MINUTES FOR JULY 23rd 2015
Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Donna Vaccarino, Stuart Muller, Janet Anderson, Peter Culhane, Gilbert Dembo, Rick Mills, Sue Kohl, Amy Kalp, Brenda Theveny and Cathy Russell.
Voting Alternates: Eric Dugdale, Michael Soneff, Andrew Sacks, Brian Deming, and Susan Payne and Doug McCormick.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: David Kaplan, Schuyler Dietz, Diane Bleak, Barbara Marinacci and Ted Mackie.
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 7:01 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 June 25, 2015 minutes adopted as corrected. Upcoming Meetings: August 27, 2015: (1) Proposed CUPs (beverage) at 544 and 548 Palisades Drive (plans for mini mart/gourmet grocery with full takeout liquor sales and renewal of expired restaurant CUB to accommodate new restaurant tenant; (2) Proposed Ralph’s Market CUP to allow “onsite instructional tastings” of alcoholic beverages. September 10, 2015: Presentation/Q&A by Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, addressing his plans for the District and Palisades concerns.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of July 23, 2015. The total account balances equal $31,928.97. There were no significant transactions.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz.
7.1.1. Meeting Ground Rules. Chris 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.pdf.)
7.1.2. PPCC Informational Materials/Facebook.
Chris stated that community members are invited to review and take materials located on counter in meeting room and to view links on PPCC website: Government Contacts (list of contact information for LAPD, LAFD, CD11 and other governmental representatives); Emergency Preparedness (invaluable guide prepared by former PPCC Chair Flo Elfant); and Land Use Positions (summary of positions taken on projects/land use matters through 2015). Please Like PPCC on Facebook for up-to-date information about issues of community interest and concern!
7.1.3. New PPCC Board Members.
Chris reported that there are new Organizational Representatives in the Education category: Lee Trask, Paul Revere Charter School (primary) and Todd Wadler, Village School (alternate).
7.1.4. PPCC Board Membership – Open Seats.
Chris reported that there are open seats for 2nd Area Alternate Representatives in the following areas: 1 (Castellammare/Paseo Miramar); 2 (Highlands); 7 (SM & Rustic Canyons/Will Rogers); and 8 (Riviera/Polo Fields). PPCC is soliciting applications from interested persons, who should submit statements to firstname.lastname@example.org (any length; reference residence and background). Deadline for submission: August 23, 2015.
7.1.5. Appointment of PPCC committees and advisors, 2015-2016; see list attached below.
Chris announced the composition of the committees. Chris also stated that under PPCC’s bylaws the Executive Committee is the only mandated Standing Committee. The Three Chairs Committee is also mandated for the sole purpose of nominating candidates for Area Alternate Representatives. All other committees are strictly ad hoc working committees formed at the President’s discretion. Board member suggestions to the President for additional committees are welcome.
7.1.6. AB 57 Update.
Chris announced that the bill would limit local governments’ ability to regulate cell towers. http://ab57.info. The bill passed as amended on 7/15 in Senate Governance & Finance Committee, despite opposition of Sen. Fran Pavley, Los Angeles City and County and numerous other governmental entities statewide. Hearing date in full Senate TBD.
7.1.7. Request to afford PPCC additional time to speak at City Council and other City hearings; see letter attached below.
7.1.8. LA City Planning Memorandum, July 1, 2015 (changes in process re issuance of CDPs). http://planning.lacity.org/Documents/oza/coastalDevelopment.pdf.
7.1.9. Archer School Project Update.
Chris reported that an agreement reached with Brentwood Homeowners and Archer Neighbors, with the assistance of Councilmember Mike Bonin (traffic concerns addressed). See http://brentwoodhomeowners.org/archer-bha-resolution/. The agreement was approved by the Council PLUM Committee on 6/30/15 with the hearing in full City Council TBD. For more information contact email@example.com.
