M I N U T E S
The meeting was called to order at 7:16 p.m. at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.
Roll call was answered as follows:
PRESENT: Stern, Gardiner, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
ABSENT: Clark (excused)
Also present were City Manager Les Evans, Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Carolynn Petru, City Attorney Carol Lynch, Director of Finance/IT Dennis McLean, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas, Interim Director of Public Works Ray Holland, Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost, Associate Planner Kit Fox, and Traffic Engineer Jack Rydell.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Barbara Dye, Chair of the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Councilman Stern made a motion to approve the agenda. Seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz declared that the motion passed, and the agenda was approved as presented.
Mayor Wolowicz explained that the residents of the Seaview Community were treated to a fireworks display this past weekend courtesy of the Trump Organization as a test for a future event. He explained that positive comments had been received save for one. He stated that the negative comment was that people were not given adequate advanced notice and that notification would be handled more efficiently in the future.
Mayor Wolowicz requested Director McLean to present the Mayor’s Did You Know Facts, which focused on a brief overview of the sales tax revenue in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Director McLean reported that although the sales tax rate in California is 8.25%, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes receives only 1% of each taxable sale, or $1.00 out of every $100.00 of sales. He stated that sales tax is meaningful for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and that sales tax revenues accounted for 7.6% of the total FY 2004-05 General Fund Revenues. He compared the trends of property tax, utility user tax, and sales tax over the last several years in the City and pointed out the importance of sales tax in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. He indicated that the City of Rancho Palos Verdes currently receives 8.2% of sales tax revenue that the City of Rolling Hills Estates collects, which totaled receipts of approximately $93,000 in FY 2004/2005, but noted that this Sales Tax Agreement expires in 2010. Mayor Wolowicz encouraged residents to make purchases in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes when possible to help generate sales tax revenue for the City.
Mayor Pro Tem Long presented Mayor Wolowicz with a license plate holder honoring him as the Mayor for the Year of 2006.
Mayor Wolowicz announced Mr. and Mrs. Leo Fritz and David and Joanne Martin as Recyclers of the Month and urged everyone to participate in the City’s recycling program.
Dr. Zara Tabassian, Palos Verdes Estates, requested that the Council allow her to share some comments and suggestions with Gabriella Holt regarding RPV TV Channel 33.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that Ms. Holt was accessible by telephone and email and that Council or staff would help facilitate a meeting between the two if Dr. Tabassian was unable to successfully contact her via phone or email.
CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:
Councilman Gardiner had nothing to report.
Mayor Pro Tem Long reported that on the February 26th he attended the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California, a cycling race held in California, at the invitation of Mayor Gin; and, he attended the Residential Standards Development Committee meeting on February 28th where the date was set for the final meeting of this group.
Councilman Stern reported that on March 2nd he attended the League of California Cities meeting with Mayor Pro Tem Long where Chris McKenzie, Executive Director of the League, spoke regarding statewide issues of interest to the cities; he reported that both he and Mayor Pro Tem Long received their state required Ethics Training Certifications at this meeting; and, he attended the Whale of a Day celebration on March 4th.
Mayor Wolowicz reported that he attended the following meetings: the Annual General Assembly of the South Bay Council on Governments on February 23rd; an ad hoc meeting with a group of residents on February 25th regarding school boundary issues concerning the East side of the city; he met with Councilman Gardiner and City Manager Evans regarding the school boundary issues on February 27th; the Residential Development Standards Committee meeting on February 28th regarding issues related to City development standards and zoning requirements; he met with Barbara Dye, Director of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, on March 1st regarding a proposal on the agenda this evening; he represented the City and Council at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority Annual Planning Meeting on March 2nd regarding issues related to public transit; attended the Whale of a Day celebration on March 4th; and, met earlier this evening with representatives from the Palos Verdes Art Center regarding its plans to develop a new facility at the City Civic Center site.
CITY MANAGER REPORTS:
City Manager Evans reported that the City had received a lot of input regarding the recent fireworks display, off the coast from Trump National Golf Course with the negative comments regarding the lack of noticing. He stated if an event like this were to be proposed in the future, the applicant would have to adhere to noticing requirements.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru advised the audience that items previously discussed and continued to a future meeting could be viewed on the City’s website at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.
APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that she had received no requests to speak on the Consent Calendar and that she had distributed late correspondence on Items 1, 2, 3, and 9.
Mayor Pro Tem Long requested that Items 5 and 6 be pulled from the Consent Calendar, Item 5 for one revision to the minutes and Item 6 for one question and one comment.
Councilman Stern also requested that Item 6 be removed from the Consent Calendar.
Councilman Stern moved approval of the Consent Calendar as amended, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Stern, Gardiner, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
Repair of the Tarapaca Storm Drain (604 x 1204)
Interim Improvements to Barkentine/Seacove and Other Miscellaneous Drainage Improvements (604 x 1204)
Reviewed and reconfirmed by four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on October 18, 2005, to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to construct interim improvements to Barkentine/Sea Cove and other miscellaneous drainage improvements.
Pontevedra Emergency Storm Drain Repairs (604 x 1204)
Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on December 6, 2005 to authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to repair the Pontevedra storm drain line.
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.
Ordinance No. 436: Adoption of Ordinance No. 436 - Regulating Massage Establishments and Amending the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code [This Ordinance was introduced at the February 21, 2006 meeting.] (202 x 1801)
State Office of Traffic Safety Grant Application (1502 x 602 x 1206)
Authorized the City to act as the pass-through agency for a $14,954 grant awarded to the Lomita Sheriff’s Station by the State Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for the 2006 Seat Belt Compliance Campaign.
January 2006 Treasurer’s Report (602)
Received and filed the January 2006 Treasurer’s Report for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Resolution No. 2006-15: Register of Demands
ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-15, 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.
ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR
Approval of the Minutes (301)
Mayor Pro Tem Long referred to page eight of the February 4, 2006, where his comment was cited referring to a Sheriff’s substation. He stated that he believed he was actually discussing the lack of paramedic presence at Abalone Cove and requested a correction be made to his statement.
City Manager Evans stated that this change was significant because he believed the Sheriff’s substation was included as one of the Council’s goals and suggested that perhaps that goal should be removed.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved to amend page eight of the February 4, 2006 Minutes as discussed, seconded by Councilman Stern.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Ordinance No. 434: Adoption of Ordinance No. 434 - Regulating Peddling and Amending the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code [This Ordinance was introduced at the February 21, 2006 meeting.] (202 x 1801)
Councilman Stern stated that in Subparagraph J of the Ordinance, which was a provision that allowed principals of the schools to authorize peddling in the immediate area, he had requested that the provision not only include the requirement that the vendor keep a copy of the permission letter with them at their location, but that they also be required to file the letter with the City. He suggested that they should be required to file the permission letter with the City within five days of receipt.
City Attorney Lynch stated that she would add the language “and within five days of receipt shall provide a copy of the letter of authorization to the City.”
Mayor Pro Tem Long inquired if Subparagraph D, on circle page five, set reasonable regulations regarding the requirement that the peddlers not position themselves within 500 feet of each other. He asked if the general purpose of the section could be achieved without being quite so restrictive.
City Attorney Lynch respectfully disagreed with Mayor Pro Tem Long’s point. She stated that the Code currently has a ten-minute parking restriction that was carried forward into this Ordinance so that it would be very clear that vehicles could only park at the particular location for ten minutes and then would have to move to a new location. She stated that the problem as she understood it from the residents was that vehicles have parked in one general location for many hours at a time as opposed to just parking briefly, providing food and drink to those at the construction site, and then moving on to a new site.
Councilman Gardiner asked if the word regarding the definition of peddling that Councilman Stern had suggested incorporating did indeed get incorporated into the final ordinance.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the phrase “concurrently offering,” on circle page three, paragraph E was included in the definition.
