RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
JULY 1, 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 7:07 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; Assistant City Manager Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works Dean Allison; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Bothe.
The flag salute was led by Councilman Clark.
Mayor Stern announced that the City’s email address for the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council is now firstname.lastname@example.org; and noted that those who wish to contact individual members of the City Council may do so by going to the City’s website at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.
Mayor Stern announced that there was no winner for this month. He encouraged everyone to recycle.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Stern requested that Agenda Item No. 15, (Response to Wolowicz Recommendations), be moved up earlier in the meeting following the Consent Calendar.
Councilmember Gardiner requested that Agenda Item No. 12, (Via Rivera Pilot Program Final Report), be moved up earlier in the meeting following the Consent Calendar to accommodate the large number of audience members who are present for this issue.
Councilmember Clark moved to consider the Via Rivera matter immediately following the Consent Calendar followed by the Wolowicz Recommendations item.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve the Agenda as amended. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR
Councilman McTaggart corrected the June 3, 2003, Minutes to reflect "Loreto," Mexico; and asked that the South Bay Governments Council be included as well in his statements regarding the MTA meeting.
Councilman Clark requested that Agenda Item No. 5 (Loan Agreement between the City and RDA), be pulled from the Consent Calendar.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve the Consent Calendar as amended.
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: June 3, 2003. (301)
Approved the minutes as amended.
Resol. No. 2003-54: Budget Adjustment for Student and the Law. (602 x 1705)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-54, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2003-42 FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE GENERAL FUND TO FUND STUDENT AND THE LAW DURING THE 2003-2004 SCHOOL YEAR.
May 2003 Treasurer’s Report. (602)
Ordered received and filed.
Award of Contract for the FY 2002-2003/FY 2003-2004 Sidewalk Repair Program. (1405)
1) Awarded a construction contract to Damon Construction in the amount of $87,922, for the FY 02-03/FY 03-04, Sidewalk Repair Program, and authorized staff to spend up to an additional $9,078 for possible extra work, for a total authorization of $97,000; 2) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with Damon Construction; and, 3) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute an addendum to an existing Professional Services Agreement with SA Associates in the amount of $9,000 for inspection services and contract administration services.
Resol. No. 2003-55: Register of Demands.
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-55, 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.
The motion to approve the Consent Calendar carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
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Via Rivera Pilot Program Final Report. (1502)
Senior Engineer Jules presented staff report and the recommendation to 1) Receive and file Via Rivera Pilot Program Final Report; 2) Approve the installation of speed humps along Via Rivera between Rue de la Pierre and Via Del Mar in accordance with the City’s Traffic Calming Program; and, 3) Bring a project for the final engineering and construction back to the City Council when a funding source other than the general fund is identified.
Councilman Gardiner expressed his opinion that more strict enforcement should have been undertaken and that a larger number of citations could have been given according to the data.
Sheriff’s Lieutenant Herrera explained that the Department takes a reasonable approach in citing those who exceed the speed limit, starting with 10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit; and explained that the Department usually wins most of those cases that fight tickets given for exceeding the speed limit 10 miles per hour and faster. He stated that the peak hours to witness motorists exceeding the speed limit are between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M.
Lieutenant Herrera stated that $1,705 in revenues would be forwarded to the City for these enforcement activities and that the cost of this enforcement activity cost approximately $20,000. He pointed out that the City receives less enforcement and police service if the traffic officer needs to show up for court on these citations.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out the Fire Department’s opposition to speed humps/bumps; noted that 240 of the area residents are not in favor of this proposal; and he requested that a proper enforcement study be conducted to determine if the enforcement activities can be a cost-effective alternative to speed humps.
Mayor Stern expressed his belief that police presence will slow the traffic down, but noted his concern that implementing this activity on a continual basis would be too costly for the City at this time. He expressed his belief that in order for police presence to be effective, it needs to be done on a continual and random basis – pointing out that once the officer is removed, the data shows that the speed increases; and he noted that the statistics do reflect that permanent speed humps do slow down the traffic.
Councilman Clark stated that other jurisdictions have been successful in slowing down the speed of traffic with the use of speed humps; and stated that each situation needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis for implementing a traffic calming program, noting that there are certain arterials that trigger conditions that allow for drivers to speed.
Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief that random and proactive enforcement can work throughout the entire City and stated that he would not like to see speed humps erected throughout the City.
James Sweeney, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that speed humps have been very successful in slowing down traffic in other areas; and urged the City Council to support the request for speed humps on this street.
Bill Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed his belief that public safety and rapid emergency response time is critical and that the speed humps will delay the emergency response time; and he noted his opposition to placing speed humps on this street. He noted his support for alternative traffic calming methods, such as increased enforcement activities.
