DECEMBER 5, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES DECEMBER 5, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES







DECEMBER 5, 2006 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

M I N U T E S
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
DECEMBER 5, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 7:15 P.M. by Mayor Wolowicz at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

ROLL CALL:

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

Also present were City Manager, Les Evans; City Attorney, Carol Lynch; Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement, Joel Rojas; Director of Public Works, Jim Bell; Director of Finance and Information Technology, Dennis McLean; Principal Planner, Ara Mihranian; Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Carolynn Petru; and Associate Planner, Kit Fox.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Laura Lee Long.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

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

Without objection, Mayor Wolowicz so ordered.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Mayor Wolowicz cited an article in the Los Angeles Times about land preservation which included quotes from Director Rojas and he congratulated Director Rojas, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, Council members and others in the community. He also recognized various residents of the City including the recent appointment of Douglas Barry as Interim Fire Chief for the City of Los Angeles, and Ron Smith, Water District Board Member.

Mayor Wolowicz highlighted City accomplishments over the last year including: the acquisition of 460 acres of open space in the Portuguese Bend nature preserve; completion of several emergency storm drain repair projects; the grand reopening of the Point Vicente Interpretive Center; the Tactical Planning Workshop in February 2006; the Annenberg Foundation grant to create an open space vision plan in March 2006; the Joint Workshop with the Emergency Preparedness Committee in August 2006; the hiring of Public Works Director Jim Bell in August 2006; the addition of a Third Regional Traffic Deputy in September 2006; and, the Landslide Workshop in October 2006.

Mayor Wolowicz thanked residents of the City for the opportunity to serve as Mayor and on the Council and he noted that accomplishments achieved were due to the collective efforts and synergistic relationship of the entire Council. To express his gratitude he presented a large photograph of Point Vicente by photographer John Post to the City to be placed in the lobby at City Hall from as a gift from him and his wife, Mary Jo.

RECYCLE DRAWING:
Mayor Wolowicz announced recyclers of the month were Steven Stuart and Gloria Deering. 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.
COUNCIL REORGANIZATION:

Councilman Stern reviewed the history of the selection of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem from the City’s inception in 1975 to the present time.

Selection of Mayor:

Mayor Wolowicz nominated Mayor Pro Tem Long to serve as Mayor. Councilman Stern seconded the nomination and Mayor Pro Tem Long was selected by unanimous decree.

Mayor Long thanked his wife Laura Lee for her support and noted that he had been fortunate to observe his fellow Councilmembers as they served as Mayor and he appreciated the good examples they had provided.

Mayor Long presented books to his fellow Councilmembers and to City Manager Evans.

The Council presented a gift to the outgoing Mayor.

Selection of Mayor Pro Tem:

Mayor Long nominated Councilman Stern to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. Councilman Gardiner seconded the motion.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern thanked the Council for having confidence in him and he expressed gratitude to all the Councilmembers for their hard work.

RECESS/RECONVENE

Mayor Long called for a brief recess from 7:54 P.M. to 8:18 P.M.

Councilman Wolowicz reported that the Rancho Palos Verdes flag was an outgoing gift to former Mayor Clark who in turn gave it back to the City. Councilman Wolowicz presented the gavel he had received to Mayor Long.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern presented a slide show honoring City Manager Evans, since he would not be present at the City Manager’s final Council meeting on December 19, 2006.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

This section of the agenda is for audience comments for items NOT on the agenda.

Ken Dyda, member of the Measure P Oversight Committee, Rancho Palos Verdes, provided an overview of how Parcel Tax funds were allotted by the Board of Education noting that the goal of Measure P was to provide funding to offset budget cuts and inconsistent state funding for the schools in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District (PVPUSD). He explained that the Committee reviewed 2005-2006 allocations and determined that allocations were consistent with the stated purpose and the district had lived up to its promise. He indicated that a detailed report was available on the school district website and he cited a need to explore alternative scenarios should state funding continue to be short of district requirements. Mr. Dyda bid farewell to retiring City Manager Evans and presented him with hats from the Peninsula Seniors group.

Councilman Wolowicz requested a copy of the Measure P Oversight Committee report.

Tom Smith, resident in the Ladera Linda neighborhood, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported on the deteriorating conditions of the Fender property on Phantom Drive. He reported sending an email to City Council with three attachments, but only one was successfully transmitted. He distributed two additional attachments illustrating the disrepair of the home on Phantom Drive for a time period of one month.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that there had been a delay in the project by the owner but the building permits were recently issued and the project could move forward. She noted that if the project could not be completed on time, a receiver would be appointed to take over the project and finish it.

The Council discussed the time period for completion and Mayor Long indicated that the item would be brought back in closed session.

Bruce Franklin, a 32 year resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked members of the City staff for their hard work over the years.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Clark reported attending a dinner hosted by Assemblywoman Betty Karnette for a delegation of German legislators on November 29th, and on November 30th he attended Les Evans’ retirement party.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern attended the retirement party for Les Evans along with another dinner for him on November 18th and he reported attending the City holiday party on December 4th. He reported that he and Mayor Long spoke with representatives of the Palos Verdes Art Center regarding their proposed project at City Hall and he reported that the proposed lease would be brought before the Council in the near future.