Councilman Gardiner inquired if organizations such as the Girl Scouts would be included under the exemptions as outlined by the ordinance.
City Attorney Lynch said that they would be included since they were a 501(c)3 entity.
Councilman Stern moved approval of Item 6 as amended, with the change to Subparagraph J, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
Mayor Pro Tem Long noted that he believed Subparagraph D on circle page 5 was too restrictive and that he would not support the Ordinance as written.
Councilman Stern pointed out that there was another missed word that he would like to add on circle page six, Subparagraph J three lines up from the bottom where the ordinance reads “…is peddling on the school’s property…” should read “…on or near the school’s property…” because it is allowed within 200 feet of the property.
City Attorney Lynch clarified that the principal’s authorization only applies to the school property and that the City governs the parking on the street, so the intent was to make it clear that they could only be on school property with the permission of the principal.
Councilman Stern withdrew his comment.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired if Mayor Pro Tem Long was making an amendment to the motion on the floor.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated he doubted he would get a second, but his amendment was to amend Subparagraph D on circle page 5 to replace the references from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
Councilman Gardiner asked if the amendment would be sufficient for Mayor Pro Tem Long to support the Ordinance.
Mayor Pro Tem Long indicated that he would support the motion as amended because he believed it to be more reasonable. He also stated that the stipulation be added that no peddlers could park within 500 feet of one another at any given time.
City Attorney Lynch indicated that stipulation could be incorporated if that was the direction given by Council, but that she anticipated enforcement difficulties with this aspect. She explained that the reason the parking time period was kept short was because of the complaints of the residents in the neighborhood.
Mayor Pro Tem Long withdrew the last stipulation.
Councilman Stern pointed out that what the City was trying to prevent was the peddler vehicle simply moving a few feet.
Councilman Gardiner stated that the motion, as amended, would allow the peddler to park for 30 minutes and then they would be required to move at least 500 feet from their original location within the 24 hour period.
Mayor Wolowicz asked the City Attorney if the motion, as amended, would place this Ordinance in conflict with any other City regulation or code.
City Attorney Lynch stated that she was 99 percent sure that when she drafted this amendment she superseded the section that stated 10 minutes. She explained that if the changes were inconsistent she would have to bring back a revised ordinance.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired as to the monitoring process that could be implemented to enforce the suggested 30-minute parking regulation. He stated if it were too difficult to enforce he would be inclined to implement the ten-minute time limit.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru informed the Council that Lieutenant Lum was present and could address the issue of enforceability if they so desired.
City Attorney Lynch said that enforcement would likely come from the Sheriff’s Department on a neighborhood complaint basis.
Mayor Pro Tem Long indicated that he was not sure why the enforceability issue had to be addressed, as the proposed amendment was nothing more than a change in precise language from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.
Mayor Wolowicz invited Lieutenant’s Lum to speak on the matter.
Lieutenant Jason Lum, Lomita Sheriff’s Station, stated that the suggested amendment, from the 10-minute to 30-minute parking restriction, would require a Deputy to be stationed at that location for a longer period of time, and he was not sure if the Council and City wanted to use their manpower in that manner. He explained that the intersection at Monero Drive and Granvia Altamira was the only one about which the Sheriff’s Department receives continuous complaints.
Councilman Stern inquired as to the manner in which enforcement was presently handled at the site.
Lieutenant Lum stated that at present the Deputy must remain to monitor if the vehicle has stayed in the same location beyond the allowable time. He pointed out that increasing the allowable time to a 30-minute parking restriction would make it more difficult to monitor if the Deputy has to be called away from the site.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that the answer to the issue was in the Ordinance itself in that the vehicle could not be in the same location and must be at least 500 feet away from the original location once the 10 or 30-minute time period has elapsed.
Councilman Gardiner inquired as to the amount of the fine for violation of the ordinance, and if repeated offenses incurred higher fines.
City Attorney Lynch indicated that the typical penalty for a misdemeanor was $1,000.00 and that state law set the fines, so an increase to the fees was not permitted.
Mayor Wolowicz thanked Lieutenant Lum for his insight on the issue. Mayor Wolowicz indicated that he would support the amendment with the understanding that it be monitored for a stated period of time after which the Council should revisit the matter to discuss the effectiveness.
Councilman Stern pointed out that 30 minutes is more likely an hour by the time it is enforced, but he is willing to see how it works for six months or a year.
City Attorney Lynch commented that City Manager Evans had made a point that the green curb at the specific location they are addressing is a ten-minute parking zone, and that was one reason why the 10-minute time period was chosen. She explained that the amendment as proposed with the 30-minute parking restriction may have the unintended consequence that the City was trying to avoid of forcing the parking further down the street toward the residential area.
Councilman Gardiner commented that he doubts the local neighbors go out and buy from these vendors and inquired if the idea had ever been explored of setting up a specific site in the City for the purpose of peddling lunch.
City Manager Evans commented that he had proposed at one point that the parking lot at Hesse Park be used for this purpose, but the vendors were not in favor of the site, because of lack of visibility to their customers.
Mayor Pro Tem Long said he could live with a shorter time period if the answer was to offer the peddlers an alternative as far as going to a certain location where they would be allowed to park without adhering to the more difficult rules of parking on the street.
City Attorney Lynch pointed out that the Ordinance already authorizes the City Manager to issue permits to allow individuals to park in a City park.
Mayor Wolowicz suggested adopting the Ordinance with the 10-minute parking limit and at the same time sending out notices along with the notices of the Ordinance indicating that they can park in designated locations with less stringent rules.
Mayor Pro Tem Long pointed out that according to the Ordinance it was entirely optional that the City Manager issue such permits.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved to approve staff’s recommendation with the 10-minute parking limit with instruction to the City Manager, pursuant to Subsection A on circle page 4, to find a City park where a reasonable number of permits could be issued for a period of up to six months, with the matter to be returned to Council with a report and recommendation after that time period.
Councilman Gardiner seconded the motion.
ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 434, AS AMENDED, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REGULATING PEDDLING AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE.
The Ordinance carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Long, Gardiner, Stern, Mayor Wolowicz
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
# # # # # #
PAUSED TO CONSIDER REMAINDER OF THE AGENDA
Mayor Pro Tem Long suggested that Council consider moving items with requests to speak forward on the agenda in the interest of time.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru stated that there were the following requests to speak on the following agenda items: one on Item 14, three on Item 16, and two on Item 19.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved to hear Item 16 next, which would be followed by the regular order of items, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
ITEMS TAKEN OUT OF ORDER
Eastview School District Legislation (105 x 1401)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that she distributed late correspondence on this item.
City Manager Evans reported that last week the Eastview School District Legislation Ad Hoc Committee of Mayor Wolowicz and Councilman Gardiner asked him to make a factual presentation of the Eastview situation as he understood it including some history of the situation, his view of where the two school boards stood on the matter, and the proposed legislation. He stated that on February 4, 2006, the City Council set bringing the Eastview neighborhood into the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District as one of its goals. He stated that Council had authorized the Mayor to appoint an Ad Hoc Committee; the Mayor to send letters to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District requesting meetings to identify and resolve issues related to boundary changes; and, adopted the goal of advocating and pursuing state legislation that had previously been sent to Assemblymember Karnette. He reported that the Mayor appointed himself and Councilman Gardiner to the Ad Hoc Committee; the City Attorney completed the preparation of draft legislation, which was submitted to Assemblymember Karnette’s Office, who in turn submitted it to Legislative Counsel.
City Manager Evans explained that one month later, the Daily Breeze quoted a staff member of Assemblymember Karnette’s Office as saying that the issue would be “dead on arrival” unless all parties could agree on a boundary adjustment. He continued that if the City Council wants to take up the challenge of trying to get the two school districts to agree, Educational Code Section 35700 provides a process by which a transfer of territory can occur between school districts if a majority of the members of the boards of the two school districts agree.
