APRIL 18, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES APRIL 18, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES







APRIL 18, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

M I N U T E S
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
APRIL 18, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:11 p.m. on April 18, 2006, at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.

Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Stern, Gardiner, Clark, Long, Mayor Wolowicz

Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Carolynn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Finance and Information Technology Dennis McLean; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost; and, Assistant to the City Manager Gina Park.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Traffic Safety Commission Chair Ava Shepherd.

APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA

Councilman Stern moved to approve the agenda, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Mayor Wolowicz had nothing to report.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Wolowicz announced Albert DiRocco and Norbert Juergen as Recyclers of the Month and urged everyone to participate in the City’s recycling program.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that late correspondence was distributed on this item, but there were no requests to speak.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS

Mayor Pro Tem Long moved the deferral of City Council Oral Reports to another meeting, seconded by Councilman Stern.

The motion passed on the following vote:

Ayes: Stern, Gardiner, Clark, Long
Noes: Mayor Wolowicz

CITY MANAGER REPORT

City Manager Evans had nothing to report.

OLD BUSINESS:

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.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that she had distributed late correspondence on Item 5, but she had no requests to speak on items on the Consent Calendar.

Councilman Clark requested that Item 5 and 8 be pulled from the Consent Calendar for discussion.

Mayor Pro Tem Long requested that Item 6 be pulled for discussion.

Councilman Stern requested that Item 7 be pulled for discussion.

Councilman Clark moved for approval of the Consent Calendar as amended, seconded by Member Stern.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Clark, Stern, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSTAIN: None
ABSENT: None

Notice of Completion of the Tarapaca Storm Drain Repair (604 x 1204)

1) Accepted the work as complete; 2) Authorized the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and if no claims are filed within 35 days after recordation; and, 3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment, to Hardy and Harper, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder contingent upon no claims being filed on the project.

Notice of Completion for the Interim Improvements to Barkentine/Sea Cove and Other Miscellaneous Drainage Improvements (604 x 1204)

1) Accepted the work as complete; 2) Authorized the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and if no claims are filed within 35 days after recordation; and, 3) Authorized the director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment, to Hardy & Harper, Inc., Construction Company 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder contingent upon no claims being filed on the project.

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.

Claim Against the City by Robert Gonyea ( 303)

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Claim Against the City by Jeffrey Allen Lowrance (303)

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-24, 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 PULLED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR

License Agreement with T-Mobile (1801 x 1201)

Councilman Clark commented that he thought this was an excellent staff report and indicated he was interested in seeing an overview of T-Mobile’s current and projected cell sites in the context of the overall proposed site plan in the City.

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that T-Mobile approached the City a few years ago about locating a telecommunications facility at Robert E. Ryan Park. She explained that City Council had given them authorization to file for the conditional use permit and they proceeded through the planning process and were approved in February 2006. She noted that the lease was before Council for approval this evening in order to allow them to proceed with the installation. She stated that the proposal was to mount two-panel antenna to an existing light pole at the site, with ground equipment below the grade of the sloped parking lot so that it would not be visible from the adjacent area. She noted that the term of the lease is for a ten-year period of time, and if at the end of that time they wish to continue, they would have to file a revision to their conditional use permit; the rent negotiated was $1,500 per month with a 3.5% escalator annually; access to the site had been provided taking into consideration a security gate; and, all of the site improvements and utilities would be at T-Mobile’s expense. She presented a map illustrating the existing and proposed T-Mobile sites across the City and in adjacent cities on the peninsula.

There was a brief discussion on the existing and proposed T-Mobile cell sites in relation to different areas of the City and problems with cell coverage and reception on the peninsula.

Councilman Clark moved approval of the staff recommendation to: 1) approve a License Agreement with T-Mobile for the installation and maintenance of a telecommunications facility at Robert E. Ryan Park; and, 2) authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute said agreement, seconded by Councilman Stern.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Approval of Membership for the City of Belvedere in the California JPIA (902)

Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that in the past the Council representative to the Board of the California Joint Powers Insurance Agency (JPIA) signed approvals for membership, but he believed placing them on the agenda was a good way keep everyone informed. He noted that the City of Belvedere had about one twenty-fifth of the population, but approximately one-third of the revenue of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Councilman Stern moved staff recommendation to authorize Mayor Pro Tem Long to cast the City’s ballot in favor of the City of Belvedere as a new member and direct staff to notify the California JPIA of said action, seconded by Councilman Clark.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Traffic Signal Priority List (1503 x 1204)

Councilman Stern stated that he was in agreement with the staff recommendation, but pulled the item from the Consent Calendar because he thought the item was tabled. He explained that there was an inconsistency between the City’s tabling rule as part of the Robert’s Rules and the Brown Act.

