M I N U T E S
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
OCTOBER 16, 2001
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 P.M. by Mayor Lyon at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:10 P.M. the meeting reconvened
After the Pledge of Allegiance by Paige Anderson, Laurel Ast, Guilliana Battaglia, Ellie DAmbra, Marie Delcarson, Taylor Gilbertson, Celia Herreros, Riley Hoffman, Kaitlin Murray, Taylor Raymond, Page Tripp, and Chloe Urbanczyk of Brownie Troop 108, roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor 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; Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and, Deputy City Clerk/Recording Secretary Jackie Drasco.
The winner from the last drawing was Marjorie Stouffer, who will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service. Another card was selected.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Mayor Lyon requested that the item regarding the Review of Ocean Trails Water Control Plan be heard first under Regular Business. Councilmember Gardiner suggested that, because of the large number of speakers present, the item regarding Long Point Land Use be the second Regular Business item.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to approve the agenda, as amended. Motion carried.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart, to approve the Consent Calendar as follows:
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 councilmembers after the reading of the title.
Minutes of September 4, 2001 (301)
Approved the Minutes.
Ordinance No. 370 - Amendment of Municipal Code - Golf Tax (1103 x 1501)
ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 370, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING CERTAIN PORTIONS OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE REGARDING THE CITYS GOLF TAX. (This ordinance was re-introduced at the October 2nd Meeting.)
Resol. No. 2001-82 - Funding Appropriation For Solid Waste Activities (1204 x 602 x 1301)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-82, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2001-43, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001-2002, TO INCREASE BUDGETED APPROPRIATIONS IN THE SOLID WASTE FUND TO FUND VARIOUS RECYCLING AND NPDES ACTIVITIES.
Approve Agreement For Electronics Recycling Day (1204 x 1301)
(1) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to sign an agreement with SoCal Computer Recyclers for an Electronics/Computer recycling event.
Resol. No. 2001-83 - Memorandum of Understanding Between the Cities of Lomita, Lakewood, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach and Torrance, and Food Finders, A Non-Profit Organization and Approve Budget Adjustments (1204 x 1301 x 602)
(1) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Cities of Lomita, Lakewood, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach and Torrance, and Food Finders, a non-profit organization, relative to the administration and management of a Reuse Assistance Grant that was previously approved by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB). (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-83, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2001-43, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 2001-2002, TO INCREASE BUDGETED APPROPRIATIONS IN THE SOLID WASTE FUND TO FUND THE GRANTS REQUIRED MATCH.
Resol. No. 2001-84 - Arterial Rehabilitation Program: Crenshaw and Hawthorne Boulevard (1204 x 1404)
(1) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-84, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2001-43, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001-2002, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITYS CAPITAL PROJECTS FUND.
Acquisition of Vehicle For The Department Of Public Works (1204)
(1) Authorized the Department of Public Works to purchase a new vehicle. (2) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to enter into a purchase agreement with Golden State Truck Center, in the amount of $20,250.08.
Resol. No. 2001-85 - Watershed, Wildlife and Parks Improvement Bond Act of 2000, Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program (1204 x 1201)
(1) Authorized staff to apply for a grant from the Watershed, Wildlife and Parks Improvement Bond Act of 2000 Urban and Community Forestry Program. (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-85, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AUTHORIZING THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS TO EXECUTE ANY AGREEMENTS AND REQUESTS FOR PAYMENT.
Resol. No. 2001-86 - Trees For The Millennium Grant (1204 x 1201)
(1) Authorized the expenditure of up to $80,000 (in street and landscape maintenance) to purchase and install new trees within the Citys parks and public rights-of-way. (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-86, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2001-43, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2001-2002, FROM THE CITYS GAS TAX FUND.
Contract Addendum No. 4 For The Long Point Resort Hotel/Golf Course Environmental Impact Report (1203 x 1201 x 1804)
Approved Contract Addendum No. 4 to the Agreement for Consulting Services between the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and Robert Bein, William Frost & Associates (RBF) for preparation of the Long Point Resort Hotel/Golf Course Environmental Impact Report, in the amount of $138,689.
Abalone Cove Landslide Abatement District Appointment of Board Member (306 x 1900)
Appointed Emily Vaughan to serve on the Abalone Cove Landslide Abatement District Board of Directors until November 2003.
Resol. No. 2001-87 - California Integrated Waste Management Board Grant Applications (1204 x 602 x 1301)
(1) Authorized the Director of Public Works to submit a grant application to the California Integrated Waste Management Board for funding assistance to install a rubberized surface at the East View Park Playground area. (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-87, AUTHORIZING THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS TO EXECUTE ANY AGREEMENTS AND REQUESTS FOR PAYMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROCESSING AND ACCEPTANCE OF THESE GRANTS.
