City Council Minutes 04/02/2002 RPV, City, Council, Minutes, 2002, Meeting RPV City Council Minutes for the 04/02/2002 Meeting Rancho Palos Verdes City Council Minutes, April 2, 2002





APRIL 2, 2002

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 7:03 P.M. the meeting reconvened.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Clark, 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; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Deputy Planner Director Pfost; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; Senior Planner Kit Fox; and Recording Secretary Bothe.


Because there was no winner from last month’s Recycle Drawing program, Mayor McTaggart asked that two cards be selected. The winners will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service.

At this time, Mayor McTaggart announced that on Saturday, May 4, 2002, from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., the City Hall will host another Household Hazardous Waste Roundup event for its residents.


It was the consensus of the City Council to consider Appointment of Advisory Board Chairs, as the first order of business.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to approve the Agenda as amended. No objections were noted.


Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, briefly addressed the Constitution of the United States and this City’s interaction with the First Amendment; expressed her concern with the $4,000 fee the City paid for the four-hour Teambuilding Workshop; requested clarification with regard to Rancho Palos Verdes executing annual contracts with the State of California Franchise Tax Board for taxpayer information sharing services; and congratulated the McTaggart family for the Rotary pinning event of Mayor McTaggart’s 101-year-old father.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem 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 (301)

Approved the Minutes of March 9 and 11, 2002, as presented.

Ordinance No. 375 - Modification of Rule of Procedure 3.2 to Eliminate Rescheduling of Meetings on Election Dates other than City Election Dates (301 x 1103)


Acceptance of Maintenance for a portion of the public improvements at Tract No. 46628 (Oceanfront Estates) (1204 x 1411)

(1) Accepted for maintenance the public trails, fencing, landscape, hardscape, and parking lot for Tract 46628 as depicted in the exhibit. (2) Authorized the Director of Public Works to execute a change order in the amount of $17,400 with Bemus Landscaping.

Parkland Dedication Fees for Final Parcel Map No. 26047

(Applicant: Robert M. Patterson) (1203 x 1201)

Approved parkland dedication (Quimby) fees for Final Parcel Map No. 26047 pursuant to the City’s parkland dedication fee formula in the amount of $8,653.63.

February 2002 Treasurer’s Report (602)

Ordered received and filed.

Resol. No. 2002-22 - Register of Demands (602)


The motion to approve the Consent Calendar carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, Stern, and Mayor McTaggart
NOES: None


Resol. No. 2002- 23 - Reconsideration of the Decision on the Appeal of Conditional Use Permit No. 207 (Appellant: Mark Abrams, 44 Oceanaire Drive.) (Continued from March 25, 2002 meeting.) (1801 x 1203)

Senior Planner Fox presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Adopt the proposed resolution adopting the Mitigated Negative Declaration Prepared pursuant to Environmental Assessment No. 720. (2) Adopt the proposed resolution conditionally approving Conditional Use Permit No. 207.

With regard to Condition No. 10, Mayor pro tem Stern expressed his preference that "any" tree that dies or is felled by an act of God or any other intentional or unintentional act must be replaced by another tree of evergreen variety of at least 24-inch box size.

City Attorney Lynch noted for Mayor pro tem Stern that his preferred language will be included to so reflect that change, as well as included in the language for the mitigation monitoring program.

Meredith Eick, 2866 West 226th Street, owner of 6 Cove View Drive, expressed his belief that regulating antenna maintenance hours and the number of vehicles at the subject property is reasonable; and noted his preference that applicants install their antennas inside their attics or other areas inside their homes.

Sanford Samuels, P.O. Box 950489, Mission Hills, expressed his belief that the recommended hours of maintenance is an unreasonable condition; and urged the City to hire its own professional consultant to provide an opinion on antenna radiation impacts, if any, and not to take into consideration what laymen have stated at these hearings about antenna emissions.

Mark Abrams, 44 Oceanaire Drive, stated that most of the conditions are unreasonable, unjustified, and that the conditions will not stand up in court -- noting his intention to take this issue all the way to the Federal Appeals Court, if necessary. He addressed his objection to the hours of operation and the recommended hours of ham radio antenna maintenance; and stated that as previously agreed upon, staff had not yet removed Condition No. 19 from the conditions, as noted in the faxed copy of staff report that his attorney had sent him -- pointing out that the City had not sent him a copy of staff’s report for this evening’s meeting. Mr. Abrams noted his objection to Condition No. 18, believing that the language is improperly worded.