Councilman Stern moved approval of the staff recommendation to continue this item to the City Council’s Budget Workshop Meeting of April 29, 2006, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Forrestal Nature Preserve – Fuel Modification (1201)

Councilman Clark explained that he pulled this item from the Consent Calendar in order to emphasize, highlight and thank the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy for their continuing commitment to partner with the City in restoring and improving the Forrestal Nature Preserve.

Councilman Clark moved to adopt the staff recommendation to: 1) Authorize the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC), as land managers of the Forrestal Nature Preserve, to perform fuel modification work at the Preserve; and 2) Amend the Operating Agreement between the City and the PVPLC to confirm that fuel modification work is within the scope of the existing City/PVPLC Operating Agreement, seconded by Councilman Stern.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

# # # # # #

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Revision “Z” to the Trump National Golf Club Project (1411)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that notice of the public hearing was duly published, no written protests were received, and the applicant has requested permission to speak if the council has questions.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost reported that the three-month temporary opening of the Golf Course as originally approved by Council is set to expire on April 20, 2006, and the applicant has requested an extension. He stated that the following progress has been made: 1) 75% of the structural improvements to Lake Nos. 8 and 16, per the City water feature consultant’s instruction, with the remaining 25% of improvements of mainly an administrative nature that could be resolved in the next three months; and 2) the installation of additional required trail signage which still needed to be inspected by City staff. He stated that staff recommended the additional three-month extension taking into consideration the progress that has been made, and the continuation of the public hearing for an amendment to Conditional Use Permit No. 163 addressing an increase in the height of Waterfall #1 and a new back tee at Hole #2 to the May 2, 2006 City Council meeting so that additional information and discussion could take place at that time.

City Attorney Lynch reported that Mayor Wolowicz had inquired about the possibility to condition a further extension so that it would only be granted if something came up beyond the control of the applicant. She stated that language could be added to indicate this condition if that was the Council’s direction.

Councilman Clark stated that even though Trump National is a public golf course, there were concerns over the lack of the public’s ability to go out to the driving range and hit a few buckets of balls. He indicated that he had been told that Trump National told members of the public that unless they were playing golf, they could not use the driving range. He stated that if an extension were granted, he wanted the issue clarified that the driving range and putting green were public golf amenities, but suggested that a cuing system might be used if there were a tournament in progress, so that tournament participants would have priority in that situation.

Councilman Gardiner commented that he could see both sides of the argument regarding the driving range and was hopeful that there would be a resolution amenable to all concerned.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that it appeared the most significant open issue was the completion of the Geological Peer Review Board draft report in relation to the driving range and Landslide A.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost explained that the Geological Peer Review Board’s position was in draft form and if at the upcoming meeting they did finalize the report, the developer had the option related to the Clubhouse expansion to proceed with the project by demonstrating, through some other means, a factor of safety of 1.5. He explained that there was an issue regarding the geology in front of the Clubhouse and the City’s geologist stated there was not enough data to support the type of geology the project’s geologist was claiming was at that site. He reported that the Peer Review Board agreed with the City’s geologist and additional borings proved that the geologic model was different than the project’s geologist had indicated. In response to Council questions, Deputy Planning Director Pfost confirmed that there was an agreement with the developer that many of the outstanding items could be addressed in 90 days; final approval to open the golf course rests with the Coastal Commission; and, approximately 10% of the project remained to be completed.

Mayor Wolowicz opened the public hearing.

Scott Yarnall, Project Manager with Trump National Golf Club introduced General Manager, Mike Vandergoes, who addressed the issues regarding the driving range and putting green being open to the public as long as the player wears the proper attire. Mr. Vandergoes stated that the golf teams at both Peninsula and Palos Verdes High Schools have been offered complementary green fees in the afternoon, complementary practice privileges on the driving range, and discounts on driving range balls and practice facilities at any time.

Mr. Yarnall agreed with the staff assessment that all items other than the geology issues could be completed in the next 90-day period.

Councilman Clark asked Mr. Vandergoes for an update regarding what is being done with respect to crafting programs to give local residents an opportunity to play the course at a reduced rate, as is done at other coastal golf courses.

