MINUTES FROM MAY 25th 2023
1. Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission. The meeting was called to order at 6:02pm. Beth Holden-Garland read the Community Council Mission
2. Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
Voting members present: Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, Dave Card, Steve Cron, Bruce Schwartz, Haldis Toppel, Cindy Simon, Daphne Gronich, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Eli Safaie-Kia, Chris Spitz, Shirley Haggstrom, Kevin Niles, John Padden, Genevieve Bostik, Mary Schultz, Cindi Young.
Non-voting board members present: Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Nancy Niles, Quentin Fleming, Kathy Russell, Sue Kohl, Harlan Hogue.
3. Introduction of attendees
Captain Nassour and Inspector Warren of LAFD Brush Clearance Unit gave a presentation about brush clearance. He said that in May they will do inspections. They have inspected 54% of Palisades/Brentwood and are continuing to work through parcels. 10-15% of these two communities have been cited for lack of clearance.
He reported that RAP had put Potrero Canyon clearance out for a BID on Wednesday (not sure which), but inspected mid-June clearance. He confirmed that a company called Waste Management is clearing pathways on a daily basis – maintain a clear pathway and trails. But brush clearance and brush mitigation for entire canyon, it has been bided out and will be cleared by mid to end of June.
Inspector Warren Sutton reported on the parcel on Marquez Avenue, just off Sunset, but they have sent the project to their contractors and are waiting to hear back with a completion date, but expect it to be done by mid to late June. Haldis Toppel said it is City property. Captain Nassour said their brush clearance budget will fund the clearance. John Padden said he knew the entity that is tasked with maintaining it and will refer them to Inspector Sutton.
Daphne Gronich drew their attention to the mobile home park and the Asilomar Park area for brush overgrowth. Captain Nassour and Inspector Sutton asked to receive the details and they will follow up.
Dave Card asked for clarification of private homeowners’ responsibility for clearing up to the property line, and the rest is the responsibility of RAP. If the homeowner wishes to clear more, can they? The fire department can’t cite a homeowner for clearing Recreation and Park property, but they can notice park management and if allowed, they can clear it.
Chris Spitz asked about the overgrown brush at Friends Street PROW, which poses a fire hazard. Will this brush be trimmed again? Captain Nassour said he will ask RAP to maintain that parkway. It will also fall under Street Service, but they will reach out to RAP brush clearance, once they begin.
4. Approval of Minutes. May 11, 2023, were approved as is.
5. Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings. The agenda was considered as distributed.
6. Treasurer’s Report. The Treasurer, Randy Young, reported that we have $46,973.11 in our PPCC bank account.
7. General Public Comment. None
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. The Presiding Officer announced that PPCC Elections: Board nominations of officer candidates from the floor (self or other) are open until 15 minutes prior to the close of the scheduled meeting (estimated at 7:45pm) and Secretary Beth Holden-Garland will alert the members at that time. [Point of Order was made that the cited time of 8:45pm was a typo on the agenda. The correct time should be 7:45pm.)
8.1.2. Beth Holden-Garland (Board Secretary) announced that the PPCC Outreach Committee had met to discuss the 50th anniversary community celebration at Simon Meadow and the date is set for 30th of September, from 11-4PM. The theme is “Keeping the Palisades the Palisades Since 1973”.
Kimberly Bloom (Area Five Primary) announced that the festivities will be carnival with games and booths for families. There will be an art (and poetry) installation with children and adults (with awards). There will be a drive to promote our work, bit at the Farmers Market and in editorials. Invited people to staff the FM table on Sundays, from June 25th through September 24th. Funding will be a challenge and we will need to get creative about financing. We need sponsors and donors, and are hoping to get money from CD11. She asked all to donate and mine relationships with others who may wish to donate or underwrite. Preliminarily, Diana Danielle (Area 2 Second Alternate) will spearhead editorial and press release (info) for soliciting community donations.
8.1.3. The Presiding Officer reported that Michael Amster’s birthday celebration went very well and thanked all for coming out to The Draycott. Please see pictures on social media.
8.1.4. The Presiding Officer announced that a PPCC/CD11/YMCA Safety Fair will be held on June 10th at Simon Meadow. The Palisades Forestry Committee, Resilient Palisades, PPTFH and the American Legion will also have booths. Many agencies have been invited by CD11 for the event, including LAFD and the horse-mounted unit of LAPD, and we expect a great turn out.
