MINUTES FOR JANUARY 8th, 2015
Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Haldis Toppel, Richard Wulliger, Donna Vaccarino, Paul Glasgall, Cathy Russell, Sue Kohl, Gilbert Dembo, Reza Akef, Carol Pfannkuche and Amy Kalp.
Voting Alternates: Susan Payne, Brian Deming, Brenda Theveny, Quentin Fleming, Jennifer Lee, Doug McCormick, and David Kaplan.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Schuyler Dietz, Laura Mack, Sash Ramaswami, Ted Mackie, Kevin Niles, Bruce Schwartz, Michael Soneff, David Peterson, and Barbara Marinacci.
Start of Business Meeting
1.0 Reading of Community Council’s Mission: Paul Glasgall read the Mission Statement.
2.0 Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Chris Spitz called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.
3.0 Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:06 pm.
4.0 Adoption of Minutes. Adoption of the December 11, 2014 minutes. Next Meetings: January 22:Proposed New Design Guidelines for the Palisades commercial and Village areas; community input is sought and welcome. Feb. 12: DONE presentation on the Neighborhood Council (NC) process. Feb. 26: Westside Neighborhood Prosecutor Veronica de la Cruz-Robles presentation on crime and related legal issues. Mar. 4: Special Hillside Fire Safety and Preparedness Community Meeting, co-sponsored by PPCC and Brentwood Community Council (BCC), Paul Revere Charter Middle School, 6:30-9:00 pm. http://www.cafiresafecouncil.org. All Palisades residents, homeowner associations and business owners/operators are invited. ** Note: 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 8, 2015. The total account balances equal $37,489.99.
7.0 Reports, Announcements and Concerns
7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz
7.1.1.PPCC 2015 Outreach Committee – Chris announced the formation of this committee with Andrew Wolfberg (Chair), Brian Deming, Gil Dembo, Schuyler Dietz, Michael Soneff, Maryam Zar; new stakeholder member David Afzal. See committee report below, Item 8.1.1.
7.1.2 PPCC Organizational Representatives – Chris welcomed in the Service Clubs category, the new alternate organization is the Rotary Club, Kevin Niles representative.
7.1.3 16990-17000 W. Sunset Blvd. Apartment Project. Chris announced that the hearing on 1/21/15 before the West LA Planning Commission will be on certain residents’ appeal from the Zoning Administrator’s approval of a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the project. PPCC will reiterate its request for a focused EIR to address public safety and security concerns. See attached letter below.
7.1.4 PPCC Letter to Caruso Affiliated regarding PPCC Village Project Land Use Committee and suggested haul route conditions. Chris encouraged the board and public to see attached letter and committee report below, Item 8.1.2.
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. www.11thdistrict.com. Norman Kulla reported on Mike Bonin’s recent motion to support and provide funding (via developer application fees) for the LADBS to ensure code compliance.
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. Not in attendance.
7.2.4 California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s Office, Stephanie Cohen Field Representative. Website: http://www.asmdc.org/bloom. Email: Stephanie.Cohen@asm.ca.gov. Office: (310) 450-0041. Not in attendance.
7.2.5 US Congressman Ted Lieu, Janet Turner; District Representative. firstname.lastname@example.org. (310) 652-3095. Janet reported on the Washington DC swearing in. Immediate efforts by the Congressman including climate change and the related impact on the country’s children, problems and concerns in his district (the VA property in West Los Angeles, the homeless counts, etc.).
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors
7.3.1 Officers/Area Representatives. (1) Brian Deming (Area 3/Homeless Task Force Co-Chair) reported that he attended the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition meeting where it was reported that Los Angeles has the largest homeless veterans population and property. Obama, Garcetti, Lieu are pushing for the VA to do it’s job and execute better its programs and infrastructure that are in place.
7.3.2 Organizational Representatives – Report on Behalf of Organizations. None.
7.3.3 PPCC Advisors. (1) Laura Mack, Sustainability – Laura defined sustainability as ‘safeguarding our future and assuring that resources are available for future generations’ by protecting economic and social well being. The Mayor’s Office has a new draft sustainability plan to make LA the largest sustainable green city by 2015 considering climate change, water, affordable housing, equity issues, good jobs, etc. using a holistic approach. Laura is working with other NCs in the City on a sustainability council. Particulars include a draft ordinance to support bee keeping on residential properties, neighborhood walkabouts with CD-11, benefits for law reduction, and downtown forum on sustainability. Chris encouraged interested persons to see the topic on Facebook or contact Laura directly.
