JULY 18, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES JULY 18, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES



JULY 18, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

MINUTES
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
JULY 18, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:09 P.M. by Mayor Wolowicz at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard. Roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern and Mayor Wolowicz
ABSENT: None

Also present were City Manager Les Evans; Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Carolynn Petru; City Attorney Carol Lynch; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Joel Rojas; Director of Finance Dennis McLean; Director of Recreation and Parks Ron Rosenfeld; Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost; Interim Director of Public Works Ray Holland; and Administrative Analyst Matt Waters.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Lomita Sheriff’s Station CORE Team Deputy John Despot.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Mayor Wolowicz invited Interim Director of Public Works Holland to provide a report on the residential overlay and slurry seal program.

Interim Director Holland highlighted the City’s residential overlay and slurry seal project that City Council has approved and which is now in the preliminary stages of moving forward; with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, he explained that the residential streets overlay and slurry seal program is an annual program that is designed and based upon the Pavement Management Report which City Council authorized in November 2005; and stated this program is a process of inventorying the City’s streets, analyzing the road conditions and determining what work needs to be done to keep the residential and arterial streets in an acceptable condition. He indicated that at the April 2006 budget workshop, Council had a lengthy discussion regarding the Pavement Management Report and the roadway conditions; he announced that the City’s street condition currently falls within the lower level of the excellent range; and mentioned that in April during the budget process, City Council expressed its desire to continue with that level and authorize $2.3 million to be spent on the residential, slurry seal and overlay program this year. He explained that every 7 years, the City resurfaces all its residential streets, that this is done on a 7-year cycle; that every year, 15 to 20 miles of residential streets are resurfaced; and that this year, approximately 100,000 linear feet, approximately 19 miles, of residential streets will be resurfaced. He stated the normal split is 80 percent of the streets being slurry sealed and 20 percent being overlaid.

Interim Director of Public Works Holland stated that on June 7th, a public notice was sent out to all the residents in Area 2, advising them that this area would be resurfaced for slurry seal and overlay this year, mentioning that Area 2 is along Hawthorne Boulevard; that a map of all streets to be worked on was also included in each notice and that a description of the work to be performed was included along with contact phone numbers of City staff should anyone seek further information. He indicated that the City will follow up with additional notices, including a notice hung on the door of all residents on the street that will be slurry sealed or overlaid 48 hours prior to the work being performed and the streets will be posted with “No Parking -- Tow-Away” signs 48 hours in advance of the work. He reiterated that the public will be notified by mail, door hangers, and street signage; and that staff will closely work with the community to make certain cars are removed so the work can be performed properly and efficiently. He reported that July 10, 2006 is the proposed start date for some of the preparatory work; that the actual construction will start around July 24th; and that the City expects all the work to be done by November 20th. He mentioned that the notices also include a summary of what each resident should and should not do, such as not allowing sprinkler runoff onto the street until the road surface has hardened/cured and to avoid hard breaks or fast accelerations. He mentioned that towing would be done only after ample notice, noting that towing will take place in order for the work to be properly and efficiently completed.

In response to Councilman Gardiner’s inquiry regarding the difference between overlay and slurry, Interim Director Holland explained that the overlay involves putting down asphalt/concrete and rolling over it; that the slurry is a liquid asphalt emulsion sprayed on top of the street, noting this takes longer to dry/cure and is a cheaper product to extend the life of the pavement. He stated because of the cost, the City is attempting to avoid doing overlays when possible; and that if the life of the street can extend using slurry, it’s much more economical. Interim Director Holland noted for Councilman Gardiner that some of the streets will have deteriorated pavement that will need to be removed and replaced with either new base material or new asphalt before the surface treatment is applied; and commented on the timing for these activities, noting there is no perfect time of the year to do this work, but that the City tries to do during the summer to avoid school activities.

Mayor Wolowicz recognized Mrs. Gail Lorenzen for organizing the City’s Neighborhood Watch program and announced that she recently received the 2006 national award for the most exemplary Neighborhood Watch organization from the National Sheriff’s Association and the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance at its annual convention in Orlando, Florida. He reported that Mrs. Lorenzen was nominated for the award by the Lomita Sheriff’s Station of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which is one of more than 3,000 sheriff’s departments nationwide in this association; and stated that the program she put together for Rancho Palos Verdes is a format that many communities have tried to emulate. He stated that through Mrs. Lorenzen dedication and hard work, the City’s crime rate has dropped significantly and that Rancho Palos Verdes is now listed by the Department of Justice statistics as one of the safest cities of under 100,000 residents in the country. He added that the City’s Neighborhood Watch Program is administered by 402 block captains, 47 area coordinators and approximately 1,200 block assistants; and includes approximately 9,000 single-family homes. On behalf of Council and the City, Mayor Wolowicz commended Mrs. Gail Lorenza for her outstanding leadership and stated that because of her enormous contributions and success, the City is honored with this national award; and he presented her with a City proclamation.

Captain Zuanich stated that in the 4.5 years he has been the Captain at Lomita Sheriff’s Station, he has taken every opportunity to tell other cities that are interested in the Neighborhood Watch Program about Rancho Palos Verdes’ model program. He indicated that Sergeant Rozas wrote in the nomination for Mrs. Lorenzen to receive this prestigious national award.

Sergeant Rozas stated that of all the meetings he attends throughout the county, Rancho Palos Verdes is constantly cited as the supreme example of a highly successful Neighborhood Watch Program; and he congratulated and commended Mrs. Lorenzen for her efforts, stating that he appreciates her giving over 20,000 hours of volunteer work for the County. He mentioned there are over 450 volunteers at Lomita Sheriff’s Station and that Mrs. Lorenzen is one of the top volunteers at the station.

Gail Lorenzen stated that she is pleased to have received this award for the Neighborhood Watch Program and noted that she could not have done all this work without the help of others in this program. She thanked the Sheriff’s Department for its support and commended Deputy Chris Knox and Deputy John Despot for their assistance. She commended all the dedicated volunteers, especially Toni Lubofsky, who has been with her for 14 years; and noted that Mrs. Lubofsky is not only her backup for Neighborhood Watch Program, but that she is also an Area Coordinator for 44 Block Captains. She mentioned that Mrs. Lubofsky’s husband is also a Block Captain. She also commended Les Shaffen for his efforts with adding emergency preparedness to the Neighborhood Watch Program. She stated that it has taken many years to make this program the success it is today and that all the volunteers deserve to share in this award.

