MINUTES FOR OCTOBER 22nd 2015
Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Barbara Marinacci, Kelly Comras, Stuart Muller, Reza Akef, Sue Kohl, Gil Dembo, Todd Wadler, Cathy Russell, Bruce Schwartz, Eric Dugdale and Nancy Niles.
Voting Alternates: Eric Dugdale, Susan Payne, Quentin Fleming, Jessica Simon, Diane Bleak and Carol Bruch.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Donna Vaccarino, Laura Mack and Schuyler Dietz.
Start of Business Meeting
1. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Reza Akef read the Mission Statement.
2. Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Chris Spitz called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.
3. Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:08 pm.
4. Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Chris deemed the October 8, 2015 minutes approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: Regular Public Board Meeting, 11/12, 7pm, Palisades branch library. Presentation/Q&A with Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. Special Public Board Meeting: 11/18, 6:30pm, Palisades Recreation Center “big gym.” Topic: Caruso Affiliated Village Project land use application and plans.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Chris reported the financial status as of October 22, 2015. The total account balances equal $32,812.59 including $125 of dues received since the last meeting.
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 9:00 p.m.; 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/BYLAWS%20JULY%202015.pdf).
7.1.2. Citizen of the Year/Sparkplug Awards Event – December 10, 2015, Gladstone’s.
Chris announced that nominations are now open for qualified individuals for Citizen of the Year and Sparkplug honors. Deadline for submission of nominations: October 31. Submit nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about nomination requirements, go to http://www.pp90272.org and scroll down to Press Release re Citizen and Sparkplug Awards.
7.1.3. PPCC Website, Fundraising, Outreach Update. Chris reported that tax deductible dues/donations (suggested amount: $25 individual/family, $50 business) could be submitted to PPCC at P.O. Box 1131, Pacific Palisades 90272 or via Pay Pal tab on PPCC website. Like Us on Facebook at pacpalicc.
7.1.4. Village Shell Station Update. Chris reported that a letter has been submitted advising City officials of PPCC’s position. See attached letter below.
7.1.5. AB 57 Update. Chris reported that this legislation (which limits local governments’ ability to regulate cell facilities and was opposed by LA City and County as well as numerous other governmental entities and organizations statewide) was signed into law by Governor Brown on Oct. 9, 2015 and will go into effect as of Jan. 1, 2016.
7.1.6. AGF (Above Ground Facilities) Ordinance Revision Update.
Chris reported that PPCC has long supported revision of the City’s regulations involving cell towers and other facilities located in the public right of way. Three years ago the City Council unanimously directed that a revised ordinance be drafted (including elimination of the “utility pole exemption”). A revised ordinance was drafted but has been under review by the City Attorney for almost a year (due to a November 2014 FCC directive and more recently the AB 57 legislation); the review is still pending but the Council File related to this matter (CF 09-2645) expired as of October 8, 2015. The City Attorney’s office advises that it expects to complete the required review and have a new revised ordinance to City Council within approximately 30 days; Councilmember Bonin is following up to extend the Council File or, as necessary, make a motion to officially bring the matter back within the Council’s purview.
7.1.7. Sign Ordinance Update.
Chris reported that the City Planning Commission (CPC) considered proposed revisions of the ordinance on 9/24 but did not take a position and continued the matter until 10/22. For a summary of the CPC discussion go to: http://banbillboardblight.org/just-say-no-city-planning-commission-doesnt-like-amnesty-more-digital-billboards-grandfathering/. See also http://www.pp90272.org/minutes2015.htm#24SEP15 (item 7.1.4). For information about past PPCC positions, go to: http://www.pp90272.org/minutes2015.htm#24SEP15
7.1.8. Short Term Rentals (STRs) Update.
Chris reported that community “listening sessions” (pursuant to the Mike Bonin motion to legalize STRs) have concluded and the City Planning Department is now drafting an ordinance to change the zoning code to allow STRs in R zones (despite the position taken by PPCC and other councils, including BCC, that the zoning code should not be changed to allow STRs in R zones). See Item 10.3 below (motion recommended by the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils Land Use & Planning Committee (WRAC-LUPC) and sponsored (as amended) in PPCC by the Executive Committee and George Wolfberg, PPCC representative to WRAC-LUPC).
7.1.9. Backyard Beekeeping Ordinance Update. Chris reported that the ordinance permitting backyard beekeeping as an accessory use in R zones passed as written in City Council on 10/14/15.
7.1.10. FAA Flight Path Matter (Metroplex).
Chris reported that per PPCC request and at the urging of Congressman Lieu, FAA officials would attend a PPCC meeting (tentatively on 1/14) to provide a briefing and answer questions related to the proposed flight path over the Palisades. In the interim, questions about the Metroplex proposal should be directed to Congressman Lieu’s District Representative Janet Turner (email@example.com).
