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PACIFIC PALISADES COMMUNITY COUNCIL BOARD MEETING MINUTES
July 28, 2022
6:00 PM – 7:30PM
Via Zoom Videoconference
1. Call to Order: The President called the meeting to order and read the Community Council mission.
2. Roll Call and Quorum: The President called roll and certified quorum.
Voting Board member attendance: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Randy Young, Dave Card, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Reza Akef, Alan Goldsmith, Nina Kidd, Barbara Kohn, Ryan Craig, Shirley Haggstrom,
Non Voting Board members/Alternates in attendance: Michael Edlen, Mary Mueller, Richard Cohen.
3. Attendees: Attendees were asked to introduce themselves.
Attendees: Sue Pascoe, Barbara Bruderlin, Sarah Shmerling, Peter Duke, Paul Kudney, Aileen Hahn, Chris Spitz, Krishna Thangavelu, K.C. Soll, Rob Weber.
4. Minutes: The minutes of 6/23/22 were approved with two amendments.
5. Agenda: The agenda was considered as presented.
6. Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer thanked the outgoing treasurer, Richard Cohen, for providing a very professional and very organized view of PPCC finances. He reported that he is in the process of organizing banking matters, credit cards, payments and would give monthly budgetary reports. Mail Chimp and Zoom accounts have been renewed for the new term.
7. General Public Comment: The President called for the general public comment. The At-Large representative, Alan Goldsmith, said he thought SLO Espin should be able to give his report and be excused. The President explained that Officer Espin is welcome to connect a few minutes later than 6 pm knowing that we have some administrative tasks to take care of early in the meeting, but that we like our government office reps to stay for the meeting and hear/listen to our board conversations so they are familiar with the issues that concern us or hear our priorities looking ahead. Officer Espin agreed and said he has blocked off the time.
8.1. President’s Report:
8.1.1. The President announced Candidates for the Area and At-large elections coming up in August / September. Those candidates are:
Area 1: Murray Levy
Area 2: Steve Cron
Area 3: Haldis Toppel
Area 4: Karen Ridgley and Reza Ronaghi
Area 5: Kimberly Bloom and Allison Holdorff-Polhill
Area 6: Cindy Simon
Area 7: Julie Silliman
Area 8: Reza Akef
At-large: Alan Goldsmith and Chris Spitz
8.1.2. The President went on to announce that she has appointed, or re-appointed, Committees and Advisors as follows. She advised that these appointments can also be seen online where the website has already been updated.
Two appointments were affirmed with the advice and consent of the board:
Rob Weber: Legal Advisor
Dillon Khoubian: Youth Advisor
The President said a word about both, noted there may be another youth advisor, and called for objections to their affirmation as Advisors. There were no objections.
Other appointments are below:
Executive Committee: Joanna Spak, John Padden, David Card, Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, Jenny Li, Maryam Zar
Bylaws Committee: David Card (Committee Chair), Andrew Frew, Haldis Toppel, Andrew Wolfberg, Randy Young
Land Use Committee (LUC): Steve Cron (Committee Chair), Howard Robinson (Committee Chair Emeritus), Richard Blumenberg, Joanna Spak, Danielle Samulon, David Card, Ryan Craig, Michael Edlen. (Two members pending).
Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC): David Card (Committee Chair), Marilyn Wexler, Bruce Schwartz, Nancy Niles, Bill Bruns, Cindy Kirven, Jo Ann Bright, Mary Schultz, and Lisa V. (see committee Advisors on our website).
Community Plan Committee (CPC): Randy Young (Committee Co-Chair), Barbara Kohn (Committee Co-Chair), David Card, Richard Blumenberg, Joanna Spak (additional members pending as the work of this committee gets underway in conjunction with LA City Planning calendar of community updates).
