Return to 2022 Minutes

MINUTES FROM FEBRUARY 24th 2022

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Karen Ridgley, Matt Quiat, Joanna Spak, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, John Padden, Fay Vahdani, Andy Frew, Kevin Niles, Janet Anderson

Voting Alternates:  Kimberly Bloom, Nancy Niles, Bruce Schwartz, Barbara Kohn

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Jackson Walter, Michael Edlen, Don Scott

1.    Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.  David Kaplan read the Mission Statement.

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  Zoom engineer Alex Ponting was introduced.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum.  The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of February 10, 2022 were approved as corrected.  Upcoming meetings:  March 10, 2022: (1) LAPD presentation on public safety and community/police engagement (3rd in a series); (2) Update on Pali Grid and other Resilient Palisades projects.   March 24, 2022:  Topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.

6.     Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that PPCC’s balance is $58,435.05.  There have been no significant transactions since the Treasurer’s last report.

7.     General Public Comment None.

8.     Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.     PPCC Candidates Forum Committee Appointment: Chair Jenny Li; members Kimberly Bloom, Karen Ridgley, Chris Spitz, Haldis Toppel. The Chair announced that the Committee has been appointed and is working with Brentwood Community Council on a CD 11 Candidates Forum.  More information will be forthcoming.

8.1.2.     George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon: Update on PPCC requests (1) for a City presentation on the new park and (2) for landscaping plans to be placed in the Palisades Branch Library for public viewing.  The Chair explained that an email message was sent out to the Bureau of Engineering, Recreation and Parks Dept. and CD 11 requesting a presentation on the new park at an upcoming PPCC meeting, and that Noah Fleishman had responded that he would review the request and get back to us.  The Chair noted that Mr. Fleishman (in attendance) has been promoted to the position of CD 11 Deputy District Director, and he asked Mr. Fleishman if there were any updates.  Mr. Fleishman stated that he had also received an email from Matt Quiat (Area 6 Representative) inquiring about a presentation and Mr. Fleishman is planning on emailing a response tomorrow.  As to whether the design plans will be made available to the public in the library, Mr. Fleishman stated that he will share these with us in digital format as there are too many pages to physically post a hard copy in the library.  He will provide a Google Drive link. Mr. Fleishman then gave his CD 11 report [see item 8.5.1].

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (PCC Secretary).  The Secretary explained that PPCC’s Executive Committee had submitted a letter opposing the motion brought by Councilmember Bonin in Council File 22-0158 which has been distributed to the Board.  [See the PPCC position letter at:  http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/PPCC-Letter-CF22-0158.pdf.]

The Secretary noted that she had attended the City Council Homelessness & Poverty Committee meeting that morning and the Committee passed the motion.  The motion will next be heard in the Planning & Land Use Management Committee.

8.3.    From Area and At-large RepresentativesNone.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.    From Government Offices / RepresentativesContact information available at: http://pacpalicc.org/index.php/government-contacts/

8.5.1.    Noah Fleishman (Palisades Deputy – now Deputy District Director, CM Mike Bonin).   Regarding the intersection of Bienveneda and Sunset Blvd. where a jogger had been hit by a car:  LADOT has installed a continental crosswalk at the location.  They are considering other safety measures, such as installing a “Leading Pedestrian Interval” (LPI) which would give pedestrians additional time to cross the street.  Due to changes in state law, the City has reduced speed limits on two segments along Palisades Dr.: Between Sunset Blvd. and Avenida de Santa Inez, the limit will be reduced from 50 mph to 45 mph; between Avenida de Santa Inez and Calle Victoria, the limit will be reduced from 40 mph to 35 mph.  The Treasurer noted that he had placed a link in the “chat” to an article about the reductions [https://la.streetsblog.org/2022/02/11/l-a-planning-to-reduce-speed-limits-on-177-miles-of-city-streets/].   

