City Council Minutes 04/16/2002 RPV, City, Council, Minutes, 2002, Meeting RPV City Council Minutes for the 04/16/2002 Meeting Rancho Palos Verdes City Council Minutes




APRIL 16, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor McTaggart at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, notice having been given with affidavit thereto on file, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:05 P.M. the meeting reconvened.

After 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; Finance Director Dennis McLean; Senior Planner Kit Fox; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and, Deputy City Clerk/Recording Secretary Jackie Drasco.


Mayor McTaggart presented a proclamation to Shirley Borks, who was named Woman of the Year for the 54th District. Mayor pro tem Stern praised Ms. Borks for her service on the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy Board of Directors.


Mayor McTaggart announced that recycling winners A.F. Rubino and John Doll would each receive a check for $250 and another card was drawn. He mentioned an Electronic Recycling Roundup on April 20 and a Hazardous Household Waste Roundup on May 4, both to be held at Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall. The Mayor also announced that Neighborhood Beautification Grant applications had been mailed to homeowners associations, schools, libraries, and condominium complexes and that the deadline for returning these applications was June 30.


City Clerk Purcell announced that the Water Basin District had requested that their grant application item be removed from the agenda because of a change in the grant application process.

Councilman Clark asked that Oral City Council Reports be given before the public hearing, as it was a disservice to the public to hear these reports very late in the evening.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to adopt the agenda as amended. Motion carried.


Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, said that she had heard comments from residents opposing the signal to be installed at the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard and Vallon Drive.

Mayor pro tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro to adopt the Consent Calendar as follows:

Minutes of Regular Meeting of February 19 and Adjourned Regular Meeting of April 2, 2002 (301)

Approved the minutes.

Claim Against the City by Marshall Tuck (301 x 303)

Rejected the claim and directed the City Clerk to notify the claimant.

Signal Project at Hawthorne Boulevard and Vallon Drive (1204 x 1503)

Directed staff to move forward with the design of a traditional traffic signal at the intersection of Hawthorne Boulevard and Vallon Drive.

Fiscal Year 2001-2002 Overlay and Slurry Seal Program (1204 x 1503)

(1) Awarded a contract for the construction of the Fiscal Year 2001-02 Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal to Excel Paving Company for the contract bid amount of $1,464,222.50, and authorize staff to spend up to an additional $135,777.50 for possible extra work or unforeseen conditions, for a total authorization of $1,600,000. (2) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute a contract with Excel Paving Company. (3) Awarded a contract to SA Associates for the Contract Management and Inspection services in an amount not to exceed $ 60,000. (4) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute a contract with SA Associates.

Resol. No. 2002-25 - Acceptance Of Easements For The San Ramon Project (1101 x 604)


Resol. No. 2002-26 - 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


Councilman Clark reported on a League of California Cities meeting the previous Thursday at which 54 cities were represented and at which a new representative for the Air Quality Management District was selected. He explained that 52 cities voted for the Mayor of Santa Monica, two cities voted for the Los Angeles City representative, but the L.A. City representative won because the vote is based on population. He said that there was an outcry to Sacramento to amend the statute to change this procedure and that he thought Rancho Palos Verdes should support the amendment. He described a Long Point subcommittee meeting he attended with Mayor pro tem Stern at which Bob and Rob Lowe and Mike Mohler summarized the plan they intend to present to the Council on May 7.

Mayor pro tem Stern reported on a dinner the previous Thursday with Assemblymember Alan Lowenthal and Senator Betty Karnette at which funding for acquisition for open space was discussed. He also discussed an Ocean Trails meeting that morning at which there was a presentation of a plan put together by the bank to rebuild Palos Verdes Drive South, with work expected to begin on June 1.

Mayor McTaggart, as a member of the SCAG Housing Committee, reported that SCAG prevailed in the lawsuit regarding the RHNA process. He said that the suit against the State Housing Authority had not yet been ruled upon.

