RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
DECEMBER 18, 2001
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor McTaggart at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:00 P.M. the meeting reconvened.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call was answered as follows:
Ferraro, Gardiner, Stern, and Mayor McTaggart
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; Accounting Manager Kathryn Downs; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and, Deputy City Clerk/Recording Secretary Jackie Drasco.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the agenda, as presented. Motion carried.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, 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 20, 2001 (301)
Approved the minutes as amended.
Engineering Services - Abalone Cove Sewer Maintenance (1204 x 901)
(1) Approved an amendment to an existing professional services agreement with Consoer Townsend Environdyne Engineers, Inc. for services required related to the maintenance of the Abalone Cove Sewer System. (2) Increase the funding authorization with Consoer Townsend Environdyne Engineers, Inc. by $5,900.
Notice of Completion - Fiscal Year 2000-2001 Sidewalk Repair Program (1204 x 1405)
(1) Accepted the work as complete. (2) Authorized the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and, if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, notify the surety company to exonerate the payment and performance bonds. (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Damon Construction 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor.
Non-Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services Annual Agreement Renewals for 2002 (1204 x 1301)
Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute non-exclusive commercial refuse collection and disposal services agreements with: Ace Roll Off Rubbish Service, Inc., BFI Waste Systems of North America, Inc. (BFI), California Waste Services, Consolidated Disposal Services, LLC, Easy Roll Off Services, EDCO Disposal Corporation, HMD Waste Company, Integrated Waste Industries, Inc., Ivy Rubbish Disposal, OK Disposal Service, S & H Disposal Company, and Waste Management- Los Angeles District.
Klondike Canyon Geologic Hazard Abatement District Board Appointment (1801)
Appointed Gale Lovrich and Chris Downey to a full four-year term of office on the Klondike Canyon Geologic Hazard Abatement District Board of Directors until September 2005.
Claim Against the City by Larry Prizlow (303)
Rejected the claim and directed the City Clerk to notify the claimant.
Claim Against the City by Lucy Lillo (303)
Rejected the claim and directed the City Clerk to notify the claimant.
Resol. No. 2001-98 - Register of Demands (602)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2001-98, 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 to approve the Consent Calendar carried on the following roll call vote:
Mayor McTaggart opened the public hearing on this request to consider the Proposed 2002-2003 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. City Clerk Purcell announced that notice had been duly published and that there were no written protests received by the City.
Director Allison presented the staff report of December 18, 2001 and the recommendation to (1) Conduct a public hearing to receive citizen input on the proposed 2002-2003 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. (2) Approve the proposed CDBG projects and budget. (3) Authorize the Director of Public Works to execute claims for CDBG projects with the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission.
Director Allison stated that the City uses the standard adopted by the Federal Government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is a maximum annual income of $47,100 for a family of five and maximum annual income of $34,900 for a family of two. He closed by stating that the Public Works Department has written information available to the public which defines eligibility requirements.
In answer to Councilman Clark's query, Director Allison stated that the City's Home Improvement Program is in its third year of operation and that approximately ten projects are funded annually.
Mayor pro tem Stern noted that during review of Long Point and the Upper Point Vicente property, there was some interest in rehabilitating the public land and he asked if funding for this project would also be from CDBG grants. Director Allison clarified that the Altamira Canyon project could qualify because of the landslide but that most likely construction of buildings on City Hall property would not be eligible.
Mayor pro tem Stern pointed out that public facilities improvement, including parks, would be eligible.
City Manager Evans explained that the City Hall property would not meet requirements because the City has no census tracks to meet low to moderate income; that the use of CDBG funds was limited and that the projects being funded by these grants just barely qualified; and, that funding would be available to cities with residents with lower income.
There being no response to the Mayor's call for public testimony, he declared the hearing closed.
Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to (1) Approve the proposed CDBG projects and budget. (2) Authorize the Director of Public Works to execute claims for CDBG projects with the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission. Motion carried.
Discussion of Continued City Support with Respect to the Coastal Commission’s Appeal of Manned Tract Entry Observation Booths for the Oceanfront Project (Tract No. 46628) (1203 x 701)
Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report of December 18, 2001 and the recommendation to consider Mayor Pro Tem Stern’s suggestions to (1) Adopt a Resolution stating that the current City Council does not support the application by Makallon RPV Associates llc for manned tract entry observation booths on its appeal before the Coastal Commission. (2) Direct Staff to forward a copy of said Resolution to the Coastal Commission. (3) Direct Staff not to attend the upcoming de novo hearing on the appeal before the Coastal Commission.
Councilman Clark clarified that the term Tract Entry observation booths was a misnomer because the City had required that the booths be moved from the entry of the tract to the interior streets.
