MINUTES FOR JUNE 11th 2015
Voting Members in Attendance: Chris Spitz, Andrew Wolfberg, Jennifer Malaret, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Donna Vacarrino, Nancy Niles, Richard Wulliger, Richard Wulliger, Gilbert Dembo, Stuart Muller, Brenda Theveny, Maryam Zar, Janet Anderson, Rick Lemmo, Cathy Russell, Reza Akef, Sue Kohl, Rick Mills and Amy Kalp.
Voting Alternates: Doug McCormick, Michael Soneff and Brian Deming.
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Kevin Niles, Eric Dugdale, David Kaplan, Bruce Schwartz, Susan Payne, Ted Mackie, Carol Bruch, David Peterson and Barbara Marinacci.
Start of Business Meeting
1. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Sue Kohl read the Mission Statement.
2. Call to Order and Introduction of the Board and Audience. Chris Spitz called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm. Introduction of the Board and audience.
3. Certification of Quorum. Chris certified that a quorum was present at 7:04 pm.
4. Adoption of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Chris deemed the minutes of May 28, 2015 adopted as corrected. Upcoming Meetings. 06/25/15: (1) Report from Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (3rd District, http://supervisorkuehl.com). Presenting: Rachel Zaiden, Westside Field Deputy, 313-974-3333, email@example.com. (2) California Walks: Pedestrian Safety and Walkability on PCH (http://californiawalks.org). Presenting: Tony Dang, Deputy Director and Caro Juaregui, Southern California Policy Manager. 07/23/15: (Tentative) presentation on proposed Highlands Plaza Conditional Use Permits (alcohol/beverage sales). 08/27/15: TBD. * Note: PPCC summer meeting dates are only once per month, this year on July 23, 2015 and August 27, 2015.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The President considered the agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen reported the financial status as of June 11, 2015. The total account balances equal $32,035.97. There were no significant transactions this period.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. Announcements from the President, Chris Spitz.
7.1.1. Meeting Ground Rules. 1) Due to library rules, the meeting must end promptly at 9 pm; as needed, the President will stay after the meeting to answer questions. 2) The President conducts meeting order and may rearrange order of discussion at her discretion. 3) Board members and audience shall only speak when called upon by the President; there shall be no interruptions except to make a point of order. 4) The President’s role in maintaining meeting order shall be honored. 5) All discussion shall be civil, respectful and courteous. (PPCC Bylaws, http://www.pp90272.org/Bylaws22Feb15.pdf.)
7.1.2. CD11 Senior Counsel Norman Kulla Retirement (as of 6/30/15).
Update on meeting with Councilmember Mike Bonin to discuss the “Kulla Portfolio” of ongoing Palisades matters. (Tentative) Councilmember Bonin to speak at the PPCC meeting on either 9/10 or 9/24. Presentation: Chris recognized Norman Kulla and presented him an inscribed book and certificate of appreciation from the Board. Chris read her book inscription: “Working with you for the past 8 years has been at times frustrating, more often than not rewarding, and always illuminating. Your knowledge, insight, judgment and honesty have been much appreciated, not only by me, but by all of us on PPCC who have had the pleasure of interacting with you over the years. From over-height fences to street construction issues, from Potrero Canyon to cell towers, from the DWP to the infamous parklet, it’s hard to imagine dealing with all the issues facing the Palisades without your expert advice and counsel. I wish you the very best in the exciting new endeavors that are sure to await you. And please don’t be a stranger!” Additional Presentations: (1) Gil Dembo on behalf of TCA thanked Norman and presented him with a sweatshirt, bag, map, free hike and lots of best wishes. (2) Donna Vaccarino on behalf of Palisades Beautiful presented Norman with words from members and the TAG (Temescal Garden) participants and the first bounty of flowers and vegetables from the garden. (3) Janet Turner on behalf of Congressman Lieu presented a certificate and thanked Norman for his counsel, advice and contributions to the Palisades community.
