Sprng 2000 Newsletter


Spring
2000


Table of Contents

NEW REFUSE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING CONTRACTS

City Awards Contract to Waste Management and Ivy Rubbish Disposal

The City recently awarded a seven-year refuse and recycling contract to Waste Management of Los Angeles and to Ivy Rubbish Disposal. These haulers were selected after evaluating proposals from eight different companies. The rates and services offered by Waste Management and Ivy were deemed to be superior to those offered by any of the other companies.

Waste Management and Ivy have serviced the City for several years and are familiar with the routes, customers, and the City's special needs. The award of these contracts came after several public hearings and a negotiating process that took almost a year and a half. In addition, two surveys were mailed to the 11,000 single family residences in the City.

These contracts will become effective on July 1st and will fix the rates for refuse and recycling collection until July 2002.

WASTE MANAGEMENT CUSTOMERS

Rate Reduction for Single Family Homes - No Change in Recycle Collection

Customers in single family homes will get an 8% rate reduction. Refuse, recyclables and green waste will continue to be collected manually and new trucks will be servicing the City. Residents will continue to provide their own refuse containers and will still get twice a week collection.

New Containers for Recyclables and Green Waste

A blue 32-gallon container with wheels will be provided to all Waste Management customers in May. Residents should use this container for all of their recyclables: newspapers, mixed paper, junk mail, cans, aluminum, glass, and bottles. Any of the old recycling crates that are unwanted should be left curbside and they will be removed.

Also in May, residents will be getting two green 32 gallon containers for "green waste" sometimes referred to as yard waste. These containers should be used only for grass clippings, shrubs, leaves, and small branches. Tied bundles will continue to be collected. Gardeners should be instructed to use these containers for yard waste instead of using plastic bags. No trash should be mixed with the green waste because this causes contamination. Help the City reach its mandated 50% recycling goal by using these green waste containers.

Upon request, additional green waste containers will available free of charge.

If plastic bags are used for your green waste, make sure they are properly tagged. Residents can get these tags from Waste Management or from their route driver; they are also available at City Hall. Plastic bags that are not tagged will be collected as regular trash and will not be recycled.

Route Changes

Residents currently on the Wednesday/Saturday schedule will be switched to either a Monday/Thursday or a Tuesday/Friday pickup effective March 6th. Notices were mailed to all Waste Management customers in mid-February. All other routes will be unchanged.

Change in Recycling Pick-Up Day

Recyclables will be collected on the first trash collection day of the week. Green waste will be picked up on the second trash collection day. This change will be Citywide.

Discounts

Residents who prepay for the entire year will be entitled to a 5% discount. Senior citizens (65 years and older) will get an additional 10% discount.

MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENCES

For residents who live in apartments, condominiums and townhomes there will be a rate decrease of approximately 8%. The size of the bin/dumpster and frequency of trash collection at these complexes determines the rates.

Waste Management customers should call (310) 830-7100 if they have any questions about their service.

IVY RUBBISH DISPOSAL CUSTOMERS

The rate for Ivy customers will be increased approximately 5%. There will be no changes in routes or services and a new truck will be servicing the area. There will be no changes in the frequency or days of pickup.

New Containers for Recyclables and Green Waste

A new blue 32-gallon container with wheels will be provided to all customers in May. All recyclables, newspapers, mixed paper, junk mail, aluminum, cans, glass, and bottles can be placed in this new container. Any of the old recycling crates that are unwanted should be left curbside and they will be removed.

Ivy customers can continue to place their green waste with the trash.

Discounts

There will be a 5% discount for customers who prepay make an annual prepayment of the account. Seniors (65 years and older) will get an additional 5% discount.

Ivy customers should call (310) 530-2899 if they have any questions about their service.


DEFINING NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY

City Code Amended to Preserve Established Neighborhoods

The Development Code is a part of the City's Municipal Code that guides the growth and development of the City consistent with its land use policies. To preserve established neighborhoods from the recent influx of new development and large additions to existing homes the City Council has recently amended this Code to regulate the size of single-family residences.

