MINUTES FOR JANUARY 9th 2014
Voting Members in Attendance: Barbara Kohn, Jennifer Malaret, Ted Mackie, Janet Turner, Amy Kalp, Mark Roosa, Richard Wulliger, Brenda Theveny, Stuart Muller, Chris Spitz, Paul Glasgall, Gil Dembo, Jim Rea, Cathy Russell, Donna Vaccarino and Wally Hastings.
Voting Alternates: Carol Bruch, Sash Ramaswami, and Laura Mack.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Flo Elfant and Richard Cohen.
Start of Business Meeting
1. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Carol Bruch read the Mission Statement.
2. Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Barbara Kohn called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.
3. Certification of Quorum. The President certified that a quorum was present at 7:04 pm.
4. Adoption of Minutes. Adoption of the November 14, 2013 and December 12, 2013 minutes. The October 24, 2013 minutes have not been prepared. Next Meeting: January 23, 2014.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Ted Mackie reported the financial status as of January 9, 2014. The total account balances equal $18,920.04.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. Announcements from the President, Barbara Kohn.
7.1.1. PPCC’s December 2013 Holiday Dinner and Community Service Award to Ernie Marquez. Barbara reported that the meeting was a success. Barbara read a statement received by Mr. Marquez expressing his gratitude to the community and to the community council.
7.1.2. Citizen of the Year (2014) Award Dinner; Special Acknowledgement to Bill Bruns. Dinner Committee Chair Janet Turner, Co-Coordinators Chris Spitz and Laura Mack, Program Chair Jim Rea. Barbara announced that the PPCC does own the sponsorship of this event and hopes that all board members will be in attendance. Janet Turner that the dinner will be held Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Riviera Country Club. The Post has advertised the PPCC’s request for nominations for Citizen of the Year. Additional awards for Sparkplugs and others will be given. Ticket prices will be $85 per person. That price will require additional fundraising by PPCC (invitations, sound systems, set, sponsorships for dignitaries, food and beverage, etc.). PPCC has received a $2,000 donation already with the caveat of matching funds. The Palisadian Post’s staff will not be assisting PPCC with this event in the past and, accordingly, the board will be expected to assist. Jim Rea announced that an ad-hoc fundraising committee would be requested with 5-8 members to solicit businesses and organizations in town to advertise in the event’s program. Jim hopes that this effort will become a model for an on going and sustaining fundraising model for PPCC. Different levels of fundraising will be sought and levels of giving acknowledge. Donations to PPCC are fully tax deductible as we are a 501c3 corporation and for a wonderful cause, i.e., to have the Citizen of the Year award back here in the Palisades.
7.1.3. Rick Caruso and Pacific Palisades Village Ownership Group. Barbara announced that a few PPCC Board Members met with representatives. [insert statements]. Discussion: Paul Glasgall asked about the parking lot; representatives stated that it would remain in its current condition, i.e., a parking lot. Cathy Russell asked about when the escrow may close; representatives stated within the next 6-12 months. Gil Dembo added that the toxic investigation is not just limited to the properties being acquired but to surrounding areas as well. Janet Tuner commented that she is pleased that Caruso has contacted the community and is responsive to the concerns of the residents. Stuart Muller expressed his preference for a “boutique” type Caruso development and simplicity in the development.
7.1.4. Wilshire Boulevard Developments – 376 units plus one story retail at 11750 Wilshire Boulevard; 81 units plus 7, 435 square feet of retail space and 118 parking spaces at 12027-12035 Wilshire Boulevard. Interested parties may reference (Case No. DIR-2012-2836-DB-SPR-CDO-1A) or contact EAF-ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT, Jonathan Lonner – Burns & Bouchard, Inc. (310) 802-4261. Chris Spitz announced that there would be an ad hoc committee forming including members of the Brentwood Community Council and other community leaders that PPCC is in regular contact with. Updates are expected.
7.1.5. WLA Planning Commission – Barbara announced that Mayor Garcetti is making changes; PPCC has sent a letter regarding this topic – see below.
7.1.6. UCLA Conference January 16-17, 2014. Topics include “Building on Fault Lines”. Registration is $50. Carol Bruch referenced northridge20.org. Dick Wulliger and Barbara Kohn stated that there are many fault lines that residents of Los Angeles do not know about.
7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives.
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 –Not in attendance.
7.2.3. Office of Mayor Garcetti, Daniel Tamm (*attending on the 4th Thursday of each month) — Not in attendance.
7.2.4. California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s Office — Not in attendance.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors
7.3.1. Donna Vaccarino – the Community Planning Initiative for Pacific Palisades is hosting a Community Visioning Workshop on January 26, 2014 and has established a KICKSTARTER funding site. Please reference: http://kck.dt/1d47M2A. Donna stated that this citizen initiative has been working for the past year to examine governing documents for Pacific Palisades. The event is a community ‘drop-in’ event where they will be looking at the architecture, street scape, building character, street character, block character, mercantile character and they are asking the public to look at images and come vote on what is not liked and those that are liked. Voting attendees are invited to stay for a reception at the end of the event. Concurrently, UCLA’s volunteer group convened to start their effort to look at the commercial areas of Pacific Palisades and will be walking through the commercial areas of the town starting next week. Donna expressed that this is not just about the Caruso project but is about all of the commercial areas that make up all of the Palisades.
