DECEMBER 18, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES DECEMBER 18, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES







DECEMBER 18, 2007 CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

MINUTES
RANCHO PALOS VERDES CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING
DECEMBER 18, 2007

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Mayor Stern 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, Long, Wolowicz, and Mayor Stern
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 Planning Director Greg Pfost, Senior Planner Eduardo Schonborn, Building Official Paul Christman, and City Clerk Carla Morreale.

FLAG SALUTE:

The Flag Salute was led by Councilman Long.

CEREMONIAL:

Mayor Pro Tem Clark commended Pam Emerson for 34 years of service as a staff member to the California Coastal Commission and presented her with a gift from the City in recognition of her years of service and to congratulate her on her recent retirement.

Barbara Sattler, President, South Coast Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked Pam Emerson for her work with the California Coastal Commission and her assistance in protecting the local flora.

Councilman Long presented a license plate frame to Mayor Stern to commemorate his term as Mayor of the City.

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Mayor Stern announced that the time clock would be used to monitor and make Council Members aware of the length of time of their remarks.

RECYCLE DRAWING:

Mayor Stern announced Recyclers of the Month from the December 4, 2007 City Council meeting, Ray Nuber and Karl VonGeczy.  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 Gardiner, to approve the Agenda.

Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

PUBLIC COMMENTS: 

Sunshine, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced concerns that Public Works projects along roadsides and within canyons do not include implementation of trail improvements identified in the City’s Trail Network Plan nor do they provide needed emergency access.  She inquired as to the completion date of Trump National’s roadside improvements.

CITY MANAGER REPORT:

City Manager Lehr wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

NEW BUSINESS:

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Clark, to approve the Consent Calendar with Item 8 to be discussed with Item 22, Items 12 and 13 removed from the Consent Calendar for separate consideration, and Items 10 and 14 removed entirely from the agenda to be placed on future agendas.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

Mayor Stern congratulated the Public Works Department for bringing the Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal project to completion for $200,000 under the budgeted amount.

APPROVAL OF CONSENT CALENDAR:

EMERGENCY STORM DRAIN 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 this 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 August 21, 2007 Regular Meeting.

Notice of Completion Landscape Improvements Project PVDS @ PVDE (1204)

1) Accepted the project 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, upon the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond, notice the surety company to exonerate the Payment and Performance bonds; 3) Authorized the Director of Public Works to release the 10% retention payment to America West Landscape, Inc. 35 days after recordation of the Notice of Completion by the County Recorder contingent upon no claims being filed against the contractor, and the contractor posting an acceptable warranty bond.

Notice of Completion for the Residential Street Overlay and Slurry Seal Project (Area 9) (1404)

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 5% retention payment, to Sequel Contractors, Inc., 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.

Annual Renewal for Non-Exclusive Commercial Refuse Collection and Disposal Services Agreement – 2008  (1301)

1) Authorized the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute one-year non-exclusive commercial refuse collection and disposal services agreements for 2007 with the following: Advanced Waste Systems, Inc.; Allied Waste Services of North America, LLC, dba Allied Waste Services of Gardena; California Waste Services, LLC; CalMet Services, Inc.; Consolidated Disposal Service, LLC; Easy Roll Off Services; EDCO Disposal Corporation; JJK Roll-Offs, Inc.; S & H Disposal Company & Recycling Services; United Pacific Waste & Recycling Services, Inc.; Universal Waste Systems, Inc.; USA Waste of California, Inc., dba Waste Management of Los Angeles; and, West Coast Waste & Roll Off Service; 2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-128, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, LIMITING THE NUMBER OF HAULERS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE SOLID WASTE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING SERVICES FROM COMMERCIAL PREMISES, AND ROLL OFF SERVICES TO RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL PREMISES IN THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES IN CALENDAR YEAR 2008; and, 3) Received and filed comments from the City’s commercial haulers regarding recycling.

Request for Waiver of the Application Fee for a Remedial Grading Permit Revision for Soil Reconditioning on Property Located at 2 West Pomegranate Road (Planning Case No. ZON2007-00506) (1203(

Granted the requested fee waiver.

