MINUTES FOR MAY 28th 2015
Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Andrew Wolfberg, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Donna Vaccarino, Maryam Zar, Stuart Muller, Richard Wulliger, Reza Akef, Peter Culhane, Greg Sinaiko, Rick Mills, Sue Kohl, Nancy Niles, Gil Dembo, George Wolfberg and Cathy Russell.
Voting Alternates: Barbara Marinacci, Susan Payne, and Doug McCormick.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Bruce Schwartz, Brian Deming, Brenda Theveny, Eric Dugdale, Schuyler Dietz, Dave Kaplan, Kevin Niles, and Laura Mack.
Start of Business Meeting
1. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Barbara Kohn read the Mission Statement.
2. Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Chris Spitz called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.
3. Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:09 pm.
4. Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Chris deemed the May 14, 2015 minutes adopted as corrected. Upcoming Meetings. 06/11/15: PPCC Candidates Forum (if applicable); 2015/2016 Officer Elections. 06/25/15: (1) Report from Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (3rd District, http://supervisorkuehl.com). Presenting: Rachel Zaiden, Westside Field Deputy, 313-974-3333, firstname.lastname@example.org. (2) California Walks: Pedestrian Safety and Walkability on PCH (http://californiawalks.org). Presenting: Tony Dang, Deputy Director and Caro Juaregui, Southern California Policy Manager. 07/23/15: topic/s TBD.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of May 28, 2015. The total account balances equal $32,191.00. The one significant transaction reported was a $600.00 payment to PAPA to sponsor PPCC’s vehicle in the Fourth of July parade.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz.
7.1.1. 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. (PPCC Bylaws, http://www.pp90272.org/Bylaws22Feb15.pdf.)
7.1.2. New “Playing Fields Committee.” Chris announced that a new committee has been formed to address the need for more recreational space (for organized sports as well as free play). Janet Anderson (Chair), George Wolfberg. Additional members are invited; interested persons are encouraged to contact Chris Spitz.
7.1.3. Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) Update. Chris explained that PPCC is one of thirteen Westside councils belonging to WRAC. Chris reported that: (1) there was unanimous support by member councils for affording community councils same status as neighborhood councils and neighborhood council alliances in being provided an additional 5 minutes for argument before public comment at City Council and other City agency meetings/hearings. This is a recommendation that the WRAC group is making to Councilmember Wesson, the sponsor of a motion to allow the additional five minutes. (2) there is a recommended WRAC motion regarding planning and land use recommendations (see item 10.3 below).
7.1.4. Update on AB 57 (limiting local government authority to regulate cell towers). See attached message. Passed in Assembly May 22. More information: http://blob.capitoltrack.com/15blobs/793a8209-30cc-40f1-9f71-ed5f9154660b.
7.1.5. Citizen of the Year/Sparkplug Awards Event, formerly held in the spring of each year. Chris reiterated that per the vote of the PPCC Board, the event will now be held at the December PPCC holiday meeting/party, to take place this year on December 10, 2015, at Gladstone’s Restaurant. See pacpalicc.org (click on awards tab at upper right). Further details to come this fall.
7.1.6. 17000 Sunset Blvd. Apt. Project Appeal Hearing, formerly June 3. Chris reiterated that the hearing was postponed to September 2, 2015. PPCC’s position: an EIR is required (see PPCC minutes of 01/08/15, Item 7.1.3). As announced at the May 14 PPCC Board meeting, the developer states that he will now present plans for a reduced project at a PPCC Board meeting this summer (date TBD but prior to the September hearing date).
7.1.7. Suggestions/Complaints/Concerns. Chris reported that no complaints or concerns were received. Constructive suggestions for PPCC operations continue to be welcomed.
7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives.
7.2.1. Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. Email:
7.2.2. Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office. Website: www.11thdistrict.com. Norman Kulla, Senior Counsel. Email: email@example.com. Anna Kozma, Constituent Advocate. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (310) 575-8461. Norman reported that (1) the CAO issued a report to be considered about sidewalk repair citywide. It proposes a fix and release policy for residential areas. That means that the current 40-year policy of the City to repair sidewalks will be ending. The City in residential areas will fix the sidewalk, there will be a certificate of compliance and then they will release responsibility to the homeowner. A survey may be done and if the sidewalks do not require fixing then the certificate will be released. Commercial property owners will not have a city exercise of fix and release. It will be a release with a 2-year phase in to bring sidewalks in front of commercial properties into compliance. Discussion: (a) person trips after the certificate and I am liable. Yes. I cannot restrict who walks on the sidewalk. Yes. (b) is the 50/50 project still applicable? No but you may want to lobby for that. (c) this is part of the lawsuit against the city. (d) will owners of commercial properties be able to encroach on the sidewalks with tables, chairs, signs, etc.? No, there is no change to control of the sidewalk. The dedicated public right of way (PROW) exists but the property owner needs to maintain it. (e) how will HOA insurance cover liability? Unknown. (2) Norman thanked the PPCC Task Force on homelessness for their incredible work.
