MINUTES FROM APRIL 28th 2022
Voting Members in Attendance: David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen,* Chris Spitz, Jenny Li, Joanna Spak, Karen Ridgley, Sue Kohl, Matt Quiat,* Alan Goldsmith, Reza Akef,* John Padden, Janet Anderson, Beth Holden-Garland, Kevin Niles, Brenda Theveny, Ryan Craig (*partial attendance)
Voting Alternates: Melanie Bouer, Nancy Niles, Barbara Kohn, Nina Kidd
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Jackson Walter, Michael Edlen, Bob Benton, Lee Anne Sanderson
1. Call to order and reading of Mission Statement. The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. The Chair 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 April 14, 2022 were approved. [See Item 8.1.6.] Upcoming meetings: May 12, 2022: (1) Nominating Committee announcement of nominations for PPCC officer candidates; nominations from Board open; (2) other topics to be announced. May 26, 2022: (1) Officer candidate nominations from Board close 15 mins. before scheduled meeting close; (2) other topics to be announced. June 9, 2022: Officers candidate forum (if needed) and Board election of officers (2022-23 term beginning July 1, 2022).
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 $56,051.18. Since the Treasurer’s last report we have received reimbursement from the Brentwood Community Council for their fifty percent of the extra cost of hosting the candidates’ forum using Zoom webinar.
7. General Public Comment – None.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. WRAC City Attorney Candidate Forum following PPCC meeting, 7pm 4/28 via Zoom webinar. Link to webinar at www.westsidecouncils.com. The Chair encouraged everyone to attend.
8.1.2. George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon – Updates re trail to Temescal Canyon Rd. The Bureau of Engineering (BOE) has supplied a map of the trail to Caltrans and is awaiting a response. Since our last meeting Noah Fleishman, CD 11 Deputy District Director, confirmed to the Chair that he did apply for federal funding for trail improvements.
8.1.3. PP Historical Society Palisades Centennial Celebration, May 7, 1:00-3:00pm. The event is sold out, but interested persons may register to be added to the waiting list at: https://www.pacificpalisadeshistory.org/. Following the Celebration will be other events, including an open house at the Woman’s Club and at Aldersgate (Seven Arrows). The PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee will be in the Aldersgate garden with other conservation tables from 3:00-5:00pm. [See also Item 8.4.1.]
8.1.4. (New agenda item) The new Chamber of Commerce representative to PPCC is Bob Benton, replacing Fay Vahdani, who has resigned. The Chamber is now the alternate to PRIDE in the Business & Commerce category of organizational members. The Chair and Secretary have both thanked Ms. Vahdani and the Chair noted that we appreciate everything she has done in representing the Chamber on PPCC’s Board and in the community.
8.1.5. (New agenda item) The pedestrian crossing at the intersection of Bienveneda Ave. and Sunset Blvd. (where a jogger was struck by a car) has been improved by the installation of a continental crosswalk. We have also learned from LADOT that an additional safety measure will be added to this intersection: a Leading Pedestrian Interval (LPI), which gives pedestrians a few seconds head start in crossing the street during drivers’ red light phase.
8.1.6. (New agenda item) As explained to Area 8 Representative Reza Akef, the Chair regrets not giving Mr. Akef a second opportunity to respond to remarks by Bylaws Committee Chair Richard Cohen during discussion of part E of the Bylaws amendments motion at the April 14th Board meeting.
8.2. From Officers.
8.2.1. Chris Spitz (Secretary). Successful WRAC candidate forums took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week for CD 5 and County Supervisor (District 3) candidates. For those who weren’t able to listen in, recordings are available on Facebook at WRACforLA. The link will be included in our meeting recap Mailchimp message tomorrow.
8.3. From Area and At-large Representatives
8.3.1. Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Representative). A resident’s son was almost hit several days ago at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and El Medio. This is a dangerous intersection with vehicle traffic on Sunset and pedestrian traffic to and from Pali High. Safety measures, such as those in place at the Sunset & Bienveneda intersection, are needed. Ms. Ridgley will speak with Noah Fleishman to investigate what can be done to make the intersection safer. LeeAnn Sanderson (Area 4 2nd Alternate) agreed with Ms. Ridgley and explained that visibility is the issue at that intersection. Beth Holden-Garland (PPRA) advised that she has also noticed the same problems and concurs that the intersection is very dangerous.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives.
