MINUTES FOR MAY 25th 2017
Voting Members in Attendance: Maryam Zar, George Wolfberg, Allison Holdorff Polhill, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Sue Kohl, Reza Akef, Rick Mills, Katie Braude, Peter Culhane, Cathy Russell, Lou Kamer, Barbara Marinacci, Dick Wulliger, Gil Dembo, David Card, Rick Lemmo, Sarah Conner, Richard Blumenberg.
Voting Alternates: Brenda Theveny, Margarita Pagliai, Brian Deming.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: David Peterson, Kelly Comras, Bruce Schwartz, Ron Dean, Amir Ebtehadj.
1. Certification of Quorum. The Chair Maryam Zar called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm and certified that a quorum was present.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Lou Kamer 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: Maryam deemed the minutes of May 11 2017 approved as distributed. 2) Upcoming Meetings: 6/8/17. 1) Officer candidates forum (if necessary) and election of officers, 2017-2018 term; 2) Planning & zoning update & clarification by CD11 Planning Director Tricia Keane; 3) Traffic safety update by West LA Traffic officer in charge for the Palisades, Ryan Basaker. 6/22/17. 1) City Attorney Mike Feuer as guest. 2) Chipotle Palisades Village CUB presentation. 7/27/17 and 8/24/17 (one meeting only in July and August): topics to be announced. Summer Town Hall on traffic safety (date TBD). Assemblymember Bloom will also attend a future meeting to discuss state legislation (date TBD).
5. Consideration of Agenda. Maryam announced that the Agenda is as distributed.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported that PPCC has a bank account balance of $39,477.40. There were no significant transactions since the last meeting.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. From the Chair.
7.1.1. Election of PPCC Officers, 2017-2018 Term.
Maryam reminded the Board that nominations by voting Board members of eligible candidates for officer positions (in addition to the nominees already announced) will be open until 15 minutes before the close of Board meeting (scheduled close 9pm). The election will take place on June 8, 2017. At 15 minutes prior to the close of the meeting Maryam asked for additional officer nominations. None were received.
7.1.2. Recent information regarding the Palisadian Post sign matter.
Maryam stated that she attended the WLA APC hearing on May 17 and also submitted a letter which is on the PPCC website at https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/CP-881-Alma-Real-Signage-issue.pdf. The Commissioners unanimously voted to affirm the LA Superior Court order on the Petition for Writ of Mandate filed by the Post, holding that the sign permit application had been approved by operation of the Permit Streamlining Act.
7.1.3. Chautauqua light investigation. Maryam explained that the City has determined that they would put in a dedicated left hand turn lane signal.
7.1.4. Beach Patrol. Maryam announced that she received a letter signed by LAPD Deputy Chief Dennis Cato requesting a line item for a full beach detail not just for the Palisades but for all shoreline patrols. They have committed to sustain the patrol.
7.1.5. Dog Park Working Group. Maryam stated that Susan Payne and Lou Kamer are appointed to the Dog Park Working Group representing PPCC, and David Card as Adviser.
7.1.4. Pali-Art Fair Update. Maryam announced that an Art Fair is likely going to take place on September 10, 2017.
7.2. From Officers.
7.2.1. George Wolfberg (Vice-Chair) reported that the EmpowerLA Budget Day is scheduled for Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 8:30 am. George has attended this for many years on behalf of PPCC but cannot do so this year. Anyone interested in attending should contact George or RSVP to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdUnqRFMMVJLKfNKaMIhe2NoVTxCl3wmc7Du_KmyIPR9FZNIA/viewform?c=0&w=1
7.2.2. Richard Cohen (Treasurer) gave a report on the recent CPAB meeting. The Captain is attempting to get budget approval for $1.5 million for overtime to fund the beach patrol. She has not heard back. PPCC should learn soon. Plan B is to keep Rusty in the Z car.
