MINUTES FOR JUNE 25th 2015
Voting Members in Attendance: Andrew Wolfberg, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Amy Kalp, Brenda Theveny, Donna Vaccarino, Richard Wulliger, Gilbert Dembo, George Wolfberg, Reza Akef, Cathy Russell, Sue Kohl, and Rick McGeagh.
Voting Alternates: Doug McCormick.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Barbara Marinacci, Andrew Sacks, and Robin Meyers.
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. Andrew Wolfberg presided as President in the absence of Chris Spitz. Andrew called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.
3. Certification of Quorum. Andrew certified that a quorum was present at 7:17 pm.
4. Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Andrew deemed the June 11, 2015 minutes adopted as corrected. Upcoming Meetings. Note: PPCC summer meeting dates are only once per month on July 23, 2015 and August 27, 2015. July 23, 2015: Appointment of committees and advisors. Proposed CUPs (beverage) at 544 and 548 Palisades Drive. Plans received for mini mart/gourmet grocery with full takeout liquor sales, hours 9AM to 10PM and renewal of Chez Mimi’s expired CUB to accommodate new restaurant tenant (Highlands Plaza). Dafne Gokcen, planning consultant; owner and tenant. Tentative — Shell Station (Village) proposed CUP (use/hours/beverage. See President’s announcements below. September 10, 2015: Presentation by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The President (Andrew Wolfberg, presiding) considered the agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of June 25, 2015. The total account balances equal $31,981.97. There were no significant transactions.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. Announcements from the President (Andrew Wolfberg, presiding).
7.1.1. Meeting Ground Rules. Andrew announced that: 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.pdf7
7.1.2. 16900-17000 Sunset Blvd. Proposed Apartment Project. Andrew announced that the Coastal Development Permit (CDP) appeal hearing is scheduled for 9/2/15. Tentative plans for a reduced project may be presented at PPCC meeting on 8/27/15 but that date is to be determined.
7.1.3. WRAC Support for Equivalent Treatment for CCs and NCs. See attached letter below. Andrew reiterated that the WRAC leadership unanimously approved giving CCs the same preferential treatment as NCs in terms of additional time to speak at City hearings and there was a motion by CM Wesson to this effect. PPCC has no information as to when this motion will be heard (it is still pending in committees).
7.1.4. WRAC Update. Andrew stated that Ted Lieu will be attending the WRAC August 2015 meeting. Anyone with questions can submit them directly via email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
7.1.5. Thank You to Outgoing PPCC Vice President Andrew Wolfberg. Barbara Kohn thanked Andrew for his hard work and efforts in service to the community as PPCC Vice President during the 2014/2015 term.
7.1.6. CD11 Senior Counsel Norman Kulla Retirement. Andrew announced that on June 26th, 2015 there would be various ceremonies, i.e., at City Hall in the morning and at CD-11 WLA Offices 2 – 4 PM. The new CD-11 Deputy for WLA and Brentwood will be Sharon Shapiro.
7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives.
7.2.1. Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. Email:
email@example.com. Discussion: (1) Report of four home robberies in the Bel Air Bay neighborhood and expressed that area residents are concerned with the spike of recent crimes. (2) Area 8 traffic monitoring for Paul Revere, is it possible to get a representative out to educate parents? Officer Samuelson of West Los Angeles Traffic Division is responsible for that and SLO Moore will follow up with him closer to the school year. (3) What is the status of brush clearance between Sunset and Temescal? Homeowners are taking a more active role in clearing the brush. As a result more homeless are moving to the beach and that creates additional issues that need to be addressed. Citations can be issues for camping; however the camps cannot be removed and people cannot be forced off the beach when it is legal to be at the beach.
7.2.2. Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office. Website: www.11thdistrict.com. Norman Kulla, Senior Counsel. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Anna Kozma, Constituent Advocate. Email: email@example.com. (310) 575-8461. Norman Kulla in attendance. (1) Marge Gold (Village Green) thanked Norman for his service and presented him with a lovely landscape arrangement. (2) Potrero Canyon – 6 of the remaining 7 lots were auctioned today. Revenues generated should be $17 million from the 6 properties. (3) Sharon Shapiro was in attendance and introduced by Norman as the new counsel and representative to the Palisades. Sharon spoke and thanked Norman for his support in the transition. Questions: (1) AB57 – Mike Bonin did carry the resolution and got the opposition to the bill approved this past Friday.