Bruce Stanton, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted his support for implementing continuous and random traffic enforcement and permanent speed display boards; and addressed his concern with delayed emergency services. He pointed out that the increased revenues from traffic citations could help to fund the speed display boards.
Mary Gravlin, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she is very concerned with the safety of the children and the residents but noted that she is opposed to the speed humps.
Frank Glaser, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he is opposed to the speed humps; pointed out that speeding problems exist all over the City; and noted that he would not like to see speed humps placed on numerous streets throughout the City. He highlighted the Fire Department’s opposition to the speed humps; and stated that if these speed humps are erected, numerous requests will start coming in for other areas of the City.
Ann Shaw, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted her opposition to speed humps, stating that vehicles can be damaged if going any faster than 15 miles an hour over these humps; highlighted the Fire Department’s opposition to the speed humps for residential areas larger than 75 homes – pointing out that this street serves approximately 400 homes. She urged the City to continue to address other alternatives for traffic calming.
Brent Goodrich, Rancho Palos Verdes, highlighted the Fire Department’s opposition to speed humps; stated that the speeding problem should be addressed throughout the entire City; pointed out that there are more people in opposition to the speed humps than those who support them; and expressed his belief that adequate enforcement has not been given a fair chance to work year round. He stated that he is in favor of a random enforcement policy.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that this is a policy decision that will affect the entire City, not just Via Rivera.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 8:30 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 8:43 P.M.
Scott Poster, Battalion Fire Chief, County Los Angeles Fire Department, explained that the Fire Department has taken a firm stance on providing public safety service in a quick and expedient way – pointing out that delays are not acceptable; and confirmed that the Fire Department is adamantly opposed to anything which impedes a rapid response time, such as speed humps.
Questioning whether the Fire Department has witnessed an increase in the use of speed humps, Fire Chief Poster noted for Councilman Clark that yes, speed humps are becoming more prevalent in attempting to deal with traffic calming. He pointed out that these speed humps damage the emergency vehicles, injure fire fighters, and delay response times; and advised that the Fire Department has been successful in getting some speed humps/bumps removed.
Sharon Goodrich, Rancho Palos Verdes, questioned how many speed humps are being proposed.
Senior Engineer Jules noted that a total of 5 speed humps are being proposed and highlighted on the map where the locations for the speed humps; and she indicated that an advisory sign for the speed humps would be posted for 15 miles per hour.
Ms. Goodrich stated that the speed limit for all schools should be lowered to 15 miles per hour; expressed her belief that random enforcement should take place 24 hours a day throughout the City; and addressed her concern with emergency response issues.
Beverly Dunn, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted her opposition to speed humps; and stated that the speed humps on Basswood have slowed down the traffic, but asked that other alternatives be considered for this street.
Elizabeth Aubrey, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she is on RPV’s Traffic Committee and that she is not in favor of speed humps; and urged the City to look at other alternatives, such as turnabouts. She expressed her belief that a ripple effect will happen if these speed humps are placed on Via Rivera.
Karen Jaconi, principal at Point Vicente School, highlighted the on-going problem with speeding vehicles in this area; and expressed her belief that the permanent speed humps are a cost-effective means to slowing down the traffic. Ms. Jaconi expressed her belief that every possible solution to the speeding vehicles has been thoroughly researched; and stated that she would support any alternative that makes this a safer area for the children and residents. She expressed her belief that random police enforcement will not solve the problem.
Greg Reinhardt, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that there is a serious problem with speeding vehicles in this area; pointed out that there are other streets the residents can enter and exit into this neighborhood/area if they choose not to go over these speed humps; and advised that the people who signed the petition in support of the speed humps are those that are most impacted by the speeding vehicles.
Bill Schurmer, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he is a member of the RPV Traffic Committee; pointed out that not everyone on the Traffic Committee agrees with the placement of speed humps; confirmed that there is a speeding problem in this area; mentioned that there has been no documented damage to emergency vehicles with the implementation of speed humps in Rancho Palos Verdes; and noted his support for the placement of the speed humps in this area. He thanked and commended Senior Engineer Jules and other staff members for their assistance with this issue.
On behalf of the City Council, Mayor Stern thanked the Traffic Committee for its diligent work on this issue.
Barry Hildebrand, Rancho Palos Verdes, Chairman of the Traffic Committee, stated that the only proposal that will work on this street appears to be the speed humps; and explained that various alternatives were researched and found not to be satisfactory options to place on this particular street. He pointed out that the police enforcement only works as long as the police are present; and noted his support for the speed humps at this location, believing that this is the best solution for slowing the traffic down on this street.
