JUNE 5, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES JUNE 5, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES JUNE 5, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

MINUTES
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
JUNE 5, 2007

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 P.M. by Mayor Long at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.

City Council roll call was answered as follows:

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

Also present were Carolyn Lehr, City Manager; Carol Lynch, City Attorney; Carolynn Petru, Deputy City Manager; Dennis McLean, Director of Finance/Information Technology; Jim Bell, Director of Public Works; Joel Rojas, Director of Planning, Building & Code Enforcement; Ron Rosenfeld, Director of Recreation & Parks; Ron Dragoo, Senior Engineer; Matt Waters, Senior Administrative Analyst; Lauren Ramezani, Senior Administrative Analyst; and Kristen Sohn, Associate Planner.

Consultants Present: Jim Lancaster, City Geologist, Zeiser Kling; Matt Rogers, Assistant City Geologist, Zeiser Kling; Glenn Tofani, GeoKinetics; Scott Kerwin, AMEC Earth & Environmental, and Mark McLarty, AMEC Earth & Environmental.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Ron Rosenfeld, Director of Recreation and Parks.

CEREMONIAL:

Mayor Long presented City Tiles to outgoing Committee/Commission members Becky Clark for seven years of service on the Finance Advisory Committee and Gus Mevers for two years of service on the Traffic Safety Commission. 

Mayor Long announced other Committee/Commission members who could not be present but would receive City Tiles: Carolyn Ann Bojorquez, for six years of service on the Equestrian Committee; Joan Kelly, for three years of service on the Equestrian Committee; Bill Simpson, for three years of service on the Equestrian Committee; and, Lawrence Kline, for two years of service on the Traffic Safety Commission.

City Attorney Lynch announced that Councilman Clark had requested an excused absence from the meeting.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Mayor Long reported that residents had raised some concerns with the supporting document requirements for the Waste Management senior citizen discount.  He clarified the Waste Management procedure for attaining the discount and indicated that the deadline had been extended and that walk-in applications were being accepted at several locations. 

Susan Moulton, Waste Management, apologized for any inconvenience caused to seniors regarding the discount program, thanked Council for allowing the re-routing of the trash collection services, and reported the new routing began on June 4, 2007.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Long announced Michael Jenkins and Rita Birch as recyclers of the month from the May 15, 2007 Council Meeting.  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 Item 21 to be heard before Item 17 and Item 23 to follow Item 14.  Hearing no objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: 

Robert Maxwell, Portuguese Bend Community Association, Rancho Palos Verdes, provided handouts to the Council and asked that the City investigate the runoff water in the area he represented.  He asked that the City work with the City of Rolling Hills and the City of Rolling Hills Estates to keep runoff water from coming into the Portuguese Bend landslide area, which has been identified as the trigger to the Abalone Cove Landslide. 

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

None.

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Councilman Gardiner asked that the minutes of February 20, 2007 in Item 2 be pulled for separate consideration.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern indicated that he would abstain from voting on the same set of minutes and he wanted Item 9 pulled for separate consideration.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the Consent Calendar with the minutes of February 20, 2007 in Item 2 and Item 9 removed for separate consideration.

A roll call vote reflected the following:
           
            AYES:             Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
            NOES:            None
            ABSENT:       Clark
            ABSTAIN:      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 the Minutes

Approved the Minutes of the February 17, 2007 Adjourned Regular Meeting, February 24, 2007 Adjourned Regular Meeting, and May 15, 2007 Adjourned Regular Meeting.

Notice of Completion for Palos Verdes Drive South Slurry Seal Project

1) Accepted the work as complete; 2) Authorized the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and if no claims are filed within 35 days after recordation, and upon the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond, notice the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance bonds; and, 3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Pavement Coatings Company, 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder contingent upon no claims being filed on the project, and the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond.

City Council Rules of Procedure

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-58, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING THE CITY COUNCIL RULES OF PROCEDURE.

Purchase of Cherryhill Lot
 
1) Received and filed the results of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment conducted for eight (8) lots on Cherryhill Lane; and 2) Authorized staff to proceed with the purchase of the Turner lot (APN # 7572-004-030) unless the title report reveals a defect in the property’s title.

