MINUTES FOR MAY 10th 2018
Voting Members in Attendance: George Wolfberg (acting Chair), Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz [acting Secretary], Peter Culhane, Sue Kohl, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Danielle Samulon, Richard Wulliger, Gil Dembo, Sarah Conner, Lou Kamer, David Card, Bruce Schwartz, Rick Lemmo, Janet Anderson
Voting Alternates: Sandra Eddy, Doug McCormick
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Barbara Kohn, Alan Goldsmith, Quentin Fleming, Patti Post, Sharon Kilbride
1. Certification of Quorum. George Wolfberg (presiding officer in the absence of Chair Maryam Zar) called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm and certified that a quorum was present.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Rick Mills read the Council’s Mission.
3. Introduction of the Board and Audience. The board and audience were introduced.
4. Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings. 1) Approval of Minutes – The minutes of April 26, 2018 were approved as distributed. 2) Upcoming Meetings – 5/24/18 (officer nominations from board members accepted until 15 mins. before scheduled close of meeting; other topics to be announced). 6/14/18 (candidates forum, if needed, and election of officers, 2018-2019 term). 6/28/18 (thanks to outgoing Chair, other officers and Chair/President Emeritus). Additional topics to be announced.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The acting Chair announced that the agenda was as distributed. However, deference will be given to invited guest presenters/briefers so exact order may not be followed.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Richard Cohen (Treasurer) reported that our bank balance is $38,973.65. He further reported the timely filing of several forms necessary to maintain our status as a compliant not-for-profit (990-N; 199-N; RRF-1). Additionally, the filing of form SI-100 is due by July 31 this year. Since this form names the agent for service of process for PPCC the name and address of the Chair must be provided. Richard will wait until after officer elections and the new Chair’s name is known before filing this form.
7. General Public Comment on local issues.
7.1. Marge Gold (resident) announced that there is a movement to spruce up the Palisades in time for the Caruso opening. There is much work to be done and she suggested people might want to hop on board and help.
7.2. Diane Bleak (resident) stated that she has two issues: (1) A motorcycle officer hides in blind spots along Palisades Dr. She believes this is safety issue because speeding motorists can’t see the officer. Officer Rusty Redican replied that drivers are flying down Palisades Dr. and the speed limit is ignored by many people. He explained that motorcycle officers are hiding in order to keep people safe and to catch drivers who are speeding. (2) She is concerned with the continued use of Roundup in the Highlands.
7.3. Sue Pascoe (Palisades News) reported about a resident’s concern about the poor conditions in the area of the bathroom at the trailhead at the top of the Highlands. Peter Culhane, Area 2 Representative, explained that there has been a big mystery with that property, which was previously auctioned off illegally; the matter has been brought to the attention of CD 11; and we are attempting to get to the bottom of it with the appropriate authorities.
7.4. Leslie Hope (resident) spoke in favor of short term rentals. She stated that hosts are not responsible for fires or other activity, that not everyone is against short term rentals, and that she limits her guests to one or two people.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair (acting Chair George Wolfberg, presiding).
8.1.1. Elected Representatives Election, Summer 2018. Incumbent elected representatives must notify the Chair in writing prior to 6/14/18 (first Board meeting in June) whether or not they will run for re-election to PPCC’s Board. (Bylaws, Attachment A, Sec. 3.D.2). Additional elected representative election information will be forthcoming.
8.1.2. Riviera CC/Longworth Gate Update.
A tour was scheduled today at Riviera CC for the two neighborhood liaisons and the Area reps. Also, CD11 has informed the Riviera CC, pursuant to the revelations at our last meeting as well as advice from the Department of City Planning, that any work that seems to be aimed at impacting the use of the Longworth Gate will be stopped, and a discretionary permit will be required. Three permits that were deemed to have been aimed at improvements to the Longworth Gate, in order to be able to augment its use, have been halted.