Councilman Wolowicz reported that he: attended a planning session for tonight’s Council meeting on November 28th; hosted a visiting group of state legislators from Germany who had issues similar to those faced by Rancho Palos Verdes; attended the retirement dinner for Les Evans; participated in the City of Rolling Hills Estates’ annual parade; attended the City’s holiday reception on December 4th; and, he had made a site visit to the property on Middle Crest Drive on December 5th, that is the subject of a public hearing that evening.

Mayor Long reported attending the Rolling Hills Estates 50th anniversary parade, having dinner with the visiting German delegation, and meeting with School Board member David Tomlin to discuss PVPUSD issues. He expressed regret at missing the City holiday party on December 4th.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

City Manager Evans reported that Acting Lieutenant Ahn and Sergeant Rozas were present to debrief the Council about an incident at the high school that could have been tragic last week. He reported that the incident helped the School District and the City learn more about responding to emergencies and highlighted possible flaws in the way the City initiates communication with the public.

Sergeant Dave Rozas, Lomita Sheriff’s Station, reported that on November 27th Peninsula High School was the focus of a bomb threat. With the aid of slides he provided a summary of response times and procedures followed that day noting that many entities were involved in the incident. He indicated that staff of the school should be commended for safely evacuating over 2,600 students and he noted that the entire evacuation would not have been successful without the assistance of the PV Transit Authority. He stated that at no time were the Sheriff’s resources taxed beyond their limits.

Sergeant Rozas reported that partnerships and relationships with the high school and the district worked smoothly and they learned that a dedicated public information officer was necessary, a City liaison would have been helpful to keep the cities informed of what was going on, and dedicated staff was needed to direct parents where to pick up their children.

Councilman Clark questioned whether the perpetrator had been caught and whether they would be responsible for costs incurred.

Sergeant Rozas indicated that the investigation was still open and the judicial system would determine responsibility for the costs.

Councilman Wolowicz acknowledged that getting information out to municipalities was important and noted that people needed to find out where the command post was in order to obtain information rather than reporting to the scene. He reported that the Mayor typically receives many phone calls and emails in a crisis and he had no official information during the event since information was slow in being transmitted to the City. He added that most of the information he received that day came from students as they called their parents on their cell phones. Councilman Wolowicz stated he was pleased to hear that PV Transit reacted so quickly, but he noted there was some confusion because those over 18 years of age were allowed to leave the scene right away, parents were allowed to pick up their children, but the students under 18 years of age who drove to school had to leave last because of traffic concerns.

Richard Smith, Chair of the Emergency Preparedness Committee, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported that preparations by the PVPUSD had paid off, the incident was handled well, and the school got to practice things that had never been practiced before. He reported obtaining most of his information from the Rancho Palos Verdes cable television Channel 33 which had a banner running across the bottom of the screen with information coming from the incident command post.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that grant funding for the channel could be available since the resources of the channel are used in emergencies. He stated that he found it remarkable that the staff at Channel 33 were able to get a person to conduct an interview, a camera person on the scene and permission to visit the site commander to get accurate information on television in a timely manner so that parents knew what was going on in terms of road closures.

Mr. Smith indicated that the Sheriff’s Department Emergency Operations Center has multiple intelligence feeds and if they were set up with transmittable cameras they could become an intel source for the Department. He suggested that the Council Committee for Channel 33 look into that possibility.

NEW BUSINESS:

None.

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported distributing late correspondence for item 10.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern asked that item 8 be removed from the Consent Calendar for discussion.

Councilman Clark wanted to pull items 4 and 7 from the Consent Calendar.

Councilman Gardiner asked to pull item 3 so he could vote separately.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilmember Clark, to approve the Consent Calendar, as amended, with items 3, 4, 7 and 8 removed. A roll call vote carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz and Mayor Long
NOES: None

City Hall Sewer Lateral Rehabilitation Project (1204 x 604)
Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on October 17, 2006, to authorize staff to proceed with repairs to the sewer lateral system at the City Hall complex.

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.

Border Issues Status Report (310)
This item was removed from the Consent Calendar and considered separately.

Storm Drain Layer on Global Information System (GIS) (1204 x 604)

1) Awarded a professional services contract to Lenocker and Associates for a not to exceed amount of $ 42,000; and, 2) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute professional services contract documents with Lenocker and Associates.

Notice of Completion for Point Vicente Interpretive Center Exhibits Project (1201)

1) Accepted the work done by Taylor Studios Inc. for the fabrication and installation of the Point Vicente Interpretive Center exhibits project; and, 2) Authorized the City Clerk to file the attached Notice of Completion with the Los Angeles County Recorder; and if no claims are filed within 35 days of recordation of the Notice, City Clerk shall notify Taylor Studios to exonerate the Performance Bond.

Gifts for Parks (602)

This item was removed from the Consent Calendar and considered separately.

Annual Renewal for Non-Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services Agreement – 2007 (1301)

This item was removed from the Consent Calendar and considered separately.

Health Insurance Contributions (1202)

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-89 ; A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING THE CITY’S MAXIMUM MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION AMOUNTS FOR EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS.

