MINUTES FOR SEPTEMBER 27th 2018
Voting Members in Attendance: George Wolfberg, Peter Culhane, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Cathy Russell, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Dick Wulliger, Janet Anderson, Sarah Conner, Lou Kamer, Danielle Samulon
Voting Alternates: Doug McCormick, Leah Cox, Susan Payne, Brenda Theveny
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: David Peterson, Allison Polhill. Sandra Eddy present but stated she had resigned as Friends of the Library representative.
1. Certification of Quorum. Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:02pm and certified that a quorum was present.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Dick Wulliger 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 9/27/18 were deemed approved. 2) Upcoming Meetings – October 11, 2018: topics: 1) board election of Alternate Area and At-large representatives; 2) welcome to incoming board members; 3) report from Melissa Kaufler on CA REAL ID Card (deferred due to Ms. Kaufler’s inability to attend tonight’s meeting); additional topics to be announced.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The Chair announced that the agenda was as distributed.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that PPCC’s bank balance is $32,119. There were no significant transactions since the last report.
7. General Public Comment.
7.1. Sandra Eddy (resident) stated that she did not receive notice of permits regarding the Caruso project.
7.2. Marge Gold (resident) stated that a large amount of trash is being left at the Village Green, which she believes is due to the many visitors to the Palisades Village project. She would like Caruso to be responsible for trash removal. See also Item 9.1 below.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair George Wolfberg.
The Chair first announced that leadership has been working hard to get the meeting package to the board the Friday before the Thursday meeting. This permits board members to schedule a few minutes to become familiar with the agenda and maybe even ask a question or two in advance. This is a two-way bargain. We get information to the board in plenty of time and the board reviews it to be prepared for the meeting. The board’s respect for leadership’s efforts is appreciated.
8.1.1. Alternate Area and At-large Representatives Application Process. Deadline for receipt of applications: 9pm on September 30, 2018. Alternates application information: click on the green “Alternates Application” button on the PPCC website.
8.1.2. 2018 Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplug Awards. PPCC’s Awards Gala will be hold on December 13 – Save the date! Pursuant to PPCC procedures, the Chair is appointing an Awards Selection Committee to vet any nominations received. The Awards Selection Committee members are: Sue Kohl (Chair), Daphne Gronich (past Citizen of the Year), Bill Bruns (past Community Service Awardee), Richard Blumenberg and Chris Spitz. Nominations from the public are invited and welcome. Deadline for receipt of nominations: 9pm on October 27, 2018. More details are on the PPCC website. See attached Awards Nominations Press Release.The all-important Awards Event Committee, to be chaired by Peter Culhane, will be announced next month.
8.1.3. Congress of Neighborhoods Update. The Congress was held last Saturday at City Hall. Over 900 persons attended and there were 40 workshops, free parking and two delicious meals. The Chair attended and spent considerable time with one of the Street Services Forestry managers. He was very familiar with Palisades tree issues, including dying and missing trees. The Chair invited him to share information with and brief us at a future meeting.
8.1.4. WRAC Leadership Meeting Update. PPCC participates on two Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) groups: the Land Use & Planning Committee (LUPC), where the Chair and Secretary Chris Spitz have been attending monthly meetings for many years; and the leadership group, composed of leaders of the 13 Councils in our region. The leadership group met this Wednesday and here are a few highlights:
The leaders unanimously elected Maryam Zar as WRAC Chair for the coming year. This will be a good outcome for WRAC and PPCC.
The Protected Tree Ordinance support motion (previously approved by the PPCC board) has now received the necessary nine council sign-offs to become a WRAC position.
Regarding the bus shelter advertising issue, Debbie Dyner Harris (now a district director for Councilmember Koretz) informed the assembled that the City Attorney and Decaux failed to reach an agreement to continue the contract and the City Attorney now supports a new RFP to be issued. With the concurrence of our Executive Committee, the Chair sent a note to Mike Bonin reiterating our position that there be a transparent RFP process for selection of a new contractor.
We also learned that RAP is subsidizing sports activities for girls.
Finally, two interesting notes from DWP. They have an emergency program to replace deteriorating wooden poles with steel poles and will be implementing “shared solar” where the department rents your roof to install solar panels to charge the grid.
8.1.5. Thanks to Outgoing Representatives. We thank the 30 volunteers whose terms expire with this meeting. See attached list. As appropriate, several alternate area reps have reapplied so we hope to see many of them back starting next month. Not returning is 30- year veteran Gilbert Dembo, who has been a long-time representative of TCA and is a member of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee. He will be missed around this table, but the Chair noted that we will see his continued community activity.