8.1.3. PP-Park Advisory Board Update.
Quimby money: This is an eponymous state law. These are fees collected from developers in lieu of the developers dedicating land and building parks to serve their developments. This money is supposed to be used in the area close to the respective developments. The Quimby funds throughout CD 11 were swooped up by the Rec and Parks Commission to a total of about $1.5 M for needed repairs of the Venice Pier. This included the Quimby funds for Palisades and Rustic Canyon. A huge outcry when discovered. The City budget now includes the funds to repair the pier and the Commission has returned the funds, less 3% as we just learned from Sue Pascoe. The Palisades PAB (as well as the BCC) has requested that Rec and Parks update them regularly on Quimby income and anticipated expenditures so that local monitoring can help ensure errors like this do not occur again. PPCC can visit this issue at a later date, if needed. The 3% is effectively a “tax” on our Quimby money and we should push back on this.
8.1.4. Homeless Housing in Palisades.
CD11 has asked all the neighborhoods in the district, including Pacific Palisades, to start looking for and thinking about appropriate locations or buildings for homeless housing in the neighborhood. This is in keeping with the Mayor’s “A Bridge Home” initiative. Vice Chair, George Wolfberg, has sent a few ideas to Lisa and we can put this on the agenda or maybe create a committee to refine our options going forward.
8.1.5. Area 4 Alternate Representative. Carol Bruch has retired from the board and Doria Anselmo is now the first alternate. We thank Carol for her years of dedicated service.
8.1.6. Nominating Committee Resignation. Chair Maryam Zar has accepted the resignation of Rick Mills from the Nominating Committee (effective May 4, 2018).
8.1.7. LUC meetings have been irregular because of Library meeting room availability. Our next meeting will be on June 26th, at 6pm. Guest: Krista Kline, Planning Director, CD11.
8.2. From Officers.
8.2.1. Chris Spitz (Chair/President Emeritus).
1) Update on Short Term Rentals (Home Sharing) Ordinance; see PPCC letter of April 30, 2018: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/STR20IV20-202018.pdf. The City Council last week approved the ordinance but also passed several amending motions, some good and some bad, or at least with serious discrepancies. Chris is in contact with the Planning Dept. about some of these matters. It’s too complicated to go into now but if anyone wants more information please contact Chris. The proposed ordinance as amended will next go to the City Planning Commission (date TBA); there will be opportunities for further comment and Chris will attempt to keep the board apprised.
2) Happy 45th Birthday to PPCC. PPCC was founded 45 years ago, in the spring of 1973, by dedicated and prescient community leaders. As most of you know, we were a model for the current Neighborhood Council system. We celebrated our 30th anniversary in 2003 and our 40th in 2013, both with special events at meetings in the spring of each year, including congratulatory remarks by invited past Chairs, board members and elected officials. We look forward to celebrating our 50th in 2023!
8.3. From At-Large and Area Reps.
8.3.1. Area 2 Representative, Peter Culhane; update on Palisades Dr. asphalt work. Lisa Cahill of CD11 and Peter have worked together and have finally gotten most of the work done; although the work is now stopped at the medians at the south end, the final phase will eventually be continued to Sunset Blvd. Lines on the surface are only temporary and will be replaced soon with permanent striping. Thanks to Lisa for her hard work.
8.4. From Organizational Reps.
8.4.1. Friends of the Library, Sandra Eddy. The next parking lot Book Sale will take place on May 19 from 9am-3pm. There will be an abundance of children’s books. Everyone is invited. George Wolfberg: What is the bookstore’s status? Sandra: It is still in limbo but is moving forward in the Planning process; it will probably be completed in about a year.
8.4.2. PPRA, Sarah Conner. PPRA was established 60 years ago. Its annual meeting will take place on June 12 from 6-8pm at the Pacific Palisades Women’s Club. There will be an educational panel discussion on the Coastal Act.
8.5. From Government Offices/Representatives.
8.5.1. LAPD Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore — Not in attendance. Officer John “Rusty” Redican was present but did not have a crime report.
