CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES
APRIL 10, 2001
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Lyon at 7:00 p.m. at the Fred Hesse Community Room 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Vice Chairman Clark led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Present:††††††††††††††††††††† Commissioners Cartwright, Long, Mueller, Paulson, Vice Chairman Clark, Chairman Lyon
Absent:†††††††††††††††††††††† Commissioner Vannorsdall was absent (excused).
Also present were Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement Rojas, Deputy Director Snow, Senior Planner Fox, and Acting Senior Planner Mihranian
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Without objection, the agenda was approved as presented.
Director/Secretary Rojas distributed late public correspondence and a recent letter from the National Park Service related to Agenda Item No. 4.
Commissioner Cartwright reported on his attendance at the Community Leaders Breakfast and the report on the City storm drains presented by the Director of Public Works.
Commissioner Long stated that he and two other Commissioners had met with staff to discuss the application procedure contained in the view ordinance for processing† height variation permits and that this may be a future agenda item for discussion.
Chairman Lyon reported on his attendance at the Mayorís Breakfast.
1. Minutes of March 28, 2001
Without objection, the minutes were approved as presented, (6-0).
2.†††††††† Site Plan Review No. 8631;† International Christian Association (applicant), 30227 Via Borica
Chairman Lyon waived the staff report and without objection Site Plan Review 8631 was approved as presented, (6-0).
3.††††††††††† Amendment No. 1 to Conditional Use Permit No. 191 Ė Revision ĎAí:† Edward Gala, Nextel Communications (applicant) 6507 Ocean Crest Drive
Commissioner Paulson noted that he lived within 2,500 feet of the project but he did not feel this would pose any problem in his hearing the item.
Commissioner Long stated that his law firm does work on antenna locations for a number of companies, and though he was not personally involved in the work he could not confirm that this particular company was or was not a current client and therefore he felt he should recuse himself from hearing this application.
Chairman Lyon stated that he also lived within the 2,500-foot radius of the project but did not feel there was a problem hearing the application.
Senior Planner Fox presented the staff report.† He reviewed the history of the Conditional Use Permit and the proposed amendment to the permit.† Staff felt this amendment was consistent with the Planning Commissionís original approval and recommended adoption of the draft Planning Commission Resolution.
Commissioner Mueller asked if the applicant had done any testing to verify that the proposed antenna relocation will correct the interference problem.
Ed Gala representing Nextel Communications stated that testing had been done and felt the interference would now be corrected.
Commissioner Cartwright asked if this move would do anything to help the reception problem on the west side of the city.
Mr. Gala did not know but would check with his engineers and inform them of the problem.
Commissioner Cartwright moved to approve the staff recommendations thereby adopting P.C. Resolution No. 2001-05, seconded by Vice Chairman Clark. Approved, (5-0-1) with Commissioner Long abstaining.
COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE REGARDING NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Lois Larue 3136 Barkentine Road discussed her objection to the approval of the guard booths at CPH and the upcoming Coastal Commission hearing regarding that item.
Director/Secretary Rojas updated the Commission on the status of the guard booths and the hearing before the Coastal Commission.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONT.) †
4.†††††††† Long Point Resort:† Destination Development Corporation (applicant) 6610 Palos Verdes Drive South and 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard.
