Return to Index of 2016 Minutes


Voting Members in Attendance:  Maryam Zar, George Wolfberg, Chris Spitz [acting Secretary], Richard Cohen, Sue Kohl, David Kaplan, Peter Culhane, David Card, Barbara Marinacci, Danielle Samulon, Rick Mills, Lou Kamer, Cathy Russell, Katie Braude, Richard Blumenberg and Rick McGeagh.

 Voting Alternates:  Andrew Wolfberg, Barbara Kohn, Eric Dugdale and Margarita Pagliai.

Non-Voting Advisors and Alternates:  Bruce Schwartz, Carol Bruch, Kevin Niles, Amir Ebtehadj, Andy Frew, Brian Deming and Matthew Rodman.

Start of Business Meeting

1.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair Maryam Zar called the meeting to order and certified that a quorum was present at 7:03 PM. 

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Rick Mills read the Mission Statement.

3.    Introduction of the Board and Audience.

4.    Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings.  Approval of minutes: Maryam deemed the minutes of October 27, 2016 approved.   Upcoming meetings: 12/08/16. Holiday Party and Awards Event. 1/12/17 & 1/26/17: Sharon Commins on Recode LA and Barbara Broide on building and development on the West Side (including the battle over the sign ordinance). Note: There is one meeting only in Nov. and Dec. 

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Maryam stated that the agenda is as distributed. 

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  Richard Cohen reported that the current balance is $34,134 and there have been no significant transactions in the last two weeks. 

7.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

7.1.    From the Chair.

7.1.1.    Caltrans light and latest from our efforts to open up a 2nd route using Temescal.  Maryam advised that we have been trying to make an alternate haul route possible in order to alleviate the load on Chautauqua. She described two of the routes that have been approved: Swarthmore to Sunset left, to Chautauqua right, to PCH right, then a right into the Canyon; and Swarthmore to Sunset right, to Temescal Canyon left, to PCH left, then a left into the Canyon. However, the 2nd route is not possible unless a signal light is installed on PCH to allow left turns into the Canyon. Maryam stated that CM Bonin is willing to go to Caltrans to see if the light on PCH can be approved. At ASM Bloom’s suggestion, Bonin wrote a letter to ASM Bloom asking for his assistance with Caltrans in attempting to make the light possible. This letter is on our website. Maryam also stated that she has now been told by ASM Bloom’s office that Caltrans would be willing to allow the light, but first needed a request from the appropriate City agency. CM Bonin has advised that he will forward the necessary request. Maryam explained that we are doing the best we can but nothing in government gets done quickly. Caruso wishes to complete hauling as soon as possible. They have stated that hauling will take about 2 ½ – 3 months assuming all goes as planned. We don’t know if a light can be approved or installed in this time frame, but we will try.

7.1.2.    Zoning hearing recap (11/10/16).  Maryam explained that the City Planning Commission (CPC) staff recommendation was to give a carve out from the BMO-BHO amendments for parts of the Palisades, in a way that doesn’t overly limit what residents are able to build on their property. She reported that the CPC accepted the staff recommendation at today’s hearing and our carve out was successful.

7.2.    From Officers – None.

7.3.    From At-Large and Area Reps.

7.3.1.    Lou Kamer (At-Large).

Update on safety forum.  Lou stated that last night there was a kick-off safety meeting with residents. They discussed disaster preparedness and also Officer Moore’s repeated advice to the community: everyone should be aware of their surroundings and take care of their own security. Lou will bring the issues to PPCC as part of the PPCC safety & security campaign planned for this coming March. Norris Hardware is preparing basic emergency kits for purchase. Lou also advised that he attended the recent BID meeting and updated the members on the Caruso project and haul route matter. He reported that BID members remind everyone to shop in the Palisades.

7.3.2.    Lou Kamer (At-Large).  Deferred comments about Chautauqua haul route until Item 10 (new business).

7.3.3.    Sue Kohl (Area 5).

Update on Shell Station matter. Sue read a statement from Sandy Eddy regarding the project and thanked Sandy for the information. See attached statement. Maryam: Last night the DRB reviewed design elements of the structure; they did not and could not review use elements. The owner will be invited to return to PPCC to discuss use issues. Barbara Kohn: She defers all comments until after the next DRB meeting on Dec. 7, when the applicant and architect will be returning to present plans. Richard Cohen: Does the current illuminated monument sign violate our design rules? Barbara: Addressing design and signage is still under consideration. Rick Mills: The DRB previously approved a monument sign for the station. Barbara: The pole sign next to Ritrovo has been addressed but the current monument sign is still being addressed.

