CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CALIFORNIA
TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMISSION
JULY 24, 2006
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Shepherd called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at Rancho Palos Verdes Community Room
ROLL CALL: PRESENT: Chair Shepherd, Commissioners Bilezerian, Klein, Mevers, Parfenov, and Vice Chair Willens
ABSENT: Commissioner Wright
ALSO PRESENT: Jack Rydell, Traffic Engineer, Wildan; Ron Dragoo, Senior Engineer, Public Works; Deputy Reece Souza, Sheriff's Department; Frances M. Mooney, Recording Secretary
FLAG SALUTE: Commissioner Mevers led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chair Shepherd deferred her comments until the end of the meeting.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA:
Commissioner Bilezerian moved to postpone Item 2 of New Business (Crest Road and Anacapa Drive Flashing Beacon) to the August 28, 2006 meeting at the request of the Homeowners’ Association, and to move Item 1 of New Business (Via Rivera) to first place on the Agenda to accommodate a large number of speakers, seconded by Commissioner Willens.
Commissioner Klein asked if the speaker present for postponed Item 2 under New Business could be heard, so her trip to the meeting would not be wasted.
Chair Shepherd responded that the speaker could comment if the Commission approves or she could speak under Public Comments for items not on the agenda, since the item will be removed from the Agenda.
SHERIFF'S STATUS REPORT:
Deputy Reece Souza represented the Sheriff’s Department and had nothing to report.
Commissioner Klein reported that his ride-along was quite an event, and suggested that anyone is welcome to sign up at the Sheriff’s Department for a ride-along with Deputy Knox who was present in the audience.
1. VIA RIVERA
1. Acknowledge the previous traffic calming recommendation including five speed humps and additional all-way stop controls.
a. Install additional all-way stop controls, expand the scope of radar trailer placement and provide enhanced speed enforcement.
3. Consider Public Comment on the additional traffic calming options.
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed the Staff report and slides (Attachments A through F) as follows:
A – Existing Conditions
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that this issue has been under consideration since the year 2000. He reviewed the slides, which were maps of the area in question. He reported that the former Traffic Committee reviewed the issue in 2001; after evaluation, the Committee recommended that speed humps be installed, and the recommendation was forwarded to the City Council. The City Council did not want to pursue speed humps on Via Rivera and requested that Staff develop alternatives. Staff recommended islands and roadway narrowing; the Traffic Committee did not approve of this approach, and again recommended installation of speed humps on Via Rivera in 2002. Once again, the Council rejected this and wanted to pursue a pilot program of traffic enforcement. Staff developed some very involved enforcement plans that included extensive enforcement, radar trailers, and measurements. The program was completed in 2003, and the results were presented to the City Council. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff discovered that enforcement worked when the Sheriff was available, and when not available, conditions quickly returned to the previous situation. In September 2005 at the joint City Council/Traffic Safety Commission meeting, the Council instructed the Commission to re-evaluate Via Rivera to not only look at past recommendations, which were five speed humps; but also to determine if there were other options to consider. He explained that that is where the City is at present.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that in January 2001, the 85th percentile speeds on Via Rivera were in the 35-36 mph range on a posted 25 mph local residential street. In 2001, 91% of the motorists were identified as exceeding the 25 mph speed limit with volume just under 300 vehicles per day, and that information prompted Staff and the Traffic Committee to pursue traffic calming actions on that street. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that Staff gathered data in October 2004 to determine conditions at that time, and speeds were still high at 32 mph with two-thirds of the vehicles speeding, and the volume has increased to just under 2,800 vehicles per day. Staff concluded that conditions are still such that Via Rivera still qualifies for traffic calming actions.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed aerial views of the neighborhood. On Attachment A, he pointed out the current 25 mph speed limit signs for northbound traffic just north of Hawthorne Boulevard and 25 mph signs for southbound traffic mid-block. All-way stop controls are located at Via Rivera and Rue De La Pierre and a one-way stop on Rue Valois at Via Rivera. He pointed out Pt. Vicente Elementary School on the west side of Via Rivera and east of Rue De La Pierre with a four-way stop at the intersection, and a stop on the west leg of Via Rivera and one on Via Borica. He explained that there is a 25 mph speed limit for southbound traffic on Via Rivera just south of the west leg of Via Rivera at Via Borica.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reviewed Attachment B, showing the previous recommendation to the City Council, which was for five speed humps on Via Rivera between Rue De La Pierre and just south of Rue Valois. He explained that also included in the recommendation was turning Rue La Fleur and Via Rivera into all-way stops as well as Via Rivera and Via Borica. He explained that the residents of Via Rivera had strong support for the recommendation as confirmed by a petition, but it met with opposition from neighboring residents on the installation of speed humps. As a result, Staff developed alternatives to the previous recommendation that would be acceptable to the residents of Via Rivera and more appealing to neighboring residents, because the data shows that Via Rivera needs help.
Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out the four alternatives, commenting that they range from not too restrictive to slightly more restrictive, and Staff is hoping that either one of the alternatives or some modification of one of them will keep the interest of the community. He reviewed each alternative described in the Staff report as follows:
Alternative 1 (Attachment C)
Installation of all-way stop controls at Rue Valois;
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the two all-way stop control installations north of Rue De La Pierre are also contained in the previous recommendation. Via Rivera and Rue La Fleur is a viable location for additional stop control since it has marked school crosswalks and is adjacent to the school boundary. The enhanced control would increase safety for pedestrians and may help encourage more children to walk to school, thus reducing the number of vehicle trips in the area. The other location, Via Rivera, is also a good candidate for additional stop control due to the atypical placement of the existing two stop signs. They are located on the west and north approaches, leaving traffic on the south approach to continue without stopping. Motorists generally expect traffic at T-intersections to have either the stem stopped or all-way stop control. The existing layout can be confusing to motorists, creating unnecessary conflict and the potential for poor decision-making.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that the stop sign recommendation at Rue Valois is intended to address visibility limitations created by the horizontal curve as well as the downgrade from north to south. With vehicles parking on the west side of Via Rivera north of Rue Valois, motorists on Rue Valois can have difficulty observing southbound vehicles. When coupled with the speed of vehicles on Via Rivera, perception and reaction time is reduced. Placing all-way stop controls at these three locations would, in conjunction with the existing all-way stop control at Rue De La Pierre, create a pattern of stops on Via Rivera that would reduce speeds as well as provide additional protected pedestrian crossing locations.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the enhanced placement of radar trailers and radar feedback signs is intended to increase voluntary compliance of the 25 mph speed limit. Placing them between Rue Valois and Rue De La Pierre would address the segment of Via Rivera that experiences the greatest incidence of speeding. The City’s existing devices would be used, with the placement schedules adjusted to increase placement on Via Rivera and decrease placement elsewhere.
Alternative 2 (Attachment D)
Installation of all-way stop controls at Rue Valois;
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this alternative replaces the educational tools with a reduced number of speed humps as compared with the prior traffic calming design. The speed humps would be placed approximately 350 feet apart, with the outside humps being approximately 350 feet from the existing and proposed all-way stop controls. Speed humps would have a greater effect on reducing speeds than the radar trailers and radar feedback signs, but would also create more motorist inconvenience. By reducing the number of speed humps from five to three, it is hoped that there may be less opposition from the neighborhood.
Alternative 3 – (Attachment E)
This alternative consists of the following key components:
Installation of all-way stop controls at Rue Valois;
Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that all-way stop controls are included at Rue La Fleur and at Via Rivera as with previous recommendations. They are coupled with high visibility edgeline striping, intended to visually reduce the roadway width and thus reduce motorist speed. Diagonal white lines are painted between the edgeline and the curb on both sides, making the visual width reduction more apparent to motorists. The edgelines would be located to provide 11-foot wide travel lanes, further reducing the perceived roadway width.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that he installed these measures in another City and they were well received. He explained that the striping does not prevent residents from parking in front of their house. Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that in the northern section, in addition to all-way stops, Staff is also recommending installing high visibility edgeline striping between Rue De La Pierre and Rue La Fleur.
Alternative 4 – (Attachment F)
Installation of all-way stop controls at Rue Valois;
Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that this alternative pursues the concept of center islands to physically narrow the roadway. He commented that they are very effective, and the City of Seattle uses them frequently.
He explained that all-way stop controls are included at Rue La Fleur and at Via Rivera as with previous recommendations. The other options are replaced with center islands and a mini traffic circle to physically narrow the roadway to reduce motorist speed. The landscaping portion of the devices would also visually break up the long roadway segments that encourage motorist speeding. When motorists can see well ahead of their vehicle, they have the inclination to increase their speed. By eliminating this clear sight line, it is hoped that motorists will feel less comfortable with high speeds. Mini traffic circles are a well-used device that reduces speeds at intersections by reducing the available width and forcing motorists to horizontally alter their path. Both the center islands and the mini traffic circle would be designed to provide 11-foot wide travel lanes.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that in the northern section there are three landscaped center islands in the stretch adjacent to the school in addition to the two all-way stops at Rue La Fleur and Via Borica. He concluded his review of the alternatives by emphasizing that Staff is not asking for approval of any one of these alternatives; that Staff is trying to restart the process of traffic calming on Via Rivera and make some progress as directed by City Council. He explained that the reason that Staff wants the Commission to consider the feasibility of the alternatives is because they are in the process of revising the Traffic Calming Program and remove any of them that the Commission does not want to consider. Secondly, Staff wants to hear whether the residents still want traffic calming and get some initial feedback on their interest in the alternatives. He explained that Recommendation 3 is to request authority for Staff to work with the neighborhood with these alternatives or any others approved, as was done with Mira Vista. He explained that Recommendations 4 and 5 will allow Staff to work with the neighborhood to set up further public meetings, whether before the Commission or at special community meetings. Recommendation 6 will authorize a report to City Council on the actions taken.
Chair Shepherd clarified that the Commission is not being asked to decide on traffic calming tools, but to discuss the alternatives presented and whether or not they would be useful.
Commissioner Klein stated that he likes Alternatives 2, 3, and 4 on circle pages 21 and 22 and suggested an additional alternative to use bots dots on the lower part of Via Rivera. He explained that his comment is based on his ride-along with Deputy Knox where they saw many people swerve over the double yellow line. He suggested that the bots dots might be a reminder to them of what is happening. He stated that he likes the idea of diagonal stripes, but suggested that it might make drivers swerve even more over the double yellow line. He suggested getting feedback from the residents.