Ms. Aubrey stated that the Traffic Committee did not have adequate opportunity to fully research the use of turnabouts – noting that turnabouts would be less expensive than speed humps.
Bud Franklin, Rancho Palos Verdes, former member on the Traffic Committee, stated that this City needs traffic calming programs due to the excessive speed on some of the City’s major roadways; and expressed his belief that enforcement alone is not effective.
Councilman Clark pointed out that the people who would be affected by these speed humps would not just be the residents on Via Rivera, but all of those who use Via Rivera. Councilman Clark stated that one of the Contract Cities seminar presentations was about speeding, signalization, stop signs, and traffic calming; noted that the speaker indicated that studies show that speed humps do not deter speeding but divert speeding; and advised that there have been jurisdictions that have taken speed humps out because they don’t serve the intended purpose and that they have created a negative impact. He highlighted his concern for public safety and noted his appreciation for the time and effort the Traffic Committee has put into finding an appropriate solution to this serious issue. He briefly noted several ideas that have been presented this evening for other alternatives; and stated that he is not convinced at this point that speed humps are an appropriate solution for this location.
Councilman McTaggart stated that the Contract Cities seminar speaker who gave the presentation is an attorney; and noted that this attorney addressed the liability issues these humps can create for cities. He stated that speed humps are not the only solution to traffic calming; questioned whether the City could have the traffic fines increased for those who speed in residential and school areas – suggesting that the speed zone violation be clearly posted; and suggested increasing the school zone from 500 feet.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro explained that the speed humps on Basswood were placed due to the high school drivers speeding and expressed her belief that this is a different situation in this area; expressed her appreciation for the work of the Traffic Committee; and stated that other alternatives should be further addressed for this area. She stated that the increased enforcement only works temporarily and that it should be done on a more random basis, such as 2 hours in the morning and back again in the afternoon. Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that she would support increasing the traffic fines for the school and residential areas; and that she would support stringent, random enforcement. She highlighted the large number of residents who are opposed to the speed humps and the Fire Department’s opposition to speed humps.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he believes proactive, random and routine enforcement can work, not only on this street but throughout the entire City.
Mayor Stern thanked everyone for their comments; addressed the speeding problem in this area; and commented on the recent enforcement activities and the return to the speeding problem once the officers are not on site – stating that he would support a level degree of enforcement that would create sufficient deterrents so that it modifies the behavior of speeding drivers and produces the desired result. He expressed his belief that the City at this time cannot afford that level of enforcement. Mayor Stern noted that the data proves the speed humps do slow down speeding drivers and stated that the humps do achieve the goal – questioning whether the other alternatives achieve this same goal; and he mentioned the delayed emergency response times for public services. Because of the large number of residents who are opposed to these speed humps, he commented on the possibility that a less effective approach may have to be selected.
Councilman McTaggart expressed his belief that public safety would be compromised if speed humps are installed on this street; noted that he concurs with the position of the Fire Department; and he stated that he is not opposed to speed humps but that he would agree to install them as a last resort.
Councilman Gardiner stated that proactive and random enforcement activity should be closely monitored to obtain the data that can reflect the effectiveness of the enforcement activities.
Councilman Clark addressed the various concerns that had been discussed this evening with the placement of speed humps in this area, especially that of delayed emergency service; stated that he would support proactive, random enforcement; stated that the City should pursue the ability to increase the level of traffic fines in school and residential areas; and requested that patrol officers focus some of their workdays to citing speeders in the problem areas. He stated that he is not ready to support the placement of speed humps in this area; requested that proactive and random enforcement continue; and that data continue to be collected with the traffic strips so that over time, the City can track the effectiveness of this enforcement.
Lieutenant Herrera noted for Mayor Stern that if requested to do so, the traffic officers could cite speeding drivers exceeding the posted speed limit by 5 miles per hour.
Councilman McTaggart highlighted several of the areas in the City such as Abbottswood, General, and Trudy known for speeding vehicles; and stated that the random enforcement should be done throughout the City at different hours of the day.
Councilman Gardiner suggested the placement of traffic signs that discourage speeding, signs that would raise the level of awareness in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to direct the continuance of a random and proactive enforcement program; that staff investigate with the Sheriff’s Department ways to minimize the direct cost of that program; that the City continue to gather data with the use of the traffic strips on Via Rivera so that the City can collect more data over time in order to pursue the authority to increase the traffic fines in residential and school areas.
Lieutenant Herrera mentioned that a citation for 10 miles over the speed limit usually costs $90 to $125.
Councilman Gardiner requested a friendly amendment to the motion, requesting that the Traffic Committee and/or staff come back with a proposal for a systematic effort to identify the speeding hotspots Citywide, to break down the speed in the City, and to provide information on the cost and effectiveness of this program.
