Scroll down for all 2019 meeting minutes.

Return to Index of 2019 Minutes

MINUTES FOR JANUARY 10th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Peter Culhane, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Sue Kohl, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Haldis Toppel, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, Steve Boyers, Richard Blumenberg, Dick Wulliger, Bill Bruns, Duke Ostendorf, Jean Sharp, Ellie Jenkins, Brenda Theveny

Voting Alternates:  David Card, Barbara Kohn

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Cathi Ruddy, Mary Mueller, Barbara Marinacci, John Padden, David Peterson, Melanie Bouer, Susan Orenstein, Bruce Schwartz, Cathy Russell, Jason Sklar, Miriam Schulman

1.    Certification of Quorum.  Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  David Kaplan 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 11/08/18 were approved and 12/13/18 were approved as corrected.  2) Upcoming Meetings – January 24, 2019: 1) LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan (fire safety and lessons learned from the Woolsey fire); 2) LAPD Capt. III Vic Davalos (introduction to the community).   February 14, 2019: 1) PRIDE President and rep to PPCC John Padden (Village beautification/harmonization plans); other topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that item 11.1 will be considered no later than 7:30pm in consideration of the long distances some of the postal representatives have come.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,290.61.  The most significant transaction since the last report was renewal of our Directors and Officers Liability Insurance, which renews in March; the cost was $575.

With respect to the Gala finances, Richard reported that the Gala was a financial success.  The event was sold out and the program/tribute book was very successful.  Numbers are preliminary but it appears that as in previous years the dinner itself was approximately a financial break-even.  However, the tribute book ads and auction sales brought our preliminary result to an approximate $7,300 excess of revenue over expenses.  We still have approximately $2,100 of additional ad revenue receivable.  Expenses of the event were closely controlled and managed.  We successfully used Ticket Tailor for reservations and ticket sales.  Thanks are due to Heather Cohen for her assistance. Amazingly the Ticket Tailor program only cost $25.50 for each of two months plus there were unavoidable PayPal fees.  Kudos to PPCC Chair George Wolfberg, Event Committee Chair Peter Culhane, Secretary Chris Spitz and Awards Selection Committee Chair Sue Kohl, who were involved in myriad aspects of making this a financial success.  Richard will report at a subsequent meeting on the final numbers once we receive payment for outstanding tribute ads.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

8.1.1.    PPCC Awards.  The Chair restated his thanks to all the volunteers who made the PPCC Awards Gala such a great success.  Amazing teamwork and effort by all involved.  The awardees all have expressed their thanks and the Chair read from a thank you note to the Council received from Dede Vlietstra.  The live auction was highly successful, resulting in two dinners for bidders at Fire Station 69, one dinner having already taken place.

8.1.2.    Wildfire Safety Advisor.  The Chair announced the appointment of a Wildfire Safety Advisor, Miriam Schulman, who has hit the ground running and is doing a great deal of research into fire issues that should be of concern to Palisades residents.  And, we expect a robust discussion.  The Chair has also requested a meeting with Mike Bonin, the Chair and our Wildfire Safety Advisor to discuss the Councilmember’s recent motion to form a wildfire emergency response Task Force.

8.1.3.    Rollover Accident.  There was a rollover accident from PCH onto the Temescal Beach Parking Lot on Tuesday evening, seriously injuring a bicycle rider.  The Chair asked Caltrans to look into installing robust barriers in places where they do not exist between the Bel Air Bay Club and the Entrada Parking Lot entrance. The Chief of Caltrans Corridor Management immediately replied that they will take a look.

8.1.4.    Homeless Count.  The Chair reminded all of the annual Homeless Count which this year will be held on Wednesday, January 23 from 8pm to midnight with headquarters at the Corpus Christi Church.  Signup at www.theycountwillyou.org.

8.1.5.    Station 69 Landscape.  The Chair noted that the Station 69 landscape is looking great and the two pine trees and three sequoias have been nicely trimmed — well done by Tracy Price, and thanks to Kelly Comras and Lisa Cahill for their support on this.

8.1.6.    Zoning Code Workshop.  The City’s re-write of its Zoning Code is moving apace and Secretary Chris Spitz has partnered with our sister Council in Brentwood to sponsor a briefing and workshop for the board and interested community members on Saturday, March 30, in the Gilbert Hall auditorium at Palisades High School, subject to board concurrence.  More details to be provided by Chris Spitz.  We are pleased that the Re:codeLA Zoning Advisory Committee Co-Chair Sharon Commins along with Principal City Planner Tom Rothmann will be speakers.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Chris summarized her report (previously distributed to the board) on the recent Westside Regional Alliance of Councils Land Use & Planning Committee (WRAC-LUPC) meeting, with updates on ordinances & planning measures we have been following. See:details here.  She also announced that PPCC proposes to partner with Brentwood Community Council (BCC) to co-host an educational workshop on navigating the revised Los Angeles Zoning Code, to take place on March 30, 2019 at 10:30am in Gilbert Hall at Palisades Charter High School. Sharon Commins (Co-Chair, WRAC-LUPC and Co-Chair, Re:codeLA Zoning Advisory Committee) will explain how to use the new Code, and Tom Rothmann (Principal Planner, Dept. of City Planning) will be present to answer questions. The board concurred with the plan to hold this workshop.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    David Card (At Large First Alternate).  David explained that he is in charge of the upcoming American Legion student Oratorical Contest.  The deadline for students to submit applications is Monday.  The local contest is on January 27 at Post 283 in the Palisades.  The winner locally will go on to compete in the District contest, and then potentially in the Area, the State and the National Finals.  The National Finals winner receives an $18,000 scholarship.  Each participant will receive $150.  The contest is open to students in grades 9-12.

8.3.2.    Steve Cron (Area Two Representative).  Steve reported that he communicated in November with Heather Johnson of the Coastal Commission regarding the Highlands trailhead restroom problem.  The PPCC Executive Committee wrote a letter to Ms. Johnson supporting her efforts to address the problem; the Chair announced that the letter will be in the next agenda.  Steve also stated that he, Lisa Cahill and Joe Halper have met with fire chiefs to discuss wildfire safety and they will be going out to the Highlands later this month to speak about the fire situation.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Bill Bruns (Friends of the Library).  Bill announced that the Friends made $8,200 from the sale of books at the last parking lot sale.  This will be used for new books which go throughout the library system.  They will be building a book store, approximately the size of the former Village Books store, in an empty space in the library. It has taken two years to get the required permits.

8.4.2.    Duke Ostendorf (YMCA).  Duke stated that the YMCA appreciates everyone for shopping for holiday trees at the Y’s tree lot.  The tree sale was very successful, with only five trees left at the end.  He also announced that they will send 130 high school youth to the annual statewide Youth in Government program in Sacramento.  The YMCA finished the year in the black, and thanks everyone in the community for their support.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Council District 11 (Mike Bonin) District Director Krista Phipps Not in attendance; presentation postponed to January 24 (see item 11.2 below).

8.5.2.   Janet Turner (District Representative, U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu).  Janet announced that Congressman Lieu’s West LA VA Community Roundtable will take place on Wednesday, January 16 from 7-8:30pm at the Brentwood library.  The event is open to the public.  The annual open house for students interested in attending one of the service academies – Service Academy Day — will take place on February 16 from 1-4pm;  more information to come.  Janet also reported that the Congressman has introduced an aggressive greenhouse gases bill, and explained that he is a member of the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees.

8.5.3.   Ami Fields-Meyer (West LA Representative, Mayor Garcetti).  Ami introduced himself as the Mayor’s new West LA Representative and explained that his job entails all of CD11 and CD5.  It is important for him to be in touch with the community as often as possible. He has spoken with the Chair, the Secretary and PPTFH President Doug McCormick and appreciates learning about community issues.  He praised the Palisades for its work on homelessness.  A new Deputy Mayor, Christina Miller, will work on homeless issues. Ami also announced that Mayor Garcetti encourages everyone to use the new Shake Alert cellphone app.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors– None.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Awards Event Committee (Peter Culhane, Chair).  Peter reported that the Awards Gala was a big success. He thanked all of the Event Committee members individually by name and spoke about their contributions.  He also thanked Sam Lagana for expertly serving as our MC and conducting the successful auction, Heather Cohen for her invaluable assistance, Jimmy Dunne for his original video presentation, the Awards Selection Committee, all the honorees and the 135 attendees who were integral in the success of the event.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.     US Mail Delivery and Security.  Briefing by Special Agents Adrian Valdez and Shani Lee, USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG); Uco Johnson, Pacific Palisades Postmaster; and Stacia Crane, USPS Inspection Service.

Ms. Crane explained that the USPS representatives were there to talk about protection of our mail.  She distributed a:  handoutfrom Postal Inspectors on ways to protect mail. She discussed the tips in the handout, which include: give all outgoing mail to a carrier or place it in the slot inside the post office rather than in a mail deposit box; do not put cash in the mail. Ms. Crane advised that residents should report all mail theft immediately to the police and then to the Postal Inspectors at (877) 876-2455.  She then introduced Pacific Palisades Postmaster Uco Johnson.  Mr. Johnson has been with the Postal Service for 20 years. He is eager to make sure mail service is done correctly and mail is delivered as early as possible.  He is working on improving staffing and service.  If anyone has any problems with mail service, ask to speak with him in the Palisades Post Office.  If he isn’t there his supervisors will take complaints.  Mr. Johnson stressed that USPS takes all issues and mail theft reports seriously. Complaints about missing deliveries and postal employee misconduct are turned over to Postal Inspectors or to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  Mr. Johnson also explained that he is at the Post Office late, until the last carrier gets back.  He has fifty-five employees.

Q&A ensued. There was discussion about criminals putting sticky substances such as fly traps in mail deposit boxes as part of “fishing” schemes to steal mail out of boxes.  The speakers explained that this is why it is best to hand mail to a carrier or put in the slot inside the Post Office.  USPS tries to deal with this problem and is working on developing devices to prevent workarounds, but it’s not 100% foolproof.  Criminals go out and get drug users to steal mail out of mailboxes and swap for drugs; they will steal checks and wash the ink off.  Ms. Crane recommended using gel point ink which can’t be washed off on checks being sent in the mail. Some audience members described problems with their mail delivery and expressed concern about suspected postal personnel misconduct. The speakers reassured meeting attendees that postal employees go through background checks and are vetted and trained, but USPS does want to bring employees to justice if it’s ascertained they are acting improperly. Investigations take time.  Putting a lock on your home mailbox is important, but make sure you don’t prevent the mail carrier from putting mail inside your mailbox. An issue was raised about problems with carriers incorrectly inserting mail in home mailboxes. Mr. Johnson advised that residents contact him about specific instances and he will fix the problem. He can be reached at uco.johnson@usps.gov, (310) 464-3475. As to why mail sometimes is delivered at different times, Mr. Johnson explained that if a carrier has called in sick, his or her route has to be split up and the other carriers deliver the split after first serving his/her usual customers.  The post office makes Sunday deliveries of Amazon packages only.  The last mail pick-up in the Palisades is 5pm.  Haldis Toppel and Peter Culhane expressed thanks for the good work of USPS carriers and Post Office personnel.

Janet Turner (District Representative, Congressman Lieu) stated that her office was forwarded a Nextdoor chain with 100 people in the Palisades talking about receiving envelopes or cards that are slit open, with checks, gift cards and/or cash being taken out.  The initiator of the Nextdoor chain stated that he was present and described the problem he experienced with cash being stolen from mail that had been sent to him and the reasons why he suspected this was the work of postal personnel.

Adrian Valdez, Special Agent with the OIG, next spoke. He explained that he was there with Agent Shani Lee to address residents’ concerns about possible misconduct by USPS employees. Mr. Valdez advised that the OIG is the oversight agency for the U.S. Postal Service.  He emphasized that the OIG’s number one priority is protecting the “sanctity and integrity of the seal.”  Two criminal codes (18 U.S. Code §§1701 and 1709) are used to charge postal employees who mishandle mail in any way.  The Postal Inspectors identify matters related to misconduct such as “fishing” schemes involving mail deposit boxes, but the OIG focuses on postal employee misconduct alone.  They use investigative techniques to identify postal employees who compromise the mail. The OIG is a federal agency that investigates and presents cases to the U.S. attorney for prosecution; it also works with local police departments.  If you believe your mail is being compromised, call 888-USPS OIG.  Residents in the audience then gave examples of mail being received that was ripped open.  Many people have complained about these problems.  Mr. Valdez stated that the OIG is aware, has already made one arrest and is still working on the issue.  There were also complaints about customer service issues, which Mr. Valdez explained are referred to postal management.  As to what items can be placed in a mailbox, Mr. Valdez stated that this is governed by federal statute:  only U.S. mail can go in mailboxes (not Fed Ex or other deliveries).  Agent Lee then provided complaint forms, which she advised should be sent to Special Agent Alyse Shelton: ashelton@uspsoig.gov, (562) 343-9892.  Mr. Valdez also advised that residents who suspect misconduct should preserve evidence such as video footage (e.g., RING, etc.) and receipts for gift cards missing or stolen from mail, and make this material available to the agents to assist in their investigation.

11.2.   Council District 11 (Mike Bonin) District Director Krista Phipps. Briefing on new proposed City Task Force to improve ways to keep people safe before and during wildfires and other emergencies; Q&A on matters of community concern.

The Chair explained that Ms. Phipps was unable to attend tonight due to a personal matter; her presentation about the proposed emergency response Task Force will be postponed to the January 24th meeting, when we will have a general discussion about wildfire safety.An abbreviated discussion ensued with residents who had attended the meeting in order to inform Ms. Phipps of their concerns about improper lane turns and traffic problems at the Chautauqua and Temescal Canyon intersections with PCH.  The Chair apologized for not announcing Ms. Phipps’ absence earlier in the meeting.  The Chair and Treasurer Richard Cohen briefly provided information about these intersections, explained that PPCC and the Council District 11 office have long been aware of these traffic issues, and assured residents that PPCC has been working and will continue to work with government officials to address the problems and obtain enforcement.

11.3.   Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) Emergency Response Program. Presentation by past Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club President and current rep to PPCC Cathi Ruddy.

Ms. Ruddy stated that she was presenting along with Julie Thomas, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Chapter of the American Red Cross. They would like to spearhead a partnership between the Red Cross and PPCC to promote awareness and participation in the Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) disaster readiness program in the Palisades.  She explained that this is a nine-point program for residents of individual neighborhoods to get together and share information for use in an eventual emergency or disaster situation.  Cathi passed out written materials on MYN, noting that this is a community-building activity.  She is asking for everyone to commit to hosting an event at their home for their block, with 15-20 neighbors.  She and Julie Thomas can walk everyone through the program if they wish to participate.  Discussion ensued about the best way to get the information to the community.  Suggestions included Area Representatives and board members reaching out to organized Neighborhood Watches, homeowner associations and other groups.  Secretary Chris Spitz suggested that PPCC can help with spreading the word on the PPCC website, on social media and in email messages.  In response to questions, Cathi explained that the MYN program is complimentary to Neighborhood Watches and CERT training.  She urged all board and community members to participate in setting up MYN neighborhood groups.  Anyone with questions about MYN can contact Cathi at cbsruddy@aol.comand/or Julie Thomas at julie.thomas@redcross.org, 424-203-1102.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:57pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR JANUARY 24th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Richard Cohen (acting Secretary), Sue Kohl, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, Steve Boyers, Alan Goldsmith, Dick Wulliger, Duke Ostendorf, Ellie Jenkins, Brenda Theveny

Voting Alternates:  Barbara Marinacci, John Padden, Barbara Kohn, Cathi ruddy

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Miriam Schulman, Allison Holdorf Polhill, Sharon Kilbride, Melanie Bouer, David Card, David Peterson, Jan Ostendorf

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm 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 1/10/19 were approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings –February 14, 2019: 1) PRIDE President and rep to PPCC John Padden (Village beautification/ harmonization plans); 2) WRAC-recommended motion re Senate Bill 50.  February 28, 2019:  1) Adel H. Hagekhalil, Executive Director & General Manager, Bureau of Street Services (Street Services information and Q&A); 2) CD 11 Transportation Deputy Eric Bruins (Bonin motion re electric scooters & LADOT “Vision Zero” report); 3) Pastor Kenneth Davis, Palisades Lutheran Church (Feed My Starving Children).  Other topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,112.  With respect to the Gala’s finances:  We have received but not yet deposited $900 of additional program advertising revenue and still have about $1,200 additional outstanding.  He will report more on the Gala finances at a later date.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.   Patrick Hart (resident).  Regarding Potrero Canyon, the pumping station site has been a residence for homeless and will be destroyed.  There are some historical aspects that should be preserved and recorded, in his opinion. The Chair will reach out to the City Engineer.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

The Chair thanked Richard Cohen for stepping in to take this evening’s minutes as Secretary Chris Spitz was called away this evening.

The Chair also congratulated Richard Blumenberg (Civic League representative) upon his election as Chair of the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce.

The Chair noted his pledge to get agenda materials out to the board allowing ample time over the weekend before each meeting for board and community members to familiarize themselves with the agenda items. The Chair and Secretary have been able to keep that pledge and this evening the Chair honored the first board member to open this week’s agenda with a special hand-crafted gift from the Wolfberg kitchen:  Sue Kohl.

8.1.1.   Highlands Trailhead Letter.  In late November the PPCC Executive Committee approved a letter supporting the Coastal Commission’s efforts to effect repair of the deplorable conditions at the restrooms and parking lot located at16701 Via Costa and ensure the safety of the Temescal Ridge Trail access point.  Thanks to Steve Cron for keeping up the pressure on all the involved officials.   The letter has been posted and there will be a link in the meeting minutes.  See 11/29/18 Letter to Coastal Commission approved by the Executive Committee.

8.1.2.    WRAC Leadership Meeting 1/16.  WRAC leadership voted to recommend that member-councils consider a motion that had been proposed by the WRAC Land Use & Planning Committee, opposing Senate Bill 50 (Wiener).  This bill – the so-called “transit-rich and job-rich” bonus housing bill — is a do-over of a prior bill from Sen. Wiener, SB 827, which PPCC opposed and was killed in committee last year.  The proposed motion is supported unanimously by the PPCC Executive Committee and will be on the PPCC meeting agenda for 2/14/19.  Information about the motion and SB 50 has been provided to PPCC board members in order to prepare for a thoughtful discussion at the next meeting: Proposed SB 50 Motion; WRAC-LUPC Talking Points and SB 50 Text.

8.1.3.    Potrero Canyon Groundbreaking 1/22.  Groundbreaking for the long-awaited final phases of construction for Potrero Canyon Park took place on January 22.  Public officials, Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee members, and PPCC & PAB board members joined in the ceremonies to celebrate the start of the 600,000 cubic yard grading phase.  The attendees received a commitment from Councilman Bonin, the City Engineer and Rec and Parks that the final phase of park development — landscaping of the canyon — will soon be placed out to bid so that growing of the specified plants may begin.  Also, Councilman Bonin pledged his support for funding of a key piece of the park, a bridge for safe passage over the Coast Highway.  When completed, Potrero Canyon will be a beautiful passive park with trails and lookouts to be enjoyed by all.

8.1.4.    Zoning Code Workshop.  Reminder:  PPCC and BCC will co-host a community workshop on how to access the new Zoning Code on March 30, 2019 at 10:30am at Gilbert Hall, Palisades Charter High School. More details to come.

8.2.    From Officers – None.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    David Card (At-large First Alternate).  Go Rams!

8.3.2.    Rick Mills (Area Four Representative).  Thanks to Sue Pascoe and Circling the News for calling to the community’s attention the proposed new location of dumpsters below the continuation school in the swampy area.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Dick Wulliger (Historical Society).  The Democratic Club will meet this Sunday at 2pm.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    LAPD Captain III Vic Davalos, new West LA Area Commanding Officer(see item 11.1 below) – Not in attendance.  Michael Moore (LAPD Senior Lead Officer) was in attendance and reported that crime is down.  He advised everyone to remember to set your alarms.  He also described a break-in that resulted in a purse and car theft while the family was upstairs.  If you hear a “thump,” that may be the miscreants entering your house; listening for a second thump will be too late.

8.5.2.    Deputy Fire Chief Armando Hogan, LAFD West Bureau Operations(see item 11.2 below).

8.5.3.    Council District 11 (Mike Bonin) District Director Krista Phipps (see item 11.3  below).

8.5.4.    Reporting in the absence of Janet Turner (District Representative, Congressman Ted Lieu), the Chair announced that Rep. Lieu is hosting Service Academy Day on February 16.  A handout was made available to anyone interested.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Allison Holdorf Polhill (Education).  The six-day strike ended on Tuesday, with the Mayor mediating the settlement.  The teachers had seven days of lost pay and will now receive a 3% retroactive pay raise from 2017, with 6% going forward; various school services will receive additional funding.  As to whether there would be limits on charter schools, Allison explained this is not settled, but the issue is pending and will be considered in the near future.  There would be a resolution asking the state for a moratorium on charters.  Responding to a question about lottery revenue, she stated that she believes the lottery did not actually add revenue but replaced other funds.

8.6.2.    Sharon Kilbride (Homelessness).  PPTFH volunteers found 28 new camps that have been cleaned up.  There are now two active camps across from the Lake Shrine that volunteers could not access because it is private property.  The Palisades is now looking very good.  Most homeless people are now living in their cars – perhaps 37 or 38.  As to the January 23 Homeless Count:  the total number counted this year was about 70, which Sharon believes is somewhat less than last year.

9.     Reports from Committees – None.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    LAPD Captain III Vic Davalos, new West LA Area Commanding Officer– Not in attendance.

11.2.   Deputy Fire Chief Armando Hogan, LAFD West Bureau Operations.  Presentation on fire safety and lessons learned from the Woolsey Fire.

Deputy Chief Hogan of LAFD West Bureau Operations attended along with other LAFD personnel.  He introduced Capt. Tom Kitahata of Station 69 who introduced other LAFD captains in the West area.  Capt. Kitahata explained the LAFD’s wildfire action plan, Ready, Set, Go!  He and his family live near Thousand Oaks, he was at the Woolsey fire and he had neighbors who lost houses.  He described his family evacuating and noted the speed of the advancing Woolsey fire as unlike anything he had witnessed in over 31 years of firefighting. He was amazed at how quickly the fire came across the mountains and threatened his community.

Deputy Chief Hogan presented a PowerPoint explaining the department’s wildfire containment procedures and brush clearance requirements.  He explained that Battalion Chief Percy Jones would likely be the Incident Commander in a wildfire.  He would take control and would be the first to arrive and understand the situation.  He would direct resources to address the objectives.  Where is the fire going and what is the rate of spread?  They try to outflank the fire and keep it narrow.  The commander would coordinate with other agencies.

The public should create a defensible space – a 200 foot buffer of no brush.  LAFD uses helicopters for command as well as water dropping.  They endeavor to contain the fire in a “box” that defines the fire containment limits. Drones are used to spot any hot-spots.

West Bureau Assistant Chief Orin Saunders explained the “Wifire” fire mapping tool that helps to predict fire behavior based upon wind speed, direction and humidity. It is used to aid in planning.  LAFD urges people to evacuate about two hours ahead of danger.  If down to 30 minutes of warning one would shelter in place and resources would be applied to help protect lives and property.  LAPD does the evacuations.

“NotifyLA” is a service for phones that will alert you to pending evacuations and other essential news.  The public should subscribe to receive push notifications to mobile or landlines.  An Evacuation Order is mandatory, and an Evacuation Warning is advance warning.  It is best to evacuate early because leaving late diverts resources that could be better utilized to stop the fire.  You can leave your pets and advise the firefighters at the command center and they will pick up your pets.  Please have your pets chipped so unification is facilitated.

Questions & answers then ensued:  Reverse lanes may be needed quickly on Sunset or PCH.  There was a long delay with the Woolsey fire.  Will we have such delays?  Answer:  PCH was a barrier to prevent fire spread.  It took time for the various agencies to coordinate.  Fire trucks may be coming in while evacuees may be leaving.

Is it possible to get real time fire and evacuation maps?  No, because the fire and the plan changes based upon circumstances.  Generally, it takes a day or so until detailed maps are made public.  Refer to NotifyLA for road closures and evacuation areas.

Are there controlled burns in our area?  No, not in LA City.  Prevention is based upon brush clearance.  LAFD cites violators and works with other agencies such as LADWP, MRCA, to urge compliance.

See LAFD.org, click on fire education and you can find the Ready, Set, Go! plan and other relevant fire safety information.

Steve Cron (Area 2 Rep) expressed concern about the Highlands.  Response: The LAFD will meet and discuss preparedness and evacuation plans after consultation on the ground.

David Card (At-large First Alternate) expressed concern about Marquez Knolls.  He noted that the last burn was 1977/1978.  Response: The LAFD is aware.  Wind driven events can be very dangerous.

State Parks, MRCA and LADWP each maintain their own properties and their fire roads.  LAFD does not maintain fire roads.

The Chair thanked the LAFD for and audience members for participating.

11.3.    Council District 11 (Mike Bonin) District Director Krista Phipps.

Ms. Phipps noted the questions asked of LAFD and will attempt to address these issues with the community in the future.  She indicated she may return to a future PPCC meeting with a new area expert as the old expert has recently taken a new job.  Please share questions with Lisa Cahill to move toward forming a task force.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:36 pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR FEBRUARY 14th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Peter F. Culhane, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Sue Kohl, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, Alan Goldsmith, Richard Blumenberg, Bill Bruns, Brenda Theveny, Jean Sharp

Voting Alternates:  Rick McGeagh, Eric Dugdale, Andrew Wolfberg

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  John Padden, David Card, Susan Orenstein, Bruce Schwartz, Melanie Bouer

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:01pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  ­­­­Rick McGeagh 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 1/24/19 were approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings –February 28, 2019: 1) Adel H. Hagekhalil, Executive Director & General Manager, Bureau of Street Services (Street Services information and Q&A); 2) CD 11 Transportation Deputy Eric Bruins (Bonin motion re electric scooters & LADOT “Vision Zero” report); 3) Pastor Kenneth Davis, Palisades Lutheran Church (Feed My Starving Children); 4) 2nd Distribution & Vote on Motion to Adopt Proposed Bylaws Amendments.  March 14, 2019:  1) Capt. III Vic Davalos, Commanding Officer, LAPD West Area.  Other topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,684.71.  We received an additional $900 of Gala tribute revenue since the last report bringing our net positive cashflow from the event to approximately $8,000 with the expectation that we will receive another approximately $1,000 which is still outstanding.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Krishna Thangavelu (resident) expressed concerns about Highlands fire safety. Steve Cron (Area 2 Rep) explained that he will report on what Highlands leaders have been doing about the issue later in the meeting.

7.2.    Elizabeth Lerer (not a resident) stated that she was raised in the Palisades and is concerned about possible demolition by the owner of a home dating from 1929 at 14924 Camarosa Dr.  The property is under consideration for Historic Preservation status. There will be a City hearing concerning the property on March 7 at 10am at City Hall, Rm. 1010; contact Melissa Jones of the Planning Dept. (Historic Resources) for more information.  Lerer also noted remarks on Nextdoor expressing concern about the Farmers Market location plans.  Sue Kohl (Area 5 Rep) explained that the situation is complicated.

7.3.    Lou Kamer (resident) asked for an update on repaving Chautauqua.  The Chair stated that he does not have a definite answer, but noted that the General Manager of the Bureau of Street Services, Adel Hagekhalil, will be attending our next meeting and the Chair has advised him that repaving of Chautauqua is of the highest priority to the Palisades.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

8.1.1.     Zoning Code Workshop 3/30/19.  Reminder: As a public service, PPCC and Brentwood CC will co-host a community workshop on how to access the new Zoning Code on March 30, 2019 at 10:30am at Gilbert Hall, Palisades Charter High School.  The new Code is the culmination of the 5+ year-long “re-codeLA” project to comprehensively revise the City’s massive & confusing old Zoning Code, which dated from 1946 and had never before been comprehensively revised. We have arranged for expert speakers who will teach us the ins and outs of the new interactive Code:  Sharon Commins, co-chair of the re-codeLA Zoning Advisory Committee, co-chair of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils Land Use & Planning Committee, and past Chair of Mar Vista Community Council; and Tom Rothmann, Principal City Planner for Code Studies with the Dept. of City Planning and manager of the re-codeLA project.  Board members and all interested community members are invited and encouraged to attend.

8.1.2.    Board Member Opening of Agenda.  The Chair again honored the first board member to open this week’s agenda: David Kaplan.  David was unable to attend tonight’s meeting but will be receiving a special hand-crafted gift from the Wolfberg kitchen. Board members are reminded that the agenda may be accessed by clicking on the link and/or button that is always provided within the message distributing the agenda. The Chair again noted that he and the Secretary make every effort to send out the agenda on the Friday before each board meeting to give members more time to familiarize themselves with the items to be discussed. If anyone is not receiving the email message distributing the agenda, please let the Chair or the Secretary know.

8.1.3.    Youth Advisor(s) Update.  The Chair and Secretary met this week with the President of the Palisades Charter High School Ambassadors, Eli Safaie-Kia, to encourage students to apply to become PPCC Youth Advisor(s).  Eli has applied and will spread the word with other students. Eli was unable to attend tonight’s meeting as he and other students are visiting the State Capitol this week. The Chair will ask for the Board’s approval of the appointment of Eli and other possible Youth Advisors, as required by the Bylaws, at our next meeting on February 28.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Peter F. Culhane (Vice-Chair) reported that he and the Chair will be attending the MoveLA 10th annual Transportation Conversation on Friday March 1 at the LA Cathedral downtown.  He has room in his car if anyone else wishes to attend.  He also distributed a flyer about the event.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    David Card (At-large Alternate) announced that the American Legion recently held a second round of the Oratorical Contest.  Daniela Wilson of Brentwood won and will go to the third round of the contest in Hollywood.  She will compete with others from all over Southern California on February 24 at 10:30am at the Hollywood Post 43 Hall.  In addition:  The American Legion-sponsored Boys State – a week-long mock government session for 11th grade young men – will take place this June at Cal State University, Sacramento; nomination applications for anyone interested are available from David Card [davidcard22@gmail.com].

8.3.2.    Steve Cron (Area 2 Rep) explained that Palisades Dr. is the backbone of the Highlands community.  About 10 days ago, he, LAFD Chiefs Hogan and Saunders, Lisa Cahill (CD11) and Joe Halper drove the area to discuss concerns about fire safety and emergency preparedness. Chief Hogan is trying to remove dead trees along Palisades Dr. which are a fire hazard.  LAFD will hold at least two presentations for residents in the Highlands (dates are TBD).  A representative from Rec & Parks will also be going along Palisades Dr. to see what can be done, including cleaning up dumps of dirt that Peter Culhane has been involved with attempting to clean up.  An update regarding the Highlands Trailhead bathroom & parking lot situation: Heather Johnson of the Coastal Commission advises that this is high priority for the Commission; they can’t discuss current strategy but she is confident something will be announced in two months.

8.3.3.   Andrew Wolfberg (Area 8 Alternate) reported that the Genesis Open golf tournament is taking place this week at the Riviera.  There are a few changes this year.  Patrons with General Admin tickets must enter via the Longworth gate, off of Allenford.  Tickets are $55 per person; use code “neighbor19” for a 20% residents’ discount.  Contact Andrew for more information [andrew@catrusts.com].

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Eric Dugdale (Historical Society) announced that PPHS will have a program on February 26, 7pm at Theatre Palisades.  The topic will be the use of Dakota Indians at Inceville for silent movies.  This occurred 10 years before the Palisades was founded.  Marc Wanamaker, a film historian, will speak along with Eric Dugdale.  He also distributed postcards depicting film-maker Ince shaking hands with a Dakota chief.

8.4.2.    Brenda Theveny (TCA) reminded the board that TCA is sponsoring a hike this Sunday, 2/17.  The meeting time has been changed to 9am in Temescal Canyon. The hike will be from Zuma beach to Pt. Dume followed by brunch at Paradise Cove.

8.4.3.    Rick McGeagh (PPBA) announced that second best day of the year in the Palisades is coming soon:  the PPBA Pancake Breakfast & season opening ceremonies, Saturday, March 16 at the Field of Dreams. Visit the PPBA website for more information [http://ppba.net]; information will also be posted on the PPCC calendar.

8.4.4.    John Padden (PRIDE) explained the situation with the former donor tiles, which are being transferred to bricks along Sunset adjacent to Palisades Village. If anyone has questions about the status, this will be taken care of in the next 30 days. They are trying to catalogue all the bricks and create a way for people to locate their bricks.  All the bricks will need to go in before this can happen. Can bricks still be purchased? PRIDE has taken the donation page down but if someone contacts John within 48 hours they can buy a brick [johnpadden@kw.com].  Cost for the donation is $500 per brick.

8.5.     From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Lisa Cahill (Palisades Deputy, CD11) reported:

The repaving of Chautauqua is scheduled for March, but Caltrans needs to sign off on a permit for an easement onto PCH.  Krista Phipps of CD11 is in charge.  The current repaving schedule is PCH to Vance St., providing that the State signs off on the permit.  Andrew Wolfberg:  Neighbors near Paul Revere are happy with CD11’s work on the Longworth Gate matter, but would like something in writing from the Riviera about their plans. Response: Lisa will check with Len Nguyen and try to obtain that.  Sue Kohl: Residents in the Alphabets are concerned about dog poop being left on parkways.  What can be done?  Response: There is no program in the City through Sanitation or Street Services or others that she can find, during time she had available to research this, that would provide a remedy.  Chris Spitz: What are the changes in CD11 staff?  Response:  Tricia Keane has a new position as a Deputy Director of Planning.  Krista Kline is now Deputy Chief of Staff.  Len Nguyen is now Senior Planning Director.  Mike is looking for a replacement as Legislative Deputy for John Gregory, who left for a position with LADWP.  Krishna Thangavelu:  With whom should she speak regarding fire safety issues?  Response:  Contact Lisa Cahill about fire safety.  CD11 is planning an evacuation drill with Mandeville Canyon in May.  They will also be holding meetings in the Highlands regarding fire safety. The Councilmember is serious about putting neighborhoods first and is holding pop-up office hours at Farmers Markets and living room chats with residents.  Write to Lisa Cahill [lisa.cahill@lacity.org] if you’d like to host Mike for a living room chat.

8.5.2.    In the absence of Janet Turner (District Representative, U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu), the Chair distributed flyers regarding the Congressional Art Competition for high school students.  The deadline to submit original art is Friday March 15 at 5pm.  Information will be posted on the PPCC website calendar.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors– None.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair).  First Distribution of proposed amendments to the PPCC Bylaws, recommended by the Committee. See 1) Committee Report and 2) “Redline” plus “Clean” draft of proposed amendments, distributed concurrently with this meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website.

Committee Chair Richard Cohen stated that the Bylaws Committee has met and is making a motion to adopt the proposed amendments; discussion & vote on the motion will take place on 2/28/19, after the required Second Distribution of the proposed amendments. He noted that the Committee members are himself (Chair), Peter F. Culhane, Andrew Wolfberg, David Kaplan, David Card and Chris Spitz; the PPCC Chair also attends the meetings. The Committee has been keeping lists of suggestions for bylaws amendments and will get to all in time. The Committee’s prime directive must be no unintended consequences.  The members must think through all ramifications of changes.  It is important to do clusters of changes that are related to one another.  Prioritizing of the issues depends not just on how important the issues are but also on any time pressures.  The Committee Report that was distributed along with the redline explains that the proposed changes deal with officer elections which are just around the corner. The proposed changes aren’t controversial; they clarify that while the PPCC Chair is a non-voting member of all appointed committees he or she is not a member of the Nominating Committee.  The changes also clarify the candidates forum and election procedures.  Next after the officer elections amendments, the Committee will tackle issues surrounding area and at-large representative elections as per recommendations by the past Election Committee headed by David Card.  After that, the next group of amendments will involve organizational issues such as certification, standards for being on the board, the organizational postponement issue and the question of who owns the vote. This must be approached in a deliberative way. The PPCC Chair repeated that there will be a Second Distribution, discussion and vote on the motion to adopt the proposed bylaws amendments at the next meeting on February 28.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Village Beautification/Harmonization Update:  John Padden, PRIDE President and rep to PPCC.

John Padden explained that the genesis of this plan started years ago.  PRIDE has long had on its agenda the need to revitalize Sunset Blvd. The sidewalks are buckled and dirty and there is no uniform streetscape. This was a priority for PRIDE before Caruso came to town.  In 2015 the PRIDE board felt that it would be good to spruce up the south side of Sunset since Caruso would be developing the north side.  PRIDE met with Caruso in 2016 to discuss this concept as well as the preservation of PRIDE’s assets, including the benches, the donor tiles, the baskets, etc. Caruso stated that the company could work with PRIDE and would provide design services.  At end of 2016 Caruso hired a person who came from the NBC Universal development group and had worked with local HOAs to revitalize Cahuenga and local neighborhoods.  The idea was to have Caruso now work with the Palisades community through PRIDE to engage a professional urban designer to do long-term planning for the commercial Village district.  It was decided that John would lead the effort and that the project should be very inclusive.  A committee was then formed including representatives from PRIDE, PPCC, the Village Green, the Chamber of Commerce, the BID and local residents. There are about 10-12 people on the committee who have met multiple times over the last year and a half with the urban designer, discussing ideas to revitalize the Palisades’ core business district streetscape – Sunset, Via de la Paz, Swarthmore, Antioch and La Cruz.  The committee is proposing ten phases of development, with different costs and uses for each phase and for the phases to be developed over time.  The idea is to finalize a book which depicts the proposed plans and to roll this out to the entire community for input.  It was decided that it makes the most sense to look at Sunset revitalization first. Before the roll out and fundraising, the committee wants to finalize a marketing plan. This has been a work in progress and the committee has a preliminary cost proposal. The project is very expensive and it can’t be accomplished all at once.  He has met with the Bonin and Kuehl offices; there is very little opportunity for funding from those offices.  The committee will have to go to individuals and businesses in town for fundraising.  They have not yet hired a contractor since it’s still in in a very preliminary stage.  Questions were asked as to who will be in charge and what are the cost estimates. Response:  This is a community decision. The preliminary total cost estimate for all ten phases is $20 million; the first phase involving Sunset is under $2 million.  Lou Kamer questioned whether this was a community project and expressed concern about the level of community input and transparency to date.  Response: This is a community committee that is working on a plan which will be rolled out to the press and community for input in due course, including at a future PPCC meeting.  It is not a secretive effort.  Chris Spitz reiterated that this is not a secret project and the committee has a diverse membership representing many community voices who are working in harmony.

11.2.    Motion to Oppose Senate Bill 50:  recommended by the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) for consideration by member councils; sponsored in PPCC by the PPCC Executive Committee.

The Secretary Chris Spitz presented the motion on behalf of the Executive Committee:

“Whereas California neighborhoods depend upon high quality, citizen driven, local community planning for justice and equity and balanced development, and

Whereas State Senate Bill 50 [Scott Wiener] weaponizes state government code to eviscerate local planning statewide and thereby increases financialization of land use; intensifies inequality; encourages predatory speculative activity; and masks massive wealth transfer by shifting property ownership opportunities away from small owners to corporate investors, and

Whereas the City Charter-mandated Neighborhood Council system of Los Angeles, and the Community Councils of the City of Los Angeles, represent grass roots democracy, and

Whereas California State Senate Bill 50 [Scott Wiener] establishes “one size fits all” development criteria–based on changeable municipal structures such as bus stops and employment locations–to be determined, without democratic due process or public scrutiny, by the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Planning and Research, and

Whereas the lack of analysis of infrastructure and other costs associated with this pen stroke planning creates grave uncertainty that any local agency would be able to“levy enough service charges, fees or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code”, and given the aforementioned lack of fiscal analysis, Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution “No reimbursement” clause is wrongfully applied to this legislation,

Whereas reform is needed for the present state legislative system which allows sweeping, ideological blunt instrument legislation such as SB 50 to be introduced without extensive vetting in local public hearings prior to consideration in the State Legislature, and

Whereas this wholesale removal of all land use authority to the State clearly abolishes all meaningful local input into land use planning and therefore constitutes an attack upon local democracy, upon neighborhoods, and upon the Neighborhood Councils and Community Councils in the City of Los Angeles,

Therefore, Pacific Palisades Community Council opposes SB 50 and urges our City Councilmembers to introduce a resolution in Council forthwith, opposing SB 50.”