- Recreation & Park Advisor:Joe Halper
- Homelessness Advisors:Sharon Kilbride, Sharon Browning, Pam McGranahan
- Transportation Advisor:Lou Kamer
- PCH Taskforce representative:David Card
- West LA CPAB representative:Maryam Zar
- Emergency Preparedness:C. Soll
- Wildfire Prevention:Miriam Schulman
Board representatives: Maryam Zar (primary), Jessica Rogers (alternate)
Homelessness Committee: Barbara Kohn (primary)
LUPC: Joanna Spak (alternate)
Mobility and Transportation (MTC): Steve Lantzs (primary), Lou Kamer (alternate)
(see website https://pacpalicc.org for all updates posted).
8.1.3. The President noted that a position letter was sent on 6/24, per the 6/23 meeting and motion to support the Buscaino City Council motion regarding camping near libraries:
Nina Kidd informed the Board that the Friends of the Library (FOL) would be having a meeting soon and might support this letter as well. The President reminded FOL that they will have the primary seat in the category next year and would need to a reappoint a representative.
8.1.4. The President announced that a Letter of Condolences was sent to the Optimist Club for the passing of PPCC board member, Don Scott (current Alternate in the Service Clubs category).
8.1.5 & 6. The President reviewed EC approvals including creating two new email accounts (President@ and firstname.lastname@example.org) in addition to email@example.com in an attempt to create an archive for future officers/leadership and keep communication centralized. She had also gotten EC approval to use Zoho, a year-round survey subscription, for electronic voting in Area and At-large elections. She also noted that both the Notice of Election Nomination and the Statement to Candidates were sent timely.
The President also said that the EC had renewed their annual approval to continue Zoom meetings for the time being.
8.1.7. The President reported that she and other Area reps had a preliminary meeting with Chief Richard Fields of the LAFD Brush unit and discussed evacuation matters. This was a preliminary meeting to discuss emergency and evacuation preparedness. [See President’s report]. The President said she will form an ad-hoc committee on fire and evacuation preparedness and communications and would invite board members to join that committee to begin a collaboration with Chief Fields and LAFD to establish an effective communication/awareness plan to assist in case of emergency.
Barbara Bruderlin from the newly formed Pacific Palisades/Malibu Chamber of Commerce introduced herself and discussed a Facebook group she started after Woolsey fire with the acronym HEART and said that worked well for information sharing. She suggests that Facebook’s check-in system is one tool the Palisades could investigate using as a means of emergency communication.
8.2. Reports From Officers:
8.2.1. Board Secretary, Beth Holden-Garland attended two Wildlife Ordinance Information Sessions and filed this report:
After attending two meetings on the Wildlife Ordinance on both June 28th, and July 13th on behalf of the PPCC, she shared more information about the proposed Wildlife Ordinance draft. The Secretary gave a visual presentation of the suggested changes for hillside development that will affect the areas east of the 405 freeway through to where it meets the 101 freeway. Impacted cities/locales will include Bel Air, Beverly Crest, parts of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Laurel Canyon, and Sherman Oaks. She explained that if the ordinance passes, it may be implemented city-wide at some later date. Most attendees of the July 13thmeeting who made public comment were favorable to the Wildlife Ordinance.
The Secretary further recommended that residents inform themselves using these links to for further information and detail about the ordinance, and understand how it might affect their property with new construction, major remodels (beyond 500 feet), and pre-existing home rebuilds, in the case of emergencies such as earthquake or fire.
Links to learn more about the Wildlife Ordinance:
Chris Spitz said Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council (BABCNC) is also monitoring the Wildlife Ordinance status and said she would connect us with their board members to follow progress.
8.3. Reports from Area and At-Large Representatives:
8.3.1. Area 2: Steve Cron reported that in recent weeks the city did a great deal of work along both sides of Palisades Drive. City workers pulled out dead trees and bushes and cleared away truckloads of debris that had accumulated for decades in the culverts along Palisades Drive. Those culverts were designed to divert runoff water away from Palisades Drive, but because they have not been cleaned out for a long time they were completely overgrown and nonfunctional. He and Willie Midgely, the Executive Director of the Santa Ynez Rec Center, had been lobbying Mike Bonin’s office for years, and with the help of Bonin’s District Director, Noah Fleishman, the work has finally started, and will be completed soon.
