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MINUTES for July 27th 2017

Voting members in attendance: Maryam Zar, Chris Spitz, Richard Cohen, George Wolfberg, Sue Kohl, Cathy Russell, Barbara Marinacci, Sarah Conner, Danielle Samulon, Reza Akef, Gilbert Dembo, Rick McGeagh, David Card, Peter Culhane, Lou Kamer, Rick Mills

Voting alternates: Kevin Niles, Doug McCormick, Eric Dugdale

Non-voting advisors and alternates: Amir Ebtehadj, Brenda Theveny, Quentin Fleming, Matthew Rodman

  1. Certification of Quorum. The Chair Maryam Zar called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm and certified that a quorum was present.
  2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission Statement. The Chair read the Council’s Mission. She explained that she would be mindful of time as the meeting must conclude by 9pm.
  3. Introduction of the Board and Audience. The board and audience were introduced.
  4. Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings. 1) Approval of Minutes: The Chair deemed the minutes of June 22, 2017 approved as distributed. 2) Upcoming Meetings: 8/24/17: 1) ASM Bloom Field Deputy Tim Harter and new Pacific Palisades Field Deputy, Melissa Kaufler – (a) Housing Bills, (b) Cell Tower regulation (SB 649) status & commitment to local control. 2) Sgt. Eun, from West LAPD Traffic. There will only be one meeting in the month of August.
  5. Consideration of Agenda. The Chair announced that the Agenda is as distributed.
  6. Treasurer’s report. Richard Cohen reported that PPCC has a current bank account balance of $38,115. He provided his annual Treasurer’s Report for the period June 1, 2016 through May 31, 2017. As of May 31, our balance was $39,477. Further information is provided in the attached Report, which Richard explained in detail. Richard stated that he is very concerned about the state of our finances. We are not receiving regular donations in the form of membership dues.
  7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns

7.1. From the Chair

7.1.1. Stuart Muller – recognition & farewell. Maryam acknowledged and thanked Stuart, a longtime former board member, who is retiring and leaving the Palisades. Stuart served as PPCC Area 6 representative from 1994 – 2016. He spoke about his life, his experience and his work in the community. Several persons acknowledged Stuart with farewell remarks and praise, including George Wolfberg, Donna Vaccarino, Barbara Marinacci, Barbara Kohn, Eric Dugdale and Rick Mills. The Chair read a message from Norman Kulla. Certificates and thanks were presented by Janet Turner on behalf of Congressman Lieu and Lisa Cahill on behalf of Councilman Bonin.

7.1.2. The Chair gave a traffic update from LAPD. The Sunday traffic task force was on Sunday 7/9. It resulted in tickets (50/50 motorcycles and cars) and impounds. On 7/19 and 7/26 LAPD conducted Wed. night task forces. On both nights, the turnout of the problematic motorcyclists was very minimal, and no Ruthless Ryderz (RR) were seen in the area. LAPD did cite and impound a few motorcycles here and there, but nothing serious. Sunday activities have subsided significantly as well. On the last few Sundays, no RR were seen at all, just casual weekend riders.

7.1.3. Affordable Housing linkage fee. The Mayor supports this proposal and has requested the support of neighborhood and community councils. The Chair suggested that members contact her if they are interested in having PPCC take this up.

7.1.4. Appointment of committees and advisors as of July 1, 2017. The Chair announced that she is reappointing the LUC, which had its first meeting today. The members are Howard Davidson (Chair), Reza Akef, Richard Blumenberg, Sarah Conner, Rick Mills, Chris Spitz and George Wolfberg. She will advise on all other appointments in August.

7.2. From Officers

7.2.1. Chris Spitz (Chair/Pres. Emeritus) – Cell Tower (SB 649) update. The bill would eliminate local control over installation of cells towers in the public rights of way and on public property statewide. It is widely opposed, including by Assemblymember Bloom and Senator Allen, but it passed in the Senate and has already passed in two Assembly committees. A vote in the full Assembly is expected soon. Opponents will be asking the Governor to veto the bill should it pass in the Assembly. Chris has been working with statewide coalitions and WRAC members and will continue to provide updates.

7.3. From At-Large and Area Reps

7.3.1. Lou Kamer (At-Large Representative) – Because of the recent power blackout, Lou is focused on continuing Flo Elfant’s work on emergency preparedness, and he is also moving ahead with safety and security issues apart from his role as At-large rep. He wants to educate the community as to what to do to prepare in an emergency. He is also concerned with various construction-related issues, such as dumpsters blocking streets, sidewalks being broken, workers leaving trash and urinating in public; he believes something needs to be done to protect our neighborhoods and quality of life. Gil Dembo reported that workers on a nearby development are using Los Liones Canyon as a dumping ground and also urinating in public. TCA is cleaning up. Board members suggested various solutions to these problems. The Chair suggested that Lou create an action plan.

7.3.2. Rick Mills (Area 4 Representative) – Eight homes are being proposed along Marquette St. This has gone to the Civic League once and will go again; the neighbors are communicating with the developer.

