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Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, David Kaplan, Steve Cron, Reza Akef, Brenda Theveny, Dick Wulliger, Bill Klein, John Padden, Amy Baker, Alan Goldsmith, Cathi Ruddy, Rick McGeagh

Voting Alternates:  Danielle Samulon, Fay Vahdani, Steve Lantz, Cathy Russell

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Howard Robinson, Beth Holden Garland, Quentin Fleming, Richard Blumenberg

1.    Certification of Quorum.  In the absence of the Chair, Vice-Chair David Card (Presiding Officer) called the meeting to order at 6:00pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Barbara Marinacci read the Mission Statement.

3.    Introduction of the Board and Audience.  The Board and audience were introduced.  Fay Vahdani was introduced as the new alternate representative for the Chamber of Commerce.

4.    Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings.  1) Approval of Minutes –the minutes of 11/14/19 and 12/12/19 were deemed approved. 2) Upcoming Meetings–January 23, 2020: Guest Speaker City Controller Ron Galperin.  February 13, 2020:  Briefing on proposed Gladstones Redevelopment project.  February 27, 2020:  Topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The agenda was considered.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  In the absence of the Treasurer, the Presiding Officer reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,675.  The Treasurer will provide an accounting of the Awards event at the 1/23/20 Board meeting.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Kim Clary (resident/PPTFH board member). Ms. Clary reported that the Palisades Homeless Count will take place on January 22, 9pm-midnight at Corpus Christi Catholic Church.  This is the 6th annual Count in the Palisades. More volunteers are needed and she encouraged everyone to participate in this valuable endeavor.  For information and to sign up, see the PPTFH flyer linked in the PPCC website calendar entry or contact her at

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    Park Advisory Board (PAB) public meeting.  The PAB will meet on Wednesday, Janurary 15 at 7pm in the Recreation Center small gym. There will be a presentation by the Bureau of Engineering (BOE) on the status of Potrero Canyon Park.  There will also be updates on the dog park and Veterans Gardens.

8.1.2.    Dog Park Update (CD11 response to PPCC request for approval of funding for EIR).  Councilmember Bonin’s Deputy Lisa Cahill stated that she will address this in her report.

8.1.3.    Neighborhood Sustainability Alliance meeting, Sat. 1/11/20 (“Green New Year, the Green New Deal”).  The Vice-Chair will attend and report back to the board.

8.1.4.    Evacuation Drill for the Palisades (the Highlands and Upper Marquez).  LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan is supervising the organization of this event, which will take place in May (date TBA).  Joanna Spak (Area 1 Representative) asked whether the drill can be  extended to other areas of the Palisades.  Lisa Cahill responded that she will address this in her report.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Updates and new information:

a)  Legislation (rooftop digital advertising on taxicabs; vacation rentals; ADUs; SB 50) and Boisecase:

b)  Vacation rentals letter:  Vacation rentals letter:

c)  Berggruen project:

The Secretary noted that there was no new information on the taxicab rooftop advertising, vacation rentals, ADUs and Boisematters, as set forth in her written summary.

Regarding SB 50, the bill’s author Sen. Wiener has introduced several amendments which may impact the Palisades.  The bill is complicated and difficult to decipher, but most importantly, it appears that Sen. Wiener has eliminated the prior exception for Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones in most R-1 areas (i.e., all of the Palisades).  We are working with Sen. Allen, who opposes the bill, along with our colleagues in Brentwood, to obtain a clarification and to urge Sen. Wiener to “add back” the high fire zone exemption.  If the exemption no longer applies, then the Palisades would be subject to another of the bill’s provisions that hasn’t been changed:  single-family zoning would be effectively eliminated and fourplexes would now be permitted by right in almost all R-1 zones statewide (on vacant lots or in connection with conversion but not demolishment of existing structures). However, it’s important to note that due to new legislation permitting more ADUs (which the Secretary had previously reported on), each R-1 site if large enough could potentially have up to 12 dwelling units (up to 2 ADUs would be permitted in connection with each of the 4 main dwelling units).  Obviously, this level of increased density in the VHFHSZ would be very concerning to our community and a major public safety threat.  We will follow up along with Brentwood CC and take appropriate steps with elected officials to ensure that if the bill passes, it includes a clear exemption for the VHFHSZ.  Again, the bill must pass in the Senate Appropriations Committee and the full Senate by the end of the month, otherwise it will die.

As to the Berggruen matter, the Secretary explained that she had only one update to her written summary: the MRCA lawsuit against Berggruen, referenced in footnote 1, has never been formally filed; we are told it is being held until the MRCA is assured that there will be no impact on trail easements with the new plan to site the Institute near Mountaingate.

The Secretary encouraged anyone with questions to contact

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives – None.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Rick McGeagh (PPBA).  Baseball season is starting, with evaluations this weekend.  Approximately 370 children will be evaluated; this is an increase over last year, with many new youth becoming involved in the program.

8.4.2.    Fay Vahdani (Chamber of Commerce).  The next Chamber networking breakfast will take place on January 15, 2020 at 8am at Porta Via on Swarthmore.  The Chamber’s annual Installation Dinner will take place on January 30, 2020, from 6-9pm at the Woman’s Club.  Sarah Knauer will be celebrated as the new Chamber Chair.  Ms. Vahadani was welcomed as the new Chamber alternate on the PPCC board.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    LAPD SLO Michael Moore & West Traffic Division Officer Ryan Basaker (Community Traffic Services Unit).  Update on dangerous vehicle racing/speeding on Sunset Blvd. (including the recent serious accident on Sunset & Marquez involving racing vehicles) and what measures, if any, can be taken to address this serious problem.

SLO Moore reported that there were 32 fewer crimes in in the Palisades in 2019 than in 2018.

Officer Basaker reported that on December 15, 2019, the driver of a Lamborghini made an improper turn which caused him to run into a street sign, dent a light pole and flip the car over. There were no injuries. Speed may have been involved but the primary collision factor was the improper turn. Alan Goldsmith (At-large rep) stated that he was there and several eye witnesses told him that the driver was speeding at 100 MPH.  Officer Basaker:  That’s inaccurate; if he was driving that fast the accident and injuries would have been much worse. Audience remarks:  There were two cars involved in racing.  Officer Basaker:  He wasn’t there but is going on what is in the report.  He acknowledged that speeding on Sunset is an ongoing problem.  The police now have a current survey so they are able to use radar devices for speed enforcement.  Traffic officers are in the Palisades quite often.  They have had task force days when officers from other areas come out and issue speeding tickets here. Last Saturday, Officer Basaker spent all day doing speed enforcement.  The majority of drivers he cites are residents.  It seems this is an ongoing problem and he does get out as often as he can.  He’s usually there during daytime hours and another traffic officer, Officer Clifford, covers at other times.  Maryam Zar (Chair Emeritus) asked questions about the status of left turn lane from Sunset onto Chautauqua (where there was a motorcycle accident involving a fatality a few years ago) and also about drivers routinely blowing through the red light on Sunset at the entrance to Will Rogers State Park; she noted that people rarely stop at the light. Officer Basaker:  that’s a DOT issue and he can bring it up.  Audience: There was an accident today where a car flipped at that location.  Officer Basaker: No speed was involved. The Presiding Officer (David Card, Vice-Chair): Enforcement is needed on Bienveneda, where people routinely don’t slow down for stop signs.  Danielle Samulon (Area 3 Representative): There is also a problem with drivers failing to stop at the stop sign on Marquez at Bollinger.  Officer Basaker:  He’s aware and has written many tickets there.  This is a problem across the City.  Law enforcement can’t be in all places at all times because the officers are spread out so much.  David Kaplan (Area 6 Representative):  There is also a problem with the one-way alley behind the Methodist Church, which is used by residents to access parking entrances.  Many people drive the wrong way into the alley from Antioch, surprising residents who exit their parking lots along the alley and are unexpectedly confronted with cars coming into the alley the wrong way from Antioch.  Officer Basaker will look into what can be done.

The Secretary remarked that it is National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.  She and the board expressed thanks and appreciation to the officers in attendance.

8.5.2.    Zachary Gaidzik, West-Metro LA Field Deputy, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

Mr. Gaidzik reported that the Board of Supervisors has welcomed a new Chair, Supervisor Kathryn Barger.  Supervisor Hilda Solis is Chair pro Tempore in 2020. The Supervisors have created the “WHAM” Committee (acronym for Measures W, H, A & M), to focus on the $1+billion in funding from those measures. Supervisor Janice Hahn has introduced a motion to address and permit telecomuting by LA County employees.  He explained that under the new Pet Friendly Housing Ordinance, any housing project that receives County funds must be pet friendly.  There is also a new Beach Emergency Evacuation Light System, which involves a strobing light system connected to the lifeguard stations to help the hearing-impaired know when to evacuate in emergencies.

Q&A ensued.  Q: What’s happening with the beach path extension?  A: He doesn’t know but can find out.  Q: What is going on with WLA Courthouse?  A: It has been closed and the County is exercising first right of purchase and intends to build some sort of affordable housing. They have to pay fair market value for the property as it is owned by the Judicial Council.  The County needs to partner with a private developer to finance acquisition and construction.  There will be an update on the project at WRAC in the next couple of months.  Q: Can the County do anything about dry brush along Sunset at Will Rogers State Park?  A: LA City can’t cite the state for overgrown brush.  Q: The park has let foliage along Sunset grow to hazardous conditions; can the County address this?  A: He will look into it and see what’s possible.  Q: Why is the County recently allowing camping in certain areas of the Santa Monica Mountains? A:  He understands that this was a negotiation between County and the Coastal Commission regarding accessibility; he will get further details for us.

8.5.3.    Janet Turner, Field Supervisor, Congressman Ted. Lieu.

Ms. Turner handed out flyers for two upcoming Congressional events:  the annual Art Competition for high school students (submissions due by February 14) and Service Academy Day (February 29; RSVPs due by February 21). Information for both events will be posted on the PPCC website calendar.  Congressman Lieu was able to get passed and signed legislation that will now allow the Armory near the VA on Federal Ave. to become a shelter for all homeless individuals (not just for veterans).  The County controls the property. At the VA itself, a homeless shelter for veterans will open in March with 100 beds.  The Congressman has co-sponsored three bills about e-cigarettes, calling for programs to help educate students about the health risks.  Legislation is now being introduced in Congress to help the homeless.  Congressman Lieu has co-signed bills to produce more affordable housing.  There are four major pieces of legislation in this regard being discussed in the House. Ms. Turner concluded her remarks by announcing the availability to veterans of the new Columbarium at Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood.  Ten thousand spots are available to veterans and their spouses.  The Columbarium is a result of the determined efforts of Palisades resident Col. Dick Littlestone.

8.5.4.    Lisa Cahill, Palisades Deputy, Mike Bonin/CD11.

Ms. Cahill sated that the clogged storm drains on Palisades Dr. near Santa Inez are being addressed.  She advised that those calling 311 about problems should send the service request number to Ms. Cahill and she will help get the work done faster.  Regarding the fire drill in May:  this will be similar to the Mandeville Canyon drill in 2019. It will involve the Highlands and Upper Marquez. Chief Hogan reached out to her and she has in turn reached out to community leaders to form a working group to help with publicity and organization.  Last year’s drill was very helpful to residents of Mandeville Canyon, especially with the Brentwood fire evacuations during the recent Getty Fire. She understands that LAFD will also look at other areas of the Palisades that need to be evacuated.

Ms. Cahill also reported that the Park Advisory Board meeting on Wednesday will include discussion of the dog park and Potrero Canyon Park.  Regarding Potrero, grading is finishing up and they are moving into the landscaping phase; the landscaping is going out to bid soon and all is moving forward well. She stated that BOE is doing a wonderful job, is working efficiently and finding cost-effective solutions.  Regarding the Permit Parking District near Palisades Village: new signs have been installed today on certain blocks to extend permit parking to the entire area that might be impacted (six blocks).  Next Thursday, January 16, there will be a ceremonial sign installation on Antioch in front of the Chamber of Commerce offices for “Arnie Wishnick Way.”  The event will take place from 3-4pm and there will be a reception at the Chamber following the ceremony.  The commemorative signs will be placed between Swarthmore & Via de la Paz; one will be on a light pole in front of the Chamber and another in front of the clothing store on Swarthmore.  The sign installation will be cerremonial in honor of the late Chamber director Arnie Wishnick; Antioch will remain the official street name, which will be helpful for business owners along the street who will not have to change their addresses.

