RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
JUNE 3, 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 7:15 P.M., the meeting was reconvened.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, and Mayor Stern
Also present were City Manager Les Evans; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; Senior Planner Kit Fox; Senior Planner Ara Mihranian; Associate Planner Dave Blumenthal, City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Bothe.
The flag salute was led by Director of Finance Dennis McLean.
Mayor Stern thanked all those who participated in the successful City Hall Annual Hazardous/Electronic Waste Roundup held on May 17; stated that every Friday, Saturday and Sunday there is a free household hazardous waste event in San Pedro on Gaffey Street and every Saturday and Sunday at the Hyperion Treatment Plant at 7660 West Imperial Highway; and he urged everyone to properly dispose of hazardous/electronic waste. He added that for those seeking additional information, they may call 1-800-98TOXIC.
Mayor Stern urged the residents to conserve energy; noted that the South Bay Energy Rewards Program is giving away two free compact fluorescent bulbs while supplies last; explained that residents may bring their Edison customer account information to City Hall for processing of paperwork; and that further information may be obtained by calling 1-888-467-7776.
Mayor Stern urged everyone to vote in today’s School Board election.
Mr. Corey Gamble commented on the two panels from the 911 Quilt display that are hanging in the Fred Hesse lobby this evening; noted that the two panels represent the 47 individuals from California who lost their lives in the tragic event which took place September 11, 2001. He stated that these panels are routinely taken to various events throughout California and elsewhere.
Councilman Clark indicated that he had seen the 911 Quilt display at the Annual Federal Women’s Recognition Day Luncheon at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, and that it was very moving, and it would be appropriate to share the 911 Quilt display with our community.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro noted her interest in having the 911 Quilt panels displayed at the local schools.
On behalf of the City Council and the residents, Mayor Stern expressed his appreciation of Mr. Gamble for bringing the panels to this City for display; and he requested that Mr. Gamble provide the City Manager with information on how other organizations can have this exhibit displayed at various events.
Mayor Stern announced the two May recycle winners, Gertrude Nash and Gordon Lange, who will both receive a check for $250. He encouraged everyone to recycle.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve the Agenda as submitted. Motion carried.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
City Clerk Purcell stated that suggested changes to the Minutes had been distributed to the City Council and that late correspondence relating to items other than Consent Calendar items had been distributed to the City Council.
Councilman Clark recused himself from voting on the approval of the May 6, 2003 Minutes due to his excused absence from that meeting; and he noted his desire to pull Consent Calendar Item Nos. 8, 9, and 10.
Mayor Stern requested to pull Consent Calendar Item Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 and to address all these issues as one common policy issue.
Tom Redfield, Rancho Palos Verdes, speaking in regard to Consent Calendar Item No. 3, urged all the election candidates to strictly run a non-partisan election campaign this fall.
Addressing Mr. Redfield’s comment and speaking from personal experience, Councilman McTaggart explained that sometimes these things happen without the knowledge and consent of the candidate; and noted his support for a non-partisan election campaign.
Mayor Stern expressed his belief that the elections should be completely non-partisan; and he noted his opposition to individuals sending out deceptive materials during the elections.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, highlighted some of the fees reflected in the Register of Demands.
Jointly addressing Consent Calendar Item Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10, Mayor Stern commented on the various agreements and the option for mutual renewal by both the City and the contractors; and he questioned what staff is attempting to achieve with the mutual party agreements for extensions and questioned whether the City’s goal is clearly expressed.
City Manager Evans commented on the City’s mutual agreement clause philosophy. He stated that in the past, staff had granted low-bid contracts with a unilateral right of the City to renew at the end of the term, but added that staff found the level of service to decrease in quality if the contractor was forced to renew. City Manager Evans explained that the mutual agreement philosophy has been designed so that the City can continue with those quality contractors who want to work with the City.
When evaluating contract offers, Councilman Clark expressed his preference that the City’s philosophy should be one that sets out to receive the best value/service for this community, not just the best price – pointing out that when low bids are the main priority, it can have a negative impact upon the level of service and quality of work; and stated that the agreements should reflect that quality vendors who demonstrate top performance will receive a renewal.
City Manager Evans noted the importance of hiring and maintaining quality vendors who have knowledge of this geographically unique city – highlighting activities such as street sweeping, tree trimming, roadway maintenance, and trash collection in this area; and he expressed his belief that the current point system and mutual agreement philosophy is one that is working well for this City.
Director Allison concurred with City Manager Evans’ comments regarding the importance of retaining quality and knowledgeable vendors who know the nuances of this particular City, especially with those in the engineering and public works fields.
Councilman Gardiner noted his support that the City focus on best value, a system that won’t drive away a more legitimate vendor due to a rule of accepting only low bids.