Chair Shepherd stated that the issue of bots dots was raised in the past, and the noise factor in a residential area was a concern.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Commissioner Klein is referring to installing raised pavement markers along the center line, so a driver would be alerted if they wander over the line.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to Alternative 4 on circle page 22, and asked if the mini-traffic circle is the same thing as a roundabout.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that a roundabout is much larger and actually takes the place of a traffic signal; that mini-traffic circles can be as much as ten feet in diameter; and they are specifically for residential streets as a traffic calming device not intended for large volumes of traffic.
Commissioner Bilezerian asked what the comments were from the opposition who did not support speed humps.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the opposition did not like to drive over speed humps; they do not like the inconvenience of making them drive out of their way.
Chair Shepherd added that residents were concerned about emergency response vehicles.
Commissioner Bilezerian referred to the center islands in Alternative 4 on circle page 22, and called attention to the elimination of curbside parking and asked if that dimension was calculated.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that Staff does not know where they would put the islands and mini-circle, and pointed out on circle page 34 that this was noted in both the mini-circle and the island. He stated that regardless of the location, they will reduce the amount of parking, and it could be 30 or 40 feet, but he does not have the answer at this time.
Chair Shepherd asked who would maintain the landscaped islands.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not have a cost figure for maintenance; that it would cost $10,000 to $20,000 for installation. He explained that each agency handles this issue differently, sometimes requiring the homeowners to participate in the cost. He stated that the City would install the irrigation equipment, and maintenance is a very important point that will have to be dealt with if this alternative is chosen. He explained that in some cities, the residents who benefit pay for the maintenance.
Chair Shepherd suggested that they could become an eyesore. Secondly, she asked if this alternative would be compatible with the Traffic Calming Program, and if Staff could actually draw this plan on the pavement, so the Commission could physically see what it would look like at the location.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that this could be done and would probably be something the community would like to see if this alternative were seriously considered.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to Alternative 4 on circle page 22 regarding temporary installation of striping, markings, and flexible delineators mentioned in the second paragraph from the bottom of the page. He asked if there would be a visual likeness of the proposed changes.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that when Staff pursues devices with physical changes they lay it out, as Chair Shepherd suggested, with chalk; when temporary installation is made they use striping and flexible delineators because people may not like it.
Chair Shepherd asked if Staff has seen or driven over the speed humps in the Santa Cruz and Eastview areas. She explained that they are wider and are not as hard on the vehicles but serve the purpose.
Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that Chair Shepherd is talking about speed tables, and described them as flatter; he explained that they do not slow traffic down as much but do have the advantage of not jarring vehicles. He suggested that, depending on what they are trying to accomplish, they are a viable alternative to speed humps
Chair Shepherd suggested that they might be an alternative if there is much opposition to speed humps.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.
Jim Sweeney, 30903 Via Rivera, stated that he has lived on Via Rivera for 36 years. He is here to express concern for safety along the strip from Via Rivera to Hawthorne Boulevard to Pt. Vicente School. He explained that he has been concerned since he first addressed the Traffic Committee in 2001. Mr. Sweeney complimented both the City of Rancho Palos Verdes and the Sheriff’s Department for supplying the initial enforcement in the person of Deputy Chris Knox, who does an excellent job and makes the City safer. He explained however, that the issue is that enforcement does not and cannot stand alone, but needs to be supplemented by self-enforcing measures that are at work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He explained that today’s enforcement is patrolling the arterials just as they should be, but cannot possibly reach the myriad of residential streets except by special request from the City, especially those areas with schools where the safety concerns are the greatest—and Via Rivera falls into this category. Mr. Sweeney recommended both speed humps and edgeline striping—two of Traffic Engineer Rydell’s recommendations. He stated that speed humps are both cost effective and are successful in reducing the speed, which is a good combination. He explained that edgelining gives the illusion of a narrower street, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the humps to further lower speeds; better yet, they are installed at virtually no additional cost. Mr. Sweeney explained that he is not suggesting that speed humps should be installed all over the City, but when drivers refuse to obey the speed limit and residents fear for themselves and the neighbors, Officials must take action before it is too late. Mr. Sweeney stated that it is important to note that the residents are here to make Via Rivera a safer street, and not just a convenient one for those who are just passing through. Mr. Sweeney stated that children are unpredictable, and explained that his daughter, Ellen, was hit by a slow-moving car. He suggested that had the car been moving at the current legal speed on Via River, she would not be a survivor.
Russ Urban, 30808 Via Rivera, stated that he has been a schoolteacher in Palos Verdes for 34 years. He moved to Palos Verdes from Redondo Beach three years ago when he married his wife who has lived and raised three children on Via Rivera for thirty years. He explained that his wife reports that children used to play on the sidewalk, and it is now impossible due to the speeding vehicles, and he was recently concerned about skateboarders on the street because of speeding cars. Mr. Urban stated that he has noticed the increased enforcement on lower Via Rivera recently and he knows the residents are very appreciative. He stated that Officer Knox has given out many tickets and is looking for speeders and people crossing over the double yellow lines, and both of these can lead to problems for their neighborhood. Mr. Urban stated that Officer Knox has been issuing from 11 to 15 tickets a day in Rancho Palos Verdes, but cannot always be patrolling Via Rivera. He stated that people traveling at excessive speed have hit parked cars, and one resident had the side view mirror on his truck hit twice by passing motorists, and only one of the motorists stopped. He stated that many cats have also been hit and killed. He explained that he spoke to a neighbor living above him who is not affected by the speeders directly, and the neighbor said that Mr. Urban moved into an existing problem, and this is true; but his wife and Jim Sweeney did not move into this problem.
Mr. Urban referred to a book by Dan Burton entitled “Streets and sidewalks, people and cars: The citizens’ guide to traffic calming” and read that it states “Traffic calming is an investment in the community.” He stated that in this book, funded by the government, it is stated that speed humps are best used when problems are localized and can be controlled with a single measure. He added that it is important to note that the speed hump is the lowest cost traffic-calming feature, and the cost, according to this book, is approximately $2,000 per hump. Mr. Urban stated that it seems like a bargain when considering that $30,000 was recently spent on enforcement and reader boards. He suggested that enforcement works, but only when the Sheriff is present, and when he leaves the speeds rise again. Mr. Urban reported that the information presented to the Traffic Committee on September 24, 2001 showed that the 85th percentile speed on lower Via Rivera is 35-36 mph, and this was observed in 1999 and 2001. He reported that he lived on the island of Kauai in 1957 and 1958 and the big controversy on the island was if they should install a stoplight; last spring break he was there, and now there are many stoplights and speed humps. Mr. Urban stated that he hopes the Commission will consider the neighborhood’s request for traffic calming on lower Via Rivera; he expressed appreciation to the Traffic Engineer and Staff for all their hard work and for the opportunity to speak to the Commission. Regarding traffic island maintenance, he stated that some neighborhoods have posted signs by the recyclers for recycle money, and maybe that could be used.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the City has already identified that they have a traffic calming challenge on Via Rivera as established years ago. She explained that the Commission would like assistance from the residents as they try to make decisions on these alternatives or anything that was not presented that would be acceptable to the residents and the City Council. She suggested that the speakers can help with that when they are at the podium by letting the Commission know what alternative they would support from among those presented in the Staff report at this meeting.
Mr. Urban stated that he and his wife would vote for speed humps.
Bruno Michetti, 30816 Via Rivera, referred to a report entitled “Humps are the best—Not prettiest choice” from the Palos Verdes News, July 7, 2003. He stated that he intended to read it but decided that Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Urban have focused on the needs of the neighborhood, and if humps and the alternatives to those humps were the solution he would support that, but humps are his choice.
Denzel Ken, 30802 Via Rivera, explained that he is very happy to see Deputy Knox stationed in front of his house, and he pointed out his location on the slide. He stated that he observed that the people getting citations are his upper neighbors on Via Borica and Via Rivera who are detouring the speed humps in their hurry to get down. Mr. Ken suggested that this should be investigated and is public knowledge. He is not sure about it, but when he sees the tickets being written they are to the same cars that he sees every day going up and down the street.
Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado, stated that he here as the Chair of their Citywide Coalition and Revival Renaissance, which was formed approximately eight years ago. He explained that since that time either he or a representative has attended all Traffic Committee/Commission meetings, and the issues are always the same—speed in various significant communities off the major arteries. Mr. Redfield stated that he would not presume to suggest a best solution for the people who live in that area, but may be able to help regarding their interest in speed humps. He explained that three years ago this organization got the City Council to make Citywide calming one of their strategic goals and encouraged them to move to a more proactive, aggressive traffic and safety Commission. He explained that he has listened for five years to residents of this area’s concerns, commenting that Mira Vista went through about 15 years of five-year iterations. Mr. Redfield suggested that the Commission and Council must do something; secondly, he has spent parts of three big shifts with Deputy Knox on Via Rivera as recently as Friday when he and Ken Lau were watching Deputy Knox issue a citation.
Mr. Redfield stated that this is the first time their Coalition has spoken out more positively about speed humps; that in the past, they wanted enforcement first and then speed humps, realizing that enforcement might not do the whole job, and that is what happened in Mira Vista. He explained that they went along with the experiment because they had unlimited faith in Traffic Engineer Rydell since he joined the City as a traffic consultant, and he is giving great options. Mr. Redfield explained that in the last several months, several times a week, he drives up and down through Mira Vista and rides over the speed humps in his regular car and his van, and the speed humps have worked; the speeds are down, he is not aware of complaints, and the humps are effective. Mr. Redfield suggested that the residents of that area be contacted, and secondly, get the residents to accept the idea of speed humps because the last time this was considered the residents were split approximately 50/50. He recalled that the Council voted 3-2 because the community was divided. He suggested that he hopes this will be done quickly and that the Commission will take quick action.
