Rancho Palos Verdes City Council


DECEMBER 20, 2005

The meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m. by Mayor Wolowicz at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.

Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Long, Gardiner, Clark, Mayor Wolowicz (Mayor Pro Tem Long joined the meeting in progress at 9:55 p.m.)
ABSENT: Stern (excused absence)

Also present were City Manager Les Evans; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Carolynn Petru; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Interim Director of Public Works Ray Holland; Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost; and Senior Planner Ara Mihranian.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilman Clark.


Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru advised Council that several items on the Agenda required a four-fifths (4/5) vote for approval, including Item Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12 on the Consent Calendar; Public Hearing Item No. 18; and, Regular Business Item No. 23 due to the proposed urgency ordinance.

Mayor Wolowicz proposed setting aside those items until the arrival or teleconferenced attendance of Mayor Pro Tem Long.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the Agenda as amended to hold Item Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 18 and 23 until Mayor Pro Tem Long joined the meeting. Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.


Mayor Wolowicz presented a Salute to Service honoring the family of First Lieutenant Miguel A. Lopez and presenting them a Blue Star in recognition of their son’s military service.




Mayor Wolowicz announced Daniel Bromley and Petra Nilleo as Recyclers of the Month, congratulated the winners and encouraged all residents to participate in the City’s recycling program.


Lieutenant Jason Lum, Lomita Sheriff’s Station, introduced Lieutenant Christopher Knox as the City’s new dedicated p.m./weekend traffic deputy.

Deputy Christopher Knox, Lomita Sheriff’s Station, pledged to work hard for the City in his new capacity and to promote traffic safety throughout the community.

Councilman Clark welcomed Deputy Knox, noting that there is already evidence that he is working hard and doing a tremendous job to signal to motorists that Rancho Palos Verdes is a city in which speeders will be ticketed.

Mayor Wolowicz, noting that the issue of speed enforcement has been a particular pledge of this Council, welcomed Deputy Knox and thanked him for his efforts.

Barbara Sattler, representing the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), expressed the organization’s delight that the native plant garden has been replanted at the Pointe Vicente Interpretive Center (PVIC). She reported that a number of outstanding volunteers joined in that activity and extended special thanks to Holly Starr, of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, for coordinating many of the activities; Tony Baker, of CNPS, for donating the plants and providing his expertise; and, Charles Ferraro, of the Sunset Rotary Club, for gathering a large number of volunteers and doing much of the hands-on work himself. She indicated that all of the plants are all in and doing well, and thanked everyone involved for their participation, adding that more volunteers will be needed as time passes to assist with maintenance activities.

Mayor Wolowicz indicated that on a recent site visit to PVIC he saw Mr. Baker and Ms. Sattler working very hard in the native plant garden long before the other volunteers arrived that morning, saying that a great deal of labor was involved in preparing and planting of the garden, and that Mr. Baker and Ms. Sattler are very fine examples of community volunteers. He indicated that future volunteer dates would be announced soon for those interested in assisting with ongoing maintenance of the native garden.

Marcella Low, Public Affairs Manager for the Southern California Gas Company, announced that natural gas prices had increased nationwide, saying that customers would likely be seeing a 45 to 55 percent increase in their gas bills as a result. She noted the Gas Company’s commitment to delivering safe and reliable natural gas and indicated that in partnership with the City and RPV Channel 33, the Gas Company would soon be airing some public service information and energy efficiency tips to help residents offset these price increases.




Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru informed the public that items previously discussed and continued to a future meeting are available on the City’s website at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.



The following five items were previously removed from the Consent Calendar to be addressed following Public Hearing Item No. 20, Forrestal Nature Preserve - Trails Repair Project, to allow for a four-fifths (4/5) vote upon Mayor Pro Tem Long’s arrival:

1. Repair of the Tarapaca Storm Drain

2. Interim Improvements to Barkentine/Seacove and Other Miscellaneous Drainage Improvements

3. Repair of Four Storm Drains

4. Pontevedra Storm Drain Emergency Repairs

12. Extension of the Temporary 60-day Moratorium Established on the Landslide Moratorium Area Outlined in Blue (a portion of the Seaview Tract)

In addition to the items removed from the Consent Calendar as part of the Approval of Agenda, Councilman Clark requested that Item No. 13, Resolution Authorizing Acceptance of Portuguese Bend and Agua Amarga Canyon Properties, also be removed from the Consent Calendar for comment.

Mayor Wolowicz requested that Item No. 14, Contract for Professional Services, be removed for questions.

Motion to Waive Full Reading

Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Council Members after the reading of the title.

Southern California Gas Company Franchise Renewal (605)


Revisions to the Purchasing Ordinance (602)


Point of Sale Software (602)

1) Authorized Staff to purchase point of sale software and hardware from Cougar Mountain at a cost not to exceed $8,039; and, 2) Authorized the Director of Finance and Information Technology to execute the attached Software Assurance Agreement between the City and Cougar Mountain for warranty of software and support.

Amendments to the Competitive Service and Management Personnel Rules – Medical Examination Procedures (1202)


Annual Agreement Renewal for Non-Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services – 2006 (1301)

1) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute one-year non-exclusive commercial refuse collection and disposal services agreements with Advanced Waste Systems, Inc.; BFI Waste Systems of North America, Inc.; California Waste Services; CalMet Services, Inc.; Consolidated Disposal Service, LLC; Easy Roll Off Services; EDCO Disposal Corporation; JJK Roll-Offs, Inc.; Pizzo Masonry dba DP Rolloff Service; S & H Disposal Company; United Pacific Waste & Recycling Services; Universal Waste Systems, Inc.; and USA Waste of California dba Waste Management; and, West Coast Waste & Roll Off Service; 2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2005-135, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES LIMITING THE NUMBER OF HAULERS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE SOLID WASTE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING SERVICES FROM COMMERCIAL PREMISES AND ROLL OFF SERVICES TO RESIDENTIAL PREMISES IN THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES IN CALENDAR YEAR 2006.

Resolution Authorizing the Acceptance of the Portuguese Bend and Agua Amarga Canyon Properties in Connection with Creation of a 1200-acre Nature Preserve Under Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) Subarea Plan (103 x 950)

Removed and discussed immediately following approval of the Consent Calendar.

Contract for Professional Services (1404 x 1204)

Removed and discussed immediately following approval of the Consent Calendar.

Approve Design/Professional Services Contract for Arterial Rehabilitation Program (Overlay Hawthorne Boulevard from Silver Spur Road to City Limit, Southbound Palos Verdes Drive West from City Limit to Hawthorne Boulevard, and a short segment of northbound Palos Verdes Drive West from 400 feet south of Golden Cove Shopping Center to Hawthorne Boulevard. Slurry Seal Palos Verdes Drive South Westbound from Schooner Drive to 1,340 feet West of Schooner Drive {West End of Median} and Palos Verdes Drive South Westbound from 100 Feet East of Narcissa Drive to 400 Feet South of Golden Cove Shopping Center) (1404 x 1204)

Awarded a professional service contract to Willdan for services related to the City’s Arterial Rehabilitation Program; and, 2) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a professional services agreement contract with Willdan for a not to exceed amount of $63,700 and authorized the expenditure of up to an additional $6,370 for a total authorization of $70,070.

Claim Against the City by John Garcia (303)

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Register of Demands


Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, as amended, with Items No. 13 and No. 14 removed for further discussion.

The motion to approve the Consent Calendar as amended carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Clark, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSENT: Long, Stern


Resolution Authorizing the Acceptance of the Portuguese Bend and Agua Amarga Canyon Properties in Connection with Creation of a 1,200-acre Nature Preserve Under Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) Subarea Plan (103 x 950)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru indicated that there was one request to speak on this item.

Barbara Dye, representing the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy (PVPLC), stated she was pleased to announce that the acquisition of the Portuguese Bend and Agua Amarga Canyon properties is expected to be finalized on December 22nd, noting this means the land will become City property, PVPLC will hold a conservation easement on the property and residents will no longer have to worry about possible future development in Portuguese Bend. She explained that one more major acquisition remains but this recent acquisition represents a huge milestone. She thanked everyone involved for their diligent efforts.

Councilman Clark remarked that the acquisition of these two properties signifies four-fifths of the realization of the City’s dream of creating a 1,200-acre nature preserve in the City, which will protect the quality of life on the Peninsula for this generation and those to come. He stated that through the collaborative work of the Council, City staff, PVPLC and support from the other sister cities on the Peninsula; a tremendous milestone has been achieved. He expressed gratitude to all who participated to make the preservation of this open space a reality, saying that this is truly an example of what sets Rancho Palos Verdes apart from other communities.

Councilman Gardiner requested an estimate of the percentage of funds contributed by area residents, noting their generosity was key in making this happen.

Ms. Dye answered that the total purchase price was $17.5 million; with $10 million coming from the Wildlife Conservation Board, $1.5 million from the California Coastal Conservancy, $1 million from Los Angeles County via Supervisor Don Knabe, $387,000 from the City; and, $4 million was raised by the PVPLC, with more than a thousand community members donating funds. She noted that all of the funds coming from the public agencies were from tax dollars paid by community members on bond measures.


The item passed on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSENT: Long, Stern

Contract for Professional Services (1404 x 1204)

Mayor Wolowicz requested a brief explanation regarding the necessity of this item.

Interim Director Holland explained that many events occurred in recent months that have impacted the workload of the Public Works Department. He noted that the storms in early 2005 caused accelerated movement in the landslide area, requiring additional analysis; that four emergency storm drain projects have severely impacted staffing levels; and, that recruitment is currently underway to fill the vacant senior engineer position left open following former Director Allison’s resignation. He concluded that the increased workload required to deal with these myriad situations is continuing into the current year, creating staffing needs beyond what was anticipated when the budget was developed.

Councilman Clark commented that the Terranea resort hotel will have a potentially a dramatic increase in traffic on Palos Verdes Drive South (PVDS), which is one of the City’s main arteries; that he hopes the impact of this construction has been taken into consideration and that the developer will be required to compensate the City for continued maintenance of PVDS based on the amount of traffic associated with that construction. He recalled that one of the conditions for the Trump National Golf Course was to totally rebuild PVDS near the property, saying that it would be prudent to impose similar conditions on Terranea.

