MINUTES RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING JULY 17, 2007 MINUTES RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING JULY 17, 2007

MINUTES RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING JULY 17, 2007

MINUTES
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
JULY 17, 2007

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor Long at Fred Hesse Community Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard and was immediately recessed into closed session.  The meeting reconvened at 7:04 P.M.
 
City Council roll call was answered as follows:

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

Also present were City Manager Carolyn Lehr, City Attorney Carol Lynch, Deputy City Manager Carolynn Petru, Director of Planning, Building & Code Enforcement Joel Rojas, Director of Public Works Jim Bell, Director of Finance/Information Technology Dennis McLean, Recreation Supervisor Holly Starr, Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost, Senior Engineer Siamak Motahari, Director of Recreation and Parks Ron Rosenfeld, Senior Administrative Analyst Matt Waters, Administrative Analyst II Karen Peterson, and City Clerk Carla Morreale.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Rojas.

CEREMONIAL:

Mayor Long thanked the U.S. Coast Guard for providing the year-long exhibit at the Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center (PVIC) and presented them with a book by Mary Donovan titled A Special Place: A Picture Story of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Mayor Long announced that a new exhibit “Marineland Remembered” had opened on July 14th at PVIC, thanked staff and the Marineland Remembered Exhibit Committee volunteer members for their hard work on the exhibit, and briefly summarized highlights of the exhibit.
 
MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

None.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Long announced Doris Thompson and Patricia L. Jensen as Recyclers of the Month from the July 3, 2007 City Council meeting.  He indicated that all winners receive a check for $250 representing a year of free refuse service and urged everyone to participate in the City’s recycling program. 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA:

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve the Agenda with Items 14 and 15 moved to be heard immediately after the Consent Calendar.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: 

Jessica Leeds, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed concern with the disregard the Trump National organization had shown the neighbors, City, and Council by violating the restriction that there be no building or landscaping above the berm on the Driving Range that is parallel to the ocean.  She reported that the Trump National organization planted two rows of ficus trees in this location and stated that a site investigation should be conducted.

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Planning Director Rojas clarified that the Trump National organization was being treated no differently than any other business in the City and was required to follow the same procedures.

Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, suggested that the practice of the recycle drawing be revisited with the available funds directed instead to clearing the roadside or trimming trees in the City’s right-of-ways to improve public trail access.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

City Manager Lehr provided a brief history of the budget process noting that staff had created a budget that satisfied the needs of the City.  She explained that while government mandates have increased and the demand for services has grown over the years, staff had increased little or not at all and budgets do not remain static.  She indicated that even though Council authorized the hiring of the four requested staff positions at the previous meeting, it was clear that the Council was divided on the issue.  She stated that given the vocal opposition to the addition of staff, she had decided to delay the hiring until the results of the Organization-Wide Management Study were presented.  She noted that it was important to have the support of the Council as she sought to expedite the Management Study.

The Council discussed the matter and concurred with the City Manager’s recommendation.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

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

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the Consent Calendar with Item 4 removed for separate consideration.

A roll call vote reflected unanimous approval, with Councilman Gardiner abstaining from voting on the minutes as he was not present for either meeting, and Councilman Clark abstaining from voting on the minutes of May 1, 2007 as he was not present at that meeting.

EMERGENCY ROAD RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT

Palos Verdes Drive South Landslide (East End) Road Reconstruction (1204 X 1404

Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on June 5, 2007, authorizing staff to proceed with emergency repairs to the roadway along Palos Verdes Drive South within the Portuguese Bend Landslide.

OTHER CONSENT CALENDAR ITEMS:

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 (301)

Approved the minutes of the April 17, 2007 and May 1, 2007 Regular Meetings, with
Councilman Gardiner abstaining on the approval of both sets of minutes, and
Councilman Clark abstaining on the approval of the May 1, 2007 Minutes.

Border Issues Status Report (310)

This item was removed from the Consent Calendar for separate consideration.