Councilman Clark pointed out that Mrs. Lorenzen was as one of the original members of the City’s View Restoration Commission in 1990; stated she served admirably on that body for two years; and that he is honored to have served with her on that body.

Mayor Wolowicz encouraged everyone to get involved with the Neighborhood Watch Program in their area.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Wolowicz announced the names of the two recycler winners from the July 5th City Council meeting – June E. Haskell and Marcia Spanier; stated that all winners will receive a check for $250, which represents a year of free refuse service; and encouraged everyone to recycle.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Michael O’Sullivan, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that his property had been involved in a View Restoration Permit; indicated that two of his trees were required to be trimmed; displayed a photo of the current condition of one of those trees, and asked Council for some relief on the maintenance schedule for that tree. He displayed some photographs from his neighbor’s yard depicting the trees involved, one being his eucalyptus tree, and noted that the photograph shows the degree to which his tree impacts the neighbor’s view. He stated that in his opinion, the condition of the tree did not create a significant view impairment; reported that he had it severely trimmed in December 2004 and again in November 2005; noted that the conditions of the permit require him to trim the tree semi-annually; and stated that he does not know why the City is requiring that it be trimmed so frequently. He stated that this tree was due to be trimmed again in May, but that Director Joel Rojas and Senior Planner Alvarez graciously extended that period for two months because of the very cold winter. He explained that while the tree has had modest growth, it is far short of what would be considered to be causing significant view impairment, particularly in the context of the overall view; and he requested that the maintenance condition/schedule be reconsidered and changed to annual trimming. He also pointed out that part of the neighbor’s hedge blocks some of the view of his tree.

Director Rojas mentioned that it was Council’s decision to require semi-annual trimming.

Councilman Stern questioned if there is a process by which the speaker can make application to have the trimming schedule changed.

Director Rojas indicated there is an opportunity for Mr. O’Sullivan to go before the Planning Commission to alter/adjust the trimming schedule; and suggested that Mr. O’Sullivan contact his office or Senior Planner Alvarez to get that process started. He mentioned that the permit’s conditions allow the Planning Commission authority to change this condition should this property owner made a request in the future.

Mayor pro tem Long stated that notice should be given to the neighbor who requested the View Restoration Permit when that process is under way.

Director Rojas indicated that a request to alter that trimming schedule would require a full public hearing notice and added that the Planning Commission’s decision could be appealed to City Council.

Mr. O’Sullivan indicated he has not yet spoken with his neighbor about this request.

Mark Majestic, Rancho Palos Verdes, commended Associate Planner Kit Fox for representing the Planning Department at the scoping meeting held the previous month regarding the proposed LAUSD high school on the Ponte Vista property on Western Avenue. Regarding the public comment period, he expressed his belief that limited time is available for the City to provide adequate comment on the project and asked that Council request that LAUSD extend the comment period so that all relevant issues can be adequately addressed. He stated that the City’s residents would pay a heavy price if this were not done properly, pointing out that residents will be living close to a 2,000-seat high school that has only 188 parking spaces. He stated that all issues should be covered, such as student parking, street/neighborhood parking, traffic, crime, and gangs; and stated that he would like to see adequate alternatives to the proposal, believing there are obvious flaws in the proposed plan.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that City Council is sensitive to this issue and asked about the prospect of coming back with a recommendation on what the City might be able to do.

Director Rojas indicated that staff would provide Council with an update in the next Border Issues Report.

Councilman Gardiner asked whether the City would have adequate time to request an extension to the comment period.

Mr. Majestic stated that the comment period would end on the following Monday; and noted it had already been extended by one day because of Associate Planner Fox’s request to not have the deadline end on a Sunday.

City Attorney Lynch confirmed for Mayor Wolowicz that a comment letter could be prepared by staff and presented to Council for approval at its upcoming Saturday meeting scheduled on July 22nd.

Rod White, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he appeared before City Council almost two years earlier regarding a building project adjacent to his property in Miraleste Hills; explained that he lives on a private street that provides access to only three houses; and thanked City Council for stopping that unpermitted project at that time. He questioned why the City was not aware of this large project prior to him coming before City Council at that time, noting that the adjacent property owner built a huge retaining wall and undertook thousands of cubic feet of excavation all without benefit of City permits. He addressed his disappointment with the City undertaking a stop work order only after he complained at a City Council meeting, noting that he still had to call the Sheriff’s Department to get the work completely stopped two years ago. He indicated that he and his neighbors just became aware that the City has recently approved this project, but advised that he did not receive any notice of a hearing and that neither he nor his neighbors were given an opportunity to speak on neighborhood compatibility issues concerning this project. He said that he only found out about this approval through his homeowners association; stated that he contacted staff and asked why they weren’t notified; that they were given a 15-day extension to provide input, at which time all three property owners on this private street filed complaints to the Building and Safety Division; and noted that they now find themselves having to pay a fee of $1,222 by this coming Friday in order to appeal the decision. He asked that the City waive this fee given the history of this project and the property owners having to retain attorneys.

Councilman Clark explained to Mr. White that if his appeal is sustained, Council has in some cases decided to return the appeal fee, but stated he is not aware of any circumstance where the appeal fee has been waived up front.

Director Rojas confirmed that this fee has not been waived prior to Council reviewing the particular appeal.

Mayor pro tem Long noted for Mr. White that Council cannot act on this item this evening because it is not on the agenda; and explained that the filing fee covers a portion of the appeal process costs sustained by the City.

Councilman Stern noted for Mr. White that he has the prospect of getting his filing fee back if his appeal is successful.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Stern advised that last Thursday, the Council subcommittee on the Palos Verdes Art Center met with representatives of that organization, noting the results of that meeting will soon be presented to the full Council. He stated that he and other Councilmembers were present during the past weekend for the reopening of the Point Vicente Interpretive Center and he provided a slide show of that event; and he urged the residents to visit and enjoy this center and its incredible view. He stated that Mayor Wolowicz did an excellent job with his welcoming speech; noted that Congressman Dana Rohrabacher attended the reopening celebrations and that he presented a flag from the nation’s capital for this facility; and that former Mayors and Councilmembers were also in attendance. He added that the night before the official opening, an event was held for the major donors to the museum; and stated this facility will be available for private events.

Mayor Wolowicz commented on the following events he attended:

 July 7th he met with the Chairs of various Commissions/Committees, wherein they had an informative discussion regarding the City’s Trails Network Plan; thanked Assistant City Manager Petru for her assistance in providing additional information; and stated that this issue will soon be placed on a future City Council agenda for decision making.

