Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

DECEMBER 20, 2005 REVISION "Y" TO THE TRUMP NATIONAL GOLF CLUB PROJECT DECEMBER 20, 2005 REVISION "Y" TO THE TRUMP NATIONAL GOLF CLUB PROJECT DECEMBER 20, 2005 REVISION "Y" TO THE TRUMP NATIONAL GOLF CLUB PROJECT



TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: DECEMBER 20, 2005

SUBJECT: REVISION "Y" TO THE TRUMP NATIONAL GOLF CLUB PROJECT

Staff Coordinator: Gregory Pfost, AICP, Deputy Planning Director

RECOMMENDATION

That the City Council: 1) adopt Resolution No. 2005-__, approving Addendum No. 19 to Environmental Impact Report No. 36 for Revision "Y"; 2) adopt Resolution No. 2005-__, amending Grading Permit No. 1541 for Revision "Y"; 3) adopt Resolution No. 2005-__, amending Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 50666 for Revision "Y", to permit a temporary 3-month public opening of the golf course and driving range; 4) authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Indemnity Agreement and Easement Deed between the City and V.H. Property Corporation pertaining to the City's acceptance of "Public Trail Easements"; and 5) adopt Resolution No. 2005-__, accepting said public trail easements within the Trump National Golf Club project.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Applicant has requested that the golf course and driving range be allowed to open to the general public for a temporary 3-month period while the Applicant continues to address the conditions of approval that need to be satisfied prior to the opening of the 18-hole course. Staff has reviewed the status of all of the outstanding conditions of approval and believes that they are being addressed or will be addressed in a manner to warrant a conditional temporary opening of the golf course and driving range. Furthermore, the Applicant, the Applicant's Geologist and the City Geologist have been working diligently in reviewing the outstanding geologic issues. While the City's Geologist, Cotton Shires Associates (CSA) has not given a final approval on all of the reports; they have completed an initial review of most of them. CSA feels that since these items are relatively minor, could be addressed by the Applicant's Geologist over the next few months and there is no potential risk to public safety, a temporary opening of the golf course could be granted.

If the Council approves the temporary opening at tonight's meeting, the first day of the 3-month temporary opening period will not begin until the three City conditions (see pages 6, 9 and 10 of this report), which were requested by the City's Geologist and the City's Lake Consultant, have been satisfied by the Applicant, and the Coastal Commission Staff has verified that the Coastal Commission's outstanding conditions of approval (see pages 14 and 15 of this report) have been addressed, including the City acceptance of Founder's Park. Staff estimates that the City and Coastal Commission conditions could be addressed within the next 30 days resulting in a potential temporary opening during the month of January.

Notwithstanding, at the time this report was prepared, the City Attorney and the Applicant's Attorney were still working on resolving some last minute issues pertaining to the final documents ("Easement Deed" and "Indemnity Agreement") for the Council's acceptance of the public trails, which is part of Revision "Y". It is anticipated that these issues will be resolved over the next couple of days. If they are, Staff will distribute a supplemental packet to the Council that contains the final documents and resolutions. If they are not, Staff will provide a status report at the December 20th Council meeting.

BACKGROUND

On November 1, 2005, the City Council first heard the Applicant's request to open the golf course prior to completely satisfying all the conditions of approval, and after evaluating the proposal concluded that the developer's request was premature and that it would be best to continue the public hearing to December 6, 2005 when the status of some of the outstanding conditions remaining to be satisfied could more effectively be evaluated. Specifically, at the November 1st meeting, the Council felt that given the geologic history associated with this site, it is prudent for the City Geologist to at least have a first review of the necessary as-built geologic reports prior to determining whether to permit the golf course to open.  Also, certain geologic monitoring issues that the City Geologist had determined imperative to be addressed still needed to be addressed prior to any opening.  The City Geologist (CSA) has completed their initial review of the outstanding geologic issues and their findings along with Staff's recommendation on the non-geologic issues are now being posed to the City Council.

DISCUSSION

As discussed in the attached letter dated December 12, 2005, CSA addresses the various outstanding geologic issues related to the opening of the golf course. In regards to CSA's issue pertaining to the condition of existing monitoring wells, and specifically the potential movement identified in Inclinometer SI-5A, after reviewing the Applicant's Geologist's response, CSA still disagrees with the Applicant's Geologist's contention that this particular inclinometer is defective as CSA does not believe that the Applicant has sufficiently proven that the inclinometer is defective. However, given the very slight amount of potential movement, CSA believes that the golf course can be allowed to temporarily open, provided that the monitoring of this Inclinometer and other monitoring devices in the area are read more frequently.

