MINUTES FOR JULY 28th 2016
Voting Members in Attendance: Maryam Zar, Michael Soneff, George Wolfberg, Richard Cohen, Kelly Comras, Brian Deming, Rick Mills, Nancy Niles, Barbara Marinacci, Stuart Muller, Quentin Fleming, Gilbert Dembo, Cathy Russell, Reza Akef, Bruce Schwartz, Janet Anderson
Voting Alternates: Diane Bleak, Robin Meyers, Jessica Simon
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: David Kaplan, Kevin Niles
Start of Business Meeting
1. Certification of Quorum. The Chair called the meeting to order and certified that a quorum was present at approximately 7PM.
2. Reading of the Community Council’s Mission. George Wolfberg read the Mission Statement.
3. Introduction of the Board and Audience.
4. Approval of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Approval of the June 23, 2016 minutes. The Chair deemed the minutes of June 23, 2016 approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: 8/25/16: (1) Candidates Forum, Elected Representatives Election (2) Update on Temescal Canyon Stormwater Project, Phase II (Kendrick Okuda, Project Manager, Bureau of Engineering). (C) Intro of Youth Adviser. 9/8/16: (1) Announcement of Election Results (2) PPTFH presentation and Alisa Orduna from the Office of Mayor Garcetti, (3) John Harlow meet/greet. 9/22/16: (1) Introduction of LAFD Station 69 Captains (2) Farmer’s Market organizers, presentation and Q/A. 10/13/16: (1) Mike Bonin Welcomes Board (2) Intro of Pali Rec Center Directors Erich Haas & (new) Bill Maniscalco.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The Chair considered the agenda and noted that some items may be taken out of order.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen: Balance is $34,808.48, no significant transactions over the last month.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. From Governmental Representatives.
7.1.1. Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”).
Acting SLO, Officer James Lavenson. Crime is down in the Palisades. Patrol, transient detail in the Palisades, Special units doing patrols, and our bicycle unit in the Palisades. Senior officer knows the area very well. LAPD has focused a lot of attention on the Palisades. Two task forces the last two weeks, in the hillside to get transients out of camps in Las Olas Bluffs. Mission to clear that out, to reduce fire danger. Reducing “tent city”- we cite people on the beach for everything, from smoking a cigarette to smoking in public—those citations become arrest-able warrants in a few months if the cited person fails to appear in court. We have been working closely with OPCC. We believe that many of the crimes in the Palisades are transient-related crimes. New resources in the bike detail, the transient unit, the vice unit, and our patrol. Sylmar & El Medio, there was a loud party. Night watch articles are critical. Some transients are unresponsive to services, but some are. Working closely with OPCC. Timmy does his banking at Wells Fargo Bank on Thursdays and Fridays.
Locking cars and houses is important. Crime statistics: All crimes are down, except for stolen vehicles. Grand theft auto has doubled because of surfers on PCH, whose cars get stolen while they are surfing. These auto burglaries become home burglaries. 22 arrests in the Palisades in three weeks. Leaving the keys at Gladstones is a safer alternative to putting car keys on the tire. Fight for keeping the bike unit here after the summer is over. They are worth having, the Palisades needs it.
Maryam: Illegal to sleep on the beach between midnight at 5 am- when does the transient car come through? Do we have any coverage in those hours?
Officer Redican: we have cars that work at night. A dedicated unit looks for patterns in crime late at night. The A1 car works in those hours. They do come in early and we vary our arrival. It is getting noticeably better. They will do it at midnight and 1 AM.
Diane Bleak: Sunset & PCH, RV’s park on both sides of the street. Are they allowed to? Some in RV’s are living there
Officer Lavenson: They can’t sleep overnight in their RV. There’s an interest in letting them sleep in their car overnight if they are intoxicated.
Rick Mills: Does the bike unit also go to the bluffs? Particularly the El Medio Bluffs? Gwen Aldridge has had cars drive into her house three times. Traffic reduction & LAPD have to work together.
Officer Redican: We would call West Traffic Division to send motorcycle traffic units up. Traffic accidents, intoxicated drivers. We can provide the numbers to get in touch with West Traffic Division.