Claim Against the City by Susan Brooks (303)

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Claim Against the City by Vantage Point Association (303)

Rejected the claim and directed staff to notify the claimant.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2006-90, 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.

Approval of Minutes (301)

Mayor Pro Tem Stern indicated that he was late to the February 21, 2006 meeting and felt he should abstain from voting on the minutes.

A roll call vote carried as follows:

AYES: Clark, Wolowicz and Mayor Long
ABSTAIN: Stern
NOES: Gardiner

ITEMS REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR:

Border Issues Status Report (310)
Councilman Clark stated that he wanted to draw the public’s attention to the fact that the Ponte Vista project was in the midst of a 90 day public comment period on the draft EIR ending on January 30, 2007. He observed that a large segment of the community was interested in the project and noted this was the time period to submit formal written comments on the project.
Councilman Clark pointed out that a draft EIR for the Peninsula Village Overlay Zone in Rolling Hills Estate was available for review and public comment from December 18, 2006 through January 19, 2007.
Mayor Long reported that residents in the Peninsula Center Neighborhood were attempting to form a homeowners association to serve as a vehicle to make comments on the Peninsula Village Overlay Plan and he announced a meeting on December 6, 2006 at Soleado Elementary School at 7 P.M. with more information available at www.pchoa.org.
Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the staff recommendation to continue the item until December 19, 2006.
Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.
Gifts for Parks (602)
Councilman Clark felt it noteworthy that numerous organizations and individuals had donated to the City.
Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to accept the Gifts for Parks donations and directed staff to prepare letters for the Mayor’s signature expressing the Council’s thanks and appreciation.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Annual Renewal for Non-Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services Agreement – 2007 (1301)
The Council discussed variations in recycling performance among the City’s commercial refuse haulers.
City Attorney Lynch explained that the Council had the option to eliminate any of the providers but she suggested a follow up clarification if they chose to terminate any of the agreements.

Mayor Long stated that it did not make sense to make an incremental change now and a broad change later but several issues raised needed further exploration before the overall decision is made.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern supported the staff recommendation which would not eliminate any of the present commercial haulers, but he requested staff gather information to help the Council understand the issues completely.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to 1) Authorize the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute one-year non-exclusive commercial refuse collection and disposal services agreements with: Advanced Waste Systems, Inc., Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC, dba Allied Waste Services of Gardena, California Waste Services, CalMet Services, Inc., Consolidated Disposal Service, LLC, Easy Roll Off Services, EDCO Disposal Corporation, JJK Roll-Offs, Inc., Joe Pizzo, Inc., S & H Disposal Company, United Pacific Waste & Recycling Services, Universal Waste Systems, Inc., and USA Waste of California, Inc., dba Waste Management of Los Angeles, and West Coast Waste & Roll Off Service; 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-91, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES LIMITING THE NUMBER OF HAULERS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE SOLID WASTE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING SERVICES FROM COMMERCIAL PREMISES, AND ROLL OFF SERVICES TO RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL PREMISES IN THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES IN CALENDAR YEAR 2007; and, 3) Direct staff to gather information from the commercial waste haulers regarding their recycling efforts. A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz and Mayor Long
NOES: None

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PUBLIC HEARINGS

Proposed 2007-2008 Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) (601)

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

Director Bell provided a brief staff report.

Councilman Wolowicz questioned the total amount of funds spent on the home improvement program, how many homeowners were impacted, and if there might be funds available for ramps at the intersections that are being redone.

City Manager Evans explained that the CDBG program funds were used each year towards projects such as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements to buildings, while he preferred to use other restricted funds for ramps in the right of way rather than General Funds.

Councilman Clark questioned whether staff had looked at other potential uses for the CDBG funds in the coming year.

City Manager Evans reported each year there is talk of eliminating the CDBG funds and each year they are decreased so it is hard to accomplish very much with them.

Mayor Long declared the public hearing open at 9:43 P.M.

Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, suggested using the money for improving an ADA compliant unpaved pathway from the Point Vicente Interpretive Center (PVIC) parking lot to Ocean Front Estates.

Director Bell reiterated that not much money was available but noted that it was the prerogative of the Council if they wanted the PVIC components pushed ahead of other projects. He felt it was better to keep the program as intact as possible, but he acknowledged that improving the trails at PVIC was important and the City should look at opportunities to further augment that project.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing at 9:48 P.M.

Councilman Wolowicz moved to adopt the staff recommendation and incorporating the phrase that unused ADA funds might be used elsewhere for ADA projects to allow for flexibility.

Mayor Long felt that the staff recommendation provided the necessary flexibility.

City Manager Evans indicated that if there were funds remaining after planned projects were completed staff would bring suggestions back to Council on how to spend the remaining funds.

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, City Manager Evans suggested that staff update the Council on pending ADA projects and explain how the Home Improvement Program works at a future date.

