MINUTES FOR JUNE 9th 2016
Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Reza Akef, George Wolfberg, Nancy Niles, Bruce Schwartz, Barbara Marinacci, Stuart Muller, Kelly Comras, Sarah Rena Conner, Janet Anderson, Peter Culhane, Gilbert Dembo, Rick Lemmo, Rick Mills, Cathy Russell, Sue Kohl and Barbara Kohn.
Voting Alternates: Brian Deming.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: David Kaplan, Eric Dugdale, Robin Meyers, Carol Bruch, Doug McCormick, Michael Soneff and Ted Mackie.
Start of Business Meeting
- Reading of Community Council’s Mission: Richard Cohen read the Mission Statement.
- 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. Jennifer Malaret read the meeting ground rules.
- Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:07 pm.
- Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Chris deemed the May 26, 2016 minutes approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: 6/23/16. 1) President’s end-of-term remarks and thank you to outgoing officers. 2) Status update from CD11 on matters of ongoing interest. Other topics to be announced. Summer meeting dates: 7/28/16 and 8/25/16 (one meeting only in the months of July and August). ** Topics noticed in advance may change.
- Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
- Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of June 9, 2016. The total account balances equal $35,734.27. Richard stated that web hosting expenses of $210 for the past year had been paid.
- Reports, Announcements and Concerns
7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz
7.1.1 Home Sharing (Short Term Rentals) Ordinance Update. No update. Chris announced that the CPC hearing is expected 6/23/16 (to be confirmed).
7.1.2 BMO-BHO Code Amendment Update. See attached letter. Chris announced that the comment deadline is 6/10/16 (NeighborhoodConservation@lacity.org). The CPC hearing is expected 7/14/16 (to be confirmed). Yesterday a letter was received from the Civic League in opposition of the ordinance and Chris stated that this letter will be circulated to the board.
7.1.3 Village Starbucks CUB. Chris announced that the Determination Letter was received this afternoon. The CUB was approved. Chris noted that the hours of operation proposed by PPCC are in the Determination Letter as a recommended condition to be imposed by ABC (consistent with what we were told is the Planning Department’s practice). Interested persons should contact Chris for additional information.
7.1.4 WRAC Brunch with Sen. Ben Allen 6/4/16. Chris reported that she and Maryam attended this event with other WRAC leaders and that there was Q&A with the Senator on topics including homelessness, jobs, penalties for hit and run drivers, etc. There was not time for discussion of the issue of MRCA photo enforcement. On this issue, Chris reviewed the legislative history for Senate Bill 281. The bill was not re-heard at the request of Senator Huff (author) and the bill is effectively dead, meaning that photo enforcement will continue.
7.1.5 LAX Summary of the 6/8 LAX Airplane Noise Roundtable from the SMCCA Board – Chris reported that the board member/contact person on this issue is Debbie Warfel. Information has been posted to the PPCC website (Presentations to PPCC); Chris has asked Debbie to come to our 6/23/16 meeting to fill us in on what is happening with the issue. Topics included data complaints from Westside areas.
7.1.6 Board of Public Works, Meeting/Discussion of Board of Public Works Services. Chris announced that on June 13, 2016 at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center there will be a public meeting to address potholes, homeless encampments, trees, graffiti, sidewalks, etc.
7.1.1 Meet and Greet with Vince Bertoni, the New Director of City Planning. Chris announced that this event will place at the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center Auditorium on Monday June 27th, 2016 from 7-8:30 PM.