8.1.6. New Organizational Representatives. These new representatives will take office next week (on October 1, 2018). See attached list.
8.1.7. Caruso Palisades Village. Believe it or not, your officers do not live under a rock. We all have seen the grand opening of the Palisades Village. We have also heard from neighbors and personally expressed concerns about some of the implementation issues. Only the Caruso people can answer these questions. The Chair is sure that we will all hear something soon.
8.2. From Officers.
8.2.1. Chris Spitz (Secretary) provided information about the Processes and Procedures Ordinance proposed by the City Planning Dept. This is a companion ordinance to the substantive revision of the Zoning Code that is still ongoing in the RecodeLA process. It is a complicated and highly technical ordinance. Among other things, it includes changes in hearing notice requirements and also new procedures for a few streamlined permit approvals. The Secretary had previously provided information about this ordinance to LUC members. There have been prior public hearings and comment periods; the City Planning Commission will now hear the ordinance on Oct. 11. Information can be found at the Planning website, or in Council File No. 12-0460. Comments may be submitted to email@example.com. Check the Planning website for information on deadlines for submission of comments. Contact the Secretary for more information.
8.2.2. Peter Culhane (Vice Chair) thanked Lisa Cahill for the street sweepers that came down Sunset Blvd. on Saturday. It was noted that this was probably clean-up for recent utility work.
8.3. From At-large and Area Representatives
8.3.1. Lou Kamer (At-large) indicated concern that items thrown in trash cans in the Village are not being recycled. Chrysalis was hired by the BID to handle the trash but they have ended recycling. He hopes that the BID will take this up.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives.
8.4.1. Dick Wulliger (Historical Society). On Tuesday Oct. 2 at 7pm in the Theatre Palisades, the Historical Society will sponsor a talk on the history of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Park Ranger Mike Malone is the guest speaker. All are invited. No RSVP is required and the event is free.
8.4.2. Brenda Theveny (TCA) stated that she has observed many cars idling in the Palisades and expressed concern about air pollution as a result.
8.4.3. Sarah Conner (PPRA) announced that PPRA has filed a lawsuit against the City and Coastal Commission regarding the eldercare project. There will be a settlement hearing on October 11 at 9:30am.
8.5. From Government Offices/Representatives.
8.5.1. Melissa Kaufler, Field Representative, Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Briefing on the new CA REAL Driver License/ID – not in attendance; deferred to 10/11.
8.5.2. Ron C. Kato, Commissioner, Los Angeles City Health Commission.
The Commission is preparing its annual report with recommendations to the City Council. The report addresses: 1) homelessness; 2) health & wellness; and 3) emergency medical services. He has participated with PPTFH on homelessness issues in our area. Other areas of the City are holding senior health fairs. In the next year, he would like to raise awareness of the use of chemical herbicides at parks.
8.5.3. Lisa Cahill, Palisades Deputy, Councilmember Mike Bonin.
She has been working on Potrero Canyon Park. A great deal is going on even though it may seem as if nothing is happening. The Bureau of Engineering (BOE) has subdivided the remaining work into two phases – grading and landscaping. A contract was awarded to the construction company to begin grading; this phase will last 14 months. The landscaping contract is to be awarded soon. That phase will take 16 more months. Real timelines have been established for completion. The Notice to Proceed will be issued soon; groundbreaking is likely in the next few weeks. There will be sensitivity to encroaching on adjacent private property. Public safety is important. This will be a passive park with hiking trails. David Peterson asked for information on the future relationship between Palisades Recreation Center and the new passive park. He was directed to the Pali Rec Park Advisory Board Meeting to be held on October 17 at 7:00pm.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors.
8.6.1. Allison Polhill, Education. LAUSD Vice President Nick Melvoin has visited eight of the nine schools in our complex. He is visiting Palisades Elementary and Kenter Canyon Elementary tomorrow. There is an impending teacher strike. He has prepared a “year in review” flyer, which was distributed to the board. Vice President Melvoin wants to spend more per pupil, which requires more funding, and he also wants to spend monies wisely. In the future, he wants to have an “Oscars” for teachers as some other schools are doing. He would like the involvement of volunteers from the Palisades. Unlike any other LAUSD board member, he has now visited all 150 schools in the district.
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. Village Project Community Liaison Committee (VPCLC; David Kaplan and Sue Kohl, Co-Chairs). Project update.
