Rancho Palos Verdes City Council Meeting Minutes December 4, 2001
City Council Minutes 12/04/2001 RPV, City, Council, Minutes, 2001, Meeting RPV City Council Minutes for the 12/04/2001 Meeting


M I N U T E S

RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING

DECEMBER 4, 2001

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 P.M. by Mayor Lyon at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance by Caitlin Finnegan, Axie Hulse, Wendy Nicoletti, and Jacy Lundberg of Brownie Troop No. 651, roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern, and Mayor Lyon
ABSENT: None

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; Senior Planner Ara Mihranian; Deputy City Clerk Jackie Drasco; and Recording Secretary Denise Bothe.

CEREMONIAL MATTERS:

Mayor Lyon presented certificates to Lauren Huey and Jordana Held for their refurbishing of City park signs and benches and for their achievement in being awarded the Senior Girl Scout Gold Awards; advised that the efforts of these two young ladies saved the City $8,000 this year in park restoration fees; and on behalf of the City, Mayor Lyon thanked them for their work.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Councilmember McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilmember Stern, to approve the Agenda, as amended (request to address Agenda Item 10 as the first order of business under Public Hearing). Motion carried.


CERTIFICATION OF ELECTION:


Resol. No. 2001-96 – Certification of Election Results

Councilmember Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2001-96, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES RECITING THE FACTS OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION HELD IN SAID CITY ON NOVEMBER 6, 2001, DECLARING THE RESULTS THEREOF AND SUCH MATTERS AS PROVIDED BY LAW. Motion carried.

Swearing in of Newly Elected Councilmembers:

Deputy City Clerk Drasco swore in newly elected Councilmembers Larry Clark and Peter Gardiner.

Council Reorganization:

Councilmember Stern nominated, seconded by Councilmember Gardiner, John McTaggart to serve as Mayor. Motion carried.

Mayor McTaggart nominated, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, Barbara Ferraro to serve as Mayor Pro Tem.

Councilmember Gardiner nominated, seconded by Councilmember Clark, Douglas Stern to serve as Mayor Pro Tem.

By way of written ballot, Douglas Stern was selected as the new Mayor Pro Tem, as reflected by the following votes:

Councilwoman Ferraro:Ferraro, McTaggart

Councilmember Stern:Clark, Gardiner, and Stern

Mayor McTaggart asked Councilwoman Ferraro if she would like to join him in making the vote for Mayor pro tem Stern unanimous and she said yes.


PRESENTATION OF PLAQUE TO OUTGOING MAYOR LYON:


At this time, Supervisor Knabe presented to the City a check in the amount of $400,000 to be used for road improvements on Hawthorne and Crenshaw Boulevards.

Supervisor Knabe, on behalf of his colleagues and himself, presented Marilyn Lyon with a plaque in recognition of her years of service to the City Council and that of Mayor; expressed his appreciation of her leadership, longtime friendship and personal support of his political efforts; wished her the very best in her future endeavors; and stated that he is looking forward to working with her in the future.

Marilyn Lyon stated that she felt honored and privileged to have served this community in the capacity as Mayor and Councilmember; and noted that she also enjoyed her work while serving on the Recreation and Parks Committee. She thanked those for giving her the opportunity to serve in this capacity.

Mayor McTaggart thanked Marilyn Lyon for her devotion to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes; stated that he has enjoyed working with her throughout the years; and, on behalf of the City and City Council, he presented her with the Rancho Palos Verdes Mayor’s Badge and a gift in recognition of her dedicated service.


RECESS & RECONVENE:


At 7:25 P.M., Mayor McTaggart declared a recess for refreshments in celebration of Marilyn Lyon’s service to the City. The meeting was reconvened at 7:59 P.M.


RECYCLING DRAWING:


The winner from the last drawing was Richard N. Cordrey, who will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service. Another card was selected.


APROVAL OF THE AGENDA:


At this time, Councilmember Gardiner suggested that because of the large number of individuals present in the audience, Agenda Item No. 10, JCC Homes, Inc., be considered as the first order of business after the Consent Calendar. No objection was noted.

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


APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:


Mayor Pro Tem Stern advised that he had emailed City Clerk Purcell suggested amendments to the November 7, 2001, City Council Minutes. Deputy City Clerk Drasco advised that suggested changes to the minutes had been distributed to the City Councilmembers prior to this evening’s meeting.