Councilman Wolowicz modified his motion.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to 1) Conduct a public hearing to receive citizen input on the proposed 2007-2008 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program; and, 2) Approve the proposed CDBG projects and budget; 3) Authorize the Director of Public Works to execute agreements for CDBG projects with the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Planning Case No. ZON2004-00265: Amendment to Various Sections of Title 17 (Zoning) to Regulate the Use of Cargo Containers on Public and Private Property (1801 x 1203)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that the public hearing was continued from the November 7, 2006 meeting and there were no requests to speak.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to continue this item to January 16, 2007.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Long Point (Terranea) Resort Hotel Project: ZON2006-00615 – Revision ‘E’ to Conditional Use Permit No. 215, et. al (1804)

Assistant City Clerk/City Manager Petru reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published and all written protests were included along with the staff report and in late correspondence. She noted that maps for this item were distributed to Council as part of late correspondence.

Mayor Long explained procedures for public speaking and the order of business.

Principal Planner Mihranian provided a brief summary staff report establishing the project. He indicated the changes to the project included the following: ridgeline elevations for the villas, casitas, spa facility and restaurant; modifications to Condition No. 78 to reflect staff understands of the Council’s intent that the villas should not exceed the curb height adjacent to the actual villa area. He added that staff sought formal acceptance by the Council of the final layout of the 9-hole golf course which included modifications to address golf safety concerns with Hole No. 7. Principal Planner Mihranian reported that the plan had been updated and modified to place the fire access road outside of the 80-foot habitat area and that the Sierra Club was planning to withdraw their objection since their concerns were addressed. He reported the final grading plans were before the Council for approval; discussed several conditions with regard to foliage and views; noted that the applicant wanted to revert back to earlier grading conditions to allow the flexibility to make changes to the earth berm adjacent to Nantasket Drive; requested clarification regarding outdoor events in relation to length of time and noise levels; the applicant’s request for constructing a greeting kiosk along the entry driveway; and, revisions to the public amenities plan regarding trails and paths on the site.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern suggested issuing a special use permit for a period of time to allow experimentation with outdoor events in order to see what would work, with permanent conditions adopted later.

Principal Planner Mihranian clarified that the applicant was requesting that outdoor events not be limited to the seven lawn areas originally identified in the staff report but be allowed on the entire project site with events regulated based on the standards in place with a six-month review.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern expressed concern about being limited to a less than optimal condition with no way to change it. He preferred experimenting when the hotel site was operational and then placing limitations if necessary.

Director Rojas indicated that staff could rewrite the condition to reflect that.

Councilman Wolowicz acknowledged that the developer was in a time crunch and wanted Council’s decisions on the issues, but he felt the last minute changes to the large amount of data was a great deal to assimilate. He asked staff if the City geologist had reviewed the revised grading plan.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Principal Planner Mihranian explained that the City Geologist had given his approval on the rough grading.

Councilman Wolowicz observed that the grading feature of a berm had created problems elsewhere on the Peninsula.

Prinicipal Planner Mihranian clarified that the fire access road was incorporated into the grading plan and changes to the berm were captured in a condition so that the developer would have to update the grading plan before the City would issue a permit. He added that the developer agrees to the majority of staff’s recommendations.

Councilman Clark supported the proposed greeting kiosk and asked staff to discuss its concerns.

Principal Planner Mihranian responded that the public would be discouraged from using the public parking lot since the entrance to the public parking lot was behind the greeting kiosk and check-in would be required.

Councilman Clark cited parking issues at Trump National with golfers monopolizing the lot, which impacted the ability of the public to enjoy Founders Park and the trail network. He opined the placement of the kiosk was effective in order to enable monitoring of the traffic going into the public parking lot and staffing the kiosk would provide an opportunity to direct hotel patrons and others to the proper parking areas. He felt that signs could address concerns regarding areas that are intended to be open to the public. He asked if there were any conditions regulating special events a Trump National.

Responding to Councilman Clark, Principal Planner Mihranian explained that the current conditions of approval for Trump National did not have any restrictions on hours.

Councilman Clark questioned whether there was an issue of consistency with noise propagation for events at the two major coastal facilities.

Mayor Long received clarification that if the Council did not adopt the proposed condition, the project would have the same situation as Trump, which is the regulation of normal City Ordinances.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, City Attorney Lynch indicated that the Code dictates that people cannot make unreasonable and excessive noise and that proposed project conditions require monitoring of the property by City staff.

Councilman Wolowicz commented that people were intimidated by the guard gate on Hawthorne and he wanted assurance that people would not be intimidated by the kiosk.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

Mayor Long recessed the meeting from 10:37 P.M. to 10:47 P.M.

Mayor Long opened the public hearing at 10:47 P.M.

Bob Lowe, Lowe Destination Development, reported meeting with staff for two years regarding more than 200 conditions concerning the Long Point Terranea project. He explained that the items currently being considered were clarifications rather than changes of items that had previously been discussed.

The Council and applicant discussed the requested changes from the seven identified areas of concern; concerns with the ability of the Council to impose conditions after-the-fact to address potential problems; the six-month review process; and time limits for events.

Responding to a statement by Mr. Lowe that events are planned three to four years in advance, Councilman Gardiner suggested that existing contracts be exempt so any changes to event times could be phased in.

Mr. Lowe indicated that this modification would be acceptable. He asked for clarification on the exact location on Palos Verdes Drive South referred to in Condition No. 53. Mr. Lowe explained that the issue with Condition No. 72 stemmed from new guidelines recently proposed by the State of California requiring trails to better accommodate the handicapped. He explained that the trail must either be five feet wide or four feet wide with a wider area to turn around every 200 feet. He strongly recommended abiding by the second requirement which reduced infringement on the natural habitat.