Report on operational issues (David Kaplan): David stressed that the VPCLC is not a monitoring or enforcement committee. It is a liaison committee. Its purpose is to bring issues to Caruso’s attention, obtain their response, and then relate that information to the board. David, Sue Kohl and VPCLC member Chris Spitz met with Caruso Vice-President Michael Gazzano (MG) to discuss operational issues that had come to their attention involving parking, the Bay Theatre, PRIDE bricks, the Farmers Market, noise and construction. MG indicated that because they were less than a week into operations he could provide initial responses at this point and would continue to respond as operations were ongoing. His initial responses were as follows:
As a reminder, Code-required parking was approximately 390 stalls. Caruso made the decision to voluntarily add an additional level of parking and provide 560 stalls in response to the community.
Palisades Village: 1st 30 minutes free, $2 each 30 minutes thereafter.
Tenants have the opportunity to purchase discounted validations for their customers. The list of tenants that have decided to participate in the validation program is still growing and once the property operations are fully in place, Caruso can share the list. If the tenants that Caruso’s guests patronize do not offer validation, an all-day parking validation can be obtained from the concierge if the guest spends $250 or more at any of Caruso’s tenants, regardless if they offer validations or not.
In Caruso’s tenant leases, all employees are required to park in the Caruso parking structure and are not allowed to park in the residential area. The surrounding neighbors are important to Caruso and its tenants. Caruso appreciates the neighbors’ support and acknowledges that they are already some of Caruso’s best and most frequent guests. Caruso has been notified that there are reports of employees parking in the residential neighborhood. It has sent a warning to all tenants that employee parking in the residential areas is prohibited and Caruso is rigorously enforcing the lease provisions. Caruso asks for everyone’s patience as it deals with this directly with the tenants.
MG reported that the rate for employee monthly parking is more affordable than all of the monthly parking lots in the area. Other buildings are charging $150 or more per stall. Caruso is charging its tenants $115 per stall.
2) PRIDE Bricks
Caruso has been working very closely with John Padden of PRIDE and he has spent countless hours on the PRIDE bricks. There are approximately 1,200 bricks to be installed on the Sunset Blvd sidewalk and Caruso has installed approximately 600 of the engraved bricks with the remaining bricks to be installed in the coming weeks. In addition, Caruso has provided additional bricks to PRIDE so they could fundraise several more thousand dollars, to support beautification projects in the area. PRIDE has been great to work with and Caruso thanks them for their teamwork. Additionally, Caruso is continuing to work with PRIDE on the Village beautification master plan.
3) Farmers Market
Caruso is working with the Farmers Market team and welcomes their return to Swarthmore Avenue, once its operations are fully in place. Caruso hopes to hear from them soon on their decision to return.
In regard to concerns and suggestions from nearby residents that it might be good for the Farmers Market to remain where it is so that the neighbors won’t have noise and disruption in the morning at least one day a week, MG stated that Caruso has no problem with that if that’s what the Farmers Market operators and Palisadians want. PPCC may schedule an informational meeting for discussion of this issue.
4) Bay Theatre timing
Caruso is excited for the return of the iconic Bay Theatre as is the rest of the community. Cinepolis is planning to obtain temporary permits to open by the end of October, pending appeals that were filed by local residents on the alcohol license application.
A brief discussion ensued, with speculation as to the parties’ obligations under a private agreement between Caruso and certain POV members as related to the filing of appeals by these residents. It was noted that this is not a matter for PPCC as it was not a party to this private contract.
MG will discuss trash concerns involving the Village Green with Caruso’s operations staff. A question was asked as to what happens when people go to Starbucks and drop trash in the Village Green. Marge Gold replied that the amount of trash deposited since the Palisades Village opening is more than experienced before. It was noted that any resolution of this issue must be between the Village Green and Caruso.
6) Future events/noise
Lou Kamer had inquired of David Kaplan right after the opening about Caruso’s plans for future events that might produce the same level of noise and disruption as the Thurs. evening event. MG responded that there are no plans for any similar events that would produce the same level of impact. There will be a Christmas tree lighting that will be family event and will end earlier in the evening.
7) Construction/parking issues
There is additional work to be done on the project. Vendors and workmen will park in the garage, and are permitted to work outside from 7am-10am only; inside work will be in the normal permitted hours. The workers should not be parking on nearby streets. Caruso is monitoring the situation and has informed their teams that they must park in the Caruso parking structure. David will bring to Caruso’s attention that they should more carefully monitor workers’ parking in the mornings.
