MINUTES FOR JANUARY 12th 2017
Voting Members in Attendance: Maryam Zar, George Wolfberg, Michael Soneff, Chris Spitz, Cathy Russell, Sue Kohl, Rick Mills, Reza Akef, Peter Culhane, Rick McGeagh, Danielle Samulon, Richard Blumenberg, Richard Wulliger, Lou Kamer, Barbara Marinacci, David Card, Gilbert Dembo
Voting Alternates: Doug McCormick, David Peterson
Non-Voting Advisors and Alternates: Bruce Schwartz, Kevin Niles, Leah Cox, Doria Anselmo, Carol Bruch, Matthew Rodman
1. Certification of Quorum. The Chair Maryam Zar called the meeting to order and certified that a quorum was present at 7:02 pm.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Sue Kohl read the Mission Statement.
3. Introduction of the Board and Audience. The board and audience were introduced.
4. Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings. 1) Approval of Minutes: Maryam approved the minutes of November 10, 2016 and December 8, 2016 . 2) Upcoming meetings: 1/26/17. Caruso representatives re Village project update (tentatively expected to attend on 2/23/17); Cori Cross, MD & Jill Piscatella on the topic of early exposure to marijuana by high school aged youth and how to act to avoid having pot shops around our schools. 2/09/17. Shell Station owner/developer (Kohanoff); tentative discussions on the table for a Candidates forum for City Council District 11 Candidates.
5. Consideration of Agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Maryam (in the Treasurer’s absence) reported that PPCC has $39,427.66 COH, and there were no significant transactions in the last month (except for Gala expenses). The Gala generated net proceeds of $6,218.00, with some payments still outstanding. The Chair suggested a future conversation on what can be done with the money to benefit the community.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. From the Chair.
7.1.1. Caruso Village Project update. Maryam Zar summarized a report on the Project from Caruso representative Michael Gazzano:
-Rain has prohibited them from working quite a bit the past couple weeks. They have rain delays assumed in the project schedule and there won’t be impacts to the grand opening date. They cannot excavate and haul on rainy days, which can apparently extend into the following day pending conditions onsite and at Potrero.
-No complaints from residents recently.
-The contractor has done a good job maintaining dust as best as possible. They are also reaching the more moist soil which helps mitigate dust.
-Pending weather, they are hoping to do some re-striping on Sunset Blvd next week. Nothing major, just adding some striping near our k-rail as required by LADOT.
7.1.2. New Committee forming – PaliWorks Committee. Deferred to 1/26.
7.1.3. Theatre Palisades has a show opening this Friday, “Picnic.” Please go to their website and buy tickets. (http://www.theatrepalisades.org/).
7.1.4. Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board public meeting, 1/18/17, 7pm.
PPCC organizational representative Rick McGeagh is a PAB member and will be there. Maryam will attend to present an idea about having the center circle, now devoid of trees, turn into a community garden or green space of sorts.7.1.5. Shell station — update on DRB meeting 1/11/17. Maryam reported that the DRB approved the design portions. PPCC will hear from the owner/developer and discuss the conditional use issue on 2/9. This includes (a) hours of operation and (b) the sale of alcohol. Stuart Muller reported that the DRB had also considered and opined on use issues.
7.2. From Officers.
7.2.1. George Wolfberg (Vice Chair).
1) There will be an FAA hearing re flight path changes on 1/25/17, 5pm at Pali High, Mercer Hall; 2) update on home illegally constructeed on the corner of Brooktree & Greentree (Beglari): The house is now in foreclosure and owned by the bank.
7.2.2. Chris Spitz (Chair Emeritus).
Updates: 1) Starbucks will no longer be pursuing the Evenings Program. It has been confirmed to us that the Program (beer and wine sales) will no longer be pursued at the Palisades Village store. 2) ADUs Ordinance (Granny flats in residential zones). Under a new state law, the city is required to permit ADUs, although the city can regulate them. The State law entirely controls the regulation until LA City passes its own rules. ADUs will remain illegal in hillside zones except for some exceptions, if the new city ordinance passes. 3) Sidewalk vending ordinance: PPCC has taken a position against legalization of sidewalk vending but urging that if legalization is to occur, it must be on an “opt-in” basis only. The Palisades BID and the Chamber of Commerce have taken similar positions. The City Council Public Works Committee is going forward with research on an ordinance NOT on an opt-in basis. CM Bonin has stated that he would support an opt-in system, but it appears that other Council members disagree. Some are concerned that undocumented immigrants could be deported for illegal sidewalk vending. We have been told to expect the matter to be heard soon in the full City Council.
7.3. From At-Large and Area Representatives.
7.3.1. Lou Kamer (At-Large) – Recent meetings & PaliWorks Committee. Deferred to 1/26.
7.3.3. Peter Culhane (Area 2) – Highlands & streets.
Peter reported that when residents in the Highlands dump furniture, it gets taken into the canyons by homeless people. Peter will be talking to CD11 about water run-off and encumbered gullies that are backing up. He will report again with an update.
