MINUTES FOR JULY 26th 2018
Voting Members in Attendance: George Wolfberg, Peter Culhane, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Card, David Kaplan, Cathy Russell, Rick Mills, Alan Goldsmith, Lou Kamer, Sarah Conner, Andy Frew, Gil Dembo
Voting Alternates: Robin Meyers, Doug McCormick, Eric Dugdale
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Brenda Theveny, Rob Weber (seated upon approval by the board)
1. Certification of Quorum. Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm and certified that a quorum was present.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Richard Cohen read the Council’s Mission.
3. Introduction of the Board and Audience. The board and audience were introduced.
4. Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings. 1) Approval of Minutes – The minutes of 6/14/18 and 6/28/18 were approved as corrected. 2) Upcoming Meetings – August 9, 2018 (one meeting only in August); topics: 1) Area and At-large Representative election information and introduction of candidates. September 13, 2018: topics: 1) Election results report. 2) presentation/update on aircraft noise in the Palisades. 3) presentation regarding new California REAL ID Driver License/ID cards. Additional topics to be announced.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The Chair announced that the agenda was as distributed and that agenda items may be taken out of order during the meeting.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that PPCC’s bank balance is $37,391.42 and that there were no significant transactions since the last report.
7. General Public Comment.
7.1. Marge Gold (resident) reported that restriping of crosswalks was taking place, other work requests have been submitted to the City and flyers are being distributed to businesses regarding the Spruce Up the Neighborhood (SUN)/Village clean up effort, to take place before the Caruso Village opening in September. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in the clean up. See Marge for details.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair George Wolfberg.
8.1.1. Beginning-of-term remarks. The Chair began by reminding the board that the agenda for this meeting was distributed early, on the Friday before the meeting, in order to give board members an opportunity over the weekend to review the items to be considered. Although PPCC is not subject to the Brown Act, PPCC strives to distribute agendas by 7pm on the Monday before each Thursday meeting, or at least 72 hours before each board meeting. He announced that he and Chris Spitz (Secretary) have a new goal of distributing agendas even earlier, whenever possible on the Friday before each meeting, to provide more time for review by board members. He also announced a new goal of setting agenda items and conducting expeditious discussion in order to end meetings earlier than 9pm whenever possible.
The Chair made additional announcements about several matters:
1). We have learned from CD11 that the terms of 6 of the 7 Pacific Palisades Design Review Board (DRB) members have expired. Under applicable rules these members are allowed to continue as members until replacements can be found; CD11 is seeking replacements and will reach out to the community for volunteers. Some but not all DRB members are required to have expertise in certain areas, such as architecture and/or planning & land use. Anyone interested should contact Krista Kline, CD11 Planning Direct, at email@example.com. The Chair had heard that DRB meetings are not being held and applications are being processed by City Planning Department staff. This is false. A meeting will be scheduled whenever an application is received and the “termed out” members continue to serve.
2). The Chair regularly attends quarterly PCH Task Force meetings along with PPCC Transportation Advisor Patti Post. The Task Force is made up of representatives of City, State and County government agencies with jurisdiction over PCH, including Caltrans, as well as community stakeholders. He will be attending the Task Force meeting tomorrow. In response to community requests, Caltrans has now installed more substantial signage as a safety measure at or near the intersection of PCH and Entrada, directing pedestrians to use the tunnel to cross the coast highway to and from the beach. Additional signage is expected to alert motorists coming down Chautauqua that the left lane must turn onto West Channel Road.
3). The Chair provided information about the annual Congress of Neighborhoods, which will take place this year on September 22. This is an important gathering of City officials, agency representatives and Neighborhood Council members who exchange information and attend workshops on a wide range of topics relevant to policy and governance. Community Council members are also invited to attend. The Chair has regularly attended for many years, and he encouraged other board members to attend. Much can be learned and achieved from the opportunity to interact informally with representatives of City agencies and to attend workshops on a variety of interesting topics. The Congress is held at City Hall and free parking is provided to registered attendees. It begins in the morning with free breakfast and a general session with elected officials, continues with workshops and visits with government reps, free lunch and ongoing sessions in the afternoon. We will provide more information about registration when available. The Chair noted that the Caruso Village opening is also scheduled to take place on September 22, but the time has not yet been announced.
4). The Chair reported that the City’s “small asphalt repair truck” will be coming to the Palisades on October 5 to repair potholes, street cracks and other paving anomalies. Send suggestions for repairs before August 9 so that they can be aggregated in terms of priorities.
5). The Chair also gave updates on the recent Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) leadership meeting (see Item 8.1.3 below), the Highlands eldercare facility (see Item 8.1.4 below), and the status of Potrero Canyon Park (see Item 8.1.5 below).
