MINUTES FOR APRIL 14th, 2016
Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Reza Akef, Nancy Niles, Barbara Marinacci, Stuart Muller, Janet Anderson, Peter Culhane, Gilbert Dembo, Rick Mills, Kelly Comras, Sue Kohl, George Wolfberg, Rick Lemmo and Cathy Russell.
Voting Alternates: Kevin Niles, Howard Robinson, Donna Vaccarino, Eric Dugdale and Jessica Simon.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Linda Lefkowitz, Carol Bruch, Diane Bleak, David Peterson and Ted Mackie.
Start of Business Meetin
- Reading of Community Council’s Mission: Janet Anderson read the Mission Statement.
- 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 and audience. 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. (Bylaws, Appendix C, Standing Rule 8).
- Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:09 pm.
- Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Chris deemed the March 10, 2016 minutes approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: 4/28/16. PPTFH Presentation/Update. 5/12/16. Spotlight on Organizations: PRIDE, Chamber of Commerce, Woman’s Club. ** Topics noticed in advance may change.
- Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
- Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of April 14, 2016. The total account balances equal $37,566.94. Richard stated that there were no significant transactions.
- Reports, Announcements and Concerns
7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz
7. 1.1 2016-17 Officer Elections. Appointment of Nominating Committee (Bylaws, Art. VII.1): Chris announced the committee composition. Sue Kohl (Chair), Peter Culhane, and Dick Wulliger. The election process is set forth in the Bylaws Article VII. Chris asked that board members and the public refer to the new website. Chris stated that the Nominating Committee’s recommendations would be made at the first meeting in May. Additional nominations are taken prior to 15 minutes before the close of the second meeting in May. If contested there will be a candidates’ forum during the first meeting in June and then elections are held at that first meeting in June.
7.1.2 RecodeLA/Zoning Code Rewrite. Chris announced that the Virtual Forum will take place on April 26, 7pm; register at http://recode.la/virtual-forums. For details about the RecodeLA project, go to: http://recode.la/about/project-files. Chris also called attention to the LA Times article today relative to the City Council vote to change how the City is handling community plans and other zoning matters. PPCC and other community councils are not sure of the impact and are arranging to meet with CD-11 for further details. PPCC may have a joint forum with planning officials in the near future along with BCC.
7.1.3 LADWP Pole-Top Distributing Stations. Chris reported that LADWP is continuing to evaluate community feedback and construction feasibility as to various options.
7.1.4 Short Term Rentals (STRs). Chris reported that the draft ordinance pending and is expected very soon.
7.1.5 Village Starbucks CUB. Chris reported that the determination letter is pending.
7.1.6 Sunset Mobility Collaborative. Chris reported on the new coalition being formed of Brentwood and Pacific Palisades Palisades representatives/stakeholders, supported by CD 11, to responsibly address Sunset Blvd. traffic issues. With Sunset being the primary means of ingress and egress to the Palisades it is a matter of concern to the Palisades. Chris Spitz, Rick Lemmo, Patti Post and Reza Akef attended.
7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives Representatives (Note: Contact information at: http://pacpalicc.org/index.php/government-contacts/)
7.2.1 Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. Officer Moore reported that (1) a task force was run in the Palisades relative to minor violations and two homeless persons were arrested on outstanding warrants. (2) Hartzell has experienced a higher than normal level of vehicle break-ins between 2 am and 5 am. Residents have video footage and LAPD knows who the individual is along with other possible suspects. Residents should not leave their cars unlocked, store valuables in their vehicles or leave their garage doors open.
7.2.2 Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office. Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy. Sharon reported that (1) Councilmember Bill Rosendahl’s passing would be celebrated at Mar Vista Park on 4/16/2016 and everyone is welcome to attend. (2) the City’s sidewalk repair process will be implemented over the next 30 years, (3) the City’s budget process is being implemented and this community is being considered for a bike program enforcement effort during seasonal times, (4) the Task Force meeting on female homelessness recently at the Women’s Club was fantastic and the councilmember was very grateful for the presentation, and (5) LADWP is still evaluating alternative locations including the Marquez school site, the two sites at Sunset and Marquez, Los Liones and Temescal and Sunset – all of these locations are being looked at and community comments are due. There is a comparable PTDS going in now just east of Sunset and Mandeville. Questions: (1) under the 50/50 sidewalk program what happens when trees uproot the sidewalk? Can City crews grind down lips? (2) the City Council voted to adopt a motion that gives NCs preferential for additional time to speak at City hearings. PPCC had asked for equivalent treatment for CCs which WRAC fully supported. PPCC would like the motion amended or followed up on such that CCs and NCs are treated equivalently. Sharon stated that John Gregory and CD11 would be following up. (3) Have the DePauw escrows closed? Sharon stated that they have not.