8.5.2. Office of Councilmember Mike Bonin, Lisa Cahill, Palisades-Brentwood Deputy.
(1) Riviera CC/Longworth Gate: This has been put on hold and CD11 is working on the issue. (2) Quimby funds: The PP-PAB and BCC have had the same ask of Rec and Parks: Where’s our money, when can we spend it, what can we spend it on, and can we tell you what matters most to us? Rec and Park has said Yes to receiving input from the communities as to how the funds should be spent. CD11 is setting up meetings with the groups to facilitate ongoing communications. (3) Palisades Dr. asphalt work: the lines now on the street are temporary markers; LADOT engineers will measure the correct place for the permanent lines. The asphalt work was supposed to have gone to Sunset in this round but due to budget constraints the funds were reduced so the work couldn’t be completed. Lisa has worked at Mike Bonin’s direction to get this fixed and now the work is on a list to be completed by the end of this fiscal year, although there is a big asterisk by this. CD11 is doing everything it can to facilitate the completion of the work. (4) Chabad issue: This is in process. Chabad has a history of violations in the PROW – sign issues, removal of possibly protected trees, replacement with astro-turf in the PROW. CD11 called for an investigation and the process is ongoing with the City Attorney’s office. (5) Trailhead matter (top of the Highlands): This is not City property so it is not under City jurisdiction, but is under Coastal Commission jurisdiction. There is a complicated history; CD11 is trying to get the property back to City jurisdiction but it’s still a work in process. There are legal issues. If the property doesn’t go to the City it will probably go to the MRCA. This trailhead is at the top of Highlands at Chastain and is commonly referred to as the June’s Gate Trailhead.
Questions/Comments: David Card: Did CD11 get access to the Riviera CC’s actual plans? A: Len Nguyen has that information; as far as Lisa knows the committee was satisfied with what they received. David C.: Can we use Quimby funds for Rustic Canyon? A: Yes. Bruce Schwartz: The LA Conservation Corps should be a candidate to clean up bathrooms at the Chastain trailhead. Gil Dembo: Has heard rumors that Riviera CC would like to split off the tennis operation into a separate entity with access on Longworth, i.e., segregate the two operations (long range goal). A: We have heard that as well, but they will have to comply with a traffic study and run all of this through the community. Diane Bleak (resident): Santa Inez Canyon Park is City park and as such is it available for Quimby funds? A: Diane should contact the PAB as they will be the community’s representative. Daphne Gronich (resident): The wood dumping along Temescal has been bad again; has anyone ever been ticketed? A: This dangerous and illegal dumping is still ongoing. It’s very hard to enforce and to get the wood picked up; many steps have to be taken in advance of a pick-up. More signs are coming which Street Services will install; they will face at more of a 45 degree angle. Officer Redican: If you see someone illegally dumping then get a picture of their license plate and send it to him; he will go out and speak with the offender and let them know it is not ok to dump on the sidewalk. David C.: The dumping of wood also spreads fungus and insects. Robert Flick (resident): He has questions about the quality of the repaving on Palisades Dr. A: Send all comments to Lisa and she will forward them to Street Services.
8.5.3. LA County Representatives. Dept. of Beaches & Harbors, Kerry Silverstrom, Chief Deputy Director; Office of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Stephanie Cohen, District Director.
Gladstones Bus Turnaround. Patti Post, PPCC Transportation Advisor, provided a summary about this issue, noting that the community has asked the County for a bus turnaround in the Gladstones’ parking lot for a very long time. Stephanie Cohen explained the current status with Gladstones. The County has entered into negotiations with a proposed new site concessionaire. Kerry Silverstrom is in charge of all beach operations for the County from the Ventura County Line all the way to San Pedro (excluding Santa Monica, which controls its own beaches). Kerry has been there 24 years. Gladstones is located on Will Rogers State Beach. Concession agreements ordinarily can only be for 20 years. The current facility has long outlived useful life. The County began contemplating legislation to allow for an extended lease at the site. They now have state authority to enter into a 50 year concession at the site. The matter went to the Board of Supervisors as part of a competitive solicitation process. The Supervisors approved allowing an exclusive negotiating agreement with the proposed concessionaire. They have 90 days plus two additional six-week periods to negotiate the negotiating agreement, then they will begin negotiating a proposed concession agreement. They will have three years to do that. They must go through all required CEQA documentation and secure regulatory approvals during the three-year period. There will be public hearings along the way. The Coastal Commission, US Army Corps of Engineers and Water Resources Control Board all must approve. It will be a long time before anyone sees anything approved. The County has delegated authority for Gladstones to continue operating during this time. Permission has been secured to allow the existing Gladstones to operate. The bus turnaround was included in the RFP; unless it is “infeasible,” the new operator must do the bus turnaround. Supervisor Kuehl was very clear about wanting the bus turnaround. Regarding the “infeasibility” factor: The Coastal Commission wants to turn the entire operation into a parking lot; this is a public access issue, and the Commission doesn’t want to lose access. The County has to contend with that. We don’t know yet what the Commission will require in order to obtain the CDP. The bus turnaround will happen unless it can’t happen because of the Coastal Commission (that is what is meant by “infeasibility”).