In regards to the Driving Range, while CSA disagrees with the Applicant's Geologist pertaining to the geologic model associated with Landslide A, which is located directly south of the Driving Range, CSA feels that since there are no buildings constructed that would require a 1.5 factor of safety, and the grading associated with the driving range is minimal and would not adversely affect the stability of Landslide A, a temporary opening of the driving range can be permitted.

While CSA feels confident that as conditioned the geologic issues have been addressed sufficiently to ensure that there will be no adverse impacts to public safety, it is still important to note that the mechanics of shutting down the temporary opening of the golf course or driving range if all of the remaining work yet to be finaled/completed has not been finaled/completed during the temporary 3-month opening may be difficult.  While Staff recommends that a temporary opening include a condition requiring the developer to come back to the Council for any future extensions of the initial 3-month opening, and that the City certainly would have the right to close the course for public safety reasons or not extend the temporary opening if the conditions of approval still were not fully satisfied, it will be more difficult to close a course that already has been open to the public than waiting to open the course until all items have been completely satisfied.

In addition to the geologic issues, there are other non-geologic conditions of approval that need to be addressed prior to the opening of the 18-hole golf course. Below, Staff has provided a matrix that identifies all the remaining conditions to be satisfied, their current status, and Staff's recommendation as it relates to the temporary opening of the golf course and driving range. Below the matrix, Staff has provided more detail on each outstanding issue.

Remaining Issue

Current Status

Staff Recommendation

1. Geologic Approval of Final As-Built Plan/Geology Report for Golf Course

   

- Landslide C Report

  • CC submitted on 10/3/05
  • CSA review Completed on 11/4/05
  • CC to address minor comments prior to final approval

Temporary opening permitted from CSA. Outstanding items to be completed over next 3 months.

- Golf Course Report

  • CC submitted on 10/24/05
  • CSA review completed on 12/12/05
  • CC to address issues prior to final

Conditional temporary opening permitted from CSA. See detailed discussion section below for condition. Outstanding items to be completed over next 3 months.

- Waterfall #1 Liner Report

  • CC submitted on 11/01/05
  • CSA review to occur when compaction report submitted
  • HCG review completed on 12/12/05
  • CC to address issues prior to final

Temporary opening permitted from CSA. Outstanding items to be completed over next 3 months.

Conditional temporary opening permitted from HCG. See proposed condition under "Discussion" section of this report.

- Waterfall #1 Compaction Report

Report not Submitted

Temporary opening permitted from CSA. Outstanding items to be completed over next 3 months.

- Waterfall #17 Liner Report

  • CC submitted on 11/01/05
  • CSA review of report anticipated on 12/16/05
  • HCG review completed on 12/12/05
  • CC to address issues prior to final

Temporary opening permitted from CSA. Any outstanding items shall be completed in 3 months.

Conditional temporary opening permitted from HCG. See proposed condition under detailed discussion section of this report.

- Waterfall #17 Compaction Report

  • CC submitted on 11/01/05
  • CSA approved report on 12/12/05
  • HCG review completed on 12/12/05
  • CC to address issues prior to final

Temporary opening permitted from CSA.

Conditional temporary opening permitted from HCG. See proposed condition under detailed discussion section of this report.

- Lake #9 Compaction Report

  • CC submitted on 10/12/05
  • CSA review completed on 12/06/05
  • CC to address issues prior to final

Temporary opening permitted from CSA. Any outstanding items shall be completed in 3 months.

2. Geologic Approval of Final As-Built Plan/Geology Report for Driving Range

  • As-built Plan not submitted
  • Geologic Report dispute to be settled by Peer Panel
  • Coastal Permit Application for temporary opening under review

Temporary opening permitted from CSA.

3. Water and Land Movement Monitoring

   

- Inclinometer SI-5

  • CSA's 5/23/05 and 9/13/05 letters expressing concern
  • CC report submitted on 10/31/05
  • Additional Info requested by CSA on 11/03/05 and 11/16/05
  • CC response submitted on 11/15/05
  • CSA Currently reviewing

Conditional temporary opening from CSA. See proposed condition under detailed discussion section below.

- Status of all other Monitoring Devices

  • CC Status Report on monitoring devices submitted on 8/25/05
  • Additional info requested by CSA on 9/13/05
  • Response letter submitted by CC on 12/12/05

Conditional temporary opening from CSA. See proposed condition under detailed discussion section below.

