MAY 1, 2007 RANCHO PALOS VERDESIMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY MINUTES MAY 1, 2007 RANCHO PALOS VERDESIMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY MINUTES

MAY 1, 2007 RANCHO PALOS VERDESIMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY MINUTES

MINUTES

RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL

MARCH 6, 2007


The meeting was called to order at 7:10 P.M. by Mayor Long at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.   

City Council roll call was answered as follows:

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

ABSENT:      None

Also present were Paul Bussey, Interim City Manager; Carol Lynch, City Attorney; Carolynn Petru, Deputy City Manager/City Clerk; Joel Rojas, Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement; Jim Bell, Director of Public Works; Dennis McLean, Director of Finance/Information Technology; Greg Pfost, Deputy Planning Director; Kathryn Downs, Deputy Director of Finance/IT; Ara Mihranian, Principal Planner; and So Kim, Assistant Planner.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Director Rojas.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

None.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Long announced recyclers of the month Michelle Doyle and Pat and Sharon Cowley.  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. 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to approve the agenda with Items 19 and 12 moved forward to be heard before the Consent Calendar.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Items moved before the Consent Calendar:

City Manager Employment Agreement (1101 x 1202)

Interim City Manager Bussey reported that an agreement consistent with Council direction had been created.

City Attorney Lynch summarized minor changes in the agreement requested by the Council.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to adopt the proposed agreement with the minor modifications the City Attorney was directed to include.  A roll call vote reflected unanimous approval.

Mayor Long introduced Carolyn Lehr who was appointed to serve as the new City Manager for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.  Council members welcomed Ms. Lehr.

Carolyn Lehr thanked the Council for being offered the opportunity to serve the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

City Advisory Board Chairs (106 x 1203 x 602 x 401)

The Council voted unanimously to appoint Bill Gerstner as Chair for the Planning Commission; Gina McLeod as Chair for the Finance Advisory Committee; and, Richard Kimball Smith as Chair for the Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Councilman Wolowicz thanked those who served previously in the Chair position and those currently serving for their dedicated service.

Mayor Long and the Council members thanked Mr. Bussey for his work as Interim City Manager for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Councilman Clark expressed his appreciation to Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Petru for her hard work of behalf of the City.  He stated that everyone owed her a debt of gratitude for her excellent dedicated service through the years.  

PUBLIC COMMENTS: 

None.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

Interim City Manager Bussey thanked the Council for the opportunity to serve the City for the past several months.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Councilman Wolowicz requested that Items 3 and 5 be removed from the Consent Calendar for separate consideration and that Item 5 be placed before Item 13. 

Councilman Clark asked that Item 4 be removed for separate consideration.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tern Stern, to approve the Consent Calendar with Items 3, 4 and 5 removed for separate consideration and Item 5 placed before Item 13.  The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

NOES:           None

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 October 7, 2006 and October 21, 2006.

Border Issues Status Report (310)

 

This item was removed from the Consent Calendar and considered after Regular Business.

Separation of City Clerk and Assistant City Manager Positions (301 x 1202)

 

This item was removed from the Consent Calendar and considered after Regular Business.

Regional Housing Needs Assessment Status Report (701 x 1203)

This item was removed from the Consent Calendar and considered before Item 13.

December 2006 Treasurer’s Report (602)

Received and filed the December 2006 Treasurer’s Report for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-20, 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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PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Code Amendment (Case No. ZON2004-00265): Amendments to Various Sections of Title 15 (Buildings and Construction) and Title 17 (Zoning) to Regulate the Use of Cargo Containers on Public and Private Property (1801 x 1203)

Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that this was a public hearing continued from January 16, 2007, and that she had two requests to speak on the matter.

Associate Planner Fox presented a summary of the staff report.

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Associate Planner Fox explained that an earth tone color had been proposed to cover up the logos and large markings on the cargo containers.  He stated that initially staff had proposed to allow cargo containers on only developed lots, but on the advice of the City Attorney, language was suggested to allow the use of these containers on both developed and undeveloped property so there was no discrimination.

Councilman Gardiner noted that the original intent was to allow use of cargo containers in areas with land movement and he questioned why it was now proposed as an option for everyone who needs storage.