Marylou Sweeney, 30903 Via Rivera, read from e-mail that she sent to Councilman Long in 2004 after she saw him appear on CityTalk. She read as follows:
“I saw most of your interview with Mrs. Holt on CityTalk. I beg the chance to tell you that you have been misinformed about the support for speed humps on Via Rivera. She stated that some of the residents on Via Rivera do not support speed humps while the speed humps on Basswood were supported by the residents. The fact is that the only residents opposed to this means of traffic slowing on Via Rivera are those who live above the intersection of Via Rivera and Rue De La Pierre and are not part of the affected area. They are the ones who would be inconvenienced and do not care to obey the speed limit. They are not affected by the constant speeding but they contribute to it. The petition for speed humps was signed by almost everyone on Via Rivera in that long block except one lady who abstained, one absentee landlord who could not be reached, and four other homeowners who were not at home. I think that constitutes support for speed humps, and this was in 2004. Even Mrs. Sharon Fleming, who was the Principle at Pt. Vicente at that time, supports the speed humps on behalf of the children. This problem has been addressed by the neighborhood in all the proper ways. My husband has been speaking before the Traffic Committee for at least five years. In 2001, we were allowed to submit a petition to start the process for speed humps. The Committee recommended to the Council that speed humps were the appropriate traffic-calming measure. Time after time, other measures were studied, at significant expense I might add, and each time speed humps were the most appropriate choice.”
Mrs. Sweeney stated that she wrote to Mr. Long because, after watching many of the Planning Committee meetings, she admired his clarity of thought and perfect expression of those thoughts. She reported that there was another accident just two weeks before she wrote this e-mail. She stated that Mr. Long responded to her: “Don’t be discouraged Marylou. I think you had old Council address your issues that made decisions without evaluating all the facts. I certainly do not know all the facts about Via Rivera, but I am prepared to listen. Maybe a new effort is needed. As you can tell, the current Council is not automatically opposed to speed humps—that is our case. I am pleased that I earned your trust, and I take pride in making sure my thinking is clear, whether people agree with me or not. I think that if we had done the speed humps after they were first recommended by the Traffic Committee, we could have saved a fortune.”
David Ball, 30811 Via Rivera, explained that he is a 20-year resident of Via Rivera with his wife and children, and they have had a chance to watch the progress of the Commission’s attempts and great support. He thanked the Commission for trying figure out a way to slow down traffic. He stated that specifically they are in favor of speed humps and possibly the line striping on either side for many of the obvious reasons that have been stated. In support of those, Mr. Ball offered two bits of evidence from people who could not be here tonight. One is from Chuck Chambers, who is owner, broker, and real estate agent, who says in part: “I have been selling homes on the Palos Verdes Peninsula for 30 years. I have sold property that has speed bumps in front of their homes.” Mr. Ball explained that the most recent example was on Basswood, and it is Mr. Chambers’ opinion that “There is no evidence to support the claim that sales prices are reduced by the installation of speed bumps on the street. Contrary, buyers like the idea of moderating traffic speed to help make their neighborhood safer.” Mr. Ball explained that, in fact, Mr. Chambers’ opinion is that Via Rivera represents a well-known and documented by this organization, high-speed area which is more likely to have a negative effect on property valuation than the installation of speed bumps.” Mr. Ball continued that it is Mr. Chambers’ opinion that “Simply stated, there is no decrease in property values whatsoever by the installation of speed bumps.”
Mr. Ball explained that coincidentally he had an opportunity to discuss speed humps being used in the City of Beverly Hills with the Assistant City Manager, Mr. Tony Dalzo. Mr. Ball explained that their city uses speed humps aggressively for many of the same reasons that were already described this evening, and has no reservations whatsoever against deteriorating property values because of speed humps in residential or commercial streets. Mr. Ball explained that he is curious about an issue that has not been raised, and stated that as everyone knows, Via Rivera is a direct feeder from Hawthorne Boulevard, coming down the 7% grade of Hawthorne, where traffic speeds are in excess of 50-55 mph coming down Hawthorne, and then traffic turns directly into Via Rivera. He explained that drivers cannot see that this is not a long straight street, it is a winding uphill turn, there is no long sightline, and it is a serious upgrade turn. He inquired if anyone is aware that Officer Knox issues the majority of his tickets on the uphill leg—not the downhill leg, where you would expect gravity to increase the speeds—with the simple result of the drivers being velocitized by the relatively high rate of speed. He explained that they have witnessed this for over 20 years. He stated that their neighbors living to the north of them are not villains, they do not hate them; they are just in a hurry to get home. Mr. Ball explained that they have been driving 50 mph down the length of Hawthorne; so trying to drive 25 mph is an emotional and psychological burden. He stated that they need a physical barrier to slow them down, and that is why the residents recommend installing speed humps and striping.
Jo Ann Michetti, 30816 Via Rivera, explained that she has lived at this address on Via Rivera, commonly referred to as “speedway west”, since 1971. She stated that she has been at many meetings begging for speed humps. She explained that they have gone through the radar trailer, which slows speeders down when it is there, but not when it is gone. Now they have a wonderful Sheriff’s Deputy giving out tickets left and right, but he cannot be there all the time. She stated in a letter in February to the Peninsula News: “I do not think the people who live further up on Via Rivera and in the cul-de-sac should have a say in whether we have speed humps or not. Unfortunately, it is them—their husbands, their wives, their children, their children’s friends, the pool guys, the soccer moms, moms picking up their kids from Pt. Vicente School, and even the FedEx guys—who speed on Via River. It is bad enough that she has to pick up their trash along her section of Via Rivera and put up with speeders as well. As an example, one of the signers of the petition against speed humps totaled a parked car a few years ago on her section, and his speed was estimated to be 35-36 mph according to an accident reconstruction engineer named Alvin Lowvi (phonetic). If they had speed humps, his speed would have dropped to approximately 7 mph and the accident could have been avoided. The same gentleman who was in the accident lives on Rue De La Pierre above her on Via Rivera. She observed him personally one morning at 6 am going through the stop sign at Via Rivera and Rue De La Pierre while she was on her morning walk—not even a brake light as he turned onto Via Rivera. If he does not even obey the traffic laws on this street, she again asks that Via Rivera get the speed humps; we, the residents of lower Via Rivera have patiently waited a long time.” Mrs. Michetti stated that she likes the speed humps, but she would like Alternative 2.
Chair Shepherd clarified that Mrs. Michetti is supporting three speed humps as opposed to five, and Alternative 1 for the stop sign configuration at the intersections.
Mrs. Michetti confirmed that that is correct.
Ann Shaw, 30036 Via Borica, explained that she lives above this section of Via Rivera, and is speaking against humps on the small section of Via Rivera. She pointed out that there are more than 400 homes above this section of approximately 30 homes. She explained that in 2002, she and other concerned residents passed a petition on the streets that were most likely to drain into Via Rivera, and pointed out that this is the only feeder onto Hawthorne for over 400 homes, which involves the intersection of Rue De La Pierre. She explained that, although residents passed a petition in this small segment of Via Rivera, there are many residents who live there. She explained that she is a 40-year resident of this area. At a previous hearing on this matter, she stated that the Los Angeles Fire Department spoke against speed humps. She expressed support for stop signs. She stated that she does not oppose the speed humps because she wants to speed, and she resents anyone here who says that people who live above them are speeding. She stated that she is extremely careful to stay at 25 mph or below and may exceed that occasionally, but never over 30 mph. She questioned where the speakers got the statistics regarding tickets issued above. She read from a Fire Department reference, Section C-1-f: “Speed humps shall not be located on a thoroughfare which impacts an area servicing more than 75 homes or residential units.” She stated that this area is way over that threshold. She stated that the last census reports that 20% of the residents were 65 or older, it is rapidly growing to 30% and in this old established area, and it is even higher. She stated that these are the people who will need the paramedics, and every speed hump slows the emergency vehicle down. She opposes speed humps, but striping is acceptable.
Sheri Robertson, 30841 Via Rivera, reported that she has two children attending Pt. Vicente and one on the way. She commented that she is obviously not living on the Via Rivera of 40 years ago, and referred to the 2,800 vehicles mentioned earlier in the meeting; she believes that what accounts for that is they have many new families, with several Salvation Army families coming in all the time. She does not believe that the number of vehicles going up and down the street will decrease. She stated that she likes Alternative 2, and said that she never understood why stop signs at Rue De La Pierre and Via Rivera were not there in the first place. She explained that there is an unprotected crosswalk at that location, and drivers who are not familiar with that intersection can be confused as to whether it is a stop or not. She thinks that would help immensely, and even if there was not a big problem with speeding, stop signs should be there. She referred to the stop sign at Rue Valois and Via Rivera, and stated that it will just naturally slow people down right at the point where drivers start to accelerate. She suggested that drivers come off Hawthorne and they want to get up to a good speed, and she loves the stop sign there.
Mrs. Robertson referred to three speed humps, as opposed to five, and called it a great compromise between residents who are for speed humps and those who are concerned about slowing down emergency vehicles. She explained that she had to have an emergency vehicle at her house and she asked them if speed humps would slow them down, and they had no idea what she was talking about. She stated that she was still hanging up the phone when she heard the Fire Engines, they were there in probably three minutes from Station 53, and she does not believe speed humps would be an issue. She suggested that if it is true about an area of more than 7,500 residents—that the thoroughfare cannot have speed humps—then there are violations all over the hill and in San Pedro. She referred to the number of tickets written by the Sheriff, and stated that people are not learning; they have bad habits, they have big cars, they do not know how fast they are going, and they need something to slow them down.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.
Chair Shepherd commented that stop signs are not a speed control device, but are usually installed to designate right-of-way. She questioned that if the City installed stop signs they would be causing confusion at those intersections where right-of-way is a confusing choice, which may have a spillover to slowing down speed as a byproduct. She asked if there is any reason why the City could not install stop signs before deciding on traffic calming, because stop signs are not traffic calming. She explained that even though stop signs are part of the alternatives, Staff is combining a right-of-way control with traffic calming. She asked if there is any reason why the Commission could not approve the installation of stop signs before further discussion of the other alternatives.
Traffic Engineer Rydell answered no; that the only objection is that if they want to separate them out, he would like to prepare a report specific to that and present it to the Commission to justify their request. He explained that they had the same issue with Mira Vista.
Chair Shepherd clarified for the record that she noted from the speakers seven speed humps, two lines, and one stop control, and the emphasis seems to be on speeding and speed humps.
Commissioner Willens moved to accept the Staff’s Recommendations 1 through 6 on circle page 19 as set forth with a modification to 2-b from “Install three speed humps…” to “Install three speed humps/tables…” seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.
Commissioner Willens stated that he wanted to echo what Chair Shepherd said earlier, and stated that the speakers do not have to sell the Commission on the idea that something needs to be done, because they and Staff recognize this and it is just a matter of time to determine what is best for everyone. He expressed curiosity as to why there is such a large group of people from the lower area and hardly anyone from the upper area, but he is sure the Commission will hear from the opposition. Commissioner Willens acknowledged that the residents have an emotional investment in the speed-hump alternative, and he would suggest to the community and Staff that in going through this process they consider the other options, some of which are new ideas. He reported that in Culver City on Braddock between Sepulveda and Overland there are three or four islands in a row like the ones discussed in the recommendations, and in his opinion, they look very nice and appear to work. He explained that the only reason he mentions it is that some of the residents might like to see what they look like.
