M I N U T E S
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
ADJOURNED REGULAR MEETING
RECREATION AND PARKS AND FINANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEES
JANUARY 30, 2001
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by Mayor Lyon at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, notice having been given with affidavit thereto on file. After the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Byrd, McTaggart, Stern and Mayor Lyon
FINANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE:
PRESENT: Au, Clark, Smith, Wolowicz, and Van Wagner, and Chair Butler
RECREATION AND PARK COMMITTEE:
PRESENT: Bothamley, DeLong, Hildreth, Inamdar, Longacre, Vannorsdall, and Chair Ford
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/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; Deputy Director of Planning Dave Snow; Associate Planner Ara Mihranian, Administrative Analyst II Phyllis Butts, Recreation Supervisor II Matt Waters; Consulting Geological Engineer Jim Lancaster; and, Deputy City Clerk/Recording Secretary Jackie Drasco.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart, to approve the agenda. Motion carried.
Forrestal Management Plan
Staff recommendation was to review the proposed Draft Forrestal Management Plan and (1) Discuss the various aspects of the Plan with the Parks and Recreation Committee and the Finance Advisory Committee. (2) Provide staff with direction pertaining to (a) the level of improvements, (b) the implementation of a management agreement with Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, and (c) any other modifications for the final Plan.
Deputy Director Snow gave an overview of the proposed management plan, describing the process and the participation of the Recreation and Parks Committee, the Finance Advisory Committee, and the Forrestal Subcommittee (made up of representatives from the Recreation and Parks Committee, the Equestrian Committee, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, and Los Serenos de Point Vicente docents). Using a computer generated visual presentation, he showed photographs of the property and discussed issues which were discussed as the management plan was developed. He answered questions posed by the Council regarding trails, stating that the plan provided for safety improvements but not expansion of the trails and that the Equestrian Committee provided input regarding equestrian uses and standards.
Director Allison utilized a computer generated visual presentation to illustrate terracing, drainage, trail protection and general geology and stability of the property, issues when further investigated would provide information needed to decide which alternative actions would be appropriate.
Director McLean addressed financial aspects of the management plan, focusing on costs for geological and engineering design studies. Using a computer generated visual presentation, he showed a chart describing three alternatives within the management plan and said that the Finance Advisory Committee preferred Alternative Three, subject to funding. He also showed a chart indicating possible sources of funding and answered queries from the Council regarding restrictions on the use of some funds.
Earl Butler, Finance Advisory Committee Chair, added that there were possibly other funding sources which might be available with further investigation.
Council suggested that State funds for cleanup after the quarry left hazardous conditions might be available.
Deputy Director Snow then discussed the offer from the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy to assist with certain aspects of the management referring to details in the staff report. He asked that the Council provide staff direction on implementation of the management plan, consider the offer from the Land Conservancy and suggest other modifications to finalize the plan.
Council discussion focused on the safe use of trails by pedestrians and equestrians, and how liability was affected by a trail being considered natural or improved.
City Attorney Lynch explained that natural trails were covered by immunities that protect the City in the Government Tort Claims Act and that warning signs could be posted or not, with no affect on liability, but that improved trails (those with asphalt, concrete, or other such man-made surfaces) could make the City liable for safety, if they are in a dangerous condition. In response to a question, she added that natural material to repair a trail should not constitute an improvement that would eliminate the immunity from liability for the City under the Tort Claims Act.
Council discussion focused on the importance of providing safety for the pedestrians and equestrians using the trails.
Steve Wolowicz, Finance Advisory Committee Member, focusing the Alternative One, which he felt simply made the property safe, raised the issue of funding for repairs of the property to raise the safety level from the condition in which the property was received.
Director McLean discussed use of General Funds, some of which had been allocated for this purpose.
Director Allison replied that the County had approved use of Measure A funds for maintenance but not repair of the property.
Council suggested that the County might approve use of Measure A funds for design projects.
Director Allison said that he would investigate this possibility.
Maureen Ford, Chair of the Recreation and Parks Committee expressed her committees support of the proposed management plan.
Council discussion centered on the geological stability of the property and the effect of water.