City Attorney Lynch noted that past policy has been to treat parcels in the landslide area similarly, whether they are vacant or developed parcels.  She reported that the former Pony Club site has used a storage container for weed abatement equipment.

Mayor Long noted that he believed the primary purpose of the use of cargo containers was to allow those who needed some sort of foundation in an area of rapid land movement, whether it was developed or not.

City Attorney Lynch said that such a distinction would concern her less because it would be incorporating the container into an already existing building as a foundation, as opposed to allowing additional storage on developed parcels while not allowing additional storage on vacant parcels.

Mayor Long noted that prohibiting cargo containers on vacant lots would not be discriminatory because the fact that it was a vacant lot was not the issue.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, City Attorney Lynch indicated that the issue of use as storage could be separated from the issue of use as a foundation. 

Councilman Wolowicz commented that much time had been spent on something that might not be very significant and he suggested grandfathering the 12 existing lots with cargo containers but not allowing any others unless there were guidelines dictating that an application for a Special Use Permit (SUP) would be required subject to approval by the Director of Planning. 

City Attorney Lynch indicated that an SUP could be used, but she pointed out that none of the containers had been approved except for the Pony Club container and the one on Mr. York’s property; so the others would have to apply for a permit through a special process.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern stated that the two issues of use of cargo containers, as a foundation and as storage units, should be kept separate and he added that the Pony Club had used their container as their tack room for years.  He questioned the rationale for using containers as storage in the Portuguese Bend area.

Director Rojas explained that residents in the Portuguese Bend area had asked to use the containers for additional storage because they are not allowed to add square footage onto their homes, and they have large lots so the containers could be screened.  He noted that the Planning Commission had initially agreed with this, but then changed their position, so the matter was forwarded to the City Council.  He reported that there was a split opinion on the matter in the community, but he felt the overwhelming opinion was that they should not be used on vacant properties.

Robert Maxwell, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted that community Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC & Rs) often superseded City codes.  He observed that litigation made enforcement difficult and noted that sometimes cargo containers have a valid use. He stated that the public usually has a negative view of storage containers and if the containers were authorized in a blanket fashion, property values could be negatively affected.  He suggested that they be used rarely, for the sole purpose of serving as a foundation, and that they be subject to the Portuguese Bend Community Association’s CC&Rs.

Tim Kelly, Board of Directors for the Portuguese Bend Community, Rancho Palos Verdes, noted that the Portuguese Bend area was unique, gated, and had a wide range of issues to deal with including the fact that the area was divided into an active landslide area and an inactive landslide area.  He pointed out that solutions to the problems should be different depending on the area and he felt that the one-size-fits-all ordinance did not work.  He saw no need to allow cargo containers in the inactive landslide area as it conflicted with the architectural standards in that area that allow only one accessory building per residence and noted that the ordinance required substantial screening that could be accomplished in the active landslide area, but would not be possible in the inactive landslide area.  He asserted that allowing the containers on vacant lots directly contradicted the CC&Rs and the containers were not compatible with most residences in the area.  Mr. Kelly noted that there were certain items in the ordinance that were helpful but others were not, expressed concern with potential lawsuits and asked to work with the City to resolve the issue. 

Responding to Mayor Long, Mr. Kelly stated that foundations were a City issue and his concerns were related to cargo containers used as storage and accessory buildings.  He indicated that he felt a resolution could be reached if the matter was sent back to the Planning Commission for additional consideration.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing.

Councilman Wolowicz reported his inclination to approve the matter except for the storage issue and he inquired if it would be acceptable for the Council to disallow storage containers unless an application for an SUP was submitted. 

City Attorney Lynch stated that temporary construction storage of one year or less or while a building permit was open was allowed and she noted that long term storage subject to an SUP was also appropriate.

Director Rojas indicated that they could bring the item back for further discussion.  He noted that the SUP process would allow staff to send public notices to affected properties, allow for the placing of conditions regarding the time period that a storage unit would be permitted, and allow each application to be judged on the merits of the particular request.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to adopt all aspects except the use of cargo containers for long-term storage.