Chairman Lyon briefly reviewed the tentative hearing schedule for the Long Point project, explaining, however, that the Planning Commission will take as long as necessary to hear all comments and deliberate as thoroughly as necessary before making any recommendations to the City Council.† He noted that because the proposed project consists of a General Plan Amendment, the Commission was required to analyze the merits of the project and forward a recommendation to the City Council for their final action.† As such, the project will to go the City Council as a matter of course, and not as an appeal.† Chairman Lyon also stated that the City currently has a master plan for parks that was published in 1989 by the Recreation and Parks Department.† He noted that the plan includes a golf course on the City property referred to as the Upper Point Vicente area.† Secondly, he noted that the City gave its approval in 1997 to York Long Point Associates to include that property in their development proposals.† He stated that this did not obligate the City in any way to approve the project.† He stated that the applicant was including City land in its proposal because the City extended the invitation, and it may or may not turn out to be a good idea.† Finally, Chairman Lyon reported that all of the Planning Commissioners attended the SOC II walkabout at the City property on March 17.† They did not meet as a Commission nor did they discuss the merits of the project nor any of its features.†
Deputy Director Snow presented the staff report.† He briefly described the project and the two areas involved, the Long Point area, former Marineland site, and the City Hall property referred to as the Upper Point Vicente area.† He reviewed the applications involved for both areas noting that only the Long Point area was subject to the Coastal Permit requirement and that only the Upper Point Vicente area was subject to the General Plan Amendment.† He noted a table in the staff report that listed the various zoning and General Plan land use designations.† He discussed the Program of Utilization and Deed Restriction associated with the Upper Point Vicente project.† He noted that the National Park Service has indicated that properties transferred to local agencies through the Federal Lands to Parks Program, have, in the past, been approved for golf courses and found to comply with the public use requirement.† Mr. Snow explained that the deed restricts the ability of the City to transfer interest in the property and precludes leasing or selling the property.† For purposes of this project, if it were implemented, the City would have the ability to enter into a Concession Agreement with the applicant that would allow for operation of any type of use on the Upper Point Vicente property, subject to review and approval from the National Park Service.† He stated that the applicant has prepared and submitted a draft plan of operation for the management of the golf course which has been provided to the National Park Service for their review.† Mr. Snow noted that the staff report also discusses biological resources on the site, historical resources, recreational resources, and past uses considered on the property.† He noted that the staff report was broad and staff will be returning in future meetings with much more detailed analysis including grading, architecture, required findings, affordable housing, conditions of approval, transportation and circulation, and other pertinent issues
Commissioner Cartwright asked about the previous approvals of golf courses by the National Park Service and in what cities those approvals were located.
Deputy Director Snow answered that one was a public golf course in Camarillo but could not recall where the others in California were located.† He noted that he would research the information and report back to the Commission.
Commissioner Cartwright asked about the concerns and issues raised during the Draft EIR comment period.† He stated that he found many of the comments very interesting, particularly those on the traffic study.† He asked if the responses would also be sent to the Traffic Committee.
Deputy Director Snow stated that the Final EIR would not return to the Traffic Committee.† However the Traffic Committee would be considering the merits of the project.† He stated he would make sure the Traffic Committee had the information for that meeting.
Vice Chairman Clark asked if the Coastal Commission would also be involved in the project and at what point.
Deputy Director Snow responded that the Coastal Commission would most likely be involved after the City Council decision but before the National Park Service review.† He did not know, however, if the National Park service process could be concurrent with the Coastal Commissionís process.
Chairman Lyon opened the public hearing.
Mike Mohler 11777 San Vicente Blvd. Los Angeles (applicant representing Destination Development) asked those in support of the project, who chose not to speak, to raise their hands.† He stated that he was confident that the Planning Commission would review this project in great detail and was confident that he could provide the Commission and public with honest answers.† At this point, Mr. Mohler presented a power point presentation beginning with a computer-generated model of the project with architecture and building heights.† Mr. Mohler discussed Destination Development, itís background, and past and current projects.† He presented a brief background of the Long Point property and some of the conditions of approval given by the City and Coastal Commission when they approved the Monahan project in 1991.† He showed how these conditions had been incorporated into the current plan.†
He also showed a plan which incorporated conditions imposed on the Monahan approval, and commented that construction of these approvals was not feasible to land constraints, and that a 9-hole golf course could not be built under these approvals and conditions.