Prior to this amendment, new homes and additions were subject to the City's Maximum Structure Size requirement that established a quantitative limit to the size of a structure. With this amendment, however, the maximum structure size requirement has been replaced by a method known as the "neighborhood compatibility" finding. This compatibility is determined by an analysis of the proposed project that compares it with the ten closest neighboring homes.

By definition, "neighborhood compatibility" means a) the scale of surrounding residences, b) the architectural style and material, and c) the front yard setback. This new neighborhood compatibility finding will apply to the following projects:

  1. New residences on vacant lots;
  2. New residences proposed to replace an existing residence;
  3. Existing residences that are proposed to be remodeled or renovated where fifty percent or greater of any existing interior and exterior walls or existing square footage is demolished; and
  4. Additions to existing single-family residences consisting of a 25% expansion or more of the total square footage of the original main residence, including the garage. This original square footage will be determined by referring to the original building permits on file with the City and the Los Angles County assessor's information.

The director or the planning commission makes the determination of whether a new single-family residence or an addition to an existing single-family residence is compatible with the neighborhood character. In either case, a public notice for the "neighborhood compatibility" finding will be published and mailed to property owners within a 500-foot radius of the proposed project. This public notice will be given at least 15 days prior to a decision being rendered on the project.

Residents considering building a new home or an addition should consider the requirements for "neighborhood compatibility" and the notification process. Questions about this matter should be directed to the Planning Department at 310-544-5228.


PROPOSED HOUSING PROJECT FOR SENIORS

City Does its Fair Share to Provide Affordable Housing

The State of California requires that every city provide its fair share of housing for persons of all income levels. This fair share is determined by the Southern California Association of Governments, more frequently referred to by its acronym SCAG.

Rancho Palos Verdes has been notified by SCAG that to meet our fair share of the region's housing needs, which includes Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, it will be necessary to build 53 dwelling units during the next seven and a half years. A portion of those units must be affordable to very low and low-income persons and families.

Because of these mandated requirements, the City has been exploring ways to make affordable housing available within the City.

Funding

Two current City programs generate revenue for the creation of these affordable units: the Rancho Palos Verdes Redevelopment Agency and the City's In Lieu Affordable Housing Program.

Redevelopment Agency

Twenty percent of the City's Redevelopment Agency's tax increment must be set aside for the purpose of increasing, improving, and preserving housing that is affordable to very low, low, and moderate households.

Since the formation of the Redevelopment Agency in 1984, approximately $980,000 has been set-aside for this purpose.

In Lieu Affordable Housing

This program has collected $260,000 in fees from large residential developments such as the Seabreeze tract on Crest Road. The City has recently received $596,494 from the Ocean Front Estates project located on Palos Verdes Drive West.

Proposed Affordable Housing Project for Seniors

Last summer the City Council and Planning Commission held a joint workshop to review a non-profit developer's concept of a proposed Senior Affordable Housing project that included 84 apartment units and a 2,500 square foot senior center. That project will be located at the northwest corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Crestridge Road.

This developer has requested that the City contribute up to $1.9 million towards this project. At the workshop, the City Council gave some direction to the developer and indicated that the project had some merit. The City Council then formed a Council sub-committee to work with the developer and the Peninsula Seniors to address their needs for this center.

As a result of the sub-committee's work, the preliminary design has changed slightly and now consists of a two-story, 73-unit mix of one and two bedroom units (65 one-bedroom units and 8 two-bedroom units). The project will also have apartments leased at a very low to low rental rate (approximately $400 to $600 per month) and will contain a 5,000 square foot senior center. Over a hundred parking spaces will be provided.

Joint Effort

This project is a joint effort between the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, the City's Redevelopment Agency, the non-profit developer, the County of Los Angeles and other financial contributors. The City's and the Redevelopment Agency's combined investment will be about $1.9 million. Additional funds will be obtained from the County and other sources.

This is a complicated project requiring the approval of a supplemental environmental impact report, conditional use permit and a grading permit by the City. The developer has submitted applications for these permits and they are currently being analyzed by City staff. It is anticipated that this project will be heard by the Planning Commission sometime this summer.