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

1) Awarded a Professional Services Agreement to Gerard J. Quinn & Associates, as amended, in an amount not to exceed $10,000 for disaster grant management and recovery services; and 2) Authorized the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the Agreement with Gerard J. Quinn & Associates.

Approval of Agreement Between the City and the Portuguese Bend Cooperative Nursery School

Approved and authorized the Mayor to execute the agreement between the City and the Portuguese Bend Cooperative Nursery School for the 2007-2008 school year.

Grant Application for Fourth Supervisorial District Excess Funds

ADOPTED RESOLUTION 2007-59, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, APPROVING THE APPLICATION FOR GRANT FUNDS FROM THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY REGIONAL PARK AND OPEN SPACE DISTRICT FOR FOURTH SUPERVISORIAL DISTRICT EXCESS FUNDING FOR Rehabilitation of the Point Vicente Neighborhood trail and Trail Improvements at the Forrestal Nature Preserve.

Reject Bids – Palos Verdes Drive East Drainage Improvements – Sunnyside Ridge Road

1) Rejected all bids received on May 2, 2007 for the installation of approximately 3060 linear feet of storm drain line and the associated outfall and curb inlets and asphalt paving; 2) Requested staff to revise the project plans and specifications and re-advertise the project.

Membership in the Los Angeles Stormwater Quality Partnership (LASQP)

Joined the partnership and approved the attached MOU.

April 2007 Treasurer’s Report

Received and filed the April 2007 Treasurer’s Report for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-60, 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:

Palos Verdes Drive South Landslide (East End) Road Reconstruction

Senior Engineer Dragoo provided a summary staff report.

The Council and staff discussed alternative technology or other options to address the constant road movement in the landslide area permanently and the potential costs associated with different alternatives.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, that 1) Based on the facts set forth in this report, an emergency exists which will not permit a delay from a competitive solicitation for bids and that the actions taken below are necessary to respond to the emergency; 2) Authorize the Director of Public Works to approve a Change Order to an existing contract with Hardy and Harper Inc., to reconstruct a portion of the roadway within the Landslide on Palos Verdes Drive South; 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION 2007-61, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION 2006-41, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006-07, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND AND STREET MAINTENANCE FUND – PAVEMENT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM for the reconstruction of Palos Verdes Drive South within the Portuguese Bend Landslide; and, 4) Authorize the expenditure of up to $153,170 for the roadway reconstruction.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

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

Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Mayor Long, to waive the staff report. 

Hearing no objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Mayor Long opened the public hearing.

Councilman Wolowicz inquired if the funds from the 1911 Act fund could be used in some manner towards the Citywide Landscaping and Lighting crossover prospects for the funds.

City Attorney Lynch reported that after much research on how to use the 1911 Act funds, staff concluded that the fund could be used for traffic signals and safety lighting as that was essentially the purpose of the 1911 Act which was imposed by the County.  She added that the money was being credited back to each parcel at a very low rate, which would cause the fund to be spent down very slowly over 15 to 20 years.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to 1) Conduct a public hearing on the proposed levy and collection of assessments within the Citywide Landscaping and Lighting Maintenance District for fiscal year 2007-08 and the Engineer’s Report prepared in connection therewith; and, 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-62, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, MAKING CERTAIN FINDINGS AND CONFIRMING A DIAGRAM AND ASSESSMENT FOR THE 2007-08 FISCAL YEAR IN CONNECTION WITH THE CITYWIDE LANDSCAPING AND LIGHTING MAINTENANCE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THE LANDSCAPING AN`D LIGHTING ACT OF 1972, PART 2 OF DIVISION 15 OF THE CALIFORNIA STREETS AND HIGHWAYS CODE.

A roll call vote reflected the following:

            AYES:             Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
            NOES:            None
            ABSENT:       Clark
            ABSTAIN:      None
 
Appeal of Grading Permit and Site Plan Review (Case No. ZON2005-00593), Landowner: Jamie Blessum; Appellants: Rod and Rebecca White, Harry & Peggy Fussganger, Ruperto & Lula Elpusan; Site Address: 29664 Grandpoint Lane [Continued from February 20, 2007]

Deputy City Manager Petru reported that this public hearing was continued from February 20, 2007 and that she had five requests to speak on the matter.

Associate Planner Sohn provided a brief summary of the material of record.