Questions/Comments: David Card: Are there County building envelope, height and footprint requirements for the new building at this location? Kerry: She does not know if these are in existence but will try to find out. The regulatory agencies will become involved and this will all be determined during the public hearing process. This will be an extraordinarily complicated and expensive project. Stephanie: The Coastal Commission will have the ultimate say. Kerry: The proposal anticipates increased sq. footage but this is still a process. It was a competitive solicitation process. David C.: He is concerned about height and massing to preserve the viewshed. A: The Commission and Supervisor Kuehl are both concerned about the viewshed. This is a destination for people to come to the beach. Many people will be weighing in. There is also the consideration of economic viability. Gil Dembo: If Frank Gehry is a part of the team, the community will benefit because it would be a work of art that will attract people from all over the world and will enhance the community. A: Supervisor Kuehl is thrilled and excited to make this work for everyone. In her words, “This is really cool.”
Beach Access Restriction (see remarks in Item 10.2 below).
Additional Remarks (Stephanie Cohen). Stephanie introduced Sharon [sic: correct name is Shannon] Louis, the Supervisor’s new field deputy, who will be attending PPCC meetings in the future. Regarding Measure H: They have spent $72 million on affordable housing so far. The 2nd year of funding will be allocated for Measure H – there will be an increase of 3200 shelter beds and they will also be expanding outreach services.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors. Patti Post, Transportation (see Item 8.5.3, Gladstones Bus Turnaround, above).
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. Nominating Committee (Richard Wulliger, Chair). Announcement of Committee Nominations for Officers, 2017-2018 Term. Richard announced that the election of officers is a 3-step process. First, the Chair appoints the committee; next, the committee announces its nominees and there are nominations from floor; then the election is held. The Nominating Committee heard from 50 people who expressed interest in becoming an officer or recommending an officer. The community is fortunate to have so many interested and qualified individuals. The committee discussed everyone and eventually picked four people to be their recommended nominees:
Treasurer: Richard Cohen
Secretary: Chris Spitz
Vice-Chair: Rick Mills
Chair: Lou Kamer
The acting Chair George Wolfberg then stated that nominations from Board members, if any, are now in order.
David Card: Nominated George Wolfberg for Chair. David described George as an experienced and highly effective leader; he listed many of the leadership positions that George has held over the years, as well as George’s Citizen of the Year award. Although a “second” is not necessary for nominations, there was a second by David Kaplan.
Bruce Schwartz: Nominated Peter Culhane for Vice-Chair.
Chris Spitz: Chris stated that she appreciated the Nominating Committee’s confidence in her and Richard with these nominations. She wished the board to know that she, George, Peter and Richard had advised the Committee prior to the decision that they wanted to be nominated and to serve as a unified team. She had also let the Committee know that she was only offering to serve in order to assist George, who in turn must approve of the entire nominated officer team, as has been the custom with all past Chair nominees. She advised that she has spent thousands of hours on the Council’s administration and hoped everyone will understand that she is unwilling to undertake this again unless it is to assist George. Chris also stated that she and the others did not receive notice from the Committee, as is customary, whether they would or would not be nominated, but that she, George, Peter and Richard are now running together for these respective offices. She stated that they believe they are a highly qualified and experienced team who will best lead the Council, continue its ongoing, effective administration, and preserve its excellent reputation and beneficial working relationships with City, County and State officials as well as community leaders citywide. She also quoted from Vice Chair George Wolfberg: “This is not Little League. We need to have our most experienced and knowledgeable players up to bat in this challenging time.”
Sarah Conner (committee member): The committee’s philosophy was that it seems as if PPCC has been run and controlled by the same group of people for a long time who shared the same point of view. They felt it would be good to keep some experienced members but add leaders who share a different perspective, as PPCC is to be voice of the community.