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). Mayors website: www.lamayor.org. City Services webpage: http://www.lacity.org/CitywideServices/index.htm. MyLA Phone App: http://www.lacity.org//MyLA311/index.htm. Daniel Tamm reported that: (1) in 2011 FEMA talked to people who had been through disasters and studied why people were not more prepared for the inevitable earthquake. We have many things in our homes to make use of in the event of an earthquake; Daniel passed out various handouts and referred interested persons to the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department (EMD) for more information. (2) the Mayor’s effort to raise the minimum wage is on going and there is another committee meeting tomorrow. If passed, the minimum wage would go from $9 per hour to $10.50 and then escalating up to $15 by 2020 and to be tied to the CPI thereafter. Daniel thanked CCs, NCs and Councilmember Bonin who have been supportive. (3) the City of LA has a 2015/2016 budget focusing on a safe, livable and sustainable city. See lamayor.org/budget or the City Clerk’s website. (4) the Mayor has been in Washington developing a relationship with Obama’s Transportation Secretary and staff to ensure spending and planning. In LA the Mayor hosted events to bring people together. Discussion: (1) is Dr. Lucy Jones still working with the City? Yes. A suggestion was made for earthquake sensors in Temescal Canyon. lamayor.org has additional information.
7.2.4. California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Stephanie Cohen, Field Representative. Website: http://www.asmdc.org/bloom. Email: Stephanie.Cohen@asm.ca.gov. Tim Harter, Case Worker and Field Representative. Email: Tim.Harter@asm.ca.gov. (310) 450-0041. Stephanie reported that: (1) the House of Origin deadline is next week which means that bills have to be off the floor or will not be heard again until next January. (2) the budget needs to be approved by next June. (3) AB888 is the micro beads bill related to banning beads in personal care products. The concern is they go through the sewage system and marine animals eat them and die. (4) AB189 related to arts districts in California will allow the Arts Council to name districts. (5) AB57 was voted in favor for by Bloom because he wants to work with the author on amendments in the Senate. It must come back to the assembly to get to the governor’s desk and ASM welcomes comments.
7.2.5. California State Senate, Office of State Senator Ben Allen. Fernando R. Morales, District Representative. Website: http://sd26.senate.ca.gov. Email: Fernando.email@example.com. (310) 318-6994. Fernando reported that: (1) Senator Allen had a bull bill package of 20 bills. 6 have passed and 9 are in transit. (2) a UCLA study talks about heat studies in LA which are expected to increase substantially and that is part of why the Senator is pushing for additional environmental legislation (SB54 to protect groundwater and strengthen the water board’s oversight). (3) SB773 provides an extra incentive for local jurisdictions to fine polluting automobiles. (4) AB57 the Senator did vote for it but remains open to further comments and criticism. Discussion: (1) Senator Allen made a speech in favor of SB218 yet it failed. Perhaps the Senator could talk with MRCA about ending photo enforcement in Pacific Palisades.
7.2.6. United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner District Representative. Website: https://lieu.house.gov. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (310) 652-3095. Janet reported that: (1) a meeting took place with USPS supervisors who have new scanning equipment in place that allow tracking of when packages arrive. A GPS system will be put into place for carriers. A new dynamic routing system is also being worked on so more work can be done in the post-traffic evening hours. The bad news is that a substantial portion of the USPS workforce is retiring. For more information: http//postalinspectors.usps.gov. Mail theft can be reported to 1-877-876-2455.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors.
7.3.1. Officers/Area Representatives. (1) Stuart Muller (Area 6) reported that the Sylmar ground project will not require any trenching and passed out a handout of the boundaries for Area 6 including the south commercial village. Stuart recalled the Clearwater Mural and stated that the mural is up for refurbishment and fundraising is in process.