Several questions were asked of Ms. Cahill.  Q:  Are the culverts on Palisades Dr. the clogged drains that she was talking about earlier? A: Yes.  Q:  When will the grand opening for Potrero Canyon Park take place?  A:  The projected date is now April 2021.  Q:  Is there any update on cleaning up the parkway across from the shopping area in Marquez Knolls, where the light pole is still leaning over from the traffic accident? A:  She will look into it.  Q:  Which blocks in the Alphabets now have restricted parking signs?  A:  She named the streets.  Q:  Regarding Potrero, is there any chance of a pedestrian bridge over PCH?  A:  Yes, there’s a chance but the status is complicated. BOE & Recreation & Parks (RAP) are following the recommendation for the bridge in the PCCAC report, which is the blueprint.  There is an intent for the bridge, but funding wasn’t part of the original plan. For funding, CD11 will work with City agencies and will also work with State officials (Assemblymember Bloom and Senator Allen) to secure additional funding.  The Secretary noted that the Presiding Officer (Vice-Chair David Card) was a key member of the PCCAC.  He reiterated that the first priority was safe crossing over PCH, and he also noted that there should be an improved trail up to Temescal.  Q:  What about west rim access?  A:  Ms. Cahill, PCCAC members, Commissioner Halper and others will meet with members of the Planning Dept. regarding fencing.  They will consider current needs, the PCCAC report, wildlife considerations, etc.  There will be an access gate on Friends St.  Q:  What about funding required for the dog park EIR?  A: There are Measure A and Quimby funds, but Councilmember Bonin wants to make sure he’s coming up with a plan for the use of these funds that’s comprehensive for the entire District.  He has met with Mike Shull, RAP General Manager.  The funding issue is tied up with the need for repairs at the Recreation Center.  She hopes to report on this at the PAB meeting.

Regarding the pedestrian bridge over PCH:  Rick McGeagh stressed the need for the bridge which will allow park visitors to park at the beach; we are only gaining 19 parking spaces at the Recreation Center, which is already parked at capacity.  He stated that having a bridge to beach parking is imperative.  Regarding evacuation drills for other areas:  David Moreno (resident) pointed out that there were problems with evacuation in Castellammare during the last Palisades fire and that area would like to be considered for part of the drills.  Maryam Zar also noted that during the same evacuation period, people would drive up streets while residents were being evacuated in order to get a good view of the fire and take pictures.  Ms. Cahill will ask LAFD what can be done about this.  Regarding the Station 69 garage door which was dented from a car crash: This hasn’t been fixed and until it’s fixed the door must remain open.  Ms. Cahill explained that the door’s panels are custom and have to be fitted.  The General Services Division is working on the problem and trying to expedite the repair, but this takes time.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors – None.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Land Use Committee (LUC; Howard Robinson, Chair).  Project updates (Calvary Christian School; former Jack-in-the-Box site/mixed use project; the Highlands Eldercare project).

Highlands Eldercare project:

The Committee Chair described the background regarding the prior project approvals by the City Zoning Administrator, the WLA Area Planning Commission and the California Coastal Commission.  He stated that PPRA has filed a lawsuit for a writ of mandamus against the City and the Coastal Commission, asking for a court determination that the governmental agencies made a mistake in approving the project.  Project opponent Robert Flick has told the Committee Chair that PPRA is hoping for a March trial date; no depositions have taken place yet.

In March this year the applicant submitted plans for a building permit to the Dept. of Building & Safety (LADBS) for a Plan Check review.  An issue has arisen as to whether the applicant is complying with allowable floor area ratio (FAR) under the Zoning and/or Building Codes. That issue is now being considered by LADBS; the City Attorney is involved with the review.  It is an issue of Code-compliance.  The Committee Chair explained that since the discretionary approvals are contingent on Plan Check review, if it is determined that the plans as proposed do not meet the Zoning or Building Codes, then the plans must be modified or the applicant could apply for another discretionary approval to address the Code issue. Alternatively, if LADBS issues a building permit for the current design prior to court action,

The Committee Chair explained that because the lawsuit is still pending the applicant must in that case decide whether to take the risk of proceeding with construction.

Former Jack-in-the-Box site/mixed use project:

The Committee Chair noted the PPCC Board’s prior vote in August 2019 to oppose the project as proposed.  He explained that the project stalled after PPCC’s position letter was submitted to the City.  The applicant’s representative Michael Gonzales has confirmed to the Committee Chair that the applicant is redesigning the project to address community concerns.  The assigned City Planner Kenton Trinh also explained to the Committee Chair that the existing application is currently on hold; he advised that the applicant is making revisions to the proposed project and has yet to resubmit.  The Committee Chair has invited Mr. Gonzales to return to the LUC and/or the PPCC Board for a further presentation in the future if there are significant design changes.

Calvary Christian School:

The Committee Chair reminded the Board that in October 2019, PPCC members voted not to oppose the project, contingent on a condition of approval limiting concurrent general assembly functions; a PPCC position letter was then submitted to the City. The public hearing was held on November 18, 2019. It was lightly attended, with two members of the Church attending and one member of the public speaking in support.  The Committee Chair also attended, verbally conveyed PPCC’s position, and made sure that the hearing officer had PPCC’s letter and understood PPCC’s position, which was supported by the Church. A determination letter is not expected for approximately two more months.  [For more details see:]

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Awards Recap.  David Card, PPCC Vice-Chair; David Kaplan, Awards Selection Committee Chair.  Discussion only.

The Presiding Officer recounted that this was a very successful event held at a wonderful venue, the Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club. In attendance were City Attorney Mike Feuer, Assemblymember Richard Bloom, and representatives of all our local government elected officials.  Our first responders were also in attendance, including LAFD Battalion Chief Percy Jones, the Station 69 Captains and team, LAPD SLO Michael Moore, Traffic Officer Ryan Basaker and Beach Patrol Officers Rusty Redican and Jimmy Soliman.  PPCC thanked them for their service.  The audience even sang Happy Birthday to Officer Redican, who was celebrating his 50th birthday that evening. The Presiding Officer reported that per the Treasurer, we did make a small profit of $2066. The income covered our event expenses, which was our goal, so we were successful in that regard.  The Treasurer will report in greater detail at our next meeting.  The Presiding Officer thanked Secretary Chris Spitz, Committee Chairs David Kaplan and Mary Mueller and the members of the Selection and Event Committees.  He also thanked Woman’s Club Manager Roberta Donahue and President Nancy Niles for their invaluable assistance.

The Selection Committee Chair remarked that this Awards event was particularly successful due to the awardees.  He explained that we had long-time, deeply involved community members who received awards appropriately: George Wolfberg (Pride of the Palisades), Kevin Niles (Citizen of the Year) and Mike Lanning (Golden Sparkplug) have all been extraordinary contributors to the community for many years, and Mr. Niles and Mr. Lanning had important accomplishments in the past year.  In addition, Don Camacho and Lisa Glantz received honors as Golden Sparkplugs for their significant recent accomplishments and contributions to the community, and they were appreciative of being part of the celebration.  There was a sense of joy in the room, which was partially a function of the room itself. Several attendees told the Committee Chair that the Woman’s Club was a wonderful place to hold the event and this was the best event to celebrate the awardees that they had attended.  He concluded by recognizing and thanking Secretary Chris Spitz for her central role in producing the event.

11.2.    PPCC Operations:  Beginning a board discussion/possible formation of committees –Deferred due to lack of time.

 11.3.    Motion re Ban on Sale of Flavored Tobacco (Vaping) Products (recommended by WRAC members; co-sponsors in PPCC:  Chris Spitz, Secretary & Maryam Zar, Chair Emeritus).

Proposed Motion:  “[Referencing Council File 18-1104, Pacific Palisades Community Council] supports the findings of the City Attorney regarding vaping products, as expressed in the September 18, 2019 Report regarding “Policy Options for Banning or Restricting the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products to Youth,” and opposes a carve-out for menthol products as well as hookah.”

 Background/supporting materials:

Spitz Summary –

City Attorney Report –

Motion in City Council –

City Attorney Info. re Hookah Enforcement –

Before introducing the motion, the Secretary stated that she had sent the Board information about a new bill which we learned about this week from the City Attorney’s Office of Tobacco Enforcement:  SB 793 (Hill), just introduced in the State Senate, which would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products statewide, without exception [see SB 793 Position Paper]. She stated that the she and the Chair Emeritus are now amending the motion in PPCC to add the following sentence:

“In addition, Pacific Palisades Community Council supports proposed SB 793 (Hill), which would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products statewide, without exception.”

The Secretary and Chair Emeritus then introduced the motion as amended.  No second was necessary as the motion was made by two voting members. The Secretary and Chair Emeritus briefly related the background for the motion as set forth in the Secretary’s summary, including the fact that a representative of the City Attorney’s Office of Tobacco Enforcement had attended the last WRAC meeting and requested support from member-councils for the City Attorney’s report and his call for a ban on sales of all flavored tobacco products without exception. Discussion ensued, with Board members raising several questions or commenting on related issues, including enforcement, education, youth access (despite the existing ban on under-21 sales), online sales regulation, and possible increase in illegal purchases and use resulting from a ban. A vote was taken on the motion as amended.  Vote: unanimous in favor of the motion by members casting votes (19-0-1).

l2.    Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 7:45pm.


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Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Rick Mills, Brenda Theveny, Dick Wulliger, Barbara Marinacci, Alan Goldsmith, Rick McGeagh, Jan Ostendorf, Cathi Ruddy

Voting Alternates:  Andrew Wolfberg, Fay Vahdani, David Peterson

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Mary Mueller, Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Miriam Schulman

1.    Certification of Quorum.  In the absence of a Chair, Vice-Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 6:01pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Richard Cohen read the Mission Statement.

3.    Introduction of the Board and Audience.  The Board and audience were introduced.

4.    Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings.  1) Approval of Minutes – the minutes of 1/09/20 were deemed approved as corrected.  2) Upcoming Meetings– February 13, 2020:  Briefing on proposed Gladstones Redevelopment project.  February 27, 2020:  Guest Speaker – LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin.  March 12, 2020:  LADWP presentation on the Palisades’ power needs.  March 26, 2020:  Guest Speaker – LA City Controller Ron Galperin (postponed from 1/23/20).

5.     Consideration of Agenda.  The agenda was considered.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $41,723. There were no significant transactions since his last report. He also gave a quick recap of the Awards party: our revenue was $8,300 and we had expenses of about $6,230, for a positive net of $2,070.  Of that amount about $1,700 was due to contributions, mostly increments added to ticket purchases. Food, room rental, awards costs and beverage costs were the primary expenditures. The Treasurer extended congratulations to all involved.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Marge Gold (resident).  From March 6-16, the Village Green will again be “Yarn Bombed” in honor of Woman’s History Month by Michelle Villemaire.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    Resignation of Chair; presiding officer nomination & board approval of replacement (Bylaws, Art. VII.4.E). Thank you to outgoing Chair Emeritus.

The Vice-Chair announced that our esteemed Chair George Wolfberg has resigned as Chair and read from his resignation letter of January 14, 2020, which concluded with the following: I find great comfort in knowing that our historic Community Council is in such good hands.”  See attachment below for the full text of the letter.

The Vice-Chair described his 10 years of positive experience working with George. He praised George for his service to the community and explained that as a result of his resignation, George has now become Chair Emeritus.  The Vice-Chair also thanked outgoing Chair Emeritus Maryam Zar for her service. He then “handed the gavel” to the Treasurer to preside over the nomination and approval of a replacement PPCC Chair.

The Treasurer read aloud from the Bylaws provision that governs the replacement of the Chair (cited above).  He noted that he has known and worked with George since 2002. He described their extensive experience together and working relationship, and he praised George for his mentorship, exemplary leadership and service to the community.  The Treasurer then nominated Vice-Chair David Card for the Chair position, explaining that George recruited David as Vice-Chair and had the utmost confidence in him.  David has been serving admirably as Presiding Officer in the Chair’s absence since August 2019 and is willing to continue to serve as Chair for the next few months (until the Officers’ election in June 2020) and is also open to serving as Chair if he is nominated and elected during the Officers’ election. The Treasurer called for a vote of the board to approve David Card as PPCC Chair.  RESULT: Unanimous board approval.

The new Chair David Card then resumed presiding over the meeting.