City Manager Evans explained that this current mutual agreement system has evolved and that it is working very well for this City; he advised that the contractors are pre-qualified; and explained that the only sure way to know if the City is getting a good, quality deal is to try them out for more than one year – pointing out that one year is not enough for a new contractor to make any money and prove their worthiness.
Councilman McTaggart highlighted the difficulty of contractors making money due to competing for unknowns that may occur.
In response to Councilman McTaggart’s comment with regard to competing with unknowns, Councilman Clark stated that there are ways to make future price adjustments in contracts to protect each party; and noted his preference that the renewal options in the contracts be fine-tuned to give the City the advantage.
City Manager Evans explained that the contracts are set up to cover a 3-year term with 3 one-year mutual options for renewal; and stated that the contracts include a cost escalator.
Mayor Stern noted his support of giving a vendor adequate time to make sure that they can turn a profit, that he would support the 3-year term; and he agreed that this gives the City the stability of project pricing and allows the City to project its costs.
Councilman Clark stated that he understands the City’s position that the base 3-year period is working well, but stated that he is more interested in looking at the renewal option on the City’s side, not a mutual, bilateral agreement, but one that embeds sound performance into the contract.
Councilman McTaggart stated that he is supportive of staff’s position on the 3-year base contract.
Director Allison explained that the City still has the ability to cancel out a poorly performing contractor with 30 days’ notice; stated that the base 3-year contract works to the City’s advantage; and expressed his belief that it does not work well unless there is a mutual agreement to extend the contract.
Councilman Clark requested that the Council be provided an annual summary report on how the contracts are operating in terms of intent versus actual execution; and stated that the City Council can decide from the annual summary reports whether any changes should be made in the procurement process followed by the City.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro noted her support for staff’s current system.
City Attorney Lynch explained that some minor changes would be made to the contracts to increase the assurance on the part of the City.
Mayor Stern requested that as the City enters the new contracts and staff brings these to City Council for review, that the reports reflect the historical cost the City has incurred for that particular service.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the Consent Calendar as amended. The motion to approve the Consent Calendar carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern
ABSTAINED: Clark (May 6, 2003 Minutes only)
Motion to Waive Full Reading.
Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at this meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Councilmembers after the reading of the title.
Minutes of May 6, 2003. (301)
Approved the Minutes as amended.
November 4th General Municipal Election. (501)
Adopted the following resolutions: (1) RESOL. NO. 2003-37, CALLING AND GIVING NOTICE OF THE HOLDING OF A GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD IN SAID CITY ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2003, FOR THE ELECTION OF CERTAIN OFFICERS OF SAID CITY AS REQUIRED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA RELATING TO GENERAL LAW CITIES; (2) RESOL. NO.2003-38, REQUESTING THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES TO RENDER SPECIFIED SERVICES TO THE CITY RELATING TO THE CONDUCT OF A GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2003; and, (3) RESOL. NO. 2003-39, ADOPTING REGULATIONS FOR
CANDIDATES FOR ELECTIVE OFFICE, PERTAINING TO MATERIALS SUBMITTED TO THE ELECTORATE OF AND THE COSTS THEREOF FOR THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD IN SAID CITY ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2003.
Professional Services Agreement - Community Development Block Grant Administration - Fiscal Year 2003-04. (601 x 1204)
Approved the option to renew a professional services agreement with Diana Cho and Associates to continue providing Community Development Block Grant Program administration services for the period July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004, for a not-to-exceed amount of $25,000.
Professional Services Agreement - Community Development Block Grant - Home Improvement Program Administration - Fiscal Year 2003-04. (601 x 1204)
Approved the option to renew a professional services agreement with MDG and Associates to continue providing home improvement program administration services through the Community Development Block Grant Program for the period July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004, for a not-to-exceed amount of $35,000.
Claim against the City by Peter and Farzanah Parsa. (303)
Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.
Professional Services Agreement for Source Reduction and Recycling Element (SRRE) and Used Oil Block Grant Implementation, and Support Services for FY 03-04. (1301 x 1204)
Approved a one-year extension option for the professional services agreement with SCS Engineers to continue providing support services for the City's implementation of the Source Reduction and Recycling Element and Used Oil Block Grant programs for the period July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004, for a not-to-exceed amount of $22,000.
Street Sweeping Contract for Fiscal Years 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06. (1405 x 1204)
(1) Awarded a contract for Street Sweeping Services for Fiscal Years 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 to Nationwide Environmental Services, and authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract; and, (2) Authorized the expenditure of up to $125,000 for this contract for FY 03-04.
Roadway Maintenance Contract for Fiscal Years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06. (1405 x 1204)
(1) Awarded a contract for Street Maintenance Services for Fiscal Years 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 to Hardy and Harper, Inc., and authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract; and (2) Authorized the expenditure of up to $450,000 for this contract for Fiscal Year FY 2003-04.
