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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS
FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING & CODE ENFORCEMENT
DATE: FEBRUARY 7, 2006
SUBJECT: BORDER ISSUES STATUS REPORT
Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Associate Planner
Review the current status of border issues, and provide direction to Staff, as appropriate.
This month’s report includes:
- A report on recent issues related to the former Palos Verdes Landfill site;
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
As a result of City Council direction at the December 6, 2005, meeting, Staff prepared the attached letter (dated December 12, 2005) to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) in consultation with Councilman Gardiner. Staff received the attached response from CIWMB on December 23, 2005. Briefly, in answer to the three (3) questions posed in our letter: 1) the landfill gas investigation was cancelled jointly by CIWMB and the local enforcement agency (LEA), which is the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Solid Waste Management Division, due to local community concerns questioning the efficacy of the investigation; 2) the scope of the investigation was not reduced from the “original” workplan; and 3) the investigation may be reactivated in the future at such time as the local community’s concerns about the efficacy of the investigation are resolved. Additional related information provided by Joan Davidson of South Bay CARES is also attached.
On December 19, 2005, the City received notice from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) that it was considering promulgating amendments to the regulations regarding Class 1 landfill permit modification procedures (see attached notice and draft Government Code language). Based upon the notice, it was not entirely clear if or how this proposed amendment would effect current operations or procedures for the former Palos Verdes landfill. The gist of the amendment was to allow certain types of Class 1 permit modifications that are determined to be exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to be reported to DTSC within seven (7) calendar days after the modifications are made, rather than thirty (30) days before the modifications are made under the current law. A public workshop to discuss this matter with DTSC Staff was scheduled for January 11, 2006, with a conference call link to be provided.
Staff spoke with DTSC Staff on January 11th prior to the workshop (see attached PowerPoint slides from DTSC). DTSC Staff indicated that since the former Palos Verdes landfill does not have a full or standardized permit from DTSC (rather, it is covered under DTSC’s Site Mitigation Program), the proposed rule changes were unlikely to have any impact upon the former Palos Verdes landfill. DTSC Staff also clarified that the rule change would only apply to the replacement of equipment with functionally-equivalent components. Furthermore, the rule change would be consistent with recent similar changes in State and Federal law.
Ponte Vista Project at Former Navy Housing Site, Los Angeles (San Pedro)
Based upon direction from the City Council at the December 6, 2005, meeting, the attached letter from the Mayor to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn was prepared on December 22, 2005. Staff continues to monitor this project, and awaits the release of the draft EIR.
Peninsula Village Overlay Zone, Rolling Hills Estates
On December 12, 2005, the City received the attached Notice of Preparation and Initial Study (NOP/IS) for the draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for the proposed Peninsula Village Overlay Zone (PVOZ). The IS identified potentially significant impacts for all environmental factors except Agricultural Resources, Mineral Resources and Population/Housing. A public scoping meeting was held on January 10, 2006, which was attended by many Rancho Palos Verdes residents from the neighborhoods located above and to the south of the Peninsula Center commercial area (i.e., Peninsula Rim and Grandview-Silver Arrow). These residents were particularly concerned about the increased development potential, increased traffic and questionable soil stability in the area along “Little” Silver Spur Road that could result from the implementation of the PVOZ as currently proposed.
The public comment period for the NOP/IS ended on January 18, 2006. Staff mailed and faxed the attached comments to the City of Rolling Hills Estates on that date. The draft PEIR is expected to be available for public review and comment by Summer 2006.
Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, Offshore from Palos Verdes Peninsula
On December 7, 2005, Staff submitted the attached comments on the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (FPEIS/EIR) for the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP). On December 13, 2005, we received the attached e-mail responding to the questions raised in our comments. Staff will continue to monitor this project in the future.