8.1.2.    PP Park Advisory Board 1/15/20 meeting update.  The Chair attended the meeting and reported that there was a presentation by the Bureau of Engineering (BOE) project engineer for Potrero Canyon Park, Pedro Garcia.  He also noted that he went on a tour of the park this morning as a Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee (PCCAC) member, with a few other members and BOE representatives, to see the progress of the park.  He reported that the shape has been formed and there is more to be done. The rough grading stage is almost completed and the landscaping phase is going out to bid soon.  This will be a passive park with a hiking trail.  There won’t be picnic tables but there will be an open field southwest of the baseball fields, and entrances by the tennis courts and the opening at the south end of the park above PCH; there will likely be another entrance on Friends St. There will be fencing around the rim (which may be only 4 ft. high) and the entrance gates will be “Trilogy” gates to be locked at night (opened at dawn and closed at dusk every day).  He noted that it is impossible to keep out all who may try to enter the park at various points around the rim and that some people will try to hop over or cut open any fencing in place. The next phase of the project will be to build a pedestrian bridge across PCH from the beach parking lot to the park entrance at the south end.  There were questions at the Park Advisory Board (PAB) meeting about how park trash would be handled.  The trash may be taken to receptacles placed in the current staging area adjacent to PCH, below the south end of the park, subject to Caltrans approval.

Rick McGeagh (PPBA; also a PAB member) stated that the bridge construction would allow park visitors to park along PCH.  He noted that the Recreation Center is only gaining 31 parking spaces and the PAB has expressed its support for the bridge.  One problem is that the bridge is estimated to cost at least $10 million and will require permits.  The Chair noted that the bridge was the PCCAC’s number one priority in order to provide for a safe crossing across PCH.  David Peterson(Area 6 1st Alternate): Are there estimates on the traffic expected at the passive park?  The Chair:  He is not aware of any estimates, but the original Coastal permit required 11 parking spaces and may have been amended.  Parking spaces will be on the left side of the turnaround at the Recreation Center entrance.  Sue Kohl (Area 5 Representative):  Is there a way for the plans to be made available to anyone who wants to see plans?  The Chair:  He will suggest to Pedro Garcia that once drawings are completed Mr. Garcia should consider placing them in the library.  However, he cautioned that the plans will include many pages of architectural drawings.  Comments have been made on the drawings by some PCCAC members.  The Chair hasn’t seen all of the drawings.  BOE is usually reluctant to release documents publicly until they are final and have gone out to bid.  Andrew Wolfberg(Area 8 1st Alternate): Will there be security cameras at the entrance gates?  The Chair:  BOE has been asked about this and have reported that the Natural History Museum has a pilot program that positions cameras in open space areas to track wildlife; it is possible this may be utilized in Potrero Canyon. Barbara Marinacci (Garden Club) commented that the park should be landscaped with all native vegetation.  The Chair:  The landscape plan recommended by PCCAC, which he developed, calls for all native vegetation.  The Secretary Chris Spitz:  As a resident of Friends St., she noted that people often use wire-cutters or other means to open the chain link fence in place now and she requested that the Chair notify BOE of this problem in connection with the new proposed fencing.  Steve Cron(Area 2 Representative):  Will there be new bathrooms in the park?  The Chair:  Only at the tennis court entrance.

8.1.3.    Fire Safety — Planned Evacuation Drill & Fire Suppression classes (updates & information).  An LAFD evacuation drill is being planned for the Highlands and upper Marquez, similar to the Mandeville Canyon evacuation drill last year.  This will occur in May (specific date to be determined).  The drill is being organized by Deputy Chief Armando Hogan.  Lisa Cahill of CD11 has asked us to form a small volunteer team to give advice and possibly help on the day of the event.  The volunteer team will consist of David Card, Cathi Ruddy, Miriam Schulman, Haldis Toppel, K.C. Soll, Steve Cron and Joanna Spak (who has requested that LAFD consider holding an evacuation drill for the Castellammare areas as well).  K.C. Soll is also offering to arrange for a Fire Suppression course for the Palisades and we are awaiting details.

8.1.4.    Status of PPRA Primary Representative and Area 4 2nd Alternate seats. PPRA has appointed Jan Ostendorf as its new primary representative, replacing Bill Klein who was unable to continue serving.  As a result, we now have an opening for the Area 4 2nd Alternate position (formerly held by Jan). We will be initiating the process to fill that vacant seat in due course.

8.1.5.    PPCC Position Letter re Ban on Sales of Flavored Tobacco (Vaping):

8.1.6.    Arnie Wishnick Sign Installation Ceremony 1/16/20 update.  This ceremonial event was well-attended and there was a huge turnout to honor Arnie. There are now two signs on Antioch saying “Arnie Wishnick Way,” one at each end of the block.

8.1.7.    SMCCA Aircraft Noise Update:

8.1.8.    Mitchell Schwartz.  Palisadian Mitchell Schwartz is a starting Tackle on the Kansas City Chiefs and will be playing in the Super Bowl this year.  Best wishes to him!

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).
a) SB 50:
Joint PPCC/BCC letter:
PPCC (Vice-Chair/Secretary) letter:

The Secretary announced that SB 50 is now being considered by the Senate Rules Committee, and is expected to go to a floor vote soon.  PPCC has written another letter to the Rules Committee, explaining our position in greater detail and urging amendment of the bill to provide a clear exemption from mandated up-zoning for parcels in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, without exception.  See:

Another message has also been sent to the California Fire Chiefs and the LA County Fire Department.  See:

The Secretary explained that PPCC and BCC have been writing and speaking extensively with elected officials and fire professionals about this issue.  BCC’s Chair Michelle Bisnoff even traveled to Sacramento yesterday and spoke with the legislative directors for all members of the Rules Committee.  The Secretary thanked BCC’s Chair for her efforts.  There are complicated issues involving the meaning of the bill’s confusing language about the fire hazard exception which the Secretary briefly explained.  She stressed that we are continuing to insist on a clear exemption for our VHFHSZ areas (all of the Palisades), without exemption. Meanwhile we are still awaiting the results of a review being conducted by the California Fire Chiefs, LA Country Fire and the firefighters union, but we anticipate that the bill will pass in the Senate and then go to the Assembly before the January 31 deadline. At this point Assemblymember Bloom’s position on the bill is unknown. We will continue to monitor and reach out to him and other key Assemblymembers as necessary.  The Secretary stated that she would welcome assistance from Board members in this endeavor and she asked anyone interested to contact her.

b)  WRAC Leadership 1/15/20 meeting update:  No action was taken by leadership at the last meeting. A representative of the Dept. of Neighborhood Empowerment (the agency that oversees neighborhood councils/NCs) provided information about restrictions on the conduct of NCs, including the use of funds and resources, speech and taking positions on ballot measures.  It was emphasized again that NCs are not permitted to speak with or lobby non-City officials regarding their positions on issues. The Secretary noted that the type of engagement by PPCC and BCC with state officials relative to SB 50, as just described, would not be permitted if PPCC were to become certified with the City.

c)  Legislation update:  The Secretary had no additional updates.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Andrew Wolfberg (Area 8 1st Alternate).  The Genesis Open Golf Tournament at the Riviera Country Club will take place from February 10-16.  Attendees are asked not to use the Capri entrance; all attendees will be directed to the Longworth Entrance.  Ride-sharing drop-offs will be at Revere Middle School.  Check the Genesis Open website for more information.

8.3.2.    Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative). He participated in the Homeless Count on Wednesday night for the first time. He estimates that 60-70 people attended.  He learned a lot, made friends and encourages everyone to volunteer next year.

8.3.3.    Alan Goldsmith (At-large Representative).  He asked if there was a date set for the evacuation drill and he offered to join the volunteer team. The Chair reiterated that the drill will occur in May but no specific date has been set at this time.  The Chair also explained that the volunteer team is now in place and will be more effective if kept at a small number; Alan can be an “alternate” member of the team.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Cathi Ruddy (PP Woman’s Club).  Upcoming PPWC fundraising events:  1) the annual Fashion Show, Tuesday March 10, 11am-2pm; tickets are $40 and available at the Club.  2) the annual Rummage Sale, Saturday, March 28, 9am-3pm; please consider donating good quality items for the sale (drop-off with Club Director Roberta Donahue at the Clubhouse; check with Roberta for drop-off times).

8.4.2.    Fay Vahdani (Chamber of Commerce Alternate). The Chamber’s annual Installation Dinner will take place on January 30 from 6-9pm at the Woman’s Club. Honorary Mayors. Billy & Janice Crystal will help install Sarah Knauer as Chair and the other new officers and board members. A BBQ dinner and entertainment will be included.  Tickets are $75, available at the Chamber website.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives– None.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    In the absence of Transportation Advisor Patti Post, the Secretary reported on the status of the Marvin Braude Beach Trail Improvement Project.  Ms. Post recently received an email message from Yggy Ruiz, Project Manager with the LA County Dept. of Public Works, who explained that the Coastal Commission is attempting to place the matter on the February agenda so that a Coastal permit may be issued.  He also stated that the project is still on schedule to begin construction later this year. The Treasurer provided further details about the project’s status.

8.6.2.    Zennon Ulyate-Crow (Youth Advisor).  Pali High recently had a College Orientation Night, which was a big success.  Tomorrow there will be a “Super Smash Bros” (video game) tournament at the Recreation Center, hosted by the Youth Council at the Recreation Center.

9.   Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC).  The Chair reported that the PFC has been meeting regularly and working on the Hartzell St. pilot project as well as evaluating a list developed by the Forestry Division of 150 trees as appropriate street trees.  PFC members are looking at the pros and cons of each listed tree in light of various factors (size, shade cover, watering needs, roots, etc.).  The Committee’s work is ongoing.

10.   Old Business.

10.1.    PPCC Operations: Beginning a board discussion/possible formation of committees.

a) Awards event:  What is the desired format going forward?  Should the awards guidelines be revised and/or do we wish to continue sponsoring awards?
b) Finances/fundraising:  How do we plan to cover PPCC annual expenses?
c) Beyond the Minutes:  Admin. duties that the Secretary alone has been handling – is there a feasible alternative?
d) Website, email and social media platforms:  Do we need to update?
e) Other outreach:  Should PPCC hold additional community events or conduct additional outreach?
f) Suggestions from community members/audience.

Discussion only.

Topic (a):  Awards Event. The Chair initially asked whether everyone wanted to continue the Awards event. There was extended discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of various venues, including the Woman’s Club, Gladstones and the Temescal Canyon Gateway Park Dining Hall.  Suggestions and comments on this topic included the following:  Sue Pascoe(resident):  PPCC should designate a service club member of the Council each year to be in charge of the event. Sue Kohl:  We should keep the tradition although it is a lot of work; it would be difficult to get all the organizational members to agree to put on the event.  We should charge a little more and perhaps hire a party planner.  Steve Cron:  The event was sold out early on last year; he believes people will buy tickets at a higher price.  The Secretary: The attendance is usually tied to who the Awardees are and whether there are many interested people who want to celebrate with the Awardees. She noted that the Boy Scouts purchased three entire tables last year because Mike Lanning was an Awardee. She also related that several community members over the years have complained because they feel the ticket price is too high.  We set the price lower this year because the venue was not as expensive as Gladstones but we probably could have charged more and people would have still bought tickets. Putting on the event was a huge amount of work and she is unwilling to do this again.  She also noted the work that Sue Kohl has been doing with getting flowers and table decorations for several years, as well as the work put in by the Committee Chair Mary Mueller and other Committee members. One difficulty in planning for the event: Because of the Awards timeline, we don’t know until November who the Awardees will be or if there will even be any Awardees. The Treasurer:  He agreed that the event at the Woman’s Club was lovely and he noted that many attendees remarked positively on the warmth of the Clubhouse venue vs. the Gladstones venue. However, the event production at the Woman’s Club required an enormous commitment of volunteer effort, especially because, unlike Gladstones, the food, drink, partyware, linens, tableware, chafing dishes and the like all had to be brought in and set up; and due to cost we couldn’t hire a caterer who could have supplied all of that plus servers and people to clean up.  In addition, every year we give around 20 complimentary tickets to elected officials and first responders, which PPCC underwrites.  We also used to do a tribute book, which generated more revenues for PPCC (example: Caruso took out an expensive ad several times on the back cover).  If we had a volunteer to go out and solicit ads and produce the book, that would be a significant fundraiser for PPCC and could help underwrite event costs.  Andrew Wolfberg:  PPCC might suggest that attendees be given the option of paying for one of the “comps” (police officer, firefighter or government rep) to attend. Mary Mueller(At-large 1st Alternate; 2019 Awards Event Chair):  If we could begin event planning earlier in the year, perhaps in August, we could begin soliciting ads for a tribute book and working on other event details.  A straw vote of members was then held on whether or not PPCC should continue to hold the Awards event party, as we have been doing. RESULT: almost unanimous in favor of continuing to hold a party for the Awards event.  Alan Goldsmith(the sole member who indicated opposition) explained that he thinks that people are excluded from participating due to inability to purchase tickets; he suggested “expanding and democratizing” the awards event, making it free of charge and perhaps holding it in connection with 4th of July festivities.  There were no comments by others in favor of this suggestion.