7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives (Note: Contact information at: http://www.pp90272.org/Governmental%20Reps.pdf)
7.2.1 Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. Officer Moore in attendance. Officer Moore reported that (1) there would be a summer beach patrol beginning this summer with details to follow. The focus will be on crimes happening on the beach and around the beach, (2) PPTFH had a community meeting yesterday that LAPD attended as well. Maryam Zar reported that the Task Force is working with Beaches & Harbors as well as LAPD to update and increase signage. The footprint of the beach extends into parking lots, streets and adjoining stores where some persons do “grab and run.” Additional resources should be dedicated towards a greater geographical area of enforcement. Questions: (1) at CPAB meetings the ring.com device has been discussed and LAPD is in favor of this device as a way to reduce residential burglaries. (2) How does LAPD interface with Santa Monica on the homeless issue? Santa Monica has more consistent enforcement on its beaches than has historically Los Angeles. Enforcement should not have an impact either way; if homeless are breaking the law they need to find somewhere else to do it. (3) What does “RFC” after an arrest mean? Release from Custody. Because of jail overcrowding often times the citation will include “RFC” and the offender is free to go. If they do not appear then RFC turns into a warrant. (4) The website august.com also has digital and remote locks that compete with ring.com. What does LAPD recommend for package thefts from a front porch? There are pick up centers or residents can require a signature upon delivery. Packages can be left with neighbors.
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. Stephanie Cohen in attendance. Stephanie reported that (1) the last four months have been spent planning and executing the Holocaust Remembrance event for the State of California. (2) The budget has not been passed yet because the budget conference committee did not meet. Issues include affordable housing, mental health funding and public safety funding. No agreements have been reached on early childhood education. The budget needs to be passed by June 15th at midnight. Assemblymember Bloom is on the committee. (3) Assemblymember Bloom has 16 bills in the Senate they are hoping to get passed this year. Questions: (1) How do we submit information for a proposed bill? Email Stephanie after September, 2016, complete the form and all ideas will be considered. Relative to job opportunities for homeless persons, there are anti-discrimination laws. Funding for training is always of interest. If a budget item, then propose something you have a funding source for. Governor Brown is not giving money for education so perhaps consider existing sources for job training and development.
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. Janet Turner in attendance. (1) Janet Turner thanked PPTFH for its recent productive meeting. (2) 12 National Endowment of the Arts Grants were given to area organizations and Janet passed out information on those awards to Geffen Playhouse, the Skirball, Museum Associates, LA Theater Works and others. The Congressman is a large supporter of the arts. (3) the Congressman spoke to the Postmaster General, the Los Angeles Postmaster and a regional manager to follow up on mail delivery problems. It is hoped that in July 2016 USPS will be adding more customer service employees. The Los Angeles Postmaster General has offered to come to the PPCC along with the Postmaster for the Palisades; Janet would be happy to arrange a presentation. Gil Dembo spoke in support of the service at the local post office. Board Members in the Highlands reported that mail is being delivered 2-3 hours earlier then before.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors
7.3.1 Officers/Area Representatives. (1) Kelly Comras (Area 1) reported that two condominium developments in Area 1 have changed ownership and she claimed that the plans changed without the Coastal Commission being notified. Kelly stated that the HOA went to the Coastal Commission and is getting additional information about whether the appropriate legal process was followed or has been violated. Kelly stated that the current owners (EDCO) changed the plans without appropriate notice and further claimed that no one has seen EDCO’s current plans. Kelly stated that CD11 has been apprised of the situation – a current development of four stories of white condominiums. Kelly stated that CD11’s response to resident inquiries has been tepid. (2) Reza Akef (Area 8) thanked CD11 for taking care of Verizon’s high voltage line. Reza said that neighbors have been upset about Paul Revere traffic especially towards the end of the year; while the current principal has been fantastic the parents have continued to park in/block driveways. Reza said that unmarked utility companies are doing work in residential neighborhoods that is destructive to streets and without proper signage and causing dangerous traffic patterns. (3) Stuart Muller (Area 6) announced that the Clearwater Mural is due for restoration and fundraising efforts are underway.