Chris Spitz: The entire purpose of the nominating committee — in fact, its clear duty to the Board — is to vet and then nominate the best qualified candidates to ensure the ongoing management and operation of the Council and effective advocacy of the adopted positions of the Board. She explained that the committee’s job is not to make subjective judgments about whether “new faces” or “new perspectives” are somehow more desirable, for policy reasons or otherwise. We have an election process for the public to weigh in on whether they want to see a new policy direction for the Council (via the elected area and at-large reps). PPCC policy is set by the Board, not by the officers – although the officers, in particular the Chair, play a critical role in advocating the Board’s adopted positions. Nor should the officer nomination and election process be a personality contest. Again, the reason the bylaws include a provision for a nominating committee in the first place (as opposed to simply allowing nominations from the floor) is to ensure that subjective preferences do not enter into the process and that the best qualified nominees will be presented for consideration. The Board then votes, in the end exercising its judgment as to what is best for the Council.
Sue Kohl: She was shocked to read the Post today. Sue was chair of the nominating committee in a previous year. She was told very clearly that the information the committee was discussing was private and was not to be leaked. She was curious as to why this information was now in the Post and who thought it was a good idea to name names before the board knew the information.
Richard Wulliger (committee chair): We had no responsibility for what the Post printed. He doesn’t know where the author got that information, but it had nothing to do with this nominating committee, which did not give out information prior to today.
Danielle Samulon (committee member): She explained that the committee process was a thoughtful one, and that individuals were nominated because the committee believes they would be the best person for each position for which they were selected. While some of those nominated by the committee may not have quite as much PPCC related experience as others nominated, they each have a substantial amount of experience working with PPCC nonetheless. They also have other experience working with the community on a variety of issues of local concern. In addition, they have professional and educational backgrounds that would be beneficial to them were they to be voted in by the PPCC Board. Bios of those nominated can be provided to Board members. One of the factors the nominating committee considered was the ability to mediate and unite people within the community on issues of local concern. She added that she was surprised that Sue Kohl brought up potentially leaded information, when Sue Kohl herself had reached out by email earlier in the day asking for information about the nominees the committee had selected. Danielle did not provide Sue with the information requested.
Rick Lemmo: Speaking as the Chamber of Commerce representative, he and the Chamber know what makes an organization run well. The most important factor is consistency; in that regard, the Vice Chair stepping into the role of the Chair is very important. Wholesale changes don’t pan out, especially when you have to deal with the City. About 1-2 years ago the current Chair Maryam Zar told Rick that George Wolfberg was the single most qualified person for the position; speaking personally, Rick supports that opinion.
Alan Goldsmith (committee member): He never heard the term “termed out,” which was used in the Post article, on this committee and he did not leak information.
Edith Kinloch (resident): She asked to comment about the process. The acting Chair indicated that his is an administrative matter, that the board votes for officers, that the public will have an opportunity later in the summer to weigh in and vote for elected reps, and that there is no provision for input by non-board members on the officer election process. He asked the board as to whether they wanted to allow further comments nonetheless. David Kaplan: This is unusual event and it would seem appropriate to allow 1 min. each for comments by residents. The acting Chair proceeded to do so.
Edith K.: Is it legal to put forth a slate and will the ballot be marked with slates of candidates or with individual names? The acting Chair explained the process and stated that members could indicate that they are running as a team or slate, but that the ballot would be marked with individual names for each office, which the board will then vote on individually. Edith K: Asked about Chris Spitz’s earlier statement about running as a team and whether or not she would agree to serve if a member of her team were not elected.
Chris Spitz: She, George, Peter and Richard are running as a unified team which they strongly feel will best lead the Council going forward. They hope the Board will agree. Chris stated that she can’t state now that she’ll serve under any circumstances, but she will give serious consideration to the issue as we go forward. She emphasized again that she has spent thousands of hours in the past four years managing the Council’s administration. As she informed the Committee from the outset, she offered to undertake this again only in order to assist George, who is clearly the most experienced person for the position of Chair. It would be an even greater burden if she were required to do so with an inexperienced team of officers – something that she frankly is not prepared to undertake. She also noted that we are all volunteers, and nothing in the bylaws requires candidates to promise to serve no matter who else is elected. In fact, in connection with a prior contested election, our former legal advisor Ron Dean gave an opinion in 2012 that imposing such a requirement would necessitate a bylaws amendment, because it otherwise “changes the rules for qualification for office, in that it adds another condition in order to be qualified.” [from the PPCC Minutes of May 10, 2012]
Diane Bleak (resident): Asked a question about area reps and switching the calendar. She believes she will be without representation for 120 days after the new officers are elected and before the new area reps take their seats. She believes the rules need to be changed so that area reps are elected first, before officers’ elections.