A second was not required as the motion was sponsored by a committee of more than one voting member. Chris Spitz then gave introductory remarks, explaining the motion and Senate Bill 50.  A discussion took place and a vote was taken on the motion.

Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:24 pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page


MINUTES FOR FEBRUARY 28th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Peter F. Culhane, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, Alan Goldsmith, Reza Akef, Haldis Toppel, Richard Blumenberg, Bill Bruns, Brenda Theveny, Jean Sharp, Sarah Knauer, Sarah Conner, Richard Wulliger, Duke Ostendorf

Voting Alternates:  Marilyn Wexler, Steve Lantz

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Mary Mueller, David Card, Patti Post, Barbara Marinacci, Cathi Ruddy, Eli Safaie-Kia [see Item 8.1.1 below]

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.   ­­­­­­­Patti Post 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 2/14/19 were deemed approved as corrected.  2) Upcoming Meetings – March 14, 2019:  1) Capt. III Vic Davalos, Commanding Officer, LAPD West Area; 2) other topics to be announced.  March 28, 2019:  Topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed with the exception of Pastor Davis’ report (see Sec. 11.3, below) which will be moved up to allow the pastor to attend another meeting.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $42,430.58.  He also reported that since the last meeting PPCC has received about $600 of tribute revenue and the refund of a small erroneous charge by Gladstone’s, bringing PPCC’s net positive cash flow from the Gala to about $8,780 with about $250 left to collect.  This excellent result is the Council’s best ever Gala performance.  The Treasurer again thanked all who worked so hard to make it a success.There were no other significant transactions this period.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Michael Terry (President, Palisades Beautiful) provided information about street tree policy and selection.  He advised that the Palisades has no viable street tree policy in place.  There is an old document that lists approved street trees, but he has learned after consulting with Urban Forestry that 59% of tree species on the old list are no longer permitted.  If anyone wishes to see it, he has a marked-up copy of the list. He has tried but has not been able to find a connection between the list and the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan.  Palisades Beautiful has no official policy on street tree species selection.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

8.1.1.    Approval of Youth Advisors. The Chair nominated and introduced Eli Safaie-Kia as PPCC Youth Advisor.  Eli is President of the Palisades Charter High School Ambassadors. The board approved his appointment as PPCC Youth Advisor [Bylaws Art. XIV].

8.1.2.    Zoning Code Workshop 3/30/19.  Save the date for this important event sponsored by PPCC and BCC, which will take place on March 30 at 10:30am at Gilbert Hall, Palisades Charter High School. Expert speakers will provide information on how to access the new revised Zoning Code.  Click on links and/or buttons on our website and in PPCC email messages for more information.

8.1.3.    WRAC Leadership Update.  The Chair and Secretary Chris Spitzattended last week’s Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) leadership meeting.  There have been thirteen member-councils of WRAC for many years. At the meeting, WRAC leaders welcomed a fourteenth council, North Westwood Neighborhood Council, which was recently certified by the City as a neighborhood council representing the North Westwood/UCLA area.

8.1.4.    Board Member Opening of Agenda.  The Chair again honored the first board member to open the agenda of the last meeting with a special hand-crafted gift from the Wolfberg kitchen:  David Kaplan. Board members are reminded that the agenda may be accessed by clicking on the link and/or button that is always provided within the message distributing the agenda.

8.1.5.    The Chair welcomed new Chamber of Commerce representatives to the PPCC board:  Sarah Knauer (Chamber Chair-elect), primary (in attendance), and Marissa Hermer (owner of The Draycott), alternate (not in attendance).  He also thanked past Chamber primary representative Rick Lemmo for his service to PPCC.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) announced that the PPCC position letter regarding SB 50 has been sent to Councilmember Mike Bonin and other elected officials, including Councilmember Paul Koretz.  The letter is posted on the PPCC website [SB 50 Letter].  She noted that we learned today that Councilmember Koretz has introduced an important resolution, as requested in our letter, for the Los Angeles City Council to oppose SB 50.  This is a significant development, since if the resolution passes it will likely have an impact on the progress of this bill.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Steve Cron (Area Two Representative).  On Tuesday, he and Lisa Cahill met with four members of the Dept. of Recreation & Parks and three members of LAFD to look at conditions involving brush and downed trees along Palisades Dr.  The City’s policy provides that downed trees more than 10 ft. from a roadway or 200 ft. from residences are not removed.  There are no residences along most of the lower portion of Palisades Dr. Two or three dead trees have fallen over, but all but one of these trees are more than 10 ft. from the roadway and will have to remain where they fell. One downed tree is on the edge of the roadway, so it was cut into pieces and will be cleared away when the City begins doing brush clearance along Palisades Dr. in May or June.  A Highlands Fire Safety community meeting has been scheduled for March 19, 7-9pm at Calvary Christian Church.  Speakers will include Fire Chiefs Armando Hogan and Orin Saunders. All are welcome, although the meeting orientation will be the Highlands. Peter Culhane (Vice-Chair) was instrumental in getting permission to use Calvary’s facilities. The meeting will be recorded and posted if feasible so that people who can’t attend will be able to view the recording.

8.3.2.    Marilyn Wexler (Area Seven 2nd Alternate).  A female cougar (mountain lion) has been hanging out at Rustic Canyon park.  Neighbors are nervous and uncertain about what can be done.  LAPD SLO Michael Moore:  He is aware of the situation.  This is a state issue; the City’s Animal Services Dept. won’t take action unless the animal displays aggression. The official state agency is the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife; SLO Moore will try to follow-up.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Sarah Conner (PPRA).  PPRA has heard from Barbara Marinacci on the important   issue of street tree selection.  Sarah announced that Kelly Comras will be leading a PPRA committee to work on this issue.

8.4.2.    Richard Wulliger (Historical Society).  On Tuesday, the Society sponsored an interesting talk at Theatre Palisades with historian Eric Wannamaker on the role of Native Americans in making movies at Inceville. There was a great deal of interest and the event was well-attended.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    LAPD SLO Michael Moore.

Since the beginning of year there have been eleven reported stolen vehicles.  Eight cars were recovered and all eight had key fobs in them.  The owners reported that they had not left keys in the car but may not have remembered that extra fobs could have been in the glove box.  Officer Moore advises the community to make sure there are no keys left in cars, which in some cases allow the car door to be opened. Criminals are now trying handles first to see if the cars open. Reza Akef (Area Eight Representative) asked if any of the stolen cars were particular model years of Ford products which he asserted would not lock if the key fob is in the car. Officer Moore did not know.  He said that residents should call police services if they see someone trying to open car doors.

Bill Bruns (Friends of the Library) asked about better traffic enforcement at the Chautauqua & Sunset intersection. Officer Moore will speak with the motor officer in charge, Officer Ryan Basaker, about obtaining more enforcement at that intersection.

Richard Cohen (Treasurer) commented that these issues have come up at C-PAB meetings which he attends.  He noted that doors won’t lock with most modern cars if the key fob is still in the car. This could be an issue of valet keys being left in glove boxes, which allows criminals simply to push the start button.  Regarding traffic enforcement, the Treasurer has been told that there are only six motor officers for the entire West Traffic area and under new policy directives from LAPD Chief Moore they have been pulled away to do traffic accident reports, in order to free up other officers to fight crime. This has resulted in officers being removed from traffic enforcement, and there are no longer officers sitting on Sunset or San Vicente with laser guns checking speed.

8.5.2.    Zac Gaidzik (West-Metro LA Field Deputy, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl).

The Board of Supervisors (BOS) unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kuehl to phase out the use of pepper spray in all juvenile facilities.  The Supervisor is thrilled that BOS passed a series of motions to fund 1600 affordable housing units throughout the southland in the coming fiscal year, and also passed a motion by Supervisor Kuehl to preserve the emergency tenant assistance fund.  BOS additionally voted to support the Hope for the Coast vision to protect our coast line.  A Nextgen Bus Study is being sponsored by Metro in order to overhaul the entire bus system; a Bus Study workshop will take place on Mar. 5, 4-7pm at the Felicia Mahood Senior Center, 11338 Santa Monica Blvd., WLA. The County is now offering beach wheelchairs in some locations on a first-come first-served basis.  Motorized wheelchairs are available at Perry’s at Santa Monica beach. David Card (At-large 1st Alternate) raised a question about BOS taking over the 50 miles of the LA River. Response:  BOS passed a motion co-sponsored by Supervisor Kuehl to initiate a study to start the process of updating the Master Plan for the River. Sarah Knauer (Chamber Representative): What is the process for getting better traffic signage on Channel Rd. & Chautauqua regarding lane turns?   Response: LADOT is in charge and knows about the sign issue at this location, as does Councilmember Bonin’s office. They will need a push.

8.5.3.    Janet Turner (District Representative, Congressman Ted Lieu).

The Congressman has been very busy sponsoring bills that have just been introduced in Congress.  He has sponsored HR976 – the Air Traffic Noise Pollution Act.  It is a first step calling for a study of noise and pollution impacts of air traffic.  Questions were asked whether the bill addresses the impacts from general aviation and freight drones; she will bring back answers.  She also described other legislation that Congressman Lieu has sponsored or co-sponsored, including the “Rebuild America’s Schools Act,” which would provide for infrastructure and safety improvements for schools; a bill to provide tax credits to employers for providing educational loans to employees; and a “Medicare for All” bill.

8.5.2.    Eric Bruins (CD 11 Transportation Deputy).

Regarding environmental issues:  LADWP will not reinvest in natural gas and will look to replace this energy source with renewable energy. The Hyperion water treatment plant will be recycling 100% of waste water.  This will be used for non-potable purposes (e.g., irrigation) or will be recycled back into the aquifer and kept in storage. See also additional report in Item 11.2 below.

8.6.     From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Eli Safaie-Kia (Youth Advisor) reported that “Game Night” will take place this Friday, March 1 at 6:30pm in Mercer Hall at Pali High.  The event is open to everyone.  All proceeds will go to support the Pali High Ambassadors.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.  Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair).

  1. Second Distribution of proposed amendments to the PPCC Bylaws, recommended by the Committee. See 1)Committee Report and 2) “Redline” plus “Clean” draft of proposed amendments, distributed concurrently with the meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website.
  2. Motion by the Bylaws Committee to Adopt the Proposed (Redline/Clean) Amendments.A second was not necessary because the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member.  Committee Chair Richard G. Cohen explained the proposed amendments; after discussion a vote was taken.  Vote:  Passed by unanimous vote of board members present.

Richard Cohen also reported that the Bylaws Committee has met and will be proposing extensive revisions of Bylaws provisions related to the Area and At-large Representative elections, with the First Distribution of the redline amendments to occur in connection with our next meeting on March 14. He further advised that the Executive Committee has unanimously approved a Bylaws Committee recommendation to correct certain minor typographical errors and “informalities” (capitalization and nomenclature) in Appendix B of the Bylaws (area boundaries).  These errors will therefore be corrected without the necessity of a board vote [Bylaws Appendix C, SR-8].

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Adel H. Hagekhalil, Executive Director & General Manager, Bureau of Street Services (Street Services information and Q&A).

Mr. Hagekhalil provided information on his background and goals for the Bureau of Street Services (BSS).  He was worked for the City for 30 years but was recently recruited to the position of BSS General Manager.  The new nomenclature of BSS is “Streets LA.” He wants to transform the streets, trees & sidewalks to be safe, mobile and sustainable. He intends to work with everyone so that Los Angeles will have a “world class” streetscape. The City has not invested in our streetscape for some time and he is advocating for change.  The former policy was simply to do what was necessary to keep “good” streets in shape and to neglect “failed” streets.  He is making a shift in the policy and intends to do advance planning using innovation, technology & data to keep our streets safe.  He has a team with him who are working on these plans.  He has requested significant new budgetary resources from the City for BSS operations.  A new “street damage restoration” fee is being imposed on utilities who make utility cuts causing streets to be compromised.  New paving material is being developed to replace the use of asphalt; it is 10 times stronger and also cheaper and more environmentally sustainable than asphalt.  The City also needs to invest in street trees. His team is working toward scheduled-tree trimming, instead of simply responding to emergencies.  BSS is also paying attention to tree removal; they want to be sure the tree actually needs to be removed and if so, that an equivalent replacement tree will be planted.  Regarding street furniture:  He wants to make sure that 75% of ridership on the transit system will have shade shelters at transit stops; he would like to install “smart” shelters.

Mr. Hagekhalil introduced his team in attendance: Stehanie Clements, Chief Financial Officer; Veronica Maxwell, Community Liaison; Aida Valencia, Repaving & Resurfacing; Elvin Galindo, Enforcement; and Steven Duprey and David Miranda, Urban Forestry. Mr. Miranda stated that Urban Forestry will work with the community on updating our street trees plan.

Q&A then ensued.  Reza Akef (Area Eight Representative):  Do you make utility companies contract with the City to make sure their work is up to par when trenching or cutting into streets?  Response (Galindo):  Yes. His investigators will come out and inspect to make sure utility companies are properly doing the work. Reza challenged this and stated that in his experience as a builder, he sees utility companies frequently tearing up streets and inadequately covering excavations which leads to decay and cracking.  He believes the new restoration fee is not sufficient. Response (Hagekhalil):  He hears the concern and will consider it.

Peter Culhane:  He has mapped out over 25 miles of street curbing in the Palisades that could be swept. We are looking for street sweepers. Response (Hagekahlil):  The City has long had specific routes for sweeping but this hasn’t been updated for a long time.  He is committed to revamping the entire program.  The first step will be to address streets that have lots of trash, such as commercial areas/traffic corridors.

Richard Cohen:  Regarding street furniture, we have a Specific Plan which the community contends applies to street furniture in the PROW.  In the past PPCC has hired an attorney to assert our position to the City. We don’t want our beautiful street furniture, which was paid for and installed by one of our own community groups, to be replaced with furniture not of our choice, and further, we don’t want commercial advertising and digital signs in the PROW. Response (Hagekhalil):  He understands and will work with us in the future on street furniture and signage in the PROW.

Alan Goldsmith (At-large Representative):  Asked about BSS funding in terms of real dollars.  Response (Hagekhalil): We have various funding sources, including taxes and the restoration fee fund.  He is proposing to make investments in failed streets, to make sidewalks safe, to reduce liability for claims, and to plan for the future. The BSS budget was $168 million last year and his proposal to the Mayor this year is over $300 million.

Sarah Conner:  Will BSS be looking at withdrawn streets?  Response (Hagekhalil):  The City Council has voted to bring back previously withdrawn streets and they will look at these. Q: What does he mean about bringing in equivalent trees to replace trees that are removed?  Response: We have a “tree summit” coming up on April 26 to look at best practices in replacing trees.

Patti Post (Transportation Advisor):  Suggested that BSS work on coordinating all of its divisions. An example of one of the issues: A street will be re-slurried, but the re-striping then doesn’t occur for months afterwards. This is a safety issue.  Response (Hagekhalil):  We now have monthly meetings to deal with these issues and we will be looking at better coordination.

Haldis Toppel (Area Three Representative):  Raised an issue about fixing a small problem on her street that could become a big problem as this is in a slide area.

Krishna Thangavelu (resident): Urged that no highly flammable street trees be planted as we are a high fire hazard area.  Response (Miranda):  We will work on an appropriate street tree list for the Palisades.

John Padden (PRIDE):  We are working on a plan to revitalize and revamp the streetscape in our commercial area.  We will need to raise funds and also work with the City.  How can we work with you to be proactive, and are there funds available for some of this work?  Response (Hagekhalil):  Indicated he could not help with funding but suggested that he and Veronica Maxwell (Community Liaison) can help with streamlining the permit process. He can also help with the Sanitation Dept. in terms of servicing trash cans.

Sue Pascoe (resident):  Can BSS look at conditions on Temescal Canyon Road? Response (Hagekhalil):  Yes.

David Card (At-large 1st Alternate):  Expressed concern about protecting the urban forest and urged Urban Forestry to consider at the April summit not only getting action on a preferable street tree list but also trying to get street trees treated as infrastructure.

Chris Spitz:  Asked for an update on the status of Chautauqua repaving. Response (Hagekhalil & Valencia):  The repaving had been scheduled twice in the past but had to be pushed back due to construction and trenching.  Right now, there is a hold on repaving until April 19.  BSS has penciled-in the work for April 27-28.  The repaving will be from Sunset Blvd. to PCH.  David Kaplan (Area 6 Representative):  A contractor for AT&T will be doing trenching on Chautauqua at some point in the future (exact date unknown); he will follow up with BSS.

Mr. Hagekhalil reiterated the intention of BSS to work with the community and assist us with our streetscape needs and concerns.

11.2.    CD 11 Transportation Deputy Eric Bruins (Bonin motion re electric scooters, LADOT “Vision Zero” report & new pilot program to return parking meter revenues to the Palisades).

Dockless electric scooters:  There has been no change legislatively since his first report to the PPCC board.  The full program will kick in during in the first week of March.  Patti Post (Transportation Advisor) asked about fees and enforcement.  Response: The City hasn’t allocated any money yet as permit fees are just starting to be collected. There be evaluation and outreach.  LADOT is hosting workshops on the program, with one on March 20 at 7pm in Mar Vista [Disability Community Resource Center, 12901 Venice Blvd., LA 90066].  Bill Bruns: Are there limits on the number of permitted devices?  Response:  There are different allocations depending on areas.  Each operator can receive permits for a maximum of 3,000 devices. Some are applying only for small fleets (100) and some are applying for the full program. Most of the concentration is in other areas.  They have not seen active interest in placing these devices in the Palisades (likely due to topography). So far there have been seven or eight conditional permits issued; eleven have applied for the full program. The program covers electric bikes as well as scooters.

Vision Zero:  In December the City approved priority corridors and intersections for attention in 2019. They are prioritized according to the rate of severe and fatal accidents.  Number One on the list is the PCH & Temescal Canyon intersection, with the PCH & Sunset intersection also included. The discussion will be about redesigning the intersections.  Timeline:  Over the next several months the City and Caltrans will talk about what they want to do about modifications to the intersections. There won’t be radical design changes.  They will be looking at signal timing (giving pedestrians a head start) and intersection tightening (cars being required to turn more at a right angle/decreasing turning radius).  Patti Post: When is your best guess when there might be a plan for these intersections? Response: We will likely have a plan in 5-6 months.  CD 11 is also working to fund a signalized left turn phase at the Sunset & Chautauqua intersection (although that intersection is not on the Vision Zero list).

Parking Meter Funds Return Program:  The program was approved a month ago.  The Palisades BID is one of three pilot areas.  Chris Spitz:  How much of the revenues will be returned to the Palisades?  Response: Fifteen percent (15%) of all meter revenues in the BID area will be earmarked and the BID is in charge of outreach to the community for input on streetscape improvements.  He expects around $65,000 annually to go to the BID.

11.3.    Pastor Kenneth Davis, Palisades Lutheran Church (Feed My Starving Children program).  Pastor Davis briefly explained that this is a community wide event to support efforts to eradicate hunger world-wide, one child at a time, through the distribution of meal packets.  They had the first packing event in 2017 in which 88,000 meal packets were packed and then distributed to 70 countries.  The packing event in 2019 is being hosted at Corpus Christi Church and sponsored by Palisades Lutheran Church.  It will take place on Thursday, June 20; different shifts will be available in the evening, and all ages can participate, including children as young as 4 years old up as well as adults.  The goal is to pack 100,000 meal packets this year. The Pali High Ambassadors have committed to help. The Chair encouraged participation by PPCC members, noting that June 20 is not a PPCC meeting date. Information will be posted on the Palisades Lutheran Church website [PLC-FMSC].

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:05 pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR MARCH 14th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Peter F. Culhane, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Steve Boyers, Alan Goldsmith, Haldis Toppel, Richard Blumenberg, Brenda Theveny, Jean Sharp, Sarah Knauer, Reza Akef, Duke Ostendorf, Bill Bruns

Voting Alternates: Melanie Bouer

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  David Card, Steve Lantz, Dave Peterson, Susan Orenstein, Bruce Schwartz, Cathy Russell, Jason Sklar, Jan Ostendorf, Eli Safaie-Kia (part of meeting only)

1.   Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Alan Goldsmith 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 2/28/19 were deemed approved. 2) Upcoming Meetings –March 28, 2019: Topics: (1) Second Distribution, discussion and vote on bylaws amendments; (2) other topics to be announced.  April 11, 2019:  Topics: (1) appointment of nominating committee for candidates for officer seats; (2) other topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,562. He also reported that the renewal premium of $965 for our PPCC general liability insurance was paid, the same premium we paid last year. There were no other significant transactions this period.

7.     General Public Comment.

7.1.    Pepper Edmiston (resident).  Wished to speak about gas-powered leaf blowers; deferred to presentation by LAPD Capt. Davalos (item 11.1 below).

7.2.    Finn Jones (resident).  Expressed concern about Potrero Canyon being fenced off without prior warning. The Chair noted that this is a construction zone and fencing is therefore required by the City. Lisa Cahill (CD11 Deputy) explained that she has had discussions with Mr. Jones and will be happy to speak with him again.

7.3.    Joyce Chow.  Announced that the Brentwood-Palisades Film Festival will take place on June 9-10. Visit FilmFestival for more information.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

8.1.1.     Zoning Code Workshop 3/30/19.

The Chair reminded everyone to save the date for this important event sponsored by PPCC and BCC, which will take place on March 30 at 10:30am at Gilbert Hall, Palisades Charter High School.  He and Secretary Chris Spitz urged all board members to attend and Area Representatives to provide information about the event to residents and HOAs in their areas. Links to Workshop flyers may be found on the PPCC website.

8.1.2.    Board Member Opening of Agenda.

The Chair again honored the first board members to open the agenda of the last meeting with a special hand-crafted gift from the Wolfberg kitchen: a virtual tie — Duke Ostendorf and Rick Mills. Board members are reminded that the agenda may be accessed by clicking on the link and/or button that is always provided within the message distributing the agenda.

8.1.3.    MoveLA Conference Update.

The Chair attended the 10th annual MoveLA summit at the LA Cathedral. These are the people who promoted Measure R and Measure M for transportation improvements. Denny Zane is involved.  The next big idea is for a four-county Transportation tax covering the entire South Coast Air Quality Management District: LA, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.  Speakers included air quality guru Mary Nichols as well as Kevin de Leon, Ben Allen and Donald Shoup. The goal is to wipe out the use of diesel fuel which is the biggest polluter we have.  Zero emission trucks exist, but the Chair learned after the event that the amortization of new diesel trucks is 18 years.  Stand by for more news.

8.1.4.    PCH Task Force Meeting Update.

The Task Force, which is composed of cities and the county that front on the Highway, from Santa Monica to Ventura, met last Wednesday in Malibu.  The Chair attended and described a few highlights: Caltrans is still working on the design for an $8M improvement project for the McClure tunnel: new LED lights, painting and a queue warning system. There is no funding for a much-needed comprehensive study of the Chautauqua to Entrada PCH intersection. Lot 3N continues to be an issue with most drivers going for the first parking lot they see when they emerge from the tunnel; there is inadequate holding space because the ticket-taker’s shack is too close to the Highway. Caltrans wants Santa Monica to run a fiber line to the California Incline so that an extra red-light break can be created to help clear more of the tourists off the Highway and into the lot. As an interim measure, Caltrans will stencil “Do Not Block” on the roadway next to the parking lot entrance. The Chair reached out to Caltrans regarding the inconsistent barriers along PCH where a car went into the Temescal Parking lot a while ago, ending upside down and injuring a cyclist. Caltrans is not sure on whose property the barriers are placed—follow up is needed. The LA County Waterworks has a major water line that is under the old highway—which was covered by the “killer” slide in the 60’s. The will relocate the buried line beneath the relocated highway, working at night. We don’t know the exact date. Community members may have seen there was a 50’ geyser from a break in this line—so much water flows that the monitoring station did not notice this aberration. Anyone who sees a geyser along the Highway is asked to call it in at their dispatch number, 800. 675.4357 (this number will be put on the PPCC website).  The first stage of the new beach pedestrian path from near the Incline to the LA City line at the Entrada parking lot will go to bid next month with construction starting probably in July—a 12-month Santa Monica project. The balance of the project by the County to the Temescal Canyon Parking Lot we hope to see in 2020. Malibu has hired a consultant to develop an evacuation plan. A couple of newly elected Malibu Council members showed up and jumped right in. DMV will be issuing a new “Endless Summer” license plate to help fund surfing for inner-city kids. Finally, Caltrans has a smartphone app called QuickMap which you can use to log in and see freeway cams and other highway information.

8.1.5.    Street tree issues.

Members may recall Michael Terry’s public comments at our last Board Meeting where he noted that the Bureau of Street Services, Urban Forestry Division, City Plants, and CD 11 all have specifically requested one of our respected Culture and Aesthetic organizations, Palisades Beautiful, to develop a new set of workable street tree policies in collaboration with PPCC as a means of openly engaging the community in the process – and that work is under way. PPCC plans to have a robust public discussion to begin this collaboration at our meeting of April 25th.

8.1.6.    DRB update.

In discussing the upcoming Zoning Code Workshop, the Chair recently learned that Brentwood is suffering from the same problems with termed-out members and vacancies as is Pacific Palisades.  He and Brentwood Community Council Chair Michelle Bisnoff jointly sent a letter on March 12 to Councilmember Bonin, urging him to fully staff our respective Design Review Boards and appoint qualified new members to fill vacancies as soon as possible. The letter is posted on the PPCC website [DRB Letter].

8.1.7.    Proposed CUB for new restaurant in the Village.

We have been advised that the owner of K Bakery in the Palisades, is opening a new restaurant, “Armav,” on Monument across from the clock-tower building and has applied for a Conditional Use Beverage permit to serve beer and wine.  Through her representative (Valerie Sacks, who previously presented to the board on the Chipotle CUB), the owner has offered to present information about the restaurant’s plans to PPCC should the board desire.  In response to the Chair’s inquiry no one indicated interest in such a presentation.

8.1.8.    LADWP Pole Replacement.

As previously discussed, wooden utility poles are being replaced with new steel poles in the area extending from the Highlands to the Encino reservoir.  The poles will be moved by helicopter and Palisades Dr. will not be used. The project will begin this month.  An LADWP report on the project is posted on the PPCC website [Pole Replacement].

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Peter Culhane (Vice-Chair) reminded the board that there will be a Fire Preparedness/Safety community meeting on Tuesday, March 19 at 7pm at Calvary Christian School. LAFD Chief Armando Hogan will be there with his staff.  All are welcome although the talk will be centered on the Highlands.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    David Card (1st Alternate At-Large). Brentwood School student Daniella Wilson recently the won the American Legion Oratorical Contest at the local, district, area and state levels.  She will be the California representative at the Nationals this coming April.

8.3.2.    Haldis Toppel (Area Three Representative).  Street Services followed up after the last PPCC meeting to help with an unsafe street in her area.  Construction has begun and she is very grateful.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Duke Ostendorf (YMCA).  The organization is in the middle of their annual support campaign.  He described many ways in which donated funds help the community.  Please donate to the Y.

8.4.2.    Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce). The Chamber is holding an evening mixer at The Draycott on March 26th, 5:30-7pm.  The sponsor is Dentistry by Design. More information on the Chamber’s website [Mixer].

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   LAPD Capt. Vic Davalos with Officers Maria Gray (Brentwood SLO, filling in for our SLO Moore) and Ryan Basaker (Traffic). See item 11.1 below.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.  None.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair).  First Distribution of proposed amendments to the PPCC Bylaws, Bylaws (pertaining primarily to changes & improvements in the elected Representatives’ election process) recommended by the Committee. See 1) Committee Report and 2) “Redline” plus “Clean”draft of proposed amendments, distributed concurrently with the meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website (“Amendments”). Motion by the Bylaws Committee for Board adoption of Amendments (parts A, B and C below).Second Distribution, discussion and votes on motion to take place on 3/28/19:

A.   Bylaws Attachment A [voting requirement: majority of members voting (abstentions not counted as votes)].

B.    Bylaws [voting requirement: 2/3 of members present (abstentions counted as “No” votes)].

C.    Appendix C – Standing Rules (addition of SR-11) [voting requirement: majority of members present (abstentions counted as “No” votes)]

Committee Chair Richard G. Cohen briefly explained the proposed amendments which will be discussed and voted on with the Second Distribution on March 28.  He urged the board to review the materials which are on the PPCC website and distributed with the agenda and he noted that anyone with questions should please contact him, the Chair or the Secretary.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    LAPD Capt. III Vic Davalos, Commanding Officer, West LA Area– Introduction to the community and Q&A.

The Chair welcomed Capt. Davalos, who explained that he was honored to be here and to have the opportunity to serve the community.  He introduced officers who were with him: Officer Maria Gray (Brentwood SLO) and Officer Ryan Basaker (Traffic). Capt. Davalos has been with LAPD for 31 years. Prior to coming to West Area he was Captain at the Pacific Division for a year, then went to the Training Division for 3 ½ years, and after that to the Recruitment and Employment division.  He stated that he is here to work for us. Q&A then ensued.

Pepper Edmiston (resident) provided information about the detrimental effects of gas-powered leaf blowers and air pollution and expressed serious concern over lack of enforcement.  Response: Capt. Davalos wants to talk to his officers. He believes in teamwork and wants to give his absolute best to this issue. He indicated he believes the Bureau of Street Services may have primary responsibility for this issue, but that LAPD will provide officers for enforcement.  He briefly discussed how the Administrative Code Enforcement (ACE) program might be used.

Richard Cohen (Treasurer) is a member of the WLA Community Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) and asked about statistics and trends in crime in Pacific Palisades.  Capt. Davalos:  His officers can speak to the exact numbers, but in doing his research before coming to WLA he learned that the area was at the bottom of statistics for violent crime and property crime.  Today, we are no. 1 in reduction of violent crime, no. 9 in reduction of property crime and no. 7 in overall reduction of part one crime. Palisades statistics are even better as related to all of WLA.  He understands it’s not all about the numbers. LAPD can use the community’s help. Often burglars will go through a glass window or French door in the back yard or use patio furniture or trashcans to get to a second story window or door.  Residents should try to make it harder for burglars to get into their homes, by not leaving ladders out and securing homes. Regarding car thefts: do not leave computers, phones or other valuable items visible.  Do not leave key fobs in cars.  There were four auto thefts in WLA hillsides and the common denominator was a key fob left in car.

Richard Cohen: Pacific Palisades is geographically isolated and we are very far from the WLA police station.  We need a police car in the Palisades because otherwise we have horrible response times.  Ten years ago, the Police Chief and every WLA Captain since has promised to send out a car 24/7 to the Palisades that would be the last to be called out of the Palisades in the event of an emergency elsewhere.  Can the Captain make the same promise? Capt. Davalos replied that he is publicly repeating that promise and is saying “yes” to 24/7 police car coverage in the Palisades.

A resident of the Via bluffs neighborhood stated that the community is concerned because four homes were burglarized back to back in the bluffs neighborhood on December 20.  She asked how a Neighborhood Watch group can be formed. Capt. Davalos replied that he was made aware of that situation.  LA County Sheriffs were following a group doing the same thing throughout the County. An arrest was made.  He explained that there is a problem with home video:  it’s hard to tell if the suspect was a female or male, their ethnicity, etc.  LAPD is monitoring these types of crimes and working with other agencies as well.  He will start looking at Nextdoor.

Officer Gray:  Discussed formation of Neighborhood Watch groups.  (For details on the LAPD Neighborhood Watch Program, navigate to the LAPD.online website.) Such a group can be created informally via social media.  Burglary home trends are decreasing.  The Palisades is now doing well in terms of burglaries but residents should still be vigilant.  Palisades burglaries are down 70% and overall theft is down, but grand theft auto is up a bit due to key fobs being left in cars.  Violent crime in the Palisades is virtually non-existent.

David Card (At-large 1st Alternate):  Does LAPD have plans to deal with presidential candidates who will be coming to our area?  Capt. Davalos:  He has experience with this and discussion is starting, but LAPD is at the mercy of federal protection for candidates.

Alan Goldsmith (At-large Representative) asked about pickpockets or distraction crimes which he has seen in parking lots such as in the Marina.  Capt. Davalos is not aware of those in the Palisades. His advice: be aware of surroundings when out in public, don’t walk or drive using cell phones, etc.

Rick Mills (Area Four Representative):  Is there a plan for LAPD to use the police kiosk in Palisade Village?  Capt. Davalos:  LAPD has had officers posted there but they are not there very long.  The necessary equipment is not in the kiosk, but he thinks it does have value in terms of interaction with the community.  He can try to have officers spend more time there.

Sue Kohl (Area Five Representative):  She has seen officers in the kiosk.  She asked what was being done about the Wednesday night Ruthless Ryders; is this still on the radar for police?  Officer Basaker:  They are aware of the ongoing problem which will probably continue.  He personally worked this for some time as part of a street racing task force which covers the whole West Bureau (a large area, from Normandie in central LA to Sunset & PCH in the Palisades).  Four motor offices have to cover the entire area.  The Motor Sergeant in charge is Sgt. James Tameo, who can be reached at 33087@lapd.online.

Haldis Toppel (Area Three Representative):  It is important to report crimes, no matter how trivial.  She asked the Captain to speak about C-PAB, which she also attends. Capt. Davalos  described how attendees at C-PAB meetings work to discuss and resolve issues that come up.

Jan Ostendorf (Area Four 2nd Alternate) asked whether it was possible for an officer to be assigned to the area 24/7 to intervene in terms of motorcyclists.  This led to a general discussion with Officer Basaker about the dangers and problems in dealing with the motorcycle gangs.  Capt. Davalos likes technology and suggested LAPD needs to use technology to the best advantage whenever it can do so.  He is split on whether drones should be used.  The Chair reported that the Michigan highway patrol successfully uses drones for traffic incidents.  Capt. Davalos stated he would look into LAPD using drones.  One possible idea is to have a major police presence and show of force prior to one or more motorcycle runs as a deterrent.  Officer Baskar indicated they had success when the task force came out and worked the motorcyclists hard. Richard Cohen suggested that they do this again in May.  Alan Goldsmith:  Can the Captain pull in motorcycle officers from other areas to make a big impression? Capt. Davalos: He can request this, with the cooperation of the captain of another LAPD traffic unit, for a task force in May.

Reza Akef (Area Eight Representative): Several residents of the Polo Fields have donated funds towards the installation of “Flock” security cameras.  They have set up a schematic of six cameras to be installed in parkways that would monitor the neighborhood streets.  They would like to implement this but are not getting cooperation from Public Works, which has not dealt with this issue before.  Is there anything that LAPD can do to help facilitate these installations? Officer Gray:  The best pressure would be through City Council.  Capt. Davalos: He supports the residents in this endeavor.

11.2.    Motion to oppose video ads on taxicabs and for-hire vehicles– recommended by the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) for consideration by member councils. Motion sponsored in PPCC by Chris Spitz, who read the motion as follows:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council opposes legalization of video advertisements mounted on taxicabs and for-hire vehicles (including services such as Lyft and Uber); and supports the motion by Councilmember Blumenfield to change Taxicab Rule 415(c), as set forth in Council File 19-0104.”

Second by Richard Cohen.  Following an explanation of the motion and discussion, a Board vote was taken. Vote: unanimous in favor of the motion.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:34 pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR MARCH 28th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Peter F. Culhane, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Richard Blumenberg, Brenda Theveny, Reza Akef, Duke Ostendorf, Bill Bruns, Dick Wulliger, Alan Goldsmith

Voting Alternates:  Cathi Ruddy, Marissa Hermer

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Kelly Comras, David Card, Sharon Kilbride, Mary Mueller, Jan Ostendorf

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Kelly Comras 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 3/14/19 were deemed approved as corrected. 2) Upcoming Meetings –April 11, 2019: Topic: appointment of Nominating Committee for candidates for officer seats; additional topics to be announced. Note: the 4/11 meeting must end at 8pm.  April 25, 2019:  Topic: Discussion about development of a workable street tree policy for Pacific Palisades.

5.  Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed. The Mayor’s representative Ami Fields-Meyer may be late and taken out of order.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,731. The most significant transaction was payment of our general liability policy premium as announced at the last meeting. The Treasurer gave a final accounting of the Awards Gala.He also explained our yearly expenses and the reasons why PPCC needs to retain a reserve fund.  See attached “December 2018 Awards Gala Results.”

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Karen Ridgely (resident) expressed concern and opposition to the proposal to move dumpsters & maintenance from the Recreation Center to Temescal Canyon Park in the area next to the continuation school.  Local residents were not notified of this proposal.  She has met with the Park Director to let him know their feelings.  She encouraged attendance at the next Park Advisory Board meeting on April 17.

7.2.    Sue Pascoe (resident) stated that a reader of her blog wants to know what happened to the funds Caruso was supposed to have contributed to Village harmonization. Secretary Chris Spitz [a member of the PRIDE-led harmonization/committee representing PPCC] stated that this has been explained at several previous PPCC meetings and is in PPCC minutes: Caruso is paying for the design work on the harmonization project which is being led by PRIDE. More specific questions about this contribution should be directed to PRIDE President John Padden. The Secretary also stated that she is happy to address this issue further after the meeting.

7.3.    Mary Schulz Shanahan (Pacific Palisades Garden Club President) announced that the next Garden Club meeting will take place on April 1 at the Woman’s Club with a speaker about the City’s wildlife and its challenges.  In addition, she invited everyone to attend the annual spring PPGC Garden Tour will take place on April 14.  More details are on the new Garden Club website [PPGC].

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

8.1.2.    Zoning Code Workshop update.  The Chair reported that this educational event co-sponsored by PPCC and BCC will take place on Saturday at 10:30am at Gilbert Hall, Palisades Charter High School. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Our expert speakers will be:  Sharon Commins, co-chair of the Zoning Advisory Committee & WRAC-LUPC co-chair; and Tom Rothmann, Principal City Planner & manager of the re:codeLA project.

8.1.1.    Board Member opening of agenda.  The Chair again honored the first board members to open the agenda of the last meeting with a special hand-crafted gift from the Wolfberg kitchen: a virtual tie – Haldis Toppel and Joanna Spak. Board members are reminded that the agenda may be accessed by clicking on the link and/or button that is always provided within the message distributing the agenda.

8.1.3.   WRAC leadership meeting update.  The Chair explained that at the meeting last week a motion percolated regarding serious Los Angeles River flood dangers.  Even a 50-year flood would be a disaster for the region.  Leadership members also learned from Matrix Consulting that a study is being done of LAPD basic car area boundaries.  Opinions are being sought on basic car organization.  The Chair will attempt to obtain a link to a survey of opinions.

8.1.4.    Letter opposing video advertising on for-hire vehicles. The Chair announced that the City Council Transportation Committee has approved Councilmember Blumenfield’s motion which PPCC supports; the motion will now go to the full City Council for a vote (date unknown).

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) announced that Lisa Cahill cannot be here tonight but has written a memo with details about the City’s new dockless mobility (electric scooters & bikes) pilot program which is now posted on the PPCC website [Dockless Mobility Pilot Program].

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Rick Mills (Area Four) echoed Karen Ridgely’s comments regarding the proposal to move trash bins to Temescal Canyon near the continuation school. He has heard from a number of residents with concerns regarding the proposal.

8.3.2.    Steve Cron (Area Two) reported that last Tuesday there was a successful fire protection meeting at Calvary Christian School. LAFD chiefs Hogan and Saunders spoke and 162 people attended. A video of the meeting is on Nextdoor.  He thanked Peter Culhane (PPCC Vice-Chair) and Dave Dwyer (Chair of the Highlands Presidents Council) for their assistance with the meeting.  An outstanding concern is the “escape route” at the top of the Highlands. Chief Hogan will return to take a walking tour of the route and see what can be done to improve the situation. In addition, last Sunday a group of about a dozen people spent 3-4 hours collecting trash on Palisades Dr.  He thanked Bruce Schwartz (Area Two 2nd alternate) for providing his pick-up truck for trash collection.

