RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER 2, 2003
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:03 P.M., the meeting was reconvened.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart, and Mayor Stern
ABSENT: Clark (excused)
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; Deputy Planning Director Pfost; Recreation Services Manager Starr; Administrative Analyst Waters; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Denise Bothe.
City Clerk Purcell led the flag salute.
Mayor Stern announced that this Saturday, September 6th, the City will host its 30th Anniversary celebration of its incorporation; noted that part of the celebration will include a community barbeque, which will take place from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on City Hall grounds, upper Point Vicente Park; and stated that various activities will be available for the entire family to enjoy.
Mayor Stern noted the special display in Hesse Park of vintage maps, post cards, souvenirs and other memorabilia in Hesse Park. These items highlighted some of the City’s local landmarks such as Wayfarer’s Church, the former Marineland site and the Portuguese Bend Riding Club. These items were the private collection of City Senior Planner Kit Fox and would be on display through the end of October in celebration of the City’s 30th Anniversary. Mayor Stern thanked Mr. Fox for loaning out this interesting collection for display.
Mayor Stern urged all drivers to be aware that school is back in session and to be extra alert for the children coming and going to school.
Mayor Stern announced that the recycle winner for the month of August was Hilda Quilty and that she will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service. He encouraged everyone to recycle.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
City Manager Evans announced that two representatives from the West Basin Municipal Water District were present to answer any questions the City Council had about the seawater barrier item. He requested that this item be moved up on the Agenda.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro so moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, and that the item be considered following the approval of the Consent Calendar and to approve the Agenda as amended. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve the Consent Calendar as amended.
Councilman McTaggart requested that the matter of the reconstruction of the Hesse Park restrooms be pulled from the Consent Calendar and be considered before the seawater barrier item.
With regard to the Gifts for Parks item, Mayor pro tem Ferraro expressed her appreciation of those individuals and companies that offered items/gifts for the City’s 30th anniversary celebration.
Motion to Waive Full Reading.
Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at the meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Council Members after the reading of the title.
Gifts for Parks. (1201)
Accepted the Gifts for Parks donations and directed staff to prepare letters for the Mayor's signature expressing the Council's thanks and appreciation.
Resol. No. 2003-74: CALPERS Health Insurance. (902)
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2003-74, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ELECTING TO CEASE TO BE SUBJECT TO THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES' MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL CARE ACT.
Award of Contract for Engineering Services for Traffic Management Program. (1404)
(1) Awarded a three-year contract to Wildan Associates for engineering services for the Traffic Management program; and (2) Authorized staff to expend up to $68,000 for engineering services for the Traffic Management Program FY 2003 - 04.
Claim against the City by Dennis P. Finn. (303)
Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.
July 2003 Treasurer's Report. (602)
Received and filed.
Resol. No. 2003-75: Register of Demands.
ADOPTED RESOL. NO. 2003-75, 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 amended Consent Calendar carried as follows:
AYES: Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
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Award of contract for restroom reconstruction at Hesse Park. (1201 x 1204)
The staff report of September 2nd recommended the following: (1) Award a contract to John Cruickshank Consultants, Inc., in the amount of $17,500 for engineering services to prepare final construction plans for the reconstruction of the restroom facilities at Hesse Park; (2) Authorize the Director of Public Works to execute contract change orders in the amount of $2,000 for possible extra services; and (3) Authorize the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute an agreement with John Cruickshank Consultants, Inc.
Councilman McTaggart expressed his belief that the contingency fee of $2,000 was high for a $19,500 project; urged staff to bring the contingency fee more in line with the cost of the project; and suggested that the remaining funds be utilized on another project that qualifies.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to approve staff recommendation.
The motion to approve the award of contract for restroom reconstruction at Hesse Park carried as follows:
AYES: Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
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Seawater Barrier Water Conservation Project. (306 x 1601)
City Manager Evans presented staff report and the recommendation to approve sending a letter of support for the West Basin Municipal Water District application for a grant of $16 million from the State Department of Water Resources.
Councilman Gardiner questioned why West Basin was proposing to shift exclusively to recycled water in the wells.