Signal Maintenance Services for Fiscal Years 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06. (1405 x 1204)
(1) Awarded a contract for Signal Maintenance Services for Fiscal Years 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 to Republic Electric and authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute said contract; and (2) Authorized the expenditure of up to $55,000 for signal maintenance services for FY 2003-04.
Treasurer's Report for the month of April 2003. (602)
Received and filed the April 2003 Treasurer's Report.
Arterial Rehabilitation Program - Crest Road Overlay Additional Engineering Services. (1404 x 1204)
(1) Approved an addendum to the scope of services of an existing contract for Professional Engineering Services provided by Willdan, for a not-to-exceed fee of $14,900 for services related to the City's Arterial Rehabilitation Program; and (2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION 2003-40, 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 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FUND AND A FUND TRANSFER OF $14,900 OF PROPOSITION C FUNDS.
Register of Demands. (602)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-41, 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.
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Adoption of the City Budget and Employee Salary Ranges for Fiscal Year 2003-2004. (1202 X 602)
City Manager Evans presented staff report and the recommendation to: (1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-42, APPROVING THE CITY BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2003-2004; and, (2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-43, ESTABLISHING SALARY AND HOURLY RANGES FOR COMPETITIVE AND MANAGEMENT EMPLOYEE JOB CLASSIFICATIONS.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he is prepared to approve the budget as submitted with the understanding that this is the baseline start of the process, that revisions will be able to be made as the state budget changes.
Councilman Clark agreed to approve this budget with the understanding that this approval would allow for some of the prioritization projects to be put back into operation if the state budget crisis should improve and more money becomes available to the City.
With regard to the grant program, Mayor pro tem Ferraro commented on Assistant City Manager Petru’s and her efforts to be as equitable as possible in arranging the recommended amounts for the requesting agencies; and addressed the difficulty with limited funding in this tough budget year. She pointed out that because this City does not have senior or youth centers, funds were granted to assist these causes; and pointed out that all groups had been reduced in funding assistance due to the budget problems, not because of lack of worthiness. Mayor pro tem Ferraro commended Assistant City Manager Petru for her assistance in this effort.
City Manager Evans explained that Paragraph B on Page 6 should be deleted.
Councilman McTaggart commented on what might be a lengthy budget crisis in the state and expressed his belief that the City should continue to cut costs and spending for as long as necessary, that the City continue to be prudent in its spending.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to concur with staff’s recommendation as amended. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 8:35 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 8:47 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Councilman Clark stated that he participated in the 44th Annual California Contract Cities Educational Seminar at Indian Wells; commended John McTaggart for his tenure as California Contract Cities President; and highlighted his interest in a seminar topic that addressed the differences between a general law city and a charter law city and the pros and cons to each one. He stated that approximately 100 out of the 488 incorporated cities in California are charter law cities; and this is most likely due to the fact that it is much easier to incorporate under State general law provisions than it is with charter law provisions; and noted his desire that this City give some consideration to what it would take for this City to become a charter city, believing that this will give the City greater flexibility and potentially greater control over municipal affairs. Councilman Clark indicated his desire to see the Staff and City Council review/explore the topic of Rancho Palos Verdes as a Charter City later in the year or early next year as part of a future Council workshop.
Councilman Clark stated that another interesting topic at the seminar was stop signs and signals; noted that discussion ensued with regard to placing stop signs and signals uniformly throughout a city, along with the advice of professional and solid advise of engineering support for the placement – noting that erecting signals/signs without professional guidance can place the City in a precarious position for potential lawsuits; and stated that at this seminar, it was also noted that speed bumps tend to divert traffic, not control speed.
Councilman McTaggart mentioned that Councilman Clark had the lowest golfing score of 79 for the elected officials flight at the annual kick-off golf tournament -- pointing out that Councilman Clark has won two of the Contract Cities golf tournaments for this City.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that she attended the Mayor’s Breakfast meeting; and that she attended the Sanitation District Board meeting – pointing out that 1,775 households participated in the May 17th waste roundup at City Hall. She indicated that there is another waste roundup in Torrance on June 21st. She stated that she has been participating in the 30th Anniversary Committee meetings; and reminded the public that the community barbeque will be held on September 6, and the dinner dance at Los Verdes will be held on October 17. She advised that she attended the Waste Basin Water Association meeting on May 21st; highlighted the interesting topic of desalination and the limited supply of water in the region; and noted that the electricity rates are expected to be decreased this summer, but that this decrease will have a proportionate impact upon the City’s budget – pointing out that this reduction for the City had been factored into the City’s budget. She added that she had attended the PV Chamber of Commerce meeting to honor Harlyn Norris.
