Minutes

MINUTES FOR JANUARY 14th, 2016

Voting Members in Attendance:  Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, George Wolfberg, Reza Akef, Kelly Comras, Richard Wulliger, Stuart Muller, Sarah Conner, Bruce Schwartz, Rick Mills, Sue Kohl, Cathy Russell, Nancy Niles, Barbara Marinacci and Gil Dembo.

Voting Alternates:  Rick McGeagh, Dustin Hall, Diane Bleak, Susan Payne and Brian Deming.

Non-voting Advsors and alternates:  Donna Vaccarino, Alan Goldsmith, David Kaplan, Kevin Niles, Ted Mackie and Linda Lefkowitz.

Start of Business Meeting

1.0 Reading of Community Council’s Mission:  Richard Cohen read the Mission Statement.

2.0  Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience.  Chris called the meeting to order at 7:00pm.  Introduction of the Board and Audience (time constraints prevented full introductions).

3.0 Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:01 pm.

4.0 Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Chris deemed the December 10, 2015 minutes approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: 1/28/16. LADWP presentation re proposed temporary facilities to increase power capacity due to overloaded circuits in the Palisades; at a minimum, it is expected that the installations may affect and/or be located in PPCC Areas 3 and 5 potentially near existing LADWP properties, although also possible in other locations (note: the proposed DS-104/substation location will NOT be a topic of discussion). 2/11/16. (Tentative) VPLUC update/report supplement/Board discussion re Village Project land use application. ** Topics noticed in advance may change.

5.0 Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.

6.0 Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of January 14, 2016. PPCC’s current cash balance is $39,668.74. Holiday party total revenue exceeded expenses by $6,961. Richard stated that this fine result was largely due to revenue from the tribute book/program ($5,700) and the silent auction ($1,050). PPCC’s current balance exceeds the balance in mid-November, 2015 by approximately $7,000 largely due to the holiday party and miscellaneous membership renewals and donations.

7.0 Reports, Announcements and Concerns

7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz

7.1.1 Meeting Ground Rules. 1) Due to library rules, the meeting must end promptly at 9 pm; as needed, the President will stay after the meeting to answer questions. 2) The President conducts meeting order and may rearrange order of discussion at her discretion. 3) Board members and audience shall only speak when called upon by the President; there shall be no interruptions except to make a point of order. 4) The President’s role in maintaining meeting order shall be honored. 5) All discussion shall be civil, respectful and courteous. (PPCC Bylaws, http://www.pp90272.org/BYLAWS%20JULY%202015.pdf.).

7.1.2 2015 Holiday Dinner and Awards Gala Recap. See Gala Event photos at:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3a2mk522a6ykl0p/AAAdHoJVh4bqb1rQ6dtyz47ea?dl=0
Chris thanked all contributors, donors, sponsors and participants. Chris gave a special thanks to Event Committee Chair Peter Culhane and Subcommittee Chairs Maryam Zar and Sue Kohl for their critical role in the success of this wonderful evening honoring our amazing honorees. Additionally, Chris thanked Board members who provided key assistance: Cathy Russell, Gil Dembo, Ted Mackie, Barbara Kohn, Brian Deming, George Wolfberg, Richard Cohen and Jennifer Malaret.

7.1.3 (New) PPCC Communications Committee. Chris announced the committee membership as Maryam Zar (Chair), Michael Soneff, George Wolfberg, Brian Deming, Janet Anderson and Chris Spitz (ex officio). Chris stated that the committee would focus on launch and maintenance of the new PPCC website (in progress), potential e- newsletter and ongoing messaging/outreach.

7.1.4 Short Term Rentals (STRs) Update. Chris reported that PPCC is waiting for distribution and transmittal by the City Planning Department of a draft ordinance to legalize STRs currently illegal in residential zones (draft expected by mid-February). PPCC position: opposed to permitting STRs in residential zones (see PPCC minutes of 9/24/15, 10/8/15, 10/22/15, 11/12/15 and attached letters submitted by PPCC to City officials).

7.1.5 BMO/BHO Amendment Update. Chris reported that consistent with PPCC Bylaws Art. V.3(B) and in light of a 1/11/16 deadline for submission of comments to the City Planning Dept., the Executive Committee approved a letter submitted to City officials on January 7, 2016, expressing concerns to date and requesting postponement of the Amendment to allow further study and public comment. See attached letter.

7.1.6 Small Lot Subdivision Code Amendment. Chris reported that there will be a public hearing January 20, 2016, 5:30- 7pm, Felicia Mahood Multipurpose Center, 11338 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90025. http://planning.lacity.org/ordinances/ proposedordinances.htm. Note: According to the City Planning Dept., this is a proposed Amendment to an existing ordinance (adopted in 2005) which established a new hybrid housing typology (similar to townhouses) for infill residential development in areas zoned for multi-family and commercial uses (not in single- family zones); the Amendment would create new enforceable development and design standards and require greater front and rear yard setbacks for Small Lots.

7.1.7 Sign Ordinance Update. Chris reported that the City Planning Commission determination of 10/22/15 has been transmitted to the City Council PLUM Committee (hearing TBD). See PPCC minutes of 10/22/15 and 11/12/15. For more information, contact PPCC Secretary Jennifer Malaret (malaret5@me.com).

7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives Representatives (Note: Contact information at: http://www.pp90272.org/Governmental%20Reps.pdf)

7.2.1 Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. Not in attendance.

7.2.2 Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office. Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy. Omar Pulido in attendance.

7.2.3 Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Daniel Tamm, Westside Area Representative, Mayor’s Interfaith Liaison. Not in attendance.

7.2.4 California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Stephanie Cohen, Field Representative. Not in attendance.

7.2.5 California State Senate, Office of State Senator Ben Allen. Lila Kalaf, District Representative. Not in attendance.

7.2.6 United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner, District Representative. Janet Turner in attendance. Janet reported that Ted Lieu is a member of the “quiet skies caucus” and detailed the Congressman’s efforts to reduce airport noise.

7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors

7.3.1 Officers/Area Representatives. 1) Maryam Zar, PPCC Vice-President. PPTFH activities/homelessness (OPCC outreach; Homeless Count 1/28/16 – to volunteer, contact pacpalihtf@gmail.com). Maryam gave an update on OPPCC outreach efforts which made contact with approximately 35 homeless persons. OPPCC met in addition with Palisades residents. The Task Force was recognized by Sheila Kuehl’s office and Maryam thanked the board and larger community for its support. Maryam solicited volunteers for the Homeless Count and encouraged interested persons to go to lahsa.gov where registration information is being taken. Walk in volunteers are encouraged. Brian Deming stated that the next PPTFH meeting would be January 19th at Corpus Christi Church’s gymnasium as a meet and greet with OPCC outreach workers from 5-6:30 pm. 2) George Wolfberg, At-Large Representative. New Year’s weekend PCH closures (from 4th Street to Entrada). George reported that accidents resulted in local closures for more than six hours. Contacts have been made with both local and state officials for a better way to handle these accidents including suggestions to remove cars, consult video and other methods for how accident details could be logged and verified more efficiently.
7.3.2 Organizational Representatives – Report on Behalf of Organizations. 1) Sarah Conner, PPRA Representative. 17000 Sunset Blvd. apartment project (see PPCC minutes of 11/12/15 and 12/10/15); on December 2, 2015 the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission granted appeals of the prior issuance for a coastal development permit. Sarah thanked George Wolfberg and the MKPOA and more than 100 Palisadian residents who objected to this non-conforming development.

8.0 Reports From Committees

8.1 VPLUC (David Kaplan, Chair). Village Project land use application update/report supplement (see VPLUC Preliminary Report, http://www.pp90272.org/VPLUC.pdf). David reported that the amendment application was received from the developer which differs from the November 2015 meeting relative to the general topics: (1) set back increases, (2) height reductions, (3) elevations to be defined from the sidewalk to the rooftop elevation, (4) the shared parking study has been deleted, (5) restaurant square footage has been reduced, and 6) Pilates exercise uses have been deleted. The traffic study is due to be received in February 2016 and the committee will report back then.

8.2 Bylaws Committee (Richard Cohen and Jennifer Malaret, Co-Chairs). Second reading, oral and written, of Motions 1(A) and (2) regarding proposed bylaws changes (organizational membership, meetings). Presentation: Richard Cohen summarized the purposes of Motion 1(A) (calendaring of existing organizations and providing a specific process for new organizations to be represented) and read out loud the existing language and each of the proposed changes, as set forth below and in the red-lined document distributed in advance of the meeting with the agenda. Questions: Barbara Kohn asked about the one-year term. There is no limitation on how many one-year terms any organization can serve. Action: 23 voting members were present. 22 members voted in favor (the Chair did not vote as per custom and Roberts Rules of Order). The motion passed.
MOTION 1(A):
Background. On March 12, 2015, PPCC’s Board directed the Bylaws Committee to explore modifications to the Bylaws relative to Article VIII(1)(A) “Selection and Election of Representatives, Organization Representatives and Alternates” with reference to organizations eligible to send representatives as set forth on Appendix A. The Board directed three possible areas of amendment: (1) the four categories which currently have one organization (“standing seat”) should be reconstituted such that those categories have multiple organizations and rotate appointment as presently do the other five multiple organization categories. (2) faith based organizations should be eligible to send representatives and have the opportunity for inclusion, and (3) a process should be established whereby any organization not listed and that believes it is not adequately represented by an eligible organization, may submit an application for inclusion. On October 8, 2015 a motion to facilitate all three areas of these amendments garnered a majority of favorable board member votes but failed to pass because it did not receive the two-thirds majority vote required by PPCC’s Bylaws (“Organization Representatives Motion #1).
Motion 1(A). The Bylaws Committee recommends that the Board vote to adopt the proposed amendments distributed with the agenda, referred to as “Organization Representatives Motion #1(A)”. The proposed amendments are now limited to: (1) improving calendaring of the process by which organization representatives and their alternates are selected, (2) providing a procedure for membership application by existing and new organizations, and (3) non-substantive corrective and clarifying language regarding vacancies and other matters.
MOTION 2:
The Bylaws Committee recommends that, to expedite and preserve efficiency at PPCC’s scheduled and public meetings, Article XII, Sec. 2(B) (Amendments) be amended as follows: “No amendment or new Bylaw may be voted upon until the entire text [delete “it”] has been distributed with [delete “read at”] the agenda for two consecutive Board [delete “council”] meetings. Presentation: Richard read aloud the motion and proposed changes as set forth above, summarized the purpose of the changes and expressed that the committee did not interpret the bylaws to mean that “read” must be “read aloud” because oral reading has not been done since 1973. This past year out of an abundance of caution solely due to a request from one board member, PPCC’s legal advisor advised and supported the oral readings but in conjunction with a change of the bylaws to align PPCC with modern practices which allow announcements to be made in writing multiple times in accordance with the bylaws. Discussion: (1) Donna Vaccarino opposed the motion, seeking a continuance of the practice for board members to hear orally what changes are being proposed. (2) Reza Akef supported the motion and noted that board members have a duty to read emails and documents that are sent to them. Board members with any questions can always question, contact and inquire of the Chair or any committee member and it is the job of all board members to prepare for the meetings. (3) David Kaplan supported the motion and challenged any board member without the document in front of them to make a meaningful objection. At this point in time after numerous distributions and many months of time to read and digest the substance, David stated that now is not the time to complain. (4) Rick Mills supported the motion and stated that when a board member prints out the materials they are clear and the Chair can make copies available for anyone. (5) Sue Kohl supported the motion and stated that printing out the agenda and board materials is critical to understanding. Action: Chris explained that abstentions count as “opposed” for purposes of a vote on bylaws amendments, pursuant to Bylaws Art. X11.2.A. 23 voting members were present. 17 votes in favor; 5 opposed (including 3 abstentions; the Chair did not vote as per custom and Roberts Rules of Order). The motion passed.

9.0 Old Business.

9.1 Above Ground Facilities (AGF) Ordinance. 1) Background: A revised draft ordinance regulating cell towers and other structures in the public right of way (PROW) was transmitted by the City Attorney on December 8, 2015 to relevant City Council committees (hearing TBD). https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm? fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=09-2645. Revisions include: removal of the existing exemption for utility-pole mounted antennas (in certain circumstances); expansion of notice for cell towers in the PROW; and (limited) enhancement of aesthetic criteria. Contact President Chris Spitz for a more detailed summary (info@pacpalicc.org). 2) Proposed MOTION by the Executive Committee (as time allows): “PPCC supports the AGF Ordinance revised as of December 8, 2015, but with a request that “Community Councils” be included among the organizations entitled to receive notice under LAMC Sections 62.08.VII.D.1(e) and 2(e).” Due to time constraints the matter was deferred until the next meeting.