7.1.3. Re: Meeting with Mike Bonin.
Chris reported that a small group of PPCC board members who have worked extensively with Norman met with Councilmember Mike Bonin – the President, George Wolfberg, Richard Cohen, Barbara Kohn, Reza Akef and Maryam last week to discuss Norman’s “portfolio” and other ongoing issues of concern to the Palisades. Mike listened and assured us that while we all know it will be impossible to find someone to step into Norman’s shoes, he will do his best to find a good person to represent our interests. Chris stated that PPCC will arrange to meet with Norman’s successor and District Director Debbie Dyner Harris on a regular basis during the coming weeks and months. Mike will also be attending PPCC’s meeting on September 10, 2015 to tell us about what he’s been doing, to listen to constituents’ concerns and to answer questions. Chris is confident that PPCC will maintain a good working relationship with open lines of communication.
7.1.4. Proposed La Cruz Parklet.
Update on presentation to Huntington Palisades Property Owners Corporation. Chris reported that PPCC’s transportation advisor Patti Post and she attended a board meeting of the Huntington Palisades Property Owners Corporation this past Tuesday. PRIDE and LADOT gave a presentation and answered questions about proposed new safety measures for the La Cruz/Alma Real Intersection that would potentially be installed in conjunction with the parklet. These include new stripings, crosswalks, lane delineators and the like. It is possible these improvements could be installed separate and apart from the parklet, but a source of funding would have to be secured. The Huntington board did not take a position on the parklet at the meeting. Before they do so they are asking PRIDE and/or LADOT to provide data on homeless use of parklets and they also intend to do a formal survey of the Huntington residents. If anyone has any ideas for how to obtain data on homeless use of parklets, let me know.
7.1.5. 16900-17000 Sunset Blvd.
Proposed Apartment Project. Coastal Development Permit appeal hearing 9/2/15. Chris reported that tentative plans for a reduced project will be presented by developer at the PPCC meeting on either 7/23 or 8/27 (TBD). The Coastal permit appeal hearing is Sept. 2. PPCC is still awaiting word from the developer’s attorney as to which date this summer he wishes to attend and present his plans.
7.1.6. Short Term Residential Vacation Rentals.
Status update; new motion proposed by Councilmember Mike Bonin. http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-1635-S2_mot_06-02-2015.pdf. Re short term residential rentals. Chris reported that Mike Bonin has introduced a motion in council proposing certain regulatory measures. A link to the motion is in the agenda. Among other things, Mike is proposing that short-term rentals be allowed when the property is the primary residence of the host, but otherwise prohibited. The motion does not define “primary residence.” The Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition does not support Mike’s motion, and has instead passed the following resolution: “LANCC supports legislation to eliminate or structure short-term rentals through public hearings and the Neighborhood Council system. This process would allow a properly drafted and enforceable citywide ordinance. We also support that all Hosts not only capture the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), but also the City’s Department of Finance coordinate an effort to track BTRCs to the TOT.” The Bonin motion has been referred to the PLUM committee with no date set for a hearing. PPCC may take this up at a future meeting.
7.1.7. LADOT Moving Forward Together – Transit Service Analysis.
Update on 6/9/15 Workshop. http://www.ladottransit.com/movingforwardtogether/. See attached letter approved by the Executive Committee. Chris reported that Pacific Palisades is fortunate to have a professional transportation expert who is also a current resident and former PPCC board member named Steve Lantz. Steve attended the workshop and briefly reports that this was an initial meeting to provide an update and to discuss the purpose of the study, which is to evaluate the performance of LADOT’s current transit services (that is the Commuter Express, DASH and CityRide) and to consider community requests for new services. Steve mentioned that in his opinion the Palisades needs connections to the new Expo Line in Santa Monica, and a DASH for the Palisades with the arrival of the Village/Caruso project, and a doubling of the CityRide reimbursement limits. Chris stated that there will be upcoming meetings and an opportunity for PPCC to discuss our transit needs and weigh in if we wish to. Patti Post and Steve will likely be making a presentation to us at one of our meetings in the near future on this topic, so again, stay tuned!