7.3.4 Board Members, Other Reports. None.
8.0 Reports From Committees
8.1.1 Outreach Committee – Chris reported that Andrew Wolfberg (Chair) submitted the following report: The committee met in December 2014. Discussed and implemented new social media outreach via Instagram (PPCC account created and first photograph posted by Schuyler Dietz during the Committee meeting; board and community members should use #PalisadesCouncil in Instagram posts and the Committee will select pictures to go on the official PPCC feed and onto the PPCC Facebook page; pictures of different aspects of the Palisades would be appreciated, including natural beauty, current events, restaurants and other businesses in the Palisades). Enhanced Farmers Market tabling and other outreach discussed/recommended. The Committee will meet again in January (date to be determined) to continue discussion of opportunities for outreach and will report back to the board.
8.1.2 Village Project Land Use Committee (VPLUC) – David Kaplan (Chair) reported that the committee met in December 2014. Discussed organization and procedure. Affirmed that its purpose is to review all proposals relative to the Village Project and report back to the board (recommendations to be made on a vote of at least 4 of the 6 voting members). Adopted the general goal regarding the Project: “maximizing the benefits to the community and minimizing its impact on the surrounding neighborhoods, particularly during the remediation phase and build-out.” VPLUC meetings will be open to the public and scheduled on an as needed basis. Next meeting (tentative): February 10, 2015, 3-5pm in the Palisades branch library. Also unanimously recommended proposed haul route conditions during the remediation phase (adopted by the PPCC Executive Committee as per attached letter); further update re haul route conditions/status to be provided to the board on 1/8 or as available. David also reported that there was a meeting with Caruso affiliated regarding the haul route (PCH to Temescal to Sunset to Swarthmore and back the same way) including a new driveway opposite Maison Giraud. The City approved 9 am to 3:30 PM hauling, however Caruso has voluntarily agreed to 9 AM to 2 PM during the week and Saturdays from 8 AM to 5 PM. Digging on approximately 30 percent of the site area will begin at 7 AM with holes from 5 to 80 feet deep. Hauling will be limited in strong winds and excessively contaminated soil will be placed in containers. Trucks will be covered with approximately ten (10) 10-wheel trucks utilized and staged likely on Temescal Canyon Blvd. This remediation phase is expected to be concluded by April 2015. A new drain will be installed in the street with flaggers in place. The hearing is on January 13, 2015 at 9:30 AM, downtown LADBS.
8.1.3 PP Homeless Task Force – Maryam Zar (Chair). Updates on Task Force outreach and the Citywide/Palisades Homeless Count, Jan. 29, 2015. Volunteers needed; contact email@example.com for more information.
8.1.4 Bylaws Committee – Jennifer Malaret (Chair) reported that monthly meetings are scheduled for the first Thursday of each month. Periodic reports will be made to the board; proposed amendments to the bylaws will have two readings and require vote by the full board to be adopted. First Reading: Proposed Amendments to Article VII, Election of Officers. See Proposed Amendments attached. To view current version of Article VII, go to http://www.pp90272.org/BylawsJuly2014.pdf, p. 5. Please direct questions or comments regarding the existing PPCC bylaws and/or suggested changes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
8.1.5 Three Chairs Committee – Barbara Kohn (Chair). Richard Cohen reported that there will be no nominations at this time for open Alternate positions in Areas 1, 7 and 8. As to the position for Area 3, First Alternate Representative Richard Cohen read a statement from Barbara regarding the process and nomination of Howard Robinson. Richard Cohen stated that Christy Dennis and David Afzal were considered for the position as well. In nominating Howard, the Three Chairs committee feels he is qualified and notes his land use experience and expertise. In Greg Sinaiko’s absence, Richard reported that Greg supports this nomination. Reza Akef seconded the motion. Action: the board voted and unanimously approved the nomination.