Topic (b):  Fundraising/financesThe Treasurer explained:  Our annual expenses vary; they sometimes run about $2-3,000, at other times they are $4-5,000.  Every other year have Area and At-large Representative elections.  There were costs for developing the voting interface in the first year of electronic voting.  It’s hard to say what exact number is needed to keep the Council running each year.  Much of the expense is tied to the Awards event. He estimates that as a general rule, we need about $3,000 every year to sustain operations.  We have a “Donate” page on the website which suggests $25 in “dues” from community members.  We used to send out mailers suggesting this amount.  The Treasurer’s employer last year donated $2,000 to PPCC in a matching grant program.  He suggests other Board members might inquire whether their employers had such a program. Rick Mills(Area 4 Representative):  There is an ongoing problem with residents who don’t know about PPCC.  He suggests sending an email reminder that everyone donate $25.  The Secretarywas asked how many people are on our group email list. Answer: around 2,000.  Miriam Schulman:  Everyone should forward the email to at least 5 friends and the email message should include a blurb with what we do.  Andrew Wolfberg: Real estate agents could give information to new homeowners about PPCC. Cathi Ruddy (Woman’s Club; PPCC Public Safety Liaison):  Residents should be encouraged to host MYN programs which could include information about PPCC.  Christine Card (resident):  Each Area Rep should let their constituents know about PPCC.  Zennon Ulyate-Crow: We need something like banners put up publicly to demonstrate PPCC’s presence in the community.  We should set up booths in public places where members could answer questions and provide information about PPCC.  The Secretary noted that during her tenure as Chair she had instituted a PPCC table at the Farmers Market but there were very few volunteers and she ended up doing most of the work.  David Peterson:  Information about PPCC should be sent out to HOAS and other local organizations.  Christine Card:  PPCC should add another board position:  Communications Director.

Topic (c):  Beyond the Minutes.  The Secretary noted that she had distributed a summary of the administrative tasks she has been doing for many years (most of which are not required under the bylaws).  See:

She explained that she will not always be on the PPCC Board; she cannot continue to do everything she’s been doing and she asked for help, especially with some of the discrete tasks such as preparing all the member table cards.  No one specifically volunteered to help with any of these tasks during the meeting.  However, there were several suggestions for other approaches to administration from the Board and audience members.  Miriam Schulman (Fire Safety Advisor):  Her HOA has hired an administrative aide at a cost of $35 an hour or around $300 month; she might be available to PPCC. Joanna Spak (Area 1 Representative):  Suggested that members split up some of these duties.  Audience member (resident):  Suggested engaging youth to take on some of the tasks as part of their community service. Zennon Ulyate-Crow: He believes many young people would volunteer; the Recreation Center Youth Council recently received 130 applications for 30 volunteer spots on that council.  The Treasurer:  Many of the tasks that the Secretary handles are complex and require experience, training and a longer-term commitment than most youth are able to give.  He also noted that since we aren’t taking in many donations from the public, unless we have a large fundraiser the expense of hiring an outside administrator would have to come from the PPCC’s reserve funds, which we must preserve as much as possible to ensure that the Council continues its good work in perpetuity. The Secretary:  Several of the tasks require administrative access to the website and email accounts; it would be best if only a small number of reliable persons were assigned to these types of tasks.  She also explained that PPCC used to do postal mailings to Palisades addresses, with hard-copy newsletters and requests for donations, but hasn’t done this for the past several years since the mailing expenses exceeded donation receipts.  Rick McGeagh:  We should hire someone accountable for administrative tasks; this issue is related to fundraising.  He related that many residents are not familiar with PPCC, and he suggested that PPCC send out an email to the public with a dedicated subject line, describing PPCC generally and also specifically requesting donations. The Secretary indicated that she would try to do so when she is able to take the time to create such an email.  Area Representatives could then forward the email to their constituents/mailing lists.  Sue Kohl and Steve Cron both indicated they would do so and would add a personal message encouraging residents to donate to PPCC and sign up for emails.  Richard Wulliger (Historical Society):  The Chair should appoint someone on the Board to handle administrative tasks.  The Secretary pointed out that everyone is a volunteer and the Chair can’t force members to volunteer for this position or take on any tasks.

Topic (d):  Website, etc.  Due to time constraints the board was unable to expand discussion of this topic, except as noted above.

Topic (e):  Other outreach.  See remarks noted above during discussion of other topics.

Topic (f):   Suggestions from community members/audience. See remarks noted above during discussion of other topics.

The Chair thanked everyone for their suggestions and noted that we will continue the discussion as time allows at a later date.

11.    New Business – None.

12.     Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:45pm.


ATTACHMENT – Item 8.1.1:  Resignation Letter from Chair George Wolfberg.

January 14, 2020

Mr. David Card, Vice Chair
Pacific Palisades Community Council
Via email

Re: PPCC Chairmanship

Dear David,

I thank you and the entire PPCC for all of the love and support, as I have been focused almost entirely on challenges to my physical health since August, 2019. I was so honored by how I was received at the annual awards dinner and was thrilled to have been able to attend with my family and see all of your friendly faces.

Having said that, I am no longer able to serve, nor currently anticipate resuming duties, as your Chairperson. Please consider this a formal resignation and to be effective immediately. I find great comfort in knowing that our historic Community Council is in such good hands.


George Wolfberg
Pacific Palisades Community Council


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Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, David Kaplan, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Steve Cron, Rick Mills, Brenda Theveny, Barbara Marinacci, Jan Ostendorf, Fay Vahdani, John Padden, Dick Wulliger, Rick McGeagh, David Peterson [after approval of David Kaplan as Vice-Chair, per Item 8.1.1 below]

Voting Alternates:  Mary Mueller, Marilyn Wexler

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Miriam Schulman, Bruce Schwartz, Quentin Fleming, Susan Orenstein, Craig Natvig, Melanie Bouer, Beth Holden Garland, Richard Blumenberg

1.    Certification of Quorum.  Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 6:01pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Richard Cohen read the Mission Statement.

3.    Introduction of the Board and Audience.  The Board and audience were introduced.

4.    Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings.  1) Approval of Minutes – the minutes of 1/23/20 were deemed approved.  2) Upcoming Meetings – February 27, 2020:  Guest Speaker – LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin.  March 12, 2020:  LADWP presentation on water & power rates & billing.  March 26, 2020: (1) Guest Speaker – LA City Controller Ron Galperin; (2) New: CD11, LADOT & Caltrans presentation on potential improvements to the PCH & Chautauqua intersection.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The agenda was considered.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer Richard Cohen reported that the Council’s bank balance is $42,107.44.  Since the last PPCC meeting we have received $1,252.28 from nineteen donations ranging from $25 to $100.  The Treasurer has paid the renewal premium for our Directors and Officers Liability Insurance which renews on March 7 in the amount of $536.30.  We have not yet received the renewal quote for our General Liability insurance but expect the renewal quote soon.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Janet Turner (resident).  On Monday, February 24, there will be a free event on the upcoming census, from 6:30-7:30pm at the Library. She will provide information to the Secretary.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    Vacant Vice-Chair seat; nomination & board approval of Vice-Chair (Bylaws, Art. VII.4.E). The Chair nominated David Kaplan, Area 6 Representative, for the position of PPCC Vice-Chair.  The Secretary noted that David Kaplan has been a respected member of the Board since 2014 and has shown exemplary leadership in a variety of roles, including serving on the Executive & Bylaws Committees and chairing the Village Project LUC and the recent Awards Selection Committee.The Chaircalled for a vote of the Board to approve David Kaplan as PPCC Vice-Chair.  Result:  Unanimous board approval.  Upon the election of the Vice-Chair, the former Area 6 1st Alternate, David Peterson, became the primary Area 6 Representative and the former 2nd Alternate, Jason Sklar, became the Area 6 1st Alternate.

8.1.2.    Chair Emeritus seat (Bylaws, Art. V.1.A-B).  Upon the passing of George Wolfberg, immediate past Chair Maryam Zar became PPCC Chair Emeritus.

8.1.3.    Vacant 2nd Alternate Area Representative seats; applications to be accepted.  PPCC is now accepting applications for the open Areas 4 and 6 2nd Alternate seats. A notice will be distributed via PPCC email on February 14, with information about eligibility and how to apply. Interested residents of Areas 4 and 6 are invited to apply.  The deadline is March 15.  [See:]

8.1.4.    New Board and Committee appointments.

a) Organizational Member appointments: Chamber of Commerce (reversing positions of primary and alternate representatives; congratulations Sarah Knauer, new Chamber Chair).  The Chamber has appointed Fay Vahdani as its primary representative and Sarah Knauer (the Chamber’s new Chair) as its alternate representative on the PPCC Board.

b) Chair’s appointments: Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) Chair; other Committee members, advisors & liaisons (see current listings:  The Chair has appointed Cindy Kirven as Chair of the PFC. Cindy has been a respected member of the PFC; she is also a board member of the Pacific Palisades Garden Club and a long-time Palisades resident. The Chair has also appointed Mary Shultz, Garden Club president, and Lisa V., tree activist, as voting members of the PFC. All other Committee, advisor & liaison appointments continue as set forth in the listings on the PPCC website Leadership pages.

8.1.5.    Updates on fire evacuation drill. CD-11-sponsored Evacuation Drill Committee.  Plans are underway for a fire evacuation drill this May in the Palisades’ hillside neighborhoods north of Sunset in Areas 1, 2 & 3.  The drill will be managed by LAFD, led by Deputy Chief Armando Hogan (West Bureau Commander). CD11 has formed an Evacuation Drill Committee, composed of volunteer community leaders & residents [see members in the list linked above].  Pali High will be the staging area and command post.  There will also be a resource fair.  The Committee will provide input in planning the drill and may provide “day of” assistance. The drill date had been set for May 16, but the Treasurer noted that this is a conflict with the St. Matthews Fair.  The Chair indicated he will bring this to the attention of Chief Hogan.  Marilyn Wexler (Area 7 2nd Alternate) would like to have a fire evacuation drill in Area 7 as well.  She was advised to speak with CD11 Deputy Lisa Cahill.  Ms. Cahill explained that Mandeville Canyon residents organized their own drill last year and brought in LAFD to coordinate and manage the drill. Chief Hogan has decided he would like to do drills in May and November, alternating between 3 different council districts (11, 5 and 4).  Residents should work with Lisa Cahill regarding a possible subsequent drill for their areas.

8.1.6.    Update on Potrero Canyon rim development (15245 DePauw; see prior PPCC position letter: RAPC resolution passed on 1/27/20:  The Chair attended the WLA APC appeal hearing on February 5 and testified on behalf of PPCC in opposition to the deck development.  Rob Weber spoke on behalf of the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee (PCCAC); Recreation and Parks Commissioner Joe Halper also spoke as an individual against the development. They testified in support of an appeal by the neighbors seeking to overturn a lower decision by the ZA to grant an “after the fact” Coastal Development Permit for a large deck built by the property owner that hovers over the canyon slope.  The Chair explained the work that the PPCAC did to develop the Planning Dept. ZI bulletin which provides guidelines for Canyon rim development. City law and Coastal Commission regulations also prohibit downslope development. The result: a unanimous vote by the WLA APC to grant the appeal, denying the homeowners a Coastal Development Permit for the huge deck. The Commissioners indicated they would not approve an after the fact permit. It is unclear whether a tear down order has been or will be issued. We are awaiting issuance of the written decision.  Lisa Cahill stated that she understands that the appeals are over and the next step could be litigation by the property owner.

8.1.7.    American Legion Oratorical Contest.This event took place at the District level last Sunday in the Palisades. Danielle Wilson won the event at the local and also the District levels.  She has received checks for $400 and $500.  The final winner will receive a $20,000 scholarship check.  The next level of the contest will take place on February 23 at 8:30am in Panorama City at Legion Post 817.

8.2.    From Officers

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  SB 50 and other legislation update.  The Secretary explained that she had prepared a written update which was distributed to the Board and posted on the PPCC website prior to the meeting: She briefly summarized the information in her update.  She also reported that in response to her message regarding AB 1279, Assemblymember Bloom has advised that the bill is being amended, although it is unclear if the amendments will address our concerns. After the bill is updated, his staff will discuss and hopefully address our concerns.  We and Brentwood CC will continue to press for an unconditional exemption from increased density mandates for all Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone areas.

