SEPTEMBER 18, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SEPTEMBER 18, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES







SEPTEMBER 18, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

MINUTES
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
SEPTEMBER 18, 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 7:24 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, Deputy Director of Finance/Information Technology Kathryn Downs, Deputy Planning Director Greg Pfost, Principal Planner Ara Mihranian, Associate Planner Kit Fox, Associate Planner Leza Mikhail, Senior Information Technician Robert Arthur, Director of Recreation and Parks Ron Rosenfeld, Recreation Services Manager Holly Starr, and Deputy City Clerk Teresa Takaoka.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Mayor Pro Tem Stern.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS: 

Mayor Long read a portion of the proclamation by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles designating September as National Preparedness Month, expressed appreciation to Richard Kimball-Smith for his work as the Chairman of the Emergency Preparedness Committee, and thanked the community’s emergency volunteers for their efforts.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Long announced Recyclers of the Month from the September 4, 2007 City Council meeting, Sirichai Pongmanopap and William Semos.  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:

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the Agenda as presented.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:
 
George Fink, Chair of the Ladera Linda Homeowner’s Association Outreach Committee, Rancho Palos Verdes, asked that horse trailer parking be made available on Palos Verdes Drive South adjacent to the Portuguese Bend Nature Preserve until the proposed Equestrian Center was completed.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

City Manager Lehr introduced a new member of staff, Robert Arthur, Senior Information Technician.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Councilman Wolowicz asked that Item 6 be pulled for separate consideration.

Councilman Gardiner indicated that he wanted to vote “no” on Item 4.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to approve the Consent Calendar with Item 6 removed for further consideration.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

* Councilman Clark recused himself from voting on Item 3
** Councilman Gardiner voted “no” on Item 4

EMERGENCY ROAD RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT:

Mossbank Storm Drain Rehabilitation (1204 x 604)
    
Reviewed and reconfirmed by a four/fifths (4/5) vote, the Council’s previous action on August 21, 2007, authorizing staff to proceed with emergency repairs to the Mossbank Drive storm drain.

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 June 5, 2007 Regular Meeting.

Adoption of Ordinance No. 463 - Code Amendment (Case Nos. ZON2007-00076 and ZON2007-00311) Miscellaneous Code Amendment                    (1801)

ADOPTED ORDINANCE NO. 463, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS OF CHAPTERS 17.02, 17.06, 17.48, 17.60, 17.78 AND 17.84 OF TITLE 17 (ZONING) OF THE CITY’S MUNICIPAL CODE.

Approval of Membership in the California JPIA for the Pomona Valley Transportation Authority and the Marin County Open Space District    (902)

Authorized the Mayor, as the City Council’s delegate to the California Joint Powers Insurance Agency, to vote in favor of the Pomona Valley Transportation Authority and the Marin County Open Space District being accepted as new members.

FY06-07 Continuing Appropriations and Year-End Budget Adjustments (602)
 
This item was removed from the Consent Calendar for separate consideration.

Third System Performance Audit of the 2000 Cable Television Franchise Agreement with Cox Communications                                                       (605)

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-98, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, MAKING FINDINGS IN CONNECTION WITH THE THIRD SCHEDULED SYSTEM PERFORMANCE AUDIT OF THE 2000 CABLE TELEVISION FRANCHISE AGREEMENT WITH COX COMMUNICATIONS.

Purchase of Tax Defaulted Property on East Crest Road        (950)

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-99, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF TAX-DEFAULTED PROPERTY AND AMENDING RESOLUTION 2007-70, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2007-2008, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT OF $5,500 TO THE CITY’S GENERAL FUND.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-100, 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:

None.

PAUSE TO CONSIDER THE REMAINDER OF THE AGENDA:

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

Management Consultant for the Organization-Wide Management Assessment  (1101)               

City Manager Lehr provided clarification on certain items within the agreement.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Stern, to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a Professional Services Agreement with Management Partners, Inc. to conduct an Organization-Wide Management Assessment.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

Application for State of California Recreational Trails Grant for the Sunnyside Segment Trail Connection and Trailhead and Trail Improvements at the Forrestal Nature Preserve (602 x 701 x 1203)

Deputy City Clerk Takaoka noted that she had distributed late correspondence prior to the meeting and that she had received 8 requests to speak on the item.