Jeff Butelo 706 W. Broadway, Glendale, stated that he was a Certified Engineering Geologist.† He stated that he had been asked by Destination Development to perform an independent review of the previous geotechnical work that had been performed on the site. He stated that his findings and conclusions were presented in a summary report dated April 5, 2001.† He stated that the objectives of the site investigation were to characterize sub-surface soil and bedrock conditions at the site, evaluate possible landslides and general slope stability, and evaluate possible seismic effects to be expected at the site.† He stated that the development site was explored and there were numerous borings done to depths of 200 feet.† He discussed the soil conditions at both sites and stated that based on the results of the extensive geologic and geotechnical investigations performed at both sites, he felt the proposed development project was feasible from a geotechnical standpoint.† He stated that slope stability, potential landslides, cliff face retreat, faulting and seismically relating effects and other geological hazards that could affect the site have been properly evaluated and not considered adverse with respect to the development of the property.† He noted that adverse geologic conditions that were responsible for the large-scale landsliding several miles to the east of the project were not present at the subject site.† He concluded that the project site was considered stable and suitable for the intended development.†
Paul Edwards representing Forma Design Inc. stated that his role in this project was that of coastal planner.† He stated that a project like Long Point must have significant benefits to the local community.† He stated that plans and designs must be sensitive to the surrounding environment and to the priorities placed on the environment.† He felt the coastal area should be looked at as a district, not an individual site, by including the lighthouse, the interpretive center, restaurants, golf, picnicking, trails, and much more.† He felt there was an opportunity to increase native habitat, to avoid impacts, and to improve habitat at areas that have been significantly damaged in the past.† He discussed the proposed public trails and parks and noted that the project proposes eleven miles of public trails and bikeways.† He stated that project proposed moving the hotel and golf course development back from the bluff to provide a continuous blufftop walkway with a series of overlooks.† He stated another benefit of this project was a grade separated crossing of Palos Verdes Drive West that would link the City Hall and Upper Point Vicente area with the resort hotel area and shoreline area without having to cross a public road.† Mr. Edwards discussed the different parks and trails proposed and the benefits of these to the City.† He stated that the project avoids all of the Southern Coastal Bluff Scrub on the resort hotel area, minimizes impact to the 18.4 acres of Coastal Sage Scrub and Southern Cactus Scrub on Upper Point Vicente, but would impact 2.3 acres on Upper Point Vicente.† He noted that those impacts were only for public access trails, golf cart paths, and tees.† He stated that there would be an 80 percent increase in native habitat in Upper Point Vicente after proposed restoration/reconstruction of habitat was completed.† He concluded by stating that he felt the proposal was founded on a sound concept, was environmentally sensitive, safe, and attractive.
David Levine 30 Crystal Cove, Newport Beach stated he was a natural resources consultant and professional biologist.† He stated that the focus of his work has been on the evaluation of development impacts to the coastal sage scrub environment and designing mitigation programs that help coastal sage scrub and biological resources fit together.† He stated that there was opportunity with this project to provide additional habitat, and when the project is completed there will be a net increase in habitat.† He stated that he would be returning to the Planning Commission at a later date to discuss the project in more detail.†
Mr. Mohler continued his computer presentation and gave a brief description of the hotel and other amenities proposed.† He stated that a Concession Agreement would be required with additional rents and considerations to the City if golf were approved on the City property.† He pointed out there would also be hundreds of new jobs as well as tourism dollars.† Mr. Mohler discussed the many modifications made to the project in response to requests from the City and members of the community and stated that he would like to continue to hear concerns and work with City.†
RECESS AND RECONVENE
At 9:00 p.m. the Commission took a short recess to 9:15 p.m. at which time they reconvened.
PUBLIC HEARINGS (CONT.)
Commissioner Paulson asked Mr. Mohler what protection the City would have to allow the golf course to continue to operate for the benefit of the public if the hotel were to face financial difficulties.
Mr. Mohler answered Destination Resorts would work with the City to construct adequate provisions to allow the City to step into management of the golf course if that event happened.
Vice Chairman Clark asked what makes the 9-hole golf course essential to the project as a whole and what makes it viable.
Mr. Mohler responded that there was an amenity needed on the site to draw people to the hotel.† He felt that without the 9-hole golf course there was not another amenity that would attract people to the hotel nor this area.
Commissioner Long asked about the spa located at the hotel and if it would be accessible to the residents and what facilities would be available to the residents.
Mr. Mohler answered that it would be available to the public, but specifics have not yet been settled.† Nonetheless a lap pool arrangement within the spa had been considered.† He did state that the hotel pools would not be opened up to the spa patrons.† He described the other features planned for the spa and stated that the spa would be available to the public.
Commissioner Long asked about the declining value of tee times as they get closer to the time, characterizing them as a wasting asset.† He also inquired whether the developer would be willing to provide tee times to the public more than 24 hours in advance.
Mr. Mohler responded that he would look into the issue.
Commissioner Cartwright asked if any consideration had been given to giving preferential treatment to local residents in regards to tee time or green fees.
Mr. Mohler stated that he was not aware of any discussions regarding this matter but would check into the matter.
Deputy Director Snow stated that past indications from the National Park Service were that preferences of that type most likely would not be acceptable for maintaining public use of the property pursuant to the public use deed restriction on Upper Point Vicente property.