Resol. No. 2001-88 - Park Playground Accessibility and Recycling Grant Program
(1) Authorized staff to submit a grant application to the California Integrated Waste Management Board for the upgrade of play equipment at Abalone Cove. (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-88, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO EXECUTE ANY AGREEMENTS AND REQUESTS FOR PAYMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PROCESSING AND ACCEPTANCE OF THIS GRANT.
Resol. No. 2001-89 - Register of Demands (602)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-89, 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.
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Tentative Tract Map No. 53305, Conditional Use Permit No. 228, Grading Permit No. 2242 and Environmental Assessment No. 738 (Applicant: JCC Homes, Inc., Landowner: California Water Service Company, 5837 Crest Road) (1203 x 1804)
Mayor Lyon opened the public hearing on this request to consider Tentative Tract Map No. 53305, Conditional Use Permit No. 228, Grading Permit No. 2242 and Environmental Assessment No. 738. City Clerk Purcell announced that notice had been duly published and that there were no written comments received by the City.
Staff recommendation was to table this matter until the Planning Commission has completed its review of the revised project proposal.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro to adopt staff recommendation to table the item. Motion carried
Continued 6-Month Review of Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 2 (Applicant: Roger Grove, "Ride-To-Fly", 50 Narcissa Drive) (1203 x 1804)
Mayor Lyon opened the public hearing on this request to consider the continued 6-Month Review of Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 2. City Clerk Purcell announced that notice had been duly published and that there were no written comments received by the City.
Associate Planner Schonborn presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to determine that the "Ride-to-Fly" therapeutic riding program is operating in compliance with the conditions of approval for Conditional Large Domestic Animal Permit No. 2, and receive and file this report.
Councilman Stern asked if the City had received proof of the organizations non-profit status and if the soft paving issue had been resolved.
Associate Planner Schonborn said that the proof of non-profit status had been received on October 15 and that the soft paving had just been completed.
Roger Grove, 4923 Halison Street, Torrance, reported that the work had been accomplished to modify the property to the Citys requested standards, and as more funds and materials are available, additional improvements will be completed. He thanked the Council for their patience and understanding in supporting Ride-to-Flys goal to operate a therapeutic operation and to be a good neighbor.
There being no response to the Mayors call for public testimony, she closed the public hearing.
Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to adopt staff recommendation. Motion carried.
Ocean Trails Review of Water Control Plan Ocean Trails Review of Water Control Plan (1203 x 1411)
Deputy Planning Director Pfost presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to approve the Ocean Trails Interim Operations and Maintenance Manual for Water Control, Groundwater Monitoring, and Ground Movement Monitoring Facilities.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart noted that there was no water-monitoring program for the residential portion of the project and that there was no clay cap under residential area.
Mayor Lyon added that there was also no clay cap under the habitat area.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart felt that the lack of a clay cap under the habitat area would not be a problem, however, he was concerned that without a formal residential water-monitoring plan, homeowners would not comply with restrictions merely mentioned in the CC&Rs.
Deputy Planning Director Pfost indicated that the plan does include irrigation restrictions with which each homeowner would have to comply. He said that the monitoring would be different for each individual lot and that there would be inclinometers and wells downslope but not on every lot.
Mayor Lyon was concerned also because there had been problems in other areas from uphill water coming downhill which appeared later, such as water from the City of Rolling Hills.
Councilman Stern asked if each lot was required to submit a landscaping plan to be approved by the City.
Deputy Planning Director Pfost replied that this was a requirement and there would be stricter irrigation standards than in other parts of the City.
Councilman Stern inquired if the City had the ability to ask the developers to look at alternatives to the plan submitted.
Deputy Planning Director Pfost responded that currently the plan was in compliance with Chapter 15 of the Municipal Code but restrictions do not normally apply to single-family residences. He said that additional language regarding irrigation methodology could be added.
Mayor Lyon described a scenario in which the Zuckermans may no longer own Ocean Trails or residence ownership might be separate from the golf course. Therefore, she felt it would be more prudent to have two separate plans, one for the golf course and one for the residences.
City Attorney Lynch felt that changes should be made now while the item is being discussed.
City Manager Evans asked if there would be regular inspections and about the accuracy of the probes.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart wondered who would pay for operation and maintenance costs.
City Manager Evans replied that the City would have to pay.
Mayor Lyon inquired if the golf course plan could be approved and the residential plan approved later.
City Attorney Lynch advised that it would be better to bring the item back later, but with two separate plans.
Mayor Lyon asked staff if it would be a problem to delay approval of the golf course plan.
Director Rojas said there would be no problem
Ken Zuckerman, One Ocean Trails Drive, came to the podium and informed the Council that some of his key people who were involved in designing and implementing the water control plan were present, including the project geologist and the golf course superintendent.
Mark Schluter, project geologist for Ocean Trails, One Ocean Trails Drive, explained that the residential lots did not have the same black adobe cap beneath but they did have clay soil that would create a low permeability barrier, although the permeability was not as low as the black adobe. He shared concerns about the possibility of homeowners overwatering and indicated that there was an extensive water control section in the residential plan, which included information on roof gutters, drains, and water control devices. He agreed that long term enforcement could be a problem as could leaky irrigation lines but he said they would do everything possible to implement a water control plan for the homes.
