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FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING, AND CODE ENFORCEMENT
DATE: MARCH 7, 2006
SUBJECT: APPLICATION TO THE ANNENBERG FOUNDATION FOR PLANNING GRANT FUNDS
1) Approve the grant application to the Annenberg Foundation for planning grant funds to create a “Vision Plan” for the City’s key open space areas; and 2) Authorize City Staff and the City Council’s Open Space Acquisition ad hoc sub-committee to participate in the planning process.
On December 20, 2005, the City Council authorized staff to coordinate with the PVPLC and prepare a joint RPV/PVPLC application to the Annenberg Foundation for funding of a public use planning study that would cover the NCCP Preserve and the coastal open space areas.
The Annenberg Foundation, established in 1989, is the successor corporation to the Annenberg School at Radnor, Pennsylvania founded in 1958 by Walter H. Annenberg. Serving as Ambassador to the Court of St. James from 1968 to 1974, Ambassador Annenberg enjoyed a distinguished career as a publisher, broadcaster, diplomat and philanthropist. The Annenberg Foundation exists to advance the public well being through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving this goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge. The Foundation's primary grant-making interests are in education, culture, the arts, and community and civic life. It provides funding for programs likely to produce beneficent change on a large scale.
In 2004, through the leadership of Wallis Annenberg, the Foundation moved into the environmental grant-making arena. The Foundation’s Blue Planet Initiative includes air and water quality and land conservation and stewardship projects. Hence, in 2005, at the direction of Wallis Annenberg, the Foundation provided a $1,067,000 challenge grant for the acquisition of the Portuguese Bend property. This grant enabled the PVPLC to succeed in meeting its commitment to provide $4 million in private funding toward the acquisition cost.
Wallis Annenberg had visited the Peninsula in the past and was familiar with the area. However, when she made a tour of the coastal parts of Rancho Palos Verdes as part of her consideration of the land preservation grant, she was impressed by the beauty of the site and the opportunities that the City has for planning this unique coastal area. Through her staff, she expressed interest in assisting the City to think of its remaining undeveloped land as one planning area, and to bring new resources to creating a master plan. This is very consistent with the "values and principles that have characterized [the Foundation's] giving over the years: fostering community partnership, demonstrating special concern for youth, and funding the best ideas from a wide range of high quality organizations" (from the Foundation's 15th Anniversary Report).
The RPV Vision Plan
The funds that are being requested are for a comprehensive planning process that would target key open space areas in the City, which would result in a plan called the RPV Vision Plan. The RPV Vision Plan will encompass the following key open space areas:
The entire NCCP Preserve, which includes the following properties
The “developable” (non-NCCP Preserve) portion of Upper Point Vicente
The “developable” (non-NCCP Preserve) portion of Lower Point Vicente
The Point Vicente Lighthouse property (U.S. Government owned)
Portions of the Terranea property (for trail connection purposes)
Del Cerro Park
The 25-acre Active Recreation Area (gateway to the NCCP Preserve)
The Coastal Zone (for the purposes of establishing a coastal trail)
These properties were selected because they serve as key open space parcels and/or because they provide ideal public use opportunities. Although several of the identified properties have had some planning and community input on their uses, there has never been a public process to consider all of the properties together.
The goal will be to create a coordinated master plan for these areas, with public access, interpretive materials, recreational amenities, and other facilities to improve the experience of the coast and open space for residents of and visitors to the Peninsula. The Plan will identify program, design and linkage concepts for the entire area. In addition, the process will consider the possibility of locating an animal care and rescue center on one of the properties, a project of interest to the Annenberg Foundation.
In addition to providing program, design and linkage concepts for the project area, the planning process will also result in the creation of the Public Use Master Plan (PUMP) for the Preserve, as required by the NCCP. In accordance with the City’s approved NCCP, the PUMP must be prepared and submitted to the resource agencies within 2 years of the NCCP Implementing Agreement being signed by all parties. Preparation of the PUMP will be a major undertaking and any financial assistance to help with the preparation of the PUMP will be invaluable for completing the effort within the required time line.
The proposed Letter of Intent to receive grant funding for the proposed planning effort (attached) was prepared by City and PVPLC Staff, with the help of Melani Smith of Melendrez, a landscape architecture and urban planning firm with which the Annenberg Foundation has worked to implement many of its grants and projects. It is envisioned that
Melendrez would take the lead with respect to integrating the existing planning documents, soliciting public input and working with the City/PVPLC staff to create the RPV Vision Plan . Attached to the Letter of Intent application is the formal scope of work proposal submitted by Melendrez. As detailed in the attached Melendrez proposal and summarized in the attached flow chart, Melendrez will lead the planning process, with coordination and input provided by PVPLC and City staff and oversight provided by the City Council open space acquisition ad hoc subcommittee of Councilmen Clark and Stern. Essentially, the planning process will involve the following steps:
Gathering Data Phase
Public Workshop No. 1
Creation of Plan Alternatives
Public Workshop No. 2 and Trail Committee Workshop
Final Alternative Refinement and PUMP Development
Final Plan Creation and City Council Review/Adoption
Of note is that the determination of trail uses within the Preserve would be handled by a separate process, still managed by Melendrez, and would involve a committee of residents to provide input. Toward the end of the process those recommendations would be integrated into the Vision Plan. In addition, to assist with development of the PUMP, a PUMP steering committee will be formed during the Gathering Data Phase. While the selection of PUMP committee City will be done by City and PVPLC staff, the City Council will review and approve the make-up of the PUMP steering committee.
The grant would be awarded to the PVPLC, which would administer the funds as detailed in
As described in the attached grant application, the overall planning effort is estimated to cost $175,000. This will include the cost of all the consultants (Melendrez), sub-consultants (PVNet), and PVPLC administrative overhead costs. As such, no expenditures
Letter of Intent