7.1.8. Proposed Shell Station Mini-Mart.
Status update; additional preliminary community presentations. Chris reported that PPCC’s legal advisor Ron Dean attended the DRB meeting yesterday when the new owner and his architect made a preliminary presentation. Ron reports that several residents were there and concerns and suggestions were expressed by residents and by DRB members. Members of the press were there and everyone can read details about the meeting in future press reports. This is an ongoing matter and will likely be before the DRB again in the future. There are no plans at present for another presentation to PPCC. There will be a public presentation to the community by the owner on June 24, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. in the Palisades Branch Library.
7.1.9. Proposed Motion to Oppose AB 57 (limiting local government authority to regulate cell towers).
Chris reported that this is bill passed in the Assembly and is now in the Senate. AB 57 would greatly limit local governments’ authority to regulate cell towers. It is a complicated subject and if anyone wants to know more details, please contact me. Chris stated that briefly, on an emergency basis, the Executive Committee yesterday unanimously approved a letter opposing this bill that was submitted to the Senate Committee that is now considering it. The deadline for comment was this morning. For this reason, PPCC will not be taking up the proposed motion in the agenda tonight. Chris said that she had distributed the PPCC letter to the board and to the press and a copy will be attached to the minutes. See letter below. We have also learned that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution this week opposing this bill. In Los Angeles, Mike Bonin introduced a resolution to oppose the bill. PPCC has learned that the motion will be heard next Friday. Other organizations citywide, including Brentwood Community Council, are submitting letters in opposition. We will continue to monitor its status. For More information: http://blob.capitoltrack.com/15blobs/793a8209-30cc-40f1-9f71-ed5f9154660b (opposition of California State Association of Counties, American Association of Planners, California Chapter, and Urban Counties Caucus); http://blob.capitoltrack.com/15blobs/aa02035b-46c0-41c1-a4be-e46ebef40d2f (opposition of League of California Cities); http://ab57.info (arguments in opposition by telecom law expert Jonathan Kramer). Board discussion and vote.
7.2. Announcements from Governmental Representatives.
7.2.1. Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO Officer Moore. Email:
7.2.2. Los Angeles City Council, District 11; Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Office.
Website: www.11thdistrict.com. Norman Kulla, Senior Counsel. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Anna Kozma, Constituent Advocate. Email: email@example.com. (310) 575-8461. Norman Kulla in attendance. Norman reported that Mike Bonin introduced a motion to alter the LAMC that makes it easier for law enforcement and sanitation to clear large bulky items. Discussion: (a) what is the transition plan to respond to Norman’s retirement? A field deputy has been hired from Councilmember LaBonge’s office but a formal announcement has not been made. (b) Mike’s motion is to streamline the process, i.e., build more housing and to stop housing the homeless on our streets.
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: www.lamayor.org. City Services webpage: http://www.lacity.org/CitywideServices/index.htm. MyLA Phone App: http://www.lacity.org//MyLA311/index.htm — Not in attendance.
7.2.4. California State Assembly, Office of Assemblymember Richard Bloom. Stephanie Cohen, Field Representative. Website: http://www.asmdc.org/bloom. Email: Stephanie.Cohen@asm.ca.gov. Tim Harter, Case Worker and Field Representative. Email: Tim.Harter@asm.ca.gov. (310) 450-0041 — Not in attendance.
7.2.5. California State Senate, Office of State Senator Ben Allen. Fernando R. Morales, District Representative. Website: http://sd26.senate.ca.gov. Email: Fernando.firstname.lastname@example.org. (310) 318-6994 — Not in attendance.
7.2.6. United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner District Representative. Website: https://lieu.house.gov. Email: email@example.com. (310) 652-3095.
Janet Turner in attendance. Janet announced that: (1) three companies have been selected to work on the VA Master Plan, (2) the senator offered a related amendment and commented that he is in favor of legalizing marijuana, and (3) the senator sent a letter disagreeing with forcing private sector companies to provide a back door allowing law enforcement to use back door technology on the principle that it is not safe for the public.