Mayor Long received clarification that unless a condition was noted on the handwritten sheet, Mr. Lowe was not concerned with it.

Councilman Clark asked for a physical depiction of the change to the trail.

Todd Major, Lowe Destination Development, indicated that the 5-foot x 5-foot areas were depicted on the most recent drawings.

Mr. Lowe indicated that Condition No. 78 originally referred to the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code which has a standard of a 16 foot tree in residential areas. He reported working out language acceptable to staff that indicated that trees next to buildings could be as high as the buildings in order to help camouflage them. He reported that Condition No. 78 also stipulated that they could not plant trees that would exceed the height of Palos Verdes Drive South at its low point. He continued that the third requirement stated that foliage could not interfere with view corridors specified in the EIR.

Principal Planner Mihranian indicated that staff was in agreement with the suggested changes to the conditions.

A discussion ensued about the height of the trees and the villas, view corridors, and the application of Prop M.

Mr. Major explained that all the villas were stepped down so that they were all below the height of Palos Verdes Drive South. He added that the trees adjacent to the villas were designed to screen and match the ridgeline heights for the villas.

Mayor Long stated that view corridors were completely protected when the trees do not have a structure behind them. He commented that the condition imposes the restrictions of Prop M more specifically so no one can argue that the City was creating an exemption from it.

Mr. Lowe clarified that his understanding was that the trees next to buildings would not be higher than the buildings and would not interfere with the view corridors as identified in the EIR. He stated that trees in other locations could be higher than 16 feet, but they could not be higher than the low point of Palos Verdes Drive South at Fisherman’s Point. He explained that they had saved trees from the site that had been growing for a generation. He reported that these trees were taller than 16 feet and they needed a place to replant them.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern suggested that a 60-70 foot tree could not be higher than Palos Verdes Drive South near the fishing access because of the drop in grade but it would impact the view.

Director Rojas clarified that all foliage not in the view corridors is tied to the elevation of Palos Verdes Drive South, which means that the height of trees is tied to the lowest point of Palos Verdes Drive South.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern questioned the elevation of the casitas at the highest end.

Mr. Major explained that the ridgeline is at 154.5 feet, so it is three feet below the elevation of 158 feet and the ridgelines heights of the casitas decrease as they move down the site.

Mr. Lowe clarified that they agreed with Condition No. 100, noting that landscaping could not exceed one foot in height on the project side of the road along Palos Verdes Drive South.

Mr. Lowe indicated that Condition No. 130 related to the golf course grading issue and they had agreed to lower the berm along the east side of the golf course so that it was never higher or lower than three feet. The Golf Safety consultant advised that the minimum height for the berm on the golf course side should be three feet and they agreed to lower Tee No. 9 by two feet.

Responding to Mayor Pro Tem Stern, Principal Planner Mihranian explained that the only item missing from the Lowe proposal in Condition No. 135 was landscaping related to the improvements in the Public Amenities Plan.

Mr. Lowe agreed with staff’s comments.

Tim Richardson, Lowe Destination Development, indicated that they had asked for clarification on Condition No. 135, because the way it was written implied that it applied to the whole site as opposed to the Public Amenities Plan.

With regard to parking issues, Mr. Lowe explained that if the public lot was full they would have the ability to handle an additional 128 cars in an alternate location on the site. He explained the function of the kiosk and indicated he felt it important for the

public and hotel guests to be greeted and assisted in receiving directions regarding the site.

Mayor Long questioned whether Terranea would be agreeable to tracking parking usage.

Mr. Richardson explained that the kiosk had been proposed due to City and Coastal Commission parking requirements and he noted that the validation ticket would indicate the time the car leaves the site and from which gate so that tracking information would be available.

Councilman Wolowicz expressed concern with coastal access and received clarification that those visiting the resort would pay for parking but the public would not have to pay.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern questioned what would be lost if the entrance to the public lot was before the kiosk.

Michael Hardisty, Lowe Destination Development, explained proposed kiosk operation procedures and noted that if the public were able to enter the public lot before the kiosk, Lowe would lose the ability to manage that lot causing potential issues with hotel guests using the public lot which would cause Lowe Destination Development the inability to fulfill their Coastal Commission requirement. He reported that they had previous experience with public parking and an information booth at other sites.

The Council discussed various parking usage scenarios.

Mr. Lowe indicated that the Public Amenities Plan included a paved walkway on the east side of the entry road for access from the villa to the hotel.

Principal Planner Mihranian indicated concern with Condition No. 78 and the height of trees outside of the view corridor.

Barbara Sattler, California Native Plant Society, asked for reassurances from the Council that all infrastructures would not be in the habitat buffer zone. She agreed with the applicant about the trail width issue and she noted that the Council should also consider the noise impacts of events on trail users and wildlife itself. She stated that the environmental review pointed out impacts of construction noise and hotel use on the wildlife and she suggested creating a subplan to address event impacts. She indicated that parameters to address habitat impacts could include seasonal and time of day considerations, locations, and direction of sound speakers, etc. She added that these issues could be addressed before occupancy.