Councilman Gardiner said that he and Councilman Clark had met with other members of the Neighborhood Compatibility subcommittee and felt that there was good participation by the community and that excellent progress was being made.

Councilman Clark added that the Neighborhood Compatibility subcommittee consisted of two Councilmembers and two Planning Commissioners and that input from homeowners associations representing residents showed good community involvement and that work done by other cities had been helpful as well.


Resol. No. 2002-27 - Appeal of Conditional Use Permit No. 230 and Environmental Assessment No. 744 (Appellant: James Kay, 26708 Indian Peak Road) (1203 x 1801)

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report of April 16 and the recommendation to adopt the proposed resolution modifying certain conditions denying the appeal and conditionally approving Conditional Use Permit No. 230. He provided a PowerPoint presentation and discussed Conditions 18 and 20.

Chuck Michel, attorney representing Mr. Kay, 407 North Harbor Boulevard, San Pedro, CA 90731, said that he was present to answer questions.

Mayor pro tem Stern asked Mr. Michel about the Getty Trust license for Mr. Kay’s site.

Mr. Michel said that there was never any Getty license issued, but only submission of an application. He said that Mr. Kay gave the Getty Trust permission to list his site but after eight months, the possibility of this license being issued was eliminated.

Mayor pro tem Stern emphasized that Mr. Kay had suggested, if not clearly stated, that the matter of the Getty license was without his knowledge or permission.

Mr. Michel said that Mr. Kay said that the Getty Trust never received a license with his permission because they never received a license. Mr. Kay had forgotten that his site was one which was listed on the Getty application.

Mayor pro tem Stern stated that a misleading impression was given which raised concerns of Mr. Kay’s candor.

Mr. Michel said that staff said Mr. Kay had a commercial license and he has none and that he had two amateur licenses to transmit from the interior of the house.

Mayor pro tem Stern noted that Mr. Kay considered one of the Planning Commission’s conditions for the Conditional Use Permit an invasion of his property and he wondered which condition he objected to.

Mr. Michel said that Mr. Kay objected to the requirement that antennas be placed in the master bedroom which made the second floor of the house unusable for other purposes.

Mayor pro tem Stern said that it was Mr. Kay’s decision to transmit commercially from his site and he is asking permission to do this.

Councilman Gardiner asked if understanding of the materials delivered to the Council right before the meeting was essential before voting on this item.

Mr. Michel said that a thorough review of these materials was not necessary if the Council believes that Mr. Kay is telling the truth when he says that he has no licenses in his name for commercial broadcasting.

Councilman Gardiner asked for a yes or no answer.

Mr. Michel said that the answer was no if the Council disregarded what staff said.

Councilwoman Ferraro clarified that if the Council found what staff was saying to be credible, a thorough review of the documents was unnecessary.

Mr. Michel replied that Mr. Kay was in no rush.

Mayor pro tem Stern felt no information should be ignored and he made reference to the judge’s decision in the recent FCC action against Mr. Kay.

Mr. Michel said that the judge said that the FCC’s actions toward Mr. Kay were egregious.

Councilman Gardiner said that the thick stack of documents provided right before the meeting should not have been provided to the Council if they were not important to make a decision.

Mr. Michel said that the documents were the quickest possible response to the staff report which they had received on Friday.

Mayor pro tem Stern said that he would like to give Mr. Kay the benefit of reading these documents.

Mr. Michel apologized and said that he and the City Attorney were trying to anticipate information in the staff reports to avoid last minute submissions.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that the matter be continued to allow the Council time to study the material submitted.

City Attorney Lynch said that she felt the documents don’t bear directly on this matter and if the Council chose to move forward, there was a handout from Senior Planner Fox regarding fire sprinklers which was relevant.

Councilman Gardiner clarified that the late submission of documents provided information about Mr. Kay’s character.

Mr. Michel said that if Mr. Kay’s character is an issue, then the documents were important.

Councilman Gardiner asked how many hearings had been held thus far.

City Attorney Lynch said that there had been three or four.

Mr. Michel said that the matter would probably go to court.