David Cobb, representing West Basin Municipal Water District, explained that West Basin is seeking to increase the amount of recycled water that is currently being used, which is a 50/50 blend of recycled water and potable water; and stated that in time, West Basin will shift exclusively to 100 percent of recycled water. Mr. Cobb noted that the $16 million grant would allow West Basin to put in place an approximate 70-75 percent blend between recycled and potable water, gradually shutting down the potable water and increasing the recycled water supply.
Responding to Councilman Gardiner’s inquiry regarding the stages of processing recycled water to get it to a drinkable stage, Mr. Cobb explained that West Basin utilizes a sophisticated reverse osmosis/micro-filtration process to move the recycled water through to a safe quality.
Mark Cerna, Senior Water Resources Engineer with West Basin Municipal Water District, explained that there are several processes, tertiary treatments, which West Basin utilizes to exceed what is considered acceptable; advised that West Basin uses a fine micro-filtration system to remove the majority of the solids that one can actually see; and that the other micro-filtration process utilizes a sophisticated reverse osmosis system to remove the dissolved solvents in the water and reduce the salt content to a very low concentration.
Mr. Cerna added that this entire process starts off with primary treatment at the Hyperion Water Treatment Plant, going through several cleaning stages first at Hyperion.
City Manager Evans advised that the primary treatment at Hyperion involves approximately 6 to 7 different treatment steps to remove the solids and other contents.
Councilman Gardiner highlighted his concern that West Basin is proposing to decrease the percentage of drinkable/potable water that is now going into the barrier/wells at a 50-percent ratio and to increase the use of recycled water that is not approved for drinking purposes – questioning why adding more undrinkable water into the well is a safe proposition for those who will be drinking water on the peninsula.
Responding to Councilman Gardiner’s concern, Mr. Cerna explained that the recycled water West Basin will be blending with the imported potable water is treated to a higher standard of drinking water; stated that it is very clean water and can safely be consumed by humans; but because of governmental policy that is currently in place, recycled water is not approved for direct human consumption. He mentioned that an expert 5-member panel reviewed West Basin’s entire processing system to evaluate the water supply and quality of the water that West Basin is putting into the barrier; and that the panel approved of this treatment process. Because of this high level of treatment that is utilized by West Basin, Mr. Cerna stated that this recycled water is better than the quality of the imported potable water that is currently being put into the barrier.
Mr. Cerna noted for Councilman Gardiner that the imported water is drinkable.
Councilman Gardiner questioned how the recycled water can be better than drinkable/potable water; and questioned if consideration had been given to going the extra step(s) to make this recycled water drinkable.
Mr. Cerna explained that only because of governmental policy, recycled water is not approved for drinking; reiterated that it is very safe to drink and is a better quality than the imported potable water supply; and that it has a much lower concentration of solids in the water.
Mr. Cobb added that the recycled water is treated to a drinkable stage; and that it is treated and cleaned to such a standard that one could drink it if it were not labeled by the government for non-human consumption.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would like to see some information to reflect what it would cost to convert the recycled water supply into potable water.
Highlighting the informative tours he participated in at the Hyperion Water Treatment Plant and the West Basin facility, Councilman McTaggart expressed his belief that this recycled water may be a better quality of water for human consumption than the imported potable water; and pointed out that the technology that will be gained from this sophisticated process will help to produce more water for the project at Ocean Trails and elsewhere.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve staff’s recommendation.
The motion to approve staff recommendation carried as follows:
AYES: Ferraro, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Szybinski Memorial Request. (306 x 1201)
City Clerk Purcell noted that the Council had been provided copies of some late correspondence related to this matter.
Assistant Manager Petru presented staff report and the recommendation to find that the proposed memorial is not consistent with the City Council's adopted policy and to deny the request to place a monument at Inspiration Point for Kamil Szybinski.