8.2.2.    Richard Cohen (Treasurer). West LA Community-Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) Update. The Treasurer is a member of the C-PAB & has been attending the meetings regularly for many years; other PPCC Board members attend as well, including Haldis Toppel.  He reported that the West Los Angeles Police Station has a new Captain: Captain III Jonathan Tom.  At the recent C-PAB meeting, the Treasurer introduced himself privately and chatted with the new Captain.  He asked for assurance that Capt. Tom was aware of the long-standing and hard-fought commitment of LAPD to Pacific Palisades to keep a patrol car in our neighborhood 24/7.  The Captain said “yes” but explained that exigent circumstances could interfere.  Still, he agreed that our car was supposed to be the last car to be pulled out. It was reported at C-PAB that crime in West L.A., which includes the Palisades area, is down substantially in 2019 vs 2018.  Homicide is down 50% (1 vs 2), rape is down 14.3 (54 vs 63), robbery is down 30.2% (201 vs 288), burglary is down 25.8% (1078 vs 1453).  Overall part one crime was down 13.3%.  David Peterson(Area 6 Representative): Capt. Tom recently went out with LAPD Officer Rusty Redican, Sharon Kilbride, other PPTFH members and Michelle Bisnoff (Brentwood CC Chair), looking at the homeless situation in our bluffs locations.  It was very encouraging that the Captain took the time to go out and take a look at what is going on in our area.  The Treasurer: Capt. Tom says that homelessness is the new No. 1 priority for LAPD.  Sue Kohl(Area 5 Representative):  What is meant by “our car”?  The Treasurer: This refers to the car that patrols Pacific Palisades. Each area has its own defined patrol area and a car designated to that area, along with a dedicated Senior Lead Officer.  The Palisades has had a designated patrol car for about 10 years.  The car can’t always be located immediately because it can be engaged on another call, or called out in an emergency to another area. It is also used after arrests to take arrestees for booking at the Van Nuys station, and that process takes the car out of commission.  David Kaplan(Vice-Chair):  Where does the Palisades fit in with the percentages of crime for the Westside?  The Treasurer: He hasn’t seen a finer break down.  Sarah Shmerling(Palisadian Post): She has seen the figures; most crime stats are down in our area except for grand theft auto.  Christine Card(resident):  There is an app called Citizens which notifies you when a crime occurs in real time.  The Treasurer: LAPD online also has interactive crime maps on the website.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Rick Mills (Area 4 Representative).  He suggested that we should think in advance of questions to ask Nick Melvoin, LAUSD Board Member, who will be our guest speaker on February 27. Residents are concerned about the Marquez playground being closed for weekend use.  He will address that issue with Mr. Melvoin at the next meeting.  Let Allison Polhill (Mr. Melvoin’s assistant and PPCC Education Advisor) know ahead of time of your questions, if possible.

8.3.2.    Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative).  As result of rains and recent fires, there is a lot of debris along Palisades Dr., which goes into the drains along the roadside.  There has been a debate about who is responsible for the clean-up (the City or County).  Mike Bonin has now acknowledged that the City is responsible and they will take care of and remove the debris. Regarding the infamous trailhead bathroom situation: Heather Johnson of the Coastal Commission has provided assurances that this will be on the agenda for the Commission’s April meeting in Ventura.  The Commission wants to make the owner responsible for fixing up the situation.  On March 1, resident-volunteers will do the semi-annual clean-up of Palisades Dr.

8.3.3.    Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative).  We have been informed by CD11 of a request to vacate a portion of a public street, at the end of Via Santa Inez in Area 3. This is in an unstable geological area.  The issue may come to the LUC and/or PPCC in the future.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Richard Wulliger (Historical Society).  There will be an interesting Historical Society talk on Wednesday, February 26, at 7pm in Theatre Palisades.  The topic is “100 Years of Fire in the Santa Monica Mountains.” He escribed the event and the speakers. Admission is free and all are welcome.

8.4.2.    Fay Vahdani (Chamber of Commerce).  The next Chamber networking meeting will take place at Porta Via Palisades on February 26 at 8am.

8.4.3.    John Padden (PRIDE).  All of the tiles formerly on Swarthmore have been transferred to bricks on Sunset Blvd. About1300-1400 bricks have now been installed, including old and new bricks. Community members can go on the PRIDE website,, to locate your bricks.  Click on the brick on the landing page and it will direct you how to find your brick.  Some people have requested new bricks.  The window for new bricks is closed right now and they cannot take any new orders; however, they may be able to include new bricks in another location in the future.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    Lisa Cahill (CD11).  Most of what she had wanted to cover in her report was already discussed earlier in the meeting but she is happy to answer questions.  The Chair:  What portion of Via Santa Inez is requested to be vacated?  Ms. Cahill:  The best she can determine is the paved section.  One large home will be built, but she doesn’t know the status of the development.  This issue only came to her office a day and half ago and they are still trying to get information.  Haldis Toppel(Area 3 Representative):  Is it the entirety of Via Santa Inez or just the last portion?  Ms. Cahill:  Just the last portion, about 100 ft. in length by 40 ft. (the road width).  This would not affect neighboring homes other than the loss of street parking and there would be a large gate for the new home. There will be a recommendation from the CD11 staff reflecting community concerns.  This will be heard in City Council tomorrow morning.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Patti Post (Transportation Advisor). Gladstones bus turnaround update. Brief discussion only. See:

In the absence of the Transportation Advisor, the Chair summarized her report.  He described the situation with current bus routes and the history of the bus turnaround. We will follow up with the County and the concessionaire to make sure the turnaround will be in the plan that goes to the Coastal Commission. There will be public hearings in the future as regulators take a look at the Gladstones Redevelopment Project. Marilyn Wexler(Area 7 2nd alternate):  With George Wolfberg’s passing, who from PPCC is now attending PCH Task Force meetings? The Chair:  Patti Post is the lead and she attends whenever she can; the Chair will be the alternate.  The meetings are infrequent and he is trying to get information about the next Task Force meeting. The Treasurer is also on the list to attend.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair).  Proposed amendments to Attachment A (Election Procedure for Elected Representatives) to the PPCC Bylaws, recommended by the Committee (technical revisions related to filing deadlines; “Amendments”). Motion by the Bylaws Committee for board adoption of Amendments. See the following documents distributed concurrently with the meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the website:
1) Committee Report:
2) Amendments “Redline”:
3) Amendments “Clean”:

Committee Chair Cohen explained the proposed Amendments as set forth in the Committee Report and in the above “Redline” and “Clean” versions.  He then moved on behalf of the Committee for board adoption of the proposed Amendments [no second was required as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member].  The Chair invited discussion from the board.  There were no questions or comments.  A vote was taken.  Result:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

9.2.    Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC).  PFC-recommended PPCC position letter re Sidewalk Repair Program (Street Tree Removals) Draft EIR. DEIR comment deadline: 2/24/20. Motion for Board approval of position letter (see attachment below). Background information:

The Chair explained that in the absence of the PFC Chair, he would be making the PFC presentation and introducing the motion; for this reason, he “handed the gavel” to Vice-Chair David Kaplan to serve as Presiding Officer for Item 9.2.  The Chair moved for Board approval of the position letter as attached below; second by Marilyn Wexler (Area 7 2nd Alternate).   The Chair explained the background for this motion and summarized what the letter is requesting.  The Presiding Officer then invited discussion. David Peterson:  What will be done about planting trees with roots that would destroy sidewalks?  The Chair:  Providing for a root barrier is standard operating procedure for Urban Forestry.  Lisa Cahill: This issue is already taken care of; trees will not be planted with invasive root structures.  Barbara Marinacci(Garden Club):  She is concerned about the width of sidewalks on lower Palisades Dr. that are not compliant with ADA requirements. Ms. Cahill: Sidewalks will need to be called in for repair. Following discussion, a vote was taken.  Result:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

The Chair then resumed presiding over the meeting.

10.    Old Business.

10.1.    Continuing discussion: PPCC Operations (as time allows).

a) Awards event assistance/management. Had meeting with Woman’s Club and discussed some ideas and timing ideas.  The Chair explained that the Executive Committee will be discussing possible new ideas for the timing of nominations and management of the event and will report back to the board with any proposed changes.

b) Volunteer to assist Secretary with administrative tasks. The Chair announced that the new PFC Chair, Cindy Kirven, has graciously offered to assist the Secretary with many of her tasks. The Executive Committee has unanimously approved this assistance.

c) Fundraising/outreach/digital platforms. Rick Mills (Area 4 Representative) thanked the Secretary for sending the fundraising email to Board members. He has forwarded the message to his email lists and he asked other members to please forward the message to their respective email lists.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Remembering George WolfbergDiscussion only.

The Chair invited the Board and community to share fond memories of George. The Secretaryread aloud an email message to PPCC from past PPCC Secretary Michael Soneff, relating his experience of George’s kindness and expressing condolences.  She also noted email messages of praise and sympathy from Brentwood Community Council (Chair Michelle Bisnoff) and Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council (Chair Robin Greenberg), and she explained that many other individual leaders throughout the City have expressed similar messages. She noted that these messages express her own views as well. Other individuals who spoke at the meeting included:  Haldis Toppel(spoke about working with George who was always a smiling presence at City Hall) and Marilyn Wexler(spoke about the many communications she has received as president of SMCCA from members and residents praising George).  The Chairnoted the extensive Los Angeles Times obituary and he also remarked on his own experiences with George, focusing especially on their work together on the PCCAC and Potrero Canyon.  Lisa Cahillrelated that George stood out as really special among all the people she’s worked with.  He was a great example to all and great leader in the community. His was a life well-lived.

11.2.    Resolution to support naming Potrero Canyon Park in honor of George Wolfberg – recommended by the Executive Committee. The Chair explained that the recommended resolution (“Resolution”) [attached below]was distributed to the board and posted on the PPCC website in advance of the meeting.  He introduced a motion on behalf of the Executive Committee for adoption of the Resolution by the board [no second was required as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member].  The Chair then called for discussion.  Comments were brief and in support of the Resolution.  A vote was then taken.  Result: unanimous in favor of the motion.  The Chair noted that Commissioner Joe Halper has requested that we forward the Resolution to the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners. The Organizational members are asked to consider writing their own individual letters of support. The Secretary will send forwarding information for the letters.

12.    Adjournment.  The Chair adjourned the meeting at 7:28pm.



Item 9.2 – PPCC Position Letter re Sidewalk Repair Program (Street Tree Removals) Draft EIR.

February __, 2020

Via e-mail
Shilpa Gupta, Environmental Supervisor I
City of Los Angeles Public Works, Bureau of Engineering
Environmental Management Group
1149 S Broadway, Suite 600, Mail Stop 939
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Re: Public Comments on the Sidewalk Repair Program Draft Environmental Impact Report

Dear Ms. Gupta,

The City of Los Angeles (City) prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to evaluate the potential environmental effects of the proposed Sidewalk Repair Program (SRP). The City is requesting input on the Draft EIR from public agencies, residents, and other interested project stakeholders

Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has been the most broad-based organization and voice of the Palisades community since 1973.

In Spring 2019, PPCC formed the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC), consisting of landscape professionals, community organizations, tree advocates and local government officials (including advisors UFD Superintendent Stephen Du Prey and CD11 Palisades-Brentwood Deputy Lisa Cahill), with the goal of facilitating the preservation and enhancement of our urban forest and its canopy by working in conjunction with the Urban Forestry Division of StreetsLA (UFD).

The PPCC Board and PFC members recognize that trees are a critical part of the City’s infrastructure, and vital to our health. Based on the PFC’s recommendation, after discussion at the regularly scheduled public Board Meeting on February 13, the PPCC Board voted [unanimously] to request:

1) a minimum 60-day extension in the public comment period as it is not possible for the working public to read, adequately analyze, and prepare meaningful comments given:

  • The Bureau of Engineering (BOE) spent three years preparing the Draft EIR
  • The EIR comprises more than 1,680 pages
  • Hard copies are not available to the public (public libraries have only one copy that cannot be borrowed)
  • The 60 days comment period began during the holidays without advance notice
  • Neighborhood and Community Councils hold, for the most part, monthly meetings and topics must be agendized and agendas posted in advance
  • The public meetings are only beginning on January 29, 2020

2) that the Sidewalk Repair Program Draft EIR address the following:

  • There shall be no net canopy loss throughout the duration of the program.
  • Alternative sidewalk designs as are currently being installed in other cities (bridging, bulb outs, meandering, narrowing, flexible joints, etc.), must be adopted.
  • The longest-lived, largest-growing, and lowest-maintenance tree species must be replaced with species of equal size at maturity.
  • Tree removals require due process. While the current policy of 30 days notice isn’t sufficient, the SRP shall not exacerbate it by expediting administration of removals.
  • Public input from neighbors and other stakeholders shall be sought and encouraged, not reduced.
  • Program strategy needs to include the recommendations of the 2018 Dudek First Steps report.
  • Program should prioritize sidewalk repairs that do not require tree removals while newly planted saplings grow.
  • Should clarify that Historic Cultural Monument trees would be protected.
  • Care and irrigation of new young trees shall be expanded beyond 3 years.
  • SRP shall evaluate shading around key areas for pedestrian movement and walkability and impacts on traffic calming.
  • Ecological impacts of climate change and the relationship with urban ecosystems, including resilience (ability to recover from stress/impacts), resistance (ability to withstand stress/impacts), and responsiveness (ability to adapt and change in response to stress/impacts) shall be considered.
  • Tree inspectors shall have expertise and training in nesting birds and tree cavities.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this matter and for including this input as necessary information that needs to be evaluated and included in the Sidewalk Repair Program Draft EIR.


