MINUTES FROM JUNE 8th 2023
1. Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.
Beth Holden-Garland read the PPCC mission.
2. Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The President took roll and certified that there is quorum.
Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Randy Young, David Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Daphne Gronich, Kimberly Bloom, Harlan Hogue, Rick McGeagh, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Greg Heidt, Shirley Haggstrom, Barbara Kohn, Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostik, Courtney Macker.
Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Nancy Niles, Michael Edlen, Sue Kohl, Mary Schulz, Cathy Russell.
3. Introduction of attendees – None.
4. Approval of Minutes: The May 25, 2023 minutes were approved as distributed.
5. Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings:
The agenda was considered as distributed. The President announced that the next meeting will be a hybrid meeting held in-person at the Palisades Branch Library meeting room.
6. Treasurer’s Report – [not included/unavailable]
7. General Public Comment — None
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. The President announced the PPCC/CD11/YMCA Safety Fair will be held on June 10th at Simon Meadow – PFC, Resilient Palisades, PPTFH and the American legion will also have booths. Many agencies incited [SIC], including LAFD and the horse mounted unit of LAPD. CD11 taking the lead but with PPCC support, Simon Meadow (YMCA). The Fair will feature a PPCC table.
8.1.2. The President announced that we will have a Corresponding Secretary beginning in the new term. She will introduce her to the board in July.
8.1.3. The President announced that the PPCC will have a table at the Farmer’s Market as of June 25th.
8.1.4. The President announced that she had a meeting with the PaliBu leadership and can report that they are working hard to get traction in the Palisades, are conducting outreach and are considering creating a separate Palisades board within the joint chamber with a specifically Palisades characteristic. We think the joint chamber may come to PPCC in the fall with a presentation and an application to join our board on a rotational basis, in the Business & Commerce category. In the meantime, they’ve asked for Palisadians to volunteer as board members. Please email the President with interest.
8.1.5. The President said we are looking for funding and underwriters for the Anniversary celebration. Please reach out to her with interest.
8.1.6. The President announced that the PAPA Parade is most likely happening for PPCC this year, with a banner and people walking alongside it.
8.1.7. The President announced a third Outreach Committee meeting – PPCC 50th Anniversary Date is set for September 30th — location will be Simon Meadow and we will be asking all member organizations to take part with a table and presentations. At our next meeting, we will be considering a program, a line-up of speakers, perhaps some presentations and other details like food and music. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with all ideas.
8.1.8. The President noted that at the last meeting, discussion came up regarding the fire road between Lachman Lane and Enchanted way. She reminded everyone that she brought this up to this board in the past and heard discussion regarding the urgency of the matter. She has asked CD11 and LDWP to investigate. CD11 has thus far reported that they have not unearthed anything. LADWP, which some had suggested may have authorized the private gate that has been placed on the public access road, has said in an email: “Our real estate division confirmed that the property is privately owned. LA DWP does have an easement, but we do not have the authority to assign rights to any other entities.” CD11 has pledged to follow up with Wildland Mitigation Department in August at a meeting where the topic of will be evacuations and access. Michael Amster and Jacob Berman will bring this topic up and bring us an update on this matter in September.
8.1.9. The President also noted that at the last meeting where LAFD Brush Clearance Captain, Bryan Nassour, and Inspector Warren Sutton were present, discussion came up about a piece of land on Marquez in need of brush clearance. This is city owned land and even though there may be an entity tasked with clearing it, it has not been done for several years and so, it is being undertaken by LAFD Brush Clearance Unit.
8.2. From Officers and Chair Emeritus.
8.2.1. Jenny Li – None.
8.2.1. David Card. Chair Emeritus, David Card, announced that the Palisades Forestry Committee planted a tree in memory of a deceased Palisade Charter High School student named Aly, who died leaving behind parents and a twin brother. With the help of Bill Bruns, Dr. Magee and Allison Holdorf, PFC secured the donation of a tree and planted it the previous week and planted a stake. Cindy Kirven of the PFC led the digging with an enthusiastic demeanor, with help from others. The family attended the plating along with friends and other family members, who all very much appreciated the gesture. It was heart rending and uplifting, especially with the surviving brother and his friends from school helping plant the tree. The 15 Gallon Jacaranda tree was donated by Devil Mountain wholesale nursery in Belmar. The tree will grow big and hopefully be seen and enjoyed by many. The president thanked Dave and the PLC for this beautiful gesture and report.
8.2.3. Beth Holden-Garland – None.
8.4. From At-Large and Area Representatives.
8.4.1. Kimberly Bloom, Area Five primary Rep, commented on the upgrades to road stripping and light rotations at the Chautauqua/Channel Rd. light. She said the painted lines were not going to suffice to guide drivers to better observing the rules at the light or preventing people from jumping lanes to make illegal turns, which often slow or snarl traffic. She also said there were some overhead signs that signal change, but they seem unhelpful. She suggested people from the city contact us for input. The President said we are in touch with Rudy from Street Services as well as Lou Kamer, our Transportation Advisor, and will ask him to report to us as to the efficacy of the changes and the manner in which the community can give feedback.
