MINUTES FROM MAY 12th 2022
Voting Members in Attendance: David Card, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Jenny Li, Joanna Spak, Karen Ridgley, Sue Kohl, Reza Akef, Haldis Toppel, Steve Cron, Maryam Zar, John Padden, Beth Holden-Garland, Kevin Niles, Brenda Theveny, Cliff Roberts, Ryan Craig, Andy Frew
Voting Alternates: Mary Muller, Barbara Kohn, Rick McGeagh
Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Rob Weber, Nina Kidd, Kimberly Bloom, Nancy Niles, Richard Blumenberg, Marilyn Wexler, Michael Edlen
1. Call to order and reading of Mission Statement. The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. The Secretary Chris Spitz read the Mission Statement.
2. Introduction of Zoom engineer. Zoom engineer Alex Ponting was introduced.
3. Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.
4. Approval of Minutes. The minutes of April 28, 2022 were approved. Upcoming meetings: May 26, 2022: (1) Officer candidate nominations from Board close 15 mins. before scheduled meeting close; (2) other topics to be announced. June 9, 2022: Officers candidate forum (if needed) and Board election of officers (2022-23 term beginning July 1, 2022).
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 Cohen reported that PPCC’s balance is $56,290.54. Since the last report the Treasurer has transferred about $240 of miscellaneous small donations to our U.S. Bank account.
7. General Public Comment – None.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. Highlands Trailhead matter – 5/2 letter to the California Coastal Commission (CCC): https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Letter-CCC-re-Highlands-Trailhead.pdf.
CCC hearing on May 11, 2022. See Agenda:
https://coastal.ca.gov/meetings/agenda/#/2022/5 (scroll down to Items 11-14). The Chair explained the background involving the disrepair of the bathrooms and prevention of access to the nearby trailhead and confirmed the letter was sent prior to the CCC hearing as indicated. Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative) indicated that at the CCC meeting this week, one of the items was taken off calendar, to be rescheduled. He has asked for an explanation from CCC staff but has not heard back. [See further comments in Item 8.5.1 below.]
8.1.2. George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon – trail to Temescal Canyon Rd.; 4/29 letter to Rep. Lieu: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/PPCC-Letter-Lat-Trail-Fed-Funding.pdf. The Chair confirmed that the letter was sent as indicated and explained the need for funding of the trail from the canyon to Temescal Canyon to ensure safe pedestrian crossing from the park to the beach. Janet Turner of Rep. Lieu’s office has called and asked for more information about the project, including numbers of beach visitors, expected park users, PCH jaywalking counts and the like, in order to bolster the funding request. Members are requested to send any information they have about these matters to the Chair and he will forward it along to Ms. Turner. The Secretary will look for data on the beach and PCH in our prior submissions last year in opposition to the beach shelter motion.
8.1.3. PP Historical Society Palisades Centennial Celebration: recap. The Chair and Barbara Kohn (Historical Society) recounted the activities at the Centennial event which took place at Simon Meadow last Saturday and was attended by 400-450 people. A commemorative button was available; those who did not attend may contact Ms. Kohn to obtain a button. Among the outstanding speakers and presentations were a Native American prayer for the community, Master of Ceremonies Eugene Levy, the children who danced and sang, a photo presentation by Randy Young, a speech about community service by Cindy Simon, reminiscences about growing up in the Palisades by Sam Lagana and remarks from Bill Bruns about the Clearwater family who founded the Palisadian Post. The Historical Society and the PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee planted a Sycamore tree at Simon Meadow.
8.1.4. MWD/LADWP watering restrictions. PPCC soliciting questions from the community for LADWP. See agency statements below:
MWD: https://www.mwdh2o.com/ (scroll down to “in the News, Metropolitan Cuts Outdoor Watering” and click on “Read more”)
LADWP: https://www.ladwpnews.com/category/news/ (scroll down for statements about the MWD declaration and rapid snowmelt)
The Chair explained some of the conservation measures. Watering will be restricted to two days a week (the days depending on whether the address is odd or even) and will be capped at 8 minutes per valve. There will be exceptions for drip irrigation and hand-watering but overall volume restrictions will still apply.
8.1.5. (New agenda item) The Chair announced that Maryam Zar wishes to resume her position as Chair Emeritus after having decided not to run for the Assembly seat or another office in the upcoming general election. Accordingly, as the next in line after George Wolfberg’s passing she is restored as PPCC Chair Emeritus until July 1, when the current Chair will become Chair Emeritus per the Bylaws.