7.3.4.    Richard Blumenberg (Civic League), Sue Kohl (Area 5).

Rezoning hearing update. Richard reported that this was a CPC hearing as to whether 12 areas of the City would be governed by new R1 variation zones. The CPC approved new R1V1 and R1H1 zones for the Palisades. Richard described the various elements of these zones. He also explained that the Civic League had raised 4 points of concern for projects within Tract 9300, which the CPC didn’t address: 1) the required articulation at the front — which is not needed due to the requirement for an encroachment plane; 2) elimination of the exemption for covered porches — which will result in more boxy designs because covered porches on the first floor help reduce the mass of two-story structures; 3) the additional set-back of 5 ft. (for 10 ft. length minimum length), in addition to the minimum side set-back, if the length of the building is longer than 45 ft. – which is too excessive in comparison with Civic League guidelines; 4) the maximum driveway of 25% of the lot width – which on 40 and 50 ft. wide lots would make it impossible to maneuver onto the additional guest parking spaces required per the BMO.

7.3.5.    (Agenda addition) Andrew Wolfberg (Area 8).

Andrew reported that the Riviera will be hosting the new Genesis Open golf tournament, sponsored by the Tiger Woods Foundation. He and Reza Akef request that PPCC write a letter to City Planning requesting all permits that allow the Riviera to host this tournament. Andrew also thanked CD11 and Sharon Shapiro, Paul Revere administrators and also Matthew Rodman for assistance with traffic issues. Matthew is at the school everyday at 7am to direct traffic and maintain safety for the students. The residents are not getting help from LAUSD downtown. Through Matthew’s leadership they have been able to get additional buses and carpooling but LAUSD has added many more students. Current enrollment is now at 2150 students. The neighborhood is being overwhelmed, kids are being struck by cars and the conditions are unsafe. The residents are grateful to Brentwood for its assistance. Andrew suggested that PPCC invite Steve Zimmer to our meeting to answer questions prior to the March election. Maryam: The Tiger Woods Foundation representative was supposed to speak to us at this meeting; she was just told he was not in town and couldn’t make our meeting. This representative had previously assured Maryam and Chris Spitz that the Foundation wanted to be a good member of the community. They aren’t here now but are scheduled to be here in January. Maryam stated that we can push to get a copy of the CUP for the Riviera, in particular regarding the golf course. Debbie Dyner Harris: Any CUP is probably at least 80 years old but we can look for it and see what it says. There may not be one because of uses in the area at that time. Andrew: Reza has questions about the uses of the property, such as trucks that come at all hours of morning and the Longworth gate entrance being used as a staging area on a daily basis, which was not intended for that use. Debbie: We will work with the new entity to try and address problems. Maryam: They’ll be here on Jan. 12 and we’ll have a discussion then. Carol Bruch: If there’s no CUP what can be done now to put one in place? Andrew: There are two different operations: Riviera CC and the golf operations. Debbie: We will organize a meeting with all of the interested parties. Andrew: Can we have the fire and police departments report on safety issues? Maryam: She will reach out to the firefighters and police. Barbara Kohn: There is an archival warehouse downtown with old records from the 1950s which should be looked at. Brian Deming: The event organizers need an event permit from LADBS, which would deal with operations on the Riviera property, as well as a permit from Street Services for any street usage. Maryam: We have tried to get LAUSD to be responsive but they are the least responsive of all agencies we work with. We will still attempt to get help.

