M I N U T E S RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING OCTOBER 17, 2000 M I N U T E S RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING OCTOBER 17, 2000 M I N U T E S RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING OCTOBER 17, 2000 M I N U T E S RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING OCTOBER 17, 2000

M I N U T E S

RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING

OCTOBER 17, 2000

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 P.M. by Mayor Byrd at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist.  At 7:08 P.M. the meeting reconvened.  After the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT:               Ferraro,  McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Byrd
ABSENT:                  Lyon
 
Also present were City Manager Les Evans, Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; City Clerk/Director of Administrative Services Jo Purcell; and, Deputy City Clerk/Recording Secretary Jackie Drasco.

RECYCLING DRAWING:

Winners from the last two drawings were Mark & Clara Simon and Lorna Morris.  Each family will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service.  Another card was selected.

Mayor Byrd announced that the City has designated October as Crime Prevention Month.  He also announced the address of the City web site and described some of the useful information to be obtained.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

City Manager Evans relayed a message from Mayor Pro Tem Lyon requesting that the item regarding the revised 2000 Five-Year Financial Model and Consideration of Revising the Utility User’s Tax Rate be postponed to a future meeting since she was unable to attend this evening’s meeting.

Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to approve the agenda as amended.  Motion carried.

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, said that the Los Angeles Times said that a candidate who received $250 from someone would have to recuse himself or herself from voting on an item related to the donor and she suggested that Councilwoman Ferraro recuse herself from voting on the Marymount EIR.  She also requested more detail in City Council and the Community Leaders’ Breakfast minutes.
 
Samuel S. Van Wagner, 2763 San Ramon Drive, urged the Council to postpone the approval of Addendum No. 3 for Long Point until past issues are resolved regarding use of public land for the project.  He discussed restrictions placed on City Hall property when the Federal deeded the land to the City and questioned the economic feasibility of a 9-hole golf course.  (A copy of Mr. Van Wagner’s comments is on file with the City clerk’s Office).
 
Lois Karp, 31115 Ganado Drive, representing Concerned Citizens Coalition/Marymount Expansion, discussed the large amounts of soil to be moved in grading for the Marymount expansion project.  She noted the number of truckloads which would be traveling on the public roads and asked who would pay for any damage to these roads.

Samuel S. Van Wagner, 2763 San Ramon Drive, felt that the Marymount expansion was not compatible with the City’s General Plan and he was also concerned that the quantities of earth to moved during grading for the project might cause land slippage near his home.  (A copy of Mr. Van Wagner’s comments is on file with the City Clerk’s Office.
 

Councilman McTaggart moved seconded by Mayor Byrd, to approve the consent calendar as follows:

Minutes  (301)

Approved the minutes of September 19, October 3, and October 7, 2000, as corrected.
 

Long Point Specific Plan EIR Contract Addendum No. 3  (1203 x 804)

Approved a Contract Addendum for the Long Point Specific Plan EIR for an increase in preparation costs resulting from redefinition of the project which has necessitated additional work, with the understanding that the project applicant pays all costs associated with the EIR preparation.

Award of contract for services to prepare an Environmental Impact Report for proposed improvements to Marymount College (30800 Palos Verdes Drive East)   (1203 x 1804)

Authorized staff to execute a Professional Services Agreement for the Mayor’s signature in an amount not to exceed $96,000.00 with Envicom, to prepare an Environmental Impact Report for improvements to Marymount College.

Award Contract for Roadway and Drainage Rehabilitation for Palos Verdes Drive South at Portuguese Bend  (1204 x 1405 x 604)

(1) Awarded the contact for the Roadway and Drainage Rehabilitation for Palos Verdes Drive South at Portuguese Bend Project to Excel Paving Company for an amount not to exceed $887,325; plus authorized staff to spend an additional $92,675 for possible extra work, for a total authorization of $980,000.  (2) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute a contract with Excel Paving Company.

Subdivision Agreement for Tract 50667 Ocean Trails  (1204 x 1411)

Approved a revised Subdivision Agreement with Ocean Trails L.P. for Tract 50667 to revise the security requirements.

Resolution No. 2000-69 - Register of Demands  (602)

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2000-69, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ALLOWING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEMANDS AND SPECIFYING FUNDS FROM WHICH THE SAME ARE TO BE PAID.

Council comments before the roll call vote were as follows:

Councilman Stern felt that land use issues regarding the use of City-owned property should be resolved before further action is taken on the Long Point proposal and that public input should be sought before an EIR is performed.