Bob Nelson, Seabluff Homeowners Association, indicated that the Homeowners Association had no problem with the staff report and did not think there would be issues with noise, but wanted to know what mitigation measures would be used to block headlights on the driveway since the proposed palm trees had been deemed an invasive species.

Concerns with the time of closure for the public parking lot were discussed and it was noted that the public parking lot was to be used for the public during daylight hours and may be used for overflow event or restaurant parking after dark.

Dana Ireland, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed support for the project noting that initial design concerns had been resolved.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing at 11:45 P.M.

The Council discussed ways to proceed and agreed to make a decision on each item separately.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, the approval of Item 1 with hours of restriction removed and a six month review to address any problems that may surface, with the exception of contracts already in place.

Staff and Council discussed noise concerns and City Attorney Lynch wanted the assurance that sound would be oriented toward the ocean and away from properties; Councilman Wolowicz wanted to make sure that the six month review would include environmental concerns; Councilman Gardiner expressed concern with consistency as Trump National is not limited; and Mayor Pro Tem Stern, Councilman Wolowicz and Mayor Long expressed concern with eliminating time constraints.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern amended the motion, seconded by Mayor Long, to include the hour limitation. A roll call vote was taken on the amendment to add back in the hourly restrictions:

AYES: Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
NOES: Clark and Gardiner

A roll call vote on the motion to adopt the item as set forth under Condition No. 41B and the comments by the developer reflected the following:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz and Mayor Long
NOES: None

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, the approval of the proposal by the developer for Condition Nos. 51, 53 and 72.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve Condition No. 100 as proposed by the developer.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve Condition No. 130 as proposed by the developer with the proposed change in the paragraph after A-E to read as follows: “and additional staff instruction that the height of the berm is taken from the property line closest to the eastern side of the berm,” with the reversion back to the original grading quantities.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve Condition No. 135 with the developer’s recommendation to change the first paragraph to read “including all on-site public improvements shown on the approved Public Amenities plan including necessary irrigation, landscaping and support facilities” and continuing for the rest of that sentence.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to allow the kiosk with appropriate signage and operating standards acceptable to staff that conform to the statements made by the developer at the meeting on December 5, 2006.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to require a crosswalk, but not an entry road along the project entrance.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

The Council discussed the view ordinance and City Attorney Lynch suggested that the height need not be limited to 16 feet since nothing in the condition prevents a resident from filing a view restoration or preservation application regarding view impairment issues.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the developer’s wording for Condition No. 78 indicating the trees near the villas would not exceed the villa height with the addition that any resident has the right under Prop M to exercise their rights pursuant to Section 17.02.040 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code. He added that trees in the view corridors shall not exceed the height set forth in the Coastal Specific Plan.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to approve the balance of the changes negotiated with and agreed to between the developer and staff as recommended by staff and to the extent not already addressed and to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-92, AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING REVISION ‘E’ TO CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 215, ET. AL. TO ALLOW AN UPDATED AND REVISED SITE PLAN, GRADING PLAN AND PUBLIC AMENITIES PLAN FOR THE LONG POINT RESORT HOTEL AND APPROVING NEW AND MODIFIED CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL ASSOCIATED WITH THE UPDATED PROJECT PLANS. A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz and Mayor Long
NOES: None

The Council received clarification that there were no other City issues or impediments to prevent the developer from moving forward and obtaining financing other than receiving the required approval from the Coastal Commission.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

Mayor Long recessed the meeting from 12:44 A.M. and 12:50 A.M.

Appeal of Denial of Planning Case No. ZON2005-00610 (Height Variation and Site Plan Review): Request to Overturn the Planning Commission’s Denial of 962 Square-Foot 1st Floor Additions, a 1,292 Square Foot 2nd Floor Addition, a New Front Porch and Two (2) New Covered Patios for an Existing 1-Story Single-Family Residence (1203 x 1804)

Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Petru indicated that notice of the public hearing had been duly published and all written protests were included with the staff report or as part of late correspondence distributed prior to the meeting.

Planner Fox presented a brief staff report noting that issues with the project included the bulk of the project, the second story, the size and the architectural compatibility. He indicated that the Council had received a revised resolution regarding the issue of neighborhood compatibility.

Carmella Bonello, appellant, indicated the need for additional space since her mother had moved in with the family. She reported that over twenty neighbors in the Ridgecrest area and many within the 500 foot radius had provided signatures in support of the project, she asserted that there were no significant view impacts, and she pointed out that 11,000 of the 28,000 square feet of her property is on a slope and a significant amount of square footage is taken up by her driveway. She added that she was planning an addition to the back of her home and would like to leave some room for a pool in the future.

Ms. Bonello discussed what she felt constituted the surrounding area and felt that the senior housing proposed for the area should be taken into account when making the decision. She noted that the new design and plans for the addition to her home were consistent with others in the area and she asserted that ranch style homes were not limited to a single story. She indicated that the Planning Commission had not offered an extension which would have allowed them to make changes to address the compatibility issue and she expressed regret at the stress and conflict caused by the process of applying for a second story addition.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern received clarification that Ms. Bonello felt there was an acceptable solution based on what was discussed at the Planning Commission meeting.