Commissioner Parfenov had no comments.
Commissioner Mevers referred to the recommendations and asked if Staff could put a date on it for completion.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded not really, because it will involve scheduling community meetings and other factors, but explained that Staff is committed to prioritizing their efforts to get it done as soon as possible.
Chair Shepherd asked what the community meetings would consist of in terms of format.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it can be one of two things: (1) workshops that he believes the community must conduct themselves to discuss the issues; (2) a formal community meeting in front of the Commission or a separate community meeting away from the Commission’s regular meeting. He explained that it must be a formal quorum where everyone is notified and everyone has the opportunity to voice their opinion.
Chair Shepherd clarified that Traffic Engineer Rydell is talking about a public hearing. She explained that she has engaged in public hearings, which in her estimation would involve the Commission. She pointed out Recommendation 5 “Authorize Staff to coordinate further public meetings to discuss the traffic calming options and attempt to obtain consensus”. Chair Shepherd commented on the long history of this issue and explained that only she and Commissioner Willens were involved from the beginning, and if the Commission evolves again within the next year or two, there will be a new Commissioners who do not understand the history and the residents will have to speak before them again. She suggested that it would be wise to wrap this issue up by the end of this year at a bare minimum.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that he does not think that is a problem, but cannot tell the Commission that Staff can return in two or three months because he does not know.
Chair Shepherd stated that she believes that they need a timeframe of less than five months because the Commission does not have a meeting in November, and December is a little shaky; so the Commission has August, September, and October if there is a quorum, and that is all they have. She stated that she does not think they can go more than 60 days without having something coming back.
Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that if they were to eliminate the options that were not specifically expressed, specifically 2-a and 2-d, and specify 2-b and 2-c with a combination of speed humps and edgeline striping to further direct Staff to the options, that would limit the amount of discussion and expedite the process.
Chair Shepherd stated that the Commission does not usually install stop signs as consensus building; if the Commission believes that stop signs are warranted due to the need to control the right-of-way of an intersection, they install them and are not required to have a public hearing, and asked if that is correct.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that that is correct. He expressed his understanding that the Commission directed Staff to bring recommendations to the August meeting for the all-way stops.
Chair Shepherd stated that the related recommendation would be removed as a result if the Motion were amended.
Commissioner Klein stated that he does not see any reason for leaving it in there.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff would recommend that the Motion be amended to direct Staff to remove all-way stops from the recommendations and instruct them to bring formal recommendations and a report on all-way stops.
Chair Shepherd stated that she does not need another recommendation on the all-way stops; she does not need Staff to return in 30 days with the same information for the same location and the justification and rationale for the recommendations.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the City is better served if Staff formally documents the process.
Chair Shepherd concurred.
Commissioner Klein pointed out that the areas of Via Rivera that are served by the humps or tables and high visibility edgeline striping are two different parts of the street, so the two options do not necessarily exclude one another.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the high visibility striping extends from Hawthorne Boulevard all the way up to Rue La Fleur.
Commissioner Klein questioned if, in the scope of the Motion on the floor, he is permitted to talk about other options that might be raised by residents, such as bots dots or anything else.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he is sure they can, but he wants to avoid discussions with the community regarding those options rejected by the Commission, and that is why he is asking for direction.
Chair Shepherd suggested keeping the Motion focused, so the options can be presented with instructions to work around them.
Commissioner Klein understands that there are two reasons for the citations that Deputy Knox issues; one is speeding, and the other is crossing over the center line, so these recommendations deal with speeding rather than crossing over the double yellow line.
Chair Shepherd suggested asking that the Sheriff’s report next month detail how many citations were issued for speeding, crossing the center line, how many are in the lower end of Via Rivera, and how many are in the upper end, using the school as the dividing line.
Commissioner Willens explained that he would be resistant to just rejecting the alternatives other than as regards to the stop signs. He explained that the whole point of this is going to the community and presenting the alternatives for discussion. He suggested that, to start cutting some of them out and saying they will only consider speed humps and you either accept it or reject speed humps, that allows for no other alternatives. He explained that is why he does not see a reason to throw items out. He does not see that it is any more work for Staff to present it to the community because they have already worked it out; so let the community consider it.
Chair Shepherd asked if Commissioner Willens objects to removing the reference to all-way stops.
Commissioner Willens responded that he does not object to that but does not completely understand the issue.
Chair Shepherd referred to Recommendation 2, subheadings a through d, and explained that she is recommending deletion of the phrase “additional all-way stop controls” from all of them.
Commissioner Willens proposed the following amended Motion.
Commissioner Willens moved to accept Staff’s Recommendation 1 through 6 on circle page 19, as set forth with a modification to 2-b from “Install three speed humps…” to “Install three speed humps/tables…” deleting all references to additional all-way stop controls and adding humps/tables to Recommendation 2-b, seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.
Commissioner Mevers asked if there is a way Staff can provide data regarding the islands. He explained that the residents are familiar with what they can do rather than if they work.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that that would be included in his work with the community to educate them about the available tools so they can make an informed decision.
Commissioner Klein addressed Staff and asked if they can also try to provide more background regarding whether or not public safety vehicles would have a problem with any of these alternatives.
Commissioner Willens stated that the Commission has been through that several times before on the pros and cons of the vehicle issue, and he thinks they have information both ways on that issue.
Chair Shepherd explained that that is why she mentioned tables, because the Fire Department may be more amenable to tables as opposed to humps.
Chair Shepherd stated that a remaining issue is the timing, and suggested that this item be put on the rolling agenda for October. After discussion, she suggested consideration of a public hearing some time in September after Labor Day. She requested that the Commissioners check their schedules and report their availability to Staff and asked Staff to check availability at Hesse park due to lack of space in the community center.
Commissioner Mevers asked about the EIR for Marymount College and when it might come before the Commission.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that Staff is evaluating the responses to the questions.
RECESS AND RECONVENE:
The Commission recessed at 8:48 pm and reconvened at 9:04 pm.
1. ON-STREET PARKING OF OVERSIZED VEHICLES
Based on direction received from the Traffic Safety Commission during the June 26, 2006 meeting, the following recommendations were developed and are presented here for consideration:
1. Consider establishing a limit of 24 oversized vehicle parking permits per year that may be issued to a resident of Rancho Palos Verdes for use in parking their own oversized vehicle or the bona fide guest of such resident based on the general procedures contained in the ordinance approved by the Traffic safety Commission on June 26, 2006.
a. Each permit shall allow parking for a period not to exceed 72 hours and is limited to the portion of the public street that is in front of the applicant’s residence. This permit is intended to allow the owner of the oversized vehicle to engage in activities associated with travel.
Traffic Engineer’s Report
Exceeds 20 feet in length; or,
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that it was made very clear that any ordinance approved would be modified to specifically state that receiving a permit did not allow anyone to violate any other ordinance, codes, or regulations of the City. At the meeting in June 2006, the Traffic Safety Commission asked Staff to make modifications.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the original alternative ordinance limited the number of permits any resident may receive during a calendar year to four. The Commission directed Staff to evaluate this number and return with a revised number if appropriate. Therefore, the permit process would include the following conditions:
The permit would be valid for a period of 72 hours.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that Staff tried to find a number of permits that was a balance between the needs of the vehicle owners and the desire of the City to address this issue. He explained that the $10 permit fee is used by other cities, and Staff believes it is low enough that it will not be prohibitive. He stated that any permit program that Staff develops would address the issue of non-residents parking in the streets so that Rancho Palos Verdes does not become a dumping ground. The current permit program requires that the permit be displayed, and if it is not, there is a fine and the vehicle would be towed; and only Rancho Palos Verdes residents can get a permit. Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that residents could still park on their own property subject to the Planning Department ordinance, so a resident does not have to store an oversized vehicle in offsite storage.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that Staff is asking the Commission to approve the modified approved ordinance in Attachment A. In order to provide City Council with the approved ordinance, as well as options, Staff believes it is appropriate for the Traffic Safety Commission to document their comments regarding the rejected alternative ordinances. Staff believes this should take the form of a report authored by the Chair if the Traffic Safety Commission.
Commissioner Willens stated that his recollection from the June meeting is that one reason the Commission postponed this issue was specifically to allow Staff to speak to Mr. Giannioses about his and his organization’s concerns. He also commented on the Daily Breeze articles about what the Commission has and has not done. Commissioner Willens asked what conversations, if any, have taken place between Staff and Mr. Giannioses in the past month.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that he has made contact with Ernie Giannioses and they discussed what Staff was proposing at this meeting, and Mr. Giannioses thought that 24 permits a year would be at the bottom end of what his organization would find acceptable, and based on that Staff moved forward with the recommendation.
Chair Shepherd asked what was the average number of permits issued by other cities.
Staff response inaudible.
Commissioner Willens stated that he just wanted it to be clear that discourse took place and was incorporated into Staff’s recommendation.
Commissioner Klein asked if there was any discussion about the time the permit would allow a resident to park in front of their house before leaving and the time allowed when they return.
Chair Shepherd pointed out the conditions on circle page 4.
Traffic Engineer Rydell clarified that the permit allows 72 hours prior to leaving and 24 hours when returning.
Commissioner Klein asked if that was part of the discussion with Mr. Giannioses.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that he does not believe they talked about the timing.
Commissioner Mevers asked if there is a time limit between leaving and returning, suggesting that the resident may return a year later.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that part of this must be the honor system, explaining that the three-day permit is dated, but Staff does not know when the resident is returning so it is 24 hours after they return.
Chair Shepherd commented that this gives a resident an ordinance behind a phone call, because if a neighbor is parked for two weeks and you don’t care if it is parked there and no one calls, there is no issue. She suggested it will only help someone who needs an ordinance, and the Sheriff will not drive up and down the streets looking for expired permits.
Commissioner Mevers stated that there is no reason why a list of permits cannot be issued to the Sheriff and, while driving around, the Deputies can identify vehicles and act on violations.
Chair Shepherd agreed, but stated that she believes it will be a phone call from a resident reporting a vehicle without a permit that has been parked for a week, or has a permit but has been parked for an extended period.