Mayor Byrd said that, regarding the Long Point financial plan, he was curious about whether the proposed development project would furnish revenue for the City and if it was feasible for the developer to build a hotel without a golf course.  He believed that these questions should be answered and the EIR completed before the land use issue was resolved.  He added that the developer, not the City, was paying for the EIR.
 
Councilwoman Ferraro said that she consulted City Attorney Lynch to determine if it was necessary that she recuse herself from voting on the Marymount item.  After this consultation, Councilwoman Ferraro felt she would be eligible to vote since her home is not located within 300 feet, she has no view of the site, and her property value would not be affected by the Marymount expansion.

City Attorney Lynch added that even with the political campaign contribution mentioned, under the Political Reform Act, Councilwoman Ferraro was eligible to vote on the Marymount item.
 
Councilman McTaggart said that the City Council was not able to deny a project before all the facts were presented.
 
Speaking in rebuttal, Councilman Stern said that he was not suggesting that the project be denied up front but that he was concerned specifically about the use of City land.

The motion to approve the consent calendar carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:            Ferraro, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Byrd

NOES:           Stern on Long Point Specific Plan EIR Contact Addendum No. 3

            ABSENT:      Lyon

            #          #          #          #          #          #          #          #          #          #          #         

PUBLIC HEARING:

Resol. No. 2000-70 - Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 2 (Applicant: Roger Grove, “Ride-to- Fly”, 50 Narcissa Drive)

Mayor Byrd opened the public hearing on this request to consider conditional approval of Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 2.  City Clerk Purcell announced that notice had been duly published and that all comment letters received by the City had been included in the agenda packet.

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report of October 17, 2000 and the recommendation to adopt the proposed resolution accepting the Equestrian Committee’s recommendation and conditionally approving Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 2.

Council discussion focused on the change in operating days from the original application to include Thursday as well as Wednesday and Saturday and the fact that this additional day was mentioned in the public notice; the type of landscape screening required and the need to make sure the applicant is aware of the requirements; and, a suggested change to Condition No. 8 requiring annual proof of the applicant’s registered non-profit 501(C)(3)(c)(3) status since this status remained intact unless the Internal Revenue Service notified the applicant.
 
RECESS & RECONVENE:

At 7:45 P.M., Mayor Byrd declared a recess.  The meeting reconvened at 7:52 P.M.

Roger Grove, 4923 Halison Street, Torrance, CA 90503, representing Ride to Fly to Fly, said that this was a non-profit therapeutic organization for people with special challenges that was operating under the rules of the North American Riding Association for the Handicapped.  He said that this association certified their instructors and that the number of instructors and the operating days had been increased to accommodate more participants.  He explained improvements made on the property such as sprinklers, replacement of turf with bank sand to decrease dust, and reconstruction of a fence.  He indicated that additional improvements were planned and that the group wanted to be a good neighbor to the surrounding residences.  He said that he was aware of the landscaping requirements and would comply.

Council discussion centered on compliance with the City code and staff was directed to confirm this compliance.

Mayor Byrd closed the public hearing.

Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2000-70, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AS AMENDED, ACCEPTING THE EQUESTRIAN COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATION AND CONDITIONALLY APPROVING CONDITIONAL LARGE DOMESTIC ANIMAL PERMIT NO. 2.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that a sentence would be added to Condition No. 8 reflect that Ride to Fly to Fly would provide written notice within 30 days of any change in their non-profit status.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:            Ferraro, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Byrd
NOES:           None
ABSENT:      Lyon

Resol. No. 2000-71 - Cable Television Franchise Renewal with Cox Communications  (1101 x 605)

Mayor Byrd opened the public hearing on this request to consider approval of the Cable Television Franchise Renewal with Cox Communications.  City Clerk Purcell announced that notice had been duly published and that there were no comment letters received by the City.

Assistant City Manager Petru presented the staff report of October 17, 2000 and the recommendation to adopt the proposed resolution approving the cable franchise renewal agreement with Cox Communications.
 
Council discussion focused on the need for improved sound quality at City Council meetings; whether the new broadcasting equipment would provide text on the screen to indicate to viewers which item the Council is discussing; and, if the City can require the cable operator to give subscribers one month of free service if a service complaint is not corrected within 24 hours of receiving the complaint.
 
Eric Paris, 29234 Stadia Hill Lane, said that he attended the Cable TV ad hoc meetings and had some suggestions.  He said that Cox should be required to pay franchise fees on self-advertising on all channels, on the use of Channel 10 to promote pay-per-view and the adult channels, and on the use of Channel 12 for their own “infomercials” disguised as news interviews during peak hours.  He said that the parental control device is free only at the time of the original installation and he felt that if adult channels were added later, there should be no charge to have them blocked at a later date.  He was in favor of having a low-income package and an education package (for members of the public who do not want entertainment channels but could reap the benefits of educational television).  He felt that Cox should be prohibited from moving existing channels to a higher programming tier or into digital cable packages.  When asked about adult channels being available only through subscription, he replied that the channels are scrambled but the video is slightly visible and the audio is often clear.