8.3.3.    Reza Akef (Area Eight) advised that there are a number of slides along Sunset Blvd. between Chautauqua and Allenford which he would like PPCC to address. Debris and slide material have recently blocked a traffic lane; storm drains are also being blocked.  He has reported this before to the City but BSS hasn’t responded.

8.3.4.    Dave Card (At-large 1st Alternate) explained that fire safety is a Palisades-wide issue.  We have had a number of fires affecting the entire community, such as the St. Matthews fire in 1978.

8.3.5.    Haldis Toppel (Area Three) stated that her Area also connects to the fire road (”escape route”) at the top of the Highlands and she would like to join in the meeting with the Fire Chief about this issue.  She also announced that MKPOA is holding its annual meeting on April 25; the meeting will be a history review. After learning that this date conflicts with the regularly-scheduled PPCC meeting, she replied that MKPOA may change the meeting date to accommodate the PPCC meeting that same night.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Marissa Hermer (Chamber of Commerce Alternate) reported that there will be a Chamber networking event and open house on Wednesday, April 17, at the new St. John’s medical group at 881 Alma Real from 4-7pm.  The ribbon cutting will be at 5:30pm.  The Chamber recently held a successful networking event at her restaurant, The Draycott.  The next breakfast networking event is at Porta Via restaurant on April 30 at 8am, with the next evening event at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy on May 14 at 5:30pm. In addition, the Chamber will sponsor a new Business & Wellness Fair in the Village on May 19.  She also announced that there will be free cocktails at The Draycott for everyone who attends the Garden Club tour.  The Draycott is now serving weekend brunch from 11am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and will be having a special brunch for Easter.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Janet Turner (District Representative, U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu).  The Congressman has introduced a bipartisan bill with Sen. Feinstein and Republican counterparts to increase resources to combat homelessness: the “Fighting Homelessness through Services and Housing Act.”  He was also co-sponsor of a bill to make healthcare more affordable and to protect people with pre-existing conditions.  He has passed along to the FAA an idea mentioned at a recent past PPCC meeting for an FAA study to include local planes and drones, which was favorably received.

8.5.6.    Zac Gaidzik (West-Metro LA Field Deputy, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl).  The Board of Supervisors has updated the County restrictions against public smoking on beaches to include electronic cigarettes and cannabis.  Other notable motions passed by the Supervisors: a ban on the use of Glyphosate (Round Up); creation of a County-wide micro-loan program for existing and new entrepreneurs and small businesses.  They will be updating changes to HUD funding structure and other housing measures.  On Tuesday, the Board issued a notice to purchase a previous Canoga park mental health facility for a bridge housing project. There will be a workshop about building fire-resistant homes and communities, with best practices & lessons learned in Australia, on April 9, 6-8:30pm, at Malibu City Hall Council Chambers.

8.5.3.    Ami Fields-Meyer (WLA Representative, Mayor Eric Garcetti).  Reporting on a slate of environmental issues: 1) By 2035 the City will recycle 100% of its wastewater.  More specifics about the program and required infrastructure are expected in the next several months. 2)  The City is phasing out the use of natural gas systems at three power plants across the City. As yet there is no full plan as to what energy sources will replace natural gas, but he will return when more specifics are available. 3) The Mayor has a new initiative, “Free Tax Prep LA,” for anyone who can benefit from free tax services.

A brief Q&A then ensued.  Regarding solid waste recycling: Are recycled items still being separated?  Response:  to his knowledge it is still being recycled but he will take a look at that and report back.  Regarding the possibility of having “gravity locks” on the blue recycling barrels, he will again look into this.  As to whether the City has any diesel vehicles, the Controller Ron Galperin came out with full report on the City’s automobile and vehicle fleet which may answer this question. Regarding recycling of wastewater: Is there someone in charge of this project?  Response:  the City’s Chief Sustainability Officer has been developing a policy; currently there are 7-8 people on a team dedicated to directing sustainability policy.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors– None.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair).  Second Distribution of proposed amendments to the PPCC Bylaws  (pertaining primarily to changes & improvements in the elected Representatives’ election process) recommended by the Committee. See 1) Committee Report and 2) “Redline” plus “Clean” draft of proposed amendments, distributed concurrently with the meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website (“Amendments”). Motion by the Bylaws Committee for Board adoption of Amendments (parts A, B and C below):

  1. Bylaws Attachment A [voting requirement: majority of members voting (abstentions not counted as votes)].
  2. Bylaws [voting requirement: 2/3 of members present (abstentions counted as “No” votes)].
  3. Appendix C – Standing Rules (addition of SR-11) [voting requirement: majority of members present (abstentions counted as “No” votes)].

Committee Chair Richard G. Cohen explained the proposed amendments and motion, and   answered questions from the board. [No second was required as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member.]

After discussion, a vote was taken on each of parts A, B and C above.  Result: unanimous in favor of Motion A; unanimous in favor of Motion B; unanimous in favor of Motion C.

The Committee Chair noted that the Committee is now working on amendments related to discipline and Code of Conduct provisions.  This is a complicated topic and is taking more than one meeting for the Committee to address.  Bylaws amendments related to this topic will be presented to the Board in due course.  The Chair thanked the Bylaws Committee for its careful work in proposing these important revisions.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    City of LA Urban Forest Management Plan.  Kelly Comras (Area One 2nd Alternate & Landscape Architect).

A number of people have been pushing for the last five years to have an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) developed for Los Angeles. This is a proposal with the ultimate goal of replacing the tree canopy that has been lost to development and other conditions over the years. The City has been responsive, and a year ago a report was funded and written up with three important recommendations: 1) that a Tree Coordinator be put in place for the entire City; 2) that an inventory of all street trees and trees in public places such as parks be developed; and 3) that a data base be developed and implemented to be used by all departments involved.  The goal is to achieve coordination with all agencies involved so that they all have access to the same information about City trees. The AIA has issued a white paper supporting the proposal for a UFMP. There is pressure being applied for the City to increase the amount of money in the budget in order to recruit and hire a trained person to become Tree Coordinator. It is suggested that if a budget is approved and this plan goes forward, perhaps the Palisades could be a “Beta tester” for an inventory and data base of all street trees and trees on public land in the Palisades.

Tree People has an online petition where individuals can go on and indicate their support for a UFMP [Petition].

Questions and comments then took place.  Reza Akef noted that there should be homeowner education so that trees aren’t cut down or damaged or insufficiently watered.  Response: There should be a commitment by homeowners to the care and watering of trees.

Michael Terry (Palisades Beautiful President & Chair, Street Tree Committee):  There is a consultant’s report (the “Dudek” report) that refers to the UFMP as an aspirational plan – a plan to make a plan.  Response:  It is an advocacy plan to advocate for implementation of a UFMP.  It was explained that Dudek is a consultant hired by City to do studies on best practices regarding management of our urban forest.  The overriding goal of a UFMP is to recover the urban tree canopy that has been lost.

The City hasn’t made a definitive decision on what trees are allowed or not in our area.  Bill Bruns (Friends of the Library) related an anecdote about planting Brisbane Box trees years ago which caused problems with roots. Michael Terry advised that this tree is on the current list of approved trees if the parkway is wide enough.

David Card reminded everyone of the April 25th PPCC board meeting, when we will hold a discussion about developing a workable street tree policy for the Palisades.

On April 6 there will be a volunteer clean-up and maintenance of the Los Leones trail from 9am-2pm.  [See PPCC Calendar]

11.2.    PPTFH Update.  Sharon Kilbride, PPCC Homelessness Advisor.

The PPTFH has had many successes and challenges. With funding and support from the community, they employ outreach workers (from the People Concern) who engage with homeless people, including passing out cards with information about available services.  From 2016 until now, PPTFH has gotten 104 people or 86% of the homeless population here off the streets. Seventy-two people housed.  The outreach workers are very busy.  One day a week the workers must visit folks who have been housed to monitor their situations.  PPTFH has signed another three-year contract with the People Concern. They need funding so please be generous in donating to PPTFH.

Regarding enforcement, from 2016 to the present they have cleaned up 85 encampments on the hillsides and about 200 camps on the beaches.  They have posted restricted entry signs in high fire risk zones.  They have offered services to over 900 individuals since 2016.  Most of the homeless folks who come to the Palisades are from out of state.  It was relatively quiet in January and February because of the cold weather.  More people are expected to come over the summer.  LAPD Capt. Davalos (WLA Area Commanding Officer) has promised that we will have four beach patrol officers during the summer months (Rusty Redican and his partner plus two additional officers).  Officer Redican wants to try and get two more officers, for a possible total of six. It is not certain that we will have more than four beach patrol officers this summer.

The next PPTFH community meeting is next Tuesday April 2 at 7pm in Library. There will be a speaker from the County Dept. of Health Services and others who will speak about the criminal justice system for people with mental health or substance use disorders. Visit the PPTFH website and sign up for the informative bimonthly newsletter.

Question: Are homeless people being shuttled or encouraged to come here from other cities or areas.  Response: We don’t really have way to prove this but have heard that this might be the case.  Another question was asked about an individual named “Oz” who sometimes sends email messages to PPCC board members complaining about the People Concern. Response:  These are just threats.  PPTFH is happy with the People Concern.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:55pm.

____________________________________________________________________

ATTACHMENT:  Item 6 (Treasurer’s Report)

December 2018 Awards Gala Results

Revenue (all numbers rounded):

Revenue

Dinner tickets $  7,300
Auction 2,800
Donations 500
Tribute ads 11,000
Total revenue $21,600

Expenses:

Gladstones $  8,000
Misc including

printing, awards,

flowers, LAFD

rev share

4,500
Total expenses $12,500

Net positive result       $9,180

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR APRIL 11th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:   George Wolfberg, Peter F. Culhane, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Richard Blumenberg, Duke Ostendorf, Alan Goldsmith, Sarah Knauer, Sarah Conner, Jean Smart, Ellie Jenkins

Voting Alternates:  Susan Orenstein, Barbara Marinacci, Cathy Russell

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  David Card, Steve Lantz, Bruce Schwartz, Melanie Bouer, Jan Ostendorf

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.   Sue Kohl 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 3/28/19 were deemed approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings –April 25, 2019:  Topic: Discussion about development of a workable street tree policy for Pacific Palisades (with Palisades Beautiful & City officials). May 9, 2019: Nominating Committee’s announcement of candidates for officer positions; board nominations open. May 23, 2019: Guest speaker: Councilmember Mike Bonin; Q&A about matters of community concern. Additional topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,676.66. There were no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.2.    Karen Ridgely (resident) reminded the Board that the Palisades Park Advisory Board is meeting on Wednesday April 17 at 7pm to consider relocation of the trash dumpsters to the area of the continuation school along Temescal Canyon Blvd. She gave reasons why she is opposed and urged everyone to attend.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

The Chair began by presenting a gift from the Wolfberg kitchen to Richard Blumenberg, who was the first to open the agenda

8.1.1.    Zoning Code Workshop update.  The Chair reported that the Workshop was a success, with over 100 people in attendance. A great deal of information was presented which will be important when we begin the Community Plan update. The Planning Dept. will be coming to the Palisades and Brentwood in a year or two to start work on the new Plan and the Chair is already working with his counterpart at Brentwood Community Council to be ready to begin the process.

8.1.2.    Appointment of Nominating Committee to nominate candidates for PPCC officer positions (Bylaws Art. VII.1).  The Chair announced that pursuant to the PPCC Bylaws, he has appointed the following members of the Nominating Committee:  Chair — Richard Blumenberg; Members – Sue Kohl and Joanna Spak.  He explained that the Committee will announce its nominees for officer candidates at the first meeting in May and that nominations from the Board will also be open at that time.  The election will take place at the first meeting in June.

8.1.3.    Update on recent 9-1-1 failure.  The Chair explained that because of the difficulty of residents reaching 9-1-1 on the night of the fire in the Highlands (which occurred at the time of our last meeting), he reached out to various officials, including the Fire Dept. (which said it is looking into the matter) and other City officials, but no one has responded with definitive information so far. Steve Cron (Area Two Representative) gave information about what he had learned from Chief Hogan about the problem (which involved the first call coming in right after the fire started, people being put on hold or transferred because it was a busy night, callers then hanging up, etc.).  Chief Hogan’s message was that persons calling 9-1-1 must stay on the line until they talk to a person. Sue Pascoe indicated she received similar information about the first call coming in right after the fire started and she is waiting to hear back from the police.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    David Card (At-large 1stAlternate) reported that he had wonderful time in Indianapolis attending the American Legion National Oratorical competition for high school students.  Daniela Wilson, the Brentwood High School student who had won the local, regional and State competitions, participated in the quarter finals at the Nationals but did not make it to the semis.  She learned a lot and will return next year.

8.3.2.    Steve Cron (Area Two Representative) explained that LAFD Chief Hogan came to the Highlands and walked the length of the fire road “escape route” which is locked on the Marquez Knolls side.  A resident of Marquez Knolls is upset because her side is locked. The Chief is aware and reported that the area will stay clear and if a fire occurs they will deal with the situation as appropriate at that time. He also acknowledged that Melanie Bouer, Bruce Schwartz and Barbara Marinacci helped with the clean-up of Palisades Dr.

8.3.3.    Cathy Russell (Area One 1stAlternate) announced that the SMCCA’s 73rd annual meeting will take place on May 14 at 7pm at Rustic Canyon Park.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Sarah Conner (PPRA) stated that there will be a status conference for the lawsuit involving the eldercare project on April 23 downtown; she does not know the exact location.

8.4.2.    Susan Orenstein (TCA Alternate) announced that there will be a Rendezvous Hike with the Sierra Club this coming Sunday to Trippet Ranch, in honor of John Muir’s 181st birthday.  The meeting will be at 9am at the Santa Inez Canyon trailhead.

8.4.3.    Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce) reported that a Chamber mixer, open house and ribbon cutting at the new St. John’s Physician’s Center on Alma Real will take place on April 17 from 4-7pm (ribbon cutting at 5:30pm).

8.4.4.    Duke Ostendorf (AYSO) announced that the Y is sponsoring a Healthy Kids Day on April 27 from 11am – 1pm at Simon Meadow.  This is a free, fun event for kids of all ages and their families. He distributed a flyer about the event.

8.4.5.    Barbara Marinacci (PP Garden Club) reminded everyone that the annual PPGC Spring Garden Tour will take place on April 14 from 12-4pm.  Tickets are available online at the PPGC website.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    LAPD Capt. Vic Davalos and Officer Maria Gray (attending in SLO Michael Moore’s absence).  Capt. Davalos: On May 29 the LAPD WLA Area will hold an Open House in the afternoon at WLA Station, 1633 Butler Ave., Los Angeles. Officer Gray:  Crime is down in the Palisades and there is nothing unusual to report.  She advised that there is a new app with real-time crime alerts based on calls to 9-1-1 that the officers are using and have found to be pretty accurate:  the “Citizen” app.  This is a free app that is not sponsored by LAPD.  A few Board members who had downloaded the app said that it seems to report crimes that are occurring farther away, not necessarily in the vicinity of the user or even the Palisades.

8.5.2.    The Chair read a report from Lisa Cahill, CD 11 Palisades-Brentwood Deputy, in her absence:

  • Potrero Canyon is moving forward on schedule. Landscaping is going out to bid soon and the City is working with RAP and BOE to ensure large plants.
  • Parking Meter Money: The Palisades BID is the group overseeing and must conduct community outreach as part of the process. CD11 has recommended to the BID that it work with PPCC. There is an annual estimate of $65,000, which can rollover to subsequent years for CIPs. LADOT and CD11 are happy to work with the BID to help them with specific projects.
  • CD11 is working on trash collection with Palisades PRIDE to try and find a solution that makes sense for all concerned.
  • Permit Parking District near the Village: signs were posted incorrectly on Embury St. and CD11 worked to get them changed as soon as possible.  Parking enforcement in the meantime had issued citations to people who had parked correctly according to the previous signs.  Anyone who parked on Embury around 9am on April 9 and received a citation should contact cahill@lacity.organd provide citation number and contact information.
  • Trash dumpsters will be discussed at the upcoming PAB meeting on April 17. People should attend the meeting and/or contact the Park Director with comments regarding dumpster relocation.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors– None.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair). The Committee Chair reported as follows:  The Bylaws Committee members are himself, David Card, Peter Culhane, David Kaplan, Chris Spitz, Andrew Wolfberg and George Wolfberg (ex officio).  The Committee met on Wednesday, April 10, to complete its work on that latest round of proposed Bylaws changes.  These will be introduced to the Board at our next meeting on April 25.  The changes being proposed will focus on three areas:

  1. Disciplinary Process – We are endeavoring to make it more fair.
  2. Code of Conduct – We seek to apply it more broadly – to Member Organizations, Advisors and Candidates for elected and officer positions.
  3. Defining and clarifying who is a “Member” for the above purposes and for voting.
  4. Postponement – We clarify what happens when an Organization requests a postponement of a vote on an urgent matter.  We propose compelling a polling of the Board to determine if there is Board consensus and if the Executive Committee should act for the Board.

The First Distribution of the proposed amendments will occur at the next meeting on April 25. As with prior amendments, a Committee Report, a “redline” and a “clean” version will be distributed with the meeting agenda and the Committee Chair will provide more explanation about the amendments at the meeting.  The Second Distribution, discussion and vote on the proposed amendments will occur at the PPCC meeting on May 9.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    WRAC-recommended Motion regarding Los Angeles River Flood Protection & Mitigation.  Sponsored in PPCC by the Executive Committee, with modifications to the original motion. See Background re LA River Motion for more information.

Secretary Chris Spitz introduced the motion on behalf of the Executive Committee. [No second was necessary as the motion was sponsored by a committee of more than one voting board member.]

She explained that the motion was as stated in the agenda. Brief discussion ensued.  David Card suggested an amendment to request that recreational use and public access also be included in connection with the study referenced in the motion.  The Secretary noted that a motion to amend the main motion must be made by a voting member.  Susan Orenstein (TCA) thereupon made a motion to amend the main motion, with language suggested by Richard Cohen:  insert the phrase “including with an eye toward recreational uses and public access” after the parenthetical phrase “(which may result in downzoning).”  Haldis Toppel (Area Three Representative) seconded the motion to amend.  A vote was taken.  Result:  unanimous in favor of the motion to amend.

The Chair then called the vote on the main motion as amended, as follows:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council requests that the County of Los Angeles coordinate flood protection and mitigation of existing flooding risks in the LA River area, with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the City of Los Angeles and its various departments tasked with city planning, architecture, flood mitigation and street services, among others. We ask that all agencies study options to reduce the impact of flood, the costs of which will largely be borne by taxpayers, and that these studies include taking actions such as removing sediment build-up, reducing hardscape (e.g. parking lots, building footprints), expanding open spaces and increasing the size of spreading grounds, adding flood walls, adding dry wells to infiltrate stormwater into aquifers, adding swales to small medians and yards, strengthening dams and levees, and evaluating land use and zoning designations within the proximity of the river (which may result in downzoning), including with an eye toward recreational use and public access. We further urge the City and County of Los Angeles to request the U.S. Congress to authorize funding at the earliest possible time for a Flood Risk Management feasibility study to be conducted by USACE.”

A vote was then taken.  Result:  unanimous in favor of the main motion as amended.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:40pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR APRIL 25th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Steve Boyers, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Bill Bruns, Dick Wulliger, Duke Ostendorf, Sarah Knauer, Jean Sharp, Brenda Theveny

Voting Alternates:  David Card, Barbara Kohn, John Padden, Robin Meyers, Andrew Wolfberg

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Barbara Marinacci, Jan Ostendorf, Kelly Comras, Melanie Bouer, Miriam Schulman, Bruce Schwartz

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  John Padden 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 4/11/19 were deemed approved as corrected. 2) Upcoming Meetings – May 9, 2019: Nominating Committee’s announcement of candidates for officer positions; Board nominations of officer candidates open until 15 minutes before close of meeting; 2nd Distribution, discussion & vote on Bylaws amendments. May 23, 2019: close of Board nominations of officers; update on wildfire safety by PPCC Wildfire Advisor Miriam Schulman; (tentative) discussion of parking meter revenues (use for streetscape projects in the BID area).  June 13, 2019: candidates forum (if needed) and Board election of PPCC officers for the 2019-2020 term; LAX modernization plan update by Los Angeles World Airways representatives. 6/27: guest speaker (moved from 5/23) – Councilmember Mike Bonin; Q&A about matters of community concern.  Additional topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,676.66. There were no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment — None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

The Chair began by announcing that the first Board members to open the agenda were Sue Kohl and Brenda Theveny, in a virtual tie; the Secretary presented each with a gift of treats.

8.1.1.    WRAC Leadership Meeting update.  WRAC Leadership met on April 17 and five motions were approved for recommendation to the fourteen member-councils, including:

  • Support for the findings of the City Attorney’s Blue Ribbon panel on school safety;
  • Urging the new Wildland Urban Interface Hazard Mitigation Taskforce to conduct outreach to and consider the concerns of neighborhoods;
  • Urging the City to develop planning, zoning and leasing regulations for co-living developments which although residential in nature function similar to hotels;
  • Request the Housing and Community Investment Dept. to fully comply with state and city affordable housing density bonuses per concerns expressed in the City Controller’s January 2017 audit report; and
  • Support Councilman Ryu’s motion to prohibit developer and contractor contributions to City elected officials.

Motions on these five initiatives will be on our next agenda.

8.1.2.    Topanga Emergency Fair, Sunday, May 5. For more information visit OneTopanga.

8.1.3.    Community Fire Safety Meeting.  The event will take place at 7pm on 4/30 at Paul Revere Middle School.

8.1.4.    Chautauqua Repaving.  Repaving of Chautauqua from Sunset Blvd. to PCH will take place on May 4-5.  Work will start at 6:30am each day to permit conclusion of the work each day one hour earlier.  There may be some closures on W. Channel Rd., so it will be best to avoid the area.  The repaving is being done by the City and will not involve new signage at the intersection of Chautauqua & PCH, since that is within the authority of Caltrans. We will pass on to officials the suggestion for warning signs about the repaving.

8.1.5.    Councilmember Mike Bonin’s PPCC Appearance.  The Councilmember’s appearance as a guest speaker at PPCC has been moved to our June 27th meeting.

8.1.6.    Resolution regarding Electric Scooter Hit and Run.  Father Kidney was severely injured by an electric scooter in a hit and run accident. The scooter provider refused to give the user’s name to the police. Steve Boyers (Area 7 Representative) is drafting a proposed resolution to be taken up at our next meeting, which will state PPCC’s opposition to the City granting business licenses to scooter providers that refuse to comply with law enforcement.

8.1.7.    Board Member Contact Information.  It has come to the Chair’s attention that some members around the table do not know how to contact others around the table via phone or email.  As has been the case for many years, this information is publicly posted on our website, www.pacpalic.org, under the Leadershiptab.

8.2.   From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) gave an update on SB 50 (Wiener).  This is the so-called “transit-rich” and “jobs-rich” housing bill that would eliminate local control over land use and zoning in much of Los Angeles – by some estimates more than 40% of the City. The City Council unanimously passed a resolution to oppose the bill and the League of California Cities is also opposed, as are PPCC and six other WRAC member councils. The bill had earlier passed in the Senate Housing Committee and was heard yesterday in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.  It also passed in that committee after a compromise was reached in order to gain votes. We haven’t yet seen the amended language, but we understand that the bill will now exclude certain small cities in the Coastal Zone and also properties in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone – which would include virtually all of the Palisades. SB 50 will now go to the Appropriations Committee and if it passes there, to the full Senate for a vote.  We will continue to analyze and monitor its status.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative).  The MKPOA annual meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 8.  Details will be posted on the PPCC website calendar.

8.3.2.    Andrew Wolfberg (Area 8 1st Alternate).  The annual Canyon School Fiesta is this Sunday from 11am-4pm.

8.4.     From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce).  The Chamber will host a Business & Wellness Fair on May 19 along Antioch & Via de la Paz, with booths, games & food trucks.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Janet Turner, District Representative, Congressman Ted Lieu.

The District office has been moved to 1465 Corinth in West LA (in the same building as CD11). The phone and fax numbers remain the same. She distributed handouts and reported that the Congressman has joined others in Congress in sending a letter to the Appropriations Committee asking for strong funding for USACE operations, including LA River restoration.  He has also co-sponsored the “Save the Internet” Act to bring back net neutrality.  Additionally, Congressman Lieu and others in Congress have introduced a bill to allow the West LA Armory serve as a year-round homeless shelter.

8.5.2.    Lisa Cahill, CD 11 Palisades-Brentwood Deputy.

Chautauqua Blvd. will be repaved on May 4-5. There will be a press release and advance notice will be given.  Repaving will be from PCH to Sunset.  The goal is to finish the project in one weekend.  Work will start early in the morning and end by 6pm each day.  The road will be closed and signs will be placed on Sunset east & west bound, and if possible in the vicinity PCH & W. Channel Rd., which may also be closed; drivers should try to avoid the area next weekend.

8.5.3.    Zac Gaidzik, West-Metro Field Deputy, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

Yesterday’s Westwood Connect Day and was a success and many homeless individuals received services.   Other updates:  The Board of Supervisors (BOS) has established a County-wide youth advisory board; contact Zac for more information [zgaidzik@bos.lacounty.gov].  The use of Round Up is being halted at all County facilities; the BOS is looking for alternatives for pest management and is also looking for veterinary care supplies. Regarding the LA River, the Master Plan process is ongoing and the public can participate [see LA River Master Plan].The BOS believes that Congress has not adequately funded USACE operations; a motion has been introduced for the County to take over 40 miles of the River from USACE.  Supervisor Kuehl appreciated receiving PPCC’s motion regarding LA River flood protection and mitigation [see PPCC River Letter].

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors– None.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair).  The Committee Chair reported on the First Distribution of proposed Bylaws amendments as follows:

The Committee has completed its work and submitted a Committee Report, “Redline”and “Clean”versions of the proposed Bylaws amendments, which were distributed with the agenda and are also posted on the PPCC website. The amendments address the disciplinary process to make the process fairer. The Code of Conduct is applied more broadly to all Board members, including organizations, alternates, advisors and candidates for officer and elected representative. The amendments also define and clarify Board membership, and there is a great deal of administrative clean-up.

A substantive issue that the Committee also tackled was resolving the problem of organizational representatives being allowed to request undisputed postponement of votes on motions. After serious debate the Committee resolved not to remove the right of an organizational representative to postpone the Board vote in order to return to his or her board for instruction on how to vote; however, if there’s a time constraint and comments need to be submitted or a position taken before the PPCC Board’s next meeting, the Committee decided to balance the interests by requiring the Chair in that situation to call for a straw vote of the Board, which will in turn inform the Executive Committee members, who are empowered by the Bylaws to take action for the Board in the event of an urgency.

The Committee Chair noted that a question had arisen regarding the attendance requirement for organizational members. He explained the amendments (on p. 13 of the amending document) and noted that member organizations in a single organization category are allowed to miss more meetings than other members without an excuse for non-attendance, before their seat is lost or deemed vacated (i.e., such organizations receive an advantage over other members).  He also explained that the amendments applying to organizations in a single organization category were added to provide a remedy to the situation of an organizational representative’s unexcused non-attendance for extended periods of time – which PPCC had previously experienced with one member in a single organization category, whose representative did not attend meetings for over a year and gave no excuse, yet the Bylaws provided for no recourse to the Board or sanction of the organization involved.

The Second Distribution, discussion and vote on the proposed amendments will occur at the PPCC meeting on May 9.  The Committee Chair urged those with comments and questions and comments to reach out to him before the May 9th meeting.

10.   Old Business – None.

11.   New Business.

11.1.    Developing a Workable Street Tree Policy for the Palisades.  Participants: Michael G. Terry, President, Palisades Beautiful; Stephen Duprey, Supervisor, Bureau of Street Services, Urban Forestry Division. Discussion only.

The Chair began by explaining that on September 18, he attended a sold-out/standing room only seminar in Studio City given by Angelenos for Trees. David Card was also there. It was very inspiring to see so many dedicated and caring people and the Chair was moved to learn more about the City’s forestry program. Because of budget cuts and inertia, the City’s program was clearly not up to snuff compared to other Cities like San Francisco and Seattle. Subsequently, PPCC had a Power Point presentation on the Urban Forest by Ileana Wachtel and not long after, with the support of Kelly Comras, we were able to save the two iconic trees adjacent to LAFD Station 69 – progress one tree at a time. Tonight, we will have another Power Point presentation from Michael G. Terry of Palisades Beautiful (PB), which will underscore how many of the existing trees in our community are no longer on the City’s approved street tree list.  Plus, we welcome Stephen Duprey, Supervisor, Bureau of Street Services, Urban Forestry Division, to inform us and add to the discussion and perhaps point us toward a new street tree policy.

Mr. Terry  then proceeded with his Power Point presentation, “Street Tree Democracy” [see Street Tree Policy Presentation].  He explained the roles of PB, City Plants and Urban Forestry and the history of PB’s participation in street tree planting in Pacific Palisades.  In the past, residents would go to PB to facilitate the planning of a street tree in the parkway in front of their home, but that is no longer the case.  Now, someone wanting a new street tree needs to go straight to Urban Forestry.  At the request of Urban Forestry, PB is asking for PPCC feedback and approval of policy positions regarding street trees, so that the policies will be recognized by Urban Forestry and PB can resume facilitation of street tree planting.

Mr. Terry explained the various exhibits in his presentation, including the original PB street tree list (Exhibit A), and he described various risk factors and other issues regarding street tree suitability which have led to Urban Forestry concluding that more than a majority (59%) of street trees on the original PB list are no longer suitable for parkways in the Palisades.  As a result, he indicated that Urban Forestry has effectively abrogated the original PB street tree list. Mr. Terry also briefly explained the three draft street policies contained in his presentation and the process proposed to be followed by residents seeking help from PB in planting street trees.  He again explained that PB has been told by Urban Forestry that PB will not be permitted to facilitate the planting of street trees unless it develops policies that are workable and are approved by PPCC.

Stephen Duprey of Urban Forestry then spoke, announcing that Urban Forestry is beginning a new era of focus on tree health and growth, with renewed interest in developing an Urban Forest Master Plan for the City.  Urban Forestry is also updating its website and expects to have a revised, up-to-date street tree selection guide posted within the year.  He explained that in the Palisades, street trees that were originally on the list for planting were chosen by horticulturalists in the early 1970’s but are now faced by new challenges of drought, fire hazard and disease (e.g., the shot-hole borer beetle), which in turn cause liability issues for homeowners and the City. There is value in diversifying trees rather than having a monoculture.  One issue that Urban Forestry has considered is language in the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan (p. V-6), which might suggest that a specific species be planted as the common tree for all street frontages. Mr. Terry explained that this is an aspirational goal only.  Mr. Duprey encouraged the Palisades community to develop a new street tree policy, approved by PPCC, which will inform Urban Forestry and allow PB to resume facilitating the planting of street trees.

A lively Q&A ensued, with numerous questions and comments from Board and audience members.  It was noted that the various exhibits (street tree lists) in the presentation do not list every street or block in the Palisades, to which Mr. Terry responded that some areas (e.g., the Highlands) had not been developed when the first list was created in the 1970s, that PB had focused on the original Village area but is now prevented from facilitating any street tree plantings due to the lack of an updated policy, and that individuals and developers are planting street trees everywhere without regard to the existence of any policies.  Mr. Terry also emphasized that PB is not involved and will not be involved with removal of any trees, and that there is little or no enforcement as Urban Forestry does not have funding for enforcement.

Kelly Comras (Area 1 2nd Alternate) commented that she has reviewed the Santa Monica and Culver City street tree policies which deal with some of the same issues.  She believes that an independent outside expert should be engaged to develop a policy for the Palisades.  Richard Cohen questioned who would pay for such an expert and noted that PPTFH was originally a PPCC committee but then spun off to became an independent entity when significant fundraising and more pro-active efforts became necessary.  He and Haldis Toppel both suggested that the PPCC Board is not in a position to evaluate these complex issues, and that a PPCC committee should first be formed with members who have expertise or an interest in street tree matters. Such a committee could make recommendations to the PPCC Board, including whether an outside expert should be retained to help develop a policy.  Barbara Marinacci stated her belief that PB should not be developing a policy on its own, that her own preference is for the same or similar trees to be planted on each block, and that policy decisions should be developed with consensus and according to Urban Forestry and Street Services standards.

Lisa Cahill of CD11, who also worked with Tree People for over 10 years and has personally planted or facilitated the planting of hundreds of trees, provided valuable insight.  She indicated that there has been a deep division in the community about what an appropriate street tree policy should be and as a result no trees are being planted. She encouraged the formation of a PPCC committee which she believes would be useful in this regard.  She also indicated that CD11 would respect any plan approved by PPCC as it trusts PPCC to do due diligence.  Mr. Duprey also reiterated that Urban Forestry supports us and that although there has been division on this issue in the past, he believes that a united front, represented by PPCC efforts, would be helpful.

David Card (At-large 1st Alternate) indicated concern that developers are now planting whatever trees they want whenever they want, no trees are being planted by PB, no one is going to Urban Forestry for permission and mature trees are dying.  He is worried about becoming bogged down in an expensive, time-consuming process.  He has also reviewed the Santa Monica and Culver City street tree policies and believes these should be looked at in terms of developing a policy for the Palisades. There were further comments about the committee process and the need to exhaust every opportunity to achieve a consensus on a workable street tree policy.  There was informal consensus that a PPCC committee should be formed, with several members suggesting that David Card be appointed as the committee chair, and possible other committee members to include Kelly Comras, Barbara Marinacci, Michael G. Terry and others with an interest or expertise in these issues. The Chair will consider whether to appoint such a committee in the near future.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:58pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR MAY 9th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Peter F. Culhane, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Steve Boyers, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Alan Goldsmith, Bill Bruns, Dick Wulliger, Richard Blumenberg, Duke Ostendorf, Sarah Conner, Jean Sharp, Brenda Theveny, Ellie Jenkins

Voting Alternates:  Melanie Bouer, Niloo Kia, Susan Orenstein, Jason Sklar

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Barbara Marinacci, David Card, Jan Ostendorf, Sharla Steinman (following appointment; see item 8.1.1 below)

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Jason Sklar 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 4/25/19 were deemed approved. 2) Upcoming Meetings –May 23, 2019: (1) close of Board nominations of officers; (2) update on wildfire safety by PPCC Wildfire Advisor Miriam Schulman; tentative discussion of parking meter revenues. June 13, 2019: (1) candidates forum (if needed) and Board election of PPCC officers for the 2019-2020 term; (2) LAX Landside Modernization Plan update.  June 27, 2019:  Guest speaker Councilmember Mike Bonin; Q&A about matters of community concern. Additional topics to be announced. One meeting only in July and August; dates to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $40,982.66.  Significant transactions this month included a payment of $140 to renew our P.O. box for the year and a $500 check as a refundable deposit to reserve the community room at Palisades Village for a tentative June LUC meeting (the library being unavailable).  The Treasurer will credit the refund of the deposit back to the account balance when the check is returned or voided.

7.    General Public Comment — None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

The Chair began by announcing that the first Board member to open the agenda was Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce Representative); in her absence, the Secretary presented a gift of treats to Sue Kohl (Area 5 Representative), who will arrange to deliver the gift.

8.1.1.    Approval of additional PPCC Youth Advisor, Sharla Steinman (BylawsArt. XIV).  Pali High junior and member of the Pali Ambassadors Sharla Steinman was appointed as the second PPCC Youth Advisor, with the approval of the Board.

8.1.2.    Appointment of Street Tree Policy Committee.  The following persons were appointed to the new Street Tree Policy Committee, to research and present recommendations to the PPCC Board about a possible Street Tree Policy for the Palisades: David Card, Chair [At-large 1st Alternate, landscape designer]; Kelly Comras [Area 1 2nd Alternate, landscape architect/FASLA], Jo Ann Bright [Garden Club], Bill Bruns [Friends of the Library Representative], Libby Motika [journalist, Master Gardener], Jan Ostendorf [Area 4 2nd Alternate] and Michael G. Terry [Palisades Beautiful, landscape designer].

8.1.3.    Update on Chautauqua Blvd. repaving.  The long-awaited repaving happened last weekend. The City did a good job and the lines are in.

8.1.4.    Update on recent racist hate speech & threats; see PPCC Statement.  The Chair joined the well-attended service last Sunday at the Lutheran Church which the community attended in solidarity with Pastor Davis and his family.  PPCC’s statement condemning the vile racist hate threats was widely distributed, including on social media.  The Chair received a private response to PPCC’s post on Nextdoor, from a resident who worked up the courage to write to us after seeing the posts about the incident involving the Davis family. She sadly related another incident of racism in the Palisades.  He read aloud the resident’s entire message to PPCC and expressed dismay that this continues to occur in our society [see attachment for text of message].

8.1.5.    15245 W. De Pauw St. (Potrero Canyon rim construction); see PPCC Position Letter.  The contractor had received a building permit which was not authorized by the existing CDP.  The owner is now seeking retroactive permission to continue to build a large, obtrusive structure along the Canyon rim, despite the Zoning Information guidelines.  Because of the timing (Planning Dept. hearing last Monday), the Executive Committee unanimously approved the letter linked above.

8.1.6.    LADWP Information; see 2019 LA Aqueduct-Owens Valley Tours; Mylar Balloon Safety.  Those interested in the tour should click on the link and RSVP as soon as possible (first tour is on May 17-18).

8.1.7.    Fire Service Day May 11 at Station 69; see Fire Service Day Flyer.  This is one of three terrific events on Saturday.  Festivities are from 10am-4pm.  Bruce Schwartz (past Citizen of the Year and Area 2 2nd Alternate) will receive Honorary Fire Chief honors.

8.1.8.    Palisades Beautiful Tree Walk May 11; see Tree Walk Flyer.  This is the third of the three “Super Saturday” events on May 11 [see item 8.6.1 below for the second event].  The walk will take place from 3-4:30pm and begins at the giant Moreton Bay Fig Tree at the entrance to the Recreation Center.

8.1.9.    Parking meter revenue return pilot program.  This is a program for the Business Improvement District (BID) to manage parking meter revenue returns for streetscape projects in the BID area. PPCC strongly advocated that the City include the BID in the current experimental program. There are Brown Act hoops that the BID must jump through in order to run this program. The Chair and Vice-Chair Peter F. Culhane attended this week’s BID meeting to offer PPCC’s assistance in implementing the program. Our offer was well received. Stand by for more information.

8.1.10.    Aircraft noise update.  The Chair just received a message from Geoff Thompson, Councilmember Mike Bonin’s airport liaison, stating that last night the LAX Community Noise Roundtable took action to address the noise we are experiencing in Santa Monica Canyon and Pacific Palisades. By working this issue on behalf of our community via the Ad Hoc Metroplex/Wide Area Committee that Geoff Thompson chairs, the full Roundtable membership voted to send a letter to the FAA asking that the JUUSE Waypoint just off the coast – which is crossed-over by jets landing at LAX from the north — be moved approximately one mile south / southwest. [See JUUSE Waypoint Map.]