7.2.3. Chris Spitz (Chair/President Emeritus) explained that PPCC has been advocating for appropriate cell tower regulation. A new bill, SB 649, is being taken up in the Senate that will exempt all “small cell” wireless facilities from local discretionary regulation, except in historic and coastal zones. A resolution in opposition is pending in LA City Council on the grounds that the bill would strip the City of local control over these facilities. PPCC had written a letter in opposition to a prior iteration of this bill last year (AB 2788). Maryam and Chris have communicated with Senator Allen regarding this issue. He has asked for input on possible bill amendments and Maryam will reply.
7.3. From At-Large and Area Reps.
7.3.1. Lou Kamer (At-large).
Regarding the Chautauqua left turn pocket, Lou reported that he has put through a request for a left turn arrow. The initial results from a study by the City indicated that this was not necessary. Lou went back to the City and noted a number of near misses. Mo Bloforshan of LADOT re-analyzed the intersection and decided to put in a protected green, yellow, red turn light. Concerns were raised regarding back up of left turn lane into the flow of Sunset traffic. Maryam pledged to make sure the City monitors the lane and adjust light timing to accommodate the flow/stoppage of cars.
Lou explained that he presented a list of cross walk painting/upgrades to the City. LADOT has asked the PPCC to affirm the list. Priorities are: Swarthmore/Antioch; Alma Real/La Cruz; Via del la Paz/Antioch; La Cruz/Swarthmore; Alma Real across from Ralphs; Alma Real/Toyopa; Swarthmore/Bowdoin; and Albright/Charm Acres. Board members objected that the list seemed too centered in and around the village. Lou explained that these were initially envisioned as safe routes to school areas, concentrated in the village. Reza Akef (Area 8) and George Wolfberg (VP) argued that other schools such as Paul Revere and Canyon Elementary also were in need of upgraded/refreshed crosswalks. In conversation the board agreed that more input from various ‘Areas’ should be sought before the list is made final. The sense of the board was that the list was too focused on the village and needed more community-wide input/scope to better represent the needs of the entire Palisades. Maryam suggested, after listening to board input, that the first two items on the list presented by the At-large rep as a result of his surveying and research could be affirmed as priorities, and would reflect that to the City. She noted that the City progresses slowly and that this would give us time to consider/debate more options at PPCC, while still being responsive to the City on the issue of crosswalk priorities.
7.3.2. Reza Akef (Area 8) stated that he has a residential project in development on the rim of Potrero Canyon in Area 6 that was vandalized by Pali High students who came up through the Canyon. He explained that he cannot put up any six foot fence around the property until he receives approval of the Coastal Commission. He has hired a security patrol which monitors the property several times a day.
7.4. From Organizational Reps.
7.4.1. David Card (Rotary Club). David announced that the Rotary is awarding student scholarships at Paul Revere awards night on May 31st, as a result of the successful Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Fundraiser. Award winners receive $500 each.
7.4.2. Richard Wulliger (Historical Society). Richard announced that on June 8th at 12:30pm the annual Palisades Historical Society Membership Luncheon will take place at Aldersgate Retreat Center on Haverford. Eric Dugdale will speak on the history of Aldersgate and new officers will be installed. Richard also reported that PCHS student Shannon Lee received an award from the Historical Society.
7.5. From Governmental Representatives.
7.5.1. Lisa Cahill – Office of Councilman Mike Bonin, CD11. Lisa introduced herself as the new CD11 Deputy for Brentwood and Pacific Paisadses. She is familiar with the District and was formerly with Tree People. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
7.5.2. Janet Turner – Office of Congressman Ted Lieu, District Representative. Janet reported that the Congressman co-sponsored the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017; he is on the Bi-Partisan Committee to Enhance Cybersecurity; he has worked on legislation regarding the Homeless Act for non-profits to provide legal services for Veterans. Congressman Lieu and his colleagues are presenting their own bold infrastructure proposal to create millions of jobs.