Joe Fleischaker, 4100 Macarthur Boulevard, Suite 150, Newport Beach, CA 92660, speaking for the owner of Oceanfront Estates, stated that since the plan for the booths was submitted, there had been a collaborative effort to address the needs of the local community and to find a plan acceptable to all. He said that during three Planning Commission meetings, Capital Pacific Homes had worked with neighboring residents to address their concerns and that they had been working with the Coastal Commission as well. He listed three additional improvements to make the booths more appealing to the community: (1) maps and handouts from the City; (2) installation of an emergency telephone; and, (3) providing a public rest room from dawn to dusk for persons accessing the trails. He expressed thanks to the City and the community for support of the booths and asked that this support continue during the Coastal Commission meeting scheduled for the following month.
Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, objected to Mayor pro tem Stern's request that no one from the City attend the Coastal Commission hearing.
George Gleghorn, 28850 Crestridge Road supported Mayor Pro Tem Stern’s suggestion and stated that installation of the booths would change the public nature of the streets; that the booths would be intimidating; and, that the City should relay its position to the Coastal Commission.
Mayor pro tem Stern stated that Mayor McTaggart's appeal letter of December 6, 2000, provided an excellent statement of opposition to the booths; that the City Council should define the look and feel of the community; that these structures on public streets were a form of intimidation; and, the closed feeling was not appropriate for the Peninsula. He understood that the Coastal Commission's decision was binding unless the City took further action to revoke permission for the booths to encroach on public land. Since the vote was 3-2 in support of the booths when this matter was last before the Council, he felt it was appropriate to bring this matter before the Council once again to determine if there was continued support for the booths.
Councilman Clark said that he was on the Planning Commission when this matter was before it and was probably the architect of the solution that the Council upheld. He said that although he respects the position taken by Mayor McTaggart and Mayor pro tem Stern, he did not feel that the booths were intimidating, although before modifications were made from the original plan to place these booths at the entrances to the development, he felt that they indicated a "stealth" guarded gate community. The Planning Commission and many residents were opposed to this original proposal and Capital Pacific Homes re-designed their plan to downsize the booths and relocate them to the interior streets of the development. Councilman Clark directed to the Council's attention to the Planning Commission minutes November 14, 2000, in which changes to the plans were discussed. These changes were to downsize the booths and move them away from the entries, placing them at strategic locations within the residential areas. These changes were later supported by a majority of the City Council. He listed the ways in which the developer suggests multiple purposes the booths can serve, such as an information kiosk, emergency telephone, and public rest rooms. He referred also to Resolution No. 2001-08 which indicated that the revised booths were consistent with the City's original approval of Coastal Permit No. 94 and the applicable coastal access policies of the Coastal Act. He felt that the booths did not set a precedent, as a precedent had already been set at the Island View development.
Councilwoman Ferraro stated that she would feel more comfortable walking the trails in that area if the booths had an emergency telephone and she agreed that the rest rooms would be a good idea. She did not see the booths as presently revised as intimidating but more of a community service.
Mayor McTaggart asked Joe Fleischaker to return to the podium and asked him if a decision had been made to remove the video cameras.
Joe Fleischaker said that he was not briefed on that subject and did not know the answer.
Councilman Gardiner thanked Mayor pro tem Stern for putting this item on the agenda as it is the only vehicle for Council discussion of the matter, but he was uncomfortable with changing a previous Council decision when there is a defined process and someone has gone through that process and received a final decision. No decision would ever be final if a new Council could reverse a previous Council in cases where there is a clearly defined, published process for the public, those involved had gone through the entire process, and they had received a final decision from the Council. Councilman Gardiner further pointed out that this was different from a new Council changing priorities or policies of a prior Council since such instances did not involve applicants going through a defined process and getting a final answer. Councilman Gardiner was also uncomfortable with a camera taking pictures of everyone who passed through the project and cited the criteria and said that taking a video of the car and license plate was the same thing as requiring an ID. Therefore, the use of cameras appears to violate the City conditions of approval.
Councilman Clark replied that the remedy was in the conditions of approval and could be addressed in a scheduled six-month review after the start of operation of these booths. If there is a violation of these conditions, the City can have them removed.
Mayor pro tem Stern assumed that if conditions of approval were violated, a process could start to revoke their encroachment permit. He agreed that the original plan was not good because it seemed to be designed to inhibit people from reaching the blufftop trails.
Councilman Clark said that he was opposed to inhibiting access to the interior streets.
Mayor pro tem Stern agreed that every topic could not be revisited but he thought it was worth the effort to see if contact could be made with the Coastal Commission to make a decision within this area of their jurisdiction.Councilman Gardiner said he still did not want to reverse a Council decision and he thought contacting the Coastal Commission with the Council's concerns did just that but he did feel comfortable revoking their permit if they use video cameras.
