City Council Minutes 07/16/2002 RPV, City, Council, Minutes, 2002, Meeting RPV City Council Minutes for the 07/16/2002 Meeting D R A F T




JULY 16, 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 7:06 p.m., the meeting was reconvened.

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

PRESENT: 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.


There were two cards drawn from the recycle drum. Mr. Dick Barkhuis, 3549 Bendigo Drive was announced the winner for last month’s recycle drawing. He will receive a check for $250 that represents a year of free refuse service.


Mayor McTaggart suggested moving the NPDES regulations forward and City Clerk Purcell indicated that Staff would like to remove NPDES item from the Agenda. It was the consensus to move the item forward but reschedule for adoption at a later meeting.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to approve the Agenda as amended. No objections were noted. Mayor McTaggart made the order.


Councilwoman Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner to approve the Consent Calendar as follows:

Motion To Waive Full Reading

Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all council members after the reading of the title.

Minutes (301)

Approved the minutes of April 30th Adjourned Regular Meeting, May 7th Adjourned Regular Meeting, May 7th Regular Meeting, May 20th Adjourned Regular Meeting, May 21st Regular Meeting, June 12th Adjourned Regular Meeting and June 18th Adjourned Regular Meeting.

Professional Services Agreement with Cost Recovery, Inc. (602)

Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the proposed professional services agreement with Cost Recovery Systems, Inc. for the preparation of the City’s eligible state mandated cost reimbursement claims with the State of California for an amount not to exceed $7,250.

Resol. No. 2002-58 - Appeal of Height Variation No. 930 and Grading Permit No. 2279 (1203 x 1804)


Resol. No. 2002-59 - Transfer of Funds for Tree Trimming For View Restoration And View Preservation (1204 x 602)


Resol. No. 2002-60 - Resolution to Approve Funding For Open Space Planning And Recreation And Parks Task Force Consultant (1201 x 602)


Resol. No. 2002-61 Register of Demands (602)


The motion to approve the consent calendar carried on the following roll call:

AYES: Ferraro, Gardiner, Stern, and Mayor McTaggart

NOES: None


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Mayor McTaggart requested that Council consider his request to discuss a proposed letter to the Chairman of the State Water Resources Control Board. Councilman Gardiner so moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro and carried.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Regulations (1402)

Public Works Director Allison explained that the Public Works Department is presently replacing every trash receptacle at every bus stop in the City. He pointed out that the Regional Water Quality Control Board had the job of regulating this activity, both in Los Angeles and Rancho Palos Verdes. He continued reporting that SUSUMPS are required to capture the first inch of rain and somehow treat it. He pointed out that previously, engineers were concerned that the pipes were big enough to carry the entire amount of rain to its destination. Nowadays, the concern is whether the pipes not only big enough to carry the water but to also treat it. He indicated that he was seeking to continuance of this item to include additional information in his report.

Councilman Gardiner inquired into the meaning of "treat," to which Mr. Allison replied that whenever it rains, especially for the first time of the year, there’s going to be pollutants that build up over the sump. He questioned the literal meaning of the first ¾ inches of rain, and whether it has to be treated. City Attorney Lynch replied affirmatively.

Mr. Allison brought up the fact that Rancho Palos Verdes will benefit because it is such an environmentally sensitive area. He indicated that through the ordinance, he is proposing a much narrower definition to tailor the needs of the environmentally sensitive area of Rancho Palos Verdes.

City Attorney Lynch pointed out that legally, unless a judge or jury makes the decision that they do not have the authority to make these determinations, they win because they have the permit and authority behind them. She further stated that what we have been doing to deal with the EPA is to design a map, illustrating areas nominated by the Council, which are basically the canyon areas that actually feed into the ocean.

Mayor McTaggart pointed out that we cannot allow development in those areas anyway.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern clarified with Mr. Allison that an ordinance was required to be adopted by August 1st, and inquired why there was a request to have the discussion continued. City Attorney Lynch confirmed that there were some last minute changes. She also added that even though the ordinance was to be adopted by August 6th, it would not go into effect until September 2nd.

Mayor McTaggart reiterated his desire for this discussion because of the Long Point project and the potential effects vis-à-vis the golf areas, etc.

Mayor McTaggart made a motion to continue, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro. No objections were noted. .

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Long Point Resort (Conditional Use Permit No. 215, et al.,) (1804)

It was the consensus to wait until the Power Point equipment was set up before starting discussion of this item. In the meantime, Councilman Gardiner suggested that since the information is encyclopedic in nature that perhaps the best way to approach it would be to not discuss information where there is agreement. Rather, just to focus on areas of concern or ambiguity. Mayor Pro Tem Stern agreed and suggested that he thought Staff had already done that.