Commissioner Mevers reported that there was a trailer and a truck that pulled it parked on Crest Road for three weeks, and finally a tag showed up on the antennae of the truck. He does not know if someone reported it or if a Deputy driving by noticed it. He suggested that, in that sense, having a list would give the Deputy an opportunity for enforcement. He stated that with what the City has currently requires that someone voice an objection before anything can happen.
Commissioner Parfenov asked Traffic Engineer Rydell if the Sheriff will cite the car and tow if it is over the limit, and then the Sheriff will contact the City and let them know what happened; or how will it work.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that if someone violates the permit two things will happen; first, they will either get a citation or be towed; secondly, if they violate the terms of the permit, he does not envision the City giving them another permit for a period of time.
Commissioner Parfenov clarified that the Sheriff will contact the City and let them know about the violation.
Deputy Souza responded that how they enforce it depends on how it is written.
Chair Shepherd explained that the question is, at what point and who makes the decision, if it is written in the ordinance that it can be towed away,
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that Staff believes that if the vehicle is not displaying a permit, is from another City, or is a resident just disregarding the City’s ordinances, the Commission should be very strong about that. He suggested that they may want to add that to one of the draft ordinances.
Commissioner Parfenov explained that he is asking this question because the income demographics vary, and some people would rather keep their vehicle in violation, knowing that nothing will happen and it is cheaper for them to pay the fine. He asked if there is a provision that will require the Sheriff to come and tow the vehicle away.
Commissioner Klein referred to the last paragraph on circle page 8 of Attachment A which states “Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter may be removed 72-hours after expiration of the issued permit.”
Traffic Engineer Rydell confirmed that it is correct.
Commissioner Bilezerian presented his observations and stated that he is surprised to see the words “battery charging” on page 1 of the agenda; he thought they had eliminated that because they do not want to encourage people to run power cords across the public right-of-way. He stated that it is not in the ordinance, so it was probably an oversight. He referred to circle page 6, paragraph A-1, and asked to clarify that people who own corner lots by this definition will not be able to park their vehicle on the side lot. On circle page 7, paragraph 5-D, he pointed out that the word “adjacent” should be replaced with “in front of”. Also on circle page 7 under “Permit Process”, paragraph A, the Commission discussed that homeowners’ groups would be involved in issuing permits, and he does not see that mentioned, and asked if that was changed.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the parking permit program around the school has been handled by the HOA in the past, but he does not believe that is what the City wants to do.
Chair Shepherd presented her observations: (1) she questioned the 24 hours for return unloading, and stated that she does not think that is enough time, and residents should be given the same amount of time to unload as is allowed to load. She explained that when residents return from a trip they are exhausted and will not do anything that day, so the clock starts ticking then. She asked Staff to look into that, and (2) on circle page 6 under “Prohibition”, A-2 she questioned how enforcement is monitored for repairs and the 24 hours or whatever those hours are. She asked if it would be by the honor system or by the residents that pass by. She questioned Section B under “Prohibition” referring to “…shall not apply until signs have been placed giving adequate notice of the prohibitions contained in this chapter.” She asked what is the timeline for when the signs will be posted. Chair Shepherd raised the possibility that vehicles from other cities, such as San Pedro, that have no parking between 2:00 am and 5:00 am may move from their city to Rancho Palos Verdes for that period and come back later to pick up their vehicle.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that it is based on enforcement, and with the proposed ordinance the San Pedro vehicle would not have a permit displayed. He explained that it would be enforced in the same way as a resident with no permit that is illegally parked.
Chair Shepherd referred to “Exemptions”, Section A-1, “Oversized vehicles making pick-ups or deliveries of goods, wares, or merchandise from or to any building or structure.” She asked if there is anything in the ordinance about no long-term parking. She suggested that sometimes those types of vehicles could park overnight, and she asked Staff to put something in the ordinance to state that no long-term or overnight parking is permitted for these particular vehicles. She emphasized that the provision is saying they are exempt from the provisions under “Prohibition”.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that, for instance, an oversized vehicle making deliveries to a restaurant does not need a permit to park on the street, and that various jurisdictions have commercial vehicle parking restrictions and there are different techniques being used, but there are none in Rancho Palos Verdes. He stated that it does not have to be tied just to RVs.
Chair Shepherd referred to A-2 under “Exemptions” which states, “Oversized vehicles parked in connection with and in aid of the performance of a service to or on a property.” She explained that it could be a construction vehicle used as a truck but has a small van on the back for debris, and it would be parked for the duration. She asked if they would fall under the exemption.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that they would be exempt because they are working on the adjacent property.
Chair Shepherd asked if there is anything in the State or County Code that requires cities to exempt those vehicles, or can they be subjected to a permit as well. She asked what happens if a construction vehicle parks there for a month.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that they would not need a permit because they are coming in to do work, but the 72-hour applies to everything.
Chair Shepherd explained that her point is that they do not need the 72-hour if there is no meat behind it; that the 72-hour just means they can move the vehicle a foot and start the cycle over.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the 72-hour applies to all vehicles, and the discussion is about exemptions for commercial vehicles providing service activities, and they will do their job and leave. He explained that anyone can park for six months and it is illegal, but he does not believe that this ordinance should be addressing this broad a problem.
Chair Shepherd stated that her point is that maybe these vehicles should not be exempt and should have a permit. She stated that she thinks construction-type vehicles have the same problem as an RV parked for any length of time; that if a large construction truck or a dumpster-type vehicle is parked under this exemption, nothing can be done about it.
Traffic Engineer Rydell questioned if Chair Shepherd is saying that every single oversized vehicle that comes into Rancho Palos Verdes that stops movement and parks somewhere needs a permit, emphasizing “every single vehicle”.
Chair Shepherd responded that she would not go that far; she explained that some of them come and go, but others park and are stationary for quite some time, and she is talking about those. She is not talking about the ones that pick up debris and leave, but some of them park and they are like a roll-off dumpster but they are not, and they are under “Exemptions”.
Commissioner Bilezerian asked to make a suggestion, and questioned if it would be appropriate to add to A-2: “Oversized vehicles parked for no longer than 72 hours in connection with and in aid of the performance of a service to or on a property.”
Chair Shepherd that something like that would be acceptable. Chair Shepherd held her remaining questions until after the public hearing.
Commissioner Klein explained that he has three things he would like the speakers to address during their comments: (1) the time element for the length of the return permit, (2) the cost issue, and (3) a provision for last-minute permits when Public Works offices are closed, and how could this be done.
Chair Shepherd opened the Public Hearing.
Lois Karp, 31115 Ganado Drive, explained that she has spoken on this issue before. She referred to Section A-2 under “Exemptions”, and suggested adding that those vehicles must be parked adjacent to or in front of the house they are serving. Ms. Karp explained that she has had the problem recently twice with two trimming services who do not want to take their huge trucks back to their yard, and the drivers look for some place in the neighborhood to put them. She explained that they were not trimming trees anywhere within four blocks of her house, but they brought four trucks and put them in front of her house. She stated that she asked them what they were doing and they told her that they were going to leave them there because it takes too much gas to take them back to the yard and they would come back on Monday morning, and this was on a Friday. She explained that she does not believe she has to put up with four trucks in front of her house over the weekend, and if she has guests, they have nowhere to park. She thinks that wherever they are trimming trees they should leave the trucks there, and, as they have with the motor homes in front of their house, these vehicles should have to be in front of or adjacent to the property they are serving so they don’t just look for a wide spot in the road. Ms. Karp referred to the dimensions of an oversized vehicle, (circle page 5, Definition of Oversized Vehicle, Section A). She stated that after the word “exceeds”, “any one of the following dimensions:” should be added. It would then read, “…exceeds any one of the following dimensions:” She suggested that someone would say the vehicle has two of the three (dimensions) and this wording should be added just to make it very clear that a vehicle must fit that square or it does not work. Ms. Karp referred to “Penalty for Violation” on circle page 8 and suggested that “may be removed” be changed to “shall be removed”. She suggested that towing should be addressed in that same sentence because she foresees people saying, “I’m not going to pay that fine anyhow, so I will wait for them to come around and bother me again and again and again”. She suggested that if it is not towed away, it has no teeth, and the City is back to the 72 hours they have now. Ms. Karp stated that she believes this is the closest the Commission has come to something workable; she thinks 24 permits is very generous, and she cannot see anyone complaining about that. She suggested that someone with an RV could better explain how long it takes to load and unload.
Tom Redfield, 31273 Ganado Drive, explained that he is speaking as a local leader, but not on behalf of the Coalition tonight. He stated that he supports everything Lois Karp, their local civic leader, has expressed. He thanked the Traffic Engineer, Staff, and the Commission for working over some of these issues because he thinks it is important to be as flexible and generous as possible to an organization represented so well by Ernie Giannioses, adding that they have a lot of respect for him. He stated that it is to Staff’s credit that they finally made contact with Mr. Giannioses to share information and get his input. Mr. Redfield stated that there are far more people who do not have RVs and suggested that the balance is off. He suggested that Staff might consider contacting a few people who showed up at every meeting, just as Mr. Giannioses did, and ask for their feedback. He explained that otherwise they wind up having an ordinance passively approved by one side of the issue as opposed to the other side who do not have RVs. Mr. Redfield said he thinks the Commission has been very flexible; that he was very unhappy with four permits a year, and 24 may be over generous but in the spirit of working better, he has no problem with that. He likes the idea that was brought up about when you come back; is 24 hours enough—he is opposed to 72 hours, but would go along with another day if that would meet some of the needs of Ernie’s group. Mr. Redfield stated that he thinks it is time to move on, that they have come a long way. He explained that he is still puzzled about the way permitting and related issues will be handled, but suggested that people should not have to go through 24 laborious permits. He believes the $10 permit fee is fine.
Norm Olson, 28733 Enrose Avenue, stated that his problem is that he parks on his property, but people can block him from getting into or out of his property. He explained that he may be gone for a few days or weeks and when he returns there may be cars blocking him from entering his property. He explained that he has a $350,000 motor home and he does not care to leave it on the street, but he cannot put it away until the vehicles are moved. He stated that his neighbors are always willing to move their cars and he has never had to leave it on the street overnight, but he must sometimes leave it there for three or four hours, and that is his problem.