7.3. Announcements from Board Members and Advisors.
7.3.1. Officers/Area Representatives.
(1) Reza Akef (Area 8) – President Obama will be in town June 18, 2015 and traffic is planned to be impacted on area streets including Allenford , Mandeville, Amalfi and many other streets within Area 7.
7.3.2. Organizational Representatives.
(1) Eric Dugdale for the Historical Society there is a member lunch on June 18, 2015, 12:30 p.m. along with a presentation regarding the local historical Indian presence. (2) Rick Lemmo for the Chamber of Commerce: Saturday June 13, 2015 the Chamber is hosting its “Bite Nite” which is open to the public and tickets are available to the public. (3) Gil Dembo on behalf of TCA – the City is auctioning off 6 lots on DePauw on June 25, 2015. Minimum bids are $1,350,000. Funds will go towards completion of the park.
7.3.3. PPCC Advisors — None.
7.3.4. Board Members, Other Reports.
(1) Maryam Zar for the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homeless. There was a meeting on June 10, 2015 to address their three-year strategic plan. Main elements are to ensure community protection and safety, connecting homeless to services and housing and to engage the community in outreach and support. Fundraising was discussed. The Fundraising Chair is Barbara Overland who is seeking $500,000. Michael Soneff and Brian Deming are working on community messaging. pphtf.org is the new website and the FaceBook page remains a good place for information also. A Farmers Market presence and table are in the development process. A thank you to Norman Kulla was given. There was a clean up in the Huntington area which was a safety issue for all concerned and the Huntington HOA is supportive of the efforts of the Palisades Task Force. (2) Reza Akef commented that support by PPCC should be made public relative to Potrero Canyon and adherence to the ZI Bulletin for any purchasers at the upcoming City auction.
8. Reports from Committees.
8.1. Nominating Committee – PPCC 2015/2016 Officer Elections.
Christina Spitz (Chair), Maryam Zar (Vice Chair), Jennifer Malaret (Secretary), Richard Cohen (Treasurer). Board vote. Cathy Russell distributed the ballots to the counters, Ted Mackie and Susan Payne. Chris announced that PPCC’s accountant had been requested to attend but was not available. Ron Dean opined that this requirement of the bylaws had been met. There were 22 voting members in attendance. Ted and Susan collected the ballots. Cathy Russell read the results from 22 voting members: Chris Spitz (19 votes, 3 abstentions), Maryam Zar (20 votes, 2 abstentions), Jennifer Malaret (19 votes, 3 abstentions), and Richard Cohen (19 votes, 3 abstentions).
8.2. Bylaws Committee – Jennifer Malaret (Chair).
Second Reading: the Committee unanimously recommends the proposed changes to Article IX (meetings). Jennifer stated that the language is the same as the most recent two PPCC agendas & readings except to codify in Section 2 (Schedule) the more than decade long practice of PPCC to hold only one meeting during four months of the year; to correct a typo in Section 4 (Order of Business); and to add a new heading at the beginning of Section 5.B (Distribution of Agenda). Discussion: Stuart Muller said that board members should be allowed to comment during general public comment. Richard Cohen spoke in favor of the amendment. Rick Lemmo spoke in favor of the amendment and noted that board members get to speak more than once already per the agenda and members do not get to take the benefit away from the public when they have the benefit of speaking from the table. Reza Akef spoke in favor of the amendment because board members have time to talk prior during the meeting. Board members should not be taking general comment time Action: Jennifer Malaret moved that the motion be adopted. Reza Akef seconded the motion. Vote: the motion passed with 20 in favor and 1 opposed.