7.4.    From Organizational Reps.

7.4.1.    PPRA (Sarah Conner not in attendance).

Barbara Kohn reported about the Coastal Development Permit hearing yesterday for the proposed pole top distributing station (PTDS) on Sunset at Marquez Pl. She stated that the issue is about protecting Sunset as a designated scenic highway. Sarah spoke at the hearing and stated PPRA’s position. PPRA wants to modify the site to fit with the Community Plan and Coastal Act requirements. A lawyer and two engineering experts for new owners of the old Bernheimer Gardens parcel gave their opinions and argued that the PTDS could be pad-mounted or undergrounded and that this would not be expensive. The DWP representative acknowledged that the poles could be taken down but said that DWP engineers maintain that these modifications cannot be made. The new owners have offered to grant DWP an easement over their property to allow pad-mounting. Barbara stated that the DWP representative gave no reasons why this could not be done. It was requested that any reasons be included in the staff report. PPRA and Save the Bluffs have reached out to many residents via email or social media; they received Facebook Likes and/or signatures on a petition from over 1300 residents. The modifications can be done in a reasonable amount of time and will lessen the effects on the environment. Barbara also reported that the adjacent site is in the Coastal Zone but there was some question as to whether the PROW where the PTDS is located is also in the Coastal Zone. DWP has denied knowing it was in the Coastal Zone. Barbara stated it is clearly marked on ZIMAS as being within the Coastal Zone. At the former meeting at Marquez Elementary about PTDS siting, Mike Bonin stated that he would make sure DWP spends whatever is necessary to satisfy the community. The new property owners reiterated their willingness to work out something with DWP. DWP had claimed they placed the poles in this location because of an emergency and therefore were exempt from Coastal requirements. Barbara stated that this was not an emergency situation that exempted DWP from notification requirements and that erecting the poles without notice was illegal. There was also a discussion at the hearing about educating the community about reducing power consumption. Barbara noted that it is PPRA’s position that the City is not enforcing local and state laws and this burdens our community. Bruce Schwartz: There is a functioning PTDS on Temescal Cayon near Sunset; how far is this facility from the Coastal Zone? Barbara: We are investigating; the Coastal Zone meanders along the coast, goes up Temescal and into the canyon and then circles back down, so that the Y property and property above it is within the Coastal Zone; the PTDS is in the PROW on Temescal. Peter Culhane: When was the property purchased that is adjacent to the PTDS on Sunset? Barbara: Recently, but she doesn’t know the details.

7.4.2.    PPBA – Rick McGeagh.

Rick reported that the Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board (PAB) held the Halloween Spooktacular last Saturday. There were over 1000 guests. The event was very successful and the kids had a great time. The PAB also held a special emergency meeting to consider a proposal to rent out 22 parking spaces every day from 7am – 3pm to Seven Arrows. The PAB received numerous emails from community members, all opposed to the proposal. The request was denied at the meeting. Information about what Seven Arrows would pay was not included. Many people already illegally park at the Recreation Center most of the day; there is no enforcement of 2 hour parking signs and it is a habitual problem. The Seven Arrows proposal did not make sense to the PAB in terms of the numbers presented. That is why the PAB rejected the proposal. Maryam: What’s to stop them from parking at the park for free? Rick: Seven Arrows has now found an alternate parking source so this is not an issue; they have been good neighbors and gracious.

7.4.3.    TCA (Gil Dembo not in attendance).

Richard Cohen reported on TCA’s annual meeting to take place on Nov. 29 at 7pm in the Temescal Canyon Dining Hall. The featured speaker will be Dr. Seth Riley, wildlife ecologist with the National Park Service, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, who will speak about the proposed Liberty Canyon wildlife crossing and address wildlife observations and issues near Topanga State Park. Randy Young will also show a historic film on Los Leones Canyon. Refreshments will be provided and all are welcome.

7.4.4.    (Agenda addition) Rotary Club — David Card.

David reminded everyone on behalf of the Rotary Club and American Legion that tomorrow is Veterans Day and we should honor the day by flying the flag and remembering all veterans.