9.0 Old Business.
9.1.1 Advanced Meter Project Update– presentation by Ray Verches of So. California Gas Company. Update of prior presentation to PPCC; reference prior PPCC minutes of 12/12/13. The advanced meter program is to automate how the city reads the gas meter usage. First phase is communication to get the 1 million meters in Los Angeles readable and then to implement the new information process. In the Palisades an additional communication device needs to be added at 751 San Lorenzo Street (dead end at Riviera Country Club) onto an existing pole. The project is to be completed in the summer 2015. (1) Cathy Russell asked if Mr. Verches could present at the upcoming Santa Monica Canyon Association meeting. (2) Gil Dembo asked how accurate the automated meters are and what accuracy testing has been done. Ray said that the testing has gone well without RF issues and that the automated readings are far more accurate than manual readings. (3) Reza Akef asked how information is collected. Ray stated that there are three antennas in the area so if one goes down another will pick it up. (4) Haldis Toppel asked about homeowner notification. Ray stated they give 30 days notice to homeowners in an area regarding gates or pets that need to be secured. There are no third party contractors associated with the program and there is no need for workers to enter the house. (5) Laura Mack asked if the program would allow for more frequent usage reporting to customers. Ray said that rather than monthly bills homeowners can read their usage daily and a mobile app is in the works.
10.0 New Business
10.1 LADWP Recycled Water Use Program – presentation by Yoshiko Tsunehara email@example.com and Anthony Tew Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org of LADWP; Q&A. Serge Haddad, Jeff Childers also attending. Presentation: Anthony stated that recycled water is a complicated subject. The program is part of One Water LA. Nearly 90% of LA’s water comes from hundreds of miles away, some of which is purchased and other that comes through the LA Aqueduct. 10% comes from local ground water and 1% comes from existing recycled water projects. There are legal, environment and supply challenges to LA’s water. The three-phase approach is capture, conserve and reuse. Since 1970, LA’s population has grown by 1 million people but we are using less water today; thus water conservation works and LADWP would like us to do more. Recycled water is wastewater that is treated for designated purposes by LA Sanitation. The City treats over 350 million gallons of wastewater at 4 facilities. Much of this water is discharged into the ocean and LADWP wants to capture more of this water rather than relying on importing. LADWP wants to increase the use of purple pipes and initiate a groundwater replenishment project. Yoshi spoke on the future groundwater replenishment project (to be constructed in the San Fernando Valley) which will treat the water, convey it to spreading grounds, replenish the aquifer with recycled water such that LA’s ground water supply will be increased. Orange County has been replenishing its water since 2008. El Segundo does this also. The EIR draft is expected at the end of 2015 and the plan is to be in operation by 2022. Outreach: communities and elected officials are briefed along with the Recycled Water Advisory Group (“RWAG” – currently over 60 representative people/organizations). LADWP invited PPCC to participate in RWAG. See email@example.com; www.ladwp.com/recycledwater. Support cards are available for mailing and residents can sign up for information on the website. Discussion: Jennifer Lee asked about consumer costs. Recycled water is free in a sense because sanitation already has to remediate the water. There are costs associated with the pipeline projects and LADWP tries not to embark on projects that cost more than imported water costs. Doug McCormick asked about standards for existing LADWP water and how it differs from what recycled water will be. The state sets limits on each chemical that are in our various types of water. Richard Cohen asked with the completion of all the contemplated projects what percentage of use in the City may be affected. Yoshi said 4% for the recycled water project and a possible culmination of another 4%, meaning that LADWP could reduce its imports and increase efficiencies by roughly 10%. Donna Vaccarino asked about Governor Brown’s new twin tunnel/Bay Delta water project. Serge said the goal of the project is to secure a reliable water supply from these tunnels which supply 50-70% of the water in southern California. Bruce Schwartz asked about heavy metals. Yoshi said they are removed and the technology is very advanced and amazing.