7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives Representatives (Note: Contact information at: http://www.pp90272.org/Governmental%20Reps.pdf).
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. Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy — Not in attendance.
7.2.3. Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Daniel Tamm, Westside Area Representative, Mayor’s Interfaith Liaison — Not in attendance.
7.2.4. California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Stephanie Cohen, Field Representative. See Item 10.1 below.
7.2.5. California State Senate, Office of State Senator Ben Allen. Lila Kalaf, District Representative — Not in attendance.
7.2.6. United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner, District Representative — Not in our attendance.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors.
7.3.1. Officers/Area Representatives.
Stuart Muller reported on two projects, the Clearwater Mural of the Palisades and Plaza Restoration (PRIDE/Chamber) and the Street Median Improvement (Bowdoin Street between Radcliffe Avenue and Temescal Canyon Road, to complement the in-process Suisman / PaliHi Temescal Canyon Road/Bowdoin Street intersection improvement effort). Stuart passed out proposed bylaws amendments that he stated had been previously considered and unanimously rejected by the Chair and the bylaws committee.
8. Reports from Committees.
8.1. VPLUC (David Kaplan, Chair).
Public committee meeting re Caruso Affiliated Village land use application and plans: October 29, 2015, 6 PM. Chris reported that there has been a change of venue tentatively to the Big Gym at the Palisades Recreation Center at 7:30 PM rather than in the old U.S. Bank building on Sunset Blvd. Chris reported that another venue is being worked on and there will be a possible time change as well. Final plans will be announced via email and social media. Chris reported that all interested Board and community members are welcome. Note: The meeting’s purpose is to obtain information about the proposals in order for the committee to report back to the Board; no action will be taken at the committee meeting. An agenda will be distributed in advance of the meeting via the PPCC email list and posted on the PPCC website. A special public PPCC Board meeting will also be held on November 18, 2015, 6:30pm in the Palisades Recreation Center “Big Gym,” for the VPLUC report, remarks by the applicant, questions and comment by the Board and public comment by community members. Note: Special Board meetings are authorized pursuant to PPCC Bylaws Art. IX.2. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with any questions.
9. Old Business — None.
10. New Business.
10.1. Presentation/Q&A with California State Assemblymember Richard Bloom.
Richard Bloom reported that he is a year and half into his term of which could be twelve years under term limits. ASM Bloom listed the various committees he serves on including both formal select committees, the latter of which deal with smaller and “not so small” issues in California. (1) the budget was in on time for the third year in a row with no deficit and the state is doing reasonably well and better than when ASM Bloom started. All programs and services are funded along with the every day functions of government (schools, safety, childcare, infrastructure). Total reserves are a record $4.6 billion of which $3.5 billion is a rainy day fund. K-12 funding is a priority as is increasing California student enrollment (including at the university level which has been a bone of contention between the legislature and the governor). (2) Health care services for the developmentally disabled and threatened cuts in provider programs are of grave concern. (3) Transportation funding has been on the decline for years because mileage improvement causes a decline in gas tax revenue so road infrastructure cannot be kept up with. (4) The Governor called two special sessions on health care and transportation, neither of which had an immediate impact nor (?) will be revisited in January 2016. The health care funding system is out of compliance with federal law and that shortfall must be addressed. Transportation maintenance needs are vast with $5.7 billion per year needed and $2.3 billion available hence declining roadways. (5) Extension of California’s cap and trade, climate change, renewable energy – these topics are being addressed along with reducing fossil fuels and doubling energy efficiency for building stock which are difficult goals but goals that are important to the governor and long term planning. SB50 was signed into law, so last year was the first year to receive funding to reduce green house gas. Continued cap and trade auctions should provide up to $3 billion in the future to allocate. (6) The drought – the low snowpack and water crisis brings health and safety concerns. Last year there was a bond measure passed and funds were allocated this year towards efforts and projects to help the drought. (7) Legislative successes included 13 bills that made it to the governor’s desk all of which were signed, one in particular was the ban on micro-beads to prevent plastic pollution in our waterways and marine environment. Discussion: (1) AB57 was opposed by PPCC and WRAC because it limits the ability of municipalities to regulate cell towers and ASM Bloom voted to oppose as well. ASM Bloom thanked PPCC and the area NCs and CCs for their communication regarding their opposition on this issue. (2) The bullet train, what are the plans to go forward? ASM Bloom stated that the project is badly needed and is slated for completion in 2024 if not before. High-speed rail does come under ASM Bloom’s budget committee and he has received a request for information geared towards a study regarding interest in private investment in the project. (3) The governor vetoed tax credits for seismic retrofit. Will that be incorporated into the 2016 budget? ASM Bloom stated that the governor does try to keep his budget commitments. (4) MRCA red