7.3.2. Organizational Representatives. (1) Susan Payne (Chamber of Commerce): on June 13th they will be having “Bite Night” at the Women’s Club. $25 per ticket and there is tasking for wine, food and possibly beer. 4-7 PM at the Women’s Club. (2) Eric Dugdale (Historical Society): on June 18th, 12:30 pm there will be lunch at Aldersgate. $15 is the entrance fee and the speech will be on the first people (Indians) of the Palisades. The Historical Society membership fees are due for those interested, $20 per year.
7.3.3. PPCC Advisors. (1) Laura Mack spoke about the Neighborhood Sustainability Alliance (NCSA) that is an outreach partner to the Mayor’s Office and there are seats available for lunch at the Mayor’s house regarding water conservation. (2) on June 6th from 11 am to 1 pm there will be a drought tolerant landscaping workshop hosted by MKPOA and including Laura and Tree People.
7.3.4. Board Members, Other Reports — None.
8. Reports From Committees.
8.1. Nominating Committee – Cathy Russell (Chair). Call for any additional nominations from Board members for candidates for 2015/2016 Officer positions. Nominations open until 8:45pm (15 minutes. before meeting close). Cathy reported that the committee was maintaining its nominations and that additional nominations for Officers was now open. No board members made nominations. Chris reiterated that nominations would be open until 8:45 tonight. At 8:45 the nominations were officially closed. No additional nominations were made. Nominations for PPCC’s 2015/2016 Officer positions were closed.
8.2. Bylaws Committee – Jennifer Malaret (Chair). Second Reading: the Committee unanimously recommends proposed changes to Article IX (Meetings) – see attached (text in boldface). The language is the same as the most recent two PPCC agendas & readings except to codify in Section 2 (Schedule) the more than decade-long practice of PPCC to hold only one meeting during four months of the year; to correct a typo in Section 4 (Order of Business); and to add a new heading at the beginning of Section 5.B (Distribution of Agenda). For information, questions or comments, please contact email@example.com. The matter was deferred for lack of time.
9. Old Business — None.
10. New Business.
10.1. LAFD Operational Structure and Fire Season Threat Update. Presenting: Joseph Castro, LAFD Deputy Chief and Commander, West Bureau Operations. (213) 216-7379 (cell). (323) 857-4121 (office). Facebook: LAFD West. Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org. Presentation: the current City leaders are supportive and demanding in terms of efficiency particularly in terms of communication. The LAFD’s emergency response has been moved out of downtown to field offices. Mr. Castro has 800 firefighters and an office with dedicated staff specific to this area. The idea is to drill down to the specific safety needs of the West Bureau. (a) The Palisades has wild land areas and LAFD sees the threat as 2 ½ months ahead of schedule for fire season due to the increased use of the parks (social media and word of mouth), the drought, increased size of homes and population density, potential terrorist threats, and homeless encampments in the wildlife. The good news is that LAFD has better ability to protect wind events. Fire code restrictions are the most significant then they have been in the past 40 years. (b) Brush Augmentation on high fire days – up to 200 extra staff is hired on red flag days. Training is better than ever. The enforcement entities of all of these codes have limited budgets and that is a problem for LAFD. Apathy of the public to the threat of fire is a big problem because there is still a large part of the population that does not heed warnings, clear their brush or maintain home safety supplies. LA/FD.org and mysafela.org both have educational tools and videos. Discussion: (1) there is an app called pulse point that notifies you of events taking place within your area and that also allows people to filter what kind of emergencies they want to be notified of. (2) there are no divisions, there is an on-line map of the 4 bureaus which are parallel to those of the LAPD. (3) the Palisades is geographically isolated with the ocean to the west and we ask that 23 and 69 have extra resources because traffic times and home size require large resources. We would like to see Engine 69 restored. (4) staffing levels are being increased but it has to be seen in the perspective that levels are being restored from prior cuts to less than what was needed on safe days.