7.5.    From Governmental Representatives.

7.5.1.    Los Angeles Police Department — SLO Michael Moore.

Officer Moore reported that the holidays are coming and crime will go up unless everyone is careful. He advised that while on vacation residents should have a neighbor pick up mail and papers as opposed to stopping delivery. This includes gardeners and nannies – tell them you don’t need them for some reason but don’t let them know you aren’t going to be there. Kevin Niles: Was there an arrest for a recent bomb scare? Moore: Not that he was told. Debbie Dyner Harris: She heard that the culprit called SMPD who picked him up; he was a minor and it was apparently a hoax. Rick Mills: We were told the bomb scare was in the El Medio bluffs; different people got different instructions from police; some were told that the police recommended that they not to go into the neighborhood but the police couldn’t stop them; others were ordered to leave; while others were also told it was hoax. The situation was confusing and neighbors didn’t know what to do. Moore: These situations are fluid and the information changes as answers come in. The standard procedure is that if there is a threat but no substantial information that it’s real, then the police will just make recommendations to the public. There are no evacuations unless an actual device is found. Lou Kamer: He expressed concern about delivery people coming to front doors, knocking quickly and dropping packages in front. Moore: Whenever possible, if using USPS, have packages delivered there and you pick up – that is the safest way. Lou: Is there any way to encourage delivery people not to drop packages? Moore: Get a Ring system so you can talk to them and ask them to set to the side. This is not foolproof; criminals may follow UPS trucks and get an idea of deliveries and run up to front porches and grab the packages. His best advice is to arrange for offsite delivery or delivery to neighbors who are home. Bruce Schwartz: Amazon uses drivers with regular unmarked cars (contractors). Moore: Maybe one of the local businesses could get locker boxes and packages could be delivered there. Carol Bruch: She expressed concern about apartment or condo buildings with locked front entries; she gets calls when drivers can’t get in to deliver packages and they ask to be let in. Moore: He hasn’t heard of anyone dressing up as UPS driver to get into buildings. Maryam: How is crime in the Palisades now? Moore: It is down, now in the 4% range, which is good.

7.5.2.   Debbie Dyner Harris – Office of Councilman Mike Bonin, Field Deputy.

Regarding the PTDS matter, Debbie explained that there are new owners of the lot adjacent to the PTDS on Sunset & Marquez Pl. Escrow closed last week and the owners have now offered their property for pad-mounting the PTDS. CD11 is open to the suggestion and is asking DWP whether this can be done. A lot of information given earlier in the meeting about the situation is inaccurate. The PTDS is not an illegal facility. It is correct that a Coastal Development Permit is needed, but this was discovered by DWP after the fact and they are trying to rectify the situation by applying for the required permit. The same procedure was followed with the PTDS on Temescal Canyon. As to any structures in locations not within the Coastal Zone, DWP has the right to install in the PROW without obtaining a permit. Barbara: The DWP representative at the hearing denied knowing the PTDS was in the Coastal Zone because they said it was not on ZIMAS. Andy Frew: What about the structure on Sunset near Mandeville? Debbie: That structure is not in the Coastal Zone. The PTDS on Temescal is in the Coastal Zone. Debbie also reported that CD11 is excited that Measure HHH passed. This will provide $1.2B for construction of permanent supportive housing for the homeless. CM Bonin is dedicated to finding options for housing and services as there are many homeless persons in CD11. CM Bonin was a huge proponent of Measure HHH and Measure M, which also passed. We will now have a new era of transit alternatives. Maryam: We had wanted an update about crosswalks being painted in some intersections and mobility issues, but Jessie Holzer of CD11 had to leave the meeting early. Mo Bloforshan (LADOT, Western District – in attendance): This is still in the works. La Cruz & Alma Real has been done and others are pending. We can get an update from Jessie.

7.5.3. Janet Turner – Office of Congressman Ted Lieu, Field Deputy – Not in attendance.

7.6. From PPCC Advisors.

7.6.1. Amir Ebtehadj (Youth). Amir reported that with the holiday season approaching, boutiques are now everywhere: Pali Elementary holiday boutique, Nov. 17, 8am; Calvary Christian School, An Old-Fashioned Christmas 26th annual boutique, Dec. 2, 8:30am; joint holiday boutique benefitting the Woman’s Club and Pali High Education Fund, Nov. 19 & 20, 10am, Mercer Hall. There will also be an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at St. Matthews on Nov. 21. The Paul Revere Middle School Traffic & Safety Committee will be meeting at 8:15am on Nov. 18. Amir also reported that this evening, Pali High is hosting its first play-off game in 17 years, with Pali playing Carson. Food trucks are there, benefitting Pali High, and everyone is invited after the meeting to attend the game. As to the Caruso project, Amir reported that Pali High student government leaders discussed the haul route matter and expressed one concern regarding traffic and congestion during morning arrival and afternoon dismissal. They ask that the trucks not interfere during these times; otherwise, the students have a positive reaction to the project and believe it will be a benefit to the community. Maryam: Is the students’ only concern regarding the drop off and pick up in morning and afternoon? Amir: Yes, there was only a concern about congestion during that time.