4. Lakes #8 and #16 Improvements

  • HCG recommendations for repairs submitted on 06/03/05
  • CC currently under construction on improvements

Conditional temporary opening from HCG. See proposed condition under detailed discussion section below.

5. Planning Review of Final As-Built Plan and Site Inspection

  • As-built plan in substantial compliance with approved project, with exception to height of the back tees on Hole #2 and Waterfall #1.
  • Application submitted on 12/01/05 to amend CUP requesting to increase heights of these items.

Temporary opening may be permitted while CUP application is processed.

6. PVDS Landscape/Roadway Improvements

  • Phase I and II are completed with minor landscape improvements needed.
  • Phase III proposed to be completed with development of Tract 50666

Conditional temporary opening from Staff. See proposed condition under detailed discussion section below.

7. Trails/Parks Completion

  • All trails and parks completed.
  • Additional trails signage needs to be installed. Signs are on order.
  • Certain trails need to be accepted by City per Coastal Commission conditions.

Conditional temporary opening from Staff. See proposed condition under detailed discussion section below.

California Coastal Commission Conditions of Approval

  • City acceptance of Founder's Park needs to be recorded
  • City acceptance of specific trails in VTTM50666 on tonight's agenda
  • Trail signage currently being installed
  • Habitat has been installed

Compliance with these conditions is determined by the Coastal Commission Staff. Coastal Staff will not permit public opening of the golf course and driving range until these conditions are satisfied.

Legend:

CSA = Cotton Shires and Associates (City's Geological consultant on this project)

CC = Converse Consultants (Trump National's Geological consultant on this project)

HCG = Hilts Consulting Group (City's Water Feature consultant on this project)

1. Geologic Approval of the Final As-Built Plan/Geology Report for the Golf Course:

Requirement:

Grading Permit No. 1541, as adopted by the City Council, includes the following condition of approval:

"13. All grading shall conform to Chapter 29, "Excavations, Foundations, and Retaining Walls, and Chapter 70, "Excavation and Grading" of the Uniform Building Code."

Chapter 70 of the Uniform Building Code (UBC) requires that upon final completion of grading, the following information be submitted for review and approval: 1) an As-built Grading Plan showing as graded surface elevations, drainage patterns, drainage facilities and that the work completed was done in accordance with the grading plan; 2) a report by the project soils engineer with a summary statement that indicates that the work is in accordance with the approved soil engineering report and the UBC; 3) a report prepared by the engineering geologist including a final description of the geology of the site, any new information disclosed during grading operations, and a summary statement that indicates that work is in accordance with the approved engineering geologist report and the UBC; and 4) a statement of conformance to said as-built plan and the specifications from the grading contractor. Basically, review and approval of the as-built report is the final step necessary before permanently opening the course for public play - it acts as a Certificate of Use and Occupancy.

Current Status:

Given the magnitude of this project, the developer's geologist has segmented the as-built report into separate reports covering different areas and submitting them at different times. As shown in the matrix above, the review of these reports are at different stages.

Staff Recommendation:

At the November 1st meeting, the City's Geologist (Cotton Shires Associates - CSA) had not completed their initial review of many of these reports. CSA has now completed an initial review on most of the reports and has prepared comment letters of which the developer's geologist (Converse Consultants) is in the process of responding to.

As shown in the attached December 12, 2005 letter from CSA, while some reports are not completed, it is the opinion of CSA that the golf course can be temporarily opened for play without unduly exposing the public to high risk provided certain actions are taken. Of primary importance is for CC to perform a site reconnaissance of current conditions at the site and prepare a written statement on their findings and recommendations addressing public safety. As such, Staff recommends that the temporary opening be permitted under the following conditions:

  • Prior to the opening of the temporary golf course, the Applicant's Geologist shall perform a reconnaissance of the site with emphasis on bluff top areas and canyon side slopes. Any adverse geologic conditions (ground fissures, spalling, raveling) that could affect public safety shall be documented and appropriate recommendations should be provided. The Applicant's Geologist shall review the condition of all retaining walls on site, and indicate whether they present a risk to public safety. If areas are identified that are not considered suitable for public access, or if an evaluation of current safety cannot be made, recommendations should be provided for setback requirements or other measures until an evaluation can be completed.
  • Subject to review and approval by the City Geologist, the Applicant may open the golf course to the public for a temporary 3-month period. The applicant shall operate the site under a public safety plan, approved by the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and the City Geologist prior to the temporary opening. Such Plan shall clearly designate any hazardous areas that may be un-safe. The plan shall show how these areas are signed, fenced and/or secured from public access. The plan shall also show how participants of the Golf Course and the public visiting the site will be able to traverse the site without entering into these hazardous secured areas. During the temporary operation of the golf course, all of the improvements needed in the plan shall be maintained to the satisfaction of the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and the City’s Geologist. Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Staff, Public Works Staff and/or the City’s Geologist will be visiting the site during the temporary operation of the Golf Course to verify compliance with this condition and the Safety Plan. The Director of Planning Building and Code Enforcement may revoke this temporary permit at any time if, in the opinion of the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement, the City Geologist or the Director of Public Works, the temporary operation of the Golf Course may have an adverse affect on the public health, safety and welfare.

