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MINUTES FOR SEPTEMBER 8th 2016
Voting Members in Attendance: George Wolfberg [acting Chair], Chris Spitz, Michael Soneff, Greg Sinaiko, Bruce Schwartz, Barbara Marinacci, Kelly Comras, Sue Kohl, Rick Mills, Gilbert Dembo, Peter Culhane, Stuart Muller, Quentin Fleming, Cathy Russell
Voting Alternates: Andrew Sacks, Jessica Simon, Rick McGeagh, Susan Payne
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Carol Bruch, Richard Blumenberg, Doug McCormick, David Kaplan
Start of Business Meeting
1. Certification of Quorum. The Presiding Officer (Vice-Chair George Wolfberg, [acting in the Chair’s absence]) certified that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Sue Kohl read the Mission Statement.
3. Introduction of the Board and Audience.
4. Approval of Minutes/Upcoming Meetings. Minutes of the August 25, 2016 meeting deemed approved. Upcoming meetings: 9/22/16. (1) Introduction of LAFD Station 69 Captains (2) Introduction of Pali Rec Ctr lead staff and Directors with Q/A. 10/13/16. (1) Mike Bonin Welcomes new Board and discussion. 10/27/16. (1) Meet the Farmer’s Market people followed by Q/A. Tentative future agenda include discussion on bike path and pedestrian safety (follow up on presentation by CD11/Jessie Holzer and new community input), LA RICS Land Mobile radio project, 16701 Via La Costa, VPCLC update.
5. Consideration of Agenda.
6. Treasurer’s Report. George Wolfberg reported [in Richard Cohen’s absence] that the balance in our accounts is $34,409.81 and that there have been no significant transactions in the last month.
7. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
7.1. From the Chair.
7.1.1. 2016 Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplug Awards Update. Nominations from the public to be accepted from 9/22/16 – 10/29/16. Awards Selection Committee membership pending (to be announced 9/22/16). Awards Guidelines may be viewed at: https://pacpalicc.org/index.php/awardsguidelines/.
7.1.2. Appointment of new PRIDE representative for current term (alternate, Civic Organizations category): Richard Blumenberg.
7.2. From Officers.
7.2.1. George Wolfberg reported that Katherine Doherty from the Bureau of Engineering said that they are only going to have the Temescal lane closure happen once. The closure will not involve closing the bike path.
7.3. From At-Large and Area Reps — None.
7.3.1. Point of order from Reza Akef: Alternate Andrew Sacks is taking over for Area 8 as Reza had to attend a meeting in Venice. Reza left the meeting at approximately 7:10pm.
7.4. From Organizational Reps — None.
7.5. From Governmental Representatives.
7.5.1. Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) – SLO, Officer Michael Moore. Officer Moore answered a few board questions about recent break-ins and urged Palisadians to invest in a camera system.
7.5.2. United States Congress, Office of Congressman Ted Lieu. Janet Turner, District Representative. Janet Turner read a letter from Rep. Lieu discussing the settlement over the West Los Angeles VA Campus. UCLA, Brentwood School, and the Barrington Park reached an agreement with the VA. The dog park will be moving off the land if an alternate site is found, which is unlikely. The Department of Recreation and Parks agreed to pay $200,000 to the VA.
7.5.3. Councilmember Mike Bonin, CD11. Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy – Brentwood & Pacific Palisades.
Hosting Bike with Mike event this weekend. Sharon stated that Councilman Bonin is glad that we have reached a settlement, though the Dog Park has not reached a final agreement. The Councilmember is fighting to maintain the dog park. September 19 is the anticipated start date for the east side of Entrada Sidewalk project. There will be 10 day advance community notification of the start date.
Gil Dembo: Update on 16701 Villa La Costa. With the City Attorney, the County and the Coastal Commission. Sharon: No update. It’s complicated. Rec & Parks is working to figure out what to do. The property was sold through a County auction, so there’s a jurisdictional challenge.
Peter Culhane thanked the city for their work paving the roads in the Highlands. Sharon: They are trying to distribute paving throughout the Palisades, including Marquez.
George thanked the office for its constituent services. Councilmember Bonin will be at the meeting on 10/13.
7.6. From PPCC Advisors — None.
8. Reports from Committees.
8.1. Election Committee (Chris Spitz, Chair).
Election results. Committee Chair Chris Spitz gave the Committee’s report and distributed a “Results” data sheet along with a written copy of the report. See attached report and data sheet.