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 turned reported that (1) Ted Lieu would be featured in a 60 Minutes televised feature to be aired this Sunday. (2) HR4871 calls for a study for funding to explore looking into expanding MRCA to include beaches and the Ballona Wetlands, Baldwin Hills and other South Bay coastlines. This could bring more federal resources into these areas. (3) a Veterans Engagement event is occurring on April 18, 2016 from 7-9 PM at the West LA VA building room 1281. There are other engagement meetings being set up for Pacific Palisades.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors
7.3.1 Officers/Area Representatives. None.
7.3.2 Organizational Representatives – Report on Behalf of Organizations. (1) Barbara Marinacci made an announcement about the garden tour and the native plant garden (the latter of which no ticket was needed to view). Postings are available on PPCC’s FB page, within the Palisades News and on Next Door.
7.3.3 PPCC Advisors. None.
7.3.4 Board Members, Other Reports. None.
8. Reports From Committees
8.1 VPLUC (David Kaplan, Chair). See attached PPCC letter in support of the Village Project. Statement of support from Councilmember Mike Bonin: http://www.11thdistrict.com/ mike_announces_support_for_palisades_village_project. Positions in support also expressed by the Chamber of Commerce, PRIDE and the Civic League. MND and Parcel Map request initially approved by Planning. City Planning Commission hearing 4/28/16 (expected: 8:30am, Van Nuys City Hall, Council Chamber 2nd Floor, 14410 Sylvan St., Van Nuys, CA 914010).
8.2 Playing Fields Committee (Janet Anderson, Chair). Janet reported that the committee held its first meeting. Looking for open space is an objective of the committee as it goes forward.
9. Old Business. None.
10. New Business
10.1 Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC)-Recommended Motions. 1) VA Master Plan and Related Legislation (S. 2013/Feinstein, H.R. 3484/Lieu) (Motion #s1A, 1B and 1C below). 2) CUB/Alcohol Conditions (Motion #2 below). 3) Code Enforcement (Motion #3 below). Presentations by representatives of Congressman Lieu (Lisa Pinto and Janet Turner) and Westside community leaders (Steve Sann, Chair, Westwood CC).
1) VA Master Plan and Related Legislation:
MOTION #1A. Background: WRAC-recommended motion passed by South Robertson NC, Venice NC, Westside NC, Westwood CC, Westwood NC, Bel Air-Beverly Crest NC. http://westsidecouncils.com/motion/support-the-draft-master-plan-for-the-dept-of-veterans- affairs-wla-campus/. http://www.losangeles.va.gov/masterplan/. Presentation: Janet Turner presented in support of the master plan because it includes permanent housing, short term housing and 900 potential future housing units. 2,839 units of housing are possible. Construction would be phased over the next 10 years. Since most veterans prefer to be housed in the community, vouchers will also be offered and a vet can go the welcome center at the VA Campus and get a HUD voucher for housing and services. The legislation allows for enhanced use leases and the WLA VA Campus should be brought into line with other campuses who have this; cautions have been put into the master plan but the permission is needed so that private/public partnerships can be used to build housing. Other leases can be given for up to 50 years if they relate to health services and services that directly benefit veterans and their families. The legislation allows for the Purple Line to have a station at the WLA Campus. The legislation calls for all traffic and environmental impacts to be reviewed. As far as prior leases, UCLA has signed a lease and they brought substantial programs with them; other existing leaseholders (parking, dog park, Brentwood School) are in negotiations. Relative to the soccer fields oral comments have supported use by the children until the land is needed by the veterans which under the plan should be years into the future. Many comments about the Master Plan have been received. Brentwood CC had concerns about traffic impacts of the Master Plan. In response, the town center has been redesigned and a second traffic study is underway. Janet stated that the VA has been good neighbors and is concerned with its placement in the community. Questions: (1) Donna Vaccarino asked about what part of the housing would be emergency housing for the critically unsheltered. Janet said that 729 units are for short term housing. (2) Are campers and trailers accommodated? Janet stated no there are emergency beds and vouchers. Action: Richard Cohen made a motion to support Motion 1(C). Reza Akef seconded the motion. Discussion: None. The motion passed unanimously.
