DATE: MARCH 1, 2005


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

South Coast County Golf Course, County of Los Angeles/Rolling Hills Estates

On January 27, 2005, the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) made a presentation to the Citizens’ Advisory Board (CAB) for the former Palos Verdes Landfill. Some attendees were under the impression that this presentation was meant to satisfy the public notice and input requirement for the 5-Year Review for the landfill, and were concerned that the meeting was lightly attended. As such, South Bay CARES and other community groups asked the City Council to consider sending a letter to DTSC, asking for: 1) a formal, duly-noticed "town hall"-style meeting; 2) input from all landfill stakeholders; and, 3) simultaneous publication of the 5-Year Review and the Health Risk Assessment for the landfill. This request was agendized for the City Council’s consideration on February 15, 2005. In response to this matter, Thomas Cota, Chief of DTSC’s Southern California Cleanup Operations Branch, clarified that the January 27th CAB presentation was not meant to satisfy the public notice and input requirement for the 5-Year Review, and forwarded the attached Fact Sheet regarding the 5-Year Review process for Superfund Program sites. At the February 15th meeting, the City Council directed Staff to prepare the attached letter to DTSC (dated February 17, 2005), requesting greater public notification and opportunities for additional input regarding the 5-Year Review.

On February 4, 2005, Joan Davidson of South Bay CARES forwarded the attached information from the Environmental Working Group ( regarding air pollution near California schools. The 1998 report lists Rancho Vista Elementary School—located adjacent to the former landfill—as being located within one mile of a site emitting 116,400 pounds of nitrous oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter annually.

Ponte Vista Project at Former Navy Housing Site, Los Angeles (San Pedro)

More than two-and-a-half (2½) months after it began, the on-line auction for the Ponte Vista property still had not closed by the date this report was prepared (February 21, 2005). At that time, the high bid of $73,200,000—which equates to nearly $1,200,000 per acre—had been submitted by "guildmortge" and the second highest bidder was "richmar," with bidding scheduled to end at 3:00 PM on February 22, 2005. The actual identities of the two highest bidders will not be revealed until the auction ends. In addition, the Navy issued a amendment to the Invitation for Bids (IFB) on February 17, 2005, to increase the minimum bid increment from $200,000 to $500,000. Presumably, this action was meant to speed up the conclusion of the auction.

Staff will continue to monitor the progress of the sale through the end of the auction and the close of the 60-day escrow period, including the status of any alternate agreements that may be reached between the final high bidder and the homeless services providers (HSPs).

New Border Issues

There are no new border issues on which to report at this time.

Former Border Issues

Rolling Hills Covenant Church Expansion, Rolling Hills Estates

As Staff last reported on October 5, 2004, Rolling Hills Covenant Church (RHCC) has re-designed the proposed expansion of its facilities on Palos Verdes Drive North. On January 22, 2005, and January 29, 2005, the attached full-page ad inviting the community to a presentation of the revised RHCC expansion plans was published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News. RHCC has been working with a Rolling Hills Estates City Council subcommittee since August 2004 to refine the revised project in light of the City’s denial of the previous proposal in June 2004.

The presentation by RHCC was made jointly to the Rolling Hills Estates City Council and Planning Commission at Rancho Vista Elementary School on February 1, 2005 (see attached Peninsula News and Daily Breeze articles). The revised project now proposes elimination of the previously-proposed 172,000-square-foot aboveground parking structure; a 69,000-square-foot reduction in the size and 20-foot reduction in the height of the new sanctuary; and a 30,000-square-foot expansion of the landscaped area of the site. In RHCC’s preferred alternative, additional parking would be provided in three (3) subterranean parking structures—two (2) on the main campus and another on the north campus across Palos Verdes Drive North. As the City Council may recall, our major concern regarding the previous project was the environmental impact on Rancho Palos Verdes residents of the proposal to export 34,400 cubic yards of soil from the RHCC site to the adjacent Green Hills Memorial Park. We understand that such export may still be a part of the revised project, although the quantity of export is unknown at this time.

According to the Rolling Hills Estates Planning Department, a formal application for the revised project has not yet been submitted or deemed complete. However, it is expected that a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) will probably be required for any revised project. Once the City receives the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for the SEIR, Staff will place this project back on the regular Border Issues Status Report.

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas, AICP, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:

Les Evans, City Manager


Fact Sheet "Five-Year Review Process in the Superfund Program" (received 2/15/05)

PV News "Letter to the Editor" from Christina Zimmerman (dated 2/3/05)

Letter to DTSC (dated 2/17/05)

Excerpt from "Los Angeles County Schools At Risk" (received 2/4/05)

IFB Amendment No. 2 for Ponte Vista auction (issues 2/17/05)

PV News ad for RHCC presentation (published 1/22/05 & 1/29/05)

PV News and Daily Breeze articles regarding RHCC presentation (dated 2/3/05)