MINUTES FROM MARCH 23rd 2023
1. Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission. The meeting was called to order at 6:02 PM. Karen Ridgley read the Community Council Mission.
2. Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The President called roll and certified a quorum.
Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, Dave Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Bruce Schwartz (announced by PRIDE as their Alternate as they serve as the sole member of the Business/Commerce category), Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Sue Kohl, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Reza Akef, Chris Spitz, Nina Kidd, Greg Heidt, Richard Blumenberg, Shirley Haggstrom, Jessica Rogers.
Non-voting members present: Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Leeanne Sanderson, Daphne Gronich, Quentin Flemming, Alisa Wolfson, Ryan Craig.
3. Introduction of attendees
Brian Hale, LADOT Chief of Parking Enforcement and Tim Fremaux, Sr. Transportation Engineer, LADOT were present and were introduced by PPCC Transportation Advisor, Lou Kamer, to give a presentation.
Mr. Hale reported that there are 600 traffic officers and even more supervisors; they are operating 24/7 supporting LAPD and LAFD. They respond to requests for traffic control assistance, signal outages, largescale public events and emergency management responses. They are deployed from five area offices and patrol the city throughout the day issuing parking violations and responding to continuous complaints. They generate 1.2 million citations that yields $115M to the City’s General Fund, which helps fund police, fire and other public safety programs. They also service over 4,000 special events throughout the city – including at Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theatre, and the LA Marathon. They also address abandoned vehicles (1-800-abandon), and have helped recover more than 4,000 stolen vehicles across the City, last year. They are an agency that helps maintain public safety and accountability to motorists.
Vehicle dwellings are an ongoing issue. The Mayor’s emergency declaration on homelessness which focuses on addressing encampments (tents and other structures on City streets) is not as deliberate with respect to vehicle dwellings, but LADOT still addresses them. These vehicles are occupied so it’s hard to simply vacate or displace them. Brian Hale drafted a report for LA City Council last year where he outlined a process by which LADOT can begin to remove these vehicles, and that begins with outreach and engagement. LADOT can then initiate enforcement activity. They don’t have the space to store the vehicles – official police garages don’t have space on their lots to store these vehicles — so one of the things city departments are doing is identifying other public lots that can be used to store vehicles used for vehicular dwellings.
Tim Fremaux, Sr Transportation Engineer, oversees 3 of 6 offices. Other groups do things within the City on transportation. The District Office’s primary service is constituent services – anything traffic or transportation-related matters: light signals, curb markings, pavement markings and lane lines, crosswalks, signs and all the various features within the roadway that help guide and manage the flow of traffic. There are 8,000-10,000 service requests that come from residents as well as elected offices. My LADOT was being used but is being disabled. New system will be 311-based and will allow the public to go through the 311 system online to reach a tree of menus having to do with DOT, and the request will be submitted to LADOT. Transition state. At present, you can work through the Council Office or directly with LADOT to make requests.
The W. Channel and Chautauqua intersection has finally received the Caltrans permit for DOT to get ready to do the work of improving that intersection. There will be a small buffer between the left-to-Channel Road-lane and the other left turn to go to PCH. The barrier will help emphasize the separation of the movements. Hoping compliance will be better – data will be collected.
The other modification will be on PCH going towards Malibu. The rightmost lane will be the only lane going to Chautauqua or Channel. The other two lanes will be PCH only. Focus on safety.
The Chair announced that Temescal Canyon Rd. will soon be finished repaving.
Kimberly Bloom [Area 5 Representative] asked about speed bumps. Mr. Fremaux said there is a group at DOT which addresses only speed bumps. That group has been reactivated. (LADOT Speedhumps) When the cycle is open, the community can submit an application which is evaluated and then affirmed (only two segments per Council District). Very competitive. The neighborhood must make a request and have a form signed by a majority of people on the impacted street, asking for the bumps. Mr. Fremaux suggested other solutions including bollards and other remedies.
Alan Goldsmith (PPCC Business Advisor) asked about bike lane statistics in terms of reduced accidents. Mr. Fremaux replied that research has been done on levels of intervention to protect bike lanes. Typically crashes involving bikes do go down. There is definitely a correlation.
Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative) noted that the left turn onto Sunset from Allenford intersection needs some attention. Mr. Fremaux pledged to investigate it. Reza Akef then asked about traffic impact mitigation at the Chautauqua intersection when work begins. Mr. Fremaux responded that any road closure will be very brief, and not during the peak traffic hours. He noted that the existing bollard/cones are damaged and may need repair.
David Card (Chair Emeritus) thanked Mr. Kamer and Mr. Fremaux and the City for working on the Chautauqua intersection. Also noted the paint lines on Temescal and asked for it to be done correctly this time.
Jenny Li (Vice-President) asked if the PCH right-hand turn lane will have an arrow with the signal because there will be twice as many people turning from one lane as there have previously been. People who could turn onto Channel on a red light will now have to wait for people turning on Chautauqua when the light is green. People may start cutting through the gas station. Mr. Fremaux said there will be no changes to the signal, but outcomes and unintended consequences will be monitored.
Karen Ridgley (Area 3 Representative) mentioned Asilomar View Park parking enforcement. Mr. Hale asked to be informed with an address and he will work to address the issues.
4. Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the February 23, 2023, were approved as distributed.
5. Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings:
The Agenda was considered as presented.
6. Treasurer’s Report. The Treasurer reported that the PPCC bank balance is $52,591.67 with no transactions to report.
7. General Public Comment. None.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. The President announced that LAFD Brush Clearance inspector has pledged that letters for brush clearance will be sent soon, and monitoring is underway. Violators (including parks) will be notified to clear brush, and if they fail to do so, LAFD will send a contractor to do the work and bill them. We have been informed that Potrero Canyon brush clearance is being done by a contractor named Waste Unlimited.
8.1.2. The President announced that she will be appointing a Nominating Committee at our next meeting.
8.1.3. The President said she wanted to have a board-wide conversation about the Honorary Mayor Tradition which has historically rested with the Chamber of Commerce. PPCC’s 50th Anniversary is coming up and she’d like to celebrate by taking on the Hon. Mayor tradition, given that the joint Malibu Chamber is not in a position to adopt that tradition, and the Hon. Mayor mantle is well placed at PPCC. She invited discussion. Board members indicated that the new joint Malibu/Palisades Chamber is getting traction with the local business community. Sue Kohl (Area Five 1st Alternate) announced that each new business in the Palisades is celebrated with a ribbon cutting, networking events are often scheduled and the PaliBu chamber is very interested in retaining the Hon. Mayor tradition. Members also expressed a volition to keep the Honorary Mayoral tradition in the Palisades and saw it as a uniquely Palisadian tradition that we may not wish to share with Malibu. The President explained that she hopes the Malibu/Palisades Chamber gains strength and even takes its place on our board, but that the discussion of the Honorary Mayor was a separate issue worth further conversation. She pledged to reach out to the new joint chamber leadership and invite them to weigh in on the issue. Sue Kohl reiterated that the PaliBu chamber would like to retain and revive the tradition.
8.1.4. The President reiterated that progress between city and state agencies for the construction of the lateral trail and feasibility of the bridge continues to bring the community closer to coastal access for Potrero Canyon Park. The funding shortfall for the lateral trail has been requested from the Mayor’s city budget, and PPCC wrote a letter in support which can be found online. See our letter.
8.1.5. The President updated the board that discussions continue with Jeff Khau, Planning Director at CD11, and the issue of out-of-scale building in the Palisades (LUC matter) continues to be discussed. More to come. She also noted that Jeff is reaching out to Frank Lara to bring back feedback regarding extended excavation and building times for projects that seem never to end, and residents have nowhere to turn for accountability.
8.1.6. The President informed the board that per the last meeting consensus, a letter in support of a Palisades Dog Park has been sent. See here.
8.1.7. The President announced the upcoming Community Safety meeting set for Thursday, April 6th at 5:30 pm at the American Legion. There will also be a ZOOM component.