8.4.2. Discussion also came up regarding the Temescal Canyon Rd. repairs in the third lane as well as the very long lights that have adversely impacted traffic. Courtney Macker, Michael Edlen and Sue Pascoe all commented that the delays were not being caused by the closure of the third lane (which the President announced she had noticed to City Bureau of Street Services (BSS) and they had assured her they would be out to address it urgently), but by the timing of the lights. The President criticized the change in timing and asked Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, to relay to city engineers that the changed timing was having adverse traffic impact. Sue said this was Caltrans’ work and to reach out to Lou Kamer. The President noted that she is in touch with Lou, as the PPCC Transportation Advisor, but is also counting on the PCH Task Force meeting to begin again (state conducted meetings with long-standing traditional of helping address city/state traffic issue along PCH) in order to provide a forum to address these kinds of matters.
8.4.3. Daphne Gronich reported a water leak at the corner of las casas and Marquette (running down las Casas). LADWP came out to find and remedy the situation. That street has been designated as a “sub-par” street (a designation that emerged three years ago when some outsized construction was being permitted on the street). Residents are now concerned that there may be areas that are sinking in the street. Residents wanted to have Street Services inspect the street. BSS responded with a comment that upon inspection the street was found to be “off-grade”. They said the status was “Closed”, and any additional information should be sought from LADWP. People have contacted LADWP but there has been no response. Daphne said she wished to report this and forewarn us that they may need some help as this issue evolves. The President thanked her and asked that she keep us informed.
8.5. From Organizational Representatives.
8.5.1. Barbara Kohn, PP Historical Society, announced the election of new officers elected at the 23rd annual meeting of the Pacific Palisades Historical Society (PPHS). The officers for the next term are Barbara Kohn, President, Donna Vaccarino, VP, Harris Smith, Treasurer, Secretary Patrick Healy. Patrick has created a video of the history of the Palisades and has uploaded that to the PPHS website; pacificPalisadesHistory.org.
Barbara also noted the historic first that all members of PPCC Officers are women, per this last election. She congratulated them all and went on to give a little history of Pacific Palisades volunteer service, noting that through the years, many women have taken leading roles in important matters that impact the Palisades. She noted the involvement of many women who have headed legal battles that have helped protect the environment and the community. She noted the number of women who have received the Golden Sparkplug and Citizens of the Year honorees and celebrated all the leaders that have made a difference in the Palisades. She also thanked Shirley Haggstrom for her service to the PPHS as Secretary. The President congratulated Barbara on her re-election as President of the PPHS and thanked her for her words regarding the history of the Palisades and the legacy of leading women. She counted Barbara among the leaders who have a history of long-standing service to the Palisades.
8.5.2. Nina Kidd, representative from Friends of the Library (FOL), reported that FOL are conducting their annual writing contest for students grade 1-12. This is a city-wide contest. See more information at the website: friendsofPalilibrary.org. The library has supplies and local schools are being informed. She asked that we please spread the word that the contest runs through the summer and the award ceremony will take place in October.
8.6. From Government Offices / Representatives.
8.6.1. Brian Espin, LAPD Pacific Palisades SLO. SLO Espin shared his crime update and noted an increase in burglaries in the area – up to 32 for the year. Year to date increase from 21 or 22. Detectives are working on follow up with other burglaries in West LA, to see if there is a pattern or a crew in the area. He asked that we keep our homes secured and keep back yards clear of possible projectiles that may help breaking windows or door to “make it a little harder” for wrong doers. He said again that being neighborhoodly is the biggest deterrent. Areas where there are people out and about, walking dogs or talking to each other, there is less crime. He announced he would be at the Safety Fair (on Saturday) and would have his newest Police car on display.
8.6.2. Zac Gaidzik, District Rep, Supervisor Lindsey Horvath – Not present.
8.6.3. Michael Amster, Field Deputy, Councilmember Traci Park. Had no update but said he would have more at upcoming meetings.
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 (see her report delivered by the President, below).
8.6.6 From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.
8.6.7. Allison Holdorf, Advisor to LAUSD School Board Member Nick Melvoin, was not present but sent in a report which the President announced as follows:
- Graduations underway with Pali High today and revere tomorrow – Nick speaking at both;
- She and Nick met with CD11 yesterday to go over safety concerns;
- On Monday, she assisted PFC with Jacaranda tree planting in honor of the student who passed away during Covid (see above);