10.2. Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH). Status update and plans going forward. Presenting: Maryam Zar (Chair, PPTFH) and Stephanie Cohen (Vice-Chair, PPTFH and Field Representative, Assemblymember Richard Bloom). Presentation: Stephanie provided a background on the formation of the task force following two PPCC sponsored forums on homelessness. The task force would like to focus on the problem of homelessness with compassion and beyond something more than moving homeless people from one location to another. The Task force has been working since November 2014 to investigate the problem, best practices and how to address the geographical isolation of the Palisades that has effectively no resources for this area. The Task Force has subcommittees that work on best practices, the homeless count, government and community relations, fundraising and outreach. One initial conclusion is that a full service provider for outreach to the homeless needs to be brought in. That provider has trained people to talk with the homeless to assess them to evaluate resources and services needed so they can be successful in housing. President Obama advocates “housing first” which the City agrees with but Stephanie advocates housing with services. Proposals from PATH and OPCC have been received. They are expensive and there is no funding. The committee is moving ahead with OPCC to bring several workers five days a week but that effort will take $125,000 per year to engage. The Homeless Task Force will be separating from the PPCC due to the active, fundraising nature of the effort needed. Maryam reported that resources have been requested from the City, LAFD, and Park Rangers. The council office was asked for funding with signage and the task force is constantly asking for resources. Specific to this community safe guards are being worked on and the next meeting is June 10th in the Palisades Library. The contract with OPCC will not be signed until the $125,000 is raised and in place. Interested local organizations have reached out. Discussion: (1) why doesn’t the Mayor’s budget have money for homelessness? Norman Kulla reported that Mike Bonin is the chair of the ad-hoc committee on homelessness. That committee recently received $1 million to address the homeless problem but that money is not ready to be identified geographically. At the moment no funds have been allocated but the process is starting. There are 40,000 homeless in the City of LA. The Palisades has roughly 150 homeless people. CD-11 has 4,000 homeless persons approximately in its area with 2,000 hoped to be in transition. If you can fundraise the Palisades can take control by hiring OPCC. If you wait for funding it will take a long time and the Palisades will stand in line. (2) the $125,000 is to help the homeless move into housing at which point in time services are paid for. (3) Daniel Tamm communicated the Mayor’s policy to deal with persons un-housed and that policy is to begin with Veterans. The office is working to bring together pieces needed for change. There are 7,000 veterans identified as being un-housed within the City. Over 50% of those veterans have been housed. (4) if we help the local homeless then what is to stop more from migrating to this area? It depends if the person is chronically homeless or homeless because of a situation. The outreach people are not coming in to give people things, they are here to ask people to change and move into housing but the latter takes time. (5) the $1 million won’t make it to the Palisades. The Palisades is the magnet because Ralphs is feeding them, they are allowed into the park and private people are the ones who need to get the homeless people to go by not supporting their presence here. (6) there are lawless, visual and safety issues with having the homeless here and we need to educate residents to not give food, money and other support to the local homeless. Presentation: Maryam presented awards from LAHSA for the homeless count to Brian Deming, Kim Clary, and Doug McCormick, Norman Kulla and Chris Spitz (PPCC). email@example.com. Next general meeting: June 10, 2015 from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Palisades Library.
10.3. WRAC-recommended motion regarding planning and land use recommendations. The motion states: “WRAC recommends that land use and planning-related recommendations shall be disclosed in all City determinations in a “standing” section of City Staff Reports and City Determinations called “Neighborhood Council/Community Council Recommendations.” Along with those recommendations, an explanation is to be provided by the City decision maker within 30 days if the NC/CC recommendations are NOT followed.” The matter was deferred due to time.
10.4. Spotlight on Organizations (as time allows): Historical Society/Eric Dugdale. The presentation was deferred to a later date due to time.
11. General Public Comment – None.
12. Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 8:54 PM.
ITEM 7.1.4 – MESSAGE RE AB 57.
Email Message dated May 18, 2015, to Assemblymember Richard Bloom (via deputies):
I have just learned that AB 57 (Quirk) may be voted on this afternoon in the full Assembly (having passed in the Local Governments Committee on 5/13/15).
According to telecommunications experts such as nationally known attorney Jonathan Kramer, this bill will severely truncate the ability of local governments to regulate wireless communications facilities and/or make local decisions about cell tower siting. See: http://ab57.info. It appears that the bill’s supporters are entirely wireless industry-related, while its opponents include the California State Association of Counties, the American Planning Association, the City of Burbank and others who understand the importance of preserving local regulatory authority.
While PPCC has not taken a position specific to AB 57, we are on record as strongly supporting enhanced local regulation of wireless facilities in the public right of way (including much-needed revisions of the City of Los Angeles’ Above Ground Facilities ordinance). On this basis, I urge Assemblymember Bloom to vote against this ill-advised bill today.
ITEM 8.1.2 – BYLAWS COMMITTEE UNANIMOUS RECOMMENDATION AND SECOND READING OF PROPOSED CHANGES TO BYLAWS ARTICLE IX (MEETINGS).
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