MINUTES FROM OCTOBER 26th 2023
1. Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission. The PPCC Mission was read by Karen Ridgley
2. Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum. The President called roll and certified that we had quorum.
Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Sue Kohl, Beth Holden-Garland, Murray Levy, Bruce Schwartz, Michael Edlen, Karen Ridgley, Cindy Simon, Kimberly Bloom, Julie Silliman, Andrew Wolfberg, Chris Spitz, Aileen Haugh, Barbara Kohn, Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostic, Ryan Craig, Hagop Tchakerian, Courtney Macker.
Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Leeanne Sanderson, Daphne Gronich, Betsy Handler, Rick McGeagh, Mary Mueller, Andy Frew, Richard Blumenberg, James Alexakis, Harlan Hogue.
3. Introduction of attendees. Barbara Broide, Westside NC LUC Chair, spoke about the Metro TCN ordinance. See new business item [11.1] below for more.
Michael Womack, Geotechnical Engineering Division | Civil Engineering Associate IV for the City of LA, for the Asilomar Bluffs project, which was expected to begin on November 6th and expected to end in late April or early May 2024 at a cost of over $6M. They gave us details about the upcoming project and shared the presentation shared on our website at the following link: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Asilomar.pptx
4. Approval of Minutes. The minutes of October 12, 2023 were approved as distributed.
5. Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.
The agenda was considered as distributed. The Chair announced that the next meeting will be in person at the library (and virtual) and there will be an art exhibit element that will be ongoing in the library on that day, as an extension of our 50th Anniversary Jubilee. Shew also announced that the Holiday event will be held at the Draycott on December 6th (a departure from the Bylaws but in recognition that Hanukkah will begin on December 7th and end on December 14th, which is the 2nfdThursday of the December, 2023.)
6. Treasurer’s Report. The Treasurer announced that our balance was $46,477.66 as of the meeting day and that no substantial costs or income van be reported since the last meeting. She announced that after paying all bills for the 50th Anniversary Jubilee and Community Celebration event and collecting donations, she can report that PPCC had a net gain of slightly over $3000.
7. General Public Comment. There was no public comment.
8. Reports, Announcements and Concerns.
8.1. From the Chair/Presiding Officer.
8.1.1. The President reviewed the outcome of the special meeting held to discuss the bridge project and progress of coastal access from Potrero Canyon Park. She announced that a 13 to 3 (with three abstaining) vote in favor of advancing to the outreach phase of the bridge project was a clear indication that the board, even with many public safety concerns articulated, wanted to learn more while also expressing a clear focus on the public safety aspects of the bridge. Per this outcome, a letter was written following the Special Meeting on Oct 12th. The letter is linked: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Potrero-Advance-letter.pdf
8.1.2. The President updated the board on the proposed SAB center project for nonprofit headquarters and a think tank in Area One. She said the PPCC LUC was monitoring this project.
8.1.3. The President announced that a Youth Exhibit will take place from November 9th to the 15th at the Palisades Library, as an extension of our invitation to young artists to get involved in our 50th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations.
8.1.4. The President announced the appointment of the Event Committee (Kohl, Li, Simon, Spitz, Bloom & Zar) as well as a timeline for nominations, announcement of honorees and the holiday dinner event at the Draycott. The Holiday Dinner & Awards Gala was determined by the board to be best held on December 6th, before the onset of Hanukkah.
8.1.5. The President asked the board to affirm the appointment of Danielle Samulon as Parliamentarian, per the bylaws, separate from the Legal Advisor. The parliamentarian would only be concerned with procedural matters and bylaws interpretation. The board affirmed the appointment with no objection.
8.1.6. The President announced that Doggie bags refills for the dispenser that RAP had installed in Potrero Canyon Park needed funding and got the affirmation of the board that we can fund those next month and see if they serve a useful purpose and are used responsibly.
8.1.7. The President announced that CD11 and Rap will be at the Oct 25th PAB meeting to report about Quimby funds to be used for park and bathroom upgrades/construction, while Measure A funds will be used for the dog park. She said the community could expect RAP to present the community with two or three different proposals for the Palisades Recreation Center Playground, and would look for feedback in order to craft the final iteration.