9. Old Business – None.
10. New Business.
10.1. WRAC Recommended Motion Regarding Planning and Land Use Recommendations.
Chris read the motion and summarized that if this recommendation were adopted, all land use decisions (such as the Zoning Administrator’s determination on the bluffs project) would include a section specifically setting forth PPCC’s recommendation and if the recommendation is not followed then an explanation of why it was not followed must be provided within 30 days. Chris Spitz sponsored the motion. Barbara Kohn seconded the motion. Discussion: (1) a concern is that there would be an added wait time to be given and that the 30-day time period would prejudice the applicant. Chris responded that the meaning was unclear. (2) Barbara Kohn said that she understood the motion to require clarification of a variance whereas there may be no current requirement to do that. Part of the issue LA is facing is a staff shortage and the quest to quicken approvals is a staffing issue. (3) support for the motion was expressed to give local councils support and a voice in development. (4) support for the motion was made provided that the thirty days be stricken since the Mayor is trying to shorten approvals to 14 days, that no delays to the applicant were caused and that LA City has a personnel shortage. (5) Rick Mills asked about the effect of the PPCC motion and Chris explained it is a recommendation to Planning and to CD-11 but it is up to the City in terms of how they respond. (6) the idea is to give NCs and CCs greater consideration at hearings and that is important. However many times publication of a decision happens many months after the hearing. ” Action: Jennifer Malaret sponsored a friendly motion to amend the WRAC motion to address concerns expressed by the board. Barbara seconded the friendly amendment. A vote was called and the motion as amended passed unanimously. The passed and amended motion read as follows: “PPCC recommends that land use and planning-related recommendations shall be disclosed in all City determinations in a “standing” section of City Staff Reports and City Determinations called “Neighborhood Council/Community Council recommendations.” Along with those recommendations, an explanation is to be provided by the City decision maker if the NC/CC recommendations are NOT followed and provided that there is no additional delay to the applicant(s).”
10.2. Spotlight on Organizations.
(1) AYSO/Janet Anderson. Janet reported that she is in her 7th year as regional commissioner and her 23rd year as a volunteer. The Palisades is Region 69 that is 40 years old and now has 48% female players. There is also an adult league. Numbers increase yet field space diminishes and the largest challenge is to find open field space. AYSO wants to provide world-class youth soccer programs that enrich lives. Everyone plays, there is open registration, positive coaching, good coaching and player development. AYSO only has 60 paid employees at the national office and otherwise is an all-volunteer organization. In 2013 the Palisades received the Region of the Year Award in Washington DC. Debbie Held accepted the award on the region’s behalf. This year over 500 children participated in the spring program. In the fall there are VIP, special needs and extra programs. Fall sign ups are underway. AYSO69.org. There is a need for volunteers and all are welcomed to come help. Locally there are nine (9) locations within the Palisades where AYSO plays. George Wolfberg has participated for 39 years and is a nationally ranked referee. (2) Historical Society/Eric Dugdale. pacificpalisadeshistory.org. Eric said that the organization has been very involved in archiving and preserving 60 years of paper product. The photo collection has been very enhanced. The organization is obligated to share the history and gives presentations and posts pictures around town including here at the library. Before the Palisades became a town but after the town was a Rancho there were many western films shot here years ago, i.e., in the 1920’s. It is $20 to become a member and there are over 3,500 photos available to the public. Some of those photos are more than 160 years old. Please friend the Historical Society on FaceBook. Programs are most often held at Theater Palisades but members also present at local schools. The organization gives an annual scholarship to a Palisades student with an interest in history. The society manages a display in the library and owns Founders Oak Island that means that they maintain that area for the public and pay the tax bill so that the old oaks remain and are maintained. There is an annual newsletter but regular updates are available on the website and on FaceBook.
11. General Public Comment.
11.1. American Cancer Society and their Discovery shops are having their 50th anniversary celebration so there will be 50% off of all of their goods. There are shops on Wilshire and in Toluca Lake.
11.2. There is a sidewalk missing on Chautauqua south (Area 7).
11.3. A resident would like more murals.
11.4. Please support the 4th of July Parade and PAPA’s efforts to bring the community together. There will be a big band concert by “The Barristers” for $10 with proceeds to go to support the parade.
11.5. There has been an increase in residential burglaries in this community and a resident would like to see a gated community and is concerned with the homeless. Richard Cohen spoke of CPAB and Sue Kohl spoke in favor of neighborhood watch.
