MINUTES FOR JUNE 8th 2017
Voting members in attendance: Maryam Zar (Chair), George Wolfberg (Vice-Chair), Allison Holdorff Polhill (Secretary), Richard Cohen (Treasurer), Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Sue Kohl, Reza Akef, Rick Mills, Katie Braude, Peter Culhane, Cathy Russell, Danielle Samulon, Lou Kamer, Barbara Marinacci, Rick McGeagh, Leiauna Anderson, David Card, Richard Blumenberg.
Voting alternates: Eric Dugdale.
Non-voting advisors and alternates: Brian Deming, Doria Anselmo, Matthew Rodman, Leah Cox.
1. Certification of Quorum. The Chair called the meeting to order at 7:08 pm and certified that a quorum was present.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Chair 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: Chair deemed the minutes of May 25th, 2017 approved as distributed. 2) Upcoming Meetings: 6/22/17. 1) City Attorney Mike Feuer as guest. 2) WRAC-Recommended Motions. 7/27/17. 1) Chipotle CUB. 2) Sam’s CUB. There will only be one meeting in the months of July and August. Those are currently scheduled for 7/27 and 8/24.
5. Consideration of Agenda. Chair announced that the Agenda is as distributed.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported that PPCC has a bank account balance of $38,273. A check was written to the Palisades Parade Association since the last meeting.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. From the Chair.
7.1.1. 881 Alma Real/Pali Post Signage updates.
Chair announced that this labors on. There was unofficial outreach with no acknowledgement or response from Smolinisky (Post owner). The EC has now written and sent a letter to Smolinisky, per recent Board motion (letter posted on the PPCC website). Councilmember Bonin’s office assured our Chair just this week that local organizations did their work as they were expected to, and for an inexplicable reason the Planning Department dropped the ball by failing to issue a timely determination letter.
7.1.2. Maryam thanked Bruce Schwartz for his selfless volunteer efforts to beautify Sunset and revive a neglected median with flowers and plantings. She referred to him as a horticultural genius.
7.1.3. Update on homelessness. Chair announced that “Timmy” has left the Palisades beyond State boundaries.
7.1.4. Chair stated that she was confirmed and sworn in as Commissioner on the City Commission for the Status of Women on 6/6/17. She was appointed by the Mayor in April 2017.
7.1.5. Chair reported that regarding the pole-top distributing station at Sunset & Marquez Pl., the Coastal Commission unanimously ruled in favor of LADWP and did not find a credible issue of substance raised by the appellant. Next: Coastal Development Permit and Construction.
7.2. From Officers.
7.2.1. George Wolfberg (Vice-Chair). George reported on the City Open Spaces meeting (6/7/17). The State of California mandates that Cities have an Open Space Plan. The Planning Department is motivated to update the Open Space Plan (has not been updated for 50 years). A task force has been created. Ileana Wachtel and others requested a public meeting. On June 7th George Wolfberg and others met with the City regarding the Open Space Plan. LA City has created a website: ourla2040.org.
7.2.2. Chris Spitz (Chair/President Emeritus).
Chris reported on WRAC LUPC issues, including SB 649 (a bill to regulate so-called “small cell” wireless facilities in the public right of way and other property). SB 649 removes local discretionary decision making over cell towers and severely restricts local control. The bill passed in the California Senate by all but one vote; Ben Allen was a “No Vote Recorded.” Bonin’s office is opposed. A resolution in opposition is pending in City Council. WRAC LUPC recommended a motion in opposition to SB 649, which, if passed in leadership, will go to member councils for a vote, per WRAC process. Chris also reported on a WRAC LUPC motion, suggested by PPCC, that will go to leadership, regarding the Permit Streamlining Act. This motion calls for concrete measures by Planning to prevent further violations of the Act as occurred in the Palisades with the Palisadian Post signage (such as tagging of all relevant deadlines). Maryam added that per her suggested amendment this motion also calls for notice to the affected councils of all relevant deadlines. This was added in an effort to give notice, and perhaps help guard against, the operation of law overriding local control in the future. As with all WRAC LUPC-recommended motions, if passed in leadership this motion will come to PPCC for a vote.
7.3. From At-Large and Area Reps.
7.3.1. Lou Kamer (At-large Rep).
Crosswalk update, Vision Zero, Safe Routes to School. Lou reported regarding Vision Zero that the first year they had a 43% increase in fatalities. They have altered their system to identify “near miss” intersections. Regarding Safe Routes to Schools, he stated that this identifies safe routes from residential areas to schools. He also reported that community floats will be created for the 4th of July Parade. RING is the sponsor. See more float information at www.palisadesparade.org.
Maryam reminded PPCC members to submit their input regarding crosswalks in their respective areas that they think need restriping, and should perhaps be added to the list of priorities to be considered by the City.
7.4. From Organizational Reps.
7.4.1. David Card (Rotary Club) reported that at the bottom of Temescal an Eagle Scout has completed his project. David Card stated that Entrada was going to be closed again this weekend.