Mayor McTaggart said that one objection in the beginning was that the booths seemed to be a deterrent to people using public streets. He accepted that his appeal was denied by the Council and he did not think it was right to reverse this decision, but he was opposed to a camera taking photographs of license plates.
Councilman Clark acknowledged that the video camera had slipped by the Planning Commission, who approved the booths almost unanimously. He agreed with Councilman Gardiner's comment that violating the conditions of approval could cause revocation of their encroachment permit. Councilman Clark recommended that the message the Council was attempting to send was a concern over the use of video cameras, a clear sign back to CPH. He sensed from the senior representative from Coastal Pacific Homes, who was not able to attend tonight's meeting, that taking the cameras out would perhaps be a final compromise for the Coastal Commission. He was concerned that approving Mayor pro tem Stern's suggestion would send a message to the Coastal Commission that the Council had reversed its decision behind the scenes. With the concept of security raised by Councilwoman Ferraro with an emergency phone present, and the possible removal of the cameras, he felt he could continue to support installation of the booths.
Mayor McTaggart, assuming in advance that there would be video cameras, felt that this would be a violation of their conditions and he said that the City often imposed hard rules on developers; however, once a decision was rendered, the developer should be able to count on it. He admitted that he still was not happy with the booths and did not know what the Coastal Commission 's decision would be, but they had jurisdiction over appeals in this part of the City.
Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to adopt Alternative B in the staff report, to take no action on Mayor pro tem Stern’s request. Motion carried.
Mayor pro tem Stern withdrew his proposal.
Options for the Use of the Crestridge Property (1101 x 701)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 18, 2001 and the recommendation to provide direction to staff regarding the following issues: (1) Which if any of the concepts proposed for the use of the Crestridge property should receive further consideration; (2) What information and analyses will the City Council require to make a determination of the use of the property; and (3) Whether to consider the Planning Commissions recommendation to conduct a joint City Council/Planning Commission workshop to discuss use options for the City's Crestridge property, use options for the adjoining privately owned Crestridge property and the need and appropriate location for senior housing in the City.
RECESS & RECONVENE:
Options for the Use of the Crestridge Property (continued)
City Manager Evans suggested that the Council consider a joint workshop with the Planning Commission with an opportunity for public input.
Mayor pro tem Stern agreed this would be a good idea. He did have a concern about one of the specific proposals. He wondered if traffic at that location would be a problem is an Exceptional Children's School was built on the Crestridge property.
City Manager Evans reminded the Council that representatives from each group interested in the property were at the meeting, although detailed presentations were being reserved for the future.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that the joint workshop should be with the newly appointed Planning Commission.
Mayor McTaggart noted that this would mean the workshop would be scheduled for sometime after February.
Councilman Gardiner cautioned that the Council should articulate its criteria so projects are not presented which are inappropriate. He also felt it was important to look at the affordable housing requirement from a systems approach, not in a piecemeal fashion, taking into consideration that the State could change its requirement. The feasibility of a park, and how it would be funded, could be discussed at this joint workshop also.
Mayor pro tem Stern suggested that a possibility might be to have Standard Pacific bring together two parcels and incorporate a park and trails along with the affordable housing.
Mayor McTaggart pointed out that the housing needs to be senior housing as well because of the institutional zoning.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that the land was purchased by the City with funds to be used only for affordable housing, and if the land were not used for affordable housing, the City would have to purchase the land with different funds and restore the money originally used to purchase the property.
Mayor McTaggart speculated that it might be a good idea to include the Finance Advisory Committee in the workshop.
Jim Hathaway, 28955 Crestridge Road, felt that this city-owned property was not suitable for more than a one-story building. Other considerations were the challenge of providing good access for cars and the use of the land to the west. He agreed that the City needed a comprehensive plan for affordable housing and to understand the rules for affordable housing, and whether they are hard or soft rules. He discussed the possibility of rental property fulfilling the requirement. He also wondered if the City could spend more per dwelling so that the community could support the facility. He felt confident with this piece of land and the intelligent people at the City, there would be a solution to incorporate low density, affordable housing, senior housing, and some kind of park.
Councilman Clark felt that the thorough report provided information for a good departure point for discussion. He supported Mayor McTaggart's idea to include the Finance Advisory Committee in the workshop and to tackle the affordable housing requirement with a systems approach, not piecemeal as in the past.
Mayor pro tem Stern moved that staff schedule a joint workshop with the City Council, Planning Commission, and Finance Advisory Board and to provide presentations for each of the proposals mentioned so that the three City groups as well as the residents can provide input.