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Associate Planner Sohn confirmed that one segment of the lower portion of one wall on the property was encroaching on the adjacent property by approximately six inches; and that three of the nine measurements of the wall indicated that the wall height exceeded 2 feet 11 inches in height. 

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Planning Director Rojas indicated that the height of the wall was acceptable but the incorrect nomenclature had been used to identify the wall.

Rod White, appellant, commented on the significance of changing the name of the wall from a garden wall to retaining wall and he clarified the differences between the two walls.  He reported that the wall was six feet tall but three feet of the wall was covered with dirt when the area was re-graded.  He indicated that retaining walls required caissons down to bedrock and wanted to make sure the project was built safely and to Code and expressed concern for his neighbors who did not have the time or money to speak up.  He commented that the project was supposed to follow the natural contour of the land but that contour had been changed.  He stated that he disagreed with the developer using every inch of the property and was concerned with the bulk and mass of the project as well as the toll the construction process would take on the private road.

Responding to Council inquiry, City Geologist Lancaster explained that the larger retaining wall, supported by caissons, is part of the residence.  He explained that the main wall supports the smaller wall and the dirt behind it.  He added that retaining walls generally do not need caissons, but acknowledged that the wall was built without a permit and misidentified as a garden wall.

Associate Planner Sohn added that the slope was supported by the foundation of the subterranean garage.

Peggy Fussganger, appellant, pointed out that the City Geologist agreed that everything the builder had done was illegal, both walls were above the height of a garden wall, and that the walls constructed were not garden walls. 

Jaime Blessum, applicant, stated that many of the concerns and questions raised were addressed at the on-site meeting and requested approval of the revised project as it meets the City’s requirements.

Peter Haddad, project architect, observed that many of the misunderstandings related to the project were due to the technical information involved and noted that much structural work would be required when the house was being built.

Gary Alexander, Rancho Palos Verdes, inquired as to the actions to be taken in the building of one of the retaining walls to insure that the slope and Mr. Blessum’s house will not slide onto his property.

Planning Director Rojas responded that the wall in question was the one that was to be demolished and a new wall rebuilt.  He explained that this new wall had been reviewed and approved by the City Geologist. 

City Attorney Lynch explained the applicant had an obligation to construct a project that did not damage the property below him.

June Mendez, Rancho Palos Verdes, echoed Mr. Alexander’s concerns and received clarification that if Mr. Blessum builds his project to Code specifications there should not be a problem.

Mr. White inquired if there would be caissons in the garage.  

City Geologist Lancaster clarified that the house itself was to be supported by caissons and the retaining wall and the garage would act as a retaining wall.

Mr. Blessum clarified that the garage is attached to the house and the garage foundation is consistent with the house, so it will all be supported by caissons.

Peter Haddad, project architect, clarified that the backside of the garage would be built as a retaining wall, the garage would have caissons, and noted that when the entire footing is complete it will stabilize the hillside.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern was troubled by the burden placed on residents and City staff by unapproved actions being taken and after-the-fact permits being sought. He inquired if there was any recourse other than doubling the permit cost to try to recoup expenses incurred when people do not play by the rules and suggested an ordinance to address the matter.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he believed some of the issues could have been headed off with better customer service. 

Mayor Long noted that he understood the project as now presented has been reviewed by geologists and is designed in a way that will provide adequate support to the hillside.  He commented that the progress of the project will have to be watched closely by staff, since the applicant’s reputation was not to comply with the ordinances and he agreed with the need to find a way to discourage applicants from doing things like that in the future.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-63, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, THEREBY UPHOLDING THE PLANNING COMMISSION’S CONDITIONAL APPROVAL OF CASE NO. ZON2005-00593, AS AMENDED BY THE APPLICANT, TO ALLOW THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW RESIDENCE, ASSOCIATED GRADING, AND RETAINING WALLS AT 29664 GRANDPOINT LANE, A VACANT LOT. 

A roll call vote reflected the following:

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

RECESS AND RECONVENE

Mayor Long called a brief recess from 8:37 p.m. to 8:55 p.m.

Moratorium on Certain Development within the Landslide Moratorium Area

Planning Director Rojas provided a summary of the material of record and indicated that Glenn Tofani would present additional information.