City Attorney Lynch concluded that Mr. Abrams was not in possession of the most recent staff report/conditions; and suggested that this public hearing be recessed in order to allow him some time to review the correct version of staff report/conditions.

Mayor McTaggart ordered a recess of this public hearing, Agenda Item No. 8, for the benefit of Mr. Abrams’ review of this evening’s staff report.


Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, commented on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press; she happily noted the arrival of Sean Patrick, who was born on March 29, 2002, the new son of the president of the Homeowners Council; and requested that City Council send a note of congratulations.

There being no further public comments, Mayor McTaggart ordered the reconvening of the reconsideration of the decision on the appeal of Conditional Use Permit No. 207

Mr. Abrams stated that he is not able to say that he’s had sufficient time to review the correct version of this evening’s staff report/conditions; and reiterated his objection to all the conditions, specifically the conditions addressing revoking the permit -- expressing his belief that the City does not have the authority to revoke the permit. Mr. Abrams stated that the condition of approval for painting the antenna structure is inappropriate; and stated that the judge had ruled that there is no aesthetic impact and that forcing him to paint the antenna and plant trees to mitigate the aesthetics is a totally unreasonable condition -- pointing out that once the antennas are painted, it creates a maintenance problem. He addressed his strong objection to the planting of trees for screening purposes; noted his objection to Item No. 11, which restricts maintenance hours for the amateur equipment; and stated that these conditions violate his religious convictions by not being permitted to do these activities on Sundays – pointing out that he observes the Sabbath. He noted his objection to the requirement for obtaining a business license, stating that the City has no valid claim that these operations are a business activity; and he addressed his objection to a 6-month review of the conditional use permit.

Councilman Clark expressed his belief that these conditions are appropriate for commercial operations from this site and that, therefore, the business license requirement is appropriate; and he commented on the City’s standard requirement for a review period following the issuance of many conditional use permits – explaining that this is done to ensure that the owner of a conditional use permit is complying with the conditions.

Mr. Abrams advised that he has a business license for his office location where he conducts his actual business; and expressed his belief that neither City staff nor the City Council has been candid with him.

Highlighting Mr. Abrams’ comment this evening in regard to his objection to screening, Councilman Clark pointed out that Mr. Abrams himself had proposed at the last meeting to add additional screening by way of adding a structure to his home.

Mr. Abrams stated that adding additional structure to his home is beneficial in providing additional living space, but that adding the screening with plants provides no benefit and that it detracts from the propagation of the radio signals; and advised that he already experiences signal degradation from the existing foliage not only on his property, but from those properties in the surrounding neighborhood.

In response to Councilman Gardiner’s inquiry, City Attorney Lynch explained that State law and other laws provide that a city can require a business license from any location where a business is operated; however, the City has to do a representative apportionment of a business license fee to reflect whatever occurs in the city.

Councilman Clark stated that following exhaustive discussions/efforts with respect to this conditional use permit, it is his belief that the City has crafted both a reasonable and appropriate set of conditions for this conditional use permit.

Mayor pro tem Stern requested that Condition 19 be added back into the final set of conditions, now making it Condition 20, and that it require a listing of all radio facilities or frequencies that are licensed.

Mr. Abrams noted for the record that he will not disclose confidential business information, stating that there is no legitimate municipal purpose served by the collection of that information. He expressed his belief that the City is attempting to regulate frequencies, which is not within the purview of the City’s jurisdiction; and that this will be used against the City in court.

Councilman Clark stated that the City is attempting to verify what frequencies he is using at this site.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that the purpose for placing Condition 19 back into the final conditions has nothing to do with regulating frequencies, that it’s simply a matter of disclosure.


Mayor McTaggart closed the public hearing.


At 8:00 P.M. Mayor McTaggart recessed the meeting, and he reconvened the meeting at 8:10 P.M.