Vice Chairman Clark noted that in Palos Verdes Estates there were two examples of private enterprises using City land, notably the beach club and a golf course.† He stated that these two businesses provide preferential access to residents of Palos Verdes Estates.† He asked how this was possible and why Rancho Palos Verdes could not do the same if entering into a joint land use development project.† He noted there were several coastal public golf courses that did the same
Deputy Director Snow stated that the distinction would be the property in Rancho Palos Verdes carries a deed restriction, which the property in Palos Verdes Estates may not.† He stated he would continue to look into the possibility and report back to the Commission at a later date.
Commissioner Mueller discussed the use of the trails proposed and asked how those trails would be made accessible to the public during all hours of operation.
Mr. Mohler showed a display which outlined which trails would be open all day and which trails would be in the golf course with limited access.† He discussed the idea of parallel trails and in which areas they would work.
Chairman Lyon presented some conceptual alternatives that he asked the Planning Commission to think about during the deliberation process.† He stressed that this was a draft list intended to be used to scope out the range of alternatives the Planning Commission might want to consider.† He explained the alternatives, which were:† 1) deny the application, 2) redesign the project to work on the Long Point land only with no use of city land, 3) approve the requested use by the applicant, including the Upper Point Vicente area, 4) redesign the project using only the lower part of the Point Vicente property area for golf, 5) redesign the project using only the part of Upper Point Vicente area that lies to the south and east of the Coast Guard site,† excluding from the project the area between Villa Capri, the church, and the Coast Guard site, which would be dedicated to other public use.† He stated that he felt the list of alternatives could grow and the Planning Commission should not start eliminating any alternatives until after the public hearing process concludes.
Commissioner Cartwright stated that in looking at the map it was difficult to relate these alternatives to the map and it was not clear what the advantages and disadvantages were to these alternatives.
Chairman Lyon distributed a chart to the Commissioners that would allow them to list the advantages and disadvantages for each of the alternatives.† He explained that the chart was designed to allow the Commissioners to take notes as they were listening to the public input on the project.
Commissioner Long felt this was a useful approach but felt that listing the advantages and disadvantages was the ultimate conclusion, not something that could be done now.† He requested adding two alternatives to the list:† 1) redesign the project to limit development in the resort hotel area and other privately owned property, either owned by the developer or someone else, and 2) redesign the project to make use of land outside the resort hotel area that is the contaminated property in the Lower Point Vicente area.
Vice Chairman Clark stated that the applicant has come forward with a project that has taken quite a long time to shape.† He felt that the applicant had to be willing to consider and accept changes to the project.† He felt that the Planning Commission was early in the hearings of the merits of this proposed application.† He suggested hearing all of the testimony, coming to an understanding of the application, and then trying to shape or define the project with alternatives.
Chairman Lyon stated that his intention was to introduce the idea of alternatives and as the Commission goes through the process there may be a time where they will focus on the alternatives.† However, he did not think that time was now.
Chairman Lyon stated that there were approximately 55 speakers who had filled out speaker slips.† He noted that it was not possible to hear from all 55 speakers and still end the meeting at a reasonable hour, but the Commission would hear from as many speakers as possible.
Todd Anderson 2 Masongate Drive, representing the Girls Softball League, made a computer presentation.† He stated that the magnitude of the Long Point development offers the Planning Commission many opportunities to incorporate needed community facilities, one of which was youth athletic fields.† He stated that the youth leagues are growing as well and the expanding and reopening of school sites has made it difficult to find playing locations in the area.† He stated that the Girls Softball League board has been actively seeking facilities for over two years, but† available land and funding sources are scarce.† He stated that this development presents a rare opportunity to satisfy many community needs including the preservation of open space and native habitat, public coastal access, and recreation fields.† He explained that the Girls Softball League approached the developer about the possibility of creating recreation fields as part of this project.† After review of the Draft EIR he discovered that one of the alternative locations for a golf driving range on Lower Point Vicente was nearly flat, zoned for public access and recreation, and was the ideal size to create regulation softball fields without impacting the interpretive centerís planned expansion.† He stated that with a little larger area the site could also accommodate 4 soccer fields in the grass outfields.† He noted that this site is currently being used for agricultural purposes.† He stated that the site has excellent access, existing parking with more planned with the expansion of the interpretive center.† He stated that the developer had indicated he would relocate the original golf driving range and would forgo this alternative for one on the Long Point property and furthermore would contribute to the development of softball fields.† Mr. Anderson encouraged the Planning Commission to approve the Long Point project.† He felt the benefits of the project to the community far outweighed any perceived detriments.