David Card
Chair, Pacific Palisades Community Council

cc:       Stephen Du Prey, Superintendent, Urban Forestry Division, StreetsLA

Lisa Cahill, Palisades-Brentwood Deputy, CD11

Item 11.2 — Resolution to support naming Potrero Canyon Park in honor of George Wolfberg

Resolution: In Honor of George Wolfberg, Name the New Park in Pacific Palisades “George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon”
Presented to the February 13, 2020 PPCC meeting

Whereas, Potrero Canyon in Pacific Palisades is soon to become a new L.A. City park, after many decades of fill, grading, and design;

Whereas, in 2004 the Los Angeles City Council, with the concurrence of the Mayor and the advice of the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC), appointed the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee (“Advisory Committee”) at the request of Council Member Cindy Miscikowski;

Whereas, after three years of sometimes contentious monthly public meetings, in 2008 the Advisory Committee issued its Report to the Recreation and Parks Department and Bureau of Engineering on the Pacific Palisades community’s consensus for the design and recommended uses for the new 46 acre, mile long, passive park: trails through the restored riparian canyon, from the existing Recreation Center to the curb of Pacific Coast Highway;

Whereas, George Wolfberg, as the Chair of the Advisory Committee, led the community discussion and analysis of the proposed park, crafted the nearly unanimously approved Report, and consistently and persistently offered advice and guidance to BOE and RAP in the subsequent years in the development of the park;

Whereas, George Wolfberg’s leadership was invaluable in representing the wishes of the Pacific Palisades community and in encouraging the completion of the park;

Whereas, George Wolfberg has been the exemplary community leader as Chair of the PPCC for several terms and a long time officer, President for years of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association, a National Soccer Referee for AYSO, a board member of the Rustic Canyon Park Advisory Board, and in many other community volunteer leadership capacities;

Whereas, George Wolfberg has been honored with the PPCC Community Service Award (2008), Citizen of the Year (2011), and just weeks ago Pride of the Palisades (2019);

Whereas, with George’s passing on February 5, 2020, the PPCC – as the broad-based reflection of the Pacific Palisades community – wishes to honor George Wolfberg by naming the new park after him;

Now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Pacific Palisades Community Council strongly supports the motion by Councilmember Mike Bonin to name the new Potrero Canyon park in Pacific Palisades in honor of George Wolfberg, as “George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon.”


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Voting Members in Attendance:  David Kaplan, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Steve Cron, David Peterson, Steve Boyers, Rick Mills, Brenda Theveny, Barbara Marinacci, Fay Vahdani, Dick Wulliger, Jan Ostendorf, Cathi Ruddy

Voting Alternates:  Quentin Fleming, Richard Blumenberg

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Bruce Schwartz, Miriam Schulman, Cathy Russell

1.    Certification of Quorum.  In theabsence of the Chair, Vice-Chair David Kaplan called the meeting to order at 6:05pm and certified that a quorum was present.

2.    Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Sue Kohl read the Mission Statement.

3.    Introduction of the Board and Audience.  The Board and audience were introduced.

4.    Approval of Minutes & Upcoming Meetings. 1) Approval of Minutes – the minutes of 2/13/20 were deemed approved as corrected; the Secretary will correct the final 2/13/20 minutes to state that the minutes of 1/23/20 (not 2/13/20) had been approved at the 2/13/20 meeting.  2) Upcoming Meetings– March 12, 2020: (1) Introduction of new LAPD West Division Commanding Officer Captain III Jonathan Tom; (2) LADWP presentation on water & power rates and billing.  March 26, 2020: (1) Guest Speaker – LA City Controller Ron Galperin; (2) CD11, LADOT & Caltrans presentation on potential improvements to the PCH & Chautauqua intersection; (3) Possible nomination & Board election of Areas 4 and 6 Alternate representatives.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  The agenda was considered.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  In the absence of the Treasurer, the Secretary gave the Treasurer’s report: The Council’s bank balance is $42,182.44.  There have been no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Rose Reed (resident).  She has granddaughters who attend Canyon School and Paul Revere.  She noted that four LAUSD Board members (not Nick Melvoin) are up for election and that these Board members will make decisions that affect students in all districts.  She would like everyone to ask their friends who live in other LAUSD districts to vote. She attempted to name the Board members for whom she would like people to vote, but on a point of order by Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative), the Presiding Officer reminded Ms. Reed and the audience that candidate advocacy and political speeches are not permitted at PPCC meetings.

7.1.2.    Bill Armistead (resident).  He lives adjacent to Palisades Recreation Center and the area where the Veterans Gardens project is to be constructed.  He and other neighbors have serious fire safety and environmental concerns related to the six charcoal grills planned for that area of the park. He explained their concerns, including risk of fire due to open flames near flammable Eucalyptus trees and emissions from the charcoal grills.  He and other neighbors have alerted Councilmember Bonin and the Dept. of Recreation and Parks to their concerns. The Presiding Officer noted that this topic was not on the agenda for February 27 but may be agendized for a future meeting.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair (Presiding Officer).

8.1.1.    George Wolfberg/Potrero Canyon naming resolution letter:

We submitted a letter to the Recreation & Parks Commissioners and also RAP General Manager Mike Shull on February 19, advising them of our resolution strongly supporting Councilmember Bonin’s motion to name the park in Potrero Canyon after George Wolfberg in City Council. The letter is posted on the PPCC website and a link was in the agenda.  Councilmember Bonin’s motion has been brought in City Council and is now before the Council “HENPAR” (parks) committee.  We have also filed our Resolution in support of the motion in the City Council file. No date is scheduled yet but we are hopeful the motion will soon pass in committee and then in the full Council.

8.1.2.    Sidewalk Repair Program DEIR comment letter:                        

We submitted our comment letter on the Sidewalk Repair Program on February 17.  We have since received a response from the City that the deadline to comment has been extended, pursuant to our and other organizations’ requests, for 60 days or until April 24.  This will give more time for other councils and groups to provide input.  The letter has been posted on the PPCC website and a link was in the agenda.

8.1.3.    Areas 4 & 6 2nd Alternate Representative applications.  Deadline for submission:  5pm on March 15, 2020.   Residents of Areas 4 and 6 are invited to submit applications for the open 2nd Alternate positions.  A link to the “Alternates Application Notice,” with information on how to apply, is posted on the PPCC website.

8.1.4.    New:  Palisades Wildfire Evacuation Drill.  LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan has advised us that the upcoming Wildfire Evacuation Drill has been scheduled for Saturday June 13, 2020.  Stay tuned for more details to come.

8.1.5.    New:  1270 N. Marinette Rd.  PPCC recently learned about a City Planning Dept. hearing on February 27, regarding a development project proposed for 1270 N. Marinette Rd.  This involves an application for a 4-lot subdivision parcel map; other proposals include demolition of the existing home, construction of four new homes and retaining walls, extension of the existing public street for legal & physical access, grading (with no export of soil) and removal & replacement of ten protected and 53 unprotected “significant” trees. The Executive Committee approved a letter by the Chair requesting that all applicable laws be strictly applied, per PPCC’s Guiding Principles.  See: The hearing officer has held the file open until March 31, at our request, to allow possible additional public comment. The PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC) will meet on March 4 at the Palisades Branch Library to consider the project; the PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee is also reviewing the tree removal proposals.

8.1.6.    New: LUC Appointment.  The Chair has appointed Vice-Chair David Kaplan as an additional member of the LUC.

8.2.    From Officers

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  WRAC leadership 2/19 meeting update; legislation update.  The Secretary reported:

1)  She attended the last WRAC meeting.  Featured speakers were the new LAPD West Division Commanding Officer, Captain III Jonathan Tom, and City Attorney Mike Feuer.  Capt. Tom was very impressive and it will be good for the Board and community to learn more about him when he attends the next PPCC meeting.  The City Attorney spoke about his work on behalf of the City and his proposals to address homelessness.  No action was taken at the meeting.

2)  Regarding legislation, we are still awaiting new or revised housing bills with provisions similar to SB 50 from Senator Wiener and other legislators, as well as expected amendments to AB 1279 from Assemblymember Bloom. These bills will potentially mandate increased density in the Palisades’ single-family zones. We will continue to monitor and to request a clear, unconditional exemption for the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone in all cases of proposed mandates for increased density in our single-family neighborhoods.

3)  We received a message from CD11 Transportation Deputy Eric Bruins on February 20, giving an update on the Parking Meter Revenue Local Return Pilot Program.  The Secretary explained that under this program, fifteen percent (15%) of all meter revenues in the BID area (the central commercial district of the Palisades), or around $65,000 annually, will be earmarked and the BID will be in charge of outreach to the community for input on streetscape improvements. Before his illness this summer, past Chair George Wolfberg had been seeking to move the program along and had offered to have PPCC assist the BID in the public outreach process and in implementing the program. As reflected in PPCC’s minutes, this offer was well-received by the BID members. Since then, we have been awaiting word on the City’s staffing of the program, which must occur as a next step before the BID’s outreach process begins. The Secretary read from Mr. Bruins’ message, in which he explained “good” news and new expectations on timing.  See attachment.  David Peterson (PRIDE) stated that the BID is subject to and will comply with the Brown Act, and that PPCC’s role would be to provide input with respect to community wishes about the use of the funds for possible streetscape improvements.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative).  This Sunday at 10am, volunteers will meet at Starbucks in the Highlands for the semi-annual clean-up of Palisades Dr.  Bruce Schwartz will be there with his truck to carry debris away. He thanked Lisa Cahill and Mike Bonin’s office for having the drains along Palisades Dr. cleared out. He also noted that he and Maryam Zar recently interviewed LAPD Capt. Tom for their Palisades Podcast and they found the Captain to be an amazing person.

8.3.2.    Rick Mills (Area 4 Representative).  After extensive delays the project to stabilize the bluffs on Asilomar has begun. He described the process.  There will be a test on the block next to where the landslide occurred.  The testing will go on for next couple of months.  If the testing works, then the actual stabilization work will begin on Asilomar.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Dick Wulliger (PP Historical Society).  Last night at Theatre Palisades the Historical Society sponsored a talk on “The Fires of the Santa Monica Mountains.”  He described the event and the speakers. There was a full house, the audience was very interested and knowledgeable and the event was a big success.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.    LAPD SLO Michael Moore.

Officer Moore reported that crime in the Palisades is up slightly.  Since last year we are up 3 robberies, 5 burglaries, 7 car robberies and 3 thefts.  He asked everyone to spread the LAPD message: “Lock it, hide it, keep it!”  Q&A ensued.   Q:  Is there a pattern as to who is committing crimes?  A:  There is no certainty about repeat offenders.  On Los Leones one person is committing crimes over & over again. The police catch many offenders after the fact because of stolen credit card use.  Q:  Can signs be put up to warn hikers about car break- ins?  A: Warning signs have already been made up and LAPD is working on getting City approval for the signs to be posted.  The signs will be bright orange and are not attractive.  Q:  Can he address recent activity on Greentree in Rustic Canyon, where someone has been throwing stones at houses?  A:  There was an incident with a homeless man doing bizarre things at Erewhon Market. This man got away and may have been the person who was acting bizarrely on Greentree. Q: Is SLO Moore aware of drivers spinning donuts on Palisades Dr.?  A:  The police had an idea about the identity of the primary offender; SLO Moore spoke to the parents of that person and he believes this activity has now stopped.

8.5.2.    Allison Holdorff Polhill (Chief Advisor & District Director, LAUSD District 4 Board Member Nick Melvoin, and PPCC Education Advisor).