Councilman Gardiner moved to waive reading of the staff report. No objections were noted.


Spotlight on RPV (305)

Assistant City Manager Petru presented the July 16th staff report and the recommendation to provide staff with direction regarding the format, topics and taping schedule for the "Spotlight on RPV" cable television program. She reported that Councilman Clark recommended having Cox Communications produce a show that would focus on the events and issues of the City, with emphasis on the issues the City Council is dealing with. She indicated that staff met with Cox Communications regarding format and topics. She indicated that the purpose of the staff report was to address items needing guidance by the Council.

The first of these items was program format. Ms. Petru referenced "Spotlight on our Schools" as one that might be familiar as a Cox production. She stated that the School Board President is the regular host of that particular show. The show is basically a recap of the preceding board meeting. Rather than just focusing on prior Council agenda, Ms. Petru suggested selecting a topic for each episode of the show. Her further suggestion was to allow each Council member to be rotate hosting of the show and the freedom of choosing which particular format and topic that each individual would like to employ, such as perhaps an interview format, or impromptu discussion with a call-in format for the public, or a pre-taped session.

Ms. Petru referenced the list of potential topics to address as listed in the staff report.

Next, Ms. Petru addressed the subject of a taping schedule. She indicated that the best time would be Monday evenings, to be held at the Cox studio in the Peninsula Center. She invited input and comments from the Council.

Councilman Gardiner expressed his preference for call-in shows. Councilwoman Ferraro inquired about the frequency of taping, whether it will be every Monday night, to which Ms. Petru indicated that the program would be taped once a month to allow editing and polishing of the show. She also offered that airing the show at a consistent time would be favorable so that the public will become accustomed to watching at a particular time.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern expressed his approval of the project and suggested that Mayor McTaggart be the first host. City Manager Evans informed the Council that Cox’s suggestion was to have taped programs at the outset to become familiar with the process. Mayor Pro Tem Stern agreed. City Manager Evans suggested to the Council that they begin to ponder potential topics they would like to address on the show and then set up a training session to educate the Council on the procedures.

Long Point Resort (Conditional Use Permit No. 215, et al.,) (1804)

With the Power Point equipment now in place, Council then resumed discussion of the Long Point Project.

Mr. Mohler made a new presentation to the Council and audience via Power Point. He indicated that he will burn a CD of the Power Point presentation to give to the Planning Commission.

The presentation included tree heights, the neighboring subdivision, elevated views, ocean views, vegetation, vehicles, etc. Different views from the highway were added to complete the three-dimensional perspective. The villas were shown from a marketing perspective rather than a view perspective.

The next presentation included the comments and questions from the Council from the prior meeting. These noted water quality, public amenities, spa and golf use, parking structure, to name a few.

Pat Fusco, President of Fusco Engineering, addressed water quality. He began by briefly outlining his experience and that of his firm’s as regards water quality, environmental science, drainage and flow and physics attendant to water quality. He introduced a system that will meet the regional water quality requirements, the SUSUMP requirements, as well as the Coastal Commission expectations.

Mr. Fusco discussed a run off management plan that is sustainable. He talked about pollutants that are generated from items like the hotel, golf course, parking lots, resort, residential components, etc. To address this problem, zones are created to employ some best management practices, essentially a flow of the water through various sections of the property, each one treating the water in a different way.

Mayor McTaggart expressed concern over the Water Board’s upcoming meeting and encouraged Mr. Fusco to visit their website to obtain the specific numbers relating to the amount of bacteria, etc., allowable.

Mr. Mohler resumed his presentation and began discussing public amenities programs such as a resort entry trail, flower field trail, Marineland trail, as well as the trail back to the resort. Mayor Pro Tem Stern expressed concern over the proximity of the trails to the driving range. Mr. Mohler responded that they planned a berm, some low vegetation, as well as, if necessary, a low fence, which would prevent a ball from reaching the trail. He also informed the Council that allowance has been made for a 250-yard slice.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern inquired into the 50-car parking lot.

Mr. Mohler indicated that an investigation was done of the allowable spaces for public parking approved under the previous hotel plan and a determination was made that ten percent of the parking was reserved for coastal access.

Mr. Mohler addressed the various trails and how they would be laid out. Rob Lowe addressed the council answering questions regarding spa, fitness and restaurant involvement in the project. The spa, he commented, was designed to be a relaxing and serene environment, and is located away from the main pool area. There is also a lap pool surrounded by a relaxing environment. Two main features of the spa will be outdoor relaxation areas both on the men’s side and the women’s side, where one could go and relax either before or after a treatment. Outdoor massages will also be available. There will be 21 treatment areas where one could enjoy spas, facials, saunas, and steam baths. There will be a locker room and a fitness aerobics type facility as well as a weight room.

