Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

OCTOBER 3, 2006 RANCHO RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL AGENDA - APPEAL OF APPROVAL OF PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2006-00227 (NON-COMMERCIAL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA PERMIT): REQUEST TO OVERTURN THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S APPROVAL OF A 69.8-FOOT-TALL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA TOWER AND 280-SQUARE-FOOT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CENTER ADJACENT TO THE “PALOS VERDES ON THE NET” STUDIO BUILDING IN UPPER POINT VICENTE PARK OCTOBER 3, 2006 RANCHO RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL AGENDA -APPEAL OF APPROVAL OF PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2006-00227 (NON-COMMERCIAL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA PERMIT): REQUEST TO OVERTURN THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S APPROVAL OF A 69.8-FOOT-TALL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA TOWER AND 280-SQUARE-FOOT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CENTER ADJACENT TO THE “PALOS VERDES ON THE NET” STUDIO BUILDING IN UPPER POINT VICENTE PARK OCTOBER 3, 2006 RANCHO RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL AGENDA -APPEAL OF APPROVAL OF PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2006-00227 (NON-COMMERCIAL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA PERMIT): REQUEST TO OVERTURN THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S APPROVAL OF A 69.8-FOOT-TALL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA TOWER AND 280-SQUARE-FOOT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CENTER ADJACENT TO THE “PALOS VERDES ON THE NET” STUDIO BUILDING IN UPPER POINT VICENTE PARK



TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

DATE: OCTOBER 3, 2006

SUBJECT: APPEAL OF APPROVAL OF PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2006-00227 (NON-COMMERCIAL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA PERMIT): REQUEST TO OVERTURN THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S APPROVAL OF A 69.8-FOOT-TALL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA TOWER AND 280-SQUARE-FOOT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CENTER ADJACENT TO THE “PALOS VERDES ON THE NET” STUDIO BUILDING IN UPPER POINT VICENTE PARK

Staff Coordinator: Kit Fox, AICP, Associate Planner

RECOMMENDATION

Adopt Resolution No. 2006-__, denying the appeal and upholding the Planning Commission’s approval of the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On April 20, 2006, the City’s Emergency Preparedness Committee applied for a non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit to replace an existing 43-foot-tall freestanding antenna with a 69.8-foot-tall antenna tower and 280-square-foot emergency communications center. Staff recommended approval of the application on the grounds that all four (4) required findings could be made. The Planning Commission conditionally approved this application on August 8, 2006, by a 5-1-1 vote, with Commissioner Tetreault dissenting and Commissioner Karp abstaining. The appellant, the La Cresta Pointe Homeowners’ Association, filed a timely appeal on August 23, 2006, asking the City Council to overturn this decision and deny the antenna tower and emergency communications center as proposed.

BACKGROUND

On November 15, 2005, the City Council authorized the City’s Emergency Preparedness Committee’s proposal to improve the City’s existing amateur radio communications network by establishing a larger facility for disaster communications operations, including new radio equipment and antennae. The Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) proposed replacing the leaning freestanding antenna next to the “Palos Verdes on the Net” studio building (approximately forty-three feet (43’) above grade) with a new 55-foot-tall lattice antenna tower and 14-feet of vertical antennae in order to expand the communications capability from the Civic Center property. While other alternatives, including a shorter antenna assembly and installing antennas and/or repeaters at other locations (i.e., Del Cerro Park and the Wallace Ranch property) were also considered, a taller antenna assembly on City Hall grounds was determined by the EPC to be the most flexible, practical and economically feasible solution for communicating on various radio frequencies to and from marginal and some “no reception” areas of the City. The proposed new antenna assembly at this location will mean that more neighborhood disaster volunteer radio operators in the Miraleste area and areas north of Silver Spur Road will be able to communicate directly with the City's disaster communications center and with each other. It will also allow the City’s Emergency Operations Center Staff to communicate long-distance to Sacramento and out-of-state for emergency response and recovery purposes, instead of relying solely on the Lomita Sheriff Station to relay the City's communications.