Any questions regarding the State's mandates or the proposed senior affordable housing project should be directed to Senior Greg Pfost at (310) 544-5228.


CENSUS 2000: YOUR ANSWERS ARE IMPORTANT

Everybody is Number One in the Census

It's time to be counted! Census Day is April 1, 2000. This is an American tradition that dates back to the writing of the Constitution. In fact, Census 2000 will mark 210 years of uninterrupted census taking in our nation, a democratic tradition unequaled anywhere else in the world. The census, however, is more than just a head count, and there are lots of reasons why you should take the time to fill out your census form and return it promptly:

  • The population count gives every U.S. resident an equal voice in government; it determines the number of representatives each state is entitled to have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Equal representation at state and local levels is also based on the census, as are the boundaries of local political districts.
  • The census means money for schools, health services, child care and transportation services, to name a few. These public services and dozens of others are recipients of the billions of dollars in state and federal funds distributed to cities and counties each year based on census information. If a neighborhood has a lot of traffic congestion, elderly people living alone or over-crowded schools, state and federal funds based on census numbers can be part of the solution. An accurate and complete count of residents during the census is the only way to make certain that every community receives its fair share of these funds.
  • Accurate census information speeds the delivery of emergency services to those who need it, when they need it. Many 911 emergency systems are based on maps developed for the last census. When floods, wild fires or earthquakes hit, the census tells rescuers how many people will need their help. When Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1991, census information aided the rescue effort by providing solid estimates of the number of people in each block.
  • Census records are a treasure trove of family history information. Individual records are held confidential for 72 years, but individuals can request a certificate from past censuses that can be used as proof to establish age, residency or relationship to a relative or family early in this century or before. This information could help that person qualify for a pension, establish citizenship or obtain an inheritance. Because the U.S. has conducted a census every 10 years since 1790, students, historians and everyone in the nation can know how far America has come. Looking forward, in 2072, a future generation could use census information gathered today to research its family history.

Your privacy is guaranteed. No individual can be identified in the statistics published by the Census Bureau. All information residents provide on their census forms remains strictly confidential and available only to sworn Census Bureau personnel. By law, the Bureau cannot share your answers with the IRS, the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service or any other governmental agency at any level. The same law prevents the Bureau from selling or giving away your name and address to any private organization or business that may want to contact you. There are no exceptions. Even after 72 years, only family members can request basic information on their forebears, and then for genealogical purposes only.

When the questionnaires for Census 2000 begin arriving in more than 120 million residential mailboxes at the end of March 2000, every resident has something to gain from filling them out and returning them promptly, and nothing to lose. Take the time to be counted. It's important to us all!


UTILITY COMPANIES PROVIDE ADDED PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

Not Just Water, Gas and Electricity

Helpful assistance, incentives and information are available for customers who are concerned about using their utilities efficiently, who may have special medical needs, and who are interested in saving on their utility bills.

For a limited time, the Southern California Edison Company's "2000 Residential Clothes Washer Rebate Program" offers a rebate for purchasing new Energy Star rated clothes washers. If you're thinking about getting rid of an old, energy guzzling refrigerator, the Edison will pick it up at no cost. These refrigerators will be recycled and any hazardous materials will be disposed of properly. For more information on recycling appliances, call 1-800-234-9722.

Edison also performs usage audits for commercial and residential customers. This audit explains what equipment in your home or office uses power and how it effects your electric bill. This usage audit can be done in person or by mail surveys.

For customers with medical situations that require electrical equipment prescribed by a physician, Edison has a special program. Simply ask your doctor to sign a medical notification form you can obtain by calling the Edison 24-hour customer service number. You will receive a reduction in a portion of your electrical bill; also, your name and location will be noted for Edison Company crews. In the event of a power outage that would last longer than the battery backup on your equipment, you will be contacted by Edison in the field or by phone for updates.

The Edison Company web site at www.sce.com is a great resource for information on power outage safety tips, energy efficiency guides, ideas to improve indoor lighting and much more.