Award Construction Contract – Sunnyside Ridge Storm Drain Project (604 X 1204)

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

Speed Zone Surveys, Various Rancho Palos Verdes Streets (1502)

1) Approved a 25 MPH Truck Speed Zone Limit for Southbound Hawthorne Boulevard between Palos Verdes Drive West and Rhone Drive as approved by the Traffic Safety Commission at the October 22, 2007 Regular Meeting; and, 2) ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-129, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CONSOLIDATING THE ABOVE SPEED LIMIT AND SPEED LIMITS ON VARIOUS ROADWAYS WITHIN THE CITY (PREVIOUSLY APPROVED BY THE TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION AND THE CITY COUNCIL) INTO A SINGLE RESOLUTION.

Terranea Resort and Spa Project: Recordation of Final Parcel Map No. 26073 (1804 x 1410)

This item was removed from the agenda per Staff’s request and will be placed on the January 16, 2008 City Council agenda.

California Coastal Commission Whale Tail Grant for Point Vicente Interpretive Center Exhibit (602 x 309)

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-130, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AUTHORIZING STAFF TO PURSUE A CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION WHALE TAIL GRANT FOR THE CREATION AND INSTALLATION OF A MURAL AT POINT VICENTE INTERPRETIVE CENTER DEPICTING TONGVA NATIVE AMERICANS.

Arterial Roads Rehabilitation Program (1204)

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

Health Insurance Contributions (902 x 1202)

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

West Basin Municipal Water District’s “It’s Time to Get Serious” Conservation and Water Use Initiative (1601)

This item was removed from the agenda per Staff’s request and will be placed on a future agenda so that a representative of the West Basin Municipal Water District may give a brief presentation.

Register of Demands

ADOPTED RESOLUTION NO. 2007-131, 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:

Proposed 2008-2009 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program (601)

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

Mayor Stern declared the public hearing open.

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

Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Mayor Stern declared the public hearing closed.

Mayor Pro Tem Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to 1) Conduct a public hearing to receive citizen input on the proposed 2008-2009 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program; 2) Approve the proposed CDBG projects and budget; 3) Authorize the Director of Public Works to execute agreements for CDBG projects with the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission; and, 4) Authorize the Director of Public Works to adjust the program budget as necessary to take into account the final CDBG allocation and any amounts unexpended at the close of the fiscal year.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Appeal of Planning Case No. ZON2007-00143, Site Plan Review with Neighborhood Compatibility/30057 Via Victoria (Lot 12 of Tract No. 52666)
(1801 x 1203)

City Clerk Morreale reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published, written protests were included in the staff report and late correspondence distributed prior to the meeting, and there were five requests to speak on the item.

Mayor Stern declared the public hearing open.

Senior Planner Schonborn provided a summary of the staff report.

Council and staff discussion included the following topics: the ridgeline height of the proposed project was unchanged from the original approval; the discrepancy in height between the tract conditions and the proposed residence; houses included in the neighborhood compatibility study; clarification that a developer’s right vests when there is above-ground construction in reliance of a permit; the size of the residence as the major reason for Planning Commission Chair Gerstner’s dissent; and the 10-15% difference in size between this home and others in the neighborhood tract.

Steve Kuykendall, appellant’s representative, provided a history of the project noting that the house was the largest in the tract and on the largest lot in the tract.  He asserted that the project met all City codes and was compatible with the neighborhood.

Syd Croft, appellant’s representative, asserted that every reasonable effort had been made to minimize the impact on the houses in the tract and the appellant had not requested variances for the project and did not believe there should be changes now.

Rich Sittel, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced support for the recommendation to limit the size of the house.

Andrew Mottram, Rancho Palos Verdes, asserted that the house was not compatible with the neighborhood and view impairment was a major issue.

Melanie Mottram, Rancho Palos Verdes, reported concerns with view impairment and the size of the house and requested at least modification to the roofline of the project.

Hal Arafat, Rancho Palos Verdes, asked for clarification on the neighborhood compatibility findings and their potential impact on tract conditions.  He voiced concern with the overall height of the project.

Council and staff discussion included the following topics: view impairment not being a finding in the neighborhood compatibility analysis; confirmation that the Mottrams were aware of the conditions of the sub-division and the pending development when they bought their house; the factual findings necessary to make a neighborhood incompatibility determination; and, the size of the lot in question was 1½ times larger than other lots in the neighborhood.

