MINUTES FOR APRIL 10th 2014
Voting Members in Attendance: Barbara Kohn, Chris Spitz, Jennifer Malaret, Ted Mackie, Janet Turner, Donna Vaccarino, Jim Rea, Gil Dembo, Jack Allen, Paul Glasgall, George Wolfberg, Stuart Muller, Brenda Theveny, Harry Sondheim, Richard Wulliger, Sue Kohl, Cathy Russell, Andrew Wolfberg and Amy Kalp.
Voting Alternates: Mark Lasky, and Carol Bruch.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Wally Hastings, Richard Cohen, and Bruce Schwartz.
Start of Business Meeting
1. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Richard Cohen read the Mission Statement.
2. Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Barbara Kohn called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.
3. Certification of Quorum. The President certified that a quorum was present at 7:06 pm.
4. Adoption of Minutes. The President deemed the March 27, 2014 minutes adopted as corrected. Next Meetings: April 24, 2014 Citizen of the Year and Sparkplug Gala Dinner Event (see below); May 8, 2014 and May 22, 2014.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Ted Mackie reported the financial status as of April 10, 2014. The total account balances equal $39,178.27 with the Citizen of the Year funds totaling $23,335.22.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. Announcements from the President, Barbara Kohn.
7.1.1. Reminder to RSVP for the 2014 Citizen of the Year and Sparkplug Gala Dinner Event, Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Riviera Country Club. Janet Turner, Event Chair. Jim Rea, Program Chair and Tribute Book. Barbara reported that the event has been an incredible success with more than 230 attendees. Janet Turner thanked Jim Rea, Jennifer Malaret and Ted Mackie and everyone who has been volunteering to make this event a success. Jim Rea thanked Janet Turner, George Wolfberg, Bruce Schwartz, Cathy Russell, and Steve Boyers for assisting with the Tribute Book.
7.1.2. Nominating Committee. Barbara announced that this committee would consist of Janet Turner, Dick Wulliger and Kelly Comras. The Nominating Committee reports the first meeting in May, i.e., May 8, 2014. Nominations remain open until closed fifteen minutes before adjournment at the second meeting in May, i.e., May 22, 2014. The election of PPCC Officers shall take place at the first meeting in June, i.e., June 12, 2014. New Officers shall serve a 12-month term beginning on July 1, 2014. Reference PPCC Bylaws Article VII.
7.1.3. Outreach/Election Process Committee. Barbara announced that she has decided to appoint a committee that will consist of Steve Boyers, Laura Mack, Jennifer Malaret, Janet Turner, Chris Spitz and Barbara Kohn. There is an additional person to be on this committee that Barbara is waiting to hear from.
7.1.4. Area Representative 2014 Elections. Bylaws Article VIII, Sec.1(B)(2). “Area Representatives shall be elected by the residents of each area. Candidates must be residents of the area in which the candidate is running for office. The PPCC newsletter prior to the election newsletter shall set forth the manner in which a resident can become a candidate . . .” Barbara announced that she has deferred this issue until a May meeting. George Wolfberg reported that there will be an announcement on this subject in the Tribute book relative to this topic whereby responses can be received via email.
7.1.5. Review of PPCC Bylaws Article V, Sec. 5. PUBLIC STATEMENTS. Barbara encouraged all board members to review the applicable provision of the bylaws wherein: [A. Only an officer of the PPCC or other person designated by the Board or the Chair may make official statements on behalf of the PPCC or state a Board position on an issue that is not part of a public record. This limitation does not apply to Board authorized statements or to the conduct of routine communications consistent with the functions for which the individual has been appointed or elected. B. Whenever a member of the Board desires to make an oral or written statement under conditions that do not meet the specifications of Paragraph A above and that member identifies his/her affiliation with the Board, that member shall inform those to whom the statement is addressed that:
He or she is not officially representing the Board on the matter being addressed, and
The Board has considered the matter and taken no position, or
The Board has considered the matter and is still studying the matter, or
The Board has never considered the matter. ]
7.1.6. Congressional Candidate Forum. Barbara announced that there are 18 candidates in the race to replace Henry Waxman, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens, etc. Meet the candidates Sunday, April 27, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. University Synagogue, 11960 Sunset Blvd. Hosted by Brentwood News. Tickets can be reserved on a first-come, first served basis at no cost by sending an email to: email@example.com. Janet Turner announced that there is also a Congressional Forum at the Women’s Club this Sunday from 2 PM to 4 PM that is open to the public and free of charge. Richard Wulliger reported that there would be a free forum for Senate candidates on April 29, 2014 at Theater Palisades at 6:30 PM.