Tentative Tract Map No. 53305, General Plan Amendment No. 30, Grading Permit No. 2242 and Environmental Assessment No. 738 (JCC Homes Inc./California Water Service Company, 5837 Crest Road) (1203 x 1803)

Senior Planner Fox presented staff report and the recommendation to review the revised project to determine if the applicant has adequately addressed the issues raised by the City Council and concerned neighbors, and direct staff to either: (1) bring back to the next meeting resolutions of approval for the revised project, as recommended by the Planning Commission; or, (2) prepare resolutions of denial due to City Council concerns with the revised project.

Councilwoman Ferraro noted for the record that she had met with Mr. Jensen in regard to this property.

Mayor pro tem Stern expressed, echoed by Councilman Gardiner, some concern that a former staff member had made the determination to zone this site inconsistent with the General Plan and that for the better part of the past 20 years, it has remained inconsistent with the General Plan.

City Attorney Lynch expressed her opinion that the former staff member believed this zoning determination was consistent; and City Attorney Lynch stated that she, herself, takes the opposite view.

Mayor McTaggart stated that he had previously requested, and not received, an analysis from California Water Service (Cal Water) of its plans for emergency preparation for the Peninsula, questioning what amount of water is expected to be available following an emergency situation; and questioned the appropriateness of abandoning this site.

Councilman Clark requested information on where the other reservoir sites are located and how they connect into the existing facility.

Mayor pro tem Stern questioned if there are sites that Cal Water owns or plans to acquire so that this City is not faced with a difficult situation during/after an emergency.

Representing Cal Water, Mike Risso advised that a hydraulic study of the Palos Verdes Peninsula has been completed, including recommendations in that study which puts Cal Water into a ten-year capital improvement budget arena; and stated that the study identifies City-owned land and other land that could be acquired throughout the Peninsula. Mr. Risso explained that the study identifies a better mix of pumping arrangements and other arrays of piping that would benefit the distribution of water throughout the system in the Peninsula; and he stated that Cal Water has not acquired any of these recommended sites at this point in time. He added that the hydraulic study would be provided to the City Council.

In response to Mayor pro tem Stern’s inquiry, Mr. Risso explained that it has been calculated that approximately 11 million gallons of additional capacity/storage would be needed in this 10-year plan, wherever the reservoir will be located; that this water would be distributed throughout the entire Peninsula, not just Rancho Palos Verdes; advised that the existing reservoir is an approximate 9.5-million gallon reservoir; and that its supplies are currently distributed to various reservoirs throughout the entire Peninsula – pointing out that approximately 33 million gallons of storage exists for the entire Peninsula. He stated that Cal Water has identified this site as surplus.

Councilman Clark noted his understanding that this additional 11 million gallons of capacity is over and above the total capacity of the existing reservoir on site.

Councilman Gardiner requested that an engineered analysis be provided to support the claim that this site is a surplus reservoir; and that assumptions and projections be included to address the Peninsula’s water needs.

Mr. Risso stated that Cal Water annually studies the fire flow availability, water distribution, sources of supplies, every scenario Cal Water can think of. Mr. Risso mentioned that the hydraulic report was done in advance of the subdivision request.

Responding to Councilman Clark’s request, Mr. Risso reiterated that Cal Water would provide the City Council a copy of the analysis/study and any other information the City requests. Mr. Risso explained that it would be more beneficial to build small reservoirs throughout the Peninsula rather than have one large facility; and that these smaller reservoirs would more favorably be between 1.5- and 3-million gallon reservoirs.

Mr. Risso noted for Councilman Gardiner that the average life cycle of a reservoir is 50 years; and stated that this reservoir was built in 1970.

Addressing Mayor McTaggart’s inquiries, Mr. Risso stated that in the past 31 years, no reservoirs have been constructed on the Peninsula; and advised that there is enough supply/capacity to support a 3- to 4-day emergency situation on the Peninsula.

Ken Dyda, 5715 Capeswood Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, commented on the history of the various zoning in this area and its consistency with the General Plan.

Jack Cameron, 17 Lariat Lane, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274, Chairman of JCC Homes, questioned whether he should proceed with his proposal until such time that the City Council has made its determination of the water company’s request.

City Attorney Lynch noted for Mr. Cameron that the City Council is not going to take action on Cal Water’s proposal this evening because the City Council is ruling on a General Plan amendment.