10.0 New Business

10.1 Potential new flight path over Pacific Palisades (Metroplex Plan). Briefing by FAA officials, including Steve May, Senior Advisor, Office of the Regional Administrator, FAA Western- Pacific Division. Presentation: Glen Martin presenting for the Southern California Metroplex plan as of 1-14-2016. Topics discussed: (1) purpose and need are to re-examine the use of airspace with qualitative benefits to be achieved, (2) current guidelines for airport noise and what is the metric for change, i.e., when has significant impact been achieved and if/how that needs to be mitigated (guidelines were provided); note that this metric is a DB metric and not how noise is perceived by humans. The metric is environmental in nature relative to the governmental process of reports. (3) study area of the draft EA; (4) So Cal MetroPlex environmental process, the procedures have not been changed; if they were changed it would be 4th quarter 2016 or 1st quarter 2017 (4) SMO RWY 21 CTRUS SID. The largest change will be planes coming over the Santa Monica shoreline. (5) LGB HAWCC SID is only for piston driven aircraft. The concern is that the planes will be directly guided towards Los Angeles rather than offshore which conflicts; however, the plan built the routes they currently fly. There is no change from actual flights today. (6) LGB TOPMM SID. Flights interfering with LAX departures so this brings them up sideways over the land as they depart from Long Beach. For the Palisades they will have to be at or above 11,000 square feet when they are headed northbound. (7) LAX IRNMN STAR. Addresses traffic from northern CA and the far west like Hawaii. By sending traffic over Pacific Palisades it curves the vection for the last leg over Santa Monica. (8) LAX CRSHRSTAR. Routes coming down from the north are attempted to tip over the land to reduce angles as the planes come into LAX. (8) LAX HUULLSTAR. Has different departure points. (9) LAX LADYJSID. Relates to departures to the west which will move further west towards Malibu. The altitude will be 1,000 feet lower at the shoreline, i.e., 8,000 square feet instead of 9,000 square feet. In summary these should be the totality of the routes affecting the Palisades within the Metroplex proposal. http://metroplexenvironmental.com/socal_metroplex/socal_introduction.html (or Google Search “SoCal Metroplex”). (10) Depiction of all Jets, turboprops and all others. (11) LAX Traffic Current and Forecasted (percentage increase from 1.68% to 4.46% per annum; forecasts up to 2020 will still be less than 09-11 in terms of numbers not taking account into size however both mini-jets and jumbos have not taken on). (12) The average hourly count for aircraft coming in over Santa Monica at the 8 PM hour and overnight has slightly increased. Some of which may have been effected by runway construction are temporary however the time relation is being studied by the FAA. Will these flights continue late at night and early morning or will they be cancelled when the runway construction is completed? January data should show us however that weather impacts the results as well. Aircraft get slowed down when weather is poor. The FAA does not decide when the planes come in to LAX, this is all based on the airlines and their determination of when their flights come in. For example, Asian flights are coming in 1- 1.5 hours early perhaps due to El Nino and that may be contributing to these numbers as well. (13) LAX north wind arrivals over district 33 slide showing that arrivals over the Palisades are at the highest altitude within Los Angeles. Relative to Santa Monica Canyon the 2013 average altitude was 8,109, the 2014 average was 8,097, and the 2015 averages was 8,091. (14) LAX arrivals over Santa Monica Canyon were measured through the “arrival gate” and the measures had decreased from 118.508 to 118.516. The FAA is surprised as anyone that the measure decreased due to the impact in noise and they are still investigating and analyzing the data.
Questions: (1) Would the noise be noticeable if a plane flies at 8,000 feet vs. 9,000 feet? Yes, it might. (2) How does the inversion layer affect noise? Yes, it can. (3) Does the plan involve private helicopters? No it only deals with aircraft departing LAX or Long Beach. (4) when loading the website, the difference in a Palisades house was less then the beach front and what the EIR concluded; the science that is provided indicates that the Palisades will not perceive a difference. However, on a human level a significant and annoying level in sound has been perceived. While the Metroplex fine may meet criteria there is a mystery and notable increase in noise. (5) the DNL is an average over 24 hours so you can have very loud planes and very soft planes so the plan does not explain individual aircraft noise. (6) in Phoenix, San Francisco and Berkeley there are lawsuits over pending and actual noise. Is the averaging the reason that the FAA is having problems with these communities? The DNL is the standard, it is how things are measured. (7) Will this increase pollution, i.e., soil pollution when planes are flying over ground and what are the measures? Will there be an aggregate number of planes in the future under the Metroplex plans? If aircraft fly less miles, then emissions are less but if more flights are scheduled that offsets the benefit. Changes in emissions are not projected because volume of flights has not been projected. (8) the LAX committee has asked for testing, data and reporting with a “second bite at the apple,” i.e., subsequent change and an on-going process. Airspace will continually be re-evaluated and the ability to change it is always present. (9) Can planes break in a more rural location and reduce the noise to heavily populated areas? Programs build in breaking and idling patterns. It is hoped that planes will essentially idle over the Palisades and Santa Monica before they get to LAX. (10) Are there other ways to analyze the data to understand what is going on relative to residents’ perceived impact of increased noise? The FAA has to look at turn arounds and those few flights that are coming in at a lower altitude. The concern is the voice data may need to be analyzed to show why they are even there; searching anomalies may have a hundred different reasons but the effort would require a one by one search to see how planes are in a detail. Another idea is why planes that are not LAX arrivals are in the competing airspace. (11) Has change in the size of actual aircraft been looked at? The data looks at average height and the number of aircrafts has actually gone down. (12) What is the status of the Santa Monica airport? The court has supported extending operations through 2023. Conclusion: The FAA will continue to coordinate with Janet Turner and Councilmember Bonin’s office.
10.2 MOTION by George Wolfberg: “PPCC supports the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) Motion, passed by their committee on December 17, 2015, regarding flight approach paths to LAX. See MVCC Motion attached.” Chris Spitz read the motion. Maryam Zar seconded the motion. Discussion: (1) Reza Akef asked if support of the motion would increase traffic over the Palisades. George explained that the motion encompasses PPCC’s concerns in this regard. Action: The motion passed unanimously.
10.3 Proposed Village Starbucks CUB (onsite beer and wine sales). Presenting: Spencer Regnery, Glassman Planning Associates. Presentation: Starbucks Evening Program will add beer and wine and new food items to enhance the experience. The operation will not be loud, Starbucks only wants to provide an option to coffee in the evening and it intends to remain a family destination where servers are trained to verify identification and monitor the situation. Wine or beer would be handed directly to the person who orders it and servers will walk through and continue to observe who is drinking their beer or their wine. Questions: (1) Will hours change? No. Alcohol sales will start at noon and go to 30 minutes before close. Can alcohol be taken off premises? No. Railings will be expanded. (2) How long has this gone on in other locations and it is profitable for the company? It has been tried and successful. The food has been proven to be a successful component. (3) Will the patio remain shared? Yes. (4) Concerns about carding, training, lack of seating, time of servers to check who is drinking what, in Beverly Hills they start serving at 5 PM, and sharing the patio with Subway, etc. (5) A two drink limit might be suggested and opposition to serving alcohol starting at noon rather than 5 PM. (6) Why is the Village Starbucks being targeted as a location needed to serve alcohol with families and people having conversations not wanting to be overseen? High railings are not aesthetically desired in our village and there are concerns about how carding would be verified. (7) What percentage of customers buy food with their beverages? (8) Do alcohol sales increase deliveries? No. (9) Serving alcohol prevents employing students in the area. (10) This would total 19 on site and off sale actual and proposed locations for alcohol sales. That would be too many and there are concerns about noise for residents from what is going on in the patios. (11) Why not limit the hours of alcohol sales? Chris stated that a letter would be written summarizing the board’s questions and Spencer stated that Starbucks would provide answers. The hearing date will be January 26th, 200 Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071.

11.0 General Public Comment. None.

12.0 Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 9:01 PM.

For additional information about the PPCC, see www.pacpalicc.org or e-mail info@pacpalicc.org. Your Community Council meets at 7:00 p.m. on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. Exception: Only one meeting is held in July and August (on either the 2nd or 4th Thursday) and in November and December (on the 2nd Thursday).

ITEM 7.1.5 – PPCC LETTER REGARDING BMO/BHO AMENDMENT

January 7, 2016

Hon. Councilmember Mike Bonin, Council District 11, mike.bonin@lacity.org
Hon. Councilmember Paul Koretz, Council District 5, paul.koretz@lacity.org
Tom Rothmann, Senior City Planner, City Planning Department, tom.rothmann@lacity.org
Hagu Solomon-Cary, Planning Assistant, City Planning Department, hagu.solomon-cary@lacity.org
Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 Via email

Re: Council File #14-0656; CPC-2015-3484-CA; CPC-2015-4197-EAF; Baseline Mansionization/Baseline Hillside (BMO/BHO) Code Amendment; Proposed Zoning Code Amendment to Modify Single Family Zone Regulation; Council District: ALL (“Amendment”).

Dear Councilmembers Bonin and Koretz, Mr. Rothman and Ms. Solomon-Cary:

Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) is the most broad-based community organization and the voice of the Palisades since 1973. In November 2015, PPCC held a public forum to discuss the Amendment. No action was taken on this matter, however board discussion and public comment generally reflect 6 reasons that serve as the basis for PPCC’s current request : The CPC Hearing on the Amendment currently expected for March 2016 should be postponed to allow for additional study, outreach, and public comment receipt/opportunity by the Department of City Planning.

The City’s Process Has Been Insufficient. The Proposed BMO/BHO Code Amendment is very complex and would further restrict building on all property in Pacific Palisades zoned R1, RS, RE or RA that is located in Hillside Areas and all non-Hillside Areas outside of the Coastal Zone. Planning disclosed that it has been working on these amendments since 2014 and, in that process, has been in numerous discussions and meetings with certain residents, other neighborhood councils and property ownership groups/associations. To date, only four public hearings were scheduled (only two of which were in West Los Angeles) and then were held during the holidays when attendance would be naturally limited.

The City Has Not Studied Economic Impacts. Since the Amendment is aimed at limiting the size of new homes if/how will property values (small/large, old/new) in Pacific Palisades be affected? If/how will assessments and tax revenues to the County be affected?

The City Has Not Demonstrated Consensus that the Amendment is Needed. The fundamental premise of the Amendment is that there has been “a proliferation of out of scale development in single family neighborhoods” which “has demonstrated a need to update the current rules.” During PPCC meetings, there has been no agreement on this point with varied perspectives of “homeowners” and “owners/real estate developers/brokers” being voiced.

The Amendment Does Not Use “Plain English” to Explain How Height is to be Measured Nor Does it Detail the Impacts to Property Owners, i.e., height and grade in Hillside Areas is “[insert: Grade] Elevation, [insert: at the perimeter of the building] of the finished or natural surface of the ground, whichever is lower, or the finished surface of the ground…”?

The Amendment Does Not Use “Plain English” and Appears to Dramatically Impact How the Size of New Homes is Measured, i.e., the Amendment affects calculations for basements, garages, covered porches, patios, over height ceilings, maximum residential floor area relative to lot size, bonus options, uniform reductions in hillside areas or coastal zones and changes to the maximum envelope height calculation. Each of these provisions is potentially significant and apparently misunderstood.

The Amendment is Unclear as to Why the Zoning Administrator’s Authority Should be Expanded to Approve Additions Made after August 1, 2010 to “Buildings” (strike: “One Family Dwelling”) under the stated conditions.

In conclusion, this just-released ordinance highlights viewpoint differences on residential development. It deserves more time, more study, more notice and full due process for and with all residents of the City of Los Angeles.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on these proposed amendments.

Sincerely,

Christina Spitz
President
Pacific Palisades Community Council

cc (via email):
Hon. Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles City Mayor, mayor.garcetti@lacity.org
Hon. Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City Attorney, mike.feuer@lacity.org
Christine Saponara, City Planner, neighborhoodconservation@lacity.org

ITEM 10.2 – FAA / MAR VISTA COMMUNITY COUNCIL MOTION

MVCC Motion passed unanimously – January 12. 2016
WHEREAS, the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) is an official neighborhood organization of the City of Los Angeles;
WHEREAS, beginning no later than October 2015, residents of Mar Vista have observed and experienced significant overhead changes to arrival patterns of commercial passenger airplanes into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX);
WHEREAS these airplanes fly over Mar Vista every 1-2 minutes, beginning before dawn and continuing through the day into the evening, at altitudes lower than they did prior to October 2015, emitting noise at higher levels than they did prior to October 2015;
WHEREAS, residents of the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Culver City, and other parts of the City of Los Angeles have reported similar observations regarding changes to approach paths to LAX since at least October 2015;
WHEREAS, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for flight approaches and departures relating to LAX;
WHEREAS, the FAA is in the process of implementing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), with the goal of transforming the country’s air traffic control system from a ground-based system to a satellite-based system in order to increase efficiency, safety, and predictability to flights throughout the United States;
WHEREAS, on October 8, 2015, the FAA concluded a public comment period relating to its implementation of NextGen technology for LAX and other Southern California airports;
WHEREAS, representatives of the FAA have not explained the reason for the observed changes to flight approaches into LAX over Mar Vista but have denied that they are associated with NextGen implementation;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the MVCC requests and supports efforts by the Los Angeles City Council to request information from the FAA regarding the reason for the observed changes to flight approaches into LAX over Mar Vista.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the MVCC supports flight approaches into LAX over the neighborhoods noted above that would offer a reduction of noise impacts.

 

MINUTES FOR  JANUARY 28th, 2016

Voting Members in Attendance:  Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Sarah Conner, Kelly Comras, Greg Sinaiko, Rick Mills, Sue Kohl, Stuart Muller, Cathy Russell, Reza Akef, Bruce Schwartz, Barbara Marinacci, Gilbert Dembo, Richard Wulliger, Janet Anderson, Todd Wadler, Rick Lemmo, Nancy Niles and Cathy Russell.

Voting Alternates: Diane Bleak and Quentin Fleming.

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Alan Goldsmith, Michael Soneff, Donna Vaccarino, David Kaplan, Carol Bruch, Laura Mack, Ted Mackie and Kevin Niles.

Start of Business Meeting

1.              Reading of Community Council’s Mission: Maryam Zar read the Mission Statement.

2.              Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Chris Spitz called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm.  Introduction of the Board and audience.

3.              Certification of Quorum.  Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:04 pm.

4.              Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings.  Chris deemed the January 14, 2016 minutes approved as corrected.  Upcoming meetings:  2/11/16.   Further presentation / discussion re Village Starbucks Proposed CUB (onsite beer and wine sales).  2/25/16. (Tentative) VPLUC  update / report supplement / Board  discussion re Village Project land use application (see VPLUC Preliminary Report, http://www.pp90272.org/VPLUC.pdf, and PPCC minutes of 1/14/16; expected public release of MND / traffic study:  mid-February). ** Topics noticed in advance may change.

5.     Consideration of Agenda.  The President considered the agenda.

6.     Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of January 28, 2016.  The total account balances equal $39,067. Richard stated that the only significant transaction was the payment of D&O general liability insurance.