Glenn Tofani, GeoKinetics, provided a brief history of the moratorium and he pointed out several applicable sections of the City Building Code.  He discussed available survey monument data for the area as a whole noting that there had been a consistent pattern of accelerated movement in the Portuguese Bend area.  He also presented data illustrating the reliability of the information, as well as data indicating that the landslide moves more quickly for an extended period after heavy rains occur.

Councilman Gardiner expressed discomfort with having to make a decision based on new information presented without sufficient time to examine and question the data.

Planning Director Rojas suggested that the item could be deferred until the next meeting if the Council needed more time to absorb the new information.

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Mr. Tofani explained the process for calculating the data noting that the relationship varied dependent upon whether the area being considered was by the ocean or inland.  He indicated that rainfall was the most significant factor in creating movement and the installation of the sewer resulted in a 10-20% reduction in the average rate of landslide movement which provided a significant benefit in stabilizing the landslide, but not sufficient in itself to stop the landslide.

Mr. Tofani explained that survey monuments did not provide a high degree of characterization as to what causes the movement but if there is enough survey data convergent validity can be used to determine the cause.  He indicated that there were survey monuments in the Blue Zone indicating a slower rate of movement seaward, but their investigation dealt mainly with the Abalone Cove area. 

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Mr. Tofani discussed the accuracy and credibility of the survey data gathered noting that there could be low level ongoing movement that is not evident through cracking.  He added that groundwater represented the number one factor affecting land movement and since the majority of the area has very low permeability deposits, dewatering is difficult and more permeable areas upslope are better able to intercept the water.

Mark McLarty, AMEC Earth & Environmental, indicated that dewatering wells provided a benefit to stability, but were not enough to arrest movement.

Councilman Wolowicz inquired if there was sufficient data to make any conclusions about the Blue Zone.

Mr. Tofani reported that periodic movement within the Blue Zone reduced the factor of safety in that area so that it was below 1.5 and very close to 1.0.  He indicated that survey data for the Blue Zone was more sparse than that available for the Red Zone.

Councilman Gardiner questioned the accuracy of GPS equipment, whether the movement was circular or linear toward the ocean, what types of data were used, how comprehensive the data was and about alternate survey methods available, noting that the Council was being asked to make a decision that would dramatically affect the status of residents.  He inquired if it was possible to do an analysis of data to examine the rate of rainfall and the output of the dewatering wells in order to analyze the percentage of the related variance.

Mr. Tofani explained that it would be difficult to do an analysis as rainfall is infinitely variable and the data would be subject to different interpretations.

Scott Kerwin, AMEC Earth & Environmental, reported that the land movement in the landslide areas was toward the ocean. 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern received clarification from Mr. Kerwin that the developed portion of the Blue Zone, which is part of the Klondike Canyon Landslide, was not geologically distinct from the entire Klondike Canyon Landslide. 

Mr. Tofani asserted that the entire area should be considered as a whole and indicated that the upslope areas, some of which are outside the City boundaries, certainly contribute to water infiltration that has a destabilizing affect on Klondike Canyon.

Responding to Mayor Long, Mr. Tofani noted that there was sufficient data to begin to make reasonable predictions, but that as more data is gathered, the preciseness will get better every year.  He concluded that there was enough data available now to model with a reasonable degree of accuracy any mitigation alternative that might be considered, including the installation of additional wells or the installation of a buttress.

Mayor Long opened the public hearing.

Uday Patel, a practicing geotechnical engineer, Rancho Palos Verdes, opined that he believed the letter written by Pacific Geologists and the geology panel report was a broad brush assessment without backup analysis.  He observed that data was primarily related to Abalone Cove and not related to Blue Zone vs. Red Zone.  He stated that he did not believe that policy issues should be decided by engineers; and he referenced Dr. Ehlig’s work.  Mr. Patel noted that he did not feel the Blue and Red Zones were co-dependent, the geology of the area needed more in-depth study, and he wanted to see a comparison.

Responding to Council inquiries, Mr. Patel stated that he was not aware of problems with the performance of homes in the Seaview area.  He acknowledged that Dr. Ehlig had made mistakes, but commented that he was an excellent geologist who spent decades studying the area; and to date no one has come up with new data contradicting him.  Mr. Patel indicated that he believed Klondike Canyon was different, and while Dr. Ehlig overstated the stability of Klondike Canyon, he was not an engineer and did not have the tools then to make the analyses that are available now.

