City Council Minutes 12/17/2002 RPV, City, Council, Minutes, 2002, Meeting, December, 12/17/2002 RPV City Council Minutes for the 12/17/2002 Meeting Mayor McTaggart: {Z} stern stern we're




DECEMBER 17, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:10 p.m., the meeting was reconvened.

Roll call was answered as follows:

Present: Clark, Ferraro, McTaggart, Gardiner and Mayor Stern


Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager Carolyn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Senior Planner Kit Fox; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Minutes Secretary Dianne McGivern.

Kailyn and Hailey Stern led the Pledge of Allegiance.


The winner for the recycle drawing was John Long of Rancho Palos Verdes.


Councilman McTaggart requested to move the item regarding placement of commemorative plaques at the end of the Agenda to accommodate a speaker who had not yet arrived at the meeting.

Councilman Clark requested that the Non Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection Agreement be pulled from the Consent Calendar for discussion.

Mayor Stern indicated a request to move the item regarding funding for temporary trailers at Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center to immediately after the Consent Calendar.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro inquired into a continuance for review of the proposed View Restoration and Preservation Guideline Revisions. Mayor Stern suggested that item be continued until a determination regarding the View Restoration Committee had been made. He recommended that a joint workshop be conducted between the Planning Commission and the City Council.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved to approve the agenda as amended. Councilman McTaggart seconded. Motion carried.


Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart for approval of 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 of October 15th and November 9th. (301)

Approved the minutes.

Claim Against The City By Southern California Edison. (303)

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Resol. 2002-103: Additional Funding For Storm Water Program. (604 x 1204)


COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION 2002-45, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002-03, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND – PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION. (2) Authorized the expenditure of up to $3,200 for storm water fees to the State Water Board Non-Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services Annual Agreement For 2003.


Resol. 2002-104: Register Of Demands.


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

AYES:Ferraro, Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart and Mayor Stern


# # # # # #




Non-Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services Annual Agreement For 2003. (1301)

The staff report of December 17th recommended that Council authorized the mayor and the city clerk to execute non-exclusive commercial refuse collection and disposal services agreements as amended with: Ace Roll Off Rubbish Service, Inc., BFI Waste Systems of North America, Inc., California Waste Services, Consolidated Disposal Services, LLC, Easy Roll Off Services, EDCO Disposal Corporation, Gemini Services, Inc., HMD Waste Company, Integrated Waste Industries, Inc., Ivy Rubbish Disposal, S & H Disposal Company, and USA Waste of California dba Waste Management.


City Attorney Lynch described the amendments made to this agreement that were contained in the version distributed at the outset of the meeting. She indicated that a definition of administrator was added and also a certification that the collector must certify that they have not attempted to or paid any consideration or compensation to any city official, officer or employee in connection with obtaining the agreement.


City Attorney Lynch also highlighted the modifications to the penalty provisions if a contractor fails to provide a timely quarterly report. In addition, she pointed out that the insurance requirements were increased to meet Best Insurance rating of 87.

Councilman Clark questioned the topic of remittances and audits. He inquired whether an audit had ever been conducted.

Public Works Director Allison responded that an audit had never been performed.

Councilman Clark inquired as to what would trigger an audit.

Mr. Allison responded that if a hauler was moving more trash than he was reporting resulting in a lower fee being paid to the City; that would lead to an audit.

City Manager Evans stated that the dump reports to the City show how much has been delivered. He indicated that a comparison between that report and the hauler’s report would reveal discrepancies between the two.

Councilman Clark asked about the possibility of exclusive hauling agreements.

City Manager Evans indicated that in approximately 2005 the City has intentions on negotiating exclusive agreements to a small number of haulers.

Councilman Clark moved to approve the amended agreement as amended, seconded by Councilman McTaggart. No objections were noted.



Resol. No. 2002-105: Funding For Temporary Trailers At The Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center. (1201 x 602)

(1) ADOPTED RESOLUTION 2002-105, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION 2002-45, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002-03, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND – PARKS AND TRAILS MAINTENANCE. (2) Authorized the expenditure of up to $10,000 to install and lease an information trailer at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center.

Director of Public Works Dean Allison reported that the docents would be able to recruit and provide information to the public if trailers were brought in. He stated that the grounds were green and the site is open. He requested the Council to approve an expenditure of $10,000 to have the trailer on site from January to July 1st.