Landscape Improvements on the North Side of Palos Verdes Drive South (PVDS) at Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE) (1404 X 1204)

1) Awarded a contract for landscape improvements on the north side of Palos Verdes Drive South at Palos Verdes Drive East to America West Landscape, Inc., in the amount not to exceed $76,109.56 and authorized staff to spend an additional $8,000 for potential change orders which may result from unforeseen conditions for a total authorization of $84,109.56; 2) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute the contract with America West Landscape, Inc.; and, 3) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-82, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2007-70, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2007-2008, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,000 TO THE CITY’S STREET MAINTENANCE NON-PAVEMENT PROGRAM.

Notice of Completion of Roof Replacement Project at City Hall (Sign Shop and Maintenance Shed Buildings) and Ladera Linda Park Buildings to Lavey Roofing Services, Inc. (1204 X 1201)

1) Accepted the work done by Lavey Roofing Services, Inc. on the replacement of roofs at City Hall (Sign Shop, and Maintenance Shed Buildings), and Ladera Linda Park Buildings, as completed; 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 after recordation of the Notice and upon the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond, City Clerk shall notify Safeco Insurance Company of America to exonerate both the Payment and Performance Bonds; and 3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to Lavey Roofing Services, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the City Clerk at the Los Angeles County Recorder’s office, contingent upon no claims being filed against the project.

Notice of Completion for the Storm Drain Rehabilitation Project – Lining Phase II – Including Rehabilitation of the Monero Drive Storm Drain (602 X 604 X 1204)

1) Accepted the work as complete; 2) Authorized the City Clerk to file a Notice of Completion with the County Recorder; and if no claims are filed within 35 days after recordation, 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 Sancon Technologies, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder’s office, contingent upon no claims being filed against the project.

Approve Master Agreement No. 07-5413R and Program Supplement Agreement No. 007-N for Street Improvements on Hawthorne Boulevard and Palos Verdes Drive West (PVDW) (1404)

1) Approved Master Agreement No. 07-5413R and Program Supplement Agreement No. 007-N for street improvements on Hawthorne Blvd. and PVDW; and, 2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-83, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CITY CLERK TO EXECUTE THE AGREEMENT.

Gifts for Parks (602)

Accepted the Gifts for Parks donation and directed staff to prepare letters for the Mayor’s signature expressing the Council’s appreciation.     

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-84, 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.

            #                      #                      #                      #                      #                      #

Traffic and Roadway Safety Programs (1502)

City Clerk Morreale reported that late correspondence was distributed on this item prior to the meeting.

Public Works Director Bell and Senior Engineer Motahari provided a summary staff report.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Public Works Director Bell explained that the budget for Professional Traffic Engineering Services is approximately $65,000, but the expeditures have historically been higher, varying between $98,000 to $133,000 annually.  He explained that for the current year, funds from an unfilled position were credited towards Traffic Engineering services and indicated that the issue was to determine how to address the baseline projects and programs which total approximately $145,000.  He stated that the City currently has approximately $200,000 in the program, but that a determination needs to be made as to the list of traffic safety projects the Council desires to prioritize.  Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Public Works Director Bell stated that he had not seen a referenced list of possible action items for Palos Verdes Drive East (PVDE), but reported that he had researched the work that has been performed on PVDE.  He noted that many roadway studies and improvements have been made on Palos Verdes Drive East including the following: Traffic Engineer Rydell conducted an exhaustive study regarding stop conditions on PVDE to afford better crossing conditions for pedestrians and equestrians which resulted in the decision that it was not feasible to place the stops; the need for some parallel trails along PVDE which resulted in the construction of the Sunnyside Ridge Trail Project which provided a parallel corridor in the constrained portion of the switchback area; and extensive striping project in the Ganado area of PVDE that the Traffic Safety Commission had worked on as a result of resident complaints.  He concluded that the there were areas that still needed to be reviewed such as issues related to bicycle safety and school crossings for children. 