8.1.6. (New agenda item) The Chair reported that there was a recent ceremony at the Recreation Center, organized by Joe Halper, to honor Mike Shull. Mr. Shull is retiring as General Manager of the Recreation and Parks Dept. and has done a lot for the Palisades. The Chair, representing PPCC and PPCC’s Palisades Forestry Committee, presented Mr. Shull with two small Australian Eucalyptus trees as a token of appreciation for his service.
8.2. From Officers.
8.2.1. Chris Spitz (Secretary).
The Secretary reported that she attended two hearings this week on matters of interest to PPCC: the City Council Planning & Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee meeting on May 10 and the Board of Public Works (PPW) Commissioners meeting on May 11. The PLUM Committee voted to approve the motion by CM Bonin in Council File 22-0158, which calls for a “report back” on a proposal to place homeless shelters by-right on property of religious institutions and non-profits in all zones, including single-family zones, in the City. That motion will now go to the City Council for a vote and we will continue to monitor. The PPCC Executive Committee recently submitted a letter explaining PPCC’s position on the matter which we have forwarded to the Board.
And on May 11, the BPW voted to approve the new City bus bench and street furniture program, otherwise known as STAP, or the Sidewalk and Transit Amenities Program, including the proposed contract with the vendor and revised Municipal Code provisions. This matter will be returned to City Council Committees for further approval and we’ll continue to monitor. Again, the Executive Committee submitted a letter in opposition based on our prior positions on this matter, which we have forwarded to the Board.
Links to both letters will be added to the minutes [see below] and will be included in the Mailchimp recap message going out tomorrow.[https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/PPCC-Letter-CF22-0158-Supp.pdf;
John Padden (PRIDE) reported that a few months ago, he asked directly of the STAP project manager, Lance Oishi of Streets LA, if we could keep our street furniture. Mr. Oishi told Mr. Padden at that time that we could bypass or opt out of the program. However, this is in question now. Mr. Padden will attempt to follow up with Mr. Oishi. PRIDE’s goal is to keep our street furniture. The Treasurer explained that things had changed since the situation years ago (when we were able to obtain an exception) and we cannot rely on being able to obtain an exception this time around. It would be better to have the City write an ordinance in a way that respects our Specific Plan.
8.3. From Area and At-large Representatives
8.3.1. Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Representative). She wishes to speak about dumping on Temescal but will defer to Noah Fleishman’s presentation.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives.
8.4.1. Nina Kidd (Friends of the Library). The Palisades Branch Library has been open since Dec. 27th and the official open house will take place on May 21st from 12pm-3pm. There will be refreshments and activities. The Engine 69 fire truck will also be there from 12pm – 1pm. The Secretary will post a notice in the meeting recap to go out the next day.
8.4.2. Ryan Craig (Resilient Palisades). The organization has formed a “Green Banking Team,” which will inform and advise Palisadians who wish to move funds to institutions that prioritize green investments. Resilient Palisades is also getting the word out about phase one of the Pali Microgrid pilot project, involving installation of rooftop solar for the Microgrid; they are honing in on particular neighborhoods.
8.5. From Government Offices / Representatives – Contact information available at: https://pacpalicc.org/index.php/government-contacts/
8.5.1. Noah Fleishman (CD 11 Deputy District Director). Mr. Fleishman gave several updates, including: (1) the Los Angeles Dept. of Aging free meal program for eligible seniors 60 years and older (for details visit the Department’s website); (2) funding of permanent supportive housing for veterans at the VA in Brentwood (3 buildings for veterans’ housing being funded with Prop. HHH money); (3) the June 7th primary election: get out and vote; (4) removal of a tree on Sunset west of Temescal Canyon that was severely leaning over into traffic and an immediate danger to pedestrians and vehicles; (5) a drunk driving incident on Bowdoin where the driver clipped a sign (LADOT will remove the debris); (6) regarding the Highlands trailhead matter, the CCC had 2 items on the agenda with respect to 2 separate lawsuits against the owner of the property and the Highlands developer; the matter against the lot owner was removed because there was positive information/movement on a resolution; enforcement continues with the 2nd matter against the developer for improperly handling the transfer of the property; (7) CM Bonin dislikes illuminated signage and the office is monitoring the STAP matter closely; (8) Mr. Fleishman is meeting next week with the head of the Illegal Dumping division regarding the Temescal dumping matter, and will work with Sanitation to establish a routine to pick up the wood before the piles becomes too large; (9) Saturday is Fire Service Day and LAFD Station 69 will be open; (10) he is hopeful we will see federal funding for the Palisades pedestrian trail from Potrero Canyon to Temescal Canyon (also known as the “lateral trail”).
