RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
FEBRUARY 18, 2003
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 7:03 p.m., the meeting was reconvened.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Ferraro and Mayor Stern
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; Senior Planner Kit Fox; Administrative Services Director/City Clerk Jo Purcell; and Minutes Secretary Dianne McGivern.
Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jenny Baskovic was selected as the recycler of the month. Mayor Stern thanked all who participate in the recycling program.
Mayor Stern thanked the Planning Commission and the public for attending a Saturday workshop. He indicated that progress was made regarding important issues.
Councilman Clark presented Mayor Stern with license plate holders in appreciation and recognition of his service as mayor for the year 2003.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the Agenda. No objections noted.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
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 the regular meetings of December 17, 2002 and January 7, 2003. (301)
Approved the minutes.
Civic Center Office Modifications Project. (1204 x 1201)
(1) Accepted the work as completed. (2) Authorized the City Clerk to record the Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and if no claims are filed 35 days after recordation, to notify the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance Bonds. (3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Unique Performance Construction 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder contingent on no claims being filed on the Project.
Professional Services Agreement for the Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District and Abalone Cove Sewer Maintenance Fee. (901 x 1900)
(1) Awarded a professional services contract to Harris and Associates for the annual administration and levy of the Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District and the Abalone Cove Sewer Maintenance Fee for a not to exceed amount of $7,000 and $4,500, respectively, for the next three fiscal year levies: FY 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06. (2) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a professional services agreement with Harris and Associates.
Claim Against The City By Sarah Oh, Chad Oh, And Kristina Dahae Oh. (303)
Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.
Contracts for Whale of a Day Special Event. (1201)
Authorized the City Manager to sign the proposed contracts associated with the City’s 19th Annual Whale of a Day celebration on March 1, 2003.
Resol. No. 2003-09: Register of Demands.
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-09, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ALLOWING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEMANDS AND SPECIFYING FUNDS FROM WHICH THE SAME ARE TO BE PAID.
Correspondence To Senator Betty Karnette Expressing Appreciation For
Supporting AB4X. (306)
Sent a five-signature thank you letter addressed to State Senator Betty Karnette for supporting AB 4X (VLF legislation).
Motion to approve the Consent Calendar was carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart, Ferraro and Mayor Stern
# # # # # # # # # #
Review of Large Domestic Animal Nonconformity Statement No. 26. (1804 x 1203)
Continued the matter to the March 18th Council meeting, or a later date.
Senior Planner Kit Fox stated that based on evidence that Mr. Sutton provided to the City, the investigation remains pending and the matter should be continued to March 18, 2003.
Robert Maxwell, Rancho Palos Verdes, provided background information pertaining to the commercial nature in which Edward Sutton utilizes the stables.
City Attorney Lynch requested a copy of Mr. Maxwell’s submittal.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, for a continuance to March 18th. Motion carried.
Ordinance No. 388 & Resol. No. 2003-10, Amendment to the Ocean Trails Development Agreement. (701 x 1411)
(1) ADOPTED RESOL. NO. 2003-10, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING ADDENDUM NO. 14 TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT NO. 36 IN CONNECTION WITH AN AMENDMENT TO THE OCEAN TRAILS DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT TO CLARIFY THAT THE CITY COUNCIL MAY EXTEND ANY APPROVED TENTATIVE TRACT NOT TO EXCEED THE TERM OF THE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT AND EXTEND VESTING TENTATIVE TRACT MAP NO. 50666 FOR ONE YEAR (2) Approved the amendment to the Ocean Trails Development Agreement; (3) INTRODUCED ORDINANCE NO. 388 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING AMENDMENT NO. 2 TO THE OCEAN TRAILS DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT; (4) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute the documents on behalf of the City, and (5) Extended Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 50666 for one year.
Deputy Planning Director Gregory Pfost addressed the Council by stating that Tract 50667 had been finalized. He indicated that Ocean Trails is requesting a one-year extension of Tract Map 50666 as it expires on April 15, 2003.
Mayor Stern asked Staff if the extension would create any new or different rights than already exist.
City Attorney Lynch indicated that it would not.