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Public Works Director Bell reported that as a result of grants written by Traffic Engineer Rydell, the City had received over $300,000 and several additional grants were pending.  He indicated that Traffic Engineer Rydell would be available to attend Traffic Safety Commission meetings and staff had suggested an abbreviated minute taking method to make better use of funding.

Councilmembers discussed the item and decided the Traffic Safety Commission should review the report and provide feedback to the Council before the Council made any decisions regarding projects.  Council discussed CDBG funds and Public Works Director Bell explained that CDBG funds were available for qualified neighborhoods, noting the funding was limited and applied mostly to assistance with the home improvement programs. 

City Attorney Lynch explained that the American Disability Act (ADA) funds must be used for bringing restrooms and other projects up to ADA standards, while CDBG funds must be used to improve projects in blighted areas.  She added that many streets within the redevelopment area that are blighted are private streets and the funds cannot be used there. 

Public Works Director Bell acknowledged that providing ADA ramps throughout the City is a looming issue, but clarified that the entire amount of money was not immediately necessary for this ongoing project.  He reported that all street resurfacing projects included the addition of ADA sidewalk ramps, and areas in the City without road construction projects were addressed incrementally each year.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, City Manager Lehr clarified that staff was considering the use of action minutes, instead of highly detailed minutes, as being something reasonable for the needs of the Traffic Safety Commission.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern stated that as a decision maker considering recommendations from the Traffic Safety Commission, he did not find action minutes acceptable.  He indicated it was imperative that the minutes be detailed enough so that one could understand the action taken and why it was decided in that particular manner.

Ava Jordan-Shepherd, Traffic Safety Commission Chair, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported that staff had made some adjustments to the budget that she and the Commissioners had not been aware of.  She cited the importance of Traffic Engineer Rydell to traffic safety in the City and was surprised when he announced that he would no longer be available to support the Traffic Safety Commission at their meetings or in the office because the scope of his contract had been reduced.  Ms. Jordan-
Shepherd indicated that she wanted to work with staff so that detailed minutes could be taken despite the reduction in the budget.

Councilman Gardiner inquired about the reactions of the other Traffic Safety Commissioners to the proposed modifications.

Ms. Jordan-Shepherd reported that the Commissioners were displeased and willing to speak to the Council if necessary to voice their objections, but staff had since indicated that Mr. Rydell would be attending the meetings.

Commissioner Gardiner expressed concern that the Commissioners might believe they did not have Council support; indicated the matter of support to Committees and Commissions was a policy issue; and suggested formalizing Commission budgets.  He inquired if other Commissions had their funding reduced.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern inquired if funding was available to resolve the issue; suggested that money from the proposed positions that were not filled could be allocated to the Traffic Safety Commission; favored a budget adjustment over reduction of services; and indicated the support of the Traffic Safety Commission be maintained at an acceptable level. 

City Manager Lehr reported that the City’s Committees and Commissions require different levels of support; funding was not reduced for the Traffic Safety Commission; Public Works was beginning to develop a work plan to address the many traffic issues; and the budget for the Traffic Engineer was being exceeded due to the assigned projects.

Mayor Long stated that he was grateful that the Traffic Safety Commission alerted the Council that there was a proposal to reduce support to the Commission; noted he received confirmation that other Commissions had not reported similar concerns; and, observed that City Manager Lehr was working to bring budget issues in line after a spike in Traffic Safety Commission expenses.

Councilman Clark suggested that a form of summary minutes could be efficiently used instead of verbatim minutes by the Traffic Safety Commission in order to give a clear synopsis of the matters discussed at the meeting and that budget adjustments should be made as necessary to address specific traffic safety calming programs.

Senior Engineer Motahari clarified that Traffic Engineer Rydell was not told that he could not attend the meetings and that there was a misunderstanding of the discussion to reduce costs, while staff understood that action minutes were not acceptable.

