15. The applicants may withdraw the view restoration request and the trust account funds if the applicants do so within five (5) days after the applicants send the estimate required herein. In the event that the applicants withdraw the request in a timely manner, the foliage owners are not required to perform the work specified by this Permit and this Permit is of no further force and effect.
  16. The foliage owner shall, no later than 90 days after the Notice of Approval (First Notice) is mailed, complete the work to the extent required by this Permit and shall maintain the vegetation to a height that will not impair a view from another property in the future as specified in these Conditions of Approval. If any foliage owner herein does not complete the required work as specified within 90 days of the issuance of the Notice of Approval, then the City of Rancho Palos Verdes will authorize a bonded tree service to perform the work at the subject property and at the foliage owner's expense. In the event that the City is required to perform the work at the foliage owner's expense, the City shall reimburse the applicant from the City trust account not later than 30 days after the expiration of the time period stipulated above.
  17. Upon completion of the work, the foliage owner shall notify the City and shall submit a copy of a paid invoice showing that the work was performed. Upon submittal of the invoice and verification by City Staff of compliance, the City shall transmit the funds from the City trust account to the foliage owner not later than 30 days after receipt of the appropriate billing as verified by City Staff. If the paid invoice submitted by the foliage owner is for an amount less than the funds in the City's trust account, the foliage owner shall only be transmitted an amount equal to the actual cost of the trimming. In such situations, the balance of the trust account shall be refunded back to the applicants (within 30 days of receipt of the appropriate billing) or applied to the applicants' permit processing account, if that account contains a negative balance. If the paid invoice submitted by the foliage owner is for an amount that exceeds the funds in the City's trust account, the foliage owner shall only receive the funds from the City trust account and the foliage owner shall be responsible for paying the difference
  18. If the required work as specified herein is not completed within the stipulated time periods, then the City of Rancho Palos Verdes will utilize the City’s code enforcement process to authorize a bonded tree service to perform the work at the subject property at the foliage owner’s expense, and the applicants' deposit will be refunded. In the event that the City is required to perform the work, the foliage owner will be billed for all City expenses incurred in enforcing the View Restoration order and a lien or assessment may be recorded against the foliage owner's property if the invoice is not paid.
  19. Subsequent to the trimming or removal of the foliage, the applicants may, at their discretion, document the restored view for future reference by submitting to the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement, photographs of the restored view taken from the applicant's viewing area along with a "Documentation of Existing Foliage or View" form available at the Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Department.