7.1.10. La Cruz Parklet Update.
Chris reported that the Huntington association board passed a resolution declining to support the proposed La Cruz parklet in the location in front of the Garden Café, but has not considered or taken a position on any other location; an ongoing survey of Huntington residents’ opinion is to be completed by the end of July. Reminder: the PPCC Board passed the following motion on 9/11/14: “PPCC finds a consensus in favor of parklets in general but is opposed to the specific parklet proposed for the Alma Real and La Cruz intersection. Accordingly, PPCC requests that PRIDE withdraw its application and/or that the City reject or rescind its approval.” See http://www.pp90272.org/minutes2014.htm#11SEP14. Further discussion at PPCC may occur in future.
7.1.11. 17000 Sunset Blvd. apt. Project Update.
Chris stated that the appeal hearing on this project has been continued to December 2, 2015. We anticipate the developer will present revised plans to PPCC at some point prior to the hearing. PPCC’s position on current plans: a focused EIR is required before a permit is issued (multiple letters previously sent to the City). See prior PPCC minutes. http://www.pp90272.org/minutes2015.htm.
7.1.12. Village Shell Station update. Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). See http://cityplanning.lacity.org/staffrpt/mnd/ENV-2015-421.pdf. Chris reported that the hearing date is TBD (comments may be submitted until the hearing). Further discussion at PPCC may occur in future.
7.1.13. Pac Pali Task Force on Homelessness – Meeting on July 14, 2015.
Chris thanked Maryam Zar and all Task Force members participating in this important informational meeting, which included an array of public officials present to answer the community’s questions about law enforcement as it relates to local homeless. For more information about the Task Force, go to http://www.pp90272.org/Homeless.pdf.
7.1.14. Ralphs Market/Gelson’s Onsite Instructional Tastings.
Chris reported that PPCC has learned that in addition to Ralphs Market, Gelson’s is also seeking permission for “onsite instructional tastings” of alcoholic beverages. More information will be provided at our next meeting.
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. Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy. Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org. Email: Anna Kozma, Constituent Advocate. Email: email@example.com. Office Line: (310) 575-8461. Sharon reported that: (1) Highlands incident (death and large amount of weapons & ammunition found): law enforcement thanks the community for their support. (2) LAPD’s national night out is August 4, 2015 at Stoner Park. (3) CD-11 is hosting a meeting regarding a new 30 yearlong program for repair of sidewalks on July 28, 2015 from 6-8 PM at the Mar Vista Recreation Center. (4) Street Vending – community meetings are upcoming regarding how street vending is done in the City of Los Angeles. August 10, 2015 from 6-8 PM at CD-11’s WLA office. This issue came up from several councilmembers who wanted to address the topic in light of some communities where street vending takes place. Licensing and insurance are possible; the topic includes street entertainment. (5) Thank you to the Homeless Task Force Meeting. Councilman Bonin has written a piece in the Op Ed News and Sharon made hard copies available along with directing people to find the article on line.
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 — Not in attendance.
7.2.5. California State Senate, Office of State Senator Ben Allen. Fernando R. Morales, District Representative and Lila Kalaf in attendance. Fernando introduced Lila Kalaf as the new District Representative for Pacific Palisades. Website: http://sd26.senate.ca.gov. Email: Lila Kalaf, Field Representative for Allen. firstname.lastname@example.org. (310) 318-6994.
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. Janet Turner in attendance. See Section 10 below. In addition, there is another meeting scheduled with USPS and a questionnaire/survey has gone out where responses have been positive that service is improving.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors.
7.3.1. Officers/Area Representatives.
(1) Jennifer Malaret: Citywide Sign Ordinance (Digital Billboards), Council File 11-1705. http://www.latimes.com/local/cityhall/la-me-billboard-ordinance-20150713-story.html/. Proposals under consideration by PLUM include efforts to allow digital signs outside of sign districts and for any amnesty for unpermitted signs and those altered without permits. Interested persons are encouraged to review the council file and contact the PLUM Committee (Chair – Jose Huizar, Members: Gill Cedillo and Mitch Englander) and LA City Planning Commission (Chair David Ambroz and Members), firstname.lastname@example.org.