8.    Reports from Committees.

8.1.    Three Chairs Committee (Chris Spitz, Chair).

2nd Alternate Area Representative nomination & board election (Areas 4 & 7). Chris announced the Committee’s recommended nominees for these positions. The Area 4 2nd Alternate nominee is Doria Anselmo. Chris introduced Doria, who was present, and stated that Doria was excited about serving on the PPCC board. Chris reported that Doria lives in Area 4 with her husband, who grew up in Rivas Canyon in the Palisades. She is a professional photographer who is also beginning graduate studies in the field of organizational psychology. She has been a committed volunteer with non-profit groups throughout the world with an emphasis on helping children and at-risk youth. Doria looks forward to attending Council meetings and participating in the discussion of many issues of concern for her, including homelessness, safety and congestion around Palisades High, break-ins and car thefts in the neighborhood, Coastal Commission building concerns and the Caruso development. Doria is supported by the Area 4 primary rep, Rick Mills. The Area 7 2nd Alternate nominee is Marilyn Wexler. Chris explained that Marilyn regretted that she could not be at the meeting as she is out of the country. Marilyn is the respected President of Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association (SMCCA), where she has served as a board member for almost 15 years. She recently gave an informative presentation to our board about SMCCA this past October, which is posted on the website. Marilyn is a 25 year resident of Area 7. Her interests and concerns range the gamut of traffic issues, over-development, homelessness, the effects of BMO/BHO changes, and providing a bridge between the SMCCA and PPCC. Marilyn is supported by the Area 7 primary rep, Cathy Russell. Chris then moved on behalf of the Committee for the board to approve and elect Doria as Area 4 2nd Alternate and Marilyn as Area 7 2nd Alternate (no second was necessary because this motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member). Maryam called for a board vote by a show of hands. The board voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

8.2.    Awards Selection Committee (George Wolfberg, Chair).

Announcement of awardees. George read a statement announcing the winners of the Citizen of the Year, Golden Sparkplug and Pride of the Palisades Awards. See attached statement. Maryam thanked the Committee and all the Award winners for their outstanding service.

8.3.    Awards Event Committee (Peter Culhane, Chair).

Holiday Party update; committee membership. Peter reported that the Committee members are himself (Chair), Sue Kohl, Bruce Schwartz, Brian Deming, Maryam Zar (ex officio) and Chris Spitz (advisor). The event will be on Thurs. Dec. 8, at Gladstone’s. There will be a program book with tributes from the community. Further details will be provided. We are looking forward to a great event. Maryam: There will be an opportunity for community members to place tributes in the program book. Volunteers for the Event Committee are welcome.

8.4.    VPCLC (David Kaplan, Co-Chair).

Caruso Haul Route issue/developments.   David read the Committee’s report on the current status of the haul route matter. See attached report. Discussion continued under Item 10 (Old Business) below.

9.    General Public Comment – None.

10.    Old Business.  

[10.1.]    Caruso Haul Route — discussion and possible motion.

