Return to Index of 2014 Minutes

Voting Members in Attendance:  Barbara Kohn, Chris Spitz, Jennifer Malaret, Ted Mackie, Janet Turner, Gil Dembo, Joyce Brunelle, Mark Roosa, Richard Wulliger, Sue Kohl, Harry Sondheim, Eric Dugdale, Donna Vaccarino, Stuart Muller, George Wolfberg, Jack Allen, Paul Glasgall, Jim Rea, Andrew Wolfberg and Cathy Russell

Voting Alternates:  Amy Kalp

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Flo Elfant, Jennifer Zeller, Steve Boyers, Quentin Fleming, Patrick Hart, Sash Ramaswami and John Glasgow

Start of Business Meeting

1.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Jennifer Malaret read the Mission Statement.

2.    Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience.  Barbara Kohn called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.

3.    Certification of Quorum.  The President certified that a quorum was present at 7:08 pm.

4.   Adoption of Minutes.  The President deemed the January 23, 2014 minutes adopted as corrected. Next Meetings: February 27, 2014, March 13, 2014 and March 27, 2014.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The President considered the agenda.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Ted Mackie reported the financial status as of February 13, 2014. The total account balances equal $26,701.59.

7.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

7.1.   Announcements from the President, Barbara Kohn.

7.1.1.    2014 Citizen of the Year and Gala Dinner Event, Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Riviera Country Club.

Barbara reported that the Citizen of the Year Award will be given to Rob Weber, President of the Pacific Palisades Parade Association (“PAPA”) 4TH of July Parade & Concert 2013. In addition, a special honor, “Pride of the Palisades” will be given to Bill Bruns. Third, nominations are open for PPCC’s Sparkplug Awards until February 28, 2014. See Criteria Below. 2014 Sparkplug Committee Members: Chris Spitz (Chair), Ted Mackie (Executive Board Representative), Andrew Wolfberg (Area Representative), Joyce Brunelle (Organizational Representative), and Andy Frew (Sparkplug Award Winner, Organizational Representative). Gala Dinner Committee Chair Janet Turner; Program Chair Jim Rea.

7.1.2.   PPCC Facebook Page.  Barbara expressed a huge thank you to our “Facebook Executive Producer” Campbell Britton. Please LIKE:

7.1.3.    Mayor’s Budget Day, Wednesday February 26, 2014, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Mar Vista Recreation Center, 11430 Woodbine Street, Los Angeles.  Mayor Garcetti, Councilmember Mike Bonin and Councilmember Paul Koretz attending. Barbara encouraged the board and public to attend.

7.1.4.    Caruso Affiliated Invites Input on Village Properties, Wednesday February 26, 2014, Mercer Hall, 6 PM Palisades Charter High School, 15777 Bowdoin Street, Pacific Palisades, CA.  Caruso Affiliated representatives are tentatively scheduled to attend the PPCC Board meeting on February 27, 2014.  See related announcement below. Barbara encouraged the board and public to attend.

7.1.5.    Los Angeles Department of City Planning.  Barbara reported that there is a seminar entitled “De-Mystifying the Conditional Use Permit Clearance Process” on Thursday February 27, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Ronald C. Deaton Civic Auditorium, 100 West First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. RSVPs to: Pat Hermosillo (213) 978-2642 / Barbara encouraged the board and public to attend.

7.2.    Announcements from Governmental Representatives.

7.2.1.    Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore in attendance for the homeless topic; no separate report made.

7.2.2.    Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office.  No separate report made.

7.2.3.    Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Daniel Tamm Westside Area Representative, Mayor’s Interfaith Liaison (*attending on the 4th Thursday of each month). Mayor’s Website: City Services webpage: MyLA Phone App:  No separate report made.

