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MINUTES FOR SEPTEMBER 14th 2017

Voting members in attendance: George Wolfberg, Allison Holdorff Polhill, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Sue Kohl, Rick Mills, Peter Culhane, Cathy Russell, Danielle Samulon, Lou Kamer, Barbara Marinacci, Gil Dembo, David Card, Sarah Conner, Richard Blumenberg

Voting alternates: Doug McCormick

Non-voting advisors and alternates: Brian Deming

  1. Certification of Quorum. Vice Chair George Wolfberg (Presiding Officer in the Chair’s absence) called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm and certified that a quorum was present.
  2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Rick Mills read the Mission Statement.
  3. Introduction of the Board and Audience. The board and audience were introduced.
  4. Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings. 1) Approval of Minutes: George deemed the minutes of July 27, 2017, approved as corrected. 2) Upcoming Meetings: 9/28/17. (1) Caruso Village Project update; (2) By Laws Committee, suggested review. 10/12/17. (1) Sgt. Danny Eun from West LAPD Traffic. (2) Stephanie Cohen, District Director, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. 10/26/17. (1) PTFH enforcement and results report.
  5. Consideration of Agenda. George announced that the Agenda is as distributed with the exception that the report on scams by Officer Cho (Item 11.1) will follow Officer Moore’s report.
  6. Treasurer’s report. Richard Cohen reported that PPCC has a bank account balance of $37,952.40. There were no significant transactions since the last meeting.
  7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1. From the Chair.

8.1.1. At the Presiding Officer’s request, Chris Spitz reported that Niall Huffman of the Planning Dept. has advised that the City Planning Commission (CPC) this morning approved the draft Commercial Cannabis Location Restriction Ordinance with minor revisions (none having to do with the buffer zones or distance restriction). The Ordinance will next go to a City Council Committee for review (date unknown).

8.1.2. Appointing existing committees and advisors. The Presiding Officer announced the following appointments / re-appointments by the Chair: The Bylaws Committee will be comprised of co-chairs George Wolfberg and Richard Cohen as well as David Kaplan, Chris Spitz and Allison Holdorff Polhill. The Land Use Committee (LUC) was announced on July 27. The Village Project Community Liaison Committee (VPCLC) will be co-chaired by David Kaplan and Sue Kohl and include a stakeholder member from Caruso (Michael Gazzano/Rick Lemmo), Susan Payne (representing the Chamber), David Peterson (representing PRIDE), Patti Post (Transportation Advisor), Chris Spitz (Chair Emeritus), and a representative from Council District 11 as Committee Advisor. Patti Post is reappointed as Transportation Advisor and Sharon Kilbride is reappointed as Homelessness Advisor.

8.1.3. Appointing new committee and advisors. The new safety committee appointment is deferred.

8.1.3.a. Youth Advisor(s). Position(s) currently vacant. The Chair will conduct community outreach and intends to appoint a PCHS student and another high school student from the Palisades (appointments subject to consent of the board).

8.1.3.b. Legal Advisor. Position currently vacant and a search by the Chair is ongoing (appointment subject to consent of the board).

8.1.4. Housing & Homelessness. Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Ordinance; hearings scheduled (1st hearing Sept 25th, 5-7pm; 2nd hearing Sept 28th at City Hall) & community meetings are planned.

8.2. From Officers.

8.2.1. Chris Spitz (Chair Emeritus). Chris reported that SB 649 passed this week by narrow vote margins in both the State Assembly and Senate. “No” votes included Assemblymember Bloom and Senator Allen. The bill will now go to the Governor for signing. The coalitions in opposition are actively lobbying the Governor to veto the bill. Chris stated that PPCC will also write a letter urging a veto.

8.2.2. George Wolfberg (Vice-Chair). George announced that he attended the annual Neighborhood Council Congress last Saturday at City Hall. The event was a success. Numerous elected officials, agency representatives and community leaders (over 800) attended. There were many workshops and he learned a great deal.

8.3. From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1. Lou Kamer (At-Large Rep) reported on community safety work involving efforts to improve construction dumpster placement. He is serving with Susan Payne (representing PPCC) on the community dog park committee. They are surveying the Palisades for appropriate areas and will look throughout the city for examples of high functioning dog parks.

8.3.2. Cathy Russell (Area 7 Rep) reported there will be an event at Rustic Canyon Park – Bake and Gather – Relief for Hurricane Harvey victims, on September 16, 2017, from 9 am to 11 am.

8.4. From Organizational Reps.

8.4.1. Sarah Conner (PPRA) reported on PPRA upcoming activities and events.

8.4.2. David Card (Rotary Club) reported on the annual fundraiser for the Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, Rustic Night. The overall goal is to rehabilitate the entire historic clubhouse by its 100-year anniversary, 2023. The fundraiser will be held on September 23, 2017. Go to: LAparksfoundation.org to get tickets. There also will be a “speed tennis” event on the morning of the 23rd at 9 am. David Card will be honored at the Hula-themed event in the evening.

8.5. From Government Offices/Representatives.

8.5.1. LAPD Officer Michael Moore, Palisades SLO, reported that crime is down, but officers are reporting seeing garage doors left opened and cars are left unlocked. Keep in mind even though this is a safe community, residents should take precautions.

8.5.2. LAPD Officer Kristin Cho reported on scams. She presented a Power Point regarding financial elder abuse common scams, sweetheart/romance scams, grandparent scams, IRS scams, pre-paid debit card scams and more. What to do: stop communicating with scammers and stop sending money etc. Contact Officer Cho at 310.444.1567 or 39748@lapd.online.