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. 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. Tim Harter in attendance. (1) The state budget passed. (2) Elephant seals are washing up onto California shores because of the warm waters and there is a $1 million research line item. (3) The vaccination bill passed the assembly with amendments.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org. (310) 318-6994 — Not in attendance.
7.2.6 United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner District Representative. Website: https://lieu.house.gov. Email: email@example.com. (310) 652-3095 — Not in attendance.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors.
7.3.1. Officers/Area Representatives. (1) Barbara Kohn reported that at 211 North Alma Real there is a Coastal Development Permit application pending for a large home which is having a hearing at WLA Second Floor hearing room on Thursday July 9, 2015.
7.3.2. Organizational Representatives – Report on Behalf of Organizations. (1) Palisades Beautiful (Donna Vaccarino) reported that Palisades Beautiful conducts monthly cleanups and occasional planting where volunteers are sought and welcome.
7.3.3. Board Members, Other Reports. Hospitality: Reza Akef thanked Brenda Theveny and Dick Wulliger and Sue Kohl for providing hospitality; a sign up sheet for the fall meetings will be distributed at a later date.
8. Reports From Committees — None.
9. Old Business.
9.1. Shell Station/Proposed-Mini Mart Update on June 24, 2015 Community meeting. Sue Kohl read a report that she had sent out to the Alphabet Street residents stating that nearby residents met in the library to view enlarged photos of the site as is and what is proposed. The neighbors strongly voiced several concerns and challenged the Shell Station owner, Mr. Saheed Kohanoff and his architect to explain and/or to alter their existing plans. The Via condo homeowner group was represented by Jill Jones, HOA President. The 2 main concerns were that top the list are hours of operation and the sale of alcohol (beer and wine). Proposed hours now are a 24/7 operation. The neighbors want hours restricted from 6AM to 10PM. They were concerned with the noise of people slamming car doors, going in and out, etc. Some of their bedroom windows face the station. The owner expressed willingness to “work with them” on the hours but would not get any more specific. The state allows liquor sales until 2AM. Re: the sale of beer and wine: Neighbors feel that if someone needs to buy packaged liquor (not to be drunk but to be taken home or wherever) they can go to Ralphs or Gelsons or Vons. They see no need to sell in a mini-mart adjacent to a residential area. The current Mobil Station is in a commercial area and they feel that is very different. Also, neighbors brought up the issue of 4 citations being issued over the past several years for sales to minors at the Mobil station. The owner denied that any citations had ever been issued. The current plan calls for around 3 out of 14 refrigerator doors in the mini-mart to hold beer and wine. Out of all the concerns voiced, Sue reported that the owner seemed unwilling to discuss altering his plan for alcohol (beer and wine) sales where the owner is definite about wanting to sell alcohol. Before the operation can even begin, as part of the process of applying for a liquor license and the owner is required to post notices and send same to nearby neighbors. At that time, neighbors and other residents will have an opportunity to protest his being given the license. There will be information in the local newspapers about how to do that, and undoubtedly, there will be a large protest. Re: Size of the Store: The current plan calls for a building of around 2,700 square feet (3 times the size of the Mobil station). Neighbors want the building to be 600 feet. They feel the increased size will bring too much traffic and noise to the area. Additionally, the current drawings show a “tower” on a Mediterranean style building. According to the owner, it was included in order to be appealing architecturally. Neighbors want the tower removed to lower the building and the owner seemed open to accommodating that. Ingress and Egress: There was a lot of discussion about traffic flow on the premises and how patrons could get in and out. It is complicated by the fact that the building next door (housing the restaurant and office space) maintains 8 parking spaces in the back and has an easement to travel in and out on 20 feet of the alley behind the station. Deliveries and trash trucks also use the alley daily. Residents are concerned about people buying gas/food and not wanting to go west on Sunset (the only way possible if you exit the station on Sunset) but rather wanting to go back into the Village. All would need to turn their cars around and exit at the same alley, where children are walking and running, and where residents are coming in and out of their parking garage (noting that Via de La Paz serves as a main thoroughfare). The owner is willing to keep open a second driveway (between the alley and Sunset) to ease congestion at the alley, but again, size is an issue. According to the owner, a traffic study was completed which showed no impact whatsoever for the neighborhood. Andrew Wolfberg stated that this is not a discussion item this evening and that the matter will likely be agendized for further discussion at a latter PPCC meeting.