Consulting Geological Engineer Jim Lancaster discussed studies that he had conducted as well as the late Dr. Perry Ehlig and felt that water was not a major concern but he agreed further investigation was warranted.
Kevin Jennings, 32257 Sea Raven Drive, representing Ladera Linda Homeowners Association, said that the consensus derived from a special Association meeting was support for Alternative One, to provide safety and a feeling that the access gate at Forrestal Drive should remain closed except for emergencies. He said that the community was divided on equestrian use but, if allowed, use should be restricted to the upper trails which connected to the Portuguese Bend area and that horse trailers should not be allowed to park on Forrestal and Intrepid. He felt that the management plan gave a false impression that there was ample parking at Ladera Linda Community Center but this was not true during the weekend when activities such as soccer were taking place. He indicated that opening the gate to allow additional parking would create dangerous "drag strip" driving on the slope.
Nick Trutanich, 3751 Coolheights Drive, stated that he and his family used the trail to Coolheights from Ladera Linda and wanted this area to remain open.
Vic Quirarte, 20369 Quailwood Drive, a docent from Los Serenos de Point Vicente introduced Joan Perry, president of this organization, who described activities of the docents; said the docents supported Alternative Three and the involvement of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy in the management of this property; and, urged the Council to make sure that natural water sources are preserved for animals who live on the Forrestal property.
RECESS & RECONVENE:
At 8:35 P.M., Mayor Lyon declared a recess. The meeting reconvened at 8:50 P.M.
Angelika Brinkmann Busi, 2141 West 55th Street, San Pedro, CA 90732, representing the California Native Plant Society, explained the societys mission and objected to the landscaping at the new Abalone Cove scenic turnout which she said is not only devoid of native plants but contains two invasive plants which could threaten the native plants growing near the turnout.
Tony Baker, 16 Limetree Lane, stated that he was surprised to see non-native plants in the new Abalone Cove scenic turnout since he had provided a list of native plants to the City and said that it was ironic that wording on the plaque at the turnout stresses the importance of habitat.
Forrestal Management Plan (continued)
Alfred Sattler, 1904 Avenida Aprenda, said that the plan was a good start but that it needed to be fleshed out. He spoke in opposition to trash bins and benches which he felt would decrease the wilderness feeling and was concerned about the grading proposed by Alternative Three and the long period of time revegetation would take to restore current conditions. He urged the Council to leave the trails as they are and to use the management services being offered by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.
Sunshine, 6 Limetree Lane, urged the Council to maintain the Palos Verdes Loop Trail; made reference to a map she provided with the staff report; and, showed an actual sign which would be offered to the City marking the end of each segment of the trail and indicating who sponsored the sign. She said that Rolling Hills Estates had taken advantage of the offer of these signs. She mentioned vacant lots which were most likely unbuildable which could be purchased at a minimal cost to improve trail access.
Richard Bara, One Peppertree Drive, stated that he was Vice Chair of the Equestrian Committee and a member of the Horsemens Association but said he was speaking as a private citizen. He urged to Council to make sure that horses are considered if and when trails are modified and spoke in support of maintaining the Palos Verdes Loop Trail.
Ralph Ortolano, Jr. 3776 Coolheights Drive, spoke in support of maintaining the Palos Verdes Loop Trail and discussed easements which would improve access. He felt that a survey should be performed to avoid placing trails on private property; hoped that trails would remain as natural as possible; encouraged the Council to work with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy; and, suggested a dedicated turnaround at the end of Cool Heights for use by hikers.
Jim Moore, 68 Locklenna Lane, said that he was on the Board of the Land Conservancy and was a former committee member. He felt that the gunite patches should be repaired and that an engineering study was needed to locate and define trails, to provide proper drainage, and determine how much grading was required on the slope.
Daryl Creighton, 3562 Heroic Drive, said that he was a board member of the Ladera Linda Homeowners Association and felt that since their community was the one most affected by proposed changes on the Forrestal property that an Association representative be included in any future planning or agreements made.
Bill Schurmer, 32468 Sea Raven Drive, a Ladera Linda resident said that he is familiar with the trails and there are some bad sections which he did not believe would be useable for horses. He was opposed to opening the gate at Forrestal Drive for more parking because the additional cars would detract from the pristine nature of the area.