Barry Hildebrand, 3560 Vigilance, stated that he thought this subject was history until he saw the notice again. He recalled that it was debated about five years ago and has almost the same history as Via Rivera. He talked with a former member of the original Traffic Committee almost thirty years ago, and he said they considered it then and could not come to a solution. He explained that in 2001, the DMV supplied a list of how many vehicles were registered in Rancho Palos Verdes, and the total was approximately 35,000. Of that number, there were 341 listed under “other” which were RVs and other large vehicles like trucks, or less than 1% of the total vehicle population of Rancho Palos Verdes that the City is trying to regulate. In addition, he understands that the City is only getting one or two complaints a year, and it seems to him that it is a non-problem, and suggested that the Commission think about it. Mr. Hildebrand explained that he has a mini-van, which presents the same line-of-sight problems as a 30’ RV, and he cannot see around it when he sits in his Camry. He suggested that there are SUVs that are even worse than his van, and asked if the Commission will regulate all those vehicles ultimately with this ordinance. He stated that currently the ordinance states only vehicles that are 20’ long, 7’ wide, and 8’ high. He stated that there are many other vehicles that present the same problems as that size vehicle, and the Commission is not solving the line-of-sight problem that drivers have coming out of their driveways, which is the only place this large vehicle ordinance is affecting. He explained that it is only effective in those instances where someone has trouble getting out of their driveway; that the other issues that might be reported are aesthetics, over which this Commission has no control—that is a Planning Commission problem. He reminded the Commission that the vehicle code does not allow for any selective parking ordinance except for commercial vehicles that are over 10,000 pounds. In fact, and he addressed the Traffic Engineer, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in their ordinance section 10.08.080 adopts the Vehicle Code in its entirety to apply to commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds. Mr. Hildebrand stated that he believes it is a violation of the Vehicle Code to charge fees to one section of the community, and will bring a lawsuit if enacted, and he does not believe the City needs to put more dollars down the drain for lawyers. Mr. Hildebrand stated that he would hope that the Commission would try to avoid the courts and associated lawyers’ fees and defeat this idea—it is clearly big brother government.
George Zugsmith, 3746 Hightide, addressed Commissioner Klein’s issue about the 72-hour provision, saying that as Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested you start with eight days a month; he stated that if you give them eight days a month they can park for 24 days a month. He gave an example of a red van parked on Palos Verdes Drive East, has pinecones half way up the windshield, and has been sitting there for one month. He suggested that the City cannot put the burden on the Sheriff’s Department to go around and check and red tag all these vehicles, but they will respond if asked. Mr. Zugsmith called and the vehicle was tagged, and now it has been another 72 hours and it is not on their hot sheet obviously, so he will call again and this time it will be towed. He explained that if you violate this ordinance it’s not another 72 hours because all the owner has to do is move the vehicle 1/16th of an inch or less and the 72 hours starts all over again, and the Sheriff’s Department will tell you that. He stated that in fact, if the vehicle is moved a little bit, it is a re-park situation, so it starts all over again, and that Code Section has no teeth in it whatsoever. In respect to emergency permits, he suggested that residents who are responsible enough to have vehicles and are required to pay registration fees and get permits on time should be required to do these things as responsible adults. Therefore, if someone thinks at the last minute that they want to load up their vehicle, they should have thought about that two days ago when the City offices were open, not after midnight when they cannot reach anyone. That, in his opinion, does not make any sense. Regarding Mr. Hildebrand, if they carried his discussion to an illogical extent, no City could enact any ordinance that would be more restrictive than the Vehicle Code, and that does not make any sense either. He does not understand why they are struggling so much with this ordinance; that there are ordinances all over cities in California, and all the Commission needs to do is take one. He does not understand why it has taken five years to enact this.
Ernest Giannioses, 5344 Manitowac Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, stated that the Coalition appreciates the flexibility the Commission is showing so far in terms of the 24 versus four permits. He would also like to see flexibility on the “adjacent” versus “the front”, and stated that that is really a prime technicality. He referred to a person with a corner lot who cannot park it in the front, yet they are allowed to park it adjacent—“What’s the big deal?” “Adjacent” or “in front” should not be that big of an issue. Although he does not believe the $10 fee is a big fee, he thinks $5 would be better. He explained that the permit process is something that should be very flexible if the City really hopes people will adhere to it and go through the trouble of getting a permit. He referred to a comment that residents should think about it two or three days in advance, and suggested that part of the beauty of having an RV is the spontaneity of it; that you may come from work one night and decide to take off. He explained that he is going to take off for a month in a few days and does not know when he will come back, so there must be flexibility in this process; and there must be a way to get this permit without a person physically coming in to personally pick it up. He suggested that there are concerns about the 72-hour rule, and if this process is adopted the concerns are eliminated.
Mr. Giannioses stated that he received information from the legislative branch of the Family Motor Coach Association dealing with several Southern California cities, and briefly reviewed the information. Oceanside, California, current 72-hour law prevails, the ordinance says the vehicle would be considered stored unless it is moved at least one-half mile within a 72-hour period, and it also calls for signs to be posted. Los Angeles’ ordinance would prohibit RV parking on certain city streets from 3:00 am to 6:00 am; Councilwoman Janice Hahn has requested that the city establish a free permit system that would allow short-term parking with no time mentioned. Burbank has a new ordinance that bans street parking between 2:00 am and 6:00 am unless the owner acquires a 24-hour permit, and no total ban. Huntington Beach City Council voted to allow RV parking on residential streets for up to 100 days per year; current rules limit on-street parking to eight consecutive days and no more than 16 days in a month, and RVs with such permit would be ticketed. San Diego has two proposals; one provides for an annual permit that would allow RV owners to park adjacent to the residence for up to 72 hours instead of a per use permit.
Chair Shepherd closed the Public Hearing.
Commissioner Klein moved adoption of Staff recommendations on circle page 3, with the following exceptions:
That an oversized vehicle in length be increased from the present 20’ to 22’;
Seconded by Commissioner Willens.
Commissioner Bilezerian addressed some of the comments regarding potential revisions:
Circle page 5 under “Definition of Oversized Vehicle”, Section A; revise to read “…any vehicle or combination of vehicles or combination of vehicles and/or trailers that exceeds twenty (20) either twenty-two (22) feet in length…”
Commissioner Klein stated that he believes the changes are all reasonable and is willing to accept them all except one; that the change from 24 to 30 permits may warrant more discussion, and suggested that they could take that up as a separate amendment.
Commissioner Bilezerian explained that his main reason for changing the number of permits is that there is no need to regulate how often people go on trips, and a speaker stated that 24 is the bottom of the range and other cities allow more, and adding six permits would increase trips to three each month.
Chair Shepherd clarified that 24 are 48 when loading and unloading is considered, and any number proposed is doubled—so 30 is 60.
Commissioner Klein clarified that six trips equals 12 more opportunities to park the vehicle on the street.
Commissioner Bilezerian stated that it is six more 72-hour departure opportunities and six more 48-hour return opportunities in a 12-month period.
Chair Shepherd stated that she thought 24/48 was generous, and she could not support 30 permits. She referred to circle page 7, Section 5-D and stated that the Commission first wanted to change “adjacent” to “in front of” and, although she understands this is a section referring to a disabled person, it seems that “in front of” would be more convenient for a disabled person.
Commissioner Bilezerian explained that adjacent would allow in front of or on the side yard.
Chair Shepherd explained that what she does not understand is what the objection was to saying “in front of” as the same criteria.
Commissioner Bilezerian responded that it eliminates the side yard.
Chair Shepherd pointed out that the side yard is only an issue on a corner lot.
Commissioner Bilezerian stated that they thought “adjacent” would cover both types of lots; that you want to allow parking on the side yard if an engineering evaluation determines that it is safe. He explained that you do not want to prohibit a person with a handicapped placard from parking on the side yard and if you change the word “adjacent” to “in front of” that is what you do.
Chair Shepherd stated that if it says “adjacent” they could park across the street.
Traffic Engineer Rydell disagreed, saying that it is contiguous, meaning touching, as in touching your property.
Chair Shepherd argued that “adjacent” can be misunderstood, and is defined as “anywhere close by, and in close proximity to”, and there are too many different possible definitions, whereas “in front of, or side of a corner lot” is specific. In response to Traffic Engineer Rydell’s question, Chair Shepherd responded that it does not matter as long as it has teeth.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this is a very simple issue and he stated that he would like to help the Commission focus, and right now, they are at the question of how many permits a year. He believes that if each Commissioner will state their opinion on the number of permits they can move on from there.
Chair Shepherd requested a number from each Commissioner, and the initial responses were as follows: Commissioner(s) Klein 30, Mevers 24, Parvenov 48, Willens 24, Shepherd 12, and Bilezerian 30.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that after negotiating the numbers changed to three at 30, two at 24, and one at 12, and asked if the Commission could get the number to 28, which is right in the middle. He explained that the Commission is so close to getting this ordinance done that he believes if they can reach agreement, it can be modified if necessary, but they are too close to give up.
After discussion, the Commission had a majority in agreement to use 28 as the number of permits allowed per year.
Traffic Engineer Rydell raised the next question of how long the return permit should allow, and asked if the suggested 48 hours is acceptable.
The Commission concurred unanimously that 48 hours is acceptable.
Traffic Engineer Rydell addressed the length of vehicles, explained that it was 20’ and he is now hearing 22’, and asked if that is acceptable. He explained that many agencies that Staff reviewed used the 22’ length in their ordinances, and some used 24’.
Commissioner Klein referred to the list of vehicles presented at a recent meeting and stated that pickup trucks were 22’.
Commissioner Parfenov stated that he would agree because the models he found fit the 22’ threshold.
Chair Shepherd stated that she would choose 20’.
Traffic Engineer Rydell reported that 22’ is a Caltrans standard for an inside parking stall, and 20’ is for outside.
The majority of the Commissioners agreed upon 22’.
Traffic Engineer Rydell clarified that the resolved dimensions of the vehicle are either 22’ in length, 8’ in height, or 7’ in width.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that they resolved the “adjacent”/“in front of” to say “in front of or, in the case of a corner lot on the side”, and he recommended adding wording that says “touching the property”, and Staff can find the appropriate wording.
The Commissioners agreed with Traffic Engineer Rydell on the rewording and recommendation.
Commissioner Klein brought up the issue of using “shall” in place of “may” under “Penalty for Violation”.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that with “shall be removed”; what if there is some type of emergency. He is afraid to put the Sheriff in a situation where something very unusual is going on, and with that wording he is obligated if it is the law—You shall enforce it. He gave an example of a person with an RV who had a heart attack, and questioned if they would tow the RV away. He explained that “may” is a very common term in many ordinances to give them the flexibility to be reasonable if something unexpected happens.