Mayor Lyon was concerned not about the water which could be seen but water below the bentonite layer.
Mark Schluter responded that the natural water table was 110 feet below the surface and it could not be monitored, however, water would be monitored in the golf course area, downslope of the residential areas.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart thought it was more important to measure water at higher elevations.
Mark Schluter emphasized that they were monitoring three wells, at different levels, and there was no water in the upper well.
Mayor Lyon reiterated that the Council had concerns that once the residential units were sold and a City-approved landscape plan implemented, it would be difficult to monitor the water and she wondered what would trigger a problem and how would enforcement be funded.
Barbara Dye, 29743 Knoll View Drive, representing Ocean Trails, replied that she had put together the monitoring report and said that golf course as well as residential areas would be monitored regularly and there were forms to be completed quarterly by the golf course supervisor.
Councilwoman Ferraro asked the remedy to enforce compliance if a homeowner waters excessively.
Barbara Dye said that Ocean Trails had established no remedy beyond CC&Rs and that the City Council needed to make the decision.
Mayor Lyon noted that the city had the ability to turn off the water.
Barbara Dye agreed that the City had this power to place restrictions on homeowners and it was difficult for Ocean Trails to plan ahead since all the residential construction would be custom. She repeated that the CC&Rs discussed the importance of water control.
Councilman Stern understood that Ocean Trails was building basins for runoff if someone leaves the water running.
City Manager Evans confirmed that runoff would go into a gutter and be handled but there still was a concern about water soaking into the ground. He suggested that the Council could also add additional language to require that a homeowner periodically - the frequency to be determined by Council - to arrange for an inspection and certification (at the homeowners expense) that the irrigation system is operating correctly as originally approved. He believed that this requirement could be included as a covenant for each property to authorize the Citys enforcement.
Councilman Stern suggested that staff bring back suggested language.
Councilmember Gardiner described a visit he and Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart had made to Ocean Trails to look at the elaborate computer-driven water control system. He had questions regarding Table 2.4 on circle page 5 and suggesting that the triggering words become triggering numbers to clarify enforcement.
Mark Schluter, the Ocean Trails geologist said that this could be changed.
Councilmember Gardiner also suggested that someone outside the system check occasionally in the event there was something amiss. He noted that the data was to be maintained by Ocean Trails and, because of his knowledge of information security, he felt there was a high probability that the data could be corrupted, destroyed, lost, etc., and he felt it was important for the City to keep a backup copy of the data.
Councilman Stern asked what medium was being used to store data and could it be put on a CD and delivered to City Hall.
Barbara Dye indicated that the City would be furnished a hard copy of the information quarterly but that the information could be furnished on disks also. She stressed that the quarterly reports would be reviewed by the City geologist and the peer review group, which constituted double independent review.
Councilmember Gardiner felt that machine-readable form of the report would be good and he emphasized the importance of an effective long-term system of maintaining data which would provide not only efficient storage but also efficient retrieval.
Mayor Lyon said that the staff report asked if the Council would like to review future revisions and she thought that it would.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart asked City Attorney Lynch if she felt strongly that the references to residential units be removed from this document.
City Attorney Lynch replied that the document should be divided into two separate sections so that the homeowners would not be confused about requirements which did not apply to them.
Mayor Lyon confirmed that the item would be brought to the Council at a later date with suggestions and additional language from staff.
Long Point Land Use (1101 x 1203 x 1201)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to consider directing the Long Point Developer to minimize the use of the Upper Point Vicente property by placing more golf holes on the Long Point property through elimination of the villas.
City Manager Evans added that the Department of Fish and Game would prefer open space and no golf or other use on city land but said that if the Long Point project required golf holes on Upper Point Vicente Park, the City Hall property, that two golf holes might be acceptable.
City Manager Evans said that the decision before the Council this evening was to decide if the Long Point developer should eliminate the villas to allow more golf holes on their private property. He stressed that the Council would not want to give the impression that the City would necessarily approve two golf holes on City property if the villas were eliminated.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart asked who brought this issue before the Council.
City Manager Evans said that it was the Long Point ad hoc subcommittee of Mayor Lyon and Councilman Stern.
Mayor Lyon clarified that their subcommittee had been looking for a direction since the meeting of the negotiating team and the possibility of deleting the villas from the Long Point plan seemed like a good place to begin.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart said that he had been opposed to the villas from the beginning as well as the number of casitas proposed. He suggested that the speakers be heard before Council discussion.