8.1.8. The President reiterated that the Asilomar Bluffs project, per the update presented by Michael Womack, will begin soon as the contractor is in the process of procuring equipment and lining up subs.
8.1.9. The President announced that following the Special Meeting of October, the Council Office has announced that they will host an information sharing meeting on the bridge project and that they will promote that broadly in order to get the most community attendance and engagement at that meeting, A tentative November date had been shared but was not yet finalized. The President asked people to stay tuned and to help spread the word so friend and neighbors would attend the meeting and begin to be informed about the project as it unfolds. She lamented that people often tell her they do not follow the work of PPCC or read the local papers and have remained uninformed about projects that propose coastal access for Potrero Canyon Park. She hoped this CD11 hosted meeting would garner more engagement.
8.1.10. The president announced that nominations for PPCC annual awards are open and she encouraged all to nominate honorees and to tell their friends, acquaintances and neighbors to send nominations as well.
8.2. From Officers and Chair Emeritus.
8.2.1. Sue Kohl, Vice President, announced that she had secured a number of silent auction items for the Holiday event, including the Fire station, Porta Via and Vittorio’s.
8.2.2. Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary, announced that she was also working on live auction items and the wine fundraiser.
8.2.3. Dave Card, Chair Emeritus. [None.]
8.3. From At-Large and Area Representatives.
8.3.1. Julie Silliman, Area 7 Primary, announced that the Canyon Square project on West Chanel Road in the lower canyon area of Area Seven had received DRB approval and would be advancing to the planning and construction phase, led by Palisadian and property owner Frank Langen. Langen owns four parcels which he proposes to develop into offices, dwelling units and required parking. They will be hauling 700 cubic ft. of dirt and building up toward Chautauqua, with seven parking spaces and seven bicycle spaces.
8.3.2. Murray Levy, Area One primary shared a shocking video that helped inform the board how challenging large-scale construction can be for Area One residents, who live almost exclusively on narrow hillside streets. The video can be seen here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/4fmur01pic9uj30cbpqbd/h?dl=0&preview=ONE+WAY+OUT%2C+1080p.mp4&rlkey=266joflnqtyoy0e69ula4ltcn. The board was unanimously appalled at the irresponsible way in which contractors and developers dismiss area concerns and wave off the protests of residents who are unable to enter or exit their homes or driveways, as they grapple with noise, dust and blocked roadways which poise a threat to the public safety. Mayor Karen Bass’ westside representative, Marian Ensley, was present on the zoom and she remarked that she would share the circumstance with the office of the Mayor and keep an eye on hillside construction issues as they also impact other city Districts such as CD5, as well as CD11.
Chris Spitz, At-Large rep, WRAC VP and PPCC LUC Co-Chair expressed her frustration and lamented the fact that city enforcement is notoriously ineffective, but that she would work with Area Reps to come up with methods and strategies to address these transgressions. The President suggested the video be shared with Jeff Khau, Planning Deputy at CD11, who is predisposed to protect hillside VHFHSZ from protracted construction projects and may be a natural ally for us.
K.C. Soll, PPCC emergency preparedness advisor, also express the real concern with this kind of construction in hillside streets and is alarmed that emergency vehicles would not be able to pass.
8.3.3. Karen Ridgley, Area Four primary commented that the Asilomar Bluff project is a welcome repair project that the Area is bracing for but welcomes.
8.3.4. Kimberly Bloom, Area Five Primary Representative, announced a wine fundraiser that would be launched online, and will be launched on November 9th. The link will be live for 60 days.
8.3.5. Cindy Simon, Area Six Representative announced the Pumpkin Patch at Simon Meadow and urged everyone to go and purchase their pumpkins there.
8.3.6. Chris Spitz, At-Large Representative reported that she has been working with Cindy Simon (with some assistance from Sue Pascoe) to refurbish the mural on Temescal Canyon Rd. Cindy informed the board that American Growers, Tracey Price, has offered an estimate of $2000 to clean the brush so we can see the state of the mural behind the overgrown brush and determine then how best to go about resting it.
8.4. From Organizational Representatives.
8.4.1. James Alexakis from Temescal Canyon Association announced a hike at the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon, on Nov 29th at 9AM.