Mayor Long indicated that feedback from the Traffic Safety Commission regarding their recommendation on the level of projects and programs listed in the staff report would be helpful.  He noted that he understood the baseline work was being performed at present, but thought that the Commission might recommend additional projects to be done as the funds become available. 

Councilman Gardiner stated he would like to see the recommendations from the Traffic Safety Commission and noted that he found the estimates for grant writing too low. 

Ms. Jordan-Shepherd reported that staff had indicated that in the future the Traffic Safety Commission would be involved as a partner when the budget was to be discussed and developed so are able to give input into the matter.  She reported that the Traffic Safety Commission had been asked to create a plan to address traffic calming and reduce speeding in the City by July 31, 2007, and that a Special Committee was formed in February to review and revise the City’s current traffic calming program and compare the program to that of other cities.  She summarized the Committee’s goals, objectives, the proposed elements, and the review and approval process and schedule.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Ms. Jordan Shepherd stated that the traffic calming program was a quality of life issue and would fall under the desirable category rather than the important or baseline category.  She noted that the Commission would be examining guidelines at to the process for residents to request traffic calming in their neighborhoods, with the goals to streamline the process and provide additional revenue streams so that the funding does not have to come out of the budget. 

Public Works Director Bell explained that the item was placed under desirable because current traffic calming items have no budget associated with them and when the Traffic Safety Commission takes action on the matter, it would be the hope that funding would be available for the program.  He clarified that it was not mandatory that money be allocated for desirable projects and stated it would be helpful to the Commission to know the amount of funding available to support their recommendation to City Council.

Councilman Gardiner suggested that the traffic calming policy document be separated from specific traffic calming projects at the next presentation.

Public Works Director Bell indicated that staff would like Council direction on the traffic and roadway safety programs so that adjustments could be made to effectuate the programs.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to 1) Review and file the report; and, 2) Directed staff to take the report to the Traffic Safety Commission for discussion and comments, with the item to be returned to Council with recommendations at a future meeting.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Status Update: Traffic Calming in Residential Neighborhoods (1502)

The Council reviewed and filed the report.

Mayor Long called a brief recess from 8:42 P.M. to 8:57 P.M.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:

Amendment to Revision "BB" to the Trump National Golf Course Project - Flag Pole (1411)

City Clerk Morreale reported that the public hearing was continued from the June 19, 2007 City Council Meeting and she had received one request to speak on the item.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost provided a summary staff report.

Responding to Councilman Clark, City Attorney Lynch clarified that staff’s position was that since the Coastal Permit was approved by the Coastal Commission, any revision to the Coastal Permit component of the project would have to be approved first by the City and then by the Coastal Commission.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost stated that although the Trump Organization had hoped the item could be approved at the staff level, he had received information from Coastal Commission staff that the item would be brought before the Commission as a public hearing.

Councilman Clark stated it would be optimistic to think the item would be heard by the Coastal Commission before the end of 2007.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern observed that the City should not accept ownership until all of the permit issues were resolved.

Mayor Long opened the floor for public speakers.

Mike Vandergoes, Trump National Organization, reported that his staff was working on having the minor revision to the amendment placed on the Coastal Commission schedule in the near future.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Long, to relocate the flagpole to Founder’s Park at half the height that it presently exists. 

Councilman Wolowicz expressed his opposition to the flagpole, not the flag, and opined that all property owners should have to adhere to the same rules.

Mayor Long stated that at the time of his original vote he opined the flagpole was an aberration, but recent events have indicated that it may not have been.  He noted that he would not support the motion, but would be watching as events unfold while the permit application is pending and hoped the outcome would be positive.

Mayor Long closed the public hearing.

The motion failed on the following roll call vote:

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

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to adopt the staff recommendation to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-85, AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CONDITIONALLY APPROVING AN AMENDMENT TO REVISION “BB”, thereby changing the existing action deadline from “May 20, 2007” to 60 days after final action by the California Coastal Commission, and adding a new condition requiring the Applicant to submit a complete application to the California Coastal Commission prior to August 17, 2007. 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved to amend the motion to require a date to apply for the permit and noted the August 17, 2007 date was appropriate.  He did not want to see the item left open-ended and clarified that although he would support the item he did not support the flagpole.