Mr. Kuykendall reported that the proposed project had additional setback areas and less lot coverage than specified in the tract conditions.

Mayor Stern declared the hearing closed.

Further staff and Council discussion focused on the fact that the developer had built smaller houses than allowed on the lots and was being penalized for that on the remaining lots. 

Mayor Pro Tem Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to uphold the appeal upon a finding that the proposed project was compatible with the immediate neighborhood, thereby, overturning the Planning Commission’s denial without prejudice and approving the project as approved by the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement on September 7, 2007, allowing for the construction of the new single family residence and directing  staff to prepare the appropriate resolution for consideration at the next City Council meeting.

Council discussion of the motion focused on the following:  the plans for the proposed house were in compliance with the tract conditions and view impairment was an issue the Council was not able to consider regarding this project.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

Mayor Stern called a recess from 9:04 P.M. to 9:15 P.M.

General Plan Initiation Request (Case No. ZON2007-00460) [Applicant: Roger Barbosa, representing CVS Pharmacy; Property Address: 28103 Hawthorne Blvd. – Current Valero Service Station] (701)

City Clerk Morreale reported that notice of the public hearing was duly published, and written protests were included in the staff report and late correspondence distributed prior to the meeting.

Mayor Stern opened the public hearing.

Senior Planner Schonborn provided a summary of the staff report.

Councilmen Wolowicz and Long disclosed that they had received campaign donations from the current owner of the Valero Service Station.

Council and staff discussion included the following topics: the fact that the gas/service station at the site pre-dates the City’s incorporation and is in a residential zone; the project would require the approval of a General Plan amendment; the abundance of pharmacies and lack of gas stations within the City; the Automotive Service Station Overlay District established in 1993 to encourage automotive service stations to remain in the City; the economic reasons for gas station closures; and whether residential use of the property would be appropriate.

Dr. Pantea Hannauer, property owner, reviewed her family’s history with the gas station and their reasons for wanting a pharmacy on the property.  Her review included financial details and results of a residential survey they conducted regarding the site.

Council and applicant discussion included the following topics: enhancing the auto repair aspect of the station in order to increase business; proposed pharmacy plans including parking; the ground lease, rather than sale, of the property; and reluctance to see residential property taken out of inventory.

Michael Gonzales, property owner’s representative, Los Angeles, asserted that as a ground lease to CVS, the landlord would retain significant amounts of control over the future of the property.  He noted that the project had yet to be designed as it was only in the scoping phase.

Ruth Bartrum, Rancho Palos Verdes, asserted that there were too many pharmacies in the area, and that CVS was known for less than community-friendly architecture with unpleasant aesthetics related to the landscaping features of the parking areas.  She asserted that if the CVS pharmacy was approved they should be required to provide improvements to the landscaping of the Hawthorne median from Granvia Altamira to Eddinghill Drive to insure that they have a stake in Rancho Palos Verdes.

Larry Barlock, Rancho Palos Verdes, expressed support for the project.  In response to a question from Mayor Pro Tem Clark, he stated that he did not object to the property being zoned as Commercial or Residential.

Fred Lavi, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that he preferred to have a CVS pharmacy, rather than a gas station, on the site.

Mayor Stern declared the public hearing closed.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to approve the staff recommendation.

Further Council and staff discussion focused on the following topics: the economics behind the project; former gas station sites that are now vacant lots in the City and adjacent cities; failure of government mandates on private businesses; clarification on the current RS-4 zoning at the site and the conforming land use; the economic viability of returning the lot to a residential use; and, the General Plan Amendment necessary if the item is approved.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to allow the applicant to submit the necessary applications and proceed through the review process for a proposed change in General Plan Land Use Designation for the subject site from Residential (2 to 4 d.u./acre) to Commercial (retail), and a proposed change in the zoning from Single-Family Residential (RS-4) with Automotive Service Overlay to Commercial-Limited (CL).

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

Revision "GG" to the Trump National Golf Course Project - Proposed Ficus Trees [Continued from December 4, 2007] (1411)

City Clerk Morreale reported that the public hearing was continued from December 4, 2007, written protests were distributed as part of late correspondence prior to the meeting, and there were three requests to speak on the item.

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

Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Mayor Stern noted that a revised proposed resolution had been distributed by City Attorney Lynch who would report on the changes at the appropriate time.

