MINUTES FOR April 27th 2017
Voting members in attendance: Maryam Zar, George Wolfberg, Allison Holdorff Polhill, Chris Spitz, Sue Kohl, Reza Akef, Rick Mills, Peter Culhane, Danielle Samulon, Lou Kamer, Barbara Marinacci, Dick Wulliger, Rick McGeagh, Leiauna Anderson, David Card, Sarah Conner, Richard Blumenberg.
Voting alternates: Steve Boyers, Susan Payne.
Non-voting advisors and alternates: Howard Robinson, Doria Anselmo, Bruce Schwartz, Kevin Niles.
- Certification of Quorum. Chair Maryam Zar called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm and certified that a quorum was present.
- Reading of Community Council’s Mission Statement. Sarah Conner read the Council’s Mission.
- Introduction of the Board and Audience. The board and audience were introduced.
- Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings. 1) Approval of Minutes: Maryam deemed the minutes of April 13, 2017 approved as distributed. 2) Upcoming Meetings: 5/11/17: 1) Bernheimer Gardens property owners & DWP discussion of temp pole top pad mount; 2) Fire Station Captains on duty, Valdez & Mitchell; 4) MKPOA/PPCL presentations; 5) Nominating Committee announcement of nominees for PPCC officers, 2017-2018 term; 5/25/17: 1) City Attorney Mike Feuer as guest.
- Consideration of Agenda. Maryam announced that the Agenda is as distributed.
- Treasurer’s report. In the absence of Richard Cohen, Allison Holdorff Polhill reported that PPCC has a bank account balance of $39,901. There was a transaction in the amount of $192 for the LAUSD forum.
- Reports, Announcements and Concerns
7.1. From the Chair
7.1.1. Maryam reported that she has formed a new PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC), with Howard Robinson as Chair; members: Howard Robinson (Chair), Reza Akef, Richard Blumenberg, Sarah Conner, Gilbert Dembo, Rick Mills, Chris Spitz, George Wolfberg and Maryam Zar (ex officio). See “Formation Memo” attached.
7.1.2. The Chair announced that a possible Palisades Art Walk is in the works. She had brought up the idea to then Chair, Chris Spitz, a couple of years ago, and has since approached CD11 for support. Councilmember Bonin has pledged that the Council District will waive the permit fees and provide some tables and chairs to assist the launch of our Palisades Art Walk. She suggested a joinder of efforts with the Pacific Palisades Chamber, since they are familiar with this kind of event. The Chamber of Commerce board has unanimously agreed to participate with PPCC. Maryam asked if any members had objections to PPCC going forward. There were no objections to the Art Walk to the joinder of efforts with the PP Chamber on the Art Walk. Maryam told members to expect the project to go forward with more information forthcoming. The Art Walk is now being considered for Fall 2018. Daphne Gronich (audience) suggested that Pali High student Zack Eastland, who spoke to the board about a possible graffiti art project, join a committee for the Art Walk. Allison Holdorff Polhill announced that this weekend at Pali High an art festival, Human Kind, created by the students at PCHS under the supervision of Nancy Fracchiolla, is taking place: 4.28.17 & 4.29.17, 7:30 pm and 9 pm, and 4.30.17, 8 pm.
7.1.3. Maryam announced that the Fire Captains on duty will be at PPCC’s next meeting to discuss Fire Service Day and the Station’s work. She would like PPCC to honor our firefighters with a certificate and asked board members sign a matted frame (provided) for the certificate to be presented on May 11th.
7.1.4. Maryam advised that SLO Moore is requesting information from residents regarding beach overnight camping. There is a challenge to an ordinance prohibiting overnight camping on the beach. SLO Moore has suggested that residents send emails laying out their non-homelessness related concerns related to beach overnight camping. SLO Moore can be contacted via email at email@example.com; other contact information for him is on the PPCC website (Resources/Government/Other Contacts).
7.1.5. Two letters reflecting the Board position on motions or discussion were recently sent to the City: (a) the motion to support a year round beach detail, (b) the outcome of the Shell Station discussion. The two letters are posted on the PPCC website.