7.3.2. Organizational Representatives — None.
7.3.3. PPCC Advisors — None.
7.3.4. Board Members, Other Reports — None.
8. Reports from Committees.
8.1. VPLUC (David Kaplan, chair).
Village Project update. Report on Planning Director’s Determination Letter dated July 13, 2015 – DIR-2014-4096-DI/CEQA ENV-2014-4097-CE (status of buildings demolished due to required environmental remediation/soils extraction); board discussion (Q&A) only as needed. (Note: Determination Letter not yet posted on Planning Dept. website; interested persons may email email@example.com.). Chris stated at the outset the decision had been for the Board to take no action at this time and this item would be a committee report only. Chris stated that there would be discussion allowed only to the extent there are questions about the determination letter, but not about the proposed project plans. As and when the plans are filed and become publicly available, there may be discussion at future public VPLUC and PPCC board meetings. Report: David Kaplan reported that on July 13, 2015 the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning issued a Directors Interpretation with respect to the applicant Caruso Affiliated’s request for an interpretation. This interpretation letter found that the exception contained in Section 5B ib, permitting rebuilding not subject to the Specific Plan, would also apply to the demolition of structures in order to perform remediation of contamination that poses unacceptable risks to human health or the environment. The VPLUC due to time constraints of the appeal and scheduled July 23 Board meeting did not have sufficient time to set a public meeting. Consequently the committee reviewed the determination and agreed via email to the following position: The committee reviewed this determination letter with this thought in mind: “What precisely does this determination mean to the PPCC and what precisely does this mean to the community?” The committee’s position is based on the fact that a large project will be built and that all or nearly all of the remaining buildings (well over 80% of the entire project) will be torn down and if so any replacement construction will all be subject to the Specific Plan. With that in mind David noted that:
9. Old Business — None.
10. New Business.
10.1. WLA Veterans Administration presentation re new Master Plan/housing for homeless vets.
Presenting: Vince Kane, Special Assistant to VA Secretary Robert McDonald; Dr. Jonathan Sherin, National Expert on Veteran Mental Health; Dr. Sam Tsemberis, CEO and Founder of Pathways to Housing; Mike Huff, VA Press Relations; Cynthia Keeffe, Project Director, WLA VA Master Plan; Abraham Mercado, Director of West Los Angeles Outreach Plan. The public is welcome to submit questions in advance to Janet Turner, District Representative for U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, firstname.lastname@example.org. Introductions: Janet Turner introduced the presenters listed above. Presentation, Vince Kane: There is a national goal to end veteran homeless. There is a greater need to do so in Los Angeles than in other communities because 10% of the homeless veteran population is here. One commitment is repurposing the 388-acre campus in WLA to be a vibrant community and home to the veterans including needed services. Four things are being worked on: (1) address illegal leases as identified by the Ninth District Court to ensure those using the land are veteran focused, (2) advancing a Master Plan (traffic studies, community input), (3) a new structure (checks and balances, VA oversight with three new senior executives), and (4) land use agreements for physical and social integration (housing and services for veterans) including changes in the homeless program to connect veterans and encourage them to reintegrate into the community. The bridge housing program has already been expanded. Presentation, Dr. Sherin: additional staff has been hired at the VA. Outreach efforts have been doubled within the last several months. Additional beds have been made available within the community. Efforts are underway throughout the entire county of LA to increase the stock of permanent housing. Currently the WLA VA campus is undergoing a planning process to be revitalized. The campus was donated as a home for veterans in the late 1800s and the goal of the campus is to be more than a medical campus so that it includes permanent housing prioritized for persons with chronic homelessness, multiple medical problems and female veterans particularly those with children. Veterans want a spiritual forum so there is an effort underfoot to restore the chapel. Also recreational facilities including a gym, pool, and tennis courts. Individual veterans and veteran families also want childcare and family oriented programs. Presentation Ms. Keeffe: Cynthia reviewed a large map and discussed the existing north and south campuses. The primary goal is to create a community on the north campus. Efforts are in the data gathering stage and scenarios are beginning to be developed. Every Tuesday 1:30-4:30, in August there is a planning meeting at the Welcome Center (257, North Campus) and those meetings are open to the public. These are working sessions to transform comments and ideas into images and spaces. There is a web page helphouselavets.com. Please go to the website to receive updates and notice of events. Presentation Mr. Mercado: the goal of the outreach team is to get everyone involved during a period of time that is not long and the group is looking for efficient efforts using the website. There is a feature that is an online tool kit with fact sheets and other materials that can be sent to local organizations. Call or Text HELP to: (310) 879-5773; email: email@example.com. Share your vision on social media using #HelpHouseLAVets. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/losangelesva. Twitter: @LosAngeles.VA. Questions/Community Input: (1) the master plan is only a suggestion so the concern is what happens when it gets to the politicians and VA organization. Waxman said permanent supportive housing was not an appropriate use for the WLA site so we need assurances from the politicians that the master plan will not be messed up. (2) Working with Garcetti who’s goal is to end homelessness for veterans in Los Angeles such that organizations and supportive people have cut veterans homelessness in half. By law the VA cannot give out the names of homeless people and that is a problem. Vince responded that the Mayor is being worked with along with federal funding(?). (3) US Vets and New Directions are not full; Vince responded that the intake process has changed and those facilities are full. (4) The project will take many years and has adequate funding been allocated for this project that will not be diverted for other uses? What is the assurance that this project will be completed in light of the VA’s past neglect. Vince responded that plan is designed to be the blue print for the budget that comes from the Congress and the White House. Local budgeting will be driven and informed by the plan. The project will be phased. (5) Two remodeled buildings have been dedicated (including the Welcome Center); the master plan should come up with the use of many other buildings on the campus. There should be a columbarium as part of the master plan. Cynthia said that this is part of the plan. (6) Will there be temporary housing to house veterans immediately? Vince said yes that is the bridge housing he spoke up where beds are being made available in the community and on the campus. 200 beds have been made available. In June close to 335 veterans were put into permanent housing. (7) Is there any consideration of extending the existing leases? The focus going forward is veteran focused. If the leases do not benefit veterans they will not be continued on campus. (8) If and when general homeless persons wander onto the campus what is the response? Emergency or humanitarian care will be given and there are persons/partners on site to do that. (9) How will the VA welcome younger veterans? Vince stated that younger veterans are being considered and are asking for education and employment opportunities. Recreation and services for families have been requested as well. (10) Are there requirements for veterans to remain in housing? How do you react when there are negative events? Vince said VA has adopted housing first which is a low barrier approach. There are some veterans who want services and not housing so it is an either or or both approach. (11) What happens to the dog park? Vince said it does not meet veteran criteria. Cynthia said there will be a phased approach (short, mid and long term). Getting housing is the short term. (12) How does HUD vouchers (Section 8 with case management) fit into the program? Vince said there were almost 6,000 vouchers awarded and they are in the process of being used (roughly 4,000 and 800 others are in the process of identifying veterans who need housing). The campus is a great place for projects that are funded through this program/these vouchers. The City and the County need to be lobbied to get market value for these vouchers increased. (13) There are veterans on our beaches with mental health problems. Do volunteers try to go through local organizations first to qualify homeless persons before they get to the VA? Vince said one effort is to get the entire community to use the same information. ASM Bloom sent representatives around to find “hot spots” of where homeless veterans were and that information was given to the VA so that bridge and emergency housing could and would provided. (14) What is the status of the records? Outreach workers are working on eligibility and this has been a challenge also in benefit claims. VA staff and benefits are working together. There is also VA services organizations and pro bono lawyers. (15) The VA as part of the federal government is exempt from land use laws. What protections are offered for the neighborhoods affected and adjacent including traffic and parking? Cynthia said that traffic is being considered and the highest and best use of the existing buildings is being considered. Circulation is being considered with the goal to be a finding of no significant impact. (16) Are there dental services at the VA and there should be. Yes but it depends on what category you are in. There are subsidized programs with Delta and other private companies. (17) What are the plans for the property along Barrington, i.e., Brentwood School, the City Park, the Post Office, etc.? To be repurposed. (18) This development will affect all of us because no one can drive in WLA anyway already. Will there be traffic studies released before the ground is broken? There is a process to get a no significant impact finding. (19) This is the most prized land in California and the VA has been a black hole for money. How are taxpayers protected? Vince said that transparency and accountability is and has been a concern but things are changing with new people, new leadership, new checks and balances and other regulations that are meant to mitigate this concern. (20) Chronic homelessness is not the vast majority of veterans. That is short term or episodic. Vince said permanent housing for all veterans is a goal. (21) The local Task Force goes out and finds homeless persons. Is there a contact person at the VA? Yes. What kind of outreach is in place now in the Palisades – are you here and if so where? The VA is organized with County teams and is engaging with adding peers such as “battle buddies” who help coordinate outreach. The VA is happy to coordinate with the local Task Force. The Palisades has homeless persons who are both veterans and those who are not; however the Task Force is grappling with funding. The VA has worked with HUD particularly stressing the need for funding. The models that are being used for veterans should be available for non-veterans. (22) There was a community effort to save 120 acres, not the VA, and the VA is missing a big opportunity if they do not work with the community. Do you plan on taking away the Brentwood School and the UCLA Brentwood Diamond? In past years the veterans interacted with users of these facilities? The VA recognizes the importance of neighbors and knows that neighbors want to participate. The lawyers are looking at what is veteran focused and are in communications with these entities. The plan is to exit leases that are not focused on veterans. (23) There was land donated for an Old Soldier’s Home (the civil war at the time). That land has a freeway through it and a lot of misuses. Perhaps we focus on the home part of it so perhaps that land could be given back to the estate. Vince said they want a home, community and the best possible medical care for veterans is the goal.