Councilman Clark moved to ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-10, AMENDMENT TO THE OCEAN TRAILS DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT TO CLARIFY THAT THE CITY COUNCIL MAY EXTEND ANY APPROVED TENTATIVE TACT NOT TO EXCEED THE TERM OF THE DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT AND EXTEND VESTING TENTATIVE TRACT MAP NO. 50666 FOR ONE YEAR, and (2) to INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 388 OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING AMENDMENT NO. 2 TO THE OCEAN TRAILS DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT. The motion was seconded by Councilman McTaggart and carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Clark, McTaggart, Ferraro and Mayor Stern
Appeal of the Planning Commission’s Denial of Planning Case No. ZON2002-00282. (1804)
Upheld the appeal on the condition that a grading and revegetation plan and be prepared that is satisfactory to the Resource Agencies.
Councilman Gardiner moved to waive the staff report.
Councilman Clark requested clarification on the differences between Plans 14 and 6.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that because of the apparent mass and bulk on the current model that shrubbery be required to mask the bulky view.
Councilman McTaggart commented that the new design is actually smaller in bulk.
Senior Planner Fox explained that the presentation was to illustrate the revised elevations through a superimposed view. He stated that the floor plans have not changed.
Councilman Clark pointed out that the new design allows for a greater view between the homes. He also agreed with Planner Fox that Plan 14 is slightly shorter in height.
Planner Fox demonstrated that foliage would help screen the appearance of the lower elevations with a photographic simulation provided by the developer.
Councilman McTaggart added that the foliage would also provide privacy for the owners.
Councilman Clark inquired of Tim Hamilton whether CPH would be willing to install additional park viewing benches for the public on the bluff-top trail.
Director of Public Works Dean Allison indicated that benches had already been installed.
Tim Hamilton, Capital Pacific Homes, Vice President of New Product Development, reiterated the two issues before the Council; namely, the request on appeal to create four flat pad lots, and the long-term use of Lot 80.
Mr. Hamilton illustrated the differences between the two designs. He pointed out that the houses are now more attractive and thus more marketable. He stated that the new plan offers more visibility between the homes.
Mr. Hamilton stated that 75 neighbors were provided photo simulations with no objections being made. He indicated that there was much support from the neighbors.
Mr. Hamilton offered to add landscaping and berming to further disguise the lower level of Plan 14.
Mayor Stern inquired into the potential uses of the extra dirt from the four lots.
Mr. Hamilton stated that the plan called for regrading the four lots, which would take one week from start to finish. He indicated that there are three stages involved in that process. He pointed out that the plan for revegetation includes adhering to Fish & Game Department requirements.
Mayor Stern pointed out that the September 25, 2000 letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish & Wildlife, indicated concern over the pace at which revegetation is being accomplished.
Mr. Hamilton stated that approximately half of Lot 80 has been revegetated. He indicated that a family of foxes is residing in the middle of it, and existing habitat area has been fenced off.
Mayor Stern indicated concern over the lack of a grading plan requested from the developer three or four months prior.
Councilman McTaggart questioned the feasibility of the developer’s ability to provide to the City a plan. He suggested that the developer provide a grading plan that includes a three-phase approach to revegetation that can be implemented immediately.
Councilman Gardiner suggested including that plan as a condition to prevent future owners from escaping responsibility to revegetate Lot 80 in an attempt to disguise the bulk and mass of the homes.
Mr. Hamilton expressed agreement with including specific conditions regarding the landscaping.
Councilman McTaggart moved for approval of the acceptance of the appeal on the condition that a grading plan is submitted along with a 3-phase vegetation plan acceptable to the Resource Agencies. Mayor pro tem Ferraro seconded.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Ferraro, Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
Mayor Stern announced a recess at 8:06 p.m. The meeting reconvened at 8:25.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS
Councilman Clark stated he attended the Los Angeles County Board of Real Estate for their annual installation of officers. He stated that while in Sacramento, he visited with Senator Betty Karnette and Assemblyman Alan Lowenthal to update them regarding the NCCP.
Councilman McTaggart reported on the LAX Round Table meeting where the subject of jet noise was discussed. He indicated that Federal Express was invited to the meeting on March 6th to hear community complaints about their aircraft.