City Attorney Lynch requested further Council direction so that staff could return with a revised ordinance.

Mayor Long clarified that the Council was directing staff to return with the modification to the ordinance so that it would allow the use of cargo containers for everything but long-term storage.

Responding to Councilman Clark, Councilman Gardiner indicated that the motion would request staff to seek the most efficient way to resolve the issue of cargo containers as storage.  He noted that he wanted to have the concerns of the residents addressed.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern noted that staff had a technical understanding of what was required for the SUP and they have received public input.

Mayor Long suggested splitting the motion. 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern suggested amending the motion against the use of containers in the commercial area, deleting subpart section 9D on page 15, and requested that the proposed ordinance not authorize the use of the containers in commercial zones.

Mayor Long seconded the motion and Councilmen Clark and Gardiner accepted the amendment.

Councilman Wolowicz wanted input from staff as to why commercial use was being allowed. 

City Attorney Lynch explained that storage containers had been allowed on City property.

Director Rojas replied that staff had no concern with removing that aspect from the ordinance.

The motion to direct staff to modify the draft ordinance to delete the use of cargo containers for long-term storage on developed and undeveloped residential lots and prohibit cargo containers on commercial lots except for temporary construction storage passed with unanimous approval.

The Council discussed whether to confine usage of cargo containers to the active landslide area, allowing approved storage units to be grandfathered in, and considered allowing the containers on an SUP basis.

City Attorney Lynch suggested that staff return with an SUP process to provide the option for long-term storage in the active Portuguese Bend landslide area so that all lots within that specific area would be treated in the same manner.

Councilman Gardiner expressed opposition to allowing containers on vacant lots.

Councilman Clark did not want to see the proliferation of cargo containers in the landslide area. 

Mayor Long indicated that he was opposed to spending more staff time on the issue.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to direct staff to further explore the most effective way to address cargo containers used for long-term storage on specific streets within the active Portuguese Bend landslide area.  The motion passed by the following roll call vote:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz

NOES:           Mayor Long

REVISION "EE" TO THE TRUMP NATIONAL GOLF COURSE PROJECT (1411)

Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published, no written protests were received, and she had one request to speak on the item.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost presented the staff report.

Mayor Long opened the public hearing at 8:16 P.M.

Luis De Moraes, project architect, indicated agreement with the staff recommendation.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing at 8:18 P.M.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-21, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING ADDENDUM NO. 25 TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT NO. 36 FOR REVISION “EE”; and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-22, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES APPROVING REVISION “EE,” AMENDING CUP NO. 162 (CASE NO. ZON2007-00070).

A roll call vote reflected unanimous approval.

Appeal to Planning Case No. ZON2006-00478 (Fences, Walls, and Hedges Permit) at 5962 Flambeau Road (1801)

Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published, no written protests were received, and there were no requests to speak on the matter.

Mayor Long opened the public hearing.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to continue the Appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision of a Fences, Walls, and Hedges Permit (Case No. ZON2006-00478) to the April 3, 2007 City Council Meeting.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Code Amendment Initiation to Encourage “Green Building” Construction (1801)

Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published, no written protests were received, late correspondence was distributed prior to the meeting, and there were no requests to speak on the matter.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to waive the staff report.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner received clarification that in the process of reducing fees for houses that are built with concern for the environment or “green,” fees were not being increased to others to compensate for the lost revenue.

Councilman Wolowicz noted that the requested recommendation was in line with the position that the South Bay Cities Council of Governments had taken and consistent with previous actions by the Council.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to initiate a Code Amendment to: 1) Adopt the Build It Green Guidelines and GreenPoint rating system for new single-family and multifamily homes and remodeled homes; 2) Allow an expedited plan check process for Green Building projects through both the Planning and Building Departments; and, 3) Reduce fees for Green Building projects through both the Planning and Building Departments.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

PAUSE TO CONSIDER THE REMAINDER OF THE AGENDA

The following Consent Calendar item was considered:

Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Status Report (701 x 1203)

Deputy Planning Director Pfost provided a brief summary staff report. 

