MINUTES FOR APRIL 11th 2019
Voting Members in Attendance: George Wolfberg, Peter F. Culhane, Richard G. Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Rick Mills, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Richard Blumenberg, Duke Ostendorf, Alan Goldsmith, Sarah Knauer, Sarah Conner, Jean Smart, Ellie Jenkins
Voting Alternates: Susan Orenstein, Barbara Marinacci, Cathy Russell
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: David Card, Steve Lantz, Bruce Schwartz, Melanie Bouer, Jan Ostendorf
1. Certification of Quorum. The Chair George Wolfberg called the meeting to order at 7:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.
2. Reading of Community Council’s Mission. Sue Kohl 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 3/28/19 were deemed approved. 2) Upcoming Meetings –April 25, 2019: Topic: Discussion about development of a workable street tree policy for Pacific Palisades (with Palisades Beautiful & City officials). May 9, 2019: Nominating Committee’s announcement of candidates for officer positions; board nominations open. May 23, 2019: Guest speaker: Councilmember Mike Bonin; Q&A about matters of community concern. Additional topics to be announced.
5. Consideration of Agenda. The Chair announced that the agenda is as distributed.
6. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,676.66. There were no significant transactions since the last report.
7. General Public Comment.
7.2. Karen Ridgely (resident) reminded the Board that the Palisades Park Advisory Board is meeting on Wednesday April 17 at 7pm to consider relocation of the trash dumpsters to the area of the continuation school along Temescal Canyon Blvd. She gave reasons why she is opposed and urged everyone to attend.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair.
The Chair began by presenting a gift from the Wolfberg kitchen to Richard Blumenberg, who was the first to open the agenda
8.1.1. Zoning Code Workshop update. The Chair reported that the Workshop was a success, with over 100 people in attendance. A great deal of information was presented which will be important when we begin the Community Plan update. The Planning Dept. will be coming to the Palisades and Brentwood in a year or two to start work on the new Plan and the Chair is already working with his counterpart at Brentwood Community Council to be ready to begin the process.
8.1.2. Appointment of Nominating Committee to nominate candidates for PPCC officer positions (Bylaws Art. VII.1). The Chair announced that pursuant to the PPCC Bylaws, he has appointed the following members of the Nominating Committee: Chair — Richard Blumenberg; Members – Sue Kohl and Joanna Spak. He explained that the Committee will announce its nominees for officer candidates at the first meeting in May and that nominations from the Board will also be open at that time. The election will take place at the first meeting in June.
8.1.3. Update on recent 9-1-1 failure. The Chair explained that because of the difficulty of residents reaching 9-1-1 on the night of the fire in the Highlands (which occurred at the time of our last meeting), he reached out to various officials, including the Fire Dept. (which said it is looking into the matter) and other City officials, but no one has responded with definitive information so far. Steve Cron (Area Two Representative) gave information about what he had learned from Chief Hogan about the problem (which involved the first call coming in right after the fire started, people being put on hold or transferred because it was a busy night, callers then hanging up, etc.). Chief Hogan’s message was that persons calling 9-1-1 must stay on the line until they talk to a person. Sue Pascoe indicated she received similar information about the first call coming in right after the fire started and she is waiting to hear back from the police.
8.2. From Officers.
8.3. From At-Large and Area Representatives.
8.3.1. David Card (At-large 1stAlternate) reported that he had wonderful time in Indianapolis attending the American Legion National Oratorical competition for high school students. Daniela Wilson, the Brentwood High School student who had won the local, regional and State competitions, participated in the quarter finals at the Nationals but did not make it to the semis. She learned a lot and will return next year.
8.3.2. Steve Cron (Area Two Representative) explained that LAFD Chief Hogan came to the Highlands and walked the length of the fire road “escape route” which is locked on the Marquez Knolls side. A resident of Marquez Knolls is upset because her side is locked. The Chief is aware and reported that the area will stay clear and if a fire occurs they will deal with the situation as appropriate at that time. He also acknowledged that Melanie Bouer, Bruce Schwartz and Barbara Marinacci helped with the clean-up of Palisades Dr.
8.3.3. Cathy Russell (Area One 1stAlternate) announced that the SMCCA’s 73rd annual meeting will take place on May 14 at 7pm at Rustic Canyon Park.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives.
8.4.1. Sarah Conner (PPRA) stated that there will be a status conference for the lawsuit involving the eldercare project on April 23 downtown; she does not know the exact location.
8.4.2. Susan Orenstein (TCA Alternate) announced that there will be a Rendezvous Hike with the Sierra Club this coming Sunday to Trippet Ranch, in honor of John Muir’s 181st birthday. The meeting will be at 9am at the Santa Inez Canyon trailhead.
8.4.3. Sarah Knauer (Chamber of Commerce) reported that a Chamber mixer, open house and ribbon cutting at the new St. John’s Physician’s Center on Alma Real will take place on April 17 from 4-7pm (ribbon cutting at 5:30pm).
8.4.4. Duke Ostendorf (AYSO) announced that the Y is sponsoring a Healthy Kids Day on April 27 from 11am – 1pm at Simon Meadow. This is a free, fun event for kids of all ages and their families. He distributed a flyer about the event.