light cameras and the legislation introduced to remove them in the Palisades. How can this legislation move forward? ASM Bloom is familiar with the MRCA and there is conversation about this topic underway and he would support a bill in concept. The reality is that the cameras generate a lot of revenue and there is a budgetary issue. SB218 failed in the Senate but is expected to be considered in 2016, i.e., it is a two-year bill. (5) Mandatory registration of properties previously fish and game exempt are now being charged thousands of dollars in fees where there is no appeal process that does not require appeal fees similar to those being imposed. ASM directed this topic to Tim Pershing in his office. (6) Money allocated back to the school system is a positive but how much money is being spent on every child? Is the surplus translating into programs and enrichment for the children, i.e., does added money mean added spending per kid? ASM Bloom did not have those specifics but noted that the governor’s program is far more flexible in how money is spent on children in schools. (7) There was a concern with the number of liquor stores per square miles in Koreatown. Who determines how many of these businesses are within a geographical area? ASM Bloom stated that there are not state imposed limits but this is a matter of municipal regulation. (8) Micro-beads in the Santa Monica Bay are concerning and ASM Bloom explained the process whereby people wash and products go through the drains and sewer systems. (9) Hyperion Plant, concerns about the recent overflow of medical waste and the danger of spills during the upcoming El Nino. (10) When citations are issued in a community can a percentage of the revenues be targeted towards the community in which the fines are being paid? (11) Homelessness is not a local problem, it is a major problem for the City, State and Federal Government. OPCC has a policy of tolerance. Before the Palisades go further with services there has to be enforcement. The speaker recommends waiting for the City of LA to do enforcement rather than to have PPCC engaged. (12) Future plans for the Task Force should include mental health and drug addiction services. Former homeless people can pair with mental health experts and PPCC does have a wellness program. OPCC has success metrics.
10.2. Presentation/Q&A with the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH) regarding fundraising and important partnership with OPCC.
Barbara Overland, PPTFH head of fundraising and Sharon Kilbride, PPTFH rep to PPCC and PPCC advisor on homelessness, as well as Brian Deming (PPCC Area 3 Second Alternate) and Kim Clary were present to speak about the work of the Task Force, its progress, its achievements and the road ahead. Presentation: Maryam introduced the Task Force Members in attendance. There will be a Farmer’s Market presence every Sunday 10 am – noon starting in November 2015. On 10-27-2015 in the Marquez Auditorium 6:30 – 8:30 pm will be the next meeting with Councilmember Bonin. At that time there will be a fundraising launch. Barbara Overland spoke as to the effort and how excited the Task Force is to get OPCC out and into our neighborhood. The immediate goal is to raise $125,000 by the end of the year and long term for a five-year commitment would require $500,000. Currently $71,000 has been raised including a recent $25,000 gift from the American Legion and a generous donation from the Rotary Club as well. Presentations have been made to organizations and top producing real estate brokers. Future requests will be made to foundations, celebrities, and HOAs. Donations can be made via check, via the OPCC website and the GoFund Page. By donating together we will create a sense of pride in supporting our community in a compassionate and sensitive way. No other community has stepped up to put resources towards the homeless issue like the Palisades has so our area can be a model for other areas of the City. Sharon Kilbride gave a beaches and bluff report regarding (1) recent activity to identify the identity of homeless persons and incidents of positive and negative activity (2) tents from Will Rogers beach were removed and efforts are underway to update signage on the lifeguard towers, (3) fire signs and fire activities including within Potrero Canyon. Fines can now be imposed as a result of installed signage. (4) Department of Mental Health has been making contact with homeless individuals. General services and medical relief are being provided. Discussion: (1) Nancy Niles presented a $1,200 check from the Rotary Club in support of the Task Force. (2) What is the enforcement plan for the fire risk signs? Can the LAPD report homeless citations in their crime reports – especially against fire prevention? The Task Force has been asking for a report that would be separate from what is released to the community and it is hoped that this information could be disseminated to the community. The fundraising for the Task Force is a package deal such that fire concerns go part and parcel with services and education of the community not to support panhandling. Signage starts with a deterrent effect. Actual enforcement is an issue because our resources are allocated by statistics as related to the rest of the county/city. LAFD has been very responsive and the ordinance is really needed to address evidence of a fire. With evidence of a fire persons can be given 72 hours notice to vacate and campsites can be removed immediately. As the Task Force matures it is hoped that private security can supplement resources that the City can provide. (3) the City of Beverly Hills has signs encouraging people to support the cause and not support panhandling because there are people in the Palisades who really want to enable the homeless and make them very comfortable. Funding was offered for this signage. The Task Force is accepting funding for OPCC’s efforts and is in the process of becoming a 501c3 that can take donations directly which would include such educational efforts.