Mr. Cameron stated that his proposal to develop an RS-4 site will not require any open space, but that Cal Water has agreed to dedicate, in perpetuity, and maintain an open space area; advised that the proposal is to build 7 houses which will comply with the City’s standards; and explained that this alternate plan is being proposed to accommodate the concerns and requests of the neighbors and Planning Commission. Mr. Cameron expressed his desire to work with the residents and the City to build a project that will be acceptable to all involved.

Kenneth Bley, 2049 Century Park East, Los Angeles, counsel representing JCC Homes,

commented on Mr. Shirley’s December 3, 2001, letter, stating that he agrees with the first three paragraphs, but that he disagrees with Mr. Shirley’s conclusions. He added that this City Council does have the authority to make this change to the General Plan and that there is nothing in the law which prohibits this body from doing so.

The following individuals spoke in support of this request:

Dennis Rizza, 1811 Santa Rena, Rancho Palos Verdes;
George Wong, 6916 Willow Tree Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes;
Stephen Kauffman, 28825 King Arthur Court, Rancho Palos Verdes;
Brian Horne, 23 Santa Catalina Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes;
Tom Alley, 6304 Sattes Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes;
Gary Yardumian, 58 Oceanaire Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes;
Todd Anderson, 2 Masongate Drive, RHE; and
Gerald Marcil, 544 Paseo Del Mar, PVE;

Issues addressed in support of the applicant’s proposal are as follows:

The project will enhance property values; that it will improve a blighted area; that it will not impact any of the neighbors’ ocean views; that it is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood; that the applicant is willing to accommodate the requests of the residents; and that the donation of $250,000 for the youth sports facility is an excellent example of the applicant’s interest in the betterment of this city.

As a result of the supportive statements in regard to the applicant’s offer to donate $250,000 for a youth sports facility, the City Council strongly expressed its dissatisfaction with any notion that the City Council’s determination will have a bearing on the applicant’s generous offer – pointing out that the final decision will rest solely on the merits of the project and not on the donation. The City Council suggested that the Applicant make that generous donation regardless of the outcome of this case.

The following individuals spoke in opposition to this request:

Carolyn Tuttle, 29541 Oceanport Road, Rancho Palos Verdes;
Tom Tuttle, 29541 Oceanport Road, Rancho Palos Verdes;
Leo Lawson, 5827 Sunmist Drive;
Greg Johnson, 29643 Stonecrest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes;
Robert Shirley, 29635 Stonecrest Road; and
Jim Vesely, 29651 Stonecrest Road.

Issues addressed in opposition to the applicant’s proposal are as follows:

That this project negatively impacts the Catalina view for the Tuttle residence – requesting that a full silhouette be erected; that there will not be adequate water supplies to sustain those living in the Peninsula following an emergency situation; that the Lawson residence will lose some of its privacy; that this proposal is not consistent with previous development in Rancho Palos Verdes; that it is not the highest and best use of the property; that what is being proposed this evening is different than what was considered and approved by the Planning Commission; that the houses should be lowered in height and that the setbacks should be increased; and that the excavation and construction activities could have a negative impact upon the surrounding homes and the walls of the existing reservoir.

Dorothy Turley, 5814 Scotwood Drive, stated that until she has seen the final plans, she is neither for nor against the project at this time.

Kurt Nelson, 3480 Torrance Boulevard, Torrance, representing JCC Homes, advised that soil tests have been conducted and that more will be done; commented on the numerous communications the applicant has had with the residents – pointing out that the applicant supports additional neighborhood meetings in order to clear up any confusion the residents have and to reach a reasonable solution to their concerns; and explained that the applicant is more than willing to make modifications to the plans for Lot No. 9 so that it does not negatively impact any of the surrounding neighbors. Mr. Nelson stated that the applicant is sensitive to Mr. Lawson’s concerns; explained that the home on Lot 9 will be located 52 feet from Mr. Lawson’s property line; and that it will be generously landscaped to ensure that his privacy is not being impinged upon.

Mayor pro tem Stern commented on the importance of being very cautious in making a decision that could have an impact on the water supplies for the Peninsula.

Mayor McTaggart urged Cal Water to provide in a timely manner ample engineering documentation to support its claim that the water supplies will not be negatively impacted as a result of this housing project.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to close the public hearing. No objections were noted.