Councilman Clark felt that the material he read the evening before was not at the center of the issue.

Mayor pro tem Stern agreed and asked Mr. Michel if the four licenses for this site issued to Greene’s Redi-Mix Concrete were covered by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Mr. Michel said he was not sure because they were not Mr. Kay’s licenses and they were not there any longer and that there was no commercial transmission from this site.

City Attorney Lynch said that Dr. Richter believed that commercial transmission ceased because of the injunction.

Mayor pro tem Stern asked if there was data regarding health impacts to people living on the first floor of the house with antennas on the second floor compared with the impact of antennas on the roof to people living on the second floor.

Mr. Michel said that the FCC did not address this issue and he had no specific data but it was his understanding that RF waves spread out horizontally but did not go up or down and would bounce off walls but less off windows. He felt that there was some protection to a person on the first floor when antennas were on the second floor. He said that the FCC requested that antennas be installed at the maximum height allowed and that Mr. Kay could have installed a tower on the roof but he had to build within a certain time frame of the issuance of the license or he would have had to reply.

Mayor McTaggart asked if Mr. Kay had ever a measurement with a non-ionizing signal, as there is an EPA standard for radiation.

Mr. Michel said he was not aware of any measurement and thought perhaps the FCC adopted the EPA standards. He suggested that Dr. Richter could be consulted.

Mayor pro tem Stern said that Dr. Richter would not know the conditions within the house.

Mr. Michel said that Dr. Richter could come into the house but Mr. Kay wanted to avoid a decision based on irrelevant information.

Mayor pro tem Stern said that he was prepared to make a decision based on merit and even though he had concern about Mr. Kay’s candor, it would not affect his decision.

Larry Helfman, 26716 Indian Peak Road, felt it was important to produce evidence guaranteeing the safety of the neighbors. He said that an unoccupied house filled with antennas should be considered a vacant antenna facility, a commercial operation, and asked the Council if Mr. Kay would be required to live in the house as he stated in his declaration. He concluded by stating that the FCC ruling was relevant and if a judge felt the antennas were not being used appropriately, the Council should not approve the installation.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that the decision can be appealed to the courts and he could use his frequency throughout the appeal period and that the FCC decision was not in effect.

Mayor McTaggart said that there had been some confusion about the frequencies being used.

City Attorney Lynch said that based on information from Mr. Michel and from a review of the FCC data base, the two frequencies licensed by Mr. Storlie and Greene Redi-Mix Concrete were not being used by Mr. Kay but by those entities.

Mayor pro tem Stern said that a suggestion was made at a previous meeting that all antennas brought inside the home and allow Mr. Kay to broadcast commercially from the interior of the house but Mayor pro tem Stern was concerned about potential negative health impacts. He thought it made more sense to allow the two exterior antennas that the Planning Commission recommended and grant Mr. Kay the Conditional Use Permit with the conditions suggested.

Councilman Clark agreed and emphasized that if the CUP is granted it is Mr. Kay’s discretion how he uses the two antennas on the roof, either commercial or amateur but that one of the conditions is that someone must live in the house.

Councilwoman Ferraro addressed the issue of requiring a fire suppression system instead of a fire sprinkler system.

Mayor pro tem Stern said that this was a better approach because of the electronic equipment present.

City Attorney Lynch suggested that the appropriate fire suppression system be installed as determined by the director.

Councilman Clark clarified that the antenna blight would be eliminated by requiring that all antennas on the roof ridgeline except two be removed.

City Attorney Lynch noted that television antennas would be allowed as well.

Councilman Gardiner raised the issue of the requirement to have the house inhabited.

Councilman Clark said this is a residence in a residential zone and the property owner has asked for a commercial application. Mr. Kay would be in compliance with the code at the present time if he were broadcasting as an amateur but his request for commercial broadcasting requires a CUP and a requirement for that permit must be that someone must reside in the home.