Interim Director Holland responded that another item on the agenda deals with overlay for the City’s arterials, noting that staff excluded the portion on the eastbound side of PVDS in front of the Terrenea property in anticipation of exactly the concerns expressed by Councilman Clark.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2005-138, RESOLUTION NO. 2005-139, AND RESOLUTION NO. 2005-140, RESOLUTIONS OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2005-53, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005-06 FOR BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS TO THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND AND STREET MAINTENANCE-PAVEMENT AND PROP C FUNDS; 2) Award a contract for Professional Services to Charles Abbott and Associates to include $45,000 for City Engineering Services, $14,000 for Portuguese Bend Roadway Maintenance Inspection Services and $47,400 for GPS Monitoring Services; 3) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the above contract for Professional Services with Charles Abbott Associates, Inc.; 4) Authorize staff to negotiate one or more contract(s) for additional Professional Services with one or more of the following firms: Charles Abbott Associates, Inc.; Harris and Associates; Willdan; or, CBM Consulting for an amount not to exceed $90,000 in total; and, 5) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute one or more contract(s) for Professional Services with one or more of the following firms: Charles Abbott Associates, Inc.; Harris and Associates; Willdan; or, CBM Consulting for an amount not to exceed $90,000 in total.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Clark, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSENT: Long, Stern

# # # # # #


Consideration of Adoption of a Resolution of Necessity for the Acquisition in Eminent Domain of Real Property Interests in APN 7573-004-026, located at 6359 Tarragon Road, in Connection with the Emergency Construction, Repair and Maintenance of Drainage Improvements [Continued from December 6, 2005]. (103 x 950 x 604)

As part of the Approval of Agenda, this item was taken out of order and discussed prior to City Council Oral Reports.

Trump National Golf Club - Revision "Y" - Request for Temporary Opening of the Golf Course and Driving Range [Continued from December 6, 2005] (1411)

Deputy Planning Director Pfost provided a summary staff report.

Councilman Clark inquired if Council can interpret from the staff report that the inclinometer in question is not defective and there is movement occurring; but that this movement is so slight that it does not represent a public safety concern.

Stan Helenschmidt, Cotton Shires and Associates, the City’s geotechnical consultant, indicated that his firm has reviewed the data on Inclinometer SI-5A located at the rear of Landslide A and seaward of the driving range near Hole Nos. 10 and 11. He stated that, although the movement they detected was very slight, they also noticed a displacement immediately following the recent winter storms and while it was very minute, it represents the most significant displacement occurring on that inclinometer at a depth coinciding with the ruptured surface of the landslide. He noted that it occurred sometime between November 2004 and May 2005. He stated, while they do not believe that movement is cause for alarm or presents a concern for public safety, they do believe the prudent and responsible course of action would be to perform more frequent monitoring of that inclinometer until the movement slows down, stops, or, in the event some acceleration of movement is detected, see that appropriate action is taken.

Councilman Clark queried if staff would recommend immediately closing the golf course if more significant movement is detected.

Mr. Helenschmidt answered that closure of the course may not necessarily be required. He explained that the first step, if significant acceleration were detected, would be to map the area around the slide to determine whether other distress features are present on the margins indicating the existence of a displacement. He further explained that an inclinometer is usually so sensitive that the first thing detected would be a displacement, saying that typical causes for alarm would be if that displacement can be associated with other distress features such as cracking, ground fissures, et cetera or if a significant change of displacement occurs suddenly.

Councilman Clark requested clarification of staff’s finding that Planning’s review of the final as-built and site inspection is substantially in compliance with the exception of the height of some of the features of the golf course.

Deputy Director Pfost reported that staff discovered that Waterfall No. 1 and the back tees on Hole No. 2 were built higher than originally approved, saying that the developer has submitted an amendment to the CUP to address these issues, which staff will evaluate and bring back to Council.

Mayor Wolowicz requested additional information on the actual height overages and a response to some comments from residents that shrubbery is blocking views.

Deputy Director Pfost indicated that the top of the rock for the waterfall is approximately one to three feet higher and the back tee for Hole No. 2 is approximately eight feet taller than approved. He further indicated that some shrubs planted inside the back tee for Hole No. 2 are actually higher than the back tees themselves and that, in response to a resident’s comment, staff is including the height of those shrubs as part of the analysis.

Councilman Clark queried if that is the issue staff is referring to in its comments regarding “minor landscape improvements” on Item No. 6 in the staff report.

Deputy Director Pfost answered that it is more related to maintenance issues. He noted that some of the plants hydro seeded along Palos Verdes Drive South near the bike rest stop as well as adjacent to the new intersection at Palos Verdes Drive East have not taken so those areas will need to be replanted. In addition, he noted that the Sea Cliff Hills Homeowners Association has informed staff that some of the irrigation along the roadway is possibly over spraying and leaving the walking paths wet.

Councilman Clark inquired if staff has a sense of how much time it will take the Coastal Commission to approve the temporary opening of the golf course if Council decides to authorize it at this evening.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost responded that is difficult to say, noting that City staff spoke with Coastal Commission staff the previous week and, although it appears they understand the urgency of the developer’s need to open the golf course, they have a specified plan of action, including a thorough review of certain legal documents, which may take some time.

City Attorney Lynch stated that staff had suggested some things that might enable the Coastal Commission to move ahead more quickly, saying that a couple of their staff members indicated that they need to review some of the underlying documents before they felt comfortable with proceeding.

In answer to a question from Councilman Clark, Deputy Planning Director Pfost noted his understanding that the Coastal Commission staff is actually working towards full compliance with their conditions, which would allow for a permanent opening, adding that in conversation with them he was advised that a temporary opening request would have to go back to the full Coastal Commission for approval.

Councilman Gardiner recalled discussion from a recent meeting that the reading from a measuring device which had detected land movement was actually from several years earlier and it was concluded that no movement had in fact occurred in the last two to three years.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost stated that was the developer’s geologist’s contention at the November 1, 2005 meeting, noting that the City’s geologist was not present at that meeting. He reported that, in a subsequent discussion, the City’s geologist indicated there had been movement in the last six months, and concluding that this issue remains a point of disagreement between the two geologists.

Councilman Gardiner restated his recollection that at the December 6, 2005 meeting, a conclusion was reached that the inclinometer had not registered any movement in the last few years.

City Manager Evans stated that without the benefit of the City’s consultant in attendance at the previous meeting, staff did concede that the developer’s geologist was right, but noted that after discussion with the City’s geologist subsequent to that meeting, staff no longer believes that to be the case.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if SI-5A is the same inclinometer discussed previously.

Mr. Helenschmidt answered that SI-5A was the inclinometer being discussed.

Councilman Gardiner queried what readings were reviewed, when they were taken, and how much movement was detected which now made staff believe that the inclinometer moved more recently.

Mr. Helenschmidt reported that the inclinometer has been monitored consistently since the failure of Landslide C in 1999, but that different instruments and different operators have been used to take the readings during that time. He explained that displacement was observed most recently in readings taken between November 2004 and May 2005 and that the movement amounted to probably less than one-tenth of an inch.

Councilman Gardiner clarified that the .025 movement previously discussed was not observed.

Mr. Helenschmidt reported that as part of CSA’s review, the raw field data going back to the beginning of Converse Consultant’s monitoring of the inclinometer was requested, saying that a significant portion of that data was missing, so CSA used a set of their own initial readings from 2000 and plotted them against the most recent readings. He explained that there is some difficulty in making correlations when using two different inclinometer probes casing because of electronic drift, et cetera, but that the cumulative displacement at the top of the casing compared with the old readings indicate there could have been as much as a quarter to a half inch of movement over a six-year period. He stated that they are unable to determine exactly when that movement occurred, noting that there is also displacement at the lower portion of the casing, which could be contributed to settlement as the developer’s consultant has indicated.

Councilman Gardiner inquired as to how much instrument and operator error is involved and whether less than one-tenth of an inch in six months would be characterized as a cause for concern.

Mr. Helenschmidt answered that less than one-tenth of an inch over six months is not worrisome whereas progressive readings indicating that movement is accelerating would be cause for concern. He reported that in CSA’s opinion the movement is likely related to the rise in ground water after the heavy rains of the previous winter, saying that he would expect the movement to stop or significantly slow down as those water levels diminish.

Councilman Gardiner queried if staff knew of any reason from a geotechnical standpoint that the City should not authorize the temporary opening of the golf course.

Mr. Helenschmidt answered that he could see none.

Mayor Wolowicz, noting CSA’s report cited that only 5 of 17 inclinometers were operational and currently being monitored, requested some history of those inclinometers as far as what has been observed in the past and what appears to be happening now.

Mr. Helenschmidt indicated that a condition to monitor ground movement was included in the project CUP due to the presence of the landslides and other issues related to bluff stability along the coastline; that four inclinometers were installed as part of the initial monitoring; that after the landslides in 1999, additional inclinometers were installed around Landslide A and Landslide C to help augment previous monitoring efforts; that many of these inclinometers were installed for construction purposes since that was the most critical time as far as the stability of the area was concerned; and, that several of those inclinometers have been destroyed, some are buried along the bluff top trail, and some are located within Ocean Trails/Founders Park.

Mayor Wolowicz asked if CSA would recommend reinstalling all of the inclinometers.

Mr. Helenschmidt answered that they would not necessarily recommend reinstalling all of them, but that they have requested the developer’s consultant to justify why specific inclinometers are not being reinstalled.

Mayor Wolowicz requested further information about those other inclinometers and what staff expects will transpire.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost advised that the developer currently submits quarterly reports, which include data from ground movement and water monitoring devices. He stated that over the last couple months the developer’s geologist has been working on reinstalling some of the inclinometers in question, noting that, while he is uncertain exactly how many are now working, the City’s geologist is currently reviewing a letter submitted on December 12, 2005 addressing some of the inclinometers that are not operational and what is being done to remedy the situation

Mayor Wolowicz, noting that there are still issues to be resolved, inquired if staff reasonably believes the required items can be addressed within a 90-day period.