Commissioner Long asked how many fields the developer has promised and how much money to assist in developing the fields.
Mr. Anderson stated that the developer had indicated willingness to help in grading the property, which would integrate 4 regulation size softball fields and four soccer fields.† He noted that this would double the number of fields on the Peninsula.† He stated that he had not gotten into specifics with the developer on the monetary contribution and hoped that the Planning Commission would work with the developer.†
Mrs. Vanden Bos 4706 Sugarhill Drive, Rolling Hills Estates, stated that she was speaking for her husband who is the regional assistant commissioner for Region 10 of AYSO.† She stated that the softball board has authorized Mr. Anderson to work with the AYSO regional board to put before the public the idea of the joint facility at Long Point.† She stated that 4 regulation size soccer fields would be greatly appreciated
Gloria Anderson 6818 Los Verdes Drive was concerned about the marketing of the project.† She stated that according to the Chamber of Commerce, occupancy rate in hotels in Los Angeles was approximately 75 percent.† She asked what type of occupancy the developer was expecting with this hotel and how they were going to get people to come to the hotel.† She noted that, while she sympathizes with Girls Softball, there was also a need for a teen center and a senior center in the City.
Tony Baker 16 Limetree Lane stated that he was opposed to golf on the
Upper Point Vicente property.† He felt it should remain passive recreational open space and private development did not belong on the property.† He stated that golf was not open space, passive recreation, environmentally friendly, or habitat.† He stated that the massive grading and fragmentation would be devastating to the habitat.† He stated that the Upper Point Vicente property was a critical link in the NCCP process because of its great habitat value.† He supported the SOC II alternative to the property.
Maryanne Hunter 1 Cinnamon Lane stated she was opposed to the use of public land for private enterprise.† She did not think most people in the community wanted Rancho Palos Verdes to be a tourist destination.† She did not understand why the Girls Softball League was so tightly linked to the developer since they did not own the land in question.† She felt that the softball fields could happen without the developer with city cooperation, private funding, and volunteerism.† She was concerned about the traffic problems with project would cause on the streets in the City.
Commissioner Paulson asked Ms. Hunter what she would like to see done on the property.
Ms. Hunter responded that there was not a need for a golf course or hotel.† She understood that others would like to see a hotel, as the current condition of the Long Point property was unacceptable.† She was not opposed to building on the Long Point property, but opposed to golf on City property.†
Barbara Walch 34 Oceanaire Drive distributed to the Planning Commission copies of a petition signed by over 2,000 residents who opposed giving public land to a developer. She supported the SOC II alternative.
Vice Chairman Clark asked Ms. Walsh if she had considered doing a citywide questionnaire to get input from the residents of this City.
Ms. Walsh responded that she had hoped the City Council would take the initiative in that proposal.† She did not think it was a function of SOC II.
Ray Mathys 5738 Whitecliff Drive discussed residential property values on the peninsula and how Rancho Palos Verdes is beginning to lag behind the other cities on the hill and beach cities.† He stated that the park and land acquisition program has not improved the property value compared to the other cities.† He felt that without the Cityís Utility Users Tax the City would be hard pressed to maintain the parks and their buildings each year.† He felt a golf course provides a certain ambiance of upscale quality and prestige that is needed to ensure the success of a resort hotel.† He stated that Upper Point Vicente belonged to the entire city and it was expected that this land would be put to its highest and best use for the benefit for the entire community.† He felt it was absolutely essential the project not be compromised in any way and that every effort is made to guarantee its success.
Lee McGee 34 Avenida Corona stated that he chose to live in the City for itís open space and natural beauty and wanted to see the Upper Point Vicente area stay as it is.† He was against using any public land for private enterprise.†
Vic Quirarte 29369 Quailwood Drive stated that if there were any golf facilities placed in or around the Interpretive Center the docents would protest.† He agreed with the need for softball and AYSO fields and felt the City should work with the organizations to help achieve their goals.† He discussed a letter from California Fish and Game dated April 5, 2001 which stated the proposed project would significantly affect the preparation the NCCP plan.† He discussed fragmentation that would occur.† Mr. Quirarte stated that there were many types of wildlife that were not endangered, but rare and found on the Point Vicente site.† He felt a golf course would add a lot of water to the area and increase the risk of landslides.† He concluded by stating that he did not think Fish and Game wanted the City to take any action until they had been able to talk to the developer and applicant.
