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Voting Members in Attendance:  Maryam Zar, George Wolfberg, Richard Cohen, Michael Soneff, Chris Spitz, Greg Sinaiko, Rick Mills, Quentin Fleming, Richard Wulliger, Gil Dembo, Cathy Russell, Peter Culhane, Reza Akef, Sue Kohl, Sarah Rena Conner, Bruce Schwartz, Barbara Marinacci, Rick Lemmo, Nancy Niles

Voting Alternates:  David Kaplan, Dustin Hall

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Richard Blumenberg, David Peterson, Diane Bleak, Carol Bruch, Susan Payne, Howard Robinson, Brian Deming, Alan Goldsmith

Start of Business Meeting

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair called the meeting to order and certified that a quorum was present at 7:02pm.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Chris Spitz read the Mission Statement.

3.    Introduction of the Board and Audience.

4.    Approval of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings.  Approval of the July 28, 2016 minutes. The Chair deemed the minutes of July 28, 2016 approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: 9/8/16: (1) Announcement of 2016 Elected Representatives Election Results. (2) PPTFH presentation and Alisa Orduna, Mayor Garcetti’s office. (3) BMO-BHO Code Amendment Update (Tricia Keane, CD11 Planning Director). 9/22/16: (1) USPS presentation/Q&A (L.A. Postmaster Ken Snavely, PP Post Office Postmaster Ayesha Denson, U.S. Postal Inspective Service Mail Theft Representative Angela Ferris. (2) Introduction of LAFD Station 69 Captains. (3) Intro of Pali Rec Center Directors Erich Haas & Bill Maniscalco. 10/13/16: (1) Mike Bonin Welcomes Board. 10/27/16: (1) Farmer’s Market organizers, presentation/Q/A.

5.    Consideration of Agenda. The Chair considered the agenda and noted that some items may be taken out of order.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Richard Cohen reports a current balance of $34,563.06. There were no significant expenditures in the last month. Richard also reported that at the last WLA C-PAB meeting, Captain Nieto assured him that we would keep our beach patrol indefinitely.

7.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

7.1.    From Governmental Representatives.

7.1.1.    United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu, Janet Turner, District Representative — Not in attendance.

7.1.2.    Council District 11, Office of Mike Bonin, Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy.

9/11/16 “Bike with Mike” event 9-11 AM starting at Westside Neighborhood School in Playa Vista. Started a comprehensive plan for resurfacing in the Palisades Highlands that will span three years. Portion of Palisades Drive has been paved. Discussion of Asilomar landslide retaining wall. Several design options brought to the community. A full EIR will be performed. Bureau of Engineering is the lead, Rob Hancock. City Council voted to support the State’s request to declare a state of emergency on homelessness, asking Governor Brown to reconsider. PPTFH has done a great job.

Bike lane along Temescal Canyon: there was a lot of feedback. The community was not behind the proposal. DOT is looking at using paint instead of a protected lane, or using pathways. No decision has been made, the issue will come back before the PPCC before anything is implemented.

7.1.3.    (Agenda addition) Daniel Tamm, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Westside Area Representative.  Re Westside Mayor’s Youth Council: September 12 is the deadline to sign up. High school students should apply for the Mayor’s Youth Council. Notice was sent to Pali High and to the newspapers. Re Mayor’s goal of 100,000 units of new housing by 2021- we are on track to meet that goal.

7.2.    From the President.

7.2.1.    Introduction of proposed PPCC Youth Advisor (Amir Ebtehadj).  Board consent to appointment of Youth Advisor and Interim Legal Advisor (Ron Dean) (Bylaws, Art. V, Sec. 1.B and Art. XIV). George Wolfberg moved for approval of the [remainder of sentence not included; board approved the appointments].

[Note:  Item 7.2.2 not included; but see attached letter referencing 7.2.2.]

7.2.3.    Appointment of PPCC Land Use Committee (Howard Robinson, Chair; remaining membership pending). Members will be appointed following the seating of the new board.  [See attached LUC formation document.]