Mayor Long explained the rules for public speaking for the audience.

Principal Planner Mihranian provided a summary staff report.

Council and staff discussion focused on the following issues:  the size of the grant; the implications and procedure if the City decided against pursuing the project in the planning stage; and, the necessary public hearing requirements for the project.

George Fink, Chair, Ladera Linda Homeowners Association, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in favor of the grant application and was pleased to have participated in the planning of the Forrestal Nature Preserve.

Ken Rieger, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced concern with the public notification of the item and spoke in opposition to the Sunnyside portion of the proposal.  He requested that Council vote for Alternative No. 2.
 
Council and staff discussion focused on retaining wall options, ADA compliance for the trails, and potential design costs in excess of grant funding.

John DiGirolamo, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in opposition to the plan for a Sunnyside Segment Trail Connection as his home would be directly affected by the proposed Sunnyside trailhead and associated structures to network the trail system.  He explained that he did not believe that the topography of the area would allow a viable solution.

Robert Laman, Rancho Palos Verdes, spoke in support of the item but voiced concerns with trail erosion problems and horse droppings.

Pat Podditori, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he had not received notification of the item before Council.  He asserted that the proposal was very different than the plan he was shown when he bought his home; he noted that he had concerns with safety and liability.

Gordon Leon, Chair of the Equestrian Committee, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported on a public hearing held with the affected homeowners and spoke in support of funding a study to examine the issues.

Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported that the topography was not shown on the presentation materials and that the trails were not able to be ADA compliant.  She spoke in support of the grant application and noted that the receipt of funds was critical for the construction of the equestrian trail.

Councilman Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to proceed with alternative one, applying for a grant for the trail improvements at the Forrestal Nature Preserve and removing the Sunnyside Segment Trail Connection and Trailhead project from the application.

Councilman Clark asserted that the public speakers had demonstrated that there were many outstanding issues to address regarding the Sunnyside project and opined that the focus should be on the Forrestal Nature Preserve project.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern stated that he would oppose the motion as he saw no downside to applying for the grant for the Sunnyside project.

Councilman Wolowicz agreed that funds should be sought to study the Sunnyside project in order to attempt to route equestrian traffic off of Palos Verdes Drive East and stated that he supported moving forward on both grants.

Councilman Gardiner indicated that he supported the trails but would oppose the motion because he believed the funding agency might find the difficulties regarding the Sunnyside Segment Trail to be an interesting challenge.  He suggested that the City consider submitting two separate grants for the individual projects as such an approach may put the City in a better position to receive grant funding.

Councilman Clark stated that he was willing to withdraw the motion but noted it was his opinion that the City would not get approval for the Sunnyside project.

Councilman Gardiner suggested staff use specific language in the application explaining the particulars of the Sunnyside project in the hopes that staff candor would be looked upon favorably.

Mayor Long stated that he disagreed with that tactic.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-101, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, ADOPTING A NEGATIVE DECLARATION FOR THE PROPOSED SUNNYSIDE SEGMENT TRAIL CONNECTION PROJECT; 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-102, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, ADOPTING A MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION FOR THE PROPOSED TRAILHEAD AND TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS AT THE FORRESTAL NATURE PRESERVE; and 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-103, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, APPROVING THE APPLICATION FOR GRANT FUNDS FROM THE STATE RECREATIONAL TRAILS PROGRAM AND APPROVING THE ALLOCATION OF 12% MATCHING FUNDS FOR THE APPROVED GRANT PROJECTS, IF THE GRANT FUNDS ARE AWARDED. 

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

Mayor Long called a brief recess from 9:06 P.M. to 9:17 P.M.

Expenditure of Affordable Housing Funds (701)

Without objection, Mayor Long waived the staff report.

Councilman Wolowicz stated that this subject had been discussed at the South Bay Cities Council of Governments and inquired as to the status of intra-regional exchange of affordable housing credits.  He noted he was discouraged by financial data that illustrated the large gap between affordable housing costs for very-low and low-income families and actual housing costs.