The _________[NC/CC] supports the draft master plan for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs West LA campus.
MOTION #1B. Background: WRAC-recommended motion passed by South Robertson NC, Venice NC, Westside NC, Westwood CC, Westwood NC, Bel Air-Beverly Crest NC. http://westsidecouncils.com/motion/support-for-the-los-angeles-homeless-veterans-leasing- act-of-2015/. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr3484. https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate- bill/2013?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22s.2013%22%2C%22s.2013%22%5D%7D.
The ________ Neighborhood/Community Council supports the Los Angeles Homeless Veterans Leasing Act of 2015 (Feinstein / S. 2013 and Lieu / H.R. 3484), to place permanent supportive housing on the Department of Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Campus in West LA.
MOTION #1C. Background: Motion #1B (as modified), passed by Brentwood Community Council on 4/5/16.
BCC supports the Los Angeles Homeless Veterans Leasing Act of 2015 (Sen. Diane Feinstein’s bill S. 2013 and the companion House HR 3484 sponsored by Rep. Ted Lieu), to place permanent supportive housing on the WLA VA Campus, conditioned upon the VA continuing to work with the impacted communities of Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Westwood and West Los Angeles during the implementation of the 2016 Master Plan to fully study and adopt reasonable mitigation measures with respect to any material adverse environmental impacts, including traffic impacts, such studies may identify.
2) CUB/Alcohol Conditions:
MOTION #2. Background: WRAC-recommended motion passed by Bel Air-Beverly Crest NC, Brentwood CC, Mar Vista CC, Venice NC, Westside NC, Westwood CC, Westwood. Presentation: Steve Saan, Westwood CC. Steve spoke to experiences in Westwood about conditions voluntarily opposed which then were sought to be removed by the operator. To his knowledge there are no other cities that have taken a view that municipalities are not allowed to take into account individual views. The Los Angeles City Council sets policy but in this case (Barney’s Beanery) there was never a public hearing and no one ever got notice; changes were done administratively by council staff. Steve stated that the City is using the plan approval process to take out conditions that have been customarily streamlined for years and opined that cities should be allowed to impose conditions. Steve stated that they went to Senator Ben Allen with this issue to point out that Los Angeles is the outlier. WRAC has had 8 or 9 councils adopt the motion. Action: Richard stated that PPCC would like to support the motion but the whereas language is overreaching and that language should be eliminated. Jennifer Malaret offered friendly amendments to the motion [noted in bold type below]. Gil Dembo seconded. Discussion: (1) Howard Robinson stated that he would prefer Richard’s motion because it is just a WRAC motion that will get wordsmith and changed so he would rather stand unified then get caught up in the language. On what ground would the City Attorney make arguments for his recommendation? Steve stated that land use oriented staff in the CA’s office might be seeking to minimize liability for the City because developers sue the City. The issue is documenting the nexus versus litigating over nuisances. The question is why the City of LA is the only one that believes it is preempted. (2) Chris read from the PPCC’s minutes when the City Attorney came to speak before its board on November 12, 2015. Steve said that City’s have the right to health, safety and welfare using its zoning powers. (3) Kelly Comras asked why no lawyers sued over the Barney’s Beanery case in Westwood. Steve said that no case has been filed to this issue because there a grey area; neighborhood groups have not taken it on due to cost and feel that the right process is to ask the City to go back to the custom and practices over the last forty years. (4) Rick Lemmo stated that the Chamber of Commerce was going to abstain because there had been no discussion of the topic but it was not requesting a vote postponement. (5) Carol Bruch was concerned over the addition of the word “effective”; she suggested “presently in effect” (now modified in bold below). (6) Reza Akef expressed that perhaps PPCC should not vote on this since there is no business representative here then discussion is one sided nor does this appear to be a pervasive problem throughout the City. Steve Saan said that Westwood and PPCC share the same Planning Commission. Conditions are a way to help more business because if the question posed are unconditional operating provisions rather than conditions then communities are more likely to oppose than support. (7) Rick Mills supported the ability of communities to impose conditions and he thinks that the whereas language should stay. (8) Howard Robinson suggested leaving the whereas language in with certain edits that he articulated at the meeting (now modified in bold below). Action: the Board indicated that it wished to see the whereas language included as modified by Howard and modifications to the motion language as proposed by Jennifer. These amendments were accepted by the Board and the motion passed unanimously with one abstention by the Chamber of Commerce.