Deputy City Clerk Drasco announced that there were no speakers for Consent Calendar items.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, 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 November 7, 2001

Approved the Minutes, as amended.

Ordinance No. 371 – Amendment to Municipal Code - Skateboards

ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 371, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO SKATEBOARDS, ROLLER SKATES, INLINE SKATES AND SCOOTERS UPON PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROPERTY AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE. (This ordinance was introduced at the November 20th meeting.)

Status of Proposition "A" Funds – At-Risk Youth Compliance

Received and filed.

ACLAD Board Appointment

Appointed Robert Douglas and Mary Sheridan to a full four-year term of office on the Abalone Cove Landslide Abatement District Board of Directors.

Award of New Maintenance Contract

(1) Terminated an existing maintenance contract with L.A. CHA Maintenance Services for janitorial services. (2) Awarded a contract for janitorial services to Bell Building Maintenance Company for the balance of Fiscal Year 2001-2002, and for Fiscal Year 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, and authorized the expenditure of $41,700 per year. (3) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute an agreement with Bell Building Maintenance Company.

October 2001 Treasurer’s Report

Received and filed.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-97, 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.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, Stern, and Mayor McTaggart
NOES: None
ABSTAIN: Clark on the November 7 minutes.


PUBLIC HEARING:


Tentative Tract Map No. 53305, General Plan Amendment No. 30, Conditional Use Permit No. 228, Grading Permit No. 242 and Environmental Assessment No. 738 (Applicant: JCC Homes, Inc.; Landowner: California Water Service Company, 5837 Crest Road).

Mayor McTaggart opened the public hearing on this request to consider Tentative Tract Map No. 53305, General Plan Amendment No. 30, Conditional Use Permit No. 228, Grading Permit No. 242 and Environmental Assessment No. 738. Deputy City Clerk Drasco announced that notice had been duly published and that all written comments received by the City had been forwarded to the Council, including a request from the applicant to continue the item to a later date, which was received after the agenda packet was prepared.

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to (1) Adopt Resolution No. 2001-98, a Resolution of the City Council of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, adopting a Mitigated Negative Declaration prepared pursuant to Environmental Assessment No. 738. (2) Adopt Resolution No. 2001-99, a Resolution of the City Council of the city of Rancho Palos Verdes, conditionally approving Tentative Tract Map No. 53305, General Plan Amendment No. 30, Conditional Use Permit No. 228, and Grading Permit No. 2242.

Highlighting his recent service as Planning Commissioner, Councilmember Clark announced that he had participated in two Planning Commission meetings related to this matter but that because of his resignation from that body, he did not participate in the final decision by the Planning Commission.

Councilwoman Ferraro advised that she had toured the subject site; that she had discussions with Mr. Nelson and Mr. Delgado; and that she had talked with Mrs. Tuttle, a resident who lives nearby, in regard to this proposal.

Councilmember Gardiner advised that he too had toured this site along with Mayor McTaggart; that he spoke with Mr. Jensen, the developer; and that he received several pieces of correspondence from residents living in the area.

Mayor McTaggart advised that he had visited this site and spoke to Mr. Jensen and Mr. Delgado.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern advised that he had not been out to this site but that he had had some correspondence with Mr. Nelson – noting that this correspondence was provided to the Councilmembers in their Agenda package.

Councilmember Clark advised that he had toured this site today and met with Mr. Nelson.

Councilmember Gardiner asked that staff provide the following information prior to the next hearing in regard to this matter: 1) Alternatives, Page 5, stated that it would be useful to discuss the alternatives, such as make the zoning conform to the General Plan rather than the other way around; 2) Open Space, requested a definition of open space, what is the intent of the open space, and how does this proposed open space site measure up with the subject property; 3) Neighborhood Compatibility, requested numerical comparisons of lot size and house footprints; 4) requested that staff explain what has changed in the last year or so, since 1973, which leads the water company to assert that this property is surplus – expressing his belief that the water usage is going up, not down; and 5) he questioned what will happen in an emergency situation if there are water shortages due to drought or necessary reservoir repairs or reconstruction.