Councilman Gardiner and Councilman Clark accepted the amendment.

The motion passed on the following roll call vote:

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

PAUSE TO CONSIDER THE REMAINDER OF THE AGENDA:

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

Policy Regarding the Location of Affordable Housing Units in the City (701)

Deputy Planning Director Pfost provided a summary staff report. 

Councilman Wolowicz cited the difficulty of requiring onsite affordable housing for small development projects and inquired if staff could identify a viable size of development for the inclusion of an affordable housing component.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost stated that it would be difficult to create a specific threshold number of units for smaller developments and proposed that the developer would have to demonstrate the infeasibility of providing onsite affordable housing.

City Attorney Lynch suggested that a stand alone or granny unit could be incorporated into a five-unit project and clarified that the developer would have to demonstrate that adding the unit would make the project economically infeasible to build. 

Responding to Councilman Gardiner’s concerns with the developers’ interpretation of infeasible, Deputy Planning Director Pfost explained that the Council had previously made a decision in a similar situation where “in lieu of” language in the Code and a feasibility report was analyzed to help define how that was measured.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he would like to see a measure, such as the internal rate of return on the project, so that there was a clear and simple understanding as to the criteria to be examined when determining the feasibility of affordable housing for a development. 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to approve Policy Issue No. 1, to provide a stronger message to developers that construction of affordable housing units on-site is preferable to off-site construction.

Responding to Councilman Gardiner, Deputy Planning Director Pfost explained that affordable housing costs were indexed in the County the property was located in, based on median income.

Mayor Long expressed concern that emphasizing on-site affordable housing was not always practical and might conflict with the desire to use affordable housing credits most effectively.  He advised that it might be reasonable to review the process after a couple of years experience with the matter. 

A roll call vote on the motion passed as follows:

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

City Attorney Lynch stated that there might be public speakers on this item and Mayor Long invited public comment on the item.

Donald Davis, partner with the law firm Burke, Williams and Sorenson, representing Marymount College, reiterated Marymount College’s willingness to comply with the City’s requirements to construct affordable housing on-site; pointed out that the Marymount project was non-residential which raised different issues; indicated that Marymount was committed to providing affordable housing as part of the project; and reported that it was feasible to create 4-8 units of affordable housing as part of the project by creating studio or two bedroom apartments within the two residence halls, to be used by resident advisors, college employees, or employees of the contractors of Marymount that satisfy the low to very low income requirements under the State housing law.  He explained that he had discussed the issue with staff at the State Housing and Community Development Department, who indicated that as long as the units in the project were approved by the City and met the definition of affordable housing units, they could be counted toward the City’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) numbers.  He concluded that there was the potential to construct up to 15 units of affordable housing within the residence halls, and noted that he would like the consideration of potential amendments to Section 140 as the modernization plan for Marymount comes forward, which presents a unique opportunity to construct much needed on-site affordable housing units. 

Shaida Kafe-ee, staff member at Marymount College, acknowledged the challenge to find local affordable housing opportunities in the area and welcomed the possible opportunity for staff and faculty to live on campus.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost explained Policy Issue No. 2 as the decision for Council to determine if they wanted to limit the total number of off-site affordable housing units to no more than 5% or 10% of the total number housing units at that site.

Council and staff discussed the Policy Issue No. 2 and agreed that flexibility was important and they wanted to maintain the ability to control the location of the units.

City Attorney Lynch suggested setting a threshold to address the matter of the potential  clustering of affordable housing units, so that a developer would not be able to build affordable housing units at a specific site if there were already a certain number of affordable housing units in that location.  She noted that the Council would always have the authority to make changes if they desired.