At 10:10 P.M., Mayor McTaggart declared a recess. The meeting reconvened at 10:19 P.M.

Councilman Clark expressed concern that the applicant is proposing a project which is different than what had been proposed and approved at the Planning Commission level; and stated that this altered proposal should go back to the Planning Commission for consideration.

Mayor McTaggart commented on the need for City Council to address the Peninsula water supply issue; and highlighted his concern that a 3-day supply of water will not be adequate to support the Peninsula in case of an emergency situation.

Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief that consideration of any housing proposal for this site is somewhat a waste of time until the City Council has resolved the issue of releasing this site from its current use to a use that allows housing on it; and expressed his belief that not enough information has been presented for him to make a well-informed decision that could have an impact on the water supplies.

Mayor pro tem Stern noted his concurrence with Councilmen Clark’s and Gardiner’s statements; noted his support that this proposal be presented to the Planning Commission for consideration; and commented on his preference for smaller homes with more open space on this parcel.

Mayor McTaggart pointed out that even if this remains a public utility infrastructure, the City can’t compel the water company to build another reservoir; and addressed his concerns with the inconvenience and nuisance of excavation activities – questioning how the applicant plans to do the ground moving activities.

Councilman Clark suggested that the Planning Commission look at the density factor with regard to neighborhood compatibility.

Councilman Clark moved that this application be sent back to the Planning Commission for review of its altered proposal; that the City Council review the analysis which was conducted by California Water relative to water supply capability and the reservoir concept and planning over the next ten years, of which was outlined to City Council by the Applicant at this evening’s meeting.

Councilman Gardiner offered two friendly amendments: that the developer be given the option of going back to the Planning Commission with the understanding that the City Council may or may not make that land suitable for development of housing, and; 2, rather than just limit the motion to review the Cal Water study, that other agencies/resources be consulted and that the Emergency Preparedness Committee provide suitable guidance and recommendations.

Councilman Clark supported the friendly amendments.

The motion was seconded by Councilman Gardiner.

Councilwoman Ferraro questioned whether consulting with the Emergency Preparedness Committee will unnecessarily delay the process and subject the City to a challenge.

City Attorney Lynch explained that because this is a General Plan Amendment, the City is not under the Permit Streamlining Act requirement to take action within the time constraints set forth.

There being no objection, the motion carried.

Councilwoman Ferraro departed the meeting at10:45 P.M.


David Cobb, 5485 Spring Street, Los Angeles, representing the West Basin Municipal Water District, requested a letter of support from the city of Rancho Palos Verdes on Proposition 13 (Water Bond Grant Application), which is to support its effort to expand West Basin’s recycled water plant in El Segundo; and stated that in addition to various environmental agencies, every city in the West Basin Water District, with the exception of Rancho Palos Verdes and Palos Verdes Estates, has indicated its support of this proposition. He explained that this proposal will bring additional potable water supplies to the region and that it will help protect the ground water in the Torrance area from seawater intrusion.

Because this matter cannot be voted on this evening, Mayor McTaggart requested that staff place this matter on the next City Council Agenda.

Overview of the Current View Restoration and Preservation Process (1203 x 1806)

Councilman Gardiner moved to waive staff’s presentation. Councilman Clark seconded the motion to waive.

Because much of the work of the View Restoration Commission has been done, Councilman Gardiner suggested that the City can provide this service in a more cost-effective manner by designating some mediators who will serve as an adjunct to the Planning Commission.

Councilman Clark noted his support of Councilman Gardiner’s suggestion.

Mayor pro tem Stern noted his support for the creation of a mediation team at the Planning Commission level; and questioned whether the City has the legal authority to mandate trimming trees below the 16-foot height or ridgeline.

While creating this mediation team, Councilman Gardiner asked that no current permits in the process be disrupted while this change is taking place.

Councilman Clark noted his support for two or three volunteers to be selected to serve on the mediation team.

Following discussion, it was the consensus of the City Council that five volunteers be selected to serve on this mediation team.

City Manager Evans advised that, if necessary, the City would provide training opportunities for members of the mediation team.