Joan Barry, 30770 Ganado Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in support of the trailers and expressed her excitement on behalf of the docents. Ms. Barry gifted all of the Council members with docent caps.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the staff recommendation.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Ferraro, Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart and Mayor Stern


Ord. No. 386: Disbandment of the View Restoration Commission (VRC). (1806)



Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the staff recommendation.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart and Mayor Stern


Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit Case No. ZON2002-00347 for

Property located at 38 Cinnamon Lane. (1203 x 1801)

Assistant Planner Beilin Yu presented the staff report of December 17th and the recommendation to adopt the proposed resolution denying, without prejudice, Landslide Moratorium Exception Permit Case No. ZON2002-00347 and pointed out that this case preexisted the moratorium ordinance adopted on November 5th.


Director Rojas reviewed the history of the pending application for this property and concluded that the proposed addition could be engineered to avoid aggravation of the landslide. He stated that staff is not satisfied as to the amount of information relating to the landslide and the geologic conditions in the entire Zone 2 area to warrant the proposed addition to the property.

Mayor Stern asked for clarification on the Dale Hinkle report regarding the landslide-affected bedrock.

Mr. Rojas responded that underlying material appeared to have been affected by landslide activity in the past.

Councilman Clark referred to the comment made by staff that correct engineering would permit the project to continue. He inquired of staff if they had taken that comment into consideration in their recommendation.

Mr. Rojas indicated that although that statement was made, the main source of information on that topic was taken from the Cotton and Shires report that addressed the underlying material and the entirety of Zone 2.

Councilman Clark inquired about the Cabrillo Fault and its location relative to the subject property.

Mr. Rojas indicated it to be a mile or two.

Olympia Greer, 267 Palos Verdes Drive West, Palos Verdes Estates, began her testimony by stating that the subject project predated the moratorium. She requested grandfathering the project as is. (Ms. Greer distributed a written copy of her testimony; said copy is on file with the City Clerk’s Office.)

Ms. Greer divided the 1,180 square foot proposal into increments. She stated that 617 square feet was intended for the ground floor and the remainder at the mezzanine level and other smaller locations such as entry, storage, and stairs.


Councilman McTaggart requested definition of the word "mezzanine."

Ms. Greer responded that it is an area that is within one-third of the overall area of the house.

Councilman McTaggart commented that it appeared to be a second floor.

Mr. Rojas assured the Council that Staff had considered that area as a second floor addition.

Mayor Stern inquired of Mr. Siegel whether the Homeowner’s Association reviewed the design for architectural compatibility.

Mr. Siegel stated that the Portuguese Bend Community Association Committee has approved the design.

Mayor Stern asked Ms. Greer for clarification on the factor of safety. He stated that the 1.5 factor of safety relates to the whole area, but that a 2.65 factor of safety had been determined for the localized area.

Councilman Gardiner pointed out the factor of safety calculation contained within the Surficial Slope Stability Analysis that revealed the vertical depth of the slip surface as being four feet. He asked whether that calculation encompasses earth going deeper than four feet.

Mr. Evans opined that it was just the depth to the bedrock. He stated that the factor of safety has always been determined to the point of bedrock on similar applications. He indicated it was just a local factor of safety.

Councilman Gardiner asked how far the bedrock continues.

Ms. Greer suggested 175 feet.

Mayor Stern requested Mr. Siegel to respond to that inquiry.

Neil Siegel, 38 Cinnamon Lane, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that based on discussions with Dr. Ehlig, his information was between 130 and 200 feet in the location tested.

Mr. Siegel addressed the Council beginning with the neighboring real estate records. He indicated that houses within a few hundred yards were between 4000 and 5,000 square feet. He felt that upon completion of the proposed work, the home would be compatible in size. He offered statements from adjoining neighbors in support of their remodeling plans.

Mr. Siegel continued by saying that the neighborhood houses were between 50 and 70 years old. He indicated that among the neighbors he spoke with, none of them admitted cracks that would be related to landslide activity.

Mr. Siegel stated that his proposed remodel would not affect the original footprint of the house.

Ms. Greer indicated that the second story addition square footage appears to make the house bigger, but that the additional size is cantilevered over the garage.


Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to proceed with the application to the Planning Commission by approving the exceptions.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Ferraro, Clark, McTaggart

NOES:Gardiner, Mayor Stern



Mayor Stern declared a recess at 9:00 P.M. The meeting reconvened at 9:10 P.M.


Councilman Gardiner stated that he attended a walkthrough as an "interested party" of the proposed golf course on the county landfill in Rolling Hills Estates. He stated that Alan Lowenthal attended as well and also two members of the Rolling Hills Estates City Council.