Bruce Schwartz: The traffic is bad on Chautauqua and worse at the blind curve; could there be traffic control just before Corona del Mar? David Kaplan: There is discussion about electronic signs. We understand there will soon be a test run. Maryam: Caruso Affiliated (CA) knows the suggestion for electronic signs has been made; the test run will take 3 hours. She was told today that CA is trying to get more certified LA traffic officers to be there at key spaces but the qualified officers are in high demand; is CD11 trying to secure these traffic officers? Debbie: She doesn’t know but if we can get them they may be stationed at the bottom of Chautauqua. Brian Deming: Is CA submitting a traffic plan to the City? Smart officers directing traffic would be better than changing the green signal on PCH. Maryam: Staff have not been secured. Lengthening the green signal would impact everyone so Caltrans would take a look but there is no promise to lengthen the signal because this may impact traffic. Audience/Daphne Gronich: The week proposed for a test run is when LAUSD schools are closed, so it would not be a good test. In addition, Sunset has been narrowed between Swarthmore and La Cruz; will it stay narrow during the entire construction? David: No; once hauling is completed then CA will remove the barricades and it will be in normal construction mode. Maryam: We will bring to CA’s attention the fact that a test run on the 23rd may not give an accurate reading. Danielle Samulon: That week is quiet in the Palisades, with many schools closed the whole week. Mo Bloforshan: PCH at Chautauqua is a state highway and LA City traffic officers can’t be stationed there. Caltrans controls the signal light. Changing the signal will impact PCH traffic. It is possible to have a changeable digital smart message sign at the curve on Chautauqua, warning to watch for stopped traffic (currently a stationary sign is there). Sue Kohl: It would be great if the sign could be permanent. George Wolfberg: He attended a recent game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and saw that traffic flow into the area is better because LADOT people are stationed there; can’t they also go to PCH & Chautauqua with an agreement with Caltrans? Mo: He doesn’t have an answer and has never heard of this before. PCH is controlled by the Highway Patrol, but perhaps some kind of agreement would be possible. Eric Dugdale: Traffic is an environmental impact. He has also been talking about contamination of the dirt for some time. He showed historical pictures of the Village and expressed concern that in his view we don’t know what tests are reliable without an EIR. There was a creek running through the area and the soil was not fully compacted. There have been four gas stations and a dry cleaner on the site. Maryam: Everyone in this room as well as CA and City officials want to be sure it is all going correctly and nothing is being done wrong. We understand the dirt under the dry cleaner has already been removed and taken away; the gas station dirt is not what’s going to Potrero. The other dirt to be excavated and hauled has been tested and certified as clean. Eric: He believes that tests deep underground will come up with chemicals; the City is relying on CA’s own lab; tests should be done when the soil arrives at Potrero. Rick Mills: There will be continuous testing. Debbie: The dirt is being tested in both places, before it leaves the site and when it is dumped at Potrero.   David: He reminded everyone that the project has already been approved and the developer was told by the City that an EIR was not necessary. Kevin Niles: What impact does the hauling have on Temescal? Maryam: We have sent information about the haul route to all involved. The Prop O project on Temescal is short-lived; there will be no staging on Temescal because Prop O is ongoing; that project will be done in a month and will be ended when Caruso starts hauling. Audience/Donna Vaccarino: The current soils report only tested soil to 25 ft. in increments of 5 feet; an earlier soils report showed a plume flowing out and contaminants at 90-95 ft.; she has sent a letter requesting that we obtain the HazMat report and permits for the buildings that were demolished. She has requested this from CA and from PPCC. David: We have asked CA for the report and they don’t have it. We can’t obtain it and they say they don’t have it. Donna: She wants clarification on the excavation permit on file and a ZIMAS activity report, which is only for 2 levels of parking. Maryam: We will follow up, but this is a reputable builder in a town full of lawyers. Donna: Where will porta-potties be placed during construction? David: We will contact CA about the location. Richard Blumenberg: CA probably will not excavate as far down as 40 ft. even with 3 levels of parking, so they won’t reach soil at 90 ft. Carol Bruch: What impartial entity is testing the soil? Debbie: The Dept. of Toxic Substances letter has been circulated. Richard Cohen: Thanked Mo for being here; he is a very valuable resource. Richard asked about traffic flow on Sunset. After the lights were computerized, some are intentionally slowing traffic, e.g. at Will Rogers State Park Road; do we need this? Mo: Yes, employing a “resting red” is a long distance traffic control; we need it at that location to slow down traffic. Cathy Russell: Drivers go through the Brooktree light even when red. Mo: He believes the light at Will Rogers does the job; the intention is to slow down traffic. LADOT will not change it to a regular signal.   Richard: Speed studies for enforcement are done by LADOT and have expired on many roads. Is LADOT catching up with this? Mo: Sunset has been extended. Palisades Dr. has expired. Speed studies on PCH are done by Caltrans.

11.    New Business – None. (Tiger Woods Foundation deferred to January 2017.)

12.    Adjournment.  Maryam adjourned the meeting at 8:59 PM.


ITEM 7.3.2 – Sandy Eddy Statement re Shell Station Project

In October 2015, PPCC wrote a letter opposing the proposed Shell Station project at Sunset and Via de la Paz.  We had 5 areas of concern to the community:

  1. Hours of operation.  The project wants to be open 24/7
  2. Alcohol sales
  3. Increasing the size from 600 sf (current Shell retail area) to 2750 sf.
  4. The placement and orientation of the building
  5. Possible adverse effects of the project on traffic flow, especially in light of the redirection of traffic from the Caruso project.

The letter also stated “PPCC believes it is possible with negotiation and compromise on the above issues that the development could proceed without undue adverse impacts on the community. Accordingly, PPCC requests that the current application not be approved as written and that the owner revise his application in consultation with the neighboring residents and businesses.”

Representatives of the 107 condos next door to the project met with the owner 3 times at Councilmember Bonin’s office but were unable to reach any compromise. The neighbors have submitted nearly 300 signatures of people who oppose this project.