Councilman Wolowicz reported on complaints by members of the Seagate condominium project.  He felt there were too many flaws in the legislation regarding housing needs for it to be effective and he believed the phrase “affordable” was misleading.  He discussed definitions of low and very low income and felt that the designations were impractical for communities such as Rancho Palos Verdes.  He wanted to see a lower number of houses and was more inclined to participate in regionalization which he felt would be a more practical use of the dollars already collected. 

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Deputy Planning Director Pfost indicated that the City had not reached the RHNA target and had not been penalized, but noted that there could be future legislation that would penalize cities.

Mayor Long reported that there was proposed legislation to suspend land use controls for those cities not meeting the quota. 

Councilman Gardiner questioned whether the City could require developers to provide affordable housing.

City Attorney Lynch reported that staff attempted to come up with attainable numbers but that the developer has the ability to demonstrate that they have a financial hardship with the ordinance requiring affordable housing.  She clarified that the City could not make any project infeasible but obligations could be put on developers to provide affordable housing.

The Council discussed past City policies, different approaches to the regional housing needs issue, the model for calculating affordable housing units, and the possible penalties for non-compliance.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to accept the staff recommendation with a request that staff include in the letter that the City supports a regionalization concept, and that staff gives an explanation as to what the Regional Housing Needs Assessment computes to in terms of absolute value in terms of dollars. 

The motion failed by the following roll call vote:

            AYES:            Gardiner and Wolowicz

            NOES:           Clark, Stern and Mayor Long

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to 1) Receive and file the report; and, 2) Authorize the Mayor on behalf of the City to sign a letter filing Appeal and Revision applications regarding the City’s RHNA allocation as determined by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). 

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

RECESS:

Mayor Long called a brief recess from 8:40 P.M. to 8:48 P.M.

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AGREEMENT FOR TRACT MAP NO. 52666 INVOLVING A UNIT AT THE SEAGATE CONDOMINIUMS LOCATED AT 6526 OCEAN CREST DRIVE #A214 (701)

Director Rojas provided a summary staff report.

Councilman Gardiner wanted to ensure that the affordable housing unit was generally equal to the homes being constructed and would not drag the value of the condominium units down since it should be comparable to the homes that will be selling for millions.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that a staff member would ensure that the promised amenities were provided and she clarified that the developer would choose a purchaser who would have to be approved by the City and would have to meet specific income guidelines.

Councilman Wolowicz expressed concern with wording indicating that the unit would be left “as is.”

Director Rojas reported that staff had visited the unit and asked for several items to be upgraded.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he wanted to personally visit the condominium unit to compare the amenities in the unit to the new homes being built.

Councilman Clark suggested that photographic evidence could be provided.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Director Rojas indicated that this was the first instance of a replacement unit of this type.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that the affordable units at Ocean Trails were not of the same magnitude as the houses being sold as individual units in Tract No. 52666.  She pointed out that while the amenities need to be very nice, it is a two bedroom attached residential unit of at least 1,200 square feet, which is quite different from a single family residence of 4,000 to 5,000 square feet.  She noted that the while the square footage of the unit would not be comparable, the amenities and fixtures should be comparable. 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern welcomed the opportunity to discuss policy issues on

May 1, 2007, and he noted that the issue continued to convince him of the need for the City to insist that the developers include affordable housing in their project developments.

Councilman Clark received clarification that three of the affordable housing units in Villa Capri were released and were now fair market units.

Jean Desmond, a Seagate condominium owner, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported that 167 owners would be affected by the proposed change of a condominium in her complex to an affordable housing unit.  She recounted a history of the unit and expressed concern that the appraisal of her condominium would go down if the unit was sold at below market value.  She indicated that she was not worried about the kind of owners that would move in because they would have to have good credit and a good income. 

Mayor Long stated that based on his understanding, a unit subject to an affordable housing restriction should not affect an appraisal.

Councilman Gardiner commented that he felt he had dropped the ball because the ripple effects of the impacts of this matter did not dawn on him.  He asserted that he would pay more attention to this matter in the future and it would be a long time before he approved something similar again.  He inquired what enforcement measures were available in such a matter.