Chair Shepherd suggested that this issue is not a problem; the delay would only be for a short time, and someone would have to place a phone call almost immediately.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that the reason he mentioned this possibility is that there are neighbors who see something and immediately pick up the phone. They are extremely proactive.
Commissioner Bilezerian offered to withdraw his recommendation to change “may” to “shall” if the Commission agrees, and they concurred.
Traffic Engineer Rydell presented the issue of exemptions where they talked about vehicles that are making deliveries or providing services to properties, and as mentioned, the Commission wants the vehicle parked in front of the property they are servicing. He gave an example of a Sparkletts water delivery, but your cars are parked in front of your property; they actually would not be able to make the delivery with this restriction.
Chair Shepherd commented that the delivery truck would not be parked there permanently.
Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that the proposed wording does not differentiate.
Chair Shepherd’s understanding is that the only “in front of” is if they park for longer than eight hours.
Traffic Engineer Rydell gave an example of a Roto-Rooter truck providing service at his home and his car was parked in front of the house, so where does the truck park.
Chair Shepherd commented that they would provide the service and then they leave.
Traffic Engineer Rydell clarified that if they are restricted to parking in front of the house, how will they provide the service if there is nowhere to park in front of the house because the resident’s car(s) is parked there.
Commissioner Willens gave an example of a neighbor building a block wall, and trucks are sitting there for a week with the material needed to complete the project. He explained maybe they cannot be parked in front of the property for some reason, and under this ordinance, the trucks would have to be moved away every night and brought back in the morning. Commissioner Willens stated that he thinks that is unreasonable.
Commissioner Bilezerian asked if that is construction activity provided for in “Exemptions” Section A-3.
Commissioner Willens agreed, but expressed confusion about the difference between Sections A-2 and A-3, and believes it will be confusing to the public.
Commissioner Bilezerian asked what is a service.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that this was taken from another ordinance.
Commissioner Bilezerian suggested that he would withdraw that part of his revisions so that Staff can clarify the language. He modified his proposed revisions to Commissioner Klein’s Motion, previously stated, (referring to “Circle page 6 under “Exemptions”, Section A-2) and revised the sentence to read, “Oversized vehicles parked for no longer than eight (8) consecutive hours in connection with and in aid of the performance of a service to or on a property and parked only in front of said property. The modification would be, instead of modifying A-2, to remove or delete Section A-3 under “Exemptions”.
Commissioner Klein stated that he accepts that.
Chair Shepherd asked if there is a construction permit similar to that for a motorized dumpster for those vehicles such as Commissioner Willens just mentioned. She explained that they are used for debris; they have a back bed to hold debris, and she asked if they are under the same type of requirement to obtain a permit to park for weeks at a time.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that they are not required to obtain a permit.
Chair Shepherd suggested that if that vehicle is obstructing ingress and egress because of the debris that is in it and because of the size and width, it is a safety issue. She explained that it has similar characteristics as an oversized vehicle, there is nothing, unless the Commission puts it here, that restricts them—if we exempt them because they are construction related, then they have an exemption that even a roll-off dumpster has, but with a permit. She stated that a roll-off dumpster can park there, and they are not under the restrictions because of their size. She stated that her question is that just because they have wheels and a steering wheel, but are serving the same purpose as a roll-off dumpster, should there be something in place somewhere—not here—to address that, because this thing will stay there, and the only difference is that it has wheels.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that he has gone to construction sites and asked the Foreman on-site to get the ten-wheel vehicles off the street, and if it is a safety problem to get it out of there and, had the Foreman not moved it, he would have called the Sheriff to enforce the Vehicle Code.
Deputy Souza explained that they would enforce by the Vehicle Code for vehicles over a certain weight.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that there is no 72 hours.
Chair Shepherd referred to circle page 8 under “Penalty for Violation” and suggested incorporating Section J with Section I. She asked if there is a reason why Section J needs to be there when Section I it could read, “Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter mayshall be cited immediatelyand removed 72-hours after expiration of the issued permit, and fined $75 for each violation…” and then they could omit Section J.
Commissioner Klein suggested that the fine could happen immediately if the vehicle does not have a permit or if it is not in front of their house. Section J says it may be removed 72 hours after expiration of the permit.
Commissioner Willens clarified that if you want to cite it, you can cite it immediately; but if you want to remove it, you must wait until 72 hours after expiration of the permit.
Chair Shepherd questioned that the vehicle is being cited for not having a permit and removed for the expiration of the permit, and stated that it is not clear to her.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it also could be cited for being there for more than 72 hours.
Chair Shepherd questioned if it is only cited and then you pay a fine and just sit there; for expiration of permit, you are towed. She explained that she does not understand. She asked if you violate your permit, would you be towed away or not.
Commissioner Willens explained that they are trying to put teeth to this, and he would say it should be clear that it may be cited and removed immediately unless there is some reason it could not be removed immediately. He suggested that if they want to have the option of removing it, just allow it to be removed, and why must they wait 72 hours.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that he believes it is because the California Vehicle Code (CVC) allows the City to tow a car or vehicle after 72 hours.
Commissioner Willens asked why the City even needs that; if the ordinance says the vehicle can be towed immediately, then who cares what the CVC says.
Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that it might be appropriate to delete “J” and modify “I”; that there are two options, either the vehicle will be cited and/or removed immediately for expiration of permit. Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that if the vehicle does not have a valid permit the vehicle is cited or towed.
Chair Shepherd stated that the ordinance should say that, and suggested that it needs to be at an elementary school level
Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested revised wording for Section I under “Penalty for Violation” to state, “Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter may be cited immediately, and/or towed immediately, and fined $75…” He stated that Section J would be deleted.
Deputy Souza disagreed with the combo revision, and stated that it should be one or the other. He explained that the Deputy can cite three days in a row, and if the violation exceeds 72 hours, the Sheriff can tow for that. He explained that if the provision is left open, it could be either one.
Commissioner Willens responded that the Sheriff must then return every day, which goes back to the problem of resources in the Sheriff’s Department.
Chair Shepherd stated that the Commission is proposing “cited and towed”.
Deputy Souza responded that they are not supposed to cite and tow.
Chair Shepherd suggested that then it is towed.
Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out the problem of other cities leaving their vehicles in Rancho Palos Verdes, and suggested, “may be towed immediately”.
Commissioner Willens revised his recommendation for Section I under “Penalty for Violation” to read: “Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter may be towed immediately. Each day a violation is committed shall be considered a separate offense subject to the issuance of a separate citation.”
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that the word “may” allows the City to give Rancho Palos Verdes residents a warning, whereas vehicles of non-residents of Rancho Palos Verdes can be towed immediately.
Commissioner Willens suggested that this is what the Commission is trying to avoid; that they do not want to give the option because people will argue that there is discrimination.
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that there is no ticket.
Deputy Souza explained that most parking without permits is handled by citations.
Commissioner Willens argued that if it were done that way, some people would say it is worth it to them to pay $75 or more to be able to keep their RV on the street whenever they want, and the Commission wants to go further than that.
Commissioner Bilezerian referred to the latest revised wording of Section I and stated that if a vehicle is towed and not cited, the person must pay an impound fee.
Commissioner Bilezerian commented on the most recent revision saying that if a vehicle is towed and not cited, the owner of the vehicle must pay an impound fee, and asked if that is correct.
Deputy Souza responded that it depends on the City from which it is towed.
Commissioner Bilezerian asked if the City gets any return from the towing fee.
Deputy Souza responded that he is not sure if Rancho Palos Verdes charges a towing fee or not; that he knows some cities do and others do not, and those that do charge approximately $85 directly—not to the towing company, which charges their own fee. He believes Rancho Palos Verdes may have started doing that within the last year.
Commissioner Bilezerian asked if a vehicle is cited, does Rancho Palos Verdes receive revenue.
Deputy Souza responded yes on the greater majority of parking citations.
Commissioner Bilezerian raised the question of revenue in connection with citing RVs and stated that he does not have an opinion either way and that it is justified if there is a violation, but wants to make sure that the Commission is not taking advantage of that or eliminating revenue that is due to the City.
Chair Shepherd suggested saying a vehicle would be cited and, if not removed in 24 hours, towed.
Deputy Souza stated that he would have to research that, but that they would cite after 72 hours and that is basic.
Chair Shepherd asked about a 24-hour warning tag on an RV that says the vehicle is in violation, the 72 hours has expired; or, you do not have a permit to be here and if this vehicle is not gone or have a permit in 24 hours, it will be towed.
Commissioner Klein responded that you red tag that the vehicle is in violation and in 24 hours it may be towed, and the word “may” allows for emergencies.
Commissioner Willens asked if the Sheriff has a log so a Deputy can automatically return in 72 hours, or do they have to wait for someone to call.
Deputy Souza responded that if they have other problems in the area they may check the vehicle, but on some days, they do not have time to return. He explained that for 72-hour violations they have a file box with locations so Deputies can check their area.
Commissioner Willens asked what is wrong with doing the same thing for the 24-hour warnings.
Deputy Souza agreed, and if this is enacted that could be done.
Commissioner Parfenov suggested that if the vehicle does not have a permit, it would be a violation of the Rancho Palos Verdes law, but if it is a Rancho Palos Verdes resident with an expired permit, after 24 hours the Deputy would issue a citation, and asked if that is correct.
Chair Shepherd explained that the Sheriff could not cite it; they have to warn with a tag.
Commissioner Parfenov clarified that that was what he was trying to say, and stated that he thinks it is reasonable that a vehicle of a non-resident of Rancho Palos Verdes parked in violation can be removed to prevent residents from outside the City from dumping their vehicles in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Chair Shepherd questioned how the Sheriff would know; do they look up the license plate to see where it is registered to identify it.
Commissioner Parfenov suggested that if it does not have a decal, automatically is does not belong to a resident.
Chair Shepherd responded not necessarily, because a resident may not have obtained a permit, but it is still their vehicle, or someone could be visiting from Alaska and the resident must get a permit for them to park.
Commissioner Willens suggested that it may be registered in northern California, but the owner has a residence in Rancho Palos Verdes.
Deputy Souza referred to charging a fine and explained that if Rancho Palos Verdes does not have the towing fee it could be added on, but the Sheriff cannot just put a ticket on the window and tow it away at the same time.
Commissioner Willens stated that the City Council would have to take action on anything the Commission recommends anyway.