7.     Reports, Announcements and Concerns

7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz

7.1.1    Meeting Ground Rules.  1) Due to library rules, the meeting must end promptly at 9 pm; as needed, the President will stay after the meeting to answer questions.  2) The President conducts meeting order and may rearrange order of discussion at her discretion.  3) Board members and audience shall only speak when called upon by the President; there shall be no interruptions except to make a point of order.  4) The President’s role in maintaining meeting order shall be honored.  5)  All discussion shall be civil, respectful and courteous.  (PPCC Bylaws http://www.pp90272.org/BylawsJanuary2016.pdf).

7.1.2    PPCC Communications Committee.  Chris announced the committee is made up of: Maryam Zar (Chair), Michael Soneff, George Wolfberg, Brian Deming, Janet Anderson and Chris Spitz (ex officio), members.  The committee’s focus is the launch and maintenance of new PPCC website (in progress); potential e-newsletter; and ongoing messaging/outreach.

7.1.3    Short Term Rentals (STRs) Update.  Chris stated that PPCC was waiting for distribution and transmittal by the City Planning Dept. of draft ordinance to legalize STRs which are currently illegal in residential zones (draft expected by mid-February).  PPCC position:  opposed to permitting STRs in residential zones (see PPCC minutes of 9/24/15, 10/8/15, 10/22/15, 11/12/15 and attached letters).

7.1.4    BMO/BHO Amendment Update.  See letter attached to PPCC minutes of 1/14/16.

7.1.5    Sunset Blvd. Traffic Solutions Community Charrette / Workshop, sponsored by Councilmember Mike Bonin.  February 6, 2016, 8:30am – 1:30pm.  This will be an interactive discussion with experts on ideas to address Sunset traffic problems.  To RSVP go to:  http://www.11thdistrict.com/sunset_traffic_community_workshop.

7.1.6   Update on aircraft noise / support for MVCC motion.  See attached letter below and PPCC minutes of 1/14/16.

7.1.7   Update on Proposed Village Starbucks CUB.    Hearing date 1/26/16.  Chris reported that as expected (as of agenda distribution) per requests of the applicant and PPCC the file will be kept open for comment by PPCC after further presentation to the board on 2/11/16.  Chris reported that she had conducted a survey of three area stores which have the Evenings Program and would be submitting a report to the board.

7.2.  Announcements from Governmental Representatives Representatives  (Note:  Contact information at: http://www.pp90272.org/Governmental%20Reps.pdf)

7.2.1    Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. Not in attendance.

7.2.2    Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office. Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy.  Sharon reported that: (1) CD-11 was appreciative of PPCC’s input on the FAA noise issue.  Councilmember Bonin is pursuing additional information.  (2) The Active 11 event was successful and Councilmember Bonin thanked residents for turning out.  (3) Sunset Traffic – event will be on February 6, 2016 from 9 am to noon and it will focus on traffic from Kenter to the 405, see also 7.1.6 on this agenda.  (4) CD11 Newsletter – will be released tomorrow and Councilmember Bonin hopes people will seek out messages on important topics such as a recent motion for a report from LAPD to report back on deployment measures. (5) Homeless Task Force Count – CD11 thanked Maryam Zar, OPCC and all other people involved in the homeless count and other affiliated efforts.  Questions: (1) at the C-PAB meeting it was stated that a pull of resources to Metro was not affecting the Palisades.  Sharon stated that the Councilmembers are asking the same questions for this specific division and citywide; there is conversation about specialized units (ala probation compliance) and she suggested that we monitor reaction to the Councilmember’s motion. Maryam Zar referenced additional resources for the homeless count.

7.2.3    Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.  Daniel Tamm, Westside Area Representative, Mayor’s Interfaith Liaison.  Not in attendance.

7.2.4    California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Stephanie Cohen, Field Representative.   Not in attendance.

7.2.5 California State Senate, Office of State Senator Ben Allen. Lila Kalaf, District Representative. Not in attendance.

7.2.6    United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner, District Representative. Not in attendance.

7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors

7.3.1    Officers/Area Representatives.  1)  Maryam Zar, Vice-President.   PPTFH update (1/28/16 Homeless Count and recent OPCC outreach).  Maryam stated that there was a count this morning and while the numbers are not finalized it does not appear that there has been a notable increase. The LA Times was in attendance and reporting. (2) Richard Cohen – reported that at the recent CPAB meeting the City Attorney said that LAMC 63.44 has been changed (the law that makes it a violation to camp or loiter in a park or beach subject to that code, i.e., Will Rogers State Beach).  The LA City Council changed that law to make the first infraction a ticket violation and not a misdemeanor.  This complicates enforcement; the discussion that ensued was to hold the City Council responsible for complicating enforcement.  It is unclear when this law was changed by the Council and what is the effective date of the new terms.   (3) Richard Cohen reported that the Pacific Palisades Charter Library will be waiving over-due fees through February 13, 2016.  (4) Sue Kohl (Area 5) – reported that LAPD had done foot patrol in the Alphabet Streets and the effort was received very positively by residents. (5) Reza Akef (Area 8) – tomorrow there is a meeting regarding the Northern Trust Open (traffic control, reduction of neighborhood impacts, etc.) at CD-11 with Area 7 and Area 8 representatives.

7.3.2    Organizational Representatives – (1) Rick Lemmo (Chamber of Commerce) – the newest Honorary Mayor is Kevin Nealon (former SNL cast member). (2) Gil Dembo (TCA) – reported that two more lots will be auctioned off to facilitate the completion by the City of Potrero Canyon Park.

8.     Reports from Committees

8.1  Bylaws Committee (Richard Cohen and Jennifer Malaret, Co-Chairs).  Richard Cohen reported on joint meeting of the Bylaws and Executive Committees, January 22, 2016.  Topic: drafting of proposed bylaws amendments relative to elected Area and At-large representatives, election procedures and a minor adjustment to Area 3 and Area 4 boundaries (Bylaws Art. VIII.1.B and D; Appendix B and Attachment A).  In consideration of the upcoming (July-September 2016) election process for Area and At-large representatives, and in consideration of the advice of both the Bylaws and Executive Committees, the Chair directed the Bylaws Committee to discuss and draft amendment language to:

1.              Voting:  With the goal of getting as many total votes as possible, the bylaws should enable the PPCC to conduct voting by any one or more of the following methods: U.S. mail, in-person at the Farmer’s Market (or other comparable public venue), and on-line (if available).

2.              Area Representative Candidate Application: Any person desiring to be a candidate for election or re-election shall sign a Candidate Qualification Form that will, at minimum, include: (A) certification of address of that person’s “principal” residence as defined by the Los Angeles County Assessor, i.e., “(1) where you are registered to vote; (2) the home address on your automobile registration, and (3) where you normally return after work. If after considering these criteria you are still uncertain, choose the place at which you have spent the major portion of your time this year.”; (B) certification of the date on which the dwelling began to be occupied as the candidate’s principal residence; and (C) notice to the candidate of the obligation, if elected, to immediately inform PPCC of a change in principal residence.

3.              At-large Candidate Application:  A Candidate Qualification Form similar to that detailed in #2 above shall be required and include a comparable certifications relative to principal residence, ownership of real property or operation of a business in Pacific Palisades.

4.              Area Representative Boundaries: to clarify descriptions and with the agreement of the current Area 3 and Area 4 representatives, the Area Representative Boundaries shall be modified such that both sides of Las Casas are included in Area 3 and any property with a Grenola street address shall be included in Area 4.

5.              Area and At-large Representatives: should an Area Representative no longer maintain his or her principal residence within Area Representative Boundary for which he or she is serving then the seat shall be deemed vacant.  Comparable language to be drafted relative to an At-large Representative.

6.              General Amendments: Newsletter and posting requirements shall be updated and modernized to reflect current practices, along with other amendments to Bylaws Art. VIII.1.B and D; Appendix B and Attachment A that the Bylaws Committee may recommend.

Discussion: (1) the Grenola residents see the entire loop as a unit and perhaps all the streets should stay together.  Richard explained that Baylor really goes with Area 3 because it is impacted by Marquez but the end streets share things in common more with Las Pulgas Canyon.

9.  Old Business.

9.1  Above Ground Facilities (AGF) Ordinance. Chris Spitz reported the following:  1) Background:  A revised draft ordinance regulating cell towers and other structures in the public right of way (PROW) was transmitted by the City Attorney on 12/8/15 to City Council committees (hearing TBD). https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=09-2645. Revisions include: removal of the existing exemption for utility-pole mounted antennas (in certain circumstances); expansion of notice for cell towers in the PROW; and (limited) enhancement of aesthetic criteria.  Chris stated that interested persons should contact President Chris Spitz for a more detailed summary (info@pacpalicc.org).  Chris showed several visuals of types of poles – and explained the information contained in the attachments below.  See attachments below.  2) MOTION by the Executive Committee: That PPCC support the AGF Ordinance revised as of December 8, 2015, but with a request that “Community Councils” be included among the organizations entitled to receive notice under LAMC Sections 62.08.VII.D.1(e) and 2(e).  Discussion:  None.  Action: The Motion passed unanimously.

New Business.

10.1  LADWP presentation re proposed temporary (pole-mounted) facilities to increase power capacity due to overloaded circuits in the Palisades; at a minimum, it is expected that the installations may affect and/or be located in PPCC Areas 3 (Marquez) and 5 (Village/Alphabet Streets) potentially near existing LADWP properties, although also possible in other locations (note:  the proposed DS-104/substation location will NOT be a topic of discussion).   Presentation:  Jack Waizenegger, Assistant Director, Power Systems Engineering Division, LADWP. Jack_waizenegger@ladwp.com. Bill Herriott, Manager of Distribution and Maintenance for Water & Power.  “Three Troubled DWP Circuits in Pacific Palisades.”  We all want safe, sustainable, affordable, quality and reliable power.  In the Palisades the load has been growing for many years (new homes, businesses, home expansion, additional electronics).  Delayed construction of a new distributing station.  LADWP feels a new station is really needed to improve power quality and reliability. The Palisades is operating on 9 or 10 circuits from 3 “feeders”. Three existing troubled circuits/” feeders” are: (a) outage prone and (b) overloaded.  A map of two circuits was shown of neighborhoods west of Temescal Canyon Road (DS-29) and Area 1.  The third severely overloaded circuit is just adjacent and covers additional areas south of Temescal Canyon Road but also includes the Via Bluffs.  Duration of outages ran far beyond the rest of the City of LA with outages beyond 13 hours.  In the City of LA, a total outage is expected once every 14-15 months.  The Palisades has had 3 within 12 months by comparison.  Our outages are on average 3 to 4 times greater then other areas of the City.  Jack reviewed the Overload Statistics from 2009-2015, which ranged from 85% to 138% usage.  Temporary measures before the summer of 2016 are needed in order to avoid disconnecting service (reference homeowner letter previously sent by LADWP).  Solutions: (1) continue various miscellaneous repairs and replacements per 10/21/2015 letter sent to residents, (2) short term solution is to split the three circuits with two pole top distribution stations to form five circuits and (3) long term solution is to build a new distributing station.   To create three circuits there need to be new locations for pole top sites: (1) Marquez Site, new DS-198, in the public right of way near the existing vault underneath Marquez Ave. and within the existing pole line.  (2) New PTDS 195 south from the corner of El Medio and Sunset Blvd. Benefits:  relieve the overloaded circuits, improve power quality and reliability, and limitations compared to a new distribution station.  Cons:  The pole tops are fused, no backup supply, no backup transformer, no regulation, OH exposure, and minimal remote monitoring and control.  A distributing station would not have the limitations listed previously.  So having a distributing station is safer, there is no overhead exposure or exposure to cars and pole tops have minimal monitoring and control which require remote response.  Visual:  a sample DS-194 on Foothill Blvd. between Jeff Avenue and Brainerd Avenue is what the Palisades installations will look like.  Design and Construction:  LADWP standards are C633-16 last designed in 2012.  The design complies with ADA, GO-95, Cal-OSHA, Title 8 and LADWP rules regarding service and safety.  LADWP has the right to install these per CA Streets and Highway Code Sections 5100-5105.  The installations comply with Power Distribution Division Construction Standards, Transformer Pad Location Requirements for Ambient Sounds Levels in Residential Zones, C721-018; and City of LA Noise Ordinances.  The installations comply with EMF, the Prudent Avoidance Policy (low or no cost avoiding/placing).  Currently there are 34 existing citywide PTDSs.  Schedule:  construction will begin in March with 4 weeks needed per each PTDS.  In-service before summer.  The installations will stay in service until a new permanent DS is built.  There is a CEPA NOP (Notice of Prep) to come sometime this year for a permanent DS.  More PTDSs will be needed; perhaps within a year.  It is likely a third pole top will be built somewhere in the community by winter 2016 but that site has not been determined.  Discussion: Chris stated that before discussion she would like to highlight the notice contained in the meeting agenda for this topic:  the proposed DS-104/substation location will NOT be a topic of discussion.  Arguments about any particular permanent substation location are not appropriate tonight and should be reserved for another time and place.  Any speaker who comments on a specific location for the DS 104 substation will be out of order.   However, just to be clear, general questions about DWP’s process as it relates to the substation and these pole-mounted facilities would be fair and consistent with the agenda. Board Discussion: (1) can the installations be put underground?  No.  Undergrounding would cost too much, take longer to build and would be more disruptive because of the need to construct large vaults into and under the streets. (2) how can we get the community to support LADWP providing power to the entire Pacific Palisades? The CEQA process will be starting and it is helpful for PPCC and residents to be an active part of that process.  Alternative technologies (solar, energy efficiencies, batteries, more efficient appliances, don’t waste energy, etc.) that consumers can utilize help but are not a substitute for these pole tops or a new substation. (3) can we miniaturize these stations like other devices that have gotten smaller?  Main conductors and transformers do not change, i.e. a certain size copper or aluminum can only carry so much based on their natural properties.  If you need to haul a big wagon you need a big truck. (4) if the pole top installations are not built what would the consequences be? The number of outages will increase and they will take longer to restore. (5) once the permanent station is built will these be removed? Yes. (6) what is the longest running pole top facility?  They can last a few decades.  (7) to avoid disrupting traffic where El Medio hits Sunset by the high school, can construction work be scheduled to avoid heavy traffic times before and after school, or is there another location for this tower? The PTDS needs to be located at this intersection. The alternate locations are across Sunset in front of either the Lutheran or Presbyterian church where the unit would be much more visible and along a Scenic Highway. The construction equipment is very noisy so it is not used in the evening in residential areas. Crews have a nine hour shift and usually work 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. The work will be completed by WLA distribution crews and won’t be contracted out.  LADWP works with school and the rapid transit department when work goes on in front of bus stops. Chris Spitz asked that PPCC get notice and enjoy a cooperative working relationship as does the Brentwood Community Council.  (8) have there been issues with the 34 installations, like blowing up or being any more dangerous than a regular pole?  Any installation is vulnerable to the public.  There is no data for failure of pole top installations that Bill is aware of. (9) why can’t the pole go on the rear of the land that the LADWP owns so it is out of sight and out of mind? If it is on private property a CUP would be needed and the process would take too long and that site is too contentious to do anything other than a by right installation. (10) noting reliability, redundancy and fuse blowing comments will residents closer to the new pole tops getting better power? There are many factors involved and it is possible there will be regulating problems so it is not really an answerable question.  The location of the pole tops really cannot be changed.  (11) would the Sunset and El Medio pole top transformer benefit the High School in any way and can it be coordinated with school hours and vacation schedules?  The pole tops are not to supply power for the schools because the schools have their own transformers on site and the pole tops do not increase capacity. (12) DS29 (existing) is a supply station, there is no pole top installation going there. (13) could the two pole tops be built simultaneously? No, one will be finished and then the second built to avoid circuit interruption.  (14) do these changes take into account Caruso’s Village Project?  No this project deals with the existing overload that has been in place for years.  Bill says likely the Village Project will be fed off of a different system and the pole top DS network should not be affected.  Audience Discussion: (1) there is a cost on the community in terms of aesthetics.  The vast majority of outages were not caused by overuse.  The idea is to reduce the amount of areas affected by the outages.  No, the actual system equipment is overloaded in addition to losses being caused by palm fronds and drivers who hit poles.  Heat is the biggest cause of trouble. Every time a transformer is refused because it is too hot that takes life out of transformers and the same is true for underground cables.  Repairs can only be made so many times before replacements have to be made. (2) neighborhoods have been plunged into the dark.  There are new condominium units that are being built.  Residents support a permanent distribution station being built. (3) a resident living across from the Marquez pole top DS site expressed concern about aesthetics and height of the pole top installation.  Bill thought the tallest pole would be 55 or 60 feet and the racks sit 25-30 feet off the ground. (4) will it be a stand alone pole top or will there be attached power lines?  How far will the power lines reach? Does dragging additional power lines to existing poles create a hazard? If something happens at either pole top installation how long would it take for the issue to be addressed?  Additional lines have no affect on reliability other then to improve it.  The pole top installations will tap into existing poles and underground vaults. They must be located close to other already established supply lines.  (5) what is the estimated cost for the pole top projects? Each installation is roughly $200,000.  (6) have you considered the aesthetics of these pole top installations and are these the best looking they can be? LADWP does consider aesthetics and tries to minimize their footprint size-wise and surrounding visual environment.  The poles are subject to wind loading calculations and LADWP’s poles have to be worked on in conjunction with all other Joint Pole Authority participants (cell companies, etc.).