8.1.5. Beth Holden-Garland announced the selection of the 50th anniversary logo, and presented it to the Board for affirmation. The logo was affirmed [see the approved logo at: https://westsidecouncils.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Approved-Logo.pdf]. The Board will later consider and vote upon the changing of the PPCC logo, going forward (beyond the 50th anniversary celebration logo, which has a festive look and feel).
8.1.6. The Presiding Officer announced that on Tuesday, June 31, at noon, Rustic Canyon will open the 100-year time capsule to mark 100 years of Rustic Canyon.
8.2. From Officers and Chair Emeritus.
8.2.1. Jenny Li (Vice President) – not present.
8.2.1. David Card (Chair Emeritus) – PPCC sent a follow up letter to the City regarding the IKE (interactive kiosk) program, insisting, as we have before, that the City Council Budget and Finance Committee oppose the IKE program based on driving safety and coastal concerns. See our letter here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/IKE-restatement.pdf . We asked that prior to issuing an RFP, the department conduct public outreach and consider public comment, and perform a CEQA analysis on the program, alongside public hearings.
Dave Card also announced that the birthday party for Michael Amster was a success, with about 40 people, including Michael’s dad, at the Draycott, hosted by Maryam Zar, and wished him a happy birthday again.
8.2.2. Beth Holden-Garland (Secretary) – announced that PRIDE has taken over a median on Sunset for succulent and other plantings, waiting for City approval.
John Padden (Pride Representative) announced that Pride recently beautified a median on Sunset and Temescal, (also did work on Sunset & Chautauqua, as well as Monument & Northfield). They have applied for an ‘Adopt a Median’ permit for the Chautauqua and Sunset median, but the City is slow. The permit is in process and forthcoming and there will be more beatification in that location. The board thanked John and PRIDE for all the work they do in the Palisades. Mr. Padden was asked by Cathy Russell (Area 7 2nd Alternate) for more trash cans in Area 7. Daphne Gronich (Are Four 2nd Alternate) suggested that they ask the City to add a trash can which the City will service. Mr. Padden said PRIDE trash cans are brown and self-funded, but need a permit. Chris Spitz noted that she and Cindy Simon worked with LA Sanitation regarding the trash can in front of the library and they will provide contact information to Ms. Russell.
8.3. From At-Large and Area Representatives.
8.3.1. Haldis Toppel, Area Three Primary Representative, emphasized the need for the Lachman to Jacon (1100 block of Lachman and the 1000 block of Enchanted Way) fire access road to be addressed. She said this process began with CM Rosendahl, then Bonin who assured the community that he would address this as part of the city-wide fire protection plan. She no longer wants to see this punted to the next CM, and would like to ask that we agendise discussion with Traci Park and team on this matter.
Michael Edlen [Area Three 2nd Alternate] said he had a tour at FS 23, where he saw a map of the streets in the Palisades showing access for fire vehicles between Enchanted Way and Lachman Lane. He noted to the Fire Captain that this road no longer exists for public safety/emergency purposes; they were alarmed and said they’d go take a look. He reiterated that given the reaction from the Fire Captain, this is an urgent matter.
A Marquez Knolls resident of 40 years has recollection of emergency evacuation off the hill using that emergency access road. If there is a wildfire, we will face a dire emergency (much like Paradise CA) if we cannot open this road back and regain its use as an emergency access road.
8.3.2. Julie Silliman, Area Seven Primary Representative, announced that Canyon Charter Elementary School Classroom Replacement Project construction will begin later this year. A flyer was shared and the Board was informed that a pre-construction community meeting will take place in the coming weeks. [See: https://westsidecouncils.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Canyon-Project-Bulletin.pdf]
8.3.3. Kimberly Bloom, Area Five Primary Representative, announced that on June 1st the long-planned Chautauqua light/road map upgrade will be underway and we will share information as it becomes available.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives.
8.4.1. Shirley Haggstrom, TCA Representative, Environment Category Primary, announced that on May 28th a hike from Will Rogers State Park to Chicken Ridge Trail viewpoint will take place from the meeting point at 8:45 am at 756 Hartzell Street.
8.5. From PPCC Committees
8.5.1. PPCC Outreach Committee, joint report by Beth Holden-Garland & Kimberly Bloom (see above under Officer updates – 8.1.2)
8.6. From Government Offices / Representatives.
8.6.1. Brian Espin, LAPD Pacific Palisades SLO.
SLO Espin announced that people should keep their cars secured. He described a recent burglary and said the perpetrators have been apprehended, thanks to cameras. He asked for people to keep their cameras working because license plate ID helped in this case, and helps in most cases.