11. General Public Comment
11.1 16990-17000 W. Sunset Blvd. apartment project – Chris gave a background on information presented to the council prior to her tenure as Chair, i.e., that the project was by right and Code compliant. The board was never asked to take a position on the project nor was it aware that residents opposed the project on grounds it violated the Coastal Act. To take a position, PPCC would need to hear from both sides. (1) Gil Dembo states that a by right project is 24 units per acre and the developer is asking for 48 units per acre. Gil is concerned that if the density is granted then adjacent projects can be demolished and the density of other sites could be enlarged. Gil stated that the project violates applicable community plans, Coastal guidelines and the Coastal Act. (2) Michael Soneff disclosed that he is being paid to work with the resident’s group to oppose the project. Michael stated that density and safety are issues with the 122 parking spaces proposed on that small lot. 5 stories are proposed and out of scale with the surrounding buildings. Construction will eliminate one of the last public views for drivers on Sunset. The large size of the building is a safety threat to the mobile home below. See dangerousdevelopment.com/take action. (3) Rena Conner, resident, asked for the community to be aware of the proposed project because of traffic concerns at that intersection and for the schools, the developer’s geologist not being licensed, and safety concerns for residents below the site. (4) Brian Deming stated that the adjacent building owner has done his own geology studies and is actively working to oppose the project on concerns regarding safety and density. (5) Christian Martin, resident, said concerned persons are going door to door and asked that area representatives get the word out regarding this outreach. (6) Paul Glasgall said that he had looked at traffic concerns relative to impacts on the Highlands. (7) Quentin Fleming said the proposal affects the Palisades as a whole with the aging stock of many of the existing apartment buildings. (8) Cathy Russell and Sue Kohl asked about Code compliance and whether the residents would be happy with any construction on that site. Rena stated that most of the appellants feel nothing should be built on the site. (9) Jim Rea concurred with Quentin’s comments about precedent affecting not only coastal bluffs in the Palisades but throughout the district and state.
12. Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 8:57 PM.
ITEM 7.1.3 – 16990-17000 W. Sunset Blvd. Apartment Project
January 6, 2015
West Los Angeles Planning Commission
200 North Spring Street, Room 272
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Re: ZA-2012-130- CDP-MEL-1A
Project @ 16990-17000 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Hearing Date: January 21, 2015
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has been the voice of the community for more than forty years. The public record will evidence that, on April 10, 2013, February 23, 2013, and June 17, 2013, PPCC submitted comments and concerns upon which the council based its request for the City of Los Angeles to require that a Focused Environmental Impact Report (EIR) be prepared for this proposed multi-family residential development. Copies of PPCC’s letters of February 23 and June 17, 2013, are enclosed for convenience.
As stated in its February 23 letter, “PPCC recognizes and respects property rights and the ability of property owners to use and develop their property in accordance with the law, however, the safety and security of the community must first be addressed.” PPCC’s “Guiding Principles” further provide: “PPCC maintains that planning and zoning regulations, building codes, rules, restrictions and ordinances have been established for the good of the community. They should be applied, upheld and enforced by the Zoning Administrator, Building and Safety, and other governing bodies with jurisdiction over the approval, execution and enforcement processes.” A copy of p. 22 of the PPCC Bylaws, setting forth the “Guiding Principles,” is attached for convenience. The complete PPCC Bylaws can be accessed at: http://www.pp90272.org/BylawsJuly2014.pdf.
PPCC reiterates its request that prior to issuance of a Coastal Development Permit, a Focused EIR be required for this proposed project regarding soils, hydrology, haul routes, traffic and storm-drain/sewer access. PPCC has not considered and therefore takes no position on other legal or factual issues raised in this matter, except that consistent with its “Guiding Principles” PPCC requests that the West Los Angeles Planning Commission apply, uphold and enforce all applicable City zoning regulations and provisions of the Coastal Act.
Thank you for your consideration.
Christina Spitz, President
Pacific Palisades Community Council
Encls. (PPCC letters dated February 23 and June 17, 2013; p. 22 of PPCC Bylaws)
cc (via email):
Councilmember Mike Bonin (CD11)
Debbie Dyner-Harris, District Director, CD11
Norman Kulla, Senior Counsel, CD11
Tricia Keane, Planning Director, CD11
Chris Robertson, Planning Deputy, CD11
ITEM 7.1.4 – Letter to Caruso Affiliated
December 19, 2014
Mr. Rick Caruso
101 The Grove Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90026 Via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Caruso Affiliated Palisades Village Project (Village Project)
Dear Mr. Caruso:
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC), an all-volunteer non-profit organization, has been the eyes, ears and voice of the Pacific Palisades community for over 40 years. PPCC is closely following developments related to the Village Project and appreciates your extensive outreach to the community. Recently, an ad hoc PPCC committee was formed – the Village Project Land Use Committee (VPLUC) – to review all proposals relative to the Village Project and report back to the PPCC Board, with an eye towards maximizing the benefits to the community and minimizing its impact on the surrounding neighborhoods, particularly during the remediation phase and build-out. I emphasize that the purpose of the VPLUC is to provide input and recommendations when warranted to the PPCC Board and/or Executive Committee, as allowed pursuant to the PPCC bylaws; the VPLUC will not make decisions for or otherwise supplant the judgment and authority of the Board.