10.2. Spotlight on Organizations: Palisades Beautiful/Donna Vaccarino.
Donna said that Palisades Beautiful (“PB”) was founded in 1974 and became a non-profit organization in 1976. The primary focus was planting parkway trees. The mission has been expanded to incorporate issues involving dynamics around urban growth and sustainability of the community. There are numerous projects championed by PB including the NEXT Garden (across from Palisades High School) where the last Saturday of every month is a working opportunity. PB supported the Community Planning Initiative for the Palisades. PB has taken on the Temescal Academy Garden (TAG) where there are four beds to teach kids the various stages of gardening. Two composting bins are being purchased. A new committee called “Go Green” is being formed and headed by Laura Mack with its first upcoming event on September 20, 2015 at the Women’s Club including good landscaping ideas and rain barrels. A Westside Expo is planned for topics on climate change and sustainability, along with a possible workshop at Paul Revere Charter School.
11. General Public Comment.
11.1. Is there any effort to speed up the incline as a result of the incline project?
12. Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 8:49 PM.
ITEM 7.1.5 – PPCC COMMITTEES/ADVISORS FOR 2015/2016 (as of July 2015)
Chris Spitz, President
Jennifer Malaret (co-chair)
Three Chairs Committee:
Barbara Kohn (chair)
Village Project Land Use Committee:
David Kaplan (chair)
Maryam Zar (co-chair)
Playing Fields Committee*
Janet Anderson (chair)
Ron Dean, Legal
Thanks to outgoing advisors Flo Elfant, Campbell Britton and Laura Mack.
ITEM 7.1.7 — LETTER REGARDING COUNCIL FILE 15-0389
July 13, 2015
Honorable Members, Rules, Elections & Intergovernmental Relations Committee; Education & Neighborhoods Committee: Councilmembers Wesson, Huizar, LaBonge, Krekorian, Martinez, O’Farrell (via email)
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) urges you to include PPCC on the same basis as neighborhood councils and neighborhood council alliances in being afforded additional time or other preferential treatment to speak before the City Council and City agencies, as proposed in the above-referenced Council File.
As you know, the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) supports affording PPCC, along with Brentwood Community Council (BCC) and Westwood Community Council (WWCC), additional time to speak before City agencies. http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2015/15-0389_misc_6-17-2015.pdf. WRAC’s position was noted in the June 25, 2015 report from the Dept. of Neighborhood Empowerment. http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2015/15-0389_rpt_DONE_06-25-2015.pdf.
As stated in Councilmember Bonin’s motion in CF 13-1625 — unanimously approved by the City Council on March 19, 2014:
PPCC was formed in 1973 and to the best of our knowledge is the oldest continuously operating council of its type in Los Angeles.
For all of these reasons, PPCC respectfully requests that you include PPCC on the same basis as neighborhood councils and neighborhood council alliances in connection with the proposal in CF 15-0389 to afford additional time or other preferential treatment to speak before the City Council or City agencies.
cc (via email):