Mr. Lowe indicated that for a daily fee, the public could come and use the facilities. Mayor Pro Tem Stern asked where the public would enter the facilities. Mr. Lowe indicated that there are two places, either the front lobby or a side entrance away from valet parking, etc.

Mr. Lowe then discussed the golf facility encompassing three basic elements. Practice holes, a three-hole facility. The second will be a teaching program. The third being a driving range.

Addressing the restaurants, there will be two dining areas within the main facility. One will be a smaller specialty dining area and the other a more active restaurant that is open for all three meals, perhaps even some live entertainment. There will be a bar area connected to the three-meal restaurant offering spectacular views of Catalina, and the ocean. There will be a lookout bar offering pupu type foods, light fare, for the general public. Finally, there will be a snack area near the lower pool.

Robert Lowe addressed the Council expressing urgency for the project, indicating the extreme cost of putting the project off. After discussion, the Council decided to wait until August 28 to review allow until August 20th to be prepared with the 300 plus conditions and resolutions that must be approved before following through with the project.


Mayor McTaggart ordered a break at 8:53 and the meeting reconvened at 9:03 p.m.

(Resumption of discussion regarding Long Point Resort)

Councilman Gardiner once again expressed concern that in light of the fact there was so much information to process and digest, that the Council find a more efficient way to proceed through comments and questions. He also commented that to rush through the process would be to make an error. Mayor Pro Tem Stern was in agreement.

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Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, posed a question why the City Counsel’s position does not go up for bid each year. She commented that the City Counsel currently receives $500,000 per year and indicated that the citizens of RPV would like to be informed of the function and involvement of the City’s counsel.

Mayor McTaggart responded with an insight that since the number of claims and lawsuits against the City have gone up, so has legal counsel.

Vic Quirarte, Rancho Palos Verdes, indicated that approximately three and a half years ago, he approached Mike Mohler and inquired as to why Ocean Trails could not serve as the resort’s golf venue. He indicated that his motivation was to protect the open spaces of the coast. He expressed support for the Long Point project. He also suggested that the Council assemble a monitoring committee to assist Staff in accomplishing the task of putting the conditions for the Long Point project together.

Bob Nelson, 6612 Channel View Court, Rancho Palos Verdes, raised the issue of the Argentine Ant, and informed the Council that there was a threat to the native ants because of this species. The native ant serves as the food source for the San Diego Coastal Horned Lizard. His suggestion was to call the Orkin man to rid the City of the Argentine ant.

Anne Shaw, 30036 Via Borica, Rancho Palos Verdes, commented on the implementation of a transient occupancy tax, one imposed on a person who occupies a residential space for less than thirty (30) days. She suggested that these transients sign an agreement to pay T.O.T. tax. This agreement would outline the proposed stay.

City Attorney Lynch responded that the Business and Professions Code defines transients and allows for T.O.T. tax. She advised against signing agreements that defy that code section.

Barbara Sattler, Rancho Palos Verdes, queried the Council as to why there was no response to her letter inquiring about the coastal bluff scrub. She is concerned that 300 feet is not adequate. She acknowledges the assurance that there will be mitigation on behalf of the wildlife, but expressed disdain that there were no conditions attendant to this issue. She expressed approval of the proposed water quality management plan and would like to see the detail.

Mayor McTaggart asked Ms Sattler why she was not satisfied with the answers to all of the questions that were provided. Ms. Sattler responded that the answers were too general, and she wanted to see specific plans, i.e., the water quality management plan. Mayor McTaggart suggested that Ms. Sattler convene with the engineers in a separate meeting to iron out her concerns.

Mr. Rojas pointed out that in a meeting just that afternoon with Ms. Sattler, she was assured that Staff would continue to answer her questions.

Marc Massari, Chairman of the Board of the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce, offered support for the Long Point project; however pointed out that the resort would be in direct competition with current businesses. Having said that, he continued to express support for the project on behalf of the local businesses.

Tom Redfield, Revival Renaissance 2002, supported the notion that another two weeks in planning would prevent some big mistakes.

Betty Marler, Palos Verdes Bay Club, reminded the Council that because of delays by the City Council, the first developer was forced to pull back from the project because the economy fell into recession. She indicated she did not want that to happen again.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern suggested moving through the items that he marked up and commented upon. The first was the issue of a shuttle between Ocean Trails and Long Point. He indicated that the issue had been addressed and that low emission vehicles would serve as shuttles.