7.2.4.    California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s Office.  No separate report made.

7.3.    Announcements from Board Members and Advisors.

7.3.1.   Area Representatives – Report on Behalf of Areas — None.

7.3.2.    Organizational Representatives – Report on Behalf of Organizations — None.

7.3.3.   PPCC Advisors — None.

8.    Reports from Committees.

8.1.    Land Use Committee (“LUC”) – Chris Spitz, Chair.

Chris reported that: (A) Report of Re-Appointment of Tom Donavan to the WLA Area Planning Commission. See Letter Below. (B) Report of 2/6/14 LUC Meeting: The LUC considered the following matters and took action as indicated: 1) Coastal permit appeal re 15225 DePauw (retaining wall/grading issue): recommendation that PPCC president submit letter to file reiterating PPCC’s position that the ZI Bulletin and all applicable rules and guidelines must be followed; 2) Local Coastal Program (LCP): Debbie Dyner Harris, CD 11 District Director, reported that the Council office is awaiting further word on funding to develop an LCP for coastal areas of the City; general discussion of LCP issues (to be continued); 3) no new substantive updates on AGF, community care facilities, sign or murals ordinances, the ACE program or the ReCodeLA project; 4) the design and placement of Verizon cell towers remains an issue in the Highlands; 5) UCLA students are continuing work on the Palisades Beautiful-sponsored planning initiative; 6) CD11 will soon announce in the Post that it will be accepting applications for open positions on the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board (“DRB”); 7) CD11 is working on the process for developing design guidelines “under the DRB umbrella” per the Specific Plan; and (3) Next LUC Meeting: March 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM, Palisades Branch Library. All board members and public are welcome.

8.2.    Bylaws Committee – George Wolfberg, Chair.

Second reading of the revised Bylaws. Discussion and Voting. See Bylaws Committee Report PDF Attached with Reference to Documents Circulated Before the January 23, 2014. Jim Rea moved that the discussion be postponed until the PPCC meeting on March 13, 2014. George Wolfberg seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

9.    Old Business — None.

10.    New Business.

10.1.    Homeless and Transient Conflicts in the Palisades.

Guest Speakers include: (1) Los Angeles Police Department, Captain Evangelyn Nathan; (2) Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Daniel Tamm Westside Area Representative, Mayor’s Interfaith Liaison; (3) City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office, Debbie Dyner Harris District Director and Norman Kulla Senior Counsel; (4) Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Stephanie Cohen Field Representative; (5) Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney (Mike Feuer), Claudia Martin Deputy City Attorney; (6) Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), (Jeanette Rowe [LAHSA has been sending assistance workers to the Palisades’ homeless for the last two years] (7) LAFD Battalion Chief Scott Campos; Supervisory Zev Yaroslavsky’s deputy on homeless issues, Flora Gil Krisiloff.