NC http://westsidecouncils.com/wp- content/uploads/2016/02/2015_1118_Alcohol_CUBPermitsBackgrounder.pdf.
Whereas, the City of Los Angeles has imposed land use conditions in Conditional Use Beverage (CUB) permits for decades to protect public health, safety and welfare by mitigating potential impacts due to the sale or service of alcohol, as recommended by the LAPD, Council Offices, neighborhood councils, community councils, and local residents; and
Whereas, the Department of City Planning suddenly reversed this decades-long practice in 2012, on the advice of the City Attorney’s Office, with no public notice, no public process, no public hearings, and no direction from the City Council, which is charged with policy- making authority; and
Whereas, Zoning Administrators are currently using the Plan Approval Process to remove previously-imposed conditions designed to avoid or mitigate actual or potential land use impacts adverse to public health, safety and welfare; and
Whereas, municipalities throughout the State of California have and continue to impose land use conditions to mitigate adverse impacts that may otherwise arise from the sale or service of alcohol, including local jurisdictions such as West Hollywood and the County of Los Angeles, among others; and
Whereas, the City’s current practice undermines the ability of the City and local communities to protect against potential land use impacts that are adverse to public health, safety and welfare, including but not limited to potential nuisances, by restricting the imposition of conditions on, among other things, hours of sale of alcohol, happy hours, container sizes, types of alcohol sold, and other similar rules and regulations; and
Whereas, California courts have repeatedly affirmed that municipalities have broad police powers to impose land use conditions that protect against potentially adverse impacts on public health, safety and welfare arising from the sale or service of alcohol; and
Whereas, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) has not advised the City that the imposition of such land use conditions interferes with ABC’s enforcement of State law; and
Whereas, implementation of this new policy not only impairs the ability of the LAPD, Council Offices, and communities to protect public health, safety and welfare, but also interferes with the ability of CUB applicants to garner support for their projects by negotiating for the imposition of mutually agreed-upon conditions, as had been done for decades before the current practice was imposed, which forces communities to oppose projects they could otherwise support with proper conditions:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved that the [Insert Neighborhood or Community Council Name Here] calls upon the City Council to adopt a policy to:
(1.) Consistent with the practice of other jurisdictions state-wide and the City’s decades-long practice prior to 2012, authorize the imposition of land use conditions that protect public health, safety and welfare by mitigating potential adverse impacts from the sale or service of alcohol;
(2.) Maintain and enforce previously-imposed in effect CUB conditions on the sale or service of alcohol; and
(3.) Prohibit the future removal of previously-imposed conditions outside the Plan Approval Process mandated under the City Charter and Zoning Code.
3) Code Enforcement:
MOTION #3. Background: WRAC-recommended motion passed by Brentwood CC, Venice NC, Westwood CC, Westwood NC. Original motion language: http://westsidecouncils.com/motion/enforcement-of-all-zoning-and-building-codes/. Sponsored by George Wolfberg (as modified/bold font).
Whereas the City of Los Angeles continues to selectively enforce existing zoning ordinances to the detriment of our stakeholders’ quality of life including, but not limited to, short term rentals, illegal signs, illegal boarding houses and the like.