10. New Business.
10.1. Rachel Zaiden, Westside Field Deputy. 313-974-3333. firstname.lastname@example.org. Presentation: (1) A new centralized office is being opened within West Los Angeles with a target date of the fall 2015. (2) Shiela is working on transportation, housing and homelessness as her top issues for Los Angeles. (3) The county approved a raise for in home support workers from roughly $9 to $11 per hours to be phased in over the next year and a half that mirrors, and is in response, the recent minimum wage increase in the City of Los Angeles. (4) The Assessor’s modernization project is underway to enhance collections and transparency. (5) The Board executed an agreement with MRCA to continue to provide residents with transportation arrangements for educational programs within the park. (6) The County’s minimum wage ordinance bill has been postponed until July. Kuehl favors the City of LA’s plan and encourages the County to follow suit and create a regional minimum wage ordinance. (7) Weekly updates are sent out; supervisorkuehl.com is where people can sign up for the letter. Discussion: (1) Will Rogers does not fall under the transportation program because it is a state park.
10.2. Pedestrian Safety and Walkability on PCH: Best Practices, Options and Community Recommendations. Presenting: California Walks (Tony Dang, Deputy Director and Caro Juaregui, Southern California Policy Manager). http://californiawalks.org. 323-605-5220. Presentation: Caro provided background on the various organizations involved with PCH safety and the Safety Walk Corridor grant. Assessment zones were identified along with areas of concerns within the McClure tunnel and through the Ventura County Line. Assessment Zone #1 (Temescal Canyon to Palisades Bowl) and the Area of Concern (c) Entrada Drive/West Channel Road/Chautauqua Blvd. are within the Palisades. Residents have made the department aware of safety issues at Potrero Canyon park and sidewalks within Santa Monica Canyon and the California Incline. California Walks is working on an existing conditions report (taking input, analyzing issues – 31 miles of PCH total) to produce a final recommendations report (target completion date: September 2015). Input has been received from Palisades Bowl, Palisades Charter High School and an open discussion at Will Rogers State Beach. This PPCC meeting is another opportunity for input. The state has a $125,000 grant and is hoping to tap into Malibu’s $20 million set aside for PCH safety improvements. Discussion: (1) Tim Harter asked for resident input from Palisades residents on issues that they see along PCH. (2) the City of Malibu just finished a study of safety measures along PCH and perhaps the Palisades community could get a copy of that study and compare ideas for their 22 mile stretch which may apply to the 2 mile stretch here. (3) the Palisades needs a bridge across PCH to Potrero Canyon. (4) parking and trash barrel deployment create incredible safety hazards along PCH). (5) PCH is a highway but is also a main street for residents so there needs to be education for speed limits (throughout the city and by the state). Tim Harter said that a PSA (public study announcement) which is on the City of Malibu’s website and the announcement plays on the Malibu city’s council, YouTube, government official’s websites, etc. (6) the best way to provide input is via email to email@example.com. The sooner the better for input is great; there is no official cut off but the final workshops will be in the end of July. (7) can there be signage for the two underground tunnels that enable pedestrians to cross underneath PCH? (8) we need cooperation from CalTrans; Tim reported that there is a new Area 7 district director. CalTrans has the latest version of the existing conditions report. (9) The crosswalk near Tahitian Terrace needs to be improved. George Wolfberg said that there will be a signal activated by pedestrians in lieu of the existing flashing light perhaps by 2017. A slight break was taken and people had the opportunity to mark boards and provide feedback regarding preferred PCH improvements.