On April 20, 2006, the City Manager’s office submitted (on behalf of the EPC) a non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit application (Planning Case No. ZON2006-00227) to the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. The request was for approval of an amateur radio antenna tower and emergency communications center adjacent to the “Palos Verdes on the Net” studio building on the Civic Center property. The application was deemed incomplete on May 17, 2006, pending the submittal of additional information. Additional information was submitted on June 9, 2006. The application was deemed complete on June 23, 2006.

On August 8, 2006, the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing to consider this application. The Planning Commission received written and oral testimony from several residents of the La Cresta Pointe community, objecting to the proposed project on aesthetic grounds. However, the Planning Commission was ultimately able to make the four (4) required findings to approve the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit, and adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2006-41. The vote was 5-1-1, with Commissioner Tetreault dissenting and Commissioner Karp abstaining.

On August 23, 2006, the La Cresta Pointe Homeowners’ Association filed a timely appeal of the Planning Commission’s action. The appellant asks that the City Council overturn the Planning Commission’s action and deny the antenna tower and emergency communications center as proposed.

DISCUSSION

Copies of P.C. Resolution No. 2006-41 and the Minutes and Staff report for the August 8, 2006, public hearing are attached to tonight’s report. As discussed in the Staff report, Staff recommended approval of the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit, based upon consistency with all of the required findings. The majority of the Planning Commission accepted this recommendation although, at the suggestion of Vice Chairman Gerstner, the conditions of approval were modified to require the antenna tower to be painted black rather than a lighter color.

The La Cresta Pointe Homeowners’ Association has appealed the Planning Commission’s action on the basis of view impairment and resulting negative impacts upon property values, as articulated in the appeal letter of August 23, 2006. The appellant suggests that the antenna tower should have been designed to allow lowering the antenna out of the view of La Cresta Pointe residents.

With respect to view impairment, Staff identified the homes in the La Cresta Pointe community as being the most likely to experience view impacts as a result of the proposed project. Almost all of these homes overlook the Point Vicente Park and Civic Center site. Therefore, Staff arranged to conduct view impact simulations on June 29, 2006. Prior to that date, Staff attempted to contact the homeowners at 30939 Via La Cresta and 30950 Via La Cresta since these properties appeared to be generally representative of both the “upslope” and “downslope” homes in this community. Unfortunately, Staff received no replies to its request for access to the viewing areas of these homes. Nevertheless, using a “cherry picker” with the top of its bucket raised to seventy feet (70’-0”) above grade at the location of the proposed tower, Staff assessed the view impacts of the proposed project and took photographs from two (2) locations adjacent to 30939 Via La Cresta and 30950 Via La Cresta. These photographs (although somewhat distorted to show the panorama) are reproduced below.


Approximate View from 30939 Via La Cresta

Approximate View from 30950 Via La Cresta

In approving the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit, the Planning Commission found that, although the antenna assembly will be visible from surrounding properties, the location and height of the assembly will not significantly impair views of the ocean or Santa Catalina Island. The tower will not extend higher than the distant ocean horizon as viewed from the La Cresta Pointe community. It should also be noted that the color of the tower in the simulations is brighter than the actual tower would be in order for the tower to stand out more clearly. The actual tower would be painted black. Therefore, the Planning Commission found that the proposed antenna assembly does not significantly impair a view.

With respect to raising and lowering the antenna tower, the proposed tower is designed to be manually retracted, although this would only be done for maintenance of the antennae. Since the antennae on the tower will be tested on a weekly basis and should be available for immediate use in the event of an emergency, the applicant does not propose to retract the tower other than for maintenance purposes. Although it would be physically possible to do so, the applicant indicates that having to extend the tower in an emergency might unnecessarily delay emergency response, and that repetitive raising and lowering of the tower will decrease its useful life. In addition, in approving the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit, the Planning Commission found that the antenna assembly would not significantly impair views, even when fully extended.