Councilman McTaggart stated that he had attended the California Contract Cities Conference in Indian Wells; reiterated the statement that studies indicate that signals are not a safety device, that they only control the flow of traffic; noted that the Water Board presented a topic on storm water issues; and advised that American Medical Response routinely delivers an ambulance to Contract Cities Association, giving the outgoing president the opportunity to decide which city the donated ambulance will serve – pointing out that he chose the city of Loreto, Mexico. In recognition of his tenure as president of California Contract Cities, Councilman McTaggart noted his pleasure in being a recipient of the El Grand Matador award, which has been given to many distinguished political and high-ranking public officials. Councilman McTaggart stated that he attended on June 2 the South Bay Governing Council Mass Transit Authority meeting and stated that one of the items on the agenda was the adoption of its budget and a summary of the cost for new busses.
Mayor Stern stated that he attended the PV Chamber of Commerce event in honor of Harlyn Norris on May 22nd; noted that he was honored to attend the Marymount College graduation ceremony on May 24th; that on May 28th, he attended the Older Americans Recognition event in Downtown L.A. where Ken Dyda was honored for his significant contributions to his community; stated that he attended the Contract Cities Conference in Indian Wells; and that he attended the Green Hills Memorial Day event.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, briefly addressed the City election this fall; and wished Assistant City Manager Petru a speedy recovery.
Libby Aubrey, Rancho Palos Verdes, questioned if there is an accountability measure taken into consideration with contracted vendors; and commented on her recent experience witnessing a local traffic accident and the sheriff’s deputy’s statement that he had not been instructed to clean up the broken glass from the City’s roadways.
General Plan Amendment, Coastal Specific Plan Amendment, Zone Change, Zone Text Amendment, and Environmental Assessment (Case No. Zon2003-00036 & ZON2003-00113), for Property Located at 6100 Palos Verdes Drive. (701 x 1802)
Associate Planner Blumenthal presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-44, CERTIFYING THE NEGATIVE DECLARATION; (2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-45, APPROVING THE GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT AND COASTAL SPECIFIC PLAN AMENDMENT; (3) INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 392, APPROVING THE ZONE TEXT AMENDMENT; and, (4) INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 393, APPROVING THE ZONE CHANGE.
With regard to Page 13, Section 5f, Mayor Stern suggested revising the sentence as follows: "…changes on a parcel or property shall be brought…"
City Attorney Lynch noted her concurrence with Mayor Stern’s request.
Dana Ireland, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted his support for staff’s recommendation; expressed his belief that this should be the final change to this zone; and advised that he got approval signatures of all the residents within 500 feet of this site for the proposed zone change – pointing out that he was not able to get in contact with 3 of the residents. He stated that escrow had closed and that he is now the owner of this parcel; and that it is his intent to remodel the structure into a residential use.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to concur with staff recommendation as amended. The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern
Ordinance No. 390: Regulating Parking of Certain Vehicles. (1502)
Director Rojas presented the staff report and the recommendation to ADOPT ORDINANCE NO. 390, AS AMENDED - AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REGULATING THE PARKING OF CERTAIN VEHICLES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE. (This ordinance was first RE-INTRODUCED at the May 20th City Council meeting.)
Mayor Stern advised that he had reviewed a copy of the videotape of this discussion from the May 20th meeting. Addressing the issue of the appropriate type of cover to require in those circumstances that the proposed ordinance requires the covering of vehicles, Mayor Stern expressed his belief that simply allowing a tarp to cover a vehicle is not adequate; that he does not believe the cover must be custom made, but that these vehicles should be covered with a cover that is made for a particular sized vehicle; and that the cost for a cover should be within the realm of what is appropriate. He stated that these vehicles should be covered when visible to the neighborhood.
Councilman Clark stated that while he would not support requiring expensive custom made covers, the City should require that a cover should not be hanging all over the ground and creating an additional unsightly condition.
Councilman Gardiner questioned how the City plans to define degradation of a neighborhood.
Mayor Stern stated that simply allowing a tarp to be thrown over a vehicle would be unacceptable, that it would degrade the aesthetics of a neighborhood if it were visible to the public right of way.
Councilman Clark pointed out that residents have chosen to live in this incorporated city; that there are particular values in this coastal peninsula where residents have a right to some sort of adherence to reasonable aesthetics, such as landscaping and absence of having to view damaged/disabled vehicles on neighbors’ properties; and that this City’s residents certainly have a right to and should enjoy their recreational vehicles, but that they should be sensitive to their neighbors and residential neighborhoods in storing recreational vehicles on their property.
Councilman Gardiner questioned how the City can create regulations based on aesthetics and how it will make a distinction between quality and aesthetics.
City Attorney Lynch explained that the City could distinguish between a cover that will not detract from other properties in the area, that would be aesthetically pleasing, not negatively impact neighboring property values, and maintained in a way to uphold the property values. She noted that the Council could decide to require a cover only on vehicles that are visible to the public right of way and parked on paved surfaces.
Further discussion ensued with regard to defining a properly maintained vehicle and cover.
Mayor Stern stated that he is supportive of the work that the Planning Commission, staff and other individuals have put into this proposal.