Councilman Clark stated that he would accept that amendment to the motion.
Mayor Stern requested that the threshold be lowered for citing of speeding motorists in this particular area, enforcing the speed limit at 5 miles above the posted speed limit.
Councilman Clark concurred with Mayor Stern’s request.
Lieutenant Herrera noted that the placement of numerous motorcycle officers to enforce speed in one area is difficult unless it is done on an emergency basis, stating that it is difficult to get the extra help; and mentioned that 20 reserve officers work out of the Lomita station, working one shift per month.
Councilman McTaggart asked that staff look into the possibility of utilizing this reserve force for traffic enforcement purposes.
Lieutenant Herrera noted for Councilman Gardiner that the CORE deputies can enforce traffic.
Councilman Clark requested that staff pursue these last two suggestions.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro suggested that the City adopt a slogan, such as "Don’t Speed in RPV."
There being no objection, Mayor Stern so ordered the approval of the motion.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 10:16 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 10:27 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS
Mayor Stern stated that he attended the L.A. County City Selection Committee meeting on June 26th; and highlighted the dysfunctional system for selecting an Air Quality Management District representative for the Western Region. He noted that a bill has been written that proposes to remedy this voting system by allowing smaller cities in this group to have a representative, but stated that if passed, it would not become effective this year.
McTaggart stated that he attended the COG Livable Communities Subcommittee meeting on June 18th in Torrance; and he stated that discussion ensued with regard to the South Bay Needs Assessment Study. He noted that he attended the Contract Cities Association meeting at the library in Norwalk on June 18th; and stated that the new president, Cheri Kelley, did a wonderful job of running the meeting.
Councilman McTaggart stated that on June 19th, he attended the Integrated Solid Waste Task Force meeting at the County office in Alhambra; and that discussion ensued with regard to the bills that are being proposed for solid waste. He stated that the Task Force comments would be forwarded to the authors of these bills. Councilman McTaggart highlighted the new website for the Task Force, wwwlacountyiswtf.org; and stated that a report was given on the progress of AB939.
Councilman McTaggart noted that on June 26th, he attended the COG Taste of Jazz event that was sponsored by the Sunset Rotary and CAP; and stated that the music was outstanding.
Councilman McTaggart stated that on June 30th, he and City Manager Evans attended a Homeland Security briefing at Los Alamitos Training Base; and noted that the information obtained will be useful for RPV.
Councilman Clark stated that on June 23rd, he, Directors Allison and McLean and members of their staff attended a meeting of interested homeowners of the Grand View and Sea View neighborhoods to discuss the associations’ interest in undergrounding its utilities; and stated that City staff did an excellent job in its presentation and that the information was well received by the homeowners. He requested that copies of the presentation materials be provided to the City Councilmembers; and noted his interest in this body discussing the undergrounding of utilities for the rest of this City.
Councilman Clark stated that on June 26th, he attended the League of California Cities Revenue and Taxation Policy Committee meeting; and noted that discussion ensued with regard to the State budget crisis, its status, and its likely impacts upon cities.
Councilman Clark stated that he attended the South Bay Council of Governments meeting, wherein discussion ensued with regard to signal synchronization as a form of dealing with the increasing traffic congestion/delays in the South Bay. He stated that this information would be provided to the City Councilmembers and indicated that pilot studies have been completed in regard to this matter. He noted that John Parsons, from Redondo Beach was selected as the new COG chair; and that a fond farewell was given to outgoing president Ken Blackwood from Lomita, stating that he did an excellent job this past year.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, advised that the upper Abalone Cove area has already undergrounded its utilities; and urged the City to complete in a timely manner the landslide work on Palos Verdes Drive South. She noted that various members of City staff and City Council were pictured in the Peninsula People publication.
Response to Wolowicz Recommendations. (602)
City Manager Evans presented staff report and the recommendation to consider the following responses to Mr. Stefan Wolowicz’s recommendations regarding budget issues.
Councilman Clark mentioned that the adopted budget for this year is based on two CORE deputies – highlighting this body’s thorough consideration in adopting the budget; commented on the built-up reserves from the grant funds that other cities have for the CORE deputy program and this City’s partial funding of this program with the aid of General Fund monies. He addressed his concern with adjusting the budget in this rough period of time and dipping more into a negative balance. He commented on this City Council’s consideration that, at least for the short term, the CORE deputy program would be decreased to 2 deputies instead of 3 as part of the budget baseline consideration.