Carol Bruch: In every instance, a higher percentage of the winner’s votes were excluded. Were most of these husbands and wives who disagreed? Chris Spitz noted that the bylaws require that in the case where there are households with multiple votes, the committee cannot count either vote. Chris read the governing bylaws provision (which provides for “one vote per household”) . She noted that the committee is recommending revising the bylaws to eliminate that provision and to count all votes. There were many duplicative votes.
Gil Dembo: Are we going to change the window for voting? Getting 1,237 people to vote, it’s tremendous turnout. Chris: That’s up to the next bylaws committee and board.
Audience question: How many paper ballots were invalidated from Area 3? Chris: We don’t have that data currently available. We will see if we can get the information.
Stuart Muller: Thank you to the Election Committee and the outgoing area reps and officers. In a multi-family building, many people only put the address of the building. Did any of the votes that were invalidated come from multi unit housing? Also, Stuart got a flyer announcing area alternates and at large alternates, Stuart would like to know why it includes at large representatives. George: We went through to ensure that we weren’t removing votes from multi unit housing as each voter had to put in a unit number or “000.” Whatever the flyer said, it should have said that people can apply to be an alternate for an area or as an at-large.
Eric Marshall noted his opposition to reducing access to voting. Chris: This will require a bylaws amendment, so it will have to be a board discussion at the appropriate time. Chris noted that the Election Committee is recommending that assistance be given to any individuals who have difficulty accessing online voting.
8.2. Village Project Community Liaison Committee (VPCLC) (David Kaplan and Sue Kohl, Co-Chairs).
Update on Caruso Village Project. David Kaplan read the purpose of the committee and distributed the attached Statement of Purpose. Caruso Affiliated is continuing to work on the storm drain relocation and gas station remediation; phased demolition of structures is also expected to begin. Allowable City of LA work hours are 7:00am – 9:00pm M-F and 8:00am – 6:00pm Sat. Caruso Affiliated had to temporarily close the left turn lane from eastbound Sunset on to Swarthmore for a few days due to safety reasons while crews worked on Swarthmore for the storm drain relocation. They don’t anticipate that being the case again. Hauling is expected to start in November. There will be a haul route hearing; as yet the date is TBD. Superintendent of the Bureau of Street Services has indicated that at 10 am tomorrow (Friday 9/9) at 200 Main Street, Room 350, DTLA will be the hearing date and time for 26 trees to be removed (of 43 total trees). The ficus trees will be a part of that discussion. The soil from the project was deemed safe for use in Potrero Canyon. The ficus trees’ roots are purportedly wrapped around a gas line below grade. There is a requirement of 2-1 tree replacement for anything removed.
8.3. Three Chairs Committee (Chris Spitz, Chair).
Alternate Area and At-large Representative application process is now open through October 7, 2016. The 3 Chairs Committee is a required committee under the bylaws. As Chair Emeritus, per the bylaws Chris must serve as the Committee Chair; Richard Cohen and George Wolfberg will be the other members of the Committee, as appointed by Chair Maryam Zar. The Committee reviews applications and recommends nominees to the board, which elects the alternates. Announcement regarding process of applying for Alternate positions. See: https://pacpalicc.org/index.php/alternates-application/.
9. New Business.
9.1. PPTFH – report and update YTD.
Discussion only. We are honored to be joined by Alisa Orduna, Homelessness Policy Director at the office of LA Mayor, Eric Garcetti. Balancing enforcement with services, to ensure the best results. The enforcement committee focuses on the most disruptive few homeless people, and coordinates with City agencies to do outreach. The PPTFH has mapped all the homeless encampments in the Palisades on a Google map. PPTFH has been working with law enforcement to clean up encampments based on mapping. There are a number of hotspots for people to camp in the Palisades. Timmy was engaged by the mental evaluation unit and the fire department. He was placed on a 5150 hold and taken to a local hospital. The homeless people who sleep behind the library are in touch with OPCC weekly.
Gil Dembo asked about homeless people starting fires in Temescal Canyon. The PPTFH reported that Randy Young has mentioned that they haven’t recently had much homeless activity. Alisa Orduna reported that consistent outreach and places for homeless people to transition into permanent housing is important. Kelly Comras mentioned the upcoming Los Liones cleanup.
Bruce Schwartz: What is the Mayor’s position on sleeping on the sidewalk (Jones vs City of LA)? Alisa Orduna: We now know how many housing units we need available. We are proposing a bond issue to go on the November Ballot. All city agencies are now accountable for homelessness, so we are doing a lot more to engage with people who are sleeping on the sidewalk, and the rules on LAMC Sec. 56.11. All city personnel are being trained to engage with the homeless and get them into services.