Mayor pro tem Ferraro reported that she had done two PSA’s for PV Transit. She stated that they are offering shuttle service around the commercial area of RHE Peninsula Center, The Avenues and Longs Drug Store. She said that PV Transit was offering a special dollar ride for New Years Eve.

Councilman Clark commented on the terrific one-year effort of the subcommittee on neighborhood compatibility. He suggested reviewing this topic within the joint workshop with the Planning Commission. He requested that staff provide the other councilmembers that weren't on the subcommittee with a binder of the minutes and the documentation from the subcommittee.

Councilman Clark reported on the Ocean Trails subcommittee meeting. He stated that the rainfall would not affect the stability of the 18th hole landslide repair. He further commented that the rain has extended the expected completion by a week or two. He further indicated that since ownership has changed from Credit Suisse to Trump, a new master schedule is being created. He stated that more than likely it will show an accelerated schedule of currently planned activities.

Councilman McTaggart asked whether the changes proposed by the Trump organization are going to be forwarded to the Fish & Wildlife Service, or whether the current Council would be reviewing them.

Councilman Clark stated that it would depend on the content of the changes. He deferred to Mr. Rojas for comment.


Mr. Rojas stated that the Trump organization is formulating a plan realizing that there is habitat to consider.


Councilman Clark reported that work on PV Drive South would continue throughout the holidays with City inspections to continue as well.

Councilman Clark stated that the affordable housing units are progressing at Ocean Trails.

Councilman McTaggart reported that the SBCOG Steering Committee would not be meeting in December.

Councilman McTaggart stated that Councilman Clark and he participated in the Peninsula Parade leading the mayor and mayor pro tem. He stated that he went to the Rolling Hills Community Holiday Party. He also reported that the Vector District meeting was held across the street from the Playa Vista project. He stated that there have been no other reports of the West Nile Virus.

Councilman McTaggart reported on the meeting at the U.S. Corps of Engineers office in Downtown L.A. to learn about the TMDL’s on the water storm permit.

Mayor Stern reported attending the Open Space Acquisition Subcommittee.

He further reported on the meeting he attended with Councilman Clark with the Ocean Trails liaison. He reiterated the City’s expectation to be kept apprised of events as they occur so as to avoid complications in working with staff.

Mayor Stern reported on the monthly mayor’s breakfast held on Friday the 13th. He indicated that it was attended by the chairpersons of various committees.


Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, commented that Jim York’s property is exempt from the moratorium.

Mayor Stern indicated that the majority of it is within the moratorium.

Ms. Larue read a letter from her daughter-in-law concerning the subject of PAGE, Professional Advocates for Gifted Education, making a $2,000 donation to the California Association for Gifted Children.


Tom Redfield, 31273 Granada Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, encouraged the City Council to persevere in addressing the RV problems it is currently experiencing. He also encouraged the public to seek advice from the City as they have creative ideas in solving RV issues.

Request To Place Commemorative Plaques On City Property. (1203 x 1201)

Director Rojas presented the December 17th staff report which recommended: (1) Approved the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy’s request to place a commemorative plaque on the City owned Forrestal property in recognition of a $500,000 endowment donated by Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg that will provide funds to assist the Conservancy in managing the City’s property, said marker will be similar to the one installed by the City at the view point on PV Dr. South; also, a stone bench will be installed; and, (2) Agreed that similar plaques may be placed near the entrance to the proposed Portuguese Bend Open Space Preserve and Aqua Armaga Canyon, if those privately held properties are acquired by the City and managed by the Conservancy

Barbara Dye, 29743 Knollview Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke on behalf of the Land Conservancy stating that this is a first step towards stewardship endowment which will help budget spade and some of their obligations to the NAACP. Ms. Dye noted a minor change from the staff report regarding Ms. Ginsburg’s request to replace the planned boulder with a plaque similar to the one on the rock at Abalone Cove.

Bill Ailor, 1052 Via Palestra, Palos Verdes Estates, spoke on behalf of the Land Conservancy. He indicated that the Conservancy requires funding for both the acquisition and maintenance of land. He expressed gratitude to Dr. and Mrs. Ginsburg and encouraged others to work together in developing a standard for how donations should be treated in the future. He stated that the Conservancy wanted to acknowledge the generosity of the current donors in keeping with the overall goals of the Conservancy.

Mr. Ailor suggested beginning the process of looking at the issue of developing some guidelines for the future.


Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, for approval of the commemorative plaque done in rock formation including a stone bench.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Ferraro, Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart and Mayor Stern


Educational Access Channel. (305 x 1101)


City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 17th and the following recommendations: (1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2002-106 DIRECTING COX COMMUNICATIONS TO ESTABLISH AN EDUCATIONAL ACCESS CHANNEL PURSUANT EXHIBIT E, SECTION I(C)(1) OF THE OCTOBER 17, 2000 CABLE TELEVISION FRANCHISE AGREEMENT ON THE LOCAL CABLE TELEVISION NETWORK; (2) Establish a start-up date of March 1, 2003 for launching the channel; (3) Approve the use of the old Cable TV studio on City Hall property for filming and editing; (4) Establish a budget of $125,000 for re-furbishing the studio and purchasing of camera and editing equipment; and, (5) Establish an annual budget of $70,000 for operating the studio. (6) Staff to look for additional sources of funding; prepare a program schedule for first year.

City Manager Les Evans stated that on November 5, the education institutions presented at the Council meeting their support of an educational access channel. He discussed a workshop sponsored by the appointed ad hoc committee to explore resources available. He indicated that as a result of that meeting, Cox requires a 30-day notice for the implementation of the Educational Access Channel and that there is no minimum programming requirement. He added that if no programming is available, a scrolling reader board would be broadcast.

Mr. Evans stated that the committee discussed the importance of developing policies on deciding programming. He indicated that the committee felt comfortable in side-stepping pitfalls should they develop by keeping control of the programming. Continuing with the report, Mr. Evans stated that an open studio, minimum staffing, equipment, such as cameras, lighting and audio equipment, are required to refurbish the old cable TV building on city hall property that once held a studio. He stated that PV on the Net offered three editing stations at no cost to the City and that they would be willing to staff the station for $45,000. He divulged the estimated costs would be approximately $50,000 to refurbish the studio, $75,000 for equipment, and $70,000 per year to operate the studio.


Councilman Gardiner proposed using school students under 18 to work in the studio to obtain experience while meeting the requirement of staffing. He suggested developing a school internship program. He proposed having Cox provide some funding for the equipment. He stated that when Cox had to provide public access, equipment, resources and training were required. Since the City has relieved Cox of this requirement, those funds would potentially be available.

Councilman Gardiner suggested using a reader board between the end of January and May 1 while conducting testing and putting signals on.

Councilman Gardiner stated that rather than providing an open forum for programming that the City maintain control by requesting information from educational institutions and then picking the best material.

Councilman Clark referenced the Harbor College studio and their education station format. He asked if there had been consideration given to the utilization of their studio.

Councilman Gardiner explained that Harbor College had received a grant with which they are starting from the beginning and moving forward. He stated that they do have a program or television station now.

Councilman McTaggart clarified that the college will be employing electronic classrooms and providing a degree program.

Councilman Gardiner added that the college would be offering distance learning similar to El Camino College’s program.

Councilman Clark inquired into the acquisition of grant money.

Councilman Gardiner affirmed that grants have been discussed. He stated that there are one-time expenses such as the building and equipment, but that there will also be a need for staff as well as ongoing costs.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to adopt the staff recommendations changing the start date of March 1.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Ferraro, Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart and Mayor Stern


City Council Assignments. (306)


Mayor Stern made the following assignments: Outside Organizations: City Selection Committee - Stern/Ferraro; League of Calif. Cities L.A. County Division - Stern/Clark; So. Calif. Assoc. Of Governments (SCAG) – McTaggart; So. Bay Cities Council of Govts. (SBCCOG) - Clark/Stern (1st Alt.)/Ferraro (2nd Alt.)and McTaggart (3rd Alt.); San. Districts (Dist. No. 5 & So. Bay San. District) - Stern/Ferraro; Calif. Joint Powers Ins. Authority(CJPIA) - Stern/Ferraro; Contract Cities - McTaggart/Gardiner; So. Bay Youth Project - Ferraro/McTaggart; Chambers of Commerce - Entire Council; Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project - Clark/Ferraro; Palos Verdes Trans. Authority - Ferraro/McTaggart; Max Policy Steering Committee - McTaggart/Gardiner; Pen. Regional Law Enforcement - Stern/McTaggart; West Basin Water Association - Gardiner/Ferraro; Calif. Coastal Coalition - Stern/Clark; and, L. A. County West Vector Control District - McTaggart.


Ad Hoc Committees: Open Space Acquisition - Stern/Clark; Neighborhood Compatibility - Clark/Gardiner; School District Liaison - Gardiner/Clark; Ed. Cable TV - McTaggart/Gardiner; and, 30th Anniversary - Stern/Ferraro.