City Manager Evans presented a flow chart of how the transfer of territory could occur if the two school boards were to agree. He stated that the process begins with petitions of the majority of the board members in both districts being submitted to the county superintendent, and if the county superintendent finds the petitions sufficient and signed by the majority of the board district members, the petitions would be sent to the County Committee of the State Board. He explained several hearings would be held and if everything is in order, the territory is inhabited, the assessed valuation is less than 10% of the original district, and all of the governing boards have given consent, then the petition is granted. He stated that there is also a public hearing process and an appeal process that is possible.
City Manager Evans stated that the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified District School Board had a consistent record of support for bringing Eastview into their district as far back as 1983 continuing through 2003. He explained that in April 2003, the Board directed Superintendent Toibin to enter into negotiations with Los Angeles Unified School District to negotiate a transfer of the Eastview territory and Superintendent Toibin reported that he was working with Los Angeles Unified School District to negotiate a transfer of the Eastview Territory into Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. He indicated that since 2003, Staff had not been able to find a record of the results of this negotiation. City Manager Evans stated that he recently contacted Superintendent Toibin about his concerns regarding the issue. The Superintendent stated his concerns to be the issue of the bonded indebtedness associated with the two schools owned by Los Angeles Unified School District and how that would be handled; the management of special education students and related financial concerns; the logistics of transportation of the Eastview area students to schools that they would attend, and the issue of if there would be enough classroom space in the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District for all of the children in the Eastview area. City Manager Evans asked Superintendent Toibin if he would be willing to approach his School Board Members with a suggestion for a meeting with the School Board of Los Angeles regarding the transfer of territory and he stated that he would but that his recommendation to the Board would be focused on the issues of concern that he raised.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he had spoken to a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, Mike Lansing, who had agreed to meet with the Council’s Ad Hoc Committee to surface the issues that Los Angeles Unified School District would deem significant. Mayor Wolowicz stated Mr. Lansing would be out of town for a two-week period but would be happy to meet with the Committee upon his return and that his chief of staff would be calling to set up that meeting.
City Manager Evans explained that after the passage of Senate Bill 1681 allowing Eastview to become an optional attendance area, the Palos Verdes Unified School District approached the State Mandates Board for financial assistance because the boundary was considered a state mandate and therefore they felt they should be reimbursed their costs. He reported that the School District did not succeed on the point, but that the following history was taken from the State Mandate Board records:
In 1983, the unincorporated area of Eastview was annexed to the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, but there were no changes made to school district boundaries, and Eastview remained in the Los Angeles Unified School District. From 1983 to at least 1995 the Los Angeles Unified School District opposed all attempts by the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District to revise the district boundaries to include Eastview. Then, in 1991 the entire Board of Education for Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District signed Resolution 16 supporting the territory transfer for the Eastview area from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD). The PVPUSD was successful in using the school district reorganization process that included an election where 84% of the Eastview residents approved the transfer. LAUSD protested the method of the vote and were victorious when the courts determined that the election was invalid since it did not include all residents of the LAUSD. In 1999, Senator Karnette and Assemblymember Kuykendall were successful in getting Senate Bill 1631 passed, which made Eastview an optional attendance area.
City Manager Evans stated that if the City Council was interested in authorizing him to do so, he would try to meet with the staff of both school districts in an attempt to better understand the issues and whether there could be resolution at the staff level.
Don Schults, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he was happy to see attention being given to this issue and he was hopeful that this would be brought to a positive conclusion in getting the “whole job done.”
Councilman Stern asked what Mr. Schults what he meant by getting the “whole job done.” Mr. Schults stated his intent was for the schools to stay in place, with Dodson and Crestwood remaining as schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District; the individuals in Eastview would have to pay the indebtedness for Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD) and would be relieved of paying the Los Angeles Unified School District indebtedness. Mr. Schults stated that a compelling argument last time around was that there was not enough classroom space in the PVPUSD, but that he feels that would be solved now that three schools, including Dapplegray, have been opened in the last five to six years. He stated he believed that there would be the addition of a couple of hundred students who could transfer to the PVPUSD. He stated that another issue that needed to be addressed was the transportation of students to and from school since busing was virtually non-existent on the Peninsula.
Mayor Pro Tem Long asked City Manager Evans if the concern of Superintendent Toibin with regard to special education children was that if the boundary was changed there would be a requirement for Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District to take on additional children with special education needs that they could otherwise turn away and the other financial issues involved with that issue.
City Manager Evans stated he was reluctant to answer because he was not sure that he fully understood the issues of this concern in particular; however, he felt that Dr. Toibin’s concerns were not focused on accepting these children but on whether the money to help fund the program would come with them.
Mayor Pro Tem Long said he was having trouble understanding how the proposed boundary change would impact students with special education needs unless the PVPUSD was that they were concerned that it would be more difficult for the District to turn away the children if the money wasn’t there.
City Attorney Lynch stated that she was not an expert in the area, but thought this was an issue related to the Americans with Disabilities Act where certain accommodations are required to be made, but she did not know what the requirements are currently.
Councilman Gardiner made a presentation where he gave a brief explanation of the Brown Act and why the Council was discussing this topic at a public meeting. He reported that in 1998, the then current Mayor Ferraro sent a letter to the PVPUSD and said that they formed a subcommittee to look at the Eastview area issue and asked the school district to work with them. He stated that on February 8, 2006, the current City Council sent a letter to the PVPUSD School Board President requesting a meeting, for which they received an initial response and are waiting for a meeting date. He reported that in 2004 the PVPUSD Board disbanded a liaison subcommittee with the City and determined that when issues affecting both the City and the School District arose, the matter would be agendized for discussion at a regular board meeting. He noted that in 2004 a PVPUSD School Board subcommittee was appointed to review all of the options available for the transfer of Eastview to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District and the subcommittee was to report back to the Board with findings and/or recommendations, but he was not aware of the present status.
Councilman Gardiner presented additional historical information including the following: On January 28, 1991, the entire PVPUSD School Board signed Resolution 16 supporting the territory transfer of the Eastview area from LAUSD to PVPUSD; on March 4, 1992, a letter was sent from the PVPUSD Board of Education to the State Board of Education advising the State Board of its continued support of the Eastview residents in their efforts to transfer the Eastview area to the PVPUSD; in that letter, it was mentioned that there was no intention to operate Crestwood Elementary and Dodson Intermediate schools which are located in the Eastview area and presently owned by the LAUSD and that they were willing to meet with officials of the LAUSD to negotiate a workable solution so that they could continue to utilize the two school sites with no interruption to their programs; on March 17, 1997, and December 8, 1997, the PVPUSD adopted two more resolutions supporting the transfer of the Eastview area; on January 5, 1998, Assembly Bill 401 was amended with two substantive changes, 1) that any facility belonging to the LAUSD that is transferred under the bill would remain the property of the LAUSD and that the status of the LAUSD employees would not be affected by the bill; and, 2) the bill added a provision allowing Eastview residents the right to vote in any election held by PVPUSD and not LAUSD; and, on January 15, 1998, PVPUSD sent two letters to various members of the Legislature supporting the amended version of AB 401.
Councilman Gardiner stated that the PVPUSD restated its position that it fully supported the Eastview transfer and in response to a question from Assemblyman Kuykendall regarding adequate housing for the new students, the PVPUSD stated that it could “adequately house the Eastview students” in a “fiscally responsible manner.” He reported that on April 17, 1998, PVPUSD sent a letter in support of SB 1681 to Senator Karnette concluding that the transfer was not a new idea but one that has had extensive review and legislative analysis in prior years with the full support of the PVPUSD Board of Education. Councilman Gardiner stated that the desired outcome of Rancho Palos Verdes is to formalize the status of about 1,000 school-aged Eastview students who are currently attending schools in the PVPUSD which would mean redrawing the boundaries so the default is that the students in the area would attend schools in the PVPUSD with the inference that those who might want to stay with the LAUSD could opt out. He noted that the LAUSD would keep the public school facilities and land they currently own in the Eastview area. Councilman Gardiner pointed out that a head count of the students in Eastview who are presently attending schools in the LAUSD would be helpful.