Councilwoman Ferraro asked if the Finance Advisory Committee would be present as participants or observers.
Mayor pro tem Stern was not sure but felt there was wisdom in having them included to take into account financial ramifications.
Councilwoman Ferraro felt that these three groups should look at the top three priorities to see what was possible financially.
Mayor McTaggart felt that all three groups should be participants.
Councilman Clark said that he had participated in a workshop with the City Council, Planning Commission, and View Restoration Commission and felt it was possible to be productive if the room is set up appropriately and there are ground rules.
Councilwoman Ferraro thought a Saturday workshop might be best for what could be a long workshop with much public input.
Councilman Gardiner was concerned about a workshop which ran too long and suggested that a facilitator could keep the groups on track.
Mayor McTaggart mentioned that Len Wood would be an excellent choice for facilitator. He said that Mr. Wood s very effective and there is a great demand for his services. He wondered if the cost for his services would be high.
City Manager Evans felt that it would not be too expensive to have Len Wood as a facilitator.
Mayor pro tem Stern agreed that all groups should be equal participants in the discussion and to make the process as productive as possible, whatever that took.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that if the Council told the facilitator the desired process and what the Council hoped to accomplish in the workshop, the facilitator could make that happen.
Councilman Clark thought it would be a good idea to meet with Len Wood first to discuss objectives.
Mayor McTaggart stated that this is the way Len Wood operated. He would probably want to meet individually with each Councilmember to obtain their candid thoughts to come up with a method of meeting the goal of the workshop.
Councilman Clark seconded the motion to have a workshop with the City Council, Planning Commission, and Finance Advisory committee and to hire a facilitator.
City Manager Evans said that Len Wood's fee and availability would have to be determined, and that there would need to be a well-defined format for the workshop which could be held in March after the Planning Commissioners are appointed.
Mayor pro tem Stern pointed out that the Finance Advisory Committee interviews were planned to be held in March.
Mayor McTaggart suggested that the Finance Advisory Committee interviews be moved to February and the Traffic Committee interviews be moved to March.
Council consensus was that this was a good idea.
City Manager Evans stated that this reorganization of Advisory Board interviews did not have to part of the motion on the floor.
The motion carried with no objection.
Shari Uchida, 30970 Via La Cresta, a member of RPV Councilwatch, expressed her concern about the Mayor pro tem appointment.
Gale Pack, 28810 King Arthur Court, a member of RPV Councilwatch, hoped that the Council would reconsider the selection of Mayor pro tem and do what is right.
Connie Semos, 6512 Monero Drive, a member of RPV Councilwatch, hoped that the Council would provide an explanation of the Mayor pro tem decision.
Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, said that even before RPV Councilwatch, she had been watching the Council and she had been informed that people who view the Council meetings are unhappy about the way she (Lois) has been treated.
Councilman Gardiner clarified that there is a policy mentioned in the March 1, 1983 Council meeting minutes which gives the Council a simple vote for Mayor pro tem, that the policy for rotation of Mayor and Mayor pro tem is not always followed but that the selection of Mayor pro tem is based on the Councilmember who served the longest as a Councilmember, since last being Mayor or who has served the longest and not been Mayor. Since Councilwoman Ferraro and Mayor McTaggart had already been Mayor, if the Council goes by the part of the policy after "or," which he believed was an option, the Council can select the person who has served the longest without being Mayor. Since Councilwoman Ferraro and Mayor McTaggart had already been Mayor, he nominated Mayor pro tem Stern because he felt it made sense to follow the process adopted in 1983.
Councilwoman Ferraro said that, if you read the policy further, it says that when a new person comes on - and Mayor pro tem Stern came on in 1999 – he went ahead of the then mayor, Tom Hollingsworth, but behind her because of the votes she received.
Marcy Tiffany said that she was a lawyer and she had prepared a written explanation of her interpretation based on reading and discussion with Mr. Stern by email. She felt that the meaningful word was "shall" and she felt that the Council was not providing for an orderly decision for the choice of Mayor pro tem To say that you are to pick the Councilmember who has the longest time on the Council, if you do not take into consideration someone who served as Mayor since newly elected Councilmembers, you start measuring longevity from the time they were last mayor and if no one fits that category, the person who has been on the Council the longest should be chosen.
San Ramon Habitat Restoration Plans (1101 x 604)
Assistant City Manager Petru presented the staff report of December 18, 2001 and the recommendation to (1) Receive and file the Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat Restoration Plan for the San Ramon project (on-site). (2) Approve the Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat Restoration Plan for Abalone Cove Shoreline Park (which includes off-site mitigation for the San Ramon and Palos Verdes Drive South Washout Projects, and on-site mitigation for the Abalone Cove Beach Improvement Project.) (3) Approve the Conceptual Off-site Wetland Mitigation Plan for the San Ramon Project. (4) Authorize staff to issue Request for Proposals seeking a qualified firm to install and maintain the habitat restoration area at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and a qualified consultant to monitor all of the restoration efforts associated with the project.