8.1.2. Appointment of Committees and Advisors, 2018-19 Term. See attached list.
a). Executive Committee – additional two members. The Chair advised that the officers and Chair Emeritus have elected the two additional new members of the Executive Committee as required by the Bylaws (Art. V.3.A): David Card as the organizational member representing the American Legion, and David Kaplan as the elected representative member representing Area 6.
b). Other appointed Committees. The Chair announced the additional Committee appointments. See attached list.
c). Advisors (other than Legal). The Chair announced the Advisor appointments. See attached list.
d). Legal Advisor. The Chair introduced Rob Weber as his appointee for Legal Advisor, subject to board confirmation. Rob is an experienced attorney and partner in the Business Trial Practice Group at the law firm of Sheppard Mullin; a past President of PAPA; a past Citizen of the Year and Community Service Award winner for his extensive volunteer service and leadership of the 4th of July parade and fireworks/concert event; a member and vice chair of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee; and a past PPCC board member and Secretary. The board approved Rob’s appointment as legal advisor.
8.1.3. WRAC leadership meeting (7/18/18) update. The Chair stated that he attended his first leadership meeting last week. Representatives of all 13 (soon to be 14) Neighborhood and Community Councils on the Westside participate in WRAC. There was an interesting presentation by the Planning Dept. on the community plan update process. Brentwood and Pacific Palisades will be in the next round of updates, which will not take place at the earliest until 2020. It is likely that a committee of interested community members will be formed to give input in the process.
8.1.4. Highlands Eldercare project (1525 N. Palisades Dr.) update. The Chair reported that the Coastal Commission ruled against the appeal of an earlier holding of the West LA APC and that as a result the City’s decision to grant a coastal development permit stands.
8.1.5. Potrero Canyon Park update. See PCCAC grading contract support letter here. The Chair gave a detailed report and answered questions from the board and audience on the park status. See attached report.
8.1.6. LUC Update: meeting schedule and former Jack in the Box site project (17346 W. Sunset Blvd.) (“JIB Site Project”). Project documents available at Community Council website (scroll down to Jack in the Box Site – Mixed Use Project). The Chair announced that the next LUC meeting will be on August 23, 2018 at 6pm in the library. At its last meeting on June 26th, the LUC heard an initial presentation by representatives of the JIB Site Project applicant and engaged in initial discussion. An update by the applicant and further committee discussion is expected to take place at the LUC meeting on August 23rd. Questions about LUC matters should be directed to LUC Chair Howard Robinson, LUC.PPCC@gmail.com.
8.1.7. Announcement of Candidates, Area and At-large Representatives Election. See Bylaws, Attachment A.
The Chair announced the names of all candidates, as follows:
Area 1: Joanna Spak
Area 2: Steve Cron, Adam Handler
Area 3: Haldis Toppel
Area 4: Rick Mills
Area 5: Sue Kohl
Area 6: David Kaplan
Area 7: Steve Boyers
Area 8: Reza Akef
At-large: John Padden, Alan Goldsmith
8.1.8. Promotion of Area Two Representative and First Alternate. The Chair announced that because the former Area Two Representative Peter Culhane is now Vice-Chair, Alan Goldsmith, the former First Alternate, is promoted to the Area Two Representative position and Leah Cox, the former Second Alternate, is promoted to the First Alternate position, according to the Bylaws, Art. VIII.1.C.2, and Standing Rule 7.
8.2. From Officers.
8.2.1. Richard Cohen (Treasurer) reported on the West LA CPAB meeting which he attended as representative of PPCC. He and other attendees heard from a representative of the City Attorney’s office who acts as the Victim Assistance Program representative in West L.A. She reported that state funding allows them to compensate or reimburse victims of violent or traumatic crime for a variety of financial losses related to their victimhood such as medical costs, relocation, protective services. Often qualified victims have suffered domestic abuse or otherwise suffered great violence. The benefits can be up to $70,000 per victim.
Richard stated that Bird and Lime scooters were also discussed. West Traffic officers reported that legal use of such scooters requires valid driver licenses, use of helmets for all ages, forbid use on sidewalks and use of the scooters is prohibited on any road where the speed limit is greater than 25 mph unless there is a designated bike lane. West Hollywood and Beverly Hills have now banned motorized scooters.
Homelessness was also addressed at CPAB by the various senior lead officers. Tents and more elaborate encampments have proliferated on the Westside. There are two court orders which restrict that ability of law enforcement to displace homeless persons on public property or remove their possessions. The officers and Captain reported that while drugs, alcohol and mental illness are often involved that the public should remember that many people are homeless for having missed just one or two paychecks and that empathy is appropriate.
