MINUTES FROM MAY 13th 2021
Voting Members in Attendance: David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Karen Ridgley, Sue Kohl, Matt Quiat, Haldis Toppel, Steve Cron, Joanna Spak, Jenny Li, Reza Akef, Alan Goldsmith, Beth Holden-Garland, Peter Powell, Craig Natvig, Eric Dugdale, Richard Blumenberg, Fay Vahdani, Brenda Theveny
Voting Alternates: Janet Anderson, Kevin Niles
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: John Padden, Marilyn Wexler, Cindy Kirven, Kimberly Bloom, Nancy Niles.
1. Call to order and reading of Mission Statement. The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. Sue Kohl read the Mission Statement.
2. Introduction of Zoom engineer. The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting. Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.
3. Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. At the Chair’s direction the Secretary called the roll of voting members; the Chair certified that there was a quorum.
4. Approval of Minutes. The minutes of April 22, 2021 were approved. Upcoming meetings: May 27, 2021: 1) Guest speaker — LA City Controller Ron Galperin; 2) close of Board nominations of officer candidates. June 10, 2021: Candidates forum (if needed) and Board election of PPCC officers, 2021-2022 term. June 24, 2021: Update on Gladstones redevelopment project (by Thomas Tellefsen, representative of the concessionaire)
5. Consideration of Agenda. Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.
6. Treasurer’s Report. The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $36,061.11. We received a $1,000 contribution from an individual. Otherwise there were no significant transactions since the last report.
7. General Public Comment — None.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. Update on Bonin motion/homeless housing on state beach parking lots and in parks. Letters to public officials:
The Chair summarized what has occurred to date in regard to this matter. Since the last PPCC meeting, PPCC submitted six separate letters of opposition to various officials (linked above). At the hearing today before the Homelessness & Poverty Committee, over 80 attendees were lined up to speak on the motion. Only about 24 or 25 people were called on to comment before public comment was cut off. Both the Chair and PPCC Secretary Chris Spitz were on the line but were not called on. Some people we know were called on: Michelle Bisnoff of BCC; a community leader, Lucy Han, from Playa del Rey; and Jessica Rogers of PPRA. None of the councils which have sites affected by the motion were called on. After discussion, the Committee voted 4-1 in favor of the motion, with CM Buscaino being the only No vote and the only Councilmember to state that beaches and parks should not be used for homeless housing.
The matter will now go to the full City Council for a vote, sooner rather than later. If passed, the motion will then will go to the City Administrative Officer (CAO) to study the feasibility of the sites. The CAO will report back to Council and it will go on from there. At least half of the speakers were in opposition and they seemed well-organized. We believe that efforts to obtain approval for the use of these sites have been going on behind the scenes. We have submitted Public Records Act requests to the State and the County for the agreements that control the operation of the beaches and for other documents pertaining to the use of Will Rogers State Beach and Dockweiler beach for homeless housing.
8.1.2. PCH Task Force Update. The Chautauqua/PCH intersection restriping is in the final design stages, with a few more tweaks needed. It will then take time to do the striping. The Chair has asked for the community to be given a few weeks warning, since this will be a significant change for drivers, resulting in only one lane going up Chautauqua from PCH northbound. In regard to the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon, Pedro Garcia of the Bureau of Engineering reported that the City has now chosen the lowest bid for landscaping. They expect that the required notice to proceed will be issued July 1, 2021.
8.1.3. LADWP Update. We received a message from Deborah Hong of LADWP that staff need to conduct a site inspection at the LADWP property on Marquez Ave. next to Marquez Elementary Charter School, related to soil work at the site. LADWP surveyors will be walking the site on May 15 and 16 to conduct the inspection. This is not related to any power system facilities or improvements.
8.1.4. Area 3 1st Alternate status. Danielle Samulon will soon be moving from Area 3 to Area 4. The 2nd Alternate Nancy Niles will become the 1st Alternate, replacing Ms. Samulon. We will be looking for a replacement for the 2nd Alternate position in due course. The Chair noted that Ms. Samulon had served the Council admirably both as Primary Representative and 1st Alternate for Area 3, and he thanked her for her service.
8.2. From Officers
8.2.1. Chris Spitz (Secretary). Legislation updates.
SB 9 and 10: These housing density bills that we and the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils oppose have passed in two Senate committees and are now being held in suspense in the Senate Appropriations Committee for further review. Appropriations is the next step before a floor vote in the Senate, and then the bills will go to the Assembly if they pass in the Senate. We will continue to monitor.
8.3. From Area and At-large Representatives.
8.3.1. Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative). Regarding Area 3 2nd Alternate applications, the Chair indicated that the announcement will go out in due course, as soon as we are able to get to this. Reporting on PAPA, Ms. Toppel stated there will be a 4th of July parade. The organizers are pretty sure that permits will be issued. There will only be local participation. There won’t be grandstands but they are looking for floats from the community.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives.