7.3.2 Organizational Representatives – Report on Behalf of Organizations. (1) Eric Dugdale announced that the new Backbone Trail was dedicated last week at Will Rogers State Park. Begun in 1944, the final land dedications are complete and the trail now starts on Sunset at Will Rogers Park and goes 66 miles up the coast. Camping permits are allowed. The Historical Society will be doing a presentation this fall. The Thelma Todd event was very successful and presentations are ongoing. Third, restoration plans for Uplifter’s Ranch are going on. There will be a luncheon with Randy Young presenting next Thursday June 16th; please see PPCC’s website for additional details. Historical Society membership is only $20 per year. (2) Reza Akef for the Chamber of Commerce stated that the Chamber voted to oppose the proposed BMO/BHO amendments. The Chamber has requested CD4, CD5 and CD11 councilmembers do an economic feasibility study including impacts on property values.
7.3.3 PPCC Advisors. None.
7.3.4 Board Members, Other Reports. None.
- Reports From Committees
8.1 Election Committee (Chris Spitz, Chair). Update on Area and At-Large Representatives Election, Summer 2016. Chris announced that she was very excited to report on the work to date of the Election Committee for this summer’s election of Area and At-Large Represenatives. First, the Committee membership is: Chris Spitz, Chair, Richard Cohen, Maryam Zar, Michael Soneff, George Wolfberg, Brian Deming and Susan Payne. The Committee has held one working meeting and already started work on a prototype ballot for online voting. They have begun to distribute the required Notice of Election and are making arrangements for enhanced publicity, outreach, in person voting and the like. Before opening the process to other candidates, Chris first announced the incumbents who will be running in the election. Chris announced that the incumbents who are running are, by last name: Akef, Culhane, Mills, Kohl, Russell, Sinaiko. No comments were made. Chris then announced that the process is open to any other eligible candidates. The process is described in the Notice of Election which will be posted soon on the PPCC website and publicized in both the News and the Post in their editions next week. Chris advised the Board to please feel free to share this information with interested community members. Chris also noted that the Election Committee is working on an enhanced set of Area maps which will allow for greater resolution and an easier way to zoom in on addresses and find applicable Areas for residents. Right now, posted as a separate tab on the website are the existing Maps along with the boundary descriptions; once the new Maps are completed, they will be posted instead. Chris thanked Richard Cohen, George Wolfberg and Heather Cohen for their work in making sure the new Maps are accurate. Chris remarked that this will be a terrific feature going forward as we encourage more participation in the online voting. Chris also invited anyone with questions to contact her.
8.2 Village Project Update (David Kaplan, Chair). Report on City Council PLUM (Planning & Land Use Management) Committee hearing 6/7/16. See attached letter. David reported that the PLUM Committee heard a presentation from Caruso Affiliated, speakers in support and some expressing concerns. Approval by PLUM was unanimous and the project application will be forwarded to the full City Council where approvals are hoped for by July 2016.
8.3 Bylaws Committee. Jennifer Malaret and Richard Cohen (Co-Chairs). Proposed additional PPCC Bylaws amendments recommended by the Bylaws Committee (correction, clarification and general clean up). (1) First distribution of proposed Bylaws amendments; see redlined draft of proposed amendments, distributed concurrently with this meeting agenda on 6/6/16 via PPCC email (“Redline”); Motion by the Bylaws Committee for Board approval of proposed Redline amendments to the Bylaws, including Appendix A (discussion and vote on 6/23/16 at time of second distribution). (2) Motions 1A, 1B and 1C by the Bylaws Committee, recommending Board approval of proposed Redline amendments to Appendices C and D and Attachment A of the Bylaws.
Motion 1A: Board approval of Redline amendments to Appendix C (Standing Rules). Motion 1B: Board approval of Redline amendments to Appendix D (Guiding Principles). Motion 1C: Board approval of Redline amendments to Attachment A (Election Procedure).