Marge Gold (resident): There are a number of people running for office, not in a slate, and board members can choose to vote for one for each office.
Daphne Gronich (resident): She thinks it’s helpful for the executive team to have people who have worked together before.
Peter Culhane: If he is elected by this body to be the PPCC Vice Chair, Alan Goldsmith, the alternate rep for Area 2, will then represent the Highlands during period between the new officers taking their seats and the elected reps taking their new seats (July 1 – Oct. 1). Peter is also not “going on vacation” during that period. He is president of his large HOA, the Summit Club, is a member of the Presidents Council, and will continue to work on cleaning the swales, making sure the asphalt work is completed, and on the other matters he has always worked on – Highlands residents will be well-represented.
Robert Flick (resident): The election process for area reps needs to be more transparent. Computer voting puts off a lot of people. He thinks the organization is broken and does not act as an NC. There are ex parte communications and conflicts of interest. He disagrees with the Chamber.
Rick Lemmo: When he first became involved he had no idea how this organization was run. Barbara Kohn, then Chair, told him that PPCC chose not to become an NC so we could be independent and if we choose we can sue City, which NCs cannot, and in addition personal financials were required to be disclosed and no one on the board at the time was willing to do that. Regarding a Highlands resident not agreeing with the Chamber: The Chamber is made up of business owners and its decisions are based on the support of a majority of business owners; the organization needs to pay attention to the majority of its paying members.
Danielle Samulon: The area reps vote plus all the organizational reps vote for the officers.
Marc Jackson (resident): Would like the benefit of an NC and does not see the advantage of being able to sue the City. The benefit of an NC is far greater transparency.
Barbara Kohn: Concurs with Danielle’s comments regarding the capability of people sitting around table. Regarding the NC issue, she acknowledged that the ability to sue the City is a concern and also explained that in the past, many people didn’t want to divulge their financial records, which used to be a requirement for NC members. Regarding the “slate” issue: When she ran for Chair she was running with candidates who all wanted to serve together. There were some questions about running in this manner, but they “sort of” did so anyway, which started the forum process. She also indicated that before becoming Chair Maryam Zar had very little leadership experience.
Chris Spitz: Regarding the NC issue, another important factor as to why we’ve chosen not to become an NC is that NCs are not allowed to discuss or negotiate with County and State officials; due to the Palisades’ unique location with County and State resources such as the beaches, state parks and mountains, PPCC often needs to communicate with such officials as we are doing tonight. Regarding Maryam Zar’s experience, Chris explained that before becoming Chair Maryam was PPCC educational rep for a year, PPTFH Chair for two years and PPCC Vice-Chair for one year.
10. Old Business.
10.1. Citywide Sign Ordinance. Update by Patrick Frank of Ban Billboard Blight (http://banbillboardblight.org/). See additional Background re PPCC Positions at https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Background-re-the-Citywide-Sign-Ordinance-%E2%80%93-PPCC-Participation-and-Positions.pdf].
Chair Maryam Zar has continued this item until May 24 because of an anticipated time crunch. Chair/President Emeritus Chris Spitz gave a brief update: She and Vice-Chair George Wolfberg met with Patrick Frank yesterday. Patrick reported that the new proposed ordinance does provide protection for Specific Plan zones and Scenic Highways, where billboards will be prohibited within 200 ft. of the median. He believes that billboards will not be prohibited in City parks (one of our biggest concerns), but he is reviewing the complicated provisions in order to confirm for us. Another issue is the fact that the Mayor has allocated funds to the City budget based on anticipated revenues from digital billboards. George was able to provide helpful information to Patrick about the City budget process. Patrick remarked that we were by far the most knowledgeable and helpful of anyone at all 55+ Neighborhood Councils he has visited in connection with this issue.