Speaking to the recommendation were: Gloria Anderson, 6818 Los Verdes; Marianne Hunter, 1 Cinnamon Lane; Roger Mills, 3603 Vigilance Drive; Barbara Gleghorn, 28850 Crestridge Road; Ann Shaw, 30036 Via Borica; Alida White, 32614 Coastsite Drive; George Gleghorn, 28850 Crestridge Road; Alice Slater, 4219 Dauntless Drive; Robert King, 30764 Via La Cresta; Joseph Picarelli, 30311 Via Borica;
Rowland Driskell, 30 Via Capri; Elisabeth Ryan, 3224 Barkentine Road; Gerlinde Ryan, 3224 Barkentine Road; Holly Cain, 52 Avenida Corona; Jill Carlton, 4254 Palos Verdes Drive South; Lennee Bilski, 4255 Palos Verdes Drive South; and, Craig Mueller, 3559 Seaglen Drive.
These speakers focused on the following concerns: In light of the current economic downturn, a partnership between a developer and the City could be risky to the Citys financial stability; because the City is attempting to obtain funds for which there is great competition to purchase open space in Portuguese Bend, allowing the use of City land by a developer weakens the Citys commitment to preserve open space; even two holes is too many because City land should not be used at all; SOC II presented an alternate proposition for the use of Upper Point Vicente Park and a petition with 3,200 signatures urging the City to preserve the parkland for public use; the Federal government deed the land to the City with restrictions which would not allow golf; just because Upper Point Vicente Park is undeveloped does not mean that it is useless land; there was an objection to public land being made available to a few people; irrigation water could cause problems for residents downslope as has happened at Villa Capri from Los Verdes Golf Course; many Councilmembers campaigned on open space preservation and should live up to this promise; golf courses are not open space but artificial green space; it was felt that the developer wanted this land adjacent to City Hall because of the magnificent view but this view should be enjoyed by the general public; once the public land was given up, it could not be reclaimed; appreciation was expressed to the subcommittee for bringing this issue to the entire Council and to the Council for the preservation of the Forrestal, Barkentine and Shoreline properties; and, the 1975 General Plan set forth a plan to provide a large community facility at the Civic Center and encouraged community recreational areas and playing fields on City land.
Michael Mohler, representing Destination Development Corporation, 11777 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049, felt that although Bill Tippets had been designated as negotiator, he did not give the final word for the Department of Fish and Game. He said that he wanted to work with the City regarding the possibility of removing the villas from the project. He explained that a number of golf layouts had been analyzed, both on Long Point property and on City property and he described the extraordinary contribution the developer had made to the habitat, the NCCP process, and a survey of the gnatcatcher which was accepted and verified by the Department of Fish and Game. He also discussed the revegetation plan submitted to increase coastal sage scrub on City property. He looked forward to the Council meeting on November 7 at which their group could provide additional details regarding the Planning Commission hearings and the background of how the plans have developed. Mr. Mohler said that Bill Tippets had upped the ante at a Planning Commission meeting and his supervisor did not back him up and called him to task. He urged the Council to consider all factors and to work with the developer to attain a common beneficial goal.
Councilman Stern remarked that there was not a commitment for $20 million from the state and that there was no written proposal for the verbal commitment from the developer for the use of City land.
Mike Mohler replied that this step would not be taken until the Council had reached a decision regarding the use of City land.
Councilman Stern said that the developer had stated in advertisements that the project would general $4.5 million for the City and that he assumed this income was based on certain room rates and occupancy estimates. He guessed that the recent economic downturn would reduce this benefit to the City.
Mike Mohler agreed and said the Finance Advisory Committee had anticipated this and asked for a break-even number of approximately $2.5 million assuming the hotel could remain open.
RECESS & RECONVENE:
At 8:42 P.M., Mayor Lyon declared a recess. The meeting reconvened at 8:55 P.M.
Director McLean left the meeting during the recess.
Mayor Lyon asked Mike Mohler to return to the podium
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart asked if a smaller hotel had been considered, which could be expanded if successful.
Mike Mohler said that a smaller megastructure had not been considered, but the construction of the casitas was planned in phases.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart said that because of the downturn in the economy, the size of the hotel, and operation costs, the break-even point requires higher residency rates and he was concerned about a plan which used City land. He asked for more information about Mr. Tippets supervisor being unhappy about his testimony
Mike Mohler that Mr. Tippets and his supervisor did not agree about what was on the table.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart felt that U.S. Fish and Wildlife was more tied to the Civic Center property than State Fish and Game but the two groups did have to work together.
Mike Mohler explained that they were in the room together but Bill Tippets had been nominated as negotiator and he said that he had the feeling that Karen Evans of U.S. Fish and Wildlife was trying to get another hole on the property. He reminded the Council that the Ocean Trails Conservation Plan did not work until there were economic features such as endowments and bonds and then the agencies began to be more reasonable and willing to compromise. He knew that the City Council was well aware of the game of negotiating big deals. Mr. Mohler pointed out the benefits of a large hotel in the City for banquet and meeting space for City, community, and private events instead of importing the business out of the City. He drew a comparison between the size of the hotel and economics and the scaling down of the hotel would have unfortunate circumstances.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart hoped there would be full presentation before the Council at the November 7 meeting.