Al Esser 71 Crest Road, Rolling Hills spoke in favor of the Long Point Resort for the following reasons:† 1) land was important, 2) people were important, 3) Rancho Palos Verdes storm drains need repair, 3) the Peninsula watershed drainage improvement and repairs are essential, and 4) the Interpretive Center needs to be completed.† He felt it was important and economical for municipalities to perform necessary infra- structure maintenance and capitol expenditures in a timely manner.† He stated that maximum income from the subject property could be a major help.
Barry Holchin 3949 Via Valmonte, PVE, stated he was the conservation chair for the Palos Verdes/South Bay Sierra Club.† He stated that this group of the Sierra Club was strongly opposed to any consideration of the use of publicly owned property at Upper Point Vicente for the purpose of the use of a private developer at the Long Point project.† He requested that the Planning Commission and City Council deny the York Long Point request for a General Plan Amendment, deny the application for a Conditional Use Permit, and deny the application for a grading permit.† He stated that the use the land for a golf course was in conflict with the General Plan, Development Code, and the Program of Utilization.† He believed that many of the conclusions of less than significant impact in the Draft EIR are unjustified and many of the impacts would be quite significant.†
Gerlinde Ryan 3224 Barkentine Road distributed to the Planning Commission and read from an appendix to the EIR comments by Bill Toliffe dated March 13, 2001.† Mr. Toliffe objected to the destruction of significant areas of habitat during the construction.† After construction the habitat areas would consist of several narrow and disjointed areas not favorable to wildlife habitation.† He also had many questions regarding the hydrology and the loss of percolation in the area.†
Diane Weinberger 4206 Exultant Drive stated she was the president of the Seaview Residents Association.† She stated that there were three things that needed to be looked at:† conservation of the environment and vegetation, recreational use, and financial concerns.† She felt this project addressed these concerns and she was in favor of the project as proposed.† However, she offered an option to take the Upper Point Vicente property and make half of the area a wildlife preserve and half a golf area.†
Vice Chairman Clark asked if the Seaview Residents Association had taken any kind of poll or census of the residents as to their opinion of the project.
Ms. Weinberger answered that she felt that, based on her interaction with the residents, there was a general concurrence with the project.† She stated she could very easily put out a survey in the next two months and have the residents respond to that survey.† She stated that her comments at this meeting were her own.
Alfred Sattler 1904 Avenida Aprenda felt that the trails should be open a little later so that people who work will have a chance to use the trails after work.† He felt that frequently trails on private land gradually get closed off to the public.† He was concerned that there may be lead present in the area and suggested that testing be done prior to grading.† He concluded that public land should not be used for private development.
Angie Papdakis 28655 Roan Road was excited that a hotel was proposed for the City.† She felt that a resort hotel would be very beneficial for the City.†
Dodie Clarkson 6424 Seabryn Drive stated she was not against the Long Point Resort and felt it would be a great addition to the City.† However, she did not think the developer should be allowed to build on City owned property for his financial viability.† She felt that if the developer were willing to give up the additional profit from the 32 villas, City owned property would not be necessary.† She seriously doubted the Coastal Commission will allow the villas.†
Mark Anderson 6954 Verde Ridge Road felt the Lower Point Vicente area was a perfect location for softball because of the access and infrastructure already in place.† He noted there were turning lanes present on Palos Verdes Drive South and there were existing parking lots.† He felt this project was a win Ė win situation.
Tom Redfield 31273 Ganado Drive asked the Planning Commission to not consider compromising on this project until they were very comfortable with all aspects of the project.† He noted that the Finance Committee was frustrated with the inability for Destination Resorts to provide them with any solid financial information particularly justifying the 9-hole golf course.† He asked the Planning Commission to not consider any compromises until the issue of whether the resort could have a successful, viable project on their land only was addressed. He stated that many people believed they could, but it would not be as profitable for the city or the developer.†
Juan Torres 27600 Warrior Drive stated he was president of the Palos Verdes Girls Softball League and that the Girls Softball League approached the developer in seeking their assistance and it was not the developer initiative. He discussed the many recreational activities that youth are involved in and that the peninsula youth population was rapidly growing.† At the same time he noted that there were no fields for the children to play on.† He did not think the City would have additional money in the foreseeable future for purposes of creating sport facilities on the peninsula.† He stated the Long Point Resort was a win Ė win proposition.