Doug McCormick: Is there any community that has handled panhandling well? Alisa: Pasadena has done good work. Alisa does not give to homeless people, but rather to organizations that do good work.
George mentioned that Sharon is the homelessness advisor to the PPCC. Sharon is being honored at an upcoming event, “Rustic Night” gala at Rustic Canyon Recreation Center of September 24th; www.laparksfoundation.org for tickets. Sharon was the PPCC Citizen of the Year last year.
10. Old Business.
10.1. BMO-BHO Code Amendment and Rezoning Update.
Presenting: Representatives of CD11 and/or the Los Angeles City Planning Dept. See CD11 Summary at: http://www.11thdistrict.com/planning_mansionization_palisades?utm_campaign=august16_news&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ant “Neighborhood Zone Changes” Open House/Hearing (re rezoning for the Palisades), Sept. 13, 2016, 5:30pm Open House, 6:30pm Public Hearing, at Henry Medina Bldg., 11214 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles 90064. Ezra Gale (Councilmember Bonin’s Office): Restrictions and changes for single family zones in the Palisades, R1 lots in particular. You can check the rules on the city’s online system, ZIMAS. Certain parts of the city were experiencing mansionization, something like 20 different neighborhoods. The city council put in temporary control ordinances (ICO’s) to limit development. The City is working with each of those 20 neighborhoods to develop rules for each one. At the same time, the city is working to overhaul the zoning code. The City of Los Angeles has one of the most complex zoning codes in California. The City is re-examining the baseline ordinance. Palisades residents have expressed concern about changing the BMO BHO. Councilmember Bonin is working to create a specific carve out for part of the Palisades. There will be ample opportunity for the Palisades to have input. The Councilmember will continue working with the Planning Department to ensure that the Palisades has rules that fit the communities.
Giselle Corella and Niall Huffman (Giselle.Corella@lacity.org), representatives of the Planning Department, reported that the Palisades is being treated differently in the BMO (Baseline Mansionization Ordinance) BHO (Baseline Hillside Ordinance) process. The Palisades currently has R1, RE and RA properties (larger lots). Much of the Palisades is in the Coastal Zone. The Alphabet Streets, Santa Monica Canyon and areas nearby are being rezoned. This applies to portions of those areas that are outside of the Coastal zone. The floor area limits of the existing and amended BMO rules, those restrictions do not apply to the flat (non hillside) areas, outside the Coastal zone. Hillside within the Coastal zone will change. There would be stricter limits for hillside building, limiting to 45% of the lot. Basements are an issue in hillside areas because of the grading required. Basements do not count towards the floor area limit. Many people are using basements to increase area. They are making changes to allow basements within reasonable limits to prevent excessive grading. Foundation work will remain exempt.
There will be opportunities to address questions on Tuesday September 13, which will be the public hearing for rezoning properties outside the coastal zone R1 lots. Rezone is going from R1 to R1V1. The floor area goes from .55 to .65 if you have a 6,000 square foot lot or less. There are no bonuses. Exemptions for garages and patios will be the same. The only things that are changing are the envelope and floor area ratios. Rear garages will continue to get a full exemption, but garages in the front would only be exempt up to 200 square feet. The hillside areas above the Alphabet streets will go up to .65, or 65% of the lot, to match the flat areas.
Chris: How long is this process going to take? What governs all of these areas in the interim? [A:] The rezone will be done before March 2017. The BMO BHO amendments will probably happen first as that’s a little farther along, having already gone through the planning commission.
David Kaplan: What about the coastal zone? [A:] The Coastal zone non-hillside will not be touched with the rezoning; The BMO BHO will not affect the non-hillside Coastal zone.
George: Has the PPCC been invited to participate? [A:] During the BMO BHO amendment process they sent out general notice to invite the public to participate. Other than that, no, the PPCC has not been invited.
George: Has this process begun? [A:] No part of the rezoning process has begun. It will begin next week. The tentative date for the CPC is in November.
Gil Dembo: Are there penalties for developers who don’t follow the plans that are approved? Ezra: That’s an enforcement issue. If you see projects that are in flagrant violation of what has been approved, you are encouraged to contact our office, and we will send out inspectors.
Gil Dembo: There is a house on Greentree that exceeded the setback significantly. It has been in litigation. Questions about any zoning issues can be sent to: Ezra.gale@lacityorg.