Standing Committees: Council Liaison to Ocean Trails/Long Point - Stern/Clark. Liaison Assignments: Western Avenue Corridor Task Force - Ferraro/Gardiner; LAX Expansion /Noise - McTaggart/Ferraro; L.A. Community Roundtable - McTaggart/Gardiner; and, Peninsula Forum – Stern.


Policy For Selecting Peer Review Consultants. (1101)

City Manager Evans introduced the item as stemming from a request by Mayor Stern that policy be drafted for the selection of peer review consultants. Beginning with the Form 700, which he described as a disclosure form applicable to the prior 12 months of personal and business activity, he inquired if Mayor Stern intended on extending that time period.

Mayor Stern responded by stating the example of Zone 2 panel. He described a process by which the geologists involved had been members of the community for some time and could possibly benefit economically by reaching the conclusion that it was safe to build, as they would then have the ability to provide geological services to the lot owners who desired to obtain building permits. Conversely, those individuals might find it difficult to announce to their friends that property development would not be allowed. Mayor Stern made no personal implications but merely cited the example for illustrative purposes.

Councilman Gardiner spoke in favor of credentialing. He stated that when looking for committee members, it is important that those with the expertise sought be engaged in policy or making decisions. He also stated that perhaps summoning an expert from out of town would be advisable for a fresher perspective.

Mayor Stern spoke in support of Councilman Gardiner’s opinion and reinforced the notion that an out of town expert would have no gain to realize within a project in which he has no interest.

Councilman McTaggart countered by stating that it is those involved who know the land the best.

Recess And Reconvene: Mayor Stern announced a break at 10:32 p.m. The proceedings were resumed at 10:39 p.m.

Mayor Stern proposed to defer the issue to consult general policy.

Mayor pro tem Ferraro spoke in favor of local experts as well as disclosure.

Councilman Gardiner opined that a mixed panel consisting of local experts and imported experts should be utilized.


Councilman McTaggart agreed on selecting at least a three-member panel with disclosure made by the potential committee members.

It was the consensus that the Council could handle these situations on a case-by-case basis and that the matter should be tabled until a specific case arises that has to be decided upon.

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, inquired into the disappearance of Keith Ehlert.

Councilman McTaggart stated that Mr. Ehlert had moved away.

Ord. No. 387: Requiring Disclosure Of Geological Conditions. (1203)

City Manager Evans presented the staff report of December 17th and the recommendation to introduce the proposed ordinance Establishing Disclosure Requirements For Geological Conditions In Connection With Applications For Permits And Amending The Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code. He stated that Mayor Stern had requested such an ordinance to prevent people from obtaining unfavorable geological reports and then going to another geologist until they received the answer they liked, and then submitted the favorable geology to the City to support an application.

Councilman McTaggart asked whether an individual could hide behind a legal privilege by hiring geologists through their attorney.

Mayor Stern opined that if the hiring were done in the context of litigation, it would probably be deemed work product and would be protected. He stated that if an individual just hires a lawyer to perform this function that it is likely to be invalid.

Barbara Sattler, 1904 Avenida Aprenda, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in support of disclosure and encouraged all to support Mayor Stern’s proposal.


Mayor Stern clarified by stating that this ordinance was designed to bring forth all geological surveys ever performed on property. He stated that a property owner who does not approve of a geological report they had done could hire another geologist, continuing the process until they receive a report they approved of.


Councilman McTaggart questioned how the ordinance could be enforced.

Mayor Stern opined that most people will comply honestly if required to. He suggested that a certain degree of risk should be built in to prevent people from being dishonest, such as a permit revocation.


The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES:Ferraro, Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart and Mayor Stern


City Council/Planning Commission Joint Workshop. (307)

City Manager Evans presented the December 17th staff memorandum that recommended that the Council set a date for a joint meeting with the Planning Commission to be held sometime in February.

Councilman Clark motioned to schedule the workshop on February 8th from 9:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M. Motion carried.

City Attorney Closed Session Report:

City Attorney Lynch reported that a strategy for the People vs. Abrams case had been discussed.

City Attorney Lynch advised that the Council added an item to the closed session agenda to discuss an issue concerning a home repair project pursuant to the City’s home improvement program. She stated that no action was taken regarding that matter.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 P.M. on motion of Mayor Stern.



/s/ Douglas W. Stern




/s/ Jo Purcell

City Clerk