Spring 2001

Table of Contents
NATURAL COMMUNITY CONSERVATION PLANNING ACT

Staff to Prepare Analysis of "Preferred" Preserve Design

This is third in a series of articles about the City’s participation and lead role in the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (NCCP). (See Preserving Peninsula Habitat in the Winter and Spring 1999 issues of the City NEWSLETTER.) The NCCP provides for the preparation and implementation of large-scale natural conservation plans. These plans identify and provide for the area-wide protection and perpetuation of natural wildlife diversity while allowing for compatible and appropriate development and growth. In 1995, the City entered into a NCCP planning agreement with the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a NCCP subarea plan that will encompass the entire City.

As the lead agency of the Palos Verdes Peninsula NCCP, the City is responsible for developing a database of biological resources and land use information in a manner that will help the City and wildlife agencies make informed land use and conservation decisions for future projects.

So far, the City has completed Phase I of the Plan, the primary focus of which was to map existing vegetation communities, the distribution of sensitive species and their potential habitat, and to then use this information to develop alternative reserve designs. Phase II of the Plan is currently underway and involves an economic and biological analysis of habitat preserve alternatives, including a preferred preserve alternative.

Last December the latest draft preserve alternative (Alternative C) was presented to the City Council for review and to obtain their approval to re-initiate and complete the NCCP planning process. Council directed staff to prepare a more detailed comparative analysis of the design alternatives and to present those findings at a future workshop.

That analysis was presented to the Council in March and staff was authorized to perform an economic and budget analysis of all three alternatives and work toward completing Phase II of the Plan. That phase will conclude with the selection of a "preferred" preserve design for the City and the preparation of a habitat preserve management report. The analysis and eventual selection of the preferred preserve alternative will take approximately five months.

A description of the NCCP Program, with status updates, is available for viewing on the City’s website at www.palosverdes.com/rpv/planning A copy of the NCCP draft alternative No. 5 plan may be viewed and obtained from the website. Residents who want to receive notices of upcoming NCCP Planning Group meetings or any other public notices regarding this program via e-mail, should subscribe to the NCCP listserv group. Instructions for signing up are at the same website address, at the end of the NCCP Program information.

CITY SIGNS AGREEMENT TO BUY MORE OPEN SPACE

98 Acres To Be Purchased with Measure "A" Funds

In continuing to pursue its objective to preserve open space, the City recently entered into a agreement with Palos Verdes Portuguese Bend LLC to acquire 98 acres of land on the south slope of the Peninsula near the Portuguese Bend area. Known as the Barkentine property, this vacant parcel is generally located between Crest Road and Palos Verdes Drive South, and is flanked by McCarrell’s Canyon on the west side and Barkentine Canyon on the east side. The $2 million to purchase this property comes from Measure A park bond money that was approved by the voters of Los Angeles County in 1996.

The property, with rolling hillsides and steep canyons, has many features that make it worthy of preservation: pedestrian and equestrian trails that provide recreational opportunities for the public crisscross the site. While hiking on the property, one is struck not only by the beauty of the land itself, but of the stunning views of the rugged coastline, the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Native plants and animals thrive on the site, underscoring the property’s importance in completing the City’s Natural Communities Conservation Planning effort.

The acquisition of the Barkentine property is the most recent of open space acquisition that the City has made in the last few years. In 1997, the City purchased the 160-acre Forrestal property using a combination of County Measure A and state funding sources. Along the coastline, the County transferred ownership of the 56-acre Shoreline Park to the City in 1998. Another acquisition was the 70 acres of public open space within the Oceanfront Estates project at the end of Hawthorne Boulevard. That property was acquired in 1999. These passive, natural open spaces complement the City’s more active parks such as Hesse Park, Robert E. Ryan Park and Eastview Park.

Public ownership of the Barkentine property will preserve a sizeable area of natural open space that has attracted people to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Its preservation will ensure public access to its magnificent vistas and serenity now and for future generations.

