City Council Minutes 10/07/2003 RPV, City, Council, Minutes, 2003, Meeting, October, 10/07/2003 RPV City Council Minutes for the 10/07/2003 Meeting
D R A F T

MINUTES

RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR MEETING

OCTOBER 7, 2003

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor Stern at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, and was immediately recessed to a closed session per the Brown Act Checklist. At 7:03 P.M., the meeting was reconvened.

Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, and Mayor Stern

ABSENT: Ferraro (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; Senior Planner Ara Mihranian; City Clerk/Administrative Services Director Jo Purcell; and Recording Secretary Denise Bothe.

The flag salute was led by Councilman Clark.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Mayor Stern urged those who had not already done so to vote in the recall election. He announced that the City is celebrating its 30th Anniversary; and stated that the celebratory dinner dance is scheduled for October 17th at the Los Verdes Country Club.

City Manager Evans stated that the dinner dance at the Los Verdes Country Club starts at 6:00 P.M.; that the cost per person is $70; and encouraged those to attend this great dinner and enjoy the live band. He noted that individuals could call the City Hall by the end of this week to make their reservations.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Stern announced the recycle winner for the month of September, Betty Cashal, who will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service. He encouraged everyone to recycle.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Agenda as submitted. Without object, Mayor Stern so ordered.

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR

Councilman Clark requested that Agenda Item No. 6 be pulled from the Consent Calendar, "Approve applications for Proposition 40, 2002 Resource Bond Funds."

Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, 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 Council Members after the reading of the title.

The motion to approve the amended Consent Calendar carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: Clark (abstained from the approval of the

September 2, 2003 Minutes)

ABSENT: Ferraro

Minutes of September 2, 2003. (301)

Approved the Minutes as presented.

Appointment of members to the Miraleste Recreation & Park District Board of Directors. (106 x 1200)

Appointed Keith Harter, Kimberly Stull and Carol Swets to the Miraleste Recreation & Park District Board of Directors for a full four-year term of office until November 2007.

CLEEP Fund Expenditure Request. (1206)

Approved the recommendation from the Regional Law Enforcement Committee for CLEEP (California Law Enforcement Equipment Program) grant fund expenditures requested by the Lomita Sheriff's Station.

Commercial refuse and collection agreement with JJK Roll-Offs, Inc. (1301)

Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute a Nonexclusive Franchise Agreement for Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services with JJK Roll-Offs, Inc. (JJK) to be effective through December 31, 2003.

August 2003 Treasurer's Report. (602)

Ordered received and filed.

Professional service agreement for on-call recording secretary services to prepare meeting minutes. (1101)

Authorized the City Manager to execute the professional service agreement for the preparation of meeting minutes of designated City committee meetings and/or City Council meetings.

Resol. No. 2002-81: Register of Demands.

ADOPTED RESOL. NO. 2003-81, 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.

Resol. Nos. 2003-82 and 83: Applications for Proposition 40, 2002 Resource Bond Funds. (1204)

The staff report made the following recommendations: (1) ADOPT RESOLUTION 2003-82, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING THE APPLICATION OF GRANT FUNDS FOR THE PER CAPITA GRANT PROGRAM UNDER THE CALIFORNIA CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR, SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS, AND COASTAL PROTECTION ACT OF 2002; AND (2) ADOPT RESOLUTION 2003-83, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING THE APPLICATION OF GRANT FUNDS FOR THE ROBERTI-Z'BERG-HARRIS BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM UNDER THE CALIFORNIA CLEAN WATER, CLEAN AIR, SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS, AND COASTAL PROTECTION ACT OF 2002.

Councilman Clark commented on the need to provide adequate restroom facilities at Del Cerro Park and the need to provide safe accommodations in terms of restroom facilities that are appropriately sized to the recreational use in the area of the trails near Ocean Front Estates; and questioned if these funds could be used for these purposes.

City Manager Evans, explained that the City Council had previously decided to use these funds toward the purchase of open space; pointed out that adoption of these resolutions does not commit the City to any specific project – pointing out that that decision could be made in the future; and stated that these funds could be used for the restroom facilities at Del Cerro Park and near the trails of Ocean Front Estates.

Councilman Clark stated that he would continue to raise this resource need because these areas have become popular recreational spots for the residents of this City and for visitors.

Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve staff’s recommendation.

The motion to approve carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart and Mayor Stern

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: None

ABSENT: Ferraro

# # # # # # # # # # #

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Resol. No. 2003-84: Establishment of new fees for massage establishments and massage technicians. (801 x 202)

The October 7th staff report recommended the following: ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-84, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ESTABLISHING FEES FOR REGULATORY BUSINESS PERMITS AND RELATED ENFORCEMENT FOR MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS AND MASSAGE TECHNICIANS.

City Clerk Purcell indicated that the Council had been provided a copy of Exhibit A to the proposed resolution, which lists the fees.

Mayor Stern opened the public hearing on this public hearing for the establishment of regulatory business permits and related enforcement of regulations governing massage establishments and technicians.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to waive reading of staff report. Without objection, Chairman Stern so ordered.

There being no response to the Mayor’s call for public testimony he closed the public hearing.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve staff’s recommendation. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered

REGULAR BUSINESS:

Ordinance No. 399: Relating To massage establishments and technicians. (801 x 202)

City Attorney Lynch presented staff report and the recommendation to INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 399 OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REGARDING BUSINESS PERMITS AND REGULATIONS RELATING TO MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS AND TECHNICIANS AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE.

Councilman Clark questioned if this ordinance amending the regulations would also apply to the massage operations that are being planned by Ocean Trails and Long Point.

City Attorney Lynch noted for Councilman Clark that these regulations would also apply to those upcoming massage operations.

City Attorney Lynch noted for Councilman McTaggart that staff has defined numerous definitions for adult activities in order to make it clear that anyone engaging in a massage establishment could only engage in the permitted activities; and stated that if the operators did not abide by those guidelines, it would be grounds for immediate revocation of their permit.

City Attorney Lynch highlighted the suggested changes to the language that were put forth by Mayor Stern, noting that the changes would be made.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to introduce the amended ordinance.

The motion to approve the introduction of amended Ordinance No. 399 carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: None

ABSENT: Ferraro

Long Point Resort Project (Conditional Use Permit No. 215). (1203 x 1804)

Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report and the recommendation to Review the Coastal Commission's adopted Conditions of Approval and revisions to the Long Point Resort Hotel project and, if deemed acceptable, approve the final project that includes the Coastal Commission's conditions of approval.

In response to Councilman Clark’s concern regarding the Coastal Commission’s opposition to not allowing any turf around the lower pool facility, Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the Coastal Commission’s desire is that the natural habitat be restored with coastal sage scrub. Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the Coastal Commission did allow the palm trees to remain on the property, but recommended that the other plant species not be allowed. Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the Coastal Commission believed that a miniature golf putting green facility would be inconsistent with the coastal plan; and noted that the Coastal Commission staff recommended that it be moved landward from the coastal setback line. He clarified the staff report by indicating that what is before the City Council this evening is for the City Council to acknowledge the Coastal Commission’s decision and the conditions with the revised plan – pointing out that the conditions adopted by the Coastal Commission would remain in effect regardless of the City Council’s action.

Bob Nelson, 6612 Channelview Court, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he sent a letter to Mayor Byrd in July 2000 expressing his support for the project; that he sat through Planning Commission meetings and Finance Advisory Committee meetings and that when the Council took charge of the project, they really took charge of it and he was most grateful for that. He thanked the City Council for their efforts and moving the project forward.

Robert Lowe, 1177 San Vicente Boulevard, Los Angeles, Lowe Enterprises, commented on this lengthy process; thanked the City for its help to get a plan that is workable to the Coastal Commission and urged the City Council to acknowledge the conditions that the Coastal Commission has imposed, believing that those conditions are acceptable. He added that a putting course could be installed as long as it is moved out of the coastal setback zone.

Councilman Clark congratulated everyone involved in this process, believing that this should be a signature destination point in RPV; and questioned Mr. Lowe about the time period it would take to complete this project.

Mr. Lowe indicated that it may take three years to complete.

City Manager Evans relayed Mayor pro tem Ferraro’s interest in receiving quarterly reports on the status of the project activities.

Mr. Lowe stated that he would be happy to keep the City apprised of the project activities.

Councilman Gardiner congratulated Mr. Lowe and his group for their perseverance; and stated that he is looking forward to seeing the project completed.

Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to accept the final project and to acknowledge the Coastal Commission’s conditions on this project.

Councilman Clark and Councilman Gardiner noted their appreciation of Mayor Stern and Councilman McTaggart representing this body at the Coastal Commission meeting, along with the dedicated staff members.

Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Neighborhood Beautification Grant Awards (Cycle 14). (1301)

Director Allison presented staff report and the recommendation (1) Award 35 of 39 Neighborhood Beautification Grants totaling $132,095; and, (2) Approve the application from the West Portuguese Bend Community Association subject to a revision to the proposed fencing.

Because Councilman McTaggart’s home is less than 500 feet from the Vista Grande School, City Attorney Lynch stated that he should abstain on that matter.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve staff’s recommendation.

The motion to approve carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: McTaggart (abstained on the Vista Grande School proposal)

ABSENT: Ferraro

Resol. No. 2003-85: Acceptance of Grant Deeds and Easements for 3787 Coolheights Drive (Height Variation No. 899). (450 x 1203)

With the aid of a Power Point presentation, Senior Planner Mihranian presented the staff report and the recommendation to (1) Review the proposed grant deed documents dedicating to the City real property for the construction of a cul-de-sac turn-around at the terminus of Coolheights Drive, public trail easements, and an Open Space Conservation Easement; (2) ADOPT RESOL. NO. 2003-85, ACCEPTING THESE DOCUMENTS ON BEHALF OF THE CITY AND DIRECTING THE CITY CLERK TO RECORD SAID DOCUMENTS; direct staff to record immediately the Public Trail Easements and Open Space Conservation Easement with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder; and (4) Provide staff with direction regarding the concerns raised by Mr. Ortolano, Jr.

City Attorney Lynch explained that Mr. Nassiri is conveying to the City a part of the right-of-way, to which the City is conveying an easement for ingress/egress purposes to provide access to Mr. Ortolano, Jr., from the cul-de-sac to his property. She indicated that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., is requesting that he have an exclusive right over that easement.

Mayor Stern questioned why Mr. Ortolano, Jr., deems it appropriate to have an exclusive right over City property.

City Attorney Lynch expressed her belief that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., believes that this area should be providing ingress/egress from his property; that he should have the ability to landscape/hardscape it or make whatever use he might make of it similar to any other property owner in the City – pointing out the distinction that it is City-owned property. She noted for Councilman McTaggart that no one else in the City has exclusive right to use their parkways, but for that of private streets, which this is not.

Mayor Stern questioned why Mr. Ortolano, Jr., is seeking utilities in this easement area - noting that a settlement agreement had already been reached in the adverse possession lawsuit and precluded uses that would justify utilities.

City Attorney Lynch stated that there are two areas that are being referred to in this process; explained that staff has designed the documents so that the trailhead and the trail area would be for the exclusive use of ingress/egress of public trails; noted that ten feet of Mr. Ortolano, Jr.’s, property currently has a trail easement; and that five feet of the easement will be vacated from Mr. Ortolano Jr.’s property and shifted onto Mr. Nassiri’s property; and expressed her belief that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., is concerned that the remaining five feet is not available to him for other purposes – pointing out that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., would like to be able to use that area from time to time to provide for vehicular access to his property; and advised that staff is of the opinion that the public would be better served not to have vehicular access going across the area serving as the trailhead and trail easement to the Forrestal Nature Preserve. She stated that the other issue is the wedge where there would be a drop curb constructed on the cul-de-sac so that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., would be able to have vehicular/pedestrian access to his property beginning at the point where the trailhead stops, going along the frontage of his property to within five feet of the other property line, next to Mr. Ortolano, Sr.’s property.

Barbara Sattler, representing the California Native Plant Society and the Forrestal Steering Committee, explained that the Committee’s recommendation to exclude a trail segment that traverses the subject property took into consideration the diverse needs in this area, such as habitat needs, erosion considerations, neighboring residents, and people’s desire to use the trails; noted that there are some very rare and special status species on these trails; and that part of the motivation to reduce the trail usage from two to one trail was to reduce the impact to those rare species. She explained that creating new trail routes would require extensive cutting into the protected habitat; and highlighted the reason for a very narrow window to comply with some grading and fuel modification restrictions in the conditions of approval as it relates to impacts to the gnat catcher.