Questions regarding the above matters ensued. The Chair: Where was the tree taken out on Sunset? John Padden: It was a Eucalyptus growing in the median area west of Temescal, which area had been newly planted by PRIDE. None of the new plantings were disturbed. PRIDE can look into possibly replacing the tree. Karen Ridgley: There was a huge pile of wood today on Temescal Canyon just along the curb; it is covering the sidewalk and the debris is completely blocking the drains. Could there be a barrier on the curb to prevent dumping? We need street sweepers along the curb occasionally. Mr. Fleishman: He will
look into street sweeping. This may be difficult since the closest street sweeping route is away from the Palisades; Temescal Canyon is not a posted route. There would have to be “no parking” signs posted, which may result in hefty fines for Pali High students who routinely park there. Maryam Zar: Is there any word on the encroachment on Sunset Blvd. near Mandeville Canyon, where overgrown shrubs are blocking the sidewalk? Mr. Fleishman: Vegetation from private properties adjacent to Sunset has been blocking the sidewalk across from Paul Revere, preventing safe crossing for Revere students. The Bureau of Street Services has sent compliance letters to the private property owners; one complied and one said that the vegetation was on City property. A 12” wide area has been cleared and is walkable, but this is still an ongoing issue. Maryam Zar: Questioned why Prop. HHH money is going to the project at the VA rather than funding from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Fleishman: He explained the circumstances and why Prop. HHH is one of the funding streams for the project; among other things, the veterans who will be housed are homeless individuals from City of Los Angeles. Haldis Toppel: Thanks for the repair of the crumbling side of Enchanted Way.
8.5.2. LAPD SLO Brian Espin. Officer Espin explained that he has been working currently on crime analysis for the Palisades. Crime overall in the Palisades is doing better than other areas in West Los Angeles. We have gotten better with car break-ins but must still be vigilant. He described the drunk driving incident involving the sign that was clipped on Bowdoin; the driver was arrested for DUI. Regarding wood dumping on Temescal: He has an idea that an area on the grass away from the sidewalk could possibly be roped off for use for wood dumping instead of the sidewalk. He suggests that residents take pictures of trucks doing the dumping and email the photos to Officer Espin.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors – None.
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. PPCC Candidates Forum Committee (Jenny Li, Committee Chair). Forum recap.
The Committee Chair related that the forum was well-publicized and was successful, with over 140 attendees. Everyone on the Committees did a great job. Daniel Abramson, the moderator, was excellent. She thanked Jack Coleman (Youth Advisor) for his technical assistance. The link to the YouTube recording of the forum is on the PPCC website.
9.2. Nominating Committee (Steve Cron, Chair). (1) Committee Chair’s announcement: Committee nominations for PPCC officer candidates; (2) PPCC Chair’s announcement: Officer nominations from Board open.
The Committee Chair announced the Committee’s nominations: Chair: Maryam Zar; Vice-Chair: Jenny Li; Secretary: Beth Holden Garland; Treasurer: Randy Young. He noted that the Committee had many meetings and discussions before reaching their decisions which they are pleased to announce. He briefly summarized the nominees’ backgrounds: Ms. Zar is a former PPCC Chair who started PPTFH; she has served on the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and is a member of several community boards and organizations. Ms. Li, currently Area 7 Representative, is an attorney and has been a partner at Mitchell Silverberg as well as a Vice-President of Sony Pictures. Ms. Holden-Garland has been in the entertainment business for many years and has also been PPRA’s representative to PPCC for several years. Mr. Young is a past PPCC Chair, Citizen of the Year and notable historian of the Palisades.
The Chair thanked the Committee and noted that he did not participate as he was not allowed to do so under the Bylaws. The PPCC Chair also announced that officer nominations from the Board are now open. There were no nominations at that time. Nominations from the Board will be open until 15 minutes before the 7:30pm scheduled close of the March 26th PPCC meeting.
10. Old Business.
10.1. Motion to Support WRAC-recommended Motion Requesting Dwelling Unit Capacity Calculations/Modified (sponsored in PPCC by the Executive Committee). See attachment, following, for motion text (modified) and background information.
The Secretary introduced the motion on behalf of the Executive Committee. No second was necessary as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member. The Secretary explained the motion background and the reasons why it was being made. Discussion was then called but there were no questions or comments. A vote was then taken: Result: Unanimous in favor of the motion.
11. New Business – None.
12. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 7:24 pm.
ATTACHMENT: Item 10.1 (Motion to Support WRAC-recommended Motion Requesting Dwelling Unit Capacity Calculations/Modified).
Motion text (modified):
“WRAC requests from Department of City Planning the Dwelling Unit Capacity calculations for all WRAC community plans in process (Palms-Mar Vista-Del Rey, Venice, Westchester/Playa, West Los Angeles).
“Pacific Palisades Community Council also requests that Dwelling Unit Capacity calculations be provided for the future Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan update.”