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







JULY 18, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

MINUTES

RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL

OCTOBER 17, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 P.M. by Mayor Pro Tem Long at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

City Council roll call was answered as follows:

PRESENT: Clark, Gardiner, Stern and Mayor Pro Tem Long

ABSENT: Mayor Wolowicz

Also present were City Manager Les Evans, City Attorney Carol Lynch, Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Carolynn Petru, Director of Finance/IT Dennis

McLean, Director of Public Works Jim Bell, and Director of Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Joel Rojas.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Director Rojas.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Moved by Councilman Gardiner and seconded by Councilman Stern to approve the Agenda. Hearing no objection, Mayor Pro Tem Long so ordered.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

There were no Mayor Announcements as Mayor Wolowicz was absent.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Pro Tem Long announced recyclers of the month Mayor Steve and Mary Jo Wolowicz and Dr. Dennis Drag. He indicated that all winners received a check for $250 representing a year of free refuse service and he urged everyone to participate in the City’s recycling program.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported no requests to speak.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Stern reported attending the West Vector Control Board meeting on October 12, 2006 largely focused on insects that transmit diseases, but are not a problem yet in the area. He added that cases of West Nile Virus were down this year due to immunities that have been built up in the population.

Councilman Clark reported attending the monthly Mayor’s Breakfast on October 6th, which provided an opportunity to interact with the Mayor, City Manager and the Chairs of the City’s Committees and Commissions. He also reported participating in the City Council Landslide Workshop on October 7th, which he felt to be a worthwhile, informative session. He thanked those who participated noting that there was much information exchanged. From October 11th –13th he participated in the California Coastal Commission meetings in Long Beach but indicated that none of the business considered concerned the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Councilman Gardiner indicated that the minutes from the last Cable Television Committee meeting had been circulated to the City Council.

Mayor Pro Tem Long added that he had also participated in the Cable Television Committee meeting and comments would come back in the first meeting of November.

Responding to a question from Councilman Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Long reported on a breakfast meeting with representatives from Trump National. He indicated that they are continuing to look at the practicality of meeting the Council’s goals regarding the 70’ flagpole that has been installed on the property and all agree that they would like to see the flagpole relocated to Founders Park and with making the flag more accessible to the public. He noted ramifications to public access including ADA issues and reported that he and Councilman Stern had walked the sites while discussing issues related to the flag.

Councilman Clark received clarification that the matter regarding the flagpole would be brought back to the full Council for review.

Mayor Pro Tem Long related that staff had been instructed to come back with certain possibilities including of lighting the flag at night, but that no final decisions had been made.

Councilman Clark raised the issue of unauthorized use of the public lot adjacent to Founders Park and suggested providing doggy bags dispensers in the park.

Mayor Pro Tem Long suggested discussing Councilman Clark’s issues further as part of Agenda Item No. 7 (Trump Nation Golf Club – Revision “CC”).

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

City Manager Evans announced a workshop at 11 A.M. on Saturday, October 21, 2006 at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center to discuss the Rancho Palos Verdes Vision Plan aimed at linking the public open spaces along the coastline and to consider alternatives for development of the Civic Center/Upper Point Vicente Park.

Responding to a question from Councilman Gardiner, City Manager Evans reported that the crack in the pavement on Dauntless Drive was not serious and would be sealed shortly.

Responding to an inquiry from Councilman Gardiner about the Tarapaca Canyon landslide, City Manager Evans reported that the City of Los Angeles had taken the lead on designing a project to protect the roadway on Palos Verdes Drive South/25th Street and the mobile home park located below the landslide area. He explained that the scope of the project has expanded considerably and the City of Los Angeles has now proposed another meeting with the County to make the project regional, as it is becoming quite expensive.

Mayor Pro Tem Long asked that the matter be agendized for a future meeting and that periodic reports be provided to City Council.