7.3.3. Peter Culhane (Area 2 Representative) – Congratulated Lisa Cahill, Bruce Schwartz and Dave Dwyer (Highlands Council President) for helping on recent problems in the area, including missing DOT signs, clogged basins along Palisades Dr. and other issues. He also described several other “quality of life” problems that he’s been working on with the Areas 1 and 3 reps involving those areas.

7.3.4. Cathy Russell (Area 7 Representative) – Aircraft noise update. An amendment to HR 2997 is being proposed which would require the FAA to increase accountability by meeting periodically with residents regarding commercial aircraft noise. People are urged to contact Congressman Lieu to support that bill.

7.4. From Organizational Reps

7.4.1. Susan Payne (Chamber of Commerce alternate) – not present. In her absence the Chair reported that there will be a mixer on 8/24 at the dentist’s office at 881 Alma Real from 5:30-7:30pm.   On Sept. 5 there will be a Business to Business event which will include speakers Elyse Walker and the owner of Café Vida.

7.4.2. Barbara Marinacci (Palisades Beautiful) – Temescal Canyon Road wood dumping (deferred to Lisa Cahill for the update).

7.4.3. Rick McGeagh (PPBA) – Reported on extensive improvement work ongoing at the Palisades Recreation Center and park.

7.5. From Government Offices/Representatives

7.5.1. Janet Turner; Office of Representative Ted Lieu. Janet reported that the Congressman is on the Quiet Skies Caucus. She announced various prizes/contests and scholarships. She also left handouts for applications for admission to one of the service academies. Congressman Lieu is sponsoring the New Collar Jobs Act, which provides for re-educating industrial workers in cyber security skills.

7.5.2. Lisa Cahill; Office of Councilmember Mike Bonin. Lisa thanked the parade organizers for their great work on the 4th of July. The CD11 interns, including Amir Ebtehadj and another young person from the Palisades, are doing outstanding jobs. Regarding traffic: Mike has tried techniques to abate traffic issues on Vista del Mar and on Venice Blvd, with mixed reactions. Lisa encouraged viewing of a video on the CD11 website explaining what is happening with traffic. CD11 is also looking at variety of solutions if the RR problem reemerges. There is a spike in crime in Brentwood, but not so much here. LAPD is responding. Most are crimes of opportunity. Many City departments are working on fixing the drainage problem with the basins along Palisades Dr. Regarding wood dumping on Temescal Canyon: This has been going on for 35 years. The City is taking steps to fix the problem. It’s a pedestrian and traffic hazard. It will take time. The Bureau of Sanitation is picking up the wood. The Bureau of Street Services and Recreation & Parks are working on signage for enforcement. A long-term change in behavior is needed. They are working on providing an alternative for dumping and a long-term solution. The Chair acknowledged Barbara Marinacci for her role in bringing this to our attention. Lisa reported that there was a fire safety event on Haverford with LAFD. They looked at smoke alarms, which should be re-evaluated every few years. A fire review meeting took place in Mandeville. There will be a tree giveaway on Sunday at the Palisades Farmers Market. Mike will be there part of the time. The Chair raised the issue of the crosswalk on the east side of Allenford in Area 8. A work order was issued to eliminate one of the crosswalks. Lisa explained that the City decided that would be a good thing. She is not sure of the timeline. There has been no debate. It is believed this will improve traffic flow. Reza Akef disagreed with the crosswalk to be removed. Lisa stated that this is to be discussed further.

7.6. From PPCC Advisors – None.

  1. Reports from Committees

8.1.   PPCC LUC (Howard Robinson, LUC Chair) – Not present. The Chair announced that the LUC held its first public meeting this evening before the Board meeting; information about the LUC and upcoming meetings will be posted on the PPCC website.

  1. General Public Comment – None.
  2. Old Business – None.
  3. New Business –

11.1. Chipotle on Sunset – seeking onsite beer sales. Valerie Sacks of Liquor License.com presented, along with the manager of this location; he manages 10 stores, including Brentwood. Chipotle is seeking a CUB to serve beer as well as a Type 41 license from the state (beer and wine – there is no ABC license only for beer). They request our support or non-opposition. Chipotle describes itself as a hybrid-step up above fast food. They have a commitment to sustainability. They serve beer at hundreds of locations with no problems, including their store on the UCLA campus where patrons include students under and over 21. They have not been cited for ABC violations and there have been no complaints. Chipotle has systems and procedures in place to be sure beer sales are managed properly. They look for people who appear to be under 40 to card. This is based on human judgment. Cashiers are taught and trained for a week, and then validated by the GM. A card swiping system can’t be put in place. Persons under 21 can work there but the GMs have to be over 21. ABC regulations don’t require cashiers to be 21.