Discussion: (1) LAPD: homeless is an international issue. If a crime is committed, then an arrest is made and information/help can be given. The more difficult issue is when camps are set up and no illegal conduct is being engaged in. LAPD coordinates with public health, County Mental Health and organizations that can provide housing. Individuals cannot be taken into custody for health conditions such as sores or conscious conditions; however if a homeless person doesn’t want to go to a hospital that is within their rights; if a homeless person wants to refuse housing that is within their rights. Homeless camps on private property are illegal because property owners are responsible for their own property which is likely being subject to trespass; homeless camps on public property is a difficult situation because of multiple jurisdictions (city, state, etc.). Zoning information is on-line and residents can contact CD-11’s offices for information regarding hillsides where there may not be addresses. (2) City Attorney – prior lawsuits (see City of Los Angeles v. Jones; LAMC 41.18) and pending litigation does affect the code sections that can be effectively prosecuted. The City Attorney works with the ACLU and the LAPD to determine which cases can be enforced and/or prosecuted. (3) Speaker asked about whether the issue is about homeless and about alcohol and drug use on public property and occupying public parkland after hours. If anyone is at a City Park after closing hours then residents are encouraged to call 911 or LAPD’s non-emergency lines. However, not all government property is ‘park’ property. The City has a zoning information mapping system (ZIMAS) that displays maps of area landforms. On ZIMAS, public property is denoted in the color green. (4) Paul Glasgall asked to refocus the discussion to the fire risk in the Highlands and Marquez areas. Flora Gil Krisiloff suggested that there is protocol set up through county services regarding open space encampments. The protocol is that LAPD and the fire departments and the LA Homeless Services Authority engage their emergency services division to address immediate risks such as fire. The emergency response team would then go out with law enforcement and provide notice that the encampment will be relocated; with that notice assistance is offered. Barbara Kohn stated that the discussion tonight is precipitated by concerns regarding fire risks in the canyons (reiterated by Chris Spitz), a recent daytime assault in the village and reports of concerns in areas surrounding schools. LAFD responded that any concern regarding a fire should be reported to 911 -(note: I know that Campos said this, but he is WRONG! You waste valuable time knocking on the door or calling and the local fire company may be out on another call—9-1-1 knows where the nearest available company is located. I discussed this with Debbie Dyner Harris and she is in complete agreement. We should not put this erroneous info on our web site.). Any cooking or warming fire should be reported to LAFD and the fire will be put out. If LAFD is called for medical they will treat on scene and leave if the individual does not want to go to the hospital. LAFD is concerned about individuals who cross PCH and are struck and injured or killed. Eric Dugdale expressed concern and expressed that the term ‘campers’ rather than ‘homeless’ and the inevitable fire. Eric asked when a tent shows up why the ‘campers’ cannot be removed because we say ‘no fire.’ Jack Allen suggested state legislation be enacted which would prohibit camping on public property where there is a risk of a fire. (5) LAPD: Panhandling is not a crime; aggressive pan handling is. Standing in the street and asking for money is not legal; although the remedy is merely to remove them from the roadway. (6) The City Attorney handles ‘quality of life’ cases. Barbara Kohn asked how mental health problems come into play. The City Attorney works with social service offices and the public defender to try to get support for remediating the problem rather than straight jail time. Cases can be continued based on proof of counseling, medication, compliance with ‘stay away’ orders and clean records and for those individuals willing to get help then that person and the community both benefit. (7) Gil Dembo asked why the Palisades cannot have signs ala Santa Monica that state no loitering, no camping, no smoking, etc. along the highway. Gil also suggested that marked signs should be put onto government properties that clearly state what jurisdiction controls the property (city, state, MRCA, etc.). Debbie Dyner Harris said that the City needs to coordinate with CalTrans that owns much of the property along PCH. Alternatively, HOAs and private property owners should take responsibility for their private property in Santa Monica Canyon. (8) George Wolfberg suggested that Mike Bonin’s committee work to make the 311 application more robust that would allow residents to report illegal campsites/trespassing in the same way that potholes can be reported. (9) Susan McInerney asked why police cars are not stationed in our neighborhood and who is stationed here that we can call. Senior Lead Officer Moore introduced himself and that residents can call 877-ASK-LAPD to report non-emergency crimes and law enforcement inquiry. There is an LAPD car assigned to the community every day. Palisades Patrol officers spoke about concern over residents being assaulted. LAPD stated that Palisades Patrol is a ‘force multiplier’ in terms of resource but that private security companies are client driven in terms of what type of response is authorized. Palisades Patrol reported that it is working with private property owners and LAPD to deal with some of the homeless camps in the area. (10) A resident suggested having uniform closing hours for all of the park property in the Palisades regardless of city, state, or agency jurisdiction. Stephanie Cohen suggested that citizens fill out a proposal for legislation. Signs on PCH from CalTrans can be investigated further by the Assembly Member’s Office in terms of why one city (Santa Monica) has signs when another (Pacific Palisades) does not. Stephanie suggested that Community Task Forces can be effective. Homelessness has so many aspects to it from prevention to United Way LA who battle the problem on a day-to-day. The Assembly Member could connect such a Task Force to resources that help relocate and prevent homelessness not just in the Palisades but as a permanent solution.