11.  General Public Comment.  None.

12.  Adjournment.  Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 9:01PM.

_____________________________________________________________

ITEM 7.1.7 – PPCC LETTER RE AIRCRAFT NOISE/SUPPORT FOR MVCC MOTION

January 15, 2016

Honorable Mike Bonin, Los Angeles City Councilmember (CD 11)

Honorable Herb J. Wesson, Jr., Los Angeles City Council President and Councilmember (CD 10)

All other Los Angeles City Councilmembers (Hon. Blumenfield, Buscaino, Cedillo, Englander, Fuentes, Harris-Dawson, Huizar, Koretz, Krekorian, Martinez, Price, O’Farrell and Ryu)

Via email to all Councilmembers

Hon. Councilmembers Bonin and Wesson and all other members of the Los Angeles City Council:

Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has been the voice of the community for more than forty years.  The recent increase in noise from low-flying commercial aircraft has resulted in complaints from residents in Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica Canyon as well as in West Los Angeles, Mar Vista, Santa Monica and adjacent areas.  Last night our board was briefed by the FAA on the proposed Metroplex program with additional attention given to the current complaints.  The PPCC board takes notice of our residents’ concerns regarding the increased noise from commercial flight operations over our community.  We have reviewed the attached motion unanimously passed by the Mar Vista Community Council on January 12, 2016.  We note that the airplanes flying over Mar Vista appear to be the same craft that have flown over our community.  The MVCC motion supports flight operations into LAX over neighborhoods, specifically including Pacific Palisades, that offer a reduction of noise impacts.

After the FAA briefing, the PPCC board unanimously approved a motion to concur with and support the MVCC motion.

In the brief time it has taken to prepare this document around 6:00 AM, four aircraft have flown low over my house.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Christina Spitz, President

Pacific Palisades Community Council

Encl. (MVCC Motion)

cc (via email):

Honorable Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator for California

Honorable Diane Feinstein, U.S. Senator for California

Honorable Ted Lieu, U.S. Congressman (33rd District California)

Honorable Karen Bass, U.S. Congresswoman (37th District California)

Honorable Eric Garcetti, Mayor, City of Los Angeles

Honorable Tony Vazquez, Mayor, City of Santa Monica

Kathryn Pantoja, Environmental Affairs Officer (Noise Management), LAWA

Omar Pulido, LAX Community Liaison, CD11

MVCC Motion passed unanimously – January 12. 2016

WHEREAS, the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) is an official neighborhood organization of the City of Los Angeles;

WHEREAS, beginning no later than October 2015, residents of Mar Vista have observed and experienced significant overhead changes to arrival patterns of commercial passenger airplanes into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX);

WHEREAS these airplanes fly over Mar Vista every 1-2 minutes, beginning before dawn and continuing through the day into the evening, at altitudes lower than they did prior to October 2015, emitting noise at higher levels than they did prior to October 2015;

WHEREAS, residents of the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Culver City, and other parts of the City of Los Angeles have reported similar observations regarding changes to approach paths to LAX since at least October 2015;

WHEREAS, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for flight approaches and departures relating to LAX;

WHEREAS, the FAA is in the process of implementing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), with the goal of transforming the country’s air traffic control system from a ground-based system to a satellite-based system in order to increase efficiency, safety, and predictability to flights throughout the United States;

WHEREAS, on October 8, 2015, the FAA concluded a public comment period relating to its implementation of NextGen technology for LAX and other Southern California airports;

WHEREAS, representatives of the FAA have not explained the reason for the observed changes to flight approaches into LAX over Mar Vista but have denied that they are associated with NextGen implementation;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the MVCC requests and supports efforts by the Los Angeles City Council to request information from the FAA regarding the reason for the observed changes to flight approaches into LAX over Mar Vista.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the MVCC supports flight approaches into LAX over the neighborhoods noted above that would offer a reduction of noise impacts.

ITEM 9.1 ABOVE GROUND FACILITIES (AGF) ORDINANCE

Talking Points re Revised AGF Ordinance

(CF 09-2645; City Attorney Draft Dated December 8, 2015)

A.       Background

1.       In September 2012, acting on a 2009 motion by former Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, the City Council directed the City Attorney to revise the current Above Ground Facilities (AGF) Ordinance (LAMC §62.00, et seq. — regulating cell towers and other structures, known as “AGFs,” located in the public right-of-way).  Specifically, the Council called for elimination of the existing exemption for utility pole-mounted cell towers, expansion of notification requirements, enhancement of aesthetic criteria and proof of gap-in-coverage (Council File 09-2645).  PPCC and many other community organizations (including all members of WRAC) strongly supported these directed revisions.

2.      Following the Council’s directive and later directives from the Public Works and Gang Reduction (PWGR) and PLUM Committees (to eliminate the proof of gap-in-coverage requirement and to retain an exemption for utility pole-mounted “Small Cell” installations; see Secs. B.1 and C.1, below), the City Attorney submitted multiple drafts of a revised AGF Ordinance (in 2013, 2014 and most recently on December 8, 2015).

3.     The December 8, 2015 draft (“2015 Draft”; http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2009/09-2645_misc_12-08-2015.pdf) reflects input from City agencies such as LADWP, Planning, Cultural Affairs and the Bureau of Engineering (BOE) and includes further revisions by the City Attorney in light of recent changes in federal and state law.  The PWGR and PLUM Committees are expected to consider the 2015 Draft in a possible joint session in early 2016.

B.      Key Provisions of the 2015 Draft

1.        The exemption for utility pole-mounted antennas is eliminated in certain circumstances: Antennas larger than “Small Cell” (see below) are not exempt (i.e., the exemption is eliminated) in all areas other than commercial (C) and manufacturing (M) zones, and in C and M zones in two circumstances: (1) if the pole is located in a defined “below grade” area (e.g., Specific Plan, Historic Preservation, Scenic Highway) or (2) if the adjoining lot “has residential use.”  The utility poles themselves (apart from antennas) and all Small Cell antennas are also exempt, wherever located.  (See Small Cell definition discussed in Sec. C.1, below; other exemptions are listed in Sec. C.5, below.)

2.    Notice is expanded for cell towers in the public right-of-way (including freestanding “monopole” cell towers and non-exempt utility pole-mounted large antennas, i.e., those where the exemption is eliminated, as noted above):  The AGF applicant must mail notice of the application to any owners and residents of lots within a 250 ft. radius from the proposed AGF location; and to Neighborhood Councils (but not Community Councils), the City Council office and homeowners’ and/or residents’ associations within the boundaries of the proposed AGF location.  Note: the AGF applicant must provide proof of mailing (via postal service receipts, mailing service certification or “certification from the Applicant”); the existing registered mail requirement is eliminated (also eliminated in prior draft iterations); and more limited (existing) notice requirements remain for smaller, non-cell tower AGFs (e.g., cabinets).

3.   Aesthetic criteria are enhanced, to a degree: Specifically, most AGFs (including freestanding “monopole” cell towers) located in residential and below grade areas are subject to a new “Least Intrusive Means Test” (“the least amount of physical or aesthetic intrusion into the Public Right-of-Way, taking into account the physical characteristics of the AGF, including but not limited to, size, shape, height, volume, color, noise, camouflaging and screening”) – except that non-exempt utility pole-mounted large antennas are subject to a different (new) discretionary requirement:  the AGF applicant may be required to paint the antennas to match the pole in order to “conceal or minimize visual impact.”  Note:  utility-pole mounted antennas are also subject to state law, e.g., Public Utilities Code requirements regarding pole attachments.

C.      Other Provisions of Note

1.     A “Small Cell” (exempt under the 2015 Draft and per the PWGR and PLUM Committees’ directive) is defined as an antenna or “group of antennas” mounted on a utility pole with a “total cumulative volume” of not more than 3.0 cubic feet, excluding cable and conduit.  Additionally, a Small Cell must extend no more than 6 inches from the pole unless additional “stand-off” is required to comply with applicable health or safety regulations; and may not be installed more than 6 feet above the highest transmission lines on a utility pole.  Note:  a prior 2014 draft specified a total volume of “less than 2.0 cubic feet” for a single antenna, i.e., not “cumulative” volume for a “group of antennas.”

2.     Non-exempt utility pole-mounted large antennas are not subject to prior Cultural Affairs Commission design approval (required for all other AGFs), nor to height limits (since the poles themselves are exempt) – but are subject to other applicable provisions.

3.      Pre-determination field investigations of AGF locations will now be at the discretion of BOE.  Note:  Existing provisions (also in prior draft iterations) for some mandatory field investigations (in certain specified instances) have been eliminated.

4.     Certification that the facility will comply with applicable FCC requirements (also directed by the City Council in 2012) remains a requirement in the 2015 Draft (as in prior iterations).

5.     Persons or organizations that received initial notice of the AGF application (other than Neighborhood Councils and the Council office) may appeal the BOE’s determination.  Any appeal must be “received by” BOE within 14 calendar days from the date of notification of the determination (notification to be given by the AGF applicant within 3 calendar days to all those who received initial notice of the application).  Note: the existing language (also in prior draft iterations; now eliminated) is for appeals to be “submitted to” as opposed to “received by” BOE within 14 calendar days.

6.     In addition to Small Cells, exempt facilities include (among other specified structures):  street light poles, fire hydrants, traffic and pedestrian control fixtures, utility poles (other than non-exempt antennas mounted on the poles), utility pole-mounted antennas in C and M zones (except as described in Sec. B.1 above), electrical power meters associated with Small Cell or exempt utility pole-mounted facilities (new), and “vent stacks” related to underground vaults.

7.     The 2015 Draft contains numerous revisions with varying degrees of significance.  Those interested should review the Council File and the 2015 Draft (link in Sec. A.3, above) and should not rely solely on these Talking Points for information.

Christina Spitz, President

Pacific Palisades Community Council

ppfriends3@hotmail.com

January 8, 2016

The Skinny – How Are Cell Towers Treated Under the 2015 Draft AGF Ordinance?[1]

Freestanding (“Monopole”) Cell Towers[2]

Notice:  Applicant must mail notice of the AGF application to: owners and residents of lots within a 250 ft. radius of the tower location, the Neighborhood Council and Council office where the tower is located, and relevant HOAs and/or residents’ associations.
Applicable Standards:  Subject to height limits and “Least Intrusive Means Test” (if located in a residential or defined “below grade” area, e.g., Specific Plan, Historic Preservation, Scenic Highway); “hardship waiver” required (if located in a below grade area); other aesthetic, public safety and permit processing requirements apply.
Appeals:  Any person or organization that received initial notice of the application (except for Neighborhood Councils and the Council office) may appeal.  Process:[3]  Applicant must (within 3 calendar days of BOE’s determination) notify those same persons and organizations of the determination; appeals must be “received by” BOE within 14 calendar days from date of notification, i.e., actual time to initiate an appeal may be shorter than 14 days.