Council Gardiner said that he thought the City was in a dilemma because there are two federal regulations that fundamentally put us between a rock and a hard place. One says we have to be friendly to amateur radio operators and I believe we should be friends to amateurs. The other regulation says we can regulate commercial facilities. What we have here are people who are going into neighborhoods that are residential, putting up antennas and saying they are amateur operators and as soon as they get the antennas stuck up in the air, they all of a sudden, lo and behold, want to put commercial frequencies on it and we have antenna farms popping up all over the City. The question is what to do about it because we want to support the legitimate amateur operators. They are wonderful people. They donate their time in emergencies. They do absolutely wonderful things. I support them. I do not support people who put antennas up under the amateur regulations, which are less stringent, and then say lo and behold the antennas don’t care, I want to stick a bunch of commercial frequencies up and turn neighborhoods into commercial areas. I don’t like that at all.

Councilman Gardiner continued and said that he would favor us taking a position that says if you are an amateur operator, we support you. You may put up what you are entitled to put up. If you are going to be a commercial operator - you put one commercial frequency up - you are not an amateur any more; you are a commercial facility now. We don’t like your blighting of our neighborhoods with antennas and commercial antenna facility transmitting sites. We will create an RPV antenna farm; go and stick your antennas there. I believe that is the position we should stake out and follow and fight it all the way through the courts and force the Feds to sort it out. This is the right way of doing it.

Mayor pro tem Stern agreed that due to restraints, this was the best decision.

Councilman Clark agreed also and said that he was opposed to homes in residential communities being converted into commercial businesses under the guise of something else. He felt it was proper to allow a CUP with reasonable conditions.

Mayor McTaggart suggested that conditions be discussed.

City Attorney Lynch said that Condition No. 20 would be changed to indicate a requirement for a fire suppression system and she clarified that Condition No. 17 indicates that Mr. Kay must comply with FCC regulations and that Condition No. 19 states that Mr. Kay must live in the house.

Mayor McTaggart closed the public hearing.



At 8:20 P.M., Mayor McTaggart declared a recess.


Interviewed Jack Karp and Don Norton, applicants for the Emergency Preparedness Committee,


The meeting reconvened at 8:39 P.M.


Dr. Ron Melendez, 44 Paseo de Castana, representing Rancho Palos Verdes Estates Homeowners Association raised the issue of sidewalks being placed in the Rancho Palos Verdes Estates area. He said that the residents had been working with the Public Work Department for the last couple of years but there seemed to be little progress.

Mayor McTaggart said that the road might need to be modified to make room for sidewalks and he asked City Manager Evans to look into this situation and report to the Council.

Joseph Murat, #18 Avenida de Camelia, Rancho Palos Verdes Estates Homeowners Association Board Member, also spoke about sidewalks also, on Crest Road. He stressed that the sidewalks would be a benefit not only for members of his association but also for the general public who would use the sidewalks for exercising, walking, etc. He felt that the current conditions were dangerous and posed a liability for the City because people were forced to walk in the narrow street.

Mayor McTaggart said that the City should consider doing something to improve conditions.

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, objected to Shirley Borks being honored and congratulated the president of the Rancho Palos Verdes Council of Homeowners Association on the birth of his son,


Review of Large Domestic Animal Nonconformity Statement No. 19 (Downhill, 20 Vanderlip Drive) (1203 x 1808)

Senior Planner Fox provided the Council with a copy of the old code, gave a brief history of the City’s equestrian regulations and the nonconformity statement process.

At this time, an exchange of questions and answers between Councilman Gardiner and Senior Planner Fox provided clarifying details for review of this nonconformity statement.

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report of April 16, and the recommendation to determine the maximum number of large domestic animals that may be "grandfathered" for keeping and/or boarding on the property at 20 Vanderlip Drive.

Mayor pro tem Stern referenced a letter from the applicant Jack Downhill which stated that he previously maintained 11 horses on his property prior to the incorporation of the City. Mayor pro tem Stern asked how many of these 11 horses could be grandfathered.

Senior Planner Fox said that they could all be grandfathered.