11. General Public Comment — None.
12. Adjournment — 9:08 pm.
ITEM 8.1 — PPCC Election Committee Report – 2016
The Committee is pleased to announce that the following are the newly elected Area and At-large Representatives to the PPCC board, beginning October 1, 2016:
Area 1: Katie Braude Area 6: David Kaplan
Area 2: Peter Culhane Area 7: Cathy Russell
Area 3: Danielle Samulon Area 8: Reza Akef
Area 4: Rick Mills At-large: Lou Kamer
Area 5: Sue Kohl
We had the largest voter turnout in PPCC history, with 1237 total valid ballots. This is almost twice the number of votes in the 2014 election, and many hundreds of votes more than any other Westside council that held elections in 2016 (except for Venice). We commend all the candidates and thank the Palisades community for participating in record numbers.
With this report we are also distributing a Results data sheet which includes the vote counts. A few words about the Committee’s vote-counting process are in order: 4 of the 5 Committee members were present (Michael Soneff could not attend due to work commitments; PPCC Chair Maryam Zar did not attend). Each questionable ballot was inspected by every member of the Committee individually and discussed by the group. Every decision concerning each ballot was unanimous and decisions were based strictly on the bylaws. After initial ballot qualification determinations were made the entire group reviewed all decisions at least once (or more) again. The bylaws were scrupulously followed and all decisions were entirely impartial and unanimous.
It is important to recognize that the disqualification of votes due to duplication narrowed the margin of victory in all races but did not change the outcome. This result was fortuitous but the Committee was fully prepared to follow the bylaws to whatever outcome the rules dictate.
Based on the experience of this election and having received several constructive suggestions for improvement, the Committee recommends for future board consideration the following possible bylaws changes or other actions:
- Eliminating paper ballots and moving entirely to online voting.
- Eliminating the “one vote per household for area rep” rule.
- Alternatively, revising the current rule (which requires all votes per household to be disqualified if more than one person votes for area rep) to allow one vote per household to be counted if all votes in the household were for the same candidate.
- Strengthening voting instructions to put greater stress on the consequences of failure to follow those instructions.
- Providing for assistance to residents who request help in accessing online voting.
- “De-coupling” voting by residents for area rep and at-large rep.
- Specifying that only adults (18 years of age and older) may vote in the election.
- Establishing reasonable guidelines for the conduct of election campaigns.
Congratulations to the newly elected representatives!
PPCC Election Committee
Chris Spitz, Committee Chair; Richard Cohen, Susan Payne, Michael Soneff, George Wolfberg
September 8, 2016
PPCC 2016 Elected Representatives Election – Results
Total voters/valid ballots (online, provisional and newspaper): 1237
Votes per candidate:
Total Votes Final Votes (excluding invalid duplicate votes)
Danielle Samulon 173 120
Peter Zomber 128 106
Sue Kohl 258 195
Sandra Eddy 141 123
David Kaplan 118 92
Eric Marshall 102 91
Lou Kamer 673 647
Quentin Fleming 554 545
Area 1 Katie Braude 18
Area 2 Peter Culhane 73
Area 4 Rick Mills 75
Area 7 Cathy Russell 39
Area 8 Reza Akef 24
PPCC Election Committee
Chris Spitz, Committee Chair
September 8, 2016
 In addition to online ballots, 15 provisional ballots and 26 newspaper ballots (4 from the News, 22 from the Post) were received. 7 ballots (1 online, 3 provisional, 3 newspaper) were deemed invalid; excluding invalid ballots did not change the outcome of any races.
 Duplicate votes, including all duplicate votes per household for Area Representative, were deemed invalid per PPCC bylaws; excluding invalid votes did not change the outcome of any races.
ITEM 8.2 — Village Project Community Liaison Committee (VPCLC)
Statement of Purpose:
This committee has been formed to act as an oversight committee to address issues that impact on the community that are either unanticipated now or that remain unresolved after being brought to the attention of the developer.
This committee is not a “complaint board” and in fact any and all complaints or problems that arise during construction and eventual operation are to be brought by individuals to the developer who has set up a dedicated phone number and email address to deal directly with individuals or groups who feel aggrieved.
The committee’s purpose will be to deal with the more global aspects of potential impacts which may arise, particularly in areas of traffic, parking and noise.
Further the committee will be tracking the project’s progress as against provided schedules so as to keep the community informed about any resultant delays or time frame changes.
David Kaplan, Area 6 1st Alternate and Representative-Elect, Co-Chair
Sue Kohl, Area 5 Representative, Co-Chair
Rick Lemmo, Caruso Affiliated
Susan Payne, Chamber of Commerce
David Peterson, PRIDE
Patti Post, PPCC Transportation Advisor
Chris Spitz, PPCC Chair/President Emeritus
Maryam Zar, PPCC Chair, ex officio
Advisor to the Committee: representative of CD11 (to be named)