7.5.3. Daniel Tamm – Office of Mayor Garcetti.
Daniel gave information about the Affordable Housing Ordinance – legalizing certain unpermitted units and ensuring housing is safe and habitable is one piece of a larger component. There is an Affordable Housing Linkage Fee – basically a trust fund for the development of housing. Mayor Garcetti wants to focus on Vision Zero and on fixing the streets. $25 million has been allocated to Vision Zero and $31-$34 million has been allocated to the “D” and “F” streets. Daniel suggested that the Palisadian Post sign is under litigation. Maryam clarified PPCC was under the impression that the sign has been litigated. Proposition HHH passed November 8, 2017. The Mayor is currently going to do an educational campaign about what permanent supportive housing looks like. An implementation roll out document was presented. Over the next two years an Open Space Vision Survey will take place.
7.6. From PPCC Advisors.
7.6.1. Amir Ebtehadj (Youth) reported that the Paul Revere Talent Show is June 6th. PCHS will have a series of concerts starting on May 30 and June 1. June 8th is the PCHS Graduation. The Village School Graduation and St. Matthew’s Parish School Culmination are both scheduled for June 13th. PCHS also has Student Ambassadors; if you have an event where you need student volunteers please let Amir know.
7.6.2. Ron Dean (Legal Advisor) commented on the Palisadian Post Sign matter and urged the Board to contemplate proper action against the City and the applicant. (See additional comments in Sec. 10.1 below.)
8. Reports from Committees – None.
9. General Public Comment – None.
10. Old Business.
10.1. Permit Streamlining Act/Pali Post sign matter.
Ezra Gale, CD 11 Senior Planner, presented information regarding the Permit Streamlining Act and the recent WLA APC hearing regarding the Pali Post sign permit. The Permit Streamlining Act was discussed. Ezra stated that a timeline prepared by Chris Spitz was accurate; the timeline is on the PPCC website (https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Summary-of-Pertinent-Events-%E2%80%93-Post-Sign.rev1_.pdf). He also explained that the matter has been litigated and the APC was required to reverse itself and grant the appeal because of the Court order granting the Petition for Writ of Mandate and holding that the permit application had been “deemed approved” by operation of law. Ezra advised that the City is now considering three steps to try and prevent another “deemed approved” situation in the future. First, it has been determined that the Planning Dept. does not have a proper tracking system for streamlined items, so the Dept. is looking into initiating an internal digital tagging system that would warn of upcoming deadlines. He explained that although permit applicants may not be asked to waive their rights under the Act, asking them to voluntarily extend the time for deadlines is another option for the future. The third solution would be to move the CEQA determination so that it occurs at the same time as the determination on the application. Chris remarked that she believed this would be the best way to solve the problem since the deadline is triggered by the CEQA determination. Ezra indicated that some of these options are implemented by other cities and Planning is determining if they can be implemented here as well. A digital tagging system can still be prone to error, so implementing all three options would be important to try and prevent the same situation from re-occurring. Ezra stated that in Council District 11 this is the first instance where this has occurred. He also announced that the City Attorney will not take up an appeal based upon their internal discussions. Ron Dean stated that the City should change the law and provide a 30 day notice of intent to file an appeal under the Act, in order to alert communities and the Planning Department of the impending application of the law. He also suggested that PPCC should file a claim against the Act. Maryam stated that all of our local control and suggestions have been dismissed. Daphne Gronich gave her opinion that the City should appeal. She asked if there is a revocation process. David Kaplan asked what the date would be to appeal. There was no direct answer to this question although Board and audience members believed it would be soon. There was discussion about the Court order, and Chris attempted to clarify that the judge made a technical decision based on a 9th Circuit Court of Appeal case having to do with the required language in the public notice having been satisfied at a certain date, thereby triggering the time allowed for the City to issue a timely determination. Ezra stated that he will obtain information on whether the permit to be issued will be revocable.
10.2. City General Plan and Community Plans post-Measure S/developments.
Report by Ileana Wachtel, former Measure S spokesperson. Ileana met with the Mayor regarding transparency. Their next meeting is on June 7, 2017 from 2 – 4 pm in City Hall. She said it is important to have community involvement. LA is losing its urban forest. Community input is important.
11. New Business – None.
12. Adjournment. Maryam adjourned the meeting at 9:09 pm.