Main points of discussion shall be public safety including LAPD, fire safety and evacuations, emergency preparedness, communication. Participants beyond LAPD and LAFD will be joining us. She shared the event flyer [see: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Community-safety-2023-no-rsvp.pdf].
8.1.8. The President announced that the first meeting of the joint PPCC/BCC committee will take place on 3/28. Shared priorities for discussion will be cannabis dispensaries, VHFHSZs and their protection as well as bus shelters and the City’s rollout of new furniture.
8.2. From Officers and Chair Emeritus
8.2.1. Jenny Li (Vice-President) – reported that the PCOC has formed a communication committee (Li, Wittcoff, Simon, Spitz and Zar) to post ongoing information about Potrero Canyon and the efforts of the committee in resolving issues and community concerns surrounding George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon. The posts will be penned by the committee and posted to a Potrero tab that has been created on the PPCC website (pwww.pacpalicc.org), under a series of subheadings that the committee has developed for ease of navigation. Check back often for updates.
There is also a new email with which to communicate with the PCOC. That email is firstname.lastname@example.org (the old gmail will be phased out in time).
The President reiterated all the work that is being done, mentioned progress on the lateral trail, and cited the letter sent to support remaining funding for the trail, as well as that sent to CD11 in support of the dog park (so dogs are not taken off leash at Potrero Canyon Park). She noted that the letter has been acknowledged and a conversation has since ensued with Leslie Campbell who leads the community dog park effort.
8.2.2. David Card (Chair Emeritus) – Thanked everyone for their deliberations with respect to new organizational members.
8.2.3. Beth Holden-Garland [Secretary] – None.
8.3. From At-Large and Area Representatives
8.3.1. Murray Levy, Area One Representative, brought up the enduring issue of excavations and non-compliant building projects in Area One. The President announced that Jeff Khau has pledged to reach out to Frank Lara and either bring us his feedback regarding the overly-long excavation durations and the building projects that seem never ending in Area One (and beyond), or invite him to attend an upcoming meeting. The issue has not been forgotten and the President will agendize the matter for motion if the City fails to give meaningful feedback.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives
8.4.1. Nina Kidd (Friends of the Library) announced that the PPTFH is reorganizing and urged people to attend the Community Safety Town Hall to hear more. The President announced that Sharon Kilbride will be a panelist at the Town Hall Meeting and has informed the President that she will take part in discussions of safety, as related to the work of PPTFH, and speak briefly about the plans to reorganize PPTFH.
8.4.2. Shirley Haggstrom (TCA) announced that the Historical Society invites you to join them for a hike at Los Liones Canyon on Saturday April 1st. Come to the amphitheater and sign in at 8:45am. A moderate-level hike will be followed by a program and light refreshments in the amphitheater highlighting the impact of the work done to restore/preserve the canyon.
She further announced that TCA has more members than was previously stated in the meeting (12 members mentioned), and that their members extend well beyond the immediate community, even as far as members from abroad.
8.5. From Government Offices / Representatives
8.5.1. Brian Espin. LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades.
SLO Espin reported that burglaries are up by five from last year at this time. Typical Modus Operandi: people go to the side or rear of the house to break a window and get in. Car break-ins are still happening and he asks that people not leave keys in the car or valuables visible. Crime report has been released. The President noted that the most recent crime report notated the description of all acronyms, as asked.
8.5.2. Zac Gaidzik, (temporary) Deputy, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, District 3
Zac reported that Supervisor Horvath has authored a motion for LACBOS to look at how LA County Government is modeled and structured, allowing for a bigger board as well as public funded campaigns or matching finds. She has met with Mayor Karen Bass and adopted implementation actions to accelerate change around addressing encampments, mental health and substance abuse as well as housing. The LA County Supervisors approved $609.7M for the LA County Homelessness Initiative, along with extending eviction protections to the end of March. Sup. Horvath also authored a motion for $45M in funds to be available soon to small renters and landlords to offer sone relief. Also has embraced raising the pride flag over county offices during the month of June in recognition of LGBTQ rights and inclusion in the month of pride. Sup Horvath has also asked the FCC to engage local governments and residents in the development of accessible wireless infrastructure. This Sunday, Sup. Horvath will be celebrating her first 100 days in office! LA County will be reviewing grant requests for community projects. To learn more, visit www.grants.lacounty.gov.