Mike Vandergoes, Trump National Golf Club, reported that the ficus trees were in the process of being removed from the Trump National Golf Club site and asked for an additional two weeks to complete the removal.  He provided additional clarification to the Council on the removal process and reasons for the extension request.

Mickey Rodich, Ladera Linda Homeowners Association, Rancho Palos Verdes, asked for clarification on the decision that was made at the previous meeting on the use of the word significant in terms of view impairment.

Mayor Stern reviewed the ruling made on the use of the word “significant” and the benefits it provided the City and its residents.

Jessica Leeds, Rancho Palos Verdes, thanked the Council and staff for having the trees removed.  She asserted that the height of hedges on the site should be specified for all vegetation not just ficus hedges; and she noted confusion over the use of the word significant.

The Council discussed and explained the use of the word “significant” as a way for the City to protect itself from potential legal challenges by the applicant regarding the view impairment as a result of the ficus trees, and clarified that there had been no changes to any of the conditions.

City Attorney Lynch reported that the revisions to the resolution were language changes made for clarification purposes, included a change to the completion date, and an acknowledgement that the applicant had requested an amendment to the conditions of approval, but that request was denied.

Mayor Stern closed the public hearing.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-132, AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, THEREBY DENYING REVISION GG, AN AMENDMENT TO CUP NO. 163, FOR A PROPOSED FICUS HEDGE ON THE DRIVING RANGE.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

RECESS AND RECONVENE:

Mayor Stern called a brief recess from 10:35 P.M. to 10:43 P.M.

PAUSE TO CONSIDER THE REMAINDER OF THE AGENDA:

REGULAR NEW BUSINESS:

City Council Meeting Schedule (307)

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to reschedule the Tuesday, January 15, 2008 City Council meeting to Wednesday, January 16, 2008.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Mayor Pro Tem Clark announced that he would not be able to attend the rescheduled meeting as it falls on his wedding anniversary.

Proposed Interview Schedule for Applicants for the Planning Commission and Finance Advisory Committee and Selection of Dates for Interviews of Advisory Board Chairs (106)

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to 1) Select Wednesday, January 16, 2008 during the 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. timeframe before the City Council meeting for interviews of the applicants for the Planning Commission; January 29, 2008 during the 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. timeframe before the City Council meeting for interviews of the applicants for the Finance Advisory Committee.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 2) Select March 4, 2008, during the 6:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. timeframe before the City Council meeting for interviews for the position of Chair for the Planning Commission, Finance Advisory Committee and Emergency Preparedness Committee. 

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Award Construction Contract – Sunnyside Ridge Storm Drain Project

City Clerk Morreale reported that Councilman Wolowicz had requested that Items 8 and 22 be considered at the same time and that there were 4 requests to speak on Item 22.

Councilman Wolowicz explained why he wanted Items 8 and 22 considered at the same time.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Long, to 1) Approve the Plans and Specifications for the construction of the Palos Verdes Drive East Drainage Improvements (Sunnyside Ridge Storm Drain Project); 2) Award a Construction Contract to GCI Construction, Inc., in the amount of $334,600, for the construction of the Palos Verdes Drive East, Sunnyside Ridge Road Storm Drain Project Phase I;
3) Award a contract for professional services to CBM Consulting, Inc. in the not to exceed amount of $30,000 for Construction Inspection services; 4) Authorize the expenditure of up to $70,000 for the completion of possible extra work; and,
5) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the contracts with GCI Construction, Inc. and CBM Consulting, Inc.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Approval to Bid Construction Contract – McCarrell Canyon Storm Drain Project  (1204 x 604)

Public Works Director Bell provided a brief summary of the item.

Council discussion focused on the community’s three areas with the most potential for damage with Tarapaca Canyon being the next area needing attention.

Bill Webster, representative of the Palos Verdes Bay Club, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced support for the project.

Reverend Clayton Cobb, St. Peter’s By the Sea Presbyterian Church, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced support for the project.

Gene Rolle, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced support for the project and thanked staff for their efforts.

Dana Ireland, Rancho Palos Verdes, voiced support for the project.