Stating that she understood the parents’ wishes to create this memorial, Mayor pro tem Ferraro expressed her sorrow for the Szybinski family, but addressed her belief that this request was not appropriate because it had the potential to set a precedent for future memorial requests; highlighted the fact that a resident is requesting that the Lauren Key memorial be removed because it visible from his property; and stated that because of this resident’s concerns, the City may want to consider moving the Lauren Key memorial to a more appropriate location. Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that she would prefer adopting a policy for a memorial wall at the Interpretive Center, for example; and she suggested that staff draft a sympathetic letter to be sent to the family of Kamil Szybinski and the Polish Consulate, expressing condolences for their loss, but explaining that the City cannot honor their request at this time; and, that perhaps in the future, the City would be able to have some kind of a plaque to memorialize Kamil Szybinski.
Councilman Gardiner expressed his understanding of the family’s emotions and desires for this proposed memorial; but expressed his belief that it does not meet the criteria for a memorial in the City – highlighting Criteria No. 1, "The person memorialized is closely associated with the area where the monument will be located. The person memorialized is known to, and revered, by a significant number of City residents" – pointing out that he is not minimizing the unfortunate loss of life; and suggested that the City discuss the possibility of memorializing people who have died in this City and who have played a recognized role in the City’s affairs. He noted his concurrence with Mayor pro tem Ferraro’s request to send a letter to the family explaining the City’s position.
Councilman McTaggart expressed his belief that a more appropriate location for a memorial marker would be at Green Hills Memorial Park.
Mayor Stern noted his concurrence with the Council’s statements; and highlighted the Sepahban family’s discomfort with the view they have from their home of the Lauren Key memorial and their desires to see it moved to a different location.
Councilman McTaggart questioned why the plants are not growing well around the Lauren Key memorial.
In response to Councilman McTaggart’s inquiry, Assistant City Manager Petru advised that although several native shrubs have been planted around the memorial, because of the lack of rain during the past winter, the plants are stressed and growing slowly.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to direct staff to draft a letter to the family, with the signature of the entire Council, expressing sincere condolences on the loss of their loved one; that the letter state with regret, the City has no provision to honor their request for a memorial at this time; and to include a letter to the Polish Consulate. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Insurance requirement for proposed bike demonstration and parade. (1201)
Recreation Services Manager Starr presented staff report and the recommendation to provide direction to staff on the request received from Ms. Libby Aubrey to waive insurance requirements for her proposed BMX bicycle exhibition and roadway bicycle parade at the 30th Anniversary event on September 6th.
Councilman Gardiner noted his opposition to exposing the City to possible liability.
Libby Aubrey, representing the School of Champions, briefly commented on the group’s activities within the past year; addressed her request for the City to waive the insurance fee for the bicycle exhibition– pointing out that the group does not have the funds to pay for this insurance and that no other group is being asked for separate insurance coverage for this event. She stated that the children are excited and ready to participate in this event; explained that it is not a BMX exhibition, that it is an all road bikes exhibition; and advised that the children will hop their bikes on blocks within a 20’ x 20’ area. She noted that the group has decided to back out of the roadway bicycle parade because that event raises another liability issue; advised that all participants have signed a liability waiver, which is common practice for professional bicycle clubs; and she urged the City to find these waivers sufficient.
Mayor Stern explained that the City bears the risk of liability if there is no insurance for this proposed event.
Ms. Aubrey expressed her belief that no other participant is being required to pay $1,000 to participate and that she would like the same opportunity for her group; and she mentioned that the School of Champions has provided two bikes for this event. She stated that the proposed exhibition does not create any more of a liability than a cooking exhibition, ball tossing, or having a dog on a leash – pointing out that all these activities have been permitted for this event; and she added that biking has become a very large activity on the peninsula.
City Attorney Lynch stated that there is one other activity that can be categorized as an inherently dangerous activity, which is the horseback riding event; and pointed out that the Pony Club is providing insurance for that event. City Attorney Lynch explained that the liability waiver provided by the biking club only covers the participant, not the spectator.
Ms. Aubrey explained that the bicycles will stay within a certain distance from any spectators and within the allotted 20’ x 20’ arena; and stated that this proposed activity is not an extreme sport, as indicated by the insurance company.
Mayor Stern expressed his opposition to placing the City in a position of not having insurance to cover the risk and stated that it would be appropriate for the City to require the insurance.
Councilman McTaggart highlighted the fact that the City has already been turned down for this coverage by the JPIA, which means that anything related to an exhibit with extreme sports is not covered by the insurance company; and questioned if Ms. Aubrey has sought obtaining an insurance rider for this event.