Mayor Long expressed concern with an ad hoc standard and a decision making process based on statements made by the public on a particular day; commented that such a decision process exposed the City to liability; and, stated that he preferred that a set of criteria be developed as to the basis for denial of affordable housing units.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Long, that if the developer were permitted to build affordable housing units off-site, Council should have the discretion to approve or disapprove the location, with staff to return to Council with suggested criteria for consideration, including the element of “not to exceed” a maximum percentage of affordable units per location. 

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Deputy Planning Director Pfost explained Policy Issue No. 3, that the State allowed cities to meet 25% of the City’s allocation of affordable housing units with existing units and inquired if the City should develop a policy whereby developers are required to first try to provide a new construction unit; and then, if that is determined infeasible, allow that a conversion unit would be permitted. 

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, that the City allow the developer a choice to construct new units or convert existing units on a first come, first served basis, until there were no longer existing units available.

The motion passed with the following roll call vote:

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

Council and staff determined that Policy Issue No. 4, regarding conversion units to be allowed on a first come, first served basis was resolved by Council action on policy Issue No. 3. 

Deputy Planning Director Pfost explained Policy No. 5 to be the determination of if there is a preference for conversion units to be located only in existing condominium subdivisions or also located in existing single-family residential tracts.

Staff and the Council discussed intra-regional swap guidelines between cities; inter-jurisdictional transfers; single-family residential tracts; and the construction of second units or granny flats.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the staff recommendation for no preference to conversion units existing in condominium or single-family residential tracts.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Mayor Long moved to have staff investigate the assignment of affordable housing to specified workforces such as school teachers, sheriff’s deputies or public employees as that could remove some of the concerns associated with affordable housing and also allow the entities that provide services to be in closer proximity.  The motion died for lack of a second.

City Attorney Lynch observed there were many issues connected with assigning affordable housing and that situation could be problematic.

Mayor Long called a brief recess from 9:58 P.M. to 10:04 P.M.

Fee Waiver for a Portion of Building & Safety Permit Fees and a Review of the Permit Process Associated with the Reconstruction of a Fire-Damaged Residence at 58 Avenida Corona (1203)

City Clerk Morreale reported that she distributed late correspondence prior to the meeting.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to continue the item to a Council meeting when the resident could be present.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Girls’ Softball at Upper Hesse Park  (1502)

Mayor Long waived the staff report.

Responding to Mayor Pro Tem Stern, City Attorney Lynch explained that the prevailing wage issue was avoided as long as construction of the fields was not paid by City monies.  She added that the proposed contribution by the City to purchase new bleachers for the fields would have to be completely separate from the construction and would stand completely alone. 

Mayor Long explained that the Palos Verdes Peninsula Girls’ Softball League (PVPGSL) was planning to raise the money for the entire cost of the construction of the softball field and the costs decreased by more than 50% by having the work performed by the PVPGSL as opposed to the City performing the construction.

Councilman Gardiner moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve staff’s recommendation to authorize the contribution of up to $20,000 from the Environmental Excise Tax fund for the installation of new bleachers in conjunction with the construction of a new Girls’ Softball Field at Upper Hesse Park.

A roll call vote reflected unanimous approval.

2.5% @ 55 Employee Retirement Formula – Contract Amendment with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (1202)

City Clerk Morreale noted that she distributed late correspondence prior to the meeting.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to waive the staff report and approve the staff recommendation.

Responding to Councilman Wolowicz, Deputy City Manager Petru clarified that the pay off of the existing side-fund liability was not included in this recommendation since Council had previously given direction to staff to refinance that liability.  

Councilman Wolowicz asked for a split vote on the recommendation, as he did not want to send mixed signals about his position on the matter.

Responding to Mayor Long, Deputy City Manager Petru clarified that there was a smoothing policy implemented for the accumulated side-fund liability; that the City was required to be placed in a pool with all other cities with the same retirement formula and population under 50,000; the employees voted in favor of paying half of the cost of the 2.5% @ 55 retirement plan enhancement; but noted that the employees have not yet voted regarding the post-retirement health care plan, which was still to be scheduled.