 Regarding the Bonin motion in CF 22-0158, this is a request for a “report back” on allowing property of non-profits and churches to be used for homeless shelters. According to Mr. Fleishman, it is not a motion to change zoning but only asks for a report back in order to cut red tape.  David Kaplan (Vice-Chair):  Does Mr. Fleishman have anything more to report about the situation involving the Riviera County Club’s use of the Longworth gate for non-maintenance purposes?  Mr. Fleishman:  CD 11 Planning Deputy Len Nguyen is the person heading this up because it involves a Planning issue.  The Riviera still hasn’t responded to the Planning Dept. or filed for permission for any changes. The Vice-Chair:  Does the City have an obligation to seek compliance from the Riviera?  Mr. Fleishman: Mr. Nguyen is trying to determine the best approach.  The Chair:  At some point, the City will have to act.

Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Representative): How does Mr. Fleishman’s new position differ from his position as field deputy?  Mr. Fleishman:  As Deputy District Director, he is now overseeing staff out of the WLA office.  They are not planning on hiring a new Palisades & Brentwood field deputy but he will remain involved.  He may have to refer more individualized services to a constituent caseworker, Anais Gonzalez.  He will provide her contact information to the Secretary.  The Secretary noted that government contact information is posted on the PPCC website and a link is always included in the agendas.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

 8.6.1.    Jackson Walter (Youth) reported that a homeless encampment has been cleared from the park in Mar Vista that is across the street from Windward School, where he is a student.  The situation is much better for students as a result.  Things are going well for students in the Palisades; everyone has returned to in-person classes and the pandemic situation has improved.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    PPCC Candidates Forum Committee (CFC; Jenny Li, Committee Chair). Update on plans for a CD 11 Candidates Forum, jointly sponsored by PPCC and Brentwood Community Council.   Ms. Li explained that the PPCC Committee met this afternoon with BCC’s committee members to go over initial organizational details for the forum.  The primary election will be on June 7, 2022.  We are aiming to schedule the forum for the first week in May.  We are ascertaining candidate availability and will decide on the final date after next week.  The forum will be held via Zoom and there will be an event moderator.  We will be determining how questions will be collected and asked, and we will begin to publicize the event between now and May.  The committee members will meet again in early March. Look for a Mailchimp message in March with more information.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Metropolis Parking App Presentation – Corey Owens, Chief Communications Officer, Metropolis.  Jenny Li (Area 7 Representative) introduced Mr. Owens.  He described the Metropolis company, which is based in Santa Monica and has been operating since 2017.  They have developed a technology that is used at parking lots and in parking garages.  It is designed to make the parking experience easier and smoother for customers and for the businesses that choose to use the app instead of a parking attendant.  He described how users can sign up for the app which can be used at any Metropolis parking lot.

Q&A then ensued.  The Treasurer:  The community’s comments at PPCC had earlier focused on the enforcement aspect.  Some people are not comfortable with downloading apps.  What if people come and go but don’t use the app?  How is this followed up?  Is the DMV involved?  Mr. Owens: You do need to use the Metropolis app to park at a Metropolis lot.  You don’t need to download an app to use the parking lot at 15304 Sunset (the Bank of America lot); at that location you can scan a QR code which takes you to a website and you pay for parking there, or you can use a validation.  At the other Metropolis location in the Palisades (15200 Sunset/the Chase Bank parking garage) you do have to create a Metropolis account in order to pay. If someone parks and doesn’t pay, Metropolis will respond and seek payment by corresponding with the vehicle owner. The Treasurer:  How will Metropolis get information about the vehicle owner?  From license plates?  Mr. Owens:  Photos are taken of the plates and there are organizations that match plates with addresses.  Information about the vehicle owner does not come from LAPD.   The Treasurer:  He is troubled by privacy issues.  When registering for the app, Metropolis asks for certain personal information; thereafter, anytime the plate is scanned the company has location information on the vehicle owner.  Metropolis’ privacy policy states that it may share all information with advertising partners and others without limitation.  What do you say to members of our community who are hesitant to provide location data?  Isn’t the real business of Metropolis in making money off of collecting data?  Mr. Owens:  Many companies are collecting data.  He is sympathetic to the underlying concern.  Metropolis is complying with the California Consumer Privacy Act.  They are required to provide an opt out.  Metropolis does not sell user information.  The only information required when you scan the QR code is a phone number and license plate number.  You don’t need to provide name, address or credit card information if you use a validation.