Mr. Vandergoes stated that Executive Vice President Vincent Stellio has petitioned the Coastal Commission with regards to enabling discounts to be offered to local residents and is awaiting the decision.

Councilman Stern moved to approve the staff recommendation which would be to: 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-25, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING ADDENDUM NO. 20 TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT NO. 36; 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-26, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING GRADING PERMIT NO. 1541 TO ALLOW AN ADDITIONAL 3-MONTH EXTENSION TO THE OPERATION OF THE GOLF COURSE AND DRIVING RANGE ON A TEMPORARY BASIS; and, 3) Continue the public hearing for an amendment to Conditional Use Permit No. 163 addressing an increase in the height of Waterfall #1 and a new back tee at Hole #2 to the May 2, 2006 City Council meeting, seconded by Councilman Gardiner.

There was Council discussion regarding the outstanding geological issues and disputes between the Trump National geologist and City geologist, which resulted in the formation of the Peer Review Panel; the hesitancy on the part of the applicant resulting in the delays; the fact that the developer needs to proceed with the additional work on Landslide A; and, the developer needs to make a decision to either proceed with the Clubhouse expansion or abandon that portion of the project.

Mayor Pro Tem Long reminded that the issue before Council for a decision at this meeting was to decide if a further extension was warranted, which he believes is the case.

Councilman Clark agreed with the opinion of Mayor Pro Tem Long and pointed out that the Coastal Commission would not approve the driving range until the geologic issues are resolved.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSTAIN: None
ABSENT: None

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

Claim Against the City by George Carabet (303)

Assistant to the City Manager Park gave a brief staff report and explained this item was continued from the last Council meeting at the request to speak by the claimant, who was unable to be present at the last meeting. She stated that this claim involves a City contractor hired to perform sidewalk repair who allegedly caused some damage to the claimant’s water pipe in 2003. She explained the claimant is requesting a settlement for damages of his water cost and private plumbing work; the City’s claim administrator has recommended rejection of the claim and forwarded it to the contractor for consideration and handling; to date the contractor has not responded and the City’s claim administrator has advised the claimant to file a claim against the contractor and their insurance carrier and if that is rejected to pursue the matter in small claims court.

Mayor Pro Tem Long said it would seem to him that the contractor ought to at least respond and inquired if the City had a policy of not using a contractor in the future who fails to respond to a resident.

City Manager Evans reported that the contractor would have difficulty being utilized again by the City unless this is resolved.

Councilman Clark moved for staff recommendation, seconded by Councilman Stern.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Appointment of Traffic Safety Commission Chair (1502 x 106)

Councilman Stern moved a nomination of Ava Jordan-Shepherd to be Chair of the Traffic Safety Commission, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that it be done by acclamation rather than a roll call vote.

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

Recess and Reconvene:

Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 8:16 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 8:25 p.m.

Proposed Moratorium on Certain Development Within the Entire Landslide Moratorium Area Outlined in Red and Blue Pending Review of Additional Information and an Upcoming Study Session (1801 x 1203)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that late correspondence was distributed on this item and there were eight requests to speak.

Mayor Wolowicz reminded those present that the discussion this evening was to make a decision on a date for the upcoming meeting for a workshop to examine the issues in the Landslide Moratorium area at great length.

Mayor Pro Tem Long suggested dispensing with the staff report on the item and suggested moving directly to the speakers and encouraged resident input at the upcoming workshop.

There was Council agreement on this matter.

---------------, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that the Council needed to consult with additional experts and suggested they hear from Mr. Keith Tucker, who has expertise on the Landslide Moratorium area, at the workshop. He pointed out that City Council has the discretion to act equitably when detrimental reliance has been demonstrated and noted that Mr. Landin was able to proceed with his project on a vacant lot on Dauntless, and he would like to be able to proceed with his project since his geology reports are that his project can be built without any aggravating impact on the present situation.

In response to a question from Mayor Pro Tem Long as to the distinction between Mr. -----------’s property and Mr. Landin’s property, Director Rojas stated that in Mr. Landin’s case, the permit had already been issued, while Mr. ----------’s project was still in plan check at the point of the Council’s decision.

City Attorney Lynch added that the Council had made the distinction to allow permitted activity to proceed, but to stop issuing permits. She explained that there were at least six other situations that would be similar to Mr. ------------’s that have been addressed in a similar manner.

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru stated that six speakers have deferred their time to speak to Mr. Burrell and support the testimony he is to give including the following: Teresa Iacono, Dave French and Nancy Bickner, Bob Lauck, Terry Digby, David Liso, and Lizzy Siby.