Steve Fowler, Vice President and General Manager of Cox communications, said that he had been working in this community since 1995 and he described the new technology in place in Cox’s cable system such as fiber optics, high speed data lines, and digital service.  Mr. Fowler said that there had been about $40,000 in revenue from cable modem service, which is no longer subject to the utility user tax, but that this loss should be made up by the increased subscribers to the new digital service.  He said that industry standard is not to impute some value for self-promotion and that these ads are shown in time that was unsold for commercials.  Regarding parental controls, he said that there is a minimum $15 charge for a service call; that individual channels or certain ratings can be blocked with a converter; and, that the adult channel is scrambled and does not come on until after 10:00 P.M.  In response to a Council query, he said that he had not considered raising his performance bond and that the franchise revocation is a much more valuable tool for the City if there problems. He explained that the local office was not equipped to handle a high volume of calls and that the call center in San Diego was established to take calls when an entire neighborhood is out of service.  He said that voluntarily Cox provided a free month if the service were out for a 24-hour period but he would prefer that this was not mandatory because he felt customers would take advantage of this requirement and turn a minor problem into a major one.  He explained that they also had alarms which sounded when service went down in an area.
 
Mayor Byrd closed the public hearing.

Council discussion focused on the thorough scrutiny on both sides during the many negotiation meetings.  No changes were proposed to the draft franchise renewal agreement.
 
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2000-71, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING THE CABLE FRANCHISE RENEWAL AGREEMENT WITH COX COMMUNICATIONS.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:            Ferraro, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Byrd
NOES:           None
ABSENT:      Lyon

RECESS & RECONVENE:

At 8:50 P.M., Mayor Byrd declared a recess.  The meeting reconvened at 8:59 P.M.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, expressed praise for the competence of the Finance Advisory Committee, and said he was specifically pleased by the chairman’s comment that the committee would be willing to take on additional work for the City.  He stated that the Coalition of Concerned Citizens, made up of residents from communities adjacent to Marymount, suggested that the Council take advantage of the expertise of the Committee members and ask them to analyze the financial plan for Marymount College.  He said that concerns of the Coalition included the repeated City approval of increases to the enrollment cap in order to meet financial needs and the proposed grading plan for the current expansion which would involve massive amounts of soil to be removed from the site.
 
Jabe Kahnke, 4003 Palos Verdes Drive South, said that he was disappointed with the way Revision N to the Ocean Trails project was handled at the September 5 Council meeting, stating that there was not proper noticing to surrounding residents.  He felt that because of this lack of notice, the revision was approved without proper citizen input.
 
Uday Patil, 4011 Palos Verdes Drive South, spoke about the proposed Ocean Trails silhouettes to show view impact of the proposed homes to surrounding residents.  He said that most of the plan was settled on paper within two weeks of the Council’s decision to approve the erection of these silhouettes but that Mr. Zuckerman had placed so many conditions on the placement of these silhouettes that, in effect, he refused to allow them.  Mr. Patil was disappointed that the item was not on this evening’s agenda as he said was originally planned and he hoped that it would be on the November 8 Council agenda.  When asked about conditions placed by the residents, he referenced a meeting with staff.

Mary Casaburi, 3941 Palos Verdes Drive South, said that she too was waiting patiently for the silhouettes that she hoped would be in place before December.  On a related topic, she objected to the view obstruction from the highway indicated by the silhouettes for the proposed gatehouses at Oceanfront Estates.
 
Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, said that the Council was elected to represent hat the people want and she felt they were not meeting that obligation by their current action regarding keeping open the options for consideration of use of public land for a golf course and for consideration of a breakwater.
 
REGULAR BUSINESS:

The Effect of the Brown Act on City Council Subcommittees  (103 x 1101 x 306)

City Attorney Lynch presented the staff report of October 17, 2000 and the recommendation to avoid the continued misunderstanding about meetings of City Council subcommittees, by either (1) disbanding the Council subcommittees, or (2) noticing meetings of the subcommittees in accordance with the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act.

April Sandell, 28026 Pontevedra Drive, who said she had attended Western Avenue Corridor Task Force meetings for about a year; asked about the group’s schedule and purpose; whether it is subject to the Brown Act; and, its relationship to the City and to the Redevelopment Agency.  She felt that very few people are aware of this group.

