RANCHO PALOS VERDES REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
ADJOURNED REGULAR MEETING
DECEMBER 19, 2000
The meeting was called to order at 9:50 P.M. by Chair Lyon at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, notice having been given with affidavit thereto on file.
Byrd, Ferraro, McTaggart, Stern, and Chair Lyon
Also present were Executive Director Les Evans; Assistant Executive Director Carolynn Petru; Agency Attorney Carol Lynch; Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Director Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Finance Director Dennis McLean; Agency Secretary Jo Purcell; and, Recording Secretary Jackie Drasco.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Agency Secretary Purcell reported that staff inadvertently listed a register of demands on the agenda and requested that the Board strike it from the agenda.
Member McTaggart moved, seconded by Member Stern, to approve the agenda as corrected. Motion carried.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Member Stern moved, seconded by Member McTaggart, to approve the amended Consent Calendar as follows:
Minutes of November 21 and December 5, 2000 (301)
Approved with minor correction to minutes of December 5.
Exclusive Negotiating Agreement to Provide Affordable Housing (1203 x 701 x 1900)
Executive Director Les Evans presented the staff report of December 19, 2000 and the recommendation to approve the proposed Negotiating Agreement between the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency and Indian Ridge Crest Gardens, LP.
Board discussion centered on the time and money Mr. Brumbaugh, the developer, had invested in this project; the fact that there is not yet a design concept for consideration by the Traffic Committee or the Planning Commission; that even after consideration by the City the project may not be approved; the length of time for the EIR process; public opposition; and, the effect on the affordable housing funds should the City sell the property. It was argued that if the project were to develop into a market value apartment building, this would be of no value to the City and that it would be beneficial if the property purchased by the City could be maintained as open space but that this action would remove the advantage of the City’s time extension to provide affordable housing and/or risk the loss of affordable housing funds.
Charles Brumbaugh, Corporation for Better Housing, 100 West Broadway, #1250, Glendale, CA 91210, stated that it was common practice in real estate development to tie up a piece of property while a plan was being developed; that he allowed the City to purchase the property based on good faith that he would develop a project; that the bulk of the structure, the height, density, traffic, number of units would be reduced as a result of the deletion of the Senior Center for the Peninsula Seniors but that usually 50 was the minimum units to be self-supporting; that all units would be identical whether they were affordable or market value and that the building would be attractive and well maintained; that a shuttle bus would be provided for residents; that he had attended many community meetings; that he wished to provide a project that would be acceptable to the community and to the Board; and, that he had invested approximately $200,000 in the project so far. He explained that the minimum age for residents was 55 but that an adult child or other caretaker could live with a resident temporarily if required for convalescence from an illness. He also discussed the size of the units if there was to be a reduced number and the wisdom of providing slightly more affordable units than required in order to meet future increases from the State.
Agency Attorney Lynch concurred that it would be advisable to provide a cushion in the number of affordable units to accommodate a possibly higher State requirement in the future.
Ann Shaw, 30036 Via Borica, President of the Peninsula Seniors, addressed residents’ concerns about the affordable housing aspect of the project, stating that she believed many current Peninsula seniors who no longer could or wanted to live in their homes might qualify and wish to move to this facility or possibly move their qualifying parents in.
Speaking in opposition to renewing the exclusive negotiating agreement were the following residents: Glenn and Barbara Arbuthnot, 28856 Crestridge Road, who also spoke for Shaleh Djahed, 5457 Middlecrest Road; Leonard Freeland, 28809 Crestridge Road; Bryant Bushling, 5401 Meadowdale Lane; William Brandlin, 5201 Middlecrest Road; Linda Puentes, 5575 Mistridge Drive; Chuck Taylor, 5441 Middlecrest Road; Tom Jacobson, 28953 Crestridge Road; Ray Mathys, 5738 Whitecliff Drive; Robin Rahn, 28846 Crestridge Road; Shawn Gillis, 5400 Meadowdale Lane; Jim Hathaway, 28955 Crestridge Road; David Knoblock, 5641 Whitecliff; Clara Duran Reed, 30652 Palos Verdes Drive East; and, Jim Reed, 30652 Palos Verdes Drive East.
A summary of their comments is as follows: More housing in the City would mean more cars emitting more carbon monoxide; housing density should be curtailed to comply with the philosophy on which the City was founded; the proposed project was incompatible with the neighborhood; it was rumored that the project would not pay for itself and that it could become a financial burden for the City; low income housing would not enhance the neighborhood; there were more units proposed than were required for the affordable housing requirement; there were other means to meet the affordable housing requirement such as rental assistance at other locations; why did the Board think that Mr. Brumbaugh would meet the next deadline since he had not met the last one and why was he the only developer being considered; with other adjacent similar projects this type of facility was not needed in the City; the Board was being unfair to the developer in building up his hopes that the project might be built when there was so much public opposition to its construction; this project would be detrimental to the environment, risking natural vegetation and wildlife; Mr. Brumbaugh’s proposal was inadequately defined and his drawings did not correctly depict the project ; the already heavily trafficked intersection at Crenshaw and Crestridge would become even more congested with the additional traffic generated by this facility and it was incorrect to assume that seniors would not be driving; the deletion of the center for the Peninsula Seniors did not lessen the traffic impact nor settle the issue of neighborhood compatibility; the low standard of affordable units would not be attractive to the seniors already living on the Peninsula; since there was no urgency to take action, the City could draw interest on the money accumulated for affordable housing over the next ten years even if the principal had to be forfeited to the State in the event the affordable housing requirement was not met and this interest could be used for a project more appropriate for the property, such as a park or wildlife preserve; citizens should be involved in the planning of this project or in coming up with another use of this property; this project was in conflict with campaign statements made by candidates during the last election; and, this land was not stable which presented the potential for damage to nearby homes with no apparent plan for compensation to homeowners in this event;
Speaking in rebuttal, Charles Brumbaugh, stated that it might not be feasible for the City to use this property for a park if it were to maintain funds set aside for affordable housing; that a school that had been proposed by an interested buyer of the property would probably not be acceptable to adjacent residents; and, that the senior housing facility would have the least impact on the community. He explained that working with the Peninsula Seniors and revising the project many times contributed to missing the deadline. He felt that the project was still worthwhile and that it would be unfair to deny him the opportunity to provide a facility that would meet the needs of the City.
RECESS & RECONVENE:
At 11:20 P.M., Chair Lyon declared a recess. The meeting reconvened at 11:30 P.M.
Additional Board discussion focused on the State’s current and future affordable housing requirement and the past search to locate suitable property; the need for a clearly defined revised plan with appropriate renderings since the Peninsula Seniors were no longer participating; maintaining the institutional zoning; the requirement to replenish affordable housing set aside funds with general funds for the purchase of the property if it were designated as open space or a park and the subsequent potential loss of the affordable housing funds; Mr. Brumbaugh’s option to buy the property that he gave to the City, how this affected the City’s actions in developing the property, and Mr. Brumbaugh’s willingness to purchase the property from the City; the doubt that selling to another developer would result in a project acceptable to the community since City control could lessen the impact; the effect of the pending expansion of the nearby Palos Verdes Art Center; the general reluctance to accept affordable housing by any community, upscale or not; and, Mr. Brumbaugh’s willingness to work with the City and the Community to develop an acceptable, viable project.
Member Ferraro moved, seconded by Member Byrd, to approve the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement until June 2001 on the condition that the agreement would not include an option for Mr. Brumbaugh to purchase the property.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
Ferraro, McTaggart, and Chair Lyon
The meeting was adjourned at 11:59 P.M. on the motion on Chair Lyon.