Councilman Clark suggested that before staff signs off on the Certificate of Occupancy, the developer be required to present evidence to the Council of the comparable features of the condominium unit to the homes being built.

Mayor Long cautioned against involving the Council in applying this standard of review and he inquired if it would not dictate that the Council review all projects in the same manner.

Councilman Wolowicz pointed out that this was the first project of this nature and a unique situation.  He stated that he appreciated that Councilman Gardiner was requiring comparability because he was concerned that this situation could happen in other neighborhoods.

Councilman Clark stated that he was not happy with the situation and believed additional scrutiny was warranted for this case.

Mayor Long commented that the Council had originally spent much time in deciding whether to allow an offsite unit or onsite unit in this case and the Council all agreed it was not practical to construct an affordable housing unit at the site.  He asserted that when the policy discussion comes back to Council, they should ensure that the new offsite units should not be concentrated.  He stated that he believed it highly likely that the unit would not have any adverse affect on the property values, but he expressed concern with setting a precedent.  He noted that he felt certain it would be necessary in the future for the Council to permit offsite units.  He stated that he disagreed with micromanaging the situation and did not favor the amendment.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 1) Receive and file an informational report on the selection of 6526 Ocean Crest Drive #A214 as the affordable housing unit required for Tract Map No. 52666; 2) Direct staff to determine if the quality of the approved off-site affordable unit was comparable to the for-sale units; and, 3) Conduct an affordable housing policy discussion on the provision of affordable housing units in the City at the May 1, 2007 City Council meeting.  A roll call vote on the motion passed as follows:

AYES:            Clark, Wolowicz, Gardiner, Stern

NOES:           Mayor Long

FY06-07 Midyear Financial Report (602)

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern to waive the staff report on the matter.

Councilman Gardiner inquired if the staff report concluded that the City had an additional $2.4 million more than they had anticipated.

Responding to Council inquiries, Deputy Director Downs highlighted several items in the report and indicated that General Fund reserves as of the end of the fiscal year were about $2.4 million more than anticipated.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to 1) Receive and file the midyear financial report; and 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-23, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2006-41, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY06-07, TO ADJUST APPROPRIATIONS IN THE GENERAL FUND, STREET MAINTENANCE, 1972 ACT, 1911 ACT, WASTE REDUCTION, PROPOSITION A, HABITAT RESTORATION, MEASURE A MAINTENANCE, AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUNDS OF THE CITY.

A roll call vote reflected unanimous approval.

Consideration of a Resolution Electing to Become Subject to the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act and an Ordinance Establishing Procedures for Bidding Procedures for Public Projects Under the Uniform Public Construction Cost Accounting Act (602 x 1204)

Mayor Long reported that staff had requested the continuance of this item to April 3, 2007, as Interim City Manager Bussey had several questions on the item.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to continue the item until April 3, 2007.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he wanted to ensure that best value rather than the lowest bid be used as evaluation criteria.

Mayor Wolowicz requested additional background information on what was to be accomplished and requested reference to the actions previously passed which addressed limits on purchasing.

Clarification of the City’s Expense Reimbursement Policies for City Officials (306)

Mayor Long requested waiving of the staff report.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, City Attorney Lynch explained that the AB 1234 legislation established reimbursement criteria including that all expenditures have to be supported by adequate documentation.  She explained issues related to an automobile mileage allowance or a flat automobile allowance reimbursement policy for Planning Commissioners and Council members.

The Council and staff discussed varying interpretations of AB 1234, methods to handle reimbursement of automobile expenses without causing undue burden on staff or additional cost to the City, the conflict between AB 1234 and pre-existing legislation, and whether the flat rate stipend should be increased due to the large increase in gas prices since the time it was originally established.

City Attorney Lynch suggested establishing a Council salary including local automobile reimbursement which would be effective after the next election in November 2007.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved to adopt, effective after the next City General Election, a salary at the existing rate of $200 per month for Councilmembers, $350 for the Mayor and $50 for Planning Commissioners.  He continued that the flat rate reimbursement that existed now would discontinue and reimbursement would be available over and above that amount consistent with the same policy in place for long distance travel.  He stated that the policy would not be otherwise modified at this point in time and that the Government Code Section 1223 flat rate reimbursement would be maintained.  Councilman Wolowicz seconded the motion.