Both of these conditions have been added to the Grading Permit for the project as shown in the attached draft Resolution.

2. Geologic Approval for the Driving Range

Requirement:

On June 7, 2005, the City Council approved Revision "W" for a proposed driving range. The owner must now obtain final approval from the California Coastal Commission. The owner has submitted an application to the California Coastal Commission for such revision, however, according to Coastal Staff, it is currently incomplete. Anticipating that the driving range would not be reviewed by the Coastal Commission prior to the LPGA tournament held at the end of September, the Applicant applied for and received approval of a Coastal Permit from the City on July 8, 2005. The Coastal Permit allowed the owner to proceed with the construction and "temporary" operation of the Driving Range (as conditionally approved by the City Council on June 7, 2005) for the proposed LPGA tournament. The "temporary" operation of the Driving Range was only to be for the LPGA event and would not be open to the public until the California Coastal Commission had approved the permanent Driving Range. More specifically, the following conditions of approval were added to the Coastal Permit:

"3. Approval of Case No. ZON23005-00325 is for the temporary construction and operation of a Driving Range prior to the California Coastal Commission review and approval of the Permanent Driving Range as approved through Revision "W" by the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. More specifically, this approval allows the owner to proceed with the construction of the Driving Range (as conditionally approved by the City Council on June 7, 2005 through Revision "W") and temporarily operate the Driving Range for their proposed LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Golf Event."

"4. The temporary operation of the Driving Range will only be for the proposed LPGA event to be held between September 26, 2005 and October 2, 2005. The Driving Range shall not be open to the general public or used for any other event until the California Coastal Commission has approved the permanent Driving Range.

If the California Coastal Commission does not approve of the permanent Driving Range, then the owner shall remove all improvements associated with the development and operation of the proposed driving range."

Current Status:

While an application has been submitted to the California Coastal Commission for the driving range, the developer's application has not been heard and therefore no approval from the California Coastal Commission has been granted. According to Coastal Commission Staff, the application cannot be taken to the Coastal Commission until geologic approval of the driving range has been granted by the City's geologist.

Although the developer has submitted a geologic report pertaining to the construction of the driving range, the developer has not yet obtained final approval from the City's geologist on said report. The main reason for not obtaining final geologic approval is due to the dispute between the developer's geologist and the City's geologist pertaining to the sub-surface configuration of Landslide A, and the related Foundation Setback Line that determines where structures may be built. The Council may recall that Landslide A is located between the driving range and the Pacific Ocean. A Geologic Peer Review Board was set up to settle the dispute pertaining to the configuration of Landslide A. At the time that the Peer Review Board was set up, residential lots were affected by Landslide A as opposed to the driving range that exists today.

While the Board has issued a draft report on the Landslide A issue, this report has not been finalized, as it is pending a meeting of all parties to discuss the reports draft recommendations, which include, amongst other items, the need for additional subsurface investigation. While Staff has encouraged the Applicant to move forward with setting up a meeting to so that the Panel may final their report, the developer has not indicated a desire to do so at this time. Staff is aware that part of the reason in delay, is the developer's continued work on the Clubhouse expansion geologic report, which was recently submitted on November 15, 2005 and is currently being reviewed by the City's geologist and the Peer Panel members. The developer feels that there is a link between the subsurface geologic investigations related to the Clubhouse expansion and the Landslide A issues.

While the developer contends that a driving range should be able to be constructed regardless of the subsurface geology as there are no related structures and it is no different than Holes #10 and #11 which are constructed over Landslide A, the City's geologist cannot approve a report for the driving range as the developer's geologist is still using a geologic model that the City's geologist disagrees with. The developer did prepare a stability analysis using both the Applicant's Geologist's geologic model and the City's Geologist's geologic model and found that the driving range would have a negligible affect on the stability of landslide A using either model. Upon reviewing the stability analysis, in a letter dated August 18, 2005, the City's Geologist indicated that "Based upon our review of the proposed driving range grading should not adversely affect the stability of the Landslide A region".