Deputy Director Pfost responded that he believes so, noting that, if not, the developer would have to return to Council to request an additional 90-day period to allow the golf course to remain open on a temporary basis.

Mayor Wolowicz expressed concern about Council being faced with successive 90-day extension requests, saying that he would like some assurance that what the developer is being required to do is reasonable and possible to accomplish within that time frame.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that it would be logical to begin the 90-day period once the Coastal Commission has given its approval and, while that is implied in the staff report, he would like to make certain that it is expressed.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that a provision relating to the public trails would need to come before Council after some of the Coastal Commission issues have been worked out. She explained that staff did not want to delay everything else while attempting to resolve this last item with Coastal Commission staff since the developer has worked so diligently to address all of the other details.

Councilman Clark stated that he would like to ascertain that, in the event the temporary opening is approved, all the elements contained in the CUP will remain open for Council’s review until the permanent opening of the course, including the approval of an as-built report.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost reported that there are other conditions of the CUP that relate to the development of the remainder of the project and would follow the opening of the golf course and noted that other conditions ran with the use of the property and would remain open.

Councilman Clark reiterated his concern that all conditions must be met and come back for Council’s final review prior to the permanent opening of the golf course.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost reported that the developer is allowed to open the golf course without further Council approval if they abide by all the conditions of approval.

Councilman Clark queried how Council would be apprised that the permanent opening has occurred.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost replied that staff could inform Council at the time that occurs.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that he agrees with his colleagues that the Council should have a role in acknowledging the completion of all conditions prior to the permanent opening of the golf course.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if there was some mechanism to reserve the right to Council to declare the final approval.

City Attorney Lynch responded that there is currently no condition giving Council the authority to say whether or not the course can permanently open, noting that such a provision could have been included in the conditions when the project was first approved, but indicated that a new condition could not be imposed at this time. She suggested that, if the developer amends the CUP to address the as-built height issues, Council could provide final approval based on their certification of that issue.

Councilman Clark asked when the overarching conditions of approval for the project were determined.

City Attorney Lynch reported that it occurred in 1993.

Mayor Wolowicz inquired if the disagreement between the two geologists had been turned over to the Geologic Review Board and if that was anticipated to be resolved prior to the sunset of this 90-day period.

Deputy Director Pfost remarked that it is unlikely based on past experience of the operation of geologic peer review panels, noting that it takes the geotechnical consultants a great deal of time to prepare and review all the relevant reports.

Mayor Wolowicz asked if staff anticipates that this particular issue will make an additional period beyond the 90 days necessary.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that the issue regarding Landslide A relates to the location of the geologic setback line for constructing residential or other types of structures, saying that it does not bear on the opening and operation of the golf course.

Deputy Director Pfost advised that the final determination regarding Landslide A does, however, bear on final approval of the driving range. He explained that the golf course and driving range could be segmented out sometime in the future and, if everything was completed for the golf course, but if the driving range’s geology was still outstanding, the applicant might request another temporary opening of the driving range. He noted that the Coastal Commission requires approved geology reports before it will approve the driving range, so it is incumbent on the developer to move quickly to complete the geology related to Landslide A.

Councilman Clark suggested hearing from the applicant.

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that, in addition to the applicant, there was one additional request to speak on this item.

Vincent Stellio, Trump National Golf Course, stated that the majority of issues have been addressed and that approximately 12 of the 14 inclinometers are operational. He explained that some of the suggestions made by Cotton Shires subsequently went to peer review panel where they were determined to be unnecessary, which is why some of the inclinometers have not been repaired. He advised that, in addition to quarterly monitoring of ground water levels, inclinometers, and surface conditions, their geologist has been monitoring the entire site in response to the recent appearance of surface cracks, saying that they will continue to do so if that would satisfy the City’s geologist. He remarked that he began this process in September, knowing that it would take a tremendous amount of time just to reach this point. He stated that he does not believe issues that have spanned six years can necessarily all be resolved in a 90-day period, but he would be willing to provide monthly updates as things move forward if Council approves the temporary opening.

Mr. Stellio reported that they have made a concerted effort to address the habitat and trails issues, saying that staff is very satisfied with the results. He noted that Coastal Commission requires a metes and bounds survey of all of the public trails, saying that this is an extremely time consuming task, and that he has requested that Coastal Commission staff consider allowing the course to be open while that survey is being completed. He concluded by saying that they have worked extremely hard to address the outstanding issues as quickly as possibly, but that the issues with the peer review panel and the additional layer of Coastal Commission requirements has made it very difficult to finalize all aspects of the project.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if Mr. Stellio believes he can complete the remaining items during the 90-day time period.

Mr. Stellio answered that he anticipates completing everything with the exception of receiving the final decision of the peer review plan. He stated that the trails and the park can be finalized in another week; adding that the City’s acceptance of Founders Park and the other open space areas is a component of the project’s Coastal Commission approval, putting it high on the priority list. He indicated that a few additional things may take longer than expected, but he believes they are moving in the right direction and that being allowed to open the course for play while continuing to work on the remaining issues would be greatly appreciated.

Councilman Clark asked about the status of the signage required by the Coastal Commission.

Mr. Stellio indicated that beach access signs with the Coastal Commission’s standard symbol have been ordered and installed. He also stated that the base for the dedication plaque for Founders Park has been installed at the entrance to the park, while the plaque itself is currently being worked on.

Commissioner Clark stated that he believes there might be a requirement for additional signage indicating the presence of a public park at the main entrance to the property and recommended that Mr. Stellio double check with the Coastal Commission to ensure all of its signage conditions are being met.

Mayor Wolowicz asked again if Mr. Stellio was confident that the list of things that need to be completed could be addressed within the 90-day period.

Mr. Stellio reiterated that he anticipates being able to complete everything with the possible exception of the final decision of the peer review panel. He indicated that is a very critical point since some of the as-built plans, the clay cap under the golf course and the water features rely on this determination. He stated that they are submitting the as-built driving range plan to the City’s geologist but if Cotton Shires does not approve it, they will have to take it to peer review panel as well. He commented that they recognized from the beginning that this would be a very complicated project, saying that they have done everything possible to address the issues in a timely manner. He acknowledged that they needed to reach closure on these open items, saying that, otherwise, he will be forced to return to Council every three months to request an extension of the temporary opening. He noted that another delay of six or nine months would mean that the golf course will sit empty while still costing a great deal of money to maintain which will hurt not only the Trump Organization but the City as well by depriving it of the revenue that could be gained from the continued operation of the facility.

Mayor Wolowicz inquired whose responsibility it is to maintain the beach and beach trails.

Deputy Director Pfost answered that there is a condition in the Development Agreement which requires the developer to maintain all open space lots including those the City will accept which encompasses the beach areas out to the mean high tide line.

Mr. Stellio assured Council that they will treat that property as their own, saying that they have dedicated staff whose sole duty it is to maintain the habitats and trails and that they will include the beach areas in their maintenance program. He noted that Deputy Director Pfost had contacted him several times about residents reporting water on the road and trails from the irrigation system in the road median and parkways. He explained that problem stems from the fact that their water meter is tied into a City water and electrical meter, which means that they are unable to install a timing program and are forced to manually turn on each valve. He requested staff’s assistance to resolve the situation, saying that a separate meter would put an end to the soggy trail and wet road as well as produce better vegetation on the hillside because they will have better control of the watering schedule.

Deputy Director Pfost indicated that he would gladly meet with Mr. Stellio to correct the situation.

Councilman Clark inquired if they have plans to provide discounts for local residents.

Mr. Stellio indicated they would be delighted to implement a discounted rate for local residents, as many other courses do, but noted that it is considered to be preferential treatment and that it is prohibited by a Coastal Commission condition. He suggested that perhaps Councilman Clark in his official capacity on the Coastal Commission could speak with his colleagues to determine if it might be possible to amend that condition or obtain some other type of relief.

Chip Zelt, Rancho Palos Verdes, urged Council to vote in favor of the temporary opening. He noted that the Trump Organization is a great neighbor, saying that it has done an excellent job with the public trails and the design and maintenance of the facility. He added that as a golfer he would certainly appreciate some discount being provided to local residents.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2005-141, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, APPROVING ADDENDUM NO. 19 TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT NO. 36 FOR REVISION "Y"; 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2005-142, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING GRADING PERMIT NO. 1541 FOR REVISION "Y"; 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2005-143, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, 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 as amended to state that the temporary opening shall begin after the outstanding California Coastal Commission conditions have been satisfied; and, 4) Continue 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 the resolution accepting said public trail easements to January 17, 2006.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Clark, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSENT: Long, Stern

Councilman Clark complimented the Trump Organization on its overall progress on the project, noting that it is turning into a beautiful asset to both the developer and the community.

Mayor Wolowicz inquired if his colleagues believed it would be appropriate to direct that periodic reports be provided to Council as the developer completed the remaining conditions of approval.

Councilman Clark said that he did not find that necessary during the 90 days, noting his concern is that Council be kept abreast of the total set of conditions required for the final and permanent opening of the golf course and driving range.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that staff provide periodic exceptions reports to Council in the event problems occur.

Mayor Wolowicz declared the Public Hearing to be closed.

Recess and Reconvene:

Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 9:07 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 9:17 p.m.

Forrestal Nature Preserve – Trails Repair Project (1201)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru advised Council that written protests were received and were included in the distribution of late correspondence and that there were three requests to speak on the item.

Mayor Wolowicz requested staff to comment briefly on why a timing issue limited the ability of contractors to respond to the Request for Proposals (RFP) on this project.

Director Rojas responded that, in order to complete the trail repairs without impacting the California Gnatcatcher, the RFP specified that the projects had to occur before February 15th, noting that the five vendors who initially made inquiries did not believe they could complete the work within that time constraint.

Mayor Wolowicz, noting that some storm damage repairs had been done but were not fully completed, inquired if the extent of damage could be exacerbated and ultimately increase the cost should there be an ongoing deferral of work.

Senior Planner Mihranian responded affirmatively.

Mayor Wolowicz asked what the likely incremental and aggregate costs would be if an effort was made to address all the trails rather than only the two staff is recommending.