Sharon Shapiro: We used to have a traffic officer, but he was reassigned to the valley. As of a meeting yesterday, we are going to be getting another officer assigned to the Palisades/Brentwood Communities. 213 473 0215 CTSU Community Traffic Safety Unit: Officer Mike Toth, Sergeant Chris Kunz
7.1.2. United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner, District Representative – Not in attendance.
7.1.3. Maryam read of a letter from Senator Allen’s Office re: Legislative Update SB 450; Maryam also read a letter from Assemblymember Bloom’s office re: Legislative Update
7.1.4. Daniel Tamm, the Office of Mayor Garcetti – Not in attendance.
7.1.5. (Addition to agenda) Sharon Shapiro, Council District 11 Representative.
Saturday July 30: Inside Out the Movie, Hike in the Wetlands August 7 (see the CD11 website); geotechnical work, Via De Las Olas; staffing at BOE.
Gil Dembo: LA communication towers throughout the county. Tower at the old Nike site in the Santa Monica Mountains that failed because of community objection. Now they want one in the Temescal Canyon area. What is the city doing to cooperate with this project? The Palisades needs emergency communications. Request for information from the City of Los Angeles. Sharon Shapiro: We will look into it. George Wolfberg: 100 Wilshire has transmitters that are intended to reach the Palisades. Stuart Muller: Is putting a transmission tower in a canyon a good idea?
7.2. From the Chair.
7.2.1. Appeal of Director’s Determination regarding signage at 881 Alma Real Dr. See attached letter (support for Specific Plan).
7.2.2. Appointment of PPCC Committees and Liaisons. See attached list.
7.2.3. Appointment of PPCC Advisors. See attached list. Maryam stated that she will appoint a new legal advisor; she wishes to appoint Ron Dean as interim legal advisor with consent of the board; she also wishes to appoint a new Youth Advisor with consent of the board; the current Youth Advisor Schuyler Dietz can no longer serve.
7.2.4. BMO-BHO Code Amendment Update. To be given at an upcoming meeting.
7.2.5. At-large Representative change. Quentin Fleming (formerly At-large 1st Alternate) has become the primary At-large Representative as of July 1st .
7.2.6. Candidates running in the Elected Representatives Election. Maryam announced the candidates. See attached list.
7.3. From Officers — None.
7.4. From At-Large & Area Reps.
Rick Mills (Area 4): A driver lost control on July 4th at El Medio & Miami Way, jumped the curb and went through a neighbor’s front yard. Speeding through this intersection is a problem. Working with council and traffic department to make that intersection safer. Maryam stated she is reaching out to LADOT to talk about the issue.
Stuart Muller (Area 6): New power station temporarily by Pali High.
Kelly Comras (Area 1): Notice of prep for EIR from DWP around Labor Day.
Reza Akef (Area 8): Letters from neighbors at Paul Revere, concerned about parking and traffic impacts. Desire to work with a liaison from the LAUSD School Board. Would like the PPCC to take a position to be more active around protecting neighbors from traffic impacts.
– Opportunity by the Planning Department to be a participant in RECODE LA. Disappointed that the PPCC has declined to participate in that process.
– The Executive Committee should not have made that decision, without the entire Board having considered it. This was a disservice to Marquez.
Maryam stated that the Executive Committee has not taken any position at all, nor have we declined to participate on RECODE LA. Maryam read a statement from Tricia Keane. Board discussion ensued. Reza stated that he would like this issue to be considered for the next agenda, and that he should be the point person with RECODE LA.
7.5. From Organizational Reps — None.
7.6. From PPCC Advisors — None.
8. Reports from Committees.
8.1. Election Committee (Chris Spitz, Chair). In the Committee Chair’s absence, update deferred to next meeting
8.2. Village Project Community Liaison Committee (VPLUC) (David Kaplan and Sue Kohl, Co-Chairs). David discussed the Committee’s purpose..