 July 8th he and the City Council interviewed two of the potential search firms to find a new City Manager, noting that Les Evans has announced his desire to retire from the City; and advised that one company is left to interview.

 July 11th in the morning attended his traditional meeting with the City Manager and Assistant City Manager to discuss the City Council meeting agenda.

 July 11th in the evening attended the installation of Torrance Mayor Scotto, who is a personal friend of his.

 July 13th he chaired the Palos Verdes Transit Authority Board meeting and discussed the annual budget, which was approved; and noted that operating costs are increasing. He advised that they approved the acquisition of several used busses; and that they are looking to improve the quality of service where possible. He reminded those that the Palos Verdes Transit Authority is now managing Routes 225 and 226, which were previously handled by the MTA.

 July 17th he had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Trump Golf Course, who gave him a presentation on some of the points they would be making this evening and noted his appreciation of that preview.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

None.

OLD BUSINESS:

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reminded the audience that items previously discussed and continued to a future Council meeting as listed on the City’s website at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

City Manager Evans requested pulling Agenda Item No. 6 from the Consent Calendar -- Purchase of Standby Generator for City Hall Complex.

Councilman Clark requested pulling Agenda Item No. 10 from the Consent Calendar -- Trump National Golf Club - Revision "AA" - Request for a temporary 3-month opening of the Golf Course and Driving Range B.

Mayor Wolowicz requested pulling Agenda Item No. 7 from the Consent Calendar - Gifts for Parks.

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru advised that Council received late correspondence on Item Nos. 3 and 4.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the amended Consent Calendar. The roll call vote carried as follows:

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

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.

Approval of the Minutes (301)

Approved the Minutes of July 8, 2006.

Professional Services Agreement with Gerard J. Quinn & Associates for Disaster Grant Management and Recovery Services (401)

1) Awarded a Professional Services Agreement to Gerard J. Quinn & Associates in an amount not to exceed $15,000 for disaster grant management and recovery services; and 2) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement with Gerard J. Quinn & Associates.

Approval of Lease Extension between the City and Montessori School of Rancho Palos Verdes (1201)

Approved and authorized the Mayor to execute the lease agreement between the City and Montessori School of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Notice of Completion for City Hall Parking Lot Resurfacing Project (1201 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 upon the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond, notice the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance bonds; 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 and the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-53, 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.

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ITEMS PULLED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR

Purchase of Standby Generator for City Hall Complex (1204 x 302)

City Manager Evans noted that several Council members have asked why staff is deleting the fuel tank; advised that the cost of this bid item came in significantly over what was anticipated; that when the Director of Public Works and he discovered that the size of this tank is the same as a small box car, they felt that until they have a better site plan for the Civic Center, moving another large structure onto the Civic Center site might not be a good idea; and that until they decide exactly where it would go, they would prefer to rent a tank until a permanent tank is obtained. With regard to seeking a straight bid for the generators and equipment rather than a life cycle cost, he explained that staff did look into the life cycle cost of these machines with several companies; and explained that having already put out a straight bid process, it is too difficult at this point to obtain the life cycle costs. He noted that the companies were not providing the information staff was seeking; that since this is a stand-by generator, the cost of operation, cost of maintenance, life of the machine, the best they could do was to offer a five-year warranty for the equipment and a 10-year maintenance contract. He reiterated that the firms were very poor in coming forth with the requested information; and stated that at this point, it is staff’s recommendation to move forward with this purchase. He suggested that Council might want to develop some type of policy on how to go about putting out bids for life cycle costs for future acquisitions.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he raised the issue of life cycle costs in hopes of obtaining the least expensive option in the long run. He noted that the major costs have to do with operations and maintenance, not the initial acquisition. He stated there is an advantage to obtaining the life cycle costs because it can be more expensive in the long term to do otherwise. He added that the bid process should also include a provision for the City to be able to make partial purchases of equipment.

City Manager Evans stated the City does reserve the right to decrease or increase the amount of any item or a portion thereof, and that the City reserves the right to amend in its entirety items included in the bid.

Mayor pro tem Long moved to 1) authorize an equipment purchase from Cummins Cal Pacific, LLC, Inc., to obtain a 140-kilowatt emergency generator, transfer switch and start-up services at a cost of $61,562 and authorized staff to spend an additional $358 for a 5-year parts/labor comprehensive warranty and $2,080 for possible additional work or unforeseen conditions, for a total authorization not to exceed $64,000; 2) Authorize the Director of Public Works to enter into a purchase agreement with Cummins Cal Pacific, LLC, for an amount not to exceed $64,000; and, 3) direct staff to bring back a policy to incorporate life cycle bidding.

Councilman Clark seconded the motion and noted his appreciation of Councilman Gardiner for bringing the issue of life cycle bidding forward.

The roll call vote carried as follows:

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

Gifts for Parks (602)

Mayor Wolowicz stated that he pulled this from the Consent Calendar to thank those listed on the donor list; noted that the donations to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center that summer included $45,000 from the Major Family Foundation to sponsor the interactive gray whale exhibit; that $10,000 was donated from Ken and Betty Riedman, who sponsored an entire row of the PVIC amphitheatre; that $2,500 was donated from the Rolling Hills Estates Women’s Club for one bronze amphitheatre plaque; that $25,000 was collectively donated from the Center’s docents; and he noted there are more individual donors on the list. He thanked the donors for their generosity and thanked the other individuals involved in this endeavor.

Mayor Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Stern, to accept the Gifts for Parks donations and direct staff to prepare letters for the Mayor’s signature expressing the Council’s thanks and appreciation. The vote carried as follows:

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

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Conformance with the 2006 L.A. County Congestion Management Program (CMP) (1505)

Mayor pro tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to waive staff report and to adopt RESOLUTION NO. 2006-54, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ADOPTING THE CITY’S 2006 LOCAL DEVELOPMENT REPORT (LDR) AND SELF-CERTIFYING THE CITY’S CONFORMANCE WITH THE 2006 CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM (CMP) FOR LOS ANGELES COUNTY.

The vote carried as follows:

AYES: Gardiner, Long, Stern, Mayor Wolowicz
NOES: None
ABSTAIN: Clark (departed the room at 8:19 P.M. and returned during recess)
ABSENT: None

RECESS AND RECONVENE

Mayor Wolowicz recessed the meeting at 8:21 P.M. and reconvened the meeting at 8:32 P.M.