Councilman Gardiner explained that on December 19, 2002, the Commission on State Mandates denied a PVPUSD claim for reimbursement to implement the “optional attendance legislation” of 1998. He stated that their position was that the State did not mandate anything on the PVPUSD, and the “PVPUSD agreed that the statute did not expressly impose any requirements on the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.”
Councilman Stern commented that it was unfortunate if people were interpreting this issue as being a State mandate, which is not the case.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that these are the issues that could be cleared up for the public. He explained how theoretically the transfer of 1000 Eastview students to the PVPUSD could result in a $2.8 million a year contribution to the PVPUSD. He reported that the PVPUSD recently received an additional $7,000,000 in Growth Matching Money from the State for Measure R due to increased enrollment of Eastview students. He stated that there were some benefits to having Eastview join the school district that were not just social and family benefits, but would also give a sense of permanence and financial advantage to the school district. He stated that legitimate concerns should be defined, discussed and resolved. Councilman Gardiner recommended that the issues could be worked out on a staff level, with staff suitably addressing the issues and working towards obtaining a majority of votes of both School Boards in order to yield the desired results.
Denay Vogel, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she lived in the Eastview section of the City and has two children currently enrolled in the Palos Verdes schools. She stated that she felt it very important that Eastview become a permanent part of the PVPUSD boundaries. She stated that she would like the same rights that other residents of the City enjoy and thanked the Council for their efforts and work on this matter.
Traci Austin, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that she lives in Eastview and wanted to thank the Council and staff for their efforts in trying to resolve the issues so that Eastview residents are treated equally, not as stepchildren, and are able to vote on issues related to the PVPUSD.
Councilman Stern stated that he supports the recommendation of Councilman Gardiner and staff. He stated that it was a proper goal to try to bring the Eastview community into the PVPUSD as completely as it wants to be, it is important to identify the smartest strategy to attain this goal. He stated that he was critical of the way the process was started because it created problems, but noted that the smart way to move forward was with cooperation, understanding and attention to the concerns of the agencies represented including both PVPUSD and LAUSD, which inherently means that all involved have to be cooperative and find solutions instead of finding differences. He stated he would vote in favor of the staff recommendation.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated his support for the staff recommendation, agreed that the issues should be discussed in a public forum and favored moving this issue forward by having staff get a better handle on the concerns and issues involved.
Councilman Gardiner stated he has great confidence in City Manager Evans’ ability to work with his counterparts in the respective organizations to work through the issues.
Councilman Stern moved the approval of staff recommendation, to direct City staff to work with appropriate staff from the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District and the Los Angeles Unified School District to identify issues, and potential resolution of those issues, in regard to revising school district boundaries to include the Eastview neighborhood in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Recess and Reconvene:
Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 8:59 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 9:07 p.m.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved to reorder the agenda, with Items 13, 14 and 19 to be heard before Item 11, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Palos Verdes High School Pool Project (1401 x 602)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that she had distributed late correspondence on this item and that there were seven requests to speak including a request to show a PowerPoint presentation.
Kate Cocke, Palos Verdes Estates, stated that the Sea King Capital Project was established by a group of parents who were concerned about the infrastructure at Palos Verdes High School. She stated that this group has prioritized projects that they would like to work on, and the pool was their first project. She stated that the current Palos Verdes High School pool is 40 years old, dilapidated and in a terrible state of repair, and inadequate to serve the needs of the community. She stated that despite the condition of the pool, the students are working hard, the programs are growing, and although the Palos Verdes High, Peninsula High, and Chadwick’s High School teams made CIF playoffs this year, both Palos Verdes and Peninsula High Schools had to host their events at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach because the current pool was not adequate for their use. She stated that even though the local swim clubs and teams have also done very well the pool was not configured correctly, causing them to play at Mira Costa as well.
Ms. Cocke stated that the status of the Sea King Capital Project was that the capital project team formed and incorporated as a non-profit organization; the conceptual design and cost estimate had been completed; the site plan and detailed rendering of the aquatics facility has been prepared; the enthusiastic approval by the School Board has been secured; a consulting and design firm was hired to help with the project; and, the plan was with the Division of State Architects and they were anticipating approval by March 14, 2006. She stated that they worked with the District to insure that the Measure S Bond passed in November included $1 million for pool renovations; and revised the cost estimates to $2.5 million since this process has taken roughly three years to approve. She stated that they had a grassroots major donor campaign kickoff on February 7, 2006, and that there has been incredible community support; that the results they hope for will be a 25-yard x 40-meter pool designed for water polo, competitive swimming, community use and aquatics instruction located at the current location with bleachers as well as an enclosed equipment room, restrooms, storage and office facilities. She stated that the District has agreed to pay to maintain the pool which should cost less than at present, since the pool will be more efficient. She stated that once approval has been obtained, they anticipate it should take two months to bid and get approval of the contracts and at that point the money raised will be gifted to the District. She noted that the Division of State Architects will oversee the construction project and it will take four to six months to build the pool, which will impact the community’s use of the pool during that time. She stated that since the campaign began on February 7th, they have raised close to $800,000 in support of the project; that there were various naming opportunities for the different levels of donors as well as sponsorship opportunities for those who donate $1,000 or more; and, that donations were tax-deductible, the Tax ID Number was 51-0492847 and the website address was www.seakingcapital.com.
Councilman Gardiner inquired as to the date the fundraising efforts would end and suggested that an announcement be placed on the video bulletin board on Channel 33 to help publicize the fundraising event.
Ms. Cocke stated that the goal was to raise the funds by March 15th, because if the money was not raised by a certain point in time, the District would use the $1 million bond money to renovate the existing pool instead of replacing it.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired about the design of the pool in terms of diving.
Ms. Cocke replied that at present the District has adopted a policy of no diving, but that the pool was designed so that it is deep enough for diving should that be incorporated into the program at some later date.
Councilman Gardiner inquired why the pool was much longer than the CIF standards.
Ms. Cocke explained that the 30-meter portion was designed to meet CIF water polo standards, and that the shallow end was added for community instructional swim.
Chris Murin, Palos Verdes Estates, Palos Verdes High School, Head Water Polo Coach, explained that the CIF standard for water polo is 25 yards by 15 yards in width, but that most pools are 25 yards wide. He explained that he has first hand knowledge of the increase in aquatic activities in the community, which has created time conflicts in terms of pool time. He reported that there has been an increase in the number of aquatics clubs in the community, which combined with the school swim programs, has maximized the use of the available pool facilities. He noted that the pool does not allow the community to host its CIF playoff games due to its configuration, but believes the new facility would well serve the schools in water polo, swim programs, and other aquatic uses for the community.
Mayor Pro Tem Long inquired whether the additional yardage that was added to the pool was to accommodate a shallow end for community and instructional use, while adding the necessary area for water polo games and practices.
Mr. Murin replied that Mayor Pro Tem Long’s explanation was correct.
Eric Agnew, Head Coach at Palos Verdes High School and Palos Verdes Aquatics Club Program, stated that swim programs have grown dramatically, the number of kids trying out for swim teams had increased to 127 students this past year, the swimming abilities have increased, and he believed everyone should be given an opportunity to participate in aquatic programs, but that students have to be cut from teams because of space constraints. He stated that the highlight of the last high school season was the varsity boys being runners up at the CIF championship, that they are favored to win the upcoming CIF competitions, and in order to maintain the competitive level with other local schools, the student athletes need the new pool facility. He stated that he has coached the Palos Verdes Aquatics Club for eight years and has seen the number of swimmers increase from 45 to 145. He stated the Club has attracted swimmers with great skills and attitudes throughout the South Bay demonstrating a need in the community for this pool facility.