Responding to Councilman McTaggart’s inquiry, Ms. Aubrey stated that she is not able to obtain a rider; and reiterated that this exhibition is not an extreme sport.
Mayor Stern suggested that Ms. Aubrey and staff contact the City’s insurance carrier to determine if this exhibition has been incorrectly labeled an as extreme sport; and reiterated his intent not to waive the insurance requirement.
Robert Keating, representing the School of Champions, commented on the popularity of biking on the peninsula and elsewhere; explained that the presentation by the School of Champions is solely to expose more individuals to this popular activity; and stated that the activity has incorrectly been labeled an extreme sport. He explained that the participants will stay within the 20’ x 20’ boundary; and asked that if this proposed exhibition is not allowed, that the club at least be permitted to display the bikes on stationary stands.
City Attorney Lynch suggested that if this group is not able to obtain insurance, that it consider erecting a booth to house stationary bikes and a video of this popular activity; and she stated that the City needs to maintain its position on the riding of these bicycles and the need to obtain insurance.
Councilman Gardiner questioned whether props and ramps would be used in this event, as reflected in staff report.
Responding to Councilman Gardiner’s question, Mr. Keating noted his understanding that vintage bikes would be on display and that various biking movements would be exhibited; and he stated that no props or ramps would be used.
Councilman Gardiner stated that as presently packaged, he would not agree to waive the insurance, but that there may be another type of display that could be erected; and, he urged Ms. Aubrey to appeal her case to the insurance company.
Mayor Stern stated that if Ms. Aubrey could demonstrate to the insurance company that this exhibit should not be classified as an extreme sport and the City could then get the insurance coverage, then the group could proceed. He urged Ms. Aubrey to work with staff.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro expressed her belief that the historical bicycles would be an interesting exhibit; urged Ms. Aubrey to clear up the matter with the insurance coverage, and noted her opposition to waive the insurance requirement and place the City in a liable position.
Mayor Stern moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to deny, without prejudice, the request in its present format, which was to waive insurance for the event, and for the group to come back with a different proposal that could be covered by insurance. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Report on the Global Needs Assessment Survey. (1201)
Administrative Analyst Waters presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Receive and file the results and analysis of the Global Needs Assessment Survey, conducted by the public opinion firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, and Associates; and, (2) forward the results and analysis to the Open Space, Planning and Recreation and Parks Task Force, General Plan Update Steering Committee, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy.
Richard Maullin, representing Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, provided a Power Point presentation of the survey results/statistics which addressed the concerns of the Open Space Planning and Recreation and Parks Task Force, the General Plan Update Steering Committee, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. He explained that the method used to obtain these statistics was to telephonically interview 500 randomly selected RPV residents, 16 years of age and older. He mentioned that the error margin for the results of this phone survey is approximately 4.4 percent. He advised that the survey questions addressed the respondents’ opinions regarding the overall condition of the City, the most serious issues facing the City, their usage and satisfaction with local features and City services, frequency of recreational activities and pastimes, preference for additional athletic fields or additional open space, and support for proposed parks and recreation improvements. He advised that a large percentage of the City’s residents believe this City is going in the right direction.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Chairman Stern recessed the meeting at 9:09 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 9:25 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Councilman Gardiner stated that he had attended the Cable Access Committee meeting but that there was nothing to report.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro advised that she attended the Sanitation District meeting and the Mayor’s lunch but that there was nothing to report.
Mayor Stern stated that last Thursday, he and Councilman McTaggart attended, as representatives of the City, the Municipal Law Enforcement Commission meeting; stated that staff will soon be providing a report to Council regarding the Sheriff’s Department request for a relatively minor financial increase to purchase some CLEEP (California Law Enforcement Equipment Technology) equipment, a few items that will enhance the Sheriff’s Department services for the peninsula.
Assistant City Manager Petru stated that the total amount of high technology equipment the Sheriff’s Department is asking for is $10,000; and advised that the proposal at the moment would be to split this cost 60/30/10 based on the way the cities divide their share of funding this program. She added that the City has $5,600 remaining in its CLEEP fund.