For all the foregoing reasons, Staff believes that the appellant’s appeal raises no new issues and provides no new information or evidence that warrant overturning the Planning Commission’s decision in this matter.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

FCC Regulations and PRB-1 Compliance

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licenses amateur (ham) radio operators. Amateur licenses are issued to individuals, not to locations. In the past, local jurisdictions retained the absolute right to regulate the erection of amateur radio antennae and antenna assemblies through their zoning regulations. However, in 1985, the FCC issued a ruling (commonly know as “PRB-1”) that established a limited Federal pre-emption of local zoning regulations with respect to amateur radio communications, finding that “State and local regulations that operate to preclude amateur communications in their communities are in direct conflict with Federal objectives and must be preempted.” The FCC went on to state that “local regulations which involve placement, screening, or height of antennas based on health, safety, or aesthetic considerations must be crafted to accommodate reasonably amateur communications, and to represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the local authority's legitimate purpose.” To that end, as reflected in the Planning Commission Minutes, the City Attorney opined that it would be preferable to condition the proposed project to address any issues of concern, rather than to deny the application outright. Staff believes that the Planning Commission’s conditional approval of this permit is consistent with the limited Federal pre-emption pursuant to PRB-1. However, if the City Council is inclined to impose further conditions upon the project—such as requiring the tower to be retracted when not in use—Staff believes that this would also be consistent with the requirement for “minimum practicable regulation” under PRB-1. In addition, the City has in the past imposed retraction conditions upon non-commercial antenna towers.

Upper Point Vicente Master Plan Consistency

Currently, there is no formally-approved master plan for the development of Upper Point Vicente, although the City Council has previously reviewed conceptual plans for a variety of uses on the site (i.e., art center, public pool, etc.), and it is included within the scope of the Rancho Palos Verdes Vision Plan. In the event that this antenna tower and emergency communications facility conflict with some future plan adopted for the site, the City will retain the ability to remove or relocate them so as not to conflict with such a plan since the antenna tower and emergency communications center will be owned by the City.

Possible Co-Location on Existing City Hall Monopole

The existing City Hall monopole was originally approved on appeal to the City Council in 1988 through Conditional Use Permit No. 119. Since its original approval, the lease agreement with the City has been revised to allow additional carriers’ antennae, and two (2) revisions to Conditional Use Permit No. 119 were approved in 1994 to allow modifications to the configuration of the antenna arrays and to add additional carriers. Currently, the monopole supports antennae for Cingular, Verizon Wireless and Southern California Edison. It should be noted that the original approval of the monopole envisioned that it would not be a permanent feature on the City Hall property. To this end, the monopole was required to be bolted to its concrete base (rather than set in a deep footing), and the conditions of approval include a condition requiring “[the] antenna tower and/or all support facilities [to] be relocated at the request of the City Manager per the terms of the lease agreement…. However, prior to relocation, the new location shall be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission as a major revision to [Conditional Use Permit No. 119].”

In 2003, a third revision to Conditional Use Permit No. 119 was proposed. As a part of the review of this application, the City retained the services of a 3rd-party reviewer to determine if the height of the monopole could be lowered; if the existing whip antennae could be replaced with smaller panel antennae; or if the monopole could be removed completely and replaced with building-mounted antennae. The purpose of this analysis was to see if it was technically feasible to modify or eliminate the monopole to improve the visual appearance of the City Hall site without significantly compromising antenna performance. The 3rd-party reviewer found that there were alternatives that would lower or eliminate the monopole and still provide acceptable cellular communications coverage. The applicant, who elected not to pursue these alternatives, ultimately withdrew the request to revise Conditional Use Permit No. 119 rather than receive a denial by the Planning Commission.

Based upon the foregoing discussion, Staff believes that it is in the City’s and the surrounding neighbors’ best interest to eventually amortize the existing monopole and replace it with a less visually-prominent antenna support structure. Co-locating the proposed emergency communications antennae to the monopole makes it much less likely that the monopole could be amortized any time soon. In addition, co-location may lead to signal interference with the various carriers currently on the monopole. Furthermore, the approval of the leaseholder would also be required for such co-location. Therefore, Staff does not believe that co-location presents a desirable alternative to the proposed project.