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Interim City Manager Bussey explained that the Planning Commission had been assigned a small salary as they had more of a burden than other committees and commissions to visit project sites before every Planning Commission meeting.

City Attorney Lynch added that Planning Commissioners were required to go out and see applicant sites.  She reported that many cities compensate their Planning Commissioners, but others do not and there did not seem to be much correlation between the size of the City and the salary.

Councilman Clark suggested as an addendum to the motion to direct City staff to approach the League of California Cities Department of Attorneys to advocate for a deconfliction of the existing statutes on the books, which were AB 1234 and Section 1223 of the Government Code.

Councilman Wolowicz agreed and stated he believed there was something to be concerned about.

City Attorney Lynch commented that Rancho Palos Verdes had been affected by the legislation far less than many cities due to its conservative policies, the Council had complied from the beginning, and that the one area of some doubt was auto reimbursement allowances but because of Government Code 1223, the City’s position was covered.

A roll call vote on the amendment to direct staff to approach the League of California Cities to advocate for a deconfliction of government codes related to auto reimbursement allowances was as follows:

AYES:            Clark, Gardiner and Wolowicz

            NOES:           Stern and Mayor Long

A roll call vote on the original motion to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-24, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING AND RESTATING ITS EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT AND USE OF PUBLIC RESOURCES POLICY passed unanimously. 

City Attorney Lynch indicated that she would bring back an ordinance to commemorate the Council’s action. 

City Council Rules of Procedure (307)

Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Petru reported that she had distributed a revised resolution on the item as part of late correspondence and she provided a brief staff report regarding amending the Rules of Procedure to establish ending times for consideration of New Business and a 12:00 a.m. meeting end time.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern supported eliminating “exceptional circumstances” from Section 3.2 of the rules. 

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Long, to accept the staff recommendation.

Councilman Clark encouraged more effective management of the meetings as he believed it was a disservice to staff and residents to continue meetings late at night.

Councilman Wolowicz emphasized the importance of getting the job done and he commented on the large number of items that get deferred from meeting to meeting. 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern supported doing business in a timely manner and he suggested that Councilmembers be more succinct. 

Councilman Gardiner observed the amount of time consumed expands to fill the time available, expressed concern that the Council tended to make mistakes if the meeting carried on too long, and pointed out that they could rescind the motion if they chose to in the future.

Mayor Long indicated the need for a careful balance, noting that he would vote to make sure important, unfinished business was not left on the table, but he found it helpful to have an outer limit and he felt that making the rule was one of many tools to keep them on track.  He noted that they spend time on things to get them done right, but he felt when people leave because items take too long it was a collective failure.  He discussed Planning Commission procedures and noted that he had been requesting and implementing rule changes designed to avoid unused speaker slips.

Councilman Clark noted that books on conducting effective meetings indicate that there should always be a definite start and end time with definite objectives.  He questioned Council’s ability to make coherent, reasonable decisions after midnight, and expressed concern about staff exhaustion. 

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Long, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-25, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING THE CITY COUNCIL RULES OF PROCEDURE.  The motion passed by the following roll call vote:

            AYES:            Clark, Gardiner and Mayor Long

            NOES:           Stern and Wolowicz

 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern asked that the amended rules be provided to the Council members.

Tactical Planning Workshop (307)

The Council discussed scheduling and the pros and cons of combining the budget workshop and the tactical planning workshop.

Councilman Clark stated that he believed the new City Manager should be fully engaged in the process.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to select March 24, 2007 at 8:30 A.M. at the City Hall Community Room for the 2007 Tactical Planning Workshop to be followed immediately by the Budget Policy Issues Workshop.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Mayor Long suggested that March 31st be reserved as a back-up date.

Items removed from the Consent Calendar:

Border Issues Status Report (310)

Councilman Wolowicz reported that there was to be a public workshop regarding the Peninsula Village Overlay Zone held on March 19, 2007, at 6:30 P.M. at the Norris Pavilion.  He encouraged any interested residents to participate. 