Don Burt, 79 Narcissa Drive, said that his property bordered on Narcissa; that he passed the subject site many times per day; that he had never seen more than four horses on the property; and, did not think that the intent was commercial boarding.

Sherree Greenwood, 2543 Sunnyside Ridge Road, a member of the Equestrian Committee, said that she hoped that the people in the equestrian community could try to understand each other and allow reasonable rights for those seeking grandfathering. She said that there were many families who want their children to have horses and a country life and the establishment of the Equestrian Community and the good judgment of City Council can contribute to this goal.

Charlene O'Neil, 38 Headland Drive, Chair of the Equestrian Committee, felt that when there was a large parcel of land such as this, approximately seven acres, 11 horses should not be considered excessive.

Jack Downhill, 20 Vanderlip Drive, explained that he was told when he bought the property he learned from the County that he could keep one horse per 15,000 square feet and one more for each 5,000, which would allow him 58 horses so 11 did not seem like that many.  He said that subdividing, which he did not intend to do, could provide seven contiguous lots, which would allow him 28 horses.  He said that he picked the number of 11 horses because when he had a fire in 1973, he knew he had that many and he felt he was entitled to that number.

Mayo pro tem Stern asked if staff had done a workup based on the provision which allows the Council to allow the number of horses an owner testifies he had anytime during the calendar year of 1997 if the owner does not have evidence of the number of horses he had. Senior Planner Fox replied that assuming that because of continuous ownership, this property qualified for the 1975 boarding exception.

Sepp Donahower, 3 West Pomegranate Road, said that he had lived in Portuguese Bend for 52 years; had been keeping horses for 40 years; and, knew that the County code had a limitation of six horses per parcel and that the City cloned that code.  He added that the old code forbade boarding for profit; that his father was cited by the County for keeping more horses than he was allowed which proved that the County code did have restrictions on boarding and the number of horses allowed and it was important to take into account those restrictions when considering grandfathering.

Senior planner Fox said that the County code was used in the interim when the City was incorporated but when the County code later placed restrictions of six horses per parcel, the City did not adopt this new provision.

In response to Councilman Gardiner's question if a copy of the County code was available for inspection during this hearing and Senior Planner Fox said no. Councilman Gardiner felt that this code should be consulted before a decision could be made on this nonconformity statement.

City Attorney Lynch said that Senior Planner was saying that after the City adopted the County Code by reference, the County adopted horsekeeping standards which the City did not adopt until 1975 but prior to the City's incorporation, there were no horsekeeping standards in the County Code.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that it was important to sort out these details and moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Stern, to continue this item.  Motion carried.


At 9:58 P.M., Mayor McTaggart declared a recess. The meeting reconvened at 10:10 P.M.

Review of Large Domestic Animal Nonconformity Statement No. 8 (Sunshine, 6 Limetree Lane) (1203 x 1808)

Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report of April 16, and the recommendation to:  affirm Staff’s determination that the keeping of a maximum twelve (12) large domestic animals of which a maximum of seven (7) animals may be boarded may be grandfathered for the property at 6 Limetree Lane.

Councilman Gardiner and Councilman Clark asked about assertions about public health and aesthetics issues which were being investigated by Code Enforcement or County Animal Control.

Senior Planner Fox said that some Code Enforcement issues being investigated based upon assertions from Mrs. Strauss and Mrs. Deeble, but that he had not spoken to County Animal Control.

Councilman Gardiner asked if the Council was to consider only the number of horses allowed and not the care of the horses on this property.

City Attorney Lynch said that for a discretionary permit, care of the animals was considered but for this nonconformity statement, only the number of horses allowed was an issue.

Robert Maxwell, 7 East Pomegranate, pointed out that attorneys have stated that grandfathering is illegal and that it diminishes property values, ignores City rules, and violates CC&R's of the Portuguese Bend Community Association, allows illegal spot zoning, gives individuals rights at the expense of others.  He said that commercialism is contrary to the General Plan.