Geoff Thompson believes this alignment may be acceptable to the FAA and could reduce noise in our area, since jets will be farther off the coastline. Stand by, but do not hold your breath.  Kudos to Golden Sparkplug award winner Debbie Warfel for continuing to follow up on the aircraft noise issue.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) gave an update on SB 50 (Wiener).  The bill will be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on May 13 and if it passes will then go on to the full Senate.  New amendments include exemptions for small cities (under 50,000 in population) that are located in the Coastal zone, and for sites designated as High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (HFHSZ) where “fire hazard mitigation measures” haven’t been adopted.  What exactly constitutes mitigation measures isn’t clear under the bill. Since Pacific Palisades is not itself a city it does not fall within the exemption for “small cities in the Coastal zone.” However, virtually all areas of the Palisades are in the HFHSZ and presumably will therefore be exempt, although which sites, if any, have adopted fire mitigation measures such that they would lose the exemption under the bill remain to be determined.  See PPCC’s Position Letter submitted to the Appropriations Committee on May 8, 2019.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Kelly Comras (Area 1 2nd Alternate).  (Tentative) report on City of LA “Tree Summit” – not in attendance.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Jean Sharp (Optimists) announced that a Kids’ Track Meet will take place on May 19, 11am-2:30pm at the Pali High track.  The event is sponsored by the Optimists and the YMCA. Information can be found on the YMCA website.  [See Track Meet]

8.4.2.    Dick Wulliger (PP Historical Society) reminded members of the Society’s May 13th program, 7pm at Theatre Palisades:  The Sun and her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood.  He distributed flyers. [See Sun & Stars Flyer]

8.4.3.    Susan Orenstein (TCA) announced the start of the Spring/Summer weekly Tuesday evening hikes this Tuesday, May14 (exploring Will Rogers Park).  [See TCA Hikes]

8.4.4.    Duke Ostendorf (YMCA) reported that the Y’s Healthy Kids Day event was a success.  Over 120 families attended and the Simon Meadow was crushed with kids.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives – None.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Sharla Steinman  (Youth Advisor) presented information about the Pali High Campus Gardening/Beautification Day to take place from 11am-1pm on May 11 [see Ambassadors Flyer].  The Chair remarked that this is the second of the three events to take place on Saturday.  Secretary Chris Spitz announced that the first person who attends all three events on Saturday and sends in selfies to show they were there will receive a free dessert courtesy Marissa Hermer (Chamber of Commerce Alternate) and The Draycott!  The Youth Advisor also announced that a “Friday Night Live” event will take place at Pali next Friday May 17 at 7pm and 9pm.  There is a review system on Google to give ratings to the Ambassadors. Responding to a question about the status of work at the corner of Bowdoin & Temescal, the Youth Advisor explained that this will be a landscaped seating area.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Nominating Committee (Richard Blumenberg, Chair; Sue Kohl, Joanna Spak).  Committee Chair Richard Blumenberg announced the Committee’s candidates for officers for the 2019-2020 term, as follows:

Chair:  George Wolfberg
Vice-Chair:  David Card
Treasurer:  Richard Cohen
Secretary:  Chris Spitz

Committee Chair Blumenberg related that David Card has lived in the Palisades since childhood and is a long-time community leader, serving on the American Legion, the Rotary, the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee and the PPCC Board for several years. He is currently the PPCC At-large 1st Alternate and served as Chair of last year’s Election Committee. A former bankruptcy lawyer for many years, David is also a trained landscape designer and received a Golden Sparkplug Award for his work on Potrero Canyon and for landscaping the area around the pumping station at the corner of Temescal Canyon & PCH.

The Chair thanked the Committee for its work in selecting the nominees and then opened nominations to the Board.  There were no nominations by Board members. The Chair explained that nominations from the Board will be open until 15 minutes before the scheduled close of the next meeting on May 23.  [See item 12 below for statement by the current Vice-Chair.]

9.2.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair).  Second Distribution of proposed amendments to the PPCC Bylaws recommended by the Committee (pertaining primarily to the Code of Conduct, disciplinary procedures and clarification of Board membership). See 1) Committee Report and 2) “Redline”plus “Clean” draft of proposed amendments, distributed concurrently with the meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website (“Amendments”).

Committee Chair Cohen again explained the proposed Amendments and the various categories of revisions and voting requirements (parts A, B, C and D of the motion, as set forth below).  He introduced the motion on behalf of the Committee for adoption of the proposed Amendments [no second was required as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member].  The Chair then invited discussion from the Board.  There were no questions or comments.  A vote was then taken on each of the following parts of the motion:

  1. Bylaws and Appendix A [voting requirement: 2/3 of members present (abstentions counted as “No” votes)].Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.
  2. Appendix C – Standing Rules [voting requirement: majority of members present (abstentions counted as “No” votes)].Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.
  3. Appendix D – Guiding Principles [voting requirement: 2/3 of members voting (abstentions not counted as votes)].  Vote:Unanimous in favor of the motion.
  4. Attachment A – Election Procedure for Elected Representatives [voting requirement: majority of members voting (abstentions not counted as votes)]. Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

The Chair thanked the Bylaws Committee for its careful work in proposing these important revisions.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Resolution Regarding Dockless Electric Scooter & Bicycle Providers (co-sponsored by Area 7 Representative Steve Boyers & Secretary Chris Spitz).

The resolution sponsors introduced the following resolution [which did not require a second as it was made by two voting board members]:

“Whereas, on or about April 13, 2019, the beloved pastor of a church in Pacific Palisades was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident recklessly caused by the user of a dockless electric scooter, who fled the scene (on the sidewalk outside of the church rectory) and could not be immediately apprehended at the time of the accident;

Whereas, any of us could be victims of such future reckless and unlawful conduct;

Whereas, the business providing the dockless electric scooter involved in the above accident refused to provide information to law enforcement about the user or to reasonably assist in law enforcement’s investigation of the accident, resulting in an inability to bring the user to justice or a significant delay in justice;

Whereas, in the interest of public safety, every business providing dockless electric scooters and/or bicycles (Dockless Mobility Devices) operating in the City of Los Angeles (City) should reasonably be required to cooperate fully with law enforcement under the circumstances described above as a condition of being granted a business license or Dockless Mobility Permit;

Whereas, such requirement of provider cooperation with law enforcement is necessary to protect the safety of the public and does not unreasonably infringe on the privacy rights of users of Dockless Mobility Devices;

Whereas, it is the responsibility of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and the City to “promote safety. . . and improve the quality of life for the people of Los Angeles“ (LADOT Statement);

Whereas, prominent Dockless Mobility Device providers all publicly proclaim that the safety of riders and the community is their “obsession” (Bird) or their “top” (Lyft)or  “#1” (Lime) priority;

Whereas, Dockless Mobility Devices providers can reasonably [see below; word “reasonably” deleted from final adopted resolution, per Board amendment]provide notice to users in the “Terms of Use” oftheir rental agreements that user information will be provided to law enforcement, upon request by law enforcement, in the event of an accident involving injury to another person caused or claimed to be caused by the operation of the Dockless Mobility Device;

Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) urges the City to (1) deny a business license and/or Dockless Mobility Permit, or suspend and/or revoke any previously-issued business license and/or Dockless Mobility Permit, to any provider of Dockless Mobility Devices operating in the City that fails or refuses to cooperate fully with law enforcement in providing information about the user of its Dockless Mobility Device involved in an accident causing injury to another person; (2) if and as necessary, immediately enact additional regulations amending existing rules and/or data protection policies in the City’s Dockless Mobility Pilot Program to provide for issuance of business licenses and/or Dockless Mobility Permits only upon condition that providers cooperate fully with law enforcement under the circumstances set forth above; and (3) provide for suspensions, followed by revocation hearings, of any such licenses and/or permits issued to Dockless Mobility Device providers that fail or refuse to comply fully with law enforcement under the circumstances set forth above; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, that PPCC send a copy of this resolution directly to Councilmember Mike Bonin and to Mayor Eric Garcetti, as well as to all members of the Los Angeles City Council, to emphasize the importance of this safety concern to the residents of Pacific Palisades.

Adopted:  ________, 2019”

Steve Boyers explained the background for the motion and the Chair invited discussion.  Board members generally expressed deep concern over the incident and the provider’s failure to cooperate with police.  Questions were asked about the circumstances and whether the police had followed up or could have obtained a warrant for the information.  Sue Kohl (Area 5 Representative) explained that the pastor had decided not to press charges.  Steve Boyers commented that this was the pastor’s personal decision but does not affect the resolution, which is the first step in an attempt to put pressure on the City to adopt necessary rules to ensure that companies that refuse to cooperate with the police will not receive licenses.  He explained that doing business with the City is a privilege, not a right, and the companies’ ability to conduct business here should be conditioned on being responsible corporate citizens. Chris Spitz stated that she and the Chair have submitted the resolution language to WRAC Leadership and that she will personally follow up with WRAC members so that this may become a WRAC position and thus have even more weight with City Council.  Steve Boyers indicated that this is a complicated issue involving regulations, terms of use, liability insurance, etc., and that it’s possible that the temporary permits already received by providers under the pilot program will soon be extended.  He suggested the formation of a PPCC committee do further research and follow-up with the City.

Rick Mills (Area 4 Representative) then moved to amend the resolution by deleting the word “reasonably” from the paragraph:  “Whereas, Dockless Mobility Device providers can reasonably provide notice to users in the terms of use . . . .”  The resolution sponsors accepted the amendment and there were no objections from the Board.

Following discussion, a vote was taken on the resolution as amended.  Vote: Unanimous in favor of the resolution as amended.

11.2.    WRAC-recommended Motions A through E below (sponsored in PPCC by the Executive Committee).

The Chair and Chris Spitz introduced each motion in turn [which did not require a second as each was made by a committee of more than one voting board member].  Discussion was invited on each motion and votes were taken as follows:

A.   Support for findings of City Attorney’s Blue Ribbon panel on school safety:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council supports the findings of the Blue Ribbon Panel on School Safety, convened by the City Attorney, and urges LAUSD to adopt the priorities of the report recommending steps towards increased school safety.” 

Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

B.   Support for Wildland Urban Interface Hazard Mitigation Task Force and request for neighborhood outreach by the task force:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council supports Council Member Bonin’s motion for the formation of a Wildland Urban Interface Hazard Mitigation Task Force and urges the task force to conduct neighborhood outreach to community stakeholders and understand / consider their thoughts and concerns.”

Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

C.   Request for City to develop regulations for co-living developments:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council requests that the City develop planning, zoning and leasing regulations for co-living developments, which are residential in nature but have aspects of hotels/transient occupancy. Issues include: 1. Length of leases; 2. Parking for “units,” which have larger bedroom counts; 3. Compliance with density bonus ordinances – regulatory framework.”

Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

D.   Request for City to enforce affordable housing density bonus regulations:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council requests that the Housing and Community Investment Dept. fully comply with the regulations of the State and City affordable housing density bonuses ordinances (SB1818 and Prop. JJJ/TOC), per the concerns stated in the City Controller’s audit report of Jan. 2017. This includes ensuring that developers properly register units and record covenants upon occupancy, properly publicize and qualify low-income tenants and audit their status every year, assign the correct restricted rent and review it every year, and conduct annual audits to ensure that the affordable units properly and legally serve the intended population of low-income households of Los Angeles. HCID shall state how it will change its processes to ensure compliance. The job performance metric of the HCID General Manager shall reflect full compliance with the State and City’s affordable housing density bonus programs, especially annual audits of tenants of those units and developers who lease those units.”

Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

E.   Support for motion calling for prohibitions on developer contributions to elected officials:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council supports Council Member David Ryu’s motion (CF 19-0046) and its prohibition on developer and contractor contributions to City elected officials with the following clarifications:

    1. Contributions shall be prohibited to the mayor, city councilmembers, controller, city attorney, and all PACs and non-profits that hold fundraisers or make contributions for those elected officials;
    2. Contributions shall be prohibited for 1 year prior to submittal of a development application (those contributions prior to submittal shall be returned) and for 1 year after a development approval and its subsequent issuance of certificate of occupancy;
    3. Contributions shall be prohibited from all financiers, developers, applicants, land owners, architects, engineers, contractors and subcontractors, and all employees and spouses of those employees of those firms; and
    4. The City Ethics Commission shall be responsible for enforcing the ordinance.”

Vote:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

12.    Adjournment. 

At the conclusion of the meeting and immediately prior to adjournment, Peter Culhane explained that he had informed the Chair and the Nominating Committee Chair that he has decided not to run again for Vice-Chair because of family and other commitments, including his continuing involvement with his Highlands community.  He expressed his gratitude for having had the privilege of serving on the Board and explained that he wishes to remain involved and is available to assist PPCC in the future in any capacity needed.  The Chair then adjourned the meeting at 8:07pm.

ATTACHMENT:  Item 8.1.4 — Resident’s Nextdoor message to PPCC

“Hello PPCC, I hope this message finds you well. I wish I were messaging under different circumstances but this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m shaking as I write this as it is similar to my recent encounter. I wish for this to remain private for now and not sure how much my message will help others or simply bring attention to the injustice some of us unfortunately face. As a woman of color living in the Palisades, it never crossed my mind nor questioned the neighborhood. In fact, I was delighted to move here. I’ve been here a little over a year and have enjoyed all of the beauty this amazing part of LA has to offer. Fast forward to last week where I was coming home from work and the grocery store. I parked a house away from where I live rummage through my trunk. Groceries in hand, I was ready to close my trunk when I noticed a neighbor staring at me from her driveway. I looked up and said Hello. Followed by an intense stare I was left to wonder if I have perhaps disturbed her so I asked if I can help her. She followed with the nasty statement or rather series if questions asking what I was doing here. Perplexed I was stunned and in turn had no reply because I was gauging the intent of her questions. So I was processing because it’s 2019, no way she is insinuating what I think. She then followed with a statement ‘I just want to see where you are heading, do you live here?’ Having been parking in this street now for a little over a year. This last statement confirmed the mal-intended statement. She clearly did not want me here so I honesty responded with, I live here. In which case she hurried into her home. I am sure you can understand the dismay and shock I was feeling. Did she really question me living in the neighborhood? I am sure she must have seen me before. Nonetheless, the words were said. Anger then followed and confusion as how does someone hold a nasty untended accountable? I write this story from the exact same location the incident occurred as parking on my street can be limited. Standing outside my car on my phone with her car directly behind me. I head the locking alarm. Clearly she sees me and wants either to make sure she car is locked or is being passive aggressive by locking her car while I stand here. Still processing. Wondering if you can lend support or similar stories. Completely disgusted by her and wonder if she is even worth my time. I am sure I know what the answer is but high hopes lends to my question. A concerned neighbor. Excuse the typos as I [am] filled with anger.”

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR MAY 23rd 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, David Kaplan, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Alan Goldsmith, Richard Blumenberg, Duke Ostendorf, Jean Sharp, Brenda Theveny, Ellie Jenkins, Reza Akef, Sarah Knauer

Voting Alternates:  Barbara Kohn, Eric Dugdale, Barbara Marinacci

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  David Card, Melanie Bouer, Jan Ostendorf, Eli Safaie-Kia, Zennon Ulyate-Crow [following appointment; see item 8.1.5 below]

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Brenda Theveny 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 5/09/19 were deemed approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings – June 13, 2019: (1) candidates forum (if needed) and Board election of PPCC officers for the 2019-2020 term; (2) LAX Landside Modernization Plan update; 3) plans to restore historic buildings at the West LA VA.  June 27, 2019:  Guest speaker Councilmember Mike Bonin; Q&A about matters of community concern. Additional topics to be announced.  There will be one meeting only in each of the months of July and August (dates to be announced).

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $40,982.66. There were no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Elizabeth Lerer (former resident) seeks to protect a house in the Huntington Palisades that was built in 1929.  The address is 14924 Camarosa Dr.  This will be on the agenda of the July 18 meeting of the Los Angeles Historical [Cultural Heritage] Commission. She distributed flyers. She does not know if the Huntington Palisades Property Owners Corporation has a position.  Phillis Dudick (interested person) stated that she is also seeking to protect the house and may organize a community meeting with an architect to present more information.  Contact:  phdphillis@gmail.com.

7.3.    Daphne Gronich (resident/past PAPA President and former PPCC Citizen of the Year).  PAPA is looking for parade volunteers and donations for the 4th  of July Parade and Fireworks Show/Concert. Visit www.papa.org.

7.4.    Raquel Richter (resident) explained that she and other parents who live in the Polo Fields are very concerned about a sudden change in the admissions policy at Canyon Charter Elementary School, which has resulted in preventing children who live in the Polo Fields from being enrolled in Kindergarten, even though the Polo Fields had for many years been considered part of the assignment area and children from that area had been allowed to enroll on a preferential basis at Canyon School. She stated that she and other parents – some of whom already have children in other grades at the School — had relied on assurances by the Principal that their children would be entitled to preferential enrollment in Kindergarten as per the longstanding policy, but were recently told that the policy had changed and they would now have to enroll at Brentwood Science Magnet or enter into a lottery for Kindergarten enrollment at Canyon School along with other prospective students from outside the School’s assignment area.  Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative) stated that he will address this issue during his Area report.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

8.1.1.    Board Nominations of officer candidates – accepted until 15 minutes before scheduled close of meeting (8:45pm; Bylaws, Art. VII.2).  The Chair asked the Board if there were any further officer nominations.  Barbara Kohn (PPRA Alternate) nominated Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative) for President.  There were no other nominations. The Chair stated that nominations would remain open until 8:45pm [see item 12 below].

8.1.2.    WRAC leadership meeting 5/15/19 update.  The Chair and Secretary Chris Spitz attended the May WRAC leadership meeting.  A lot of ground was covered.  Items of most interest to the PPCC board are: 1) the PPCC-sponsored resolution regarding dockless scooter providers was recommended to all the member-councils; 2) a motion regarding ride-sharing data was also recommended and is on our agenda as a new business item tonight; 3) LADWP will be constructing new underground distribution facilities along Sunset Blvd. to address power outages in the Bel Air and Westwood areas; trenching will begin soon and the work is expected to be completed in 2020.  We were told briefly that the reason the Palisades has pole-top rather than underground facilities is because our power lines are almost all above ground and it is too expensive for LADWP to change to an underground system in our area.

8.1.3.    SMCCA annual meeting 5/14/19 update.  This was SMCCA’s 73rd annual meeting.  The Chair attended the meeting and reported that Deputy Fire Chief Armando Hogan briefed attendees on wildfire safety. Councilmember Bonin also attended and answered audience questions, particularly regarding dockless electric scooters.

8.1.4.    Minor bylaws corrections approved by the Executive Committee (Bylaws, SR-8).  In the process of reformatting and posting the amended Bylaws on the website, the Bylaws Committee saw that two minor corrections were needed:  adding quotes around the word “PPCC” in the Definitions section and adding the term “alternate organizational representative” that had been inadvertently omitted in another section.  The Executive Committee unanimously agreed and these minor corrections have been made pursuant to Standing Rule 8 of the Bylaws.

8.1.5.     Approval of third PPCC Youth Advisor.  The Chair introduced Pali High sophomore Zennon Ulyate-Crow, who has applied to become a third PPCC Youth Advisor. Zennon comes to us with the strong recommendation of both of our other Youth Advisors, Eli Safaie-Kia and Sharla Steinman.  The Chair and Secretary had the pleasure of meeting with Zennon recently.  He is a 5th generation Californian who is very active and interested in governmental affairs and policy matters.  He has worked with Metro and the bus companies on bus scheduling matters, is a member of Abundant Housing LA and supports SB 50. The Chair and Secretary have spoken with Zennon about this and do not believe there will be any conflict with his duties as a PPCC Youth Advisor.  Zennon was then appointed as the third PPCC Youth Advisor, with the approval of the Board [Bylaws Art. XIV].

8.1.6.    Resolution re Dockless Mobility Device Providers update.  See PPCC Position Letter.  LADOT community meetings on June 11 (WLA) and June 12 (Venice).  See Dockless Flyer.  In response to our position letter sent to City Council members, we have been told that Councilmember Koretz is drafting a resolution in turn to be submitted to City Council. WRAC leadership has also recommended the PPCC resolution to all 14 member councils; we are following up.  The Secretaryand Steve Boyers (Area 7 Representative) hope to attend one of the LADOT community meetings scheduled for June.We also learned last Friday about AB 1112 (Friedman – Burbank).  This bill would greatly limit the City’s ability to obtain data from scooter companies. It is expected to go to a floor vote in the Assembly soon.  PPCC has submitted a letter to Assemblymember Bloom opposing the bill:  AB 1112 LetterCouncilmember Bonin has also introduced a resolution in City Council to oppose the bill.  We will monitor developments.  The Chair and Secretary also submitted a letter to the Editor of the Post, which was published in today’s paper.  The letter explains PPCC’s position on the dockless scooter matter: We are not “at war” with all scooters as a recent Post headline suggested; we simply want to see the City enact appropriate  rules to prevent permits from being issued to providers who refuse to cooperate with police by providing identifying information about users to law enforcement in situations such as the hit-and-run incident that recently occurred in the Palisades.  The Chair was also interviewed today at the scene by an investigative reporter for Channel 4 (KNBC); he was told the interview will be broadcast sometime next week.

8.1.7.    LAPD Basic Patrol Car Area Boundary Study.  Take the LAPD Survey (data may be used to increase patrol car presence in our neighborhoods).  Questions and answers will be used to determine how we can increase patrol car presence in our neighborhoods.

8.1.8.    Parking Meter Revenue Return Pilot Program update (use of funds for streetscape projects in the BID area).  We are still awaiting an update on program details from the City as to the required process.  We expect to work with the BID in the coming weeks to facilitate application for these funds and the necessary public hearing, which may take place at a future PPCC meeting. Stay tuned for more details to come.

8.1.9.    PPCC Position Letter re Developer Contributions.  A letter was recently submitted to City Council regarding our position in support of Councilmember Ryu’s motion to restrict developer contributions to City officials:  Developer Contributions Letter. The motion passed in City Council on Wednesday May 22, 2019.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) gave an update on SB 50 (Wiener).  As has been widely-reported, SB 50– the highly controversial do-over of Sen. Wiener’s failed bill from last year, SB 827, that would effectively “up-zone” large swaths of LA and which PPCC and the City of LA strongly oppose — was held in suspense by the Senate Appropriations Committee and designated as a two year bill, which means it will not be brought to a vote in the Senate this year (although it may be re-introduced in January 2020; if it isn’t brought back by the end of January next year, it will be killed).  We’re told that the bill’s author may be engaging in last minute efforts to somehow bring the bill out of committee to a floor vote, but so far this hasn’t succeeded.  Meanwhile, a super-majority of WRAC member-councils have passed motions opposing the bill.  The WRAC position letter is on the PPCC website under Resources/Presentations to PPCC. We will continue to monitor the bill’s status, in whatever form it may take going forward.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Rick Mills (Area 4) indicated that we had recently learned from SLO Moore that there was a permit application filed with LAPD for a carnival to take place on Temescal Canyon Rd. in June.  SLO Michael Moore:  This event will not happen [see Item 8.5.1 below].

8.3.2.    Reza Akef (Area 8) explained the concerning situation about a change in enrollment policy at Canyon Charter Elementary School:

PPCC Area 8 includes the Riviera and the Polo Fields.  For the past thirty years, Canyon Charter Elementary School had always included the Polo Fields as part of the School’s assignment area.  All children from the Polo Fields area had been allowed to enroll on a preferential basis (along with other students in the assignment area) and automatically attend Canyon School.

Two weeks ago, the District suddenly decided to enforce the original Charter in which the Polo Fields neighborhood is not in the School’s assignment area for purposes of Kindergarten enrollment.  Ten Polo Fields parents had earlier been assured by Canyon School Principal Nicole Sheard that their children could enroll and automatically attend Kindergarten along with other students in the School’s assignment area.  In reliance, the parents had not applied to any other schools. They have now been told that the School must enforce the Charter rules and their children are no longer entitled to preferential Kindergarten enrollment; their only options are to enroll in Brentwood Science Magnet or enter into the Kindergarten lottery at Canyon School for students outside the assignment area.  They were also told that their children could later enroll in 1st through 5th grades at Canyon School.

Upon learning about the situation, the Chair reached out to the LAUSD District 4 office via our Education Advisor Allison Polhill.  He explained that Ms. Polhill indicated she would follow up, but he has not yet received a further response.  Several Board members expressed concern about the situation. Sue Kohl (Area 5 Representative) asked about the School’s Kindergarten classroom capacity. Ms. Richter (the Polo Fields parent who had commented in Item 7 above) explained that she has an older child at the School, had received assurances from the Principal that her Kindergartner could also enroll and attend automatically as an “area” student, and had relied on these assurances. However, she and other Polo Fields parents have now been told that the policy has changed and their Kindergartners can only apply in the Canyon School lottery or to Brentwood Science Magnet. She indicated it is too late to apply or prepare the required enrollment packet for another school. She stated that parents were told that enrollment from students in the assignment area had reached capacity and that the School has only one Kindergarten classroom, but parents say that there are two classrooms plus one T-K classroom (i.e., parents believe there are actually three Kindergarten/T-K classrooms).  Daphne Gronich remarked that she was involved in the original Charter process and it appears the Principal is now enforcing the Charter at the instruction of the District.  Reza Akef also stated that this does not appear to be the fault of the Principal, who was apparently acting at the District’s direction.  The Chair and/or the Area 8 Representative will follow up with the District.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Brenda Theveny (TCA).  This coming Tuesday there will be a TCA hike led by Randy Young in Rustic Canyon. Participants should meet before 6pm in the upper parking lot at Temescal Canyon Park, near the dining hall.  The TCA evening hikes will continue weekly on Tuesdays throughout the summer.  The Secretary noted that the hikes are listed on the PPCC website calendar.

8.4.2.    Chris Spitz (Secretary), reporting in the absence of Bill Bruns (Friends of the Library). The Friends are holding a parking lot book sale (benefit for the library) on Saturday June 1, in the Palisades branch library parking lot, from 9am-3pm.

8.4.3.    Duke Ostendorf (YMCA).  The 47th Annual Kids Track Meet at the Pali High Track has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 8.

8.4.4.    Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce).  The next Chamber Evening Mixer will be on June 18 at the Bay Club.

8.4.5.    Eric Dugdale (Historical Society).  A Pacific Palisades Historical Society Members & Guests Luncheon will take place on June 20 at the Aldersgate Retreat Center.  Naturalist and award-winning author Charles Hood will speak on the diversity of backyard wildlife in Los Angeles.  RSVPs are due by June 14.  The Secretary noted that information about the event is also on the PPCC website calendar.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   LAPD SLO Michael Moore.

The West LA LAPD station is having an open house on Wed. May 29, from 3-7pm. All are invited. A carnival company recently tried to obtain permission to hold a carnival fundraiser for LAPD on Temescal Canyon Rd.  This will not occur; the carnival will instead be held in the parking lot behind the West LA District office on Corinth.  There is no news on the hit-and-run scooter or racist hate speech incidents.  Regarding the scooter incident:  Officer Moore explained that there are many factors and the case is on hold.  The primary issue is that the victim doesn’t want to press charges.  There is a time limit on how long the police can hold the case open.  They have 3-4 years before the time limit runs out. LAPD has too many hit-and-runs to investigate, so the Palisades incident is on the back burner for now.

8.5.2.    Lisa Cahill, Palisades-Brentwood Deputy and Arianne Garcia, new District Director, CD11.

Arianne Garcia introduced herself and stated that she welcomes everyone’s questions.  Ms. Cahill then reported on several items:

1) Regarding the City Budget:  We did not get all money we wanted for Urban Forestry but did get some funding for an Urban Forestry Manager, for tree-trimming crews, and for the first step of the Dudek report (initial part of the Urban Forestry Management plan).

2) Regarding a 2014 letter from LAFD referencing problems with accessing narrow streets in the Palisades: This was spurred by incidents that occurred at the time.  The Department completed a survey of the Palisades area.  Our streets are narrow but people want to park in front of their homes, which makes access for emergency vehicles difficult if not impossible in some cases. The letter went to City Council and it was ruled that this was a citywide issue.  The most recent iteration of a response to the problem is the Wildland Urban Interface Task Force proposed by Councilmember Bonin.  All the agencies that are participating on the Task Force are being asked to look at the issues involving narrow streets and to come up with recommendations on a way to move forward.

3)  The Councilmember is looking at naming a street in the Palisades after Arnie Wishnick. This will probably be near the Chamber office in the Village.

4)  Regarding Potrero Canyon:  The work is moving along and is on schedule.  Construction is going well.  The next phase is to get out the landscaping bid.  The bid is divided into 2 phases – the first to be a contract for early growing of the plants with a goal to increase survival of the initial plantings.  She has no further updates.

Board member questions:  Sue Kohl (Area 5 Representative) asked about parking meters being installed on Albright to the rear of the Caruso project.  Response: Transportation Deputy Eric Bruins will be discussing this with LADOT.  David Card (At-large 1st Alternate) remarked that Southern California Edison has new rules resulting in drastic pruning of trees around power lines as a result of fires; he suggested that the City should be on the alert for butchering around our power lines.  Response: She will bring this to Councilmember Bonin’s attention.  Sue Kohl advised that an Alphabet Streets resident thinks that traffic light links on Chautauqua are off due to the recent repaving.  Response: Eric Bruins is aware and is looking into this.

8.5.3.    Janet Turner (District Representative, Congressman Ted Lieu).

The House passed national disaster relief funding, providing for $19.1 billion in disaster relief.  A portion will go to Woolsey Fire victims. Ms. Turner will double-check on whether the relief is only for past disasters.  The FCC is circulating a declaratory ruling to give permission to carriers to develop new blocking tools for robocalls.  The Congressman is introducing new bold ways for creating jobs through infrastructure improvements. His District office is moving to the same office in West LA where the City Council District 11 office is located, on Corinth Ave.  See District Office Move Flyer.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Miriam Schulman (Wildfire Safety Advisor).  See item 11.1 below.

8.6.2.    Eli Safaie-Kia (Youth Advisor) presented news about Palisades Charter High School.  The School had the highest pass rate for an AP exam.  Nineteen new Ambassadors were welcomed; there is a new website for the Ambassadors, www.paliambassadors.org.  An Entrepreneurship Fair took place recently.  Gardening Day was big success.  The Pali Choir will be going to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Graduation will be on June 6 at 5:30pm.  The Pali Awards banquet will take place on May 30.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Palisades Street Tree Committee (David Card, Chair).  Committee meeting update.

David Card announced that the Committee met this past Tuesday and has hit the ground running. Lisa Cahill of CD11 was the Committee’s guest and gave valuable guidance.  The first step:  members will be walking around the neighborhoods counting all the street trees in the Palisades. When this task is completed the Committee will have an idea of the size of the Palisades’ urban forest.  The PPCC Chair stated that Brentwood Community Council (BCC) is also interested in our Committee’s work and has requested that a BCC representative be permitted to attend the Committee meetings.  It was agreed that Nancy Freedman (past BCC Chair) will attend.  We want to work together on challenges and ideas.

9.2.    Executive Committee.  PPCC Awards Guidelines revisions: recommended for Board approval (process revisions only).  See Draft Revised Guidelines Redline.

At the request of the Chair, Secretary Chris Spitz explained that the Executive Committee is recommending several revisions to the current Awards Guidelines, solely having to do with the processinvolved in nominating and selecting the awardees and producing the awards event.  The Guidelines were originally drafted almost five years ago during her tenure as Chair. Some of the circumstances involving the granting of the awards had changed, as explained in the Guidelines. The Executive Committee believes that revisions are needed now in order to bring the Guidelines up to date with current practices in terms of process.

The Secretary noted that we have also received a few comments from individuals who suggest that the Committee might want to consider making substantive changes in the Guidelines in terms of the actual awards requirements, which the Committee had not previously considered changing.

What are the awards requirements?  First, the Citizen award requires both a record of long-time community service as well as a recent outstanding accomplishment benefitting the entire community.  The Golden Sparkplug award requires that someone ignite or set in motion an idea or project that benefits the community; there is no requirement that the idea or project be completed in the given year.  There are also various other requirements for the awards, including residency, whether the work was a beneficial outcome of the person’s profession, and whether the person is a PPCC Board member. The Guidelines also provide for discretionary Pride of the Palisades honors, which the Awards Selection Committee may or may not decide to give in a given year, to someone who doesn’t quite meet all the requirements of the other awards but does something that in the Committee’s judgment is extraordinary.  It was noted that the first Pride of the Palisades honoree was Bill Bruns in 2014. This discretionary award was made “official” in the Guidelines in 2015.

Discussion was opened as to the recommended process revisions and as to whether the Board believes the Executive Committee should consider substantive changes in the awards requirements.  Richard G. Cohen (Treasurer) provided further explanation about the history and substantive requirements of the awards.  He stressed that in 2015, a great deal of thought and work went into the Executive Committee’s drafting of the awards requirements and the Board’s consideration of the Guidelines, which were discussed thoroughly at several meetings before final approval. The Secretary also explained that the substantive awards requirements are essentially a continuation of the same requirements that had been in place for many years for the Citizen and Golden Sparkplug awards. She and the Treasurer do not believe that any changes in the substantive awards requirements are needed at this time. The Chair asked for Board approval of the recommended revisions; the Board approved the revisions.  No Board members expressed a desire for the Executive Committee to consider any further changes in the awards requirements or the Guidelines.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Update on Wildfire Safety.  Presentation by Miriam Schulman, PPCC Wildfire Safety Advisor.  To inform understanding & for helpful information, see four videos from Dr. Jack Cohen, Research Scientist with the US Fire Service, on the PPCC Disaster Preparedness page (scroll down to Fire Prevention Videos).

Ms. Schulman explained that she is a resident, not an expert in wildfire safety. However, she has been a professional researcher and because of her concerns about the increasing danger of wildfires in our area, she has researched, spoken with experts, attended meetings and read a great deal of data on how wildfires start, why fires burn and how to protect ourselves and our property from wildfire damage.  She introduced residents Maureen Grace, Krishna Thangavelu and K.C. Soll, with whom she has been working on getting information to present tonight. She also distributed a summary to the Board with tips on protecting homes from wildfire damage.

Ms. Schulman noted that we have new environmental conditions, such as extreme wind and drought, that lead to increased likeliness of damaging wildfires.  She stressed that all of the chaparral north of Sunset which has not burned since 1978 is overdue to burn and will likely go up in a few months. When there’s a big wildfire, chaos almost always results.  There are communications breakdowns due to havoc with cell systems, organizational problems and various teams being sent to different areas.  The Malibu fire had a fourteen-mile fire line that had to be covered. Regarding opt-in alert systems: Many people never opt-in and the alerts aren’t always timely.  Sometimes the agencies involved don’t want to create panic with alerts, or don’t get an order to send an alert.  The Paradise evacuation drill failed because they didn’t prepare for the worst-case scenario.

She also discussed the problems with narrow streets. Fire trucks can’t get up many narrow streets.  If a power line goes down the trucks won’t cross it.  Never cross a downed line.  When there is a wildfire there aren’t enough resources (planes, helicopters or trucks).  Some areas cannot be accessed.  Sparks and embers can blow and create spot fires miles away.  Winds that carry burning embers can go at least 4 miles.  Some houses are safer because they are brand new and built to new code requirements, but we still have original homes built in 1950s that are not updated.  If a house goes up in flames it endangers at least ten houses around it.

What can we do to make big difference?  Regarding narrow streets, Capt. Kitahata of Station 69 has asked Ms. Schulman to advise the community:  Residents should look at streets and decide whether parking is more valuable than safety; if a fire truck can’t get through call Station 69 and ask for no parking on the street.  Capt. Kitahata doesn’t think the “2014 letter” issue is over (see Item 8.5.2.). 

Ms. Schulman attended the recent Mandeville Canyon community meeting and evacuation drill. Deputy Chief Hogan advised people that if a wildfire hits, many people will not be able to get out of their neighborhoods and will have to shelter in place.  She is working on how to make homes and neighborhoods safe.  First, residents all need a “Go Bag.”  There are many online resources with information about what should be placed in the bag (insurance papers, ID, medicine list, glasses, etc.).  Keep the bag next to your bed or in a central place ready to go.  She also recommends checking out Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) – a useful program to help in situations when you can’t get home in an emergency.  Neighbors can help getting your Go bag and otherwise helping people get out of homes out if you can’t get there.  The Secretary noted that we had a presentation about MYN at a past board meeting and information about the program is on the PPCC website Disaster Readiness page.

Ms. Schulman also urged residents to view four videos linked in the handouts and also posted on the PPCC website (see above for link).  These protocols were developed by the National Fire Prevention Association to help keep homes from burning.  Proof of the danger is everywhere:  houses are catching each other on fire, they burn hotter and faster than anything else and they put out toxic gasses.  Fire experts would like to see houses standing even if all trees around them burn; there is evidence that this can occur if the homes are properly defended.

Ms. Schulman has arranged for a class to be taught by Dr. Jack Cohen, Research Scientist and wildfire expert with the U.S. Fire Service.  He will teach a three-day course in the Palisades, to be attended by firefighters and officials from LAFD, LAPD and BHFD.  They will be taught about what makes homes vulnerable.  The Topanga Fire Safe Council made a grant application and received $24,000 to fund this program.  If someone from one of our neighborhood organizations wishes to join the class, contact Ms. Schulman (contact information on PPCC website). Her research shows that many homes are burned from the inside. Embers get in through vents and firefighters cannot always see what is happening inside. Ember-proof mesh can be purchased and she passed out a brochure.  She recommends that residents make sure their homes are tight and closed during a fire event.  Always close the flue.  Don’t leave the A/C on in a fire situation as it will pull embers in – turn off the A/C if you are evacuating.  If you have a flat roof, the parapet will catch embers on the edge; they will burn hole in roof and then the fire starts inside.

Ms. Schulman is convinced we can take steps to protect houses from burning in the Palisades even in the event of a wildfire.  The key is to create defensible space.  It is best to have green plants around the house.  She also strongly recommends that everyone have a water bladder that can be used to put out spot fires and defend structures.

K.C. Soll (resident) then spoke briefly.  She has been organizing a series of LAFD CERT training in the Palisades; she organized four series of classes over the last year, with 100s of graduates.  All classes are free.  She has organized thirty people in a Palisades Ham Radio network.  Problems occur when police and fire departments can’t talk to each other. She suggests having a cell phone app with an opportunity to be texted in an emergency.  She has been working on emergency response communications.

Board members next raised various points about problems with communications during wildfires, emergency alert and text alert apps (from LAFD and “Pulse Point”), venting and power cut-off issues and the like.  It was suggested that Ms. Schulman may want to visit various Palisades HOAs with her information. In conclusion, she reiterated that we can empower ourselves and there are things we can do to keep our houses from burning down, but we must be prepared.

11.2.    WRAC-recommended Motion re Study of Ride Sharing Data to Assess Impacts on LA Traffic; sponsored in PPCC by Secretary Chris Spitz. Proposed motion: postponed to next meeting due to lack of time.

12.    Close of Officer Nominations from Board (8:45pm) and Adjournment.  At 8:45pm the Chair asked the Board if there were any further officer nominations.  There were none and nominations were closed.  Discussion continued regarding Item 11.1 above; Item 11.2 was postponed. The Chair then adjourned the meeting at 9pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR JUNE 13th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Steve Boyers, Reza Akef, Richard Blumenberg, Duke Ostendorf, Bill Bruns, Jean Sharp, Brenda Theveny, Ellie Jenkins, Sarah Knauer, Dick Wulliger

Voting Alternates:  David Card, David Peterson, Barbara Kohn, Jan Ostendorf

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Zennon Ulyate-Crow, John Padden, Barbara Marinacci, Amy Baker, Cathi Ruddy, Bruce Schwartz, Cathy Russell.

1.    Certification of Quorum.  TheChair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Reza Akef 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 5/23/19 were deemed approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings – June 27, 2019:  Guest speaker Councilmember Mike Bonin; Q&A about matters of community concern. July & August, 2019:  There will be one meeting only each month (dates to be announced; see item 12 below).  Tentative topics, July meeting: (1) LAX Landside Modernization Plan update (deferred from June 13); (2) Gladstones Redevelopment Plan update. Additional topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $39,847.66.  A payment of $1000 was made to PAPA for our parade participation costs.  There were no other significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

8.1.1.    Upcoming PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC) meeting 6/27/19.  The Committee will meet on June 27 from 5 to 6:30pm regarding the project for the former Jack-in-the-Box site.  The meeting will be held in the Swarthmore Room above the lobby at the Palisades Village.  See the PPCC calendar on our website for details.

8.1.2.    Gladstones Redevelopment Project open house/community meeting 5/18/19.  This meeting will also take place in the Swarthmore Room, at 5pmon June 18.  For more information and to RSVP see the event listing on the PPCC Calendar on our website.

8.1.3.    Protected left turn signal at Sunset and Chautauqua.  Councilman Bonin’s office advises that this long-awaited signal / safety improvement is part of the LADOT 2019-2020 funded signal work program. Obviously, we urge an early completion of this project.

8.1.4.    “Failed Streets.”  Some Board membersmay recall that about 10 years ago, a former director of Street Services briefed the PPCC Board on the Bureau’s policy for surviving the economic downturn and severe budget cuts by not spending money on streets that needed major reconstruction.  The Chair recallsthat these were rated “D” and “F” under this plan. Now, Lisa Cahill of CD11 has informed the Chairthat there will be major work done of some of these so-called “Failed Streets” in the coming year. She would like us to prioritize a list of any such streets. Please let the Chairknow of any candidates. He will relay any candidate streets to Ms. Cahilland a priority list will be established for Street Services review. Please let the Chair know.