Mike Mohler stated that he learned that this issue was on the agenda tonight only a few days earlier so was not prepared at this time and said there was information beyond his scope, such as legal matters, but he assured the Council that the senior executives at Destination Development were preparing for the November 7 Council meeting and the Councils direction tonight would help them prepare.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart asked if elimination of the villas would kill the project.
Mike Mohler said that he did not know and said that finances determine everything. He stated that the Citys Finance Advisory Committee had discussed the internal rate of return tied to the villas and that Rob Lowe could explain more fully on November 7.
Councilman Stern raised the issue mentioned in the Palos Verdes Peninsula News regarding a cooperative venture with Ocean Trails and he asked Mr. Mohler to enlighten the Council.
Mike Mohler said that this was brought up at the Planning Commission meetings and about a week ago, they were successful in taking steps to provide an opportunity to look at the underwriting which can be accomplished and that the affiliate is involved in due diligence. He expected that because of contact today with the Daily Breeze that there would more information published and said that he would keep the Council posted.
Councilman Stern recalled Planning Commission meetings that he watched and the vote of 4-3 which indicated that three of the Commissioners did not want to use land. He saw a natural synergy between Long Point and Ocean Trails and seems to be hearing that there is significant movement that might be tying these two together in some economic connection with the world-class golf course just down street.
Mike Mohler replied that at the April 24, 2001 Planning Commission meeting the synergy between properties was mentioned. It seemed natural that when Ocean Trails once again has 18 holes, people playing golf there would be looking for lodging and the hotel at Long Point could send them business as well. He said there has always been an express desire for an alliance whether it is simply the purchase of tee times, assisting them our of bankruptcy, all the way to dual ownership and that all these possibilities had been discussed at public meetings. He was not sure how things would go but the Destination Development marketing group would summarize for the Council. Mr. Mohler emphasized the need for an onsite amenity to ensure success of the hotel and the suggestion of a spa would not be sufficient.
Councilman Stern said that a world-class golf academy had been mentioned as an onsite amenity and he asked if this combined with a 9-hole golf course would provide an acceptable onsite amenity.
Mike Mohler said that the 9-hole golf course would appeal to groups who have limited time. And for people who want to use the golf school.
Councilwoman Ferraro inquired if several different specifications could be presented at the November 7 meeting, with or without the villas or with fewer villas.
Mike Mohler said there would be analysis of economic impact of all these possibilities.
Councilwoman Ferraro asked if the Lowes would be there.
Mike Mohler said at least one of them would be, along with a strong showing of the executive corps.
Councilmember Gardiner disclosed that he had spoken with everyone in the spectrum, including SOC II people, other residents, Mike Mohler, and Rob Lowe. He felt that the goals statement, the Citys General plan and signatures of 3,200 citizens meant that the City should wish Long Point good luck in placing their project on your property, not the Citys. However, he was willing as a member of the City Council to do whatever possible to make the Long Point project successful and to improve the internal rate of return and pointed out that usually there was a negative cash flow in the early stages of construction and maybe the City could ease that burden. He urged the Long Point developers to be as creative as they want on their own property and he felt it would be advantageous for the City to facilitate a win-win between Long Point and Ocean Trails. He thought that a 9-hole pitch and putt golf course to practice the short game along with an academy with an 18-hole course nearby would be desirable along with any other cooperative ventures between the two groups. Councilmember Gardiner felt it was the job of the Council to define the "box" and that the City would help Long Point be successful in that box, to eliminate false starts and to avoid sending ambiguous signals.
Councilmember Gardiner moved to allow no golf holes on City property and felt that appropriate assistance from the City, other than providing City land, would help this successful group who has an excellent reputation and who had built good properties.
Councilman Stern agreed with Councilmember Gardiners suggestion and felt that allowing no use of City land but working with the developer to build a successful project on private property would be good for the City. He wondered if a funding mechanism such as non-recourse municipal bonds would be helpful.
City Attorney Lynch opined that the most viable alternative would be a Redevelopment Plan and said she would investigate new findings under State law which might apply because the land had been vacant for many years.
Councilman Stern agreed that this type of path might change finance rates dramatically and should be investigated to allow maximum creativity for the developer.
Mayor Lyon said that she and Councilman Stern had put this item on the agenda to ask for direction from the Council regarding Long Point and to further negotiations in the goal to establish the Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve because the two were tied together.
Councilmember Gardiner gathered that Bill Tippets had said that no golf holes on City property was preferable but two holes might work.
Mayor Lyon suggested the possibility of a connection with the NCCP.
City Manager Evans read from the staff report the section which indicated Mr. Tippets preference.
Councilmember Gardiner recalled that Mr. Tippets had preferred no golf holes on City property.
City Manager Evans said that he had indicated that in the past.
Director Rojas said that Bill Tippets had expressed that at the negotiation meeting.
Councilman Stern gave his viewpoint that it would be best to use no City land for golf.