Rick Mills: Expressed concern about supervision over all customers. Would beer be allowed outside? How can they properly supervise patrons? A: It’s a good layout because it’s so small, and workers have good vision for anything going on. They will have staff making rounds checking and touching tables. Alcohol must be consumed in the store; there is a sign that you can’t take alcohol outside on the patio. Sarah Conner: How will you monitor the patrons and beer left on the table? A: They have bussers who clean tables regularly. Richard Blumenberg: Expressed concern with the layout, which is small, with shared tables. Q: Why are you applying only for a Type 41 license? A: They originally applied for a license to sell a full alcohol line (Type 47) for flexibility in order to serve beer and margaritas. Corporate then said they weren’t going to apply for Type 47 licenses any longer so they changed the application to a Type 41. Chair: Why are you applying to serve alcohol at all? A: Chipotle caters to people who would like beer with their burrito. Chris Spitz: Has eaten at many Chipotle restaurants in the region; all serve beer and she has not noticed a problem in other stores. How will the beer be served? A: Bottles are behind counter in a locked cooler. The cashier opens the bottles. There is a three drink maximum. The workers are taught to refuse service if the patron is inebriated. Lou Kamer: Understands this is a directive from corporate; described the number of establishments to be serving alcohol within 1000 ft. in the Village and asked presenters if they would feel comfortable if they lived here with another establishment serving alcohol? A: That depends on the operator. Chipotle has been established 24 years and has a good track record with almost no issues with alcohol. Sandy Eddy (audience): Has concerns about the increasing numbers, the proximity to schools and the volume of kids in the store who can’t be supervised. Julie (audience): Has lived here for 15 years; she is a young person exited about Chipotle coming, as it is a place where she can relax after work and have a beer in a casual environment. She feels it would be a wonderful addition to the community. Rick McGeagh: Is ecstatic to have Chipotle in the Palisades. The environment doesn’t lend itself to intoxication. Kids won’t spend $5 for a beer there. Richard Cohen: If a grownup wants to have a beer with their burrito, he has no problem with that. The beer will be locked up and patrons will have to go through a gatekeeper to buy beer. There are other places in the community that sell beer and other alcohol, such as CVS and the grocery stores, where kids are present but you must go through a gatekeeper to buy beer. Matthew Rodman: The layout is unlike any other restaurant, with a communal table where beer bottles could be left; in his opinion the layout doesn’t lend itself to beer sales. Q: What about the saturation point argument? A: It is unfair to single out Chipotle for that argument.

The Chair stated that there appeared to be no consensus. No motion was made either to support or oppose the CUB request and no action was taken on the matter.

11.2. Sam’s Restaurant – seeking expanded operating hours and bar (full liquor). Larry Mondragon presenting.   The owner wants to be open from 11am to 1am (the hours are now 6pm to 11pm). He also wants to add a fixed bar with 8 seats (6 bar stools and two wheelchair accessible seats/stools). They are doing renovations to move a restroom. Seating will not be increased; there will be no change in square footage, and it will continue to be high quality restaurant with a high Zagat rating. They are proposing three conditions for the bar: 1) the bar wouldn’t be open unless the kitchen is open; it is an adjunct to the function of the restaurant; 2) There will always be food available at the bar; 3) There will be no standing bar service; patrons must be seated to have a drink. Valet parking will continue. There will be no music or dancing. No complaints have been received from neighbors. Sam’s currently has a full alcohol license.

Gil Dembo: Are there arrangements for offsite parking? A: Yes, they have a valet parking arrangement, 200 ft down the street, in a lot on the same side of Channel. There will be a longer period of service; this not result in a more intense volume, because more people will be served over a longer period of time. Q: What is going on with the Hungry Cat (grey) building on the corner? A: It is empty and they are now looking for a tenant. George Wolfberg: Sam’s is his neighborhood restaurant; the food is fabulous and Sam is wonderful. Sam is on site. George hasn’t heard of any problems. Q: What time will the parking valet end? A: Valet service will continue to 1am. Cathy Russell: There have been complaints from neighbors about other restaurants, regarding noise and parking spaces; she is just raising a concern as there is proximity to PCH and residential. A: The zoning is mixed use and there have been no complaints with Sam’s.

Richard Cohen made the following motion: “We recognize that Sam has been a responsible operator and has not offended the neighbors; we would like to see our local restauranteur succeed, and therefore we have no objection to the Sam’s Restaurant CUB requests.” Second by George Wolfberg: Discussion of other nearby restaurants’ operating hours. Vote: the motion passed unanimously.

11.3 WRAC-Recommended Motions – Deferred due to lack of time.

  1. Adjournment.   The Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:01 pm.

ATTACHMENT TO ITEM 6 – Treasurer’s Report

PPCC Treasurer’s Report June 1, 2016 – May 31, 2017
Balance 6/1/2016 35,944
Balance 5/31/2017 39,477
Increase in Funds 3,533
Regular Contributions (includes $2,000 from MS) 2,536
Operating Expenses
Rent 1,026
Insurance 1,315
Data and Election Related 2,399
Tax Prep 275
Misc 806
Total Operating Expenses 5,821
Operating Loss -3,285
Dinner & Tribute Revenue 15,706
Event Costs 8,888
Event Profit 6,818
Increase in Funds 3,533

 

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