Councilman McTaggart stated that he attended the following meetings:
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked Director Allison for having the construction sign removed near her home following the completion of that project; and commented on individuals riding their bikes on roadways that have been closed to this activity for construction purposes. She noted her support for acknowledging the efforts of previous City leaders with a plaque, such as Ken Dyda; and addressed her lifetime membership with Interpretive Center – noting her appreciation in recently receiving its newsletter. She noted her delight with Senior Planner Kit Fox’s private collection display at Hesse Park; and asked if anyone knows the whereabouts of the large whale statue that was on display at Marineland. Ms. Larue questioned the availability of City Council minutes and questioned why there has been an increase in helicopter traffic over her neighborhood.
Joan Davidson, Palos Verdes Estates, requested, and received, clarification on the use of recycled water and its safety to peninsula residents and; questioned how the desalinization process is carried out; and addressed her concerns with possible bacteria being sprinkled on residential lawns with this recycled water supply.
Councilman McTaggart suggested that Ms. Davidson take the informative tour at the Hyperion Water Treatment Plant to gain a better understanding of the recycled water and desalinization process.
Highlighting the diversity of opinion on the use of recycled water, Councilman Gardiner requested that this body gain a better understanding of why there are differences of opinions on this matter before this body endorses anything – noting that he would like to have a presentation of parties from both sides of this issue.
Report on the Global Needs Assessment Survey (Cont’d.) (1201)
Jim Knight highlighted the fact that the survey statistics affirm the residents’ positive attitude toward the operations of this City’s government, stating that he looks forward to future analyses; and noted that he is looking forward to the 30th anniversary celebration.
Lois Larue, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she was not contacted by the survey group for her input and questioned how the respondents were chosen.
Mayor Stern indicated that it was a random telephone survey.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to (1) Receive and file the results and analysis of the Global Needs Assessment Survey conducted by the public opinion firm of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, and Associates; and, (2) forward the results and analysis to the Open Space, Planning and Recreation and Parks Task Force, General Plan Update Steering Committee, and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro thanked and commended Mr. Maullin for his informative presentation.
New City Council Chambers. (1201)
Mayor Stern advised that due to Councilman Clark’s absence and his interest in participating in this discussion, it was his preference not to take any action on this item but only to take the public testimony. He requested that staff send a videotape copy of the meeting to Councilman Clark prior to the next meeting. No opposition was noted to Mayor Stern’s preference to continue this matter to a meeting wherein Councilman Clark will be present. (Continuing this matter was later rescinded.)
Director Allison presented the staff report and the recommendations to (1) Review plans for City Council Chambers and provide staff direction on the options; and, (2) Request staff to obtain a proposal from Ron Yeo Architects for the needed services. He provided a Power Point presentation with regard to the proposed plans for the room.
Director Allison explained that all the contaminated soil for the area of the new building footprint had been removed, but added that if this footprint was expanded to accommodate a building expansion for the City Council Chambers, it would cost an additional $200,000 to investigate the soil and, if necessary, to remediate it. He explained that the lead samples were taken at 25-foot intervals; that if lead is found in these intervals, the soil up to the contaminated area will need to be removed until it gets to a point where there is no contamination. He stated that there is a good possibility that although the City does meet the current standards for cleanup, the City could still encounter contamination and need it tested. With regard to the new Interpretive Center, he added that the Army Corps had agreed to remove the contaminated soil and replace it with clean soil.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro questioned if the Army Corps would be willing to do extra soil remediation if additional contaminated soil is found for the footprint of the City Council Chambers.
Responding to this inquiry, City Attorney Lynch explained that the Army Corps is willing to remediate any contaminated soil on this site if it hits the threshold standard of 250 parts per million of lead; and that if the City does encounter additional contaminated soil in the process, the cleanup process could be lengthy, all prior to the beginning of construction.
Director Allison stated that the total cost for the PVIC City Council Chambers would cost the City $825,000; that the soils investigation would last until March of 2004, even if there is no contamination found; that if a cleanup operation is necessary, it could take up to an additional 3 to 4 months to complete, and that it could take until September 2004 to award the building contract and a year to build before opening in September 2005.