APPELLATE COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF VIEW ORDINANCE

State Supreme Court To Decide Whether to Hear Appeal

The City’s view restoration ordinance has withstood another challenge with a state appellate court ruling in its favor and rejecting all of the challenges raised in a 1998 lawsuit filed against the City. Subsequent to this January ruling, the court agreed to publish the decision and this effectively prevents further lawsuits challenging the merits of the ordinance. An appeal of this appellate court decision has been filed with the state Supreme Court and that court has until mid-April to decide whether to hear the appeal. Meanwhile, the City will continue to process view preservation and restoration applications filed by residents.

The View Restoration and Preservation process provides a mechanism for City residents to restore or preserve a view that is impaired by foliage. Since its approval by the voters in 1989, the ordinance, sometimes referred to as Proposition M, has been the subject of a lot of controversy. In 1991 a lawsuit was filed against the City challenging the constitutionality of Proposition M. While the City prevailed in that matter, the appellate court did not rule on the merits of the ordinance thus allowing subsequent lawsuits to continue.

In 1998 a new lawsuit was filed in response to a City decision on an application that required the trimming and lacing of several trees. That lawsuit challenged the ordinance on several fronts: 1) its constitutionality; 2) that it was an unlawful exercise of City's police power; 3) that it constituted a taking of private property without just compensation; and, 4) that it deprived an individual of due process. Late in 1999, a judge ruled that the ordinance was a valid exercise of the City's police power. The tree owner filed an appeal of that decision resulting in the latest appellate court’s decision in the City’s favor.

For more information regarding the View Restoration and Preservation Ordinance and/or the View Restoration Commission, please contact the Planning, Building and Code Enforcement Department at 310-544-5228.

PEAFOWL – THINNING THE FLOCK

U. C. Davis Expert to Conduct Trapping Demonstration

On any given day as many as 30 peafowl can be seen roosting, preening, feeding or wandering around on private property in several of the City’s neighborhoods. During the past few years City Hall has received an increasing number of complaints from residents who live close to some of these large peafowl flocks. These complaints have ranged from destruction of flowerbeds and other property damage to disruption of street traffic.

To help minimize these problems, the City Council authorized a demonstration project to trap 50 peafowl from the Ridgecrest, Portuguese Bend and Vista Grande neighborhoods—the areas with the largest flocks. The purpose of this trapping demonstration is to reduce, not eliminate, the City’s peafowl population. All peafowl trapped will be relocated to approved adoptive homes such as the Wildlife Way Station in the Angeles National Forest, peafowl fanciers, and 4-H poultry families in Southern California.

The City Council’s approval of this project was based upon the Peafowl Population Assessment Report prepared by Dr. Francine Bradley, Poultry Specialist with the University of California Davis. A copy of Dr. Bradley’s study is available on the City’s web site at www.palosverdes.com/rpv.

For this demonstration, traps large enough to hold at least 10 birds will be built and placed on private property: trapping and relocation of peafowl will take place on the same day. Dr. Bradley has successfully trapped and relocated numerous peafowl and this demonstration is a unique opportunity for interested residents to observe her trapping techniques. The doctor will demonstrate the construction of customized peafowl trap as well as the proper techniques for catching and handling these birds.

Dr. Bradley will be responsible for the initial trapping project; after that, the City hopes to develop a network of volunteers to assist residents who are desirous of reducing the number of peafowl in their neighborhood.

To date, several residents have volunteered the use of their yards to set up traps and to help construct traps, catch peafowl, and transport peafowl carriers in their own vehicles to adoptive homes. Any resident wishing to volunteer or who wants to learn more about the peafowl project should contact Sr. Administrative Analyst Gina Park at 544-5206.

DON’T WANT TO BE ANNOYED BY DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITORS?