Tim Burrell, Seaview Residents Association, Rancho Palos Verdes, pointed out that there were no working inclinometers for the Blue Zone.  He noted that the report showed there was less risk in the Blue Zone area, reported that the crack in the road that was patched had not reappeared and asserted that the ¼ inch movement was having no affect on the houses in that area.

Responding to an inquiry from Councilman Stern, Mr. Burrell indicated that he did not consider Seaview geologically different from Klondike Canyon but did not believe the area would be affected by the hypothesized disaster.  He asserted that there was nothing new in the report; there were no problems with people remodeling in Seaview; water was the issue, not square footage; a system that minimizes water should be installed; the amount of movement recorded was smaller than the margin for error, so an exception should be in place; and wanted flexibility in regulations noting that if people were motivated to investigate the geology of the area they should be able to remodel. 

Mr. Burrell commented that the proposed ordinance allowing 1,200 square feet would be similar to the regulations in the Red Zone and expressed concern with the potential for hearings to determine similarities between the areas.  He stated that the science, geology and movement in the Blue Zone are the same today as they were in 1981, so the development criteria should be maintained.

Councilman Gardiner questioned the potential impact on Blue Zone residents if they were placed in the Red Zone.

Mr. Burrell reported that it has an impact on the area and indicted he has had to significantly lower the price of his house which is up for sale and noted that the hearings themselves hurt home values.  He stated that if the Seaview area were to be classified as are the homes in the Red Zone there would be a substantial decrease in value.  He cited an earlier report he made that revealed a 10-15% decrease in the value of homes after they were declared to be in the Blue Zone in 1981, but did not support removing all designations in order to increase home values.

Responding to Council inquiry, Mr. Burrell stated it would be appropriate but expensive to differentiate between other areas with a separate set of regulations for each area; he felt it was appropriate to ban building on vacant lots unless a 1.5 factor of safety can be proven; and, he did not think vacant lots in the Blue Zone should be treated differently then vacant lots in the Red Zone, but he noted there were no vacant lots left.  He added that when the dewatering well pump was working, it removed water very effectively and he did not think more dewatering was necessary.

Councilman Wolowicz inquired how willing the neighborhood would be to accept additional fees on an annual basis to maintain the status of the landslide by installing additional devices to measure movement along with additional dewatering wells.

Mr. Burrell stated that the residents in the Seaview area already pay a fee for this type of maintenance; and he stated that he personally had no objection to additional fees, if necessary. 

Responding to Mayor Pro Tem Stern and Councilman Gardiner, Mr. Lancaster felt that the entire area would be impacted by a major landslide event; he considered the Portuguese Bend and Abalone Cove as different landslides with different but similar mechanisms for movement although different factors cause movement at different times.  He suggested that the area has a factor of safety of 1.0 or below at some points, but above that at some points.

Councilman Gardiner commented that the Council was being asked to adopt an ordinance with conflicting evidence from City geologists and residents and he questioned the need for a changed designation for the Blue Zone area after 26 years.

Mayor Long pointed out that all the residents to be affected by this decision are not just the residents in the Seaview area, but include all the taxpayers of the City if the Council makes a bad judgment. 

Mauricio Arregoces, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed concern with the lack of consistency noting disagreement among geologists.  He questioned where the data was; he stated that there was not a great deal of historical information presented; he noted the information presented did not apply to the Blue Zone; he believed a decision was not possible based on the information presented; and, he was confused because the staff recommendation was different than the drafted change to the moratorium.  He added that the Klondike Canyon residents are looking into the possibility of placing additional dewatering wells in the area.

Lenee Bilski, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed dissatisfaction with the geology report; reported that she was still waiting for answers to questions from the workshop; stated that significant differences between Seaview and the Red Zone had not been illustrated; pointed out no acceleration of movement after four seasons of extreme rainfall since 1979-80; and, noted that despite acknowledged creep, Seaview has been developed for 50 years with no damage.

Debbie Berg, Rancho Palos Verdes, suggested that the quantity of data presented was sufficient, but opined that it could have been better organized in order for the Council to make decisions, and she felt the data had not illustrated a risk to public safety in the Blue Zone.  She asserted that preventing residents from remodeling would have a negative financial impact and create blight in the neighborhood and stated that remodeling provided a chance to manage the water and become proactive in dealing with the situation.  She pointed out that there was no mention of the types of soils in the area in the report, noting that different types of soils retain water in different ways.  She requested that the restrictions be removed and that if an assessment district of some sort was necessary the people in the neighborhood would have to take responsibility for that.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

Mayor Long called a brief recess from 11:07 p.m. to 11:19 p.m.