7.3.4. Sue Kohl (Area 5) – Area 5 & crime.
1) Sue reported that she had a couple of calls from neighbors who reported that burglars have attempted to break into homes. In both cases alarm systems went off and prevented entry. 2) Sue is working on a permit parking system around the Alphabet streets. Most of the residents in the Alphabets don’t particularly care about permit parking, but said they would be open to it if they are affected by project parking. A few streets (Embury, Monument, Via De La Paz, Albright and Bashford (corner) residents on these nearby streets are most concerned, and would have to sign necessary petitions. 75% of residents have to sign petitions in order for a restricted parking district to be approved by the city. Mike Bonin’s office has agreed to help go door to door. There would be no parking without a permit at night. Homes can get passes for guests and short term guests. Getting the permit requires going to the city. Audience suggestion: Wait and see what the fallout is. We are going to have a domino effect. Sue: The city was in favor of starting now. Lou Kamer noted that there have been long-term problems there. Rick Lemmo: New tenants are required to park in the building as a condition of their lease.
7.3.5. Doug McCormick (Area 1 Alternate).
1) Doug attended a DONE meeting in Dec. on homelessness; PPCC is the only council to create a task force to deal with the problem. All of the homeless committee coordinators for all the 96 neighborhood council liaisons met. Few of them had a substantive plan for action. There are going to be monthly meetings. 2) There will be a PPTFH community meeting with Supervising Judge Michael Levanas on 1/23/17, 7pm at Palisades branch library; the subject is ‘service resistant’ homeless people. 3) The Palisades Homeless Count will take place on1/26/17, 5am at Pali High, Mercer Hall; sign up at www.theycountwillyou.org. The Count will substantiate HUD federal grants for housing and services.
7.3.6. Reza Akef (Area 8).
1) Reza reported that there was a very productive meeting today coordinated by Sharon Shapiro of CD11 on the new LA Genesis Open to take place in February, sponsored by the new host organization, the Tiger Woods Foundation. Foundation representative Dave Klewan attended and all went well. 2) The Polo Fields community recently hired a security company to patrol parking and pickup at the end of school hours. The cost is $30/month to enforce no parking on Allenford. Maryam noted that all four LAUSD District 4 candidates will be at a candidates forum on February 2 at Paul Revere from 7pm-9pm.
7.4. From Organizational Representatives.
7.4.1. Rick Lemmo (Chamber of Commerce). Rick reported that the Chamber will hold its annual Installation dinner at Riviera Country Club on January 19. The next speaker series event will be on March 25.
7.4.2. Richard Blumenberg (Civic League).
Richard gave an update on the BMO/BHO and R1 Variation Zones Code Amendments. He reported that R1 zones are losing 25-30% of allowed square footage of construction. There are ratio changes. Bonus options are eliminated and there are limits on maximum grading. The Amendments also establish an encroachment plane from the setback line. Other changes: Sidewall articulation; limits driveway width.; eliminates the exemption for certain spaces; eliminates the exemption for green buildings; front facing attached garages will lose 200 sq. ft; changed the exemption for grading on hillside properties to count that grading under the house structure. The Amendments have been heard and approved by the City Planning Commission, were approved by the PLUM Committee, and were approved with modifications by the City Council on December, 7 2016.
Audience member Cheryl Zomber stated that she found an element of confusion about who Richard Blumenberg was speaking on behalf of and questioned his potential conflict of interest. It was clarified that Richard was speaking on behalf of the Civic League. Maryam asked Zomber to address Board members with a more collegial and less menacing tone
7.4.3. Barbara Marinacci (Palisades Beautiful) – NEXT Garden. Deferred to 1/26.
7.4.4. Bruce (Palisades PRIDE). Bruce attended the recent WRAC LUPC (Westside Regional Alliance of Neighborhood and Community Councils Land Use Planning Committee) meeting, which included a briefing by LA Homeless Services Joint Powers Authority Homelessness. He reported that it will take 50 years at this rate to get enough housing.
7.4.5. Rick McGeagh (PPBA). Rick reported that there is a new tennis operator and other improvements at the park. Meetings will be taking place and the 21st and 22nd are the new deadlines to sign up. David Card noted that Rustic Canyon also has tennis courts that have been rehabilitated and the tennis shed is going to be rebuilt.
7.5. From Governmental Representatives.
7.5.1. Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – Officer Edna Veloz, #39585,West Los Angeles Community Relations Office.
Officer Veloz has been with the Los Angeles Police Department for approximately 8 1/2 years. She’s been assigned to different details such as: Patrol Officer, Parole Compliance Unit Officer, Vice Investigative Officer and the West Los Angeles Community Relations Office working as an acting Senior Lead Officer (when Senior Leads are on vacation) and a Youth Service Officer. Officer Veloz update: Prowling/burglaries in the area. There were 4 “hot prowls.” A hot prowl is when someone comes inside the house when someone is home. Entries were through unlocked sliding glass doors. Two suspects were arrested in the Asilomar case. Her advice is to set home alarms and invest in doorbell replacements. 2015: 9 robberies, 11 in 2016. 2015: 28 aggravated assaults. 25 in 2016. 99 burglaries. Grand theft auto 2015: 18, 2016: 36. Thefts; 128 in 2015, 111 in 2016. An audience member thanked Maryam, the PPCC and LAPD for dealing with an RV owner who tried to set up in the neighborhood. Office Veloz reported that Officer Rusty Redican has given out a number of citations on the beach over the last few weeks. Cathy Russell asked whether signs stating no parking on the beach would be replaced. Sharon Shapiro said that the Council has a work order on file to replace the signs at the beach. The signs are still being enforced along the beach. Audience question: what constitutes an RV? Can people in the neighborhood park their RVs? Officer Veloz reported that the reason that people are cited is because people are sleeping in them.Carole Bruch asked about families living in cars and RVs. Sharon Shapiro said that LAHSA and LAPD are doing outreach to families who are living in cars and RVs, working to find alternatives. The new 8502 regulations regarding RVs apply to neighborhoods and within 500 feet of sensitive locations. Enforcement will begin in early February.