City Attorney Lynch said that the Army Corps needs to get its funds appropriated from Congress for this possible remediation activity and stated that the receipt of these funds to accomplish the remediation could cause another 6-month to 1-year delay; and questioned whether the government will appropriate the funds for any remediation at this site.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro suggested that some consideration be given to adding on additional space to the Hesse Park City Council Chambers, if possible.
Councilman Gardiner questioned if staff considered adding onto a City Hall building; and questioned whether there is any soil contamination on that site.
Director Allison stated that at this time, no consideration has been given to adding onto City Hall and that he does not know if there is contaminated soil on site.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro questioned if there is enough reserve funds in the Capital Improvement Fund to pay for this project.
Addressing Mayor pro tem Ferraro’s question, City Manager Evans advised that the City did put the money aside in the Building Replacement Fund for this project; and stated that the Capital Improvement Fund will not have anything left following the completion of various projects, including the San Ramon project.
Councilman Gardiner stated that if the PVIC site is not feasible, then consideration should be given to other alternatives.
Mayor Stern noted his support for looking at other options; that it made sense to investigate the possibility of locating the City Council Chambers to this site before the Interpretive Center project was started; and that with all things considered, the issues surrounding the likelihood of encountering contaminated soil, its remediation, and a further delay in the project, this appears not to be a feasible option. He suggested that consideration be given to altering the City Council room at Hesse Park or to look elsewhere.
Councilman Gardiner noted his appreciation for the comparisons because it has become clear to him that PVIC is not feasible compared to the other options in staff’s report.
Councilman McTaggart pointed out that the City is not pressed for time in looking for an alternative to build a new City Council Chambers.
Mayor Stern noted his preference that the originally intended project at PVIC be resumed.
Councilman McTaggart requested that staff look at two locations: Paramount City Hall, which is similar to this City Council room; and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency facility at 6075 Kimble Avenue in Chino, a meeting room similar in size to this room. He stated that staff should also look at the audiovisual systems in these facilities.
Vic Quirarte, Rancho Palos Verdes, President of Los Serenos DePointe Vicente, stated that the Board met to discuss this matter; and that there was a unanimous recommendation, considering the time delays that are eminent with this proposal, that the City Council Chambers be considered for an alternate site and that progress on the Interpretive Center expansion go forward. He pointed out that the members would support the placement of City Council Chambers at PVIC if it were a good fit.
Joan Barry, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that the members are anxious to get started on the construction activities on the Interpretive Center and are opposed to any further delays. She expressed her belief that because of the possibility of finding additional contaminated soil and the associated delays, this proposal should be withdrawn. She stated that numerous members have become discouraged with the lack of progress at the Interpretive Center; and noted her concern that if progress is not made soon, they may lose members. She added that security could be another concern because of PVIC’s valuable museum artifacts. She stated that upgrading the Hesse Park facility would be a more feasible option considering it has adequate parking, lighting, room, less costly to build, and no need for soil remediation.
Councilman McTaggart concurred with the need to get the PVIC project going and noted his support for considering alternate locations.
It was the consensus of the Council that in light of the expense incurred that Councilman Clark would probably come to the same conclusion as the rest of the Council.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to eliminate PVIC as the potential site for the City Council Chambers and moving forward with construction activities for the Interpretive Center. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Councilman McTaggart stated that it would be more advantageous to relocate the City Council Chambers to City Hall property; and stated that he would be willing to approve more money to move it to that site versus another site.
Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded Councilman Gardiner, to direct staff to investigate the potential of a City Council Chambers at the City Hall site. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
City Hall Elevator. (1201 X 1204)
The staff report of September 2nd recommended the following: (1) Approve the preliminary plans for an elevator and modifications to lobby and walkway areas at City Hall; (2) Approve an amendment to an existing contract with John Cruickshank for engineering services to prepare final engineering plans for an elevator and building modifications at City Hall; and (3) Authorize the expenditure of up to $69,500 for the additional services.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to waive staff report. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor pro tem Ferraro, to concur with staff recommendation.