7.3.    From Officers.

7.3.1.    Report from Richard Cohen on the LAPD and speed surveys that are necessary for enforcement.

A current speed survey is required for the police to use a radar gun for speed enforcement. Palisades Drive, San Vicente, and PCH’s speed surveys have all expired. Sunset has not expired. These surveys are necessary for radar enforcement. Speed limit must be set at the 85th percentile of the current pattern. Speed limits could be increased as a result. About 19% of speed surveys are unexpired. There are only 2 people tasked with speed surveys by the City of Los Angeles. West Traffic Bureau handles traffic enforcement, Captain Val Thomas. Richard requested a motorcycle task force. There were a number of rapes committed in West Los Angeles. One person was identified and apprehended. There is a running scam based on jury duty, asking for a credit card. Could we get Sheriffs to enforce in Malibu along PCH?

7.3.2.    Report from George Wolfberg.

(1) Speed surveys – the City of Santa Monica ensures there are a number of officers on San Vicente before they do a speed survey. (2) Motorcycles – the CHP and the Sheriff’s Department are focusing on motorcycles on Sunset and PCH. Need coordination between LAPD, CHP and the Sheriffs. (3) The California Incline is going to open on 9/1 from 10 am – 2 pm and it’s going to be an open “free play.” Vehicle traffic will resume at 5 PM.

7.3.3.    Chris Spitz reported that she spoke with Senator Allen’s Chief of Staff re the Governor’s budget trailer bill on affordable housing funding. That bill has been pulled because of a lack of support.

7.4.    From Area and At-Large Representative & Board Advisors — None.

7.5.    From Organizational Representatives.

7.4.1.    Gil Dembo visited an event with the Mayor in Santa Monica about (1) mobility and (2) the homeless – 700 homeless people permanently living in Santa Monica.

7.4.2.    Sue Kohl – Street Services came to the Alphabet Streets four months ago, and 30 sidewalk repairs are needed. They are coming back to make temporary repairs.

8.    Reports from Committees.

8.1.    Election Committee (Chris Spitz, Chair).

Update by Committee Chair.  Chris reported that the Committee has instituted online voting accessible via the red button on the PPCC website, as well as mail-in voting via ballots printed in the Palisades News (8/3 edition) and the Palisadian Post (8/11 edition). These are the two official ballots. In addition, we will have in-person voting by provisional ballot one day only, this Sunday Aug. 28 at the Farmers Market. Voting by provisional ballot is only for those who assert that they cannot vote online, and did not receive either of the newspapers with the original ballot.

9.    Old Business.

9.1.    Temescal Canyon Stormwater Project, Phase II.

Update by Kendrick Okuda and Katherine Doherty, Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles. Phase II of the project: using the water that goes down Temescal, treated on site at the existing underground tanks for stormwater runoff, and used as irrigation in the park. Adding a new building behind the restroom, which will house pumps and chlorine treatment, and filters for analysis, to ensure that the water that is treated can be used for irrigation. Gil Dembo wanted to know whether spring water in the canyon ends up in the stormwater system. Katie did not know the answer. Construction will cost $3.1 million. Nancy Niles wanted to know if that money was out of Prop O funding and how much is in it. Katie said that yes, this is from Prop O, which had $500 million in funding. Peak wet season will produce enough water to irrigate, but in dry off-season they will need to switch to the potable system. Richard asked about the construction process and landscaping. The parking lane and sidewalks will need to be closed for a couple of weeks. They are still looking into the possibility of the landscaping at the steel boxes. Maryam asked when to expect that closure for a couple weeks. Construction will start in the next several weeks.

10.    New Business.

10.1.    Introduction of Palisadian Post Editor John Harlow.

Previously foreign correspondent for the Times of London. Demographic changes in the Palisades are reducing volunteerism. The Post has plans to restore access to the newspaper’s historical archives for the last 80 years.

10.2.    Candidates Forum – PPCC Elected Representatives Election 2016.

All candidates were present and made opening statements.  Members of the Election Committee read questions to the candidates that had been submitted in writing by audience members. The Candidates answered all questions.