Trump National Golf Club - Revision "AA" - Request for a temporary 3-month opening of the Golf Course and Driving Range (1411)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru stated that late correspondence on this item had been provided to Council.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost provided an update following the distribution of the staff report on this item; highlighted the tables shown on Page Nos. 14 and 15 of staff report, advising that the Water Fall No. 1 compaction report has been completed and that the Lake No. 9 compaction report has also been completed; and he advised that the only two remaining items related to the geologic approval of the final as-built plan are the first two items listed under No. 1 of that table. He pointed out that under Item No. 2, geologic approval of the final as-built plan for the driving range, staff received on July 14th a final report from the Peer Review Panel on that issue; and advised that the Peer Review Panel prepared a report which summarized exactly what the developer’s geologist now needs to do in preparing a final report. He explained that this is important because now that everyone knows what the geology is in this area, the developer’s geologist can now prepare the geotechnical stability analysis to determine whether the clubhouse expansion can be constructed; and mentioned if City’s geologist approves that report, the developer will be able to pull permits for the clubhouse expansion. He added that the Peer Review Panel’s determination is also important given the area’s proximity to Landslide A; that the data can now be used to finish the geologic model of Landslide A; that once that item is decided and determined by the Peer Review Panel, then the driving range can be finaled. He stated that the issues regarding the geology of Landslide A must be resolved before homes can be built in Tract No. 50666 or before the developer can propose hotel bungalows on the site. He concluded that a lot is riding on the Landslide A model, which is proceeding along.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost stated that with regard to inclinometer SI-5A, the City’s geologist has not noticed any movement with this device since last reported to Council in December 2005, and subsequently, the City’s geologist has changed the monitoring procedure from every two weeks to every four weeks for this temporary period. With regard to Item No. 5 dealing with the planning review of the as-built plans, he stated that the developer has completed the removal of the shrubs on the back tee of Hole No. 2; that the developer is currently removing and relocated some shrubs along PVDS near Lot No. 1 in Tract No. 50667; and stated that he believes this work can be completed in the next 90 days. Although staff report indicates the PVDS landscape roadway improvements should be completed within the next five weeks, he stated he has now been told it will be completed within the next three weeks; and he added that everything seems to be moving forward with Edison providing the electrical connection for the irrigation system. With regard to the completion of the public trails, he stated that the developer has indicated that the trails signs have been ordered and should be erected within the next 90 days.

With respect to the geological report from the Peer Review Panel, Councilman Stern questioned if the Trump organization had a chance to review that report and/or given any input on their intent to move forward with it.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost stated he has not heard from the applicant on that issue.

Councilman Clark asked if the proposed condition on Page No. 4 of staff report, which reads: “All outstanding items necessary to obtain approval by the City’s geologist on the final as-built report for the golf course shall be completed,” is achievable and a necessary condition.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost expressed his belief this is achievable, but suggested adding the following amendment to the condition: “If this condition is not satisfied, no additional temporary opening shall be permitted beyond October 20, 2006,” believing that this clarification would make sure the work gets done in a timely fashion.

Councilman Clark asked staff to explain the inter-relationship of approvals by the City and the Coastal Commission required to open the golf course.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost stated that the Coastal Commission has its own separate set of conditions that needed to be met over and above what is required by the City; stated that although the City can grant permanent opening of the golf course, the Coastal Commission staff also needs to verify the completion of all items under its purview before the opening. He stated that he is not aware of the current status of Coastal Commission items that still need to be addressed.

Councilman Clark questioned the status of the Coastal Commission’s acceptance of the public trails as a condition of allowing the opening of the golf course and asked if all the geotechnical issues in terms of the as-built plans have to be accepted by the City before the Coastal Commission will undertake those issues.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost stated that he has not been advised of these conditions by Coastal Commission staff.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that he is troubled by the geologist’s reports and the concept of the geologic model of Landslide A.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost indicated that the geology report issued the previous week addressed the clubhouse expansion, noting that this report was the result of work done over the past year and a half, with the developer drilling four new borings and performing additional geologic investigation work. He explained that the final determination regarding Landslide A is not related to the opening of the 18-hole golf course, but is related to the permanent opening of the driving range. He stated that the proposed condition imposing the October 20, 2006 deadline would not apply to the Peer Review Panel’s report on Landslide A due to the length of time it will take the Peer Review Panel and the developer’s geologists to complete that review and stated that he is not sure if the Landslide A issue will be resolved in the next 90 days.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that the proposed wording on Page No. 4 of the staff report is similar to wording he requested on April 18th, noting that at that time, the City Council concluded that it wasn’t necessary to have that kind of wording applied to the entire project, specifically that no additional temporary openings would be granted beyond a certain point. He stated that he gives greater weight to the geologic report than the rest of the other outstanding items, which he considers to be secondary. He stated that he is happy with the updates provided this evening and pleased with the developer’s continued progress in completing the remaining items.

Mayor Wolowicz opened the public hearing.

Vince Stellio, representing the Trump organization, stated that he is opposed to the proposed condition language stating “no additional temporary openings after 90 days.” He distributed his own spreadsheet to Council and displayed a portion of the information on the video screen indicating some of the timelines he has had encountered in submitting reports and receiving responses back from the City’s geologist, Cotton Shires, and his own geologist, Converse. He noted that two geology reports have not yet been submitted. He stated that he is pleased with the agreement on the geologic model, but noted that all the previous calculations will have to be redone. He stated that although Cotton Shires has agreed that the golf course can be opened temporarily, they are unable to sign off on the plan until after all parties approve the new re-calculations. He highlighted the dispute over the location of the geologic setback line and explained that by altering the location of the driving range, they have eliminated this issue because the golf course is not governed by the same 1.5 factor of safety that applies to homes. He stated that, with the Peer Review Panel’s approval of the new model/new calculations, he was confident that the revised report would conclude that the golf course is safe for full operation.

Mr. Stellio stated that the new/revised geologic model will also determine whether they have a stability factor of 1.5 in order to proceed with adding a terrace to the clubhouse; and indicated he feels comfortable that they will be able to demonstrate a 1.5 factor of safety for the proposed addition. He reiterated that the issue of the geologic setback line has basically gone away; that he does not know how it affects any of the other residential lots; that they are not currently planning on building those houses; and that there is plenty of time for that issue to be resolved. He stated that his most important goal is to open the golf course and to move ahead on the resolving the geology issues. He stated that now that they have the revised model, his engineers are going to recalculate some of their stability numbers and resubmit them to Cotton Shires; and that he believes because of the Peer Review Panel’s involvement up to this point, they should be able to accept the new report and deem it complete. He that stated that there are no other significant outstanding issues, noting that otherwise the geologists would not have previously allowed the temporary opening of the golf course. He stated that he agrees that the geology is very important and that it is important to bring closure to the geology issues and permanently open the golf course.