In response to Mayor Pro Tem Stern’s inquiry in regard to whether the City actually does have RS-4 zoning at this site, City Attorney Lynch explained that the General Plan designation for this property does not allow residential use, but that the zoning map indicates that it’s zoned RS-4 – pointing out that when that zoning map was adopted in 1975, that was the zoning designation that was placed on that property; and that what causes this inconsistency is that the General Plan itself does not say that that RS-4 is a consistent designation. City Attorney Lynch explained that the State requires zoning be consistent with the General Plan; and that a city can either make the zoning consistent with the General Plan or the General Plan consistent with the zoning – noting that the City Council has the latitude to say whether they believe the General Plan designation rather than the zoning designation is correct, or visa versa.

In response to Councilmember Clark’s inquiry, City Attorney Lynch stated that the City does have other analogous zoning situations in the community with infrastructure facility land use designations and residential zoning.

Responding to Councilmember Clark’s question, Senior Planner Fox cited two examples in which the zoning designation is different from the General Plan, both of which are California Water Reservoir facilities.

Addressing Mayor Pro Tem Stern’s question with regard to the rationale for recommending approval of the 10-foot side yard setback, Senior Planner Fox explained that the only instance where these reduced setbacks occur are the ones which are internal to the project; and that it was done primarily to try and accommodate the concerns expressed by the surrounding neighborhood, to provide additional setback buffers from the surrounding neighbors – the offset being that there would be smaller setbacks internally.

Councilmember Clark expressed his opposition to one of the lots only having ten feet between two 4,000-square-foot homes.

Senior Planner Fox explained for Mayor Pro Tem Stern that the subdivision will not be gated; that it is his belief California Water wants to maintain control over any access to the reservoir site; and that there is no condition to limit public utilization of this site, but that the intent is for a more passive recreational use.

Responding to Councilwoman Ferraro’s inquiry, City Attorney Lynch explained that the applicant wants to keep part of this property for water company infrastructure and then use the rest for single-family homes; she further explained that she does not foresee a problem if the City Council were to choose not to allow the subdivision to proceed – noting that this would, in her opinion, not present a taking because the applicant would still be able to make use of the site for water company business.

In response to Councilwoman Ferraro’s inquiry as to whether the setback of the homes can be pushed back so that they are still consistent with the setbacks required for the adjoining properties, Senior Planner Fox stated that they could be, but that the homes would probably need to be redesigned, probably made smaller, to provide those setbacks.

Citing Code Section 17.42, City Attorney Lynch defined for Councilmember Gardiner open space requirements – noting that the definition is not well-defined; and stated that it would be a subjective decision by the City Council as to whether they find it to be acceptable or not.

Councilmember Gardiner noted his expectation that open space be usable land; and stated that he got the impression the water company has no intent on making it available for public use.

Mayor McTaggart questioned how this particular site can be defined as open space when it has a structure on site; questioned what would happen if the reservoir needed to be shut down for repairs – expressing his concern with the possibility that a large water tank may be placed on site in an emergency situation; and requested that the water company provide a response as to why it believes another reservoir is not necessary. Highlighting the possibility of future drought predictions, Mayor McTaggart stated that a smaller reservoir might be necessary for the peninsula.

In reference to the 30-percent open space requirement, Councilmember Clark stated that this open space should be integral to the development, not separate, distinct and away from it.

Mayor McTaggart highlighted for staff what he believed might be some inaccuracies in staff report relating to grading and transportation of cubic yards (Mitigation Monitoring program section). Senior Planner Fox stated that the figures would be revised to properly reflect the correct cubic yards to be imported and exported.

In response to Councilmember Gardiner’s question, Senior Planner Fox confirmed that all correspondence received from the community in regard to this matter had been provided to City Council. Councilmember Gardiner noted his preference that all the community correspondence be put in the same section of the report.

Senior Planner Fox noted for Mayor McTaggart that it is not unusual for a final drainage plan to not have been submitted prior to coming before City Council; stated that a grading plan has been reviewed; that the hydrology has been preliminarily reviewed by the City’s geotechnical consultant, Zeiser Kling; and that this process has been coordinated with the NPDES requirements.

Councilmember Gardiner commented on Robert Shirley’s November 1, 2001, letter in which Mr. Shirley expressed his concern that the neighbors are not being fully communicated with by staff and the Applicant; and questioned whether the process for communicating with these residents had been adequate.