Relationship to Trump Flagpole Issues

As the City Council is aware, the Planning Commission recently denied a requested variance and conditional use permit revision for after-the-fact approval of a 70-foot-tall flagpole at Trump National Golf Course. The Trump flagpole is slightly taller than the proposed City Hall antenna tower. In denying the flagpole, the Planning Commission was unable to make three (3) of the four (4) required variance findings, and was unable to make four (4) of the six (6) required conditional use permit findings, to wit:

- The variance was not warranted by any exceptional or extraordinary circumstances or conditions applicable to the property or its use that did not apply to other property in the same zoning district;

- The variance was not necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right that was possessed by other property owners under like conditions in the same zoning district;

- The granting of the variance would be contrary to the objectives of the General Plan and the polices and requirements of the Coastal Specific Plan;

- The site was not adequate in size or shape to accommodate the propose use in a manner that integrated it with uses on adjacent land and within the neighborhood;

- The approval of the proposed use would result in significant adverse effects upon adjacent property or the permitted use thereof;

- The approval of the proposed use would be contrary to the General Plan; and,

- The approval of the proposed use would be inconsistent with the performance criteria established for the Urban Appearance (OC-3) Overlay Control District.

By contrast, a variance application was not required for the proposed antenna tower because the City’s Development Code allows non-commercial antenna towers in excess of forty-one feet (41’) in height subject to the approval of a non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit. The Planning Commission was able to make all four (4) of the required findings to approve the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit, to wit:

- The proposed antenna assembly does not significantly impair a view from a surrounding lot;

- The Planning Commission’s action considers the degree to which refusing or conditioning the permit would interfere with the ability to receive and/or transmit radio signals on amateur frequencies, and imposes conditions that reasonably accommodate the ability to receive and/or transmit radio signals on amateur frequencies and appropriately balances that right with the goals of the City’s General Plan and Development Code;

- The approval of the proposed antenna tower makes adequate provisions for safety, and all applicable Building Code requirements (such as wind load and seismic design criteria) and Development Code requirements (such as setbacks) are met; and,

- In approving the proposed antenna tower, appropriate conditions to minimize significant view impairment and to promote the goals of the General Plan and Development Code have been imposed, such as location restrictions, array size restrictions.

Although there are superficial similarities between the projects in terms of their general appearance and overall height, the Trump flagpole and the City Hall antenna tower were subject to substantially different findings pursuant to the City’s Development Code. Furthermore, the balancing of impacts upon the community with the ability to provide reasonable non-commercial radio communications, as required under PRB-1, had no bearing upon the Trump flagpole appeal. As such, any comparison between the Planning Commission’s actions on these applications is an “apples and oranges” comparison. Finally, the discussion in this section regarding the appeal of the Trump flagpole was provided for informational purposes only. As the City Council knows, and for the benefit of the public, the City Council cannot discuss the Trump flagpole in connection with this matter, since the City Council has not yet heard the appeal regarding the Trump flagpole, and that decision is not yet final. Any discussion of the merits of the Trump flagpole appeal must occur only at the duly-noticed public hearing regarding that specific matter.

Public Notification

On September 13, 2006, public notices were mailed to the applicant, the appellant, one hundred three (103) other property owners within a 500-foot radius of the project site, the La Cresta, Sunset Ridge, Villa Capri and Oceanfront homeowners’ associations, and eight (8) other interested parties. Public notice was also published in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News on September 16, 2006. Late correspondence from the August 8, 2006, Planning Commission hearing is attached to this report, as are copies of other e-mails and letters received in response to the mailed and published public hearing notice for this appeal. The letter from the appellant’s attorney raises the issue of warning lights on the tower. As conditioned, such lighting would only be allowed if required by the FAA, and it is Staff’s understanding that towers less than two hundred feet (200’) tall do not require warning lights.

CEQA Compliance

For the reasons discussed above, Staff recommends that the City Council deny the appeal and uphold the Planning Commission’s approval of the project as currently proposed. In approving the proposed project, the Planning Commission determined that this project is categorically exempt (Class 3 – New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures) from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), pursuant to Section 15303 of the CEQA Guidelines.

CONCLUSION

As discussed above, Staff believes that there is no basis to overturn the Planning Commission’s decision in this case. Therefore, Staff recommends that the City Council deny the appeal and uphold the Planning Commission’s approval of the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit (Planning Case No. ZON2006-00227).