Councilman Clark highlighted the large amount of input this issue received from various individuals; stated that he would support a 6-month review process not only at the Planning Commission level, but also at the City Council level to see if this proposal is working as intended.
Councilman McTaggart questioned if the City can enforce someone parking a vehicle on his or her own vacant lot.
City Attorney Lynch noted for Councilman McTaggart her belief that this could be enforced.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would support a resident parking their own vehicle on their own vacant lot.
Ernest Giannioses, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted his opposition to requiring an expensive vehicle cover; stated that a property owner should be permitted to reasonably utilize their own vacant lot for their limited number of vehicles; and noted his support for a 6-month review of this process, suggesting that the City put in place a permit system to all an owner of a vehicle to park on their own vacant lot.
Councilman Clark expressed his belief that the proposed ordinance is a reasonable approach to covering vehicles that are in disrepair and/or unsightly; and noted the need to tighten the language so that these vacant lots do not become a for-profit parking area, but to allow a property owner of a contiguous vacant lot to utilize the lot for family vehicles.
City Attorney Lynch suggested that the City Council might choose to continue this matter to the next meeting so that staff could provide additional language to the ordinance.
Mayor Stern stated that he would support a continuance of this matter in order to tighten up the language.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro urged this body to come together on this matter and to expend staff and City Council time more efficiently -- pointing out that at the last meeting, she had suggested that a property owner of a contiguous vacant lot be permitted to park on their own lot, but she stated that there was no support by this body of that same suggestion at the last meeting.
Tom Redfield, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that the Planning Commission, staff and other individuals put a lot of thought into this provision; and he urged this body to not delay this item, to give this ordinance a 6-month trial period. He noted that the intent of this provision is to shield from view those vehicles that are wrecked and/or unsightly; expressed his belief that the majority of neighbor complaints never make it this far, that they are resolved amongst the neighbors in a reasonable fashion; and that this provision helps to deal with those people that will not respond to neighbors’ complaints.
Ralph Ortolano stated that the same language in 6c should be acceptable in 6a if the City’s concern is in regard to property values; noted his opposition to a 6-month review period, believing that it is not a good legal maneuver because it acts like an injunction. He suggested that for clarification purposes, the definition include "street legal vehicles." Mr. Ortolano questioned if this provision would allow for someone to make their own vehicle cover, specially designed for their vehicle; and expressed his belief that it will be difficult to define the aesthetics of a vehicle cover. He urged the City to allow property owners of contiguous vacant lots to reasonably utilize their own vacant lots for parking of family vehicles; and stated that a vehicle should not have to be covered if it is not viewed from the public right of way.
Mayor Stern stated that he would not like to see a profit motive created for people to use their vacant land to store vehicles; noted that he would adopt this ordinance as is, but that he would ask staff to look into the possibility of allowing the utilization of contiguous vacant lots for use by the same property owners.
Mr. Ortolano stated that the ordinance could be worded to prohibit profiting from parking business; and explained that he allowed a neighbor to park on his vacant lot to appease another neighbor who had complaints with the vehicle.
Councilman Gardiner noted his appreciation for the City Council addressing his concerns with this provision; expressed his belief that this provision is moving toward something that he could support; and stated that the provision should approach the covering of dilapidated vehicles in a sensible manner. He stated that if a vehicle is not visible to the public right of way, it should not have to be covered; and stated that the wording should be altered to allow for a family to use their contiguous vacant lot for a reasonable parking purpose.
Councilman Clark stated that he would support the family’s use of the lot as long as it is screened from the public right of way and properly surfaced.
Councilman McTaggart suggested that the words "covered neatly" should be an acceptable definition.
Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief that this needs to go through one more iteration to tighten up the language.
Councilman Clark stated that the basic premise should be to cover vehicles in disrepair on private properties.
Councilman McTaggart noted his concern with the lack of a definition for what is meant by "disrepair."
City Attorney Lynch stated that the provision is not intended to require a person to purchase a manufactured vehicle cover.
Councilman Gardiner noted the need to craft language so that the covering of a vehicle will not create another mess or nuisance.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the wording will include a generic type of cover and that the vehicle, if uncovered, should be out of view from the public right of way.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, that this matter be continued; that staff craft language that takes into account the input provided by the City Council at this evening’s meeting; and that the proposal be presented to the City Council for further review at a suitable date.
City Attorney Lynch reiterated the City Council’s desire that staff explore the notion to allow parking on a contiguous vacant property under the same general ownership or control as the developed property next door; that staff further define that vehicles parked in a visible area cannot be in a state of disrepair; and if it’s in disrepair or inoperable, that it must be covered.
Mayor Stern noted his support that the contiguous vacant lot be utilized for personal use by the immediate family of the property owners.
Councilman Gardiner noted his support for the wording of a generic cover if the vehicle is visible from the public right of way.