Council and staff discussion focused on the need for affordable housing, obligations of the City to provide affordable housing, size of the needed subsidy, in-lieu fees, approaches and best practices taken by other cities regarding affordable housing; and the financial implications of not expending funds by the June 2008 deadline.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to adopt the staff recommendation. 

Council discussion ensued and staff provided clarification on the following points: 1) no numbers were available for the various programs outlined in the plan; 2) a 30-year minimum residency was required before participants could share in the equity or appreciation of the affordable housing; and, 3) the June 2008 expenditure deadline was for the money to be spent or committed, not just obligated.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to direct Staff to pursue a combined program of actions to expend its surplus affordable housing funds, including the following issues:  1) continue to evaluate the development potential of an affordable housing component as part of the Redevelopment Agency’s Crestridge property site;
 2) implementation of a rental subsidy program managed by a non-profit housing agency; 3) purchase of existing residential units for conversion to affordable housing units; and, 4) a “silent second” loan program for qualified low income first time homebuyers.

Without objection, Mayor Long so ordered.

Council Committees – Channel 33 and Cable Franchise Agreement Extension
(305 x 106)

Mayor Long clarified that Item 13 was comprised of three items to be voted on separately.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to change the name of the existing “Channel 33 Cable TV/Cox Contract Renewal” standing committee to “Channel 33 Cable TV,” with Mayor Long and Councilman Gardiner continuing to serve on this committee. 

Councilman Gardiner spoke in opposition to the motion as he did not see a need for a second committee since the existing committee presently handles the related topics of Channel 33 and the Cox Cable Franchise.  He noted that staff has expressed that they are burdened with staffing for the existing committees, so did not see value in adding another committee.  He asserted that the only reason the item was before them was due to Mayor Long’s conflict of interest and recommended waiting until after the election in November to make the decision.

Mayor Long stated that he has no legal conflict of interest in serving on the “Channel 33 Cable TV/Cox Contract Renewal” standing committee, and noted that since he has served in that capacity the committee has only dealt with issues related to Channel 33. 

Mayor Pro Tem Stern voiced support for the separate committees stating that the need for two committees would allow Mayor Long to continue to participate with respect to Channel 33 and that the issue expanded beyond Mayor Long’s choice not to participate in the Cox Cable Franchise issues although he legally could.  Mayor Pro Tem Stern explained that the issues related to the Channel 33 committee were very different from that of the Cox Cable Franchise and opined the differing nature of the issues warranted the two committees.

Mayor Long acknowledged that although he had no legal conflict of interest, the formation of a separate committee was partially an accommodation to him.  He reported that he has spent a great deal of time and effort on the management and programming issues related to Channel 33 and noted there were unresolved issues that he wanted to see through to completion.

Councilman Wolowicz suggested that a common member be appointed to serve on both committees as a partial solution to Councilman Gardiner’s concerns.

Councilman Clark offered to serve on the Cable Franchise Agreement Extension Committee with Councilman Gardiner being the common member on both committees.

Further discussion included the need for a broad focus on the Franchise Agreement, telecommunications issues, and the possibility that the extension to the Cable Television Franchise Agreement would have to occur before January 2, 2008.

Mayor Long stated that he would recuse himself from participation on the third component of the item under discussion.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilmember Clark, to 1) Change the name of the existing “Channel 33 Cable TV/Cox Contract Renewal” standing committee to “Channel 33 Cable TV,” with Mayor Long and Councilman Gardiner continuing to serve on this committee. 

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

Mayor Pro Tem Stern moved, seconded by Councilmember Clark, to create a new ad hoc committee called “Cable Franchise Agreement Extension.”

The motion passed on the following roll call vote:

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

Mayor Long recused himself from discussion and departed the meeting during the discussion of the third component of Item 13.  Mayor Pro Tem Stern presided over the meeting.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern explained that historically the Mayor would be the person to appoint committee members and in his absence, appointments would be made by the Mayor Pro Tem.  Mayor Pro Tem Stern appointed himself and Councilman Clark to serve on the new ad hoc committee “Cable Franchise Agreement Extension.”