8.4.2. Genevieve Bostic, YMCA representative, announced Holiday Ho Ho at Simon Meadow on December 9th, along with a Christmas Tree lot, a tree lighting and some fun rides with LAFD.
8.5. From Government Offices / Representatives.
8.5.1. Brian Espin, Senior Lead Officer (LAPD SLO) for Pacific Palisades, announced that vandalism at the Pali Rec Ctr has been reduced due to sporadic task forces that were funded by the West LA Captain. He said burglaries are up roughly 24% Year on Year (six more this year than last year at this time) and suggested Palisadians be “super vigilant” and watchful in their neighborhoods and keep their doors locked and personal belongings out of view in parked cars. He cautioned care during Halloween and to remain a community that watches out for each other.
He said he continues to work with west LA traffic to mitigate traffic speed and other issue areas that impact the Palisades, particularly on PCH. He said traffic enforcement is up on PCH and Sunset.
8.5.2. Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood reported that they recently had an Inside safe initiative which housed 50 people. TC Rd repairs will be finished toward the middle to end of November. The DRB will have five new members appointed and still needs a landscape Architect. He also said he is still working with Paseo Miramar residents to work with them on the largescale development project that was approved by the West LA APC, but remains a project of concern to the neighborhood.
8.5.3. Radmehr Nowroozi, SD 24, Field Representative, Palisades, Brentwood, Westwood and Westside was not present.
8.5.4. Skylar Payab, AD 42, Field Deputy, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood was not present.
8.5.5. Marian Ensley, West Area Field Deputy for Mayor Karen Bass said she was excited to be here, as well as to attend the 50th anniversary Jubilee. She offered some general updates on housing and homelessness and Inside Safe, which housed more than 50 Angelenos in the last operation with a partnership alongside Traci Park. She announced an in-person meeting about the Sepulveda transit Corridor, and she also announced the mayor’s opposition to the 90 Freeway project (which has since been defeated). She also said the Mayor’s office would make certificates available to all our honorees and she looks forward to attending our event. She also said she would help with hillside street challenges, which impact many Los Angeles streets.
8.5.6. Zac Gaidzik, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath Field Deputy congratulated us on an excellent 50th Anniversary Jubilee & Community event. He said the Supervisor was glad to join us and enjoyed meeting Palisadians and having important conversations with constituents. She continues to work on issues that are important to our community, such as homelessness and coastal matters. She is tentatively available on December 7th, should our holiday event be held on that day.
8.6. From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.
9. Reports from PPCC Committees. [None.]
10. Old Business.
10.1. 2nd distribution of Bylaws Committee recommended motions and vote. See Bylaws Committee report and redline of proposed changes, below. See suggested motion language here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/09-26a-2023-Draft-Revisions.pdf
This two-pronged motion was tabled.
11. New Business.
11.1. The board heard from Barbara Broide regarding the Metro TCN ordinance. She updated the board on recent developments with respect to the Metro TCN ordinance, it progress, and its enduring risk of impact to public safety and erosion of scenic highway protections.
In keeping with our previous positions, the following motion was discussed and unanimously passed (made by Chris Spitz and seconded by Murray Levy):
PPCC has voted to oppose the Metro digital advertising program referred to as the Metro Transportation Communication Network (TCN), which seeks to install 86 large changing digital billboards on streets and freeways throughout the City. PPCC (alongside other westside Councils) is especially concerned about the driver distraction caused by the changing digital messages and their distractive impacts on driving and other public safety considerations, as well as the many negative environmental impacts (on biological resources, energy consumption, night sky pollution), and decades of visual blight. We are particularly concerned about the erosion of protection of our City’s scenic corridors, including Sunset and San Vicente Boulevards and the Pacific Coast Highway. It is important to note that the proposed enabling Supplemental Use District changes the scenic roadway protections from the language in the City’s General Plan Mobility Element from 500 feet from the center line of the roadway to 200 feet – a significant difference that may expose our scenic roadways to new advertising structures. As such, we vigorously oppose the TCN program and the adoption of enabling ordinances to the City Planning Commission (CPC) which will meet to discuss the program on November 14, 2023 at 8:30am. Additionally, we urge Councilwoman Park to work with the city to remove all TCN billboards proposed for CD11.
12. Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 8:45PM.