OLD BUSINESS:

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

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported no requests to speak and indicated that late correspondence had been distributed regarding Item No. 3 (Appeal of the Amateur Radio Tower at Upper Point Vicente Park).

Councilman Stern asked that Item No. 3 be removed for discussion.

Moved by Councilman Stern and seconded by Councilman Clark to approve the Consent Calendar, as amended with Item No. 3 removed. A roll call vote carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern and Mayor Pro Tem Long NOES: None

ABSTAIN: None

ABSENT: Mayor Wolowicz

Motion to Waive Full Reading

Adopted a motion to waive reading in full of all ordinances presented at the meeting with consent of the waiver of reading deemed to be given by all Council Members after the reading of the title.

Approval of Minutes (301)

Approved the minutes of June 6, 2006.

Appeal of Approval of Planning Case No. ZON2006-00227 (Non-Commercial Amateur Radio Antenna Permit): Request to Overturn the Planning Commission’s Approval of a 69.8-Foot-Tall Amateur Radio Antenna Tower and 280-Square-Foot Emergency Communications Center Adjacent to the “Palos Verdes On The Net” Studio Building in Upper Point Vicente Park (1801 x 1201)

This item was considered separately.

 

Donations to Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (602)

1) Authorized staff to place a full-page color advertisement in the 2007 Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Yearbook for a cost of $500; 2) Authorized staff to make a $500 donation to Palos Verdes Peninsula High School’s GRAD Nite 2007; and 3) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-79, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2006-41, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 06-07, FOR A $1,000 BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-80, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES ALLOWING CERTAIN CLAIMS AND DEMANDS AND SPECIFYING FUNDS FROM WHICH THE SAME ARE TO BE PAID.

ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR:

Appeal of Approval of Planning Case No. ZON2006-00227 (Non-Commercial Amateur Radio Antenna Permit): Request to Overturn the Planning Commission’s Approval of a 69.8-Foot-Tall Amateur Radio Antenna Tower and 280-Square-Foot Emergency Communications Center Adjacent to the “Palos Verdes On The Net” Studio Building in Upper Point Vicente Park (1801 x 1201)

Mayor Pro Tem Long indicated that he had originally recused himself from considering the item but he did not have to recuse himself from presiding over the consideration of this item now, as that did not constitute a conflict.

Responding to Councilmember Stern, City Attorney Lynch reported that staff had added language to the draft resolution due to concerns from the Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) that the words “declared emergency” could limit the amateur radio operators to having to wait for word from an official entity to extend the antenna to the full 100 foot height. She explained that the wording was changed to read “upon City approval or request from the Sheriff’s Department or the Fire Department.” Also, at Councilman Stern’s suggestion, she said that wording was added to indicate that the EPC/City would have 60 days from the date of the adoption of the resolution to submit a proposal to extend the height up to 100 feet and that the Planning Commission would then have 60 days after that to render their decision. She indicated that if the appellants who challenged the original decision wished to file an appeal, they would know what the parameters were to do so. City Attorney Lynch also explained that language allowing the testing of the antenna assembly’s mechanical and operations facilities had been removed, as staff felt that the Planning Commission should have the opportunity to apply conditions to the project in that regard.

Moved by Councilman Stern and seconded by Councilman Gardiner to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-81, AS AMENDED, DENYING THE APPEAL AND UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S APPROVAL (PLANNING CASE NO. ZON2006-00227), AND REMANDING THE APPLICATION TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION FOR CONSIDERATION OF AN ANTENNA TOWER AND ARRAY WITH A NESTING TOWER HEIGHT OF 55 FEET THAT WILL NEST AT NO MORE THAN 69.8 FEET IN OVERALL HEIGHT, BUT MAY BE EXTENDED UP TO 100 FEET IN OVERALL HEIGHT IN THE EVENT OF A DECLARED EMERGENCY. The motion carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner and Stern

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: Mayor Pro Tem Long

ABSENT: Mayor Wolowicz

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Trump National Golf Club Revision “CC” – Request for a temporary 3-month Opening of the Golf Course and Driving Range (1411)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published, no written protests were received and she distributed late correspondence.