FISCAL IMPACT

The appellant paid the required $1,222.00 appeal fee at the time that the appeal was filed. Pursuant to Section 17.80.120 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code,”[all] appeal fees shall be refunded to a successful appellant” and “[if] an appeal results in modifications to the project, other than the changes specifically requested in the appeal, then one-half of the appeal fee shall be refunded to the successful appellant.” If this appeal is upheld in full or in part, then the appellant shall be entitled to a full or partial refund of the appeal fee. The cost of any such refund shall be borne by the City’s General Fund.

ALTERNATIVES

In addition to Staff’s recommendation, the alternatives available for the City Council’s consideration include:

1. Grant the appeal and overturn the Planning Commission’s approval of the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit, and direct Staff to prepare a revised resolution for adoption at the next City Council meeting.

2. Grant the appeal in part and modify the Planning Commission’s approval of the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit—including additional and/or modified conditions of approval—and direct Staff to prepare a revised resolution for adoption at the next City Council meeting.

3. Identify any issues of concern with the project, provide direction to Staff and/or the applicant, and continue this matter to a date certain.

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

Reviewed by:
Les Evans, City Manager

Attachments:

Resolution No. 2006-__
Appeal letter
P.C. Resolution No. 2006-41
P.C. Minutes (excerpt) and Staff report (August 8, 2006)
Public correspondence

RESOLUTION NO. 2006-__

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DENYING THE APPEAL AND UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S APPROVAL OF A NON-COMMERCIAL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA PERMIT (PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2006-00227) FOR THE ERECTION OF A 69.8-FOOT-TALL AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNA TOWER AND 280-SQUARE-FOOT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CENTER ADJACENT TO THE “PALOS VERDES ON THE NET” STUDIO BUILDING AT POINT VICENTE PARK AND CIVIC CENTER, LOCATED AT 30938 HAWTHORNE BOULEVARD

WHEREAS, on April 20, 2006, the City Manager’s office submitted an application for Planning Case No. ZON2006-00227 for an amateur radio antenna tower and emergency communications center at Point Vicente Park and Civic Center; and,

WHEREAS, on June 23, 2006, the application for Planning Case No. ZON2006-00227 was deemed complete by Staff; and,

WHEREAS, pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act, Public Resources Code Sections 21000 et. seq. ("CEQA"), the State's CEQA Guidelines, California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et. seq., the City's Local CEQA Guidelines, and Government Code Section 65962.5(f) (Hazardous Waste and Substances Statement), Staff found no evidence that the approval of the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit would have a significant effect on the environment and, therefore, the proposed project has been found to be categorically exempt (Section 15303); and,

WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the Planning Commission held a duly-noticed public hearing on August 8, 2006, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence; and,

WHEREAS, on August 8, 2006, the Planning Commission adopted P.C. Resolution No. 2006-41, thereby conditionally approving the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit; and,

WHEREAS, on August 23, 2006, the La Cresta Pointe Homeowners’ Association filed a timely appeal of the Planning Commission’s approval of this non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit to the City Council; and,

WHEREAS, after notice issued pursuant to the requirements of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code, the City Council held a duly-noticed public hearing to consider the appellant’s appeal on October 3, 2006, at which time all interested parties were given an opportunity to be heard and present evidence.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES HEREBY FIND, DETERMINE AND RESOLVE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1: The City Council finds that the La Cresta Pointe Homeowners’ Association’s appeal is unwarranted and is, therefore, denied. The appeal raises no new issues and provides no information or evidence that warrants overturning the unanimous decision of the Planning Commission in approving the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit for a 69.8-foot-tall amateur radio antenna tower and 280-square-foot emergency communications center at Point Vicente Park and Civic Center.

Section 2: The City Council finds that all applicable findings for the approval of the requested non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit were made by the Planning Commission and reaffirms these findings, to wit:

A. The proposed antenna assembly does not significantly impair a view, as defined in Section 17.02.040 of the Development Code, from a surrounding lot. The City used a “cherry picker” to assess the view impacts of the proposed antenna tower and prepared photographic simulations of these impacts upon homes in the 30900-block of Via La Cresta (La Cresta Pointe), which appeared to be the most likely to experience significant view impacts as a result of the proposed project. Based upon these simulations, the City Council finds that, although the antenna assembly will be visible from surrounding properties, the location and height of the assembly will not significantly impair views of the ocean or Santa Catalina Island. The tower will not extend higher than the distant ocean horizon as viewed from the La Cresta Pointe community. The actual tower will also be less reflective than the existing cellular telephone monopole on the property, which is also visible from homes in the La Cresta Pointe community, because it is conditioned to be painted black.