11.    General Public Comment — None.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:04 pm.


August 11, 2016
Thomas M. Donovan, Esq.
President, West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission
Mail Stop 395, Room 532
200 N Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2601
RE: Case No. ZA 2012 130, ENV 2012 131 MND, Project @ 16990-17000 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Dear President Donovan and Honorable Commissioners:

The Pacific Palisades Community Council Guiding Principles state, in part, that: “The PPCC maintains that planning and zoning regulations, building codes, rules, restrictions, and ordinances have been established for the good of the community. They should be applied, upheld and enforced by the Zoning Administrator, Building and Safety, and other governing bodies with jurisdiction over the approval, execution, and enforcement processes.”

We are advised that “New Findings” of the Associate Zoning Administrator attached to your July 27, 2016 Letter of Determination fail, in material and important respects, to accurately reflect the determinations made by your Commission on December 2, 2015, as set forth in the transcript of the December 2, 2015 hearing.

We are further advised that your Commission made considered and detailed findings in its December 2 hearing that provide valuable clarification and precedent for the planning and zoning regulations that apply to the dual-jurisdiction areas of Pacific Palisades. Therefore, I am writing to respectfully request that your Commission use all means available to it to correct all errors, misstatements and omissions in the New Findings, so that the Commission’s Letter of Determination accurately reflects the Commission’s findings as set forth in the hearing transcript.

Respectfully yours,
Maryam Zar
Chair, Pacific Palisades Community Council

cc: Council Member Mike Bonin (via
Planning Director Vince Bertoni (via
Tricia Keane, Esq. (via


Date: August 19, 2016
Establishing a Land Use Committee of the PPCC
Maryam Zar, Chair, Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC)
Howard Robinson, 1st Alternate, Area 3, PPCC, Chair, LUC of the PPCC
Purpose: The purpose of the LUC is to help standardize and professionalize the PPCC Board’s consideration of zoning and land use related issues by offering thorough, consistent and well-researched analysis and recommendations to the Board.
Work of the Committee: There are a number of active City-sponsored land use policy initiatives and individual real estate development projects that will significantly affect our community. The PPCC is in need of a level of analysis that the full PPCC Board is not currently able to provide.
Land use policy issues which could be reviewed by the LUC include but are not limited to:

  • The BMO/BHO ordinance
  • The R1 Variance Zone ordinance
  • ReCodeLA
  • The Coastal zone Local Coastal Program (LCP).The LUC’s policy for considering individual real estate development projects should mirror the PPCC’s policies. PPCC does not generally get involved in single family dwelling cases, except when variances or other code waivers are being requested. There are exceptions for cases of particular sensitivity or prior PPCC interest, such as the homes around the rim of Potrero Canyon. For commercial projects or larger multi-family residential projects it is PPCC’s policy to review those projects only where variances or other code waivers are requested by the applicant, or when there is substantial community interest in a particular project. The LUC will review and comment on which projects to address. Additional policies for the work of the LUC can be developed by PPCC upon recommendation from the LUC.Committee Structure: * LUC to consist of 5-7 members, appointed by the PPCC Chair. * LUC meetings to be held Monthly or as needed. * The LUC would be advisory to the PPCC Board and would have no independent authority to speak on behalf of PPCC or the Board. * The LUC’s work and recommendations should adhere to the PPCC Guiding Principles. * Individuals eligible to serve on the LUC would include any Pacific Palisades resident, any representative of an organization with a Board seat per PPCC by-laws, or any person deemed by the PPCC Chair to have beneficial experience or knowledge helpful to the work of the LUC.Committee Membership: The membership of the LUC should be appointed after the new PPCC Board is seated in October, 2016. The committee members should largely be Representatives or Alternates on the PPCC Board who have particular experience in land use matters and are willing to augment their normal Board service with the extra work of the LUC. Other stakeholders who bring expertise and a willingness to contribute time to the enterprise can also be considered.


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