Julia Maricich and Katie O’Brien, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that they are water polo players at the high school and with the Los Angeles Water Polo Club, informed the Council of their teams’ success and desired a new pool to expand the program and further their success.
Nicholas Doyle, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he is a senior at Palos Verdes High School and has been training at the pool for ten years which has led him to several great opportunities including competing in Junior Olympics in swimming and national championships in water polo, the opportunity to play in three foreign countries, as well as the opportunity to attend and compete at his number one choice for college, at Bucknell University. He stated that he believe the new pool will bring greater opportunity to all future players.
Kevin Garner, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he has been swimming and playing water polo for a number of years, and that a number of individuals have chosen to attend Palos Verdes High School due to the strong aquatics program. He stated that he has worked as a coach of younger children and reflected that a new pool would allow for more children to participate in aquatic programs.
Alex Powell, Palos Verdes Estates, stated that he has played water polo since fifth grade with Palos Verdes High School and Los Angeles Water Polo Club, competing in the Junior Olympics and nationally, and in all his competitions, he has not been able to play Club games or CIF playoff games in the team’s home pool because the pool does not meet CIF standards to host a game.
Matt Richardson, Palos Verdes Estates, stated that he was the captain of the Palos Verdes High School Varsity Water Polo team and though his team was ranked in the top six in the CIF they could not host a home game because they do not have a pool that meets CIF requirements. He stated his team placed third in CIF and was the best boys water polo team in the South Bay, with an excellent program which they would like to see continue to grow.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that he would like to see the City support the School District and make a one-time contribution since the City enjoyed a positive budget variance last year. He observed that the City budget with an operating budget of $14 million is much smaller than the school district’s with an operating budget of $80 million. He pointed out that although the pool facility will be located in Palos Verdes Estates, it would become the premiere pool within the school district and in all likelihood Peninsula High School home games would be played there as well. He continued that the design has been well thought out so that it will be available for many different uses and programs, offering joint use for the community. He encouraged the City to make a contribution though he did not cite a specific amount.
Councilman Gardiner asked if other Peninsula cities have contributed funds toward the pool.
City Manager Evans stated that he understood the other cities have just had or are scheduled to hear presentations, but he has not heard if any have made a contribution.
Councilman Gardiner asked what the Environmental Excise Tax Fund could be used for.
City Manager Evans responded that fund could be used for any public facility use including parks and storm drains.
Councilman Gardiner stated that there were pros and cons to making a contribution. He pointed out that the school district has an $80-90 million budget, $75 million in Measure K Funds, $50 million in Measure R and S Funds, and a $3.5 million a year parcel tax and he believed the primary responsibility for financial funding of such a project should be theirs. He pointed out that the City certainly has large financial issues including the storm drain repairs, and that the City eventually aspired to have a pool of its own, which would probably serve a slightly different configuration of individuals. He stated he was not certain whether a contribution to the pool fund was a good use of Rancho Palos Verdes’ resources, but realized that Rancho Palos Verdes did have students attending Palos Verdes High School. He concluded that he believed in supporting a project when the public made the effort to go out and begin raising money to get a job done.
Councilman Stern stated he was impressed with the presentation, was supportive of the goal, and was pleased to see community support of the pool project. He noted that there was a benefit to the community in having good quality programs. He explained that the City of Rancho Palos Verdes has real constraints with its budget due to the significant storm drain improvements it would be facing over a period of years. He stated that it was hard to articulate how a sizeable donation could be made if it would preclude the City from being able to take care of some of the very basics of running the City.
Councilman Stern moved to donate $10,000 toward this fund raising effort, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved to amend the motion and proposed a donation amount of $100,000 explaining that if the City of Rancho Palos Verdes were to contribute a proportional amount to the School District, it would be contributing $150,000. He explained that due to the City’s budgetary constraints he lowered the amount to $100,000, which was a significant contribution yet acknowledged the high priorities that were pressing in on the City budget. He stated he would like to send a message of the City’s willingness to cooperate to the School District and he clarified for Councilman Gardiner that a community pool would be conceptually very similar to this pool. Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that in essence this pool would be a community pool that simply happens to be located at the school and owned by the school district. He stated that by making a contribution of $100,000, the City would be sending a message to the community and School District that when there is an item of importance to the community involving a one-time expenditure, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes would solidly support it.
Councilman Gardiner inquired if the School District would be paying or would be exempt from the storm drain user fee.
City Manager Evans stated that they did not choose to make themselves exempt, but he does not know yet that they were going to pay it.
Councilman Gardiner suggested the possibility of perhaps taking the School District’s storm drain user fee and turning around and giving it back as a contribution to the pool. He also suggested perhaps donating $20,000 with a dollar for dollar matching donation for every dollar the City of Palos Verdes Estates donates.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that although the staff report credited the Mayor as having asked the questions, Councilman Gardiner was the actual source of the questions and he wanted to make sure he was given credit for them. Mayor Wolowicz stated that he supports facilities for active recreation purposes on the Peninsula and noted that the City was limited in space. He stated this was an opportunity to show support for a community pool facility and stated he would support the amount Mayor Pro Tem Long has suggested and commented he did not take the amount lightly. Mayor Wolowicz seconded Mayor Pro Tem Long’s amendment to the motion for contributing $100,000.
Councilman Stern said he was not in favor of donating that quantity of money, but that he was in favor of sending a signal and in favor of the pool renovation project. He explained that it would be a great deal easier for the Capital Pool Project group to obtain community financial support for the pool than it would be for the City Council to convince the residents to contribute for storm drains. He noted that he was very concerned about the financial well being of the City and the maintenance of the basic projects such as the infrastructure. Councilman Stern stated he would support Councilman Gardiner’s suggestions of a $20,000 donation and the challenge for a dollar-to-dollar match to the City of Palos Verdes Estates.
Councilman Gardiner indicated that the City contributes about $30,000 each year to a number of organizations, and about $7,000 or $8,000 was donated to the seniors, so the suggested $100,000 donation seemed way out of proportion; he reiterated he was willing to invest in the youth, but could not support the $100,000 donation.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated he was not certain that the comparison of a $30,000 donation to the School District should be compared to the amounts the City donates to mostly private organizations, because the pool facility would be built in cooperation with the School District and is fundamentally different. He cited the steps the City of Torrance has taken to assist their school district, and noted this donation would not be ongoing, but would be a one time donation. Mayor Pro Tem Long noted that the San Pedro Peninsula YMCA program recently collapsed due to the strain of increased enrollment, which would impact pool use on the Peninsula. He indicated that a donation should be made because this will be a community swimming pool and a valuable resource for all members of the community.
Mayor Wolowicz suggested that Council come to a consensus and he suggested for the purpose of discussion the amount of either $30,000 or $40,000 with a $10,000 participation match by another city.
Councilman Gardiner suggested an amount of $10,000 with a $10,000 participation match or $15,000 with a $5,000 participation match.
Councilman Stern withdrew his original motion and seconded Councilman Gardiner’s motion of a donation of $10,000 with an additional matching donation of $10,000 up to $20,000 if Palos Verdes Estates donates.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated he could live with the City contributing $20,000 and then some additional amount to be matched by Palos Verdes Estates.
Councilman Stern said that a $20,000 base donation would be acceptable to him and if Palos Verdes Estates participates, he would be willing to go up to $30,000.
Councilman Gardiner stated he would be willing to make this decision unanimous.
Mayor Pro Tem Long reiterated the motion as a pledge for a donation of $20,000 to the Palos Verdes High School pool project with a dollar for dollar matching fund of an additional $10,000 up to $30,000 for every dollar the City of Palos Verdes Estates might donate to the project over $20,000.