Utility Pole-Mounted Cell Towers[4]

Exempt Facilities, i.e., those not subject to ordinance requirements:  Utility poles themselves (apart from antennas) and other specified structures in all areas; “Small Cell” antennas in all areas;[5] antennas attached to poles in commercial (C) and manufacturing (M) zones, except in two circumstances (see below).
Non-Exempt Facilities, i.e., those subject to ordinance requirements:  Large antennas (not Small Cells) in all areas other than C and M zones, and in C and M zones if: (1) the pole is located in a below grade area, or (2) the adjoining lot “has residential use.”
Notice and Appeals:  If non-exempt antennas:  Same processes apply as set forth above.
Applicable Standards:  If non-exempt antennas: Not subject to height limits or Least Intrusive Means Test; hardship waiver required (if located in a below grade area); subject to new discretionary aesthetic requirement[6] and other applicable provisions.

Christina Spitz, President

Pacific Palisades Community Council

ppfriends3@hotmail.com

January 8, 2016

[1] Don’t forget – the Above Ground Facilities (AGF) Ordinance only deals with cell towers and other structures located in the “public right-of-way” (sidewalks, parkways, medians, alleys, streets).  Cell towers located on private property (buildings, yards, parking lots, etc.) are governed by different Municipal Code regulations; additional permitting requirements also apply to towers located in the Coastal zone (including in the public right-of-way).
[2] These types of towers consist of antennas set on poles (usually metal) that are not used to support (i.e., not attached to) any power, cable, telephone or telecommunication lines or wires.  Examples: two on Sunset Blvd. just east of Capri in the Palisades Riviera and several along Palisades Dr. in the Palisades Highlands.
[3] AGF applications are initially processed by the Bureau of Engineering (BOE); staff determines administratively whether to approve the application (without a hearing).  BOE’s determination becomes final if no timely appeal is made; any appeals are decided by the Board of Public Works (with a hearing), “subject to the City Council’s right of review under Charter Section 245.”
[4] In contrast with “monopoles,” these types of towers consist of antennas set on utility poles (usually wood) that are used to support (i.e., are attached to) power, cable, telephone or telecommunication lines or wires.  Examples: several along Sunset Blvd. in Brentwood and the Palisades and one at Via de la Paz & DePauw in the Palisades.
[5] “Small Cell” basic definition: a utility pole-mounted antenna or group of antennas with a total cumulative volume of not more than 3.0 cubic feet, excluding cable and conduit.
[6] Applicant may be required to paint antennas to match the pole in order to “conceal or minimize visual impact;” antennas are also subject to state law, e.g., Public Utilities Code requirements regarding pole attachments.

 

MINUTES FOR  FEBRUARY 11th, 2016

Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Reza Akef, Bruce Schwartz, Rick Mills, Greg Sinaiko, Susan Payne, Peter Culhane, Janet Anderson, Sara Conner, Cathy Russell, Nancy Niles, Richard Wulliger, Stuart Muller, George Wolfberg, Gilbert Dembo and Barbara Marinacci. 

Voting Alternates: Diane Bleak, Robin Meyers, Doug McCormick, and Todd Wadler.

 Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: David Kaplan, Diane Blake, Carol Bruch, Linda Lefkowitz and Ted Mackie.

Start of Business Meeting

  1. Reading of Community Council’s Mission: Richard Cohen read the Mission Statement.
  1. Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Chris Spitz called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.
  2. Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:06 pm.
  1. Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Chris deemed the minutes of January 28, 2016 approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: 2/25/16. (Tentative) VPLUC update / report supplement / Board discussion re Village Project land use application (see VPLUC Preliminary Report, http://www.pp90272.org/VPLUC.pdf, and PPCC minutes of 1/14/16; expected public release of MND / traffic study: mid-February). 3/10/16. (Tentative) WRAC-sponsored motions regarding (1) CUB/alcohol conditions, (2) the VA Master Plan and related Sen. Feinstein Bill, (3) Zoning Code enforcement. ** Topics noticed in advance may change.
  1. Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
  1. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of February 11, 2016.    The total account balances equal $38,712.74. Richard stated that this past week PPCC filed its federal, state and California Registry or Charitable Trusts annual returns and filings. 
  1. Reports, Announcements and Concerns  

7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz

7.1.1 Meeting Ground Rules. 1) Due to library rules, the meeting must end promptly at 9 pm; as needed, the President will stay after the meeting to answer questions. 2) The President conducts meeting order and may rearrange order of discussion at her discretion. 3) Board members and audience shall only speak when called upon by the President; there shall be no interruptions except to make a point of order. 4) The President’s role in maintaining meeting order shall be honored. 5) All discussion shall be civil, respectful and courteous. (PPCC Bylaws http://www.pp90272.org/BylawsJanuary2016.pdf).

7.1.2 Short Term Rentals (STRs) Update. Chris stated that PPCC is awaiting distribution and transmittal by the City Planning Dept. of draft ordinance to legalize STRs currently illegal in residential zones (draft now expected in late February). PPCC position: opposed to permitting STRs in residential zones. See PPCC minutes of 9/24/15, 10/8/15, 10/22/15, 11/12/15 and attached letters.

7.1.3  BMO/BHO Amendment Update. See PPCC minutes of 1/14/16 and attached letter.

7.1.4  Revised Draft AGF Ordinance Update. See attached letter (see also PPCC minutes of 1/28/16 and attached Talking Points and “the Skinny” documents).

7.1.5  LADWP – Pole-Top Distributing Stations Update. See LADWP Power Point posted at: http://www.pp90272.org/index.html. Chris announced that the DWP power point is on the council’s website. Chris read the PPCC announcement below for the record. See attached below.

7.1.6  Launch of new PPCC website (www.pacpalicc.org). Chris stated that for a preview of the work in progress as of agenda distribution, go to: https://ppccwebsite.wordpress.com. Thanks to Michael Soneff for helping with this effort expected to launch within the next week or two. Special thanks to Ted Mackie, creator of PPCC’s original website and webmaster for over 14 years.

7.1.7 (Tentative) cancellation of March 24 Board meeting due to library staff unavailability. Chris explained that without staff there is a special $240 charge and the Executive Committee is not aware of any special matter that requires a meeting on that date. If any board member or member of the public objects, please let Chris know after the meeting or immediately otherwise.

7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives Representatives (Note: Contact information at: http://www.pp90272.org/Governmental%20Reps.pdf)

7.2.1    Los   Angeles   Police   Department (“LAPD”) – SLO   Officer   Moore. SLO Moore reported that: (1) Crime is down 52% overall in the Palisades compared to last year at this time. (2) Homelessness and Enforcement. Not all enforcement results in an arrest and removal to jail, in fact 90% of enforcement against a homeless person is a citation that is signed. If they go to court it is taken care of or it turns into a warrant which after time the officers can take them to jail for not going to court. Questions: (1) Have neighborhood watch groups had an effect? Absoultely. (2) Car registrations. Criminals will take the registrations and then sell a car that they sold. Owners should make a copy of their registration card, block out the address and then the paper is useless to would be thieves. (3) RV Parking on Sunset and Palisades Drive, is that legal? Yes, it is being allowed unless there are posting against vehicle length and hours. Signs are needed for enforcement.

 

7.2.2    Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office. Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy. Not in attendance.

7.2.3    Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Daniel Tamm, Westside Area Representative, Mayor’s Interfaith Liaison. Not in attendance.

7.2.4    California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Stephanie Cohen, Field Representative. Not in attendance.

7.2.5 California State Senate, Office of State Senator Ben Allen. Lila Kalaf, District Representative. Lila reported that (1) The legislature in in session in Sacramento and new laws are being introduced every day. The deadline for new legislation is February 19, 2016. Sen. Allen’s three priorities are homelessness (the No Place Like Home Initiative which funds permanent housing in cities using Proposition 63 funds instead of a new source; $200 million for transitional housing until permanent housing can be built), the environment (Porter Ranch; SD888 to deal with the climate change impact of the methane leak) and education (Ta-Da (theater and dance act) to allow for credentials to be offered in theater and dance for teachers in this specialty; measures to address teacher shortages; packages to address recruitment, training, credentials, and loan forgiveness). Also El Nino brochures are available along with cards to encourage outreach to Senator Allen’s office. Questions: (1) What is the status of curtailing photo enforcement by the MRCA? Senator Allen has been in Franklin and Temescal Canyon with the MRCA and other Senators. There has been a traffic study to make recommendations as to where the stop signs are located. Could PPCC get a traffic of the traffic study? Yes, MRCA did a traffic study that Senator Allen’s office will provide us with. (2) When funds are passed for homeless what is the intent? That has not been determined yet but details on distribution could be provided. (3) Prop 63 money is only being allocated at $2 million, where is the rest of the money going? What about the City of LA homeless money that is being budgeted? Where is it all going? Prop. 63 is generally for mental health services. Is there a website or somewhere to go to see where Prop. 63 money is going? Yes, Senator Allen’s office will forward that to PPCC. (4) Would the Senator be amenable to taking a look at penalties for hit and run drivers, particularly those who run over bicycle riders? Yes. (5) Please stress that this community is fed up with MRCA with regard to the stop signs.

7.2.6    United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner, District Representative. Janet reported that: (1) Thank you for the effort to turn out for input on the final draft of the VA Masterplan including 1,200 permanent beds (490 to be completed in 30 months and 739 bridge beds), the Purple Line and the VA Secretary promised for a parking structure available for the Purple Line. There is going to be a community veteran engagement board with Ann Brown (the new director of the WLA VA) who would like to present to PPCC as to how this board will work. The VA did a traffic study and then the VA re-worked the Master Plan to address challenges revealed from that. There will be a second traffic study to see if measures are effective. UCLA’s agreement has been completed and is a benefit. Brentwood School and Brentwood Village (has formed a 501c3 to help train veterans). Soccer will continue as long as the land is not needed. The status of the dog park is not known. The legislation is needed to go through to provide permanent housing for veterans.

7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors                                                           

7.3.1  Officers/Area Representatives. (1) Chris announced that the next PPTFH community meeting will be on 2/18/16, 3-5pm, Palisades library. Topics: Count Recap; LAFD, LAPD updates; keynote by Inner City Law Center Exec. Director Adam Murray (LAT Op Ed: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1231-murray- myths-about-la-homelessness-20160101-story.html). (2) Reza Akef (Area 8) reported that the Northern Trust has broken their promises to CD11 and residents regarding mitigation to the community. Deliveries are taking place at 4 am and there are other violations of their Conditional Use Permit (“CUP”). Reza asked CD-11 to investigate and hold the Riviera County Club accountable to their CUP. Chris stated that PPCC could ask for a letter to advise of the parameters of the CUP and to encourage the Country Club and the sponsors of events to comply. Chris asked Reza to submit a draft letter.

7.3.2  Organizational Representatives – Report on Behalf of Organizations. (1) Bruce Schwartz, PRIDE. Proposed streetscape safety enhancements (not parklet) at intersection of La Cruz and Alma Real. Bruce reported that PRIDE is in the exploratory stages of seeking support for this project and more information will be reported within the next several meetings.

  1. Reports from Committees

8.1 Bylaws Committee (Richard Cohen and Jennifer Malaret, Co-Chairs). Update on drafting of proposed bylaws amendments relative to elected Area and At-large representatives, election procedures and a minor adjustment to Area 3 and Area 4 boundaries (Bylaws Art. VIII.1.B and D; Appendix B and Attachment A). Richard summarized the report at the last meeting and reported that follow up communications had been made with residents as to adjustments to the Area 3 and Area 4 boundaries. There is affinity to the canyon which is Area 4 so the committee agrees that if that is what the residents want then they should have that. The committee feels that Baylor which extends off of Sunset is more aligned with Area 3 and the compromise has been discussed with all.

8.2 VPLUC (David Kaplan, Chair). Update on status of Village Project land use application/MND/traffic study. David reported that since the last DRB meeting the developer has submitted a revised set of plans. The committee is reviewing those plans and will complete a revised report to include whatever those plans have adjusted though there are not many areas of the prior report that the plans impact. The traffic study is expected on 2/18/2016. Patti Post, PPCC’s traffic expert, will be involved and reviewing that study. The committee hopes to submit a revised report and a possible recommendation to the board at PPCC’s 2/25/2016 meeting.