8.4.1. Kevin Niles (American Legion). Regarding PAPA’s plans, there will be fireworks on the 4th of July. Permits are pending from the City and LAFD. There won’t be a concert. Pali High is the planned location but the back-up is the recreation center if the school doesn’t give permission. The plan now is to utilize the football stadium as seating for the fireworks.
8.5. From Government Offices / Representatives. Contact information available at: https://pacpalicc.org/index.php/government-contacts/
8.5.1. Len Nguyen, CD 11 Palisades Deputy.
Mr. Nguyen reported that several streets have been resurfaced. Regarding the Riviera Country Club maintenance gate matter: A letter will go out from Planning advising the Club that they will need to file for plan approval. PPCC will receive a copy. He has requested additional signs to deal with the issue of loitering on Asilomar. The Chair: What is the next step for the Bonin motion? Answer: Approval of the full Council is needed for the requested study to take place. This will take place in about two weeks. Mr. Nguyen will let us know when the hearing is scheduled. LADP Officer Rusty Redican (currently on leave/not on duty): Is it possible to get parallel parking only on Asilomar, along with new signage? Answer: Mr. Nguyen will ask about this. Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Representative): We don’t need ten signs; we instead need four No Stopping signs. Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative): Can there be enforcement of the Riviera maintenance gate even without the notification letter? Answer: Mr. Nguyen will talk to LADBS and find out; he will let Mr. Akef know.
8.5.2. LAPD acting SLO report. The Chair read the report from Acting SLO Brian Espin. There was a small grass/hillside fire at the top of El Medio caused by a homeless person. LAPD is working with LAFD to identify the individual suspect. They are checking known encampments. There was also an incident involving a transient man following three girls in the Village. The girls evaded him, went into a local busines and told the worker at the business about the situation. The man left before he could be identified. In addition, there was vandalism on the beach bike path, with anti-Semitic graffiti stenciled on benches. Detectives are investigating. The Chair stated that PPCC condemns this behavior.
Officer Redican: The police are doing a great job of making everyone aware. He has been in touch with Officers Margin and Yi of the beach detail. They were able to locate encampments today in the El Medio area and the officers removed the encampments. The Treasurer: Is it true that Officer Redican has thrown his hat into the ring to become the Palisades SLO? Officer Redican: That is true. The position is not really open yet. The City didn’t have funding for the position after Officer Moore left. We have to wait for more money to be allocated. Other officers are now getting the opportunity to try out and see how they like the position.
There was further discussion about the City’s budget, keeping the beach detail, the fire at the top of El Medio and support for Officer Redican.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors — None.
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. Nominating Committee (Steve Cron, Chair; members Jenny Li and Joanna Spak). Announcement of Committee’s nomination of candidates for PPCC officer positions, 2021-2022 term. Nominations from the Board open, following Committee’s announcement (Bylaws Art. VII.2).
The Committee Chair announced the Committee has nominated the following candidates for PPCC officer positions in the coming term: Chair: David Card; Vice-Chair: David Kaplan; Treasurer: Richard Cohen; Secretary: Chris Spitz. The Secretary thanked the Committee and explained that all of the nominees were asked and have indicated their willingness to serve in these positions in the coming term. The PPCC Chair then announced that nominations from the Board were now open and would remain open until 15 minutes before the scheduled close of the next board meeting on May 27. He asked if there were any nominations from the Board. There were none.
9.2. Land Use Committee (LUC; Howard Robinson, Chair). (Tentative) Update on research: Marquez/Ida residential project & related non-hillside Coastal area zoning issues. In the absence of the Committee Chair, the PPCC Chair explained that the Committee has been meeting and continuing its investigation and its work preparing zoning maps and related materials. The Secretary noted that as to the project itself, we’ve been told that the owner has submitted new plans and these are under review and discussion with the Building Dept. To our knowledge the stop work notice is still in effect.
10. Old Business – None.
11. New Business.
11.1. Proposed solar-powered “Pali Grid” (presentation by Ryan Craig, Resilient Palisades Clean Energy Resilience Team). Microgrid survey: https://resilientpalisades.org/survey/. Microgrid info: https://resilientpalisades.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Know-Your-Microgrids.pdf.
The Chair welcomed Ryan Craig of Resilient Palisades (RP). Mr. Craig explained that RP is a 501(c)3 organization founded almost three years ago. He presented a slide show about RP and its teams. The current project is to launch a solar-powered microgrid in the Palisades. The microgrid would connect all of the solar systems at individual homes. In the event of a power outage, the participants in the program can island themselves off from the main grid and continue power at their homes. The Pali microgrid would be one of the first residential microgrids in the country. These have mostly been in newly built communities. They have support from elected officials and industry experts. There would be a two-phase approach, involving a community effort to install solar storage systems. Then, they will “flip the switch” and connect all the systems. Postcards were delivered to all homes in the Palisades. The goal is to complete the survey available on the RP website (linked above). RP is coordinating with LADWP, which is receptive. RP’s goal is to provide interested Palisadians by this fall with packages for installing solar, plus storage and control. RP has had 311 responses to their survey so far. Please check out the RP website or email Ryan Craig for more information (email@example.com).