8.5.3. Lisa Cahill, Palisades-Brentwood Field Deputy, Office of Councilmember Mike Bonin. Lisa reported that the cleaning of the concrete basins along Palisades Drive and the Highlands is a work in progress and they are trying to finish the project prior to the rainy season. There are areas that have naturally occurring water percolating through the ground. Naturally occurring systems are not a worry for mosquitos. The official working for LA County Basin Vector Control found mosquito larva and sprayed. Temescal Canyon Rd. has new “do not dump” signs posted to prevent the dumping of wood. More signs are coming soon in English and Spanish with information regarding fines. The City is determining whether cameras can be put in place. Chris Spitz asked whether signs could be posted notifying the public about the danger posed by the Shot Hole Borer Beetle infestation of trees. Lisa stated that they will consider adding such signage; these tiny beetles are very dangerous and can be transferred and destroy trees at your home and in your neighborhood. Lisa received a concern regarding the Alphabet streets – lots of stop signs are being obscured in the Alphabets. She personally verified there were 16 stop signs obscured. The City has ensured that stop signs can be seen. Regarding the Homeless Task Force – a call was made to pick up a pile of homeless camp remains which was placed on State (Caltrans) property. Danielle Samulon relayed that there is an unfinished home on Bollinger that presents a public safety hazard because it has been abandoned. Lisa suggested that 311 should be used and if that does not result in action, she should be called. Lisa will use her best efforts to have the City enforce orders.

8.5.4. Janet Turner, District Representative, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet reported that Congressman Lieu sent a letter to the House to investigate how and why the Equifax security breach occurred. He has co-sponsored the DREAM ACT and HOPE ACT. He voted to increase funding for cyber security scholarships. He has increased R&D for direct energy program. If you are applying for a grant, the Congressman will consider writing a letter of recommendation.

  1. Reports from Committees.

9.1.1. By Laws Committee (Richard Cohen & George Wolfberg, Co-Chairs). Richard provided the board with a list of topics that the Committee will be considering for possible future Bylaws amendments, including: providing for uniform voting standards for different actions; removing some organizations that are being disbanded or are no longer active; revising officer election provisions (e.g., allowing vote by acclamation); editing Mission Statement language; allowing straw polls/direction of board votes; addressing agenda-setting policy with criteria for priorities (e.g., whether an issue is urgent or local); amending elected representative election criteria and rules (e.g., allowing one vote per resident instead of per household); and making various technical language corrections. The Committee will report back to the board with any recommendations. Anyone with questions, suggestions or concerns should contact Richard or George.

9.1.2. Village Project Community Liaison Committee (VPCLC; Sue Kohl, Co-Chair). Sue reported on a Caruso construction site visit. Two weeks ago she and few other board members took a tour of the project.   Even though Caruso lost 40 days due to rain, the project is ahead of schedule. Above ground construction should begin in a few months. Construction workers will be able to park in the underground garage at that point. The project should be open in July 2018. Chris Spitz reported they have a countdown clock for the project at the site office. Sue also reported that the Area Planning Commission denied the appeal by POV of the Vintage Grocers’ Plan Approval; as a result the market’s hours will be from 7am-10pm and off-site alcohol sales will be allowed.

  1. General Public Comment. Robert Flick, a resident, stated that he opposes a project at 1525 Palisades Drive for an eldercare facility. He was advised to contact LUC Chair Howard Robinson.
  2. Old Business.

10.1. WRAC-Recommended Motions.

1. Transparency in General Plan development process (sponsored by George Wolfberg and seconded by Chris Spitz).Following description of the motion and discussion, a vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously, as follows:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council requests that Planning Department Work Group meetings now underway about our shared ideas and ideals for the Los Angeles General Plan and its many Elements be made fully transparent, be set at evening and weekend hours; be open to the public as of now; include representatives from the Neighborhood/Community Council system; and expand from the four meetings, now nearly completed in closed-door meetings, to four additional meetings that follow the above prescription.

“Minutes and general discussion notes should be made publicly available from past and future meetings.

“We further request, in the same vein, that the Mayor’s Planning Task Force and Transportation Infrastructure Steering Committee for the General Plan be made fully transparent, be set at evening and weekend hours; be open to the public as of now; and expand its closed-door meetings to several additional meetings that follow the above prescription.”

2.  Open Space Element update of General Plan (sponsored by George Wolfberg and seconded by Chris Spitz).  Following description of the motion and discussion, a vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously, as follows:

“The Planning Dept. shall open all advisory group meetings, provide agendas and minutes, include public comment and release the membership and composition of the General Plan Elements updates’ advisory working groups.

“ReCodeLA Citizen’s Zoning Advisory Committee should be the example used for the General Plan Elements updates. ReCodeLA’s review work is a transparent process, and agendas and minutes are available. Meetings are open, and public comment is included when time permits.” 

3.  Reserved seating for Board Representatives with a CIS or Board Resolution
(sponsored by George Wolfberg and seconded by Chris Spitz). Following description of the motion and discussion, a vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously, as follows:

Refers to City Council file 15-0524

“In the interest of ensuring that local constituencies represented by Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils [and Community Councils] are heard, Pacific Palisades Community Council requests that seating be reserved at City departmental hearings, commission meetings, and Council meetings for members of Neighborhood and Community Councils.

“Pacific Palisades Community Council further requests that the City Council introduce a motion to amend the Administrative Code (Section 22.819) to reflect this policy.”

4.  Changes to proposed City cannabis regulations (consideration of draft ordinances) — Deferred, in light of the CPC’s earlier approval of the draft Commercial Cannabis Location Restriction Ordinance.

  1. New Business.

11.1. Sr. Detective, LAPD, Elder Crime Unit.  See 8.5.2, above.

  1. Adjournment.   The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 8:35 pm.

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