Mayor McTaggart questioned why the applicant believed the recompacting activities would not negatively impact the residents at the end of the cul-de-sac street.

Councilmember Clark concurred with Mayor McTaggart’s concern with the disturbance to the existing residents -- noting that he was told by Mr. Nelson that it would be a very extensive excavation and recompacting job.

Mayor McTaggart commented on his belief that this project depended on a land swap between JCC Homes and the water company; addressed his concern with this joint venture and the tax implications of partnering; and urged the City to be watchful of this issue and its concerns, if any. Mayor McTaggart questioned City Attorney Lynch on his concern with how the open space can be owned by another entity other than the applicant and be considered part of the applicant’s development.

City Attorney Lynch responded that there was some legal concern.

Kurt Nelson, representing the applicant, JCC Homes, stated that one of the reasons for the applicant’s request for a continuance this evening is due to the homeowners recent procurement of legal counsel and the inability of both sides to meet and confer prior to this evening’s meeting; and advised that Mr. Jensen from California Water had a prior engagement out of town this evening and was not able to make this hearing.

Mr. Nelson commented on a partial lowering of the homes following an initial meeting with the residents to the north; explained that the portion of the property being proposed for residential development will not impact the storage or service of water to the community; advised that the size of the homes has been reduced (mostly the height of the houses) in order to address the views to the north along Scottswood; and explained that the pad on Lot 9 will be lowered by an additional foot. Mr. Nelson stated that the issue near the southerly boundary is screening, where most of the recompaction will take place; advised that a comprehensive landscaping plan has been prepared; and mentioned that the setbacks to the east were increased to preserve the Monterey Pines in that area.

Leo Lawson, 5827 Sunmist Drive, stated that redesign plans were supposed to have been submitted to the neighboring homeowners before it was brought up at one of the last Planning Commission meetings, stating that this was not done; and stated that as far as some of the residents are concerned, some due diligence issues have been violated. Mr. Lawson advised that his property backs up to two of the proposed split-level homes; and commented on his concern that this would have a negative impact upon his view and his privacy. He addressed his concerns with adequate drainage, the safe recompaction of soil, and stated that the integrity of this reservoir could be compromised by the grading activities and additional weight of the homes. He expressed his concern that the south wall has not gone through extensive studies for assurance of stability, integrity; and requested that the City Council require a feasibility study to be performed to research the possibility of the power company selling this 4.99 acres to the City for use as a park.

Bob Shirley, 29635 Stonecrest Road, highlighted four of his primary complaints in regard to this project: 1) expressed his belief that the zoning is inconsistent with the General Plan and that the General Plan should not be amended to accommodate this development; 2) the open space issue is unresolved and disputable; 3) the reservoir represents a dangerous condition when proposing excavation and building homes 15 to 20 feet away, thus risking the rupturing of water and utility lines; and 4) this project is not compatible with the neighborhood.

Carolyn Tuttle, 29541 Oceanport Road, noted her support of flat roofs, believing that the flat roofs will help maintain her view; urged the water company to landscape its office building site; questioned whether the City’s insurance carrier has been made aware of this proposal; noted her concerns that the compacting activities will have a negative impact upon the integrity of the swimming pools in the neighborhood; and expressed her lack of faith in strict adherence to CC&R’s and the maintenance of landscaping. Ms. Tuttle suggested that a City pool be placed upon this site instead of what is currently being proposed.


RECESS & RECONVENE:


At 9:13 P.M. Mayor McTaggart recessed the meeting and reconvened the meeting at 9:25 P.M.

Tom Tuttle, 29541 Oceanport Road, addressing his concern with protecting his view of Catalina Island, requested that the City Council direct staff to require, at a minimum, that the applicant erect a flagged silhouette on the east and south side roof lines.

In response to Mayor Pro Tem Stern’s inquiry, Senior Planner Fox advised that there is no code requirement for silhouetting this type of subdivision; advised that staff had asked the developer early in the process to silhouette at least two homes (Lot Nos. 6 and 9) that staff believed would be the most visible to existing residents; stated that until recently, there was a more elaborate silhouette on Lot 9, but with the revision of the project and reduction of the height of that structure, the more elaborate silhouette was removed and replaced with a more simplified silhouette.