Phillis Dudick (resident):  How do people know they don’t have to give information? Is there a possibility that Metropolis could sell information in the future?  Mr. Owens: The only information required is a phone number and license plate number.  No other information is required if a validation is used.  Instructions about this come up after scanning the QR code with your cell phone.  Community members should let Metropolis know if the signage is sufficiently instructive or not.  Ms. Li:  There is a perception that the only way Metropolis can make money is by selling people’s data.  It is very important to make clear that the only information required is a phone number and license plate number.  Mr. Owens:  We do not sell personal information.  The property owner pays a software service fee and Metropolis receives a portion of the parking fees.  Metropolis is not in the business of selling data.   The Chair:  What if someone doesn’t have a cell phone?  Mr. Owens:  At the Bank of America lot, you do need a cell phone to scan and park at that location.  At the other location at Chase Bank:  You can set up an account using your computer and once you register with Metropolis you can drive into and use any of those lots; you don’t need your phone with you.  The Chair: Perhaps you need an attendant at the lot to help people?  Mr. Owens:  We are not trying to make the experience difficult; Metropolis wants feedback on how to make the signage more instructive.  Rick Mills (Area 4 1st Alternate):  He hasn’t parked in the lot as he has been nervous.  He has a neighbor who can barely use her cell phone.  She feels she’s being discriminated against.  He feels this is very intrusive.  He hasn’t seen cameras.  How does Metropolis know what cars are not scanning and logging in?  Mr. Owens:  Metropolis employs operations staff who patrol lots to compare those who have paid and those who haven’t.  If you are planning to validate you don’t have to provide more information other than phone number and license plate number.  The company is trying to make the experience quick and easy for users.

Kimberly Bloom (Area 5 1st Alternate):  She related questions from a resident who wasn’t able to be at the meeting.  Bank of America offers 30-minute validations only via going inside to the teller.  Paid parking is enforced 24-7, but how can you get a parking validation after hours at the ATM when you can’t go in to get a validation?  Mr. Owens:  We provide the technology to give validations; he will bring this issue back to his office.  Ms. Bloom:  Can Bank of America move signs so that validations are accessible once you enter the bank?  Why is the parking fee so high?  It is $3 per ½ hour when no one is hired to be on the lot.  Mr. Owens:  He believes the price hasn’t changed.  Metropolis receives a part of the fee from the property owner.  Daphne Gronich (resident):  She has tried to work with the app, merchants couldn’t explain it and there are issues with using the app.  How about giving a grace period or not requiring a parking fee 24/7?  Better signage is needed.  Customers are complaining to the businesses.  Mr. Owens: They will consider the grace period.  The Secretary:  If you sign up for the app to use the Chase Bank parking garage, can this be used at the Bank of American lot?  Mr. Owens:  You do have to scan, but it is much faster if you sign up on the website.  Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Representative):  What is the enforcement if you don’t pay?  What if someone has a handicap placard? Do they have to pay?   Mr. Owens:  He believes the latter issue applies to City parking lots, but he he will look into it.  Regarding enforcement:  There is signage saying there will be penalties if you don’t pay.  He will get back to us as to the penalty amount charged in the Palisades.

The Chair thanked Mr. Owens for answering our questions.  Mr. Mills:  What can PPCC do next, since there are still concerns?  The Chair:  We might ask for the owners of the business block (Bank of America location) to come to a future PPCC meeting.

12.    Adjournment.   Prior to adjournment, the Chair announced that PPRA had scheduled an event with the Sheriff this evening.  A recording will be available on the PPRA website and FB page.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:05pm.

Return to 2022 Minutes