Therefore Pacific Palisades Community Council joins with the member councils of WRAC to demand that the City comply with its own ordinances and laws and immediately enforce all applicable zoning and building codes unless duly amended. Presentation: George Wolfberg stated that PPCC has always advocated for enforcement where there is not any. Richard Cohen seconded the motion. Discussion: (1) Rick Mills expressed concerns about selective enforcement and the context of the worst offenders, citing the experience with illegal signs in the Palisades. (2) Howard Robinson agreed with Rick and noted that the City does not have the resources to enforce every violation nor do we want millions of law enforcement officers watching us. The motion goes too far and the City doesn’t have the resources to comply with the measures the motion is seeking. (3) Stuart Muller commented that the City takes reports and puts them in a box. (4) Richard Cohen stated that the point of the motion is to reflect the frustration that even when complaints are made and even when egregious there is no enforcement at all. PPCC has a guiding principle that calls for strict enforcement of all land use laws and PPCC stands for that as an organization. Passing the motion adds PPCC’s voice to the many of those that object to boarding homes, short term rentals and other negative impacts taking place within residential areas of the Palisades. (5) Rick Mills suggested that the motion be reworded to ask for an effective response by inspectors to complaints. (6) Gil Dembo supported the motion as proposed. (7) Carol Bruch suggested “good faith” language or practicability language, which Rick Mills as the voting member proposed; a show of hands was taken and less than a majority were raised in support of that proposed amendment. Action: 15 votes in support of Motion #3. 1 opposed. The motion passed.
11. General Public Comment. None.
12. Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 8:52 PM.
ITEM 8.1 – PPCC LETTER RE VILLAGE PROJECT
March 14, 2016
Deputy Advisory Agency and
Hearing Officer for the City Planning Commission
Griselda Gonzalez, Hearing Officer via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Levy, City Planner via email: email@example.com
Lakisha Hull, City Planning Associate via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of City Planning
City Hall, 200 N. Spring StreetLos Angeles, CA 90012
Re: LETTER IN SUPPORT OF APPROVAL OF CPC-2015-2714-VZC-SP-DRB-SPP and AA- 2015-3312-PMLA; 1029-1049 N. Swarthmore Ave.; 1012-1032 N. Swarthmore Ave.; 1023-1055 N. Monument St.; and 15229-15281 W. Sunset Blvd. (collectively, the “Palisades Village Project”); related case: ENV-2015-2715 MND.
To: Deputy Advisory Agency; Ms. Gonzalez, Hearing Officer for the City Planning Commission; and Ms. Levy and Ms. Hull, City Planning Department
Pacific Palisades Community Council (“PPCC”) is the most broad-based community organization and the voice of the Palisades since 1973. On February 29, 2016, PPCC submitted its letter supporting approval of the MND for the Palisades Village Project (the “February 29th Letter”; ENV- 2015-2715-MND). As described in the February 29th Letter, PPCC has held several well-attended public meetings focusing on the Palisades Village Project and encompassing the cases referenced above. At a fourth public meeting on March 10, 2016, PPCC’s board engaged in further consideration of two motions as to which the vote had previously been postponed for procedural reasons. After additional discussion, the board voted overwhelmingly (17-1) in favor of the following motions:
Support for Requested Land Use Entitlements (Motion 1) – CPC-2015-2714-VZC-SP-DRB- SPP:
“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) 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) A Vesting Zone Change from C2-1VL and R3P-1VL to C2-1VL, for the existing surface parking lot areas.”
Support for Parcel Map Approval (Motion 3) – AA-2015-3312-PMLA:
“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, in reliance upon the applicant’s commitment to contribute to funding of off-site harmonizing streetscape improvements in conjunction with community entities such as PRIDE, the Village Green Committee, Palisades Beautiful, the Pacific Palisades Garden Club and the Palisades Business Improvement District (BID). 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.”
As explained in the February 29th Letter, Councilmember Mike Bonin and PPCC’s Executive Committee have received overwhelming expressions of community support for the Palisades Village Project. The positions expressed in this letter as well as in the February 29th Letter reflect the consensus of the Palisades community. We urge approval of the requested land use entitlements and parcel map so that the community can experience “a thoughtfully and responsibly managed shopping, restaurant and theater district that will be approved and enjoyed by the vast majority of residents.”1
Pacific Palisades Community Council
cc: Hon. Mike Bonin, Councilmember, CD11 via email: email@example.com
1 PPCC Village Project Land Use Committee Supplemental Report, attached as Exhibit 1 to the February 29th Letter; see also http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/VPLUC-Supp-Report1-Feb.-2016.pdf and http://pacpalicc.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/02/vpluc.pdf.