Mayor pro tem Stern said that the City does not enforce CC&R's but CC&R's are an agreement between property owners and those who enforce.  If CC&R's are more restrictive, they override what the Council decides based on code.

A discussion ensued between Senior Planner Fox and Councilman Gardiner regarding the counting of horses which were being illegally boarded under the old code and whether they would be included in the total number of horses to be kept or only in the number of horses allowed to be boarded.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that since it was difficult to determine if a profit had been made by boarding, this was not made an issue but that if a property owner was allowed to have a certain number of horses and all were being boarded, they were still allowed to have that many horses on their property.

Mayor pro tem Stern asked if that meant only for keeping but not necessarily for boarding and she said yes.  She also clarified that boarding in perpetuity was considered only when the property had been owned in 1975 or prior.

Betty Strauss, 10 West Pomegranate Road, said that there were 100 to 150 horses in Portuguese Bend; she listed the number of horses in the Portuguese Bend Riding Club, Pony Club, and Ride to Fly; and, she said that no one was complaining about the number of horses used by these organizations.  However, she felt that many people had worked hard to ban commercialism in residential areas and she said her granddaughter had paid for riding at one facility which claims to be non-commercial and stated that many people boarding horses were not doing it to be nice but to make money and some did not even ride themselves.  She pointed out that another facility, a horse had died and when the County was contacted, the County representative said that property owners boarding horses should be licensed in order for the County to help monitor horsekeeping standards.  She said that after sitting through numerous hearings, her perspective on why four was chosen as the maximum number of horse allowed was that someone might have a couple of horses and then they might be willing to board a couple more for friends but this would eliminate large scale commercial boarding.

Mayor pro tem Stern pointed out that the present code does not eliminate or address the concept of commercial; it is merely called boarding. Ms. Strauss said that after the first few hearings, the concept of commercialism was eliminated.

Mayor pro tem Stern emphasized that, although he understood the distinction she was making, the Council was obligated to follow the code and that staff's interpretation of the code seemed correct.

Toni Deeble, 3 East Pomegranate Road, said that the nonconforming code stated that a nonconforming situation shall be found to be legal if the number of horses being kept previously was legal under the old code and she felt that Sunshine did not qualify for this grandfathering. She stated that profit was not the issue in determining a commercial venture; that a business could operate at a loss.  She objected also to the lack of verification which was required for a nonconformity statement; that the City took the word of the property owner and the number of horses she claimed was from illegal boarding so should not be a valid number.  She felt that the neighbors were not being listened too even when a horse had died.

Charlene O’Neil, 38 Headland Drive, said that horses die sometimes because they are ill and not necessarily because they are being neglected.  She referenced a study performed by the Equestrian Committee indicating the need for more boarding facilities based on the waiting lists at every riding club and boarding facility on the Peninsula.

Sepp Donahower, 3 West Pomegranate Road, suggested that the Council study the County code because it affects all three the nonconformity statement being considered.  He said that this code did have a ceiling of 6 horses and he knew this because his father was cited several times for violating this code. He said that the County code prohibited boarding for profit and that the Rancho Palos Verdes code was a clone of the County code. He felt that Sunshine should not be allowed to have 12 horses by grandfathering since legally she was not allowed to have 12 horses according to the previous code.

Joe Deeble, 3 East Pomegranate Road, felt that the small percentage of nonconformity statements submitted indicated that the City had provided a reasonable number of horses allowed for 90% of horse owners.  He said that some facilities obviously looked commercial by the size of the operation and by the traffic of strangers.

Sherree Greenwood, 2543 Sunnyside Ridge Road, said that she was a member of the Equestrian Committee but was also speaking as an individual and stressed that commercialism should not be confused with the legal right to own an animal.  With only three nonconformity statements to be considered, she felt it was important to try to resolve differences.

Sunshine, 6 Limetree Lane, said that she agreed with the staff report and thought that her statement had been brought before the Council mainly because of code enforcement issues which were being dealt with separately.  She emphasized that she had never claimed to have lived in Rancho Palos Verdes in 1975 and that she had submitted designs for her barns which were approved by architectural committees.  She discussed sales of horses between residents, the use of her property by Ride to Fly, and the number of horses she had on her property on February 1, 1997.