9. Old Business — None.
10. New Business.
10.1. Proposed bike lane enhancement on Temescal Canyon, between PCH & Sunset.
CD11 Mobility Deputy Jessie Holzer presenting (email@example.com). CD 11 and DOT are looking for opportunities for new bike lanes. We are trying to take the existing bike lanes and make them better. Vision Zero Policy: LA City goal is to eliminate all bike and pedestrian fatalities. The focus is on the most vulnerable on the road. Upgrading bike lanes on Temescal Canyon. There was a cyclist killed on Temescal a year ago. Increase the separation between cyclists and traffic on Temescal. The faster the car is travelling the worse the accident. Protective bike lanes on the upper portion of Temescal Canyon, and buffered bike lanes on the lower (southern portion). Protected bike lanes put the bike lane between the curb and parking. Buffered bike lanes are better for cyclists going faster. Buffered bike lanes paint extra lines, creating extra space for cyclists. Taking one of the downhill travel lanes, taking it out, and allocating that space to the buffered areas is one possible option. According to LADOT, the peak hour on Temescal is from 7-8 AM. 684 drivers going down Temescal per hour. They don’t anticipate additional drivers. One left turn lane going from Sunset to Temescal would function the same way. It just wouldn’t provide the opportunity to go into a second lane. At the bottom there will be no changes. The only intersection that may change is Bowdoin. It would be less of an issue if it was a bigger street. We looked at removing the center turn lane, but removing it would be problematic. We cannot remove parking because it’s highly utilized. Nothing has been designed, this is the first time for public comment.
Richard: The traffic is much lighter coming up Temescal than it is going down Temescal. Backups never happen coming up Temescal. Taking a lane from the wrong side. Residents would like to see three left turn lanes from Temescal south onto PCH. Backups there get terrible. 10 years ago, PPCC looked at that, and we were told that PCH isn’t wide enough for a third turn lane, and we couldn’t take anything from the beach. Serious backups happen there. A lane cannot be taken away from that intersection. Jessie: CD11 was under the impression that there was more traffic going down than are going up. We can take a look at going the other way.
Gil Dembo: How many riders go up and down that hill? Who is behind this? Why not move the sidewalks back to do this? Jessie: The DOT and CD 11 are working together on this. You can’t widen your way out of congestion.
Kevin Niles: What about the six food trucks that park where the buffer will be Jessie: We haven’t yet figured out a solution.
Cathy Russell: When they come up, what is going to happen on Sunset? She expressed concern about more bikes on Sunset. Rick Mills: Pali High is considering changing where cars park on Temescal. They have good traffic studies to be looked at. Audience: Has anyone considered doing up and down in the park or on one side of the street? Jessie: That would be very expensive.
Maryam: There are two reasonable suggestions. The cost versus the traffic impact should be weighed. Stuart: How will Sunset feed into Temescal? Using the trail is a better idea. Why not do it up the coast? Gil Dembo: Please do not do anything without consulting the Community Council. Quentin: How reversible would this project be? Jessie: It’s just paint. DOT would put in flexible bollards.
Michael: Can you put both bike lanes up and down on the other side? Jessie: You could do it both ways. DOT might have a different reasoning for not doing that. Audience: Taking a lane from the uphill side is a much better approach.
10.2. Introduction of LAPD Officer Rusty Redican – officer in charge, new Palisades Beach Detail, and Officer Quenten Blanton.
Officer John “Rusty” Redican, partner Quenten: Crime is down. Bike unit goes all over the Palisades, coming up from the beach. Bikes are slower in response times. They have a quad that they will also be riding. There are a variety of resources available, including a helicopter. Community reporting is essential for them to do their job. Cleaning out encampments. Dealing drugs in the Palisades. There is room to help kids, with receptive parents, to help them straighten out.
Maryam: LAPD officers would come through last year and do sweeps of areas identified by the PPTFH. Redican: Yes, we did one this morning. We are going to continue doing them.
Doug (PPTFH): Private security, how is it as a force multiplier? Redican: Yes, private security is helpful. Eric Fine has been great- they scan our radios and respond faster than we do. ADT is also good, they don’t respond to calls as much as Palisades Patrol.
Brian Deming: We have a previous hotspot- empty lot at Marquez Pl and Sunset (Bernheimer Gardens). We are getting complaints. There is a chain-link fence. We have had new people in the lot. Private security has been responsive. Redican: We need the community to help by providing information.
Maryam: The OPCC has a form that can help provide information. Is that something that we can do for the police? Audience question: If private security responds, they don’t report back to the police. Can we email you if private security does handle it? Redican: Private security (Palisades Patrol) can’t act as an agent of the police.