Additional Discussion: Officer Moore spoke about the earlier-distributed photo showing encampments in the Via de las Olas bluffs area. LAPD has an off-road motorcycle team that went into the area and observed 3 active camps and several “fake” camps (one of the transients is apparently setting up false camps to “mark” territory). Transients are generally not observed as this occurs during the day and they are normally out attempting to obtain money/handouts. LAPD has not seen evidence of weapons or drugs; it has seen stoves and other fire-making equipment, which is usually empty and/or no observable fires are lit. LAPD cannot cite inhabitants unless they see an active fire. They are continuing to make sweeps. Stephanie Cohen of Assembly Member Bloom’s office indicated that she would look into a suggested idea for posting notices (no fires, County and/or City property, etc.) along PCH from the SM border/Channel Road to Coastline Drive as well as questions about campfires in high fire severity zones she also suggested that residents should contact her as soon as possible if they have any ideas for State legislation to address these problems. Other officials/presenters answered additional audience questions and then made concluding remarks, indicating that they are working hard on this issue, want to continue to work with the community and are open to ideas for solutions. All speakers emphasized that this issue is complicated due to competing legal constraints, policy considerations, mental health concerns and budgetary/resource limitations, and that repeat arrests and/or encampment sweeps are not the ultimate answer to the problem. A suggestion was made to form a community task force to study the issue. President Barbara Kohn remarked that PPCC had been working on this issue for some time under the leadership of Chair Emeritus Janet Turner; Ms. Kohn thanked attendees for their participation and encouraged them to speak with her after the meeting if they are currently interested in participating on a task force. The community is also encouraged to contact officials with any comments or questions: LAPD Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore,; Debbie Dyner Harris, District Director, Council District 11 (Councilmember Mike Bonin),, 310-575-8461; Claudia Martin, Deputy City Attorney and Neighborhood Prosecutor, West Bureau,, 310-202-3824; Stephanie Cohen, Field Representative, Assembly Member Richard Bloom,, 310-450-0041. Scott A. Campos, Battalion Chief, LAFD (Chief Fire Station 69) – Fire Station 23 – 310.575.8523 – Fire Station 69 – 310.575.8569 – Battalion 9 – 310.575.8509.

10.2.    Summary of discussion regarding the recent transient assault incident at the Village Green/Starbucks.

Deputy City Attorney Claudia Martin stated that she would be filing charges against the suspect the next morning. Palisades Patrol described the officers’ part in apprehending the suspect; while Palisades Patrol’s primary duty is to respond on behalf of its clients, it also works cooperatively with LAPD and its officers will attempt to respond if a crime is being committed in or near their presence. Ms. Martin, Officer Moore and Captain Nathan stressed the importance of witnesses coming forward to give evidence of crimes in order for prosecutions to be successful.

10.3.    Additional Announcements.

Daniel Tamm, Westside Liaison for Mayor Garcetti, invited the community to attend the Mayor’s Budget Day event on 2/26/14, from 6-8pm at the Mar Vista Recreation Center.  This will feature an important conversation on what constituents want the City to deliver – as opposed to focusing on what should be cut. Link for RSVPs: Debbie Dyner Harris advised that all qualified community members with an interest or experience in architecture, design, landscape architecture and/or planning are invited to apply for open positions on the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board. Applications (resume and cover letter) should be submitted to Tricia Keane, CD11 Planning Director, at by March 7 [extension of original 2/21 deadline].

11.    General Public Comment – None.

12.    Adjournment.  Barbara Kohn adjourned the meeting at 9:00 PM.



The Golden Sparkplug Award honors those citizens who ignite ideas and projects into community actions that affect all of us.
The person must have launched a new idea or project of substantial benefit to the Palisades community.
The project must have been initiated, in progress, or completed during the previous calendar year [no bold]. The action must have been voluntary and not related to one’s business or occupation.
Both adults and youth are eligible for the award
Only one member of a given group or committee
Have broad community appeal and represent a cross section of the community
Selected based on quality of work versus quantity of nominations


Dear Community Member:

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is overseeing an environmental investigation at the Pacific Palisades Village, located near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Swarthmore Avenue, in Pacific Palisades.