Ms. Polhill explained that Nick Melvoin was unable to attend tonight but will now be speaking at our April 23 meeting.  She thanked PPCC for accommodating his schedule. Ms. Polhill is Mr. Melvoin’s Chief Advisor and District Director. The District oversees 150 schools including the entire Palisades Complex.  Westchester-Playa and Mar Vista hold large celebrations annually to award Teacher of the Year honors for schools in their areas.  Mr. Melvoin and the District have now decided to bring the 2019-220 Teacher of the Year award ceremony to the Palisades-Brentwood area.  They are considering holding this on an evening in May and are looking for a location.  Mike Bonin’s office and Ted Lieu’s office are on board.  The District has sent out letters to all principals of public and private schools in the Palisades and Brentwood.  One teacher will be nominated per each elementary, middle and high school, except that Revere and Pali High can nominate two teachers each since they are so large.  A question was asked about funds to help pay for busing.  Ms. Polhill explained that LAUSD stopped funding transportation for Pali High because it is an independent charter school.  She has been working with the administrative staff and Councilmember Bonin’s office to try and maintain diversity and subsidize transportation in some way.  These are important issues to Nick and he strongly supports diversity.  Another question was asked as to whether teachers’ unions are opposed to Prop 13 on the ballot (bond for education).  Ms. Polhill stated that the District cannot advocate for or against ballot measures.  She has not heard that unions are opposing and she personally knows teachers who support the proposition.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors – see Item 8.5.2 above.

9.    Reports from Committees – None.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin (unable to attend).  Presentation rescheduled for April 23, 2020.

12.    Adjournment.  The Presiding Officer adjourned the meeting at 6:50pm.

ATTACHMENT – Item 8.2.1(3):

Message from Eric Bruins, CD 11 Transportation Deputy re Parking Meter Revenue Local Return Pilot Program – 2/20/20

“First, the good news. Council appropriated the funding for this program, and that funding has been accumulating. So when we do start, the BID will have access to the accumulated balance since program authorization, not just the annual estimated annual revenue moving forward. Most importantly, this delay in program start will not result in fewer dollars flowing to projects in the Palisades.

Second, the new expectations. We have been pushing very hard to get the program manager position filled at LADOT. (To be 100% clear: this is a civil service position within LADOT’s parking division, not our office, and must go through normal civil service hiring procedures.)  Our expectation is that this program will be staffed and begin this spring. I will continue to communicate with LADOT and Lisa and I will keep the community updated with the latest information.”


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All PPCC meetings from March 12 though June 11 were CANCELED
due to the coronavirus pandemic & related conditions — No minutes.


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Special Meeting held via Zoom videoconference.

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Chris Spitz, Richard Cohen, Maryam Zar, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Steve Boyers, Alan Goldsmith, Barbara Marinacci, Dick Wulliger, Rick McGeagh, John Padden, Rick Mills, Brenda Theveny

Voting Alternates:  Kevin Niles

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Susan Orenstein, Marilyn Wexler, Quentin Fleming, Cathy Russell, Melanie Bouer, Patti Post, Zennon Ulyate-Crow

1.    Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:30pm and Joanna Spak read the Mission Statement.

2.    Technical Engineer introduction and introduction of the Board (roll call) and Audience.  The Chair introduced the Zoom Engineer Alex Ponting and called the roll of voting Board members in attendance.  Other introductions were deferred.

3.    Certification of Quorum.  The Chair certified that a quorum was present.

4.    Chair’s Announcement.  Executive Committee authorization to proceed with virtual PPCC meetings on June 25 and June 30 (distributions and Board vote on proposed Bylaws amendments); Board ratification of Executive Committee authorization. See CA Corporations Code Sec. 5510(a) and CA Dept. of Justice Charity Governance During the COVID-19 Pandemic (p. 2):

The Chair welcomed members of the Board and audience to PPCC’s first Special Zoom meeting.  He explained that the Executive Committee has authorized Special Zoom meetings on June 25 and June 30 for the purpose of the required two distributions and Board vote on proposed Bylaws amendments.  The amendments will allow PPCC Board meetings to be held virtually going forward during exigent circumstances.  This will be explained more fully by the Bylaws Committee Chair Richard Cohen.  He also explained that we have learned from the authorities cited in the agenda that authorization for virtual meetings is proper since our Bylaws do not expressly prohibit virtual meetings. The Chair called for the Board to ratify the Executive Committee’s authorization of the June 25 and June 30 Special Zoom meetings. The Board unanimously ratified the Executive Committee’s authorization of the meetings.

5.    Bylaws Committee Report (Richard G. Cohen, Chair) and First Distribution of Proposed PPCC Bylaws Amendments, recommended by the Bylaws Committee (“Amendments”). Motion by the Bylaws Committee for Board adoption of Amendments (Second Distribution and Board vote on motion to take place on June 30, 2020). See the following documents distributed concurrently with this meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website:

1) Committee Report:

2) Amendments “Redline”:

3) Amendments “Clean”:

The Committee Chair summarized the Committee’s Report and the proposed Bylaws amendments.  He explained that this was the First Distribution of the proposed amendments, as required by the Bylaws, and that the Second Distribution and Board vote on the amendments would occur at the next meeting on June 30.  A question was asked as to whether the amendments allow for electronic meetings other than Zoom; the Committee Chair explained that yes, the amendments allow electronic meetings of all types, with the format to be decided by a majority of the Executive Committee upon a finding of exigent circumstances.  He also stated that he would answer additional questions if there are any at the next meeting.

5.5.    Addition to agenda — Announcement by Lisa Cahill, CD11 Palisades-Brentwood Deputy.  Ms. Cahill announced that she has accepted another position to become Executive Director of a non-profit organization.  She cannot disclose the name until the organization makes the announcement.  She will be leaving CD11 as of June 30 and a new deputy will be appointed in due course. She expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to work with PPCC and the entire Palisades community.  The Chair and other Board members, including Chris Spitz (Secretary), Sue Kohl (Area 5 Representative), Rick McGeagh (PPBA/Recreation Representative), Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative) and Alan Goldsmith (At-large Representative) related their positive experiences with Ms. Cahill and thanked her for her excellent service to Pacific Palisades.

6.      General Public Comment.

6.1.    Ingrid Steinberg (resident) asked PPCC to add a discussion item on the next agenda about becoming a certified Neighborhood Council.   The Secretary and PPCC Chair Emeritus Maryam Zar (also Chair of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils/WRAC) briefly remarked on past PPCC discussions about this issue; on PPCC’s history as a Community Council and model for the Neighborhood Council system; on some of the reasons why the PPCC Board had decided on several occasions to remain independent from the City and decline becoming a Neighborhood Council; and on our participation as an active  member of WRAC along with other Community Councils and Neighborhood Councils on the Westside.  The Secretary stated she would be happy to provide more information to Ms. Steinberg and the Chair indicated that he could continue the conversation with her at another time after the meeting.

7.    Adjournment.  The Chair announced that the next PPCC Special Zoom meeting will take place on June 30 for the Second Distribution and vote on Bylaws amendments.  He adjourned the meeting at 6:30pm.


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Special Meeting held via Zoom videoconference.

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Steve Cron, David Peterson, Steve Boyers, Rick Mills, Alan Goldsmith, Brenda Theveny, Cathi Ruddy, Barbara Marinacci, John Padden, Jan Ostendorf, Amy Baker, Fay Vahdani

Voting Alternates:  Andrew Wolfberg

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Melanie Bouer, Cathy Russell, Kevin Niles

1.   Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:31pm and Steve Boyers read the Mission Statement

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of February 27, 2020 were approved. The Chair described the upcoming Zoom meetings, authorized by the Executive Committee (depending on Bylaws amendments and the Executive Committee’s determination as to exigent circumstances) – July 9, 2020 and July 23, 2020 (Special Meeting).

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda Items 9.1 and 9.2 will be taken out of order, following Item 6.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.

The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $40,472.79.  The last significant transaction was the payment of $964.00 on March 5 for the renewal of our general liability insurance policy.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    Actions & positions taken by the Executive Committee from March – June, 2020 (period of time when Board was unable to meet due to the pandemic); see (Documents/ Motions & Positions – Subjects: Planning & Density, Marinette Rd. Project/Tree Removals, Homeless Shelter & Public Safety, Community Council Elections/Coronavirus, Budget/Public Safety).  The Chair explained that the Board will be asked to ratify these actions/positions at the July 9 Zoom Board meeting (if Bylaws amendments pass).

8.1.2.    Executive Committee authorization of officers’ nomination/election process & time frame (contingent on Board’s passing of Bylaws amendments).  The Chair explained that the Board will be asked to ratify the process & time frame authorized by the Executive Committee at the July 9 Zoom Board meeting. The process and time frame were set out in the agenda.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Housing density bills update. The Secretary briefly updated the Board on the status of recent housing bills, as detailed in her written update distributed with the agenda:

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Andrew Wolfberg (Area 8 1st Alternate) asked if anyone has been hired to replace Lisa Cahill as the CD11 Palisades Deputy and where should people go with their questions after Lisa’s departure.  The Chair stated that Lisa’s last day was June 30 and that her replacement hasn’t been named yet, but she had shared information about the staffers we should speak with to address any issues.  The Secretary noted that Lisa had mentioned Matt Tecle (assistant District Director) and a constituent advocate named Durrah; the Secretary will post their contact information on the PPCC website under Government Contacts.

8.3.2.    Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative) announced that she would be attending a Zoom conference with LAPD and LAFD representatives regarding unhealthy and dangerous activities that are taking place at the state park at the top of Lachman Lane.  She would like to see the road closed at that location. Excessive speeding often occurs on Lachman Lane and there have been a number of accidents in the afternoon and at night.  She is also asking for extra traffic control in the area.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at:

8.5.1.   LAPD Officer Brian Espin, West Division Community Relations (reporting for SLO Michael Moore).

Officer Espin introduced himself and explained that SLO Moore will be on vacation for the next 4-5 weeks.  Officer Espin’s email address is  He described crime stats for the last several weeks and noted that the biggest problem is robbery from vehicles.  Most of these crimes are conducted by opportunists who check car doors to see if they are locked and look in car windows to see if anything valuable is inside. He encouraged everyone to abide by the motto “Lock it, hide it, keep it.”  There were six burglaries in the last month.  Sometimes people use patio furniture to climb up to the 2nd floor of homes and enter through open windows or patio doors. He advised that everyone should make sure their windows are locked.  There are juveniles working in every neighborhood and looking to steal phones. He described a battery incident in the Via de las Olas bluffs neighborhood in which a person brandished a knife.  LAPD does not yet have an ID on the assailant.  A resident asked about an incident involving a gunshot that also took place on the Via de las Olas bluffs.  Officer Espin did not have information about that incident.  He noted that to deter crime in our neighborhoods, everyone should look out for their neighbors.  He also reiterated that it is illegal to use fireworks. Residents should report crimes by calling 911 or 1-877-ASK-LAPD (273-5273).

8.5.2.    Janet Turner, District Supervisor, U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu.

Ms. Turner briefly described legislation that the Congressman supports, including his recently-introduced bill to levy penalties on individuals who defy congressional subpoenas.  She noted that the office is open for help with federal issues.  The office phones are working and calls are directed to staff members’ individual phones.  She also stated that Congressman Lieu is arranging to hold a couple of town halls involving small business and criminal justice.

8.5.3.    Zachary Gaidzik, West-Metro LA Field Deputy, LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (see Item 11.1 below).

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors – None.

9.     Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Bylaws Committee (Richard G. Cohen, Chair; David Kaplan, Chris Spitz & Andrew Wolfberg).  Second Distribution of Proposed PPCC Bylaws Amendments, recommended by the Bylaws Committee (“Amendments”). Motion by the Bylaws Committee for Board adoption of Amendments; vote on Motion.  See the following documents distributed concurrently with this meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website:

1)  Committee Report:

2)  Amendments “Redline”:

3)  Amendments “Clean”: 

The Committee Chair briefly described the proposed amendments and moved on behalf of the Committee for the Board to adopt the amendments. No second was needed as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member.  The PPCC Chair called for discussion but there were no questions and no discussion ensued.  The vote was then called.  Result:  unanimous in favor of the motion and adoption of the amendments.   

9.2.    Nominating Committee (Sue Kohl, Chair; Steve Cron & Cathi Ruddy).  Announcement of Committee’s nomination of PPCC officer candidates for the 2020-2021 term. Following the announcement:  Board member nominations of officer candidates will be open until 15 minutes before the close of the July 9 Board meeting.  Bylaws Art. VII.2.