Audience Question: On PCH by the tunnel, what are you doing? Redican: We have arrested a number of people. The homeless in the area are living in Tuna Canyon to sleep. The sheriffs are doing what they can to clear those areas out.
Audience Question: Police seem to respond to written reports as opposed to email. Should we make a written report when something happens? How can we report it Redican: That which is measured gets dealt with. If a crime takes place, we do need to hear about it in a written report. We want our statistics to reflect crime. Resources go to the areas where there are reports. You can call the non-emergency number (877) ASK-LAPD or the Western LAPD Desk.
Maryam: What happens with a non-emergency call? Redican: Non-emergency calls can be responded to urgently. Lock your car doors and homes. There are lots of burglars that will not enter a car that is locked.
10.3. Jessica M. Berman Foundation 2nd Annual Wonder Woman Walk, Huntington Palisades, September 18 (presenting: David Lindner Brennan of Generic Events).
Last year was the first event with 1,100 people, which raised money for research. The event is on Sunday September 18th, starting at 9:00 AM. The organizers want to get the word out about parking. There is a huge kids component of the run: bounce houses, jumpers, snacks. Will all take place at the Palisades Rec Center. The event course will take Alma Real to Corona Del Mar.
10.4. (Addition to agenda) City of Los Angeles Landslide Retaining Wall Project Discussion. Thelma (City representative): The findings will be presented August 24, 2016 from 7:00-8:45 PM in the community room at the Library.
12. General Public Comment.
Karen Ridgley: The Police nonemergency number (877) 275-5273 features loud screeching tones for the hearing-impaired. Calls to the West LA police office desk yield no solution. Only the City Council or the Mayor can fix this problem. Offer callers who can hear the opt-out choice. Those who are hearing-impaired can automatically continue with the hearing impaired tones. We should ask Councilman Bonin’s office to sponsor it. I propose that we take it up with the CD11 office. Maryam: This may be added to an upcoming agenda.
Gil Dembo: The Palisadian Post is appealing the Design Review Board decision regarding their proposed identification sign. They took their complaint to the WLAPC. There were many signs in the Palisades in 1960.
Cheryl Zomber: MKPOA had scheduled time to talk about this issue at Councilman Bonin’s office. Maryam Zar’s role was not as a mediator, but as a participant. Marquez Knolls has different needs and concerns. We have had lots of people say they support limiting mansionization. When the motion to oppose the BMO amendment was voted on, the Area 3 representative was not there. It may have been unanimous, but Marquez was not represented. Maryam: Tricia Keane of CD11 invited Maryam to attend this meeting. Maryam expressed continuing difficulty understanding the request by Cheryl Zomber. Tricia will be asked to attend an upcoming PPCC meeting to clarify.
12. Adjournment. Maryam Zar adjourned the meeting at approximately 9PM.
ITEM 7.2.1: LETTER RE 881 ALMA REAL SIGNAGE APPEAL
July 18, 2016
West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission
200 North Spring Street, Room 272
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Re: DIR-2015-1282-DRB-SPP-1A Project @ 881 Alma Real Dr., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272; Hearing Date: July 20, 2016
The Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has been the voice of the community for more than forty years. Our public Minutes evidence that on October 25th, 2007, the following motion was passed unanimously:
“The Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhoods Specific Plan was adopted to eliminate visual blight and protect and enhance the unique character of Pacific Palisades by creating a series of design and development standards applicable to all commercial areas of Pacific Palisades. The PPCC hereby reaffirms the community’s support of the Specific Plan in all four commercial areas of Pacific Palisades.”
The position of the Pacific Palisades Community Council has not changed. This council, which represents all Palisades neighborhoods through elected representatives and appointed organizational representatives, supports the application of the Specific Plan to Pacific Palisades. Although the Council has not weighed the arguments of the two sides in this appeal, the Pacific Palisades Community Council maintains that planning and zoning regulations, building codes, rules, restrictions, and ordinances that have been established for the good of the community should be applied, upheld and enforced by the Zoning Administrator, Building and Safety, and other governing bodies with jurisdiction over the approval, execution, and enforcement processes. When variances, variations, or exceptions are considered by governmental entities, PPCC’s position is to support adherence to all legal measures which govern land use, structures, and vegetation. Exemptions to the Specific Plan should only be granted under strict scrutiny or they threaten to degrade the efforts of our community to control development in the commercial areas of Pacific Palisades.