Presentation: Richard explained that the Bylaws and Appendix A require two readings. Proposed changes were distributed and they should be looked at for discussion and vote at the second reading. Appendix C, Appendix D and Attachment A have proposed changes which can be enacted by a vote of the group tonight. The purpose of the motions is to correct format, typos, numbering and phraseology. Richard stated that none of the proposed changes are substantive. Richard explained phrase changes to voting requirements and spelling changes and typographical errors could be modified by a Standing Rules change. Questions: Stuart asked to clarify how the voting standards were not changing for voting members. Richard clarified. Action: a vote was called on Motion 1A. The motion passed (12 votes in favor, 5 abstentions) by more than a majority of members present. Action: a vote was called on Motion 1B. The motion passed by more than 2/3 of members voting to support. Action: a vote was called on Motion 1C. The motion passed unanimously.
- Old Business. None.
- New Business
10.1 Election of Officers for the 2016-2017 term. Jennifer Malaret, Moderator. Jennifer stated that, “As to the offices of Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, there is no requirement for a Candidates Forum as these seats are uncontested. For the Office of Chair, the two candidates will each have three minutes to make statements to the Board about their candidacy and how they propose to lead PPCC going forward over the next twelve months. They will be asked to speak in alphabetical order by last name. After both have made their three minute statements, I will open up the forum to questions from the Board for an aggregate of 10 minutes, and then we will proceed with the Election of Officers. It is the hope of the Executive Committee that the candidates will use their time to make positive and forward-thinking statements in a manner that is respectful of each other, their fellow board members, the organization and the community at large.”
1) Candidates’ Forum (President’s seat). Jennifer called upon Stuart Muller. Stuart began by thanking Maryam Zar and the Executive Board for remarkable leadership which has created stronger working relationships with many governmental agencies that PPCC depends on to help it manage our communal destiny, and the strengthening of PPCC’s network with other Community and Neighborhood Councils (the latter proved extremely important and has helped promote a new era of hope and promise for the PPCC, our community and Westside neighborhoods). Stuart stated that these achievements, however, have not occurred without significant negative impact on the way the PCCC functions and claimed that he had been asked by a group of active board members and citizens to share these concerns. Most important of these concerns is that many elected area and organizational representatives feel that their voices, and the voices of those they represent, have not been given adequate opportunities to be heard at board meetings. Stuart claimed that the agenda, determined by the Chair, and is tightly packed, leaving little or no time to serve the Council’s primary goal, which has always been to provide “A Forum for the Discussion Community Issues,” meaning primarily local, Pacific Palisades issues. Although many of PPCC’s concerns are regional, many are not. Stuart stated that it is time now to establish a wider approach to what is on the agenda. Stuart claimed that it is time to (1) reevaluate our organization’s priorities, (2) adjust how we manage our public forums, and (3) get our organization back in positive balance. Referring to PPCC’s “Voice of The Community,” Stuart asserted that the voice of the community seems to have been muted because our meeting time has been restricted and the agendas are packed with regional issues, not leaving time for a comprehensive forum for local community and neighborhood concerns. Stuart hoped that the agenda priorities will be modified and that we will find ways to rectify this situation by regaining extended use of this, our community funded community room, as he asserted PPCC has done in the past. Stuart then stated that, after 2 weeks of productive conversations with members of community, PPCC board, and others about these issues, he was now more hopeful that with the help these nominees, positive changes are possible in PPCC’s organization, and announced that he had decided to withdraw his nomination for Chair, and to fully support Maryam PPCC’s next President. Maryam thanked Stuart for his stating his concerns and thanked the Nominating Committee for their support. Maryam spoke about the nominating process and said she is grateful for comments and supports from the board members sitting around the table. Maryam is very interested in the community, interested in input and wants to hear from everyone. Maryam thanked George for agreeing to be Vice President and for the support of Chris Spitz, Richard Cohen, Michael Soneff and all of the other board members PPCC.