  1. Old Business.

9.1 Further presentation / discussion re Village Starbucks Proposed CUB (onsite beer and wine sales). Presenting: Spencer Regnery, Glassman Associates. (City file held open until Feb. 16 for potential input by PPCC.) Chris introduced the topic and summarized the results of her personal survey of Starbuck’s stores with evening programs in Torrance, Calabasas and Beverly Hills. [INSERT]. Presentation: Spencer referred to the correspondence and response from Starbucks in answer to the discussion from the last meeting and follow up correspondence. Photos from displays were exhibited. The atmosphere does not change between stores that offer the Evening Program and those who do not. The stores have large community tables that can be reserved. No draft beer is served and wine bottles are kept behind the counter for refills. Starbucks has table service where alcohol orders are taken at the counter and then brought to the table so people are not wandering around. Beer and wine sales are low at participating Starbucks throughout California and the real effort is to expand the food offerings and to give an option to people not wanting to drink coffee at 6 PM at night. Starbucks want to elevate the experience and encourage people to sit and enjoy the offerings and service rather than focusing on “to go” service and products. Questions: (1) Have the request for hours been adjusted? 12 PM to close have been asked for with the idea of flexibility. Just because those are the requested hours doesn’t mean that this is when Starbucks will be selling. This allows the flexibility for the store manager to make the determination what is best. Sales are 1 percent of sales which on average are 1,200 units so that translates into only 12 alcoholic beverages per day and PPCC’s survey showed less than that (3-4) being sold. It is not just about the alcohol it is about the food. (2) Concerns for the location in the Palisades as contrasted to Beverly Hills is that it has more than one entrance and exit and there is a line of sight from the baristas to the areas serving alcohol. The Palisades has schools around and homeless persons as well. Hours should be restricted from 4 pm to closing and no alcohol should be served on the patios. Holidays can result in more kids being in the store as do weekends such as after the Farmer’s Market. (3) Other stores have a dedicated staff member to monitor alcohol service. (4) at Santa Monica Civic Canyon Association’s meeting there was much opposition to the program. There are so many Starbucks all around the City, why here in Pacific Palisades? Torrance similarly is located by schools and fears were the same yet the program has been a success and the atmosphere has not changed. (5) Kay N Daves serves beer and wine from morning to the evening and there are no problems. Merchants have a responsibility to their Conditional Use Permits and they have an incentive to be responsible. The State has a responsible minor program to go into restaurants to make sure that sales are not being made to underage persons. A valid ID must be slid through the register before an alcohol purchase is made. (6) Gelson’s has promotions and tastings, this is nothing to be concerned with. (7) the Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to support the Evening Program. Starbucks is a professional and responsible organization and the Chamber feels that this program will be implemented responsibility. (8) Tivoli across the hedge and other restaurants serve wine and beer at noon. The regulation by Starbucks is what is important. (9) Serving alcohol prevents Starbucks from hiring high school students and the jobs for kids are disappearing. (10) The homeless get free coffee at Starbucks. They should not get free wine or beer. (11) It is a philosophical discussion. There used to be one ABC license in town. That is changing and now there are more and the grocery stores and doing tastings. What is the future vision for the Palisades relative to ABC licenses?   This council should have a philosophical discussion about that at some time. (12) ABC is an additional enforcement arm not just an allowing or enabling entity. Having another regulatory in place is a good thing. Once the CUP process has been approved then the ABC license is applied for. There is no hearing but it is a process. (13) There is concern with having alcohol sales at the existing Shell Station because of kids coming there to buy alcohol. Kids already come to this Starbucks and this community has a funnel of schools and as a result a large priority of unsupervised kids. (14) There was opposition to the program in Calabasas three years ago and now it is fine, the atmosphere is the same and nothing has changed. (15) A mom with young kids is concerned about the availability of alcohol at Starbucks and wondered what is the tipping point? How many places do we need to get beer and wine? (16) How can there be a fantastic food program when there is no kitchen at Starbucks? Wanting a license for 1% in sales does not make sense, Starbucks must want the program for something else. The evening program is being sought to elevate the food program which is projected to boost the sales of the store several hundred thousand dollars per year at each location; this is a business decision where the beer and wine is not the focus of the program (though as a sensitive use the beer and wine is the focus of this discussion). (17) How many applications is too many noting that there is no one thing about this application that stands out as negative? (18) This is not a complete restaurant, it is a hang out for kids sometimes at night and the patios are dark. The baristas do not control the patios. This location is being targeted because it is so successful economically. Action: Reza Akef moved to support the application provided that two modifications are made: (1) alcohol to be served only from the hours of 4 pm to closing, 7 days a week and (2) alcohol can only be served indoors and not on exterior patio locations. The motion was seconded by Rick Mills. Discussion: Gil Dembo opposed the motion limiting service to indoors. Diane Bleak suggested tabling the motion to have more discussion. Motion to table is out of order since this is not an urgent matter. Motion to postpone the matter was made by Diane Bleak. Richard Wulliger seconded the motion to postpone. Richard Cohen objected to the motion to postpone because it removes the voice of the board and Starbucks has been here twice – why wouldn’t the board express its opinion vis-à-vis a vote? Vote: the motion to postpone failed with one vote in support. Discussion on Original Motion: Starbucks does not oppose the hours but would oppose limiting service to the indoors only. Friendly amendment offered to amend the motion to call for a 5 PM start time. Vote: Friendly amendment failed with only one vote. Vote on the Main Motion: 10 in favor, 9 votes opposed. The motion fails. Motion: Gil Dembo made a motion to limit the hours to 4 PM. Greg Sinaiko second the motion. Vote: 14 votes in favor. 5 votes opposed. 19 votes total, the motion passed.

  1. New Business – None.

11. General Public Comment

11.1     Re: the DWP substation issue a new distribution station should be built. Temporary pole top facilities should not be implemented that affect residents and certain issues deserve further exploration. (1) for safe, sustainable and affordable power the location at El Medio has a history of fire (car brush fire). (2) Palisades Charter High school is a busy parking lot. The 4th of July fireworks spark land on the sidewalk and this is a severe fire risk. (3) Was the safety of the proposed El Medio location shared with DWP when they presented? (4) How long is temporary? Are we guaranteed when they will be moved or removed when the permanent station is built?? (5) Any permits obtained? How many steps before ground has been broken? Has funding been set aside? Where will the station be built? Temporary often becomes permanent. (6) There are already distribution poles on Sunset so the idea that Sunset being a scenic highway is limiting in some way is not really valid. (7) There is visual blight associated with these pole top transformers.

11.2     Thanks to the PPCC for providing the forum last week and encouraging CD11 to come back to the community.

  1. Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 9:00 PM.

ITEM 7.1.4 – PPCC LETTER RE REVISED DRAFT AGF ORDINANCE

February 1, 2016

Hon. Mike Bonin, Councilmember, 11th District
Hon. Joe Buscaino, Chair, Public Works & Gang Reduction (PWGR) Committee
Hon. Jose Huizar, Chair, Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee
Hon. PWGR and PLUM Committee members: Martinez, Price, O’Farrell, Ryu, Harris-Dawson, Englander, Cedillo, Fuentes
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Via email

Re: CF-09-2645 – SUPPORT (with requested addition): Revised Draft Above Ground Facilities (AGF) Ordinance

Honorable Councilmembers:

Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has been the voice of the community for more than forty years. At its regularly scheduled meeting on January 28, 2016, the PPCC Board unanimously passed the following motion relative to the above-referenced Council File:

“That PPCC support the AGF Ordinance revised as of December 8, 2015, but with a request that “Community Councils” be included among the organizations entitled to receive notice under LAMC Sections 62.08.VII.D.1(e) and 2(e).”

Since 2010, PPCC has called for and strongly supports necessary revision of the AGF Ordinance. We urge the Council PWGR and PLUM Committees to take this matter up at the earliest opportunity and to approve the draft AGF Ordinance revised by the City Attorney as of December 8, 2015, with the addition of “Community Councils” among the organizations entitled to receive notice under LAMC Sections 62.08.VII.D.1(e) and 2(e).

Thank you. Sincerely,

Christina Spitz, President
Pacific Palisades Community Council

cc (via email):
Ted Jordan, Deputy City Attorney
John White, Legislative Assistant, PWGR Committee Sharon Dickinson, Legislative Assistant, PLUM Committee w/ request for filing in CF 09-2645

ITEM 7.1.5 – LADWP POLE-TOP DISTRIBUTION STATIONS UPDATE

From: <info@pacpalicc.org>

Sent: 2/11/2016

Subject: Proposed Pole Top DS in Pacific Palisades

Yesterday, numerous messages were posted on Nextdoor and sent via email, containing inaccurate information about proposed temporary pole-top DS installations (PTDS) and PPCC’s process to date.  This will set the record straight.

PPCC is an all-volunteer community organization with its principal function to serve as a forum for the discussion of community issues.  PPCC is not an arm of the City and does not participate with the City or any of its agencies, including LADWP, in decision-making.  PPCC had no involvement whatsoever with the LADWP decision to locate PTDS anywhere in the Palisades.

LADWP asked PPCC for time to make a presentation at one of PPCC’s board meetings about the need to install temporary facilities to improve coverage and avoid continued power outages.  PPCC provided advance notice to the community of the January 28 LADWP presentation, including in email blasts, in our meeting agendas, on our website, in social media and in newspaper postings.

PPCC had no advance knowledge about the scope or design of these installations or where they would be located.  PPCC and the community learned for the first time, at the public PPCC board meeting on January 28, exactly what was being proposed and where the PTDS would be located (in the sidewalk area along Marquez Ave. across from the vacant lot and along the east side of El Medio just south of Sunset).  This was a surprise to all, including the representatives of the two areas affected.

LADWP gave a Power Point presentation which can be viewed here:  http://www.pp90272.org/DWPpowerpoint.pdf.  (LADWP provided the Power Point for public dissemination the day after their presentation; for security reasons the maps showing the actual labyrinthine electrical circuits serving the Palisades were removed.)  PPCC board members and residents in attendance on January 28 grilled LADWP representatives for over an hour about the reasons for the PTDS and why they had to be installed in the locations mentioned.  PPCC will post extensive meeting minutes in the next few days on the PPCC website, pacpalicc.org, which will provide more information about the discussion.  Those interested should check the website in the coming days in order to view the minutes.

Briefly, we were told that the PTDS are required because of the many power outages which are increasing in frequency due to overloading of the existing circuits and “feeders”; that heavy electrical loads are expected this summer; that a solution is needed to provide a more reliable power source before the summer; that the PTDS are temporary and will be removed once construction of a permanent substation is completed (length of time currently unknown); that the installations cannot be undergrounded because this would cost much more, would take much longer to build, and would be more disruptive because of the need to construct large vaults into and under the streets; and that the PTDS locations are critical because they need to be close to other, already established supply lines.

As to the Marquez location, we asked whether the facility could be placed further back on property owned by LADWP (more away from the line of sight) and we were told that this would involve a different process under the current Zoning Code and would take much longer and require additional permits.  As to the El Medio location, we were told that the only other alternative would be on Sunset near the El Medio corner, but this was rejected by LADWP due to the sidewalk width and the fact that the locations would be in front of the two churches on a scenic highway.

There is no required public input or discretion as to where LADWP places utility poles; such poles are exempt from above-ground permitting under the relevant City regulations.  LADWP was not required to come to the community to present any information about the PTDS, but did so as a courtesy.  LADWP made it clear that by state law, they are required to provide facilities necessary to provide adequate, reliable electrical power.  Public rights of way, including streets and sidewalks, are not just for pedestrians and vehicles but also for utility use.  LADWP advised that the locations were chosen because they met a number of criteria, including placement within the community’s existing electrical system, various safety criteria, and where adequate pedestrian access could occur around the installations.

Following the January 28 meeting, consistent with their responsibilities area representatives, including Rick Mills of Area 4 (El Medio), sent email and Nextdoor postings with information about the LADWP presentation, including a link to the Power Point presentation.  PPCC also did so.  In addition, PPCC’s president Chris Spitz has requested that LADWP return and hold a community meeting to address concerns specifically from El Medio and Marquez residents; it is our understanding that Councilmember Mike Bonin has also asked LADWP to hold a community meeting.  If that occurs PPCC will provide notice via email, social media, website postings and newspaper announcements.

In the meantime, residents should address concerns directly to LADWP, at jack.waizenegger@ladwp.com and/or william.herriott@ladwp.com.  You may also contact our L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin and his District Director, Debbie Dyner Harris, at mike.bonin@lacity.org and debbie.dyner.harris@lacity.org.

While no one is happy about these temporary installations, at the same time we all want safe, reliable electrical service in our community.

Christina Spitz

President, Pacific Palisades Community Council

www.pacpalicc.org / www.facebook.com/pacpalicc

 

MINUTES FOR FEBRUARY 25th, 2016           

Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Reza Akef, Peter Culhane, Rick Mills, Sue Kohl, Barbara Marinacci, Kelly Comras, Richard Wulliger, Stuart Muller, Sarah Conner, Janet Anderson, George Wolfberg, Peter Culhane, Gilbert Dembo, Greg Sinaiko, Todd Wadler, Cathy Russell, Bruce Schwartz, and Sue Kohl.

 Voting Alternates: Elizabeth Shavelson and Susan Payne.

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Diane Bleak, Donna Vaccarino, Linda Lefkowitz, Patti Post, David Kaplan, David Peterson, and Schuyler Dietz.

  Start of Business Meeting

  1. Reading of Community Council’s Mission: Maryam Zar read the Mission Statement.
  1. Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Chris Spitz called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm. Introduction of the Board. Jennifer Malaret read the meeting ground rules (Bylaws, Appendix C, Standing Rule 8).
  2. Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:07 pm.
  1. Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Chris deemed the minutes of February 11, 2016 approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: 3/10/16: (Tentative) WRAC-sponsored motions regarding (1) CUB/alcohol conditions; (2) VA Master Plan and related legislation, S. 2013 (Feinstein), H.R. 3484 (Lieu); (3) Zoning Code enforcement. 3/24/16: No meeting. 4/14/16: Topics to be determined. Topics noticed in advance may change.
  1. Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
  1. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of February 25, 2016.

The account balance is $38,658.74 with no significant transactions since the last report.

  1. Reports, Announcements and Concerns  

7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz

  • Chris announced that the March 24, 2016 Board meeting has been CANCELLED due to library staff unavailability.
  • Launch of new PPCC website – pacpalicc.org. Chris directed the board and members and the public to the new website.
  • LADWP Pole-Top Distributing Stations (PTDS) Community Meeting. Chris announced that a date for the proposed LADWP community meeting has not been confirmed; per CD11 the meeting will not take place on 3/1/16; the new date will likely be 3/14/16 at Marquez elementary. Construction of the El Medio and Marquez PTDSs will not begin before the meeting occurs.
  • Short Term Rentals (STRs) Update. Draft ordinance expected in late February.
  • Village Starbucks CUB Update. See attached letter.
  • Palisades Alliance for Seniors Community Meeting 3/1/16, 4-5:30pm, Gilbert Hall, Pali High. Topic: Getting Around: Transportation Options for Palisades Seniors. http://www.palisadesalliance.org.

7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives Representatives (Note: Contact information at: http://www.pp90272.org/Governmental%20Reps.pdf)

7.2.1    Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. Not in attendance.