Next, Mayor Pro Tem Stern discussed the architectural design of the parking structure. His interest is that it blends in with the surroundings. Councilwoman Ferraro agreed that it is important for the parking structure to be unobtrusive.

The next item discussed was the dedication of the public amenities and parks to take place before the certificate of occupancy issues. Mayor Pro Tem Stern indicates his favor in that proposal.

Next Mayor Pro Tem Stern addressed the public restrooms near the fishing activities of the coast. He indicated a necessity to evaluate whether the present restrooms are acceptable, as they are in need of cosmetic repair.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern pointed out that if Council desired, it might wish to add a condition to the project that regulates the construction phasing. He suggested that the applicant and the City Staff should focus on that and lay out what works for the, applicant, but that the City desires to be informed so we know what to expect and when.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern then raised the issue of insurance, which had been discussed by the Planning Commission.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern offered a concern that in the Power Point presentation, there was an abundance of rooftops shown in the views. He further discussed those rooftops, even though present, can be blended into the view by dropping them further down. Mayor McTaggart requested clarification of the issue with the rooftops, to which Mayor Pro Tem Stern further simplified his explanation that the less one sees of the rooftops, the more coastal view is available.

Councilman Gardiner pointed out that under the view section of the View category, "Conditions may be placed on the project that would limit the height of all landscaping and foliage located with in the view corridors." He further supported the notion of foliage so long as the view is not impeded.

Mayor McTaggart suggested that under the biology category, that the Sanitation District provide a copy of a document that illustrates the offshore monitoring stations. He offered to procure the most recent report.

Councilwoman Ferraro inquired about shuttles to and from the airport, and the Peninsula Center. Mayor McTaggart made the observation that the shuttles entering the airport are franchised and only select shuttles have an agreement to provide airport customers with service. Mayor Pro Tem Stern indicated it would be a good marketing tool to offer to pick up customers.

Councilwoman Ferraro also addressed the landscaping. She commented that the prior report was done well. She indicated that she would like to see more color included within the landscaping palette.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern once again visited the subject of upgrading the county restroom located near the fishing access. Mr. Low addressed the subject and indicated that they may be interested in doing a "reasonable" upgrade, so long as it falls within the budget.

Councilman Gardiner raised the issue of the lower pool and getting it approved. City Attorney Lynch informed the Council that it needs to go through the Planning Commission first. Mayor McTaggart indicated a commitment to try to expedite the procedure, but pointed out that every time an attempt to quicken the process was made that it backfired.

Mayor McTaggart moved to continue the matter to August 6 at which time the draft conditions and resolutions will be presented to Council.


At 10:43 Mayor McTaggart declared a recess. The meeting resumed at 10:51.


Crest Road Sidewalk (1204 x 1404)

Director Allison presented the staff report of July 16 and the recommendation to consider the request from the Rancho Palos Verdes Estates HOA to construct a new sidewalk along Crest Road from its current terminus at the Camellia Trail to Avenida de Rosa. He indicated that a study was done on the traffic conditions and reported that it would be unsafe and expensive to install a sidewalk. He also pointed out that the residents of the area were unwilling to participate in the cost, but that they are requesting the sidewalk be installed. He presented diagrams that outlined the path a person must take to proceed along the street, indicating that where appropriate the path leaves the street and enters interior land. This was necessary because of the traffic and potential hazards of walking along such a busy street.

Mr. Allison informed the Council that building such a sidewalk has never been a part of what is done within Public Works. That generally, sidewalks are built by the developer with an allowance for their cost included in the purchase price of the individual properties.

Despite the argument against constructing the proposed sidewalks, Mr. Allison presented three options. The first is to put in a whole sidewalk from where it stops on the street to where the residents go. The cost of this option is approximately $110,000. Option No. 2 is to just put in a segment of the sidewalk. This option will cost approximately $25,000. Option No. 3 is to do a little bit of improvement to the existing trail. The estimated cost is $40,000.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern addressed the homeowners regarding their unwillingness to contribute to the cost of the sidewalk. He pointed out that if the developers had built the sidewalk, that it would have been included in the cost of the home. He further pondered that no sidewalk was put and that it was not included in the cost of developing the property. He bluntly indicated that, "Candidly, when you tell me you won’t pay a dime, my reaction is I won’t pay a dime either."

Ron Melendez, 44 Paseo de Castanza, Rancho Palos Verdes, offered that this has actually been going on for about three years. It was in 1989 when he had first written a letter to Rudy Svorinich regarding the safety concerns there. The letter was forwarded to the RPV Council, which started the process of evaluation. He indicated a long hiatus occurred between the writing of the letter and any action taken.