City Manager Evans noted for Mayor pro tem Ferraro that the Sheriff’s Department has slightly reduced the cost of the CORE deputies.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro questioned if one of the CORE deputies could be used for additional traffic enforcement.
Captain Zuanich explained that it is the decision of the City as to how the CORE deputies will be assigned; address the suggestion to utilize a CORE deputy for the Student in the Law program and explained that it would be done if requested, but explained that this would create a certain amount of rigidity into the activities of the 3 police officers assigned to this CORE program at the station. He explained that the CORE deputies deal with disaster preparedness, school activities, neighborhood watch groups, etc., which all have to be responded to when the call comes in; and explained that a certain amount of flexibility is needed to efficiently and effectively operate the CORE deputy program. Captain Zuanich stated that these officers do some traffic work; and advised that each of the CORE deputies puts in more than 40 hours per week and stated that they are very dedicated to their jobs. He explained that with the reduction of one CORE deputy, the hours have been reduced from 120 to 80 per week; and highlighted the fact that RPV receives 60 percent of those hours for all of these activities, which now may include Via Rivera traffic enforcement – noting that it will become necessary to discuss with the City Manager rescheduling the program priorities. Captain Zuanich commended the CORE deputy program for its proactive activities within the community, noting that the program solves various issues before they become major problems.
Councilman McTaggart noted his support for Councilman Gardiner’s suggestion to sell some of the CDBG funds to help pay for this program.
City Manager Evans noted for Councilman Gardiner that the 3rd CORE deputy costs this City $67,000 more per year.
Councilman Gardiner suggested that the 3rd CORE deputy’s time be split between the existing program and traffic enforcement.
Councilman Clark stated that while he is supportive of the CORE deputy program, he is not in support of adding a 3rd CORE deputy to the program during this fiscally restrained period; noted his support for revisiting this proposal should the City generate additional funding or revisit this during the next budget cycle; and pointed out that the process of adopting the budget was not an easy task – pointing out that a number of programs had to be cut.
Councilman Gardiner questioned whether it would cost the same amount of money to put in place a part-time traffic enforcement officer.
Councilman Clark asked that staff work with the Sheriff’s Department to get the best complement of service for the price the City is paying for this program.
Councilman McTaggart commented on each city paying for its fair share of this program; suggested the possibility of reducing some City meetings for various bodies that might not need to meet each month and to reduce the number of staff that participate in these meetings – pointing out that more time between some meetings may be advantageous.
Stefan Wolowicz, stated that he is not here representing the Finance Advisory Committee; expressed his belief that the CORE deputy program is the only real proactive law enforcement program that the City has, noting his support of the 3rd CORE deputy; and suggested that the participating cities might want to increase their support for this program during this shortfall period. He suggested that the City could save money by reducing the number of staff that attend meetings, volunteers to take minutes, or local businesses to fund the taking of minutes. Mr. Wolowicz encouraged a letter writing campaign to state legislators highlighting opposition to reducing revenues to cities. He suggested that staff investigate the use of other funding sources to cover the CORE deputy program, such as the Department of Justice Juvenile Accountable Incentive Block Grant Program – noting that he will forward information to the City Manager on this program.
Councilman Clark reiterated the suggestion to investigate whether the other participating cities in the CORE deputy program would like to help fund the additional deputy for one year.
Mayor Stern thanked Mr. Wolowicz for raising these issues and suggestions for cutting costs.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 11:19 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 11:25 P.M.
Gail Lorenzen, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Neighborhood Watch program; that she has been doing this work for the last 11 years; advised that she is a member of the California Crime Prevention Officers Association and the Law Enforcement Partnership Program with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department; and explained that she works closely with other law enforcement programs throughout the city, county and state. Ms. Lorenzen expressed her belief that currently, this City is receiving the highest quality law enforcement she has seen since she has been in this program, despite the fact that this community has no crime prevention programs or community relations officer – pointing out that this City is doing all of this work with two individuals, herself and Deputy John Despot. She commented on the work of numerous block captains throughout the City and their help in working on quality of life crimes throughout the City and with school safety.
Ms. Lorenzen stated that there is wide concern with the City Council’s decision to reduce the number of deputies in the CORE deputy program; explained that it takes a specially trained individual to do this type of work and see it through to completion; addressed the importance of having easy access to a police officer for these activities when necessary; and she stated that while she has been doing this work for the past 11 years, she is no longer able to do it herself. She commended the work and effort of Officer John Despot, stating that he gets into the community and solves many problems before they become huge issues. She questioned what the City has planned as an alternative to helping out with these activities. She pointed out that other cities have more staff to deal with these problems and that this City is doing it with one volunteer and one CORE deputy. She stated that while the Neighborhood Watch program is a volunteer program, it still needs the assistance of someone from a law enforcement agency to complete this program and make it effective.