Commissioner Paulson stated that the site being discussed for sotfball fields was not owned by the developer or under the developerís control to make a decision on what will be placed there.† He stated that decision would be made by the City.† He asked Mr. Torres if their position was that they would like to see Long Point developed as it is needed in the community and will generate assets which then may help the Girls Softball League get the facilities they need.
Mr. Torres stated that that was a fair statement.
Commissioner Long asked if the developer had committed any financial help to the Girls Softball League for the development of their site.
Mr. Torres stated that there has been no money committed, only that of assistance in grading the softball fields.
Commissioner Paulson encouraged Mr. Torres to increase his efforts with the Recreation and Parks Department with formal proposals of what he wanted to do with the land.
Joseph Picarelli 30311 Via Borica stated he was representing St. Paulís Lutheran Church.† He stated that the Church Council has decided to support the Point Vicente enhancement alternative.† However, he noted that according to a study, 50,000 golfers will tee off every year on the new hole no. 3 opposite St. Paulís and Villa Capri.† He felt this would be 50,000 chances for errant golf balls to impact the properties or the public street.† He stated that this golf course, as he measures the plans using the 1960 standards plus the safe back distances that are recommended when there are buildings next to the course, does not allow a sufficient safety corridor to St. Paulís or Villa Capri.† He felt that using the 1990 standards, the entire golf course might have to be re-routed.† He felt this golf course was unsafe.
Barbara Gleghorn 28850 Crestridge Road stated she was speaking for SOC II.† She stated that she would like to see all of the development placed on the Long Point property.† She felt the developer should work with the existing entitlements in order to avoid going before the Coastal Commission and other agencies.† She also stated that Mr. York had bought Long Point for a good price and was now playing a poker game.† She stated that the City should call his bluff and not allow them to build on City land.
Larry Goldstein 26419 Ashfork Place stated his two girls participate in girls softball and AYSO and he serves on the board of the Girls Softball League.† He felt the proposal for fields was an ideal facility for Recreation and Parks to be able to provide new fields and new opportunities for the children of Rancho Palos Verdes.† He felt it was critical to take care of the children of the area and felt this was a win-win situation.†
Dena Friedson 1737 Via Boronada, PVE, stated she was a member of SOC II.† She stated she was in favor of the plan to develop the Long Point site, but not the use of City land.† She felt the use of Upper Point Vicente would have a negative impact on the community with the loss of open passive recreation space.† She discussed the loss of vegetation and stated that there were many market factors that could affect the success of the resort.† She discussed grading issues and the proposed tunnel and the potential traffic interruptions.† She supported the SOC II plan for the Upper Point Vicente Park area.†
Chairman Lyon stated that it was close to midnight and he apologized to those who had not yet had a chance to speak.† He stated that the public hearing was being continued to Saturday, April 14 and he hoped everyone who did not get a chance to speak could attend the meeting.†
Commissioner Long asked Mr. Mohler what kinds of guarantees of additional revenue would the developer offer and what would the manner of the guarantees be, if any.† He stated that he did not request an answer at this time but would like an answer at a later meeting.
Mr. Mohler felt there was an implication that deals were being made and people were being bought off.† He stated that he would always deal with the community and City in a straightforward manner and he would always tell the truth.† He stated that no financial deals have been made.†
Vice Chairman Clark asked if Destination Resorts had attempted to get a broad based objective sense of what the totality of the City residents feel about the joint public/private use.† He suggested the use of surveys or questionnaires.†
Mr. Mohler answered that Destination Resorts had not.† He added that he would participate with SOC II or any Commission on an equitable basis for any such survey.
Chairman Lyon asked Mr. Mohler if there were anything he would like to add in regards to the meeting on Saturday.
Mr. Mohler answered that he had planned to walk the city property and flag as best as possible the proposed golf holes.†
Chairman Lyon stated that the continued public hearing would be held in the Community Room at City Hall at 1:00 and the meeting would end no later than 4:30.
Commissioner Cartwright stated that he lives within 2,500 feet of City Hall.† However, in terms of using the city street system he felt he was more than 3 miles from the City Hall.† He did not think that any decision made would have any significant economic impact on his property and therefore felt he could be very objective in hearing this project.
PRE-AGENDA FOR THE MEETING OF APRIL 24, 2001
Commissioner Cartwright asked that the Director of Public Works attend a future Planning Commission meeting to report on the storm drain situation in the City.†
There being no objection, Chairman Lyon adjourned the meeting at 12:11 a.m.