Councilman Gardiner felt that the staff report was very comprehensive but he admitted to not understanding all of the technical details since they require special knowledge and was pleased that assistance from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy might be part of the plan.
Councilman Clark echoed Councilman Gardiner's sentiment regarding the Land Conservancy. Because he had a little more background with these matters, he said he understood most of it and was concerned that the wetlands mitigation would be outside the City but he would support the recommendation because of time constraints. He did feel, however, that if the City has not identified any other wetlands in the City, this must be remedied. He supported the concept of recruiting local talent to serve the City.
Mayor pro tem Stern said that he was on the Land Conservancy Board at the time that Ocean Trails was required to provide revegetation as mitigation and hired the Land Conservancy to grow a lot of plants. He was sure that the estimate from private industry was higher and this was an excellent program for the land conservancy so it was a win-win situation for everyone.
Councilman Clark agreed using the Land Conservancy would have a good fiscal impact. As discussed at the last meeting, he felt it was important to have a dynamic financial model to be able to change the variables.
Mayor McTaggart proposed that a foundation be established to fund revegetation which would receive money from donors, estates and people who feel strongly that preservation of the Peninsula is a good use of their money. He felt that the numbers of acres the City is trying to acquire is frightening in terms of maintenance and the Land Conservancy has done a good job in the past. He felt that because of the other cities reluctance to go along with the NCCP for enhancement of their habitats, he was opposed to having a Wetlands Mitigation Plan in another city but said he would support the idea as long as Rancho Palos Verdes gets adequate credit for doing work through the Land Conservancy.
Councilwoman Ferraro said that this credit needed to be recognized by the State.
Mayor McTaggart felt that the more land the City puts into the NCCP, the more we should be exempt from the requirement to revegetate.
Councilwoman Ferraro agreed but said that it seems like the more the City works toward a valid NCCP, the more it is asked to do.
Councilman Gardiner favored use of the Land Conservancy but felt the City needed to get a systems view of everything so there were no surprises.
Councilman Clark asked if staff had any sense of what the financial difference would be in reference to the alternatives listed on circle Page 8 of the staff report.
Assistant City Manager Petru said that this would need to be explored.
Councilman Clark said that he sensed it would be more expensive to have an in-house expert or independent consultants as opposed to accepting the assistance of the Land Conservancy.
Assistant City Manager Petru clarified that the resource agencies preferred to have another entity involved in the monitoring process for the offsite wetlands mitigation, so that function would have to be handled in-house or by a consultant.
Councilman Clark understood that it was important to have an independent firm handle at this aspect.
Councilwoman Ferraro asked the highest priority task.
Assistant City Manager Petru said that Recommendation Nos. 2 and 3 were most urgent. These were the approval of the Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat Restoration Plan for Abalone Cove Shoreline Park (which includes off-site mitigation for the San Ramon and Palos Verdes Drive South Washout Projects, and on-site mitigation for the Abalone Cove Beach Improvement Project.) and approval of the Conceptual Off-site Wetland Mitigation Plan for the San Ramon Project.
Councilwoman Ferraro moved approval of Recommendation Nos. 2 and 3 in the staff report.
Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, objected to the use of Abalone Cove Shoreline Park for habitat mitigation for the San Ramon project because of the Abalone Cove landslide.
Councilwoman Ferraro continued her motion to include receiving and filing of the Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat Restoration Plan for the San Ramon Project (on site); and, instead of recommendation No. 4 to hire a qualified firm to install and maintain the habitat restoration area at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, that assistance be sought from the Land Conservancy, other interested qualified groups, or university students.
Mayor pro tem Stern seconded the motion.
Councilman Clark requested that the City's Finance Director and his staff look at financial implications of future restoration projects.
Mayor pro tem Stern felt that response to volunteer groups would have an important impact and analysis should be postponed until it was learned to what degree volunteer help might offset costs.
Councilman Clark agreed but felt that this was another indicator that the Council needed a dynamic financial model to be able to change the variables.
Councilman Gardiner asked when action had to be taken.
Assistant City Manager Petru said that the coastal sage scrub revegetation needed to be started in the Fall of 2002, therefore, with lead time to find out who will do the work and have contracts finalized, the deadline would be May or June. She stated that Council was approving $10,500 for Wetlands mitigation and $30,000 for Wetlands monitoring and that it probably would be advisable not to be locked into a five-year contract with Helix, so she recommended that the Council authorized an initial one-year contract with Helix.