Tim Burrell, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he agreed it was mandatory to have a workshop to study the landslide issues in great detail; the City geologists and other geologists familiar with the landslide confirm that the landslide is moving at the same slow and steady creep since the 1980’s and as far as the Seaview area is concerned nothing new and traumatic is occurring that has not been taking place for decades; a report from Robert Stone and Associates dated April 17, 1981, indicated that the issue is water in the landslide and he is in favor of remodeling because it improves drainage control in the area; and, the most important thing he would like to suggest to add to the workshop agenda would be procedures to deal with water issues in the Seaview neighborhood and Klondike Canyon area, including the addition of a City employee on the Board of the Klondike Canyon Landslide Abatement District.

Councilman Stern commented that he appreciated Tim Burrell’s position that the landslide creep is the same as it has been for decades and he urged him to bring forth a geologically trained person and data to support the validity of that claim. Councilman Stern asked for clarification from staff at the workshop on Zone 4 (the Blue Zone) and Klondike Canyon in relation to the land mass.

Mayor Pro Tem Long commented that the rationale of a policy decision on treating new homes differently than old homes is extremely valid; he felt the restrictions on the amount of square footage allowed in the moratorium area are undue restrictions without having to meet the factor of safety of 1.5 as applied to new structures; he has not been persuaded that there is any merit to the blue zone on a geological or other basis; and that there needs to be a rational basis for any standard that is implemented and an understanding of the distinctions of the different areas.

Councilman Gardiner stated the issues for him are the geological and geotechnical characters of an area based on science; the criterion that are applicable and the policy that falls out of that criterion; and, the need for criterion based on science to distinguish between the different areas.

In response to a question from Mayor Wolowicz as to clarification of the types of exceptions to the Moratorium area, City Attorney Lynch stated that at the last meeting Council had decided to treat the Red and Blue areas similarly while placing the matter on hold pending the workshop session.

Mayor Wolowicz clarified the decisions to be made were the following: 1) the decision regarding the recommendation; 2) reviewing the list of exemptions and whether any action should be taken on them; and, 3) selecting a date for the workshop. He suggested the selection of a date certain for the workshop so that the extension date of the ordinance could be logically determined.

Councilman Clark commented that the Council needs to spend some in-depth time with the geology experts and he would like to place a hold on everything until that workshop takes place.

Mayor Wolowicz asked members of the Council if June 3, 2006 would be a suitable date for the workshop.

The Councilmembers agreed that the televised meeting/workshop would be held at Ladera Linda on June 3, 2006, with a start time of 9:30 a.m. with members of the public and any interested parties invited to attend and speak.

Councilman Gardiner suggested posting informational material on the website working toward the workshop as the material surfaces and geological review takes place.

Councilman Stern suggested having a discussion group set up on the website by PV on the Net where individuals could post what they wished regarding the matter.

City Manager Evans stated that the City could post on the website geotechnical reports that are signed and submitted to the City by licensed geotechnical engineers or engineering geologists.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that the Council needed to vote on the recommendation that in addition to paragraph K of section 15.20.040, paragraphs H and L should also be stayed, which are provisions that allow for an expansion of a home by 600 feet as well as a garage by 600 feet. She stated that everything else would remain as is and permits could be issued for things like legalizing structures, lot line adjustments, geologic investigation permits, and repairs of existing structures.

Councilman Clark moved to adopt the staff recommendation of Section 15.20.040 Exceptions to the Moratorium on Land Use Permits to remain in effect but stay section H, K and L of the Municipal Code for an additional 71 days through and including June 30, 2006, unless rescinded previously or extended by another ordinance adopted by City Council, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Long.

This motion was to approve staff recommendation to: 1) ADOPT ORDINANCE NO. 439U, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES EXTENDING URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 427U AND ESTABLISHING A MORATORIUM ON THE ISSUANCE OF CERTAIN PERMITS AND THE PROCESSING OF PLANNING APPROVALS AND SUSPENDING CERTAIN PREVIOUSLY ISSUED BUILDING PERMITS AND APPROVALS, IN THE LANDSLIDE MORATORIUM AREA OUTLINED IN RED AND BLUE ON THE LANDSLIDE MORATORIUM MAP ON FILE IN THE CITY’S PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT, AND DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF; and, 2) Set Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 9:30 AM for a workshop addressing the entire Landslide Moratorium area and development within that area and geologic distinctions that can be drawn among the various portions of the Landslide Moratorium area.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Clark, Stern, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSTAIN: None
ABSENT: None

Councilman Stern suggested that the City Council members submit topics for the agenda to the City Manager and recommended a history of the landslide so that all in attendance could have a basic understanding of the issues to be discussed.