8.1.5.    Beach Bike Path.  We are following up on complaints received regarding excess sand on the Beach Bike Path.

8.1.6.    LAPD notice re recent criminal racist threats. LAPD has issued a community alert with a photograph of the offender which we have distributed on social media and will post on the PPCC website.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) gave an update on recent legislation regarding dockless electric scooters, short term rentals, the Citywide Sign Ordinance and “mini-SB 50” legislation.  See Spitz Legislation Summary.  She explained that there were further updates since the summary was written: 1) the Planning Dept. today made public the draft Administrative Guidelines for the Home-Sharing Ordinance; based on a quick review the Secretary believes that the Guidelines contain the requirements PPCC has requested, except for proof of liability insurance; 2) Assemblymember Bloom’s legislative deputy has confirmed that Pacific Palisades would likely fall within two exemptions under AB 1279:  properties located in the Coastal Zone and properties that are within the High Fire Hazard Severity Zone. Brief discussion and Q&A ensued.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Steve Boyers (Area 7) gave a report on the City Council Transportation Committee meeting on June 13 and the dockless scooter provider matter.  See Boyers Report. Extended discussion & Q&A ensued.

8.3.2.    Reza Akef (Area 8).  Regarding the situation about a change in enrollment policy at Canyon Charter Elementary School:  After the Chair’s initial letter of concern to our LAUSD Board Member and the Area 8 Representative’s follow-up, Member Nick Melvoin has announced that children of Polo Fields residents can now enter Kindergarten at Canyon School this year. However, Polo Fields parents remain concerned about whether their younger children will be permitted to attend in future years.

Regarding events at Will Rogers State Park:  Area residents are concerned because there are many applications for large events to be held in the park, which can have negative impacts and nearby residents have little or no say.  The neighborhood sometimes suffers from excess drinking of alcohol by event patrons, drunken pedestrians, ride-share pick-ups & drop-offs on nearby streets and the like.  Residents do not want to take money away from school boosters, but the community wishes to have input in order to lessen impacts on the neighborhood.

8.3.3.    Steve Cron (Area 2).  The Area 2 Representative will hold unofficial “office hours” this Sunday from 10-12n at the Starbucks on Palisades Dr. to talk with constituents about community issues.

8.3.4.    David Card (At-large 1stAlternate).  Monetary awards were recently given by the Rotary Club to deserving students at Paul Revere Charter Middle School and Palisades Charter High School.  It is very rewarding to see kids performing well.  Some awards were on the basis of need.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Dick Wulliger (Historical Society).  Pacific Palisades Historical Society (PPHS) will hold its Members & Guests Luncheon on June 20 at the Aldersgate Retreat Center. Doors open at 12n, luncheon at 12:30pm. Naturalist and award-winning author Charles Hood will speak on the diversity of backyard wildlife in Los Angeles. RSVP as soon as possible; $25.  PHHS has also given a monetary award to a senior at Pali High.

8.4.2.    Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce).  The next Chamber Evening Mixer will be at the Bay Club on June 18 at 5pm.  Check the Chamber website for details.

8.4.3.    Duke Ostendorf (YMCA).  The YMCA-Optimists annual youth track meet took place last Saturday and was a great success. Thanks to the Optimists Club for their invaluable assistance in making the event happen every year.

8.4.4.    Jean Smart (Optimists).  The Optimists Club has also recently given out monetary awards to deserving students.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Zak Gaidzik, West-Metro LA Field Deputy, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

Regarding dockless electric scooters: the County has found that scooter providers are concerned about the release of aggregate data because once it is released to government, the data becomes public information and competitors can get the information.  A work-around involves first releasing the data to an NGO; the government can then access the data in bits & pieces.  County update:  The County celebrated Gay Pride Month by honoring openly gay County leadership, including several supervisors and managers.  The Supervisors received an interim report from the Alternatives to Incarceration Committee:  jail time needs to be last solution; instead, the County should first take a wholistic approach by identifying what is going on individually with each offender and what training and services each person needs.  The Supervisors have passed a new protection for Section 8 voucher holders. There is also a new homeless incentive program which incentivizes landlords to rent to formerly homeless individuals. The Supervisors are concerned about recent proposals instituted by HUD Secretary Ben Carson (involving removing all residents of a federally funded housing unit if one resident is undocumented or without legal status; and removing protections for transgender individuals by denying them access to shelter programs).  The Supervisors have made motions regarding these matters (to provide for a plan to house people who may be removed from federal funded housing, and to explain to the HUD Secretary why denying transgenders access to shelter programs is a bad idea).

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Zenon Ulyate-Crow (Youth Advisor). The Palisades Charter High School school year has concluded; graduation was great; and students are looking forward to summer and the coming school year. Zennon also announced that he is part of a group of students who recently organized a Youth Park Board at the Palisades Recreation Center. The Chair noted that PPCC congratulates the Pali High graduating class.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Palisades Street Tree Committee (PSTC; David Card, Chair).  Committee meeting update.

At its most recent meeting, PSTC welcomed guest Grace Phillips, chair of the Santa Monica Urban Forest Task Force.  She imparted valuable information about the Task Force and tips on what the PSTC should or should not do to be successful.  She also emphasized the importance of doing a street tree inventory (including vacancies), and of the Committee working in cooperation with City employees and agencies in charge of street trees and with the general public – all three (PSTC, the City and the public) need to work together.  The next PSTC meeting will be on Monday, June 17 at 11am in the Palisades branch library. The Committee does not have a set meeting schedule.  The June 17 meeting will be open to the public.  PSTC members will discuss the Committee’s goals and objectives. PSTC members also recently conducted a street tree count in all PPCC areas.  The total count of street trees in parkways, medians and public rights-of-way in all PPCC areas (not including vacancies) is 7,960. This number includes many varieties of trees.

10.    Old Business.

10.1.1     WRAC-recommended Motion re Study of Ride Sharing Data to Assess Impacts on LA Traffic; sponsored in PPCC by Secretary Chris Spitz(postponed from 5/23/19 meeting). Background: NPR Article; Chicago Tribune Article; Wired Article. Proposed motion:

“[Pacific Palisades Community Council] requests that the State of California mandate that localities be empowered to assess the impact on traffic and congestion of ride sharing services by mandating comprehensive data from ride sharing companies available for study. Data should include time spent on the road to and from their homes and between rides for all ridesharing drivers as compared to traffic that would be generated by private vehicles making each trip. The results of this survey should guide both local and state policy in regards to ridesharing and better understand our transportation system. Using such data, the City of Los Angeles should then establish benchmark dates prior to and after implementation of each ridesharing platform and study in a scientific manner using all data available to determine if ride sharing vehicles add to or lessen congestion within the City of Los Angeles.”

The Secretary introduced the motion. Second by Maryam Zar. Following discussion, the board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   Plans to restore historic buildings at the West LA VA. Presenters: Christine Barrie and Leah Wang, spokesperson for the “1887 Fund.” See 1887 Fund.

Ms. Wang introduced the mission of the 1887 Fund:  to restore five historic buildings on the West LA VA (Veterans National Home) campus.  The most prominent of the historic buildings is the Wadsworth Chapel.  It is intended to be restored for collective use for our veterans who have served our country.  She showed a short video explaining the project.  Ms. Barrie also explained the legacy and purpose of the Veterans National Home.  They wish to have the chapel open as a place for discussion among vets who are dealing with the wounds of war.  A parallel movement is the VA Master Plan to revitalize housing at the VA and to provide permanent supportive housing for vets.  Issues involving allocation of funding are still being sorted through, and the environmental process is ongoing.  The Secretary stated that the PPCC meeting recap will include a link to a 10-minute video about the 1887 Fund project.

11.2.   Election of PPCC Officers for the 2019-2020 term. Bylaws Art. VII.3 and 4.

11.2.1.   Board Election of Officers – uncontested seats[no Candidates Forum]: David Card, Vice-Chair; Richard G. Cohen, Treasurer; Chris Spitz, Secretary. Election Procedure: The election may be by Board acclamation or, in lieu of acclamation, the Board will vote by secret written ballot (Item 11.2.2.B below).

The Chair asked whether there were any objections by Board Members to electing the above officers by acclamation. There were no objections.  The Chair therefore announced that each of the above uncontested candidates was elected to his or her respective office by acclamation.  On behalf of the elected officers, the Secretary thanked the Board for the vote of confidence and expressed their eagerness to continue working on behalf of PPCC and the entire Palisades community.

11.2.2.    Candidates Forum and Board Election of Chair – contested seat: George Wolfberg & Haldis Toppel. Forum Moderator: Doug McCormick (Area One 1st Alternate).

A.    Forum Procedure:  The candidates may give opening statements of two minutes each. The Moderator will then ask the candidates questions selected by the Moderator from cards submitted by Board Members during the meeting (questioners must provide their names on the cards and may choose to remain anonymous). Questions may be directed to both candidates or to an individual candidate (“questioned candidate”). Candidates’ answers will be limited to one minute each, except that after a questioned candidate answers a question directed to that candidate, the other candidate may have 30 seconds to respond to the answer. Total aggregate time for Q&A: ten minutes (may be extended as time allows). Following Q&A, the candidates may give closing statements of one minute each.

The candidates forum was conducted by Moderator Doug McCormick as set forth above. Each candidate gave an opening statement [see attached opening statements] and answered several questions submitted by voting Board Members.  Haldis Toppel gave a closing statement; George Wolfberg declined to give a closing statement.

B.    Election Procedure:  The Board will vote by secret written ballot; blank ballots or abstentions count as “No” votes. Ballots will be collected and votes counted outside of the meeting room by two non-voting Board members (“vote counters”) appointed by the Chair. PPCC’s outside accountant will be present (if available) during the ballot counting. The vote counters will report the vote count to the Moderator, who will announce the winner’s name and the numerical vote.

Following the candidates forum, the Chair announced that he had appointed Bruce Schwartz (Area Two 2nd Alternate) and John Padden (PRIDE Representative/Civic Organizations Alternate) as the two vote-counters, as required by the PPCC Bylaws. He also announced that he had invited PPCC’s outside accountant to attend, as required by the Bylaws, but the accountant could not be present.  The Chair counted the voting Board Members present (22) and announced that he was entering that number on a Teller’s Sheet (per Roberts’ Rules of Order), along with the number of votes required by the Bylaws for election of the Chair (12 – a majority of voting Board Members present).  The vote-counters would complete the Teller’s Sheet after counting the ballots.

The election of Chair proceeded as set forth above.  The vote-counters distributed written ballots to all voting Board Members, who voted in secret and handed their completed ballots to the vote-counters. The vote-counters left the room, counted the ballots and completed the Teller’s Sheet.  Upon completion, the vote-counters returned and privately gave the ballots and the completed Teller’s Sheet with the vote counts to the Moderator Doug McCormick.  The Moderator then publicly announced that George Wolfberg had won the election for Chair. He also announced the vote count as follows:  Wolfberg: 17 votes; Toppel: 5 votes.  There were no blank ballots/abstentions.

12.    Adjournment.  Following the election, the Chair announced that the July & August meeting dates would be July 25 and August 22.  The Chair then adjourned the meeting at 9pm.

_________________________________________________________

ATTACHMENT – Item 11.2.2.A:  Candidates Forum Opening Statements

George Wolfberg Statement

I have tried to make our relations with the board and interested parties more user friendly.  We did this by accelerating the release of our comprehensive agenda package to the Friday before the board meeting to give everyone –

more time to review over weekend, as well as being

more friendly for press deadlines

Also, the order of general public comment was moved up — why? In the past, public comment was held until just before adjournment.  Now comments are made before we hear from representatives of public officials in the room so they are aware of any issues.

There have been many initiatives, including

Wildfire safety – Identified dedicated/motivated advisor in Miriam Schulman who has briefed us and continues to show great leadership in making us safer from the inevitable wildfires we will experience.  I just completed three days of comprehensive briefings along with reps from fire agencies, insurance companies as well as homeowners.

Tree issues – I sponsored several briefings regarding trees in our community and the decline in the City’s tree canopy.  Very pleased that with Kelly Comras’ help we saved two large pine trees at Fire Station 69 from being cut down. Finally, the Pali street tree committee chaired by David Card was created and is hard at work.

Parking meter return issue — we learned from our transportation advisor Patti Post that some parking meter revenue was being returned to communities such as Westwood.  After a spirited campaign we were added to the program and expect $65K/yr. For streetscape and sidewalk improvements)—we have created a partnership between PPCC and our BID to gain public input and meet Brown act / hearing requirements – – we are waiting for LADOT to issue final guidelines.

We joined with Brentwood Community Council to present a community workshop explaining the re-code process.

I look forward to another banner year for the PPCC and our community.

Haldis Toppel Statement

Good evening, I am Haldis Toppel, and I am before you tonight out of great respect for the organization, its members, and the Board.

  • In the past I have closely supported two Presidents, my late husband Kurt and then Steve Boyers.
  • I served as PPCC Secretary and Vice President,
  • I served for two years as President of the Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club during the clubhouse renovation.
  • I am currently President of MKPOA and I am PPCC Area 3 Representative

My young son once asked me why he had to attend a birthday party and I answered him: “Because you are invited.”

It is with that same sense of obligation and respect for invitations, that I accepted Barbara Kohn’s nomination from the floor. I must add, that I had about 5 minutes notice of this plan prior to the meeting.

I accepted the nomination to demonstrate that elections with multiple candidates for any given position can be handled with courtesy, respect, and dignity, and that it honors all involved, the individuals making the nomination, may it be by committee or from the floor, the nominees themselves, and ultimately the voters.

I have great respect for George Wolfberg and have known him for decades. If George gets elected, I have committed to him my full support, and George has done the same. If I get elected, I will serve with concern, compassion and with collaboration, with the help and advice of those who have carried this organization for so long, especially George as Chair Emeritus

I am hoping that this election will set the stage for a kinder and gentler process for the future and encourage multiple candidates to seek office.

My request to you tonight is to vote your conscience, with your heart, for the candidate of your choice, with no regret, with no drama, and with the assurance that we all work together for the good of this community.

Thank you for listening.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR JUNE 27th 2019

 Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Rick Mills, Reza Akef, Alan Goldsmith, Richard Blumenberg, Duke Ostendorf, Bill Bruns, Brenda Theveny, Sarah Knauer, Dick Wulliger, Maryam Zar (partial attendance)

Voting Alternates:  Cathi Ruddy, David Peterson (partial attendance)

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Susan Orenstein, Mary Mueller, Melanie Bouer, David Card (partial attendance), Howard Robinson (partial attendance), Bruce Schwartz (partial attendance)

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The Chair 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 6/13/19 were deemed approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings– July 25, 2019: topics (1) LAX Landside Modernization Plan update; (2) Gladstones Redevelopment Plan briefing. August 22, 2019:  New information about recycling from the Bureau of Sanitation. Additional topics to be announced.  (One meeting only in the months of July and August.)

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed, with the possible exception of adjusting order to accommodate our guest speaker, Councilman Mike Bonin.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $39,739.66.  There were no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Sue Pascoe (speaking on behalf of Brian Shea, founder/organizer of the 4th of July 5K-10K Run).  The parking lot at the Recreation Center is in terrible condition and there has been a problem with getting Recreation & Parks (RAP) to repave the lot.  The run organizers are worried about liability.  The Chair responded that we are aware of the situation; he hopes that the new head of RAP Maintenance and Construction (Cathie Santa Domingo) will come through.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair.

8.1.1.    WRAC leadership meeting 6/19 update.  The Chair reported that many member councils recently held elections so some board leadership turnover is under way. Leadership is looking for a secretary, so if you are interested, let Maryam Zar or the Chair know. Seven WRAC member councils have signed off on our dockless scooter motion. DWP reminded all of the start of major conduit work on Sunset Blvd. in Bel Air.

8.1.2.    PPCC in the News:  NBC4 Dockless Scooter Video.  The Chair remarked that Steve Boyers and Chris Spitz did the heavy lifting on the scooter motion and he got to stand in front of the cameras for Channel 4’s exposé.

8.1.3.    New PPCC meeting time/change in library policy.  The Chair announced that we now have to be out of this room before 8pm for future meetings because of a Citywide policy change. Thus, our future meetings will run from 6 pm to just before 8pm, as 8pm is a “hard close.” Since other groups are frequently in this room until just before 6 pm we will need some volunteers to arrive early to be sure we are set up. Sue Kohl and Joanna Spak have been leading the setup all year with no credit given. This has not gone unnoticed and the Chair thanked Sue and Joanna for their consistent help. This work is important and we will need more volunteers going forward.

8.1.4.   Committees and advisors term expiration 6/30.  The Chair explained that his appointments of advisors and various committee members will expire at month end. Any members or advisors who are impacted and are interested in an appointment, please let the Chair know.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) electronically distributed a written summary on recent legislation regarding dockless electric scooters, short term rentals, group homes and legislation involving preemption of local land use controls (Home Rule). She invited anyone with questions to contact her.  See Spitz Legislation Summary/Follow-up.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative).  This coming Sunday morning, Highlands volunteers will be doing a semi-annual cleanup of the canyon.  Volunteers should meet at the Starbucks on Palisades Dr. at 10am.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Dick Wulliger (PPHS).  The Financial Times published a supplement last week which discussed Caruso, included a picture of Palisades Village and described the project.  He read an excerpt from the supplement and noted that we are getting world-wide publicity.

8.4.2.    Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce).  This September, the Chamber will sponsor a “Dine LA” event in the Palisades which will take place over 5 days, probably from September 22-26. There will be tasting menus and the Chamber is working on lining up participating restaurants, sponsors and promotion.  Look for more details to come.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin and Palisades Deputy Lisa Cahill.  See Item 11.1 below.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Miriam Schulman (Wildfire Safety). In Ms. Schulman’s absence, her written announcement was distributed electronically:  Wildfire Safety Update.

8.6.2.    Zennon Ulyate-Crow (Youth) thanked the Optimists and the Rotary Club for their help with awards and scholarships for students.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Palisades Street Tree Committee (PSTC; David Card, Chair).  Committee meeting update – No report; Committee Chair not in attendance at time the item was called.

9.2.    Land Use Committee (LUC; Howard Robinson, Chair).  Committee meeting update.  Possible board action on project proposed for former Jack-in-the-Box site.

The Committee Chair reported that at its June 27 meeting preceding the PPCC meeting, the PPCC LUC revisited the proposed project at 17346 Sunset Blvd. (former Jack-in-the-Box site; the “Project”).  After hearing from the applicant’s representative and community members and discussing the Project, the LUC members voted to recommend that the board oppose the Project at the proposed height and configuration (5 stories with no upper level setbacks).  See LUC Recommendation to the PPCC Board (“Recommendation”).  [Recommendation.]  In response to a question from the Chair, the Committee Chair advised that the deadline for comment on the Mitigated Declaration for the Project is July 10, but that no hearings have yet been set and there will be time at a later date for the PPCC to comment on the Project. Further discussion of Item 9.2 was suspended upon the arrival of Councilmember Bonin and the need to take up Item 11.1.  Item 9.2 was later postponed due to time constraints (see Item 12 below).

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Councilmember Mike Bonin, CD 11.  Presentation and Q&A about community concerns.

Councilmember Mike Bonin attended along with his Palisades Deputy Lisa Cahill.  Mr. Bonin began by describing one of the most important issues we face – fire safety.  It is one of his top priority issues.  Through his efforts the budget for LAFD has been increased each year for CD11. This year they received $63 million in budget resources, which allows for more trucks and other equipment, a new firefighting helicopter and the hiring of more firefighters.  Mr. Bonin explained that the new Urban Wildland Interface Task Force will be a means of getting all relevant departments to sit down in a room together to discuss and address all of the challenges we face with wildfires in Los Angeles – evacuation procedures, parking restrictions, development standards and the like.  He briefly explained evacuation drills that have taken place recently, including one in Mandeville Canyon.  He is working with the Emergency Management Dept. to fix problems with the emergency alert system.  The Task Force will also look into setting different standards for hillside development and the issue of substandard, narrow streets.

A dog park for the Palisades also remains a priority.  It will be expensive and we may need to look into using multiple pods of funding.  RAP will be looking again at Measure A funds.  They will have to look at state funds at well.  This may require a public private partnership.

The Councilmember stated that he wished to say a few words about the issue of race:  He was at Pastor Davis’ last sermon and will be working with the Pastor in the district on his projects. He was touched to see the outpouring of community support for Pastor Davis.  If anyone is interested contact the Council office for help with setting up dinners with Embrace LA.

Mr. Bonin also paid tribute to Arnie Wishnick.  He has heard suggestions about renaming Antioch St. near the Chamber offices as “Arnie Wishnick Way.”  He would like feedback from the board and community.

The Chair then posed questions to CMB that had been submitted in advance by Board members and by audience members tonight via question cards.

Q:  Proposed state legislation that would preempt local land use control and erode the principle of “Home Rule” keeps coming; can the City have a fallback position to protect us?   A:  The main issue is housing and density.  The authors of these bills have a genuine public policy objective due to the housing crisis.  State officials are frustrated with cities and want to take away local control because they feel that cities are not doing enough, but Los Angeles has been doing a lot more than most other cities.  Sen. Wiener’s bill (SB 50) was the height of aggressiveness.  It would have changed baseline for all single-family zoning and allowed 4-plexes by right in all residential zones.  The City Council unanimously opposed SB 50.  The Councilmember opposes the new bill from Sen. Wiener which is a “gut and amend” of a bill about Cosmetology. At the same time these bills will keep coming unless we proactively show the state what we are doing and where we’re doing it.  But building more housing won’t necessarily create more affordable housing.  We must require more affordable housing in buildings with larger numbers of units.  Mr. Bonin also supports rent control and has proposed a vacancy tax for habitable units that aren’t being put on the market.

Q:  What is the City’s policy regarding sidewalk repairs and who is responsible?  A:  Mr. Bonin described the history of sidewalk repair in Los Angeles and the City’s varying policies over the years.  The policy now is that the City is compelled to commit funds to sidewalk repairs every year. Disabled persons have priority on fixing sidewalks; sidewalks in front of government facilities also have priority. Otherwise, in residential neighborhoods the City will fix sidewalks but once fixed responsibility resorts back to the adjacent property owner.  Liability will be determined in each case individually if someone is injured by a damaged sidewalk, but the City is perceived as having the “deep pockets” in the event of injury.  There is now a pilot program to come up with smaller fixes in neighborhoods, using different technologies and processes.

Q:  What is the situation with damaged streets that are withdrawn from public use?  A:  The City has put most of the streets formerly withdrawn back on the list, but they aren’t necessarily at the top of the list for repairs.

Q:  Streets are getting beat up with big construction projects near the beach; does the contractor have to fix the damage?  A:  Generally, no.  They are not responsible for routine construction use.

Q:  What steps will be taken to ensure citizen participation in the Urban Wildland Interface Task Force?  A:  There will be public engagement eventually on the scope of the work and also on individual planks such as development standards and brush clearance.  Mr. Bonin would like to hold workshops or open houses with different constituencies.  The Palisades will be first in line to participate.

Q:  Can anything be done to reduce advertising of cannabis and vaping in order to protect teens?  A:  Mr. Bonin is against digital billboards and advertising.  Some of his colleagues are working on this issue and taking the lead and he’ll be supportive.

Q:  The Friends of the Library have raised funds for a bookstore inside the library they have long been waiting for the City to sign off; can he jump on someone to sign the necessary contract so that the bookstore can finally go forward?  A:  Mr. Bonin will jump in; this is the first he has heard about this issue.  He supports bookstores and will get involved in order to get this done.

Q:  Regarding transit gaps, what efforts are being made to prioritize buses and public transportation in West Los Angeles?  A:  We are hemorrhaging public transit riders. Part of the problem is dissatisfaction with the service.  Mr. Bonin described his efforts and what is going on with Metro.  People are happier with bus shuttles than with the Blue Line. They need fast and reliable service. Currently there is a pilot program in Mar Vista, Palms and Del Rey which provides an “on demand” neighborhood shuttle.

Q:  Regarding dockless electric scooter providers, what can be done about the terms of use in the user agreements to allow the release of data identifying the user to police in situations involving injury such as the incident that occurred in the Palisades?  A:  We heard this recently in the City Council Transportation Committee and the Committee gave direction to the City Attorney to report back on the law and available options.  The Committee also wants companies to create central law enforcement portals on their websites.  Some companies are more helpful than others in this regard.

Q:  What can be done about scofflaw developers who mow down street trees without permission?  A:  We need to get stricter and tougher with developers.  The maximum penalty under the law is loss of the right to develop the adjacent property for five years.  Mr. Bonin would like to put in place the strictest penalties in the City for illegal removal of trees.  He supports the progress on the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan and is happy to hear about our new Palisades Street Tree Committee.

Q:  What is the current status of the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board?  A: Maryam Zar is the latest appointee.  There are two additional vacancies.  A few people have submitted interest in these positions.  Staff has asked us to forward additional suggestions.  One must be an architect and the other can be an interested citizen.

Q:  When is the City going to cut down dead trees and brush along Palisades Dr.?  A:  CMB [Mr. Bonin] has learned that different agencies are responsible for different locations along Palisades Dr. and will be doing this work in their areas of responsibility.

Q:  Why are you supporting the Highlands eldercare project?  A:  CMB [Mr. Bonin] supports elderly people who need care and a place to live.  These facilities should be in residential neighborhoods.

Q:  What can be done about enforcing the ban against gas-powered leaf blowers?  A:  Anyone who is able to write ACE citations can write citations for leaf-blower violations, i.e., not just police, but also building inspectors, etc.  Mr. Bonin will talk to managers of departments to remind them of his. He also reminds the community: citations are issued to property owners, not to gardeners!

Q:  How can the community work with RAP to write a grant for Measure A funding for our dog park (since private fundraising is a problem because no one wants to donate until we obtain a Coastal Development Permit)?  A:  The Councilmember can help with this.

Q:  What is the status of the overnight beach curfew?  A:  We are still waiting on the Coastal Commission; there is no news on that front. The Coastal Commission favors open beach access and a case will have to be made that the curfew is necessary for public safety & welfare.  Beach Patrol Officer Rusty Redican was recently out on the beach to discuss this matter with staff members of the City Attorney’s office and he has positive news to report.  Officer Redican:  The City Attorney’s office is working on this issue and are obtaining evidence to support the City’s case that the beach curfew is needed to protect public safety & welfare.  Officer Redican provided City Attorney staff members with important first-hand information concerning conditions on the beach.  It is still a work in progress but Officer Redican is optimistic. The Coastal Commission may hear this at the beginning of next year.

Q:  What can be done to create a community garden and local composting oasis?  A:  The Council office will  help if the community wants and supports such a project.  We would first need to find a location.

Q:  What can you tell us about Potrero Canyon Park access and the issue of a fence around the park (which some residents oppose and others support)?  A:  Right now the City is adhering to the guidance from the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee’s (PCCAC) 2008 recommendations.  We are listening to everyone, but RAP needs to make a decision soon.  There are a number of factors: the opinion of people who live there, what a fence will look like, security, liability and the opinion of the City Attorney.  We will listen to all perspectives.

Additional questions from the audience then ensued regarding the issue of a Potrero Canyon Park fence.  Lisa Cahill:  She has been available and open to all for questions and comments, she has taken meetings, and she is open to emails and phone calls. RAP, the City Attorney and the PCCAC all recommend a fence. A group of residents want a fence, but others don’t want a fence.  They are still working on the issue.  Residents should contact Lisa to express their opinion.  Mr. Bonin will ask RAP to set up a community meeting with the neighborhood. He stressed in conclusion that the City must listen to concerns about liability.

Q:  What can be done to solve problems with the lane turns and inadequate signage at the Chautauqua, PCH & W. Channel Rd. intersection?  A:  Mr. Bonin promised to look at potential redesign of the intersection.  This will require an interagency task force, including Caltrans and LADOT.

Q:  Please explain the situation regarding adjacent cities (e.g., Culver City) dumping homeless individuals on the Los Angeles side of city boundaries.  A:  It is a problem but not the primary cause of homelessness.  The Councilman described the court decisions, including Jones and the 9th Circuit decision, that require cities to allow people to sleep on sidewalks unless services are available and provided.

Q:  When will LADOT present plans to improve safety at the intersection of Temescal Canyon & PCH (the No. 1 intersection in the Vision Zero report)?  A:  Mr. Bonin is hoping that LADOT will have its suggestions before Labor Day and he will share them with us.  He also hopes to have funding for the long-awaited and much-requested signal at Sunset Blvd. & Chautauqua.

Q:  Regarding LADWP infrastructure, developers are required to bear the cost of putting in electrical equipment for transformers; could this be a problem in terms of developing affordable housing?  Councilman Bonin:  The City might look into exceptions.

Q:  Regarding problem sidewalks, who is liable in situations when someone falls because a tree has caused the sidewalk to erupt?  A:  Generally, the injured person can sue the homeowner, depending on the situation and location of the tree and sidewalk.  The City has deeper pockets.

Q:  Why is there no trash recycling at the park and in the Village; we are told there is no trash recycling at City parks?  A:  Mr. Bonin will look into this and loves the idea. He will have a legislative proposal this summer.

The PPCC Board thanked Councilmember Bonin for participating and answering the community’s many questions.

12.    Adjournment.  Upon conclusion of Item 11.1, the Chair announced that due to time constraints the Board’s further consideration of Item 9.2 above was postponed until the July 25th PPCC meeting.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 8:35pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR JULY 25th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg, David Card, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, David Kaplan, Steve Boyers, Rick Mills, Alan Goldsmith, Duke Ostendorf, Brenda Theveny, Jean Sharp

Voting Alternates:  Barbara Marinacci, Barbara Kohn, John Padden

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Cathi Ruddy, Jan Ostendorf

1.   Certification of Quorum.  The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 6:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  David Card 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 6/27/19 were deemed approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings– August 22, 2019: (1) Guest speaker Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin – to be postponed (date TBA). (2) Gladstones Redevelopment Project briefing – postponed to October 10, 2019; 3) Three Chairs Committee presentation of nominee and possible Board election of 2nd Alternate At-large Representative. (One meeting only in the months of July and August.) September 12, 2019: Palisades Street Tree Committee presentation on a proposed street tree policy for the Palisades.  September 26, 2019: (1) Guest speaker:  Los Angeles Board of Public Works President Kevin James; (2) new information about recycling from the Bureau of Sanitation.  Additional topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed, except item 10.1 is continued to August 22 due to the applicant’s unavailability on 7/25.  See Item 10.1 below.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $40,212.66. Since the last report a $500 deposit for the LUC’s use of the community room was returned by Palisades Village.  The Treasurer also gave his annual Treasurer’s Report (June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019), as required by the bylaws. He cautioned that recently, PPCC’s funding comes almost entirely from the Awards event revenues, which are not guaranteed in any given year and may not cover the Council’s annual operating expenses.  See attached Annual Report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Max Burger (resident/youth) explained he is an avid skateboarder as are others in the Palisades; he wishes to propose a dedicated permanent skatepark here. He has brought this up to the Park Advisory Board.  Suggested locations are Temescal Canyon, the park or the YMCA lot at Temescal Canyon.  He is open to other suggestions. Barbara Kohn (PPRA alternate) explained the history of efforts to establish a skatepark in the Palisades and indicated that nearby residents have concerns with some proposed locations.  At the request of David Kaplan (Area 6 Representative) the Board will discuss this on August 22.

7.2.    Phillis Dudick (Friends of the Parry House). On July 18, the City of LA Cultural Heritage Commission voted to recommend the Parry House (1929 Monterrey-style home at 14929 Camarosa Dr.) for Cultural Monument status.  The City Council PLUM committee will hear this next and then it will go to City Council.  She thanks everyone for their support.  The designation will include the entire property, including an old Deodar Cedar tree. The owners would notbe  allowed to demolish the house but there is flexibility on what they can do with the interior.  They can also apply under the Mills Act.  A sign-up sheet was sent around for those who wish to be in touch with organizers who support the historic designation.  [Contact bor.preserves@gmail.com for information on how to submit a letter of support.]

7.3.    Nahmi Natan (Chair, Palisades Park Youth Board). The Park Youth Board is hosting a Park Beautification Day in August. He will send further details.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair.

8.1.1.    New earlier PPCC meeting start & closing times: 6pm-7:50pm.  All attendees must exit the meeting room before 8pm(library close), per new Citywide library policy. Thanks to all attendees for your cooperation.

8.1.2.    Changes in Alternate At-large Representatives (1st and 2nd positions).  Applications for now-vacant 2nd Alternate position accepted until 5pm on August 18; re-appointment of Three Chairs Committee to select nominee. The Three Chairs Committee members are Maryam Zar (committee chair), Chris Spitz and Richard Cohen (per PPCC Bylaws). Mary Mueller is now 1st alternate At=large representative.  See Alternate At-Large Representative Notice.

8.1.3.    Committee and Advisor appointments (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020).  The Chair announced the appointment of committees and advisors. The officers and Chair Emeritus have appointed Area 1 Representative Joanna Spak as the elected representative member and John Padden is the organizational member of the Executive Committee (per PPCC Bylaws).  See attached list of PPCC Committees & Advisors. 

8.1.4.    Board approval of Legal and Youth Advisors.  The Board approved the re-appointment of Legal Advisor Rob Weber and Youth Advisors Eli Safaie-Kia, Sharla Steinman and Zennon Ulyate-Crow.

8.1.5.    Volunteers sought for position of Emergency Preparedness Officer, per Mayor’s request.  Cathi Ruddy (PP Woman’s Club) may take on this volunteer position; TBD.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) congratulated Richard Cohen (Treasurer) who has received the honor of being awarded UCLA 2019 Distinguished Alumni Mentor, one of only three alumni to receive this honor by the university.  As one of his student mentees explained: “Richard is one of the most responsive people I have known.  In a word, Richard is the best mentor I could ask for.”  Kudos to Richard for this well-deserved honor.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives – None.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Jean Sharp (Optimists Club) extends an invitation for to all to join the Optimists Club.  The Club meets every Tuesday morning 7-7:30am for breakfast at the Presbyterian Church.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    In the absence of Lisa Cahill (CD11 Palisades Deputy), the Chair announced that Ms. Cahill has prepared a written report with an update on some of the questions directed to Councilmember Bonin at our June 27th meeting.  See July 24 Cahill Report.

8.5.1.    Janet Turner (District Representative, U.S. Representative Ted Lieu) reported on various matters.  The Congressman has condemned anti-Semitic graffiti found in Santa Monica recently.  He was happy that a $100M grant was approved for the extension of the Purple Line.  The House has passed bill to stop illegal robo-calls; the Senate passed a similar bill.  Ms. Turner distributed a handout with more information.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Zennon Ulyate-Crow (Youth) announced that classes resume at Pali High on August 14.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Palisades Street Tree Committee (PSTC; David Card, Chair).  The PSTC Chair reported that the members have been meeting every two weeks and are closing in on the final draft of a Mission Statement and proposed Street Tree Policy. The members voted to use as a template the street tree criteria in the Santa Monica Urban Forest Plan.  The next meeting is on Monday morning, 7/29, 9:30am at the Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, in the Jewelry Room.  Randy Young is the guest speaker.  The PSTC wishes to preserve historic trees.

10.   Old Business.

10.1.    Consideration of mixed-use project proposed for 17346 Sunset Blvd. (old Jack-in-the- Box/JIB site).  Motion by Richard Cohen, Reza Akef and Chris Spitz. Item postponed to August 22, 2019, due to the applicant’s unavailability on 7/25; the City Planning Dept. has advised PPCC that no hearings on the requested Coastal Development Permit are anticipated prior to August 22.

11.   New Business.

11.1.    LAX Landside Access Modernization Plan (LAMP) Update.  Presentation by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) representatives.  Q&A as time allows.

Speakers: Stephanie Sampson, Director of Communications, LAMP, LAWA and Anna Kozma, Senior Community Liaison, LINXS.  Ms. Sampson and Ms. Kozma presented a Power Point about the LAMP program.  They gave an overview of the airport right now.  The new program features include a new automated people mover (APM; expected to be completed by 2023); a consolidated rent-a-car facility (also expected to open in 2023); an “intermodal transportation facility” (ITF West – a parking structure); connection to Metro light rail; APM maintenance & storage facility; and roadway improvements. They described each of the facilities. Together, the new features will offer time-certain transportation options to and from LAX and relieve traffic in and out of the airport.  The first component to break ground (the ITF West parking structure) is expected to be completed in 2021.  Total build out is about 5 years.  We should expect traffic delays during the construction period, which are unavoidable. Q&A ensued during the presentation, covering a wide variety of topics.  The Board thanked the representatives for the presentation.  See LAWA “LAMP” Power Point.

l12.   Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:10pm.

_________________________________________________________________________

ATTACHMENT – Item 8.1.3:

PPCC Committees and Advisors – July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Standing Committee: 

Executive Committee

George Wolfberg, PPCC Chair (Committee Chair)[1]
David Card, PPCC Vice-Chair
Richard F. Cohen, PPCC Treasurer
Chris Spitz, PPCC Secretary
Maryam Zar, PPCC Chair Emeritus
Joanna Spak, Area 1 Representative
John Padden, PRIDE Representative

 Required Committee:

Three Chairs Committee

Maryam Zar, PPCC Chair Emeritus (Committee Chair)
Richard G. Cohen, PPCC Treasurer & past Chair
Chris Spitz, PPCC Secretary & past Chair

Other Ad Hoc Committees: 

Bylaws Committee

Richard F. Cohen, PPCC Treasurer (Committee Chair)
David Card, PPCC Vice-Chair
David Kaplan, Area 6 Representative
Chris Spitz, PPCC Secretary
Andrew Wolfberg, Area 8 1st Alternate

Land Use Committee

Membership pending/to be appointed

Meeting Room Management Committee

Sue Kohl, Area 5 Representative
Duke Ostendorf, YMCA Representative
Miriam Schulman, Wildfire Safety Advisor
Joanna Spak, Area 1 Representative
Chris Spitz, PPCC Secretary
PPCC Youth Advisors (as available)

Organization Notification Committee

Chris Spitz, PPCC Secretary (Committee Chair)
David Card, PPCC Vice-Chair
Sue Kohl, Area 5 Representative

Palisades Street Tree Committee

David Card, PPCC Vice-Chair, landscape designer (Committee Chair)
Jo Ann Bright, Garden Club
Bill Bruns, Friends of the Library
Kelly Comras, Area 1 2nd Alternate, landscape architect/FASLA
Libby Motika, journalist, Master Gardener*
Jan Ostendorf, Area 4 2nd Alternate, PPRA
Michael G. Terry, Palisades Beautiful, landscape designer
Lisa Cahill, CD11 Palisades Deputy (advisor/nonvoting)
Mary Schultz, Garden Club (participant/nonvoting)
Cindy Kirven, Garden Club (participant/nonvoting)*
Lisa Voronina, interested resident(participant/nonvoting)

[*Note:  Since the meeting, Libby Motika has resigned from the Committee and Cindy Kirven has been appointed a voting member in Ms. Motika’s place]

Advisors

Legal: Rob Weber (subject to board approval)

Youth: Eli Safaie-Kia, Sharla Steinman, Zennon Ulyate-Crow (subject to board approval)

Education:  Allison Holdorff Polhill

Homelessness:  Sharon Kilbride

Transportation:  Patti Post

Wildfire Safety:  Miriam Schulman

[1]  The PPCC Chair is a voting member of the Executive Committee but on all other committees is an ex officio/ nonvoting member(except for the Nominating Committee required for officer elections, on which the Chair is prohibited from participating).  The Chair appoints all committees and advisors other than the E.C.; the officers & Chair Emeritus are automatic members of the E.C. and elect the remaining two members (an elected representative or alternate and an organizational representative or alternate).