Councilwoman Ferraro modified her motion, and Mayor pro tem Stern agreed, to include Assistant City Manager Petru's comments.
The motion was approved on the following roll call vote:
Request to Abandon View Covenant Recorded against Property at 3027 Crest Road (Requestor: Mr.& Mrs. Robert Scalfaro - property owners) (1203 x 1806)
Director Rojas presented the staff report of December 18, 2001 and the recommendation to (1) Consider the property owner's request for the City to abandon the view covenant that was recorded against the property known as 3027 Crest Road after a formal review process for abandoning covenants has been adopted by the City Council. (2) Amend Policy No. 30 to establish a process for dealing with requests from property owners to abandon recorded view covenants on a case-by-case basis.
Director Rojas added that it appears that Mr. Scalfaro and Mr. Morrell are close to an agreement but that Mr. Scalfaro still wishes to have his covenant abandoned.
Mayor pro tem Stern thanked the Seaview residents who sent emails and reassured them City Council Policy 30 being considered by the Council addressed covenants which residents signed simply because they wanted to modify their homes, not the covenants in place at Ocean Trails.
City Attorney Lynch confirmed that this was the case.
Mayor McTaggart asked if there would be a fee for removing a covenant.
Director Rojas said that one would have to be proposed.
Councilman Clark provided a history of how these covenants came to be and said that they were not enforced or required after 1996 because they really were not working as it was thought they would. If people want these covenants removed, those properties would be subject to foliage analysis according to the original intent of View Preservation.
Robert Scalfaro, 3027 Crest Road, said that Director Rojas had been very helpful in helping formulate an agreement with his neighbor Mr. Morrell but he still was requesting that the Council abandon his covenant.
Mayor pro tem Stern said that if the parties have come to an agreement, the case does not need to be reviewed.
City Attorney Lynch emphasized that the agreement document had not been submitted.
Robert Morrell, 3126 Corinna Drive, said there was no resolution as yet and they were still in the talking stage. He felt that the covenant should not be abandoned but simply ignored by the City.
Mayor pro tem Stern asked if he was close to resolving the view dispute with Mr. Scalfaro.
Mr. Morrell said that they were close.
Mayor pro tem Stern asked if he felt the view covenant was still necessary. Mr. Morrell said no but he felt the City should wash its hands of the whole covenant issue because it would seem easier if the City were not involved with covenants at all.
Councilman Clark pointed out that these are legal covenants and are still legally enforceable by property owners if they wish to and they could not be ignored.
City Attorney Lynch agreed with that statement.
Mr. Morrell said that he knew they would not just go away but he believed that the residents, not the City should deal with them.
Councilman Clark explained that the reason Proposition M was passed was to provide a means for the City to act as arbiter between residents.
Mr. Morrell said that did alter his thought that the City should not be involved in these covenants.
Warren Sweetnam, 7 Top Rail Lane, asked if the properties were inspected and requests made to trim the foliage after the City stopped enforcing view covenants.
Director Rojas said yes.
Mr. Sweetnam felt that the covenants were a problem and should be abandoned on a case-by-case basis since they were approximately 900 of them signed over a six-year period. He reiterated Councilman Clark's statement of the original intent of the City's involvement in views.
Mayor pro tem Stern said that a fee would be required to remove these covenants and assuming that there are no view issues, why spend the time and money.
City Attorney Lynch suggested that a letter could be sent to property owners with view covenants to inform them that there is a process to remove the covenant and provide the amount of the fee. They can then make the decision if they want to pay to have the covenant removed or leave it in place.
Mayor pro tem Stern moved to establish a fee for removal of a view covenant signed to obtain a permit and inform those property owners who have this type of covenant that they may pay the fee to have it removed if they wish.
City Attorney Lynch said that City Manager Evans thought the noticing could be accomplished by using the City newsletter and the reader board.
Mayor pro tem Stern said that he did not have strong feelings about how the publicizing was accomplished just as long as these property owners know they have this option.
Councilman Clark seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Turning to the specific covenant at hand, Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, that once the City has proof that a settlement is in place between Mr. Scalfaro and Mr. Morrell, that the covenant be removed without a fee. Motion carried.
Introduction of Mobile Vendors Ordinance
Director Allison presented the staff report of December 18, 2001 and the recommendation to INTRODUCE THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING NEW PARKING REGULATIONS APPLICABLE TO MOBILE VENDORS WHO PARK ON CITY STREETS AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE.
Mayor pro tem Stern noted that he had submitted suggested language changes along with City Attorney Lynch's comments, which were included in additional/revisions and amendments memo distributed to the Council at the beginning of the meeting.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to adopt staff recommendation and introduce the ordinance with the amended language as presented by Mayor pro tem Stern.