10.3. Spotlight on Organizations. (1) Temescal Canyon Association (Gil Dembo). Gil reported that TCA was founded in 1972 to prevent the development of a driving range within that canyon and then fought the extension of valley roads (Reseda) to get the state park area dedicated and improved. TCA constructed bridges at the Temescal waterfalls and other areas within Los Liones. TCA works to clear trails and put in the connector trails between Gateway Park and Will Rogers. TCA helped develop Los Liones from a dump into a beautiful state park. (2) Palisades Beautiful (Donna Vaccarino) chose to defer their report to another meeting. TCA has been active from preventing DS-104 from going into the park behind the fire station. The purpose of the organization is to enhance access to all recreation areas including Potrero Canyon and TCA is very interested in Potrero Canyon that will be a tremendous asset to the community. TCA funded the Los Liones mural and some smaller murals across from the high school and CVS wall. TCA has lead hikes throughout the Santa Monica mountains and has Tuesday night hikes during the summer. In the winter hikes are Sundays once each week. TCA is on the web and has over 400 existing members and encourages new members to join for a $5 membership fee. temcanyon.org.
11. General Public Comment – None.
PAPA – Swing Dance is Saturday night at Mercer Hall, the “Barristers” are playing and the entrance fee is $10 to support the parade and high school.
Palisades BID (Business Improvement District) was approved by the City and signed by the Mayor with an 80% positive vote.
12. Adjournment. Andrew Wolfberg adjourned the meeting at 8.26 PM.
ATTACHMENT: ITEM 7.1.5 – WRAC LETTER IN SUPPORT OF EQUIVALENT TREATMENT OF CCS AND NCS
Westside Regional Alliance of Councils
Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council Brentwood Community Council Del Rey Neighborhood Council
Palms Neighborhood Council South Robertson Neighborhoods Council Venice Neighborhood Council
Mar Vista Community Council Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa Pacific Palisades Community Council
West LA Neighborhood Council Westside Neighborhood Council Westwood Community Council Westwood Neighborhood Council
June 17, 2015
Honorable Members, Rules, Elections & Intergovernmental Relations Committee; Education & Neighborhoods Committee: Councilmembers Wesson, Huizar, LaBonge, Krekorian, Martinez, O’Farrell
Re: CF 15-0389; pending in the above Committees
The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) is a coalition of 13 member Neighborhood and Community councils on the Westside of Los Angeles. Councilmember Wesson is proposing that Neighborhood Councils and Neighborhood Council Alliances (of whatever nature and status) be given preferential treatment (5 additional minutes for argument, before public comment) at City Council and other City agency meetings/hearings (CF 15-0389). WRAC supports Community Councils being afforded this same status.
Three Community Councils are active members of WRAC: Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC), Brentwood Community Council and Westwood Community Council. All three serve the same functions as Neighborhood Councils in their respective neighborhoods; all have open public board meetings and publicly distributed agendas; and all provide a forum for the discussion of community issues and serve as liaisons to government on matters of community concern. In addition, PPCC – which was established in 1973 and has been operating continuously for over 42 years — holds open, public elections for area representatives who represent all residential areas of the Palisades community.
As stated in a motion by Councilmember Bonin to provide community councils with the same level of notifications given to neighborhood councils on planning and land use matters (CF 13-1625 — unanimously approved by the full City Council on March 19, 2014): “[PPCC and BCC] provide a vital service to the City and they should be provided with the same level of notification offered to certified neighborhood councils on issues impacting the City . . . [T]heir role as advisory bodies to local government on issues specific to their communities is identical to that of a certified neighborhood council . . . They provide the same crucial function in vetting community issues and providing a respected and open forum for evaluating development proposals and land use matters.”
For these reasons, WRAC requests that Community Councils be given the same treatment as Neighborhood Councils and Neighborhood Council Alliances as proposed in CF 15-0389.
Michael R. Newhouse, Chair Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC)
ccs (via email): Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz Grayce Liu, General Manager, Dept. of Neighborhood Empowerment Legislative Assistants Erika Pulst and Eric Villanueva (with request for filing in CF-0389)