Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

AUGUST 1, 2006 Rancho Palos Verdes BORDER ISSUES STATUS REPORT AUGUST 1, 2006 Rancho Palos Verdes BORDER ISSUES STATUS REPORT BORDER ISSUES STATUS REPORT



TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING & CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: AUGUST 1, 2006

SUBJECT: BORDER ISSUES STATUS REPORT

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Review the current status of border issues.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This month’s report includes:

- An update on the landfill gas investigation at the “Disposal Gardens” site in the City of Torrance;
- A brief report regarding the Ponte Vista project; and,
- A report on the June 29, 2006, scoping meeting for the proposed Los Angeles Unified School District South Region High School No. 14, and the City’s comments on the Notice of Preparation and Initial Study.

Since the last City Council meeting, there has been no new information received or environmental documents released regarding the Peninsula Village Overlay Zone (PVOZ) in Rolling Hills Estates.

BACKGROUND

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:

http://palosverdes.com/rpv/planning/border_issues/2006/20060801_BorderIssues_StatusRpt.cfm

DISCUSSION

Current Border Issues

South Coast County Golf Course Project, County of Los Angeles/Rolling Hills Estates

Although the County has withdrawn the golf course project, one of the topics that the City Council was following in conjunction with it was the landfill gas investigations at the so-called “Disposal Gardens” site in the City of Torrance. As the City Council may recall, last November the City was advised that the Department of Solid Waste Management for the County had asked the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) to conduct landfill gas investigations. These investigations were scheduled to take place during the week of December 5, 2005, but were subsequently canceled. At the City Council’s direction, Staff prepared a letter to CIWMB asking why the investigations were canceled. Staff received a response from CIWMB on December 23, 2005, which stated that 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” work plan; 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. This past March, the City received a letter from the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health stating that the County had asked CIWMB to reinstate the work plan for this investigation. The re-scheduled investigation was expected to begin on March 27, 2006. Shortly thereafter, Councilman Gardiner forwarded an e-mail from Barry Holchin with the Sierra Club. Apparently, when this investigation was originally scheduled in late 2005, there were assurances made to the community that the soil samples would be split so that they could be tested independently. According to the Sierra Club e-mail, the community is now being told that the samples obtained are too small to split.

On July 10, 2006, the City received notification from the County Department of Health Services that the draft final report for the landfill gas investigations at the “Disposal Gardens” site in the City of Torrance was available for public review. The draft final report states that the objective of the investigation was to determine if landfill gas exists, and if it does, then if it is migrating to the surface and affecting the community. The investigation concluded that the site met minimum State standards for landfill gas, and that no methane was detected above regulatory thresholds. CIWMB will monitor the site for one (1) year to determine if any gas migration is occurring, and will issue a follow-up letter-report of findings.

Although the notice states the public comment period for the draft final report would be thirty (30) days from the date of the notice, the CIWMB website states that the comment period has been extended to October 1, 2006. The report and technical appendices can be reviewed and downloaded at http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/LEACentral/CIA/. A copy of the report without the appendices is attached. Staff does not feel qualified to comment on this technical report, so unless the City Council wishes to retain a consultant to review the report on the City’s behalf, Staff does not intend to submit comments to CIWMB.

Ponte Vista Project at Former Navy Housing Site, Los Angeles (San Pedro)

The City recently received the attached newsletter regarding the active adult (i.e., senior) housing component of the proposed Ponte Vista project.

Site Selection for LAUSD’s Proposed South Region High School No. 14, Los Angeles (San Pedro)

On June 26, 2006, the City received the Notice of Preparation and Initial Study (NOP/IS) for the EIR for the South Region High School No. 14 project. These documents can be reviewed and downloaded at:

http://www.laschools.org/project-status/one-project?project_number=56.40068

LAUSD conducted a scoping meeting on Thursday, June 29, 2006, at Narbonne High School. After a brief presentation by LAUSD Staff, the floor was opened for public comments on the NOP/IS. City Staff noted that the 30-day comment period was scheduled to end on July 23, 2006—a Sunday—and asked if comments would be accepted until the end of business on Monday, July 24, 2006. City Staff also expressed disagreement with the preliminary assessment of the aesthetic and land use/planning impacts of the project, and noted that one-half of the Western Avenue right-of-way fronting the project site is located in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. The members of the public in attendance raised a number of issues, including the adequacy of off-street parking; hazards related to underground fuel tanks and pipelines at the abutting Navy Fuel Support Point San Pedro; gang activity and other crime issues; consideration of alternate sites; cumulative traffic impacts with Green Hills Memorial Park, Dodson Middle School and other existing and proposed uses in the nearby vicinity; impacts of air pollution from the nearby refineries and the Port of Los Angeles; evacuation plans and pedestrian safety; and nighttime lighting impacts for athletic fields.

At the July 18, 2006, City Council meeting, a member of the public asked the City Council to request an extension of the 30-day comment period for the NOP/IS. Staff drafted a such letter, which was forwarded to LAUSD Board of Education Member Mike Lansing’s office on July 21, 2006. Although Staff has yet to hear of the extension request was granted, on July 24, 2006, the attached City comments on the NOP/IS were forwarded to LAUSD.

New Border Issues

There are no new Border Issues on which to report at this time.

Respectfully submitted:
Joel Rojas, AICP, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement

Reviewed by:
Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

Draft Gas Investigation Final Report for Disposal Gardens
Ponte Vista Adult Active Housing Newsletter, Summer 2006
Scoping meeting handouts for South Region High School No. 14
Scoping comment period extension request
Comments on South Region High School No. 14