Mayor pro tem Stern said that he was uncomfortable with the rationale to change the time these mobile vendors are allowed to stay in one place from 15 to 10 minutes and wondered what was to be gained from this change. He assumed these vendors were meeting a need or people would not be buying and they would not want to stay in a location where people did not buy.
Mayor McTaggart said that there were times when they had no customers and they sat for longer periods of time.
Councilman Clark thought it would be a good idea to have uniformity with the Palos Verdes Estates ordinance, which allows only ten minutes.
City Attorney Lynch agreed that uniformity with surrounding cities would be preferable.
Mayor pro tem Stern still questioned the maximum of 10 minutes, rather than 15 minutes.
City Manager Evans clarified that in City Attorney Lynch's version, customers have to be there before the truck can stay. In Mayor pro tem Stern's version the truck can be there before the customers.
Councilman Clark asked if these businesses were checked to see if they have business licenses.
Accounting Manager Downs said that she understood there were no random checks.
Councilman Clark thought regular random checks would be a good idea.
City Manager Evans said that when there have been complaints, the City has checked for a business license and assume the Sheriff's Department does the same. We can require regular random checks.
There was no objection to the motion with the ten minutes remaining in the ordinance.
City Clerk Purcell introduced Ordinance 272, by title, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING NEW REGULATIONS ON MOBILE VENDORS PARKING ON CITY STREETS AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
Authorize Inclusion of Provisions in Agreements with Experts whose Sole Task is to Review Work that is Prepared by Others so that the City will Indemnify and Defend them from Litigation and Claims relating to their Determinations (1101 x 1900)
City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 18, 2001 and the recommendation to provide direction to staff on whether agreements with experts whose sole task is to review work that is prepared by others, such as members of geotechnical review panels, should include provisions that would require the City to indemnify and defend them from litigation and claims related to their decisions.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to direct the City Attorney to prepare agreements with experts whose sole task is to review work that is prepared by others, such as members of geotechnical review panels, and to include provisions that would require the City to indemnify and defend them from litigation and claims related to their decisions. Motion carried.
Mayor pro tem McTaggart asked if the City would be covered by its JPIA insurance if it indemnifies someone else.
City Attorney Lynch said it would depend on the type of activity; usually this was not the case and not in this instance.
Contract Renewal for Geotechnical Consulting (1203 x 201)
Director Rojas presented the staff report of December 18, 2001 and the recommendation to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the proposed agreement with Zeiser Kling Consultants, Inc. to provide geology and geotechnical engineering consulting services on an as-needed basis to the City for the next two years.
Director Rojas noted that there had been no cost increase since 1998 and this increase was reasonable and an adjustment since the trust deposit system was replaced a year ago. He added that a fee schedule to residents would be brought before the Council for a public hearing.
Director Rojas mentioned that Bing Yen Associates also had been under contract with the City since 1997 and that contract would be brought before the Council in January 2002.
Councilman Clark asked what the intended period of performance was in the original 1997 Request for Proposal (RFP) and Director Rojas said that it was one year.
Since Zeiser Kling had been under contract for four years based on one year of intended performance, Councilman Clark asked about the City policy for obtaining a new RFP for competitive services.
City Manager Evans said that most maintenance or professional services agreements are written for one to three years, usually one base year and then several renewals, the fees are very cost. The cost to prepare an RFP would be about the same as the City pays Zeiser Kling for one year. They are doing a good job and it does not seem cost effective to prepare an RFP. He closed by stating that there is no written policy but normally an RFP would be prepared after three years if it did not seem cost effective to renew the contract.
Councilman Clark asked if there were new firms within the last four years that provide geotechnical service that did not have a chance to compete.
City Manager Evans replied that there probably were but one favorable aspect of Zeiser Kling is that their personnel have not changed. As a comparison, at Bing Yen Associates, many personnel changes have occurred and Bing Yen, the principal, has retired. Zeiser Kling is familiar with the community, have hours at the public counter at City Hall, provide soil reports, and their personnel are almost like City employees. He did not feel that it was worthwhile to seek out other firms at this time.
Councilman Clark made two suggestions: a change in wording to indicate that the Zeiser Kling personnel responsible for serving the City will remain the same unless the Directors of Planning or Public Works approves a change; and, that a provision for default be added.
City Attorney Lynch said that the agreement addresses this as failure to perform.
Mayor pro tem Stern questioned if the ten-day period for correcting discrepancies was adequate.
Director Rojas indicated that bills were processed very quickly and that ten days was a sufficient period of time but a longer period of time could be requested.
After discussion, the consensus was to make the correction period 15 business days.