You Can Do Something About It

The City frequently receives complaints about door-to-door solicitors. Although this is a nuisance for residents, the City cannot prohibit this activity. The City, however, does have an ordinance that imposes certain restrictions. For starters, solicitors must submit an application for authorization to solicit. This rule applies to all solicitors, including non-profit groups such as the Girl Scouts or the March of Dimes. If the application is approved, then the City will issue a Letter of Authorization that is valid for one month from the date of issuance. Solicitors can operate only between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M., unless they are specifically invited on to the property.

To find out whether a solicitor at your door is authorized to do business in the City check out the "List of Current Authorized Solicitors" on the Finance Department’s web page @ www.palosverdes.com/rpv/finance. The site has a lot of information about solicitation including a sample of the Letter of Authorization, and a summary of the City’s solicitation regulations. The more informed residents are about the rules on solicitation, the better enforced the City’s ordinance.

For an absolute ban on solicitors knocking on your door, you must have a "No Soliciting" sign posted. Come down to City Hall at 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard and pick up a free "No Soliciting" sticker.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Why do you read the Newsletter? Is it to get the trash or transit schedule? Or, are you more interested in the articles about City projects such as the Abalone Cove sewer system and the update on the Pt. Vicente Interpretive Center that were highlighted in the Winter 2001 issue? Maybe you’re interested in the P&R class schedule. Whatever it is, let us hear from you.

You have several ways to let us have your comments: send an e-mail to the Newsletter Editor at www.palosverdes.com/rpv, write to us at City Hall, 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275, or you can call us at 310 544-5208.

LOCAL ELECTIONS SCHEDULED FOR THIS FALL

Filing Period Opens in Mid-July

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, the Palos Verdes Library District and the Palos Verdes Unified School District will hold their elections on Tuesday, November 6th. The filing period for nomination papers runs from July 16 through August 10. In the event an incumbent doesn’t file for re-election, the nomination period will be extended to August 15.

Rancho Palos Verdes City Council

This year there are two seats up for election on the Rancho Palos Verdes City Council. Nominations papers can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office in City Hall located at 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard, telephone number 310 544-5208.

City Council members are elected at large for a four year term of office. To be eligible to run, a person must be a resident of the City and be a registered voter.

School District and Library Board

This year there are two seats on the Peninsula Library Board and three seats on the Palos Verdes Unified School District Board up for election. Both of these boards are also elected at large and nomination papers can be obtained at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s Election Planning Section, located at 12400 Imperial Highway in the City of Norwalk, telephone number 562 462-2317.

GET A FREE RIDE TO THE El SEGUNDO EMPLOYMENT CENTER

Make Your Commute With Max

Take a Free Ride on the Municipal Area Express (MAX) April 16, 2001 to April 20, 2001. No special coupons are required and the number of rides are unlimited.

MAX is a commuter bus service specifically designed to address the commuting needs of South Bay residents who work in the El Segundo employment center. MAX offers three routes through the South Bay, and operates during the morning and afternoon peak commuting hours. The three commuter lines include Line 2 – Palos Verdes Peninsula, Line 3 – San Pedro/Torrance and Line 3X – Freeway Express/San Pedro. For more information contact the Regional Transit Information Center at 1-800-266-6883 or check out the MAX website at www.maxbus.com.

Surveys show that 90% of all regular MAX riders adore the service MAX provides. For eleven years, smart people have been saving money and time with MAX. And while riding MAX probably won’t solve California’s energy problems, you can use the money you save to pay your electricity bill!

A Free Ride on MAX Probably Won’t Solve

California’s Energy Problems,

But You Can Use the Money You Save to Pay Your Electricity Bill!

ANOTHER CHANCE TO GET RID OF HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE

Annual Round-up to be Held at City Hall Yard

It’s that time of year again when you can get rid of household hazardous waste the right way. The County of Los Angeles is sponsoring another free roundup, so put this notice the family’s bulletin board—the refrigerator.

WHERE: Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall/City Yard, Located at 30940 Hawthorne Blvd., one-half mile from Palos Verdes Dr. West.

WHEN: Saturday, May 5, 2001 from 9 a.m. to 3 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.

Place your 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.