Accordingly, the Applicant has two options: one, the Applicant's geologist needs to change the Landslide A model so that the City's Geologist can approve the driving range report, or two, obtain the Peer Review Panel's approval for the developer's Landslide A model, thereby overturning the City geologist's decision.

Staff Recommendation:

The City's Geologist supports a temporary opening of the driving range, as the construction of the range does not appear to affect the stability of the Landslide A region. However, as noted in the December 12, 2005 letter from the City Geologist, their recommendation for a temporary opening is based upon continued monitoring of various monitoring devices. As such, Staff has proposed the condition noted in Section 3 below.

Staff and the Applicant have met with Coastal Commission Staff who support the City's approval of another Coastal Permit allowing the temporary opening of the driving range, while the permanent driving range geologic issues of dispute are being worked out by the Panel. As such, the Applicant has submitted an application for a Coastal Permit to allow a temporary opening of the driving range. Staff is currently processing this application. Temporary use of the driving range cannot be permitted until the City's Coastal Permit is approved by the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement.

3. Water and Land Movement Monitoring

Requirement:

Per the Development Agreement between the City and the Applicant, the Applicant is required to submit quarterly monitoring reports that summarize, amongst a variety of other geologic monitoring tasks, the monitoring of the various inclinometers and water monitoring wells on the subject property.

Current Status:

The Applicant has submitted quarterly monitoring reports to the City for review since the monitoring devices were installed. After reviewing the latest monitoring report, the City's Geologist (CSA) requested that the developer's geologist repair 1) certain monitoring devices, 2) provide an explanation regarding the reading of a specific monitoring device, and 3) provide an explanation of why other monitoring devices are no longer needed as determined by the developer's geologist, Converse Consultants.

CSA's main concern is in regards to the second item noted above. Specifically, upon reviewing the monitoring report dated April 11, 2005, CSA identified a slight displacement at the elevation of the bentonite layer in one of the inclinometers (SI-5A) within Landslide A. As the Council may be aware, an inclinometer measures land movement, and a bentonite layer is often the slip plane of a landslide. The displacement, monitored on March 4, 2005, was approximately 0.04 inches. Further displacement was again monitored on May 13, 2005 at approximately 0.06 inches, and then again on August 2, 2005 at what appears to be approximately 0.08 inches (the exact measurement on August 2nd is unclear as the submitted plot was at a different scale than the previous two plots of March 4th and May 13th). In a May 23, 2005 letter and September 13, 2005 letter, CSA requested that Converse address this issue. On October 31, 2005, a letter from Converse Consultants was submitted to the City. The City's Geologist is currently reviewing the October 31st letter and additional data that was requested and submitted during the month of November.

Staff Recommendation:

As shown in the attached December 12, 2005 letter, CSA believes that the temporary opening can occur provided that continued monitoring of this specific inclinometer occur at 2-week intervals over the 3-month period. As such, Staff has proposed the following condition:

  • At least one reading of inclinometer SI-5A shall be performed prior to the temporary opening. Additional readings should be performed at intervals not exceeding two weeks throughout the 3-month temporary period of operation. CC should notify the City immediately upon detection of significant offset or acceleration of movement and make appropriate recommendations for assuring pedestrian safety. Within one week of field readings, CC should prepare a letter report indicating the results of the readings and provide plots of cumulative displacement, and incremental displacement of the zone at 120 feet. Field data should be submitted on disk to CSA along with the letter report.

This condition has been added to the Grading Permit for the project as shown in the attached draft Resolution.

4. Lakes #8 and #16 Improvements

Requirement:

As part of the Peer Review Panel's review of the Clay Cap/Clubhouse Expansion issue, they required the developer to comply with one of CSA's recommendations - that the City's Lake Consultant (Hilts Consulting Group - HCG), who has been responsible for reviewing the construction of the re-built Lake #9, Waterfall #1 and Waterfall #17, review existing Lakes #8 and #16 and provide any recommended actions pertaining to those lakes. In a June 3, 2005 letter, HCG made certain recommendations pertaining to these two existing lakes.

Current Status:

The Applicant has begun construction on some of the improvements to Lakes #8 and #16 as directed by HCG, but has not completed all of them.