Mayor Pro Tem Long declared the public hearing open at 7:22 P.M.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost provided a summary of the material of record and clarified that the final completed geology report had come in for Cotton Shires Associates’ (CSA) review prior to October 13th, as required.

Vincent Stellio, Trump National, indicated that he was present to answer any questions.

Responding to Councilman Clark about on-site parking issues, Mr. Stellio explained that the golf course employees were diligent about not using the public parking lot adjacent to the clubhouse and the limousines in question belonged to wedding parties that had used Founders Park to take photographs and had nothing to do with Trump National.

Councilman Clark suggested creating a sign for tournament days to indicate that golfers for the event should park elsewhere.

Mr. Stellio reported that a new sign is on order that indicates the parking lot is for public park use only and directs those coming to the clubhouse towards the main parking lot. He stated that they would continue to monitor the situation.

Responding to Councilman Clark, City Manger Evans indicated that the City would be willing to provide doggy bags dispensers in the park.

Mr. Stellio reported that there are eight doggy bag dispensers on the entire site that just need to be replenished.

Councilman Stern confirmed that Mr. Stellio understood that the City would not approve the final tract map of this phase of the project thereby restricting the sale of lots and homes nor act on any request for a project revision that would propose a hotel bungalow component until the geology issue pertaining to this part of the project has been resolved.

Mr. Stellio indicated that they had submitted some new calculations based on the new geologic model and were expecting comments back in a few weeks.

Councilman Stern expressed appreciation for the Council subcommittee meeting he and Mayor Pro Tem Long had with Trump National a few weeks earlier.

Mr. Stellio agreed that such meetings were helpful for them as well. With regard to the flagpole, he indicated that they were still waiting for a couple of Council members to come view the site where the flagpole is proposed to be relocated before they submitted their final report. He added that they are also waiting for their engineer’s report on the slope of the proposed site to determine if it will meet ADA access requirements.

Responding to a question from Councilman Clark, Mr. Stellio indicated that offering resident friendly rates at the golf course was more of an operational issue and that the golf course’s General Manager, Mike Vandergoes, would work up something to present to the Council for its consideration. He added that they were currently conditioned against providing resident discounts by the Coastal Commission, but indicated that they would investigate how to get this changed.

Moved by Councilmember Clark and seconded by Councilmember Stern to approve the staff recommendation.

Mayor Pro Tem Long closed public hearing at 7:35 P.M.

Mr. Stellio indicated that he had something to add.

Mayor Pro Tem reopened public hearing at 7:36 P.M.

Mr. Stellio requested a six-month extension rather than a three-month extension for the temporary opening because while he did not foresee any delays, the Peer Review Panel may still require some time to complete its review of the geology for the driving range.

Responding to Councilman Stern, Deputy Planning Director Pfost explained that the driving range and landslide issue could extend the project longer than six months and if the item went to the Peer Review Panel it would certainly require more than three months to complete.

Mayor Pro Tem Long closed the public hearing at 7:37 P.M.

Councilman Stern recognized there might be some merit to extending the temporary opening by six months, but stated that if there is still an open issue regarding the geology of the driving range, he wanted to see the item come back to Council again in three months.

Mayor Pro Tem Long agreed.

Moved by Councilman Clark and seconded by Councilman Stern to 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-82, APPROVING ADDENDUM NO. 22 TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT NO. 36; and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-83, AMENDING GRADING PERMIT NO. 1541 TO ALLOW AN ADDITIONAL 3-MONTH EXTENSION TO THE OPERATION OF THE GOLF COURSE AND DRIVING RANGE. A roll call vote on the motion reflected the following:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern and Mayor Pro Tem Long

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: None

ABSENT: Mayor Wolowicz

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

Utilities Maintenance Cost for the PVNET Modular Building (602 x 1201)

Assistant City Manager/City Clark Petru reported distributing late correspondence on this item.