Senior Planner Mihranian answered that four trail repairs are eligible for FEMA funding and subtracting those from the overall list of ten would leave six projects with a total estimated cost of approximately $20,500. He noted that this estimate was on the high end and might be adjusted downward depending on the availability of volunteers to do some of the work.

Mayor Wolowicz commented that one of his greatest concerns is being penny wise and pound-foolish. He requested a summary of the two public meetings held to discuss the repair work and the extent of public participation at those meetings.

Senior Planner Mihranian indicated that two public meetings were held on June 8th and July 20th; that notice of those meetings was posted in three separate locations and sent by email to list serve subscribers; that the agendas for those meetings indicated that the trail repair project list was being considered by the Forrestal Advisory Board; and, that there was no public participation at either meeting.

Mayor Wolowicz underscored that those meetings were duly noticed and provided an opportunity for concerned individuals to participate and discuss their issues with the advisory board and the PVP Land Conservancy. He remarked that several rather extensive and detailed letters were received by Council prior to this evening’s meeting and inquired if the Advisory Board members or the PVPLC had received those letters or been apprised of the concerns expressed therein at either of their previous meetings.

Senior Planner Mihranian noted that the Forrestal Advisory Board was not aware of any of these comments at the time the trails repair project list was being considered.

Mayor Wolowicz declared that he found it very disturbing that instead of participating in the public hearings and working to resolve issues early in the process, certain individuals prefer to ignore that opportunity and bring these matters directly to Council.

Mayor Wolowicz declared the Public Hearing open.

Barbara Dye, representing the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, briefly recapped matters by noting that the Forrestal Management Plan was adopted by the Council in March; that the joint City/Land Conservancy Forrestal Steering Committee was dissolved at that time and an advisory board was appointed comprised exclusively of community members who provided a wide range of viewpoints but did not represent specific organizations; that the board members include Barry Bonickson, Sierra Club walk leader; Jess Morton, well known local environmentalist; Kurt Loheit, trail expert; Troy Braswell, founder of CORBA PV - an off road bicyclist group; Dick Bara, from the Palos Verdes Horsemen’s Association; Bob Mucha, of the Ladera Linda neighborhood association; John Nieto, from the PVIC Docents’ education program, and, Allen Francis, board liaison; and, that at Council’s direction, this advisory board compiled a project list of trail-related projects proposed to be addressed in the coming year.

Ms. Dye indicated that Council is currently being requested to take three actions: 1) approve the list of trail projects; 2) approve the mitigated negative declaration on those projects; and, 3) approve contracts for at least the first two projects. She explained that, due to issues with sensitive habitat and the endangered California gnatcatcher, they worked very diligently to complete a comprehensive review, including a full biological report, in a very short period of time. She responded to issues raised in some of the comment letters by noting that, while it would have been preferable to perform the biological survey when all the sensitive plants were in bloom, the actual covered species included in the NCCP can be recognized in the off season; and, that the biological consultant, Dudek & Associates, used a very detailed biological map provided by Angelika Brinkmann-Busi to prepare its report. She clarified that, while that does not mean Ms. Brinkmann-Busi agrees with their conclusions, their goal was to complete a very conservative biological report that would not underestimate the impacts of the proposed projects. She further clarified that they analyzed these impacts not because their intent is to widen entire lengths of the trails but because certain trail areas will need to be widened to accommodate drainage and tread improvements. She concluded that their goal is to manage the trails by improving them, to keep people on the trails, and to eliminate much of the crisscrossing and redundant trails thereby creating much larger blocks of uninterrupted habitat.

Barbara Sattler, representing the South Coast Chapter of California Native Plant Society (CNPS), stated that, due to the sensitive nature of the habitat, they would like: 1) the trail map to be revised to depict actual point-to-point trails rather than the current hypothetical trail routings; 2) a table accounting for the acreage set aside to mitigate the impacts of the project, 3) additional mitigation provided for impacts to specific sensitive plant species, and, 4) propagation of those sensitive plants species for restoration in the Forrestal Preserve. She reminded Council that CEQA dictates that the most preferred method of mitigation is to avoid environmental impacts in the first place.

Ms. Sattler stated that some sensitive plant species are not easily propagated which means destruction of individual plants could equate to considerable losses and should be avoided. She indicated that the CNPS strongly opposes any unnecessary widening of the trails particularly where these plants occur, noting that they do occur on some of the trail segments proposed as part of this project. She reported that one of their primary concerns is the widening of the Pirate Trail, where a number of sensitive species occur, saying that, while they understand there are drainage issues that need to be addressed, they are not certain what is meant by “re-routing it slightly east” and what impacts that might create. She indicated that they are also very concerned about the proposal for the Cristo Que Viento Trail, which is surrounded by one of the most pristine habitat areas in the NCCP preserve and contains a number of sensitive and rare species. She noted that those species have likely flourished in these locations because the trail is very narrow, natural, and lightly used, saying that widening this trail to three feet would create a huge loss. She noted that they are also concerned about a patch of native wildflowers located at the site of the proposed bridge footing for the Mariposa Trail and would like some effort made to ensure that those species are not completely lost. She commented that the proposed widening of the Packsaddle Trail to three-and-a-half to four feet seems unnecessary.

Ms. Sattler indicated that they do not have any major concerns about the work proposed for the Crystal and Red Tail Trails; that they support the work proposed on the Flying Mane Trail as soon as possible and the closure of the redundant trail at the vista point; that they are not convinced of the necessity for a new trail at Intrepid Drive; and, that they would prefer to see the steeper trail design for the Dauntless Trail because it would cause fewer impacts and because many hikers prefer that trail precisely for the challenge created by its steepness.

Councilman Gardiner requested that Ms. Sattler identify which specific projects the CNPS is most concerned about.

Ms. Sattler responded that they are most troubled by the Cristo Que Viento Trail, saying that they are also concerned about the widening of the Packsaddle Trail, which seems unnecessary and will impact coastal sage scrub. She reported that a number of very sensitive and relatively uncommon wildflowers exist along both of these trails.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if staff could find some way to address CNPS’s concerns related to these fairly unique plants.

Senior Planner Mihranian replied that the only solution would be to not move forward with the trail repair projects.

Councilman Gardiner asked what percentage of the trail is really at issue, noting that it is unlikely these plants cover the entire trail length.

Ms. Sattler stated that she could not provide an exact number, but that a large percentage of the trail contains a number of sensitive species. She explained that the Cristo Que Viento Trail is in a prime habitat location because it has been very lightly used and therefore does not have an influx of weeds.

Councilman Gardiner asked staff what percentage of the trail was needed for the proposed erosion and flood control.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that he was unable to estimate a percentage, saying that the entire length of the trail is approximately 1,300 linear feet and that a nominal amount of that, perhaps five to ten percent, is all that will be needed for the repairs.

Councilman Gardiner, remarking that 5 percent amounts to about 65 feet, noted his difficulty in understanding why 65 feet out of 1,300 linear feet would create a problem.

Ms. Sattler stated that she was quite surprised to hear that number. She remarked that no reference to 65 linear feet was made anywhere in the project description or in the consultant’s report, saying that both only mentioned a three-foot increase in trail width.

Senior Planner Mihranian explained that the biological survey was very conservative in estimating the potential impacts, saying that the methodology included a study of 25 feet on either side of the trail for a total project area of 50 feet. He reiterated that the repair area is actually very minimal and that the plan does not anticipate going beyond the existing trail width by more than one to two feet. Therefore, in terms of mitigation, he explained what is reflected in the report applies to a much larger project area than what will actually be constructed.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if Ms. Sattler would be satisfied with a total of 65 feet linear feet of the trail being impacted by the widening.

Ms. Sattler remarked that she would prefer to see the actual plan, reiterating that 65 feet was not mentioned previously and noted that the extent of the impact depends on the precise physical location. She said that she would prefer to see a biological survey identifying the locations of sensitive species performed in the spring with those species then being avoided, saying that she has legitimate concerns with the vague trail project description as presented.

Councilman Gardiner asked if staff could allay Ms. Sattler’s concerns by providing a better project description.

Senior Planner Mihranian said that he would defer the question to the advisory board’s trail expert, Kurt Loheit.

Mayor Wolowicz commented that it seems to him that everyone would embrace the installation of these water erosion control devices.

Ms. Sattler responded that they are not opposed to controlling erosion, but they are concerned about widening trails beyond what is needed which is a separate issue.

Kurt Loheit, Forrestal advisory board, reported that there have been several minor assessments of the trails related to alignment, erosion and stability. He agreed that a comprehensive plan is still needed to address mitigation issues, noting that what is currently being presented represents an initial step in that process. He stated that he has indicated on multiple occasions that his goal is not to widen the trails but that it may be necessary to shift certain areas slightly to one side or the other to accommodate the erosion control devices. He said that steps must be taken to mitigate existing problems, saying that the whole idea behind studying a larger study area around the trails is to determine the potential impacts to a much wider section than will ultimately be used.

Noting that the project appears to be still at the conceptual stage, Councilman Gardiner indicated that he found it extremely difficult to address the issues raised without a more detailed plan. He questioned exactly what Council is being requested to authorize.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that staff is asking Council to approve the ten proposed trail repair projects. He explained that the potential impacts were considered quite broadly, with the actual impacts expected to be much less severe.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that, in terms of environmental impacts and mitigation, Council was being asked to approve a worst-case scenario.

Councilman Gardiner maintained that it is unclear exactly what is involved in the proposed repairs, reiterating that without that information Council cannot adequately address the concerns being voiced by the CNPS

Mayor Wolowicz declared that Council hired the PVP Land Conservancy to manage the public trails in the Forrestal Preserve; that public meetings were held to address various concerns; and, that CNPS and the Sierra Club, while they have sent very detailed letters to Council, failed to participate in those meetings to discuss and resolve their concerns at that level. He pointed to the City’s slurry seal program as an analogy, asking if Council should become involved in every little detail, i.e., whether the slurry seal goes over the curb, whether it impacts someone’s driveway, or whether it is three inches thick in one place and four in another, opining that this is not Council’s job and that Council’s job is to trust its advisors which in this instance are the City staff and the PVP Land Conservancy.