Councilman Stern stated he would like the funds to come out of the most restricted account for this donation, which he believes would be the Environmental Excise Tax Fund.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reiterated the motion as a $20,000 pledge from Environmental Excise Tax Funds, with matching funds over the $20,000 level up to an additional $10,000 for a maximum total of $30,000 if the City of Palos Verdes Estates donates.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Stern, Gardiner, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
Recess and Reconvene:
Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 10:12 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 10:18 P.M.
Status of the Equestrian Committee (1808)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted she had four requests to speak on this item.
Councilman Gardiner stated that his position was to support the continuation of the Equestrian Committee.
Councilman Stern moved to support staff recommendation No. 3, which was to extend the role and function of the Equestrian Committee for an indefinite period, subject to further City Council review only if deemed necessary by the City Council, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
Mayor Pro Tem Long supported the motion as well as Mayor Wolowicz.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Application to the Annenberg Foundation for Planning Grant Funds (1203 x 602)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted she had two requests to speak on this item.
Director Rojas stated that the Annenberg Foundation was very interested in helping the City plan some of its public use areas in light of the preserve that has been created and in light of the previous plans for Upper Point Vicente and the trails and the opportunities that exist to incorporate all of this into one master plan. He stated that the application before Council was to be submitted to the Annenberg Foundation and was the beginning of a long process that provides the scope of work for the plan. He explained that City staff would work in conjunction with the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy to prepare the plan with oversight from Open Space Acquisition Committee, and that there would be public workshops and plenty of opportunity to receive public input on the project.
Barbara Dye, Executive Director of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, stated that the City was fortunate in the Capital Campaign for the Acquisition of the Portuguese Bend to receive a major matching grant for over $1 million from the Annenberg Foundation which helped reach the goal of raising the necessary community funds to make the deal happen. She reported that the Annenberg Foundation has expressed an interest in assisting the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in planning their open space, parks and trails. She explained that the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy Board has been working with the City Council Subcommittee of Councilman Stern and Councilman Clark and City staff to complete the application. She explained that the Annenberg Foundation wanted to make their grant to the Land Conservancy as a 501(c)3, but the Conservancy’s role is to be cooperative and largely focused on how the planning with affect the preserve, since it is really not the role of the Land Conservancy to be involved in the planning of properties outside of the preserve. She explained the plan involved looking at the remaining open space including the Preserve, Del Cerro, Upper Point Vicente, Lower Point Vicente, the active recreation area, Del Cerro Park, and the Point Vicente Lighthouse as one coordinating piece of property, and the fundamental base foundation for this plan would be the existing City plans and documents. She stated that the goal was not to design buildings, but to take the work that has been done and is in process and create a vision encompassing how it could all work together; the coastal trails connecting to the property, the Preserve working with other open space properties, and the educational materials that could be developed for the entire plan. She stated there would be three sets of public hearings allowing for public input regarding the process and the final decisions would be made by the City Council.
Mayor Wolowicz asked Ms. Dye to elaborate on the Open Space Committee and how the findings of their report would be integrated with this plan.
Ms. Dye stated that one of the basic concepts was to take the work that has already been done and use that as a starting point. She explained that the purpose of the plan was to see how all aspects of the project could work together, how the trails will connect, how the properties would work together to provide an experience for those who live here or visit the area. She reported that the plan should not affect the progress of the Palos Verdes Art Center as they move forward on the use of their site. She explained that another advantage as far as the Land Conservancy was concerned was that they would receive professional assistance on the development of a trails plan and use issues within the Preserve.
Councilman Stern stated that the Open Space Committee was considering the participation of the Annenberg Foundation as an opportunity to look at all of the properties as one working together, and because of the grant and using the professional disciplines of the experts to facilitate the process it allows for a very orderly process. He explained that the grant allows for the folding in of all of the plans that have been worked on through the years to come up with a grand vision and program that makes it all work to the maximum.
Ms. Dye added that Ron Yeo, the architect used for the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, would be available to discuss some very general overall design guidelines for the plan as it progresses
Councilman Gardiner inquired if Grandview Park was part of the plan.
Ms. Dye replied that the plan would not include Grandview Park or other isolated parks, but the plan primarily incorporated the coastal and the NCCP areas that connect and have coastal trails through them.
Mayor Pro Tem Long commented that the City’s need to take stock of its land and how that land was being utilized was not limited to only the coastal areas, and that at some point in time there should be a vision for the use of other parcels and parks, such as Grandview Park, which has been largely neglected.
Melani Smith, Melendrez Consulting Firm, stated that she works with Melendrez Consulting Firm, a landscape architect and planning firm based in Los Angeles. She noted that her background is in large-scale urban and regional planning efforts at Countywide, Citywide, and site-specific scales, and noted that her firm looks forward to assisting the City in this process. She stressed her commitment to working with and understanding the values of the community in articulating a vision for the open space in the community.
Councilman Gardiner inquired what the documents and plan might include in the way of sketches, pictures, and virtual reality.
Ms. Smith explained that the document would have to be an engaging and user friendly document with a vision that would have to speak in more than just words. She explained that her company would work with the entity that the City presently works with to do its GIS mapping and proceed from there. She stated she envisions a base view at a conceptual level of this series of open space and then windowing in on opportunity areas and different elements of what could be incorporated into the plan by using illustrations and imagery from other sources.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he liked the notion of alternate plans for open spaces, allowing for the ability to select one over another and he suggested that perhaps this project could be chronicled on the RPV TV Channel 33.
Mayor Wolowicz asked Ms. Smith to comment on what she envisioned as a final product that would incorporate the Public Use Master Plan (PUMP), which is required by the Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP).
Ms. Smith stated that she believed one of the aspects of the project would be to complete the PUMP and that she envisions this plan as being the umbrella or framework that would influence all of the decisions that would trickle down from the vision plan for the trail system, access points, public use, and active recreation areas.
Mayor Wolowicz asked for an explanation of what was contemplated in the reference to the Upper Pointe Vicente area where it mentions the phrase ”program design and linkage issues for the Upper and Lower Point Vicente areas.”
Ms. Dye stated that they would take direction from the City on that portion of the entire plan, since the City would take the lead on this issue.
Mayor Pro Tem Long clarified that the action item before Council was not to outline the scope of what the planning activity would be, but was to authorize staff to apply for a grant from the Annenberg Foundation and authorize participation in the process.
Mayor Pro Tem moved for adoption of staff recommendation to: 1) Approve the grant application to the Annenberg Foundation for planning grant funds to create a “Vision Plan” for the City’s key open space areas; and 2) Authorize City staff and the City Council’s Open Space Acquisition ad hoc sub-committee to participate in the planning process, seconded by Councilman Stern.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Code Amendment to Chapter 17.11 - "Affordable Housing" [Continued from January 17, 2006] (701 x 1203)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted the public hearing had been continued from January 17, 2006, and late correspondence was distributed on this item.
Councilman Stern commented that the wording and detail of the ordinance did not quite capture what he believed the intention was to be. He suggested for clarification purposes that in Section 17.11.010 an additional paragraph be added under the Intent and Purpose, which would read as, “It is the preference of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes that persons and entities obligated to provide affordable housing provide such affordable units as part of their project. It is not desirable to accept in lieu fees as an alternative to the provision of actual units, and acceptance of in lieu fees is discouraged. Persons and entities subject to the chapter shall endeavor to design their projects to include affordable units.”
Councilman Gardiner stated he liked the verbiage, but inquired what would be done in the instance of a developer wanting to build five houses, explaining that if he had to build one affordable housing unit, that one house would be 20% of the project as opposed to 10%.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that his opinion of that situation would be that the builder was not obligated to put the unit in that particular location, as long as it was located somewhere within the City. He pointed out that ultimately what has gotten the City into trouble was that the line has continually moved and the City has $1.2 million in the bank, which will not go very far towards the building of affordable units.
Councilman Stern commented that a line has to be drawn somewhere, and perhaps the reality with this kind of mandate would be that the developer may have to build a four-home project, for which there would be no affordable housing requirement.