8.4.5. Barbara Marinacci (PP Garden Club) reminded everyone that the annual PPGC Spring Garden Tour will take place on April 14 from 12-4pm. Tickets are available online at the PPGC website.
8.5. From Government Offices / Representatives.
8.5.1. LAPD Capt. Vic Davalos and Officer Maria Gray (attending in SLO Michael Moore’s absence). Capt. Davalos: On May 29 the LAPD WLA Area will hold an Open House in the afternoon at WLA Station, 1633 Butler Ave., Los Angeles. Officer Gray: Crime is down in the Palisades and there is nothing unusual to report. She advised that there is a new app with real-time crime alerts based on calls to 9-1-1 that the officers are using and have found to be pretty accurate: the “Citizen” app. This is a free app that is not sponsored by LAPD. A few Board members who had downloaded the app said that it seems to report crimes that are occurring farther away, not necessarily in the vicinity of the user or even the Palisades.
8.5.2. The Chair read a report from Lisa Cahill, CD 11 Palisades-Brentwood Deputy, in her absence:
- Potrero Canyon is moving forward on schedule. Landscaping is going out to bid soon and the City is working with RAP and BOE to ensure large plants.
- Parking Meter Money: The Palisades BID is the group overseeing and must conduct community outreach as part of the process. CD11 has recommended to the BID that it work with PPCC. There is an annual estimate of $65,000, which can rollover to subsequent years for CIPs. LADOT and CD11 are happy to work with the BID to help them with specific projects.
- CD11 is working on trash collection with Palisades PRIDE to try and find a solution that makes sense for all concerned.
- Permit Parking District near the Village: signs were posted incorrectly on Embury St. and CD11 worked to get them changed as soon as possible. Parking enforcement in the meantime had issued citations to people who had parked correctly according to the previous signs. Anyone who parked on Embury around 9am on April 9 and received a citation should contact email@example.com provide citation number and contact information.
- Trash dumpsters will be discussed at the upcoming PAB meeting on April 17. People should attend the meeting and/or contact the Park Director with comments regarding dumpster relocation.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors– None.
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair). The Committee Chair reported as follows: The Bylaws Committee members are himself, David Card, Peter Culhane, David Kaplan, Chris Spitz, Andrew Wolfberg and George Wolfberg (ex officio). The Committee met on Wednesday, April 10, to complete its work on that latest round of proposed Bylaws changes. These will be introduced to the Board at our next meeting on April 25. The changes being proposed will focus on three areas:
- Disciplinary Process – We are endeavoring to make it more fair.
- Code of Conduct – We seek to apply it more broadly – to Member Organizations, Advisors and Candidates for elected and officer positions.
- Defining and clarifying who is a “Member” for the above purposes and for voting.
- Postponement – We clarify what happens when an Organization requests a postponement of a vote on an urgent matter. We propose compelling a polling of the Board to determine if there is Board consensus and if the Executive Committee should act for the Board.
The First Distribution of the proposed amendments will occur at the next meeting on April 25. As with prior amendments, a Committee Report, a “redline” and a “clean” version will be distributed with the meeting agenda and the Committee Chair will provide more explanation about the amendments at the meeting. The Second Distribution, discussion and vote on the proposed amendments will occur at the PPCC meeting on May 9.
10. Old Business – None.
11. New Business.
11.1. WRAC-recommended Motion regarding Los Angeles River Flood Protection & Mitigation. Sponsored in PPCC by the Executive Committee, with modifications to the original motion. See Background re LA River Motion for more information.
Secretary Chris Spitz introduced the motion on behalf of the Executive Committee. [No second was necessary as the motion was sponsored by a committee of more than one voting board member.]
She explained that the motion was as stated in the agenda. Brief discussion ensued. David Card suggested an amendment to request that recreational use and public access also be included in connection with the study referenced in the motion. The Secretary noted that a motion to amend the main motion must be made by a voting member. Susan Orenstein (TCA) thereupon made a motion to amend the main motion, with language suggested by Richard Cohen: insert the phrase “including with an eye toward recreational uses and public access” after the parenthetical phrase “(which may result in downzoning).” Haldis Toppel (Area Three Representative) seconded the motion to amend. A vote was taken. Result: unanimous in favor of the motion to amend.
The Chair then called the vote on the main motion as amended, as follows:
“Pacific Palisades Community Council requests that the County of Los Angeles coordinate flood protection and mitigation of existing flooding risks in the LA River area, with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the City of Los Angeles and its various departments tasked with city planning, architecture, flood mitigation and street services, among others. We ask that all agencies study options to reduce the impact of flood, the costs of which will largely be borne by taxpayers, and that these studies include taking actions such as removing sediment build-up, reducing hardscape (e.g. parking lots, building footprints), expanding open spaces and increasing the size of spreading grounds, adding flood walls, adding dry wells to infiltrate stormwater into aquifers, adding swales to small medians and yards, strengthening dams and levees, and evaluating land use and zoning designations within the proximity of the river (which may result in downzoning), including with an eye toward recreational use and public access. We further urge the City and County of Los Angeles to request the U.S. Congress to authorize funding at the earliest possible time for a Flood Risk Management feasibility study to be conducted by USACE.”
A vote was then taken. Result: unanimous in favor of the main motion as amended.
12. Adjournment. The Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:40pm.