Councilman Gardiner offered another comparison, saying that the City could not apply the same level of inaccuracy to its slurry seal program as is being applied to this trail repair project without upsetting a lot of residents. He indicated that in this instance there is a trail; that a worst-case analysis has been provided for that trail which allows for a certain amount of area to be used on either side of the trail to complete the repairs; and, that individuals with expertise in native plant shave expressed concern because there are very rare plants located within this potential construction zone. He opined that a very simple question is being asked and Council should be provided with enough information to be able to answer the question.

Mayor Wolowicz remarked that the “Reserve Management” section of the plan encompasses habitat management and is one of the reasons the Land Conservancy was retained to assist the City with the management of the Forrestal Preserve.

Councilman Gardiner maintained that he would have no problem if a statement could be made indicating no more than 100 feet of the 1,300-foot trail would be disturbed.

Ms. Dye explained that the trail repairs are designed in the field, saying that a more detailed plan of each individual repair could be provided using GPS mapping, but that this effort would take another year to complete. She noted that the general principals they are trying to achieve are good drainage control, making certain the trails are safe, and minimizing the impacts to habitat.

Councilman Gardiner, noting the statement that a year would be necessary to provide a detailed plan, queried if it would be possible for staff and Ms. Sattler to walk the 1,300-foot trail in order to determine exactly where drainage improvements are needed and where they are in relation to the sensitive plants in question. He opined that this could probably be done in an afternoon and the matter could be put to rest.

Mr. Loheit indicated that he would prefer not to be bound by the scenario described by Councilman Gardiner, saying that, while he could point out where the key elements to stabilize the trail are needed, allowances for certain variances encountered during construction would still have to be taken into consideration. He explained that the process typically used by the California State Parks system for trail development is to first identify a corridor in an open piece of land where the trail will be built. He noted that the corridor is usually 25 to 50 feet wide, which allows for the identification of all potential impacts and, once those impacts have been identified and mitigated, provide enough room to accommodate work on the trail. He explained that trail construction is very dynamic, requiring site decisions and judgments to respond to grades and sub grades. He noted that the process begins wide and ends narrow because if things start narrow and need to be widened, the whole process must start over again. He emphasized that trails are built to enhance the environment not destroy it.

Councilman Clark commented that he would be comfortable proceeding as long as the proper experts, the CNPS, the PVP Land Conservancy, California Conservation Corps and staff, have the ability to interact continuously throughout the trail repair process.

Councilman Gardiner voiced support for that approach.

Mayor Wolowicz asked Ms. Sattler to explain why CNPS’s comments were not delivered to the advisory group and/or the Land Conservancy when meetings on this subject were previously held.

Ms. Sattler stated that certain issues are involved which she would prefer not to discuss at this time. She explained that CNPS was aware that trails were going to be improved on the property for drainage and erosion control, saying that, although she was somewhat familiar with the general construction plans as a former Forrestal Steering Committee member, no detailed plans were ever provided, therefore the CNPS was quite surprised to see the Dudek & Associates report indicating the trail would be dramatically widened which was very different from what they understood Council had approved in March 2005.

Mayor Wolowicz requested staff to comment on the meeting process.

Councilman Clark requested staff comment on the purported change in trail width.

Senior Planner Mihranian responded that the trail descriptions were basically derived from the Trail Status Report contained in the Forrestal Management Plan.

Director Rojas indicated that early discussions of the trails were much broader, saying that they were subsequently refined with the Forrestal Management Plan at the advisory committee level.

Councilman Clark redirected the discussion to staff’s request that Council approve a mitigated negative declaration of the trails repair project and the service agreement with the California Conservation Corps to proceed with the repairs of the Pirate and Flying Mane trails being reimbursed by FEMA. He stated that he would like to proceed with the caveat that staff be directed to have continued interaction with CNPS and the Sierra Club with respect to their concerns on the actual repair of those two trails.

Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, distributed an updated matrix of the City’s Conceptual Trails Plan as proposed to both the Forrestal Steering Committee and the Open Space Planning, and Recreation & Parks Task Force. She pointed out that the Forrestal Management Plan does not address trail widths, noting that the Steering Committee spent a great deal of time discussing who would have access to the trails rather than how wide they should be. She urged Council to approve the negative declaration and allow work to proceed on the trails. She reported that the equestrian community is not happy with the steep sections illustrated in the matrix, saying that it is still in the draft stage and she is awaiting comments from various people including staff. She strongly recommended updating the Trails Network Plan using the information in the Forrestal Management Plan as a foundation for planning the trails in the remainder of the City.

Sunshine asserted that the CNPS argued previously that there should not be a trail on the eastern ridge of Forrestal Canyon because that area contained the most pristine habitat and should not be impacted; that there is no trail proposed there as a result; and, that now they are saying the next ridge over has the most pristine habitat and that area should not be impacted by a trail. She stated that the fact that a trail exists there has already been discussed, noting that she is positive the PVP Land Conservancy will not create a major impact on the habitat by improving that trail, and that she would strongly encourage Council to proceed with the proposed trail repair projects.

Mayor Pro Tem Long joined the meeting in progress at 9:55 P.M.

Mayor Pro Tem Long apologized for his late arrival, noting that he attempted to prepare for this item but, since he was absent for much of the discussion, he would abstain from voting on this item. He remarked that he recently had an opportunity to visit the trails in the Forrestal Preserve and observe some repair work being done, saying that, while it is not directly pertinent to the item under consideration, he was very disturbed to see evidence of vandalism of the trails which he surmised had been carried out by residents who are unhappy and have chosen to impose their own decision on everyone else in spite of the collective decision of the City. He urged anyone learning of or observing vandalism on any of the City’s trails to report that to the City, adding that he is hopeful there will be no future occurrences.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve staff’s recommendation.

Councilman Gardiner offered a friendly amendment to the motion to provide additional funding from the General fund to ensure that all ten projects are accomplished, saying that the City has a responsibility to maintain the trails; that it is a nominal amount, and that the trails will continue to deteriorate unless quick action is taken to address them.

Councilman Clark asked about the status of the FEMA funding.

Senior Planner Mihranian explained that FEMA identified that four of the trails suffered major storm damage in 2005 for which it would provide funding, noting that two of those trails are now being addressed and the other two will go through FEMA’s required bidding process and subsequently return to Council for award of the contract.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he would still like to make a commitment to repair all ten trails and suggested authorizing a not-to-exceed amount and then determining to what degree FEMA funding and volunteer efforts can defray the cost.

Mayor Wolowicz expressed concern about deferring the work and then finding the cost has significantly increased because the repairs were not dealt with in a timely manner.

Councilman Clark stated that he would prefer not to forego the City’s opportunity to receive federal funding in a zealous effort to complete this project quickly. He indicated that he would accept a friendly amendment to his motion if it conveys that the additional two trails FEMA has offered to repair will return to Council with the other six trails as quickly as possible.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if his colleague would accept providing funding for the six trails and deferring decision on the other two.

Councilman Clark accepted that friendly amendment to his motion.

City Attorney Lynch recommended clarifying that the final decision regarding trail design would be made by the PVP Land Conservancy. She explained that, in the event there is a stalemate between CNPS and/or the Sierra Club regarding the trails, the Land Conservancy should have the ultimate authority to make the decision.

Mayor Wolowicz closed the Public Hearing. He commented that he remains very troubled by the fact that two significant groups failed to participate in the process. He asserted that engaging in discussions at that level is essential to maintaining credibility and opined that bypassing the decision-making process by deliberately not participating in meetings each time managerial decisions are at stake and instead bringing those issues directly to the Council is highly inappropriate.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2005-144, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, ADOPTING A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION AND APPROVING THE PROPOSED TRAIL REPAIR PROJECT INVOLVING TEN TRAILS WITHIN THE FORRESTAL NATURE PRESERVE; 2) Authorize the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute a service agreement with the California Conservation Corps in an amount not to exceed $7,700 to repair the Pirate and Flying Mane Trails at the Forrestal Nature Preserve that were damaged by the winter storms and thus covered by FEMA funding; 3) Direct staff to continue to work with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, the California Native Plant Society and the Sierra Club in designing the trail repairs with the final design to be determined by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy; and, 4) Direct staff to return with a budget adjustment to fund the six additional trail projects and to defer the decision on the two remaining trails proposed to be funded by FEMA to a future date.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Clark, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None


Councilman Gardiner suggested proceeding to Part A of the Consent Calendar, which included items requiring a four-fifths (4/5) vote, since Mayor Pro Tem Long was now present at the meeting.

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reminded Council that Consent Calendar Item No’s. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12 were deferred, noting that late correspondence had been distributed on the first four items and there was one request to speak on Item No. 2 (Interim Improvements to Barkentine/Seacove and Other Miscellaneous Drainage Improvements) and also on Item No. 15 (Approve Design/Professional Services Contract for Arterial Rehabilitation Program), which she had inadvertently overlooked earlier.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to reopen Item No. 15. Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered and called for the speaker.

Rudy Maus, Pacific Palisades, stated that as the owner of several properties in Rancho Palos Verdes, he requested 1,000 sand bags be placed in the Barkentine/Seacove area for water control; installation of a traffic signal at PV Drive South and Barkentine Road; and, tree and bush trimming along PV Drive South at Barkentine Road and Clipper Drive near St. Peters By-the-Sea Church.

City Manager Evans indicated that he would arrange a meeting with Mr. Maus to discuss these matters.

Mayor Pro Tem Long recommended placing a warning sign along the section of PV Drive South scheduled to be re-slurried alerting bicyclists to the possibility of variances in the pavement surface.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to approve Consent Calendar Item No’s. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 12.

Repair of the Tarapaca Storm Drain (604 x 1204)

Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on December 21, 2004 to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to repair the Tarapaca Storm Drain.

Interim Improvements to Barkentine/Seacove and Other Miscellaneous Drainage Improvements (604 x 1204)

Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous actions on October 18, 2005 to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to construct interim improvements to Barkentine/Sea Cove and other miscellaneous drainage improvements.