Mr. Stellio stated that because some of these reports will have to be submitted to the consultants with new calculations, it is likely it will take more time than 90 days to complete the process; noted that should there be any disagreements, this could take longer than anticipated because those disagreements would trigger another review by the Peer Review Panel; and stated that he does not want to ask for this extension every 3 months and wants to put closure to all of this. He reiterated that none of the new calculations/new reports in any way affect the safety of the public on the golf course; stated that his only objection would be to a condition that this is the final extension in case something gets tied into the geology; and suggested that it be tied to another component of the project instead since it does not directly affect the golf course. He stated all the public amenities and trails have been completed and opened; and announced that by allowing them a temporary opening last January, the City has received a total of $161,450 in golf tax fees.

Referring to the information presented in Item No, 2 on Page No. 1 indicating it has been 174 days and counting that the developer has been waiting to receive a response from the City’s geologist, Councilman Gardiner asked for input on why it is taking so long for a response.

City Manager Evans advised the City Council that Cotton Shires is waiting for Converse to provide information on the as-built retaining walls; stated that the review process is taking a long time because the developer’s geologist disagrees with just about everything the City’s consultant says; and that this is the reason why the Trump organization requested a Peer Review Panel. City Manager Evans stated that the spread sheet given by the applicant’s representative this evening is misleading, reiterating that the City’s consultant has taken up to 174 days for review because they are waiting for information from Converse on the retaining walls; and that it is Converse that is holding up this response. He reiterated that the developer decided there should be a Peer Review Panel, made up of three conservative geologists, who in almost every case come down on the conservative side, in line with the City’s geologist; and noted that this time is not included in the spread sheet distributed to the City Council by the applicant this evening. He added that one of the problems is that Mr. Stellio is attempting to manage this project from the east coast; and stated that the geology reports are going to take a long time to get approved because this is the process the Trump organization has insisted on using and because they have chosen to argue with everything the City’s geologist says, then run it through the Peer Review Panel and argue the issues all over again.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he is trying to discover what the facts are and to determine which things are taking the most time to obtain, and asked if this is the normal course of business.

City Manager Evans stated that the City’s geologist indicates there is no problem with a temporary permit; expressed his belief that the geology is not going to be completed within the next 3 months or 6 months because the applicant will continue to argue over various items because they have larger implication for the rest of the project, pointing out that this model could affect Mr. Trump’s proposed hotel and some of the residential lots.

Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief the Peer Review Panel will sort out those issues of disagreement, which is what this process is designed to do.

Councilman Clark asked for Mr. Stellio to comment on where he stands with the Coastal Commission staff on some of the areas that need to be approved by that body and which are identified in the staff report.

Mr. Stellio stated the only thing they are waiting on from the Coastal Commission is whether that agency will accept a drawn depiction of the public trails or whether the staff prefers metes and bounds descriptions for recordation purposes, noting that everything else has been accepted by the agency. He stated that the Coastal Commission staff is still waiting to hear from its legal department, that it is only a matter of recording the information in the accepted format; and noted that he is willing to do it either way, but is just waiting direction.

Councilman Clark asked Mr. Stellio what the financial projections are for normal revenue of the golf operations in the future.

Mr. Stellio stated it is too difficult to say at this time because there has not been a firm targeted date for the grand opening of the golf course; that advertising of Trump National has been limited; and that he is not yet able to say what those projections will be. He indicated that there would most likely be greater monthly net revenues than what has been experienced thus far.

Mayor pro tem Long stated that to some extent, he shares the City Manager’s frustration with the delays; expressed his belief it is entirely within the applicant’s power to decide whether they are going to have a permanent opening or a temporary opening; pointed out that the process with the Peer Review Panel is out of the ordinary; that it is adding an enormous amount of time to the process; but with that being said, he believes progress is being made; and stated that he is prepared to go along with the staff recommendation. He suggested amending the condition on Page 4 to add a last sentence to read as follows: “No additional temporary openings of the golf course shall be permitted after October 20, 2006, absent a showing of good cause to the satisfaction of City Council.” He pointed out that this time around, the explanation for the extension given to Council is progress is being made, noting that is fine this time, but he stated that if there were another request for an extension, the same reason would not be sufficient. He added that if another extension of time is necessary, he would want to hear exactly why it was not possible to achieve this work within this 3-month extension and, at that time, Council can judge whether or not an additional extension would be reasonable. He stated that it serves no purpose to look back in hindsight and try to figure out the reason for the delays; stated he is sympathetic that the Trump organization is not able to have a grand opening or a permanent opening; and stated that the developer needs to weigh the desire to have a permanent opening against whatever advantage they feel they are getting in this process and whatever advantage it yields for other plans they have for the remaining portions of the property. He reiterated that the decision is entirely within the hands of the developer, that the conditions have been known for a very long period of time, and that they can be satisfied.

Councilman Stern stated that he agrees with Mayor pro tem Long’s comments; that he shares the City Manager’s frustration with getting this issue resolved without numerous temporary extensions; stated that he is glad to see progress is being made, but that he wants to see a final conclusion. He pointed out that approximately 3 years ago the applicant wanted the Peer Review Panel to deal with the geology of the clubhouse because they were not happy with the City’s geologist’s request for additional information and borings, etc.; stated that the developer has used up a lot of time going through this process; and that they could have moved the project forward much faster if there was more agreement with the City’s geologist. He stated that he supports the staff recommendation and Mayor pro tem Long’s amendment to the condition on Page 4.

Mr. Stellio explained that when the Trump organization purchased this project, the conflict regarding the geology already existed, and reminded everyone that when they purchased this property, there was a huge landslide remediation project in progress with 500,000 cubic yards of dirt sitting on the golf course; and that the bank was not making much of an attempt to get anything done. He stated that he has done nothing but push this project forward; noted that he came up with the suggestion of a Peer Review Panel because he was tired of the ongoing disagreements between the geologists and the delays that it was causing. He indicated that he cannot order his geologist to use the City’s consultant’s work; and that his geologist will not take someone else’s work and stamp and seal it for approval. He pointed out that Converse is the only geotechnical engineer who’s going to be liable for this project; and that they are going to stamp and seal these drawings and take the liability because they are the geotechnical engineers of record. He stated that even when they were getting direction from the Peer Review Panel, they are unable to simply borrow their work because they are not the engineers of record. He reiterated that he has done everything in his power to put closure to this item; and he highlighted the various projects that have been completed during his tenure, such as the trail and public amenities improvements.

