ORDINANCE NO. 439 U
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES EXTENDING URGENCY ORDINANCE NO. 427U AND ESTABLISHING A MORATORIUM ON THE ISSUANCE OF CERTAIN PERMITS AND THE PROCESSING OF PLANNING APPROVALS AND SUSPENDING CERTAIN PREVIOUSLY ISSUED BUILDING PERMITS AND APPROVALS, IN THE LANDSLIDE MORATORIUM AREA OUTLINED IN RED AND BLUE ON THE LANDSLIDE MORATORIUM MAP ON FILE IN THE CITY’S PLANNING, BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENT, AND DECLARING THE URGENCY THEREOF.
WHEREAS, in September 1978, the City Council adopted Urgency Ordinance No. 108U, which established the Landslide Moratorium Area in a portion of the City, as depicted on a map that is on file in the City’s Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement; and
WHEREAS, in February 1981, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 139U, which added the area known as Klondike Canyon to the Landslide Moratorium Area, which is described as the area outlined in red on the map that is on file in the City’s Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement; and
WHEREAS, in September 1989, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 247, which added a new provision to the Landslide Moratorium Ordinance that provided the possibility for more intense development than previously was permitted in the Klondike Canyon Area, as outlined in blue on the map that is on file in the City’s Department of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement (“Blue Area”); and
WHEREAS, in May 2005, following the unusual winter rains during the winter of 2004-2005, the first indications that the Blue Area may be experiencing landslide movement appeared; and
WHEREAS, in October 2005, the City received a report from the City Geologist, who was reviewing a proposed development in the Blue Area, that discussed the issue of landslide movement in the Blue Area; and
WHEREAS, based on the new evidence of landslide movement in the Blue Area, the City Council has asked the City Geologist to determine whether the more flexible development standards that had been allowed in the Blue Area since 1989 should be repealed so that the Blue Area will be subject to the same development criteria that are applicable to the other areas that are subject to the Landslide Moratorium Ordinance, as was the case from February 1981 through September 1989; and,
WHEREAS, on November 15, 2005, the City Council adopted Urgency Ordinance No. 427U, which established a 60-day moratorium on the processing and issuance of building, grading or other permits, and landslide moratorium exception permits and the processing or approval of Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Reports, Conditional Use Permits, height variation applications, tentative maps or parcel maps in the Blue Area and temporarily suspended Section 15.20.040 K of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code pending the completion of new geological data to determine whether construction in the Blue Area is safe in light of the newly observed instability or if the proposed development could adversely impact the stability of said Area; and,
WHEREAS, because the Global Positioning System (“GPS”) Data still was being collected, and the City Geologist still was in the process of completing the review of that data to assess the potential impacts of construction in the Blue Area upon the overall stability of said Area and upon the public health, safety and welfare and, accordingly, needed additional time to complete that review before determining if the moratorium imposed by Ordinance 427U should be lifted, the moratorium was extended by the City Council to March 21, 2006; and
WHEREAS, because the City Geologist’s report has been completed and presented to the City Council, but the City Council would like to conduct a study session to discuss the Moratorium Area and the geologic issues that are relevant to development of new structures and additions to existing structures within the Moratorium Area before determining whether to amend the Chapter 15.20 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code;
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes hereby extends Urgency Ordinance 427U for an additional 71 days, until June 30, 2006. Except as otherwise modified by this Ordinance, all provisions of Urgency Ordinance No. 427U shall remain in full force and effect through and including June 30, 2006.
SECTION 2. In addition to suspending the provisions of Section 15.20.040 K of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code, the provisions of Paragraphs H and L of Section 15.20.040 also are suspended, and no permits or approvals shall be processed or granted by the City pursuant to any of those Paragraphs.
SECTION 3. Notwithstanding any other ordinance or code of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, no application for a building permit, grading permit, conditional use permit, height variation, tentative map or parcel map for the subdivision of land, or other any other permit to develop property, or for a Landslide Exception Permit shall be accepted for filing, processed or approved as to any land within the Landslide Moratorium Area, as outlined in Red or Blue on the Map that is on file in the City’s Planning Building and Code Enforcement Department, and no such permit shall be issued, for any project for which a landslide moratorium exception permit had been issued previously by the City pursuant to Paragraphs H, K and L of Section 15.20.040 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code.
SECTION 4. Other than the building permit and other permits that have been issued by the City to construct the home at 4369 Dauntless Drive and any other home where above-ground construction work has been performed in substantial reliance on a building permit that has been issued by the City, which shall not be affected by the provisions of this Ordinance, any building or grading permit, landslide moratorium exception permit, or other permit for new construction in the Landslide Moratorium Area, which has been previously granted by the City but which has not been acted upon in substantial reliance by the holder thereof, is suspended indefinitely. Construction in reliance on any such suspended permit shall be prohibited unless and until the City lifts the suspension.
SECTION 5. It has recently come to the attention of the City Council that the land identified in the Blue Area, which was previously thought to be stable, may in fact be experiencing current landslide movement. In order to protect the public health, safety and welfare, the City Geologist was to review recently collected GPS Data to determine the stability of the land in question and to whether development of new structures on undeveloped lots or parcels, substantial additions to existing homes, or the construction of certain accessory structures on properties in the Blue Area should be allowed. The City Geologist’s report has been completed and has been submitted to the City Council. However, additional time is needed for the City Council to conduct a study session to discuss the Moratorium Area and the geologic issues that are relevant to development of new structures and additions to existing structures within the Moratorium Area before determining whether to amend the Chapter 15.20 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code. Thus, the City Council needs additional time to review the report and determine whether additional controls on development are necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare from the harmful effects associated with slope failure. The City Council finds that continued development in the Landslide Moratorium Area during this additional time could expose residents to undue health hazards and safety risks and pose a current and immediate threat to the public health, safety, or general welfare and approval of additional entitlements for development inconsistent with the provisions of Urgency Ordinance No. 427U would frustrate the City’s ability to protect the public health, safety and welfare by minimizing the adverse effects of slope failure. This ordinance is therefore necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety and welfare and shall take effect immediately upon adoption as an urgency ordinance. This ordinance is effective until 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2006, unless further extended by the City Council.
PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED this 18th day of April 2006.
/s/ Stefan Wolowicz
/s/ Carolynn Petru
STATE OF CALIFORNIA )
I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, do hereby certify that the whole number of members of the City Council of said City is five; that the foregoing Ordinance No. 439U was duly and regularly adopted by the City Council of said City at a regular meeting thereof held on April 18, 2006, and that the same was passed and adopted by the following roll call vote:
AYES: Clark, Gardiner, Long, Stern, and Mayor Wolowicz