California Water Service Company offers customers free services such as detecting water leaks, replacing defective water meters and dials, broken meter boxes and covers, and correcting water pressure problems. They also provide information on water system quality, water conservation, drought gardening and more, just call the local office at 310-377-5525.

Southern California Gas Company residential customers can now use the Internet to make service appointments, review their account, pay bills on line, and request gas service to be turned on by accessing the web site, www.socalgas.com. The Gas Company also offers financing toward energy-efficient home improvements, such as central air conditioning, window and door replacements, insulation and roofing. Qualified customers can apply for unsecured, low-interest financing from $1,000 to $20,000 through the Home Energy Upgrade Financing Program. Interested residents may call the Gas Company at 1-800-427-0797 for more information.

The West Basin Municipal Water District is a public agency that wholesales imported water to local cities, water companies, private companies and investor-owned utilities. Rancho Palos Verdes residents may participate in the West Basin's "Drought-proof 2000 Program" by installing an ultra-low flush toilet that conserves water and decreases your monthly water bill. Residents can take advantage of a $50 rebate offer for every Ultra-Low Flush toilet they buy and install. Call the Drought Proof 2000 infoline at 310-660-0287 or toll free 1-877-397-3780 to request more information and a rebate application.


EQUESTRIAN FACILITIES AND POLLUTION PREVENTION

Storm Drains are for Rain. . .Not for Animal Waste

Stringent storm water clean-up standards have recently been imposed that require cities to prevent the introduction of pollutants into the storm drain system. Included in these pollutants is animal waste.

Keeping horses requires some special precautions to prevent the flow of animal waste into this storm drain system that empties directly into the ocean and on to our beaches.

The City's Equestrian Overlay (Q) District regulations include a number of provisions to eliminate or minimize the pollution problems related to horsekeeping: animal waste may not accumulate, run off or leach into the soil and create a public nuisance. Additionally, regular, intermittent and seasonal watercourses must be kept clear of animal waste, soiled straw and other refuse; structures or enclosures for the keeping of horses are not permitted in these drainage courses.

The County of Los Angeles has also compiled a list of "Best Management Practices" that can assist the City's equestrian community in preventing pollution related to horsekeeping activities. These practices include:

  • Store materials and chemicals inside buildings or in covered, bermed areas.

  • Prevent animals from entering surface waters or environmentally sensitive areas.

  • Prevent wastewater from leaving the property when washing down animals or their stalls.

  • Protect all storage facilities and stables from rainfall and surface runoff by storing inside or covering it outside.

  • Prevent erosion and control drainage areas on the property.

  • Avoid the use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers within 100 feet of storm drains and watercourses.

  • Use native, drought-tolerant plants to retain soils and reduce erosion and pollution.

  • Avoid locating corrals or pastures near streams that may flood.

  • Avoid heavy trail use immediately after a rain to protect trail systems and prevent erosion.

Contact the Planning Division at (310) 544-5228 for more information about the City's horsekeeping regulations,


GET CAUGHT UP IN THE CITY'S NEW WEB SITE

The City's new web site will be up for viewing early this spring. You can find it on the Internet at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.

This revised web site contains a lot of information about Rancho Palos Verdes: park locations, playground facilities, whale watching information and a listing of organizations providing recreational activities in our community.

If you want to inquire about employment opportunities with the City, how to apply for a building permit, read the latest copy of the City's "Budget in Brief" or find out about the Neighborhood Watch program, all of that will be on the web site.

Coming on line later this Spring will be the Municipal Code which contains the laws of the City governing such matters as building and zoning requirements, animal control, or how to get a City business license. This Code section will have keyword search ability. For instance, if you type in the words "business license application" you will be directed to 5.04.110. That's the shorthand for Title 5, Chapter 04, Section 110, and it contains all of the regulations about City business licenses.

Upcoming City Council agendas can also be accessed from the website the weekend before the meeting. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of the month. Also available will be the staff reports for agenda items.

The overhaul of the City's web site is a work in progress and will be phased in this year. As always, give us your comments and ideas at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.


WANT TO GET RID OF HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE?

Do it the Right Way - for Free!

WHERE: Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall/City Yard,

30940 Hawthorne Blvd.,

mile from Palos Verdes Dr. West.

