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MINUTES FROM JANUARY 11th 2024

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The PPCC mission was read by Sue Kohl.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Beth Holden-Garland, David Card, Cindy Simon, Murray levy, Steve Cron, Nancy Niles, Karen Ridgley, Julie Silliman, Andrew Wolfberg, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Alisa Wolfson, Barbara Kohn, Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostic, Ryan Craig, Courtney Macker, Hagop Tchakerian.

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Bruce Schwartz, Michael Edlen, LeeAnne Sanderson, Daphne Gronich, Cathy Russell, James Alexakis, Jessica Rogers.

3.   Introduction of attendees.
There were no special attendees.

4.   Approval of Minutes.  The October 26 and November 9, 2023 minutes were approved without objection.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.
The agenda was considered as presented.

6.   Treasurer’s Report.
The Treasurer was absent but the President reported that our bank balance was $52,512.64, and that our annual holiday fundraiser event, the holiday dinner and awards gala, was a success, with many attending and positive cash flow from ticket sales and auctions. A full report from the treasurer is forthcoming.

7.   General Public Comment.  There was no general public comment. 

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The Chair reiterated that the 2023 Holiday event held on December 6th at the Draycott was a great success.  Recap and pictures are available online.

8.1.2.   The President reported on positions and letter since the last meeting which can be reviewed on line Crossing Guard , Metro TCN & Tree Protection Enforcement .

8.1.3.   The President expanded on the Canyon School crossing guard matter, explaining that she had spoken to Michael Amster and subsequently sent an email to LATOD’s Fernando Navarrete, urging him to confer with DOT officials and make an exception to their standard hiring practices which precluded Canyon from being able to secure a willing candidate who lives in the area and is familiar with Canyon School. DOT responded with a pledge to revisit the issue and the Council Office as well as LAUSD are supporting us. Nothing new has transpired yet. Alisa Wolfson, Education category Primary Representative and Canyon Elementary mom said construction had begun at Canyon and the need for a crossing guard was felt more than ever. She said, at this point, they did not wish to dictate who to hire, just that they hire someone immediately. The President said she would pick up on that new development and reach back out to reh City and DOT to urge this matter along. Michael Amster from the Council Office and Allison Holdorff from LAUSD both said they would help. The President reminded them that they are cc’d on the email string.

8.1.4.   The President offered updates regarding public safety matters and said she continues to work on a pole-top camera pilot focused on our parks and open spaces which seem to be an ongoing concern for residents who report vandalism and youth disruptions in and around the Palisades Rec Center. She said discussions are moving in the right direction with city and state agencies indicating their strong support for the pilot. With new information made available to the VP and others, she said she believes she can bring a presentation along with discussion and an action item to the board soon. She said a member of our board had generously donated enough money to install one new camera in our open spaces, at the least. More to come.

8.1.5.   There were no developments to report regarding Potrero Canyon coastal access but the President said she had asked the Council office’s new district team and Sen Ben Allen’s staff to report to us at the next meeting.

8.1.6.   The President announced that the Area Eight 2nd Alternate application window had closed with no applicants, but that one new applicant submitted interest in the hours after the close of the application window and that the Committee of the Three Chairs would consider it as an application received on a rolling basis.

8.1.7.   The President announced that CD11 had hired a new Dist Dir., Juan Fregoso, whom she planned to meet with soon.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Sue Kohl, Vice President, reported on a meeting she had with Flock regarding cameras. She was told they have two kinds: license plate readers and “condor” cameras which could pan, tilt and zoom (“PTZ”). She suggested those would be the better ones for us to use in our open spaces. She reported that the annual cost for each camera (which includes maintenance) is $3000 and that Flock now has a contract to work with LAPD (who would monitor the feed). She suggested we hear from them to learn more.

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary.
Reported that the Mero TCN ordinance has passed LA City Council but that Traci Park has voted against it.

8.2.3.   Dave Card, Chair Emeritus had no immediate report but said the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) would have draft suggestions to help fortify city enforcement of illegal tree removal for us to consider at an upcoming meeting.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives

8.3.1.   Michael Edlen, Area Three 2nd Alternate expanded discussion of community safety and announced that he would help to raise money for a community fund that would enable a potential public/private parentship for pole top cameras that would address our current, and possible future, broadly shared public safety concerns, with a focus on our open spaces and parks.

8.3.2.   Cindi Young, Area One 1st Alternate shared that the County run Point in Time (PIT) Homeless Count will be help on Jan 24, and PPTFH needs volunteers and hared a flyer.

8.3.3.   Murray Levy, Area One primary shared with us that he had had a conversation and site visit with Traci Park, who very much understood and empathized with the community’s concerns surrounding hillside construction and large-scale development on and around Castellammare/Tramonto, but that no substantive change in policy or permitting support for the current project expected to soon be underway, was promised.

8.3.4.   Karen Ridgley, Area Four primary reported the Asilomar Bluffs construction about which we heard in November was now underway. Some signage issues had arisen, but those were resolved with the help of Maryam and the tenacity of Karen and her Area Alternates (Sanderson & Gronich) as well as Michael Amster who quickly reached the right City departments and worked to get the signs moved to a less obtrusive location.