Repair of Four Storm Drains (604 x 1204)

Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on November 15, 2005 to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to repair storm drains on Palos Verdes Drive South, Silver Arrow, Crest Road, and Pontevedra.

Pontevedra Storm Drain Emergency Repairs (604 x 1204)

Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on December 6, 2005 to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to repair the Pontevedra storm drain line.

Extension of the Temporary 60-day Moratorium Established on the Landslide Moratorium Area Outlined in Blue (a portion of the Seaview Tract) (1801 x 1203)


The motion to approve Consent Calendar Item Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 12 carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None

PUBLIC HEARINGS (continued):

Consideration of Adoption of a Resolution of Necessity for the Acquisition in Eminent Domain of Real Property Interests in APN 7573-004-026, located at 6359 Tarragon Road, in Connection with the Emergency Construction, Repair and Maintenance of Drainage Improvements [Continued from December 6, 2005] (103 x 950 x 604)

City Attorney Lynch presented the oral staff report.

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that there were no requests to speak on the item.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to 1) Conduct a hearing on the adoption of the proposed Resolution of Necessity, receive from staff the evidence stated and referred to in this Report, take testimony from any person wishing to be heard on this matter; 2) find, based upon the evidence contained in and referred to in this Report and the testimony and comments received in this hearing, that the evidence supports the necessary findings with respect to the Resolution of Necessity; 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2005-145, A RESOLUTION OF NECESSITY OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, DECLARING CERTAIN REAL PROPERTY INTERESTS NECESSARY FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES AND AUTHORIZING THE ACQUISITION THEREOF IN CONNECTION WITH AN EMERGENCY DRAINAGE PROJECT, and authorize City staff and the City Attorney’s office to take all necessary steps to file and prosecute an eminent domain proceeding to acquire the fee simple interest in real property commonly known as 6359 Tarragon Road, identified as Assessor’s Parcel Number 7573-004-026 (referred to hereafter as “Subject Property”). The Subject Property was more fully described in the legal description attached as Exhibit “A” and depicted on the diagram attached as Exhibit “B” to the Resolution of Necessity. Exhibits “A” and “B” were incorporated herein by this reference; and, 4) Authorize the Mayor and City Manager to execute all necessary documents.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Long, Clark, Gardiner, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None


Mayor Wolowicz declared that he views City Council Oral Reports as a valuable part of the agenda since Council members devote a great deal of time to a variety of tasks and it is important for the public to understand where some of that time is spent; and, secondly, because there are times when it is in the public interest to know and understand the types of discussions that lead to some of Council’s decisions.

Mayor Pro Tem Long noted that it had been two months since City Council Oral Reports had been presented and that he did not bring his notes but remembered a couple recent items of importance. One was his visit to the Forrestal Preserve where 100 volunteers organized by CORBA PV and supported by the PVP Land Conservancy where planting, removing metal fencing, and working on a number of trails. He thanked them all on behalf of the City for their dedication and hard work. Second, was a meeting with the Director of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute near the Harbor UCLA Hospital. He reported that a great deal of very interesting things are going on there, including a computerized method of training cardiologists to recognize a variety of problems and complications; a long-term study of HIV patients who have not developed AIDS to find clues that might result in new treatments for the disease; and, research on new classes of antibiotics, which have largely been overlooked by the pharmaceutical industry in recent years. He reported that the facility is in need of additional funding and urged anyone interested in making a charitable donation to consider lending their support to this worthwhile institution.

Councilman Gardiner reported that RPV Channel 33 is currently broadcasting in a test mode with programming scheduled in half-hour segments from approximately 6:00 a.m. until midnight. He thanked Ms. Holt and Director McLean and his staff for their efforts to get the cable channel up and running. He indicated that a program guide would soon be published; that calls regarding sponsorships are coming in; that several interns have expressed an interest in helping out; and, that the City is very close to having a fully operational educational access cable channel.

Councilman Clark reported on the last Coastal Commission meeting, indicating that a diverse array of issues came before that body. He summarized a few of the topics presented which he believes are of interest to members of the community as follows: the Montrose Mitigation Plan to address DDT off the Palos Verdes coastline; the continued funding of a ten-year program to reintroduce bald eagles to Catalina Island; the prospect of building potentially 10 to 20 desalinization plants on the California coast to enhance water efficiency and conservation efforts; and, the effects of acoustic pollution on marine mammals. He stated that an important future item for consideration by the Coastal Commission is the potential siting of an LNG plant at the Port of Los Angeles. He indicated that a briefing disclosed significant risks associated with that plan, adding that it is scheduled to come back to the Coastal Commission in 2006 as part of the Port of Long Beach Master Plan Amendment and that he will keep the community apprised of any updated information.

Mayor Wolowicz reported that he attended the following meetings and events:
 October 19th - Chamber of Commerce mixer in Torrance where the new COG South Bay Energy Center was discussed; adding that former Mayor Marilyn Lyon would be providing a presentation to Council regarding energy saving devices;
 October 20th - PV Transit Authority where he was selected as the new Chairman;
 October 20th - PV Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award banquet with Mayor Pro Tem Long;
 October 24th - Residential Development Standards Committee, noting the hard work of the Planning Commission and other City leaders thoroughly examining the City’s development standards has brought the completion of their charter much closer to being realized;
 October 27th - South Bay Council of Governments meeting;
 October 28th - the annual Mayors’ Luncheon co-sponsored by the PV Chamber of Commerce and the PV Rotary Club;
 October 29th - observed the RPV CERT drills, noting the City and its residents owe a debt of gratitude to those individuals who have volunteered to serve as first responders in the event of a serious emergency and encouraging others who are interested to participate;
 October 29th - Mediterrania Homeowners block party, noting that Council member attendance at homeowners association events is an excellent way for members of the community to get to know their elected representatives and present opinions regarding items they believe Council should address;
 October 30th – attended the first in a series of walking tours of the coastline below Trump National Golf Course;
 November 9th - attended the swearing in of his colleague Larry Clark as a member of the Coastal Commission as well as a farewell luncheon for Lieutenant John Herrera at the Lomita Sheriff’s Station;
 November 10th - the Palos Verdes Peninsula Regional Law Enforcement Committee meeting where the City’s new traffic deputy was discussed and a presentation on traffic-monitoring cameras at intersections was provided. He stated that he requested a presentation of these traffic-monitoring devices to the City’s Traffic Safety Commission;
 November 14th - Residential Development Standards Committee meeting;
 November 16th - Mayors’ Luncheon where interest was expressed by the other cities in sharing a traffic deputy and their participation in funding for the PVIC was discussed;
 November 16th - RPV Council of Homeowners Association annual holiday party;
 November 17th - lunch with Interim Public Works Director Ray Holland;
 November 17th – met with Councilman Gardiner and Mr. Carmiel Cohen regarding negotiations for the property necessary to perform the McCarrell Canyon drainage repair work;
 November 17th - South Bay Council of Governments meeting;
 November 21st - special City Council meeting regarding the McCarrell Canyon property;
 November 28th - lunch with Director McLean and Deputy Director Downs of the Finance Department to discuss purchasing policy changes;
 December 1st - attended the Palos Verdes Estates holiday reception;
 December 2nd - met with Marcella Low of the Southern California Gas Company to discuss the proposed franchise agreement;
 December 3rd - Rolling Hills Estates annual holiday parade;
 December 5th - joined the ad hoc committee to do some fund raising for PVIC; December 12th - the Rolling Hills holiday party and the Residential Standards Steering Committee meeting;
 December 13th - met with Mayor Pro Tem Long and Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru regarding City Council meeting agenda planning;
 December 13th - a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and Traffic Safety Commission regarding Marymount College;
 December 15th - met with the PVIC docents regarding their fund-raising campaign;
 December 15th - the regional Chamber of Commerce holiday reception and the South San Pedro YMCA holiday party; and,
 December 20th - the PV Transit Authority to discuss the relocation of bus parking.


Application to the Annenberg Foundation for Planning Grant Funds (602 x 1203)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that late correspondence on this item was received and distributed to Council and that there were two requests to speak.

Councilman Gardiner moved to waive the staff report and hear from the speakers.

Barbara Dye, representing PVP Land Conservancy, explained that the Annenberg Foundation’s generous donation was being put forward as a challenge grant in conjunction with the community campaign to preserve Portuguese Bend. She stated that the Foundation recently moved to the West Coast and has become the number one philanthropic agency in Los Angeles County in the last three years. She reported that the Foundation is broadening its areas of interest to include environmental and quality of life issues; that it donated a $1 million grant to the Catalina Island Land Conservancy; and, that it has become involved in land conservation efforts on the Peninsula. She noted that this grant would provide a wonderful opportunity to expand the planning for the preserve, saying that the Land Conservancy is interested in Council’s thoughts on having a joint City Council/PVPLC subcommittee to work on putting together the grant application to the Annenberg Foundation to fund the study that would include the NCCP and the City’s coastal open space areas.

Mayor Wolowicz complimented Ms. Dye on bringing the Annenberg Foundation to the City’s attention, noting that it offers a tremendous opportunity to continue forward with a planning effort that could prove extremely beneficial to the entire community.

Ms. Dye reported that Council members Clark and Stern deserve much of the credit for bringing the Annenberg Foundation on board.

Vic Quirarte, President of Los Serenos de Point Vicente, reported that the docent board unanimously supports this concept and urges Council to approve the grant application.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to authorize staff to coordinate with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC) and prepare a joint City/PVPLC grant application for future City Council review and approval to the Annenberg Foundation for funding of a public use planning study that would cover the NCCP Preserve and the coastal open space areas.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Recess and Reconvene:

Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 10:58 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 11:03 p.m.

Amended Management Agreement between the City and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC) (1203 x 1201)

Councilman Gardiner, recognizing that being inclusive and efficient often works in opposite directions, urged the PVP Land Conservancy to follow the Council’s lead in being as inclusive as possible of the myriad of interested stakeholders. He noted that there are obviously going to be different viewpoints about what should and should not be done in managing the NCCP Preserve, adding that he would strongly advise exercising patience as the process moves forward.

Mayor Wolowicz noted that his colleague’s points are very well made. He inquired how public involvement would be accomplished in the development of the Public Use and Management Plan (PUMP).