7.2. From Officers
7.2.2. George Wolfberg (Vice-Chair) and Lou Kamer (At-large Rep) met with a representative of Bonin’s office (Jessie Holzer, CD 11 Mobility Deputy) regarding Chautauqua/Entrada/PCH improvements. They reported that CD 11 has support from DOT regarding a lengthy list of items to improve our community including refreshing the paint, other traffic issues. Maryam clarified that CD11 had submitted a list of improvement ideas for PPCC consideration. That list was the topic of the meeting discussion. What transpired from the meeting was a need to involve Caltrans (since PCH is maintained by them). Maryam has already sent an email to ASM Bloom’s office asking them to engage Caltrans and place this item for discussion on the next PCH Task force meeting (which our Transportation Adviser, Patti Post and our Vice Chair, George Wolfberg attend representing Pacific Palisades and the PPCC).
7.3. From At-Large and Area Reps
7.3.1. Danielle Samulon (Area 3 Rep) expressed thanks to all who have donated to the families who are victims of the recent house fire in Area 3.
7.3.2. Sue Kohl (Area 5 Rep) gave an update regarding the Caruso project. Hauling is down to two times a week. Caruso does not anticipate any delays. Everything is going well and as planned. By the late summer/early fall of 2018 the project should be completed. Caruso is working with local schools to contribute student artwork to the construction barrier, which will also include historical pictures of the Palisades. Caruso is donating monies to local schools that are providing artwork.
7.4. From Organizational Reps
7.4.1. David Card (Rotary Club rep) announced that on May 20th the 4th annual “All In For Kids Texas Hold‘em poker tournament/fundraiser” will take place at the Presbyterian Church, from 5-11pm. $200 buy-in is the minimum requirement. The prize pool is approximately $5,000. This is a joint effort between the local YMCA and Rotary Club which benefits various youth organizations. Registration at poker.palisadesrotary.com.
David also announced that graffiti has increased at the mouth of Potrero Canyon on both a wall along the bluff road and a wall at PCH.. He has reached out to Debbie Dyner-Harris and she has pledged to contact (City vendor) Pacific Graffiti Solutions to come and clean up. Maryam said she was on the string and would follow up if she didn’t see anything happening.
7.4.2. Susan Payne (Chamber of Commerce alternate) reported that on May 7, 10am-2pm, the annual Expo & Exotic/Classic Automobiles Show will take place on Antioch/Swarthmore and Via de la Paz, with 74 automobiles, 32 booths, big reptiles, martial arts, a petting zoo, food trucks and music. On May 18, 5-7pm, there will a Chamber mixer at Taste.
- Reports from Committees — None.
- General Public Comment.
Paula Leonhauser (resident) reported there is a need for more police presence. She went to Fire Station 69 and they confirmed that there is nothing they can do directly. They do not understand why LAPD is not doing more as far as monitoring & citations. Maryam said she had talked with Captain Thomas to maintain the momentum on traffic enforcement presence, and hoped the visibility of enforcement would serve as a deterrent to violations of traffic laws. She said she was pressing Captain Thomas to commit to forming a strategic group working in conjunction with PPCC EC (plus) to help move things along now that there is a sense of urgency. Maryam invited Paula to participate with the PPCC. Tom Creed (resident) asked, “How do we address the configuration of Sunset?” Maryam indicated that this would be a difficult conversation, and could perhaps be had at a later date.
Lynn Hylen (resident) reported that on January 27, 2017, Mike Bonin passed a resolution to form a dog park working group for the Palisades. She asked for PPCC cooperation to make the group productive and effective.
Zach Eastland (PCHS student) talked about the increase of graffiti and acknowledged that young students are trying to express themselves. He suggested that maybe there could be a specific area where young people could be artistic. George Wolfberg suggested the possibility of Zach becoming a PPCC youth advisor. Maryam asked Zach to contact her.
Rick Mills suggested that PCHS driver education may be necessary.