B. The City Council’s action considers the degree to which refusing or conditioning the permit would interfere with the applicant’s ability to receive and/or transmit radio signals on amateur frequencies. There are several existing amateur radio antennae on or near the studio building. Currently, these antenna provide inadequate coverage and connectivity to the Lomita sheriff’s station due to the height of the antennae and the topography of the Peninsula. The proposed antenna tower would accommodate many of these existing antennae at higher elevations that would provide effective communications with the north and east sides of the city. In addition, long-distance communications to Sacramento and out-of-state would be possible, rather than relying solely on the Lomita sheriff’s station to relay the City’s communications in an emergency. The proposed antenna tower is the lowest tower that will allow for these emergency communications. In addition, since the antennae on the tower will be tested on a weekly basis and should be available for immediate use in the event of an emergency, the tower will not be retracted when not in use, although it would be physically possible to do so. However, the City Council’s approval of this proposal is conditioned upon limits to the height, color, finish and lighting of the antenna tower, and to require the maintenance of foliage as visual screening. The City Council finds that these conditions reasonably accommodate the applicant’s ability to receive and/or transmit radio signals on amateur frequencies and appropriately balances that right with the goals of the City’s General Plan and Development Code.

C. Adequate provision is made for safety, and all applicable Building Code requirements—such as wind load and seismic design criteria—and Development Code requirements—such as setbacks—are met. Prior to its erection, the antenna tower will require review and approval by the City’s Building Official, who will consider issues such as wind load, seismic design and soils conditions. The location of the proposed antenna tower complies with the development standards of the I district, which is the zoning designation for the portion of the Point Vicente Park and Civic Center site on which it is to be located.

D. Appropriate conditions to minimize significant view impairment and to promote the goals of the General Plan and Development Code have been imposed, such as location restrictions, array size restrictions, mass of tower restrictions, height restrictions, and elimination of guy wires. Specific conditions include requiring the approval of the City’s Building Official and geotechnical consultant; specifying the color and finish of the antenna tower; prohibiting any lighting unless required by the Federal; Aviation Administration (FAA); and maintaining existing foliage to provide visual screening. The City Council finds that these conditions will minimize view impairment, protect public health, safety and welfare, and reasonably accommodate the use of the tower for amateur radio purposes.

Section 3: The City Council finds that the conditions of approval adopted by the Planning Commission pursuant to P.C. Resolution No. 2006-41 serve to protect the health, safety and welfare of the general public while reasonably accommodating amateur communications with the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the City’s legitimate purpose.

Section 4: The time within which the judicial review of the decision reflected in this Resolution, if available, must be sought is governed by Section 1094.6 of the California Code of Civil Procedure and other applicable short periods of limitation.

Section 5: For the foregoing reasons and based on the information and findings included in the Staff Report, Minutes and other records of proceedings, the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby denies the appeal and upholds the Planning Commission’s approval of a non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit (Planning Case No. ZON2006-00227) for the erection of a 69.8-foot-tall amateur radio antenna tower and 280-square-foot emergency communications center adjacent to the “Palos Verdes on the Net” studio building at Point Vicente Park and Civic Center, located at 30938 Hawthorne Boulevard, subject to the conditions of approval in the attached Exhibit ’A’.

PASSED, APPROVED, AND ADOPTED this __rd day of October 2006.

________________________
Mayor
Attest:

________________________
City Clerk

State of California )
County of Los Angeles ) ss
City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2006-__ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at a regular meeting thereof held on ________, 2006.

________________________
City Clerk

EXHIBIT 'A'
CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL FOR
PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2006-00227
(City-EPC, 30938 Hawthorne Boulevard)

General Conditions:

1. Prior to the submittal of plans into Building and Safety plan check, the applicant and the property owner shall submit to the City a statement, in writing, that they have read, understand, and agree to all conditions of approval contained in this Resolution. Failure to provide said written statement within ninety (90) days following date of this approval shall render this approval null and void.