Director Rojas explained that the PUMP was basically a larger version of the Forrestal Management Plan and will encompass the entire NCCP Preserve. He commented that because several very controversial issues are at stake and a number of different parties will be involved, before the process is initiated as part of the NCCP, a determination will be made on how best to develop the PUMP in terms of committees and public input and that the approach will then be presented to Council for its review and approval.

Mayor Wolowicz noted that there are some very complex restrictions included in the NCCP and stated that it might to difficult to activate the early adoption of the entire document. He requested that staff briefly comment on how this one component can be done separately from the rest of the NCCP.

Director Rojas stated that staff devised this alternate agreement as a method to get the process started for a very limited amount of time and scope of work while the document is being reviewed and awaiting approval from the resource agencies.

Councilman Gardiner voiced support of the proposed agreement with the PVPLC. He emphasized that the City is moving into uncharted territory, believing that the better policy guidance Council provides at this stage, the better staff and the PVPLC will be able to manage the Preserve. He recommended that the agreement include a feedback mechanism in the event something is inadvertently forgotten or neglected.

Barbara Dye, representing the PVP Land Conservancy, stated that they are looking forward to beginning the biological monitoring and some of the planning required for the targeted removal of exotic plants and restoration of the native habitat. She indicated, however, that the PVPLC is not interested in participating in the development of the PUMP, saying that the Annenberg Foundation would like to assist the City with that process and that it might be able to bring in some independent overseers to enable things to work more efficiently if an agreement is negotiated with them.

Director Rojas explained that the Annenberg Foundation grant provides the potential to fund the hiring of someone to help prepare the PUMP.

Mayor Pro Tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to 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.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Ordinance Regulating Peddling and Massage Establishments in the City (103 x 1801)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that late correspondence on this item was received and distributed to Council and that there were three requests to speak.

City Attorney Lynch presented the oral staff report.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if it would be possible to exempt organizations such as the Girl Scouts or children selling lemonade at a stand outside their homes from this ordinance.

City Attorney Lynch responded that someone selling lemonade in front of their property would not be covered by the ordinance. She indicated that the Girl Scouts would be covered and suggested that the organization’s service unit could apply to the City for a blanket permit covering all Girl Scouts, noting that a provision has been included in the ordinance to exempt 501c(3) organizations from paying permit fees.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if the ordinance would apply to the “snack shacks” located on sports fields that are operated during the games.

City Attorney Lynch answered that the ordinance would not apply if the point of sale were located in a fixed place but would apply if it were portable and moved from field to field.

Mayor Pro Tem Long noted that the definition used to define “peddler” and “peddling” indicates an individual traveling by foot … conveying or transporting goods, wares, merchandise, or food and concurrently offering or exposing the same for sale, saying that his understanding is the Girl Scouts would not be peddlers nor engaged in peddling if someone ordered cookies from them and they returned at a later time to deliver them because they did not have sufficient stock on hand when the order was placed.

City Attorney Lynch agreed that the situation described by Mayor Pro Tem Long is probably not covered unless there is concurrent distribution of the item for sale, noting that the Girl Scouts also engage in sales at supermarkets and would also be covered in that situation. She opined that the organization would be better of obtaining a permit, if, for example, there are 16 various locations throughout the City where cookies are being distributed because distinguishing and exempting certain types of activities could prove very problematic for the City in the long run.

Mayor Wolowicz inquired if the Girl Scouts would automatically be covered by the 501 c(3) exemption.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that the exemption applies specifically to not having to pay the permit fee.

Mayor Pro Tem Long inquired why the ordinance is being expanded so broadly if the primary issue the City is attempting to address is catering trucks.

City Attorney Lynch explained that in her opinion the City is required by law to deal with similar types of businesses in a similar manner.

Mayor Pro Tem Long, using the example of fund-raising organizations that go door-to-door selling items, such as gift wrap, observed that the members often bring exemplars because they cannot bring the volume of goods they might need for sale. He opined that, unlike the Girl Scouts, this type of operation would be covered by the ordinance.

City Attorney Lynch explained that she believes the Girl Scouts would also be covered. She stated that she believes the City is better positioned if it treats everyone the same, noting that issuing a blanket permit to cover all the business activities of a particular service in the area would eliminate the possibility of claims being made that the City is making distinctions based upon a particular type of commercial speech.

Mayor Pro Tem Long asked if the City Attorney would consider rewriting the ordinance to cover the Girl Scouts.

City Attorney Lynch restated her opinion that they already are covered by the ordinance as written.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he fundamentally objects to such broad measures being used to address a very specific problem and inquired why the ordinance cannot be restricted specifically to caterers or that class of businesses, saying that he fears legitimate non-profit activities will be inadvertently impacted.

City Attorney Lynch said that she would research the possibility of exempting organizations that are not concurrently selling goods, but reiterated that the City could place itself on treacherous ground by distinguishing catering trucks from other businesses.

Councilman Gardiner suggested making the distinction between for-profit and non-profit entities.

City Attorney Lynch responded that door-to-door magazine sales are a good example of the type of business where it is difficult to ascertain whether the company actually receiving the money is a non-profit business or not, saying that excluding all 501c(3)’s from the ordinance might be a legitimate distinction.

Mayor Pro Tem Long suggested focusing specifically on motorized vehicles if the real problem is catering trucks.

City Attorney Lynch agreed that might be a possibility.

Mayor Wolowicz requested that the City Attorney investigate whether there is some mechanism to specifically identify catering trucks, saying it appears that the proposed ordinance may negatively impact a number of legitimate community activities in an attempt to address this very specific problem, which could create a much larger problem than the catering trucks themselves in the end.

City Attorney Lynch repeated that an exemption for 501 c(3)’s could be included initially, subject to further determination as the process evolves.

Rose Barlock, Santona Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced support for the proposed ordinance, saying that it will end the chaos her Los Verdes neighborhood has endured for over two years as the result of two catering truck vendors. She reported that the neighborhood organized themselves to combat the problem in September 2005, noting that over 40 residents signed a letter sent to Sheriff’s Captain Zuanich and various City personnel requesting assistance with the problem. She said that she was subsequently introduced to Deputy John Despot who informed her that the Sheriff’s Department estimated that these two vendors earn at least $1,000 a week selling meals at the corner of Granvia Altamira and Monero Drive; that nearly 50 citations had been issued in the past year primarily for violating City traffic codes; and, that the vendors have continued to engage in this illegal activity, considering the fines to be “a cost of doing business.” She concluded by saying that the Los Verdes residents signed a second letter in December 2005, urging the City not to renew the 2006 business licenses for these two vendors because of their many violations of the City’s Municipal Code.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if the City has the authority to set the amount of parking violation fines.

City Attorney Lynch answered that the City does have that authority as long as the fines are reasonably consistent with those in surrounding areas.

Mayor Wolowicz indicated that he resides in the neighborhood in question, which is immediately adjacent to the City of Palos Verdes Estates, and observed that these same trucks parked in PVE for a number of years until that city took action to force them out, at which time they moved into Rancho Palos Verdes. He inquired what that city did to successfully eliminate the problem from its jurisdiction.

Ms. Barlock stated that Palos Verdes Estates strengthened its Municipal Code and made its fines much more stringent, starting with a $250 fine and moving up to a $500 and a $1,000 fine for subsequent violations. She reported that a secondary issue is the fact that the customers of the catering trucks are also violating the parking code.

Councilman Gardiner stated that, if the problem is catering trucks in this neighborhood, rather than implementing a complicated ordinance, he would prefer to paint the curb green and cite the vendors and their customers, adding $50.00 to each of the fines imposed by PVE for repeat offenses, saying that he believes that will eliminate the problem.

Mahima, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported that the situation is not only inconvenient but also compromises the safety of residents and passing motorists by obscuring pedestrians and traffic signs from approaching vehicles.

Larry Barlock, Rancho Palos Verdes, briefly addressed the resultant traffic conditions, noting that pedestrians are darting across Granvia Altamira and Monero Drive and that vehicles are making quick maneuvers in and out of traffic, which compounds the level of activity in the area and causes numerous unsafe conditions. He explained that the area is also a major bicycle route particularly on weekends, saying that U-turns and jaywalking create the very real potential of a pedestrian or cyclist being hit. He said that there are multiple safety issues at stake that Council should take into consideration.

Councilman Clark inquired what action has been taken to review the business licenses of these two vendors who continually ignore and violate the City’s codes.

City Attorney Lynch replied that the City’s current business license ordinance is revenue raising only which is why staff has suggested the business permit approach which would allow the City to revoke the permit of anyone not in compliance with the provisions of either the permit or code. She noted that cities are not permitted by law to revoke business licenses unless they have a regulatory permit provision in place.

Director McLean added that the City is on the verge of issuing business license applications for 2006 and, if Council adopts this urgency ordinance, the vendors being discussed would have to apply for business permits and, once those permits are issued, the City would have an enforcement mechanism to address the resident’s complaints. He agreed the situation could perhaps be dealt with by increasing parking violation fees as suggested but observed that this alternative would involve at least one additional meeting, whereas staff’s proposal would allow immediate enforcement at the beginning of 2006.

Mayor Pro Tem Long said that while it is obviously a serious problem, in many respects it is not truly a matter that requires an urgency ordinance, in that the situation has existed for sometime and that further problems could be created if Council treats it as something that needs an immediate decision rather than exploring all the other viable alternatives. He assumed that time would still be needed to issue and subsequently revoke the business permits in order to remove the trucks from the neighborhood, adding that he would prefer to take more time now to explore significantly increasing parking fines before implementing an ordinance with which he finds a number of flaws. He noted that apparently Palos Verdes Estates used that method and it appears to have been very effective for that city.

Councilman Clark asked how changing the parking restrictions in that area might impact the residents and their ability to park on the streets.

City Attorney Lynch responded that would depend on the actual changes implemented. She reported that a permit parking process was explored, but that the residents on Monero Drive voiced opposition to the concept and staff is concerned that imposing it on Granvia Altamira might result in pushing the problem further into the residential area.