Permit parking update (Sue Kohl): Sue has been working on permit parking for almost three years. Problems with employees parking in the Alphabet Streets started before Caruso came to the Palisades. Residents on several streets have told Sue for the past several years that they want permit parking. The neighborhoods have been canvassed and a high percentage of residents on certain streets want it, especially those on streets closer to the commercial Village. Sue has spent two years working with residents getting signatures required for permit parking and has done the work to establish a Preferential Parking District (PPD). They reached the required 80% of residents on those selected blocks and turned in signed petitions. The City determined that the petitions were verified, but then did a site visit and decided that the streets didn’t qualify and a PPD supposedly wasn’t needed. Councilmember Bonin was able to get City staff to come out again and at that point they passed. Caruso was also very helpful in the process. The next step involves required hearings in City Council which are expected to take place in October: First, the Transportation Committee chaired by Mike Bonin, and then on to a full City Council meeting. If the PPD is approved, then the City must manufacture and install signage. Lisa Cahill stated that her office has asked LADOT to expedite the signage. The goal is to try and make this happen before the holiday shopping season.
If all goes well, the specific streets/blocks getting permit parking will be:
Embury from Carey to Bestor
Monument from Bashford to Bestor
Charm Acres Place
Via de la Paz from Albright to Bestor
Albright from Embury to the end of the dead end cul de sac west of Via
Carey from Embury to Fiske
Bashford from Monument to Embury
How will permit parking work? No one can park during the night except for those with permits. During the day (8am-6pm) people without permits can park for two hours. Information about how to register for permits will be provided to residents in due course. As a result of all the work done up to now, a PPD will be established which goes from Rimmer/Albright/Monument/Embury on the west, all the way east to Iliff; and from Whitfield and McKendree on the north to Carey on the south. If people on streets within the PPD who did not initially submit petitions for permit parking (such as Hartzell, Galloway or Iliff) later on decide they would like permit parking on their streets or blocks, the process will be more streamlined: they will only need to obtain signatures and submit required petitions; other steps in the process such as hearings in City Council won’t be required.
Sue hopes to be able to give a final status report before the end of the year.
10. Old Business.
10.1. WRAC-recommended Motions.
a. Request to Extend Community Plan Timeline. Chris Spitz moved and read the motion as follows:
“[Pacific Palisades Community Council] finds the Community Plans Update Outreach Plan timeline of 3 years to be ambitious (consider that the West-Adams-Baldwin Hills-Leimert and Granada Hills Plans required 7 years, and the Expo Station Neighborhood Transit Plan required 4.5 years), potentially limiting adequate public input and feedback.
“Therefore, we request that the Planning Department be funded to extend the timeline if and as needed to accommodate achievement-anchored benchmarks.”
Second: Maryam Zar seconded. Chris Spitz explained the motion. It was noted that we have been told by City Planning that the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan is among the Plans that are scheduled to be updated in 2-3 years, and that the City may also propose a Local Coastal Plan (LCP) for the Palisades, to be considered in conjunction with our Community Plan update and after adoption of an LCP for Venice. Board members stressed that Pacific Palisades is very different from Venice and that it will be important for us to monitor these developments carefully and to become significantly engaged in the process of updating or drafting our Plans. After further discussion a vote followed. Vote: the motion passed unanimously.
b. Request for Planning Data Prior to Start of Community Plan Update. Chris Spitz moved and read the motion as follows:
“[Pacific Palisades Community Council] requests the Planning Department provide all information (below), prior to commencing any work on the Community Plan Update process.
“These data are prerequisite for meaningful asset-based grassroots planning input to any Community Plan, whether it is for the Westside’s first cycle (Palms-Mar Vista-Del Rey, Westchester-Playa del Rey, West Los Angeles, Venice) or the second cycle (Westwood, Bel Air-Beverly Crest, Brentwood-Pacific Palisades):
- What is the current aggregate population in the Community Plan area?
- What is the projected population in the build-out year?
- How is it calculated? Who calculates it? Is the U.S. Census used?
- What is the population capacity in the current zoning, including R zones and C zones with density bonuses (Transit Oriented Communities, Expo Station Transit Neighborhood Plan) and Accessory Dwelling Units?
- What is the population capacity in the proposed zoning, including R zones and C zones with density bonuses (TOC, Expo Station TNP) and ADUs?
- Capacity of jobs or count of jobs currently.
- Change in jobs as a result of proposed zoning, either by increase in C or M zones or reduction in jobs if C or M zones are decreased.”
Second: Maryam Zar. Chris Spitz explained the motion. Discussion occurred and a vote followed. Vote: the motion passed unanimously.
11. New Business.
11.1. Safe, Clean Water Ballot Initiative (Measure W Parcel Tax). Guest speaker: Pamela Manning, Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Works. Discussion only.