Staff Recommendation:

As shown in the attached letter dated December 12, 2005, HCG has not identified any public safety concerns that would prevent the temporary 3-month opening. However, HCG recommends the following conditions be complied with prior to the opening and during the 3-month period:

  • Prior to the temporary opening of the golf course and driving range, the applicant shall submit all leak testing records performed to date and an on-going leak test monitoring program for review and approval by the City's Lake Consultant.
  • Subject to review and approval by the City's Lake Consultant, prior to the end of the 3-month temporary opening the applicant shall complete all outstanding items as recommended by the City's Lake Consultant in its correspondence dated June 3, 2005, and summarized in a report dated December 12, 2005, entitled "Trump National Golf Course, Project Status and Outstanding Items", and in a report dated December 12, 2005, entitled "Trump National Golf Course, Water Feature No. 1 & 17 Dudek Final Construction Report".

Both of these conditions have been added to the Grading Permit for the project as shown in the attached draft Resolution.

5. City Planning Staff Review of Final As-Built Plan:

Requirement:

The Council approved Conditional Use Permit No. 163, for the golf course and related structures/uses, includes the following conditions:

"F-1. The design and layout of the 18 hole golf course shall substantially conform to the plans reviewed by the Planning Commission, which are entitled "Site Plan for Conditional Use Permit Amended Map No. 2," dated June 19, 1996, prepared by ESCO Engineering Service Corporation, and dated as received by the City on August 2, 1996. Prior to commencement of the construction of the golf course, the final design of the golf course shall be submitted for review by the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and subsequently submitted for review and approval by the City Council for compliance with the plan referenced in this condition. The final design of the golf course shall identify the layout of the golf course holes and other improvements, including drainage structures, utility easements, golf cart paths, public trails and beach access. Wherever possible, the final design of the golf course shall minimize any conflict between the use of the golf holes and the public trails."

"F-2 Any changes in the project which results in significant changes in the development characteristics of the approved conceptual plan per Condition F.1 above, shall require that an application for a revision to the Conditional Use Permit be filed. The scope of the review shall be limited to the request for modification of any items reasonably related to the request, and shall be subject to approval by the City Council. Before any minor changes are made to the development, the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement shall report to the City Council a determination of significance."

Current Status:

Staff has completed a review of the final as-built plan, comparing it to the original grading plan. With the development and construction of a golf course, changes to provide contouring, sand traps and revisions to fairways, tees and greens are to be expected. In review, Staff focused on consistency in grade elevations, general layout, required amount of habitat acreage on the golf course, trail and park locations, and any changes that may cause impacts to adjacent neighbors. With two exceptions, Staff has found that the completed golf course, trails, parks, etc are in substantial compliance with the original plan.

The first exception is in regards to the height of Waterfall #1. Since the November 1, 2005 Council meeting, the Applicant has submitted an engineered survey showing that the height of this Waterfall is taller than originally approved. Staff is concerned regarding these improvements as they may affect existing ocean views from the Seaview neighborhood.

The second exception is in regards to the new back tees for Hole #2, which are located just inland of Waterfall #1 discussed in the preceding paragraph. These tees are also higher than originally planned and subsequently may impair views.

The Applicant acknowledges that these improvements are higher than what was previously approved and has therefore submitted an amendment to CUP No. 163 to address the increase in height.

Staff Recommendation:

As this issue can be addressed during the temporary opening through the Council's review of the CUP amendment request, Staff does not feel a need to hold up the temporary opening of the golf course to address this issue.

6. Palos Verdes Drive South Landscaping/Roadway Improvements:

Requirement:

The Council approved Vesting Tentative Tract Map Nos. 50666 and 50667 include the following condition (portion thereof):

"I-3. The developer shall be responsible for the design and construction of the realignment of Palos Verdes Drive South from Conqueror Drive to La Rotonda Drive…In addition, the developer shall be responsible for the design and construction of curb and gutter and full median improvements adjacent to the Portuguese Bend Club…Construction on the improvements noted above shall be completed prior to issuance of building permits for any residential structures or prior to the opening of the 18-hole golf course, whichever occurs first. Landscape improvements shall be completed prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for any residential structures or prior to the opening of the 18-hole golf course, whichever occurs first..."

In summary, the condition requires full street improvements and landscaping from the Portuguese Bend Club entrance (Conqueror Drive) to La Rotonda Drive.