7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives.
7.2.1. Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. SLO Moore reported that (1) Gelson’s was broken into and an investigation is on going by LAPD. (2) Janet Turner asked about a recent incident in the Huntington. (3) Wally Hastings asked about activity in the PCH/Bel Air Bay Club area. (4) Gil Dembo stated that last night the motorcycles in the Palisades must have exceeded 100 vehicles and the noise continued for quite some time.
7.2.2. Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office. www.11thdistrict.com. Norman Kulla in attendance. (1) This Friday at New Roads School Mike Bonin and a transportation expert will be there to discuss all the problems related to transportation on the Westside. The program is from 7:30 PM to 9 PM. (2) The PCH sewer project to begin shortly which will take the southbound lane between the Bay Club and Annenberg is completion of the same project whereby previous lane closures have taken place without a ‘horrible’ transportation effect and CD-11 is hopeful that the disruption will be tolerable. (3) California Incline Project meeting will be taking place at the end of this month and include information for what Santa Monica is funded to do. (4) Norm thanked the Park Advisory Board for their efforts to improve parking at the park relative to the completion and development of Potrero Canyon.
7.2.3. Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Daniel Tamm Westside Area Representative, Mayor’s Interfaith Liaison (*attending on the 4th Thursday of each month). Mayor’s Website: www.lamayor.org. City Services webpage: http://www.lacity.org/CitywideServices/index.htm. MyLA Phone App: http://www.lacity.org//MyLA311/index.htm. None in attendance.
7.2.4. California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s Office. http://www.asmdc.org/bloom. Stephanie Bloom in attendance. (1) AJR44 is a resolution advising the President and Congress to act to streamline the process relative to veterans who were discharged under “don’t ask don’t tell”. (2) AB2140 which is the Orca Whale and Safety Act died in committee and was sent for interim study such that further research on the bill we be conducted. (3) AB1699 that is the ban on micro beads in cosmetics product made it through committee and is advancing. (4) Other bills were discussed and an announcement that Stephanie and Richard Bloom would be at the Citizen of the Year Event. (5) Stephanie reported that she is following up on the prior PPCC meeting wherein signs similar to Santa Monica were requested along Pacific Coast Highway. Approved language for said signs would state per LAPD: “This property closed to the public. No entry without permission. LAMC Section 41.24 PC 602 L”. Stuart Muller advocated not installing any signs without enforcement. Stuart questioned the location of the signs, private vs. open space and public property. Norman Kulla stated that Debbie Dyner-Harris is the contact person for this issue and that the City is looking into placing signs on City property rather than CalTrans land. Gil Dembo suggested signs also be placed at the PCH and Chautauqua intersection in conjunction with upcoming construction along PCH.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors.
7.3.1. Officers/Area Representatives.
(1) Jennifer Malaret: (a) Pacific Palisades Recreation Center’s EGGSTRAVAGANZA will be Saturday April 19th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Large animal petting zoo from Reptacular, a toddler bounce house and a bigger kid bounce house, lots of crafts, face painting, a puppet show by the Bob Baker Marionettes, and of course an EGG HUNT! The Easter Bunny will also arrive via Fire Truck! The event will be $5 per child with additional food tickets for limited concessions will be sold. All board members and the public are welcome to help spread the word and bring yourself, your families and your neighbors to this great community-building event! Volunteers are needed starting at 8:30 and then clean up will be until 3 pm. Community service hours provided. Contact Event Chair Susan McInerney at firstname.lastname@example.org. (b) Pacific Palisades Recreation Center’s Park Advisory Board will have its regularly scheduled quarterly meeting on April 23, 2014, 7-9 p.m. on-site in the small gym.
(2) George Wolfberg announced that he attended the Santa Monica Bay Watershed related workshop where the condition of the Santa Monica Bay impacts the Palisades the most. Projects are being sought to divert water such that the ocean water quality may be improved.