8.5.3. Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Councilwoman Traci Park — Did not speak.
8.5.4. Skylar Payab, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Deputy — Not present.
8.5.5. Rad Nowroozi, State Senator Ben Allen, SD24.
Mr. Nowroozi presented information about SB 571 and further announced that Maryam Zar was honored as the 2023 Woman of the Year (WOTY) for the Senate District by Sen. Ben Allen. She was chosen for her leadership and advocacy in Los Angeles, but also for the work she does abroad, empowering women. This year, in particular, she has been active in supporting the Woman Life Freedom movement emerging from Iran where protesters inspired by women have taken to the streets demanding basic freedoms and civil rights. Mr. Nowroozi announced that Ms. Zar was recognized for her selection as WOTY on the Senate floor on Monday, March 20th, alongside other WOTYs, which included Mayor Karen Bass. Mr. Nowroozi informed the board that in keeping with her advocacy, Ms. Zar was up in Sacramento again earlier on the day of the current meeting to support and witness the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 (SCR6), which was a historic expression of support on the part of the CA State Senate for the pro-freedom protesters in Iran.
The President thanked Sen. Ben Allen and Mr. Nowroozi as well as the entire office of Sen. Allen for the accolade and the recognition. She explained that Iran is the place of her birth, and said she’d been in Sacramento for the day to watch the passage of a Concurrent Resolution she had helped draft and was proud to be able to do the work she does, both at home and abroad.
8.5.6. Taleen Keroughlian, Congressman Brad Sherman — Not present.
8.5.7. Allison Holdorff-Polhill, AUSD Board member, Nick Melvoin, Sr. Advisor – Not present.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives [None].
9. Reports from Committees.
9.1. The Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC). [See Item 8.2.1 above.]
10. Old Business – None.
11. New Business.
11.1. Discussion and vote — addition of two new organizations to the PPCC Board.
After presentations of documents submitted by the applicants for inclusion in the PPCC Board roster as rotational members of the organizational categories that are part of the PPCC Board, per Appendix A of the Bylaws, and discussion, the board voted on a motion by the Executive Committee to allow the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) and the Palisades Americana Parade Association (PAPA) onto the board as rotational members; motion passed by a vote of more than 2/3 of the entire board membership [see below]. Two distributions of Bylaws amendments will be forthcoming in order for the board to vote on adding the two new organizations into their respective rotational categories on Appendix A to the Bylaws.
[See documents submitted by PFC and PAPA in support of inclusion on the PPCC Board Roster:
The two new organizations recommended by the EC were affirmed for board inclusion as follows:
11.1.1. PFC – 17 in favor, one opposed
11.1.2. PAPA – 16 in favor, one opposed, one abstaining
The President announced that she will now refer the matter to the Bylaws Committee, which will determine how best to position them in our rotational categories, and will bring their recommendations to our board for two distributions (culminating in a bylaws amendment) in the month of April. The President notes that David Card, PFC President and Bylaws Committee Chair, will recuse himself from bylaws committee discussions having to do with PFC. Andrew Wolfberg, Committee Vice Chair, will preside over those discussions.
11.2. Discussion and possible Motion.
11.2.1. WRAC motion for 100% RSO replacement units was tabled, pending more information and LUC review.
11.2.2. SB571 (Allen). Senate bill calling for evacuation plans in conjunction with new development in VHFHSZs – After presentation by Sen. Allen’s Legislative staff member, Dylan Elliot, and discussion, the board tabled this motion pending the outcome of more amendments from the Senate Governance and Finance Committee and expected developments from the Senator’s office. Mr. Elliot and Mr. Nowroozi from Sen. Allen’s office will keep the board updated and bring us the final language of the bill in a timely fashion for our consideration and support. See more information at: https://legiscan.com/CA/bill/SB571/2023.
12. Adjournment — The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.