On December 14, 2005, the California Coastal Commission was scheduled to review and find that certain habitat restoration actions proposed under the MSRP were consistent with the policies of the California Coastal Management Program (see attached Staff report). This type of consistency determination is common for Federal agencies proposing projects within the State’s coastal zone. None of the habitat restoration actions covered by this consistency determination has a direct impact upon the City. However, the Coastal Commission received considerable public testimony on December 14th regarding the component of the MSRP calling for the cessation of funding of programs to assist the breeding and restoration bald eagle populations on Santa Catalina Island. As a result, this matter was continued again to the Coastal Commission’s February 8-10, 2006 meeting in Chula Vista (see attached Staff report).
New Residence at 717 Via La Cuesta, Palos Verdes Estates
Although the agreement for off-site grading in Grandview Park has been signed and executed by then-Mayor Clark and the City Clerk, and forwarded to the Chopras and their attorney on November 9, 2005, the Chopras have subsequently raised objections to some of the language in the agreement and some of the exhibits. With respect to the exhibits, Staff had inadvertently omitted three (3) of the exhibits from the agreement sent to the Chopras on November 9th. We believe that we have resolved this issue by including the missing pages that were presented to the City Council at the meeting on August 30, 2005. However, the City Attorney and the Chopras attorney have not resolved their differences over the revised language now proposed by the Chopras.
The Palos Verdes Estates Planning Commission approved revisions to the neighborhood compatibility and grading components of the project on January 17, 2006 without providing adequate advance notice to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. However, it appears that the requested revisions were fairly minor and would not affect views from Grandview Park. The appeal period for these revisions ended on February 1, 2006. Staff will continue to monitor this project as the agreement is finalized and the grading plan for Grandview Park is submitted for our review and approval.
Site Selection for LAUSD’s Proposed South Region High School No. 14, Los Angeles (San Pedro)
On December 13, 2005, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education considered its Staff’s and Facilities Committee’s recommendation to designate an as-yet-unidentified 15-acre portion of the Ponte Vista site as the preferred site for the proposed South Region High School No. 14. As a matter of policy, the Board strictly limits the number of public comments on public hearing items and requires speakers to register by phone in advance. Although Staff was aware of this and the public hearing notice stated that the cut-off for speaker registration was the day of the hearing at 10 AM, Staff was informed that registration had been cut off the previous day at 5 PM when we tried to register. As such, Staff was not permitted to address the Board in the matter, and neither were most of the large number of concerned area residents who attended the hearing. However, some speakers—including LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn—did address the issue of traffic on Western Avenue that would result from the proposed high school. Other speakers in opposition included Ponte Vista developer Bob Bisno and representatives of Mary Star-of-the-Sea High School. After nearly an hour-and-a-half of discussion, the Board ultimately accepted its Staff's recommendation and designated the Ponte Vista property as the preferred site for the new high school. This begins a 12-14 month process of feasibility studies, site assessments and environmental analysis that will lead to the preparation of an EIR.
Mixed-Use Condos at 627 Deep Valley Drive, Rolling Hills Estates
On December 5, 2005, the Rolling Hills Estates Planning Commission formally adopted a resolution recommending approval of the proposal to demolish the existing car wash at 627 Deep Valley Drive in Rolling Hills Estates and replace it with a 58-unit mixed-use condominium project to the Rolling Hills Estates City Council. The Rolling Hills Estates City Council is scheduled to consider this recommendation on February 14, 2006. Staff will continue to monitor this project, and will follow up on the final decision in the March 2006 Border Issues report.
New Border Issues
Proposed Take-Over of LAUSD by the City of Los Angeles
Since his election as Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa has made a repeated point of expressing his desire to take over the Los Angeles Unified School District. It was announced recently that a detailed plan for this take-over is expected to be complete this spring.
There are two (2) LAUSD campuses in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes: Rudecinda Sepulveda Dodson Middle School and Crestwood Street Elementary School. At this point, it is not clear what (if any) effect the City of Los Angeles take-over might have upon the operations of these campuses. Staff intends to continue monitoring this issue
Letter to CIWMB (dated 12/12/2005)