(3) Jack Allen reported that the Coastal Commission would hold hearings tomorrow on the Coaloa project and the Santa Monica Incline. Jack reported that Coaloa would be presenting tomorrow and that Jack will be arguing for Apian Way to be opened.
(4) Carol Bruch reported that cooperative meetings have been held with Chabad regarding the construction of the new wall at Los Liones and Sunset Blvd. Janet asked about whether visibility would be impacted.
(5) Stuart Muller reported that over the last month neighbors of Palisades Charter High School have reported a significant decrease in Aquatics Center and Marching Band generated noise level and duration. The school seems to be managing things in a different way and is responding positively to community concerns expressed at two public meetings, many individual meetings, emails and social media sites that have been used to deal with this serious and difficult situation. The high school’s charter is up for renewal next year. It is Stuart’s personal opinion, and that of other residents, that there need to be agreed-upon limits established as to noise and light intrusion. Stuart stated that the issue of the school’s charter renewal is a quality of life issue that should be addressed.
(6) Dick Wulliger expressed that there are terrible and unsafe traffic jams on Bowdoin when school is dismissed. Dick stated that calls were made to the school and security would be placed at that intersection to move traffic along.
(7) Andrew Wolfberg reported a gift card scam whereby people loitering are signing for resident’s gift cards.
7.3.2. Reports from Organizational Representatives. A flyer was provided regarding the Palisades Optimist Club and the Palisades Chamber of Commerce for an afternoon of wine and food tasting. The event will take place at the Palisades Lutheran Church on Saturday, April 26, 2014 starting at 1:30 PM and continuing through a Live Auction at 5:00 PM. There are various charges for general admission and event sponsors. Stop by the Chamber Office or call (310) 459-7963 or (310) 459-9140. Checks can also be mailed to the Pacific Palisades Optimist Foundation.
8. Reports From Committees.
8.1. Land Use Committee (“LUC”) – Chris Spitz, Chair. LUC Report: At its 4/3/14 meeting the PPCC LUC considered the following matters and/or took the actions described:
Archer School DEIR/DOT traffic assessment letter; comment deadline 4/29/14: LUC recommends that PPCC comment only with respect to raising concern about possible traffic impacts and requesting that the final EIR address 1) the DOT’s conclusions that 6 locations will be significantly impacted by the proposed project and that these impacts cannot be mitigated, and 2) cumulative traffic impacts of the proposed project and of all area schools; Brentwood Community Council (BCC) may comment on the DEIR but has not yet taken a position on the project; LUC recommends no position by PPCC on the project at this time. (Note: in attendance were Brentwood residents opposed to the project, including a resident who is on the BCC board and a former BCC president; Archer representatives including an Archer staff member who is also on BCC as the school’s representative; and PPCC board members/Archer parents who support the project; all participated in the discussion, which focused solely on whether PPCC should comment on the DEIR with respect to possible traffic impacts; no conclusion was reached as to whether the DOT’s conclusions are in fact correct as to traffic impacts; it is proposed that PPCC express concerns only and that the final EIR should address the merits of the DOT’s conclusions.). See proposed letter attached. Statement: Chris Spitz provided an update from Nancy Freedman regarding Brentwood Community Council (“BCC”) who has not taken a position on the project. BCC is studying the issue of traffic impacts and may submit comments to the DEIR in that regard. Action: Chris Spitz moved that the letter be approved. Janet Turner seconded the motion. Discussion: Carol Bruch asked if there were more than six traffic intersections that would be impacted without ability to mitigate. Donna Vaccarino objected to the language of the letter regarding pages 3, 5 and 6 in that mitigation efforts are being quoted as not being able to be mitigated where the conclusions are different. Chris Spitz responded by reiterating discussions at the LUC meeting and reading relevant provisions of the DEIR. Richard Cohen stated that the Archer proposal and expansion plans are a very serious matter and that the letter in his opinion is too mild. Richard expressed that it is a very serious matter when a draft EIR states that the negative effects on certain intersections cannot be mitigated and advocated a stronger letter. Gil Dembo asked if the student body would be increased and, if not, how will traffic increase; Gil stated that the problem is not just Archer rather the problem is that there is not sufficient capacity on other area streets and Archer has the misfortune of just being on Sunset. Jack supported the letter as written. Huntington resident Dave Peterson stated that the council should be strong as the representative of the Palisades in its expression of concern and take a stronger position relative to the needed studies by Archer. Brenda Theveny supported the letter as the minimum and that the impacts of Archer’s expansion could be tremendously negative on the Palisades. Donna Vaccarino observed that the board was acting in response to the increase in traffic as if we knew what it was; an Archer representative stated that the school now represents 3% of the traffic and with the expansion that impact will actually be reduced. Sue Kohl observed yesterday that a fire department and ambulance could not go east because of the existing traffic condition; Chris Spitz noted that this concern was addressed already in the draft letter. Gil Dembo reiterated that every street in WLA is jammed during peak hours and that he does not think the school’s expansion plans will have much effect. Harry Sondheim stated that the community does not want more traffic and if the expansion plan adds to traffic then the Council should be opposed. Action: The motion passed with one opposed and three abstentions.