He shared the crime report for the Palisades and urged all to continue to be vigilant and neighborly and be safe over the long holiday weekend. He will be working the beach detail.
8.6.2. Zac Gaidzik, District Rep, Supervisor Lindsey Horvath — Not present.
8.6.3. Michael Amster, Field Deputy, Councilmember Traci Park — Not present.
8.6.4. Rad Nowroozi, Field Staff, Senator Ben Allen — Not present.
8.6.5. Allison Holdorf-Polhill, Sr. Advisor, LAUSD Board Member, Nick Melvoin — Not present.
8.7. From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.
8.7.1. Lou Kamer, PPCC Transportation Advisor — Not present.
8.7.2. Joe Halper, PPCC Parks Advisor
Gave a report on three topics which included the refurbishment of the playground at the Palisades Recreation Center, the interest in and challenges associated with pickle ball at the Rec Center and the necessity of the bridge project connecting Potrero canyon Park with the county beach parking lot at Will Rogers. See report here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/PPCC-Park-Advisor-Report.pdf
8.7.3. Sharon Kilbride, PPCC Homelessness Advisor — Not present.
8.7.4. K.C. Soll, Emergency Preparedness Liaison — Not present
8.7.5. Chris Spitz (PPCC Representative to WRAC and WRAC Vice-Chair) provided information about WRAC activities, including in-person Roundtable discussions that have taken place with important elected officials (CMs Traci Park and Katy Yaroslavsky; County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath). Ms. Spitz and PPCC President Maryam Zar will be attending upcoming Roundtables in June with City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto and Mayor Karen Bass. She invited PPCC board members to send her any questions they may have for these officials.
9. Old Business — None.
10. New Business.
10.1. Light Mitigation Motion – Deferred.
10.2. Motion to Support Determination Re Murphy Drill Site.
Motion text: “The PPCC calls on the City of Los Angeles to uphold its February 28 Letter of Determination (re Case No. ZA-1959-15227-O-PA6) requiring additional and modified conditions for the continued operation of the Murphy Oil Drill Site “to increase the protection of, and to preserve the health, safety and general welfare of, the residents and stakeholders of the neighborhood.”
Chris Spitz (At-large Representative) explained the motion, noting that it was originally recommended by the WRAC board, and stated that the motion was being made in PPCC by the PPCC Land Use Committee (no second needed because motion made by a committee of more than one voting board member). Following discussion, a vote was called; motion passed unanimously.
10.3. Motion for transparency in community plans updates.
Motion text: “The PPCC insists, on behalf of the stakeholders it represents, that prior to the completion of Community Plan updates, the City inform communities of the methodology by which it determines the allocation of RHNA numbers and the calculations that derive density housing goals in order to meet the aims of the Housing Element.
“These include, for each Community Plan and Community or Neighborhood Council area:
- A) Current zoning capacity (including existing density bonuses & commercial zones that allow residential uses) and reasonably expected population change.
B) The methodology which will be used to allocate RHNA growth numbers.
C) RHNA allocation of units in each community.
“We also urge the Planning Department to thoughtfully consider the input (submitted by previous written comment or imparted in real time) of Neighborhood and Community Councils as well as stakeholders that come together for the purpose of contributing to the Community Plan update process with informed and productive input, insight and/or suggestions. This essential input must be implemented by Planning staff, and the contributions reflected by being substantively included in the outcome/drafting of revised Community Plans. We urge that a report back mechanism be implemented by Planning staff, in order to inform communities of where and how their input has been received and incorporated into the final drafting process.
“We would, further, like to understand the role of the Westside Community Plan Advisory Group (WCPAG) and be assured that the WCPAG’s voice will not outweigh that of local stakeholders.”
Joanna Spak (Area One 2nd Alternate and Alternate Representative to the WRAC LUPC) explained the motion, noting that it was originally recommended by the WRAC board, and stated that the motion was being made in PPCC by the PPCC Land Use Committee (no second needed because motion made by a committee of more than one voting board member). Following discussion, a vote was called; motion passed unanimously.
11. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8pm.*
* At 15 minutes prior to the scheduled close of the meeting, PPCC Secretary Beth Holden Garland announced the deadline for receiving officer nominations. No additional nominations were made.