Angelika Brinkmann Busi, 2141 West 35th Street, San Pedro, CA 90732, representing the California Native Plant Society, felt that the plan was not complete, particularly in regard to the vegetation map. She said that her organization had provided lists of plants to the City and that she would be happy to update the list. She was concerned about invasive plants on the property and supported Alternative One and the involvement of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.
Tony Baker, 16 Limetree Lane, representing the Palos Verdes/South Bay Chapter of the Audubon Society, supported the involvement of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy and felt that the fragility of the land indicated that a minimum amount of change, for safety and access, should take place. He said that he had led groups on hikes on this property and felt that the trails were adequate aside from a few problem areas. He was concerned about drainage and wondered if the swales could be removed and vegetation planted to control erosion.
Council discussion focused on the wisdom of working with the Land Conservancy; maintaining safety while keeping trails as undisturbed as possible; ordering an engineering study to study drainage and grading which might be required to maintain slope stability; the importance of local input from Ladera Linda Homeowners; and, funding sources.
Keith Lenard, representing the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, said that they usually work with a steering committee which would include local residents and that they would provide a more formal written proposal in reference to the Conservancys offer to help with management of the property for Council consideration in the future.
It was the consensus of Council that staff should seek an engineering cost estimate on the improvements it would take for a modified version of Alternative No. 3 and that the study should take into consideration maintenance costs and problems; what the resource agencies have to say about limitations on the types of trails and their effects on habitation and vegetation; that the types of trail improvements be minor; that this be kept a passive open space; that the study include a survey of the Coolheights area; that the use of Measure "A" funds be clarified; that local neighborhood input be sought; and, that because there is insufficient time to get the engineering study done prior to the budget sessions, that a placeholder be put in the budget for this work.
RECESS & RECONVENE:
At 10:00 P.M., Mayor Lyon declared a recess. The meeting reconvened at 10:10 P.M.
Revised Meeting Schedule
Assistant City Manager Petru presented the staff report of January 30, 2001 and the recommendation to (1) Select a date for a City Council Goal Setting Workshop. (2) Consider holding community outreach meetings on the City Budget and, if approved, select three dates for these meetings. (3) Select a new date for the second Budget Policy Meeting. (4) Select a date for a second Budget Review Meeting. (5) Select a new date for the Fall Community Leaders Breakfast.
Council consensus was as follows: (1) Selected Saturday, March 17 at 8:30 A.M. at the City Hall Community Room for a City Council Goal Setting Workshop. (2) Selected Monday, February 12; Wednesday, February 28; and, Thursday, March 1 as community outreach meetings on the City Budget, various locations and times. (3) Selected Thursday, May 3 at 7:00 P.M. in the Community Room, for a Budget Policy Meeting. (4) Selected Thursday, May 29, at 7:00 P.M. in the City Hall Community Room for a second Budget Review Meeting. (5) Selected Saturday, September 15 at 9:00 A.M. at Hesse Park, as a new date for the Fall Community Leaders Breakfast.
Resol. 2001-05 - Increase in Appropriation - Neighborhood Watch
City Clerk Purcell presented the staff report of January 30, 2001 and the recommendation to adopt the proposed resolution amending Resolution 2000-33, the budget appropriation for Fiscal Year 2000-2001, for a budget adjustment to the Neighborhood Watch Program.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Byrd, to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2001-05, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2000-33, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000-2001, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Byrd, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Lyon
Recess to Closed Session. At 10:25 P.M. the council recessed to a closed session to discuss the following item:
CLOSED SESSION AGENDA CHECKLIST
Based on Government Code Section 54954.5
(All Statutory References are to California Government Code Sections)
CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATOR
Property: 30678 Palos Verdes Drive East
City Negotiators: City Manager, Assistant City Manager; City Attorney; and, Director of Public Works
Negotiating Parties: Jim and Diane Tyler
Under Negotiation: Price and Terms of Payment
Reconvene and adjournment: The meeting reconvened at 10:40 P.M. with the City Council voted unanimously (Councilmember Ferraro absent) to make an offer to purchase the property and immediately adjourned on motion of Mayor Lyon.
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