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FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT
DATE: DECEMBER 20, 2005
SUBJECT: AMENDED MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE PALOS VERDES PENINSULA LAND CONSERVANCY (PVPLC)
Approve an amendment to the existing Forrestal Management Agreement between the City and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC) that authorizes the PVPLC to begin habitat management on January 1, 2006 of the City properties that are awaiting formal dedication to the NCCP Preserve.
By the end of this year, 80% of properties that are proposed to be dedicated to the NCCP preserve will be owned by the City or PVPLC. However, the dedications of land to the preserve are not going to occur until the resource agencies formally approve all of the NCCP documents and all parties sign the NCCP Implementing Agreement. This isn’t expected to occur until sometime in mid-2006, which means that the initial management activities, which typically are performed in early spring, would not occur until 2007. As a result, the PVPLC is requesting City Council authorization to begin management of the preserve properties on January 1, 2006, before they are formally dedicated to the Preserve. The PVPLC believes that initiating the required management activities early will leave a favorable impression with the resource agencies, which could help with future funding requests. PVPLC’s proposal, along with the management agreement that would authorize and fund their management proposal, is being presented to the City Council for its review and approval.
On August 31, 2004, the City Council approved the City’s NCCP Subarea Plan, certified the related NCCP EIR and conceptually approved the NCCP Implementing Agreement. However, the City Council stopped short of approving the draft agreement between the City and PVPLC, which spells out the agreements and responsibilities of both parties in managing the proposed NCCP Preserve. After the City Council action, the City-approved NCCP documents were forwarded to the California Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their review and approval. Formal approval of the NCCP documents by the resource agencies is still pending and is not expected until sometime in 2006. When that occurs, Staff intends to present the revised documents to the City Council for its concurrent approval.
After the NCCP documents were approved by the City Council in 2004, City and PVPLC staff focused their attention on acquiring privately owned open space for inclusion into the Preserve. Working together, the City and PVPLC were successful in securing over $17 million to acquire 463 acres of privately held open space. As a result, the City is set to take title to the 424-acre “Portuguese Bend” property and the 39-acre “Agua Amarga Canyon” property by the end of this year from the Palos Verdes Portuguese Bend, LLC. These properties will eventually be dedicated to the NCCP Preserve.
For reasons explained in the attached letter dated December 12, 2005, the PVPLC is eager to begin management of the properties that will be dedicated to the preserve, which are currently under City/PVPLC control, before they are formally dedicated to the Preserve. In order to allow the PVPLC to begin its early management activities, a management agreement must be executed. The PVPLC’s proposal, along with the management agreement that would authorize and fund their proposal, is being presented to the City Council for its review and approval.
Formal management of the preserve is anticipated to begin after the Preserve is formally created, that is, after the City and PVPLC formally dedicate their respective properties identified in the NCCP Subarea Plan into the Preserve and conservation easements are recorded on all the preserve properties. However, the dedications of land to the preserve are not going to occur until the resource agencies formally approve all of the NCCP documents and all parties sign the NCCP Implementing Agreement. Based on the latest feedback from the resource agencies, this is not expected to occur until sometime in mid-2006. Since the preserve management activities are dependent on baseline habitat surveys that are typically performed in the early spring, this means that the initial management
With acquisition of the “Portuguese Bend” and “Agua Amarga Canyon” properties, 1,138.33 acres of the 1,428.27 acres (80%) that are intended to become habitat preserve will be owned by the City (1,118 acres) or PVPLC (20 acres). As a result, the PVPLC is requesting City Council authorization to begin management of the preserve properties on January 1, 2006. The PVPLC believes that initiating the required management activities early will leave a favorable impression with the resource agencies, which could help with future funding requests. In addition, it would allow the public to see progress on the preserve properties. The PVPLC is seeking City authorization to begin management in January 2006 since a major amount of biological monitoring must be performed in the early spring.
The management tasks that the PVPLC proposes to perform on the preserve properties are described in their attached letter. The preserve properties that the PVPLC proposes to manage are listed in Attachment “C” of the attached Agreement and are shown on the attached aerial map.
In accordance with the City-approved NCCP Subarea Plan, the City will commit $100,000 per year (to be adjusted annually for inflation) and certain in-kind services to fulfill the obligations for management and maintenance of the NCCP preserve. As a result, the City’s current FY 05-06 budget has earmarked $100,000 for management of the preserve. Therefore, if the PVPLC’s early management request is approved and the PVPLC begins management in January 2006, the City will allocate $50,000 to the PVPLC to perform its management duties for the half year period between January 1 and June 30, 2006.
Furthermore, the initial management of the preserve involves a substantial amount of surveys and monitoring to establish baseline data. In order to establish thorough baseline data for the preserve properties, earlier this year the PVPLC applied for and received approval of a $100,000 grant from the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The PVPLC’s application and the DFG grant award letter are attached. Since the City is the lead agency for the NCCP and the PVPLC is the City’s habitat manager, the DFG’s grant would be paid through the City. Therefore, if the City Council authorizes the PVPLC to begin its management duties, the PVPLC will also be performing special tasks that will be covered by the DFG grant. A list of the tasks and budget approved by the DFG is attached. Invoices for work performed by the PVPLC will be submitted to the City, which in turn will submit them to the DFG for reimbursement.
In order to facilitate the PVPLC’s management request, a formal management agreement must be executed between the PVPLC and the City. However, because the NCCP has not
yet been formally approved by the resource agencies and the NCCP Implementing Agreement has not yet been signed, the City Attorney has recommended that the actual NCCP City/PVPLC Agreement that was foreseen to be used for management of the NCCP preserve not be executed at this time. Instead the City Attorney has prepared an amendment to the existing Forrestal Management Agreement between the City and PVPLC that allows the PVPLC to manage the preserve properties in conjunction with the NCCP Subarea Plan (attached). The term of the agreement would be from January 1 to June 30, 2006.
The City Council approved FY 05-06 budget earmarks $100,000 for management of the NCCP preserve. If the City Council approves the PVPC’s request, a budgeted expenditure of $50,000 would result.
Amendment to the Forrestal Management Agreement
FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE AMENDED AND RESTATED AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AND THE PALOS VERDES PENINSULA LAND CONSERVANCY, A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, TO JOINTLY OPERATE AND MAINTAIN A TRACT OF LAND KNOWN AS THE FORRESTAL NATURE PRESERVE AND TO CONDUCT ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS, TOURS, AND EVENTS THAT WILL ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION IN THE PASSIVE RECREATIONAL USE OF THE PRESERVE AS AN OPEN SPACE COASTAL NATURE PRESERVE AND AUTHORIZE THE USE OF PRIVATELY AND PUBLICLY RAISED FUNDS FOR THE UPGRADING AND ENHANCEMENT OF THE PRESERVE FOR USE BY THE PUBLIC AND TO ENHANCE AND PROTECT HABITAT AND SPECIES LOCATED THEREON.
Dated _________________ PALOS VERDES LAND CONSERVANCY