12. Adjournment. Chris Spitz adjourned the meeting at 8:47 PM.
ITEM 7.1.6 — LADOT Moving Forward Together – Transit Service Analysis
June 3, 2015
Mr. Phil Aker Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Supervising Transportation Planner II
Re: Moving Forward Together – Pacific Palisades
Dear Mr. Aker:
Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has been the voice of the community for more than forty years. As President of PPCC, I am pleased to help get the word out about LADOT’s transit service analysis and public meetings. As they are made available to us, PPCC can distribute study details and links to our email list and also post notices on social media.
Pacific Palisades is geographically isolated from other areas within the City of Los Angeles and we have already lost many of our public transit services over the years, including the Commuter Express Route 430 and Palisades DASH. With the upcoming projected completion for Phase 2 of the Expo Line (2016) and redevelopment of the Palisades Village area (2017) by Caruso Affiliated, it is most certainly time for LADOT, residents and affected stakeholders to look again at the transit needs of our community. Particularly with the Palisades Village redevelopment, ridership on a redesigned Palisades DASH could be substantially larger than it was in the past, and although the existing Big Blue Bus Route 9 will connect some of our community to the Expo Light Rail Line’s 4th Street Station, areas of the Pacific Palisades community that are west of the western terminus of that line will be without a convenient way to get to and from the Expo Line station. There will be no parking at the 4th Street Station, so Palisadians will have to drive to a more distant station if they want to park and ride. Once in their cars, they may not be willing to transfer to the LRT.
There are ongoing needs for transit service within our community. The descriptive material on Moving Forward Together indicates that LADOT will be identifying service expansion opportunities and potential new transit routes. PPCC urges you to review the transit needs of the 25,000 people in our community who have neither Commuter Express nor DASH services.
cc: Councilmember Mike Bonin, 11th District (via email)
7.1.9 — OPPOSITION TO AB 57 (bill to limit local government authority to regulate cell towers).
June 10, 2015
Hon. Ben HuesoVia email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: AB 57 (Committee hearing date 6/16/15) – OPPOSE
Dear Senator Hueso:
Pacific Palisades Community Council (“PPCC”) has been the voice of the Palisades community since 1973. PPCC has been on public record for many years as strongly supporting enhanced local regulation of wireless telecommunications facilities (“WTF”— more commonly known as “cell towers”) in the public rights of way. PPCC opposes AB 57 because this bill will severely restrict the ability of local governments to regulate WTF and/or make local decisions about cell tower siting. PPCC opposes AB 57 based on all of the grounds set forth in the letters in opposition dated (1) May 6, 2015, by the California State Association of Counties, the American Planning Association (California Chapter) and the Urban Counties Caucus (http://blob.capitoltrack.com/15blobs/793a8209-30cc-40f1-9f71-ed5f9154660b), and (2) May 11, 2015, by the League of California Cities (http://blob.capitoltrack.com/15blobs/aa02035b-46c0-41c1-a4be-e46ebef40d2f), and specifically on the grounds that:
By “deeming approved” all applications for colocation or siting of new WTF if a city or
PPCC also brings to your attention the fact that substantial portions of Pacific Palisades are located within the Coastal zone and are thereby afforded important environmental protections under the California Coastal Act. Depending on location, new WTF within the Coastal zone are required to undergo additional review by local governments and/or the California Coastal Commission. PPCC is concerned that under AB 57, such required environmental review may be severely curtailed or effectively eliminated and significant protections afforded by the Coastal Act may be rendered meaningless.
In addition, PPCC notes that on June 9, 2015, (1) the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution in opposition to AB 57; and (2) a resolution in opposition was introduced in Los Angeles City Council by Councilmembers Bonin, Koretz and O’Farrell (http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2015/15-0002-S62_reso_06-09-2015.pdf; vote not yet scheduled as of this writing).
PPCC urges you to vote NO on AB 57.
Thank you for your consideration.
cc (via email):
ITEM 8.1.2 – BYLAWS COMMITTEE UNANIMOUS RECOMMENDATION AND SECOND READING OF PROPOSED CHANGES TO BYLAWS ARTICLE IX (MEETINGS).
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