Highlighting the limited number of homes being proposed, Mayor Pro Tem Stern questioned why staff is not requiring a full silhouette – noting his preference that one be erected. Councilmember Gardiner echoed Mayor Pro Tem Stern’s comment.

Dorothe Turley, 5814 Scottswood, distributed to the City Council a photograph which depicted the view from her home; and urged the City to maintain a uniform building code for all who live in this community, expressing her belief that bending the rules would not be consistent with the general compatibility of the neighborhood. Ms. Turley expressed her opposition to erecting homes on this site; and questioned whether fire and safety issues have been thoroughly studied – highlighting the proposal for only one ingress/egress and the large number of houses being proposed for this small acreage.

James Demarais, 2855 Pine Creek Drive, Suite E-306, Costa Mesa, advised that he is a land-use attorney representing the area homeowners; stated that over 60 signatures have been obtained in opposition to this proposed project; and requested that, at the earliest, this hearing be continued to January. Mr. Demarais highlighted some of the issues of concern to the residents: the General Plan is inconsistent with the zoning – expressing his belief that zoning must be brought into compliance with the General Plan; and read into the record the following California Supreme Court ruling which spoke on this issue "As planning and zoning law does not contemplate the General Plan to be amended to conform to zoning ordinances, the tail does not wag the dog. The General Plan is a charter to which the ordinance must conform. Unrestricted amendments of the General Plan to conform to zoning changes would destroy the General Plan as a tool for the comprehensive development of the community as a whole"; and he concluded that this proposed project should be denied. Mr. Demarais expressed his belief that this project poses a dangerous condition, whether it be excavating/grading, believing that the likelihood for damage to the surrounding community clearly outweighs any benefit that the developer may have.

Tom Alley, 6304 Sattes Drive, noted his aversion to flat roofs; stated that the recompaction activities which have recently taken place near his home have hardly been noticeable; advised that he owns a home near Lot 9; and stated that he is not opposed to this project.

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, addressed her opposition to placing the proposed number of homes on this small piece of land.

Councilmember Clark expressed his belief that the developer needs to better communicate with the residents impacted by this project.

Mr. Nelson commented on what he believes has been a great deal of dialogue – highlighting the fact that he has personally met with the residents surrounding the project; pointed out that some residents who are not in attendance this evening are satisfied with the project and the Applicant’s attempts to alleviate any concerns; pointed out that all the two-story homes were eliminated because of the residents’ concern for their views; and that other changes have occurred as a result of the applicant’s desire to work with the neighbors.

There being no further public testimony, Mayor McTaggart closed the public hearing.

Mayor McTaggart, Councilwoman Ferraro, and Councilman Clerk emphasized the necessity to review the Planning Commission Minutes related to this matter before this issue is brought back to City Council for consideration.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilmember Gardiner, to continue this matter to a future meeting. Motion carried.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, echoed by Councilmember Clark, that this matter be re-noticed to make sure that everybody who is impacted by this project is adequately informed of these proceedings. Motion carried.

Resolution Adopting a Fee in Connection with Petitions to Commence the Process to Establish an Undergrounding Assessment District. (Continued from November 7th.)

Mayor McTaggart re-opened the public hearing on this request to consider a resolution adopting a fee in connection with petitions to commence the process to establish an undergrounding assessment district.

Director Allison presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to table this matter until the review by the Finance Advisory Board has been completed.

There being no response to the Mayor’s call for public testimony, he declared the hearing closed.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilmember Gardiner, to table this matter until the Finance Advisory Board has completed its review of this matter. Motion carried.


PUBLIC COMMENTS:


None.

At this time, Mayor McTaggart suggested that Agenda Item 12, Border Issues, be considered as the next order of business. No objection was noted.


REGULAR BUSINESS:


Border issues Status Report

City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to review the current status of border issues and provide direction to the City Council Committee and staff; and advised that staff is still pursuing the two major border issues: the Harbor Hills project and the Garden Village Shopping Center revitalization. With regard to the Harbor Hills, City Manager Evans advised that the Community Development Commission has verbally committed to relocating the parking lot; that a limitation of hours of operation will be placed in the conditions; and that onsite probation officers will deal with customers. Mr. Evans explained that relocating the community center building further away from the City’s residents or rotating it is not a feasible option at this point in time – pointing out that doing this only creates additional problems. He asked for two volunteers from City Council to meet with Supervisor Knabe to discuss the final issue about rotating the building.