The owner recently resubmitted his plans to the DRB without any change – except he’s taking away 8 of his parking spaces. There were no changes that would address any of PPCC’s concerns.

The neighbors will be asking PPCC to reiterate its position to Councilman Bonin and to the City. At the appropriate time I will be asking the PPCC to invite everyone, those in favor and those opposed to the project, to hear from all sides and then to take a position.

ITEM 8.2 – Awards Selection Committee Statement

Pacific Palisades Community Council announces the selection of winners of prestigious awards to deserving community volunteers. The PPCC’s Awards Selection Committee reviewed nominations received from throughout the community of candidates for Citizen of the Year and Golden Sparkplug awards and also considered possible candidates for the discretionary Pride of the Palisades award.

Citizen of the Year Award: Honors a Palisades resident who has enriched the fabric of Pacific Palisades through long term and continuing outstanding volunteer service as well as a recent extraordinary accomplishment which has resulted in a substantial benefit to the community at large.

Golden Sparkplug Award: Honors the efforts of Palisades residents, property owners or business operators who have ignited ideas and projects resulting in an original contribution that benefits the Pacific Palisades community.

Pride of the Palisades Award: Awarded from time to time to recognize an individual for extraordinary service to the Palisades community.

Citizen of the Year. The Committee selected Daphne Gronich to receive Citizen of the Year Honors. This honor was first awarded in 1947 and Daphne is a worthy descendent of past winners. Daphne has served as Chair of the Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PAPA) for the past three years, starting from scratch each year with the daunting challenge of raising over $100,000 while simultaneously serving on the boards of PRIDE and the Paul Revere Charter Council. She secures necessary permits and organizes volunteers to facilitate every aspect of our town’s iconic Fourth of July Parade including the VIP luncheon, the parade lineup of floats, bands and VIPs as well as the post-parade concert and fireworks display.

Golden Sparkplug. The committee received the most robust series of nominations for Golden Sparkplug awards in many years. PPCC has been awarding Golden Sparkplug awards since 1974. Five extremely well-qualified candidates were selected for this award. In alphabetical order they are:

  • Sylvia Boyd who created the monthly Food for Thought speaker series held at the Presbyterian Church. Speakers are local residents with amazing stories to tell. Sylvia was inspired to create the series after attending the funeral of a fellow church member who had an amazing life story. She was ignited into action to share the outstanding lives, careers, and experiences of Pacific Palisades residents “while they were still on this Earth.” Since its inception in November 2014, Food for Thought has presented 26 speakers who have inspired over 1,000 residents. Each event includes a complementary lunch which, in itself, is a daunting challenge. Sylvia also is the person who organizes dozen of volunteers to work on behalf of the Fourth of July parade and led the reception committee for a recent Homelessness Task Force fundraiser.
  • Patrick Hart is a dedicated volunteer with the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness and was inspired to devise a satellite mapping system to monitor homeless persons and facilitate and coordinate efforts by the Task Force, OPCC outreach workers, LAPD, and LAFD. Patrick himself populates the map with identities and locations in about 60% of the PPTFH area to facilitate monthly enforcement statistics.
  • Amy Lundberg was inspired to lead a four-year community effort to turn back attempts to create inappropriate and potentially precedent-setting development along the view corridors of Santa Monica Bay which resulted in supportive decisions by the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission and the California Coastal Commission. Amy devoted hundreds of hours to spark a community coalition “Save the Bluffs” which has succeeded in thwarting developer plans to erect a 49-unit apartment development on geologically sketchy land at 16690-17000 Sunset Blvd. Amy succeeded despite the demands of full-time employment and child rearing. She also created the website to share community concerns regarding the project.
  • Karen Stigler has demonstrated tireless leadership over the past 18 months in creating the new Palisades Alliance for Seniors. Karen led development of the Alliance’s mission to help Palisades seniors age in place in our special community and sparked interest among our community’s senior population. Karen also organized the volunteers and established a twice monthly informative speaker program at the Library, generally filling a void created when the local chapter of AARP ceased to exist in 2008. The alliance has a web presence at and provides an important resource and appropriate activities for the 20% of Palisadians over the age of 65.
  • Veslemoey Zwart is the dynamic Chair of the Rustic Canyon Park Advisory Board and has sparked efforts to raise significant funding for the improvement and repair of deteriorated infrastructure at the Rustic Canyon Recreation Center including the historically-landmarked 95-year-old former Uplifters Clubhouse. She has sparked not-to-be-missed annual fundraising galas that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars resulting in improvements to the historic stage, refurbishment of the gym floor and tennis courts, replacement of deteriorated courtyard doors with historically accurate replicas, and strengthened the sense of community and sparked a shared goal to refurbishing the deteriorated facility.