8.4.1. Barbara Kohn (PP Historical Society). The Palisades Centennial Celebration will take place on May 7 at 1pm in the big white tent at Simon Meadow. Those who have already signed up are encouraged to arrive early. The event is overbooked and some attendees may have to sit on the grass outside the tent. Centennial blankets are for sale and can be ordered online at the Historical Society website or purchased at the event. She provided further details of the festivities that are planned. Nina Kidd (Friends of the Library) asked about the status of the mailer. Ms. Kohn explained that it will be mailed to every address in 90272 within two weeks after the event and will include coverage of the event. The Chair provided additional details about the open houses after the event. [See Item 8.1.3.]
8.4.2. Ryan Craig (Resilient Palisades). The Earth Day Celebration at Will Rogers State Historic Park was wonderful. The Pali Microgrid project is underway; a mailer about the project is going out this week to every household in 90272. A new team has been formed oriented on sustainable banking institutions; more information about this initiative will be forthcoming.
8.4.3. John Padden (PRIDE). Last week, PRIDE was able to do another installation of donor bricks on Sunset, representing the old tiles on Swarthmore. About 50 bricks were installed (new donor bricks and replacement bricks for some that were misspelled). PRIDE will open the window again for new donors in three or four months. They need to work with Caruso and the City. There will be an ad in the newspaper and they will notify PPCC. After much delay PRIDE received an “adopt a median” permit to start work on upgrading and planting the median to the west of the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Temescal Canyon Rd. PRIDE hopes to complete the project by May 7 and they are looking at other sites as well.
8.5. From Government Offices / Representatives – Contact information available at: http://pacpalicc.org/index.php/government-contacts/
8.5.1. Noah Fleishman (CD 11 Deputy District Director). Mr. Fleishman reported that the City’s Urban Forestry Division (UFD) has been engaged in a project of cataloguing every street tree in Los Angeles. There will be an interactive map of all trees by address, in which a viewer can click on a specific tree and will be given detailed statistics about the tree. UFD has already finished cataloguing all street trees in CD 11 south of Wilshire Blvd. They expect to complete the areas north of Wilshire, which includes the Palisades, by the end of next month. This will be presented to the public when all trees are catalogued. UFD staff can come to a future meeting to answer questions. Tree People sponsors an educational program to increase young people’s awareness of the importance of trees. Tree People is a non-profit volunteer organization and one of the “planting partners” of City Plants (which in turn is a non-profit that works in a private/public partnership with the City to plant trees). The educational program, called “Generation Earth,” brings students from throughout the City on bus rides to Tree People headquarters off of Mulholland Dr. to learn about the organization’s work and to educate them about trees. He can connect interested parents and educators of middle and high-school students to the program.
Further announcements: LADWP will be doing underground construction at the northwest corner of Arno and Nantua (the northern access to the Bel Air Bay Club). Mr. Fleishman was alerted by a resident to the fact that there are a number of broken parking meters in the Village. The City is now working to replace them, but there is a supply chain issue. The Secretary noted that former Area 3 Representative Danielle Samulon had alerted the City to the problem, and Mr. Fleishman thanked Ms. Samulon for letting him know. He emphasized that if anyone sees any City infrastructure that is broken or isn’t working, call 3-1-1 or contact Mr. Fleishman. He also confirmed that the LPI will be installed at the intersection of Bienveneda and Sunset.
The Chair: Regarding the news that the Metropolitan Water District will restrict the amount of water that can be used for irrigation, we would like to be alerted to any information that may be coming from LADWP regarding watering restrictions. Mr. Fleishman: He has contacted LADWP for an informational sheet about this matter. We might request a guest speaker from LADWP to answer our questions. The Secretary: She and the Chair can try and work with LADWP’s community liaison Deborah Hong about this. Karen Ridgley: Has Mr. Fleishman been able to get a commitment from a group that is supposed to pick up dead tree trunks on the sidewalks along Temescal Canyon Rd.? We need someone to pick up the debris and clean the area at least two times a month. Mr. Fleishman: The Dept. of Sanitation is responsible for public right of way (PROW) areas. Some of the debris is in the PROW. He is waiting to see if they are able to do this on an ongoing basis or as-needed. There are signs that say “No dumping.” He can ask for street sweeping on an as-needed basis. Ms. Ridgley: This is a fire hazard; the area needs sweeping at least two times per month.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors.
8.6.1. Jackson Walter (Youth Advisor). He is familiar with conditions at the El Medio & Sunset intersection and he agrees that it is very dangerous. He believes more signage is needed and he will also reach out to Noah Fleishman.
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. PPCC Candidates Forum Committee (Jenny Li, Committee Chair). Update on the BCC/PPCC-hosted forum: May 3, 2022, 7pm, via Zoom webinar. [Item not called.]