On behalf of the City Council, Mayor Stern expressed his appreciation of Ms. Lorenzen’s hard work and dedication to this program.
City Manager Evans noted for Councilman Gardiner that the City Managers and Captain Zuanich assign the workload of the CORE deputy program.
Mayor Stern commented on the difficulty with cutting various programs from the City’s budget; and stated that the City Council is attempting to figure out some way to additionally fund the CORE deputy program, but noted his recognition of the fiscal restraints that exist.
Councilman Clark questioned if the 3rd CORE deputy also provides neighborhood watch services in other cities.
Responding to Councilman Clark’s inquiry, Captain Zuanich stated that the 3rd CORE deputy is assigned to work with this City; and mentioned that the other participating cities are not as involved in the Neighborhood Watch program as this City. He stated that a Neighborhood Watch program similar to RPV’s will be provided to these participating cities as a good example of how to operate this program. Captain Zuanich expressed his belief that it takes 3 CORE deputies to fully and effectively run this program; and reiterated the fact that these deputies are highly motivated and dedicated to this program.
Councilman McTaggart questioned if enough money could be saved and used for this program by having fewer City meetings and reducing staff that attend the meetings
City Manager Evans stated that the cost savings would be minimal and would not cover the amount necessary to fund the 3rd CORE deputy position.
Mayor Stern suggested that consideration be given to funding the 3rd CORE deputy position with the use of the reserves.
Councilman McTaggart stated that it is logical to fund this position with the use of reserve money and noted that he would like to see unanimous approval to dip into the reserve funds.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, that the 3rd CORE deputy be funded through the reserve account.
Councilman Clark suggested that a decision on this matter be delayed until a determination is made with the state budget before dipping into the reserves.
City Manager Evans explained that the trigger had been pulled that will require, after September 30, 2003, all registered automobiles to be charged the full VLF; and that in the interim, it is anticipated that the cities may receive the backfill.
Councilman Gardiner questioned what it would cost and whether the 3rd CORE deputy could be funded on a month-to-month basis for the next couple of months until the state budget is settled.
Captain Zuanich noted for Councilman Gardiner that he does not believe the contract allows a month-to-month component, but stated that he would investigate the matter and provide an answer to City Council at a later time.
Councilman Clark urged the City Council to be consistent in its budget principles and reiterated his interest in postponing a decision to dip into the reserves until the City knows what impact the state budget will have upon the City.
While recognizing this state of flux, Councilman Gardiner explained that these are unusual times and expressed his preference for sufficient flexibility to explore other alternatives that aren’t traditionally undertaken.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro expressed her belief that this type of information should have come forward during the budget deliberations, noting that this body may have made a different decision with this program; and stated that she would support funding the 3rd CORE deputy if the City could incorporate using, to some extent, the CORE deputy for traffic enforcement activities.
Mayor Stern stated that he would be willing to fund this position with the reserves because of the likelihood that the City will receive the backfill.
Councilman Gardiner noted his concern that this may start a ripple effect; requested that staff look at how the funds and assignments are allocated throughout this program; and requested a quantitative analysis to indicate how many Sheriff hours are available for RPV if there are 2 versus 3 CORE deputies and then what are the demands for these Sheriff hours.
Responding to Councilman Clark’s inquiry regarding the Emergency Preparedness Task Force’s work on emergency preparedness, City Manager Evans explained that the Emergency Preparedness Committee Task Force provided its recommendation that the Neighborhood Watch organizations integrate its work/effort with the Committee; and he indicated that Ms. Lorenzen is currently working on this activity and that staff is beginning to see the work she is putting into this process.
Councilman McTaggart stated that while he would like the motion to be unanimous, he would accept a passing vote on this motion. The motion to approve the funding of the 3rd CORE deputy through the reserve fund carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Loan Agreement Between the City and RDA. (1900 x 602)
The recommendation is to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the attached Loan Agreement between the City and the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency.
City Manager Evans explained for City Council that for many years, the City’s General Fund has been loaning the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) funds to primarily do projects in the redevelopment areas; stated that these updated loan agreements are brought before City Council each year to adopt – pointing out that this activity helps the City to keep careful track of how much money has been loaned by the City to the RDA.
Mayor Stern expressed his belief that this loaned money is not likely to be paid back to the City; and requested that for the benefit of this body, it would be helpful to footnote the likelihood of what funds will be recovered.