Current Status:

While most of the Palos Verdes Drive roadway improvements have been completed, the roadway improvements between Ocean Trails Drive and Conqueror Drive have not. While the developer has indicated that they could landscape the median at this time, they are still seeking permission from Cal-Water for a water hook up to supply irrigation. In addition to the median landscape improvements, the developer is still required to widen the eastbound lane 1-2 feet, install a trail and landscaping on the seaward side of the roadway, make curb and gutter improvements in front of the Portuguese Bend Club, and install a left turn pocket in the median to access Tract No. 50666. The developer has indicated that they wish to wait to complete these improvements as they are related to the development of Phase II, which is the development of Tract No. 50666.

Staff Recommendation:

Initially, the condition of approval for the Palos Verdes Drive Street improvements did not include a timing mechanism on when the improvements needed to be completed. On April 20, 2004, the City Council approved Revision "V" to the project, which allowed modifications to the design standards of the residential lots within Tract No. 50667. Through this approval, Condition I-3 above was modified to provide the current timing mechanism for when the street improvements needed to be completed - "prior to the opening of the 18-hole golf course". Staff acknowledges that the current property owner, and in fact the prior property owner, had always intended to construct the PVDS roadway improvements in 3 phases, the last phase being the section between Conqueror Drive and Ocean Trails Drive. This was to be the last phase in order to coincide with the development of Tract No. 50666, which was the final phase of the project development. While the driving range has been completed, other improvements to Tract No. 50666 have not. The developer is requesting that Condition I-3 be changed to permit these remaining improvements to be constructed prior to the issuance of any permit for a residence within Tract No. 50666. Staff supports this request as these improvements are directly related to the development of Tract No. 50666. This is consistent with other conditions of approval that permit a delay in the construction of certain trails within Tract No. 50666 prior to the development of residential units within the tract.

As such, Staff recommends that the condition be modified as such (bold underline text for new text and strikethrough text for text to be removed):

"I-3. The developer shall be responsible for the design and construction of the realignment of Palos Verdes Drive South from Conqueror Drive to La Rotonda Drive…In addition, the developer shall be responsible for the design and construction of curb and gutter and full median improvements adjacent to the Portuguese Bend Club…With the exception of the improvements between Conqueror Drive and Ocean Trails Drive, construction on the improvements noted above shall be completed prior to issuance of building permits for any residential structures or prior to the opening of the 18-hole golf course, whichever occurs first. Landscape improvements shall be completed prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for any residential structures or prior to the opening of the 18-hole golf course, whichever occurs first. For the roadway improvements and related landscaping between Conqueror Drive and Ocean Trails Drive, the developer shall complete said improvements prior to the issuance of any permits for any habitable structure within Tract No. 50666.

7. Final on Trails/Parks/Landscaping throughout the Site:

Requirement:

The Council approved Public Amenities Plan requires certain trails and parks to be completed prior to the opening of the 18-hole golf course. The related conditions are as follows:

"The following trail improvements, interpretive signs and trail fencing shall be installed and open for use by the public prior to commencement of play on the golf course… the trails shall be improved to the standards required in the project conditions of approval (contained in Resolution Nos. 96-73 and 96-74) and depicted on the approved Trail Plan of the final Public Amenities Plan, including the installation of permanent fencing and signage, prior to the commencement of play on the golf course.

Trail Improvements

    • West Bluff Preserve Pedestrian Trail
    • Half Way Point Park Beach Access Pedestrian Trail
    • Bluff Top Activity Corridor Pedestrian Trail
    • Shoreline Park Access Pedestrian Trial…

Park Improvements

    • Halfway Point Park…(no proposed changes)
    • Three view overlooks…(no proposed changes)
    • View overlook at the head of Forestall Canyon.
    • La Rotonda Drive 25-space parking lot…(no proposed changes)

Trail improvements

    • Paseo del Mar Off-Road Bicycle Path
    • Paseo del Mar Pedestrian Trail
    • West Bluff Preserve Lateral Access Trail
    • La Rotonda Parking Lot Combined Bicycle Path and Pedestrian Trail
    • Halfway Point Park Pedestrian Loop Trail
    • Sewer Easement Pedestrian Trail
    • Bluff Top Activity Corridor Combined Bicycle Path and Pedestrian Trail
    • Palos Verdes Drive South Overlook/La Rotonda Drive Parking Lot Pedestrian Trail
    • East End Pedestrian Trail"

Additionally, the California Coastal Commission requires that the City accept certain public trails prior to the opening of the golf course.

Current Status:

The City's landscape architect consultant and Staff have conducted an on-site inspection of the required trails and parks noted above. All of the trails/parks noted above have been installed. At the November 1, 2005 meeting, Staff reported that there was a punch list of minor items that need to be addressed for some of the trails and parks. This list addresses trail signage and minor improvements. The developer has been working to address all of the items. The only items remaining deal with some additional trail signage. The Applicant has indicated that the signage is on order and can be installed prior to the end of the 3-month temporary opening.