2) Election by the Board. Chris announced that Robin Meyers and Ted Mackie would be counting the ballots. PPCC’s accountant was asked to attend as per the bylaws but cannot as he is out of town. The vote count would be announced following the election. Chris passed out a two-sided handout detailing the President’s responsibilities. 95 percent of the President’s duties are conducted outside of presiding at meetings. Rick Lemmo suggested that the new officers be elected by a vote of acclamation. Chris explained that she has researched the issue and because our bylaws require a vote by ballot under applicable parliamentary rules and law we cannot elect the officers by acclamation and that board members would need to vote by ballot pursuant to the bylaws. She also announced that ballots that were not completed would count as a no vote. Ballots were distributed and the vote taken. Action: there were 21 voting members present. The ballot counters left the room, counted the votes and reported the results to Chris, who announced the vote count. The candidates were all unanimously elected 21-0.
10.2 Spotlight on Organizations – (1) Pacific Palisades Garden Club. Presenting: Barbara Marinacci. Barbara gave a history of her involvement with the Garden Club, including her passion for a community garden. The club was founded in 1944 and is a non-profit club. Meetings are held from October to June during the first week of the month. Programs cover a wide variety of subjects such as English gardens and wine making. Income from dues help cover meeting costs and trips to local gardens and nurseries. The club also supports worthy causes in the Palisades where funds are raised from local events like flower and garden shows and the popular Garden Tour. In addition, the club plants street trees and trees around the library. Over $80,000 has been spent improving and maintaining garden areas adjacent to Palisades Charter High School. Recently the club sponsored water wise events and has donated to schools and the Westside Food Bank. Environmental work including tree planning in the Santa Monica Mountains is supported, as are grants to the local public schools. Since half of the club’s board and roughly 25% of its members live outside the Palisades, projects in Brentwood and Mar Vista have been supported. Current projects are underway outside the post office and the native plant garden along Temescal Canyon Blvd. Challenges faced by the club are advancing age of its membership and competing garden tour events that have reduced ticket sales and profit from some of the club’s main events. (2) Pacific Palisades Residents Association (PPRA). Presenting: Sarah Conner. PPRA board members include Brenda Theveny and Michael Soneff. PPRA was founded over 50 years ago to protect open space above Marquez Knolls, was a key player in No Oil, helped establish Palisades Beautiful, fought against additional Highlands development and worked on the Palisades-Brentwood Community Plan. Sarah read the mission statement involving preservation of quality of life, education, preserving the Santa Monica Bay, and seeking law enforcement resources. PPRA noted MKPOA surveys that highlight interest in preserving scenic views. FB followers are estimated at 400 persons and an additional 800 persons support the Save the Bluff effort. PPRA opposed the 17000 Sunset Apartment project and was involved in discussions with Caruso Affiliated. PPRA opposed the non-conforming aspects of the proposed Shell Station and mini-market. PPRA opposes the streamlining of affordable housing by the bill that reduces CEQA protections. PPRA has met with reCode LA participants to become actively involved when the City begins updating community plans. Increasing density affects already overburdened infrastructure and schools. Sarah passed out excerpts of the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan. Chris reiterated that links to both the Community and Specific Plans are now on PPCC’s website (Resources). To get involved with PPRA their social media is available and the group posts on NextDoor when and where its meetings take place.
11. General Public Comment – None.
- Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 9:00 PM.
ITEM 7.1.2 – LETTER TO CITY OFFICIALS RE BMO-BHO CODE AMENDMENT
May 28, 2016
Hon. Councilmember Mike Bonin, Council District 11, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon. Councilmember Paul Koretz, Council District 5, email@example.com
Vince Bertoni, Director of Planning, Dept. of City Planning, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Rothmann, Principal City Planner, Dept. of City Planning, email@example.com
Niall Huffman, Planning Assistant, Dept. of City Planning,NeighborhoodConservation@lacity.org Los Angeles City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 Via email
Re: OPPOSITION to Council File #14-0656; CPC-2015-3484-CA; CPC-2015-4197-EAF; Baseline Mansionization/Baseline Hillside (BMO/BHO) Code Amendment; Proposed Zoning Code Amendment to Modify Single Family Zone Regulation
Dear Councilmembers Bonin and Koretz and Mssrs. Bertoni, Rothman and Huffman:
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) is the most broad-based community organization in Pacific Palisades and has been the voice of the community since 1973. PPCC is one of the oldest continuously operating councils of its type in Los Angeles and served as a model for many current neighborhood councils. PPCC holds open elections for 9 board seats representing all Palisades residents and businesses, and includes in its membership all significant community organizations. PPCC conducts open, public board meetings and serves the same function as a neighborhood council: to provide a forum for the discussion of issues and to advise government on matters of community concern.