Staff and Council discussed specifics of the plan and Councilman Wolowicz received clarification that the post-retirement health care plan would be a defined contribution plan.

Councilman Wolowicz noted that his comments and the comments of the Chair of the Finance Advisory Committee regarding their positions on this issue were included in the late correspondence provided prior to the meeting.  He noted that any changes he would propose in the future would not affect existing employees.

Mayor Long commented that the Finance Advisory Committee’s position was that the City’s overall benefits package was not competitive with what was being offered by comparable cities, which made them run the risk of becoming a “farm team.”  He noted that Councilman Wolowicz had questioned whether government agencies should be offering defined benefit plans as opposed to defined contribution plans, but noted that he believed that such a decision was not necessarily in their purview. 

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 461, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AUTHORIZING AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONTRACT BETWEEN THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AND THE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION OF THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR THE 2.5% @ 55 RETIREMENT FORMULA. 

The motion passed on the following roll call vote:

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

Mayor Long stated the second part of the motion was to use the surplus in the Employee Benefits Fund to pay down the increased side-fund liability resulting from the change in the employees’ retirement formula to 2.5% @ 55.

The motion passed on the following roll call vote:

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

Channel 33 Business Plan, Operating Policies and Proposed Service Contract (305)

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to continue the item to the August 7, 2007 City Council Meeting when the Channel 33 Station Manager would be available.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern reported that he and Councilman Gardiner acted as liaisons with Donald Trump and residents of the Portuguese Bend Club on July 11, 2007 regarding an issue surrounding trees on the west side of the golf course property and permits that have been filed to allow the trees to remain.

Councilman Gardiner commented that he found the meeting with Mr. Trump and the residents meaningful and useful and was hopeful that there were procedures in place that would lead to a resolution of the situation.

Councilman Wolowicz reported that all Councilmembers had attended the July 4th  celebration event at City Hall and complimented staff in their efforts.  He reported on his attendance on July 6, 2007, at the Palos Verdes Peninsula Transit Authority subcommittee meeting to select an auditor. 

Councilman Clark also complimented staff on the 4th of July City celebration and reported on attending a recent Coastal Commission meeting in San Luis Obispo.

Mayor Long reported meeting with a Marymount College representative on July 11, 2007, to discuss affordable housing; attending the City’s July 4th celebration event; and participating in the opening on July 13, 2007, for the “Marineland Remembered” Exhibit at PVIC.

ITEM REMOVED FROM CONSENT CALENDAR:

Border Issues Status Report (310)

Councilman Clark inquired if Mr. Bisno’s proposal to give purchase priority and 5% discounts to San Pedro residents was legal.

City Attorney Lynch commented that while it was a private property transaction, she acknowledged there were interesting legal ramifications to the issue.

Councilman Wolowicz reported attending the Ponte Vista Citizens’ Advisory Committee meeting and expressing personal opposition to the project.

Councilman Clark expressed disappointment in the small reduction of density of the Ponte Vista project and inquired about the potential number of potential units that an
R-1 density would yield.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to receive and file the current status of border issues.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

COUNCIL DISCUSSION & SUGGESTION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:

Councilman Gardiner requested that a discussion of contracting out IT services for the City be placed on a future agenda.

Councilman Clark asked the City Manager to identify and bring back an agenda item with a specific schedule for the Organization-Wide Management Study including the following: 1) the date for Council member interviews with the prospective consultant firms; 2) the date the study would be initiated; and, 3) the date the results would be available.

Mayor Long suggested that both proposed items should be brought back together.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch reported that no action was taken in Closed Session.

ADJOURNMENT:

Councilman Wolowicz moved adjournment.

Mayor Long adjourned the meeting at 10:43 p.m. to Tuesday, August 7, 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