Mayor pro tem Stern made reference to materials furnished to the Council by Toni Deeble and based on interpretation, it appeared that Sunshine is entitled to 12 horses, with seven boarded.

Councilwoman Ferraro agreed.

Councilman Gardiner said that he had attended a meeting held by the Deebles and spoken to Kay Bara on the telephone and he thought that the interpretation of how the animals were counted needed to be sorted out before he felt comfortable making a decision on this nonconformity statement.


At 11:20 P.M., Mayor McTaggart declared a recess.  The meeting reconvened at 11:27 P.M.

At this time, because of the late hour, the Council decided to hear, after the nonconformity statements, agenda items which needed immediate decisions and to continue the remainder of the items on the agenda.

Discussion of the Nonconformity Statement No. 8 continued.

Councilman Clark and Mayor McTaggart agreed with Councilman Gardiner that interpretation of how horses were counted needed to be clarified.

On the subject of nonconforming statements that were not contested, City Attorney Lynch said that information as to how these statements were handled could be furnished to the Council.

Council consensus was that consistency was important.

Councilman Clark disclosed that he, like Councilman Gardiner was contacted by the Deeble family and met with them and some other neighbors; and, that he had been contacted by the Bara family and met with them also.

Mayor McTaggart said that he had spoke to Betty Strauss on the phone and bumped into Kay Bara at the market.

Mayor pro tem Stern said that the Baras had called him to see if he had questions and as he had none, there was no further discussion.

Council consensus was to continue this item.

Review of Large Domestic Animal Nonconformity Statement No. 3 (Bara, 1 Peppertree Drive) (1203 x 1808)

Presentation of the staff report was waived.  Staff recommendation was to affirm Staff’s determination that the keeping of a maximum ten (10) large domestic animals of which a maximum of six (6) animals may be boarded may be grandfathered for the property at 1 Peppertree Drive.

Bridget Heller, 9 Fruit Tree Road, said that the Baras keep a lovely facility and she did not feel that commercialism was an issue because of their support of community horse groups.

Robert Maxwell, 7 East Pomegranate Road, felt that the Baras should not be allowed the ten horses they requested because that number of horses was not legal for them at the time because he felt they were receiving money for boarding over and above their expenses.

Mayor pro tem Stern asked Mr. Maxwell if he had proof of this and he said no but he suspected it was true.

Toni Deeble, 3 East Pomegranate, said that the Baras started with a commercial venture and a horse trainer and that when the relationship with the horse trainer dissolved, they continued to expand the commercial operation even when the neighbors protested.  She felt that they fought for commercialism at the Planning Commission hearings therefore theirs must be a commercial operation.  She said that the Baras said that their boarders became friends and that whether or not there was profit, there was commercial boarding and proof of this was that Betty Strauss' granddaughter paid for lessons at their site.  She said that their nonconformity should not be legalized because the legality of their facility in the past could not be verified.

Joe Deeble, 3 East Pomegranate Road, felt that the Baras should take their request before the Equestrian Committee using the current code to justify why they needed ten horses rather than requesting grandfathering.

Mayor pro tem Stern pointed out that the code did provide for grandfathering.

Charlene O’Neil, 38 Headland Drive, felt that this case should be decided by the same standards as the previous 17 nonconformity statements and said that the Baras' 12 acres was enough land for ten horses.

Councilman Clark pointed out that the Council was not involved in the determination on the previous 17 nonconformity statements.

Sherree Greenwood, 2543 Sunnyside Ridge Road, said that the Baras have a well-maintained facility with lots of open space in their 12 acres with plenty of stables and three arenas.  She felt it was not a commercial operation because they had helped many community groups and children and supported their request for ten horses.