8.3.2. Area 4: Karen Ridgley reported that there is some overgrown shrub along the bluffs area at Area 4 which needs to be cleaned up. She asked if it is in City or Fire department jurisdiction. Various members said those lands are divided among City and private property, and Cal Trans at the bottom of the hillside. The President said she would start email communication to see who can address the issues.
Karen Ridgley also said Area 4 was in need of street cleaning and maintenance. The President said that according to the CD11 Deputy’s report, some of street cleaning was being done in the Palisades, so it is possible to get this kind of work done, and we must press to get more of this kind of resource allocated to our neighborhoods. Chris Spitz noted that in Area 6, where she is a resident, there is also a need and to her recollection, street cleaning has not been done there in the recent past. The President said, she would press our council office for more sanitation resources and noted that according to Steve Lantzs’ report, WRAC MTC had also looked at the issue. Chris Spitz said she would alert WRAC MTC to the issue, as regional matter.
8.4. Reports from Organizations:
8.4.1. Friends of the Library representative, Nina Kidd, announced that the FOL would be meeting soon.
8.5. Reports from Government Offices / Representatives:
8.5.1. LAPD SLO Brian Espin. Officer Espin said year to date, crime in Pacific Palisades is down. The community, as a whole, has been proactive and that has been helpful. He reminded everyone to remain vigilant, and not to leave belongings in cars, or in any visible place that might tempt bad actors. If anyone would like to be on the crime report circulation list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
He mentioned past and upcoming events hosted by LAPD, including “Hike with a Cop”, “National Night Out” which will be a BBQ event on Tuesday, August 2nd, at Stoner Park from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will also be “Coffee with A Cop” on Sunday, August 7th at 9 am at Estate Coffee, where the community can meet SLO Espin and ask questions.
8.5.2. CD11 Council Office: See report from Isabella Dennis, CD11 Pacific Palisades Field Deputy
8.6. Reports from PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives
8.6.1. Steve Lantzs, PPCC WRAC Transportation and Mobility Advisor, could not attend the meeting, but sent this report: WRAC Mobility and Transportation Committee
8.6.2. Joanna Spak, WRAC LUPC representative, gave the following report: See report
WRAC LUPC – Joanna provided highlights from a presentation and discussion held at the July WRAC LUPC meeting regarding the impact of the newly certified Housing Element on the Community Plan process. Her summary noted recent proposals from City Planning to in-process Community Plans that include rezoning in high resourced areas and transit corridors, as well as expansions to incentive programs, like density bonus. She also noted a wish list of LAMC code changes proposed by one WRAC LUPC member that will likely be presented as a motion at a future WRAC LUPC meeting. Her report, outlining the rezoning proposals and the LAMC wish list, are attached, and PPCC committees and board members are encouraged to review.
Joanna also brought up a City Council motion related to the rollout of SB 9 in the City of Los Angeles, and mentioned that a memorandum and an ordinance requested in the motion were still outstanding from City Planning. It has been brought to her attention that the memorandum was issued and can be found on the LA City Planning website under Development Services / Senate Bill 9. The ordinance, assuming one will eventually be drafted, is still outstanding.
8.6.3. Barbara Kohn, WRAC Homelessness Committee representative reported that the Committee Chaired by Jay Handel met via Zoom July 21, 2022. The Homeless Committee moved to ask WRAC leadership to write a letter to: Bonin, Koretz, Garcetti, Feuer, Bass, Caruso, Park, Darling, Yaroslavsky, Yebri, Feldstein, Gill after noting that many calls and emails have gone unanswered by numerous councils. Therefore, WRAC is asking for clarification of enforcement regarding encampments, overnight parking, living in vehicles, and unregulated RV encampments.
8.6.4. K.C. Soll, Emergency Preparedness RYLAN and Cert Training advisor gave her email address for Cert Training: email@example.com. The dates and location of the CERT training are as follows. Location: 701 Palisades Drive; at the Calvary Christian School, in room 138. Wednesday evenings from 6:30 pm to 9 pm from October 12th to November 16th, 2022. S. Missed classes can be made up.