Ms. Bonello indicated that the first floor was a ranch style house and she considered that the final structure would be a ranch style house.

Responding to Mayor Long, Director Rojas explained that if the applicant did not appeal but instead started over with a new application, they would have to pay another fee but also the Commission would not have any direction from Council on the matter.

Mayor Long commented that if the Planning Commission had difficulty with the decision and needed guidance that would be one thing, but the Council was being asked to do what the Planning Commission would have done if the item had been continued.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that denying the project with prejudice would require a one-year time period before the applicant could reapply, but denying the project without prejudice would enable the applicant to reapply immediately.

Councilman Clark pointed out that there were many homes in the community with second stories so he felt the issues were associated with the scale, the style, the fit, and privacy issues.

Sonia Rodrigues, the architect for the project, reported that the Planning Commission stated that the project was denied because of bulk, mass, style, façade treatments, height, open space, and roof design. She stated they would like the opportunity to address those issues and indicated that they were willing to work with the neighbors. She noted that Planning staff had recommended approval with conditions or to modify the project but the Commission denied the entire project consisting of the first story expansion and the second story addition.

Ms. Rodrigues clarified that at the first meeting the Commission asked staff to return with additional information and at the second meeting the issues of bulk and mass were raised. She added that they preferred to expand to a second story because of issues related to the slope of the property and previous issues raised by soil engineers when the retaining wall was built.

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Planner Fox indicated that his recollection was that the Planning Commission did not believe it would be possible to come up with a project containing a second story that would work for this property.

City Attorney Lynch added that they seemed to be saying that a two-story home was inherently incompatible with the neighborhood.

Mayor Long felt that the denial without prejudice was an invitation to redesign and reapply.

City Attorney Lynch clarified it was an invitation to redesign a one-story home.

Mayor Long did not agree with project design by hearing and he felt that the applicant should have put forth a project they felt would get approved rather than negotiating to a different result.

Councilman Clark indicated many legitimate instances where applicants came forward with a project that refined and redesigned would be successful.

Speakers in support of the denial included: Chuck Taylor, Dr. Richard Zigrang, Julie Sulman, Fred Ash, Kathy Hesse, Barbara Gleghorn, George Gleghorn, Joyce Huppert and Susan Anderson.

The speakers cited the following reasons: privacy issues; the fact that it was a large lot and could accommodate a single story expansion; the belief that the house lay on a ridge and a second story is not allowed on a ridge; the belief that the proposed addition would be out of character with the architecture of the immediate neighborhood which is comprised of single family ranch style homes; the fact that it would become the largest home in the area and could set a precedent; the belief that other alternatives are available; and the mass and bulk of the project.

Perry Cockreham, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed concern regarding inconsistent statements by the appellant and pointed out that the first meeting was continued because Mrs. Bonello was in Italy, not because the question on ridges needed to be clarified. He disagreed with the statement that they were not offered the chance to make changes to the project noting that Planning Commission members asked whether there were changes that would make it more acceptable to the community as a whole and the architect indicated that she was not authorized to make any changes. He pointed out that soil instability and the probable necessity of resorting to caissons and the resulting significant expense was cited as a reason for not extending into the back yard but Mrs. Bonello indicated this evening that she wanted to put in a pool later. A reason cited for not extending into the front yard was the necessity for retaining ample room to turn cars around but that area is usually filled with many vehicles and there is ample room to expand in the front.

Val Gelineau, Rancho Palos Verdes, pointed out that photos supplied by the appellant of other two story houses were not in the neighborhood. He added that the signatures in support were not from the neighborhood and he questioned whether the signers were informed that the project had already been denied by the Planning Commission; whether the signers were aware of the impact on the adjacent neighbors; whether the signers reviewed the scope and size of the project; whether they reviewed the plans or whether were they simply asked to sign a petition to allow for an addition to a home. He pointed out that 100% of the neighbors in the 500 foot radius were opposed to the size of the structure and while all the neighbors supported the right of the Bonello’s to improve their property, they did not support it at the expense of the adjacent neighbors. He asserted that statements such as “no significant loss or impact” did not negate the negative impact and if roles were reversed he would be supporting the Bonellos right to privacy.

Nickie Gill, Rancho Palos Verdes, pointed out that the home had been described as sitting back on the lot, but since it sits on a ridge it can be seen from several streets. She expressed concern with the possible mansionization that would take place if the project went forward and she objected to overbuilding to create a larger home without considering negative impacts on neighbors.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing.

Councilman Clark questioned the differing accounts of whether the applicant was offered the chance to make changes to the project.

Planner Fox indicated that when the Commission suggested a strictly single story addition the applicant expressed concerns about expanding further out to the rear or into the motor court of the front. The applicants exhibited willingness to make modifications to the two-story design which addressed the privacy concerns but the issue of neighborhood compatibility was not addressed.

Councilman Clark noted that one Planning Commissioner who was an architect had commented that it would be difficult to create a second story addition which would not have problems with neighborhood compatibility.

Planner Fox indicated that staff had initially supported the addition but now supported the Planning Commission’s decision.

Councilman Gardiner questioned how a house that was 18% larger than anything else in the area and very different architecturally could be deemed compatible.

