Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

DECEMBER 20, 2005 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE PORTUGUESE BEND AND AGUA AMARGA CANYON PROPERTIES IN CONNECTION WITH CREATION OF A 1200-ACRE NATURE PRESERVE UNDER NATURAL COMMUNITIES CONSERVATION PLAN (NCCP) SUBAREA PLAN DECEMBER 20, 2005 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE PORTUGUESE BEND AND AGUA AMARGA CANYON PROPERTIES IN CONNECTION WITH CREATION OF A 1200-ACRE NATURE PRESERVE UNDER NATURAL COMMUNITIES CONSERVATION PLAN (NCCP) SUBAREA PLAN DECEMBER 20, 2005 RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE PORTUGUESE BEND AND AGUA AMARGA CANYON PROPERTIES IN CONNECTION WITH CREATION OF A 1200-ACRE NATURE PRESERVE UNDER NATURAL COMMUNITIES CONSERVATION PLAN (NCCP) SUBAREA PLAN



TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: CITY ATTORNEY

DATE: DECEMBER 20, 2005

SUBJECT: RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE PORTUGUESE BEND AND AGUA AMARGA CANYON PROPERTIES IN CONNECTION WITH CREATION OF A 1200-ACRE NATURE PRESERVE UNDER NATURAL COMMUNITIES CONSERVATION PLAN (NCCP) SUBAREA PLAN


RECOMMENDATION

Adopt Resolution No. 2005-___, “A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AUTHORIZING THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE “PORTUGUESE BEND” AND “AGUA AMARGA CANYON” PROPERTIES IN CONNECTION WITH CREATION OF A 1200-ACRE NATURE PRESERVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NATURAL COMMUNITIES CONSERVATION PLAN (NCCP) SUBAREA PLAN.”

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Adoption of this resolution will authorize the acceptance of the 424-acre Portuguese Bend Property and the 39-acre Agua Amarga Canyon Property (collectively, the “Properties”), and will authorize and direct the City Manager and the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement to take all further actions necessary on behalf of the City to complete the purchase and acquisition of the Properties. The purpose of the purchase of the Properties is to dedicate said land towards the creation of a 1200-acre nature preserve in accordance with the City’s adopted NCCP Subarea Plan.

BACKGROUND

The Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) Act of 1991 (the “Act”) provides for the preparation and implementation of large-scale natural resource conservation plans that identify and provide for the protection and perpetuation of natural wildlife diversity, while allowing for compatible and appropriate development and growth, and providing comprehensive management and conservation of multiple species. As the Council is aware, the City has entered into a NCCP agreement with the California Department of Fish and Game and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a NCCP subarea plan that would encompass the entire City.
On August 31, 2004, the City Council certified the Environmental Impact Report for and approved a NCCP Subarea Plan that will create a 1200-acre nature preserve (the “Preserve”) that stretches roughly from the San Pedro border to Point Vicente. The Preserve will be created primarily through the dedication of City owned lands and the acquisition of key privately held properties. The nature preserve is to be managed in partnership with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC).

DISCUSSION

The City and PVPLC have focused their attention on acquiring privately owned open space for inclusion in the Preserve. Working together, the City and PVPLC have successfully raised over $17 million to acquire 463 acres of privately held open space. The City Council has entered into a purchase agreement with Palos Verdes Portuguese Bend, LLC to purchase approximately 424 acres in Portuguese Bend (the “Portuguese Bend Property”) and approximately 39 acres in Agua Amarga Canyon (the “Agua Amarga Canyon Property”) by the end of this year. The Portuguese Bend Property and the Agua Amarga Canyon Property are collectively referred to as the “Properties.”
The $17 million to purchase the Properties comes from a variety of sources, which include the State Wildlife Conservation Board, the State Coastal Conservancy, County of Los Angeles Open Space bond funds provided by Supervisor Don Knabe, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, California State University Dominguez Hills and private contributions raised by the PVPLC. In fact, the PVPLC successfully raised over $4 million in private contributions from the Palos Verdes Peninsula, neighboring cities and across the state and nation. This private commitment was critical in securing the various public funds. All the funding has been secured and escrow is expected to close in the next two weeks.
In accordance with the requirements of California Government Code Section 65402, the Planning Commission has reviewed the proposed acquisition of the properties and found that the proposed location, purpose and extent of the acquisition of the Properties is in conformity with the City’s adopted General Plan. The Planning Commission based its finding on its determination that the proposed purchase is consistent with the following General Plan policies:
A. It is the goal of the General Plan's "Natural Environment Element" to conserve, protect, and enhance its natural resources, beauty, and open space for the benefit and enjoyment of its residents and the residents of the entire region, while ensuring that future development recognizes the sensitivity of the natural environmental and is accomplished in such a manner as to maximize the protection of it. (RPV General Plan, p. 4). The Planning Commission found that the purchase of the Properties will further this goal.