Councilman Clark stated that he remained unconvinced that inhibiting parking and increasing fines would be a perfect solution, saying that it appears the affected residents and staff have worked on this for sometime and while some details might need to be worked out, he was willing to support the recommendation as proposed.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that he could see benefits in both prospects and noted that in the coming year he would be bringing before Council the issue of requiring permits for unlicensed tradesmen working in the city. He stated that his intention is not to raise revenue but to regulate unqualified individuals who might be preying upon the City’s residents. He indicated that he does see merit in licensing peddlers but would like to see an exclusion provided for non-profit organizations, saying that he agrees the most effective and immediate solution appears to be raising parking fines, but he would not object to implementing both ideas if the City Attorney determined no conflict existed.

City Attorney Lynch commented that both options could be implemented although she would recommend pursuing one or the other as the most logical way to proceed.

Councilman Gardiner maintained that he favors restricting the parking as a first step, saying that he understands the essential problem is catering trucks; that his main interest is solving that particular problem; that there is strong evidence that PVE solved the very same problem by implementing strict parking fines; and, that his first inclination would be to replicate that approach.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to direct staff to return with a proposal similar to the one implemented by the City of Palos Verdes Estates focusing on increasing parking fines to the point they could be sustained if challenged; direct staff to explore the possibility of shifting from a revenue only business license program to an approach that includes a business permit process; and to approve the staff recommendation regarding the regulation of massage establishments.

City Attorney Lynch stated that she would like to completely reframe the ordinance to address only the regulation of massage establishments and recommended that staff return with a revised ordinance after the first of the year.

Councilman Clark cautioned that implementing a prohibitive parking fine structure might only serve to move the problem from one neighborhood to another.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that any increase in parking fines would apply citywide. She noted that a legitimate catering truck moving from location to location, staying for only ten minutes and then moving 500 feet or more, would not be in violation of the proposed ordinance. She indicated that she would need time to refine the ordinance to deal with the situation of a catering truck trying to return to the same location on the same day.

Mayor Wolowicz reiterated that he found merit in both proposals, saying that he would like to address the issue of parking fines as well as that of business licenses and permits. He declared that there is some immediacy needed in resolving the issue and providing relief for this particular neighborhood and stated that he would like to see the item on the agenda for the following meeting, understanding Director McLean’s concern regarding timeliness.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that she would check state law to ascertain whether the same time constraints for noticing apply to fines as they do for other fee impositions.

Mayor Pro Tem Long remarked that Council usually knows the outcome when a motion is made, saying that he finds it rather baffling that direction is being given to staff based on an informal discussion. He opined that, if there is a desire to address the issue of business permits, it should be brought up under the discussion of future agenda items, adding that he would be interested in hearing from Deputy Despot or someone else from the Sheriff’s Department best able to provide Council with additional input.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he would withdraw his motion if the same goal could be achieved in a different manner.

Councilman Clark said that he was left rather perplexed by the discussion as it relates to staff’s proposal to move from business licenses to business permits as a regulatory mechanism within the City.

City Attorney Lynch noted the importance of leaving in place the City’s revenue-raising business licenses, saying that staff is proposing to add a business permit ordinance to regulate certain problematic businesses, i.e. massage establishments, not because they are currently a problem but to avoid the development of one in the future. She explained that staff could explore ways to regulate whatever other businesses Council believes are appropriate to consider.

Councilman Gardiner commented that he regards that as an entirely different subject, saying that any business or entity the City licenses should be subject to the rules and procedures of the City, and the City should have the authority to revoke their ability to do business in the City if they violate those rules and procedures.

Mayor Pro Tem Long endorsed Councilman Gardiner’s position, noting that he does not view the issues as linked or the fortuity of two catering trucks being parked in a particular location as necessarily being a catalyst for making such a broad change in the City’s code. He remarked that, while the two items should be kept on the same agenda, he views them as totally separate items: how the City deals with the specific problem a particular neighborhood has with catering trucks; and, more generally, does the City want to implement a mechanism to enforce regulations of licensed businesses by imposing a business permit procedure.

Mayor Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to 1) Continue the item to January 17, 2006 with direction to staff to return with a proposal to increase parking fines similar to the City of Palos Verdes Estates and to tighten parking restrictions; and, 2) Direct staff to bring back the massage establishments ordinance at a future date.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Letter to the Developer of the Ponte Vista Project regarding the Role and Function of the Advisory Board (310)

Councilman Gardner moved to waive the staff report and approve staff’s recommendation.

Mayor Pro Tem Long seconded the motion for purposes of discussion, opining that it would be much more appropriate to address a letter expressing the City’s concerns to Los Angeles Councilwoman Hahn with a courtesy copy to the developer; and that it should be rephrased to illustrate the City’s concern that a development within her jurisdiction may not be obtaining public input in an optimal manner and specifying the bases for those concerns. He contended that, faced with an analogous situation, he would feel much more comfortable if a letter from another jurisdiction regarding a developer within the City’s jurisdiction were addressed to the Council as the appropriate body to supervise the process of obtaining public input.

Councilman Gardiner commented that his interpretation of the letter was more as a reprimand to the developer for placing one of the City’s residents on an advisory board then proceeding to ignore his input.

Councilman Clark agreed with both perspectives, saying that he believes two letters would be appropriate, with one letter sent to Councilwoman Hahn indicating some of the City’s concerns about the project; that Council has taken action to appoint one of its members as a project liaison; that the City would appreciate her engaging with that liaison to the benefit of both jurisdictions; and that a separate letter be sent to the developer indicating that the City does not appreciate his mischaracterization of the role of its community members in relation to his project.

Councilman Gardiner remarked that Mayor Pro Tem Long’s point is well taken and agreed that the issues should be treated separately. He suggested sending a letter to the City of Los Angeles indicating that Rancho Palos Verdes has designated a Council liaison to work with them as the project moves forward and sending a separate letter to the developer advising him that the City has received a complaint from a community member serving on his project’s advisory board.

Mayor Pro Tem Long commented that he does not view the letter reprimanding the developer as particularly important, noting that Ken Dyda is quite capable of protecting himself against being misused in any way. He stated that the more important issue is to communicate to the City of Los Angeles that Rancho Palos Verdes is greatly concerned that the project advisory board appears to be functioning only as public relations tactic rather than as a vehicle for frank and constructive discussion and resolution of project issues.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to direct staff to revise the draft letter to be sent to Los Angeles Councilwoman Hahn with a copy to the Ponte Vista developer for the Mayor’s signature.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Potential Disaster Preparedness Action Items (401)

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to direct the Emergency Preparedness Committee to review all the potential action item and select high-priority items for staff to investigate further and prepare cost estimates for City Council consideration during the next fiscal year’s budget policy workshop.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Mayor’s Appointment of City Council Members to Intergovernmental Organizations and Associations (306)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that late correspondence had been distributed to Council regarding this item.

Mayor Wolowicz referred to chart of Council assignments that he had asked to be including in this evening’s late correspondence, called the Council’s attention to the fact that the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and California Contract Cities were currently without Council representation and requested his colleagues’ input regarding the proposed delegate list provided.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that it would be appropriate for Councilman Stern to participate in these decisions.

Mayor Wolowicz agreed.

Councilman Clark requested his removal from the LAX Community Noise Round Table and suggested that he remain on the Trump and Terranea Standing Committees, both for continuity and given his role on the California Coastal Commission. He suggested creating a Council subcommittee to work with staff on preparation of the next residential trash hauling contract and an ad hoc committee to deal with succession planning for the City Manager’s position

Councilman Gardiner volunteered for the Contract Cities opening. He recommended putting together a subcommittee to address the next renewal of the Cox cable franchise agreement, suggesting that it be folding into the RPV Channel 33 assignment which would soon be winding down, allowing more time to be devoted to the franchise.

Mayor Pro Tem Long suggested creating an ad hoc committee to assist with health insurance issues and renewed his request to be assigned a standing committee and liaison assignment. He stated that, while he values and understands the issue of maintaining continuity, he believes the idea of splitting the Terranea and Trump Standing Committee assignments has some merit and requested an assignment to one or the other. He also remarked it that would be a propitious time for him to resign his position as School District Liaison.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that his inclination on Trump and Terrenea Standing Committees is to leave them to the two delegates already assigned, noting that he would be happy to include the Mayor Pro Tem if either Councilman Clark or Councilman Stern elects to relinquish their position, but he agrees with Councilman Clark regarding the issue of maintaining continuity. He suggested that Mayor Pro Tem Long might take his place as liaison on the Crestwood/Seniors Project.

Mayor Pro Tem Long agreed.

Councilman Gardiner requested a rough estimate of how much each ad hoc and standing liaison committee costs in staff time and other expenses on a yearly basis.

City Manager Evans estimated approximately $5,000.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if creating these new positions would require additional funding or if current resources could simply be rerouted. He stated that Council could very easily include a number of new things but, since only a limited amount can realistically be accomplished, it would be more prudent to focus on the most pressing and important issues.

Councilman Gardiner volunteered to work on Residential Trash/Waste Hauling ad hoc committee.

Mayor Wolowicz assigned Councilman Stern to the succession planning committee and noted for the record that the Council assignment to SCAG remained open.

By acclamation, this item was continued to January 17, 2006.

Membership on the Finance Advisory Committee and Planning Commission (106 x 602 x 1203)

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long, to 1) Direct staff to conduct a recruitment for the Finance Advisory Committee and the Planning Commission in January 2006; and, 2) to conduct interviews during the 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. time frame before the February 7, 21 and March 7, 2006 City Council meetings.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.


Mayor Pro Tem Long requested discussion of: 1) the charters for new Council ad hoc committees and standing committees; and, 2) a resolution to the Regional Law Enforcement Committee regarding sharing the cost of a new traffic deputy.


City Attorney Lynch reported that Council members Long and Stern were not present during the Closed Session; that no action was taken on either item dealing with Conferences With Real Property Negotiators; and, that there was a 3-0 approval of the proposed settlement agreement regarding the Ho litigation with that matter to be disclosed after all parties have finally approved the settlement.




Mayor Wolowicz adjourned the meeting at 12:40 a.m.

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City Clerk