7.5. From Government Offices/Representatives.
7.5.1. Lisa Cahill (Palisades-Brentwood Deputy, office of Councilmember Mike Bonin/CD11).
Lisa thanked PPCC for welcoming her. Regarding the fire in Mandeville Canyon, she reported that Councilmember Bonin put a public spotlight on the availability of only one “water dropping” helicopter to battle the recent Mandeville fire, and requested that maintenance on additional helicopters be expedited. Chair noted a recent issue in the Palisades involving a homeless man with a dangerous wound who was loitering at the park and had sullied the sidewalk with what may have been contagious body fluids. CD11 was asked to call HazMat, but instead, park staff were asked to clean the mess. They did, apparently satisfactorily, but can we count on CD11 to be responsive to our needs, for example alert HazMat for us when need be, now that there’s a new FD? Reza Akef noted that gravel rocks are coming down hillsides and spilling onto Sunset. Patrick Hart suggested that Temescal brush posed a fire hazard for the upcoming 4th of July fireworks planned in the Palisades. Daphne Gronich stated that LAFD and LAPD were going to close Temescal during the 4th of July Fireworks. Station 69 is doing ongoing brush clearance inspections. Lisa said she would look into all and get back to us.
7.6. From PPCC Advisors — None.
8. Reports from Committees.
8.1. VPCLC (David Kaplan and Sue Kohl, Co-Chairs).
David reported that 10 students won the art contest sponsored by Caruso for the construction barriers, with one student from Palisades Elementary being the overall winner. The art will be displayed on the part of the barrier wall facing Swarthmore, which was chosen because it is the safer side of the fence for artwork that may attract the attention of drivers who may want to view the art. He also reported that the 1st and 2nd parking decks of the project have been completed.
9. General Public Comment – None.
10. Old Business.
10.1. [Traffic and Safety.]
Officers Ryan Basaker & Patrick O’Dea joined PPCC to speak about enforcement efforts for traffic and safety in Pacific Palisades. Ryan Basaker reported that he and Officer Patrick O’Dea are assigned to the Palisades area. Task Forces comprised of four officers have been successful dealing with motorcycle issues. Officer Patrick O’Dea reported that motorcyclists congregate in the valley or in Hollywood from all over California. Since the recent fatality, there have been more task forces covering this area. Multiple bikes have been impounded and many tickets have been handed out. There are limited amount of funds for these details and they are trying to get overtime details to try and work on Wednesday night to combat the motorcycle issue.
Over the course of 24 hours they conducted a speed survey east of Palisades Drive. The survey found 6,884 cars with an average speed of 33.8 mph. The highest speed was 58 mph. 85th percentile of the vehicles was 38 mph. Richard Cohen suggested that our community should recognize that the officers are constrained by the law and resources. A discussion ensued regarding additional penalties for cyclists riding together and intending to break the law. Speed surveys are expired and need to be conducted as soon as possible.
10.2. [Planning, Zoning, Baseline Mansionization.]
Tricia Keane – Director of Planning, office of Councilmember Mike Bonin/CD 11. Tricia joined PPCC to report on and discuss planning issues, zoning and Baseline Mansionization matters. She reported that the Palisades has coastal zones, “flat” zones, hillside zones and coastal zones with hillsides. Hillside and coastal is dependent upon land that was re-zoned. The new plans apply to R1 zones. Flat R1 zones buildings are required to meet an encroachment plane. As buildings get taller, there are regulations to maintain light and air. Most of the Palisades changed to an R1V1 zone. Lot size determines the size of the home. Tricia indicated that the planning is outlined for single family dwellings and a link will be provided to Chair. She gave the ZIMAS website: Zimas.lacity.org
Tricia also reported that regarding SB 649 (small cell wireless facilities bill), Councilmember Bonin shares the community’s concerns and believes that the bill does not support local control. He will be writing letters to the Assemblymembers who represent constituents of CD11, including Assemblymember Bloom.
Reza Akef raised a concern regarding whether LADWP has the proper infrastructure to handle requests for singular home transformers. LADWP requires transformers for each new home built.
11. New Business.
11.1. Tim Harter, Sr. Field Representative, Assemblymember Bloom – was to discuss housing bills proposed by the ASM, and those being considered at the Assembly; as well as discussion on recent cell tower developments at the State level — Not in attendance. Chair will reschedule.
11.2. Officer Elections.
Doria Anselmo & Brian Deming, non-voting board members, served as ballot counters. Maryam announced that PPCC’s accountant was asked to attend per the bylaws but was not able to attend. Ballots were distributed and the vote taken. Maryam stated that 20 voting members were present and 11 (a majority) were needed to elect each officer, per the bylaws. After counting the votes, Brian announced the vote totals as follows: Maryam Zar, Chair – 19 votes, George Wolfberg, Vice Chair – 20 votes, Richard Cohen, Treasurer – 19 votes, Allison Holdorff Polhill, Secretary – 20 votes. The Chair thanked the counters and the Board, and announced that all officers have been re-elected for the 2017-2018 term, which begins on July 1, 2017.
12. Adjournment. The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:53 pm.