Ken Dyda, 5715 Capeswood Drive, noted his support for a mediation team; suggested that some of the experienced members from the View Restoration Committee be considered to serve as the mediators; and addressed the necessity for the City to establish and define clear-cut criteria for this program – noting that this criteria should apply both to restoration and preservation. Mr. Dyda commented on some of the conflicting criteria, wherein one section states that the VRC can order removal and that another section states that the removal is at the discretion of the foliage owner. He highlighted other conflicts which places unfair financial obligations upon an applicant.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that before the VRC is officially retired, that the members identify the minor ambiguities and present these ambiguities to City Council.

Mayor pro tem Stern suggested that the VRC also provide to City Council its recommendations on how some of those conflicting issues can be dealt with.

Martin Dodell 5751 Capeswood Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, encouraged the City to be more specific and to better define what it means when it states "integrity of the landscape" and "aesthetics"; and expressed his preference that members of the mediation team be experienced and knowledgeable with all of the work the VRC has accomplished to date.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that a photo album depicting various before-and-after photos would be beneficial and that these photos be made available to the residents when dealing with these matters.

Bruce Franklin, 15 Oceanaire Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, volunteered to serve as one of the mediators; and offered his assistance on modifying some of the suggested guideline modifications. Mr. Franklin noted his opposition to trimming trees back to 4 feet after growing above 16 feet; and suggested that the applicant and foliage owner be given a copy of the guidelines so that they know what is required.

City Attorney Lynch noted that some minor guideline adjustments would be made and presented to City Council at a future meeting.


Appointment of Advisory Board Chairs (106)

City Clerk Purcell presented the staff report of April 2, 2002 and the recommendation to

appoint the Chairs for the Planning Commission, Finance Advisory Committee and Traffic Committee.

The votes cast for the candidates for Planning Commission Chair were as follows:
Mayor McTaggart - Jon Cartwright
Mayor Pro Tem Stern - Thomas Long
Councilman Clark - Jon Cartwright
Councilwoman Ferraro - Jon Cartwright
Councilman Gardiner - Thomas Long

Jon Cartwright was selected as the new Planning Commission Chairman.

The votes cast for the candidates for Finance Advisory Committee Chair were as follows:
Mayor McTaggart - Steve Wolowicz
Mayor Pro Tem Stern - Steve Wolowicz
Councilman Clark - Steve Wolowicz
Councilwoman Ferraro - Steve Wolowicz
Councilman Gardiner - Steve Wolowicz

Steve Wolowicz was selected as the new Finance Advisory Committee Chairman.

The votes cast for the candidates for Traffic Committee Chair were as follows:

Mayor McTaggart - Bill Schurmer
Mayor Pro Tem Stern - Bill Schurmer
Councilman Clark - Bill Schurmer
Councilwoman Ferraro - Bill Schurmer
Councilman Gardiner - Bill Schurmer

Bill Schurmer was selected as the new Traffic Committee Chairman.

Ocean Trails – Extension of Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 50666 (1203 x 1411)

Deputy Director Pfost presented the staff report of April 2, 2002 and the recommendation to extend the approval for Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 50666 for the Ocean Trails project for one year until April 15, 2003.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro, to adopt staff recommendation. Motion carried.

Intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard at Highridge Road (1204 x 1503)

Director Allison presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Request staff to develop a citywide Traffic Signal Program to include a plan for new signal installation and modification of existing facilities. (2) Request staff to develop a funding plan for the first five years of the traffic signal program for incorporation into the City’s Five-Year CIP and Financial Model.

Christian Faulk, 22497 Kent Avenue, Torrance, addressed his concerns that motorists can make a U-turn at Hawthorne Boulevard going eastbound at Highridge Road, but that no U-turn is allowed for those motorists traveling in the westbound direction at Highridge; stated that with the increasing number of "No U-turn" signs in this area, motorists will be forced to go all the way down to Grand Via Altamira to make a U-turn; and explained that a U-turn is allowed at Grand Via Altamira, which is much closer to the corner than the driveway at Highridge – advising that the driveways on Hawthorne Boulevard at the Highridge Carwash have been relocated to be further away from the corner.

Mr. Faulk noted for Mayor pro tem Stern that the new driveway for the Highridge Carwash is approximately 40 feet away from the intersection.