Moved by Councilman Gardiner and seconded by Councilman Stern to receive and file the report. Hearing no objection, Mayor Pro Tem Long so ordered.

City Webpage for Pending Lawsuits (1101 x 103)

Councilman Gardiner explained that the intent of this item was not to have elaborate verbiage on the website but to list the status of all pending lawsuits so the community can know what is going on. He expressed support for whatever the easiest way to do that was.

Councilman Stern suggested including a listing of the item, the case name and number, a thumbnail statement about the suit and a link to the Los Angeles County Superior Court website. With the aid of slides he illustrated what would be available on-line, noting that the City is usually involved in civil cases and that case summaries are available on the Los Angeles County Superior Court website, including a list of the parties involved and the various documents filed. He suggested that the City should not post the court documents on the City’s website, as they are quite lengthy.

Mayor Pro Tem Long suggested adding a link to the Central District website for the Federal lawsuits with a link to PACER.

Moved by Councilman Stern to direct staff to list case name and case number as well as a brief thumbnail description of all pending lawsuits against the City on the City’s website with a link to the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s website and the Central District website, PACER, for Federal Court Cases. Councilman Gardiner seconded the motion and hearing no objection, Mayor Pro Tem Long so ordered.

Format of City Council Minutes (301)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that she distributed copies of attachments that evening that were previously included with the staff report when this item was first presented to Council, but which will inadvertently omitted from this latest staff report. She provided a brief summary of the material of record noting that although the video recordings of City Council meetings are kept as permanent records, the adopted minutes are still the official record of the City Council meetings as required by law.

Council discussion focused on the reliability and lifetime of media stored; the differences between action minutes, summary minutes and detailed minutes; and the ease of accessing archived meeting information.

Commissioner Clark suggested that if the Council decides to change to a more streamlined minutes format, the City should also consider whether the format of the Planning Commission minutes should also be changed, as the digital recordings of those meetings are also available on the City’s website.

Councilman Gardiner recommended continuing the item to resolve the remaining questions regarding the durability and longevity of the video streaming media. He indicated that he wanted to see specifics from staff regarding backup storage and offsite storage of the digital records in case something happens to the primary records.

Mayor Pro Tem Long received clarification from City Attorney Lynch that prior to 2001 the City Council minutes were prepared as action minutes and stated that he preferred moving to summary minutes, which at least provides a coherent description of the discussion, as opposed to action minutes, which just reports the outcome.

Moved by Councilman Gardiner and seconded by Councilman Stern to continue the item with direction to staff to provide additional information regarding the methods and costs associated with the protection and longevity of the digital recordings of the City Council meetings. Hearing no objection Mayor Pro Tem Long so ordered.

Minutes of Closed Sessions (301 x 103)

Councilman Gardiner stated that he had requested the item be placed on the agenda for discussion but was not interested in spending the amount of money required to implement it. He reported serving in another body that kept audio tape recordings of closed sessions and he supported that option.

Councilman Stern questioned the need for a record in any format noting that the public had a tremendous interest in the City Council’s actions and City government in general, but closed sessions are not public. He observed that closed sessions are by law meetings where decisions are made in private because of their nature and he questioned the motivation for the request.

Councilman Gardiner reported attending some closed session meetings where his recollections differed from the others’ present and he thought it would be useful to check the consistency of what he thought he heard, especially as it pertains to legal matters.

Mayor Pro Tem Long said that he was mindful that people could be absent from certain meetings or memories could differ and colleagues had to be relied upon to fill in any missing pieces. He expressed concern that the audio recordings would not be able to be protected from disclosure and given the level of privilege that it is entitled to.

Councilman Gardiner pointed out that not everyone would have access to the recordings of closed sessions and if there were any question, a judge would decide. He added that if something inappropriate is done in closed session then it should be judged accordingly.