Ms. Manning explained the background facts and issues involving this initiative. The County flood control district mitigates flooding but was not built to capture and clean water. Measure W is a program to increase our water supply and improve water quality. There will be a parcel tax of 2.5 cents imposed on every sq. ft. of impermeable area. She discussed further details about the Measure’s goals and impacts and answered questions from the board and audience. For further information visit: www.safecleanwaterla.org.
12. Adjournment. The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:59pm.
ITEM 8.1.2 – Awards Nominations Press Release
Pacific Palisades Community Council
Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplug Awards Nominations
(Pacific Palisades, CA – September 20, 2018) Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted from the community for the 2018 Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplug Awards, to be presented at the PPCC annual holiday party on December 13, 2018 (event details to follow). Nominations should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org (email preferred) or to P.O. Box 1131, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 9pm on October 27, 2018.
The Citizen of the Year Award honors long term, steady, reliable and continuing outstanding volunteer service as well as a recent extraordinary accomplishment by an individual that resulted in a substantial benefit to the Palisades community at large. The recipient must be an adult resident of the Palisades at the time the accomplishment and long term services were rendered.
The Golden Sparkplug Award honors those citizens who ignite original ideas and projects into community action that benefit Palisadians throughout the community. The project must have been initiated, in progress or completed during the current or prior calendar year. Adults and youth are both eligible, and must either reside in, own real property in, or operate a business in the Palisades at the time the services were rendered.
In the case of both Awards, the services, accomplishment or project must have been voluntary and not related to the nominee’s business or occupation. Neither Award can be given to PPCC board members based on services directly related to their responsibilities as board members, although such services may be considered as a qualifying factor in the case of nominees for the Citizen Award. The Award recipients are based on the quality of work and benefits achieved, not the quantity of nominations.
ITEM 8.1.5 – List of Outgoing Board Members
Outgoing board members:
Lou Kamer, At-large representative
Quentin Fleming, At-large – 1st Alternate
Matthew Rodman, At-large – 2nd Alternate
Katie Braude, Area 1 representative
Doug McCormick, Area 1 – 1st Alternate
Kelly Comras, Area 1 – 2nd Alternate
Leah Cox, Area 2 – 1st Alternate
Danielle Samulon, Area 3 representative
Howard Robinson, Area 3 – 1st Alternate
Brian Deming, Area 3 – 2nd Alternate
Doria Anselmo, Area 4 – 1st Alternate
Robin Meyers, Area 5 – 1st Alternate
Abhilash Patel, Area 5 – 2nd Alternate
David Peterson, Area 6 – 1st Alternate
Mary Mortenson, Area 6 – 2nd Alternate
Cathy Russell, Area 7 representative
Marilyn Wexler, Area 7 – 2nd Alternate
Andrew Sacks, Area 8 – 1st Alternate
Andrew Wolfberg, Area 8 – 2nd Alternate
Susan Payne, Chamber of Commerce
Andy Frew, Theatre Palisades
Sandra Eddy, Friends of the Library
Janet Anderson, AYSO
Jim Kirtley, YMCA
Bruce Schwartz, PRIDE
Margarita Pagliai, Seven Arrows Elementary School
Jenny Hope Cote, Marquez Charter School Alternate
David Card, American Legion
Jody Margulies, Optimists Club
Gil Dembo, Temescal Canyon Association
ITEM 8.1.6 – List of New Organizational Reps, 2018-2019
2018-2019 PPCC Organizational Representatives – Board Membership
(term beginning Oct. 1, 2018)
Cultural, Ethics and Aesthetics
Primary: Friends of the Library, Bill Bruns
Alt.: PP Garden Club, Barbara Marinacci
Primary: Westside Waldorf School, Ellie Jenkins
Alt.: Palisades Elementary Charter School, Amy Baker
Primary: PP Civic League, Richard Blumenberg
Alt.: PRIDE, John Padden
Primary: YMCA, Duke Ostendorf
Alt.: PPBA, Rick McGeagh
Primary: Optimists of Pacific Palisades, Jean Sharp
Alt.: PP Woman’s Club, Cathi Ruddy
Business & Commerce
PP Chamber of Commerce
Primary: Rick Lemmo
Alt.: Rena Alekperova
PP Historical Society
Primary: Dick Wulliger
Alt.: Eric Dugdale
Primary: Sarah Conner
Alt.: Barbara Kohn
Temescal Canyon Association
Primary: Brenda Theveny
Alt.: Susan Orenstein