Councilman Stern stated that Mr. Stellio is correct that the geologic issues and dispute between the City’s geologist and Converse existed before the Trump organization purchased this property, but stated that the decision as to whether or not the Trump organization would perform the additional borings, provide the additional data and have Converse do the additional analysis was a decision for Mr. Stellio to make, which he did. He noted his recollection that, based on the geological reports that were prepared after Council approved the addition to the clubhouse, the City’s geologist requested further analysis and some additional borings and that the Trump organization chose not to do them at that point in time – pointing out this was Mr. Stellio’s decision, not that of the previous owner of the property.

Mr. Stellio explained that they did not want to do large diameter 3-foot borings on a finished project. He stated that they submitted this position to the Peer Review Panel; that the Panel looked at Cotton Shires recommendations and decided 3-foot large diameter borings were not necessary, pointing out that with today’s technology, using 4-inch borings, cameras, gamalogging, etc. would have been sufficient. He stated that when they got that report back, they went out and drilled four holes, did the gamalogging, video work, and they submitted all that data; and stated they did not delay the process by trying to get out of that work. He pointed out it is a lot harder to bring in a huge auger to drill down 170 feet, 3 feet wide on a finished project and stated they were still able to accomplish what was necessary and extract the same information the Peer Review Panel needed to make its conclusion; and because of the work that was done, he stated they were able to come up with a new model and can finally put closure to this huge disagreement amongst the professionals.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that he shares the City Manager’s concerns and frustrations; that he would like to see this project moved forward; that there seems to be consensus that completion is not possible within the next 90 days; that most compelling to him is the sense that many of the delays were not necessary, but the fact so many items have been completed, as noted in the report and this evening’s update, is gratifying. He noted his appreciation for the amount of work done so far and effort required to get the other items completed. He stated that he can see the impact of the new geologic model having far-reaching conclusions on other components of the project, understanding the fact that it might go well beyond the expansion to the clubhouse; stated that he does not want to get caught up in that discussion at this time; and stated that he is not supportive of tying the completion of the geology to some other aspect of the project. He stated that if an additional extension is requested in 90 days, the developer must provide some very conclusive evidence in order to convince him to support the request.

Councilman Gardiner stated that having now been involved with City government for some time, he understands and can appreciate how long it takes to get some things done; stated that in the background, there has been much disagreement between the consultants; and noted that he sees no reason why anyone making application with the City should simply accept the City’s consultant’s wisdom, especially given the liability associated with this project. He stated that it was appropriate to have created a vehicle to help sort out those disagreements; and pointed out that evidently, those disagreements have been sorted out, noting that it is quite a landmark achievement if everyone has reached agreement on a particular geologic model. He expressed his belief that most of the difficulties are behind them; and he stated that it is in everyone’s interest to get this project completed. He added that since the Trump organization has taken over this project, it has done everything in a first class fashion and has agreed to and completed all the items required by the City; and he noted his opposition to putting in language that conveys a drop-dead attitude about any further extensions, believing it is unprofessional. He stated that he understands what Mayor pro tem Long is trying to suggest, but pointed out that Council still has the ultimate decision making authority next time this issue comes before it, noting that if no good reason exists to justify further delays, Council has the power to deny the extension. He stated that he is willing to move ahead tonight, but without the suggested amendment to the condition on Page 4.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to approve the staff recommendation to extend the temporary opening of the Trump National Golf Course for an additional three months, but with no final limit to any further extensions.

City Attorney Lynch asked for clarification as to whether Councilman Clark’s motion deletes the last sentence “No additional temporary openings after October 20, 2006” from Condition Nos. E-5, E-6 and E-7.

Councilman Clark indicated that it was his intent to delete the last sentence from those conditions.

Mayor pro tem Long stated that all of the conditions that remain to be satisfied were the original conditions to open the golf course, and the concession the City made was to allow a temporary opening, noting that at some point, temporary ceases to be temporary if it continues for a long time. He stated that he is supportive of the language on Page 4, but noted that it was not his intent to make it absolute and suggested that it read instead as “No additional temporary openings of the golf course shall be permitted after October 20, 2006, except for good cause shown to the satisfaction of City Council.” He stated it may seem redundant, but that by deleting the language altogether is sending the wrong message to the developer. He noted his intent to send a message that Council is willing to extend the temporary opening, but that the next time around, Council wants the developer to show good cause for any further extension requests, expressing his belief that they currently are not showing good cause for the extensions. He stated the processing delays shown in Mr. Stellio’s spreadsheet are not necessarily good explanations for why more time is needed; pointed out that the City has tried to accommodate the developer by allowing the creation a Peer Review Panel, which is not a normal process; that the City has allowed a temporary opening without all of the conditions being satisfied, which is not a normal process; and reiterated that it sends the wrong message to take out the language concerning the temporary and final extension. He stated that this is why he will not support the motion at this point, but indicated that he does want to see the temporary opening continue to go forward.

Councilman Stern stated that he tends to agree with Mayor pro tem Long’s comments; that he fully supports the additional language suggested by Mayor Pro Tem Long which makes it clear there needs to be a showing of good cause for any further extensions and is not an absolute denial. He stated that the City has allowed the developer to have a Peer Review Panel that overrides the normal process; pointed out there are consequences of choosing to go a different route; that it has taken additional time for this selected process; and noted his disappointment in the developer coming back to the City to complain about the City geologist and the Peer Review Panel not being able to meet their perceived deadlines. He stated the message needs to be clear that the developer needs to accomplish the work within this timetable, not just still making progress; and he noted his desire for this additional language to be included in the condition.

Mr. Stellio suggested reinstating the “red team” meetings, which involved the Council subcommittee and staff getting together with the developer on a routine basis to monitor the project’s progress. He noted that in this case, if he does come back to Council in three months for another extension, Council would have a better understanding of the progress being made. Mr. Stellio agreed that things don’t move along as quickly as desired; stated that he continually puts pressure on his consultants to work faster; stated his spreadsheet was not designed to point the finger at either side; and concluded that what has delayed this project was the condition of the property when they purchased it, noting that there already were disagreements over the geology on the table. He reiterated his concern with a drop-dead 90-day extension, noting it won’t be enough time for all parties to review and approve the recalculations he referred to previously.