In regards to the trails that are to be accepted by the City as part of the Coastal Commission conditions of approval, the Applicant has submitted an Easement Deed for these trails and subsequent Indemnity Agreement for the Council's review and acceptance. If the Council accepts these trail easements, they will need to be recorded prior to opening the golf course for play. As noted in the Executive Summary above, at the time this report was prepared, the City Attorney and the Applicant's Attorney were still working on resolving some last minute issues pertaining to the final documents ("Easement Deed" and "Indemnity Agreement") for the Council's acceptance of the public trails, which is part of Revision "Y". It is anticipated that these issues will be resolved over the next couple of days. If they are, Staff will distribute a supplemental packet to the Council that contains the final documents and resolutions. If they are not, Staff will provide a status report at the December 20th Council meeting.

Staff Recommendation:

Given that the remaining items on the punch list deal with trail signage, do not cause significant impacts to health, safety and welfare, and can be completed within the timeframe of the requested temporary opening, Staff feels that complete compliance with these conditions should not hold up a temporary opening of the golf course.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Affordable Housing Units

As the Council may recall, the on-site Affordable Housing Units are required to be made available prior to the opening of the golf course to the public. The units have been leased to persons who qualify at affordable levels. As such, this issue, which was still outstanding at the November 1st Council meeting, has been addressed.

California Coastal Commission Conditions of Approval

As the Council may know, in addition to the many City conditions of approval and mitigation measures that the developer must comply with, there are also many California Coastal Commission conditions of approval that must be complied with. While some of those conditions mirror the City's conditions others do not. Many of the Coastal Commission's conditions require compliance prior to the opening of the 18-hole course. Recently, the developer requested the Coastal Commission Staff permit the developer to open the golf course and driving range. The Coastal Commission Staff responded with a letter indicating that the existing permit does not allow the opening of the golf course until they meet the conditions as required in the current permit. Their letter outlined the various conditions that need to be satisfied. Below is a summary of the items that still need to be addressed through the Coastal Commission prior to the opening of the golf course and driving range:

A. City Acceptance of Founder's Park: While the Council approved the acceptance of the Park and related Indemnity Agreement, and the City sent such documents to Trump National on August 22, 2005, these documents have yet to be signed by Trump National, and as such they have not been recorded. Trump National has requested some very minor revisions to the documents prior to recordation. These revisions have been completed and are being reviewed by Staff. Staff anticipates that this issue may be resolved and the acceptance may be recorded prior to December 20th.

B. City Acceptance of Certain Trails: The City is required to accept certain trails in the project prior to the Commission's authorization for the golf course to open. This issue is part of tonight's agenda.

C. Installation of Signs: Certain signs are required to be installed. The Applicant has recently installed many signs at the project site. Staff assumes that the Coastal Commission Staff will soon make an inspection to verify that all necessary signs have been installed.

D. Habitat Installed to Meet Slide Repair Mitigation: On September 20th, City Staff, Coastal Staff and the Resource Agencies met to inspect various project habitat areas. On October 20, 2005, the City received verification from the Resource Agencies that they are satisfied with the habitat installation. Staff assumes that the Coastal Commission Staff is satisfied with this response in meeting their condition.

The Coastal Commission Staff is charged with ensuring that the conditions noted above are satisfied. As such, the developer will also need to obtain Coastal Staff approval that the necessary conditions of approval have been met prior to actual play on the golf course.

ALTERNATIVE

In addition to the Staff recommendation, the City Council may also wish to consider the following alternative:

  • Continue the public hearing to a future date when compliance with the outstanding conditions of approval can be further evaluated.

FISCAL IMPACT

There are no Fiscal Impacts to the City as a result of this decision.

Respectfully submitted:

Joel Rojas, AICP

Director of Planning, Building

and Code Enforcement

Reviewed By:

Les Evans

City Manager

ATTACHMENTS:

Resolution No. 2005-__, adopting Addendum #19

Resolution No. 2005-__, approving Revision "Y" to Grading Permit No. 1541

Resolution No. 2005-__, approving Revision "Y" to VTTM No. 50666

Resolution No. 2005-__, accepting the Easement Deed for certain public trails

Indemnity Agreement and Easement Deed for certain public trails

Letter from CSA dated December 12, 2005

Letter from HCG dated December 12, 2005