Kay Bara, 1 Peppertree Drive, said that they requested permission to keep 10 horses, six of them boarded, and that under the old code with their three parcels, a total of 12 acres, they would have been allowed to keep 17 horses. Therefore, without grandfathering, their property value was greatly reduced. She said that they had ten horses on February 1, 1997; they knew which horses they were; they had boarding agreements with some of the people who were present at this hearing or who had submitted supporting letters.  She said that their fee was low and covered only reimbursement for food, water, shavings, shoveling once a day, and insurance and that although they had not been asked to keep records or show their records, they did have such records. She felt that the same standards should be applied to them as for the other nonconformity statements which were approved.

Richard Bara, 1 Peppertree Drive, said that the staff reports explains their situation clearly and that they never claimed to own the property in 1975 so he did not see why this issue kept being mentioned.  He described how their operation expanded with more horses acquired, some from friends and how they came to provide lessons for children because they had the rings.  He said that taking care of ten horses was reasonable but over that number, it was not.  He felt that the new code had been a compromise and took rights from people.

Dr. Chris Traughber, 26516 Crenshaw Boulevard, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274, said that the Baras did not have a business because they were not making a profit.  He described the need for boarding on the Peninsula and the long waiting lists at boarding facilities.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner to continue this item.  Motion carried.

Request for Proposals – City Hall Telephone and Voice Messaging System (602)

Presentation of the staff report was waived. Staff recommendation was to approve the attached City of Rancho Palos Verdes Request for Proposal for VOIP Telephone System (the "RFP") for the replacement of the City Hall telephone system and authorize the Finance Director to negotiate the terms and conditions of the purchase of the system and related support agreement.

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

Resol. No. 2002- 28 - Professional Services Agreement For An Employees Benefit Study (1101 x 1202)

Staff recommendation was to: (1) Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Aon Consulting for an Employee Benefits Study in the amount of $27,000, and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement. (2) Adopt the proposed resolution amending Resol. No. 2001-35, the Budget Appropriation for Fiscal Year 01-02, for a Budget Adjustment to the City’s General Fund.

Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner to: (1) Approve a Professional Services Agreement with Aon Consulting for an Employee Benefits Study in the amount of $27,000, and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement. (2) ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2002-28, AMENDING RESOL. NO. 2001-35, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 01-02, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

Adjourned City Council Meetings (1101 x 307)

Staff recommendation was to consider establishing new dates for interviewing the Recreation and Parks Committee and Equestrian Committee applicants, a new date for the Zone 2 Workshop and a date for a joint meeting with the School Board.

The following meeting dates were scheduled:

Saturday, April 27, after the Community Leaders’ Breakfast: Interviews for the Recreation and Parks Committee and Equestrian Committee applicants

Monday, May 20: New date for the Zone 2 Workshop

Saturday, May 18: Tentative date for a joint meeting with the School Board. City Manager Evans will confirm with the School Board.

Wednesday, June 12: Meeting to discuss Equestrian items

Resol. No. 2002-29 - Emergency Preparedness Committee (1101 x 401)

Staff recommendation was to adopt the proposed resolution amending Resolution No. 2002-11 to increase the members of the Emergency Preparedness Committee from seven (7) members to nine (9) members.


Due to time constraints, the following items were continued:

Equestrian Committee Workload Summary (1203 x 1808)
Equestrian Committee Report on an Equestrian Facility (1203 x 1808)
Recreational Vehicle Street Parking and Residential Storage (1203)
Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority (1101 x 1505)
Senate Bill 633, Delay Prevention Act (1101)
League of California Cities Membership (1101 x 1601)
League of California Cities Resolution (1101 x 1102)


City Attorney Lynch reported that no action was taken on the first two items and that regarding the City Manager’s evaluation, a contract would be brought back on the next agenda.

ADJOURNMENT: Adjourned at 12:28 A.M. to Saturday, April 27th to the Community Leaders’ Breakfast starting at 9:00 A.M., followed by the interviews of applicants for the advisory boards (Parks & Recreation and Equestrian Committee) starting at 11:00 A.M.