Thank you for your consideration.
Maryam Zar, President
Pacific Palisades Community Council
cc (via email):
Councilmember Mike Bonin (CD11)
Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy, CD11
Tricia Keane, Planning Director, CD11
ITEM 7.2.2: APPOINTMENT OF PPCC COMMITTEES AND LIAISONS
Executive Committee (2016-2017 Term)
Maryam Zar, Chair (Committee Chair), Chris Spitz, Chair/President Emeritus, George Wolfberg, Vice-Chair Richard Cohen, Treasurer, Michael Soneff, Secretary, David Kaplan, Area 6 1st Alternate (through 9/30), Janet Anderson, AYSO Representative (through 9/30)
Ad Hoc Committees
Election Committee (Elected Representatives Election, 2016):
Chris Spitz, Chair/President Emeritus (Committee Chair), Richard Cohen, Treasurer, Susan Payne, Chamber of Commerce Alternate, Michael Soneff, Secretary, George Wolfberg, Vice-Chair, Maryam Zar, Chair (ex officio)
Three Chairs Committee (Alternates Election, 2016):
Chris Spitz, Chair/President Emeritus (Committee Chair), Richard Cohen, Treasurer and past PPCC Chair, George Wolfberg, Vice-Chair and past PPCC Chair
Richard Cohen, Treasurer (Committee Co-Chair), George Wolfberg, Vice-Chair (Committee Co-Chair), Ron Dean, Bylaws Advisor, David Kaplan, Area 6 1st Alternate, Chris Spitz, President/Chair Emeritus, Maryam Zar, Chair (ex officio)
Maryam Zar, Chair (ex officio) (Committee Chair), Brian Deming, Area 3 2nd Alternate, Susan Payne, Chamber of Commerce Alternate, Michael Soneff, Secretary, Chris Spitz, Chair/President Emeritus
Playing Fields Committee – possibly renaming to Palisades Open Spaces Committee:
Janet Anderson, AYSO Representative (Committee Chair), Barbara Marinacci, Garden Club Representative, Stuart Muller, Area 6 Representative, George Wolfberg, Vice-Chair, Maryam Zar, Chair (ex officio)
Village Project Community Liaison Committee (VPCLC):
David Kaplan, Area 6 1st Alternate (Committee Co-Chair), Sue Kohl, Area 5 Representative (Committee Co-Chair), Rick Lemmo, Caruso Affiliated representative to the Committee (stakeholder member), Susan Payne, Chamber of Commerce Alternate, David Peterson, PRIDE representative to the Committee/Area 6 2nd Alternate, Patti Post, Transportation Advisor, Chris Spitz, Chair/President Emeritus, Maryam Zar, Chair (ex officio); advisor to the Committee: CD11 Representative to be named
PCH Task Force: George Wolfberg, Vice-Chair, Patti Post, Transportation Advisor
Sunset Mobility Collaborative (SMC): Reza Akef, Area 8 Representative, Patti Post, Transportation Advisor
Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) Leadership: Maryam Zar, Chair (primary), Chris Spitz, Chair/President Emeritus (alternate), David Kaplan, Area 6 2nd Alternate (2nd alternate)
WLA Community-Police Advisory Board (C-PAB): Richard Cohen, Treasurer
WRAC Land Use & Planning Committee (WRAC-LUPC): George Wolfberg, Vice-Chair (primary), Chris Spitz, Chair/President Emeritus (alternate)
ITEM 7.2.6: List of Candidates – 2016 Elected Representatives Election
List of Candidates
Area 1 – Katie Braude
Area 2 – Peter Culhane
Area 3 – Danielle Samulon, Peter Zomber
Area 4 – Rick Mills
Area 5 – Sandy Eddy, Sue Kohl
Area 6 – David Kaplan, Eric Marshall
Area 7 – Cathy Russell
Area 8 – Reza Akef
At-large – Quentin Fleming, Lou Kamer