City Attorney Lynch distributed a report prepared by Mr. Kerwin analyzing the Klondike Landslide for the Geologic Society of America back in 1982.

Scott Kerwin reported that there were a number of reports that should be on file with the City with extensive stability analyses of the area and noted that the past performance was no guarantee of future performance.

--------------, Rancho Palos Verdes, briefly summarized the history of her family’s attempt to add on to their house for the past seven years and the financial hardship they have endured as a result of numerous delays. 

-------------------, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported that their house has been vacant during the process and noted that they had received the approval of their project by the neighbors and the Planning Commission; the project was deemed sound, feasible and safe by City geologists and two geotechnical engineers; and, the Planning Commission had made findings that the project was safe.  He stated that the City had approved projects much larger than theirs since 1995 when the City began monitoring the area with markers and pointed out that the GeoKinetics report stressed that the key to ground stability is water intrusion.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern reported for the record that he had spoken with Mr. ------------ previously and commented that the way the ------------- family had worked within the system and with their neighbors was exemplary.  He suggested that a hardship case had been demonstrated and he asked that the matter be agendized.

Councilman Gardiner directed counsel to find a way to let the -------------- family build their house.

City Attorney Lynch stated that the Council could add language within Section 4 that would exempt -------------Drive from the conditions of the moratorium.

Russ Barto, the ------------’s architect, indicated that the plans as developed would have a reduction in the amount of groundwater penetrating the soil.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to grant the ------------ family the ability to proceed with their project. 

A roll call vote reflected the following:

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

City Attorney Lynch reported on the status of other affected homes in the area.
 
Mayor Pro Tem Stern indicated it was important to continue to require the accepted standard of 1.5 factor of safety imposed on all residences.  He did not believe that the Seaview area could be separated from the greater area and inquired how to legitimately differentiate between Seaview and those in other portions of the landslide moratorium, many of whom do not suffer cracked homes.  He pointed out that many people have seen no evidence of movement, but every geologist has stated that just because they do not observe movement does not mean the area is stable.

Councilman Gardiner questioned why a 2,500 square foot addition would be allowed but a 2,500 square foot new home on a vacant lot would not be allowed.

City Attorney Lynch explained that any time a new home is added to an undeveloped lot, new water usage is introduced that was not previously there, which is worse than a large-sized addition.  She acknowledged that the bigger the addition, the harder it is to distinguish between a new house and a remodel, from a legal perspective.  She pointed out that conditions can be imposed in exchange for approving an addition, in order to improve the situation, such as inspecting sewer lines to make sure there is no leakage, eliminating pools and spas for new construction, and recommending other measures like leak detection measures for irrigation systems or Xeriscape to reduce water consumption in existing homes.

Council and staff discussed differences between additions to preexisting homes and new development on vacant lots, differences between the Blue and Red Zone designations, and the problems related to water infiltration in outside irrigation of homes.

Councilman Gardiner indicated that water intrusion should be the limiting criteria rather than the square footage of the home.

Mayor Long inquired what scenario would be worse for the landslide situation:  an original 1950’s 1200 square foot home with a septic system and a 1950’s style irrigation; or a house twice the size connected to a sewer system with a drought resistant landscape free of irrigation. 

Mr. McLarty stated that as long as the resident understands he is in on a unique piece of real estate, the 1950’s home with the septic system would be worse.  

City Attorney Lynch suggested the selection of a cap on square footage that could be added to a house which would be less than a normal newly constructed house. 

Councilman Wolowicz acknowledged that residents in the area were going to be faced with additional costs due to the constant improvement of the dewatering well system in the area and was concerned that measurements be done properly.

City Attorney Lynch clarified that the Upper Abalone Cove Landslide area (Zone 5 and Zone 2) had sewers and sewers were installed in the Portuguese Bend Club.  She reported that there was a requirement that any resident who wanted to add square footage to their home, but was not on a sewer system had to change from a septic system to a holding tank.