Councilman McTaggart stated on January 23rd, he traveled to Ontario to attend a League meeting and remained for the Water Issues Committee only. He stated he attended the South Bay COG meeting on the same date. He mentioned attending a Chamber Installation Dinner at the PVE Golf Club on the 24th.
Councilman McTaggart attended a SCAG and CDHD joint meeting on January 27th. He stated that on January 30th, he attended a Contract Cities meeting as well as a press conference to discuss the governor’s budget. On the 31st, he revealed what he described as an "eyesore" put out on the vista point by the water company. He requested that the Mayor send a letter to the company encouraging them to install it underground.
Councilman McTaggart attended the MAX Transit meeting in Torrance on February 3rd. On February 5th, he indicated he presided over the Contract Cities Executive Board meeting held at Alpine Village where strategy for the upcoming budget crunch was discussed.
Councilman McTaggart attended the Water Issues Task Force meeting at SCAG where in attendance were Dennis Dickerson from the Water Board Quality Board, representatives of the EPA, and the people who wrote the U.S.C. report that outlined the costs of attempting compliance under a TMDL format.
Councilman McTaggart stated that he met on February 4th with the MTA South Sector meeting in Carson to discuss budget issues and their court order to increase the number of buses with less money.
Councilman McTaggart discussed a meeting of PANIC in City Hall where strategy for contacting public agencies was discussed.
Mayor Stern reported he and Councilman Clark attended the monthly meeting of the Los Angeles Division of the League of California Cities meeting on February 6th where the budget and VLF were discussed. He stated that on February 11th, along with Mayor pro tem Ferraro he attended the first meeting of the committee for the 30th anniversary events.
Mayor Stern stated that he attended the Ocean Trails Committee meeting on February 18th where progress is being made as expected. He mentioned that electronic reader boards would be installed to keep the public aware of traffic conditions.
Councilman Gardiner reported that 18 citations have been issued to motorists on Via Rivera since the speed calming measures had been instituted.
Director of Public Works Dean Allison stated that the second meeting in March would be an appropriate time to report on progress made.
Councilman Clark announced that on February 27th, the South Bay Cities Council of Governments Fourth Annual General Assembly will be held between 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. and will focus on hometown security. He stated it will be held at the Carson Community Center Meeting Hall, 801 East Carson Street, in Carson. He encouraged fellow Council Members and Staff to attend, also members of the Emergency Preparedness Task Force.
Councilman Clark reported on a letter he received from the County Board of Supervisors that requested the Council to consider an anti-gang ordinance.
City Manager Evans stated that an anti-gang ordinance already exists, but suggested reviewing it for updating.
Clara Duran Reed, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke on the issue of construction along the access road that leads down to San Ramon Canyon. She stated that her home is adjacent to this road that was built approximately 43 years ago. She referenced the license agreement between the City and James Wolf that relates to the easement the City holds relative to that road. She expressed disappointment in that the road had not been returned to its previous condition but had been altered.
Ms. Reed submitted photographs of the property damage resulting from the construction and expressed a desire to mitigate the damages.
Ms. Reed complimented the Council as being resident friendly. She indicated that there was never any notice that the road would be placed over her front lawn, approximately 757 square feet onto private property. She urged the Council to move the road back to its original state.
James Reed, Rancho Palos Verdes, gave a history of the road and how it served as access to the San Ramon Canyon project. He stated the road was damaged in that process. He indicated that the City, through its license agreement and construction leaders, promised to return the road to its original state. He stated that through his efforts to talk with the City, there was no satisfactory resolution. He again urged the City to return the road to its original configuration and remove it from their private properties. He acknowledged the fire code section that requires a 20-foot wide road and encouraged the Council to allow the 16 feet that the road has served for the last 43 years.
James E. Wolf, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that the majority of the new road is on his property. He stated that he signed a license agreement with the City to utilize this road in their repair of the San Ramon Canyon. He pointed out that the license agreement clearly stated that the road would be returned to its original state. He expressed surprise that the road would be widened and imposing on private properties. He stated that the aesthetics and foliage that have been compromised are what makes RPV so desirable.