10. Old Business.
10.1. Motion to Support Modified Version of WRAC-recommended Motion re CF 22-0158 (sponsored in PPCC by the Executive Committee), postponed from 4/14 Board meeting). See attachment, following, for motion text and background information.
The Secretary introduced the motion on behalf of the Executive Committee. No second was necessary as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member. The Secretary explained that PPCC and five other WRAC member councils have passed motions expressly opposing the motion in CF 22-0158. Some have also passed this WRAC-recommended motion, which arose from the WRAC homelessness committee and is supported by the WRAC board. Several WRAC leaders, including the Secretary, have heard from knowledgeable sources that the City Council is not listening to the Westside because of a perception that our neighborhoods mainly consist of wealthy NIMBYs who oppose all homeless shelter proposals. This motion is an attempt to present our concerns in a less oppositional way that the City Council might be willing to hear. The Executive Committee is recommending a modified version of the WRAC motion which continues to stress our opposition and also includes language requesting that, if the motion in CF 22-0158 moves forward in Council, City officials consider adverse consequences.
Discussion then ensued. Nina Kidd asked if PPTFH had an opinion on the motion. The Secretary replied that she cannot speak for PPTFH and their representatives were not present, but we believe that they support protection of our sensitive areas and consideration of appropriate sites, such as City-owned property, for homeless shelters. She noted that PPTFH has a different main focus; PPCC’s concerns are related to adherence to existing planning and zoning laws, as expressed in our Guiding Principles. Barbara Kohn asked if WRAC had considered what the position will be if the CF 22-0158 motion passes. The Secretary indicated that this had not been considered yet; the CF 22-0158 motion is still pending in the PLUM Committee; it may never be heard in Council. If that motion passes and there is a “report back” as requested, WRAC and its member councils can then determine whether a new position should be taken. Jenny Li asked for the language of the original WRAC motion; the Secretary explained that the text had been included in the link in the background information provided in the agenda and summarized the differences between the original WRAC motion and the modified version proposed by the Executive Committee [see Attachment, Item 10.1 below].
A vote was then taken. Result: Unanimous in favor of the motion by all members voting (two abstentions).
11. New Business.
11.1. (As time allows) Motion to Support WRAC-recommended Motion Requesting Dwelling Unit Capacity Calculations/Modified (sponsored in PPCC by the Executive Committee). Postponed to the next meeting due to time constraints.
12. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 6:51pm.
Item 10.1: Motion to Support Modified Version of WRAC-recommended Motion Re CF 22-0158
PPCC original position letter:
“Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) agrees that there is and has been for many years a crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles. We support reasonable and effective measures and policies to address the crisis, including the successful measures and policies adopted by the respected Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness: https://www.pptfh.org [new website:www.palisadeshomeless.org]. We believe that City-owned property (but not sensitive sites such as parks, libraries, schools or daycares) should be the first priority for placement of temporary homeless shelters, and that if any property, including property owned by faith-based institutions, is to be utilized for this purpose, this should only occur after an appropriate review, advance notice to and opportunity for comment by the relevant, affected community. We strongly believe that current zoning protections, including State-mandated reviews and studies, should not be relaxed or overridden, or, if for “emergency” reasons relaxation of these protections is contemplated, a specific time frame should be imposed for any temporary shelters, with clear provisions for removal of such shelters after the time frame expires.
“PPCC opposes the motion in CF 22-0158, for the reasons stated in our letter of February 21, 2022: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/PPCC-Letter-CF22-0158.pdf. However, should the motion move forward in City Council, we support consideration by City officials, including full consideration of any adverse consequences, of the following:
– Consideration of automatically including LAMC 41.18 protections on any location providing a homeless shelter and authorized pursuant to a declared shelter emergency, including full consideration of adverse consequences if such protections are not included.
– Consideration of mandatory CEQA compliance, including full consideration of adverse consequences if CEQA compliance is not required;
– Consideration of consequences, including full consideration of adverse consequences, of “Cutting red tape” by removing the public’s right to a transparent approval process including right to notification and the opportunity for public comment, including early notification to NCs and recognized CCs;
– Consideration of the differences and effects of allowing shelters in R1 zones as proposed versus the existing ordinances allowing them in R2 & R3 zones, including full consideration of adverse consequences of such differences and effects;
– Consideration of the effects of limiting shelters within a reasonable radius of sensitive sites such as parks, libraries, schools and daycares, including full consideration of adverse consequences if such limits are not imposed.”