Responding to Mayor Long, Planning Director Rojas stated that there had not been a project approved allowing a 600 square foot addition on a home with a septic system since the requirement had been imposed.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern expressed concern about additional lawsuits as he did not feel the facts articulated related to a geological distinction and suggested that building on a vacant lot could reduce the amount of water allowed to go into the soil.

City Attorney Lynch stated that whenever a new house is built water usage is added to the area.

Mr. McLarty reported a study done in Anaheim Hills illustrating a vast difference between the amount of water use between smaller and larger properties.  He explained that even small development areas caused significant infiltration into the groundwater system, whereas it would take over 20 inches of rainfall per year before that same amount of water would infiltrate into the groundwater.

Mayor Long pointed out that there was a basis to distinguish between vacant lots and additions.  He suggested moving forward with a limit of 600 square feet and proposed a study on how to transition since it would take time to structure it in the optimal way. 

Councilman Gardiner indicated that a limit of 1,200 feet was appropriate with the understanding that water intrusion was the focus as he felt that would resolve the issue between the Blue and Red Zone. 

Mayor Long moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to accept the staff recommendation to continue to prohibit new construction on vacant lots within the landslide moratorium area, allow a cumulative maximum of 1,200 square foot additions to a home provided requirements are met, and instructed staff to study and expeditiously bring back a means for replacing or modifying square footage limits based on controlling water intrusions.  The motion included the Blue and Red Zone rules are to stay the same and areas do not need to be renamed;  recommendations should be included regarding deleting pools and spas from the structures, and requiring sewer lines to be inspected; and, an exemption be made for the ------------- home so they could proceed with their project. Staff was instructed to bring back a recommendation with regard to water intrusion criteria.  The discussion continued.

Councilman Wolowicz felt that measuring devices needed to be included in the motion along with effective dewatering devices.

City Attorney Lynch indicated that aspect could not be part of the current item, but staff could return with that at another time.

Mayor Long moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to ADOPT ORDINANCE NO. 459U, AS AMENDED, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES REPEALING URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 427U AND URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 439U AND AMENDING SECTION 15.20.040 K AND SECTION 15.20.050L OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE AND DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF.

A roll call vote reflected the following:
           
            AYES:             Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
            NOES:            None
            ABSENT:       Clark
            ABSTAIN:      None

RECESS AND RECONVENE

Mayor Long called a brief recess from 12:29 A.M. to 12:31 A.M.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to suspend the rules and consider new business after 11:00 P.M. 

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Master Schedule of Fees and Charges for City Services

Mayor Long opened the public hearing.

Deputy City Manager Petru reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published and there were no written protests or requests to speak.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to waive the staff report and close the public hearing.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-64, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, ADOPTING A MASTER SCHEDULE OF FEES AND CHARGES FOR CITY SERVICES. 

A roll call vote reflected the following:

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

Residential Solid Waste and Recycling Rate Adjustments for USA Waste of California DBA Waste Management of Los Angeles for FY07-08

Mayor Long moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to modify the rules and consider this item together with the next item.

Hearing no objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Senior Administrative Analyst Ramezani explained that in future years there would not be requests for extraordinary rate adjustments but there would be annual fuel increases in the rate adjustment. 

Mayor Long opened the public hearing.

There were no speakers.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved to close public hearings, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, and to 1) Approve the maximum rates that USA Waste of California dba Waste Management of Los Angeles can charge single-family customers in FY 07-08; 2) Approve the maximum rates that USA Waste of California dba Waste Management of Los Angeles can charge multi-family customers in FY 07-08; 3) Increase USA Waste of California dba Waste Management of Los Angeles’s FY 07-08 approved single-family rates by $0.69/month/account for extraordinary rate increase for fuel costs.  This is in addition to the $0.26/month per account that was approved in FY 06-07; 4) Approve increasing USA Waste of California dba Waste Management of Los Angeles’s FY 07-08 approved multi-family rates by $0.95/month per bin for extraordinary rate increase for fuel costs; and, 5) Increase the City’s FY 07-08 Collector Fee by $27,260.  This includes the Collector Fee on the fuel charges.