City Manager Evans stated that this item will be brought back at the City Council’s July 1st meeting.
Hearing no objection, Mayor Stern so ordered the continuance of this matter to the July 1st meeting.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 10:34 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 10:41 P.M.
Appointment of Members to the Emergency Preparedness Committee and Selection of Chair. (401)
City Clerk Purcell briefly commented on the balloting process to: (1) Appoint seven members to serve on the Emergency Preparedness Committee; and, (2) Select a chair for the committee.
The following votes were tabulated:
Mayor Stern: Shirley Borks, Maureen Ford, Mel Hughes, Jack Karp, Tim McCully,
Stuart Salot, Richard Smith.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro: Shirley Borks, Jennifer Boudreau, Maureen Ford, Mel Hughes,
Jack Karp, Stuart Salot, Richard Smith.
Councilman Gardiner: Shirley Borks, Maureen Ford, Mel Hughes, Jack Karp, Tim
McCully, Stuart Salot, Richard Smith.
Councilman Clark: Shirley Borks, Jennifer Boudreau, Maureen Ford, Mel Hughes, Jack Karp, Stuart Salot, Richard Smith.
Councilman McTaggart: Shirley Borks, Jennifer Boudreau, Maureen Ford, Mel
Hughes, Jack Karp, Tim McCully, Stuart Salot.
The following individuals were selected for the Emergency Preparedness Committee: Shirley Borks, Maureen Ford, Mel Hughes, Jack Karp, Stuart Salot, Richard Smith.
The following individuals were tied with 3 votes each: Jennifer Boudreau and Tim McCully.
Because of this large undertaking, Councilman Gardiner stated, echoed by Councilman Clark, that he would support an 8-member committee.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the resolution will be amended to reflect the increased size of the committee.
It was the consensus of the City Council to increase the size of this committee to 8 members, with 4 making a quorum.
Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered the change to the resolution.
Based upon the preference by the candidates, Councilman Clark suggested the following members serve a 2-year term: Maureen Ford, Tim McCully, Stuart Salot, Shirley Borks; and that the following members serve a 4-year term: Jennifer Boudreau, Jack Karp, Richard Smith, Mel Hughes.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to appoint these members for the reflected number of years. No objection was noted.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to appoint Mel Hughes as the Committee Chairman. This motion was ultimately superseded.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that while transitioning from the task force, Jack Karp should continue as the Chair and Mel Hughes and Richard Smith be appointed as co-vice-chairs.
By way of a substitute motion, Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to appoint Jack Karp as Committee Chair and that Mel Hughes and Richard Smith serve as co-vice-chairs for a term of one year. Motion carried without objection.
Adoption of Resolution Denying Large Domestic Animal Nonconformity Statement No. 26 [Sutton, 16 Peppertree Drive]. (1804)
Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report and the recommendation to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003-46, MEMORIALIZING THE CITY COUNCIL'S ACTION OF MAY 20, 2003 WITH RESPECT TO LARGE DOMESTIC ANIMAL NONCONFORMITY STATEMENT NO. 26.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve the staff recommendation.
Mayor Stern stated that he had previously submitted a requested change to a typographical error on Page 6 of the Draft Resolution; advised that he had listened to the entire discussion of this matter from the prior meeting; and suggested that in Section 3, Page 7, wording should be included to make it clear that this does not supersede any other constraints, such as the order in that particular court case; and that he believes it would be beneficial to add "or any other order of any court or agency that may be issued in the future."
There was no objection to this amendment. Motion carried without objection.
The Appointment of an Ad Hoc Steering Committee Assigned with the Task of Reviewing the Residential Development Standards of Title 17 of the Municipal Code (Carryover from May 20th meeting). (1801)
Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report and the recommendation to review staff's recommended process for appointing members to the ad hoc steering committee and the committee's proposed scope of work, and provide staff with further direction.
Councilman McTaggart noted his concern that implementing these development codes would create a large number of nonconforming uses throughout the City.
City Attorney Lynch explained for Mayor Stern that under existing codes, if more than 50 percent of the structure is burned or demolished, the owners would have to rebuild to current standards.
Councilman Clark questioned whether a class of properties could be grandfathered in under the old standard.
City Attorney Lynch explained that the City Council could change the standard.
Mayor Stern stated that development standards should be considered and suggested that there may be a way to prevent a negative impact upon the current property owners.
Councilman McTaggart stated that if someone’s house burned down, they would have to obtain a variance in order to build the same type of house as their neighbors; and he noted his opposition to the implementation of this provision.
City Attorney Lynch noted that in cases such as this the home could be rebuilt under the grandfathering provisions of the Development Code.
Mayor Stern expressed his belief that the development standards should be considered, that he is not opposed to taking steps in going forward with the future development of this community; and he highlighted the need to not create a problem with these standards.