Dr. Melendez indicated that there have been many near misses between joggers, pedestrians, bikers and vehicles that travel along that path. He related the story of an elderly man who had been hit by a bicyclist while walking down the existing path. He responded to the issue of financing and justified that because it would be in the best interest for the city and for the surrounding communities that use it, that the cost be borne alone by the city.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern responded by pointing out that the Council could have required the developer to install such a sidewalk when the properties were being developed, but did not. Councilwoman Ferraro concurred with Mayor Pro Tem Stern in that if there had been a sidewalk constructed that the cost would have been passed on to those purchasing the homes in that development.

Joe Muriat, 18 Avenida Camellia, Rancho Palos Verdes offered a perspective of never seeing a City allowing a developer to walk away and leave steep hills undressed. He pointed out the shear cliff approximately 15 feet high, as a potential for hazard. He justified the cost to the city as being minimal because it is not just the local homeowners that would have the benefit of the sidewalk, but everyone who chose to utilize that path. He indicated that some people drive well over the speed limit putting pedestrians and bicyclists at risk.

Del Freeman, 8 Paseo de Pino, Rancho Palos Verdes, further emphasized that this particular area is utilized by many people and that there is risk inherent in utilizing that path.

Mayor McTaggart inquired of staff if there had been any complaints or requests from anyone outside of the immediate residential area. Mr. Allison responded negatively. City Manager Evans proposed signage warning of a hazard. He inquired as to whether this was a neighborhood street that has through traffic. Response was made by Councilman Gardiner and Mayor Pro Tem Stern that they do not have sidewalks on their streets. Mayor McTaggart said that his street has a sidewalk, but that he paid for it when he bought his house. He indicated that he is approaching this issue with safety in mind around the blind curve.

Councilman Gardiner indicated that all things considered, he cannot justify spending the money. He favors putting up a sign indicating the curve.

Councilwoman Ferraro suggested putting a sidewalk on the other side of the street. Mr. Allison mentioned a study that was done and indicated that there would be then people crossing the road at inappropriate places.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern stated that after considering all of the factors, he did not think it appropriate to install a sidewalk.

Councilwoman Ferraro said that she favored signage.

City Attorney Lynch proposed language, "Not recommended for pedestrians. Please use trail."

Councilwoman Ferraro moved for that language, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern. With no objection, the motion carried.

Interview of Candidates for chair of the Open Space, Planning and Park & Recreation Task Force (301 x 1201)

Councilman Gardiner moved to waive the staff report, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro. Motion carried. It was the consensus to set an interview date of August 6th at 6:00 p.m. to interview the candidates for the position of chair of the Open Space, Planning and Parks & Rec. Task Force.

Lease with Yvonne Yamashita for Annie’s Stand (1201 x 1101)

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro to waive the staff report which recommended that Council approve the new lease with Yvonne Yamashita for Annie’s Stand at Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the lease agreement.

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, drawing the Council’s attention to Number 10 in the proposed agreement, "Costs arising out of the use of the Premises by Lessee, or by his employees, guests and visitors." And Number 8, Lessee shall not change or alter the existing advertising signs." Ms. Larue indicated that she lived near Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and she walked down there the other night. Ms. Yamashita has a story on the wall about her father and her mother, which Mrs. Larue believed constituted advertising. She indicated an inability to understand why this sign cannot be changed. Ms. Larue expressed horrification when she read No. 11, that the City wanted Ms. Yamashita to carry 500,000 dollars worth of insurance. She expressed dismay as Ms. Yamashita’s rent is only $275 per month.

Further, Ms. Larue expressed disappointment with No. 13, "Lessee agrees to pay before delinquency all lawful taxes." She indicated that it did not seem right that Ms. Yamashita had to pay taxes on something that she was renting.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern addressed Ms. Larue’s comments by indicating that there is a possessor interest tax that’s applicable, somewhat comparable to real property tax, that applies to leases of government property.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, for staff recommendation. Motion carried.

Amendment to Water Quality Control Plan – Approve Mayor McTaggart signing proposed letter (310 x 1402)

Mayor McTaggart questioned the council on whether they all had a chance to read the proposed letter to the State Water Resources Board. Councilwoman Ferraro indicated that she saw no need for any changes and moved that it be sent. Mayor Pro Tem Stern seconded the motion. With no objection, the motion carried.

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 11:37 p.m. on motion of Mayor McTaggart.

/s/ John C. McTaggart



/s/ Jo Purcell

City Clerk