For more information on household hazardous waste or storm water pollution prevention, please call (888) CLEAN LA, or (800) 238-0172.

Los Angeles International Airport Expansion

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) have released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIR/EIS) for the LAX Master Plan. The public comment period will continue through July 25, 2001. The City of Rancho Palos Verdes along with other members within the South Bay Council of (City) Governments has hired a consultant to review the draft EIR/EIS and to prepare written comments on our behalf.

All documents, including the Draft EIS/EIR and all technical reports and appendices are available for review on LAWA’s website at www.laxmasterplan.org. Interested individuals may also make an appointment to view the documents on compact disks at City Hall.

Public Hearings the on the Draft EIS/EIR will be held on June 9, 2001 from noon to 7:00 p.m. simultaneously at three locations: Furama Hotel Los Angeles, The Pavilion at Hollywood Park and Manhattan Beach Marriott. If you are unable to attend the public hearings, you may send written comments to: Mr. David Kessler, AICP, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. Box 92207, Worldway Postal Center, Los Angeles, CA., 90009-2007 or to Mr. Jim Ritchie, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, Master Plan Office, P.O. Box 92216, Los Angeles, CA., 90009-2216.

CATCH BASIN INSERTS WORK

City Meeting Federal Pollution Standards to Reduce Ocean Pollution

Last year in this Newsletter (Winter 2000) we reported on a grant that the City had received to install inserts in the City’s catch basins. These inserts act like a basket and capture debris, trash and organic chemicals before they enter into the City’s storm drain system. Effluent from this system enters directly into the ocean without any primary treatment.

Altogether there are 1000 catch basins in the City and during this past year 24 of the basins along Hawthorne Boulevard, Western Avenue and the parking lots in City parks were fitted with these inserts. During the rains this past winter, these inserts proved to be very effective and have helped the City meet some of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System standards set out by the Federal Clean Water Act.

This project was partially funded by the Santa Monica Bay Competitive Grant program established pursuant to Proposition A approved by the voters of Los Angeles County in 1996. The total construction and inspection cost for this project was $12,000. The City will get reimbursed for approximately $8,300.

ATTIC FURNACE ALERT

See if Your Home Furnace is Listed

This past January an article in the Daily Breeze described the 21 attic fires that a senior inspector for the Torrance Fire Department had documented since 1990. All of these fires were attributed to faulty attic furnaces manufactured by Consolidated Industries. The Breeze article stated that "the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission [has] warned that the gas-fired horizontal forced-air furnaces made by Consolidated—and sold under a variety of different names—present a substantial risk of fire." A recent attic fire in a Rancho Palos Verdes home may have been caused by one of these furnaces.

Owners of attic furnaces with the following brand names and model numbers are advised to have them checked by The Gas Company, or by a licensed heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor:

Addison GHC

Amana GSE

American Best HCC

Arco Comfort Products GHB

Bard ESG

Century GSH

Comfort Aire GSH

Coleman 2505-2509B or C

Consolidated HAC/HCC

DMO Industries HCC

Franklin Electric HAC/HCC

Goettl HCC

Goodman HAC/HCC

GMC HAC/HCC

Hamilton Electric HAC/HCC

Heat Controller GHS

Heat Master HAC/HCC

Janitrol HAC/HCC

Johnstone HAC/HCC

Keeprite HAC/HCC

Kenmore 735

Liberty HAC/HCC

Magic Chef ENG

P.F.C. HAC/HCC

Premier HAC/HCC

Sears 735

Sunbelt HAC/HCC

Sunburst HAC/HCC

Sundial GH

Sun Glow HAC/HCC

Trane THN

Weatherking GHC

The Gas Company can be reached at 1-800-427-2200.

The City does not conduct safety inspections for existing gas furnaces, however, if you have one of these furnaces and wish to replace it, a building permit is required. Contact the Building and Safety Division at 310-541-7702 for permit application procedures and fees.