Councilman Clark stated that this is an area that needs to be explored by the ad hoc committee.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro pointed out that the current development standards were completely revised in 1997; stated that one of the problems with houses being too close and too large stems from the residential planned developments; and expressed her belief that this may not be necessary.
Councilman Clark suggested there are areas in this portion of the development code that needs further consideration to address legitimate concerns with new developments.
Mayor Stern recommended reappointing Councilmen Clark and Gardiner to this new City Council ad hoc committee.
Councilman Gardiner stated that it would be better to have new sets of eyes look at these standards, believing that new individuals can bring new and different insights to this issue.
Mayor Stern suggested continuing this matter. No objection was noted.
Councilman Clark suggested that staff find out if members from the last ad hoc committee are interested in serving on this new committee.
Proposed Wireless Emergency Network. (401 x 602)
Director McLean presented staff report and the recommendation to: (1) Authorize an appropriation of $56,000 during FY 2002-2003 from the California Law Enforcement Equipment Program grant funds for payments to Palos Verdes on the Net (hereafter "PVNET") to perform services regarding the creation of a wireless emergency network (hereinafter referred to as the "WEN") and for the purchase of a wireless antenna system from SMC Networks; and, (2) Authorize the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute the proposed First Amendment to the Computer Network Services Agreement between the City and PVNET.
Responding to Councilman Gardiner’s question, Director McLean explained that this is an emergency wireless network that could serve as backup to the systems that are currently out there, such as traditional phone and internet connectivity, and radio service.
Director McLean noted for Mayor Stern that the antennas will need power; that in the event of a 4-hour or longer power outage, staff would be able to hook up an existing standby diesel powered generator system; clarified that this is an emergency backup power system; and noted that this is a line-of-sight communication service.
Councilman Gardiner questioned how staff proposes to get the signals from City Hall to Hesse Park if it’s a line-of-sight communication service.
Ted Vegari, PVNET, explained for Councilman Gardiner that the system is omni-directional; that it has an antenna array and matrix in each of the 360-degree wireless antenna devices; that in order to get around a corner/hill, a pair of repeater antennas will be set up, a relay system; and advised that with this system, he and staff have verified that there is line-of-sight capability in two directions from the Lomita Sheriff’s Station to City Hall and the radar systems. He stated that the repeater system has been successfully tested.
Mr. Vegari stated for Councilman Gardiner that the band is 801.11.g and upgradeable to 48 megabit.
Councilman Gardiner requested that he be provided a geographical diagram of where the links are located.
Mayor Stern questioned where the antennas are located and whether they will negatively impact any of the residents.
Mr. Vegari stated that the radar domes are in areas that are unobtrusive; and noted that staff has not had a chance to determine the specific or general locations for the other sites at this point in time.
Councilman McTaggart questioned if the antenna system can be placed on light standards.
Responding to Councilman McTaggart’s inquiry, Mr. Vegari stated that yes, the antenna system can be placed on light standards; and he noted that this communication activity would also cover the Interpretive Center should the City Council meetings be relocated.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro questioned where the funding will be obtained for this system.
Director McLean noted for Mayor pro tem Ferraro that what’s being proposed is an appropriation that staff expects will provide connectivity not only to Lomita Sheriff’s Station, but also Hesse Park and Ladera Linda.
Mr. Vegari explained for Mayor pro tem Ferraro that the backup power in the system can be upgraded or modified to easily support up to 24 hours’ worth of power; that it’s just a matter of identifying the actual needs and load and then building/fabricating the enclosure and the power supplies accordingly.
John Freeman suggested that this proposal be put before the Emergency Preparedness Committee that was just appointed; expressed his belief that the proposed system has many limitations; and urged the City to consider alternative technologies. He suggested that this item should be put out to bid and to evaluate different alternatives.
Director McLean stated that staff could review the design of the wireless emergency network system with the Emergency Preparedness Committee.
Mayor Stern expressed his belief that the committee should not be reviewing the technical aspects, only the features and capability.
Councilman Gardiner stated that the task force should be able to review the functional requirements and that the specialization of technical requirements should be sent out to bid in terms of cost and effectiveness.
Director McLean clarified that SMC is the sole provider of 360-degree wireless antenna enclosure systems and noted that there are additional manufacturers of other wireless equipment.
Mayor Stern directed staff to further consider the City Council’s input from this evening’s discussion on this issue.
Border Issues Status Report. (310)
Senior Planner Fox reviewed the current status of border issues.
Mayor Stern questioned whether a particular route has been specified for the soil importation into Green Hills from Rolling Hills Covenant Church.
Responding to Mayor Stern’s inquiry, Senior Planner Fox stated that the EIR identified what the proposed impacts would be and that the reflected route would go past many rear yards of RPV residents.