In response to Mayor Wolowicz’s inquiry regarding the applicant’s concurrence with staff report, Mr. Stellio stated that he agrees with the staff report, with the exception of capping the extension of time, noting his intent not to make this a regular proposal. He stated that he would like to be finished in three months, but stated that will be difficult given all those that will be involved in this process.

Deputy Director of Planning Pfost stated that the main issue that staff believes will exceed the next 90-day period is the geologic review related to the permanent opening of the driving range; and that staff feels the other items can be completed within 90 days. He explained that that the driving range is a Peer Review Panel issue, so staff did not attach that condition to the driving range, only the golf course.

Mr. Stellio stated that the Coastal Commission has not yet approved the driving range because the Coastal Commission cannot review it until the geology issue is resolved.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that staff report is acceptable to him, given the fact that the conditions the Council is talking about apply to everything except the driving range; that the geology of the driving range is in fact the most significant item; and that the developer is concerned about having a 90-day drop dead date to complete the geology on an item which is not related to the temporary opening of the golf course.

Deputy Director of Planning Pfost indicated that Mayor Wolowicz’s understanding is correct.

Mayor Wolowicz stated for the record that the condition language under discussion applies to all of the items, which Council has already seen on staff’s matrix as being completed, and that the geology of the driving range is a separate issue.

Deputy Director of Planning Pfost indicated that Mayor Wolowicz’s statement is correct; and that staff did not feel the geology on the driving range would be completed in the next 90 days due to the past experience with the time it takes for the Peer Review Panel to complete its review; but that staff also believes all the other items on the matrix can be completed within the next 90 days.

Mayor Wolowicz observed that there seems to be a consensus between staff and the developer on this point.

Councilman Clark reminded his colleagues that irrespective of what Council does to open the golf course on a permanent basis, there is still the issue of the Coastal Commission’s final approval of the driving range; noted his opinion that the additional condition language is unnecessary. He commented that if this item comes back at the end of the 90 days and Council is not satisfied with where things stand, it could always shut down the golfing operation.

Mayor pro tem Long stated that Council should clearly indicate what terms will apply, so that when the developer comes back next time, it is clear what is expected, believing that the developer may not have understood the expectation following the last extension. He clarified for Mr. Stellio that what he is trying to say is not that there would be an absolute condition of no further extension beyond 90 days, but that at the end of 90 days, Council will be looking for good cause to grant any further extension. He stated that a delay resulting from a major obstacle would be good cause for an extension. He mentioned that the developer’s decision of keeping Converse Consultants as the project geologist might not have been the best choice for this development.

Mr. Stellio stated that Converse was not his choice, but that they inherited the consultants who already were familiar with this project.

Mayor pro tem Long observed that the developer could have retained new consultants, and that it might have been quicker given the situation the applicant now finds themselves in.

Mr. Stellio stated that if they had brought in new geologists that were not familiar with the project, it might have added even more time to the project.

Councilman Gardiner expressed his belief that changing consultants and having to start all over again with the new consultants would have delayed the project even further; and expressed his belief that the Trump organization has got the message to get the work done or have a good reason for extending it further. He stated that he does not see any reason to belabor this point by putting in the additional language, expressing his belief that it appears to be unprofessional.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that he is inclined to leave the language as proposed in the staff report, believing that the language sends the proper message regarding the importance of the geology issues; and he reminded his colleagues that he wanted this language inserted the last time this matter was before the Council and that the other Council members did not think it was appropriate then. He pointed out that it is understood that the geology associated with the driving range is likely to go beyond this 90 days, but believes there will be more feedback on this topic. With regard to the two items remaining on the matrix, he noted his satisfaction in moving forward as proposed in staff report.

Councilman Stern moved to amend the motion to include language as it appears at the bottom of Page 4 of the staff report, which reads: “No additional temporary opening after October 20, 2006, absent showing good cause to the satisfaction of City Council.”

City Attorney Lynch stated that this language would be added to the end of Conditions E-5, E-6 and E-7.

Mayor pro tem Long seconded the motion.

The roll call vote on the proposed amendment carried as follows:

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

Councilman Gardiner moved to amend the motion to restrict the added language to only apply to the geology for the driving range, as it is acknowledged to likely extend beyond 90 days.

Mayor pro tem Long stated the only thing the developer has to show good cause for is the issue that is likely to go beyond 90 days.

Councilman Gardiner pointed out that Council still has the ability to question anything the developer is doing; that his proposed amendment does not remove Council’s ability to deny their request, and that he wants it to be restricted to the driving range.

Mayor Pro Tem Long observed that the first amendment placed the restriction on those items that were expected to be complete within the next 90 days, but that Councilman Gardiner’s second amendment would reverse this and apply the restriction to the item that is expected to take more than 90 days to complete.

Deputy Director of Planning Pfost stated that the condition language being discussed only applies to those items that are not Peer Review Panel related, i.e. the driving range. He pointed out that the language does not apply to Item No. 2 in the matrix, but that it would apply to everything else.

Mayor Wolowicz stated the Peer Review Panel item was purposely excluded.

Deputy Director of Planning Pfost stated that is correct because staff expects this item to take more than 90 days to be resolved, so the additional condition language applies to all the items except for Item No. 2.

Mayor pro tem Long pointed out that it can already be determined there is good cause for that item to go beyond 90 days.

Mr. Stellio mentioned that a while back, Council conditioned the completion of the improvements to Palos Verdes Drive South (PVDS) to the opening of the golf course; advised that he just spent five months dealing with the Edison Company on getting power to the irrigation system and light posts that should have been installed on PVDS; noted that he’s been through four Edison representatives who have now been relocated; that he has now met with a fifth representative prior to July 4th and walked the entire roadway with him, showed him what needed to be done, what wasn’t completed, the area for the irrigation connection and the area where the light posts need to be installed; indicated that he was told it would be turned around in a week; and stated that to this day, he has not heard anything from Edison. He questioned that if he comes back in 90 days with this being conditioned to his opening and he still does not have a power connection from Edison, is that justifiable cause, pointing out that these are some of the things that worry him when Council is considering a drop-dead timeline.

Mayor pro tem Long stated that he would view this scenario as a good cause for extension.