B. It is a further policy of the General Plan's "Natural Environment Element” to maintain the existing natural vegetation of the City in its natural state to the maximum extent possible in all existing and proposed developments, to the extent commensurate with good fire protection policies, and to encourage the re-establishment of appropriate native plants. (RPV General Plan pp. 44-45.) The Planning Commission opined that the purchase of the Properties will further this goal and will allow the City to preserve and enhance the existing open space in its natural state.

C. Finally, it is a policy of the General Plan's "Urban Environment Element/Recreation Activity Section" to provide access to all public recreational land and to seek County, State, and Federal funds or sharing funds to acquire lands. (RPV General Plan p. 99.) The Planning Commission concluded that the purchase of the Properties will further this goal by allowing the City to preserve natural open space with native vegetation for the benefit and enjoyment of its residents and the residents of the entire state and further found that the acquisition is being funded by a combination of public and private funds from a variety of sources as contemplated by the aforementioned policy.

The purchase of the Properties will make a significant contribution of the land to the Preserve (38.6 percent of the total 1200 acres called for in the NCCP Subarea Plan) and will enable the City to ensure the preservation and enhancement of this valuable resource. Based on the Planning Commission’s consistency finding, staff recommends that the City Council authorize the acceptance of the Portuguese Bend and the Agua Amarga Canyon Properties.

CONCLUSION

Adopting the staff recommendation will allow the City to acquire 463 acres of currently privately-owned open space to be dedicated to create a 1200-acre nature preserve under the City’s adopted NCCP Subarea Plan.
Respectfully submitted, Reviewed by,
Carol Lynch, City Attorney Les Evans, City Manager
Attachments: Draft resolution

RESOLUTION NO. 2005-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AUTHORIZING THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE “PORTUGUESE BEND” AND “AGUA AMARGA CANYON” PROPERTIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE CREATION OF A 1200-ACRE NATURE PRESERVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NATURAL COMMUNITIES CONSERVATION PLAN (NCCP) SUBAREA PLAN

WHEREAS, the Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) Act of 1991 provides for the preparation and implementation of large-scale natural resource conservation plans that identify and provide for the protection and perpetuation of natural wildlife diversity, while allowing for compatible and appropriate development and growth, and providing comprehensive management and conservation of multiple species; and,

WHEREAS, the City has entered into a NCCP agreement with the California Department of Fish and Game and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a NCCP subarea plan that would encompass the entire City; and,

WHEREAS, on August 31, 2004, the City Council certified the Environmental Impact Report for and approved a NCCP Subarea Plan that will create a 1200-acre nature preserve that stretches roughly from the San Pedro border to Point Vicente; and,

WHEREAS, the nature preserve will be created primarily through the dedication of City-owned lands and the acquisition of key privately held properties and will be managed in partnership with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (“PVPLC”); and,

WHEREAS, the City and PVPLC have been successful in raising over $17 million to acquire 424 acres of privately held open space; and,

WHEREAS, the City Council has entered into a purchase agreement with Palos Verdes Portuguese Bend, LLC to purchase approximately 424-acres in Portuguese Bend (the “Portuguese Bend Property”) and approximately 39 acres in Agua Amarga Canyon (the “Agua Amarga Canyon Property”) by the end of 2005; and,

WHEREAS, in accordance with Government Code Section 65402, the Planning Commission found that the proposed location, purpose and extent of the acquisition of the Portuguese Bend and Agua Amarga Canyon Properties is in conformity with the City’s adopted General Plan.

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

Section 1. The City's purchase and acceptance of the 424-acre Portuguese Bend Property and the 39-acre Agua Amarga Canyon Property (collectively, the “Properties”), which will be dedicated toward the creation of the 1200-acre nature preserve under the City’s adopted NCCP Subarea Plan is hereby approved.

Section 2. The City Manager and the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement are authorized and directed to take all further actions necessary on behalf of the City to complete the purchase and acquisition of the Properties, and the City Clerk is directed to attest thereto.

Section 3. The City Clerk shall certify to the adoption of this Resolution and shall cause this Resolution and her certification to be entered in the Book of Resolutions of the Council of this City.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this 20th day of December 2005, by the following vote:

_______________________
Mayor
ATTEST:
____________________
Carolynn Petru, City Clerk

State of California )
County of Los Angeles ) ss
City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, do hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2005-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting held on December 20, 2005.

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City Clerk