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, congratulated Nick Green of the Daily Breeze for bringing this issue to the attention of the Council.
 
Councilman Stern moved to abolish all of the ad hoc committees with the exception of the NCCP committee which will become a standing committee which will become subject to the provisions of the Brown Act.

The motion died for lack of a second.

After additional discussion of the reporting procedures for these committees and whether minutes should be prepared to report the action of the committees, Councilwoman Ferraro moved to disband all of the ad hoc committees with the exception of the Beautification Committee and the NCCP which will be an official standing committee; liaison members of the City Council will attend other committee meetings when they can.  The motion was seconded by Councilman McTaggart. 

Further discussion resulted in a proposed amendment by Councilman Stern that the Ocean Trails, Rolling Hills Estates Economic Development, the Western Avenue Task Force, the LAX Expansion Noise committees become liaison committees; to the extent that minutes are available from those groups they should be made available to the City Council and to the public. 

The motion as amended carried on a 4 – 0 –1 vote with Mayor Pro Tem Lyon absent. 

Recommendation:  To avoid the continued misunderstanding about meetings of City Council subcommittees, it is recommended that the Council either (1) disband the Council subcommittees, or (2) notice meetings of the subcommittees in accordance with the provisions of the Ralph M. Brown Act.

RECESS & RECONVENE:

At 10:02 P.M., Mayor Byrd declared a recess.  The meeting reconvened at 10:12 P.M.

Resol. No. 2000-72 - Establishment of Stop Regulations at the Intersection of Avenida Aprenda and Avenida Cuaderno  (1204 x 1502)

Director Allison presented the staff report of October 17, 2000 and the recommendation to adopt the proposed resolution establishing stop regulations at the intersection of Avenida Aprenda and Avenida Cuaderno.

Don Shults, 2129 Velez Drive, President of Rolling Hills Riviera Homeowners Association, spoke in support of the proposed action; discussed other means of traffic control; and, said that this will encourage other Homeowners Associations to provide input to the City to request traffic control in their areas.
 
Council discussion focused on the lack of opposition to this action and the consensus was that this would be good for traffic control.

Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor Byrd to ADOPT RESOLUTION No. 2000-72, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING STOP REGULATIONS AT THE INTERSECTION OF AVENIDA APRENDA AND AVENIDA CUADERNO.

Status Of Proposition A Funds And At-Risk Youth Compliance  (1204 x 601)

Director Allison presented the staff report of October 17, 2000 and the recommendation to receive and file the report.

Council discussion centered on the youths at risk and the fact that the contractors hire the employees and prepare all required paperwork.

Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to receive and file the report as recommended by staff.

Recommendation for Expanding Speed Enforcement and Awareness Program  (1204 x 1502)

Director Allison presented the staff report of October 17, 2000 and the recommendation to authorize Staff to increase the use of the radar trailer and secure additional services from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s to increase speed enforcement and improve public awareness of speeding on local roadways.

Don Shults, 2129 Velez Drive, President of Rolling Hills Riviera Homeowners Association, discussed speeding problems in various parts of the City and different methods of control.  He said that his neighborhood would be happy to serve as a test area. 

Council discussion focused on the need for adequate light, including flashing yellow beacons, to ensure that the speed board is visible to motorists; the probability that speed boards installed for night use would be placed on main arterials; and, the saving of labor costs and additional data collected when a speed board could be left in place for two days.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart to authorize Staff to increase the use of the radar trailer and secure additional services from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s to increase speed enforcement and improve public awareness of speeding on local roadways.  Motion carried.

Revised 2000 Five-Year Financial Model and Consideration of Revising the Utility User Tax Rate  (602 x 1501 x 1601)

Council consensus was to postpone this item until Mayor Pro Tem Lyon could be present.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch reported that no action was taken

ORAL CITY COUNCIL REPORTS:

Councilman McTaggart requested that the Council meeting schedule for Wednesday, November 8, be rescheduled for Monday, November 6, since he had a conflict on Wednesday.

Council discussion focused on the policy to hold the Council meeting on Wednesday when the regular Council meeting day fell on election day and likely conflicts of two other Councilmembers making it impossible for them to attend a November 8 meeting.

Councilwoman Ferraro described a COPS advisory board meeting she recently attended which also was attended by Kelly Johnson, principal of Peninsula High, and several Sheriff deputies in casual uniform.  She said that the program had been wonderful for the high school students.
 
ADJOURNMENT:  Adjourned at 10:42 P.M. on motion of Mayor Byrd.

_______________________
                MAYOR

ATTEST:

__________________
     CITY CLERK