15225 DePauw/Potrero Canyon rim development; WLA APC appeal hearing 4/2/14: Per Building & Safety and Planning Departments, City policy is now established that “natural grade” for purposes of current and future rim development is to be based on measurement of grade as determined by a 2006 engineering survey (map available on Navigate LA; grade measurement varies with contours of each lot; 15225 DePauw is shown as 260′ in the middle area of the lot); left-over dirt piles (spoils) are not to be used to measure grade on any lots; the WLA APC remanded the matter of 15225 DePauw to the Z.A., with the applicant to provide complete plans consistent with City policy re grade measurement/the 2006 engineering survey.
Coaloa/Sunset Blvd. proposed apartment project/Coastal Commission appeal hearing 4/11/14; written comments due 4/8/14: Staff report recommends denial of the appeal based on a finding that “no substantial issues exist with respect to the grounds on which the appeal was filed”; PPCC president to submit letter supporting staff recommendation (consistent with PPCC’s long-held position on the project). See letter of 4/4/14 and hearing information attached.
ReCodeLA Evaluation Report; comment deadline 5/2/14: LUC recommends no comment by PPCC at this time but will continue to closely monitor developments.
WRAC-proposed earthquake motion; no deadline: LUC recommends no action by PPCC at this time.
CCFO: The City of Newport Beach will be taking the decision on group homes to the Supreme Court: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-newport-beach-group-homes-supreme-court-20140327,0,7214506.story#axzz2xEFgbbC
9. Old Business — None.
10. New Business.
10.1. Motion Re: Traffic Signals on Pacific Coast Highway, George Wolfberg. Statement: George reported that there was a discussion about the difficulty in accessing PCH at the last PCH Task Force Meeting. Problems include the example of four cars getting through an intersection at each stop light interval. The motion asks for a serious look at intersections and intervals; what improvements can be made; time delays for motorists sitting at red lights that do not recognize traffic breaks, etc. George expressed that the motion is timely with the new project starting April 15, 2014 and summer months and holidays. George read the motion.
10.2. “NextDoor” Presentation – guests Marquis Olison, Justin Brezhnev, https://nextdoor.com, a private social network for neighborhoods. Presentation: Marquis stated that the site is incredibly secure with owner verifications and measures to insure that sex offenders cannot be included. Cheviot Hills is a recent addition to the site. There are over 700 residents in the Palisades using NextDoor and Neighborhood Councils throughout the City are using NextDoor. Marquis offered to provide the service to this community council. There are over 150 LAPD and LAFD partnerships and the Mayor will also post events and comments on their site. NextDoor is another way to reach neighbors. Discussion: Chris Spitz asked about distribution of email notices. Richard supported the concept of NextDoor for the community council for outreach and elections. Barbara asked what the elected Area Representatives are doing for outreach. Jim Rea asked about the geography of the site. Jack Allen asked how the site is funded. Marquis stated they have venture capital but are moving towards advertising and listing fees to be paid by vendors and service providers. Carol Bruch asked about privacy for user information. Sue Kohl asked how NextDoor gets people to sign up; they go door to door with hangar material. Dave Peterson reported that the Huntington Homeowners Association is using the site and he supports the program. Chris Spitz suggested that certain board members be tasked with meeting the NextDoor representatives to see if their site would be useful for PPCC’s outreach.
