Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

NOVEMBER 16, 2004 VACATION OF PORTION OF CITY RIGHT-OF-WAY ALONG EAST SIDE OF CRENSHAW BOULEVARD AND SOUTHSIDE OF CREST ROAD AND FRONTING ST. JOHN FISHER CHURCH PROPERTY NOVEMBER 16, 2004 VACATION OF PORTION OF CITY RIGHT-OF-WAY ALONG EAST SIDE OF CRENSHAW BOULEVARD AND SOUTHSIDE OF CREST ROAD AND FRONTING ST. JOHN FISHER CHURCH PROPERTY

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

DATE: NOVEMBER 16, 2004

SUBJECT: VACATION OF PORTION OF CITY RIGHT-OF-WAY ALONG EAST SIDE OF CRENSHAW BOULEVARD AND SOUTHSIDE OF CREST ROAD AND FRONTING ST. JOHN FISHER CHURCH PROPERTY

Staff Coordinator: Anne Zaworski P.E., Sr. Engineer

RECOMMENDATION:

Approve the request to formally initiate the vacation of that portion of City right-of-way along the eastside of Crenshaw Boulevard and along the southside of Crest Road (between the back of the existing sidewalk and St. John Fisher Church’s property line) and direct staff to continue to work with the Reverend Monsignor Sork and his Architect/Engineer throughout the vacation process.

BACKGROUND

The founding of St. John Fisher Church on this site (5446-5448 Crest Road) pre-dates the 1973 incorporation of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes.  The church first began

building on this site in 1961; five (5) years after the site was acquired by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles County .

Over a year ago, during the plan check process of a Sprint application for the installation of a cell antenna (which would have involved placing large equipment cabinets above ground behind the ivy-covered fence along the southside of Crest Road) east of Crenshaw Boulevard; St. John Fisher was informed by the City Department of Public Works and Sprint that some of the church’s existing improvements and landscaping (including their "St. John Fisher" sign and stone wall) are actually located on City’s right-of-way. 

Consequently, Sprint chose to install a new street light standard on the eastside of Crenshaw (south of the Crest/Crenshaw intersection) upon which they then placed their cell antenna and they ultimately chose to bury their equipment on the northeast corner of the intersection (directly across from the church property). However, St. John Fisher were now acutely aware that some of their improvements (such as corner stone walls, ivy-covered chainlink fences and the monument sign) had actually been constructed on

City right-of-way and it was at this time that the Director of Public Works informed them about the City’s right-of-way and easement vacation process. 

On November 21st, 2004, Reverend Monsignor Sork, Parish Administrator Gayle Plecha and their Architect/Engineer BPS Inc. met with City Public Works staff to express their wish to proceed with the vacation of that portion of City right-of way between the back of the existing sidewalk along the southside of Crest Road (a strip of land approximately 600 feet long and 14 feet wide) and the St. John Fisher Church northern property line and between the back of the existing sidewalk along the eastside of Crenshaw Boulevard (a strip of land approximately 400 feet long and 5 feet wide) and the St. John Fisher Church western property line. Due to the presence of existing cable TV and water vaults, Edison poles and transformers (in particular within the subject strip along Crenshaw Boulevard) St John Fisher will undoubtedly have to grant easements to the respective Utility Companies, should the vacation be ultimately approved by the City.

DISCUSSION

Resolution No. 90-93 (copy attached) establishes the procedures for vacating City rights-of-way and easements, which are implemented in compliance with provisions as contained in the California Streets and Highways Code. Section 1: Request for Vacation: has been satisfied by St. John Fisher Church. On October 25, 2004, the Director of Public Works received the formal written request for vacation from the Reverend Monsignor Sork, Pastor of St. John Fisher (copy attached). The only directly affected property owner will be the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles County who owns the entire property at the southeast corner of Crest Road and Crenshaw Boulevard.

Section 2: Initial Review: requires Staff to review the application and present it to Council. Accordingly, attached for your review is a copy of the vacation request on behalf of St. John Fisher Church, that the City formally commence the City right-of-way vacation process. It should be noted, however, that commencement of the vacation process is not a decision by the City Council to vacate the street (such an action can only be taken following a duly noticed public hearing); but merely a decision to allow the vacation request to be pursued by St John Fisher.

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

  • Payment of $2,000 trust deposit
  • Detailed Survey
  • Identification of any requested Utility Easements
  • Property Assessment and Valuation
  • Traffic Committee Review – Impact to transportation network and potential sight visibility issues.
  • Planning Commission Review – for compatibility with the City’s General Plan.
  • Preparation of Conditions of Approval
  • Vacation – Council will deny the request or adopt a resolution of vacation.
  • Preparation of Legal Descriptions and Documents
  • Filing Notice of Vacation

CONCLUSION

St. John Fisher Church has satisfied the requirements of Section 1 of Resolution No. 90-93: "Request for Vacation". Section 2 "Initial Review" has also been completed by staff and is presented in this report. Council must now decide if the vacation request may be pursued by St John Fisher, allowing City Staff to continue to work with the Reverend Monsignor Sork and his Architect/Engineer throughout the vacation process.

FISCAL IMPACT

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

Respectfully Submitted, Reviewed,

___________________________ ________________________

Dean E. Allison P.E. Les Evans

Director of Public Works City Manager

Attachments:

Resolution No. 90-93

St John Fisher Vacation Request Letter

Site Plan and Accompanying Photographs