It is our understanding that a haul route hearing relative to the remediation phase is expected to be scheduled in the near future (PPCC has not yet received official notice and understands that the hearing date is currently uncertain). Pending receipt and review of the relevant documents, and based on initial VPLUC recommendations and subsequent approval of the PPCC Executive Committee, I write on behalf of PPCC to convey the following suggested conditions for the haul route relative to the remediation phase:
Haul route egress to be from the site to Swarthmore Ave. south to Sunset Blvd. west to Temescal Canyon south to PCH; haul route ingress to be from Sunset Blvd. to Monument St. west to the site.
Hours of hauling and loading to be set after consultation by Caruso Affiliated with Village area schools, including Palisades Elementary Charter School, Village School, Seven Arrows Elementary School, Corpus Christi School and Palisades Charter High School, to assure minimal disruption of school drop-off and pick-up.
Additional concerns/suggestions: monitors and traffic flaggers to be in place at the site; regulation of idling engines at the site; hosing of truck undercarriages and dust control as needed, depending on the type of trucks used (it is understood that tanker-type trucks will be used which will alleviate much of the dust); a 24/7 hotline to be put in place to deal with issues as they arise.
PPCC requests that you forward all relevant documents, including the haul route application and any and all reports/comments received from government agencies, as soon as possible for review by the VPLUC.
The VPLUC also recommends that issues involving the use of the site for parking and the ongoing status of the Farmers Market during build-out should be addressed by Caruso Affiliated in the near future to gain clarity for the community.
VPLUC Chair David Kaplan and I invite you and/or your representatives to attend the VPLUC meeting scheduled for February 10, 2015, from 3-5pm in the Palisades Branch Library to discuss these and other issues as may arise at that time. Of course, you and your team are also welcome at our Board meetings, which take place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month from 7-9pm at the Palisades branch library (except for one meeting on the 2nd Thursday in July, August, November and December).
PPCC looks forward to an ongoing constructive relationship with Caruso Affiliated as the Village project progresses.
Thank you so much.
President, Pacific Palisades Community Council
cc (via email):
Councilmember Mike Bonin, CD11
Norman Kulla, Senior Counsel to Councilmember Bonin
Matt Middlebrook, EVP, Development, Caruso Affiliated
Rick Lemmo, SVP, Community Relations, Caruso Affiliated
Michael Gazzano, Manager, Development, Caruso Affiliated
David Kaplan, Chair, PPCC Village Project Land Use Committee
ITEM 8.1.4 – Proposed Amendments to Article VII of PPCC Bylaws [proposed changes in bold for convenience only]
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Sec. 1. NOMINATING COMMITTEE. No later than the first meeting in April, the Chair shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three members, to nominate a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary, which shall meet at least once in person to select and approve a list of candidates. The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least one Elected Representative. No current Officer shall be a member of the Nominating Committee.
Sec. 2. NOMINATIONS. The Nominating Committee shall present its list of candidates at the first regular meeting in May of each year. Candidates for the office of Chair must be past or present Board members. Candidates for any office must satisfy the membership requirements set forth in Article IV. In addition to the candidates submitted by the Nominating Committee, any Board member may nominate candidates until 15 minutes prior to the scheduled close of the second regular meeting in May.
Sec. 3. CANDIDATES FORUM. If there are any contested offices, a candidates’ forum shall be held during the first regular meeting in June.
Sec. 4. ELECTION. At the first regular meeting in June of each year, after the candidates’ forum if held, the Board shall elect Officers who shall take office on July 1 of that year.
A. The voting shall be by written secret ballot. A majority vote of those present shall be necessary for election. Two members of the Board appointed by the Chair shall count ballots. The Chair shall ask PPCC’s outside accountant to be present during the ballot counting. The numerical vote shall be announced.
B. If there are more than two candidates for an office and no one candidate received a majority vote on the first ballot, a run-off election shall be held immediately between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes.
C. No Chair or Vice-Chair shall serve more than two consecutive one-year terms in that office.
D. At any meeting when the Chair is absent, the Presiding Officer for that meeting shall be the Vice-Chair and in the absence of both the Chair and the Vice-Chair, the Presiding Officer for that meeting shall be the Treasurer.
E. In the event of permanent vacancy in the office of Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer or Secretary, the Presiding Officer shall nominate a replacement who shall be seated after approval by a majority of the entire Board.