7.3.2. Amy Kalp/Barbara Kohn – report on cell phone outage/interference affecting Via de la Paz west to Muskingum. Presentation: Amy expressed her thanks to AT&T for their cooperation in responding to the concerns of the Palisades. Kevin Tanaka, AT&T representative, attended the meeting and spoke in response to the reported outages. AT&T is restoring coverage and making additional investments into their Palisades network for capability upgrades. Discussion: Barbara asked if interference gadgets are easy to obtain and whether it can occur again. AT&T responded that the devices are a bi-directional amplifier that can be placed in a home to mimic signals of carriers; AT&T went to the home of the individual but they were not allowed access. The FCC assisted and the interference was turned off but that it can be easily turned on again. Q&A: Chris Spitz asked about the Mount Holyoke installation. Kevin stated that there is a current application but the final design has not been decided upon with the City. Paul Glasgall reported that the AT&T cell phone towers in the Highlands would be upgraded. AT&T Contact Information: Kevin M. Tamaki, Director, External Affairs. AT&T Services, Inc. 1150 Olive Street, Suite 2801, Los Angeles, CA 90015-2211 / (213) 743-7083 (T); (213) 618-0435 (M); 213-745-8278 (F) / email@example.com.
7.3.3. LA Police Commission – January 14, 2014 from 6:30 to 8 PM at the Daniel Webster Middle School.
7.3.2. Area Representatives – Report on Behalf of Areas.
(1) Andrew Wolfberg reported on the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera; CD-11 meeting will be held on January 21, 2013 at 1 PM. Interested board members should contact Andrew.
(2) Stuart Muller expressed his frustration with Area 6 efforts: Palisades Charter High School noise, baseball lights, renting out of the facilities; street banner issues; the recreation center; Potrero Canyon; Palisades bluff areas near Temescal Canyon and the dumping areas; Temescal Canyon’s pump plant; and Temescal’s playground area.
(3) Jim Rea recognized Amy Kalp for her assistance in re-engineering the Marquez/Sunset intersection relative to the path of travel for the Santa Monica Blue Buss. Amy Kalp stated that this has been a yearlong project to ensure that bus service has been preserved and that pedestrian safety improved in the Marquez Knolls area of the Palisades.
(4) Carol Bruch reported that University Synagogue is hosting a seminar on “Home Grown Environmental Extremism” where extremist ideology and terrorism will be discussed. Carol encouraged board members to contact her for additional information.
7.3.3. Organizational Representatives – Report on Behalf of Organizations. Dick Wulliger reported that the Women’s Club would be holding on event January 26, 2014 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM featuring Eric Garcetti.
8. Reports From Committees.
8.1. Land Use Committee (“LUC”) – Chris Spitz, Chair. Old Business: (1) Murals: Planning is working on language to address concerns and zoning procedure for the “carve-out” amendment or “pilot program” or possible precedent-setting new “special purpose” specific plan procedure. An update is expected during early 2014. (2) CCFO: the City Council ad hoc committee (chaired by Englander; Bonin is a member) had a meeting on 24 hours notice; it is expected that future meetings will be monthly and will be on 72 hours notice. The objective of the ad hoc committee is to starting “anew” to try and craft regulations that take into account concerns of all constituencies such that Planning will do as they are directed to do by the CMs. A new Planning staffer has been assigned to CCFO, Matt Glasne (no longer Tom Rothmann). (3) ReCodeLA: The advisory committee is in place. Sharon Commins (Mar Vista/WRAC) is committee co-chair along with an attorney from Paul Hastings. Names/bios of all members are on the ReCodeLA website. They will hold periodic public meetings and are working on a regular meeting schedule. (4) Westside Mobility Plan: This is being updated by the Transportation Department, now headed by John Mukri (previously of Recreation & Parks). Public input will be sought by summer 2014. The Plan will take into consideration the fees that developers must pay into a transportation (traffic) mitigation fund, i.e., the level of fees, who should pay, what type of projects (beyond street widening) should be involved, etc. (5) Plan for Healthy Los Angeles: This is a Planning project that examines the relationship between development and public health. Considerations will include climate change, urban farming, revising agricultural zones, promoting green initiatives, etc. (document not yet available.). There will be regional forums about the Code rewrite, the Mobility Plan and the Healthy LA Plan in March. Draft policy documents on all of the above are expected by this spring. PPCC BOARD MEMBERS INTERESTED IN ATTENDING THESE FORUMS, REVIEWING APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS AND REPORTING TO PPCC DURING 2014 ARE ASKED TO CONTACT BARBARA KOHN AND CHRIS SPITZ. Next LUC Meeting: January 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM, Palisades Branch Library. All board members and public are welcome.