Councilman Wolowicz reiterated his suggestion that Councilman Gardiner should serve on both committees because of the similar technical issues that would be discussed by both committees.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern opined that his background and experience as well that of Councilman Clark made them the best choices for the new ad hoc committee.

Councilman Gardiner stated that the Council had created two unworkable subcommittees and that he would resign from the Channel 33 Cable TV Committee. 

Council and staff discussed the appointments and Councilman Gardiner’s resignation.

Councilman Wolowicz moved to appeal the appointments and the motion failed on the following roll call vote:

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

Mayor Pro Tem Stern suggested that staff take up discussion of Councilman Gardiner’s resignation with the Mayor.

Mayor Long returned to the Council Chambers.

ITEM REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT CALENDAR:

FY06-07 Continuing Appropriations and Year-End Budget Adjustments

Deputy City Clerk Takaoka reported that this item was removed from the Consent Calendar for separate consideration by Councilman Wolowicz.

Responding to a question from Councilman Wolowicz, Deputy Director of Finance/IT Downs clarified that once the FY06-07 books are finalized the unused appropriations  would either be returned to the General Fund Reserves or to the specific funds from which they originated.  She noted that staff does not request continuing appropriations on all line items, but typically requests continuance for project related items that need to be completed, such as the infrastructure project.  

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Clark, to 1) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-104, 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 REDUCE THE BUDGET FOR APPROVED CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS; 2) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-105, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2007-70, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FY07-08, TO INCREASE THE BUDGET FOR APPROVED CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS; and, 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-106, 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 THE BUDGET IN THE GENERAL FUND, THE PROPOSITION A FUND, THE SUBREGION ONE MAINTENANCE FUND, AND THE WATER QUALITY FLOOD PROTECTION FUND.

The motion passed on the following roll call vote:

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

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Clark stated that he had nothing to report.

Mayor Pro Tem Stern reported that he attended the West Basin Vector Control Board Meeting on September 13, 2007, where the increase in occurrence of West Nile Virus and a report on Lyme disease were discussed.
 
Councilman Wolowicz reported attending a meeting at City Hall on September 7, 2007, with the Annenberg-funded consultants from Melendrez to discuss a proposal regarding the Lower Point Vicente site, trails, an animal care facility, and the Civic Center site.  He added that they were relatively close to bringing forth a presentation for the Council.

Councilman Gardiner stated that he had nothing to report.

Mayor Long reported attending the Concourse d’Elegance Gala Dinner on September 14, 2007, the Concourse d’Elegance Award Presentation on September 16, 2007, and the Sunset Party at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center (PVIC) honoring the docents.  He reported that the City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ Triathlon team, consisting of Mayor Long, Director of Planning Rojas, and Director of Finance/IT McLean, participated and finished in the top half of the Malibu Triathlon competition.  He reported that he had attended a reception honoring Long Beach Aquarium donors and participated in a Beach Cleanup with over 200 volunteers on September 15, 2007.

COUNCIL DISCUSSION & SUGGESTION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:

Mayor Long noted the need to add an item regarding the appointment of a Council member to the Channel 33 Committee.

Councilman Clark asked for a comprehensive assessment of the status of the Conceptual Civic Center Plan and information on possible private sector partners.

City Attorney Lynch provided Councilman Wolowicz with clarification on the appointments of the Ridgecrest Ranchos Recreation and Park District Board Member listed on the upcoming October 2, 2007 agenda. 

CLOSED SESSION REPORT:

City Attorney Lynch reported that no action was taken on either item discussed in Closed Session other than to continue both items to an Adjourned Regular Closed Session on September 26, 2007, at 7:00 P.M. at Point Vicente Interpretive Center (PVIC).

ADJOURNMENT:

Mayor Long adjourned the meeting at 10:49 P.M. to an adjourned regular meeting for a Closed Session to be held on Wednesday, September 26, 2007, at 7:00 P.M. at PVIC.  

                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                /s/ Douglas W. Stern
                                                                                                               Mayor

Attest:

 

/s/ Carla Morreale
     City Clerk