11. General Public Comment – None.
12. Adjournment. Barbara Kohn adjourned the meeting at 9:02 PM.
ITEM 8.1 — LAND USE COMMITTEE REPORT
For those interested, here is a link to the draft DEIR for the Archer school project:
For those interested, here is a link to memorandum from DOT re traffic impacts – as an alternative to the DEIR, this document is only six pages (minus the tables) and summarizes proposed Archer School project’s impacts:
BCC will be considering the Archer School topic; reference BCC agendas. The comment period for the draft DEIR ends April 14, 2014.
SUGGESTED DRAFT LETTER RECOMMENDED BY PPCC’S LUC TO THE BOARD RE: ARCHER SCHOOL FOR GIRLS:
INFORMATION / LETTER SENT RE: COALOA / PROPOSED SUNSET BOULEVARD APARTMENT PROJECT
Coastal Permit Application – Public Hearing
Friday, April 11, 2014
Hyatt Santa Barbara
meeting begins 8:30 am
Appeal by Stefano Coaloa from decision of City of Los Angeles denying a permit for the construction of an 84,500 square foot residential development containing a total of 49 dwelling units
SOUTH COAST DISTRICT (LOS ANGELES COUNTY)
21. NEW APPEALS. See AGENDA CATEGORIES.
a. Appeal No. A-5-PPL-13-212 (Coaloa, Pacific Palisades) Appeal by Stefano Coaloa of decision by City of Los Angeles to deny permit to Stefano Coaloa for construction of 84,500 sq.ft. residential development containing a total of 49 dwelling units, at 17030 W. Sunset Blvd., City of Los Angeles (Pacific Palisades), Los Angeles County. (AP-LB)
Application/ Appeal No.A-5-PPL-13-212
SUPPORT FOR STAFF REPORT
California Coastal Commission
South Coast District Office
200 Oceangate, 10th floor
Long Beach, CA 90802-4416
Re: SUPPORT STAFF REPORT
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) urges you to SUPPORT staff and approve
the report as written concluding that:
“…no substantial issues exist with respect to the grounds on which the appeal was filed. Therefore, the applicant’s contentions do not raise an issue in regards to consistency of the local decision with the Chapter 3 policies of the Coastal Act.”
PPCC urges you to vote to support this position. By reference we request that all previous PPCC correspondence be incorporated.
Pacific Palisades Community Council
cc Councilman Mike Bonin, Los Angeles City
ITEM 10.1 — MOTION RE TRAFFIC SIGNALS ON PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is responsible for the operation and maintenance of traffic signals along the Pacific Coast Highway. Caltrans has the ability to monitor traffic and signal operations at some of the signals in Pacific Palisades, including Coastline Drive, Sunset Blvd., Temescal Canyon Road, and the complex intersection of Chautauqua/West Channel Road/Entrada Drive. Complaints that the signals are not responsive to queued traffic from side streets were raised at the recent PCH Task Force meeting. A major problem seems to be that the signals are unable to adjust “on the fly” when there is break in coast highway traffic and vehicles are waiting to enter the highway. Of greater concern is the need to balance the traffic waiting on Chautauqua and Entrada as timing for these two inter-related signals appears to be a zero-sum game. After the Task Force complaints, Caltrans adjusted the Chautauqua timing that reduced the green light for Entrada, the only reasonable access to PCH and Interstate 10 from Santa Monica Canyon. Now only four or maybe five cars can get through the green light at Entrada and there is frequently a two-block long queue on that street. This is unacceptable to Canyon residents and must be corrected especially with the pending CIRS and California Incline projects.
Since Assemblymember Richard Bloom is on the Transportation Committee of the State Assembly and has promised to advocate for issues of concern to Pacific Palisades residents, I MOVE that the PPCC, through its President, urge Assemblymember Bloom to use his best efforts to have the PCH signals in Pacific Palisades updated or replaced on an emergency basis, as appropriate.
Further, that Assemblymember Bloom be respectfully requested to inform PPCC at its next meeting, if not sooner, what steps are being taken to respond to this request.
Seconded by: Stuart Muller
Discussion: Huntington resident Dave Peterson stated that he wants a solution that allows cars on Chautauqua to be considered as well Entrada and objects to any action that would reduce the light time for cars going up and down Chautauqua to/from PCH. Amy Kalp suggested that we invite the traffic light expert to attend a PPCC meeting.
Action: No vote was taken on the motion.