- Greening project plans are underway at Marquez Elementary
9. Reports from PPCC Committees:
9.1. PCOC Sign Subcommittee had a report presentation along with a discussion and vote on signs (see below).
9.2. PFC reported a new tree planting at Palisades High School (see David Card report under Officers and Chair Emeritus)
9.3. PCOC had a recent conversation with CD11 regarding coastal access and the President reported that Gaby Medina, CD11 District Director, reported to the committee that both the bridge and the trail for Potrero Canyon coastal access were being pursued and expected to go forward with preliminary stages of feasibility, community outreach and engineering design. The contract bidding stage for the predesign phase closed at the end of May. They will be looking at the applicants and awarding the contract by the end of June. We have made sure CD11 understands that we are counting on robust outreach being conducted by that contractor before any design phase is entered or forward planning decision is made. It was also made clear to us that the moneys, both for the bridge ($11M secured though Sen Ben Allen) and for the trail ($1.15M secured through Rep. Ted Lieu) were in the city budget under Public Works and could not be used for any purpose other than that for which they were secured (bridge and trail, respectively), unless and until the securing agency (state and fed) specify otherwise. In the next few months, we expect two different reports with respect to coastal access. Gaby is putting together a trove of documents and history to track the matter of coastal access and a follow up meeting has been scheduled for July.
10. Old Business.
10.1. [Light Mitigation Motion] The board considered the Light Mitigation Motion, recommended by WRAC LUPC, which was tabled at the last meeting. After discussion and consideration of the impact of the motion (particularly on private homes which may indulge in festive holiday lighting) the board unanimously passed the proposed motion, which read:
“The PPCC requests that the City Council open a Council File such that:
“1. The City implements the Five Principles of Responsible Outdoor Lighting aimed at minimizing light pollution by following these guidelines (adopted by the Illuminating Engineering Society and the International Dark-Sky Association):
– All lights should have a clear purpose
– Light should be directed only where needed
-Light should be no brighter than necessary
– Light should be used only when it is useful
– Use warmer color lights where possible
“2. The City enacts/codifies these principles through its departments and agencies for City facilities and properties such as buildings, parking lots and parks, the streetlight system, the airport and port, and for private development.
“3. Community Plans and Specific Plans also enact similar dark sky practices and include limitations on bright lights, light trespass, and illumination of building facades.”
11. New Business.
Board Legal Advisor, Rob Weber, conducted the election of PPCC Officers Nominees: (a) Chair – Maryam Zar; (b) Vice-Chair – Sue Kohl; (c) Recording Secretary – Beth Holden-Garland; (d) Treasurer – Jenny Li.
He first informed the board that according to Art VII, Section 4.A of the Bylaws, officers can be elected by acclamation if there are no objections. He then announced that the current set of Officers up for election are uncontested and can be elected by acclamation of the voting board members, if there are no objections. He then called for objections. There were none. The President affirmed that she sees no hands raised on the zoom platform. Seeing no objections, Rob Weber announced that Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Jenny Li and Beth Holden-Garland are hereby elected as PPCC President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, for the 2023-204 term, beginning on July 1, 2023, and ending on June 30, 2024.
11.1. [Motion to Oppose SB 423] The proposed motion to oppose SB 423, sponsored by At-Large Rep, Chris Spitz, took place with some background explanation of the bill (with which most people were familiar due to previous updates) and discussion. Following discussion regarding the fact that substantial portions of Pacific Palisades are located in the coastal zone and Pacific Palisades does not have a certified Local Coastal Program (LCP), it is crucial t oppose SB 423, which would allow multi-family/mixed-use projects in the coastal zone that would otherwise be subject to Coastal Act review, to be proceed through a streamlined, “by right” (ministerial) permitting process, with no notice, hearing or review of environmental and public safety impacts as otherwise required by the Coastal Act.
Following discussion, the President called for the vote, and the following motion was passed unanimously: PPCC opposes SB 423 (Wiener) Unless Amended to 1) Maintain the Coastal Zone Exemption, and 2) Provide for an Unconditional Exemption for the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ). https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Background-SB-423-Rev.pdf
11.2. [Potrero Canyon Park Signage Motions] Dave Card (who had trouble maintaining a connection to the Zoom but was assisted with audio by PPCC President) spearheaded the presentation and discussion for the following motions regarding needed signage for George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon, which were presented to the Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC) by the PCOC Sign Subcommittee and recommended to the PPCC Board by the PCOC. https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Exhibits-to-Sign-Motions.pdf.
11.2.1. Dave Card presented the Passive Park Signage, which he explained would need Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners approval. The proposed sign was unanimously approved.
11.2.2. Dave Card presented the Meet George Wolfberg Signage, which he explained would need Recreation and Park Commissioners approval. The proposed sign was unanimously approved.
11.2.3. Dave Card presented the Rules Signage, which he noted would not need Recreation & Park Commissioners approval but will be referred directly to RAP for printing and installation. The proposed sign was unanimously approved.
11.2.3. Dave Card presented the Park Hours Sign that would inform visitors the park hours are from sunrise to sunset, which he noted would not need Recreation & Park Commissioners approval but will be referred directly to RAP for printing and installation. The proposed sign was unanimously approved.
12. Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 7:49 PM.