Mayor Pro Tem Clark moved, seconded by Councilman Wolowicz, to 1) Direct staff to proceed with soliciting contractors for proposals (bidding) for the construction of the Base System for the McCarrell Canyon Storm Drain Project as presented by Staff;
2) Authorize the reallocation of $1.3 million from the budgeted $1.8 million Sunnyside Ridge Drainage project; 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-133, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2007-70, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2007-08, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $850,000 TO THE CITY’S WATER QUALITY AND FLOOD PROTECTION PROGRAM; and, 4) Authorize Staff to proceed with the bidding of the project as soon as practicable; target advertisement date is January 2008.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected the following:

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

The Council thanked the residents for keeping the funding for storm drain repairs in place by voting for and passing Measure C and thanked staff for expediting the item.

RPV Coast Vision Plan – Budget Appropriation (1203)

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

Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Council and staff discussion focused on the use of General Funds for the completion of the RPV Coast Vision Plan which had been funded by the Annenberg Foundation through a grant to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy (PVPLC).  Staff reported that additional costs for the completion of the Vision Plan were incurred through interim additional steps that Council requested at the November 10, 2007 Vision Plan & Public Use Master Plan Workshop which required a proposal for the completion of the additional work from Melendrez Associates.

Mayor Pro Tem Clark moved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to continue the item to direct staff to contact the Executive Director of the Annenberg Foundation and Melendrez Associates to seek additional funding for the completion of the RPV Coast Vision Plan.

Further Council and staff discussion focused on the advantage of using City funds to retain control over the process and the desire to avoid a potential public perception of special interests on the project.

Mayor Pro Tem Clark amended the motion to include the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem in the discussions with the Annenberg Foundation.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote:

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

Adoption of the Revised State Building Codes and the County Fire Code
(603 x 201)

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to waive the staff report and accept the staff recommendation.

City Attorney Lynch reviewed policy issues pertaining to the item that required Council direction including the following:  the tripling of penalty fees for After-the-Fact approvals and permits as opposed to the current doubling of fees; the scheduling of a Public Hearing for January 16, 2008; and, a local amendment in the Los Angeles Fire Code regarding the issuance of permits for fireworks displays to be approved by the City Council.  She noted that the Council could continue the practice of approving fireworks displays on a case by case basis, or delegate that authority to the City Manager.

As originator and seconder of the motion, Councilman Wolowicz and Councilman Gardiner accepted the amendments as part of the motion.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Councilman Gardiner, to 1) INTRODUCE ORDINANCE NO. 468, AS AMENDED, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING TITLE 15 OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE BY ADOPTING BY REFERENCE THE 2007 EDITION OF THE CALIFORNIA BUILDING, PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL CODES, WHICH ARE CODIFIED IN TITLE 24 OF THE CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS, AND THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE CODE, WHICH IS TITLE 32 OF THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY CODE, AND RELATED MODEL CODES, WITH APPENDICES AND AMENDMENTS THERETO; AND AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE; 2) Schedule a Public Hearing regarding the Adoption of said Ordinance on January 16, 2008; and, 3) ADOPT URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 469U, AS AMENDED, AN URGENCY ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING TITLE 15 OF THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE BY ADOPTING BY REFERENCE THE 2007 EDITION OF THE CALIFORNIA BUILDING, PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL CODES, WHICH ARE CODIFIED IN TITLE 24 OF THE CALIFORNIA CODE OF REGULATIONS, AND THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY FIRE CODE, WHICH IS TITLE 32 OF THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY CODE, AND RELATED MODEL CODES, WITH APPENDICES AND AMENDMENTS THERETO; AMENDING THE RANCHO PALOS VERDES MUNICIPAL CODE AND DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF.

A roll call vote on the motion reflected unanimous approval.

Councilman Gardiner left the meeting at 11:28 p.m.

Draft Agendas for the Sacramento Meetings with Legislators (307)

City Clerk Morreale reported that Mayor Pro Tem Clark had requested that staff draft agendas for Council to review for the upcoming California Contract Cities Association meetings in Sacramento on January 14, 2008 and January 15, 2008.

Council and staff discussion focused on the list of legislators the Council would like to meet with on their trip and the addition of technology and traffic safety topics to the agenda.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Clark, to approve the agendas, as amended. 

Without objection, Mayor Stern so ordered.