A roll call vote reflected the following:
           
            AYES:             Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
            NOES:            None
            ABSENT:       Clark
            ABSTAIN:      None

Residential Solid Waste and Recycling Rate Adjustments for Universal Waste Systems, Inc. for FY07-08

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to close the public hearing and to 1) Approve the maximum rate that Universal Waste Systems, Inc. can charge single-family accounts in FY 07-08; 2) Approve the maximum rate that Universal Waste Systems, Inc. can charge multi-family customers in FY 07-08; 3) Increase Universal Waste Systems, Inc.’s approved FY 07-08 single-family rates for an extraordinary rate increase for fuel in the amount of $1.36 per month per account; 4) Approve increasing Universal Waste Systems, Inc.’s approved FY 07-08 multi-family rates by $1.36/month per bin for extraordinary rate increase for fuel costs; and, 5) Increase the City’s FY 07-08 Collector Fee by $1,785.  This includes the Collector Fee for the fuel charges.

 A roll call vote reflected the following:
           
            AYES:             Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
            NOES:            None
            ABSENT:       Clark
            ABSTAIN:      None

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

Border Issues Status Report

The Council discussed conversations that several of them had with Councilman Zerunyan of the City of Rolling Hills Estates and decided against adopting a formal resolution.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to 1) Review the current status of border issues; and 2) Authorize the Mayor to sign a letter to the City Council of the City of Rolling Hills Estates requesting the City Council to consider the imposition of a temporary development moratorium on the area within the proposed Peninsula Village Overlay Zone.
Hearing no objection, Mayor Long so ordered.
PVDS Road Signage at the Landslide Area

Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, suggested flexible signage that can change as the conditions change, so that current road conditions are reflected.  She also requested signage that does not interfere with pedestrian traffic on the roadside.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Public Works Director Bell indicated that staff was looking at ways to improve the area and they were aware of uses other than cars in the corridor.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 1) Approve removal of the existing road signage and replacement of the new signage recommended by the consulting Traffic Engineer; and 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION 2007-65, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, FOR NEW BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006-07 IN THE AMOUNT OF $19,000 WITH A $5,000 CONTINGENCY FOR A TOTAL OF $24,000. 

A roll call vote reflected the following:
           
            AYES:             Gardiner, Stern, Wolowicz, and Mayor Long
            NOES:            None
            ABSENT:       Clark
            ABSTAIN:      None

Items Removed From The Consent Calendar:

Approval of Minutes – February 20, 2007

Councilman Gardiner wanted to make sure that his inquiries regarding whether the builder had to use equivalent fixtures and plumbing for the market-rate homes and the affordable housing were reflected in the minutes as he intended to pursue that point.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern stated that he did not arrive at the February 20, 2007 meeting until about 9:30 p.m., but believed that discussion Councilman Gardiner was referring to took place at a different meeting.

Mayor Long moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to instruct staff to review the video recordings of the meeting of February 20, 2007 as well as the following meeting to find the pertinent statements and include them in the minutes as appropriate; with the Minutes of February 20, 2007, continued for consideration at a later date.  Hearing no objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Construction Contract for Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal Project (Area No. 9)

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 1) Approve construction plans; 2) Award a contract for the construction of the Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal Project to Sequel Contractor, Inc. for the contract bid amount of $1,487,142.25, and authorized a contingency in the amount of $148,272.75 for possible extra work or unforeseen conditions, for a total authorization of $1,635,415; 3) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with Sequel Contractors, Inc.; 4) Direct staff to bring back to Council a budget adjustment for the project in the amount of $75,000; 5) Award a contract to CBM Consulting, for the Contract Management, and Inspection services in an amount not to exceed $70,000; and 6) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with CBM Consulting.

A roll call vote reflected the following: 

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

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern reported attending the League of California Cities meeting on May 3; a luncheon with staff and the Annenberg Foundation on May 9; and the California Contract Cities Conference the weekend of May 18-20, 2007.

Mayor Long reported a productive meeting with Councilman Gardiner and the Channel 33 Subcommittee on June 4, 2007.  He indicated that minutes were being prepared and would help define issues that the Council would need to address regarding Channel 33 prior to the end of the fiscal year. 

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

None.

ADJOURNMENT:

At 1:05 A.M. the Council adjourned to Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. to interview candidates for the Finance Advisory Committee in the Fireside Room at Hesse Park.

 

                                                                                                /s/ Thomas D. Long
                                                                                                             Mayor

Attest:

 

/s/ Carla Morreale
       City Clerk