Dick Brunner, 1906 Peninsula Verde Drive, advised that a Councilmember from Lomita had been contacted by the City’s local homeowners associations surrounding Harbor Hills and that this Councilmember knew nothing about this proposed development; that planning staff from Lomita informed him that nothing has ever been filed with them by the County; and suggested that discussions/negotiations be opened with Lomita staff, expressing his belief that Lomita is willing to meet and confer on this matter.

Mayor McTaggart mentioned that the closest thing to a public hearing on this matter was at Supervisor Knabe’s office when he decided that he would assent to this City’s wishes and put off the start of construction on this project; and advised that he was told the staff in Lomita were unaware of how far this project had gone.

City Attorney Lynch mentioned that the County does have to comply with CEQA guidelines, but that the County does not have to comply with the local zoning authority in Lomita or any governmental facility being constructed in any city.

On another border issue brought up by Mayor Pro Tem Stern regarding RPV resident Mr. Esfahani’s remodeling which required heavy trucks hauling dirt through the City of Palos Verdes Estates and the objection by PVE, City Attorney Lynch explained that local entities are prevented or preempted from adopting regulations under the State Vehicle Code that regulate truck routes and basically require oversized vehicles to only use certain routes within a particular city – pointing out that the League of California Cities is very upset with this ruling and that it is currently being appealed. She stated that for this limited time period while it is being appealed and the case law is still in effect, this City should use it to its advantage and try and negotiate with Palos Verdes Estates.

In regard to this matter, Mayor McTaggart urged the City to initiate some dialogue with Palos Verdes Estates.

Turning to a new topic, City Manager Evans stated that staff is still working on the Garden Village Shopping Center and that letters have been sent to various County departments (the City Engineer, Planning Department, Director of the Building Department) explaining the problem with this center – pointing out that no one is taking responsibility for the concerns raised by this City’s geologist and the developer’s geologist; and advised that if City staff does not get a response from these letters to the County (a copy of which has been provided to the City Council) in a reasonable time, staff will ask the City Council for permission to take some stronger action, possibly with the assistance of the City Attorney. City Manager Evans advised construction on this site has ceased for now.

Mayor McTaggart then noted that the Border Issues Ad Hoc Committee was to have ended in December; but that he would like to continue with these types of issues and make this a standing sub-committee, which would mean it was subject to the Brown Act. He appointed Peter Gardiner to join him to serve on this Council sub-committee

Councilmember Clark expressed his preference that the purpose of this committee be expanded to deal with Peninsula issues.

Councilmember Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to increase the duties addressed by this Border Issues Committee, highlighting additional issues affecting the Peninsula such as the proposal to build a golf course on the highly toxic landfill in Rolling Hills Estates. Motion carried.

Fiscal Year 2000-2001 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Audit Management Letter and Independent Auditors’ Report on Compliance and Internal Control.

Director McLean presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to receive and file the Fiscal Year 2000-2001 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Audit Management Letter and Independent Auditors’ Report on Compliance and Internal Control. With the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, Director of Finance McLean highlighted the various aspects of these documents.

Councilmember Gardiner expressed his desire that the Finance Advisory Committee discuss the rollout baseline budget and any potential scenarios.

In response, Director of Finance McLean advised that each year, the Finance Advisory Committee reviews a 5-year financial model which is prepared by staff, inclusive of the CIP plan prepared by the Department of Public Works; and that following the review by the Finance Advisory Committee, the report is presented to City Council for its review in conjunction with the preparation of the City’s budget.

Councilmember Gardiner urged staff to purchase a simulation model printout program, a cash-flow model that shows the scenarios which reflect trends over time so that City Council can see what the impact of interaction with other project impacts has upon the budget.

Councilmember Clark requested that staff revisit in the near term the capital projects outlay commitments that the City is committed to over the next five years.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to receive and file the Fiscal Year 2000-2001 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Audit Management Letter and Independent Auditors’ Report on Compliance and Internal Control. Motion carried.