10.3. WRAC-LUPC STRs Motion.
Recommended by WRAC-LUPC; to be considered by WRAC leadership on 10/21/15; sponsored (as amended) in PPCC by the Executive Committee and George Wolfberg, PPCC representative to WRAC-LUPC. Maryam Zar seconded the motion. Presentation: Chris reminded the board that it previously took a position opposing the Wesson-Bonin motion in favoring of legalizing STRs. Recent listening sessions had comments overwhelmingly in favor of the Wesson-Bonin motion. Chris explained that this motion is an attempt to allow PPCC to weigh in with comments about what should be in the ordinance that is being drafted because it is a certainty that Planning is drafting a motion. Discussion: Maryam spoke in support of the ordinance so that PPCC’s concerns can be taken into consideration by Planning. Carol Bruch stated that if others are renting their homes then poor people should be able to rent as well. Quentin Fleming and Carol offered a friendly amendment to strengthen the introduction and the board agreed that such drafting must include 30 days. The motion passed. See attached and approved motion (text in boldface edited/added by the Executive Committee, referencing PPCC’s strong opposition to legalization of STRs and including definition of “primary residence” from the San Francisco STRs Ordinance and the friendly amendment).
11. General Public Comment.
11.1. Brenda Theveny stated that she has been on PPRA for more than 20 years. Brenda wanted to respond to a comment that PPRA’s attendance has been less than desired. Since 2006 PPRA has had several personal representatives on the board and a review of the minutes will show that PPRA’s attendance has been regular and on par with other organizations.
11.2. Sue Pascoe reported on a Palisadian working in an orphanage in Nepal. Please go to CNN and vote for Maggie Doyne.
12. Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 8:58 PM.
ITEM 7.1.4 — PPCC LETTER RE SHELL STATION MATTER
October 13, 2015
Department of City Planning/Office of Zoning Administration
Re: Case No. ZA-2015-420-CUP-DRB-SPP/15401 W. Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 – Request for Revisions; Opposition to the Current Application as Written
Dear Councilmember Bonin and City Planning Department Officials:
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) is the most broad-based community organization and voice of the Palisades since 1973.
On March 26 and October 8, 2015, PPCC held public forums on the above-captioned matter. The applicant, Mr. Saeed Kohanoff, and his representatives presented information on his proposed development of a gas station accompanied by a mini-mart with beer and wine sales in place of an existing automotive center. A large number of neighboring residents and property owners, as well as tenants, attended and participated. At the conclusion of the October 8th discussion, the PPCC board overwhelmingly approved the following motion:
“PPCC requests that the owner of the proposed project revise his application and reconsider his development in consultation with affected neighboring residents and businesses.”
During both well-attended PPCC meetings, it became clear that certain key elements of the application were problematic for neighbors and raised concerns for members of the community at large. These are:
1. Hours of operation
PPCC believes it is possible with negotiation and compromise on the above issues that the development could precede without undue adverse impacts on the community. Accordingly, PPCC requests that the current application not be approved as written and that the owner revise his application in consultation with the neighboring residents and businesses.
Thank you for your consideration.
Christina Spitz, President
cc (via email):
Ms. Lynda J. Smith, City Planner, Department of City Planning
ITEM 7.1.7 – PPCC LETTER RE SIGN ORDINANCE
October 19, 2015
Hon. Members, City Planning Commission, firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: CPC-2015-3059-CA; related Council Files, 11-1705, 11-0274, 08-2020, 08-3386-S1, 12-1611; CITYWIDE Sign Ordinance; OPPOSED
Hon. City Planning Commission Members, Mayor Garcetti, Councilmembers and Director LoGrande:
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) is the most broad-based community organization and voice of the Palisades since 1973. Incorporating the statements and information within PPCC’s September 14, 2015 letter, and in light of the upcoming October 22, 2015 hearing on this matter, PPCC’s Executive Board unanimously states its opposition to the current draft ordinance and objects to the insufficient time (in violation of the Planning Department’s Public Participation Policy) given to NCs, CCs and stakeholders to comment. Specifically, at this time, PPCC OPPOSES the draft ordinance because it does not:
Expressly prohibit digital billboards on public property including city parkland and facilities.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
cc (via email):
ITEM 10.3 — WRAC RECOMMENDED SHORT TERM RENTALS MOTION (AS AMENDED BY PPCC)
Whereas under the City of Los Angeles present zoning code, short-term rentals [defined per the attached Alan Bell memo dated 4-19-2014 as “all or any portions of residential buildings that are designed or used for occupancy for a period of 30 calendar days or less”] are in fact prohibited in the following zones:
No rent stabilized units “RSO” shall be allowed to rent short term.