7.5.2. Sharon Shapiro – Office of Councilman Mike Bonin, Field Deputy.
Sharon thanked the PPCC for its award ceremony. She reported that Rob Hancock, the project engineer on Potrero Canyon, is retiring and was honored by CM Bonin at a ceremony which some community members attended this week at the City Council meeting downtown. Pedro Garcia is the new project manager for the Potrero project. On street vending: CM Bonin wants to see an opt-in system. Not all of the other councilmembers agree, some want an opt-out system. It will be heard at the City Council on January 18. Maryam asked about the opt-out mechanism. Sharon noted that CM Buscaino has proposed rules. Those details have not yet been ironed out. Sharon said that as part of the proposed ordinance, vendors have to apply for a permit, and as part of the permit process street vendors have to agree to maintain the area. Maryam announced that to hear what happens, there is a call in number for the City Council. Chris Spitz asked Sharon to confirm that there is no draft ordinance as of now; Sharon confirmed that was the case. What percentage of nearby business owners will have to opt in or out? Will public comment be allowed at the City Council level? Sharon said she would find out. The legal requirement of notification is 72 hours notice. Regarding road repairs due to the rain – the city is sending street services out to repair large scale pot holes as quickly as possible. The problem is that when it’s wet, asphalt won’t adhere to the pothole, which means that the patch won’t take.
7.5.3. Janet Turner – Office of Congressman Ted Lieu, Field Deputy – Not present.
7.6. From PPCC Advisors — None.
8. Reports from Committees.
8.1. PPCC LUC (Howard Robinson, Chair) – Not present.
9. General Public Comment.
Marge Gold expressed concern about the Caruso billboards on Sunset and stated that she believes they conflict with the Specific Plan. Maryam noted that the signs may be allowed under the MND. Cathy Russell said that the Subway flags may also violate the Specific Plan. Stuart Muller says that people need to file a complaint, rather than go to the DRB. Daphne Gronich said that the light-up monument sign at the Shell station is an issue. Maryam noted that they are going to try to put a dimmer on it.
10. Old Business — None.
11. New Business.
11.1. Tiger Woods Foundation/Genesis Open Golf Tournament.
Dave Klewan, General Manager of the Open, reported that only organizers have multiple events on the tour. The Foundation intends to engage and be respectful of the community. They sponsor STEM youth programs. They are also working closely with the local Chamber. The Tiger Woods Foundation has a 10 year deal to manage the tournament.
11.2. Sharon Commins on Re:code LA and other Planning and Land Use Topics.
Sharon is co-chair of the re:code LA Citizens Advisory Committee; co-chair of WRAC LUPC; and past chair, Mar Vista CC. She noted that the next guest speaker at WRAC- LUPC will be Tom Rothmann of the Planning Dept. The recode: LA Citizens Advisory Committee meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 6-8 pm at City Hall; parking can be arranged. re:code LA is not ReZone LA. The city is combining the zoning code with the phantom building code and the zoning administrator interpretations. All these codes will be combined in a web-based code. You should be able to punch in your address and see everything that’s relevant to the zoning. The use lists are up online. Context is the identity of the community: urban vs suburban. For more detail, refer to the spring 2016 slide presentation that’s up online. The ReCode website is www.recode.la. Rezoning only happens when the land is mapped per state law. Cities have to provide a list of properties. On LA City’s website there is a list of every property in the city that can accommodate more growth. Governor Brown’s budget-housing will be a centerpiece of that. There will not be a lot of affordable housing money. Focus is on infill growth. The California Strategic Growth Council gives out the money from cap and trade. OPR implements state bill 743. Code amendment is moving through the system. It’s important that the community is very attentive and vocal during new development. There has been a YIMBY movement that is pro-density and urbanist. There is disdain for single family homes. Abundant Housing LA is an advocacy group on the Westside that is pro-density. The argument is that gentrification is happening in other neighborhoods because of a lack of density on the Westside. WRAC members can take whatever position they want on Preserve LA. ReCode is an easy political football. Reza noted that there are discrepancies in requirements for development, and there is a great deal of discretion in the Code. There would be a point system put in place, so that developers could pick and choose things that they would want to put in to meet requirements.
The Granny Flats ordinance would allow increased density.
12. Adjournment — Maryam adjourned the meeting. [Note: adjournment time not recorded.]