Mayor Lyon stated that the Council had never been fond of the villas and she looked forward to the Council hearing the plan on November 7.
Councilman Stern said that it was important that Mike Mohler knew that the Council was not enamored with rooflines along Palos Verdes Drive South.
Councilwoman Ferraro felt the Council agreed on this. She asked Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart his suggestions for action to be taken at this time.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart responded that if the Council allows no City land for the Long Point project, their negotiations with Ocean Trails might be less productive. He expressed his long-standing feeling that there should not be golf on City property but hoped this would not kill the project because he felt the City needed, and deserved, this hotel. He was concerned that allowing golf on City property would jeopardize funding for purchase of open space. He raised another issue that if golf were allowed on the property adjacent to City Hall, the Coastal Commission would then be involved in how we used our own land, for example the Independence Day celebration, and he found this unacceptable. Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart made reference to the federal restrictions on the use of the Upper Point Vicente Park at City Hall when it was deeded to the City and this was even more important than the opinion of the Federal and State environmental agencies and that even though Bill Tippets had been designated as negotiator, the City had not heard directly from the Federal government.
Councilmember Gardiner felt that the best opportunity for creativity would be if the box could be defined as close as possible to a final decision with the preference that no City land is used for the project, that villas are not desired, and that the City is amenable to finding proper methods to help boost Long Points internal rate of return and to encourage their cooperative ventures with Ocean Trails. He suggested that the final definition of the "box" this evening would benefit all parties.
Mayor Lyon reiterated that furthering the completion of the NCCP would be another benefit of making a decision tonight to deny Long Point use of City land. She said that she had always thought that some modified portion of the proposal might work but that she was moved by what Craig Mueller said about the goals of the 1975 General Plan. She said that the City needed a better Civic Center and playing field for children, as well as an independent source of revenue for the City that a successful hotel would supply. She also stressed the importance of purchasing additional open space.
Councilmember Gardiner restated his motion: To allow no use of City land by the Long Point developer and to ask the developer to re-think the villas, with the understanding that the City is amenable to the proper way to make Long Points figures of merit more attractive.
Mayor Lyon seconded Councilmember Gardiners motion.
City Attorney Lynch suggested that mention of the villas should be avoided because this was an issue to be discussed later at a noticed public hearing. She added that it was appropriate to discuss the use of City land but not to discuss the specific of the project.
The maker and seconder of the motion agreed.
Councilmember Gardiner was enthusiastic about the possibilities of City benefits from this Council decision regarding the land adjacent to City Hall such as a visitor center at the Civic Center, an active or passive recreational area, possibly a summer festival, performing arts, etc.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart agreed but said there was an unknown element that the resource agencies might covet this land and that they have leverage in this respect.
Councilmember Gardiner suggested that the area downslope might be under the control of the resource agencies and the City could develop the flat area at the top of the hill.
Councilman Stern agreed with Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart that the resource agency could be a problem but that hopefully the Council could send a clear message of intent which would improve the Citys chances of acquiring open space.
Mayor Lyon indicated that the chances were also improved in light of the Governors approving the March park measure. She felt that Mr. Mohler had been given information to take back to the developer and she looked forward to an interesting meeting on November 7.
The motion was repeated: To allow no use of City land by the Long Point developer with the understanding that the City is amenable to exploring proper and appropriate ways to make Long Points figures of merit more attractive.
Without exception, the motion carried.
RECESS & RECONVENE:
At 9:40 P.M., Mayor Lyon declared a recess. The meeting reconvened at 9:54 P.M.
Approval of the August 21st Minutes (301)
City Clerk Purcell presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to consider Councilman Sterns amendment to the August 21, 2001 minutes.
Mayor Lyon asked if the City had a video tape of the meeting.
City Clerk Purcell said the tape would be retained until the minutes were approved.
Councilman Stern said that since the tape would not be retained after approval of the minutes and the Council decision to postpone a decision regarding additional homes in Zone II was based on Council discussion and not on information in the staff report. Therefore, he felt it was important to make the changes he suggested.
Councilman Stern moved to adopt the Minutes of August 21, 2001, as amended.
Councilman Stern said that he had prepared the amended while watching the video tape of the meeting and wondered if the Council felt the information he submitted was inaccurate. He felt if that was not the concern, there was no reason to reject the amendment.
Mayor Lyon said that the amendment read like an unnoticed deposition.
Councilman Stern reiterated that the information discussed was important in showing why the Council made its decision and the staff report and the minutes as originally submitted provided no evidence to indicate why the decision was made.
Councilmember Gardiner pointed out that the Council had at its last meeting made the decision to experiment with more detailed minutes and he asked what the protocol was when a Councilmember wished to change the draft minutes presented.
Councilwoman Ferraro replied that a change to the minutes required a majority vote by the Council.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart said that if a Councilmember wanted to change a word or two or felt that the emphasis was incorrect, usually the Council agreed to the change but that it was unusual for a Councilmember to change an entire section and it not been Council policy in the past to make these types of changes.