Mayor Wolowicz closed the public hearing and called for a vote on the motion on the floor.

The motion on the floor was to approve staff recommendation to: 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-55, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING ADDENDUM NO. 22 TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT NO. 36, and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-56, AS AMENDED, 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.

The roll call vote on the motion carried as follows:

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

Councilman Clark explained, echoed by Councilman Gardiner, that he supports the 90-day extension of the temporary opening of the golf course as proposed and recommended by staff; but that the reason he is voting no on the motion is because he does not believe the additional language added to some of the condition by the amendment to the main motion is necessary.

Mayor pro tem Long moved to re-open the public hearing. No objection was noted and Mayor Wolowicz re-opened the public hearing.

Mr. Stellio asked for clarification on the motion, questioning if Council voted to adopt the condition as proposed in the staff report, but added the additional language suggested by Mayor pro tem Long to several of the conditions.

Mayor pro tem Long confirmed that Council’s action included the additional language, but stated that it is not an absolute deadline and explained that if the developer is able to document a situation similar to what Mr. Stellio described with the Edison Company, he would be inclined to find that as good cause to approve a further extension.

Mr. Stellio asked if the Council subcommittee is interested in becoming involved in the project on a routine basis.

Councilman Clark responded that the standing Council subcommittee was available to meet and asked the developer to directly contact the subcommittee members with the proposed times to meet.

Mayor Wolowicz closed the public hearing.

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

Proposed View Restoration Guideline Revisions (1806)

Councilman Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to continue this matter to the August 1, 2006, City Council meeting. Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

California Coastal Commission PVIC Tour (309)

Mayor pro tem Long moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve Councilman Clark’s request to host a reception and tour of the Point Vicente Interpretive Center for the California Coastal Commission, at no expense to the City.

Councilman Clark stated that the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy is interested in helping to sponsor the event and that there may be others interested in helping to sponsor the event as well. He indicated that the Coastal Commission would be holding its August meeting in San Pedro and that this is a rare opportunity for leaders in this City and on the peninsula to interact with the Coastal Commission and its staff.

Mayor pro tem Long questioned the approximate time this event would take place on August 10th, 2006.

Councilman Clark stated that it would depend on the Coastal Commission’s agenda, but anticipated that the event will start around 6:00 or 6:30 P.M.

Councilman Stern noted his enthusiasm with this excellent opportunity to showcase the peninsula’s coastline; reminded his colleagues that the staff report suggested that the reception format for the event could include invitations to local dignitaries; that the evening could also include hors d’oeuvres and beverages, musical entertainment to enhance the experience; and pointed that out that speeches are not part of the format that is included in the staff recommendation.

Roll call vote carried as follows:

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

Mayor Wolowicz stated his favorable vote is contingent upon his understanding this event is not being funded by the City.

Gang Suppression, Prevention and Intervention Sales Tax Initiative (1206 x 1705)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that late correspondence had been distributed to Council on this matter; and indicated that the Sheriff’s Department has requested this item be continued to the August 1, 2006 meeting.

Councilman Stern moved to continue this matter to the August 1, 2006 meeting.

Mayor pro tem Long questioned why the Sheriff’s Department requested a continuance.

City Manager Evans stated that the Sheriff’s Department wanted to make a PowerPoint presentation, but stated that Council could take action on the item this evening.

Mayor pro tem Long noted his opposition to continuing this matter because he does not see the need for a presentation on it; stated that the prior half-cent sales tax proposal failed, which would have garnered the City a considerable amount of revenue, but that the measure did receive close to two-thirds of the votes within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles. He expressed his understanding that if this proposed quarter-cent tax passes on a countywide basis, the City would get $520,000 per year; but that if it fails, the City of Los Angeles will ask its voters for a half-cent tax increase that this City will not share in because it will be a City of Los Angeles sales tax, not a County sales tax. He noted that since many of Rancho Palos Verdes’ residents shop within the boundaries of the City of Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes residents will pay the increased city sales tax, but that those proceeds will not be passed on to this City’s residents. He expressed his desire to see this measure pass so that Rancho Palos Verdes can benefit from an increased County sales tax.

Councilman Stern expressed his preference for the Sheriff’s Department to make its presentation to Council for the benefit of those watching the meeting, stating that it is a valuable forum to make their case regardless of the Council’s position.

There was no opposition to continue this matter.

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

Addressing Councilman Clark’s inquiry regarding whether there is a life guard on the beach below Trump National, City Manager Evans advised that a lifeguard has been assigned to this location since the 4th of July weekend.

Councilman Gardiner asked that a future agenda include an item to discuss closed session minutes.

Mayor Wolowicz requested a presentation to City Council regarding the City’s emergency preparedness program.

Councilman Stern asked if a joint meeting with the Emergency Preparedness Committee would be warranted.

Council concurred to schedule a joint meeting with the Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Councilman Gardiner asked that a future agenda include an item to discuss further direction on Channel 33, including a discussion of the ability to produce local programming, providing a vehicle to receive donations, etc. He noted that Channel 33 is operating within its original guidelines authorized by the City Council, but is reaching a point where further direction is becoming necessary.

Councilman Clark requested a future agenda item on the status of telecommunications in the City and Verizon’s efforts to bring its bundled voice, video and data capabilities into the community.

Mayor Wolowicz stated that he received a telephone call from the office of the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles regarding the Mayor’s proposal to change the governing structure of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and indicated that he and Councilman Gardiner have been asked to participate in a conference call on this issue on either the following Thursday or Friday.

City Attorney Lynch reiterated Mayor pro tem Long’s suggestion to make sure that there is an alternative to having the City’s Mayor participate in the proposed LAUSD governing board with the City of Los Angeles, in that a future Mayor might have a conflict of interest with such an assignment.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch stated that with regard to the houses located at 40 and 41 Cherry Hill Lane, City Council unanimously appointed Councilman Stern, City Manager Evans and City Attorney Lynch to meet with the property owners; she advised that Council has not had the opportunity to discuss the possible acquisition of the property owned by Ms. Terry Turner and that no action was taken on this item; and that no action was taken with regard to the Monks case.

ADJOURNMENT:

The meeting was adjourned at 10:11 P.M. to Saturday, July 22, 2006, at 9:30 A.M. in the Community Room at City Hall, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, to interview a consulting firm to conduct the recruitment for City Manager.

 

/s/ Thomas D. Long
Mayor

Attest:

 

/s/ Carolynn Petru
City Clerk