Nick Trutanich, 3751 Coolheights, RPV, stated that his family and neighbors have been using the Ganado Trail for many years and that they have always enjoyed the easy access to it; he added that there are approximately 17 children who routinely play in the Ganado Trail area; and addressed his concern that altering the trail may create a safety issue for the children and keep them out of sight from those watching them play from the neighborhood. He addressed his concerns with someone falling into the nearby rock quarry.

Mayor Stern questioned if Mr. Trutanich presented these concerns at the Steering Committee level.

In response, Mr. Trutanich stated that he only heard of this trail closing within the past week and that he had not brought this trail issue up with the Committee; and stated that the neighbors are in the process of passing around a petition to keep this trail open.

Barbara Dye, representing the Forrestal Steering Committee, advised that this Committee has been working on this trail issue for this site for approximately a year and a half; and commented on the various groups and neighborhoods that are represented by this Committee that has been meeting on a regular basis, methodically working through the issues. She pointed out that the new house will be blocking access to this trail; stated that the bottom of the canyon will be cleared for a fuel line; and stated that it would be a difficult construction effort to build a new trail to get to the overlook; and she stated that individuals concerned with the Committee’s recommendation on numerous occasions joined the Committee for a walk-through of the plans on site to see why the recommendation was made to delete this trail route.

Mr. Trutanich stated that neighbors at the end of the block are not aware of this proposal.

Ms. Dye pointed out that the numerous Committee meetings were open to public participation and were publicly noticed; expressed her belief that the trail on the eastern ridge is not used a lot; and stated that the vote was unanimous for not continuing the trail on the eastern ridge because of various issues that had been previously discussed.

Councilman Gardiner questioned what mechanism was used to notify the residents on Coolheights of these plans, giving them a chance to provide input.

Senior Planner Mihranian noted that the agendas are posted at City Hall, Ladera Linda, and Hesse Park. Additionally, he stated the agenda is sent to an email distribution list consisting of interested parties.

Richard Stark, 32305 Sea Raven Drive, stated that the neighborhood/community of the Mediterranean area and Sea View were advised of these discussions; and stated that the Committee addressed every possibility before making its recommendation.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that the proposed development project before the Planning Commission was publicly noticed to property owners within 500 feet of the site; that the Planning Commission had considered public testimony pertaining to trail issues; that there was a silhouette constructed on site; and that there were comments regarding the trail use. He added that the homeowner associations were also notified.

City Attorney Lynch stated that more public notice could have been given, during the Steering Committee’s Review; however, because this is not a currently dedicated public trail easement across this private property, it would not require the formal notice of a trail vacation that would have required a public hearing.

In response to Mayor Stern’s inquiries regarding the silhouette, Senior Planner Mihranian noted that the silhouette clearly blocked access to the trail in question; stated that there was discussion about the closing of this trail at the Planning Commission meetings; and that there was public input from residents on Coolheights Road regarding this trail issue.

Ms. Dye expressed her belief that Mr. Trutanich’s suggestion for a new trail would be very difficult to build and that it would be too steep and would cause a lot of habitat loss and create some safety concerns for those using it; and offered once again to walk the trails with the neighbors to explain why this recommendation was made.

Councilman Gardiner stated that the City has an obligation to notify any resident who would be affected by a project and that attempts for public notice should be maximized when feasible.

Sid Croft, attorney for the applicants, stated that Mr. Nassiri’s application was filed in 1999; commented on the numerous meetings with staff and the neighbors; noted that the applicant favors the hammerhead cul-de-sac because it does not require the conveyance of any of the neighbors’ property; commented on his interactions with the Ortolanos and the delays this has caused; advised that Mr. Nassiri spent $20,000 on the design of a hammerhead; and noted his concern with these unnecessary delays. He stated that his client is no closer to any cooperation from the Ortolanos than he was three years ago now with Mr. Ortolano, Jr.’s, request to modify the settlement agreement, to develop the property that he agreed he would not develop. He commented on the sensitive time limits to get this process moving and urged the City to move on with this process.

Ralph Ortolano, Jr., stated that he has no interest in delaying this project; commented on his attempts to move this issue forward; and stated that there are few issues left to be worked out.