Mayor Wolowicz asked that the agenda packet for the meeting be made available to the City Council for review as early as possible.

City Manager Evans stated that he would check on the availability of other venues and report back to the Council on possible alternative locations for the meeting.

Recess and Reconvene:

Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 9:37 p.m. and reconvened the meeting at 9:48 p.m.

Civic Center Master Plan and Art Center MOU ( 1201)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru noted that late correspondence was distributed on the item and there was one request to speak.

City Manager Evans reported that this item had two parts, a discussion of the Civic Center Upper Pointe Vicente Park in general and the potential development of that site and the second was a memorandum of understanding or lease agreement with the Palos Verdes Art Center. He stated that the Council had previously approved both of these items at previous meetings in conceptual form. He explained that Council did consider a Master Plan on March 29, 2005, for Upper Point Vicente Park and were generally in favor of a site for the Art Center, a site for a gymnasium/swimming pool complex, a village green, an amphitheater, and improvements to City Hall including a Council Chamber. He stated that staff has come up with a simple concept in order to not foreclose any ideas that the task force had and still allow the Council to phase in projects without foreclosing other projects or having to spend a lot of money up front. City Manager Evans provided an overview of the proposal including a site for the Art Center and potential locations for the gymnasium/ swimming pool center, parking areas, City maintenance yard, City Council Chambers, Channel 33 building, an Emergency Operations Center, amphitheater, village green, ball fields, a parking structure, and realignment of the entrance to the Upper Point Vicente Civic Center. City Manager Evans provided materials regarding a lease agreement with the Art Center and noted issues of concern identified by City staff. He reported that the Art Center leadership staff felt all of the issues were negotiable with the exception of the 99-year lease term; however, City Attorney Lynch has advised that the City Council was permitted to enter into a maximum lease agreement of 55 years.

Councilman Clark stated that he generally liked the concept of the layout as indicated and inquired about the location of the aquatic center/gymnasium building as related to view issues. He noted that the location of the parking site was logical for access to several of the site’s amenities.

Councilman Gardiner stated he liked the general modular concept and was very supportive of the Art Center portion, although he had concerns over the location of the parking area and maintenance yard. He stated that the main purpose of the meeting was to approve negotiations with the Art Center and he was supportive of that aspect.

Councilman Stern stated that the City would need maximum flexibility to locate different aspects of the plan in locations that would best utilize the site. He stated he was interested in hearing from the proponents of the Arts Center regarding the request for a 99-year lease, since the City Attorney has informed them that the maximum length of lease permitted is 55 years, as specified by state law.

Mayor Pro Tem Long stated he was supportive of the general layout of the site and was in favor of moving forward on the negotiations of a 55-year lease and provisions for shared parking.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that he saw a great deal of merit in putting the gymnasium and swimming pool together in a combined complex and was in favor of the shared parking area. He thought it important to point out that the property to the west is owned by the Coast Guard and Mayor Wolowicz hoped they would continue to pursue the use of that property. He commented that he would still like to see active use of the land in the form of an overlay of a baseball and soccer field on the village green in the future and suggested consideration of as much active-recreation use on the site as possible.

City Manager Evans stated that the Council needed to decide whether or not to direct staff to finalize some type of an agreement with the Palos Verdes Art Center so that they would feel comfortable moving forward with their plans. In response to a question from Mayor Wolowicz, he stated that the Annenberg Foundation grant would bring trail linkages and general architectural design to the project.

Councilman Clark stated he would like to see continued progress on the site and that full exploration of possible public/private partnerships needed to be considered in order to turn some of the components of the master plan into a reality.

Councilman Gardiner stated that when the storm drains are repaired and there is money left over he would be ready to discuss the completion of additional aspects of the project, unless the project is completed by donations. He noted he would like to focus on only the Art Center aspect of the plan at this time.

In response to a question from Councilman Stern as to the status of a joint school district/administrative facility, City Manager Evans indicated that the school district superintendent had indicated they would not be interested at this time, but the YMCA and Zap Swimming Program still may be interested in a joint project.

Mayor Pro Tem Long agreed with Councilman Gardiner as to the City’s current priorities, but noted the Council needed to hear from other organizations if they are interested in a partnership and have the financial capacity to move ahead with a joint project.