The motion to approve staff recommendation carried as follows:
AYES: Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Ocean Trails - Agreement between City and Ocean Trails Regarding the Peer Review Board and Agreements with Peer Review Board Members. (1411)
The staff report of September 2nd recommended the following: To authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to (1) Enter into an agreement between the City and Ocean Trails pertaining to the Peer Review Board; and, (2) Execute the proposed Agreements for Professional Services between the City and the Peer Review Board Members.
City Clerk Purcell advised that the City Council had been provided copies of the changes and revisions and two agreements redlined by the City Attorney.
Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilwoman Ferraro to waive reading of the staff report. Motion carried without objection.
City Attorney Lynch stated that Mayor Stern provided his comments in regard to this agreement on Monday – noting that she discussed these changes with the Ocean Trails attorney; stated that on Page 6 of the revised document, that staff has made it clear that nothing in the agreement with the consultant would prevent the City from keeping copies of any documents that would be provided by the developer in connection with the review of the geological information. She noted that staff had expanded the conflict of interest wording, that the consultant is required to think about whether he/she has performed any work during the preceding 12-month period with any affiliated entities related to the developer.
City Attorney Lynch explained for Councilman McTaggart that if someone had worked for the contractor that was working for the developer during the preceding 12 months, it could knock him or her out of the job.
With regard to the second agreement between the City and the developer, City Attorney Lynch explained that staff had added a couple changes at the bottom of Page 2, making it clear that if input is requested by the panel members from either or both parties, that request needs to be made to both parties at the same time, either by both attending the same meeting or in writing distributed to both parties.
On Page 3, City Attorney Lynch stated that staff has added additional language to cover what happens if the agreement is terminated prior to the resolution of these geologic issues.
On Page 4, City Attorney Lynch stated that staff has added language stating that nothing herein will require the City nor the developer to spend any money based on the recommendations of the panel, other than set forth in the agreement.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve staff recommendation as amended.
The motion to approve staff recommendation carried as follows:
AYES: Ferraro, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern
Border Issues Status Report. (310)
Director Rojas reviewed the current status of border issues.
Director Rojas noted for Councilman McTaggart that the City has not received any recent complaints from the City’s residents living adjacent to the Harbor Hills Recreation project; and that it appears that construction activity is better managed these days.
Don Shultz, RPV resident, thanked and commended staff for the border issues status reports; addressed the delay of activities with the Navy property on Western Avenue and Palos Verdes Drive North; commented on the loss of businesses that would have located to this site were it not for the delay in coming to some conclusion/redistribution of land; and urged the City to do what it can to get this process moving in the right direction. He asked staff to investigate whether there had been any violations to the McKinney Act with this property.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro noted her disappointment that the groups involved could not come to a compromise.
Mr. Shultz noted for Councilman McTaggart that he would not be opposed to placing housing on this property.
An update on the City's process for permitting telecommunications and other similar above-ground facilities in the public right-of-way. (1601)
Director Allison presented staff report and the recommendation to (1) Receive an update on the status of the installation of telecommunication facilities within the public right-of-way by wireless providers; and, (2) Provide staff with direction regarding the review process regarding above-ground facilities that are installed in the public right-of-way and whether to establish an appeal fee.
Councilman Gardiner addressed his desire that this City clarify the basis upon which it could make decisions for the appeal process, giving sufficient guidance to those making decisions; and stated that the burden should be placed upon the applicant to prove why a facility must be placed at a certain location.
City Attorney Lynch advised that the City could consider aesthetics and impact on the neighborhood when making its decision; that recent decisions allow a city to consider zoning and avoiding clutter of these facilities, and that there are a number of things the City can look at to see if an applicant is within the zoning code. She explained that the City has to be careful that it does not discriminate against one provider because another is present. She added that the City could require co-location and that the applicant would have the burden of proving why co-location is not feasible.
Councilman McTaggart stated that the impact is not well defined.
City Attorney Lynch explained that if an applicant can prove why their system would not function under a particular environment, and then the City could not require the applicant to change, for example, their technologies. She indicated that the City can establish some site preferences, but that the City cannot come up with absolutes; that the City can reflect its preferences and the reasons for those preferences; and that the providers would then have the burden of showing why they couldn’t accommodate that preference. She noted that the City can restrict time, place and manner, requiring that something be aesthetically blended, and require that all new technologies be disguised; that the City can require indemnity agreements; that it can preserve views; and that it can try to locate these facilities in a manner that will accommodate any future projects that the City may have.