Mr. Ortolano, Jr., expressed his concern that he will not have full frontage access to his property; addressed his belief that the City needs to own this five-foot strip of easement land; and noted his opposition to placing some type of barriers at the trailhead, which would block vehicular access. He stated that he has been handed non-standard ingress/egress easement language, which is not the same as the standard recitals that the City has in all other developments for the standard right-of-ways; and advised that his title insurance company has stated that if standard language is not applied, they will not insure his property.

Mayor Stern pointed out that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., does not have a standard lot in terms of what he can do with it.

Mr. Ortolano, Jr., stated that approximately 30 of his neighbors are in support of a cul-de-sac design; and urged that the City sit down and negotiate this in good faith. He stated that he is no longer interested in exclusive use of this easement.

RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION AND RECONVENE

Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 9:08 P.M. to a closed session. The meeting reconvened at 10:17 P.M.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Lois Larue, 3136 Barkentine Road, commented on the cleanup activities of her yard; stated that she did not get her appeal in on time for the Long Point project; and noted her discomfort with the Mayor’s support of the Long Point project. She noted her concern that her yard is being used as a trash depository from her neighbor.

Richard Bara, 1 Peppertree Drive, commented on the recent dog attack of his miniature horse; and urged the City to consider banning certain dangerous dog breeds in RPV, such as pit bulls, chows, Dobermans, rottweilers, etc.

Robert DeLossa, 2345 Sparta Drive, complimented the City on its informative website; commended Director Joel Rojas, City Manager Evans and Councilman Clark for making themselves available for him to discuss a complaint; and stated that the newly adopted neighborhood compatibility requirement has a trigger built into it that forces even the smallest projects that he might undertake to go through the extensive review process, which can be costly. He explained that the cost to go through the entire process is more than it will cost him to build his patio enclosure, which is under 120 square feet.

Councilman McTaggart noted that this body should take another look at the neighborhood compatibility requirement.

Councilman Clark explained that the requirement should be refined; and noted that the purpose of the trigger of 750 feet was to avoid intentional incremental increases to property in terms of adequate review at the right levels within the City, prohibiting projects that are out of range with the surrounding neighborhood. He stated that this body should consider an exception for minor projects that don’t have on property record several incremental changes.

Councilman McTaggart stated that the process should not cost more than the actual project.

Councilman Gardiner thanked Mr. DeLossa for bringing this issue to the attention of the City Council and asked that this matter be placed on a future City Council agenda so that it can be discussed.

Mr. DeLossa urged the City to address this situation as soon as possible.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Clark stated that he participated in the Annual Sea View Homeowner’s Association meeting, wherein discussion took place regarding the formation of an assessment district for the undergrounding of utilities; advised that he and Mayor Stern participated in the meeting; and he complimented Directors Allison and McLean for their informative and comprehensive presentations.

Councilman Clark stated that on Saturday, September 20th, he represented the City Council at the Whitepoint Preserve Opening, which was hosted by Councilwoman Janice Hahn; and noted that he apprised Ms. Hahn of the much larger preserve in the Portuguese Bend area.

Councilman Clark stated that he has continued to work as the Chair of the L.A. League Divisions Subcommittee trying to sort through solutions set for the selection committee to fill the vacancy on the SCAQMD position.

Councilman McTaggart stated that since the last City Council meeting, he had attended 18 meetings, but stated he would note the most important.

  • September 19th, he attended the special meeting with the MTA South Bay separate council to discuss the staff report for the upcoming changes to take place this month with the number of lines affecting RPV and surrounding communities -- noting that Lines 225 and 226 will maintain peak hour service if approved as proposed; and advised that the final hearing for the recommendation will be this Friday at the Carson Community Center at 9:30 A.M. -- noting that final decision will be made by the MTA Board.
  • September 19th, he and Director Allison investigated a problem with the storm water system in Mossbank Canyon; and stated that Director Allison is working with the County to get the problem fixed.
  • September 19th, attended the Docent’s party.
  • September 25th, attended the SCAG Growth Committee meeting to discuss the use of Growth Vision Alternatives for future planning of regional transportation issues.
  • September 29th, attended the SCAG joint meeting with the Environmental Transportation and Housing Committee to discuss the regional transportation plan.
  • October 1, attended the COG Steering Committee meeting to discuss the upcoming General Assembly, how it should be structured.
  • Attended the League of California Cities meeting in Rolling Hills Estates, wherein Ken Blackwood was initiated as the L.A. County Chair – noting that Councilwoman Ferraro and City Manager Evans were also present.
  • October 3rd, attended the Cable Committee meeting.
  • October 3rd through the 5th, attended the Contract Cities Association Conference in Morro Bay – noting that it was well attended and informative.
  • October 6th, he and Director Allison accompanied the Klondike Canyon Abatement District members on a field trip in the canyon to look over the condition of the drainage system – noting that it has been vandalized.
  • October 6th, attended the MTA meeting; and advised that the next meeting will be in February.