Arterial Roads Rehabilitation Program

Councilman Long voiced concern that there were not sufficient funds for arterial roads that would result in best improvements.  He asserted that even if the City could not currently afford an appropriate arterial plan, it would help to identify the resources needed to achieve arterial road improvements.

Councilman Long moved, seconded by Mayor Stern, to 1) Award a professional service contract for Arterial Roads Rehabilitation Program to Willdan Associates for one year with two one-year extensions, which are subject to budget approval and approval by the City Council; 2) Authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a professional service agreement with Willdan Associates for a not to exceed amount of $52,550 for the first year, and if subsequently extended, $45,322 for the second year, and $51,948 for the third year, and authorize the expenditure of up to an additional $10,000 for any potential increases in the scope of work in the first year.

The motion passed unanimously absent Councilman Gardiner.

Health Insurance Contributions

City Clerk Morreale reported that Councilman Wolowicz had requested this item be removed from the Consent Calendar for separate consideration and that late correspondence regarding this item was distributed prior to the meeting.

Councilman Wolowicz complimented staff on the clarity of the information contained in the staff report and noted that the City had elected to pay in advance the prefunded deductible on the Health Savings Account (HSA).  He inquired if this payment was a common practice and if was a one time or ongoing expense.

Councilmember Long explained that the cost saving benefits of an HSA were over the long term to the employer by way of lowering premiums and that it was important to fund the employee’s deductible as an incentive for participation in the program.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Clark, to approve the staff recommendation. 

Council discussion of the matter continued.

Deputy City Manager Petru called attention to the supplemental report where staff recommends an adjustment to the maximum caps for Life Insurance and AD&D from $200,000 to $350,000; and an adjustment to the maximum monthly benefit for Long Term Disability from $5,000 to $10,000.  She noted that if those adjustments were approved, the cost to the City in 2008 would be approximately $3,000.

Councilmember Long suggested offering employees the option of paying their own long-term disability premium and increasing their salaries by a gross amount to cover it, with the advantage being that if the employee pays the disability premium, the employee then collects the benefit tax-free which would be significant.

Councilman Wolowicz amended his motion to include the previously outlined changes to the maximum caps and to direct staff to investigate the option of employees paying their own long-term disability premiums.

Councilman Wolowicz moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Clark, to ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2007-134, AS AMENDED, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, AMENDING THE CITY’S MAXIMUM MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION AMOUNTS FOR EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS; and, 2) Authorize staff to adjust the 2008 maximum caps for Life and AD&D insurance from $200,000 to $350,000 and the maximum monthly benefit for Long Term Disability Insurance from $5,000 to $10,000.

A roll call vote on the motion passed unanimously, absent Councilman Gardiner.

CITY COUNCIL ORAL REPORTS:

Councilman Long reported walking the trails in the Portuguese Bend and Forrestal areas over the past two Sundays and indicated that he would report his observations when appropriate.

Councilman Wolowicz reported on his attendance of the following meetings: a subcommittee meeting with Mayor Pro Tem Clark regarding the Crestridge Project on December 3, 2007; the Mayor’s Breakfast on December 7, 2007; the City’s Breakfast with Santa co-sponsored by the Fire Department to benefit the REACH Program on December 8, 2007; the City of Rolling Hills’ Holiday Reception on December 10, 2007; the South Bay Chamber of Commerce Mixer on December 13, 2007; a meeting with Jim Bell and Dennis McLean on December 17, 2007 regarding storm drains; and, he announced that on December 16, 2007 his youngest daughter became engaged.

COUNCIL DISCUSSION & SUGGESTION OF FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS:

None.

CLOSED SESSION REPORT: 

City Attorney Lynch reported no action on the threat of litigation from the Trump Organization over the ficus trees since they were removed; and, regarding 40 Cherry Hill, Council gave unanimous direction for the City Attorney’s office to obtain an abatement warrant.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mayor Pro Tem Clark asked to adjourn the meeting on behalf of the entire Council with thanks to City staff, City Manager, and City Attorney for a tremendous 2007, noting that staff’s efforts make the community what it is and serving on the City Council a pleasure.

Mayor Stern wished staff and residents a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Mayor Stern adjourned the meeting at 11:58 P.M.

 

                                                                                                                                      /s/ Douglas W. Stern
                                                                                                                                                    Mayor
Attest:

 

/s/ Carla Morreale
     City Clerk