Senior Planner Fox noted for Councilman McTaggart that HUD had rejected the City of Los Angeles’ housing plans for the former Navy housing site; that the City of Los Angeles will need to respond to HUD by June 7, 2003; and that staff will be contacting the City of Los Angeles to find out what its response will be to HUD’s rejection.
Councilman McTaggart requested that that information be forwarded to City Council when it is obtained.
Senior Planner Fox noted for Councilman Clark that staff will have to investigate what could happen with the former Naval housing site as a result of HUD’s decision, and stated that staff will forward that information to City Council when it is obtained.
November 2003 General Municipal Election - Term Limits Ballot Initiative. (501)
Staff recommendation to consider placing an initiative on the November 4th Ballot Establishing Term Limits. City Manager Evans briefly noted that the report summarizes Councilman Clark’s proposal for the term limits initiative on the November ballot.
With the aid of a power point presentation, Mayor Stern highlighted the important facts and considerations with what Councilman Clark is proposing; explained that the proposal would limit Councilmembers to serving two consecutive terms, sitting out for one election, and then running in another election. He noted that there would be no lifetime bans; and stated that the issue this evening is to address whether to put this initiative on the ballots for the voters to decide. He highlighted the impact this would have on each of the current City Councilmembers, pointing out that all would be capable of being re-elected to two additional full terms should this be enacted by the residents. He noted that Mayor Stern, Mayor pro tem Ferraro and Councilman McTaggart would all be termed-out in the year 2011, while Councilman Gardiner and Councilman Clark would be termed-out in 2013. Mayor Stern reviewed some of the historical facts relating to the City Council. He pointed out that 20 residents had been elected to the City Council in its 29-year history, only 4 Councilmembers had served more than 2 terms, and only 5 Councilmembers had attempted to serve more than two terms. He also noted that two incumbents had been defeated for re-election – one seeking a fourth term, another seeking a third term. He stated that 88 residents had sought to be elected to City Council in the City’s history, and he set forth information on the number of residents who had run in each of the elections since 1978.
Councilman Clark explained that the main question is how do the majority of residents feel about this issue; pointed out that many South Bay and Southern California cities have term limits; and stated that this ballot initiative would give the members of this community the opportunity to make the decision on this important "public policy" issue as to whether or not to initiate term limits prospectively in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to put the term limit ballot initiative on the fall ballot.
Councilman McTaggart expressed his opposition to term limits – pointing out that term limits have had a negative impact on the state; and he explained that the residents already have a vehicle to put people into office by voting in the City election process.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro expressed her belief that this proposal is only a political ploy that targets current members on this body; and she pointed out that the residents on many occasions have decided whom they want in office through the election process. She stated that she would prefer to see the $4,000 that it will cost to put this on the ballot be used for the grant program, that it is a waste of funds when a system already exists for voting people into office. She stated she has witnessed no big outcry from the public for term limits; and explained that if the term limits initiative goes into effect, it will restrict who the residents can vote for – pointing out that the residents should be entitled to return anyone to office that has experience and a good track record. Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that this City’s residents have made it clear who they want to be in office regardless of how much money is spent during the elections.
Councilman Gardiner stated that this initiative is a matter of principle, that he is supportive of placing initiatives on the ballot to let the voters decide; and expressed his belief that the $4,000 estimate is a reasonable fee to get it on the ballot. He pointed out that Councilman Larry Clark was consistent in his campaign promises to work on getting term limits placed on a ballot.
Councilman Clark, in response to Mayor Pro Tem Ferraro’s comments, stated that this proposal is about giving voice to our residents to make a decision on what the majority of our residents want with respect to term limits in the future. He stated that in the last election, numerous people expressed their desire to see the City’s election process opened up for non-incumbents to run for office; and he expressed his belief that while some may argue term limits may not work in Sacramento, they can work on a local level. He stated that the residents have communicated that they want the opportunity to decide this major public policy issue and that this initiative provides that opportunity to make that decision.
Mayor Stern reiterated that this is not a lifetime ban, that it does allow someone who wishes to run again to come back after sitting out one election cycle; and he expressed his belief that this is not politically driven nor focused on removing specific individuals from this body. He noted that the residents should have an opportunity to vote on this matter.
Councilman McTaggart stated that statistics reflect it is not necessary because of the current voting process.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro expressed her concern that the City would lose good people by forcing an incumbent to wait four years to serve on this body again, expressing her belief that experience and continuity is extremely important for this body; and expressed her belief that the City loses the momentum to bring back effective incumbents.
Councilman Clark stated that there is tremendous talent in this community and that this provides an opportunity to open up the process and create a better playing field for those who want to run for office.
Councilman McTaggart stated that while in office, he has not heard about a widespread desire for term limits and that, therefore, it is his belief that this is motivated to target one or two members on this body.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern
NOES: Ferraro, McTaggart
At 12:43 A.M. the City Council meeting was formally adjourned.
/s/ Douglas W. Stern
/s/ Jo Purcell