Councilman Stern read an example of the originally submitted minutes compared with his amendment and again stressed that his amendment was a necessary, complete account of the discussion.
Mayor Lyon said that the Council had agreed to change the minutes format but that she did not feel this amendment was necessary.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart said that the discussion that took place was a courtroom type interrogation.
Councilman Stern said that he would not object to the discussion being characterized as an interrogation.
Councilmember Gardiner suggested that the amendment be distilled.
Councilman Stern s motion died for lack of a second.
Mayor Lyon suggested that the City Clerk could do that and bring the minutes with the distilled amendment to the next Council meeting.
There was no objection.
Purchase of HDPE Pipe For The Palos Verdes Drive South Drainage Repair Project (1204 x 604)
Director Allison presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to authorize the purchase of HDPE pipe for the Palos Verdes Drive South Drainage Repair Project from P & F Distributors for $38,874.60 plus authorize staff to spend an additional $3,125.40 for possible extra work, for a total authorization of $42,000.
Councilmember Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Lyon to adopt staff recommendation.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Ferraro, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Lyon
Storm Drain Repairs Near Palos Verdes Drive South At Peppertree Drive (1204 x 604)
Director Allison presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to (1) Award a construction contract on a time and material basis for drainage repairs to Colich and Sons, L.P. for an amount not to exceed $72,000. (2) Authorize the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute the contract with Colich and Sons on behalf of the City. (3) Award a contract for design, construction management and inspection services to Merit Civil Engineering, an on-call consultant, and authorize the expenditure in the amount of $22,000. (4) Award a contract for design phase environmental coordination, construction phase environmental coordination and inspection services to Helix Environmental Planning, Inc., an on-call consultant, and authorize expenditure in the amount of $18,000.
Councilmember Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro to adopt staff recommendation.
Councilman Stern observed that it seemed there had many emergencies within the last six months and he suggested that, although no one was at fault, there should be some action taken to survey the whole infrastructure, as was done with the analysis of the storm drains, so that emergency action was kept to a minimum
Councilmember Gardiner echoed Councilman Sterns thoughts.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart said that the Council had instructed the staff to find deficiencies and they did. He said that it was necessary to take emergency action because homes were in danger and that there was not time to complete a master plan.
Councilman Stern understood but hoped the City would take a look at the entire infrastructure.
Councilmember Gardiner said that the Palos Verdes Drive East Drainage Improvement Program item on the agenda that evening was an example that this type of action was being taken.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Ferraro, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Lyon
Geology Review Zone II (1101 x 1801)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to amend the Professional Services Agreement with Cotton, Shires and Associates for the review of existing geologic and geotechnical documents related to Zone II to authorize the expenditure of an additional $15,000 from Building and Safety Account 402.35 Technical and Professional Services.
City Manager Evans added that there were two additional reports to be submitted for review by Cotton Shires and the peer review group and that this review would not be complete in time for the October 30 meeting which had been scheduled specifically to discuss this topic alone.
Councilman Stern inquired how much time was needed for the review
City Manager Evans replied that he had not seen the Cummings report but Bill Cotton had received it, and that no one had seen the report from Dr. Vonder Linden.
Mayor Lyon asked City Manager Evans to keep the Council informed of the progress.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart suggested that a Saturday workshop might be a good idea.
Mayor Lyon agreed and recalled a RDA workshop a few years ago which seemed to have a more comfortable atmosphere because it was on a Saturday. She suggested that it be held at Ladera Linda Community Center as before.
City Manager Evans could not provide a date but said that when he had confirmation from Bill Cotton that the final report was ready, he would place this item on the agenda again.
Councilman Stern moved to cancel the meeting of October 30; to postpone rescheduling until the final report was ready for Council review; and, to amend the Professional Services Agreement with Cotton, Shires and Associates for the review of existing geologic and geotechnical documents related to Zone II to authorize the expenditure of an additional $15,000 from Building and Safety Account 402.35 Technical and Professional Services.
Marianne Hunter, 1 Cinnamon Lane, asked about a cutoff date for public comment.
City Manager Evans emphasized that there was never a deadline for public comment, however, there was a cutoff date for comments to go to Bill Cotton for input into the final report. He said that this date would be October 31 and that this information would be posted on the reader board and the Citys website.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart seconded the motion.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Ferraro, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Lyon
Palos Verdes Drive East Drainage Improvement Program (1204 x 604)
Director Allison presented an abbreviated staff report of October 16, 2001, accompanied by a computer generated visual presentation and the recommendation to (1) Receive status report from RBF Consulting regarding proposed drainage improvements along Palos Verdes Drive. (2) Authorize Staff to proceed with design for the drainage system most in need of immediate repair/replacement. (3) Authorize Staff to request proposals from qualified environmental consultants to obtain environmental clearance for all 15 of the deficient drainage systems on Palos Verdes Drive East. (4) Authorize staff to obtain any necessary Right of Way permits required for the successful completion of this project.