Councilman McTaggart addressed his concern that the Trump organization has advertised the resort project in RPV as that being in Los Angeles.

Councilman Clark stated that he addressed this same concern with Mr. Trump, with the use of Trump National at Los Angeles being advertised rather than at Rancho Palos Verdes; and stated that Mr. Trump indicated that this issue would be reconsidered.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he attended the Cable Committee meeting to discuss the scope and orchestrate the negotiations.

Mayor Stern advised that a couple weeks ago, he attended the Sanitation District’s meeting; that he attended the Sea View Homeowner’s Association meeting; and that he and Councilman Clark participated in an open space subcommittee meeting, along with members of staff and the Land Conservancy. He stated that he met with representatives of Ocean Trails to talk about their interest in pursuing a driving range.

Councilman Clark stated that the representatives from Ocean Trails showed the architectural renderings for the first set of custom home plans that will range in size from 6,500 to 9,000 feet.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 10:58 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 11:05 P.M.

Acceptance of Grant Deeds and Easements for 3787 Coolheights Drive (Cont’d.) (450 x 1203)

City Attorney Lynch summarized the discussion she had during the break with the Nassiri’s and Mr. Ortolano, Jr., stating that with respect to the trailhead, Mr. Ortolano, Jr., initially wanted the City to be restricted from putting any type of permanent barrier up at the trailhead, but stated that Director Allison was not in support of that because of issues that may arise in the future; and noted that it now appears Mr. Ortolano, Jr., is willing to change his original position. She stated that the City is making no commitment to never put in any type of barrier if a problem develops in the future.

Mr. Ortolano, Jr., stated that if that should happen, he would like an opportunity to address the situation with the City and ask for some type of compromise at that time if necessary.

City Attorney Lynch stated that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., would like some sort of hardscape on the easement area for when he needs to pull his vehicle in and out; advised that the Nassiri’s are opposed to having a vehicle parked in this easement area that would be visible from their home; noted that there is agreement that this designated area will be used as a sidewalk area for pedestrians to walk across; and stated that it can be hardscaped and possibly have utilities placed in that area. She indicated that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., would agree with the above-mentioned understandings. She stated that Mr. Ortolano, Jr., is no longer interested in the exclusive right to utilize that area. Now that these issues have been resolved, she noted that staff will make those changes, prepare the documents and get those out to all parties this week; and she requested that the City Council place a deadline date that if any of the parties don’t agree to all the documents in escrow for recordation, then the City will revert to a "s-shaped" hammerhead arrangement.

Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief that the Nassiri’s should be permitted to start grading as soon as possible.

Councilman McTaggart noted his support for the Steering Committee’s recommendation; stated that the habitat should be protected; and pointed out that individuals are still being given the opportunity for recreation in this area.

Ms. Dye pointed out that the decision was just not made because of habitat, but because of the unsafe configuration of the new trail – pointing out that the Steering Committee’s proposal is the best for the habitat and the safest for those that will use it; and added that it will allow better privacy to the Nassiri’s backyard. She advised that the Steering Committee listened to a lot of input and walked the site with many interested parties.

Senior Planner Mihranian stated that during the public hearing at the Commission level, he routinely provided the Commission with Steering Committee’s status reports.

City Attorney Lynch advised that the City will be doing some fence repairs along the Pirate Trail to ensure that the trail is improved; and with regard to modifications to staff recommendation, she highlighted that the amendment would reflect the fact that the ingress/egress area to Mr. Ortolano, Jr.’s, property will be designated also for sidewalk purposes and that it can be paved. She added that part of the recommendation will include that should the neighbors fail to consent by October 27, 2003, that it will revert to the "s-shaped" hammerhead design; that all parties will agree to release all of the appropriate documents from escrow for recordation; and that the City is to record the various trail easements.

Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to accept staff recommendation, including the above-mentioned amendments.

Councilman McTaggart thanked all parties for coming to an agreement this evening.

Ms. Sunshine, 6 Limetree Lane, expressed her belief that the City should use this case as an example to prevent this type of situation in the future; and suggested that the word "pedestrian" be taken out of the verbiage.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that the Nassiri’s are willing to re-sign the various trail easements to state "for public ingress/egress and other trail purposes as determined by grantee (the City), collectively for trail purposes."

The motion to approve carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: None

ABSENT: Ferraro

Agreement with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. (1203 x 305)

The staff report of October 7th recommended the following: (1) Award a three-year contract for habitat restoration and maintenance at San Ramon Canyon, Chandler's Preserve and Shoreline Park to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for an amount not to exceed $49,900 annually and a one-time fee of $21,000 for Shoreline Park habitat restoration: (2) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for the on-site habitat maintenance of the San Ramon Canyon, off-site wetlands mitigation at Chandler's Preserve, and on-site habitat restoration and maintenance of Shoreline Park; (3) Award a three-year contract for habitat monitoring at San Ramon Canyon, Chandler's Preserve and Shoreline Park to Helix Environmental for an amount not to exceed $29,500 annually; (4) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement with Helix Environmental for habitat monitoring services at the San Ramon Canyon, Chandler's Preserve and Shoreline Park; and, (5) Authorize the expenditure of $73,934 from the NCCP Fund for habitat restoration and maintenance services for the period of November 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to waive staff report. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

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

The motion to approve carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, McTaggart, Stern

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: None

ABSENT: Ferraro

Utility undergrounding assessment districts: proposed assessment loans. (901)

The staff report of October 7th recommended the following: (1) Direct staff to exclude a provision for assessment loans by the City in the proposed guidelines for Utility Undergrounding Assessment Districts; or (2) Return the matter to the Finance Advisory Committee to work with Finance Staff and its advisors to attempt to develop an assessment loan program that minimizes or eliminates the City's use of General fund reserves.

City Clerk Purcell advised that late correspondence (of record) in regard to this matter had been provided to the City Council this evening.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to waive staff report. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Director McLean sought clarification with regard to the recommendation, seeking whether or not to exclude a provision for assessment loans in the proposed guidelines; and stated that an alternative would be to exclude loans from the guidelines and to consider allowing staff and the Finance Advisory Committee to try to develop a mechanism for private financing – noting that this last alternative would need the advice of council and a financial advisor, at a cost of approximately $10,000.

Mayor Stern questioned why the City would have to pay into this 20-year stream and not receive any accruing interest during that period.

City Attorney Lynch explained that the City would have to pay everything into the fund at one time because of the California Constitutional Debt Limit – stating that the City has to make the commitment and put all the funds into the separate account.

Director McLean explained that if the City were simply to pay the assessment, take a security position and then allow interest to accrue, the City would lose, in terms of status, its security position, fall near the bottom; and that the City would be losing the sense of security that it would otherwise have as a result of there being a lien placed on the property and it being placed on the tax rolls, which is significant.

Councilman Clark stated that staff report presents a clear and convincing argument, particularly in light of two factors: 1) after comprehensive research of other cities in this state, no other city provides an assessment loan program to its residents; and, 2) because of this tumultuous economic environment in the City and state, the City does not have the funds. He pointed out that staff and the Finance Advisory Committee are both recommending that the City Council eliminate this option as part of the City’s guidelines for undergrounding utilities; and stated that if the City’s and state’s economic position improves in future, he would be happy to revisit this matter. He stated that at this point in time, it would be prudent to eliminate this option; and added that the City does not have the staffing to support the actual operation of this program at this point in time.

Councilman Gardiner asked that explicit wording be included in the provision that the City Council reserves the right, should there be undue hardship on any individual within the proposed district, to reject the plan.

Councilman Clark recommended a date specific for staff to return with a comprehensive set of guidelines for undergrounding utility assessment districts.

Councilman McTaggart pointed out that this body agrees that the City does not have the money.