A prospective buyer for the property, CAH Acquisition Company, LLC (Caruso Affiliated), is conducting investigation and subsequent cleanup, if required. While the environmental investigation is taking place, we ask for your feedback to aid us in planning future outreach activities. Please help us by completing and returning the attached community survey.
Caruso Affiliated discovered during due diligence activities, while considering its purchase of the property, a prior release of tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in soil, soil vapor and groundwater occurred. It is believed that the PCE found is likely a result of a dry cleaning business that operated at 1045 Swarthmore Avenue from about 1968 to 2000. PCE found in soil, soil vapor and groundwater at the Pacific Palisades Village area is being tested, has not been fully characterized and warrants further evaluation.

There is no immediate health risk to the public. DTSC is responsible for overseeing the environmental investigation and ensuring any remedial actions, if required, are conducted in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. Thank you for taking the time to fill out and return this community survey by March 3, 2014. The survey can be returned the following ways:

Online: type this link into your search bar to answer the survey online,
Fax: (714)484-5329, or
U.S. Mail: Marcia Rubin, Public Participation Specialist
Department of Toxic Substances Control
5796 Corporate Avenue
Cypress, CA 90630-4732

For questions about the environmental investigation or the enclosed community survey, please contact Marcia Rubin at (714) 484-5338, via e-mail:


To My Westside Supporters:

As you know, Mayor Garcetti had removed me from the WLA Area Planning Commission (WLA APC) even though my term was to run to 2016. However, I am pleased to tell you that the Mayor has now reappointed me to the WLA APC for a term that will extend to 2017.

As my seat had already been filled by another appointment, I will now take the seat recently vacated by Glenda Martinez and must go through the appointment confirmation process once again which may take a few weeks.

I understand that the Mayor’s office received many communications of support for my work on the WLA APC and objections to my removal. I am certain they were instrumental in persuading Mayor Garcetti to reappoint me and I want to thank all of you who took the time to contact him on my behalf. I would also especially like to thank Councilmember Mike Bonin who advocated for my reinstatement.

Not only do I greatly appreciate everyone’s confidence in me, I am pleased to be able to continue to work with such an esteemed team of commissioners on the WLA APC who are such valuable assets to our city and our Westside communities – Joyce Foster, Erica Linnick, and Joe Halper.

Again, my sincere thanks for all your support.

Very truly yours,

Tom Donovan
Thomas M. Donovan l Donovan & Sapienza
100 Wilshire Blvd. l Suite 1755 l Santa Monica l California l 90401
T:310.260.6016 l F:310.260.5015


Bylaws Committee Report

RECOMMENDATION: I move that the Board approve on second reading the revised PPCC Bylaws submitted for first reading at the meeting of January 23, 2014, with the deletion of “Club Volleyball” and “Club Soccer” from Appendix “A” and authorize the Bylaws Committee to correct any spelling or formatting errors found prior to posting on the web site.

BACKGROUND: President Kohn appointed a Bylaws Committee on August 9, 2012. The members are: Jack Allen, Richard Cohen, Jennifer Malaret, Stuart Muller, Harry Sondheim and George Wolfberg. Our Legal Counsel Ron Dean is advisor and Barbara Kohn and Chris Spitz also participated in some meetings as did Carol Bruch. Numerous meetings were held and unanimous agreement reached on nearly all the issues discussed. The Bylaws must be “read” twice prior to vote. The first reading occurred on January 23.

SUMMARY OF CHANGES: The following documents were distributed to the PPCC board and mailing list prior to the meeting of January 23:
“Highlights of proposed Bylaws revisions”
“Redline” version showing exact changes, and
A “clean” draft incorporating all the redline changes.

Return to Index of 2014 Minutes