City Manager Evans pointed out that the City is not proposing to loan any more money at this time; and stated that for the benefit of the newer members of this body, staff will run through the history of these loans at a future meeting.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the attached Loan Agreement between the City and the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
ORDINANCE NO. 394: AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND STATE MANDATED DENSITY BONUS PROVISIONS/CITYWIDE. (701 x 1203)
Recommendation to INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 394, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTERS 17.11 AND 17.96 OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE AS THEY PERTAIN TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND STATE MANDATED DENSITY BONUS PROVISIONS CITYWIDE.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to waive staff report.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve staff’s recommendation. This motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
ORDINANCE NO. 395U: RELATING TO THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF COASTAL SAGE SCRUB HABITAT AND THE RELATED EXTENSION OF URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 391U. (1203 x 1405)
Recommendation to ADOPT URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 395U, EXTENDING URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 391U FOR 10 MONTHS AND 15 DAYS FROM JULY 1, 2003. (Urgency Ordinance 391U, which would be extended by this urgency ordinance, was introduced and adopted at the May 20, 2003, City Council meeting.)
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to waive staff report.
City Clerk Purcell stated that the City Council and staff were provided copies of the Long Point letter (of record) which was received on July 1, 2003.
City Attorney Lynch explained that staff does not anticipate using the full 10 months and 15 days; noted that this moratorium cannot be extended repeatedly and rather than having this come back for further consideration, staff simply applied the maximum extension in this ordinance. She noted her expectation that this will all be taken care of within the next month or two.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to concur with staff’s recommendation. This motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District. (901)
Director Allison presented staff report and the recommendation to 1) Conduct a public hearing on the proposed levy and collection of assessments within the Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District for fiscal year 2003-04 and the Engineer’s Report prepared in connection therewith; and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2003- 56, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING THE AMENDED ENGINEER’S REPORT AND CONFIRMING A DIAGRAM AND ASSESSMENT FOR THE 2003-04 FISCAL YEAR IN CONNECTION WITH THE CITYWIDE LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING MAINTENANCE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PART 2 OF DIVISION 15 OF THE CALIFORNIA STREETS AND HIGHWAYS CODE.
Director Allison explained that staff has consumed its share of reserve funding with this round of assessments; and commented on the use of General Fund monies to supplement these activities.
City Attorney Lynch explained that when some of these assessment districts were transferred from the County to the City, there was a surplus of add-on taxes that the County had accrued; and that even though it’s called "reserves," it’s not the same thing as General Fund reserves, that these are reserves received from the County. She noted for Mayor Stern that this was basically over-funded by the County.
City Manager Evans noted for Mayor Stern that in order to increase the assessment district, it would take a mail-in ballot initiative.
Director Allison noted for Mayor pro tem Ferraro that this does include every single-family parcel in the City.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve staff’s recommendation. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
ORDINANCE NO. 390: REVISING SECTION 8.24.060 (PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS) TO INCLUDE RV PARKING AND STORAGE RESTRICTIONS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. (1801)
Director Rojas presented staff report and the recommendation to RE-INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 390, AS AMENDED, TO ENACT AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 8.24.060 (PROPERTY MAINTENANCE STANDARDS) OF TITLE 8 OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE WITH RESPECT TO THE PARKING AND STORAGE OF RECREATIONAL AND OTHER VEHICLES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY. (This ordinance was first RE-INTRODUCED at the June 3, 2003 City Council meeting.)
Councilman McTaggart asked for clarification on what type of vehicles would be permitted.
Responding to Councilman McTaggart’s inquiry, City Attorney Lynch stated that as presently written, it would be defined as any motorized vehicle.
Councilman McTaggart suggested that a weight limit be applied to the code.
City Attorney Lynch pointed out that as long as a vehicle is not overhanging onto the public right-of-way, it is allowed to be parked on the driveway.
Ralph Ortolano noted his recall from the last meeting that the City Council had decided to permit family members to park a vehicle on a contiguous lot; and asked that a towed vehicle, such as a 5th wheeled trailer, be permitted to be stored on these lots.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would support the use of the lot by a closely immediate family member.
City Attorney Lynch stated that she had originally drafted the ordinance as follows: "That the vehicle shall be parked overnight or stored on a contiguous parcel if it is owned by someone who resides on the developed property."
Mayor Stern, echoed by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, noted his support for the originally drafted wording of the ordinance.
Ernie Giannioses, Rancho Palos Verdes, urged the City to resolve this issue this evening; noted his support for the storage of a towed vehicle, such as a 5th wheeled trailer, in addition to the towing vehicle; and stated that he would support the use of the lot by a family member.
Councilman McTaggart stated that a trailer connected to another vehicle should constitute one vehicle.