Director Allison confirmed for Councilman Gardiner that the Hawthorne Boulevard and Highridge Road intersection has a higher collision rate along Hawthorne Boulevard; and that it is staff’s recommendation that the green right-turn arrow at this location on Highridge Road needs to be removed.

Director Allison clarified that staff’s recommendation is to bring this and other intersections back to the Traffic Committee and come back to the City Council with a prioritized list that will focus on the City’s needs.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to concur with staff’s recommendation that a study be conducted. There being no objection, motion carried.

Ladera Linda Community Center and Portuguese Bend Fields (1101 x 1201)

City Manager Evans presented staff report and the recommendation to schedule a joint meeting with the Palos Verdes Peninsula School Board to discuss the possible relocation of School District Administrative Offices to Ladera Linda.

Thursday, May 16, 2002, 7:00 P.M., was selected for the first joint meeting of City Council and the Palos Verdes Peninsula School Board at Ladera Linda.

Border Issues Status Report (310 x 1203)

Senior Planner Fox presented staff report and the recommendation to review the current status of border issues and to provide direction to the City Council Committee and staff.

In regard to the Harbor Hills project, Senior Planner Fox mentioned that the Traffic Committee for the city of Lomita will be reviewing a traffic study related to the addition of the recreation facility at Harbor Hills; and stated that staff will keep the City Council apprised of those hearing dates. In regard to the revitalization activities at the Garden Village Shopping Center, he stated that no additional complaints have been received from the neighbors and that an update to City Council is anticipated to be provided next month.

Councilman Gardiner complimented staff for providing the new written material in regard to the golf course; and suggested that a question be included in the documents with respect to what are the potential consequences if mitigation strategies fail at this golf course site.

Director Rojas stated that that question could be included/answered at the end of Section 9.

City Manager Evans advised that staff report will be revised to reflect that there is no longer an ad hoc committee.

General Plan Update – Steering Committee Formation (1203 x 701)

Council consensus was to waive presentation of the staff report.

Staff recommendation was to (1) Formulate a "General Plan Update Steering Committee." (2) Direct Staff to develop and implement a public participation strategy.

Ken Dyda, 5715 Capeswood Drive, expressed his desire that there be a provision made in the schedule he presented at the City Council’s March 9, 2002, meeting to allow time for citizen input from the Council of Homeowners; and advised that he has been asked to present this plan to the Council of Homeowners at its next meeting.

Pointing out that this matter will be coming before the City Council for consideration, Councilman Gardiner suggested cutting back on the number of City Council members to serve on this Committee and to replace these vacancies with members from the Council of Homeowners or the general public.

Councilman Clark questioned whether any Councilmembers should be on this Committee since this matter will be coming to City Council for final determination; and suggested that two Planning Commissioners be appointed to the Steering Committee -- one new member and one seasoned member.

Mayor McTaggart noted his concurrence, but suggested that the criteria for serving on the Committee should be that they are familiar with the City.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to delete the two City Councilmember positions and to replace them with two Planning Commissioners. There being no objection, Mayor McTaggart so ordered.

Agenda for the Joint Workshop with the Planning Commission and Finance Advisory Committee Concerning the Crestridge Properties (1203 x 602)

Deputy Planning Director Pfost briefly presented staff report and the recommendation to approve the proposed Draft Agenda for the joint workshop between the City Council, Planning Commission and Finance Advisory Committee on May 7, 2002.

Councilman Clark expressed his desire that the focus should be placed on the alternative uses for the Crestridge property and where does the City go from this point forward.

With regard to Paragraph 4 on Circle Page 5, Councilman Gardiner requested that the park suggestion/comparison be included as a topic for consideration.

City Manager Evans stated that that comparison would be provided.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that a provision be included for City Council to exercise its direction.

City Manager Evans explained that due to the limited time to complete the meeting, staff is handling this as an information gathering session; that it would be very difficult for City Council to hear all of the new information and presentations; and that it is anticipated that the City Council would have to come back for a second meeting. He suggested that No. 7 could include a provision that City Council make a decision.

There being no objection, the Draft Agenda was approved.