The Chair: How are we all linked in the grid? Craig: Through the existing electrical line. Jenny Li (Area 7 Representative): Is this available to all areas in the Palisades, even people in Santa Monica and Rustic Canyons? Craig: He does not have an answer yet; this may have to do with engineering and several smaller microgrids may be required. Alan Goldsmith (At-large Representative): How can he get information to his HOA? Craig: Email Ryan Craig. Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Representative): Does he have information about superchargers for electric cars? Craig: He doesn’t know the answer about superchargers. Kimberly Bloom (Area 5 1st Alternate): Where is the grid located? Craig: This will be a virtual grid with the control system at each residence.
The Chair thanked Mr. Craig for his interesting presentation.
11.2. New restaurant replacing “Taste”/538 Palisades Dr. (presentation by Dafne Gokcen, FE Design & Planning).
The Chair introduced Ms. Gokcen, who in turn introduced Ryan Gowhari. Mr. Gowhari and his father are opening a new location of the restaurant which they have owned for 27 years in Malibu, “Spruzzo.” They are starting construction on the interior next week. Ms. Gokcen explained that the new restaurant will be in the former “Taste” restaurant spot in the Highlands Plaza. This location has a conditional use permit for alcohol. It is expiring and the new restaurant owners are filing for renewal of the permit. The only change is for the remodel of the interior of the restaurant. They will make use of the patio. The food will be Italian/American, with such menu items as pizza, pasta, salad, fish and chicken. They will offer take-out and delivery. There will be a full liquor license. The price range will average $60 for a dinner for two and $25 for dinner entrees. The Chair thanked Ms. Gokcen and Mr. Gowhari for presenting this information.
11.3. WRAC-recommended Homeless Motions (Motion for Board support of motions A-D below; sponsored by Matt Quiat, PPCC Rep to WRAC Homelessness Committee, and Chris Spitz, PPCC rep to WRAC & WRAC Vice-Chair). See Attachment for text of motions and background information.
The Secretary stated that she and Matt Quiat (Area 6 Representative) were introducing four motions recommended by WRAC for the Board to support, as indicated in the Attachment. Each motion was read in turn. No second was necessary as the motions were made by two voting Board members. She briefly explained and read each motion out loud. Discussion ensued and votes were taken in turn on each motion. Following discussion, the votes on each motion were as follows:
Motion A (see Attachment):
Vote result: Unanimous to support the motion.
Motion B (see Attachment):
Vote result: Unanimous to support the motion.
Motion C (see Attachment):
Vote result: Unanimous to support the motion.
Motion D (see Attachment):
Vote result: Unanimous to support the motion by all members voting.
12. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 7:40pm.
ATTACHMENT – Item 11.3: WRAC-recommended Homeless Motions
Background Information: Document prepared for the WRAC Board by the WRAC Homelessness Committee:
(Note: two of the motions in the Background document were later amended by the WRAC Board; the motions as amended and recommended to member councils are listed below.)
A. Abate and Correct Unsafe and Unhealthy Conditions in Homeless Encampments
The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils calls on the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to immediately direct the Los Angeles City Bureau of Sanitation (“LA Sanitation”) to undertake site clean-ups, trash collection, and sanitizing of all homeless encampments located in the neighborhoods represented by WRAC on the Westside of Los Angeles, in order to abate, correct, and remove hazardous, unsafe, unhealthy, and unsanitary conditions, including without limitation all combustible materials such as propane tanks, at all homeless encampments forthwith. [Bold font: new amended language proposed by Quiat & Spitz, with input from Sharon Kilbride, PPCC Homelessness Advisor]
B. Enforcement of Crimes in or Near Homeless Encampments
The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils calls on the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to direct the Los Angeles Police Department and other relevant law enforcement agencies to enforce all existing, enforceable laws prohibiting the sale and distribution of illegal drugs, human trafficking, and other serious crimes taking place in or near homeless encampments on the Westside of Los Angeles.
C. Enforce Laws Prohibiting Blockage of Public Right of Way
The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils calls on the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to direct the Los Angeles Police Department and the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering Street Services Division, as well as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Department of Veterans Affairs to direct the Veterans Affairs Police Department and other relevant law enforcement agencies to enforce all existing, enforceable laws prohibiting the blockage of the public right of way on the Westside of Los Angeles, including all applicable provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).
D. Increase Funding to Support Additional Safe Parking Programs
The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils calls for additional funding and resources, from all available sources, in order to implement more Safe Parking Programs and to support existing, reputable safe parking programs, including those operated by organizations such as Safe Parking LA, throughout the Westside of Los Angeles.