Mr. Ortolano asked that two vehicles be permitted to be stored, such as in the case of a 5th wheeled trailer and the vehicle from which it is towed. He stated that due to the configuration of his lot, these attached vehicles would only fit if they were parked side by side on the lot, requesting that this also be permitted.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 12:35 A.M. and reconvened the meeting at 12:39 A.M.
City Attorney Lynch proposed the new language in Paragraph A as follows: "Any vehicle shall be parked overnight or stored only on a developed lot or parcel ("lot). In addition, the owner(s) or resident of a developed lot may park overnight or store one vehicle on a contiguous undeveloped lot that is owned by the same person or entity. For purposes of this paragraph, vehicle includes a motorized vehicle and an attached trailer or other non-motorized vehicle. The vehicle must be owned by a member of the property owner’s immediate family, which includes spouse, children, stepchildren, parents or grandparents." She indicated that staff would bring this ordinance back for a second reading.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to adopt the amended language in this first reading of the ordinance. This motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Cox Communications Franchise Concerns. (605)
Councilman Gardiner suggested continuing this matter to another City Council meeting; stated that the reason for it being on the Agenda was to address an immediate problem and to address a longer-term issue that may need some input by Council. He stated that the short-term problem has been satisfactorily resolved at this time; that for the longer-term issue, he would anticipate lengthy discussion; and that given this late hour, he would request that it be continued.
Mayor Stern moved to continue this matter.
Highlighting the fact that Mr. Yoon has patiently sat through the past 5 ½ hours of this evening’s meeting in anticipation of speaking on this matter, Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that the audience member should be allowed to provide some input.
Councilman Gardiner noted his concern that if this gentleman is allowed to provide input, that it will start a long discussion at this late hour.
Councilman Gardiner seconded the motion for a continuance of this matter.
Councilman Clark requested that this item be considered early in the next meeting.
Mr. Art Yoon urged the City Council to allow him to speak, believing that what he has to say may alleviate the need to return this matter to a future Agenda.
Mayor Stern allowed Mr. Yoon to briefly address this item.
Art Yoon, Manager of Government Affairs for Cox Communications, explained that there have been some misunderstandings with respect to this issue; stated that his staff has worked fast and hard to resolve the misunderstanding once it became evident; and noted that Cox Communications would be present to work on the 4th of July celebrations, filming the entire program. He apologized for any misunderstandings.
Councilman Gardiner stated that the immediate issue has been resolved, but he noted the need for the Subcommittee to share some information with City Council.
Without exception, Mayor Stern ordered this item to be brought back on a future Agenda.
Councilman McTaggart requested that this item be placed towards the beginning of the Agenda.
Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered the early placement of this Agenda item for the next meeting.
Review of the proposed View Restoration and Preservation Guideline Revisions. (1806)
Recommendation to approve the draft View Restoration and Preservation Guidelines conceptually approved at the February 8, 2003 City Council/Planning Commission joint workshop, as recommended by the Planning Commission at its meeting of May 27, 2003.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to waive staff report.
Councilman Gardiner questioned the decision-making process for leaving stumps in various conditions.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro explained that the root systems help to anchor some hillsides.
Councilman Clark stated that he is not sure if the language properly deals with the distinction between root system and above-ground stump conditions.
Councilman McTaggart added that it is sometimes difficult to get large/heavy equipment on hillsides.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve staff’s recommendation. Without exception, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Border Issues Status Report. (310)
Director Rojas reviewed the current status of border issues and provided direction to the City Council and Staff.
Councilman McTaggart commented on the fuzzy condition of the maps and the difficulty in reading them; and commented on the need to improve the inadequate water pressure on parts of the hill, requesting that staff contact West Basin to address this problem.
AB 496 (Correa) Santa Ana River Conservancy and Proposal to Divert Proposition 42 Transportation Funds. (306)
Recommendation to consider legislative issues as requested to be placed on the agenda by Councilmember McTaggart.
Councilman McTaggart stated that Contract Cities has not taken a formal position on this bill, but he indicated that its executive board has; and noted that the League of California Cities is opposed to this bill because it would divert Prop 42 funds.
Mayor Stern moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to continue this matter. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Regional Water Quality Board. (1402)
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to add this issue to the Agenda. This motion carried as follows:
AYES: Clark, Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Brief discussion ensued with regard to the prohibition of swimming and any other type of recreational use in the flood control channel and the need to clearly classify this basin as such.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to send a letter to the Regional Water Quality Board to address this situation. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
With regard to the Monks litigation, City Attorney Lynch advised that the City Council unanimously voted to deny/reject the settlement offer that was put forth by the plaintiffs, 5-0 vote.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved to adjourn at 1:02 A.M.
/s/ Douglas W. Stern
/s/ Jo Purcell