- Old Business –
10.1. Motion to form a traffic safety task force (Lou Kamer, At-large Rep) – motion made and seconded at the previous meeting; discussion on the motion deferred until tonight’s meeting. Maryam gave an update regarding her recent communications about forming a Strategic Team with LAPD West Traffic Captain Valencia Thomas. George Wolfberg (Vice-Chair; presiding during brief absence from the room by the Chair) then made a motion to amend the previous motion as follows:
“Since the LAPD will be forming a Strategic Team to work with the community and PPCC to increase safety in the Palisades in light of recent events, and
As the function of the PPCC is to act as a community forum for exploring the concerns of residents and businesses in the Pacific Palisades on issues such as this;
The PPCC formally supports the City’s Vision Zero Initiative for eliminating traffic deaths by 2020.”
Lou Kamer seconded the motion. The motion as amended passed unanimously without discussion.
10.2. WRAC-recommended motions re planning & density (deferred from the previous meeting). Chris Spitz (Chair/President Emeritus) explained that these two motions were originally recommended to the WRAC leadership by the WRAC Land Use & Planning Committee, on which she and George Wolfberg sit. The motions are now being recommended by WRAC leadership because the requested data will be important in the expected upcoming process of amending Community and Specific Plans. Chris stated that the motions are being made to the board by the Executive Committee, and that a second is therefore not required. Board voting on each motion was taken separately after discussion.
Motion A. “The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils [PPCC] formally requests that LA City Planning compute the maximum build out under existing zoning for low, medium and high density residential zones as well as commercial zones. These calculations shall include the highest possible SB 1818 and JJJ density bonuses, as well as Accessory Dwelling units [‘granny flats’] for each of the neighborhood and community councils in the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils area.” The motion passed unanimously.
Motion B. “The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils formally requests updated current figures on population and population density in the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils area and including a comparison to 2010 figures.” The motion passed unanimously.
- New Business –
11.1 Amendment of previously approved minutes (1/12/17). Motion by Danielle Samulon (Area 3 Rep) to remove the last sentence in section 7.4.2 of the 1/12/17 minutes. Motion withdrawn by Danielle at the request of Area 3 resident who originally had wanted the motion to be made.
11.2. Recent CUB applications and general discussion of alcohol sales in the Palisades.
A. Moku Sushi (proposed on-site sale/consumption of full line of alcoholic beverages; hearing date 5/8/17); presenting: Dafne Gokcen, F.E. Design & Consulting. Daphne stated that Moku Sushi opened in 2014. The restaurant wants to upgrade from a beer and wine license to a full line of alcohol and change their opening time from 11am Saturday and Sunday to 8am Saturday and Sunday. There will not be a separate bar and alcohol will be served at tables or the sushi counter with food service. Christian Irwin, property owner and local resident, presented information regarding their property and tenants. Mr. Irwin explained that he monitors his plaza and will be responsive to community needs. Reza Akef suggested that the PPCC evaluate CUB applications in the aggregate. Other members stated that the applications should be evaluated separately. Several members expressed support for the CUB application.
B. KaynDaves (proposed on-site sale/consumption of full line of alcoholic beverages; hearing date 5/8/17); presenting: Richard Herman, RS Herman Architects; Dave Light, owner/applicant. Richard Hermann stated that KaynDaves has enjoyed serving the Palisades beer and wine for the last 25 years. Dave is extremely responsible. Dave explained that the time is right to obtain a liquor license with the competition that will be coming in the near future with the Caruso project. There will not be a separate bar and alcohol will be served at tables with food service. There may be more traffic after the movies with the Caruso project and KaynDaves may want to extend their hours. Rick Mills, Sue Kohl, Chris Spitz, Howard Robinson, Lou Kamer and others complimented Dave and KaynDaves for being a responsible, family run restaurant and indicated support for the CUB application.
Sarah Conner moved that PPCC support both the Moku Sushi and KaynDaves CUB applications (onsite sale/consumption of full line of alcoholic beverages). Richard Blumenberg seconded the motion. A motion by Reza Akef to amend the motion to indicate that support was conditioned on there not being a separate bar in the restaurants was withdrawn by Reza after several members expressed the view that such an amendment was not necessary and/or not enforceable. During discussion of the motion, members emphasized that they supported the CUB applications because the restaurants were responsibly run, had been operating without incident for many years serving beer and wine, and their owners/operators were known to the community. The motion passed unanimously. No position was taken on the requested operating hours for either restaurant.