City Attorney Lynch stated that the other option would be for the developer to set forth a feasibility study, demonstrating why building that unit would make the entire project fiscally infeasible, then the Council would have the latitude to make the determination on how it should be handled.
Councilman Stern concurred that the feasibility scenario would give the Council some flexibility to deal with individual situations.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that this was not the way to regulate density, and the thing that troubled him about this topic was that there was no gradation of the requirement. He stated that one way to regulate density would be to consider the idea of square foot limitations that track the lot size. He suggested a gradation requirement similar to what the City Attorney suggested for projects with five to eight units be considered, where options are presented to the developer by Council as an incentive to build affordable housing, whether it be an in-lieu fee or a partnership with the City to build an affordable unit. He stated that without some flexibility, he predicted there would be no five to eight-unit developments because they do not make economic sense.
Councilman Gardiner commented that as a practical matter, the Ordinance would mostly likely affect people who were building small numbers of houses because there simply was not much space left in the City for larger developments.
Mayor Wolowicz noted that the City was waiting to hear from the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) as to the new quota for affordable housing units for the City. He inquired how the City would assess infeasibility citing language on circle page five, Item C that states “…the project’s profit margin if the applicant is required to provide affordable houses.” He inquired if there were any other sections or references to profit margin in the Code.
City Attorney Lynch explained that this was the first time the issue would be addressed and if the developer raises the issue of feasibility, it would be reasonable for the City to obtain the information in order to make a determination.
Councilman Stern stated that the law dictated that the City should take a more aggressive role dealing with the affordable housing unit requirements. He stated in the past that the City did not collect sufficient in-lieu of funds and did not satisfy the requirement in developments such as Seabreeze and Oceanfront Estates.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he had queried staff for housing cost estimates for a median home price in Rancho Palos Verdes in 2005, which was $1,243,000, and compared this to other cities in the state, and yet the Council was trying to control density, which in turn drives up house prices.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that the State of California projects that the population will increase another 15 million by the year 2010 so he believed that the affordable housing requirement would be unenforceable with time and would collapse under its own weight. He inquired if staff had networked with other cities regarding the requirements.
City Attorney Lynch stated that some cities have chosen not to comply, which has prohibited them from getting their housing elements approved. She explained that various legislators have proposed very serious statutes and penalties for noncompliance, which means there could be restrictions such as no development of any housing or the restriction of funds that the City receives from state and local government.
Mayor Pro Tem Long pointed out that if the housing element were approved, Rancho Palos Verdes would stay under the radar. He stated that if Rancho Palos Verdes was not to comply, there could be extensive ramifications of penalties on the City, such as the permitting of multifamily housing units in place of existing single-family residences in order to meet the requirement. He explained that staff was recommending to continue attempting to comply with the housing element to avoid penalties in the future.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired what the impact would be on the quota number of units if the excess or total amount of funds was transferred to the County Housing Authority.
Deputy Planning Director Pfost replied that the affordable housing quota could not be changed.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that it would be feasible and practical for affordable housing in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes to be mixed-use housing on Western Avenue or Silver Spur Road. He stated that Council should maintain some flexibility in order to make the best of the different situations as they arise.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out that another way to approach this would be to change how the nine units were counted as far as looking at the potential developments coming forth in the City, but the problem with that would be applying the law fairly and equally to all developers.
Recess and Reconvene:
Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 11:26 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 11:31 p.m.
Councilman Stern moved for the staff recommendation, as amended with the added verbiage that he cited above, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted there were no requests to speak on the item.
Mayor Wolowicz closed the public hearing.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru INTRODUCED ORDINANCE NO. 437, AS AMENDED, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING A CODE AMENDMENT THAT REVISES MUNICIPAL CODE CHAPTER 17.11, "AFFORDABLE HOUSING" BY TITLE ONLY AND WAIVED FURTHER READING.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Stern, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:
City Advisory Board Chairs (106 x 1203 x 602 x 401)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru stated that earlier in the evening the Council interviewed three candidates who were interested in the positions of Chair for the Planning Commission, Finance Advisory Committee and Emergency Preparedness Committee. She noted that one candidate for the position of Chair for the Finance Advisory Committee was unable to attend the interview session.
Councilman Stern moved nomination of Jim Knight as Chair for the Planning Commission, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered by acclamation.
Councilman Stern moved nomination of Richard Smith as Chair for the Emergency Preparedness Committee, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered by acclamation.
Mayor Wolowicz thanked both Chair Knight and Chair Smith for serving on their respective commissions and committees and stepping forward to be Chair.
Mayor Pro Tem Long asked staff if no one was applying for Chair of the Equestrian Committee or the Traffic Safety Commission.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru responded that as far as the Equestrian Committee they were waiting on the Council’s action as to continuation of that Committee, and the term of the current Chair of the Traffic Safety Commission would not expire until April.
Mayor Wolowicz requested the distribution of ballots for voting on the two candidates, Becky Clark and Bob Nelson, for the Finance Advisory Committee. Mayor Wolowicz expressed his appreciation for their willingness to serve on the Committee and step forward as Chair.
Mayor Pro Tem Long added that he was very impressed with the performance of both candidates on the Finance Advisory Committee and noted that regardless of the outcome of the vote their contributions are highly valued.
Councilman Stern echoed that sentiment.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru read the votes as the following:
Border Issues Status Report (310)
Councilman Stern moved that the staff report be waived, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.
Mayor Pro Tem Long inquired of staff if there were any time-sensitive matters in the Border Issues Status Report.
Associate Planner Fox replied that the only time-sensitive matter was the concern regarding the electrical transformer for the car wash/condominium project which has not had final action taken on it by the City of Rolling Hills Estates City Council.
Mayor Wolowicz suggested that action be taken on that issue. He indicated there were a number of issues of that he had become aware of regarding the proposed Peninsula Village activity in Rolling Hills Estates. He stated that the staff report identified an aggregate of 276 condominiums, but there was a Daily Breeze article citing a total of 403 condominiums, and in recent meetings with Rolling Hills Estates City Council Members they mentioned a potential of 900 units in that area. He stated he asked staff for clarification of the numbers and the response was that based upon the residential densities allowed under the current mixed-use overlay in the Peninsula Center area of the City of Rolling Hills Estates, as many as 2,020 units could be built.
Associate Planner Fox verified that 2,020 units was a correct number currently. He stated that the reason the number was reduced to 900 units was that the City of Rolling Hills Estates envisions removing the mixed-use overlay from the majority of the Peninsula Village Center area.
Mayor Wolowicz stated that he understood that there was an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to encompass the first three or four projects that have been approved.
Associate Planner Fox clarified that the first three projects have been approved through mitigated negative declarations that were prepared for each project individually, but that there would be a programmatic EIR prepared for the Peninsula Village Overlay Zone that anticipates the development of future projects at the densities that are presently being proposed to address issues of traffic, density and other impacts.
Mayor Wolowicz asked if it was a fair assessment that the greatest impact outside of economic income would be regarding traffic and density to residents in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Associate Planner Fox concurred with that statement since the tallest buildings and highest densities will be along the area of “Little” Silver Spur Road.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated the topic was of interest to him, but inquired if there was anything time-sensitive that had to be addressed.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired about the issue of the undergrounding of the electrical equipment vault for the car wash/condominium project. He understood that staff had sent a letter requesting that Rolling Hills Estates consider including a condition that the electrical vault be undergrounded, but that Rolling Hills Estates staff accepted as a condition that the developer would agree to consider undergrounding.
Councilman Stern inquired what the consequence was of the way the applicant was planning to place the vault aboveground.