Pride of the Palisades. This award, not necessarily given every year, was created to recognize an individual for extraordinary service to the Palisades community. The Awards Committee takes great honor in awarding the Pride of the Palisades award to a community icon, Bob Benton. Mr. Benton owned a popular retail store in town for 30 years, and also has served as the volunteer Commissioner for the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association for more than two decades. This is a demanding job, overseeing such a popular sports program from January through June every year. Bob worked tirelessly as a coach of numerous sports teams for over 20 years, and served on the PAB (Park Advisory Board), including as Chair and worked on fundraising efforts for the Field of Dreams at the Palisades Recreation Center as well as being an active volunteer on the annual Fourth of July 5K/10K run and has been one of the most popular residents in our town for decades. Bob also served the entire community with a family-oriented focus from 1982 until the Sports Shop closed this summer to make way for the Caruso project construction. Bob donated sportswear and equipment to the St. Anne’s Guild at that time. Bob has been active on the Chamber of Commerce where he is a past president and currently is assisting with budget and administrative oversight. The committee is pleased to honor him with the Pride award. Committee members stressed that they appreciated the opportunity to honor a businessman at a time when it’s really hard going for retail businesses in the Palisades.

The Awards will be handed out at the annual holiday party of the PPCC Board of Governors to which the awardees and the entire community are invited. This PPCC-sponsored event will be held at 6 PM on December 8, 2016, at Gladstone’s in Pacific Palisades. Look for further details about the event in the coming days at

ITEM 8.4 — VPCLC 11/10/16 Report

As of today we do not have an exact date for the beginning of hauling. We have been promised 2 weeks advance notice so that pretty much assures us that hauling will not begin until after Thanksgiving. We have indication of a tentative start date of the Monday after Thanksgiving.

As to Chautauqua which today is still the only route available to get the dirt to Potrero Canyon:

  1. a) CA is responsible for the wear and tear on Chautauqua and Temescal as per their haul permit. They have posted a $50K bond (Councilman Bonin has promised repair and repaving at the end of the hauling).
  2. b) LADOT and BOE/Public Works determine the bond and the curative work at the end.
  3. c) The trucks will be in radio communication with each other which will allow loading stoppages if traffic impacts hauling.
  4. d) There will be flagmen at both ends of the haul route (at CA site and at Potrero).
  5. e) The hauling schedule will be flexible based on traffic issues or other unanticipated problems.
  6. f) There will be one person dedicated to managing the trucks.
  7. g) Community feedback will continue through the hotline number and/or to CA employee Mark Wix (Sr. VP, Construction) on the site.
  8. h) There may be new signage to help direct traffic flow (to be determined by LADOT). City signage that CA was willing to pay for. Bonin was going to talk to DOT about hat signage would be appropriate. They are working out some sort of signage program that is safe, which CA has offered to pay for.
  9. i) CA will be using 5 axle double bottom trucks, which may decrease the impact on the roadbed, and are more nimble along the route.
  10. j) CA has affirmatively requested, and we are told Catrans will consider, lengthening the Green signal time for light at PCH/Entrada/Chautauqua if need be, keeping in mind that any adjustment to that timing will impact traffic in every direction.
  11. k) CA has requested more traffic cops (Bonin helping to secure these), at Chautauqua and PCH daily, that CA is paying for.
  12. l) We are requesting that surveys be made, before & after, of the state of both Chautauqua and Temescal to determine a baseline in the event of necessary repairs.

Lastly, we are still trying to get Caltrans to install the light on PCH for a left turn into the Canyon. They have agreed to do it, in theory, though we have no specifics yet on timing or even logistics, related to a left turn lane. We have received word from Councilman Bonin’s offices that they will have the right city agency make the request to Caltrans to set the ball rolling. We will update the community as more information becomes available. CA has indicated that they would make use of the Temescal route, as an alternate to the Chautauqua route to lighten the load. At this point, though we are trying with every lever we have, there are no guarantees that we will have timely success but it is not out of the question. We have learned that there may be a test run on 11/23 in the afternoon. We will keep all informed as we get information.

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