C. General discussion of alcohol sales.
Discussion on a general overview of our disposition on alcohol in the Palisades was not had in any formal way. Members indicated that they perceive restaurants in a different class of alcohol vendors, particularly if the restaurant is family owned, has a track record of responsible operation, and with deep roots in the community.
- Adjournment. Maryam adjourned the meeting at 8:46 pm.
ITEM 7.1.1: LUC Formation Memo
Pacific Palisades Community Council
COMMITTEE FORMATION Memo
Date: April 27, 2017
Maryam Zar, Chair, Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC)
Howard Robinson, Chair, PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC) & the PPCC Board
Re: Formation of PPCC LUC & Appointment of Members
The purpose of the LUC is to help standardize and professionalize the PPCC Board’s consideration of zoning and land use related issues by offering thorough, consistent and well-researched analysis and recommendations to the Board.
From 2010-2014, previous LUCs appointed by former PPCC Chairs reviewed and made recommendations to the Board on significant land use matters. In late 2014, the PPCC Chair appointed an ad-hoc Village Project Land Use Committee (VPLUC) for the focused task of reviewing the Caruso Village Project proposal. The VPLUC completed its work in 2016.
Pursuant to Article V, Section 4 of the PPCC bylaws, the Chair has authority to establish committees and to appoint committee chairs and members. On August 25, 2016, I appointed Howard Robinson to Chair a new PPCC LUC. I am now appointing eight (8) committee members, who are all versed and vested in local land use. The LUC can now begin committee operations.
Work of the Committee
There are a number of active City-sponsored land use policy initiatives and individual real estate development projects that will significantly affect our community. PPCC desires to effectively advise the City regarding these issues, which require a level of analysis that the full PPCC Board is not able to provide. This the need for the specific expertise of the LUC.
The following pending land use policy initiatives could be reviewed by the LUC:
- Development and adoption of a Coastal Zone Local Coastal Program (LCP), including an updated Land Use Plan and a Local Implementation Plan
- Review and update of the Brentwood/Pacific Palisades Community Plan
- Review and update of the Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhood Specific Plan
- ReCode LA (updated City-wide zoning code)
Regarding individual real estate development projects, the LUC’s approach should mirror the PPCC’s policies. PPCC does not generally get involved in single family dwelling cases, except when variances or other code waivers are being requested. There are exceptions for cases of particular sensitivity or prior PPCC interest, such as the homes around the rim of Potrero Canyon. For commercial projects or larger multi-family residential projects, it is PPCC’s policy to review those projects only where variances or other code waivers are requested by the applicant, or when there is substantial community interest in a particular project. The LUC will review and comment on which projects or policies to address. Additional policies for the work of the LUC can be developed by PPCC upon recommendation from the LUC. There are numerous LUCs active in Los Angeles and the LUC can review their relevant policies.
One of the committee’s early tasks should be to write out specific policies and procedures in order for stakeholders to clearly understand the role and function of the LUC.
Committee Structure and Guidelines:
- LUC to consist of 8 members, appointed by the PPCC Chair.
- LUC meetings to be held monthly or as needed.
- The LUC will be advisory only to the PPCC Board and would have no independent authority to speak on behalf of PPCC or the Board.
- The LUC’s work and recommendations should adhere to the PPCC Guiding Principles, found at Appendix D of the bylaws.
- Individuals eligible to serve on the LUC should include any Pacific Palisades resident, any representative of an organization with a Board seat per PPCC by-laws, or any person deemed by the PPCC Chair to have beneficial experience or knowledge helpful to the work of the LUC.
- The LUC should include members of the PPCC Board as a representative or alternate and should strive to include at least one member who has in the past served on the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board.
The following people have been appointed to serve on the LUC:
- Howard Robinson – Chair
- Chris Spitz
- George Wolfberg
- Sarah Conner
- Rick Mills
- Gil Dembo
- Richard Blumenberg
- Reza Akef
These individuals each have unique and valuable experience in land use and/or real estate development issues and collectively will form a strong committee to advise the PPCC Board on the relevant issues outlined above.
I Congratulate the Chair and members of this fine committee.