Associate Planner Fox stated that the issue identified in the Negative Declaration was one of aesthetics since the transformer would be visible from the right-of-way of Indian Peak Road. He stated that the initial study from the City of Rolling Hills Estates found that landscaping screening would be adequate to address that concern, and the City of Rancho Palos Verdes suggested that perhaps it would not be adequate, and that it should be located underground, or relocated further down the slope.
Mayor Wolowicz made a motion that another letter be written, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Mayor Wolowicz reminded the Council Members that the Sales Tax Agreement with the City of Rolling Hills Estates described at the beginning of the meeting would expire in March of 2010 and should be addressed at some point. Mayor Wolowicz inquired if the following issues should be topics that the Council should revisit on border issues: the impact the overlay zone would have on the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, the interrelationship of the sales tax sharing agreement, and the resulting burden on the infrastructure of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. He asked City Manager Evans to agendize those items.
Traffic Signal Priority List (1503 x 1204)
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that late correspondence was distributed on this item.
Mayor Pro Tem Long suggested moving directly to queries. He stated that on circle page three, the comment reads, “If the pedestrian and bicycle peak periods differs from the vehicular peak periods, a separate manual count may be taken.” He inquired if a manual count was conducted.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that at some intersections a manual count was done, but that most intersections do not have significant pedestrian traffic.
Mayor Pro Tem Long pointed out that the bicycle peak traffic period was not at the same time as the vehicular peak periods and he inquired if that factor should be considered.
Councilman Gardiner said he was not in favor of putting stoplights all over the City of Rancho Palos Verdes as it would detract from the semi-rural nature of Rancho Palos Verdes.
Councilman Stern said he agreed completely with Councilman Gardiner but he inquired why staff was doing this exercise. He indicated that some of the locations were relatively close to one another, and he inquired if the methodology takes into account the interrelationship between the streets in the study. He suggested that placing a traffic signal at one location might change the dynamics of a need for a signal at another intersection, as in the case of Palos Verdes Drive East and Miraleste Drive and Palos Verdes Drive East and Via Canada.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that based on current Caltrans standards all of the locations on the list could justify the addition of traffic signals and the proximity of one intersection to another was considered before an intersection was placed on the list. He explained that in some locations, such as Hawthorne Boulevard and Ravenspur Drive East, the placement of a traffic signal would adversely affect the traffic safety and flow because of the close proximity to Indian Peak.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that on the one end of the spectrum there were intersections that would not be very workable without traffic lights, yet he was not sure that putting lights at every intersection where they were technically justified would be a good use of resources or have a favorable result. He inquired if the report on fatalities covering the last three years was mandated or arbitrary and he stated the data regarding pedestrian and bicycle traffic was understated at several of the intersections in the study.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the process used for this study was similar to that used for the City of Sacramento, and that the standard was to use a three-year period for evaluation in traffic studies.
Councilman Gardiner pointed out the difficulty in engineering a system around peak numbers.
Mayor Wolowicz inquired if flashing yellow lights might be indicated as appropriate in certain locations to avoid a completely integrated set of lights. He inquired if there would be a public hearing period before a traffic signal were approved.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that flashing beacons really do not accomplish the goals that they were seeking to address such as the assigning of right-of-way. Staff reminded Council that the report was really a budgeting tool and the actual approval for action to be taken at any given location would come before the Council for approval at another time as part of a public hearing.
Councilman Gardiner asked whether lights could be utilized as in Europe where the traffic lights function during peak periods and then turn off in quieter periods.
Director Holland cautioned against the use of this unique type of device in a community from a liability standpoint, because a great deal of education was needed for something of this nature.
City Manager Evans pointed out that using a traffic device that is not in the Book of Uniform Traffic Control Devices could open the City to liability issues.
Councilman Gardiner moved to receive and file the report, seconded by Councilman Stern.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated he would vote no to receiving and filing the report because he believed more serious consideration should be given to the Traffic Commission’s recommendations and that more data was needed to accurately rank the locations in terms of priority.
Mayor Wolowicz asked with regard to the ranking system if there was a certain point at which the Council should be alarmed and aggressive action should be taken.
Councilman Gardiner stated that his motion to receive and file meant that the item could be brought back at a time that it would appear compelling to do so.
Councilman Stern stated his point of view was that the data illustrated to him that there was not a pressing need to take action on the matter, and that was why he would vote in favor of the motion.
The motion failed on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Stern, Gardiner
Councilman Stern moved to table the issue, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.
The motion carried on the following roll call vote:
AYES: Gardiner, Stern, Mayor Wolowicz
Proposed 2006-2007 Agenda and Calendar for the Finance Advisory Committee (602)
Director McLean explained that the purpose of this agenda item was to ask the Council for affirmation of the Finance Advisory Committee’s schedule and charter for the next two years. He stated that the sole charge for the Finance Advisory Committee over the years has been to review the five-year financial model. He explained that Staff recommendation would be to add to that the following: 1) an annual review of the Water Quality Flood Protection Program including an accounting of it, 2) participation in a recommendation to Council regarding the User Fee, and 3) the distribution of the Comprehensive Financial Annual Report for review to the Finance Advisory Committee to help develop a clear understanding of the financial status of the City. He noted that there were a couple of residents passing petitions and requesting signatures to possibly place a repeal of the User Fee on a future ballot, and if enough signatures were raised to bring this to the ballot, the City Council may wish to have the Finance Advisory Committee review Staff’s analysis of the fiscal impact of the issue.
Councilman Gardiner commented that he would be in favor of expanding the charter of the Finance Advisory Committee to review matters that have a financial bearing on the City as they deem fit as often as would like to do so.
Councilman Stern stated he would not put it quite so broadly, but that he agreed that the Finance Advisory Committee should address the issues mentioned by staff and he suggested that they would be welcome to inform Council of additional items that they think they could do that would be helpful.
Mayor Pro Tem Long endorsed Councilman Stern’s statement.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved to adopt staff recommendation, seconded by Councilman Stern.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
AB 2015 - AQMD Board Municipal Membership (101 x 1101)
Councilman Gardiner moved to adopt staff recommendation, seconded by Councilman Stern.
Budget Meeting Schedule for FY 06-07 (602 x 307)
Councilman Gardiner moved to select April 29, 2006 at 9:30 A.M. as the date for the Budget Meeting to be held at Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
Future Agenda Items (1101)
City Manager Evans explained that he wanted to confirm the Council’s priorities.
Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that at some point he would like to agendize the review of the use of Grandview and other City open space property as a medium priority issue.
Councilman Gardiner stated that he would be content with the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem meeting with the City Manager regarding items for the agenda and that if he felt strongly about something he would request that it be placed on an agenda.
Councilman Stern stated it was his understanding that the item to consider the revisions to the Solicitation Ordinance was on the list in response to a concern that the City’s Ordinance may not be constitutional. He inquired why the item was not placed on the agenda.
City Attorney Lynch stated that she was waiting for additional case authority on an issue where there was an open question.
Mayor Pro Tem Long moved to receive and file, seconded by Mayor Wolowicz.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT:
City Attorney Lynch reported that with respect to the Tarragon Parcel Acquisition, no action was taken and a status report was given to the Council. She reported that a status report was given to Council on the Fender matter and no action was taken with respect to that item. She reported with regard to the last item regarding whether to initiate litigation regarding the storm drain failures on Western Avenue, Mayor Pro Tem Long abstained, did not participate and was not present for that discussion. She reported that the other Council Members moved to take no action at present.
Mayor Pro Tem Long commented that his office represents the City of Los Angeles on unrelated matters and that he personally works on matters representing the City of Los Angeles. He stated that he would be recusing himself from all matters of this nature regarding a dispute with the City of Los Angeles. He did request, due to the importance of the matter, that the City Attorney keep him apprised of the status via the closed session reports, but felt that other Council Members should not speak to him about the matter or any confidential information be shared with him.
Councilman Stern moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.
Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz declared the meeting adjourned at 12:44 A.M.
/s/ Thomas D. Long
/s/ Carolynn Petru