Chair Shepherd referred to “ Permit Process”, Section G on circle page 8, and suggested revising it to read “No oversized vehicle shall be used for overnight, camping, lodging, sleeping, residing in or accommodation purposes. On Section H, she questioned pedestrian safety when opening the side of the vehicle.
Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that H-3 addresses that issue.
Chair Shepherd suggested removing H-3 and combining it with either Section H-1 or H-2 to shorten the ordinance.
Commissioner Klein referred to Section G under “Permit Process” on circle page 8 regarding camping and lodging, etc., and questioned that, if the vehicle is parked on the resident’s property, could it be used for these purposes.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that he does not know, and they are discussing on-street parking. He asked if the Commission wants to discuss anything else before making a Motion.
Commissioner Klein asked if any paragraphs were deleted from “Penalty for Violation” on circle page 8.
Commissioner Willens recalled discussions about removing the vehicle after a warning.
Deputy Souza suggested that if the vehicle was cited for having no permit, then you have an ordinance that says it could towed if it is parked for more than 24 hours without a permit, and referred to his objection to doing the combo, and this would be a blue tag situation.
Traffic Engineer Rydell pointed out that there is no fine.
Chair Shepherd suggested that she likes the idea of having some type of fee attached.
Deputy Souza suggested that there might already be a fee in effect, but he does not recall what fee; that San Pedro charges and one other city just started charging.
Chair Shepherd asked if this is called a citation if the owner is being warned.
Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that under “Penalty for Violation”, Section I be replaced by Section J and be revised to read, “Vehicles parked in violation of this chapter may be removed 72 24 hours after expiration of the issued permit, pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 22651.”
Commissioner Willens questioned why “pursuant to…” must be there.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated that it does not have to be there.
Chair Shepherd suggested a situation where there is a violation; she questioned if a resident would call the Sheriff and say there is no permit on the RV and the Sheriff could tow it based on the ordinance, or if there is a permit, but the date has expired, they could also tow it. She asked if that is what this wording allows the Sheriff to do.
Deputy Souza responded that they would be allowed to do that if it is specified by ordinance.
Chair Shepherd clarified her question, asking if it can be enforced by a new local ordinance, or for towing, does the City have to abide by the CVC.
Commissioner Klein suggested the Sheriff would not have to wait 24 hours if the oversized vehicle had no permit.
Deputy Souza stated that depends on if you knew whether the vehicle had a permit.
Commissioner Klein stated that the wording says all vehicles parked on the street must have a permit and, if this vehicle has no permit, could it be towed immediately without waiting 24 hours.
Deputy Souza stated that he would say no, that you have to wait 24 hours without knowing whether or not it had a permit. It would have to be a 24-hour tag.
Deputy Souza stated that it would be the same as the 72-hour already in place, except it would be tagged.
Commissioner Willens stated that the ordinance must say that.
Senior Engineer Dragoo clarified that a vehicle without a permit would be tagged and told they have 24 hours to get a permit or they will be towed.
Chair Shepherd stated that the Commission must have that spelled out.
Traffic Engineer Rydell referred to the CVC Section 22651 “Circumstances Permitting Removal”, Subsection (n) that states, “Whenever any vehicle is parked or left standing where local authorities, by resolution or ordinance, have prohibited parking and have authorized the removal of vehicles. No vehicle may be removed unless signs are posted giving notice of the removal.”
Chair Shepherd suggested that that is a tag.
Commissioner Klein clarified that it means a street sign.
Traffic Engineer Rydell stated he does not know and referred to Subsection (m) of Section 22651, which states “…signs giving notice that the vehicle may be removed are erected or placed at least 24 hours prior to the removal by local authorities pursuant to the ordinance.”
Traffic Engineer Rydell explained that entry signs to the City say “Vehicles in violation of (specified) ordinance may be towed”. He stated it seems like that, in conjunction with a 24-hour tag, would work.
Commissioner Klein stated that he thought the Commission wanted an ordinance that would allow vehicles to be towed immediately if they did not have a permit.
Commissioner Parfenov stated that his point is that you give them 24 hours to get a permit and they move out, and then they will come back again and get the same warning.
Chair Shepherd suggested that if someone towed an RV away the owner would have to pay a large impound fee to get it back.
Commissioner Parfenov agreed, but clarified that if the City only gives a warning sign, they can move it away and come back again, whereas if they get a ticket, of course they will not do it again.
Chair Shepherd asked if a person can keep getting 72-hour permits and 24-hour tags 28 times consecutively.
Traffic Engineer Rydell responded that they could, and pointed out that a resident actually gets five days for each permit.
Commissioner Bilezerian commented that he does not believe that any responsible person would do that.
Chair Shepherd stated that that defeats the purpose of getting the RVs off the streets.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to circle page 7, Section C under “Permit Process” and suggested revising it to read “No more than twenty-four twenty-eight (28) permits shall be issued during any calendar year to a single vehicle, and shall not be re-issued within twenty-four (24) hours for the same vehicle.”
Traffic Engineer Rydell commented that now the City is defining when residents can take their trips.
Commissioner Willens supposed that a resident might come home for a day and want to go on another trip. The revised wording would prevent him from doing that because he cannot get another permit.
Commissioner Parfenov referred to his revision above regarding Section C under “Permit Process” and revised his change to read, and shall not be re-issued withinfor twenty-four (24) seventy-two (72) hours for the same vehicle.”
Traffic Engineer Rydell suggested that the Commission is now getting into too much detail, and explained that he would like to get concurrence from everyone of what exactly they want to survive, so when Staff comes back, they know what should be given to the City Attorney.
Commissioner Klein questioned how a person goes about getting a permit, and asked if they should leave it up to Staff to present a process.
Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that the Public Works Department would recommend to City Council. He explained that he does not believe that the daily operations of the Department could incorporate seven days in that operation, so it is appropriate for Staff to take it to them.
Commissioner Mevers referred to the engineering evaluation for safety reasons, and asked how often this would be done.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that it would be done only once as he sees it, and as long as that person at that residence comes in for a permit, the City will have that initial evaluation on the books. If they report that they have a new vehicle with different dimensions, another evaluation would be done.
Commissioner Mevers explained that, if Staff assumes that the vehicle would always be parked in the same spot, getting the permit is a very likely thing, and suggested that this should be a high-priority question asked of residents when they apply for subsequent permits.
Chair Shepherd suggested that the only time there would be a problem is if the City receives a phone call, and otherwise it is ok.
Commissioner Klein raised the question of how residents would get a permit on weekends and holidays.
Commissioner Parfenov suggested that the Internet is an option.
Commissioner Klein commented that they could use a credit card, password, ATM, or other available options.
Senior Engineer Dragoo stated that he would investigate that.
Chair Shepherd turned the meeting over to Vice Chair Willens at 11:15 pm.
Vice Chair Willens asked that Commissioner Klein propose a Motion incorporating the revisions.
Commissioner Klein moved to adopt the Staff Recommendations 1-3 on circle page 3 with the amended revisions as follows:
Circle page 5; revise “Definition of Oversized Vehicle”, paragraph A to read, “…that exceeds either twenty (20)twenty-two feet in length…”
In addition, Staff will re-word paragraph A-1 under Prohibition on circle page 6 and wherever this wording appears in the ordinance, seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.
Commissioner Willens stated that the Motion did not instruct Staff to incorporate the changes and return to the Commission to vote on the revised ordinance. He believes that the changes made by the Motion will be incorporated into a revised ordinance and will be returned to the Commission next month to vote on what will hopefully be a final version of an ordinance that can be forwarded to City Council, and asked if that is correct.
Commissioner Klein amended his Motion to add that the Commission directs Staff to incorporate the changes made by the Motion into a revised ordinance, and return to the Commission at the meeting of August 28, 2006 with a final version of an ordinance that can be considered and voted upon by the Commission and forwarded to City Council, seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.
2. CREST ROAD AND ANACAPA DRIVE FLASHING BEACON
1. Deny the request for installation of a flashing beacon on Crest Road in advance of Anacapa Drive.
This item was postponed by Motion under “Approval of Agenda” until the next meeting on August 28, 2006.
This section of the agenda is for audience comments for items not on the agenda.
Vice Chair Willens acknowledged that Mr. and Mrs. Kritzer have been sitting here since the start of the meeting, and recalled that they said they would return to every meeting to speak on the issue of the traffic signal at Palos Verdes Drive South and Forrestal.
Stan and Marilyn Kritzer, 2832 Pirate Drive, asked for a report on the status of the engineering work done on the signal at Palos Verdes Drive South and Forrestal.
Senior Engineer Dragoo reported that there is no engineering work being done; that the agreement with the Trump Organization does include this and they will pay their fair share toward the signal as it is installed. He explained that Staff is reviewing the overall conditions of approval of that development and is working with Trump on many issues, this being one of them. Senior Engineer Dragoo assured them to put their minds at ease, that the City would not lose the funding that Trump is required to provide for the signal. He explained that under the conditions of approval, the clock for the installation of the signal is a three-year period, and it begins once the project is accepted. He explained that the City would have to determine what the fair share is before they will approve that project; that the organization cannot put the City off and not give them an answer and the City cannot ignore this signal, and the City is working toward it but are not there yet. Senior Engineer Dragoo explained that they do have an Engineer who is working with the City two days a week who is specifically working with the Trump organization and the Interim Director at this time.
Mrs. Kritzer asked if the signal is part of that program.
Senior Engineer Dragoo responded that it is still on the books.
Vice Chair Willens stated that next month Public Comments for items not on the Agenda will be placed first on the agenda.
RECEIVE AND FILE:
1. FORRESTAL/PALOS VERDES DRIVE SOUTH TRAFFIC SIGNAL
Vice Chair Willens postponed the following Informational Items and Approval of Minutes until the next meeting without objection.
1. Public Works Department Report:
a. Toscanini Area Traffic Calming Update.
2. Other Traffic Safety Commission Business
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Approval of minutes of May 22, 2006
Vice Chair Willens reported that Chair Shepherd will be absent for a couple of meetings and he will Chair the meetings in her absence, and he will probably run the meetings differently. He asked that the Commissioners think about how the meetings can be conducted ideally in terms of Roberts Rules. He explained that he is not suggesting that the Commission follow Roberts Rules absolutely, but chattering back and forth is taking much too long, and his goal is to do what needs to be done in a shorter time.
Vice Chair Willens moved to adjourn at 11:31 pm to the next Regular Meeting of the Traffic Safety Commission on August 28, 2006, seconded by Commissioner Bilezerian.