2. Approval of this permit shall not be construed as a waiver of applicable and appropriate zoning regulations, or any Federal, State, County and/or City laws and regulations. Unless otherwise expressly specified, all other requirements of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code shall apply.

3. This approval is for a 69.8-foot-tall amateur radio antenna tower and 280-square-foot emergency communications center. The Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement is authorized to make minor modifications to the approved plans and any of the conditions of approval if such modifications will achieve substantially the same results as would strict compliance with the approved plans and conditions. Otherwise, any substantive change to the project shall require approval of a revision to the non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit by the Planning Commission and shall require new and separate environmental review.

4. All project development on the site shall conform to the specific standards contained in these conditions of approval or, if not addressed herein, in the I district development standards of the City's Municipal Code.

5. Failure to comply with and adhere to all of these conditions of approval may be cause to revoke the approval of the project by the Planning Commission after conducting a public hearing on the matter.

6. If the project has not been established (i.e., building permits obtained) within one year of the final effective date of this Resolution, or if construction has not commenced within one hundred eighty (180) days of the issuance of building permits, approval of the project shall expire and be of no further effect unless, prior to expiration, a written request for extension is filed with the Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and approved by the Director. Otherwise, a non-commercial amateur radio antenna permit revision must be approved prior to further development.

7. In the event that any of these conditions conflict with the recommendations and/or requirements of another permitting agency or City department, the stricter standard shall apply.

8. Unless otherwise designated in these conditions, all construction shall be completed in substantial conformance with the plans stamped APPROVED by the City with the effective date of this Resolution.

9. The construction site and adjacent public and private properties and streets shall be kept free of all loose materials resembling trash and debris in excess of that material used for immediate construction purposes. Such excess material may include, but not be limited to: the accumulation of debris, garbage, lumber, scrap metal, concrete asphalt, piles of earth, salvage materials, abandoned or discarded furniture, appliances or other household fixtures.

10. Permitted hours and days for construction activity are 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Saturday, with no construction activity permitted on Sundays or on the legal holidays specified in Section 17.96.920 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code. Trucks and other construction vehicles shall not park, queue and/or idle at the project site or in the adjoining public rights-of-way before 7:00 AM, Monday through Saturday, in accordance with the permitted hours of construction stated above.

Non-Commercial Amateur Radio Antenna Permit Conditions:

11. The erection of the approved antenna tower and the installation of the approved emergency communications center shall be subject to the review and approval of the City’s Building Official and geotechnical consultant.

12. The maximum overall height of the antenna tower and attached antennae is 69.8’ above grade at the base of the tower. The tower itself shall be a triangular lattice-type tower, tapering from eighteen inches (18”) across at its base to twelve-and-one-half inches (12½”) across at its top. A maximum of three (3) 2-inch diameter vertical antenna elements will be attached to the antenna tower. In addition, an 82-foot-long wire antenna would also be strung from the antenna tower (at the 39-foot level) to a 10-foot-tall support pole on the nearby earthen berm. No other additional radiating elements may be attached to the tower without the approval of the Planning Commission. No commercial use of the antenna tower or any radiating elements is permitted.

13. The antenna tower shall be painted black.

14. No lights may be placed upon the antenna tower, nor may it be otherwise illuminated in any manner, unless the applicant is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to illuminate any portion of the antenna tower in order to comply with the provisions of 14 CFR Part 77 or any other applicable State or Federal regulations.

15. The maximum height of the 280-square-foot modular building serving as the emergency communication center shall be 11’ to 13’ above grade, depending upon the method of installation/anchoring. The emergency communications center shall be painted to match the adjacent studio building. Any exterior mechanical equipment shall be visually screened with landscaping, lattice panels or fencing, or other means satisfactory to the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement. Skirting shall be provided around the perimeter of building in order to visually screen any support piers or pylons.

16. The existing foliage surrounding the studio building, antenna tower and emergency communications center shall be maintained so as to provide visual screening of the antenna tower and emergency communications center, to the extent that such foliage does not now or in the future significantly impair the view from the viewing area of a nearby residence, as defined in Section 17.02.040 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code.