Councilman Clark asked if there were any discounts for prompt payment and City Manager Evans said not on these types of contracts. Councilman Clark suggested that such a discount policy be considered for adoption by the City.
City Manager Evans noted that Bing Yen Associates is working on the Filiorum project and that the Council can be asked to extend their contract until this work is complete.
Consensus of the Council was that this would be reasonable.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clerk, to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to (1) Execute the proposed agreement with Zeiser Kling Consultants, Inc. to provide geology and geotechnical engineering consulting services on an as-needed basis to the City for the next two years. (2) Direct staff to issue an RFP when the Bing Yen contract comes up for renewal in January 2002 with a base year renewable for two more years. (3) Change the time allowed to dispute a bill with Zeiser Kling from 10 days to 15 business days. Motion carried.
Beautification Grant for the Miraleste Recreation and Park District (1204 x 1200)
Director Allison presented an oral report, with a staff recommendation to increase the Award of Grant from a maximum or $22,000 to an amount up to $40,000 to the Miraleste Recreation and Park District for beautification improvements in the Miraleste neighborhood. He explained that a request had been received from the Miraleste Recreation and Park District to increase their beautification grant from $22,000, approved by the Council in August 2001, to $40,000 to for additional funds because of increased costs for electrical and asphalt work, $13,000 and $4,000 respectively. Added to these costs were fees of $1,000 to Southern California Edison. He stated that the Public Works Department had worked with the District to obtain bids for the electrical work and the that possibility of solar or battery powered installation was considered but was incompatible with the current system. He closed by stating that the funding source was recycling funds.
Councilman Clark asked the purpose of the asphalt stamping.
Dawn Henry, 6525 Via Colinita, said that a committee which included a licensed landscape architect from UCLA had worked on this plan. She said that the community wanted to enhance the entrance to the neighborhood and presented a diagram of the improvements that she distributed to the Council. (A copy of Ms. Henry’s diagram is on file with the City Clerk’s Office.)
Councilman Clark asked if the delineation was supposed to be a crosswalk and Dawn Henry said it was not.
Mayor pro tem Stern noted that the City posted a sign which said it was not a cross walk
Dawn Henry detailed the expenses for the project: the cost of the stamping was $28,500 and the remainder of the cost was for a sprinkler system and planting, for a total of $127,600. She said that, if this request were to be approved, the City would have donated a total of $40,000 and the Miraleste Recreation and Park District provided the additional $87,600.
Councilman Clark asked the source of the funds from Miraleste Recreation and Park District were raised and Dawn Henry said that the money came from donations from residents, PV Homes Association, Miraleste Homeowners association, and fundraising events.
In reply to Mayor pro tem Stern's inquiry about assessments, Dawn Henry replied that each resident within the district was assessed $125 annual for maintenance but since was an improvement project, rather than maintenance, these funds were not used.
In answer to Councilman Clark's question about the source of City money, Dawn Henry said it was recycling funds before the money was redirected from the Homeowners Associations.
Councilman Gardiner moved to approve an additional $18,000, to increase the Award of Grant from a maximum of $22,000 to an amount up to $40,000 to the Miraleste Recreation and Park District for beautification improvements in the Miraleste neighborhood.
Councilwoman Ferraro seconded the motion contingent on recycling funds being available.
Director Allison indicated that recycling funds were available.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
ORAL CITY COUNCIL REPORTS:
Mayor McTaggart reported that he had met with some men to discuss Girls' Softball. He said that they were not developers but the group did include Rob Katherman, who represents developers. Mayor McTaggart said they were careful not to discuss any specific project, however, Mr. Katherman called him later to discuss the low-income project and Mayor McTaggart suggested he forward information to the City Council.
Mayor pro tem Stern asked if Rob Katherman was representing Charles Brumbaugh and Mayor McTaggart said yes.
Mayor McTaggart reported on the Housing Summit held by SCAG at which the Secretary of Housing and Development stated how easy it was to comply with the requirements. He felt that SCAG made a worthwhile effort to have an open discussion about the difficulties of complying with the state's mandate about cities providing low income housing but the State perceives us ad do-nothings and has not given us the means to be otherwise.
Councilman Clark reported that he and Councilman Gardiner were invited speakers at the December meeting of the Council of Homeowners Association and said that the lively discussion included topics such as the concern by many homeowners association about the removal of the recycling grants to the local neighborhood associations to beautify their community. Councilman Clark said that he was planning to ask to have this topic on a Council agenda soon, when it was appropriate, and would ask staff to provide a comprehensive history of these grants to homeowners associations.
Mayor McTaggart and Councilman Gardiner echoed their support to revisit this issue.
ADJOURNMENT: Adjourned at 10:39 P.M. on motion of Mayor McTaggart.