Mayor Stern noted his preference that the aesthetics of these facilities be improved.
Councilman Gardiner stated that whatever this City does with its ordinance, it should be sufficiently descriptive so that the applicant as well as staff knows what the ground rules are.
Mayor Stern expressed his belief that the ordinance should maintain as much flexibility as possible at the City level and that the City keep with the government’s constraints for these facilities.
City Attorney Lynch stated that staff would come up with some guidelines and present them to Council at the next meeting.
Mayor Stern expressed his desire that this City get the maximum ability to protect its residents and still be in conformance with the federal guidelines.
Councilman McTaggart noted his preference for these facilities to be under ground.
Director Allison noted for Councilman McTaggart that undergrounding these facilities may create a noise impact.
Councilman McTaggart stated that if the noise is coming from a fan, it is his opinion that there is technology to quiet this noise; and suggested that noise constraints be placed on the facility fans.
Courtney Schmidt, representing Sprint PCS, stated that Sprint has worked closely with staff in order to conform to the guidelines; expressed her belief that there is a need to take these applications on a case-by-case basis – pointing out that the cellular companies are now getting into the heart of the residential areas; advised that Sprint is replacing existing equipment; and highlighted her support for an appeal process.
Kathleen Kitagawa, Geronimo Drive, urged the City to put in place an appeals process, stating that it will give the residents more opportunity to voice their concerns; and commented on what she perceives is an unsightly growing trend of placing these facilities into residential areas. She stated that an application for a facility in front of her home has been presented to staff; and urged the City Council to strongly take into consideration the fact that the residents will have to live with these facilities in their neighborhoods on a permanent basis. She asked that these facilities only be allowed in commercial and open space areas.
Mayor Stern explained for Ms. Kitagawa that federal law dictates to a large degree what little a City can do in constraining these facilities; and noted that this City is struggling to live within those constraints – pointing out that the City complies with the law while trying to achieve as much as it can for its residents.
Ms. Kitagawa highlighted the large number of residents in her neighborhood that are opposed to these installations in the neighborhood.
RECESS AND RECONVENE
Chairman Stern recessed the meeting at 11:10 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 11:12 P.M.
Councilman Gardiner questioned what grounds an appeal could be based upon.
Director Allison stated that one issue staff assesses is view impact if a resident complains, a quality of life issue; and explained that if staff does not believe the view impact is significant, staff would not suggest an alternative site for the facility.
City Attorney Lynch noted for Councilman McTaggart that an appeal fee would be refunded if the appellant was successful.
Because this issue relates to neighborhood beautification/aesthetics, Councilman McTaggart suggested the use of recycle funds to pay for the appeal process, for staff time that is expended and to keep the appeal fee low. Councilman McTaggart stated that if a location for the equipment cannot be found and there are houses on both sides of the street, the facilities should be placed under ground; and that a limitation be placed on the noise that can be emitted from these facilities.
Councilman Gardiner stated that the appeal fee should be reasonable, but stated that he is not comfortable charging an appeal fee for something that has no clear basis for an appeal. He stated that $700 would be too high for an appeal in this case.
City Attorney Lynch explained that the appeal fee could be based upon how much staff time is expended to go through the appeal process.
Director Allison mentioned that the cellular facilities are more than willing to work on the issue and make compromises to accommodate the residents’ concerns.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro stated that she would support a reasonable appeal fee, but that she would be opposed to utilizing recycling funds to do so.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would support an appeal fee if it were similar to the neighborhood compatibility guidelines and view ordinance.
City Attorney Lynch suggested that staff bring back to the City Council some proposed guidelines in a draft form for further consideration by this body.
Mayor pro tem Ferraro moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to continue this matter to the next meeting for further discussion. No objection was noted.
Councilman McTaggart moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:30 P.M. to the Redevelopment Agency meeting.
/s/ Douglas W. Stern
/s/ Jo Purcell