 ATTACHMENT – Item 6:

PPCC Treasurer’s Report June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2019
Balance 6/1/2018 37,700
Balance 5/31/2019 40,902
Increase in Funds 3,202
Regular Contributions 22
Rent 1,472
Insurance 1,575
Mailchimp / Data / Misc 2,300
Chamber Event Tickets 512
P.O. Box Rental 140
Total Operating Expenses 5,999
Operating Loss -5,977
Dinner & Tribute Revenue 21,662
Event Costs 12,483
Event Profit 9,179
Increase in Funds 3,202
Total Increase since June 1, 2018 3,202

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR AUGUST 22nd 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, David Kaplan, Steve Cron, Rick Mills, Reza Akef, Alan Goldsmith, Brenda Theveny, Jim Kirtley, Ellie Jenkins, Sarah Knauer, Richard Blumenberg, Jean Sharp

Voting Alternates:  Robin Meyers, Barbara Marinacci, Danielle Samulon, Marilyn Wexler

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Sharla Steinman, Zennon Ulyate-Crow, John Padden, Cathi Ruddy, Howard Robinson, Bob Benton, Mary Mueller, Andrew Wolfberg, Rob Weber

1.    Certification of Quorum.  Vice-Chair David Card (Presiding Officer in the absence of the Chair George Wolfberg) called the meeting to order at 6:00pm and certified that a quorum was present. He explained that the Chair could not be present due to recently-arisen medical issues; we wish for the Chair’s speedy and full recovery and hope that he will be able to return soon. We also extend best wishes to Dick Wulliger (PP Historical Society) as he too is experiencing medical issues.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Chris Spitz 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 7/25/19 were deemed approved as corrected.  2) Upcoming Meetings – September 12, 2019: Palisades Street Tree Committee [renamed the Palisades Forestry Committee with the permission of the Chair] presentation on a proposed urban forestry policy for the Palisades.  September 26, 2019: (1) Guest speaker: Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission President Kevin James; (2) new information about recycling from the Bureau of Sanitation.  Additional topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The agenda was as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $40,212.66. There have been no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Marge Gold (resident) asked about the status of the donor bricks along Sunset Blvd. in the Palisades Village area. John Padden, PRIDE President, explained that PRIDE has been working on installing all of the bricks; if anything needs correcting it will be rectified. 99% of the bricks are now installed.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    Reminder: new earlier PPCC meeting start & closing times: 6pm-7:50pm.  All attendees must exit the meeting room before 8pm(library close), per new Citywide library policy. Before exiting, everyone is asked to stack chairs and Board members are asked to pass name cards down to Secretary Chris Spitz, who will place them in the file box. Please take all conversations outside the room promptly upon adjournment.  Thanks to all attendees for your cooperation.

8.1.2.    Appointment of Cathi Ruddy as PPCC Emergency Preparedness Officer.  The Chair has appointed Cathi Ruddy (PP Woman’s Club representative) to serve as PPCC’s  Emergency Preparedness Officer, in connection with an initiative sponsored by Mayor Garcetti.  In this role, Cathi will act as our area’s liaison to the City’s Emergency Management Dept. and help develop emergency preparedness plans for Palisades neighborhoods.  We thank Cathi for graciously agreeing to take on this important volunteer task for the community. She stated that she is available to help organize neighborhood meetings.  Her work will involve preparedness for all types of emergencies (fire, earthquakes, etc.); she will coordinate with PPCC Wildfire Safety Advisor Miriam Shulman on wildfire preparedness.

8.1.4.    Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) leadership meeting update.  The Chair has appointed Chris Spitz (Secretary) and David Card (Vice-Chair) as the respective primary and alternate representatives to WRAC. They both attended the September 20th WRAC meeting.  Members heard an interesting presentation on water quality in Los Angeles from LADWP. They were assured that the City’s water supply is at very safe levels.  They also learned about ongoing construction around LAX.  The Century Trunk Line is now being being built; this will result in a bigger, better water delivery line around LAX.  There are various phases of ongoing construction, from 8am-7pm M-F, and 8am-6pm on Sat.  Plan trips to LAX accordingly.

8.1.5.    Congress of Neighborhood Councils.  This is a worthwhile, annual all-day event held at LA City Hall on September 28. Interested community leaders can attend workshops on a variety of helpful topics, hear speakers and interact with public officials.  Free breakfast and lunch are provided to attendees. The Chair has attended for several years and especially recommends engaging with City staff from various Departments who are present to provide information and answer questions; at the last Congress he was able to engage representatives of Urban Forestry about the need for an urban forestry plan for the Palisades.  We encourage board members to attend the Congress. [Visit https://www.nccongressla.com.]

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) announced changes in PPCC representatives and advisors:  1) Youth Advisor Eli Safaie-Kia regrettably has had to resign due to the press of his senior year obligations; Sharla Steinman and Zennon Ulyate-Crow remain as our Youth Advisors; she thanked Eli for his service. 2) The Chamber of Commerce has appointed Bob Benton to replace Marissa Hermer as the Alternate Chamber representative. 3) The YMCA has appointed Jim Kirtley to replace Duke Ostendorf as the YMCA representative.  She thanked Marissa and Duke for their service and welcomed Bob and Jim to the PPCC board.

8.2.2.    David Card (Vice-Chair) reported on LA Fleet Week. This event is on the PPCC website calendar.  Sailors will be in town over the coming Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30 – Sept. 2.  Fleet Week is a free, multi-day event at the Port of Los Angeles during which the public is able to see and tour U.S. Navy ships. There are many demonstrations throughout the day as well as other activities, entertainment, and flyovers by the Navy and other armed forces.  [See more information at https://www.lafleetweek.com.]

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Marilyn Wexler (Area 7 2nd Alternate) gave a shout out to the Presiding Officer (Vice-Chair David Card) for his work in preserving trees at Rustic Canyon Park.  The Presiding Officer explained that a team of volunteers keeps an eye on the famous landmarked trees.  He also thanked Park Commissioner Joe Halper for the Commissioner’s help in preserving the trees.

8.3.2.    Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative) gave an update on the infamous Highlands trailhead and bathroom situation. Heather Johnson of the Coastal Commission has advised him that we may tentatively expect this issue to be on the agenda at the Commission’s   December meeting in Calabasas. She believes it will be a contentious issue because the Commission is expected to require the absentee owner to bring the property up to speed.  More information on the meeting will be forthcoming.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce) announced that the Chamber is holding several upcoming events:  On Aug. 29, from 8-9:30am, there will be a speaker series breakfast event at the Bay Theatre in the Village; Sharon Keyser & Rick Lemmo, Sr. Vice-Presidents at Caruso, will be the featured speakers.  There will be an Evening Mixer on Sept. 10 at 5:30pm at the Woman’s Club, co-hosted by the Palisades Rotary.  The 1st annual Taste of the Palisades event will take place from Aug. 22-26. This will be similar to Dine LA, with  participating restaurants offering special menus and/or promotions.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    SLO Michael Moore, LAPD.  Officer Moore reported that crime is down in the Palisades.  Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative) stated that kids are still jaywalking on Allenford.  Andrew Wolfberg (Area 8 1st Alternate) explained that students jaywalk and are struck by cars once a year in front of Paul Revere.  Officer Moore will talk to the traffic officer about the situation.  Lynn Hylen (resident) asked about whether the speed limit survey on Sunset Blvd. has been updated.  Officer Moore replied that he would have to ask traffic officers.  The Presiding Officer noted that recent vandalism in the native plant garden across from Pali High hasn’t been reported yet. Officer Moore stated that residents can report vandalism online at LAPDonline.org.  Zennon Ulyate-Crow (Youth Advisor) asked whether speed limits around Pali High can be better enforced.  Officer Moore indicated that he will work with school police on enforcement.

8.5.2.    Zachary Gaidzik, West LA/Metro Field Deputy (County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl) reported on upcoming events: 1) voter education forums explaining voting solutions for all LA County residents; one of the forums will take place on Tuesday August 27at 6:30pm at St. Paul the Apostle Community Church in Westwood; 2) an open house will take place at the West LA courthouse on Thursday, September 5, exploring the feasibility of the County purchasing the courthouse and possible uses for the facility.  He distributed flyers for each of these events.

8.5.3.    Ami Fields-Meyer, West LA Representative (Mayor Eric Garcetti) recognized Cathi Ruddy and the importance of her work to prepare Palisades neighborhoods for disasters.  She will work with the City’s Ready your Neighborhood (RYLAN) program. Additional information:  DASH buses are now free for LAUSD and community college district students.  The Mayor’s office has received feedback from the public that the Shake Alert App did not work during the most recent earthquake.  The App will now be set at a lower threshold (5.0 – 4.5) for notification. A City committee is working now through next May to make certain that everyone is counted in the census.  They don’t want to take the Palisades for granted and will be hosting “census action kiosks” in central locations for people to fill out the census.  The City will also be training census “good will ambassadors” who will be tasked with helping communities get counted.  Finally, the Mayor’s Youth Council is now accepting applications. All motivated high school students in Los Angeles are encouraged to apply. Information about applying for the Youth Council is on the PPCC website calendar.  The Presiding Officer has also sent information about the Youth Council to Pali High Principal Pam Magee.

8.5.4.    Janet Turner, District Representative (Congressman Ted Lieu) briefly announced that helpers will be needed to assist the elderly who don’t know how to fill out the census online.  The census will take place in March-April 2020.  Rep. Lieu is holding his next town hall on Aug. 28 at El Segundo High School, from 7-8:30pm.  Things are moving forward on the WLA VA and she will have more information for us in September.

8.5.5.    Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation & Parks (RAP) representatives:  Joe Halper, Board of Recreation & Park Commissioner; Darryl Ford, Superintendent, RAP; Erich Haas, Palisades Recreation Center Director.  See Item 11.2 below.  Commissioner Halper reminded everyone that we have two extraordinary parks in the Palisades — Palisades & Rustic Canyon Recreation Centers – with distinguished directors at each park:  Erich Haas at Palisades Recreation Center and Paige Barnes at Rustic Canyon. He gave a shout out to Area 2 Representative Steve Cron for doing a great job.  Commissioner Halper also thanked and introduced RAP Superintendent Darryl Ford, who was present to speak on the skatepark item.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Sharla Steinman (Youth) reported that school has started at Pali High.  Back to School Night and the College Fair are coming up.  The Pali Ambassadors are willing to help with all Palisades groups that need help with meetings and events.  The Palisades Y has started a new Teen Council.  High school students are invited to become members.  She is President of the Teen Council and will send a flyer to Secretary Chris Spitz with information on how students can become members.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Three Chairs Committee (Maryam Zar, Chair; Chris Spitz; Richard Cohen).  Nomination by the Committee and possible Board election of 2nd Alternate At-large Representative.

Secretary Chris Spitz explained that due to a conflicting event Committee Chair Maryam Zar was unable to attend tonight to announce the Committee’s decision. The Secretary then announced that the Committee’s nominee for the position of 2nd Alternate At-large Representative was Peter F. Culhane, past PPCC Vice-Chair.  The Committee members believe that given his experience he is highly qualified for the position.  She then moved on behalf of the Committee for the Board to approve and elect Mr. Culhane as 2nd Alternate At-large Representative (no second necessary as the motion was made by more than one voting board member). The Presiding Office asked if any board member wished to discuss the nominee. No one asked for discussion.  A vote was thentaken.  Result: Unanimous in favor of the motion. Mr. Culhane will serve the same term as the primary At-large Representative Alan Goldsmith (through September 30, 2020).

9.2.    Palisades Street Tree Committee [renamed Palisades Forestry Committee (David Card, Chair).

Committee Chair David Card reported that with the PPCC Chair’s permission the Committee has changed its name to the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC). The PFC is continuing to work on a proposed urban forestry policy for the Palisades, including street tree planting and removals. The members have agreed on a Mission Statement and are discussing finer points of the proposed policy.  They have been meeting on a regular basis, with two meetings this past week.  They expect to do a tree walk on Hartzell St. (as an example of a street with problems) with the City’s Urban Forestry Division liaison to the PFC. They will present the proposed urban forestry policy for the Palisades at the next PPCC Board meeting on September 12, 2019, for possible approval by the Board.  The Committee Chair also reported that Libby Motika has resigned from the PFC and the Chair has appointed Cindy Kirven of the Garden Club to take Ms. Motika’s place as a voting member.

10.    Old Business.

10.1.    Consideration of mixed-use project proposed for 17346 Sunset Blvd. (old Jack-in-the- Box/JIB site).  Motion by Richard Cohen, Reza Akef and Chris Spitz(see attachment below for text of motion).  See also Letter to Editor: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Letter-to-the-Editor.pdfand LUC Recommendation: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/PPCC-Land-Use-Committee-Recommendation-nondraft.pdf.

The Presiding Officer noted that there will be a Pacific Palisades Design Review Board (DRB) hearing on August 28 to review the project’s design.  He asked if any DRB members were present and wanted to recuse themselves.  No current DRB members were present.  He also noted that the project applicant’s attorney Michael Gonzales had been invited to attend and make a presentation to the Board, but had declined the invitation.

Treasurer Richard Cohen then described the motion [see attachment below] and provided background, including the fact that the former PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC) had considered the matter and had voted to make a recommendation which was substantially similar to the motion now before the Board.  The motion opposes the project at the proposed height and density for the reasons stated, except that the prior LUC request for additional parking was removed. He explained that the project applicant had complied with the Code in terms of the proposed number of parking spaces and for that reason the motion does not include a request for additional parking. He moved that the Board approve the motion as worded in the attachment to Item 10.1 below (no second necessary as the motion was made by more than one voting board member). Discussion by the Board and audience ensued.

Howard Robinson (Area 3 2nd Alternate and former LUC Chair) described the purpose of the LUC and spoke about the two prior meetings in which the LUC had considered this project. Numerous community members attended the LUC meetings and expressed opposition to the project.  He explained that committee members spent a great deal of time examining the project and the applicable law. The project is subject to state density bonus law which supersedes the Specific Plan, but it must also comply with the Coastal Act. The LUC members found in substance that the project did not comply with the “visual compatibility” requirement of the Coastal Act and they recommended on a vote of 6-1 that the Board oppose the project at the proposed height and density. The LUC recommendation also included a request for additional parking, although the applicant’s proposed parking complies with the Code.  [See LUC Recommendation referenced above.]

Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative and one of the three sponsors of the motion before the Board) acknowledged that as a former LUC member he had originally proposed the request for additional parking when the matter was before the LUC, but he now agrees that for purposes of the City’s deliberations, a request for additional parking is not appropriate since the proposed parking complies with Code. However, he still believes that parking is insufficient despite meeting Code requirements; he encouraged residents to raise the parking issue in opposition to the project, and he may request that PPCC revisit the “parking issue” if the matter is eventually heard by the Coastal Commission. Zennon Ulyate-Crow (Youth Advisor) stated that Los Angeles and the Westside are in a housing crisis and he feels the community needs to show it is helping to solve the crisis.  Lloyd Ahern (former resident, past Citizen of the Year) distributed a copy of a newspaper article recounting the 1992 passage of the 35 ft. height limit for residential areas which he and many other Palisadians championed. He opposes the current project at the proposed height and urged the Board to pass the motion opposing the project. Patrick Hart (resident) stated that he lives in the neighboring Edgewater Towers condominiums and that he and other Edgewater Towers residents also oppose the project.  Chris Spitz (Secretary) explained that she was the principal author of both the original LUC recommendation and the motion now before the Board and she encouraged Board members to vote for the motion.

Following discussion, a vote was taken on the motion. Result: Unanimous in favor of the motion. A PPCC position letter will be submitted to the appropriate officials in due course.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Proposed public “street clock” in the commercial Village.  Presentation by PRIDE President John Padden (PRIDE rep to PPCC) and Sam Rubin (PRIDE board member).

John Padden provided background on PRIDE and introduced PRIDE board member Sam Rubin, who showed a brief Power Point with a rendering of the proposed clock.  He explained that PRIDE had in the past proposed a street clock to be located in front of the old 31 Flavors store on Swarthmore.  They received donations for the clock from community members, but the project didn’t get off the ground when the Caruso project began. The previous donors have been patient.  PRIDE is now proposing a community clock in the commercial Village to be coupled with a possible tribute to the late Arnie Wishnick. They are also proposing a possible dedication plaque for donors. The property owner of the US Bank site has granted authorization to locate the clock at the corner of Swarthmore Ave. & Sunset Blvd. on the bank property (on private property, not in the public right-of-way).  It will be a community clock with the words “Pacific Palisades” on the top. Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative) asked whether PRIDE had approached the Village Green.  Sam Rubin:  PRIDE had twice asked the Village Green, as they would love that location. Marge Gold (resident and Village Green board member) confirmed that her board voted “no” to siting the clock on the Village Green.  Other locations in the commercial Village area are not feasible.  PRIDE will insure the clock.  Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative) suggested that perhaps PRIDE could find a more artistic design.  Chris Spitz (Secretary) offered her opinion that the proposed design is beautiful.  Padden and Rubin explained that PRIDE will continue to consider design options and will provide PPCC and the community with a status update at a later date. Chris Spitz stated that PPCC very much appreciated the advance presentation by PRIDE.

11.2.    Possible location of a skateboard park in the Palisades.  Invited discussion participants: youth resident & skateboard park proponent Max Burger; representatives of CD11, the Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation & Parks (RAP) and the Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board (PAB).  In attendance: Darryl Ford, RAP Superintendent (Planning, Maintenance and Construction Branch); Board of Recreation and Park Commissioner Joe Halper; Palisades Park Recreation Center Director Erich Haas; PAB members Bob Benton and Lynn Hylen; Zachary Gaidzik, West LA/Metro Field Deputy (Supervisor Sheila Kuehl); Max Burger, youth resident and skatepark proponent.

The Presiding Officer requested that Max Burger present first to the Board.  Max explained that he is a Palisades resident and a sophomore at Pali High.  His passion is skateboarding.  He visits skateparks in the area and often skateboards around the Palisades.  He is frequently met with hostility and is tired of being told that he is trespassing. He has met a great group of kids skateboarding and would like to propose a skatepark here.  He realizes that Potrero Canyon will not be possible because it is to be a passive park with nature walks. Will Rogers Beach may be a problem with the Coastal Commission.  He thinks the best space is right here:  the pit/”bowl” behind the library at the Recreation Center.  Max believes there would be many donors and he can help with fundraising.  He proposes working with neighbors on opening and closing times.  He will comply with any needs that anyone has and is happy to get feedback and assistance.

David Kaplan (Area 6 Representative) asked Max how many people would utilize the skatepark.  Chris Spitz (Secretary) followed up by asking if he has numbers on how many core skateboarders would visit the skatepark during peak hours.  Max:  He believes that about 50 kids will use the skatepark all of the time during peak hours. Chris Spitz noted that she had distributed to the board a digital document with basic facts about other nearby skateparks, which included a link to a “public skatepark” website with information about how to calculate user numbers and skateboard size. An 8,000-10,000 square foot skatepark may be needed for a community the size of the Palisades (pop. 25,000).  [See http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Other-Skateboard-Park-Facts.pdf.]

Daryll Ford, RAP Superintendent, then spoke. He emphasized that location is the most important factor when considering a skatepark for a neighborhood. There are three aspects to consider:  security, use and most important of all, noise.  There is a very steady clickety-clack on concrete and on rails in skateparks.  RAP has a long history of constructing skateparks; two were just opened in the last few months.  Capital funding can come from many sources: Quimby funds, park fees, Proposition 68 and Measure A. Donors can also provide funding.  RAP looks for input from skaters themselves to design the parks.  The closest LA City skatepark to the Palisades is Stoner Park:  20,000 square feet in area, $1.5 million to build. Treasurer Richard Cohen asked if there is a standard for how far RAP will build from residences.  Mr. Ford: No, we don’t have a standard for that.  In the Palisades, the “bowl” behind the library backs up directly on residences.  Max Burger: Stoner Park is very close to houses.  Mr. Ford:  Stoner Park opens at 10am and closes operations at 5pm.  In general, however, LA City parks close operations in the evenings but are not physically closed.  Ford described two recently built parks near residences: one is on Lake St., in Historic Latino Town, south of Echo Park; there is an apartment building across the street from an active recreation center.  In Harbor City, there is a park adjacent to residences which face a busy street.  RAP tries not to locate too close to residences.

The Presiding Officer asked what issues would be involved with locating a skatepark on the beach or in the parking lot at Will Rogers State Beach; would there be issues with the Coastal Commission?  Mr. Ford:  the Venice skatepark is on the beach; it had a long development period and did get Coastal Commission approval. Zachary Gaidzik, Field Deputy with County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl:  Will Rogers State Beach is operated by the County. The Coastal Commission will be very concerned about taking away parking spaces from the public in the Coastal Zone. There would also be environmental concerns with siting a skatepark on the sand.

Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative):  Regarding siting a skatepark in the “bowl” behind the library, since some portion of this area is adjacent to residences, would it be feasible to add a soundproofing barrier on one side?  Bob Benton (resident and PAB member), responded:  For 25 years he has headed the PPBA and he has also been on the PAB for many years.  During the height of the skateboarding craze, they looked into the possibility of a skatepark in 2002-2003 when they were also raising funds for the baseball fields and park.  People refused to donate to the fields or park if there was going to be a skatepark. There was great concern about noise. A subcommittee of the PAB was then formed to raise money for a portable skatepark.  It was a fiasco. The portable elements were too heavy, workers couldn’t lift them without special equipment and the portable skatepark experiment was eventually ended.  Now, funds are greatly needed to address the many problems we have in the park – bathrooms, plumbing, non-compliance with ADA, inaccessibility of the children’s playground and the like.

Palisades Park Director Erich Haas then spoke. He has been Director since 2008. When he first arrived at the park, he saw a huge, solid wood portable skatepark.  It was very cumbersome to move. They only put up the structure on Sundays for use from 10am-6pm. Six workers using pallet jacks were needed just to lift it up.  It was horrible and they cannot do that again. There are safety issues involved with skateparks and the park has other important priorities and bigger problems which must be addressed: ADA-compliant bathrooms and a universally accessible playground (which right now is all sand) are both desperately needed.  A plumbing/sewage problem has also ruined the playing court floors, including new flooring that the Clippers donated to the park just last year.  Regarding the “bowl” area behind the library: He does not see a skatepark being placed there, due to the way it’s configured. It is also a picnic area which schools use, and the park receives funds for that. He would have to dedicate a staffer to watch over a skatepark.  He asked where the money would come from for all of this. In addition, in his experience there are safety issues as kids don’t want to wear protective gear. Finally, skating is very loud and the area is surrounded by homes.  Based on his experience the residents will strongly oppose locating a skatepark in this location.

Darryl Ford (RAP):  Regarding the sound mitigation suggestion, he cautioned that it is best not to need a sound barrier in the first place.  RAP will never use portable skateparks again.  He reiterated that location is the most important factor – a site should be found that doesn’t need a sound barrier.

Max Burger then brought up other possible locations. What about Temescal Canyon Park? Response from audience: this is MRCA land and it won’t be allowed there. Max also mentioned the YMCA Pumpkin Patch, stating that he believes this is part of a master plan for the area.  Response from Jim Kirtley (YMCA Director): He is unaware of any master plan, and the Y will not allow a skatepark in this area; it’s a liability issue for them.

The Presiding Officer asked if there are any rules required of users at City skateparks.  Mr. Ford:  Yes, rules are posted but they are not enforced.  Mr. Ford then stated that he can return to give feedback in the future if we have ascertained any possible locations for a skatepark. We need to prioritize needs.  His email is Darryl.ford@lacity.org.

There was additional discussion about skatepark cost.  In addition to the cost per square foot of construction, parks require fencing, lighting and other variables. Mr. Ford cannot estimate at this time what the likely cost would be for a skatepark in the Palisades.  Lynn Hylen (resident and PAB member) reminded everyone that the sources of public funding that Mr. Ford mentioned earlier are already spoken for (for the proposed dog park, the necessary bathroom and playground improvements, etc.). Leslie Campbell (resident): She has been working for 5 years on the Palisades dog park project and described her extensive work to achieve this goal. Hundreds of people came to meetings and signed petitions that they want a dog park here. She wants to be sure that the dog park is the number one priority in any funding decisions.

Max Burger mentioned one more possible location: towards the top of Temescal Canyon Rd., towards Pali High.  He thinks skateboarding should be included in PE at schools.  He has talked to Pali High operations staff about the tennis courts and was told that yes, the courts do get used.  The discussion then concluded due to lack of time. The Presiding Officer thanked all of the speakers.

12.    Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 7:50pm.

_________________________________________________________________________

ATTACHMENT – Item 10.1:

Motion regarding the mixed-use project proposed
for 17346 Sunset Blvd. (former Jack-in the-Box site) – “the Project”

Richard Cohen, Reza Akef & Chris Spitz move that the PPCC Board adopt the following position with regard to the Project:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) opposes issuance of a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the Project as proposed at 5 stories and 60 ft., 9 in. in height, with no upper level set-backs along Sunset Blvd. and with a floor area ratio (FAR) of 2.15:1, on the following grounds:

1) Specific Plan Consideration. At the proposed height and density, the Project is more than twice the size otherwise allowed under the applicable Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhoods Specific Plan (SP) — a maximum of 2 stories, 30 ft. in height and FAR of 1:1. Because the Project as proposed would provide 4 affordable housing units among its 40 dwelling units, state “density bonus” law permits the proposed Project height and density notwithstanding the SP limitations. However, because the Project is also within the Coastal Zone, a CDP is required and the provisions of the California Coastal Act (Public Resources Code, Sec. 30000, et seq.) therefore must apply.

2) Violation of Coastal Act (PRC §30251). The Project at the proposed height and density does not comply with the relevant provisions of Public Resources Code Sec. 30251, which requires that development in the Coastal Zone be “visually compatible with the character of surrounding areas.” The Project’s mass and scale are clearly out of proportion to all other similarly situated buildings which front the same (south) side of the street as the Project, and its visual impact on pedestrians as well as nearby residences is out of character and will be significant. While there are 6 and 9 story buildings to the south and north (on the slope to the rear and across the street from the Project), all adjacent or similarly- situated buildings fronting the south side of Sunset Blvd. are no higher than one story in height (including Vons Market and the Palisades Electric building to the west and a strip mall to the east). The proposed 5 story Project building situated in the midst of 1 story structures along the south side of Sunset Blvd. would be strikingly inconsistent, out of proportion in terms of mass and scale and visually incompatible with all other structures which front Sunset Blvd. in this location; the Project would therefore violate the Coastal Act.

3) Further Violation (PRC §30251). Because the Project does not include upper level set-backs (as does the 6 story mixed-use building across the street on the north side of Sunset Blvd.) and the plan does not appear to include any provision for trees fronting the building, the Project building would present a bleak streetscape and an imposing, monolithic façade along the south side of Sunset Blvd. which is inconsistent with the across-the-street building façade and is not visually compatible with similarly situated buildings in the surrounding area. In addition to upper level set-backs, at a minimum, at least two 15’ x 15’ x 15’ tree wells with appropriately sized trees should be required and included in the plan.

4) Environmental Impacts. The Project will provide required open space for residents by way of a roof top deck. As can be seen in Project renderings, at 5 stories in height the top story of the Project building (or a substantial portion thereof), including the roof top deck, will rise above open space areas of the residential tower immediately to the south and will be clearly visible to residents at the same or nearby levels of the residential tower. The use of the roof top deck at this height and in this location will potentially negatively impact nearby residents in terms of noise, reduction of privacy and quality of life. Such environmental impacts would be significant and cannot be adequately mitigated at the proposed Project height.

PPCC further advises that should the City or Coastal Commission decide to proceed with approval of the Project despite the above, the following modifications be considered as part of a conditioned CDP:  a lowered Project building height, either 4 stories with upper level set-backs along Sunset Blvd., or alternatively 3 stories with no upper level set-backs, with a reduction in the number of dwelling units if necessary to accommodate the lowered height. In either scenario, at least two tree wells with appropriately sized trees as described above should be required and included in the plan. The Project at such an alternative height and configuration would more closely comply with the Coastal Act requirement of visual compatibility with the surrounding areas and would mitigate negative impacts from the roof deck.”

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR SEPTEMBER 12th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, David Kaplan, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Rick Mills, Alan Goldsmith, Brenda Theveny, Bill Bruns, Sarah Knauer, Jean Sharp

Voting Alternates:  Eric Dugdale, Barbara Kohn, Cathy Russell

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Sharla Steinman, Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Cathi Ruddy, Melanie Bouer, Susan Orenstein, Barbara Marinacci, Kelly Comras, Marilyn Wexler, David Peterson.

1.    Certification of Quorum.  Vice-Chair David Card (Presiding Officer in the absence of the Chair George Wolfberg) called the meeting to order at 6:00pm and certified that a quorum was present. He explained that the Chair could not be present as he is undergoing treatment for recently-arisen medical issues; we continue to wish for the Chair’s speedy and full recovery.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  David Kaplan 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 8/22/19 were deemed approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings– September 26, 2019: (1) Guest speaker: Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission President Kevin James; (2) new information about recycling from the Bureau of Sanitation.  October 10, 2019: (1) Gladstones Redevelopment Project briefing; (2) Presentation on LA County voting changes; (3) Welcome new PPCC organizational members.October 24, 2019: Board consideration of possible Land Use Committee (LUC) recommendation regarding Calvary Christian School Conditional Use Permit (CUP) / Coastal Development Permit (CDP) Application. November 14, 2019: Guest speaker – Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The agenda was as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $40,101. There have been no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Monique Lafia (resident) stated that she lives on Mt. Holyoke near Via de las Olas, where there are five large homes under construction and Eucalyptus trees were removed apparently without permits. She is concerned about the trees and about noise, dust, starting work too early, etc.  She was advised that we are aware of the tree-cutting incident and we will answer questions after the meeting should she want more information.

7.2.    Phillis Dudick (Friends of the Parry House) gave an update on potential Historic Cultural Monument status for the Parry House – an old Monterey-style residence on Camarosa Dr. The Cultural Heritage Commission recommended the designation and the matter is now going to a vote in the City Council PLUM Committee. She is asking people to write letters in support of the designation. She will give contact information to anyone interested after the meeting. She also briefly discussed the benefits to owners of applying for Historic Cultural Monument status.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    Appointment of Land Use Committee (LUC).  The Chair George Wolfberg has appointed the following members of the LUC:  Howard Robinson, Committee Chair; Richard Blumenberg, Steve Cron, Rick Mills, Patti Post, Joanna Spak, Chris Spitz.  The LUC will next meet on October 17, 2019; more details to be announced during Committee reports.

8.1.5.    PPCC position letter re 17346 Sunset Blvd. mixed-use project (former Jack-in-the-Box). PPCC’s position letter was submitted to the City on August 25, 2019 and is posted on our website.  See: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/PPCC-Letter-re-JIB-Site-Project.pdf.

8.1.3.    Recent PPCC Board vacancy.  Peter F. Culhane has resigned from the position of At-large 2nd Alternate for personal reasons. We will begin the process of inviting applications for the position in due course.

8.1.4.    Reminder: Congress of Neighborhoods, 9/28/19. See: https://www.nccongressla.com.  Board members are encouraged to register for this worthwhile event for community leaders.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Richard Cohen (Treasurer) reported on the recent West LA Community-Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) meeting.  He announced that a few weeks ago he attended one of the C-PAB monthly meetings which he has been regularly attending for 12 years. Attendees liaise with the LAPD at these meetings.  The Treasurer routinely attempts to explain to the West LA Captain at C-PAB meetings that the Palisades is isolated and we need to have a patrol car assigned 24/7 in order to have better response times.  We now do have a car, but LAPD is always under pressure for resources and the car can be and is called away many times to respond to incidents in other parts of the city.  At the recent C-PAB meeting, WLA Captain Davalos was not present and the Patrol Capt. chaired the meeting.  He is the officer who dispatches cars every day, establishes priorities and decides which cars go out and where. The Treasurer was able to convey directly to him that the Palisades’ number one issue is keeping a patrol car 24/7.  The Patrol Capt. made it clear that he knew of the importance to the Palisades and that this was very important to him as well. The Treasurer indicated that although there are times that the car must be dispatched elsewhere, hopefully we will be able to keep the patrol car in Pacific Palisades more often.

8.2.2.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) announced that in the interest of time she would not repeat the information in her written summary of legislation, which can be  accessed at:  http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Legislation-Summary-9-6-19.pdf.  She updated the board on developments since she completed the summary regarding the land use preemption bills:  SB 330 (Skinner) has now passed both houses and will become law absent a Governor’s veto (which is not expected); SB 592 (Wiener) was amended last Friday and returned to the Assembly Rules committee yesterday for further consideration; she expects the bill to pass in floor session tomorrow, otherwise it can’t be taken up again until January. Sen. Wiener’s other controversial bill, SB 50 (which was not taken up in this session), may also return for a vote in 2020.  We will of course continue to monitor.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Alan Goldsmith (At-large) announced that Calvary Church is in the process of updating its Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to increase students slightly and reduce parking by 25 spaces in order to build a new 10,000 square ft. school structure.  The school wants to have a presentation about their plans with residents.  He will coordinate if anyone is interested in a meeting at Calvary to hear their presentation.  The Chair stated that there will also be a LUC meeting to address this issue on October 17. Barbara Kohn (PPRA) expressed concern about whether the structure will encroach on the urban limit line, which she stated was encroached upon by the school years ago.  This was an issue that PPRA had with the original CUP for the school. The Secretary stated that she and the LUC Chair have requested the original CUP and all relevant documents from the school in connection with the October 17 LUC meeting and this can be addressed at that time.

8.3.2.    Rick Mills (Area 5) stated that he has signed up for a trip to the Owens Valley Aqueduct with LADWP.  He will be going on the trip soon and will report back.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce) reported that the Chamber is excited about the upcoming Taste of the Palisades event, similar to Dine LA, which will take place from September 22 – September 26 with participating Palisades restaurants.  For more information visit www.palisadeschamber.com.

8.4.2.    Bill Bruns (Friends of the Library) advised that we are one step away from getting a vote at City Council for the indoor bookstore at the Library.  Tomorrow & Saturday there will be a pop-up Book Sale in the Library community room from 9:30-4:30pm.  The Friends are also debuting a new annual event in October called “Palisades Reads.” The community will participate in reading one book, “Shelter Me,” by Palisadian Laura Diamond.  There will be a community book club discussion.  The first meeting will be on October 23.

8.4.3.    Brenda Theveny (TCA) announced that September 28 is National Public Land Day.  TCA will be working with the Sierra Club on trail maintenance in Temescal Canyon and volunteers are welcome.  She will provide information to the Secretary for the PPCC calendar.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.2.    SLO Michael Moore, LAPD.  Officer Moore reported on incidents involving knife-brandishing and threats to safety and security near local Palisades schools.  He explained that a man named Aaron Meyer has been driving around in a Prius and allegedly threatening people. At the end of the last school year, he was driving around Palisades Elementary and allegedly doing threatening things like punching someone in another vehicle and yelling threats.  He is believed to have mental issues.  He was placed on a 72-hour hold which turned into a longer hold, but ultimately was released.  Later, while with his grandmother in the Palisades, he was told that he could not use the Prius so he was angry and allegedly slashed the tires of his grandparents’ vehicle.  A vandalism charge was brought but his grandparents decided not to press charges. This school year, he’s been back to the area of Marquez Elementary.  He allegedly pulled out a knife and threatened people at Ronny’s Market. This was not enough for a felony, but enough for a misdemeanor crime.  Detectives are in the process of filing the case.  He was ID’d in a photo-array. The matter is in the hands of the City Attorney. He was told he needs to come to an appearance so that they can resolve the matter. If he doesn’t show up for the appearance, a warrant will then be issued for his arrest.   The legal process takes a long time.  LAPD is looking for him but officers have not found him.  There is camera footage of Meyer going up to the top of Lachman and allegedly smashing a car window with a hammer.  The owner of that vehicle has not made a report.  SLO Moore has other reports of him allegedly trying to entice young children with candy into his car – no reports were filed on these incidents by the victims.  The police need reports from victims so that they can make a case to prevent him from being released any time soon.  SLO Moore asks for anyone with information about Meyer or his whereabouts to contact SLO Moore and/or LAPD.  Meyer is no longer welcome at his grandparents’ home; there are open charges of elder abuse against him.

Audience members asked questions about other incidents and whether there were reports. SLO Moore stated that he hasn’t seen them. Meyer is 30ish, with close cropped hair, a tear drop tattoo on the left side of his face, a mole and a close-shaven goatee.  It was noted that a photo was posted on Nextdoor. LAPD doesn’t release photos unless they can’t find the suspect after a great deal of effort or if a warrant has been issued.  LAPD hasn’t issued a community alert yet but this might happen.  Meyer is believed to be still driving the Prius. A court date has not been set and the filing is just going in.  SLO Moore emphasized the need for victims to report crimes to the police.

Officer Ryan Basaker, LAPD West Traffic:  A few motorcycle officers are assigned to an LAPD task force to deal with motorcycles Bureau-wide. It’s a huge area and only a couple of officers are assigned to deal with the issue.  The task force officers come out to the Palisades as often as they can. Traffic accidents in West LA are down. Regarding the recent PCH & Chautauqua crash:  six vehicles were involved and there was one minor injury (not a fatality).  Regarding speed reports on Sunset:  Speed surveys have been updated on Sunset and also on Palisades Dr. Speed surveys conducted by LADOT are required for radar enforcement. All of Sunset Blvd. and Palisades Dr. are now subject to radar enforcement.

8.5.1.    Janet Turner, District Representative, Congressman Ted Lieu.  Ms. Turner distributed flyers about the Congressional App Contest [see: https://lieu.house.gov/helping-you/congressional-app-challenge] and Congressional efforts to address homelessness [see: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Lieu-Press-Release-September-11-2019-Pres-Trump-LA-Homelessness-.pdf]. The Congressman was a supporter and/or co-sponsor of bills by Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Waters to end homelessness. The West LA VA will have a new medical director and there will be a meeting on October 1 to introduce the new director, which the public may attend.  Sunday, November 10, is Veterans Appreciation Day; the Congressman will host an event with veterans in the Rose Garden at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood.  Ms. Turner is reaching out to Palisades veterans to attend and describe their experiences to other vets at the event.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Sharla Steinman (Youth) reported that Back to School Night at Pali High was a big success. There will be a College Fair Night on Oct. 7.  The first Teen Council meeting took place on Tuesday and went really well.  The Pali Ambassadors would be happy to help with any groups in the Palisades that need assistance with events.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Land Use Committee (LUC; Howard Robinson, Chair).  In the absence of the Committee Chair, David Card announced that the LUC will be meeting on October 17, 2019 at 6pm in the Library to consider an application by Calvary Christian School for a revised CUP and CDP.  The meeting will be open to the public.  Treasurer Richard Cohen briefly explained his concerns, based on experience with the St. Matthews School’s CUP, about the Calvary Christian School’s short and long-term plans to remove 25 parking spaces in order to build a proposed 10,000 square ft. new structure which may eventually require 100 new parking spaces.

9.2.    Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC; David Card, Chair).  Presentation of PFC report on a possible urban forestry policy for Pacific Palisades, including street tree planting and removals; possible action by the Board regarding the PFC recommendations. See PFC report at: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/PFC-Mission-Objectives-Appendices-straight-190901.pdf. (for discussion / consideration by the PPCC Board).

The Presiding Officer explained that as PFC Chair, he would be making the PFC presentation and for this reason, he “handed the gavel” to Treasurer Richard Cohen to serve as Presiding Officer for Item 9.2.

The PFC Chair introduced all the PFC members present:  Bill Bruns (Friends of the Library), Kelly Comras (Area 1 2nd Alternate & landscape architect), Jo Ann Bright (PP Garden Club & landscape designer), Cindy Kirven (PP Garden Club), Michael G. Kelly (Palisades Beautiful & landscape designer), Marilyn Wexler (Area 7 2nd Alternate) and himself (PPCC Vice-Chair & landscape designer). Also present were nonvoting participants Mary Schulz (PP Garden Club) and Lisa V. (tree activist), as well as liaison to the PFC Stephen Du Prey (City of Los Angeles, Urban Forestry Division) and observer Nancy Freedman (Brentwood CC).