Crime is reportedly down across our area with the exception of aggravated assaults. It’s unclear why this is. In answer to a question the SLOs reported that there is no threat of serious crime from local gangs. Our local Westside “gangs” are really just delinquent youth and do not pose a significant threat. LAPD is on guard against more serious gang members who come from other areas of the city to commit crimes in our area.
8.3. From At-large and Area Representatives.
8.3.1. Lou Kamer (At-large) reported on SUN’s clean up and improvement efforts involving the Village, including new and replacement crosswalk markings, other requested improvements to public right of way areas and the planned clean up. He described a meeting he had with City officials concerning the ATSAC system and traffic patterns in the Palisades. He also announced he was not running for re-election for At-large Representative because he was very busy with his other work.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives.
8.4.1. David Card (American Legion) reported that Labor Day Weekend (from Fri.-Sun.) is Fleet Week. Everyone can visit naval ships that will be in the harbor in San Pedro.
8.5. From Government Offices/Representatives.
8.5.1. LAPD West Traffic Officer John Perez reported that six “motors” have been assigned on a regular basis to monitor motorcycle activity along Sunset Blvd. on Wednesday nights in an effort to reduce noise impacts. This monitoring effort involves all of Sunset Blvd. on the Westside and is expected to continue. Officer Perez also provided data on traffic incidents on the Westside.
8.5.2. Shannon Louis, Westside Field Deputy, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, reported on the Safe, Clean Water measure which is supported by the County Board of Supervisors and will be voted on by the public in the November election. For information about the measure, visit http://safecleanwaterla.org. Ms. Louis will reach out to county engineers for a possible briefing to PPCC on the measure. She also reported on the Supervisors’ support for efforts to reunite children separated from families at the border, and she provided an update on Measure H funding.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors – None.
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. Election Committee (David Card, Chair). David Card gave a report on the status of the election and voting. See attached report. The board approved the deadline for online voting (August 30th at 9pm). In response to audience input, David stated that the Committee would reconsider whether candidates in contested races should answer questions at the August 9 board meeting. The Committees’ decision will be reflected in public announcements.
10. Old Business – None.
11. New Business.
11.1. WRAC-recommended Motions.
a). Request Audit of Administrative Citation Enforcement (ACE) Pilot Program. The Chair explained the program, which began as a pilot in Animal Control and Police Departments as well as Recreation and Parks Rangers and has been expanded to Street Services. PPCC was one of the original supporters for establishing the program. See PPCC minutes of 3/14/11, item 10.1. The Chair learned recently that the City Attorney reviews all ACE citations in addition to providing periodic reports to the City Council. With the thousands of citations under review, the City has authorized two additional attorneys to this work. At the Chair’s request, the City Attorney will provide an update at the next WRAC leadership meeting. The motion was therefore deferred pending further information.
b). Support Koretz/Bonin Motion to Strengthen Protected Tree Ordinance. David Card (American Legion Representative) moved and the Chair read the motion as follows:
“Referring to City Council File 03-1459-S3, Pacific Palisades Community Council supports the initiative of Councilmembers Paul Koretz (CD5) and Mike Bonin (CD11) in their November 22, 2017 Motion to City Council to strengthen the City’s Protected Tree Ordinance #177404.”
Second: Gil Dembo. David Card (motion sponsor) gave a detailed explanation of the motion and ordinance. Discussion occurred and vote taken. Vote: Passed unanimously.
c). Oppose SB 831 (bill that substantially reduces local regulatory control of ADUs). The Chair explained that motion sponsor Chris Spitz (Secretary) has done research and learned that the bill is now being “held without recommendation” in the Assembly Committee on Local Government (on which Assemblymember Bloom sits) and is dead for all intents and purposes. Chris therefore withdrew the motion.
12. Adjournment. The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:37pm.
ITEM 8.1.2 – List of Committee and Advisor Appointments, 2018-2019 Term.
George Wolfberg (Chair)
Peter F. Culhane (Vice-Chair)
Richard G. Cohen (Treasurer)
Chris Spitz (Secretary)
Maryam Zar (Chair Emeritus)
Two additional members elected by the Officers and Chair Emeritus:
David Card, Organizational Representative, Member (American Legion Rep)
David Kaplan, Elected Representative, Member (Area 6 Rep)
Note: Chair George Wolfberg is an ex officio member of all other committees.