PPCC has held three public forums on the BMO/BHO Code Amendment. At its regularly scheduled public board meeting on May 26, 2016, after extensive discussion the PPCC Board unanimously passed the following motion:
“PPCC opposes the Los Angeles City Planning Department BMO/BHO April 2016 code changes draft (BMO/BHO Code Amendment) with regard to R1 zoned properties because, as currently
drafted, it fails to take into account the unique aspects and character of our community with particular respect to design, grading and effect on property values.”
PPCC’s position is consistent with the following position expressed by the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles, in its letter of May 24, 2016 to Mssrs. Bertoni and Rothmann (AIA Letter):
“Encourage Department of City Planning Staff to more readily embrace design innovation that is locally tailored to the unique conditions of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles area has a burgeoning localized regulation of issues addressed in the BHO/BMO. Applying the proposed changes without accommodation of this local variety and citizen civic investment will be callously detrimental to their unique and locally, legally accepted character. Such accommodation should be allowed administratively with clear directives to encourage Departmental staff deference to locally driven and legally established solutions. A host of legal challenges and variance requests that may otherwise result could also be so avoided.” (AIA Letter, p. 8)
PPCC urges the City Council and Planning Department to take into account the unique aspects and character of Pacific Palisades and further revise the proposed BMO/BHO Code Amendment in order to accommodate our community’s particular needs and concerns.
Thank you for your courtesy and anticipated cooperation. Sincerely,
Pacific Palisades Community Council
cc (via email):
Sharon.Dickinson, Legislative Assistant, PLUM Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org (Request for filing in CF 14-0656)
ITEM 8.2: LETTER TO PLUM COMMITTEE RE PALISADES VILLAGE PROJECT
June 5, 2016
Los Angeles City Council PLUM Committee Members:
Hon. Jose Huizar, Chair
Hon. Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Co-Chair Hon. Mitchell Englander, Member
Hon. Gilbert A. Cedillo, Member
Hon. Felipe Fuentes, Member
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Los Angeles City Hall 200 N. Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012
Re: CF 16-0627 (Committee hearing 6/7/16) – LETTER IN SUPPORT OF APPROVAL OF CPC- 2015-2714-VZC-SP-DRB-SPP and ENV-2015-2715-MND; 1029-1049 N. Swarthmore Ave.; 1012- 1032 N. Swarthmore Ave.; 1023-1055 N. Monument St.; and 15229-15281 W. Sunset Blvd. (collectively, the “Palisades Village Project”).
Honorable PLUM Committee Members:
Pacific Palisades Community Council (“PPCC”) is the most broad-based community organization in Pacific Palisades and has been the voice of the community since 1973.
PPCC strongly supports the Palisades Village Project, as set forth in testimony before the City Planning Commission (“CPC”) on April 28, 2016, and in greater detail in letters submitted on April 18, 2016, February 29, 2016 and March 14, 2016 (on file in the above-referenced matters and believed to be part of the official administrative record). A copy of PPCC’s letter of April 18th to the CPC is also attached for your convenience.
PPCC’s position reflects the consensus of the Palisades community. PPCC urges the members of the City Council PLUM Committee to recommend approval of the Palisades Village Project.
Pacific Palisades Community Council
Encl: PPCC Letter to CPC dated 4/18/16
Hon. Mike Bonin, Councilmember, CD11
Sharon Dickinson, Legislative Assistance, PLUM Committee (w/request for filing in CF-16-0627)