Director Allison stated that this issue will be on the City Council’s agenda by December.

Director McLean stated that this should be ready by December.

Councilman Clark stated that this matter should be comprehensively addressed at the first meeting in December and that it should get out to the communities as quickly as possible so that everyone can act accordingly.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, to approve Recommendation No. 1, to exclude for this time period the provision in the guidelines associated with the assessment loans by the City. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Border Issues Status Report. (310)

Senior Planner Fox reviewed the current status of border issues, and asked for direction from the City Council.

In response to a question from Councilman McTaggart, Senior Planner Fox stated that he had not had time yet to review the draft EIR for the County South Coast Golf Course project to determine if the Cities previous comments and questions had been addressed.

Councilman Gardiner asked that this City request a 90-day extension for comments on the EIR; and addressed his concern for the safety of the children at the Rancho Vista School – pointing out that he is not interested in the concept of "acceptable risk" for children.

City Attorney Lynch stated that the City has the ability to request an extension, but that it is not mandatory that the County grant the request.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, that the City request an extension of the EIR comment period. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Don Shults, 2120 Velez Drive, complimented Senior Planner Fox on the Border Issues reports; and expressed his belief that the federal government has violated the McKinney Act in its allocation of the Navy property. He asked staff to see if they can find some kind of information about how the federal government is able to bypass their own guidelines.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that the City Council send a letter, with all Council’s signatures, to the Secretary of HUD, the Secretary of the Navy, and a copy to Dana Rohrbacher.

Councilman Clark stated that he had discussed this matter with Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who stated that she had personally taken some action in this arena; and suggested that staff first contact her office staff to find out specifically where she stands and to discuss pursuing some remedies for this situation.

Mayor Stern asked that staff place on the City’s website a link to the South Coast County Golf Course EIR document.

Klondike Canyon Geologic Hazard Abatement District: Appointment of qualified persons to the board directors. (2100)

The staff report of October 7th recommended the following: consider making one or more appointments of qualified persons to the Board of the Klondike Canyon Geologic Hazard Abatement District.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to waive staff report. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Councilman Clark suggested that a staff member be appointed to this board.

City Manager Evans stated that Director Allison is familiar with this issue and is willing to serve.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman McTaggart, that Public Works Director Dean Allison be appointed to serve as the City Representative on this board. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

League Proposal for Statewide Ballot Initiative to Protect Local Funds. (306 x 1101)

City Manager Evans presented staff report and the recommendation to consider support of a League of California Cities sponsored ballot initiative to empower the voters to limit the ability of state government to confiscate local tax funds to fund state government.

Councilman Clark stated that while in Sacramento during the meeting of the executive board of the League of California Cities representing the entire 488 cities, there was a

unanimous decision that the League is going to move forward to try in the future to protect city revenue streams from being taken by the state government; and he recommended that this City follow the lead of the Board and many cities throughout the state.

Councilman McTaggart stated that he supports this initiative, and mentioned that the fund-raising has not been successful.

Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve staff recommendation; and moved that a letter in support be sent to the League of California Cities.

Federal Telecommunications Legislation H.R. 49 (Cox) and S. 150 (Allen). (306 x 1101)

The October 7th staff report made the following recommendation: Consider sending a letter to Congressman Rohrbacher and Senators Feinstein and Boxer, asking them to remove the detrimental expansion of the definition of "Internet Access" from the "Internet Tax Non-Discrimination Act of 2003" (H.R.49/S.52).

Since the preparation of the staff report on this item, City Manager Evans explained that the House of Representatives had passed its version of this legislation and has effectively taken telecommunication services and put it into a protected area of internet services; and noted that this small change in wording makes telecommunication providers exempt from the City’s utility user’s tax.

Councilman McTaggart moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve staff recommendation. Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch advised that Nick Miller will be the lead negotiator with Cox Communications; noted that he will be working with the City Council to prepare a negotiated strategy; and with respect to the second item on the agenda, she noted that no action was taken.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

Mayor Stern recessed the meeting at 12:33 A.M. and reconvened the meeting at 12:35 A.M.

ADJOURNMENT:

Councilman McTaggart moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:36 A.M. to the Redevelopment Agency meeting.

/s/ Douglas W. Stern

Attest: Mayor

/s/ Jo Purcell

City Clerk