7.2.2    Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office. Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy. Sharon Shapiro in attendance; no report.

7.2.3    Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Daniel Tamm, Westside Area Representative, Mayor’s Interfaith Liaison. Not in attendance.

 

7.2.4    California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Stephanie Cohen, Field Representative. Not in attendance.

7.2.5    California State Senate, Office of State Senator Ben Allen. Lila Kalaf, District Representative. Not in attendance.

7.2.6    United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner, District Representative. Janet Turner in attendance. Janet reported that today the House Veteran’s Committee approved moving forward with the Los Angeles Homeless Veteran’s Leasing Act (needed to enact the draft Master Plan for the Los Angeles VA). The bill received bi-partisan report. The bill still needs to move through Congress and the House. Letters in support are appreciated. Chris stated that this matter may be taken up by PPCC at is March 10, 2016 meeting.

7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors – None/Deferred.

  1. Reports From Committees

8.1 Bylaws Committee (Richard Cohen and Jennifer Malaret, Co-Chairs). First distribution of proposed bylaws amendments relative to elected Area and At-large representatives, election procedures and minor adjustment to Area 3 and Area 4 boundaries (Bylaws Art. VIII.1.B and D; Appendix B and Attachment A); see minutes of 1/28/16 and 2/11/16 for summaries. The Committee recommends that the Board approve the proposed amendments as distributed. Richard Cohen stated that this first distribution of the proposed bylaws amendments was made and includes those topical amendments previously reported (i.e., Area 3 and 4 adjustments as agreed by the residents and elected representatives, modernization of election provisions and general clean-up). Richard encouraged board members and the public to read the materials distributed and to contact either Co-Chair with comments, questions and input.

8.2 VPLUC (David Kaplan, Chair). VPLUC supplemental report / recommendations re Village Project/Caruso Affiliated land use application and Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). Attending: representatives of Caruso Affiliated. Introduction: Chris Spitz stated that she would like to say a few words about PPCC’s process regarding this matter to date. PPCC held well-attended public meetings focusing on the land use application for the project in October and November 2015. Anyone who wished to ask a question or make a comment at our past meetings did so, and public comment on the matter was closed at the end of the November meeting. Chris recalled that Rick Caruso attended both meetings, gave information about the project and answered questions. Chris welcomed Mr. Caruso back tonight and also introduced Michael Gazzano and Rick Caruso. Chris stated that PPCC is now returning to the Village Project for the purpose of discussing the VPLUC’s supplemental report and recommendations. Since there are three new motions on the agenda, Chris stated that she would allow additional limited public comment related to the motions as time permits. Chris said that pursuant to the agenda, PPCC will begin with a report by committee chair David Kaplan, then introductions of each motion would be made in order followed by remarks by Mr. Caruso, a representative of Councilmember Bonin’s office, board discussion and public comment. Chris reminded everyone that PPCC must end its meeting by 9 p.m. or shortly thereafter; with three motions to consider and discuss the Chair will have to set strict time limits on all comments. Chris also reported that she had asked all audience members who wished to speak to please fill out a speaker card and pass it up to the Vice President. Cards were available on the counter as well as on the podium.

Chris asked that board members and the audience keep in mind that there is an upcoming deadline of March 9, 2016 for comment on the Mitigated Negative Declaration, and the first City hearing on the land use entitlements application is March 24, 2016 with the DRB meeting on design aspects on March 2, 2016. Chris also reminded everyone of informational materials available on the counter, which anyone was welcome to take. Chris invited David Kaplan to give the VPLUC’s supplemental report.

MOTION #1

David Kaplan read the VPLUC supplemental report. See attached below. David Kaplan then read Motion #1,

Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) recognizes that community opinion is generally supportive of the Palisades Village Project, as reflected by public comments at PPCC and other community meetings and input from constituents received by Council District 11 and PPCC Board members. PPCC therefore recommends that the City Planning Commission approve the following land use entitlements as requested by the applicant:

  1. 1) Specific Plan Amendments to the Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhoods Specific Plan, as proposed by the applicant and which establish new North Swarthmore Subarea Regulations.
  2. 2) A Vesting Zone Change from C2-1VL and R3P-1VL to C2-1VL, for the existing surface parking lot areas.

Design aspects of the Project are being reviewed by the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board.”

Discussion: Chris directed board members and the public to information available on the land use entitlements requested. Chris stated that since the Motion #1 was made by a committee that includes several voting board members, per Roberts Rules it is deemed made and seconded and discussion would begin. Chris first called on Rick Caruso to give brief remarks. Rick Caruso declined to make remarks. Action: Dick Wulliger, Historical Society, invoked Article 10 of the bylaws to postpone any vote on Motion #1 to the next PPCC meeting. Chris reiterated the bylaws requirement. Dick asked for discussion to be allowed to proceed. Chris exercise her right as Chair to make the board an ad hoc committee so discussion could proceed. (1) Sharon Shapiro reported that CD11 and Planning Staff have received overwhelming support for the project. For those residents who are in opposition or have concerns, Sharon said that those are few and their concerns are concentrated (unlike other projects in the city that have varied topics for objection; here in the Palisades the same objections are heard over and over). (2) Gil Dembo expressed support for the project. (3) Sarah Conner stated that PPRA wants to meet and understand how these motions may affect larger areas of the City. Rick Caruso stated that the Village Project land use applications do not affect any other areas of the City as they are project specific. David Kaplan explained that the subarea includes open space and arguably could be precedent for any private developer not including significant (10,000 square feet of) open space. Howard Robinson stated that the VPLUC felt the way the application was filed is beneficial to the community because it reduces precedent setting standards (there are no specific plan deviations but rather an amendment which has been very rare and is only applicable to a specific situation with acreage as this; thus it is difficult to image another developer coming in and doing the same thing in commercial areas of the Palisades, i.e., the amendment to the Specific Plan sets less deviation then the alternative). Sarah Conner asked for the amendments for the Specific Plan to be made public like on the website. Chris Spitz and Rick Caruso told Sarah that those conditions have been on the Caruso website for a long time, available from the City, are on PPCC’s website, in the minutes, distributed this evening, discussed at prior public meetings, etc. (4) Susan Payne stated that the Chamber supports the project as a huge community benefit and substantial boost to the local businesses. (5) Stuart Muller observed that, in addition to the Caruso project, the Ralph’s and Norris Hardware sites are owned by a local family and could be developed. Rick Caruso responded that there is another 30 years on the Ralph’s lease and it is not likely to be developed. (6) Diane Bleak expressed concern about retail conglomerates. Rick Caruso reiterated that the plan is comprised of very small stores and that there will not be chains. Many local tenants are interested in staying. (7) Rick Mills expressed disappointment that the Historical Society invoked Article 10 to stop a vote on Motion #1; as a member of the Historical Society he stated that its members have been well aware of the project for a long time and was skeptical of the delay. Dick Wulliger stated that he needed to report what was said here tonight to his members to help them take a position or not. Public Comment: (1) Marice Michele (Swathmore business owner) supports the project and is in favor of Mr. Caruso. (2) Greg Schem supported the project and expressed that we need to help our businesses. Having a local developer is a benefit and we should thank our lucky stars. (3) Rena Repetti expressed support for the project but not a subarea that doesn’t have to follow the Specific Plan rules that the community created. Rena said the developer should follow the Specific Plan. (4) Mark Grinblatt opposes the development because there has not been enough dialogue between the developer and the public. The strip of land between the Mobil Station and US Bank is to be taken and moved so that it makes sense; the idea of it taking private should be discussed more before the council votes. (5) Robin Weitz opposes the project based on the number of alcohol permits being requested by Caruso Affiliated. Robin read a passage discussing findings for issuing ABC licenses. David Kaplan stated that Motion #1 does not include nor address the alcohol applications. (6) Nicole Howard supports the project and because of the overwhelmingly positive benefit for the community urged the project to move forward. (7) Jeffrey Spitz supports the project, urged it to move forward and challenged the Historical Society’s claim that it had not had an opportunity to consult with its members particularly given modern electronics. (8) Ted Weitz opposed the project and stated that the CUP is part of the subarea plan. Ted has expressed concerns because he lives adjacent and represents neighbors. Sue Kohl said that while Ted’s views may represent some residents but her email list has over 200 people who have supported the project and in her view most of the residents in the Alphabets support the project and the “life” that has been missing in Area 5. Rick Caruso said he has meet with Ted and his wife and will continue to do so and respond to their concerns. Rick Caruso further reported that he has met with the residents of Monument who overwhelmingly support the project and that his company would like to begin development of the stores, parking and open space. Rick also said that there is much to be done with existing businesses in their relocation and efforts to bring them back. (9) Rosalie Huntington asked how shoppers will be drawn to the Palisades if the only thing that is different is the Bay Theater and Trader Joe’s (supports). Will there be different stores on Swarthmore? Rick Caruso stated that there will be a theater and a specialty grocer with every store being unique. Existing tenants have been offered a prior rent to stay in the project. Other retailers and restaurant operators will supplement. Action: Chris stated that this motion would be back on the agenda on March 10, 2016.

MOTION #2

David Kaplan read Motion #2. Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) recognizes that the City has determined, based on substantial traffic and other environmental studies, that the Palisades Village Project (the “Project”) will have no unmitigated significant impacts. PPCC also acknowledges community concerns that, as with any project of similar size built within an existing neighborhood village, issues warranting attention may arise on an ongoing basis. PPCC therefore supports adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration, provided that a new Village Project Committee is established under the auspices of Council District 11, to assess and address issues that may arise during construction and eventual Project operations. Such a committee should consist of one representative each from the applicant, Council District 11, the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce and PPCC, and an area resident (to be appointed by Council District 11).”

Action: Same as above, Dick Wulliger (Historical Society) invoked Article 10. Chris asked Dick to withdraw the motion and abstain so the board vote could be taken; else pursuant to the bylaws the Executive Committee would be able to act for the board. Dick Wulliger refused stating that he had been instructed by his board to invoke a postponement of the vote. Chris exercised her right as Chair to make the board an ad hoc committee so discussion could proceed. Public Discussion: (1) Rick Caruso asked for a position of this board, by the Executive Committee, prior to the public hearing. (2) Patty Detroit wondered if the traffic study was relevant since it was done during the Thanksgiving holiday. Rick said only one intersection was studied on the day a school was closed; that intersection was restudied and reissued so the current report is completely updated and was not done in any way when school was closed. Patty asked about employee parking. Rick stated that the size of the parking accommodates employees on the property. Patty said a concerned resident should be appointed to any kind of citizen’s committee. (3) Sandy Eddy said that 200 people on the other sides of the Alphabet Streets have concerns. The MND has been available for two weeks and is very large. Bus schedules and bike racks would help mitigate traffic if for employees. There would be 150 employees coming into the community and Sandy wondered what peak time arrangements would be made. (4) Linda Andrews spoke in favor of the project and asked for more information on the traffic situation (peak volumes, more or another traffic study). (5) Kat Smitt supports the project and is concerned about the traffic with the addition of retailers in the project. (6) Carly Kamerman, Carly K owner, sees traffic all day long and wondered what does everyone want Rick to do? Not have a project? At this point the Village is at a standstill and it is not fair to just do nothing. More parking is not a solution because those costs will get passed on to tenants who need shoppers to support rents that are already so high. (7) Ted Weitz asked Rick Caruso to continue to talk and meet with residents and acknowledged that because of his meetings with Caruso Affiliated many of his concerns had already been taken care of. Ted said the committee proposed should not include the Chamber and would not really address resident concerns. Ted stated that the MND is a complicated document and there should be more time for the pubic to review it. (8) Mark Ginblatt objects to the project because it won’t reduce traffic and claimed that the study was inaccurate because it inappropriately compared existing to proposed traffic. (9) Nicole Howard supported the project, stating that the true traffic problem is not having traffic in the Village to support local businesses. Board Discussion: (1) Richard Cohen asked if trips coming to the project would be between the 2-3 pm peak hours studied. Rick Caruso stated that their peak period is not 2-3 and the Traffic Study which is online has been studied by the City and is in full compliance. (2) Gil Dembo stated that Mike Bonin’s traffic workshop determined that the majority of traffic generated is not from the Palisades and is something that Caruso has little control over. (3) Maryam Zar asked if CD11 considered the idea of a new citizen’s committee to be established. Sharon Shapiro said that she would find out. Maryam asked why Ted stated that such a committee would be ineffective since Caruso’s interaction with residents have been successful in working towards solutions. (4) David Kaplan re-read the portion of the VPLUC report that stated that traffic will be increased but that the standards per intersection can be mitigated or the results are still within acceptable parameters. (5) Barbara Kohn stated that based on her own prior personal experience, a citizen committee can be valuable if written into a CUP and that such committees typically meet monthly or less frequently. (6) Richard Cohen supported the committee concept based on past successes such as the Getty Villa and the YMCA Simon Meadow project. (7) Schuyler Dietz spoke in support of the project and does not think traffic will be impacted between 2 and 5 p.m.

See: (1) www.pacpalicc.org, Documents tab/Minutes, and Resources tab/Reports & Summaries (PPCC minutes of 11/18/15, 1/14/16, 2/11/16 and VPLUC Preliminary Report) and (2) http://www.palisadesvillageca.com (FAQs tab/amended application documents, plans and MND). See also information distributed below. Note: MND comment period ends March 9, 2016, per notice published in the LAT on 2/18/16; first City hearing to occur on March 24, 2016. MOTION #s 1, 2 and 3 sponsored by the VPLUC:

MOTION #3

David Kaplan read Motion 3. “The applicant has requested that the City approve a request for a parcel map to vacate public land to the applicant consisting of a 20-foot-wide alley extending north from Sunset Boulevard to the existing alley located behind the existing Mobil Station, the 20-foot-wide alley between Swarthmore Avenue and Monument Street and a lane of Sunset Boulevard, where it widens in front of the existing Mobil Station. Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) recommends approval of the parcel map, subject to the following:

  1. Since the proposed public land being ceded to the applicant has substantial economic value, PPCC recommends a condition of approval which will require the applicant, in exchange for the economic benefit being provided by the City to the applicant, to establish a fund in an amount to be determined.
  2. Said fund shall be specifically targeted to address the Purposes set forth in Section 2 of the Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhoods Specific Plan, which are to assure all new development harmonizes with and enhances the surrounding neighborhood. To this end, the use of the fund shall include, but not be limited to, installation of compatible off-site streetscape improvements. Possible unifying items could include street furniture, street signs, exterior lighting and lampposts, sidewalk and crosswalk treatments, and plant materials. At a minimum, off- site improvements should extend to both sides of Sunset from La Cruz to Via de la Paz, around the perimeter of the Village Green, and on Swarthmore on the first block south of Sunset.”