WHEN: Saturday, May 20th

TIME:9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Bring materials such as automotive fluids, brake fluids, paint, paint thinner, turpentine, cleaners with acid or lye, pesticides or herbicides, household batteries or car batteries, pool chemicals, and used oil or oil filters.

There is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds of waste per vehicle. Bring the items in a sturdy box, preferably in their original, labeled containers. Do not mix hazardous materials together! EXPLOSIVES, AMMUNITION, RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS OR MATERIALS FROM BUSINESSES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Los Angeles County will conduct this Household Hazardous Waste Roundup. For more information on household hazardous waste or storm water pollution prevention, call (888) CLEAN LA, or (800) 238-0172.


TRAFFIC DELAYS

PALOS VERDES MARATHON - JUNE 3

On Saturday, June 3 from 7:00am to 1:00pm, the Kiwanis Club of Rolling Hills Estates is conducting a portion of their 34th Annual Palos Verdes Marathon on Palos Verdes Drive West and Palos Verdes Drive South in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. If you live in this area or must travel this route on June 3, please allow yourself extra time because traffic delays are probable. The U.S. Track & Field sanctioned Palos Verdes Marathon is one of the oldest races in the country and attracts about 1500 runners from around the world. The Kiwanis Club of Rolling Hills Estates donates proceeds from this race to local organizations and charities. If you are interested in running in the race or would like to volunteer, please call event organizers at (310) 828-4123.


SAVE THE PLANET IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD

Attend a Composting Workshop.Get a Rebate on a Composting Bin

Do your part to save the planet by learning how to compost. Attend a workshop scheduled for Saturday, April 29th at Hesse Park, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard. The workshop starts at 10:00 a.m. and runs until noon. There will be free giveaways to attendees.

City residents who purchase a composting bid will get a full rebate on the purchase price up to $70. Proof of residency and an itemized receipt for the purchase of the bin is necessary to get this refund.

Bins can be purchased at the Do-It-Center, 28901 Western Avenue (Western & Caddington), at Rolling Hills Nursery, or at the Home Depot.

For more information on this workshop, contact the Public Works Department at 310-544-5252.


Airplane Noise Update

Last December FAA officials announced that the Southern California Task Force largely accomplished its goals and disbanded the Task Force in favor of establishing a round table working group, which would convene bi-annually. Disappointed by this action, the City Council urged Federal Aviation Administrator Jane Garvey to re-activate the Task Force until the implementation of the long awaited Palos Verdes Demonstration Project. Although the Task Force has been abolished, FAA officials say they are moving forward with the Demonstration Project, which is anticipated to begin this spring.

With the hopes of pressuring the FAA into re-activating the Task Force, many Peninsula residents and other South Bay residents as well as local City officials participated in a peaceful demonstration in front of the FAA Regional Office Building last February.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Demonstration Project is essentially a test study to determine whether the aircraft noise from LAX will lessen by re-routing the turbo prop flight routes currently headed south or eastbound over the Peninsula. Under this demonstration project, turboprop aircraft from LAX will fly out over the ocean approximately 3 miles from the Peninsula coastline, and then cross over Orange County, possibly over the cities of Seal Beach, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. By no means will the demonstration project eliminate all aircraft traffic over the Peninsula; many aircraft (non-LAX and other general aviation traffic) would likely remain over the Peninsula.

For more information on the FAA Task Force, you may view the FAA website at www.awp.faa.gov under the sub-heading: Southern California Task Force.

If you've experienced excessive aircraft noise, please report your complaint to the FAA at 310-725-3638 and LAX at 310-646-6473.

A Peninsula-wide citizen group called Peninsula Aircraft Noise/Safety Information Committee (P.A.N.I.C.) is closely monitoring this issue. Residents interested in PANIC may call City Hall or check out the website, www.palosverdes.com/rpv under aircraft noise for more information.


Contributing writers: Lauren Ramezani, Dennis McLean, Kit Fox, Gina Park, Ara Mihranian, Greg Pfost, Carolynn Petru, Marla Doyle, and Joi Anderson.