Mayor Pro Tem Long said that the risk that there could be a judge who would make the wrong decision outweighed the benefit of having the recordings to refer to, although most of the time the judge would make the right decision. He noted that once a tape exists, anyone who wants to could have a proceeding to request that the tape be made public, which increases costs to the City in legal fees and far outweighs the costs of transcription.

Councilman Stern echoed Mayor Pro Tem Long’s sentiment and cited a County of Los Angeles vs. Superior Court case were closed session minutes were made public and noted that there is a high likelihood in his opinion that the judge would get it wrong. He said that creating a record of the closed session meetings would create a tremendous risk and expense for the City and that it was a bad idea for those few times when the participants’ recollections were not all the same.

Councilman Gardiner withdrew his request.

Councilman Clark moved that the Council take no action on the matter and retain the current procedures in place for closed session meetings. Councilman Stern seconded the motion and hearing no objection, Mayor Pro Tem Long so ordered.

Nomination for the League of Women Voter’s Certificate of Commendation (305)

Moved by Councilmember Stern to authorize Mayor Wolowicz to nominate a woman who is a citizen volunteer in the community to receive the League of Women Voters’ Certificate of Commendation by October 27, 2006 with staff to take steps to notify the League of the decision. Councilman Clark seconded the motion and, hearing no objection, Mayor Pro Tem Long so ordered.

City Hall Sewer Lateral Rehabilitation Project (604 x 1204)

Moved by Councilman Gardiner and seconded by Councilman Clark to 1) Find that an emergency exists which will not permit the delay that will result from a formal solicitation for bids, and that the actions recommended are necessary to respond to the emergency; and, 2) Authorize the Director of Public Works to execute a contract with Bob and Marc Plumbing to repair the City Hall Complex sewer lateral system at a cost of $30,400 and authorize the Director of Public Works to spend up to $20,000 for additional repairs to the lateral system and for unforeseen conditions for a total authorization not to exceed $50,400.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern and Mayor Pro Tem Long

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: None

ABSENT: Mayor Wolowicz

Consideration of an Ordinance of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Repealing Ordinance 446U, Amending Ordinance 445, and Amending Sections of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code Relating to the Issuance of Business Permits (1801 x 202)

Moved by Councilman Stern and seconded by Councilman Gardiner to 1) Read Ordinance No. 445 “AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 446U, AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 445, AND AMENDING SECTIONS OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF BUSINESS PERMITS” by title only, waive further reading, and introduce the ordinance; and 2) Read Ordinance No. U, “AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 446U, AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 445, AND AMENDING SECTIONS OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF BUSINESS PERMITS, AND ADOPTING FINDINGS OF URGENCY” by title only, waive further reading, and adopt the ordinance.

A roll call vote reflected unanimous approval.

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern and Mayor Pro Tem Long

NOES: None

ABSTAIN: None

ABSENT: Mayor Wolowicz

FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS

Councilmember Gardiner suggested agendizing a status report on the Tarapaca landslide and suggestions of a means to keep them informed of the progress.

Responding to Councilman Clark, City Manager Evans indicated that the status of plans for the Civic Center Master Plan was scheduled for discussion on the November 7, 2006 agenda. He also reported that the Finance Advisory Committee was working on a report regarding the development of new revenue streams for the City.

Director McLean added that as part of the assignment to the Finance Advisory Committee, the deadline was to bring it back the report to Council before the next budget process and indicated that the Committee is on track to meet that deadline.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch announced that no action was taken on either item.

ADJOURNMENT:

At 8:21 P.M. Councilman Gardiner moved, and hearing no objection, Mayor Pro Tem Long ordered the meeting adjourned to Saturday, October 21, 2006, at 9:00 A.M. in the Point Vicente Interpretive Center for the Community Leaders’ Breakfast.

 

/s/ Thomas D. Long

Mayor

Attest:

 

/s/ Carolynn Petru

City Clerk