Director Rojas indicated that the meeting would be posted on the website and an email would be sent to the City’s Listserve group.

Councilman Wolowicz pointed out that a 160-unit condominium proposal would be discussed and he commended City staff for doing an excellent job sending out letters to the City of Rolling Hills Estates expressing their concerns.  He reported that 117 units had been approved in the overlay zone area and there were 312 additional units under planning review.

Councilman Gardiner suggested placing the border reports and information about Port of Los Angeles issues on Channel 33 to increase the public’s knowledge on the matter since he did not believe there was much general information available.

Councilman Clark reported his intent to invite Councilwoman Hahn to participate in a roundtable discussion of the Ponte Vista project on Channel 33 television. 

Councilman Wolowicz reported attending a session in San Pedro where 25% of the attendees were from Bisno Development, the developer of the Ponte Vista Project, and he noted that to be a significant statement regarding the pressure they were putting on the community.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Long, to adopt staff’s recommendation to review the current status of border issues.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Separation of City Clerk and Assistant City Manager Positions (301 x 1202)

Councilman Clark wanted to highlight the reason combining the positions did not work was due to the time demand involved.  He complimented Deputy City Manager/City Clerk Petru for taking on two demanding roles for two years which was well above and beyond what should have been required of any City employee. 

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-26, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2006-41, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS FOR FY 06-07, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE GENERAL FUND AND ADDING THE POSITION OF CITY CLERK.  The motion passed by a unanimous roll call vote.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Wolowicz reported that he and Mayor Pro Tem Stern attended the Palos Verdes Regional Law Enforcement Committee meeting on January 30 and noted that minutes and statistics from that meeting should have been distributed to Council members.  He noted that on February 8 the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce had installation of officers with Don Knabe acting as master of ceremonies; on February 10 all beach cities were represented at a special recognition of Tom Martin sponsored by Supervisor Knabe at the Manhattan Beach Pier; on February 21 Rancho Palos Verdes was a host city for the California Contract Cities held at Rolling Hills Country Club and minutes from that meeting would be available from the organization; on February 27 he and Councilman Clark attended a meeting at City Hall regarding the Crestridge project where they expressed their dissatisfaction with the project; on February 28 he attended the 10th Anniversary South Bay Economic Partnership lunch; and on March 5 he met with the Interim City Manager, Deputy City Manager/City Clerk and the Manager of Channel 33 to discuss the proposed business plan.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern reported that on March 1 he attended the monthly meeting of the League of California Cities where transportation initiatives that the governor has underway were discussed.

Councilman Clark reported attending the Sanitation Board of Directors meeting in Torrance on February 21, announced an upcoming waste collection day in Rancho Palos Verdes for paint, hazardous waste, old computers, cell phones, cameras, etc.; on February 24 he participated in the final City Manager interviews; and on February 26 the State Board of Directors had a teleconference to file for a ballot initiative if the legislature does not come on board with effective eminent domain reform legislation, and noted that initiative could be placed on the ballot for next year.  He reported that he met with the Crestridge subcommittee on February 27 and based on staff input, he expressed significant reservations about the current proposed project that would come before the Council for feedback shortly; and on March 3 he attended the Whale of a Day City celebration at the Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center.

Mayor Long reported attending many previously mentioned events; announced the Mayor’s Lunch on February 21, and reported attending a breakfast meeting on March 5 with Dr. Brophy of Marymount College where he reiterated previous concerns with the development of dormitories on the campus.

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

Councilman Clark asked that a discussion of conducting a management audit of City Hall be placed on a future agenda.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch reported the actions on the following items: 1) The Council unanimously approved the modified employment agreement with the new City Manager; 2) No action was taken on the Monks case; and 3) The Council unanimously directed the City Attorney to send a letter to the property owner presenting the option to move the residence back to the original lot or to demolish the existing residence and build a new residence on the original lot.

ADJOURNMENT:

At 10:40 P.M. the meeting was adjourned to Tuesday, March 20, 2007 at 6:00 P.M. at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

 

                                                                                    /s/ Thomas D. Long

                                                                                                  Mayor

Attest:

 

/s/ Carla Morreale

       City Clerk