Establishment of Process for Selection and Recruitment of Members for the City’s Advisory Boards

City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to (1) Establish a process for interviewing and selecting advisory board members and chairs; and, (2) Set a schedule to interview the applicants. He explained that the interview and selection process for appointing these board members has varied throughout the years depending on how many applications have been received on an annual basis.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern noted his preference that more time be given to interview these volunteers on an individual basis; suggested that once the full committee has been selected, that those members who are interested in serving as Chair then be interviewed. Mayor Pro Tem Stern suggested that the View Restoration Commission be rolled over into the responsibility of the Planning Commission.

Councilwoman Ferraro expressed her concern that the Planning Commission may already have all they can handle.

Councilmember Clark suggested that specific view restoration mediators be assigned to the Planning Commission, individuals who will strictly report to the Planning Commission.

Mayor McTaggart suggested that City Council schedule a goal-setting session to decide what to do with the View Restoration Commission.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern noted his preference that the board interviews be very limited in size of participants; and noted the importance of having experienced individuals serving on these boards.

Councilmember Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, that review of the charters for the various committees be addressed. Motion carried.

Councilmember Clark suggested that consideration be given to whether any new committees need to be created; and suggested that consideration be given to creating an Emergency Response and Disaster Preparedness Committee for this city.

In response to Councilwoman Ferraro’s inquiry, City Manager Evans invited the City Councilmembers to attend the school district’s emergency task force meeting on Monday, December 10, 2001, from 8:30 A.M. until 12:30 P.M. at Ridgecrest School; and advised that Carolyn Petru will be in attendance.

City Manager Evans advised that there are 45 board vacancies to fill.

Mayor McTaggart suggested that the selection process for board members be modified, such as increasing to 4-year terms and staggering the terms of each member, thereby maintaining some experienced members on each board.

City Manager Evans suggested that the City Council consider dealing with no more than two boards at one time, such as first conducting the selection process for the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Committee and then waiting a while for the next series of committees.

Richard Bara, No. 1 Peppertree Drive, noted his support to increase the terms to four years instead of two years and to stagger the selection process.

Councilmember Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, that two-year and four-year terms be offered to those who volunteer to serve on these boards; that the selection process be staggered; that once the board members are selected, that interviews take place for those interested in serving as Chair; that the first rotation start with Planning Commission and then the Traffic Commission; that the next rotation start approximately one month later; that these first interviews will be conducted on Saturday, February 9th and the 23rd. Motion carried.

Clarifying the City Council’s motion, City Manager Evans stated that some positions will be offered for two-year and four-year terms; that the terms will be staggered; that following selection of each board, interviews will be conducted for those interested in serving as Chair; that the charters of each board will be reviewed and studied for possible changes; advised that the application filing deadline would be Saturday, February 1, 2002; and that the first session would start on Saturday, February 9th and 23rd, 2002.

There was consensus that the Council select Chairs from interviews with interested committee or commission members; and that a policy be developed to reflect that the Chairs be rotated on an annual basis.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern highlighted which boards he believed should go through the interview process first: Planning Commission and Traffic, then the Finance Advisory Committee and the Parks and Recreation, then View Restoration and any other newly formed boards.

Mayor McTaggart stated that the second interview session would most likely occur in March, with subsequent interviews probably in April.


FORMAT OF CITY COUNCIL MINUTES


City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to continue the discussion and decision on the matter of the format of City Council minutes until the December 18th meeting and City Clerk Purcell’s recommendation to maintain action-only minutes.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilmember Gardiner, to adopt the expanded minutes as the regular format for City Council. Motion carried.

Councilmember Clark expressed his belief that the expanded Minutes are important for good record keeping and that the expanded minutes provides wealth of information.

In response to Councilmember Gardiner’s inquiry, City Manager Evans explained that expanding the minutes is more of an issue with limited staff hours rather than expense.

Councilmember Gardiner stated that additional resources should be made available to the City Clerk’s Office for this expanded service.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern expressed his belief that the expanded minutes are far superior to those of action-only Minutes; and supported Councilmember Gardiner’s statement that additional resources should be provided for this service.

In response to Councilwoman Ferraro’s comment, Deputy City Clerk Drasco advised that City Clerk Purcell provided in the Agenda packet some figures on how much additional time will be necessary to complete the expanded minutes.