10.2. Beach Access Restriction. Presentations by Kerry Silverstrom, Chief Deputy Director, Beaches & Harbors; Stephan Cohen, District Director, Supervisor Kuehl. Additional remarks by Lucy Han, President, Friends of the Jungle (Playa del Rey).
The acting Chair (Vice-Chair George Wolfberg) began by explaining that the City has had an ordinance from the 1970’s prohibiting people from being on beaches between midnight and 5 AM. Some people complained that this infringed on their right to visit the beach during this period and the Coastal Commission stepped in. The City applied for a Coastal Permit to continue enforcement of the ordinance and in what the acting Chair terms an historic moment, three former Citizens of the Year attended a hearing in Westchester to support the permit (Sharon Kilbride, Bruce Schwartz and George Wolfberg). There is an unusual option being floated to create 10’ wide access ways on our beaches, including Temescal Canyon, for nighttime beach access. By the way, LAPD has no assigned staffing for this time of night and also supports the curfew, as does PPCC. Our position letter is posted on the PPCC website: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/LAMC_66.34_letter_in_support.pdf .
Lucy Han of Friends of the Jungle (Playa del Rey) is here along with County representatives Kerry Silverstrom (Beaches & Harbors) and Stephanie Cohen (Supervisor Kuehl).
Kerry Silverstrom explained that the 10 foot wide walkways were not in the City’s CDP application. This idea was floated by the City Attorney without Supervisor Kuehl or CM Bonin knowing about it. The walkways would take people down to the water’s edge. Beaches & Harbors wasn’t consulted about it. The proposal was withdrawn but had already been submitted by the City Attorney as a possible option to the Coastal Commission. The Commission is aware of this option. The County has heard from the Commission about people who want to surf or stargaze or fish at nighttime. Kerry explained that it is not unreasonable to have time, place and manner restrictions on beach access. Stephanie Cohen reported that Supervisor Kuehl’s office at present is coordinating a meeting with Supervisor Hahn’s office and with Beaches & Harbors, County Counsel, the relevant City Councilmembers, Parks & Rec and LAPD – they will all strategize in order to have a united front for the anticipated August Coastal Commission hearing. They have heard that the meeting was moved from San Diego to Redondo Beach. They will try to get a date for us. The Coastal Commission has approved appropriate hours of operation before. The County and City are trying to reframe the issue to discuss reasonable hours of operation. The County has an existing beach ordinance, including anti-loitering provisions, which was enacted long ago, before the Coastal Act was approved. They are trying to strategize and will enlist our support.
Questions/Comments: David Card: We need a curfew, giving the example of his son, who went moonlight surfing as a teenager and had to be told repeatedly by the sheriff to come in. Lucy Han: Will the LA City Attorney be at the strategizing meeting? A: Yes, they received an invitation. Kerry explained the background of the City Attorney’s proposal regarding the walkways: There is a lawsuit against enforcement of the beach curfew brought by plaintiffs who are homeless advocates in Venice. The City Attorney’s proposal came up in the context of the lawsuit. The lawsuit is about not using scarce law enforcement dollars to roust people off the beach. Doug McCormick: PPTFH hasn’t taken a position because it isn’t just about the homeless. He understands the decision by the Coastal Commission is by unelected commissioners whose primary mission to provide beach access. Stephanie: Kerry’s comments about homelessness were about the lawsuit filed (a civil rights issue associated with homeless issue in Venice). It is now a beach access issue only. The Coastal Commission is only concerned with beach access issues. Beaches & Harbors wrote a letter as an operator emphasizing safety. Lucy Han: The City Attorney was pushing the MND. A: It got confused because they were trying to settle the lawsuit. Mike Bonin was unhappy with this. Lucy Han: Believes that if they have a strategy meeting to keep the curfew it’s not a good idea to include the City Attorney, who may have a conflict. Kerry: She doesn’t think there’s a conflict; the City Attorney’s office has come to realize that their solution to the lawsuit was not advisable. The goal of the meeting is to talk about a strategy regarding the Coastal Development Permits, not the lawsuit. Sharon Kilbride: Is there a beach curfew in Malibu? Kerry: Yes, there’s a County beach curfew on the beaches per Beaches & Harbors.
11. New Business – None.
12. Adjournment. The acting Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:00 pm.