The PFC Chair gave an extensive Power Point presentation which contained numerous photographs and facts concerning the PFC’s make-up, its work, Palisades history and the history of Palisades trees in particular.  Some of the highlights: a slide showing Sunset Blvd. with Torrey Pines dating from the 1940s; a description of who makes up the PFC — landscape professionals, committed organizations, local government and tree advocates; slides showing the abundance of trees in the community, with 30% consisting of street trees or trees on public land; aerial shots of the Palisades from 1920s, 50s, 70s and today; slides showing “single species” and “multiple species” streets; a slide showing Sunset Blvd. in the 60s, before signage limitations were in place; and slides of trees on Hartzell St., which the PFC is using as a pilot project.

During the presentation, the PFC Chair explained that the members did an in-person count of all street trees in Pacific Palisades. We have almost 8,000 trees in the right of way and parkways (not including trees in parks).  The PFC’s vision is overarching – nurturing trees in the Palisades.  He described the PFC’s Mission Statement and why the PFC was originally created – mainly to resolve issues with street tree designation policy in order to start planting more trees in the Palisades.  They are looking at Hartzell St. as a pilot project for the street tree designation policy.

Kelly Comras (PFC member) did an inventory of all five blocks of Hartzell.  She unscrolled a long roll she had created, depicting all existing trees and vacancies on Hartzell. Mr. Du Prey went with PFC members for a very long walk along Hartzell.  There are many opportunities for planting on the street.

The PFC Chair also described the situation on Via de las Olas & Mt. Holyoke and showed slides of the removal of large Eucalyptus street trees in the parkway.  The owner had no permission to remove any trees.  As a result, the City withdrew his construction permit for a period of time; he must replace the removed trees with more trees, in large box size, and post a bond.

The PFC Chair repeated the Committee’s Mission Statement.  The Committee members all agreed on the Mission Statement & Objectives, except for one objective.  With regard to the street tree designation policy: the members voted by a vote of 4-2 to adopt the Santa Monica street tree designation policy.  He explained that under that policy, if the existing tree in a segment of a street is the “right tree in the right place,” the existing tree will remain the designated tree; if not, a different tree is selected using various criteria as outlined in the report.  He also described the designation list and how it is compiled.  He explained that the PFC believes that public education and outreach about tree preservation is important. An example of a possible type of outreach is when a for-sale sign goes up on a house, someone should go up to the house, hand out a flyer and talk to the owner and realtor and persuade them not to remove the street tree.

The Presiding Officer thanked the PFC Chair and the entire Committee for the presentation and invited questions first from the Board and then the audience.  Steve Cron (Area 2):  What are the consequences for removing a tree?  Mr. Du Prey (Urban Forestry):  Depends on the individual case. Private property is controlled by the City Planning Dept.  There are different levels of permits.  He does not agree with the “as built” policy.  He encourages people to use 3-1-1 to report trees being removed.  The Palisades community is fortunate to have so many trees but tree planting has been stalled and we need aggressive tree planting.  Cathi Ruddy (PP Woman’s Club):  Is one of the factors in planting trees “flammability”?  PFC Chair: Yes, they are looking at that, but all trees can burn.

Chris Spitz (Secretary):  Regarding the “right tree in the right place” policy:  Who decides in the first instance what is the right tree?  The City, Urban Forestry, the Committee, PPCC, Palisades Beautiful?   PFC Chair: Santa Monica has a task force which does that with its Urban Forestry staff.  He thinks PFC and L.A. Urban Forestry Division would start to work on this.  Kelly Comras (PFC member):  The PFC has decided on the concept and wants to go ahead and work on how the concept will work.  Presiding Officer:  The Secretary’s question went to the question of who has authority to make these decisions; PPCC doesn’t have that authority and the PFC as a committee which is advisory to the PPCC doesn’t have that authority.  Mr. Du Prey: If the City plants a street tree pursuant to a resident’s request, then Urban Forestry will water the tree for a certain cycle.  It will remove a street tree if it is newly planted and someone objects to the tree after it is planted.  PFC Chair:  The PFC will work on designating trees working with the City, just as Palisades Beautiful had done for decades here.

Jean Smart (Optimists Club):  She is worried about street tree branches falling on cars and killing someone.  Safety must be considered.  Melanie Bouer (Area 2 1st Alternate):  She is concerned about trees planted too close to property, in violation of LAFD rules. PFC Chair: That’s a private property issue and we’re not dealing with that right now.  Sue Kohl (Area 5):  What is the policy with overgrown street trees and the danger in a storm from branches coming down? It typically takes a long time to get City staff to come out and trim trees.  Mr. Du Prey: Residents should call 3-1-1 to report the condition.  Urban Forestry has hired almost 100 people in the last year and a half, and will be hiring 30-40 more to work full time; as a result, they have gotten better with response times.

Cathy Russell (Area 7 1st Alternate):  Regarding counting of street trees: What if there was no sidewalk where the tree was planted?  PFC Chair:  If the tree was obviously in the right of way close to the street, we counted that as a street tree even if there were no parkways or sidewalks.  Kelly Comras (PFC member):  The City has a proposal to inventory all trees in parkways throughout the City, using GPS.

Resident:  Why did the PFC choose Hartzell for the pilot?  PFC Chair: It’s a straight street, only five blocks long and has a variety of trees.  Eric Dugdale (PPHS):  PPHS owns Founders Oak and maintains the oaks for the community; these are decades-old significant trees.  Such trees are protected by the state even on private property.  He praised the street tree inventory.

Michael G. Terry (PFC member) then passed out a sheet with comments on street tree designations [see:http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Street-Tree-Designation-FactsQuestions-PPCC-190912.pdf]; the Presiding Officer asked if he wished to speak and he declined.  Monique Lafia (resident):  She reiterated her concerns about the developer on Mt. Holyoke.  Response: Take pictures and send to 3-1-1.

PFC Chair: The PFC wants input on the report from the Board and the community.  Please submit comments to info@pacpalicc.org by the end of the next meeting on September 26; the PFC will be meeting on October 1 and will consider the input received.  The PFC may return for further presentation to the Board at a later date this fall.  Bill Bruns (PFC member):  The Committee may go independent but that remains to be decided.  The Presiding Officer explained PPCC’s policy regarding all committees being advisory only to the Board and that action cannot be taken unless approved by a 2/3 vote of PPCC Board members. Mr. Du Prey urged attendees to pick up brochures that he had put out on the counter.

10.   Old Business – None.

11.    New Business – None.

12.    Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 7:45pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR SEPTEMBER 26th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, David Kaplan, Sue Kohl, Reza Akef, Rick Mills, Haldis Toppel, Brenda Theveny, Sarah Knauer, Jim Kirtley, Jean Sharp, Dick Wulliger, Ellie Jenkins, Richard Blumenberg

Voting Alternates:  Barbara Marinacci, Mary Mueller, Robin Meyers, Cathy Russell

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Rob Weber, Eric Dugdale, Cathi Ruddy, Susan Orenstein, David Peterson, Amy Baker

1.    Certification of Quorum.  Vice-Chair David Card (Presiding Officer in the absence of the Chair George Wolfberg) called the meeting to order at 6:05pm and certified that a quorum was present. He explained that the Chair is still undergoing medical treatment; we continue to wish him well and for his full recovery.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  David Card 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 9/12/19 were deemed approved. 2) Upcoming Meetings– October 10, 2019: (1) Gladstones Redevelopment Project briefing; (2) Presentation on LA County voting changes; (3) Welcome new PPCC organizational members. October 24, 2019: (1) Board consideration of possible Land Use Committee (LUC) recommendation regarding Calvary Christian School Conditional Use Permit (CUP) / Coastal Development Permit (CDP) Application; (2) Possible 3 Chairs Committee nomination & Board election of 2nd Alternate At-large Representative; (3) (Tentative) discussion and possible Board action regarding the Palisades Forestry Committee’s recommendation for an Urban Forestry Policy. November 14, 2019: Guest speaker – Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Presiding Officer announced that the agenda items will be taken up in a different order, with Items 11.1 and 11.2 being first called and remaining items then called as determined by the Presiding Officer.

6.    Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $40,073.66. There have been no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    Applications for vacant At-large 2nd Alternate seat now open.  Deadline for submission of applications: 5pm on October 20, 2019.  See Alternate Application Notice: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/PPCC-2nd-Alt.-App-Notice.2.pdf.

8.1.2.    Thank you to outgoing organizational members (as of Oct. 1).  The Presiding Officer thanked the following for their service:  Bill Bruns (Friends of the Library); Jim Kirtley (YMCA); Ellie Jenkins (Westside Waldorf School); Jean Sharp (Optimists); Sarah Conner & Barbara Kohn (PPRA; PPRA will remain on the Board with new representatives).

8.1.3.    Congress of Neighborhoods.  This valuable event will take place on Saturday, September 28, at City Hall downtown. Members are encouraged to sign-up and attend.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) announced that an orientation session for new representatives on the PPCC Board will take place on October 7 at 4pm in the Library. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. She also stated that in the interest of time she would not repeat most of the information already contained in the documents linked in the agenda; she had distributed a further written update to the board which is posted on the PPCC website under Resources/Reports & Summaries.

[See http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/PPCC-Amicus-Support-Letter-9.15.19.pdf; Boise Summary: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Boise-summary.pdf;ADUs & Other Legislation Update:http://pacpalicc.org/wp- content/uploads/2019/09/ADUs-and-Other-Legislation-Update.pdf;and Further Update: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Further-Legislation-Update-9-26-19-4.pdf.]

A link to the further update will be included in the meeting recap to be sent out tomorrow.  The Secretary provided a brief summary: (1) PPCC supports the Brentwood Community Council amicus brief in an important U.S. Supreme Court case involving homeless overnight camping. Both the City and County of Los Angeles have filed amicus briefs, along with 16 other entities and individuals, who are asking the Supreme Court to take the case and clarify the law regarding overnight camping. The PPCC letter is included in the BCC brief.  Links to the letter and the brief are on our website and will be in the meeting recap to be sent out tomorrow. (2) We also learned that several new Accessory Dwelling Units (granny flats) bills have passed in the state legislature; collectively, these bills allow up to 3 housing units (2 ADUs and one main dwelling) on virtually all R-1 lots in the state of California, thus effectively eliminating single-family housing, which is most of the Palisades. The City is re-evaluating the draft ADUs ordinance in light of these new bills. (3) New sign ordinance provisions are moving along in the City process which may allow digital signs in our parks; Councilmember Bonin is opposed and we are monitoring.  (4) On a more positive note, we learned some interesting things at the last WRAC meeting from the City’s Petroleum Administrator and from Sen. Ben Allen. (5) Finally, on a smaller but still important scale – we are pleased that a new automated litter bin has replaced the old overflowing concrete bin outside of this room on Alma Real. The City will now be collecting trash from the new bin twice weekly. She thanked Mr. Helou of Sanitation and his Supervisor Bill Musselman for their assistance.

8.2.2.    Richard G. Cohen (Treasurer) reported that he attended the C-PAB meeting on September 24.  Commander Cory Palka of LAPD West Bureau was in attendance, along with West L.A. Station Captain Vic Davalos, SLO Michael Moore and the other Senior Lead Officers from West L.A. areas. The meeting was well-attended.  The good news is that crime is down substantially in WLA, in some areas by 16-20%.  But the bad news is that police resources are allocated based upon crime statistics so West L.A.’s favorable numbers have led to lower manpower allocations to West L.A. neighborhoods.  The Treasurer was able to speak with Commander Palka about the situation in the Palisades and emphasized the need for the Palisades patrol car to be dispatched every day for every shift.  He reminded Commander Palka of the Palisades’ geographic isolation and distance from the station.  Commander Palka indicated that he knew about our situation and repeated the promise that Pacific Palisades would be assigned a patrol car 24/7.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Rep) announced that a California appellate court has issued a ruling concerning the interpretation of certain CC&Rs in the Marquez area in connection with a view obstruction case.  In the opinion of MKPOA this was an incorrect the ruling that will affect virtually every HOA.  MKPOA is now working on revising the applicable CC&Rs.

8.3.2.    Cathy Russell (Area 7 1st Alternate) reported that the controversial “Beglari” house on Greentree has finally been torn down.

8.3.3.    Rick Mills (Area 4 Rep) announced that last weekend he participated in an interesting trip to the Owens Valley Aqueduct.  The trip was organized by LADWP for NC members and community leaders across the City. He may give a longer report at a future meeting, but in the meantime explained that throughout the trip he heard many complaints from NC members about the constraints placed on NCs and their lack of power within the City.  His conclusion was that PPCC should be glad we are not a certified NC.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Cathi Ruddy (Alternate, the PP Woman’s Club).  The PPWC is hosting three upcoming worthwhile events:  On October 19, there will be a wine tasting, art and jazz fundraiser at the Clubhouse; the annual flu shot clinic for adults will take place on October 23; and the Holiday Boutique will be on November 2. More information about these events is on the PPCC website calendar.

8.4.2.    Amy Baker (Alternate, Palisades Elementary).  On October 12, the school’s annual “Hee Haw Day” event will take place from 2-6pm, featuring food trucks, games and family fun.  The Secretary will add this event to the PPCC website calendar.

8.4.3.    Jim Kirtley (YMCA).  The Y’s annual Pumpkin Patch will open at Simon Meadow on Oct. 1 and run through Oct. 30. On October 14, the Y will host a “flu season” seminar to help people learn how to battle the flu. The event is free and no registration is necessary. Details will be added to the PPCC website calendar.

8.4.4.    Eric Dugdale (Alternate, Historical Society).  The Historical Society will soon be holding a program on the history of trees in the Palisades (date TBA; more details to come).

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Lisa Cahill, CD11 Palisades Deputy – not in attendance.

8.5.2.    Kevin James, President, Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission. See Item 11.1 below.

8.5.3.    Alex Helou, Assistant Director, Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. See Item 11.2 below.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Patti Post (Transportation).  Status of the Marvin Braude Beach Path extension.  In Ms. Post’s absence, the Presiding Officer reported that she had distributed a written update on the status of the project which is posted on the PPCC website under Resources/Report & Summaries. Her report will also be linked in the meeting recap which will be sent out tomorrow.  He briefly explained that the City of Santa Monica has already started its portion of the project, with one path for pedestrians and one for vehicle riders.  The Santa Monica portion will run from south of the pier to the SM/LA City line near the Annenberg Beach House. The County’s portion of the project, from the LA City line to Will Rogers State Beach, will begin in the fall of 2020, subject to Coastal Commission approval.  Santa Monica City staff will be at a Pop-Up event to explain the project this Saturday from 1-3pm at Ocean Front Walk near Parking Lot 3 in Santa Monica.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Land Use Committee (LUC; Howard Robinson, Chair).  The Presiding Officer reminded everyone that the next LUC meeting will take place on October 17, 2019, 6pm in the Library; topic: Calvary Christian School (701 Palisades Dr.) CUP / CDP Application.

9.2.    Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC; David Card, Chair).  The Committee Chair invited input on the PFC’s proposal for an urban forestry policy for the Palisades. Michael Terry, a member of the PFC, distributed a flyer on street tree monoculture. There were no comments. See PFC Report: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/PFC-Mission-Objectives-Appendices- straight-190901.pdfThe Committee Chair also announced that the PFC members would be meeting on October 1 to discuss the report and a possible future recommendation to the Board.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Guest Speaker:  Kevin James, President, Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commission.

Mr. James first reported on the portfolio of the Board of Public Works (BPW). First, BPW is one of many City commissions, but it is the only full-time commission. There are five members of the BPW from different parts of the City.  They are political appointees, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council.  Mr. James deals with all the Council Districts and City departments.  There are five bureaus and seven divisions within the Dept. of Public Works.  Sanitation is the largest bureau; it handles trash collection, is the environmental protection agency for the City, and manages waste water treatment plants, water recycling and storm water treatment.

Street Services (also known as Streets LA) manages our street inventory (the largest municipal urban street inventory in the world); it fixes streets and sidewalks but does other things as well.  Essentially the City owns the public right of way (PROW), which comprises 15% of all the land in Los Angeles.  Street Services also manages the Urban Forestry Division, which deals with street trees, and the Special Events Division, which manages events every day of the year; examples include the LA Marathon, the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl and the Palisades 4th of July parade.

The Bureau of Engineering (BOE) is self-explanatory; it deals with more projects, more comprehensively than any other bureaus within Public Works.  BOE is also the lead on the Bridge Home program and it handles infrastructure permitting in sidewalks & streets (the PROW).

The Bureau of Street Lighting manages all street lights in the City.  Street Lighting and BOE are the City’s leads for implementation of the 5G wireless network, which will use thousands of street lighting poles.

The Bureau of Contract Administration manages the budget for Public Works; it oversees contracts and also enforces minimum wage laws.  There are also Public Affairs and Accounting offices.  New offices within the Public Works Dept. include the Office of Petroleum Administration and Natural Gas Safety (established in 2015 after the Aliso Canyon gas leak); and the Office of Film & Television production (created by the Mayor in 2014).

Two additional new offices are the Office of Climate Emergency (in process) and the City Forest Officer: Rachel Malarich.  For many years the City’s departments had been practicing an urban forest canopy policy in “silos.”   Mr. James explained that Ms. Malarich is an extension of the Mayor’s office; will be a part of his “cabinet” which meets once a month; will work with all City departments; and will have authority to implement the Mayor’s policy relative to the Urban Forest in all of the City departments.

Mr. James emphasized that we need an inventory of all trees in the City.  The first inventory will be of street trees in the PROW. There is $2 million in the City’s budget for a street tree inventory, and bids have already been received for this work.  The City is also committed to implementing an Urban Forest Master Plan, which is a longer-term goal related to all trees in the City.  There is money budgeted to begin that process.

The Presiding Officer began Q&A by asking if the street tree inventory bids are within the budget.  Mr. James stated that the bids are sealed until opened in public at a BPW meeting; he has not seen the bids yet.  The Presiding Officer noted that the PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) is developing a recommendation for an urban forestry policy for the Palisades and has been working with Stephen Du Prey of Urban Forestry, who is an excellent liaison to the Committee.  The Presiding Officer also explained that the PFC proposes to undertake as a pilot project an inventory of street trees along one street and that we are fully supportive of the Urban Forest Master Plan process.  Mr. James replied that a number of City Business Improvement Districts are partnering with BPW on street tree inventories of their own.

Chris Spitz (Secretary) commented favorably on the new Petroleum Administrator’s presentation at the last Westside Regional Alliance of Councils meeting. David Peterson (Area 6 1st Alternate) next asked who is in charge of sidewalk repairs?  Mr. James: Public Works & Street Services. The City is accelerating its sidewalk repair program.  It is too expensive to have litigation when people are injured.  Because of a legal settlement the City is required to spend $30 million yearly on sidewalk repairs for several years.  This past year they increased the budget by an additional $10 million to accelerate the repairs based on risk management. There is not much leeway in the priority of repairs: 1) they must first repair the sidewalks with the worst problems in terms of ADA non-compliance (about 20% of the repairs each year); 2) they next do repairs around public facilities, e.g., bus stops, metro stops, hospitals, schools, etc.; 3) next are other commercial areas; and 4) residential areas are last.  They are hitting all four areas every year but there is a limit to the amount of money that can be spent in each area. BOE is the project manager for the sidewalk repair program, but Street Services crews do the work.  They also contract out some of the work since they don’t have staff to do all the work in house; they can train small businesses and individuals who need work to do sidewalk repair; they provide smaller contracts for those entities and individuals as well.

Reza Akef (Area 8 Rep) raised a concern about whether the Bureau of Contract Administration has two standards, one for private developers and one for the public utilities, in terms of requirements with respect to street work.  Mr. Akef stated that private developers must be supervised by an inspector, deposit fees and post a bond, whereas he believes public utilities are not inspected and are not required to deposit fees or post a bond. Mr. James replied that he does not agree with that assessment.  Deposits are required from utilities; whenever you cut into a street you damage the road. The largest customer at Contract Administration (the entity that pays the most in fees) is LADWP.  All telecoms must pay a street damage restoration fee, including a deposit. They complain about it but they do pay. They are also inspected:  Nothing happens in the PROW that is not approved by an inspector.  The process for inspection by LADWP is different than the process for a private developer, but that is because they are a City agency and are more accountable than a private developer.

The Presiding Officer then asked about infrastructure to provide necessary power to Pacific Palisades. He explained that we have had many brown-outs in the Palisades due to increased electrical usage.  LADWP’s temporary solution was to erect pole top distributing stations in the PROW.  The Presiding Officer also stated that we would rather see transformers underground or a new substation built on land that LADWP already owns. The community went through a debate several years ago about this issue, but action is needed soon as we will continue to have more brownouts.  Mr. James replied that everyone wants underground power lines, but he has no jurisdiction over LADWP.

The Presiding Officer next raised another issue: the major public works project involving Potrero Canyon Park.  He introduced PPCC Legal Advisor Rob Weber, who explained the lengthy history of the project (over 40 years), the involvement of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee (PCCAC), and the community’s frustration with the length of time and cost.  He noted that funds from the sale of canyon rim lots have gone into a special Trust Fund for the park, but we have just learned from BOE project manager Pedro Garcia about recent cost overruns of almost $4 million that jeopardize plans to erect a pedestrian bridge across PCH.  He asked for Mr. James’ help in getting BOE to make this a priority. Mr. James noted that aspects of the project have come before the BPW, mostly involving drainage and liability issues.  He indicated he would have Mr. Garcia speak with us.

Eric Dugdale (Historical Society Alternate) expressed concern about 5G network installations.  Mr. James:  The telecoms have lobbyists and we continue to fight with the state legislature and Congress over the issue of local control over cell tower regulation. He noted that we were successful a few years ago in convincing Gov. Brown to veto a bill that would have stripped municipalities of regulatory authority. The Presiding Officer and board then thanked Mr. James for his presentation.

11.2.    Recycling in Los Angeles – Latest information from Bureau of Sanitation Assistant Director Alex Helou.

Mr. Helou distributed a handout with information about the City’s new “Use, Reuse and Shop Smart” program. He provided basic information about the trash collection and recycling process in residential and commercial areas.  He then spoke about the Bureau of Sanitation’s goals regarding organic waste: we want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions coming out of landfills by diverting 90% of organic waste from landfills by 2025 and 95% by 2035, with $100% diversion by 2050.  There is one landfill left in the City – Sunshine Canyon.  The Bureau of Sanitation is working with many agencies, including at LAX, to reduce organic waste. Food waste is collected and taken to a facility for anaerobic processing.  The Bureau is also initiating a campaign to cut food waste throughout the City.  A pilot project is starting in which a select number of households will receive kitchen pails to collect food waste and then place in the green bin.  By 2021, all households will receive the pail and be asked to participate.  This will allow greenhouse gas emissions from organic waste to be captured at the landfill.

Q&A then ensued with questions about a variety of topics, including: overflowing trash cans at our Recreation Center, which have resulted in rat problems; potential future issues with trash collection in Potrero Canyon Park; the lack of recycling at the Recreation Center; multi-family building trash collection; the types of plastic that can be recycled and where this is going. Mr. Helou stated that he will check with Recreation & Parks about the park trash collection matters; the parks are overseen by Recreation & Parks, but if Sanitation is able to be involved with trash collection at our parks, they will be happy to do so. He also stated that certain plastic items are 100% recycled — Nos. 1, 2 and 5 are being recycled; other numbers are not.  It was also noted that trash is not being collected from the decorative PRIDE bins in the Marquez area.  Mr. Helou stated that Sanitation does not do manual collections and only collects from Automated Litter Bins (ALBs) in commercial areas.  If the area wishes to have the decorative bins replaced by ALBs, the City can do that and can collect from the ALBs.  The Secretary reminded everyone that at PPCC’s and the Friends of the Library’s request, Sanitation replaced the old overflowing concrete bin on the sidewalk outside the library with an ALB and is now doing regular collection at this site; the Marquez neighborhood will have to consider whether they want to have ALBs rather than the decorative bins which may possibly be collected by PRIDE. The Presiding Officer and board thanked Mr. Helou for his presentation.

12.     Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 7:40pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR OCTOBER 10th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, David Kaplan, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Brenda Theveny, Bill Klein, Dick Wulliger, John Padden, Cathi Ruddy, Barbara Marinacci, Amy Baker, Rick Mills, Rick McGeagh (partial attendance)

Voting Alternates:  Mary Mueller, Marilyn Wexler

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Richard Blumenberg, Beth Holden Garland, Craig Natvig, Bruce Schwartz

1.    Certification of Quorum.  Vice-Chair David Card (Presiding Officer in the absence of the Chair George Wolfberg) called the meeting to order at 6:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.   Sue Kohl 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 9/26/19 were deemed approved. 2) Upcoming Meetings–October 24, 2019: (1) Board consideration of possible Land Use Committee (LUC) recommendation regarding Calvary Christian School Conditional Use Permit (CUP) / Coastal Development Permit (CDP) Application; (2) Possible 3 Chairs Committee nomination & Board election of 2nd Alternate At-large Representative; (3) Discussion and possible Board action regarding a proposed Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) resolution for Board approval of the PFC Mission Statement and street tree designation policy for the Palisades. November 14, 2019: (1) Guest speaker – Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin. (2) Awards Selection Committee announcement of 2019 Awards honorees. December 12, 2019: Holiday meeting and Awards celebration (details to come).

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The agenda was as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  In the absence of Treasurer Richard G. Cohen, Secretary Chris Spitz gave the Treasurer’s report:  The Council’s bank balance is $40,073.66. There have been no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Phillis Dudick (Friends of the Parry House) reported on the Historic Cultural Monument status for the Parry House on Camarosa Dr.  After three public hearings, the House had passed every test for Historic Cultural Monument designation. The City Council approved the designation on October 8 and the Parry House as well as the historic Deodar Cedar tree on its grounds are now designated and preserved.  She expressed thanks for the many letters of support from Palisades organizations and individuals, including the Historical Society and PPCC Vice-Chair David Card; the Board also thanked Ms. Dudick for her work.

7.2.    Laura Schneider (Friends of the Library) reported that the Los Angeles City Council has approved the construction of a bookstore within the Library (at this point awaiting only the Mayor’s sign-off); she thanked PPCC for its support.  She also reminded everyone of the inaugural “Palisades Reads” events (the book: “Shelter Us, a Novel,” by Laura Diamond; kick-off party & panel discussion on October 23; book club meeting on November 13).  Details are on the PPCC calendar.  Finally, Ms. Schneider thanked PPCC and Secretary Chris Spitz for help in obtaining a replacement litter bin for the sidewalk adjacent to the Library, with twice-weekly litter pick-up by the City.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    Welcome new and returning organizational members (as of Oct. 1):  New and returning organizational members were welcomed to the Board by name. See the following list for all names: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2019-2020-PPCC-Organizations.pdf

8.1.2.    Applications for vacant At-large 2nd Alternate seat now open.  Deadline for submission of applications: 5pm on October 20, 2019. See Alternate Application Notice: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/PPCC-2nd-Alt.-App-Notice.2.pdf.

8.1.3.    2019 Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplugs Awards.  Appointment of Awards Selection Committee (ASC). Awards nominations are now open; deadline to submit nominations (via email): 9pm on October 26.  The ASC members are David Kaplan, Committee Chair (Area 6 Representative); Daphne Gronich (past Citizen of the Year); Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce Representative); Sue Kohl (Area 5 Representative) and Chris Spitz (PPCC Secretary). See Awards Nomination Press Release: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Awards-Nomination-Press-Release-2019.pdf. The awardees will be announced on November 14 and the Awards presentation and celebration will take place at the PPCC meeting on December 12.

8.1.4.    Congress of Neighborhoods 9/28/19 recap.  The Presiding Officer was unable to attend; Cathi Ruddy (PP Woman’s Club Representative & Emergency Preparedness Officer) attended a session on emergency preparedness and the City’s RYLAN program.  See Item 10.2 below.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) announced that PPCC Chair George Wolfberg was able to attend the PCH Task Force meeting this morning in Santa Monica.  He explained to the Secretary that he felt it was important to attend, despite his illness, in order to convey the importance of Caltrans finally addressing the serious safety problems with the Chautauqua/PCH intersection.  The Chair reported that he was warmly received, and that  Caltrans representatives indicated that they had received a letter from Mike Bonin and were aware of an excellent letter that PPCC Transportation Advisor Patti Post had recently sent about the intersection issue.  The Chair reported that Caltrans is now treating this as a priority and have begun working on possible solutions, although we don’t have a timetable. Sue Pascoe, who also attended the Task Force meeting, stated that Caltrans indicated it must first develop a model of the intersection, although there is no indication as to when this might occur. The Secretary expressed thanks to the Chair for his dedication to the community.

The Secretary also announced that a successful orientation session for new organizational representatives took place on October 7 in the Library.  She further explained that there have been misstatements in the press and on social media regarding PPCC’s position in support of the BCC amicus brief in the Boisehomeless overnight camping case. To dispel any misconceptions, she reiterated that neither PPCC nor BCC has called for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in that case to be overturned; we have instead requested that the U.S. Supreme Court grant the petition for writ of certiorari in order to provide clarification and guidance in light of conflicting federal rulings as to the constitutional limits on local government regulatory authority.  See the officers’ message to the Palisades News on 9/28/19 (link in the agenda & posted on the PPCC website):  http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Message-to-the-Editor-of-the-Palisades-News.pdf.

Finally, the Secretary reported that we have learned from PPCC Homelessness Advisor Sharon Kilbride that there is a serious fire hazard on privately-owned property known as Marquez Canyon (adjacent to the Highlands Plaza mall, to the east), consisting of abandoned homeless encampments. Ms. Kilbride and PPTFH have been attempting to have the encampment remains removed for quite some time, to no avail.  Recently, an LAFD inspector posted a notice on the property, requiring the property owner (an LLC) to abate the public nuisance and hazardous conditions. So far, there has been no response. The Secretary researched the matter and learned that the owner’s registration as an LLC with the Secretary of State has been canceled and the LLC is supposedly located in the UK.  She does not know what steps can or will be taken next.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative) announced that the annual Marquez Knolls Block Party will take place on October 26 from 11am-3pm in the Marquez Business District. She distributed flyers. This will be a fun family event and everyone is invited.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Cathi Ruddy (PP Woman’s Club) reported that the Woman’s Club is hosting a “jazz, wine & fine art” fundraiser at the PPWC Clubhouse on Saturday evening, October 19.  Details are on the PPCC website calendar.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Janet Turner, District Representative, U.S. Representative Ted Lieu. Report on response by the USPS Office of the Inspector General regarding mail theft in the Palisades. In Ms. Turner’s absence, the presiding officer read from the Inspector General’s letter.  See: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PPCC-USPS-OIG-Response-Letter.pdf.

8.5.2.    Zachary Gaidzik, West/Metro LA Field Deputy, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.  See Item 11.1 below. 

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors– None.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Land Use Committee (LUC; Howard Robinson, Chair).  In the Committee Chair’s absence, the Presiding Officer reminded everyone that the next LUC meeting will take place on October 17, 2019, 6pm in the Library; topic: Calvary Christian School (701 Palisades Dr.) CUP / CDP Application.  The Secretary also stated that links to the meeting agenda and relevant documents are posted on the PPCC website.

9.2.    Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC; David Card, Chair).  The Committee Chair reported that the PFC members are continuing to meet regularly to discuss urban forestry policy for the Palisades and are finalizing a possible resolution for Board approval. The resolution is expected to be presented for discussion and possible Board action at the PPCC meeting on October 24, 2019.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    LA County Voting Changes. Presentation by Zachary Gaidzik, West/Metro LA Field Deputy, Supervisor Kuehl.

Mr. Gaidzik explained that voting in LA County is changing in ways that will hopefully improve the experience, make it easier to vote and increase voter participation.  The changes are in three ways. The first is where you will vote. Until now everyone voted at a precinct near your home on one day.  With the new change, everyone can vote at 1000 different vote centers all over the County – in places such as churches, libraries and malls.  This will increase voter participation.  The next change is when you can vote.  You will be able to vote for a period of 11 consecutive days up until the election, but you won’t learn the results until polls close at 8pm on election day.  There is also an exciting new feature that the County has been working on since 2010 – the electronic ballot marking device.  This device will not be connected to the internet. Voters will still use paper ballots, which the County believes are critical to the ability to audit.  The difference will be that the ballot will consist of a piece of paper 8 1/2 x 11 in size, which voters will insert in the electronic marking device in order to vote. You “tap” the screen as to whom you want to vote for. The device then prints out the ballot showing who you voted for, in plain English, which is then put in a reinforced steel box where it will be taken to a location in Norwalk to be counted.  There are changes to help voters with disabilities. You can increase font size and contrast on the screen.  You can also listen via headphones and vote that way, with a toggle switch in order to access Braille. The devices will be in 14 different languages. The concept is to make voting incredibly easy for everyone.

Voters may still be able to vote by mail if they choose. These ballots will also be on 8 1/2x 11 pieces of paper and will be clearer and easier to read. The new system will be implemented for the March 2020 election. The County is also moving to an “e-poll system” which will show voter registration in an electronic book format (rather than the old paper printouts).  This is the only aspect of the system that will be connected to the internet. It will be monitored 24-7; the entire voting data base will be actively monitored and watched.

In the Palisades, the Branch Library will likely be a vote center, as will the American Legion, the Bel Air Bay Club, Marquez Elementary, Palisades High, Palisades Lutheran Church and other locations. Sample ballots will be mailed out that will show all locations, including the location closest to where you live, but voters can vote in any of the vote centers in the County.

Q&A ensued with a number of questions.  Q: Will election costs go up because of the number of new sites?  A:  We previously had 5,000 locations, but now there will be 1,000, so the number will go down. There will be trained individuals as well as volunteers at the sites.  The impact on total costs probably won’t be significant.

Q: Will we still have voting by mail as an option?  A: Yes.  If you are a permanent vote-by- mail person, you can choose to vote by going to one of the vote centers, checking in with the e-poll system and then voting in person.  If you vote by mail and then try to vote in person, your last vote will be canceled; it is illegal to vote twice.

Q: What will happen with provisional votes? A:  The goal is to reduce the number of provisional votes; the new system effectively eliminates that, but there will be “conditional” voting, which occurs if you are registering to vote for the first time at a voting center; your vote will count after your eligibility is verified.  Q:  Will there be a check-in?  A:  Yes, except there won’t be the paper printouts with lists; check-in will be via the e-poll system book – this is a laptop on its own private server which is used at the site & taken to and from the center every day.

Q: Has the system been used and gone through an election cycle in other areas?  A:  The voting center model was tested and has been used in Nevada for 1-2 years; several counties in California have also done this.  They report that using the vote center model has effectively increased voter turnout. LA County developed the electronic ballot marking device and it will solely be used here.

Q: How will you get people to work the polls when traditionally there is trouble getting enough volunteers?  A:  They will be hiring additional County employees during this time who will be trained. Q: Will there be qualified people working the e-poll computer?  A:  Yes, people will be highly trained specifically for the system. The County is doing a huge hiring rush right now.  There will also be backups for all of the equipment.  They can bring in trailers as back-up voting centers.  There will also be “pop up” voting trailers, which will go out to farmers markets and grocery store parking lots.

Q: Does the State run the program? A: This program is being implemented by the County in compliance with a State mandate to overhaul and improve all county voting systems.  Each County can set up its own voting structure.  All voting goes through the County, not the City.  The State must certify each county’s voting system.

Q: Who counts the votes?  A:  The County Registrar-Recorder’s office counts all the votes.  All counting is done under lock and key with armed guards.  The public can go and watch the count happen. We take a long time to verify the count.

Q: What background checks are required for people being hired?  A:  The same checks as are required for all County employees; standard procedures will be applied. Q: Can persons register on the day of voting onsite on any of the 11 days of the voting period?  A:  Yes.

Q: How much do you anticipate voter participation will increase?  A:  We don’t have an exact number but we do know from data from other California counties that they increased their participation using the vote center model.

The Presiding Officer and Board thanked Mr. Gaidzik for his informative presentation.

11.2.    Update on Disaster Readiness.  Presentation by Cathi Ruddy (PPCC Woman’s Club Rep & Emergency Preparedness Officer/liaison to the City Emergency Management Dept.).

Ms. Ruddy explained that the City of Los Angeles has asked all NCs and CCs in LA to present an emergency preparedness program called RYLAN to their communities.  It’s basically the same as the Red Cross MYN program.  The Palisades is about a year ahead of the rest of the City since we started doing this last year.  Joanna Spak has received Red Cross training and David Kaplan has hosted an MYN meeting for his condo building.  Ms. Ruddy has presented these programs to a number of groups of about 20 homes in the Palisades.  With RYLAN, the City provides materials and speakers to present the program to the neighborhood.  The City only has eight speakers so it is tough to schedule this.  The City will also have a follow-up drill in neighborhoods about six months after the program is presented and the neighborhood is trained. Ms. Ruddy can provide information on either of these programs to everyone interested.

Ms. Ruddy emphasized that it is also very important for businesses to have a resiliency plan.  There are problems with power being shut off and businesses going out of business after emergencies.  She will get together with the Palisades Chamber of Commerce and see if they are interested. It would also be important for NCs and CCs to develop an emergency communication plan, including posting notices if the internet goes down in an emergency. Everyone is being asked to organize in order to deal with situations if emergency responders are not available.

Ms. Ruddy encouraged everyone to participate in the RYLAN or MYN programs as a great way to get to know your neighborhood. She also encouraged everyone to sign up with Notify LA.  Another great resource is the PPCC website; however, there is so much information it sometimes becomes overwhelming.  A RYLAN or MYN meeting is a good way to start.

Zachary Gaidzik (Field Deputy, Sheila Kuehl) stated that the County also has an emergency survival guide, which is available in a link on the PPCC website.

The Presiding Officer advised that he had attended an emergency preparedness fair in Topanga, which has a communications system.  If there’s a way of communicating in the event the power grid is down, that would be useful.  Ms. Ruddy stated that we need to link neighborhood groups together and to address the problem of cell phones going down during emergencies.  She indicated that some Palisades residents are talking about rebuilding the ham radio network.

Joanna Spak expressed concern about evacuation in hillside areas with winding narrow roads.  It was suggested that this may be a part of RYLAN; additionally, both Santa Monica Canyon and Mandeville Canyon have had evacuation drills organized by LAFD. Mike Bonin’s office participated and might be a resource.

Ms. Ruddy mentioned the need to keep neighborhood groups to a manageable size of about 20 homes for purposes of RYLAN and MYN, so that realistically you can reach everyone.  Rick Mills suggested that building such a group of neighbors is similar to starting a Neighborhood Watch and there is a lot of overlap.

It was noted that during the recent brush fire incident above Palisades Dr., some people drove to Station 23 and parked in front of the driveway at the station, thus blocking ingress & egress for fire trucks. Ms. Ruddy stressed that it’s best to report fires over the phone rather than physically go to the station; the station is not staffed 24/7 and there may not be someone there to receive the report in person.  9-1-1 should also be called in medical emergencies.

Ms. Ruddy made available sign-up sheets for those interested in organizing a neighborhood RYLAN or MYN group; she will follow up with anyone interested. The Presiding Officer and Board thanked Ms. Ruddy for her work and for presenting to the Board.

12.    Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 7:15 pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR OCTOBER 24th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  George Wolfberg,David Card, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Alan Goldsmith, Reza Akef, Steve Boyers, Rick Mills, Brenda Theveny, Dick Wulliger, Barbara Marinacci, Rick McGeagh, Amy Baker, Rick McGeagh, Maryam Zar (partial attendance), John Padden (partial attendance)

Voting Alternates:  Danielle Samulon, Beth Holden Garland, Bob Benton, David Peterson (partial attendance), Kevin Niles (partial attendance), Richard Blumenberg (voting after departure of John Padden)

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Cathy Russell, Marilyn Wexler, Eric Dugdale, Howard Robinson, Melanie Bouer

1.    Certification of Quorum.  George Wolfberg (Chair) called the meeting to order at 6:02pm and certified that a quorum was present.  The  Chair “handed the gavel” to Vice-Chair David Card to serve as Presiding Officer.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The Chair 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 10/10/19 were deemed approved as corrected. 2) Upcoming Meetings – November 14, 2019: (1) Guest speaker – Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin. (2) Awards Selection Committee announcement of 2019 Awards honorees. December 12, 2019: Holiday meeting and Awards celebration (new:  the event will take place at the PP Woman’s Club Clubhouse; more details to come). January 9, 2020: Topics to be announced. January 23, 2020: Briefing on proposed Gladstones Redevelopment; additional topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The agenda was as distributed.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $40, 071.72. There have been no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    2019 Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplugs Awards.  Appointment of Awards Event Committee (AEC).  The AEC members are:  Mary Mueller, Chair; David Card, Chris Spitz, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Bruce Schwartz, John Padden. Additional board members were invited to join the committee to help plan and produce the event, which will take place on December 12 at the Woman’s Club Clubhouse.  More details will be forthcoming. Don’t forget to submit awards nominations by the deadline:  9pm on Saturday, October 26.