9. Old Business — None.
10. New Business.
10.1. PPCC’s Consideration of Support for Local, Clean Energy Programs that include local FiT projects (Laura Mack). Such support could include one or more of the following actions: provide a letter of support for the current and expanded FiT (DWP’s Solar ‘Feed in Tariff’) Program; join the CLEAN LA Coalition (there are no fees or commitment obligations); and/or pass a motion requesting that DWP’s Ratepayer Advocate consider environmental costs/benefits (“externalities”) in his analyses of ratepayer programs (including, but not limited to, FiT). Councilmember Bonin has been a long-time FiT supporter; PPCC has previously supported ratepayer advocacy. WRAC in October simply voted to “support additional cost evaluations” of the FiT. See sample language for a possible PPCC motion below. Presentation: Laura read and articulated the two motions offered in support to the board and provided two handouts “Clean LASolar” and “LADWP FIT Rates Among the Lowest in the Country for Comparable Programs.” Laura discussed the effort to wean off coal by 2025 and to replace that source with clean energy. The megawatt expansion is not large relative to the country’s energy usage. The effort is to build neighborhood support in advance of the Mayor’s announcement of support. Q&A: Barbara Kohn asked what is the cost to homeowners? Laura stated roughly an addition of 4 cents per month to every DWP bill. Their survey stated that 81% of the residents support this. Is the program taxpayer subsidized? Laura stated that it is but that this subsidized is required by the state. Chris Hope expressed that this is about profit and rooftop solars rather than providing for yourself. Chris said that the current program provides a 30% tax credit but that is relevant only to what you use. Richard Cohen asked whether the PPCC could hear from the other side and expressed that the opposing side to these motions be given the opportunity to be heard. Opposing concerns are prices paid v. prices generated, apartment owners throwing up equipment during the day for revenue rather than providing power when needed, etc. Richard suggested that PPCC hesitate to vote. Barbara Kohn stated that the other representatives (the Ratepayer Advocate) were unable to attend. Janet Turner reported that she reached out to the Budget Advocates who are in support of the FIT Program but want the City to reevaluate the cost to the City looking for a less expensive rate (Motion #2). Action: Harry Sondheim moved to table consideration of Motion #1 until representatives from the other side were able to attend. The President tabled Motion #1. Motion #2: Laura stated that one of the problems is that large-scale desert projects are favored, rather local programs are preferred but transportation costs and inefficiencies were not considered. That gets to the externality issues which ask the DWP for what is really full cost accounting along with social benefits not just FIT. Motion #2 aligns with the ratepayer advocate wishes and allies that want more cost allocation studies done. Harry Sondheim asked if anyone was aware of anyone opposing Motion #2. Richard Cohen supports the last 5 or 6 lines of Motion #2 but asked that the words before it be stricken. Richard Cohen moved that the following Motion be adopted: WHEREAS, the Pacific Palisades Community Council respectfully requests that the Ratepayer Advocate include in all analyses of power and water rates a complete accounting of the positive and negative externalities to natural capital of the various available power and water options facing the City, so that the ratepayers of Los Angeles may have a more complete picture by which to base their support and opposition to DWP proposals. Donna Vaccarino seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
11. General Public Comment – None.
12. Adjournment. Barbara Kohn adjourned the meeting at 8:44 PM.
ITEM 7.1.5 – LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
From: PPCC <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 9, 2014 4:35:01 PM PST
Cc: Daniel Tamm <email@example.com>, mike bonin <firstname.lastname@example.org>, PPCC Community Council <email@example.com>
Subject: Support of and Request Reappointment of Commissioner Tom Donavan to WLAP Commission
Dear Mayor Garcetti:
Pacific Palisades Community Council, the all-volunteer 40-year organization that served as the model for the establishment of Neighborhood Council’s in the City of Los Angeles with the charter reform, urges you to reappoint Commissioner Tom Donavan to the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission.
Commissioner Donavan is well respected, knowledgeable, conscientious, and fulfills his duties diligently. His continued participation on this Commission is critical to the well being of the City of Los Angeles.
Thank you on behalf of the residents of Pacific Palisades and the City of Los Angeles.
pacific palisades community council
ITEM 10.1 – SAMPLE LANGUAGE FOR CONSIDERATION OF PPCC MOTION – MOTION #1 TABLED / NOT APPROVED.
MOTION 1: The Palms Neighborhood Council applauds the creation of the Feed-in Tariff program, as authorized by the Los Angeles City Council and DWP Commission, because it: 1) Provides clean, local solar energy, thus reducing our reliance on polluting, coal-fired power plants and costly long distance transmission lines. 2) Generates local, well paying jobs in the Green Energy sector so important for our city’s economy now and in the future. 3) Encourages private investment and provides $300 million in federal tax credits for local businesses. 4) Will, over time, lead to a decrease in the cost of “going solar,” thus increasing its prevalence and lessening the need for incentives. The PNC urges LADWP and the City to maintain the FiT energy buy-back prices at a level sufficient to encourage participation in the program, and also, to expand the program from its current 150 megawatts to 600 megawatts.