In Lieu Fee Agreement with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for Off-Site Wetlands Mitigation for the San Ramon Drainage and Landslide Stabilization Project. (1204 x 305 x 604)

Assistant City Manager Petru briefly presented staff report and noted staff recommendation to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the In Lieu Fee Agreement with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for off-site wetlands mitigation at Chandler’s Preserve associated with the San Ramon Drainage and Landslide Stabilization Project.

Mayor pro tem Stern advised that he was on the Board of Directors of the Land Conservancy; and stated that as far as he is aware, he is not required to excuse himself from consideration of this matter.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to concur with staff’s recommendation. Motion carried.

Quarterly Off-Site Council Meeting Schedule (1101 x 307)

Assistant City Manager Petru presented staff report and the recommendation to select dates for the spring and summer off-site City Council meetings for 2002 and select a location for the Saturday, May 18, 2002, meeting regarding the Zone 2 Report.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that it would be preferable to select the meeting site in conjunction with an Agenda matter that is near the same meeting venue.

It was the consensus of the City Council that the site selections be left to the discretion of staff.

Oral City Council Reports (1101 x 310)

Mayor McTaggart advised that he attended the MAX Transit meeting on Monday night; that a mid-year financial report was provided; and he noted his delight that they are on budget and that they have done a good job with their projections. He urged those in Rancho Palos Verdes to use the MAX transit system; explained that a consultant had proposed removing a couple of stops for efficiency purposes – one of those stops being at Valley Drive; and he commented on the new buses which are roomier, more comfortable and more accommodating to the passengers’ needs.

With regard to Ocean Trails, Mayor pro tem Stern noted that Credit Swiss is now the new major creditor for Ocean Trails and that if everything goes as planned, the bank should be in control of Ocean Trails in approximately five weeks.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that he attended the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce event last week wherein Congresswoman Jane Harman spoke on emergency preparedness issues.

Councilman Gardiner advised that the Palos Verdes Transit Authority is contemplating putting video cameras inside its busses for disciplinary/record-keeping purposes. He explained that the City may have to increase the price of the taxi service vouchers due to the increasing difficulty of getting taxis up into Rancho Palos Verdes – noting that the City pays below the average rates of the marketplace.

Councilman Gardiner advised that the Neighborhood Compatibility Committee is moving along in its activities.

Mayor McTaggart advised that he received a communication from the Mayor of El Segundo asking for the City’s support to oppose Senate Bill 633, a bill which would allow the Federal government to have some input over the local airport planning decisions; stated that this bill is currently pending in the Senate; and he requested that this matter be placed on the next City Council Agenda.

Councilman Clark advised that Cox Cable TV has offered to provide a 15- to 20-minute interview of a City Councilmember following every meeting to discuss the key issues that are being tackled by the Council at that particular meeting – pointing out that this will be done a couple days after each City Council meeting; he suggested that Council rotate the interviews so that it does not become a burden for any one Councilmember; and he requested staff to interface with Cox Cable TV on setting up an interactive format.

Councilman Clark highlighted some of the issues which were discussed at the March 28, 2002, South Bay COG meeting: 1) South Bay Railroad presentation was provided of its 26-mile rail corridor north of LAX all the way down to Wilmington and its reducing of truck trips in relation to the Alameda Corridor. 2) Addressed MTA’s management reorganization to improve its service to its customers using MTA buses and its intent to hire four new GM’s. He stated that an MTA representative would be present at the next COG meeting to discuss the management restructuring in more detail. 3) And he commented on the proposed COG cities dues increase and stated that the members from various cities had recommended that it be studied further and that more explanation be given on the increased revenues and expenses.

City Manager Evans highlighted the inequity in how the cities are allocated funds; and expressed his belief that the city managers group will be proposing a new form of distribution.

Councilman Clark commented on the Playa Vista project elected officials’ tour scheduled for Thursday, May 9, 2002. He noted that this project is a good model of a future livable communities planned development/concept.

City Clerk Purcell mentioned that City Council is scheduled to attend the Regional Police Committee meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2002.

Councilman Clark noted the League of California Cities sponsorship of the May 15 and 16, 2002, Legislative Action Days in Sacramento; and suggested that it would be useful to send some of this body’s members to attend this event.

Conference with Legal Counsel

City Attorney Lynch advised that no action was taken on any of the items.


The meeting was adjourned at 12:24 A.M. on motion of Mayor McTaggart.