8.1.2.    Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board (PAB) 10/16/19 meeting update.  The Presiding Officer recounted some of the meeting highlights:  The Veterans Garden has been approved by LA City Council; the organizers plan to break ground in November or December; it will take 3 months to build; the City will need to give them a right of entry.  Sometime next year, in connection with the Potrero Canyon Park development, there will be increased parking added in the upper end of the park; 23 spaces will be added to satisfy the conditions of the Coastal Permit for Potrero Canyon Park.  The new parking will overlook the bowl and be on the same level as the turning circle. They will repave all of the new area and will replant the turning circle, hopefully with trees.  They won’t resurface the rest of the parking lot which they aren’t touching for new parking.  The PAB is looking into how to get that done and whether private funding is necessary.  Also, the tennis court hole should have been filled and Courts 7 and 8 at the bottom should have been resurfaced by now.  The PAB was asked by Recreation and Parks to list their repairs priorities: #1 – the windows in the old gym office are inoperable and need to be replaced; #2 – the restroom in the old gym needs remodeling, including repairs to become ADA-compliant; #3 – the rest of the parking lot needs resurfacing;  #4 – phone, computer lines and WiFi need to be added to the lobby rooms of the new gym for some of the staff to be able to move in there and use; #5 – the playground needs improvements to become ADA-accessible, which is estimated to cost $500,000.

8.1.3.    Dog park funding update.  See letter from Executive Committee to Councilmember Bonin: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PPCC-Dog-Park-EIR-Funding-Letter.pdf.  We have requested that the Councilmember approve the use of Palisades Recreation Center Quimby funds for completion of the required EIR for the dog park.

8.1.4.    Palisades Fire.  PPCC sincerely thanks all our firefighters and first responders for their heroic efforts to keep us safe.  The officers have sent out individual messages of thanks to the LA City Fire Dept., LA County Fire Dept., LAPD and CalFire.  We have also sent a thank you message to the entire community. See message linked on the PPCC website homepage:  https://mailchi.mp/pacpalicc/t5l2odsle0-1170077?fbclid=IwAR2G5STb1XPhaE3lv7UUFEWASlogSLp-c9JK6K4IE7yF3nQB_QK0FHPHsG4.

We continue to remind the community of the PPCC Emergency Readiness page on our website, which has a wealth of information about how to protect against wildfires and other emergencies.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Updates:  WRAC 10/17/19 meeting and legislation status.  The Secretary briefly summarized her written report which was distributed to board members and has been posted on the PPCC website:  http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/8.2-OfficersReport.10-24.19.pdf.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives

8.3.1.    Alan Goldsmith (At-large) asked for an update on the tree removal on Via de las Olas.  The Presiding Officer reported that although he does not know all the details, the trees will have to be replaced.  There are consequences to removing street trees without a permit.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Dick Wulliger (PP Historical Society) announced a new program, “The History of Trees in the Palisades,” with guest speaker Randy Young, on November 7 at 7pm in Theatre Palisades.  All are invited.  Admission is free and there will be refreshments afterwards.

8.4.2.    Rick McGeagh (PPBA) stated that the annual “Spooktacular” event returns to the Palisades Recreation Center this Saturday, from 3-7pm.  The Presiding Officer noted that the “Fiesta of Fright” event will take place at Rustic Canyon Recreation Center on Saturday from 4-8pm.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Stephen Du Prey, Superintendent with the Urban Forestry Division, Bureau of Street Services, and liaison to the PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee, was in attendance.  See Item 9.4 below.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Sharla Steinman (Youth Advisor) reported on upcoming events at Palisades High.  The Pali High Ambassadors would love to help with other events in the Palisades.  Any organizations that need help should contact ambassadors@pchs.pali.org or visit www.paliambassadors.org.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Awards Selection Committee (ASC; David Kaplan, Chair).  Committee update/Awards nomination & selection process. Deadline to submit nominations: 9pm, October 26.

In the absence of Committee Chair David Kaplan, Secretary and ASC member Chris Spitz gave the report.  Awards nominations will be accepted until 9pm on Sat., Oct. 26.  Information about eligibility and submission requirements can be found in the Awards Nomination Press Release which is linked on the PPCC website home page.

The Secretary explained that shortly after all the awards nominations are received, PPCC board members will be asked confidentially for input on the nominees.  Look for that email to be sent out on Sunday.  If board members would like to comment confidentially on any of the nominees, please send those to the PPCC email address within 3 days after receipt of the email message.

The ASC will then meet and consider the nominations and any input received from the board.  The ASC members are David Kaplan, Daphne Gronich (former Citizen of the Year), Sue Kohl, Sarah Knauer and Chris Spitz.   The Committee will make its decisions based on the Awards Guidelines.  The ASC is not obligated to select any awardees if, in the ASC members’ judgment, the nominees do not meet the criteria set out in the Guidelines.  ASC members may also, in their discretion, choose a recipient of Pride of the Palisades honors – this honor is intended to be given from time to time only in exceptional circumstances and for extraordinary achievement, as determined by the ASC.  Past Pride of the Palisades honorees have included Bill Bruns, the PP Task Force on Homelessness, Bob Benton and Arnie Wishnick.  Lists of all past awardees can be found in the Awards Guidelines on the PPCC website.

The ASC will announce the names of Citizen of the Year, Golden Sparkplug Award and possible Pride of the Palisades honorees at the PPCC meeting on November 14.  Presentation of the awards will take place at our holiday meeting on December 12.  More details about the event will be coming soon.

9.2.    Three Chairs Committee (Maryam Zar, Chair; Chris Spitz; Richard Cohen).  Committee nomination and possible Board election of 2nd Alternate At-large Representative.

Committee Chair Maryam Zar announced that the Committee’s nominee for the position of 2nd Alternate At-large Representative is Quentin Fleming. She explained that Mr. Fleming is a professor in the business school at USC who had previously served on the Board for many years as the 1st Alternate At-large Representative, when George Wolfberg was the primary At-large representative. He is very familiar with PPCC, has served as a moderator for some of our past forums, and is respected by all Board members who have worked with him. The Committee members believe that he is highly qualified for the position.  She then moved on behalf of the Committee for the Board to approve and elect Mr. Fleming as 2nd Alternate At-large Representative (no second necessary as the motion was made by more than one voting board member). The Presiding Office asked if any board member wished to discuss the nominee. No one asked for discussion.  A vote was then taken.  Result:  Unanimous in favor of the motion. Mr. Fleming will serve the same term as the primary At-large Representative Alan Goldsmith (through September 30, 2020).

9.3.    Land Use Committee (LUC; Howard Robinson, Chair).  LUC recommendation and possible Board action re Calvary Christian School (701 Palisades Dr.) application for Plan Approval to its Conditional Use Permit & for a Coastal Development Permit (“the Application”). See LUC 10/17/19 Meeting Summary: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/PPCC-Land-Use-Committee-10-17-Summary.pdf.

Leslie Clark, Director of Admissions, and Vince Downey, Head of School, were in attendance, as were Matt Dzurec (the school’s land use consultant), Richard Berliner (its architect) and Jerry Overland (its parking consultant). Mr. Downey and Ms. Clark gave a brief presentation explaining the proposed project and the school’s Planning application.  The school has not done any projects for 10 years; the last project was its arts & technology building.  It is in the mode of a capital campaign to raise funds for these new projects. They displayed large boards showing details and layouts for the proposed projects.

Mr. Downey explained that the first proposed project, a lunch servery area, will be located in the upper portion of the school site and will include a new building, play equipment, landscaping and seating.  They also propose to build a new playground area that will replace parking spaces in the upper blacktop area; this will include a new sports court and  playground equipment, trees and seating.

Regarding parking:  The school is asking to reduce the current parking requirement to 188 spaces.  The school’s representatives explained that current CUP requires 241 parking spots.  This requirement dates from 1989, when there was concurrent use at full capacity of church and school facilities.  Thirty years later the school does not have that concurrent use. The parking study shows maximum parking use is 108 spaces during the week and 97 spaces on Sundays.  They are projecting that 165 spots will be needed if the modified CUP is approved.  LADOT has approved the parking study.

The school also wishes to increase enrollment from 432 students to up to 490 students.It was explained that the school currently has room for 455 students; the additional 23 students would bring in $500,000 annually.  The school’s tuition at $20,000 is one of lowest in the area for private schools. The extra money would allow the school to continue operating at the same level and continue offering scholarships to lower income students.

The last proposed project is a theater & “maker space” building, which would not be built for 8-10 years.  Once approval is received the school will begin raising capital funds for that project. They are seeking approval now rather than having to go through the expense and time of filing another application at a later date. The theatre building is tucked in the middle of campus and will not be visible to SeaRidge neighbors.

Howard Robinson (LUC Chair) then spoke.  He explained that the LUC members spent over an hour on the project at their meeting on October 17.  The LUC determined that the applicant has a strong 30-year record in the community. No neighbors had any complaints and the SeaRidge complex across the street is not opposed. The LUC looked at the required Findings for the requested Plan Approval and Coastal Development Permit and had no concerns about the Findings.  There were two issues of concern:

1) The school is asking for approval for a 10,000 sq. ft. building (the theatre building) to be built in the future; why are they processing the application now and how can we make sure the plans won’t change in the future? After discussion, the LUC members realized that the required architectural plans that are submitted must get stamped by the City as approved; they will set forth all the requirements that the school must comply with pursuant to the approvals (height, parking, use, etc.).  Also, the parking study and LADOT traffic plan had calculated parking requirements for this project based on the submitted plan.

2). There were questions about reducing the amount of parking when an increase in student enrollment was being requested. The LUC realized the amount of parking the school currently has, as well as the amount they are now requesting, are both above Code requirements.  In addition, the church and school functions operate separately and generally are not used concurrently.  According to the approved parking study, peak parking demand is only 108; the projected need for the new uses is only 165 spaces, per the approved study, but the school is proposing 188 spaces (more than the Code requirement).

The LUC Chair then explained that the LUC unanimously voted to make the following recommendation to the Board, wanting to make sure that the few times of concurrent use would be baked-in the condition of approval:  “The PPCC LUC recommends that the Board adopt the following position: PPCC does not oppose the Application, contingent upon the Board’s review and approval of language to be provided by the applicant recommending a condition to regulate the concurrent use of facilities at the site.”

The LUC Chair further reported that the school has now agreed on language of a condition of approval (a hand-out was distributed to board members showing the proposed language, which the school had agreed on that afternoon, 10/24):

“The applicant shall not use church facilities and school facilities for concurrent general assembly purposes with the exception of a maximum of six times per calendar year.  For concurrent assembly events exceeding 564 total attendees, the applicant shall provide a valet attendant for parking purposes.”

Chris Spitz (Secretary) then made the following motion; second by David Peterson (Area 6 1st Alternate):

“PPCC does not object to the discretionary Planning application at 701 Palisades Drive, contingent on the Applicant’s submission and City’s adoption of the recommended Condition of Approval regarding concurrent events involving church facilities and school facilities at the subject site, as follows:

“The applicant shall not use church facilities and school facilities for concurrent general assembly purposes with the exception of a maximum of six times per calendar year.  For concurrent assembly events exceeding 564 total attendees, the applicant shall provide a valet attendant for parking purposes.”

Discussion about the motion then ensued.  It was explained that the 564 number assumes that vehicles coming to park on campus during concurrent events will on average carry three persons per car (3 x 188 spaces = 564).  There were various questions about building height, parking, staging during construction, the plans, the six assembly events (an example being an annual picnic after Sunday services which school members are invited to attend along with church members), and landscaping.  The school representatives stated that no protected trees are being removed; they hope to preserve existing trees and add trees. The proposed projects have received a categorical exemption under CEQA.  They did not look into adding a crosswalk across Palisades Dr. at that location (to access the Highlands Plaza across the street), since the school already has a rule that school members (parents, students, staff) must walk to the corner of Palisades Dr. & Sunset and cross at that location.  Barbara Marinacci (PP Garden Club) stated that she lives in the condominium complex nearest the school to the south on Palisades Dr. and that the school has been a good neighbor.

Following discussion, a vote was then taken.  Result:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.  A position letter will be submitted to the appropriate authorities in due course.

9.4.    Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC; David Card, Chair). Introduction of resolution for Board approval of the PFC Mission Statement and proposed street tree selection policy for the Palisades; possible Board action.

Committee Chair David Card explained that as PFC Chair, he would be making the PFC presentation and introducing the resolution; for this reason, he “handed the gavel” to Treasurer Richard Cohen to serve as Presiding Officer for Item 9.4.

The PFC Chair moved for the board to adopt the proposed resolution as set forth in the meeting agenda (see attachment); second by Steve Boyers (Area 7 Representative). He introduced other members of the PFC in attendance and thanked them for their work so far:  Cindy Kirven (Garden Club), Marilyn Wexler (Area 7 2nd Alternate), Michael Terry (Palisades Beautiful); as well as liaison Stephen Du Prey (Urban Forestry) and participant Lisa V. (tree activist).

The PFC Chair then went over the proposed resolution point by point.  He explained that the resolution endorses the Mission Statement which is also set forth in the PFC Report dated 9/1/19 (Report).  The resolution additionally endorses a proposed street tree selection policy, as adapted from the Report pursuant to edits by the PFC on October 15, 2019 (see attachment).  He further explained that the motion before the board was not to endorse the Report in its entirety; the resolution simply draws from certain portions of the Report and does not include any language authorizing action items.

Discussion then ensued.  Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative):  Is the intent of the resolution to protect the urban forest from unnecessary removals?  The PFC Chair explained that the Report had more specifics which are not a part of the resolution. There is nothing in the resolution about outreach or requiring notification to homeowners.  Richard Cohen (Presiding Officer for this item) stated that this is the community providing guidance to the City; we are not taking on responsibility for enforcement or anything other than telling the City what kind of trees we want and what kind of management we would like to see. Decisions about any notices would have to come from the City.  The PFC Chair further noted that the resolution sets forth general guidelines and a general philosophy; it is aspirational and does not contain any action items.

Rick Mills (Area 4 Representative) asked whether this resolution will remove the local log jam among local groups in regard to tree planting.  The PFC Chair: This is a step in that direction. We will work with the City to tell the City what we want in general and will walk hand in hand with the City toward the goal of getting more trees planted.  We will not actually be planting trees.  A question was asked about the City’s authority to plant trees in the right of way.  Stephen Duprey responded that if the City is going to plant, water and maintain street trees for three years, the policy is that they can go ahead and do that.

Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative) complimented the PFC on its incredible work. He asked whether passing this this resolution will help to get the City to plant more trees.  Mr. Du Prey: That is the goal.  This is the motion to unfreeze that log jam so we can plant more diverse trees; it will help expedite the planting of trees.

Richard Blumenberg (PP Civic League) commented that the City should develop a set of rules regarding street tree removal that everyone can understand when they buy property.  He made a motion to amend the resolution by adding an additional point, as follows: “PPCC urges the Urban Forestry Division to develop rules & criteria that are published in advance so that homeowners will know exactly what the requirements are for removal of street trees before making a decision to buy the property.” Second by Reza Akef. Discussion of the proposed amendment took place. The comments overall were that the resolution is simply an attempt to break the log jam; this amendment isn’t needed or appropriate at this time.  A vote on the motion to amend was taken.  Result: failed for lack of a majority in favor.

A vote on the main motion (to adopt the proposed resolution) was then taken. Result: More than the required 2/3 majority of members voting (19-2-1) voted in favor of adopting the resolution (see attachment).  A position letter will be submitted to the appropriate authorities in due course.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business – None.

12.    Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 7:33 pm.

ATTACHMENT – Item 9.4:

 Resolution re Street Tree Selections & Urban Forestry
Presented and adopted at the October 24, 2019 PPCC meeting

Whereas, Pacific Palisades is blessed with an abundant forest of trees, including street trees in our public parkways, medians, and public right of ways, as well as in our public parks;

Whereas, the founders of Pacific Palisades and successive generations of civic leaders have recognized the many benefits of a healthy and robust urban forest;

Whereas, the urban forest is the greatest generator of oxygen and other ecological benefits, as well as providing economic, aesthetic, social, emotional and quality of life benefits;

Whereas, the Urban Forestry Division (UFD), City of Los Angeles, has recently done limited planting of street trees in the Palisades, and both the Palisades community and the UFD agree on the need to work together to facilitate the preservation and enhancement of our urban forest and its canopy;

Whereas, the PPCC formed the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC), consisting of landscape professionals, community organizations, tree advocates, and local government officials;

Whereas, after studying the issue for five months, at the September 12, 2019 PPCC meeting, the PFC presented its report (the “Report”) dated September 1, 2019 and has since considered all comments submitted in response;

Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Pacific Palisades Community Council endorses the Mission Statement of the PFC in the Report, as follows:

PFC MISSION STATEMENT

Enhance and sustain the health and beauty of the Pacific Palisades urban forest for future generations by facilitating the planting of appropriate trees and the caring for our existing trees;

Educate our community about the economic, environmental, health, social, emotional and aesthetic benefits of the trees that comprise our urban forest;

Protect the urban forest from unnecessary removals by better management, planning and enforcement, and honor the history of trees in the community; and

Establish a replicable model of a community urban forest task force for Pacific Palisades in partnership with the City of Los Angeles.

RESOLVED further, that the PPCC specifically endorses the following street tree selection policy (the “Policy”) (the language of which has been adapted from the PFC Report (Paragraphs 1, portions of 2A, and 2B), pursuant to edits approved by the PFC at its October 15, 2019 meeting for purposes of this Resolution):

1.   Primary Objective: To facilitate the preservation, enhancement, and best practices management of the Pacific Palisades community’s urban forest.

A.  The initial focus is on street trees in the public parkways, medians and rights of way, both our existing trees and the vacant spaces where street trees do not presently exist.

B.  We aim to maximize the number of urban forest trees and their canopy by facilitating the planting of more trees, and to minimize the number of trees that are removed.

C.  The goal is to develop an urban forestry policy that increases the age and species diversity in the public tree population, augments biomass and canopy coverage community wide, enhances the character and aesthetics of our neighborhoods, and achieves exemplary stewardship of the forest for all who live and work here.

2.  Urban Forest Policy: To create urban forest policies that implement the Mission and the Primary Objective, and to work with both the City of Los Angeles urban forestry leadership and the Pacific Palisades community to discuss and adopt urban forest policies to achieve that objective. Such policies may include:

A.  Selection Policy: The Committee has decided to use the following criteria for selecting appropriate species of street trees, according to local circumstances and as permitted by the City of Los Angeles Urban Forestry Division.

1)  Criteria: The Right Tree in the Right Place. The right tree in the right place will be determined by the following criteria, which will be considered when selecting street trees as vacancies occur:

a) Growspace Availability: Soil volume is the most important criterion. A bigger growspace allows for a larger tree species, while small growspaces require smaller tree species. The preference is for the largest species for the available growspace.

b) Water Requirements and Growing Conditions: The water requirement of the species and its ability to withstand little watering when established. Micro- climate conditions, such as salt air, wind, heat, etc.

c) Species diversity: A new, different species, that does not share the same vulnerabilities.

d) Aesthetics and Neighborhood Character: Blend aesthetically with existing species and with the neighborhood character.

e) Canopy Size: Consider the mature tree’s canopy size and form, and the proximity of buildings and other structures or trees. Generally, the preference is for larger canopies.

f) Land Use and Traffic Considerations: Commercial vs. residential streets, truck clearance, pollution tolerance, root pruning tolerance, pedestrian shade, overhead wires, etc.

g) Disease Resistance and Susceptibility.

h) Availability: Monitor tree availability, and research new species introductions.

i) Special Cases may be considered.

B.  Diversity and Adaptation Over Time Policy: A policy of diversity of species, genus, form, and aesthetics (evergreen, deciduous, broad leaf, small leaf, flowering or not, leaf color, etc.) across Pacific Palisades. A policy of flexibility and adaptation to changing conditions over time.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR NOVEMBER 14th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, David Kaplan, Haldis Toppel, Steve Cron, Rick Mills, Brenda Theveny, Dick Wulliger, Bill Klein, Sarah Knauer

Voting Alternates:  Janet Anderson, Peter Powell, Quentin Fleming, Cathy Russell, Craig Natvig

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Bruce Schwartz, Melanie Bouer, Eric Dugdale, Miriam Schulman

1.    Certification of Quorum.  In the absence of the Chair, Vice-Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 6:01pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.   Sue Kohl read the Mission Statement.

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 10/24/19 were deemed approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings–December 12, 2019: Holiday meeting and Awards celebration (the event will take place at the PP Woman’s Club Clubhouse; more details to come).January 9, 2020: topics to be announced.  January 23, 2020: Briefing on proposed Gladstones Redevelopment project; guest speaker City Controller Ron Galperin (postponed from 11/14 due to illness).

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Presiding Officer announced that some items may be taken out of order.

6.   Treasurer’s Report.  Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $39,371.72.  Since the last report, significant transactions included a payment of $400 to the Friends of the Library as PPCC’s contribution toward a new audio system for the Library as well as a $300 deposit for the PP Woman’s Club venue for the holiday party. The Treasurer also advised that federal and state tax filings for September 30, 2019 were completed and PPCC is up to date with compliance.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

7.1.    Daphne Gronich (resident) stated that she attended last weekend’s Fire Town Hall and learned that many people have asked about the possibility of instituting Red Flag Parking Days in non-hillside areas with narrow streets, to alleviate problems with evacuation traffic flow.  The Presiding Officer indicated that this will be appropriate to discuss during Item 11.2 on the agenda.

7.2.    Lou Kamer (resident) reported that he has been working with WAZE regarding the traffic problem with the Chautauqua & Channel Rd. intersection. WAZE has now agreed to change its navigation tool so that it will direct drivers to use only the middle lane in order to turn left (south) on to PCH from Chautauqua. He noted that this is one step toward addressing the problem with the intersection.

7.3.    Ryan Robles (Athens Services Recycling Coordinator) explained that he is working with local business owners on composting of organic materials, as required under a new state law. He will provide information to PPCC Vice-Chair David Card and Chamber of Commerce Representative Sarah Knauer.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    Joint PPCC-BCC Message re Thanking Our Firefighting Heroes. See message & list of possible organizations for donations at www.pacpalicc.org(link on home page).

8.1.2.    Calvary Christian School land use application update.  See PPCC position letter: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Calvary-Christian-School-Letter.pdf. See also Letter to Editor/message from PPCC officers to the Palisadian Post:
http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Message-to-the-Editor-of-the-Palisadian-Post.pdf.

8.1.3.    Urban Forestry update.  See PPCC letter re urban forestry resolution:http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Urban-Forestry-Letter.pdf.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) reported that on Wednesday, November 13, the Transportation Committee took up a motion for a pilot program to allow digital advertising on top of some taxicabs.  With the approval of the Chair and Vice Chair, the Secretary submitted an email message prior to the Committee meeting, expressing PPCC’s opposition to permitting digital advertising on any vehicles (including taxicabs and other vehicles for hire).  See:http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Message-to-the-City-Council-Transportation-Committee-November-13.pdf.  The Secretary explained that the Transportation Committee, by a vote of 2-1 (Councilmember Bonin opposed), voted on Wednesday in favor of the motion, which will now go to the full Council for a vote.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   David Kaplan (Area 6 Representative) explained that many residents are complaining about a serious problem with DWP billing practices, which has resulted in exorbitantly high bills. He believes this needs to be addressed with DWP.  The Presiding Officer stated that we can invite our DWP liaison or other representative to come to a future meeting.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives – None.

8.5.1.    LAPD SLO Michael Moore.  Officer Moore reported that crime in the Palisades is down.  However, since we are at the start of the holiday season, residents should begin thinking about taking precautions:  Do not let packages be delivered to your front porch; have the Post Office or other carrier hold packages for you to pick up; arrange to have someone keep an eye on your property while you are away.

8.5.2.    LAPD Beach Patrol Officers John “Rusty” Redican and Jimmy Soliman.  See Item 11.2 below.

8.5.3.    LAFD Battalion 9 Chief Mark Curry and partner Jeff Sorenson, LAFD.  See Item 11.2 below.

8.5.4.    Janet Turner (District Representative, Congressman Ted Lieu).  Ms. Turner reported on a number of bills in Congress which Rep. Lieu supports: the Smoke Planning and Research Act, which would provide funding to help communities plan and respond to wildfire smoke (recently introduced); a bill to expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (recommended in committee for a floor vote); and a bill that allows suits for copyright infringement to be brought via a new copyright claims board (passed).

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors,

8.6.1.    Zennon Ulyate-Crow (Youth Advisor) reported that the Palisades Park Youth Group is active and that Pali High students are gearing up for finals.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Awards Selection Committee (ASC; David Kaplan, Chair).  Committee Chair David Kaplan announced the names of the Citizen of the Year, Golden Sparkplug Award and Pride of the Palisades honorees and briefly described each of their achievements.  The honorees are:  Citizen of the Year:  Kevin Niles; Golden Sparkplugs:  Don Camacho, Lisa Glantz and Mike Lanning; and Pride of the Palisades:  George Wolfberg. He noted that a longer summary of the honorees’ accomplishments will be distributed to the PPCC email list shortly. [See: http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/COMMUNITY-COUNCIL-2019-AWARD-WINNERS.pdf.]  The board and audience indicated praise for the selections and thanked the ASC members.

9.2.    Awards Event Committee (AEC; Mary Mueller, Chair).  In the Committee Chair’s absence, Secretary Chris Spitz reported that the AEC members have met and are actively preparing for the Awards Celebration event, which will take place on December 12 at the Woman’s Club Clubhouse at 6:30pm. The AEC members are:  Mary Mueller, Chair; David Card, Sue Kohl, John Padden, Bruce Schwartz, Chris Spitz and Haldis Toppel. The event will feature a brief business meeting, a buffet dinner, complimentary wine & beer (while supplies last), and the awards presentations.  Invitations will be sent out this weekend.  Tickets will be $60 each. The RSVP deadline is December 8 but seating is limited and we expect to sell out before the deadline.  Please RSVP soon to ensure your seat.

10.    Old Business– None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Guest Speaker:  Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin – not in attendance due to illness.  Controller Galperin’s presentation has been postponed to the PPCC meeting on January 23, 2020.

11.2.    Fire Season Recap:  Concerns, lessons learned and what to expect going forward.  Participating: LAFD Battalion 9 Chief Mark Curry; LAPD Beach Patrol Officer John “Rusty” Redican; PPCC Fire Safety Advisor Miriam Schulman; Palisades resident & CERT coordinator K.C. Soll.

The Presiding Officer began by describing the recent Palisades and Getty Fires and his own experience with the fires.  He emphasized what a problem it was for people trying to evacuate during the Getty Fire when PCH was closed southbound from Temescal Canyon Road, which caused a huge traffic jam.  He noted that evacuation protocols did not seem to be working early in the fire.  He also explained that we have fire prevention issues that will be addressed.

LAFD Battalion 9 Chief Mark Curry then described his background and experience. He is one of three Battalion 9 Chiefs who have been working in the Palisades for several years. His uncle, a former fire chief, was instrumental in bringing back Engine 69 to the Palisades.  Chief Curry has himself been working this area since the Skirball Fire. He described the Getty Fire circumstances and explained that it could have been much worse without the tremendous support of air power and the great job done by the firefighters.  LADOT and LAPD were also instrumental in the success. He stated that he would be happy to answer any questions.  Extensive Q&A then ensued on a variety of topics:

Tree branches and brush:  The Getty Fire was caused by a branch which was blown by the wind into wires on a pole.  The wires weren’t down and there were no exploding transformers. LAFD does a good job of clearing the area around wires and has brush clearance crews that come through every year, but they cannot prevent all accidents in wind driven fires.  Chief Curry agrees that dead branches and brush along Palisades Dr. need to be taken care of; this is the responsibility of Recreation and Parks or other property owners.

Power lines, poles:  Electrical fires have been started by power lines for decades but this is only now beginning to get attention.  Ideally all power lines should be undergrounded, but this will take a lot of money.  Lines that are high up on a pole are high tension and those are the most dangerous. People should exercise caution with all downed lines.  To report any old, weak or damaged poles, call in the number on the pole to DWP.

The Highlands “fire road”/Lachman Lane extension and evacuation issues:  During the Palisades Fire some residents were told that this was the only evacuation route and were directed to leave via this road, but the gate was locked, no one had a key, and residents were forced to turn around, causing a huge traffic jam. Clear and up-to-date information about evacuation routes was not provided or available.  Chief Curry agrees that accurate information about evacuation routes needs to get onto the Notify LA system.  He does not personally believe the Lachman Lane extension is actually a “fire road,” nor that it should have been locked, but he could not specifically answer questions as who had or should have had the keys, or whether directions given to Highlands residents as to evacuation routes were appropriate.  Regarding evacuation routes in the Palisades:  He cannot answer as to which specific roads should be used for evacuation because this is situationally-driven.

Palisades Recreation Center:  It was noted that the Center was designated as an evacuation area during the Getty Fire but was located only 100 yards from the mandatory zone and was itself in a warning zone.  Many residents didn’t understand why evacuees were told to go to the Recreation Center. Chief Curry wasn’t aware of the evacuation decisions or the Recreation Center’s evacuation area designation.  He explained that LAFD’s goal was to get people in the hillsides down to Sunset, where they would be safe and out of the canyons.

Communications:  At times there was unclear or conflicting information about fire and evacuation status from different agencies, e.g., LAFD and LA County Fire, especially in Topanga.  There is concern about downed cell towers during wildfires and lack of cell service or ability to access alerts via smartphones.  Chief Curry advised that residents should stay tuned to television and radio news programs which often report real time information during fires. He also noted that there is a great new tool being developed at San Diego State which involves modeling of heat and wind conditions in order to target evacuations.

Mandatory vs. voluntary evacuations:  Voluntary evacuations can occur at any time.  In mandatory evacuations, residents still have plenty of time to leave and get somewhere else.  An order to “shelter in place” is the worst situation possible.  That means the situation is so dangerous that you will be killed in your car while trying to leave your home and evacuate.  These days, homes are much more hardened with tile roofs and vent screens. Chief Curry recommends that everyone have goggles on hand to protect against embers flying into eyes.

Firefighting support:  Chief Curry emphasized that firefighters cannot stop wind driven brush fires but will do everything they can to protect homes and the community.  Firefighters are most concerned with fighting on the outer edges closer to the fire.  We have great air support to go in and stop the fires in a wider area.  The key factors in fighting wildfires are brush clearance, hardened homes, great air support and great firefighters.

LAPD Beach Patrol Officer John “Rusty” Redican then spoke about his experiences with the recent fires, answered questions and listened to comments and concerns from board members and the audience.  He emphasized the importance of communications among the various agencies involved and debriefing by officials on the scene and knowledgeable about the area after fire incidents.

Regarding the fiasco with PCH southbound being closed during the Getty Fire evacuations:  Officer Redican and his partner Officer Jimmy Soliman quickly realized that shutting down southbound PCH was a mistake and a huge problem.  They communicated the severity of the problem with the command post.

There was comment about the fact that Topanga Canyon Blvd. was also closed during evacuations, even though that area wasn’t in danger at the time.  It might have made sense to allow people from 90272 to evacuate on Topanga rather than go all the way to Malibu.  However, it was pointed out that there was concern because of high winds and the possibility of a new fire starting at the top of the canyon, which would have required a large number of people evacuating from the Palisades to turn around.

Regarding the difficulty of getting out accurate information and facilitating communications with a single point of contact to appropriate channels: Officer Redican stated that Deputy Chief Hogan has told him that this might be possible through Public Information Officers on scene.

Regarding a concern about robbers going into homes during the evacuation:  Officer Redican related an example of police work to prevent this from occurring:  On the day of the Getty Fire he observed service-resistant homeless individuals whom he had never seen before in the Palisades near Antioch & Swarthmore, on bikes with empty backpacks.  He successfully encouraged them to leave.

Concerns were also expressed about the lack of communications, as related in a newspaper articles, specifically regarding homeowners who received evacuation notices but did not notify their housekeepers and gardeners. Officer Redican indicated that he shares this concern.  A possible solution might be to add a reminder in the literature on Ready Set Go.

Regarding the possibility of cell service going down in many parts of the Palisades during wildfires, some residents are suggesting the possibility of stationary sirens. Officer Redican indicated that he thinks this is a good idea.  He also indicated that people should trust their instincts and check local TV and radio news sources.

Miriam Schulman, PPCC Wildfire Safety Advisor, next spoke about fire prevention and steps that we can take to make our property and homes fire resistant.  First, she encouraged everyone to visit the PPCC website “Disaster Readiness” page and read everything on the page.  She stressed the importance of individuals being alert to weather conditions, especially when there are high winds, low humidity and high temperatures.  During these conditions everyone should have masks and googles, wet down their property and have Go Bags ready.  Since winds become stronger at night, we should be prepared to receive alerts overnight about conditions during wildfire incidents.

Ms. Schulman also suggested that homeowners should go around their homes looking at landscaping to be sure there are no dead plants, branches or “dead leaf” litter around the house.  A perimeter should be created around the house that can’t burn (e.g., dirt, concrete, gravel or pebbles). Piles of firewood should not be stacked up against the house and branches should not be hanging near or over the roof.  The roof and rain gutters should be cleared of leaves.  Dead pine needles are strong fire tinder.  LAFD.org and CalFire.org are also good websites to visit.  Ms. Schulman and several other residents have taken courses and are certified to examine homes to determine if they are adequately protected from wildfire.  It is also important to protect vents to attics and crawlspaces.  She suggested turning off AC when not at home, as well as getting together with neighbors to find out who can help in an emergency, who is disabled, etc.  As to whether gas should be shut off during wildfires:  Chief Curry indicated that this isn’t a bad idea, although it is more critical during earthquakes.

A question was asked as to why the PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) report does not mention fire resistant trees or those with root systems that destroy sidewalks.  The Presiding Officer (also PFC Chair) explained that these factors will be taken into account in selecting street trees.  The list of criteria in the report is from the Task Force in Santa Monica, where they don’t have the same wildfire issues; this will be added to the list of criteria here. Ms. Schulman also explained that certain trees which are high in moisture content and leafy (i.e., healthy, wet tropical trees) can act as protection against embers (as opposed to “needle” trees). The Presiding Officer further advised that branches should be pruned up from the ground; there should be more spacing between trees; and dead pine needles should be removed from yards.

K.C. Soll, resident and CERT team training coordinator, also contributed to the discussion.  Ms. Soll explained that in addition to organizing four CERT training classes in the Palisades in the last year and a half, she is a member of a group of 30-35 local ham radio operators.  She stressed that everyone who graduates from the CERT program has “legs” in the neighborhood, and she advised that the MYN and RLYAN programs are important ways in which to get to know your neighborhood.  She also reported that her local ham radio group has received a $250,000 grant to operate a ham radio program locally, starting in Mandeville Canyon.

The board and audience thanked the participants for their presentations and for answering questions.

12.    Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 7:47pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FOR DECEMBER 12th 2019

Voting Members in Attendance:   George Wolfberg, David Card, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Sue Kohl, David Kaplan, Steve Boyers, Haldis Toppel, Steve Cron, Rick Mills, Reza Akef, Dick Wulliger, Sarah Knauer, John Padden, Cathi Ruddy

Voting Alternates:  Mary Mueller, Kelly Comras

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Kevin Niles, Richard Blumenberg, Bruce Schwartz, Howard Robinson, Marilyn Wexler, Andrew Wolfberg, Bob Benton, Rob Weber

1.    Certification of Quorum.  Vice-Chair David Card, acting as Presiding Officer, called the meeting to order at 6:50 pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.   The Presiding Officer read the Mission Statement.

3.    Introduction of the Board and Audience.  The Presiding Officer acknowledged and thanked the past Citizens of the Year, Community Service Awardees, Golden Sparkplug Awardees and Pride of the Palisades Honorees in attendance; the past PPCC Chairs in attendance; and current Board members in attendance.

4.    Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings.  1) Approval of Minutes – approval of the minutes of 11/14/19 was deferred.  2) Upcoming Meetings – January 9, 2020: (1) awards recap; (2) PPCC operations: starting a Board discussion.  January 23, 2020: (1) Guest speaker City Controller Ron Galperin (postponed from 11/14/19); (2) Briefing on proposed Gladstones Redevelopment project.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The Presiding Officer announced that most items will be deferred.

6.    Treasurer’s Report Deferred.

7.    General Public Comment Deferred.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns Deferred.

9.    Reports from Committees Deferred.

10.    Old BusinessNone.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    2019 PPCC Awards Presentation.  Welcome and presentation of Awards: Citizen of the Year – Kevin Niles. Golden Sparkplugs – Don Camacho, Lisa Glantz & Mike Lanning. Pride of the Palisades – George Wolfberg. Special recognition and thanks to First Responders.

The Presiding Officer welcomed the Honorees and event attendees and summarized the criteria for each of the Awards.  He also thanked numerous individuals for contributing to the success of the event, including Awards Selection Committee Chair David Kaplan, Awards Event Committee Chair Mary Mueller, all members of  the two Committees, the Pali High Ambassadors who assisted during the evening, Treasurer Richard Cohen & IT Advisor Heather Cohen, Secretary Chris Spitz for overall organization, Sue Kohl for providing the lovely flowers and table decorations, Haldis Toppel for providing the wonderful pianist Marie Captain, our bartenders during the evening John Padden & Bruce Schwartz, Manfred Hofer for designing the beautiful event program, Kayndaves for the delicious buffet and the PPWC for providing the event venue.

The Presiding Officer then introduced the government officials in attendance, who gave remarks praising the Honorees and provided certificates acknowledging their service:  Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer; Assemblymember Richard Bloom; Ami Fields-Meyer (West LA Representative, Mayor Eric Garcetti); Lisa Cahill (Palisades Deputy, Councilmember Mike Bonin); Zachary Gaidzik (West/Metro LA Field Deputy, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl); Liliana Pond (Field Representative, Sen. Ben Allen); Janet Turner (District Representative, U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu).

PPCC officers & Board members then presented the Awards and spoke about the Honorees’ achievements, as follows:

Pride of the Palisades George Wolfberg: by Awards Committee Chair & Area 6 Representative David Kaplan, Secretary Chris Spitz and Vice-Chair David Card.  Additional presentations by Brentwood Community Council (BCC) Chair Michelle Bisnoff (special BCC award expressing appreciation for George’s service to the wider community) and Janet Turner (announcement of remarks about George by Congressman Ted Lieu, entered into the U.S. Congressional Record on December 5, 2019; see pages from the Congressional Record:  http://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/116th-First-Session-CR-Wolfberg-PDF.pdf).

Golden Sparkplug Don Camacho: by Chamber of Commerce Alternate Representative & PPBA League Commissioner Bob Benton.

Golden Sparkplug Lisa Glantz: by Awards Committee Chair & Area 6 Representative David Kaplan.

Golden Sparkplug Mike Lanning: by Awards Committee Chair & Area 6 Representative David Kaplan.

Citizen of the Year Kevin Niles: by Vice-Chair David Card.

The Honorees all expressed thanks to PPCC and appreciation for the community’s recognition of their service.

Following the Awards presentations, the Presiding Officer thanked our First Responders for their tremendous work in protecting the community during the recent fires and every day.  He recognized LAPD Battalion Chief Percy Jones, who spoke about the firefighters’ work and also expressed appreciation for the recognition. Additional First Responders in attendance:  the Station 69 Captains and firefighters; LAPD SLO Michael Moore, West Traffic Division Officer Ryan Basaker and Beach Patrol Officers John “Rusty” Redican and Jimmy Soliman.

12.    Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 8:55pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page