Bruce Phillips of RBF Consulting, also providing a computer generated visual presentation, discussed objectives, benefits, problems, symptoms, solutions, and, the phases of the project. He illustrated the study area with its 39 existing 39 existing drainage systems.
Director Allison reported that the City had received complaints for problems for on private land.
Bruce Phillips said that the system was aging and a survey indicated that 21 out of the 29 drains Bruce videotaped needed repair and said that some of the bottoms and sides of the metal pipes were gone. He said that most needed upsizing or replacement and reported that a robot camera was used also.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart asked if concrete pipes could be repaired rather than replaced
Bruce Phillips said that concrete pipes have a longer life but cracked. He indicated that if the pipe was large enough, men can go down in the pipe, and with a drill or router they could epoxy the crack.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart said that the men would need to be able to breathe while in those pipes.
Bruce Phillips stressed that there was compliance with OSHA safety requirements and it was usually less expensive to take alternative action. He then went on to rank the drains by severity and a cost/benefit ratio and estimated that construction costs would be approximately eight million dollars.
Director Allison asked that the Council approve this multi-year plan, at a cost of about $1.5 million per year and he discussed scheduling and funding, stating that it was hoped work would begin in Summer 2002.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart, to (1) Authorize Staff to proceed with design for the drainage system most in need of immediate repair/replacement. (2) Authorize Staff to request proposals from qualified environmental consultants to obtain environmental clearance for all 15 of the deficient drainage systems on Palos Verdes Drive East. (3) Authorize staff to obtain any necessary Right of Way permits required for the successful completion of this project. Motion carried.
George and Pauline Chapin (1101 x 1206)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to confirm that the City has not forgotten the murders of George and Pauline Chapin and ask that the Sheriff expend renewed effort to solve the case.
Mayor Lyon added that she had been contacted by family members to make sure that the case stays in the forefront of law enforcement.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart asked who was sponsoring the reward.
City Manager Evans said the Sheriffs Department was funding a portion of it.
Mayor Lyon added the County had contributed as well.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart suggested that the City add to the reward.
Mayor Lyon reported that she had gone to the graveside with their granddaughter and there was no headstone
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart thought that providing a headstone would be a nice gesture as an alternative to adding to the reward.
Mayor Lyon asked City Manager Evans to contact the family about the headstone
Councilwoman Ferraro suggested that the item be brought back to the Council after the familys response.
There was no objection.
City Council Policy For Disclosure (1101 x 306 x 310)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to adopt a City Council Policy for the disclosure of communications between City Council members and any person regarding a development proposal.
City Clerk Purcell pointed out that there had been an email from Councilman Stern after the staff report was completed which amended slightly the proposed policy.
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilmember Gardiner, to adopt the policy as amended. Motion carried
Holiday Appreciation Reception (1101)
Assistant City Manager Petru presented the staff report of October 16, 2001 and the recommendation to select a date for the annual holiday appreciation reception for City Committee Members, Commissioners, and Staff Members.
Mayor Lyon suggested Monday, December 10. There was no objection.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
City Attorney Lynch reported that no action was taken on the first item and that an update was provided by the City Manager. She said that for the second item, the anticipated litigation, the Council unanimously authorized the staff recommendation to issue permits to Sprint for eight cellular sites that will not impact views and that will not be placed in front of anyones residence.
CITY COUNCIL REPORTS:
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart reported that, as reported in the Daily Breeze, there would be a walkabout at the proposed Harbor hills facility the following Monday, October 22, to look at the topography of land and discuss the plan. He discussed the possibility that the County might offer some type of remediation and he also mentioned a controversy regarding racial issues. He was shocked that it was felt that notice to the adjoining City of Rancho Palos Verdes was unnecessary and with the assistance of L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe and a letter from Mayor Lyon he hoped that this practice would be changed.
Councilman Stern reported on his Ocean Trails liaison meeting and said there was now a tentative schedule for the remediation of the landslide, work on Palos Verdes Drive South, etc., with hopefully better communication with the residents of the status of work at the site. He said that the repair of Palos Verdes South and permanent repairs to La Rotondo was scheduled for June through November 2002. The chain link fence was going to be removed or possibly simply moved back from the highway to maintain a safety barrier.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart replied that he and Councilwoman Ferraro were going to write a letter concerning the Department of Transportation policy of charging higher costs during peak landing hours because that would cause more night flights which would further impact sleep for City residents. He stated that also controllers were allowing planes to fly low over the Peninsula to conserve fuel and this was also unacceptable. He said that the expansion of LAX had been abandoned officially but he suspected there would be expansion of a different sort, with less parking and more commuter planes and noise over the Peninsula.
Mayor Pro Tem McTaggart disclosed that he received a call from Rob Katherman who represents a developer but they did not discuss the project and but only talked about the new disclosure policy.
ADJOURNMENT: Adjourned at 11:04 P.M. on motion of Mayor Lyon.