Councilman Stern stated he had concerns regarding a lease of 55 or 99 years in length, a rent provision, joint expenditures for some of the facilities, easements and access, and the latitude and flexibility the City would need to maximize the use of the property.

Mayor Pro Tem Long stated that he did not particularly have a problem with a long term lease and noted the length of the lease needed to be negotiated.

Mayor Wolowicz cited some inconsistencies in the agreement with regard to who would design the building and confirmed that the design would need to be subject to City approval. He suggested that a clause be added that the use of banners and subsequent advertising would be subject to City review. Mayor Wolowicz expressed concern about the statement on circle page 32, paragraph L, regarding taking or eminent domain that says, “…the City shall at its own cost and expense and as soon as reasonably possible provide PVAC within the City of Rancho Palos Verdes a replacement property of like quality and character…”.

City Attorney Lynch recommended against such a provision.

Mayor Wolowicz noted that he wanted to make sure that any subletting would be subject to the approval of the City and inquired if there has been a discussion of a rental fee for use of the site.

Councilman Stern stated that essential points of the negotiation with the Art Center needed to be determined, but suggested that the direction be to allow the City Manager and City Attorney to use their expertise in defining the specifics of the document.

Mayor Pro Tem Long stated there was no comparison between the proposal of the Art Center and that of the past proposal with a private developer for the use of a portion of the City property. He stated he was not conceptually bothered by the idea of a nominal rent for the Art Center, but felt the Council should consider a rent based on the recognition of the expenses of the Art Center. He stated there were two approaches to the use of the site; one proposal would be to use the site as an asset to generate money and the other to utilize a public/private partnership to develop the desired facilities. He suggested if a nominal fee was not approved, there could be an arrangement that required the Art Center pay a share of its proceeds for admission fees under an arrangement where they were not required to pay significant fees until they were able to cover expenses and maintain the building properly.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that the Art Center does not charge an admission fee and noted the restrictions on the plan of utilization gives precedence for art centers and museums within city parklands versus other private developments.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he would view the Art Center as treasure and an asset to the property and he would be in favor of only a token rent, since the Art Center is a 501(c)3 organization and the City’s objective should not be to make money.

Robert Yassin, representative for the Art Center stated he was delighted with the Council’s consideration of the Art Center moving to the City site and stated that none of the issues raised should be viewed as unsolvable. He stated if the 55-year lease was a State limit that issue was not a problem for them, but it was their hope and expectation to be around for many years to come in order to serve the citizens of the community in the best way possible. He concluded that the Art Center desired to move forward as quickly as possible and wanted this to be as positive of an experience as possible since they have outgrown their current facility.

Councilman Gardiner moved to adopt the staff recommendation to authorize the City
Manager and City Attorney to proceed with lease negotiations with the Palos Verdes Art Center and staff, including points in the staff report and comments made by Council, with direction to staff to bring back the draft lease agreement to Council for consideration and to enable the Art Center to move ahead with design of a facility on the Civic Center property, seconded by Councilman Clark.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

AYES: Gardiner, Stern, Clark, Long, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSTAIN: None
ABSENT: None

COUNCIL DISCUSSION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS & SUGGESTION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:

Councilman Clark suggested consideration of and hopefully support for Senator Lowenthal’s SB1610, the newest version of attempting to deal with the increase of port pollution as a future agenda item.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch reported on the following matters from the Closed Session: 1) with respect to the conference with real property negotiators regarding the acquisition of the property at 6359 Tarragon Road, the Council unanimously directed the City Attorney’s Office to proceed with the filing of an eminent domain action if negotiations with the property owner were not concluded in the next week; 2) with respect to the Monks case, there was no action was taken; 3) regarding the initiation of litigation against the County of Los Angeles regarding storm drain failures on Western Avenue, Mayor Pro Tem Long recused himself from that decision due to a conflict of interest and the Council decided to decline to take action; and, 4) with respect to the issue concerning the initiation of litigation regarding the fire below Del Cerro Park, the Council gave unanimous direction to staff to try negotiate a resolution of that issue.

ADJOURNMENT:

Councilman Clark moved to adjourn the meeting.

Mayor Wolowicz adjourned the meeting to Saturday, April 29, 2006, at 9:30 A.M. for a Budget Workshop to be held at Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center.


/s/ Thomas D. Long
Mayor
Attest:

/s/ Carolynn Petru
City Clerk