Mr. Wolf indicated that the road had served the fire department without incident for 43 years. He stated that through there had been many rainstorms there had never been flooding. He stated that he was gracious enough to let the City use his road and now the City should be gracious enough to return it back as it found it.
Don Shults, Rancho Palos Verdes, inquired into emergency preparedness in the City.
Assistant City Manager Carolynn Petru indicated that the Emergency Preparedness Task Force would be submitting a final report in April.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, commented on the beauty of the ocean. She expressed gratitude to Councilman McTaggart for caring for his own father. She mentioned that she had encouraged the City Manager to oppose the Patriot Act.
Resol. No. 2003-11: FY 2002-2003 Midyear Financial Report. (602)
(1) Ordered received and filed the midyear financial report; and (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-11, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2002-45, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY 2002-2003, TO INCREASE EXPENDITURE APPROPRIATIONS IN THE GENERAL FUND, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) FUND, CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS FUND, AND STREET MAINTENANCE FUND.
Director of Finance Dennis McLean presented the mid-year report. He described budget resolutions that were attached to the report. He stated that General fund revenues would be approximately $12.9 million, roughly $200,000 short of the FY 02-03 budget. He indicated that property tax revenues are rising and utility user tax revenues are plateauing, possibly declining in the future. He stated that the General fund reserves earned approximately $150,000 in interest.
Director McLean stated that the General fund reserves would be approximately $6.9 million at the end of FY 02-03. He indicated that the capital improvement program would have a $200,000 surplus, assuming all projects had been completed within the fiscal year. He also indicated that Public Works would be presenting a report requesting additional appropriations for the San Ramon project.
Director McLean stated that if the state reduces the vehicle license fee revenue in the future, expenditures would have to decrease.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to ADOPT RESOLUTION 2003-11, AMENDING THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002-2003.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Ferraro, Clark, McTaggart, Gardiner and Mayor Stern
Cost-Based Fee Study – Request For Proposals. (602)
Councilman Gardiner moved to waive staff report and to accept staff recommendations. Mayor pro tem Ferraro seconded.
The staff report contained the following recommendation: (1) Approve the proposed Request for Proposal for a Cost-Based Fee Study; (2) Authorize Finance staff to interview and select a consultant for the Cost-Based Fee Study; and (3) Authorize Finance staff to negotiate the terms, conditions and scope of the associated contract, subject to approval by the City Council; and, (4) staff to look at handling inspection services in the City and looking at fees and split with contractor and see if it would make sense to have City personnel do the work.
Councilman McTaggart suggested revisiting the matter of having inspection services performed by City personnel.
Mayor Stern agreed and suggested to consider this as a separate agenda item in the future.
The motion to approve the staff recommendation carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Ferraro, Clark, McTaggart, Gardiner, and Mayor Stern
Schedule of Budget Meetings and Community Leaders’ Breakfasts for
(1) Selected two dates: Monday, March 24th at 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park and Tuesday, April 29th at 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park, for the City Council Budget Policy Issue Workshops; (2) Selected Saturday, May 10th at 9:00 A.M. for the Community Leader’s Breakfast followed at 10:30 A.M. by a Budget Work Session, and Monday, May 19th at 7:00 P.M. at Hesse Park for the City Council Budget Review Workshop (only one date may be necessary).
Short Term Budget Contingency Plan. (1101)
City Manager Evans made a lengthy presentation of his February 18th staff report that detailed the City’s total revenues and expenditures over the past ten years, the City’s revenues vs. expenditures for the past ten years, and also the City’s revenues vs. operating costs for that same period. He also detailed the expenditures by major programs and capital outlay expenditures for the past ten years. All of these trends were detailed in graphs mounted for viewing through a Power Point presentation. He recommended the following:
b. Capital Outlay - Reduce the Traffic Signal account by $108,000 to $0.
City Manager Les Evans offered historical information on the budget. He stated that the economy is cyclical and as such, the City prepared its budget in accordance with that expectation. He stated the general fund reserve, equipment replacement fund, and building replacement funds are healthy.