8.3.5.  Chris Spitz, At-Large Rep reported that

a.    the SAB Center had elected no longer to pursue a construction and development project for a think-tank headquarters in Area One (largely thanks to the work of the LUC and a letter by its co-Chair explaining the processes/steps that lay ahead),

b.   the Metro TCN ordinance has been afformed at City Council, albeit with a narrow margin of votes in favor, and Traci Park, along with Yaroslavsky, Raman and Hernandez voting against it. No carve-out for locations closest to Pacific Palisades (as we had requested) were made, but the a sign location proposed near the Ballona wetlands was carved out.

c.   She also gave a report on the City Board of Engineering Geotechnical Engineering Field Investigation Summary and Response to her questions regarding slides and erosion on the Via de las Olas bluffs.  She shared two links for the board to review:

i.   GED FI Summary: https://pacpalicc.org/wpcontent/uploads/2023/12/FI23222ViadeLasOlas21.pdf

ii.   GED Responses: https://pacpalicc.org/wpcontent/uploads/2023/12/ViadelasOlas_responsestoChrisSpitzquestions.pdf

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.   American Legion announced their CERT Training session which had recently begun. Information to be found on their website.

8.4.2.   None

8.4.3.   None

8.4.4.   None

8.4.5.   PPRA took a lead in the discussion of unpermitted food stand activity which the President pledged to follow up about and bring speakers to inform the community of regulations related to street vending.

They also mentioned the repairs needed on Sunset Blvd & La Cruz, which the city informed us are already underway, and they informed us about the very important work they are doing with Flock on license plate reader cameras which they plan to install on 14 private properties which have agreed to be part of the project. They are in close touch with LAPD and are well underway with plans. They will continue to update us as they progress.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   Brian Espin, Senior Lead Officer (SLO), Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported that a South American robbery gang had been apprehended and that the reduction in thefts is reflected in his most recent police report. He suggested we all remain vigilant, but that the Palisades continues to be safe and on the low end of crime trends.
With respect to the assistance that Flock Camera information can provide to LAPD, he said some wrong-doers will white out their plates or use temporary plates, but the information can be helpful because the cameras have high quality output and can help identify vehicles with even decals or scratches on the car. It can be very helpful.

8.5.2.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood reported that he helped cleaned up the Wilshire underpass graffiti and along the VA cemetery.

He said he would help us learn more about food vendor permits (County Public Health) and shared a link.

He reported that the Dog Park is proceeding with RAP having pursues Measure A funding for the Dog Park and the Rec and Parks Commission will be recommending it on the 28th of January. Lindsey Horvath’s office will be instrumental in helping expedite funding.

He reported on the Asilomar Stabilization Project and the recent mudslide in the bowl. He stated that RAP has implemented an interim measure to reduce the water (which BOE has determined is not coming from the stabilization project). He is working to uncover where it is coming from.

He explained that establishing a phone line for noise complaint reports is not forthcoming, but he is working with BOE to establish a mechanism by which community can complain about noise.  It was suggested that PPCC write a letter.

Sue Kohl asked about Via de las Olas where it connects with Via de la Paz and the state of the bluffs there which need BOE attention.

8.5.3.   Radmehr Noroozi, SD 24, Field Representative, Palisades, Brentwood, Westwood and Westside – not present.

8.5.4.   Skylar Payab, AD 42, Field Deputy, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood – not present.

8.5.5.   Marian Ensley, West Area Field Deputy, Mayor Karen Bass – not present.

8.5.6.   Zac Gaidzick, Coastal and westside Field Deputy, County Supervisor, Lindsey Horvath said the 2024 homeless count is critical, and will be held on Jan 24th on the westside. See theycountwillyou.org.  The President asked Zac if he could help us get SPA 5 leader to the meeting and see if she can help disaggregate the results for specifically Pacific Palisades. He said he would ask.

8.5.7.   Allison Holdorff announced that the District will be funding cameras for Paul Revere Middle School, tables and shade for Marquez and they are standing by to help wit Canyon School.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.1.   WRAC updates. Chris Spitz & Maryam Zar reported that the WRAC HOC met and determined that:

i.   To support Traci Park (CF 23-0914), which calls for recommendations for a citywide program to designate streets where RVs/oversize vehicles can safely park with access to services.

ii.   Request that the restriction in LAMC Sec. 41.18 on camping near designated sensitive uses be extended to expressly restrict dwelling in vehicles of all sizes.

iii.   To invite Councilmembers Park and Yaroslavsky, along with Sup Horvath and Va Lecia Adams of LAHSA to an in-person event where they can answer regional questions related to homelessness concern.

8.6.2.   PCH Taskforce meeting update – no formal update.

9.  Reports from PPCC Committees and community groups.

9.1.   LUC update & report:

Chris Spitz, LUC Co-Chair reported that the Committee is working on recommendations to address hillside construction issues. She also reported that she has received communication from the Director of the SAB headquarters project would not be progressing.

10.   Old Business – none.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   [WRAC-recommended Motion].  The board took up the WRAC Recommended Motion to Support CF 21-1469-S2/ alternative corrective sidewalk repairs: (refers to City Council file 211469S2), and passed the following two part motion unanimously:

“PPCC supports CF 21-1469-S2 in addressing the need for more cost effective and   efficient processes for repairing sidewalks, which are dangerously risky throughout the Westside. PPCC further requests that the report-back include recommendations for measures to protect existing street trees during sidewalk repair. “

12.  Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 8:10PM.

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