She cautioned that there are only 33 On-Duty First Responders in Pacific Palisades at any one time for an estimated 23,000 residents. Her cautionary take was that your neighbors may be your first responders. As such, CERT Training and RYLAN (Ready Your LA Neighborhood) are potential life savers.
9. Reports from Committees
9.1. Bylaws Committee:
Report by Committee Chair, David Card.
David Card, Committee Chair, reported that the Bylaws committee had met, and was taking up a few issues, including adding a Parliamentarian, reviewing organizational categories, adding a co-secretarial role and authorizing some small expenditures in the routine course of administrative business.
9.2. LUC Committee
Report by Committee Chair, Steve Cron
Steve Cron, Committee Chair, reported that the LUC has met to discuss the “doughnut hole” issue that allows builders to build out of scale homes in the areas of the Palisades zoned single family residential, non-hillside, and in the coastal zone where builders find loopholes to build large scale homes. We have drafted language for a community plan amendment and have asked Palisadian Mark Armbruster to help. Full report forthcoming.
Haldis Toppel, Area 3 Rep commented that an out-of-scale home has gone up at Marquez and Ida and brought up another troubling build at 1026 Enchanted Way. Reza Akef said this should be reviewed by our LUC. The President said Howard Robinson and Steve Cron are aware and are looking into whether or not there is grounds for the LUC to review this private home construction.
9.3. Election Committee
Report by Committee Chair, Jenny Li
Li reported that the election committee is planning for election via on-line voting and paper ballot to be printed in the Palisadian Post. Candidates were announced just now at meeting by President Maryam Zar. All candidates have been sent the Message to Candidates document, per the bylaws, which includes SR9 and our elections code of conduct for campaigning. Basic rules are that candidates cannot link directly to the ballot from their websites (must link back to the PPCC website), posters cannot be posted on public property. Campaigning may begin at close of meeting. Voting will begin August 19th and will close September 2nd. Winners will be announced on September 8th. Watch for PPCC website reminders, email campaign, etc, for updates and reminders to vote.
10. Old Business. – None.
11. New Business.
11.1. PPCC took up two new motions from WRAC.
11.1.1. Support for Speed Limit Reduction (WRAC website)
Refers to City Council file 21-1223
PPCC supports the following position in regard to the recent adoption of Ordinance 187427 regarding speed limit reductions:
i PPCC supports the action taken by the LA City Council on March 7, 2022 in passing Council File 21-1223 regarding Speed Limit Reductions.
ii PPCC supports the efforts to reduce the speed limit by 5 MPH on streets that were recently identified for 5 MPH speed limit increases.
iii Moving forward, it is the suggestion of PPCC that City Council open a Council File to consider that future speed limit reductions be discussed and planned as neighborhood or regional traffic improvements rather than individual street improvements. These improvements should be coupled with measures to minimize vehicle traffic being redirected onto adjacent neighborhood streets. For example, we would like to see LADOT incorporate traffic calming measures and active transportation elements. Traffic calming measures might include compact traffic circles/mini roundabouts, restricted turns, curb extensions/bulb-outs, speed humps and tables, and diagonal diverters, half closures, full closures, and median barriers to reduce cut-through traffic.
iv In addition, PPCC requests that the Council Offices engage the local Westside Councils in ongoing discussions about what additional streets should be considered for speed limit reductions as well as establish a method whereby Council and stakeholder feedback on this issue can be submitted directly to LADOT.
–Motion passed unanimously.
11.1.2. Support for automated speed enforcement program (WRAC Motions)
Refers to City Council file 22-0002-S58
PPCC supports CF 22-0002-S58, which in turn supports AB 2336 which allows the City of Los Angeles to create a pilot automated speed enforcement program which includes fine alternatives for low-income drivers and privacy data protections.
–Motion failed for lack of a second.
12. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 7:38 PM.
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