David Card, Committee Chair (American Legion Rep)
Richard Blumenberg (Civic League Rep)
Bill Bruns (Community member)
Richard G. Cohen (Treasurer)
Andy Frew (Theatre Palisades Rep)
Chris Spitz, non-voting advisor (Secretary)
Land Use Committee:
Howard Robinson, Committee Chair (Area 3 1st Alternate Rep)
Sarah Conner, Committee Vice Chair (PPRA Rep)
Reza Akef (Area 8 Rep)
Richard Blumenberg (Civic League Rep)
Gibert Dembo (TCA Rep)
Rick Mills (Area 4 Rep)
Chris Spitz (Secretary)
Village Project Community Liaison Committee:
David Kaplan, Committee Co-Chair (Area 6 Rep)
Sue Kohl, Committee Co-Chair (Area 5 Rep)
Rick Lemmo (Caruso representative on the Committee; Chamber of Commerce Rep)
Susan Payne (Chamber of Commerce Alternate Rep)
David Peterson (PRIDE representative on the Committee; Area 6 1st Alternate Rep)
Patti Post (PPCC Transportation Advisor)
Chris Spitz (Secretary)
Maryam Zar (Chair Emeritus)
Legal Counsel: Rob Weber (subject to Board confirmation/approval; new appointment)
Education: Allison Holdorff Polhill (new appointment; will initially seek out students to serve as Youth Advisors)
Homelessness: Sharon Kilbride (reappointment)
Transportation: Patti Post (reappointment)
ITEM 8.1.5 – Potrero Canyon Park Update
POTRERO UPDATE / TIMELINE (BEST CASE)
- Contract to contractor on 7/16
- Expected return to City = tomorrow
- Goes to Board President for signature: best case, next Wednesday the contract will be signed, and
- Subject to approval by City Attorney.
- City is in process of drafting a notice to canyon-adjacent residents informing them of the upcoming construction activities
- City is surveying boundaries. So far it appears several property owners have encroached on the park. These owners will be informed and must remove the railroad ties and other encroachments.
- Survey work is ongoing
- Survey unit has a drone which you may see flying over the canyon—purpose is to measure topographic changes and calculate cubic yards of soil moved, presumably this info will be used to determine progress payments to contractor. The notice to canyon-adjacent residents will inform them of the drone activities
ITEM 9.1 – Election Committee Report
Election Committee Report to PPCC – July 26, 2018
- DATES: The committee has recommended dates for the election of Area and At-large Representatives, as well as certain events associated with it. And we have decided upon a format for the voting.
- ONLINE VOTING: All voting will be on-line. The ballots will be accessible from the PPCC website home page: www.pacpalicc.org Online voting will commence at 9:00pm on August 9 (our PPCC meeting is at 7:00pm). Voting will end at 9:00pm on August 30 (with Board concurrence).
- VOTING ASSISTANCE: Voting assistance will be available for those who don’t have access to a computer or need help. On August 18, from 10am to 1pm, at the Palisades Branch Library, members of the committee and other volunteers will bring their portable computers to the community meeting room to help anyone who needs help voting.
- CANDIDATES INTRODUCED: On August 9 at our 7:00pm PPCC meeting, all candidates for Area Representative and At-large Representative will have the opportunity to introduce themselves in person and make a 2-minute statement. We will not have a Q&A with the candidates or a Forum. Candidates are welcome to meet and greet the attendees before and after the PPCC meeting. During the election period, the public will be able to directly ask each of the candidates questions by email. Candidate email addresses will be provided on the PPCC website link to the Candidates Statements.
- VOTING & ELECTION INFORMATION (Notice of Ballot Availability): The Notice of Ballot Availability will be published as soon as possible after this July 26th PPCC meeting, along with the candidate statements. They will be able to be seen by hitting a link on the PPCC home page. The Notice will be entitled “Voting & Election Information.” Efforts are being made to have the Notice and the Candidate Statements (with photo) published in our local news media.
- ELIGIBILITY: Voting eligibility is set forth in Attachment A to the PPCC Bylaws. It is also set forth in the Notice. Residents at least 18 years old by August 30 are eligible to vote for the candidate running for At-large Representative and the Area Representative in the Area in which the voter resides. Areas are defined and mapped at the PPCC website, and that info is also available on the online ballot for voters in the process of voting. Voters who are at least 18 by August 30 who reside in, own real property in, or operate a business located in the Palisades are eligible to vote for the At-large Representative.
- CANDIDATE CONDUCT: All candidates shall abide by PPCC Standing Rule 9 in Bylaws Appendix C: Code of Conduct. Candidates will be held to those standards of conduct. All candidates are expected to read and comply with the PPCC Bylaws, which are linked at the PPCC website.
Best of luck to all the candidates.
David Card, Chair
George Wolfberg, ex officio, as PPCC Chair
Chris Spitz, advisor, 2016 Chair of the committee