City Manager Evans indicated that the VLF would remain at least until the end of the current fiscal year. He stated that there is doubt whether the state budget will be finalized by July 1, rendering the VLF unavailable until the state budget is approved and accepted.
Mayor Stern indicated that almost all of RPV’s revenue streams are very stable, despite the possible loss of the VLF.
Councilman Clark inquired why the City did not establish a high property tax when it was incorporated.
Councilman McTaggart stated that the City incorporated as a contract city as it was the most economical means and therefore did not require funds from the residents.
City Manager Evans stated that while the City is able to maintain basic needs, it has not been able to provide amenities such as a seniors’ center, tournament youth athletic facilities, municipal pool, et cetera.
City Manager Evans stated that since 1992, revenues exceeded total expenditures. He indicated that in 2002, capital improvement programs caused the trend to shift. He pointed to technological advances, such as the website, computer network, and information technology, as a main expenditure that has increased significantly as well as litigation costs.
City Manager Evans commented that the City is managing its discretionary funds appropriately. He stated that the proper way to allocate funds, such as the $12 million spent on resurfacing the streets to prevent unnecessary repair, is proper if the funds are available at the time.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern declared a recess at 10:38 P.M. The meeting reconvened at 10:47 P.M.
Short Term Budget Contingency Plan (Continued). (1101)
City Manager Evans recommended establishing an ad hoc committee to work with him on some of the budget proposal items. He suggested Councilman Gardiner serve on the committee.
Councilman McTaggart volunteered to serve as well.
Mayor Stern pointed out that excess funds might exist where over-budgeting had occurred. He suggested transferring those funds where they are useful.
Councilman Gardiner moved to approve Staff recommendation on the following items: (1) Reduced the FY 2002-03 City Budget as follows: (a) Public Safety – Emergency Preparedness. Reduced Professional Services account by $55,600 to $26,900. (b) Capital Outlay - Reduced the Traffic Signal account by $108,000 to $0; (2) Deferred action on the establishment of a Cable TV studio until the next fiscal year (savings of approximately $150,000); (3) Deferred the FY 2002-03 Residential Overlay project until the next fiscal year (savings of approximately $623,000); (4) Deferred the FY 2002-03 Slurry Seal project until the next fiscal year (savings of approximately $500,000); (5) Identified unspent funds budgeted for the PVIC soil remediation project and returned them to the General Fund; (6) Identified unspent RDA funds budgeted for projects in the Portuguese Bend landslide and returned them to the General Fund; (8) Directed the Finance Advisory Committee to present their financing alternatives report outlining strategies for funding storm drain and sewer rehabilitation projects; and, (9) Appointed a City Council ad hoc budget committee (Gardiner/McTaggart) to work with the City Manager on developing the FY 2003-04 and 2004-05 budget proposals; (7) Did not request the Los Angeles County Sheriff to propose a contingency public safety services contract for FY 2003-04 and FY 2004-05 reflecting a 12% decrease over the approved public safety services contract for FY 2002-03. The motion was seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro who added that the Ad Hoc Budget Committee (Gardiner/McTaggart) work with the City Manager developing the FY 2003-04 and 2004-05 budget proposals.
No objections noted, that was the order by Mayor Stern.
CITY ATTORNEY CLOSED SESSION REPORT
City Attorney Lynch reported that the City Council voted unanimously (5-0) to approve a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in the McCaul vs. City of Rancho Palos Verdes case; that no action had been taken on the Ocean Trails Matter.
City Attorney Lynch sought direction from the Council in regards to the anticipated litigation addressed during the meeting by residents of the City.
Mayor Stern determined that the Council should recess to a closed session to consider the matter.
Recess to Closed Session: At 11:07 P.M. the meeting was recessed to a closed session.
Reconvene and Adjournment: At 11:30 P.M. the meeting reconvened and the City Attorney reported that regarding the threat of litigation from Clara Reed, that the City Council unanimously (5-0) directed staff to proceed with the reconstruction of the private road in accordance with the plans that were previously approved by staff.
At 11:31 P.M. the meeting adjourned on motion of Mayor Stern.
/s/ Douglas W. Stern
/s/ Jo Purcell