Action: Same as above; Dick Wulliger (Historical Society) invoked Article 10; Chair allowed discussion to continue by making the board an ad hoc committee. Board Discussion: (1) Richard Cohen asked if the characterization of the “park giveaway” was accurate. Rick Caruso explained that they have been trying to get more parking and responded to community concerns that the alley should be maintained better. By vacating the alley parking can be placed underneath and Caruso Affiliated will have the burden of paying to maintain the area. Rick Caruso is willing to participate in a fund depending on the amount because they are happy to be a good neighbor. Richard asked about undergrounding utilities. Rick said yes the utilities would be undergrounded and existing utilities would be relocated to accommodate parking so that is also a community benefit. There is also to be an easement for public access and it can never be closed off. Caruso has to provide access to neighboring buildings that they don’t own into perpetuity. There is no intent to ever close the alley or make it inaccessible to cars. (2) Howard Robinson said that the committee is in favor of the project and wanted to get something in exchange for the reversion of public land to a private landowner. The idea is for the dollars to be used for things consistent with the Specific Plan and that Plan calls for coordination of improvements in the PROW throughout the entire village. David Kaplan reiterated the thoughts of the committee and encouraged that the fund would allow for the refreshing of areas next to the project that may not be owned by Caruso. (3) Diane Bleak expressed concern about the Disneyland unifying aspect of the project and if there would be piped in music. Rick stated that the design goal is very organic and something that fits with the community which is why Caruso is working with the DRB, residents and four architects. The buildings do not match and there is no ongoing theme. This is a street, a downtown in a coastal community and Rick Caruso wants it to look like a real street and not a theme park. Music is up to the community. (4) Rick Mills spoke to the Specific Plan as to the compatibility of development with the surrounding neighborhood. That would include the streets surrounding and adjacent but the motion attempts to address off-site areas as well which would benefit the community. Rick encouraged the developer and community to think about the benefit of this fund. (5) Richard Cohen questioned the legal argument about vacating the alley but that may be solved by a fund and wondered also about the BID. Richard noted that since the BID exists and there are other voices on the BID perhaps the money could be channeled through that because the idea of Caruso becoming responsible for fixing up other property owner’s store fronts doesn’t really work. Rick Mills suggested that PRIDE or the BID could advise. (6) Gil Dembo asked that funds be used to upgrade Sunset. Gil spoke in favor of Caruso giving us an organized structure and not what happens when there is fractured land ownership. Public Comment: (1) Lou Kamer supported the motion. How much? Is it appropriate to take an incoming development and apply those standards to the others? Can the requirement to upgrade other property be done by the BID? (2) Mark Grinblatt objected to taking away the asphalt by the Mobil Station and alleged that boundaries for the gas station had been misrepresented. Mark suggested to the council that those with conflicts of interest recuse themselves or ask someone else to vote on the motions. Rick Caruso said that the City is the one who asked Caruso to eliminate the asphalt and they are following the LADOT rules. (3) Kelly Comras asked Rick Caruso to repeat his statements about the LADOT process. Rick stated that there are concerns about people crossing Sunset so the idea is to narrow the sidewalks and to have a shorter distance to cross. Caruso thinks it makes sense to have crossings on Sunset be safer given the length of the crossing and the speed at which cars travel. The changes are consistent with improvements throughout the City including the safe streets program. (4) Frances Tibbits asked about how the amount would be set and asked again about the vacating of the alley. Rick stated that they are burdened by the cost of maintaining the land and there is no entitlement benefit/density from owning the alley land. The square footage is being taken out of their developable land area and Caruso is making the alley wider and widening the sidewalk to increase pedestrian safety. (5) Ted Weitz supports the concept of attempting to unify the Village and suggested that the DRB should oversee anything in the streets and PROW. (6) Rena Repetti doesn’t think that the asphalt should be taken away because it makes the street safer when there is a back up of traffic and because traffic patterns particularly with regard to Bashford would be negatively impacted. Rick Caruso stated that the roadway was in the original application and LADOT wanted it out with their rationale being set forth in the Traffic Study.

  1. Old Business.

9.1 Southern California Gas Company Advanced Meter Project Update. Presenting: Ray Verches, SoCalGas. verchescom@aol.com. Presentation: this is the third year this topic has been presented. Two phases are updating the meters and updating the data network. There are two data collection areas left, 16969 Sunset Blvd (Sunset and Marquez) and the other at Sunset and Blue Sail. Approval from the Coastal Commission and the Bureau of Engineering for the final two phases was obtained yesterday.

  1. New Business. None.

11. General Public Comment

11.1     Steve Lantz said there will be a meeting at 4 PM next Tuesday at Gilbert Hall, Palisades Charter High School. The topic is transportation options for Seniors. What is not being done in terms of transportation in the Palisades will also be addressed. Everyone from the public is encouraged to attend.

11.2     Bicycling on Sunset is very dangerous and having bikes on Sunset slows down traffic.

  1. Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 8:56 PM.

__________________________________________

ITEM 7.1.4 – PPCC LETTER RE VILLAGE STARBUCKS CUB

February 13, 2016

Development Services & Zoning Administration Division City Planning Department
Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street

Los Angeles, CA 90012 Attn: Roxanne Wiles

Via email: rocky.wiles@lacity.org

Re: ZA 2015-4233-CUB/15300 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades (proposed Village Starbucks CUB for onsite beer and wine consumption); file open for comment until February 16, 2016; SUPPORT application (subject to modification of operating hours).

Dear Ms. Wiles:

Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) is the most broad-based community organization and the voice of the Palisades since 1973.

The PPCC board heard presentations by the applicant’s representatives and held public discussion of this matter at two regularly scheduled board meetings, on January 14 and February 11, 2016. The PPCC board also considered (1) the applicant’s written responses (dated January 22, 2016) to a series of questions posed by PPCC in its January 19, 2016 letter to Ms. Wiles, and (2) a survey of Starbucks stores with the “Evenings Program” conducted by PPCC’s President (dated February 4, 2016).

After extensive discussion at its meeting on February 11, 2016, the PPCC board passed a motion to support the CUB application, subject to modification of the operating hours for the proposed “Evenings Program” (onsite beer and wine sales) from 4pm until the close of business, daily.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Christina Spitz
President
Pacific Palisades Community Counci

cc (via email):
Hon. Councilmember Mike Bonin, CD11
Ezra Gale, Planning Deputy, CD11
Joann Lim, Planning Case Manager, City Planning Dept. Spencer Regnery, Glassman Associates

mike.bonin@lacity.org ezra.gale@lacity.org joann.lim@lacity.org spencer@gpan.com

 

ITEM 8.2 – VPLUC (David Kaplan, Chair). VPLUC supplemental report / recommendations re Village Project/Caruso Affiliated land use application and Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). Additional information distributed prior to the meeting.

To view the existing Specific Plan: http://planning.lacity.org/complan/specplan/pdf/pacpalsp.pdf.

http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/flowchart/lead_agency/EIR-ND.html

http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/flowchart/EIR_or_ND.html

From:http://resources.ca.gov/ceqa/stat/chap2_6.html#21082.2. § 21082.2. Significant effect on environment; determination; environmental impact report preparation

(a) The lead agency shall determine whether a project may have a significant effect on the environment based on substantial evidence in light of the whole record.

(b) The existence of public controversy over the environmental effects of a project shall not require preparation of an environmental impact report if there is no substantial evidence in light of the whole record before the lead agency that the project may have a significant effect on the environment.

(c) Argument, speculation, unsubstantiated opinion or narrative, evidence which is clearly inaccurate or erroneous, or evidence of social or economic impacts which do not contribute to, or are not caused by, physical impacts on the environment, is not substantial evidence. Substantial evidence shall include facts, reasonable assumptions predicated upon facts, and expert opinion supported by facts.

(d) If there is substantial evidence, in light of the whole record before the lead agency, that a project may have a significant effect on the environment, an environmental impact report shall be prepared.

(e) Statements in an environmental impact report and comments with respect to an environmental impact report shall not be deemed determinative of whether the project may have a significant effect on the environment.

VPLUC SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT 2/25/16

The Committee has previously reported its analysis of the applicant’s submission.

The Committee had indicated it was waiting for the applicant’s traffic study to become available for review before it would be in position to recommend any action that the Board should take with respect to the Caruso Village Project.

Several weeks ago the Committee reported that the applicant, subsequent to its initial DRB hearing, had submitted revised plans reflecting changes in design or style and a withdrawal of its previous requests to deviate from Specific Plan setback requirements and Specific Plan height restrictions, in addition to removal of certain uses such as a Pilates studio, a reduction in the total amount of restaurant space and a removal of a request for shared parking plan.

On February 18 the City released its MND (mitigated negative declaration) that included the City’s sign-off and approval of the applicant’s traffic study. This traffic study concluded that there were no unmitigatable traffic impacts occasioned by the development. The Committee engaged the services of Patti Post, PPCC Transportation Advisor. She reviewed the MND as well as the underlying documents reviewed by LADOT and City Planning and found that the conclusions of the MND were substantiated.

It should be understood that the MND is not suggesting that there will be no increase in traffic but that the increase in traffic does not create, based on the standards that the City requires developers to comply with, any increase which cannot be mitigated.

As further due diligence, Ms. Post spoke with two separate community leaders who were initially opposed or skeptical of the impact of Caruso projects in their areas (Glendale and Thousand Oaks). She learned that although there were similar concerns to those which our community has voiced, the Caruso assertions proved to be correct. These community leaders were extremely satisfied with the Caruso team during construction and after opening. They were unanimous in their belief that since Caruso does not sell his properties that these properties are managed well for the long term.

Consequently, it is the Village Project Land Use Committee’s opinion that the proposed project will on balance offer residents a thoughtfully and responsibly managed shopping, restaurant and theater district that will be approved and enjoyed by the vast majority of residents.

In that regard we offer the three motions which are set forth in the 2/25/16 PPCC Board meeting agenda.

List of Entitlements – Village Project

  1. Vesting Zone Change for a portion of two parcels from R3P-1VL to C2-1VL
  1. Project Permit Compliance Review and Design Review Board
  1. Specific Plan Amendment for the creation of the North Swarthmore Subarea
  2. a.Height – allow building height to a maximum of 34 feet to allow architectural variation and features. Height to be measured from adjacent sidewalk.
  3. b. Theater Signage – allow for a defining architectural element to exceed 100 square foot sign area limit
  4. c.  Bicycle Parking – to be in compliance with the recently adopted Citywide Bicycle Ordinance set forth in LAMC 12.21.A.16
  5. d. CUB – Define maximum number of licenses and type, define approval process for each establishment
  6. e.  Open Space – require 10,000 square feet of open space within the subarea
  1. Parcel Map – vacation of two alleys to provide for underground parking — Information provided by Caruso Affiliated, February 2016

VPLUC MEMBERS 

David Kaplan (Chair): Area 6 Alternate Representative. Retired attorney and former Town Counsel to numerous Massachusetts municipalities/colleges and universities; extensive land use experience in that capacity.

Sue Kohl: Area 5 Representative. Long-time residential real estate agent and assistant manager of the Berkshire Hathaway office in Pacific Palisades.

Rick Mills: Area 4 Representative. Former Planner for the City of Santa Monica, handling planning and land use matters. Masters degree in City Planning, U.C. Berkeley. Long-serving past Chair of the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board. Real estate agent and condominium specialist with HomesUSA, Ltd. and the Law Offices of Paul DeSantis in Santa Monica.

Howard Robinson: Area 3 Alternate Representative. Professional land use consultant with more than 30 years of experience in real estate development, local government and the entitlement process. MBA degree (emphasis in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics), U.C. Berkeley. www.howardrobinson.net.

Cathy Russell: Area 7 Representative. Long-time residential real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Pacific Palisades.

George Wolfberg: At-Large Representative. Retired City of Los Angeles official with extensive experience in local government process. Past PPCC President and Citizen of the Year. Chair of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee (PCCAC). Past member of PPCC’s former Land Use Committee. Long-serving and current PPCC representative to the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils Land Use & Planning Committee (WRAC-LUPC).

Chris Spitz (ex officio/non-voting): PPCC President. Attorney specializing in business litigation. Past Chair of PPCC’s former Land Use Committee. Member of the PCCAC. Past steering committee member, PlanCheckNCLA (educational organization that provides information about City Planning matters to interested community members Citywide). Member of WRAC leadership committee and PPCC Alternate representative to WRAC-LUPC.  — February 2016

PPCC Transportation Advisor Patti Post

PPCC Experience

  • Voting member of the Board for 10 years as Area Alternate, Area Representative, Organizational Representative and Officer (Treasurer, 6 years)
  • Transportation Advisor for about 10 years, alerting the Chair to transportation issues that could affect Palisadians and advising the Chair on transportation issues as requested

Professional Experience

  • 30+ years as transportation planning consultant, specializing in public transportation planning and operations
  • Transportation planning for the LA Olympics
  • Planning and operations positions with the regional transit operator in Los Angeles County

Education

  • B. A. from UCLA
  • Master of City Planning (MCP) from Harvard University –– February 2016

 

MINUTES FOR MARCH 10th, 2016 (minutes to be posted after final approval)