IT JUST GOT EASIER TO STAY INFORMED

Join the "Listserv" System

Do you want to review a City Council agenda to find out what is going to be discussed at the next meeting? Or, do you want to know about proposed development projects in the City?

With the new "Listserv" feature on the City’s website www.palosverdes.com/rpv/listserver/index.cfm you can now have all of this information emailed to you. The Listserv index has many topics ranging from the Abalone Cove Sewer project to the Forrestal Management plan. Users can sign up for any number of the categories.

Stay informed—join the Listserv.

HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS AND GRANTS AVAILABLE

Low Income Program Has Funded 20 Projects

If you are in need of improvements to your home, the City can help. Improvements such as the repair or replacement of roofing, painting, heating, plumbing, windows, and other such repairs are eligible.

Through the use of Community Development Block Grant funds, grants of up to $5,000 and/or no interest loans of up to $10,000 are available to low and moderate income residents. Loans are payable upon the sale of the home or transfer of title.

Since its inception in 1999, this program has paid for 20 projects for a total funding of $223,975. Currently there are five projects under construction and another 15 residents are in the process of getting bids for work to be done.

Applications are being accepted now for the 2001-2001 fiscal year.

To be eligible for a grant and/or loan, you must be the owner and occupant of a single family detached dwelling, be a resident of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, and meet certain income requirements. Persons whose income is less than $29,200 for a one-person household or $33,350 for two-person household are eligible.

For income limits of larger households, additional information or an application, contact Esther Portillo at City Hall, telephone number 310-544-5252.

BE AN RPV BEAUTY

Apply for Recycling Grant

Clipper Road at Palos Verdes Drive South, Chaparral Lane at Palos Verdes Drive East, and Rue Beaupre at Palos Verdes Drive West are the latest recipients of a City recycling grant. These improvements to the lighting, landscaping, entry signs and irrigation were funded by a recycling grant. Make your neighborhood an RPV Beauty and apply for a grant. Have your homeowners association contact the Public Works Department at 310-544-5252.

PALOS VERDES MARATHON – MAY 19

Expect Traffic Delays

On Saturday, May 19, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the Kiwanis Club of Rolling Hills Estates is conducting a portion of their 35th 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 May 19, please allow yourself extra time because traffic delays are probable. The U. S. Track and 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 the event organizers at (310) 828-4123.

DOCENT TOURS CONTINUE AT OCEAN TRAILS

The Los Serenos de Point Vicente docents will continue to conduct guided tours of the Ocean Trails Project one day per month. The walks begin in the public parking lot at the end of La Rotonda Drive at Palos Verdes Drive South. Walks take place on paved, gently sloping trails along the bluff edge and though the habitat corridor. Participants are advised to wear comfortable shoes and a hat and to bring a bottle of water. Tours last about two hours. The next few tours will be conducted on Thursday, April 19 at 9:00 a.m. and Sunday, April 29 at 4:00 p.m. For more information, please call the hike line at (310) 377-0360, extension 309.

TRASH SCHEDULE FOR APRIL, MAY, JUNE AND JULY

Waste Management

April: No Changes.

May: There will be no trash pick-up on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. Trash and recycling scheduled for pickup on that date, will instead be picked-up on Tuesday 5/29. Tuesday’s trash and recycling will be picked-up on Wednesday, May 30. There will be no change in the Thursday and Friday trash and green waste collections.

June: No Changes.

July: No Changes. There is no change in the regularly scheduled Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday collections.

Ivy Rubbish Disposal

April, May and June: No Changes.

July: There will trash pickup on Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4th, however, recycling will not be picked up on that day. Recycling will be picked up the following week on Wednesday, July 11th. There will be no change to the regularly scheduled Thursday, Friday and Saturday collections.

Editor: Jo Purcell

Contributing Writers:

Nancie Silver, Judy Huey, Gina Park, Dennis McLean, Joel Rojas, Jo Purcell, Carolynn Petru, Lauren Ramezani, Trayci Nelson, Kit Fox. Photographs by Rocky Hale.