Director Rojas noted that most remodel projects they see are larger than the typical homes in the neighborhood, but staff usually focuses on the design and neighborhood compatibility rather than square footage. He added that much of the considerations had to do with how close the house was to the street and to adjoining properties.

Planner Fox added that the Bonello property was a flag lot and had an 80-foot set-back from the street, the materials used would be similar to what is found on other houses in the area and there were varying roof planes to reduce the boxy appearance and break up the two story facade.

Councilman Gardiner received clarification that someone wanting to put a non-ranch style house in a ranch neighborhood would be permitted to do so and he questioned whether the problem was the size, the style or the fact that the home would be two stories.

Mayor Long felt the project was a harbinger of things to come and while the rules were vague, he did not want to see a process of negotiation for each addition. He felt the whole neighborhood compatibility process was only partially effective; it did not address mansionization but merely slowed the pace by not allowing the house to be hugely larger than the largest house in the area. He reported that the Residential Standards Committee was making recommendation, but those recommendations would not include size limitations.

Councilman Gardiner commented on balancing the desires of the residents while also guarding against the relentless gradualism related to building, and noted that if the City was not careful it would lose the space that it has and would soon look like Torrance.

Mayor Long pointed out that each decision had to be made by the standards of an ordinance, not by having a neighbor approve or disapprove of it. He noted the neighborhood compatibility rules are to reflect the will of the community, yet he would like to see the preservation of some of the open space.

Councilman Wolowicz questioned if there were a lot of changes between the first and second draft of the plans.

Planner Fox indicated that the only change was the addition of a solid privacy wall on the east side balcony.

Councilman Wolowicz acknowledged that the neighbors had a valid point. He indicated he could not approve the current proposal but if there was a tendency to send it back to the Planning Commission he felt that the second story should be reduced on both sides.

Mayor Long reopened the public hearing so the applicant could have an opportunity for a rebuttal.

Ms. Rodrigues reported that the debate at the first Planning Commission Meeting centered on privacy issues and the location of the house on a ridge. She stated that concerns about the size and bulk of the project were cited at the second meeting and they were not given the option to make changes at that point. She indicated that they would like the opportunity to redesign the project to address all of the issues and concerns that have been raised.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern observed that this item was an atypical hearing because they were not asking for the denial to be overturned but rather were asking for a chance to redesign the project to try to get approval. He noted that they had the ability to redesign if they reapply. Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to uphold the decision and deny the appeal with full recognition that the applicant could redesign and resubmit a new application and plan to the Planning Commission.

Councilman Gardiner spoke against the motion and noted that he felt it was only fair to allow them a chance to correct the issues without having to pay the fees again.

Councilman Clark supported remanding the matter back to the Commission with instruction to the applicant that the plan would have to have a serious change in the architectural character of the house and redesign for a single story.

Referencing the minutes of the first Planning Commission meeting, Councilman Wolowicz pointed out a number of references to bulk, mass of structure and second story issues.

Mayor Long felt no meaningful redesign of the project was made after the first meeting and the additional fees to be charged would not cover the additional cost to the City.

Councilman Clark pointed out that staff had recommended approval going into the hearing, so it is possible that they expected a different outcome and he favored sending the matter back to the Planning Commission with specific direction.

Councilman Gardiner was troubled that they were trying to figure out what happened at the meeting without a member of the Planning Commission present and he felt Council should err on the side of fairness to the applicant.

Mayor Long commented that anyone thinking that having a staff recommendation in their favor is a big help is ill advised. He added that the minutes accurately described what took place and were to be relied upon rather than on the memory of an individual Commissioner.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006-93, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DENYING THE APPEAL AND UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S DENIAL OF THE REQUESTED HEIGHT VARIATION AND SITE PLAN REVIEW (CASE NO. ZON2005-00610).

A roll call vote reflected the following:

AYES: Stern, Wolowicz and Mayor Long
NOES: Clark and Gardiner

Councilman Gardiner specified that he did not think the current project was appropriate but felt the project should be remanded to the Planning Commission with direction.

RECESS

Mayor Long called a recess from 2:15 A.M. to 2:20 A.M.

REGULAR BUSINESS:

Consideration of an Ordinance of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes Regulating Solicitation within the City (202)

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to continue the item to January 16, 2007.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

City Council Meeting Schedule (307)

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to cancel the Tuesday, January 2, 2007 City Council meeting and hold an adjourned meeting on Tuesday, January 30, 2007.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

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

Councilman Clark inquired when the item regarding on-street overnight parking would be coming to Council.

City Manager Evans stated that it would be coming in the near future.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch reported that no action had been taken on the Monks item. She reported that with regard to the land purchase item which had been added to the agenda, the Council unanimously appointed Mike Kilroy and Mayor Pro Tem Stern to negotiate with the property owners for the purchase of the Upper Filiorum property, excluding the Lower Filiorum parcel from the negotiation.

ADJOURNMENT:

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to adjourn the meeting at 2:32 A.M. to Tuesday, December 19, 2006 at 7:00 P.M. at Fred Hesse
Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

/s/ Thomas D. Long Mayor

Attest:

/s/ Carla Morreale
City Clerk