Master Plan Updates

City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to provide direction to staff on a planning process for updating the General Plan and other plans; and highlighted the following topics: preservation of open space in the city, establishment of a youth athletic facility, establishment of a senior center, preparation of a master plan for the use of the property at the Civic Center, plans for the Crestridge property, and future plans for the water service property. He suggested that a workshop session be scheduled to discuss these planning issues and update of the General Plan.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to direct staff to begin the process for updating the General Plan and other plans; and moved that a letter be sent to the Attorney General’s Office to advise them that the City Council has scheduled a workshop in regard to this matter. Motion carried.

City Council Meeting Schedule

City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to reschedule regular Council meetings for the month of January 2002 and set dates for adjourned meeting workshops.

Consensus was to alter the City Council’s January meeting schedule as follows: Master Plan workshop and regular meeting on Saturday, January 12, 2002, 9:00 A.M., and a regular meeting on Thursday, January 31, 2002, at 7:00 P.M.

Proposed Amendment to the City’s Neighborhood Compatibility Ordinance

Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report of December 4, 2001 and the recommendation to (1) Review the "neighborhood compatibility" criteria and development standards from neighboring jurisdictions. (2) Provide staff with direction as to whether to initiate code amendment proceedings to consider amendments to the City’s existing "neighborhood compatibility" review process.

Mayor McTaggart recommended that two members from the Planning Commission and two members from City Council be selected to serve on a committee in regard to this matter.

Councilmember Gardiner suggested that information regarding this committee be sent to the Council of Homeowners and that their input on issues of neighborhood compatibility be solicited.

Mayor McTaggart expressed his preference that the committee work on this issue for no more than three months and that it report back to City Council at the end of that timeframe.

Councilmember Gardiner requested that some of the measures of compatibility be quantitative, and where not, that there be some look at the qualitative social sciences to develop indicators of compatibility; and explained that there should be a way to break this down into some recognizable components and that an attempt should be made to find a way to measure it.

Highlighting Councilmember Gardiner’s request for quantitative indicators, Councilmember Clark cautioned Councilmember Gardiner that there should be some caution when considering turning this into an equation – expressing his belief that this needs to be a judgment call anchored in cogent, clear, understandable criteria and guidelines; commented on the Planning Commission’s formation of an Ad Hoc Committee which was created to work on the establishment of neighborhood compatibility guidelines; and mentioned that this committee is approximately 85 percent complete with its assignment. Councilmember Gardiner added that these guidelines do not address ordinance issues and that this should also be given consideration.

Mayor McTaggart suggested that staff may need to have more latitude in denying applicant requests; and stated that he would like to see what the Planning Commission’s Ad Hoc Committee had come up with on this subject.

Councilmember Clark expressed his belief that the Ad Hoc Committee may be attempting to develop a pamphlet in regard to this matter; and stated that if a subcommittee were to be formed, two members from City Council and two members from the Planning Commission should be appointed; and that it would be his recommendation that this committee consider code changes and also work alongside the Council of Homeowner’s Association.

City Attorney Lynch advised that this work would have to be done within the confines of Proposition M.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern suggested that Councilmembers Gardiner and Clark serve on this subcommittee.

Mayor McTaggart requested that the formation of a subcommittee be formalized and put on a future City Council Agenda for consideration; and that the Council of Homeowner’s Association be advised of this action.

Without objection, Councilmembers Gardiner and Clark were appointed to serve on this subcommittee; that staff was directed to solicit two volunteers from the Planning Commission; and that staff notify the Council of Homeowner’s Association of this action.

Oral City Council Reports

Mayor Pro Tem Stern advised that the chain-link fence has been removed on Palos Verdes Drive South; that payment of approximately $108,000 was received for the golf tax; advised that the complete removal of the stockpile of dirt from the landslide remediation efforts is expected to be February 15, 2002; that the anticipated opening day for the 18-hole golf course and completion of Oceantrails Park is May 1, 2002; and that the repair and reconfiguration of Palos Verdes Drive South and Malago La Rotunda is anticipated to be June 1, 2002 through November 1, 2002.

Councilmember Clark stated that his recent tour of the rebuilt 18-hole golf area and Oceantrails was very interesting and he encouraged the rest of City Council to tour this unique reconstruction.


ADJOURNMENT:


The meeting was adjourned to the Redevelopment Agency at 11:50 P.M.

 

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MAYOR

ATTEST:

 

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CITY CLERK