The Committee Chair announced the nominees as follows:  David Card, Chair; David Kaplan, Vice-Chair; Richard Cohen, Treasurer; Chris Spitz, Secretary.  She explained that all the current officers have indicated that they are willing to continue to serve in these positions, and the Committee members are pleased to make these nominations. The PPCC Chair then announced that Board member nominations for officer positions are now open and will be received until 15 minutes before the scheduled close of the next Board meeting on July 9 (pending Board ratification of the election process and time line).

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business. 

11.1.   Zachary Gaidzik, West-Metro LA Field Deputy, LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.  Updates on status of the County’s coronavirus response and the November election voting process. Q&A.  Discussion only.

Regarding the pandemic:  Mr. Gaidzik explained that there have been significant increases in positive cases since the re-opening of the economy.  After reading the statistics on the increasing cases and hospitalizations he advised that it would be prudent for everyone to slow down.  There has been an increase in testing capacity.  The County has tested over one million people and the positivity rate is 9 (an increase over the past few weeks).

He advised that at this point it is best to get tested from an individual doctor or health care provider rather than waiting to be tested at the free testing sites.  He came down with a Covid-19 infection early on and he knows the importance of testing.   If you are unable to obtain a test through a private doctor, you are still eligible for free testing if you have symptoms, or are over 65, or have underlying conditions, or if you are an essential worker or live in in a congregate setting.

Mr. Gaidzik also explained:  We are still in the midst of the pandemic.  The best protection is to wash hands, self-isolate if you are sick, wear a clean face covering, practice social distancing, and avoid touching your face.  If you might be interacting with anyone outside of your own household you should wear a face covering, which helps to suspend droplets and prevent infection of others.

Yesterday the County issued a new order to close all beaches for the July 4th weekend. We need to prevent crowded conditions that could result in further spread of the virus. Fireworks displays are also prohibited.

Regarding homelessness:  LAHSA has sheltered many people, including with the Project Room Key program, and they want to shelter many more.  Mr. Gaidzik summarized efforts to provide both temporary and permanent supportive housing, and noted that other alternatives or solutions are being considered.

The Supervisors have adopted a countywide cultural policy.  There have been various initiatives.  Supervisor Kuehl supports a motion to provide for a plan to purchase and distribute 3M facemasks to those in need.

The County Supervisors have begun the process of budget deliberation.  They are looking at substantial cuts, with an 8% decrease in all departments across the County.

Regarding voting: The Supervisors have now mandated that every person who is registered to vote will receive a vote-by-mail ballot. In terms of the voting center locations: the number of people who need to utilize these centers has decreased.  One of the big problems in the last election was that when voters first wanted to enter a center in order to vote, there was difficulty connecting to a server at the outset in order for staffers to verify voter information. The Supervisors are looking into the technology and the reasons why there was such a bottleneck. Supervisor Kuehl has also brought a motion mandating an investigation into how polling places are conducted in terms of safety. The key during the next election is that everyone will have a vote-by-mail ballot.  The County will encourage all eligible individuals to register to vote early, in order to receive a vote-by-mail ballot before the election.

Steve Boyers (Area 7 Representative) noted that during the last election poor directions were given as to how to help voters and very little assistance was provided.  Mr. Gaidzik replied that he has heard that same report form many others and they want to make sure that these problems don’t happen again. In the November election voters will be able to go straight to the front of line and drop mail-in ballots in the box at any voting center.  The voting center in the Palisades will most likely be at the Palisades Recreation Center but he can’t officially confirm this at this time.

Supervisor Kuehl’s staff are telecommuting and constituents should feel free to send email messages to the staff with questions or concerns. 

12.    Adjournment.   The Chair adjourned the meeting at 6:40pm.


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MINUTES FROM JULY 9th 20th 2020

Meeting held via Zoom videoconference.

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Steve Cron, David Peterson, Rick Mills, Alan Goldsmith, Brenda Theveny, Barbara Marinacci, John Padden, Fay Vahdani, Rick McGeagh, Dick Wulliger

Voting Alternates:  Kevin Niles, Robin Meyers, Cathy Russell

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Rob Weber, Melanie Bouer

1.    Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:30pm.  Robin Meyers read the Mission Statement

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of June 25 and June 30, 2020 were approved. The Chair described the upcoming meetings, authorized by the Executive Committee (depending on the Board’s ratification of the nomination/election process and timeline) – July 23, 2020 (Special Meeting: officer candidates’ forum, if required, & officers’ election; announcement of incumbent elected Representatives running for re-election); August 13, 2020 (Board meeting: announcement of candidates running for Area & At-large Representatives’ election); and August 27, 2020 (Special Meeting: candidates’ forum, if required due to contested elections).  Councilmember Mike Bonin and LAPD Capt. Jonathan Tom are confirmed to attend, respectively, the meetings of July 23 and August 13.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda Items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.

The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $39,910.07.  The only significant transactions in the last few weeks related to setting up the PPCC Zoom meetings. He announced that it’s time for the annual Treasurer’s Report as required by the Bylaws and noted that the full Report would be attached to the minutes [see Agenda Attachment below].  He summarized the following highlights of the Report:

  • It cost about $4,100 to run PPCC for the past year, of which $1,500 was the expense of liability and directors & officers insurance premiums, $1,000 was a gift to PAPA for last year’s parade and there was a $400 contribution to the Library for a new sound system.  Mailchimp, data and other digital related expense made up the bulk of the balance of expenses.
  • Offsetting the costs were profits from our downsized Gala of about $2,000 and other contributions, mostly also related to the holiday event.
  • We ended the year just about breaking even with a decrease of $461 in our bank balance. See Agenda Attachment (Treasurer’s Report) below.

The Treasurer also commented that the Covid-19 pandemic may prevent a holiday fundraising event this year which suggests that our policy of maintaining and safeguarding a healthy bank balance was a wise course of action.  He noted that we currently don’t know how long it will be before in-person fundraising events may resume and it is reassuring to know that we have several years of resources to fall back on.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Krishna Thangavelu (resident) expressed concern about ongoing illegal fireworks usage on the bluff above the Tahitian Terrace mobile home park.  The Chair noted that fireworks have been illegally set off every night for weeks in our bluff areas and along the coast.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   Executive Committee determination of exigent circumstances/in-person meetings infeasible for at least two regular Board meetings (Bylaws, Art. IX.1.A).

The Execute Committee has found that exigent circumstances (as defined by the bylaws) continue to exist, requiring the meeting to be held virtually rather than in-person.

8.1.2.    Actions and positions taken by the Executive Committee from March – June, 2020 (period of time when Board was unable to meet due to the pandemic); Executive Committee request for Board ratification of the Executive Committee’s actions/positions.  See Agenda Attachment below.

The Board unanimously ratified all actions and positions taken by the Executive Committee from March – June, 2020.

8.1.3.    Officers’ and Area & At-large Representatives’ nomination/election process & time frame, authorized by the Executive Committee; Executive Committee request for Board ratification of the process & time frame.  See Agenda Attachment below.

The Board unanimously ratified the officers’ and Area & At-large Representatives’ nomination/election process & time frame, authorized by the Executive Committee.

8.1.4.    Board nominations of officer candidates – accepted until 15 minutes before scheduled close of meeting (6:15pm; Bylaws, Art. VII.2) (depending on Board ratification of process & time frame).

The Chair stated that Board nominations for officers’ positions would be accepted until 6:15pm. No nominations were made by the Board upon the Chair’s announcement of this item.  See also Item 12 below.

8.1.5.    Incumbent Area & At-large Representatives – deadline for written notification to Chair of intent to run for re-election: one hour before the scheduled start of the July 23rd Special Meeting; incumbents who do not timely submit written notification are deemed conclusively not to be running (depending on Board ratification of process & time frame). See Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 3.D.2.

The Chair reiterated and explained this requirement and the deadline.  The scheduled start of the July 23rd meeting will likely be 5:30pm, but will be officially noticed in the meeting agenda which will be distributed via Mailchimp to the PPCC email list and posted on the PPCC website at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

8.1.6.    Update on 17346 Sunset Blvd. (former JIB site project).  See 6/3/20 message to Planning:

The Chair noted that he had designated Joanna Spak (Area 1 Representative) to speak on behalf of PPCC at the 6/6/20 telephonic hearing of this project before a hearing officer for the City Planning Commission/CPC.  She explained that she participated in the hearing (one of 13 persons who testified) and reiterated PPCC’s position that we oppose the project at the proposed height and density in light of the minimal changes in the revised plans.  An additional hearing by the CPC will tentatively take place on August 13, with a written staff recommendation expected approximately ten days before the CPC hearing.  The file will remain open for further written comments until the next hearing.

8.1.7.    Appointment of “Community Plan Update” Committee (CPUC).

The Chair has appointed this new committee to get a head start on the Community Plan update process. The process is expected to begin next year, will take at least three years to complete and will eventually be led by the City. The CPUC will review the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan (CP) with an eye towards revisions that we would like to see eventually incorporated in the CP.  The CPUC will work with a companion committee being formed by Brentwood Community Council, will report back to the Board and will conduct community outreach.  The CPUC members are:  Richard Blumenberg (PPCC Civic League Representative, LUC member & architect); Patti Post (PPCC Transportation Advisor, LUC member & transportation planner); Howard Robinson (PPCC Area 3 2nd Alternate, LUC Chair & planning consultant); Joanna Spak (PPCC Area 1 Representative & LUC member); Chris Spitz (PPCC Secretary, LUC member & past PPCC Chair); Randy Young (Palisades historian, past PPCC Chair & participant in prior CP revision process); and David Card, PPCC Chair & landscape designer (ex officio/nonvoting).

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Further housing density bills update.

The Secretary explained that the legislature is now in recess but that all Senate bills that we oppose (as detailed in prior reports and positions) have been sent to the State Assembly and are assigned to the Committee on Local Government.  Our Assemblymember Richard Bloom is a member of that Committee.  We will continue to monitor and will likely communicate further with ASM Bloom about these bills.  The Chair emphasized that these bills apply statewide, that single-family zoning would effectively be eliminated, and that without an unconditional exemption for the fire zone, the greater density caused by these bills would strain our narrow streets and cause unsafe conditions during wildfire evacuations and other emergencies in the Palisades.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives – None.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at:

8.5.1.    LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan, West Bureau Commander.  See Item 11.1 below.

8.5.2.    Janet Turner, Field Supervisor, Congressman Ted Lieu.  Ms. Turner announced that the Congressman supports the “Moving Forward Act” (a massive plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure and support families) which recently passed in the House, as well as the action plan by House Democrats on the Select Committee on Climate Change to put the country on a path to reaching net zero carbon pollution by the year 2050.  She also advised that this is “Dog Bite Awareness Month” and the U.S. Postal Service wants everyone to know that it has a zero-tolerance policy regarding dog bites: If your dog gets out and bites a mail carrier, you will be permanently prohibited from receiving mail delivery at your home.

8.5.3.    Durrah Wagner, CD11 Constituent Advocate.  Ms. Wagner introduce herself and encouraged the community to contact her with questions and concerns. The Secretary noted that Ms. Wagner’s contact information is on the PPCC website under Resources/Government Contacts.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors – None.

9.    Reports from Committees – None.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business. 

11.1.    LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan, West Bureau Commander. 

The Chair welcomed Deputy Chief Hogan, who introduced himself and provided brief background information on his service with LAFD.  This is his 38th year with the Fire Department.  He is Commander of the West Bureau, which is responsible for a large area of Los Angeles encompassing many neighborhoods on the Westside, from Hollywood (where he is headquartered) to Westchester/LAX to the Palisades.   

Q&A then ensued, with the Chair first asking questions that had been submitted in advance by Board members:

Q:  What is the progress on brush clearance inspections and compliance in the Palisades?

A:  The Department conducts this process by fire station districts; in the Palisades these are Stations 69 and 23.  From a total parcel perspective, there are 5,606 single family dwellings in the Palisades; of that number, 5,319 passed inspections and 295 non-compliance notices were sent out.  He also provided compliance/non-compliance figures on public parcels in the Palisades.  Inspectors will conduct follow-up on those that didn’t pass inspections.  Because of COVID-19 everything has been pushed back. Visit the LAFD website brush clearance page (“Brush”) for updated information and timetables [].  LAFD is also working with Recreation and Parks and LADWP, at times using bulldozers for brush clearance in areas within their jurisdiction.

Q:  What is the impact of the new City budget cuts on the level of service in the Palisades, specifically the strength and operations of our two stations?

A:  We are fortunate as the budget relates to LAFD, because Stations 69 and 23 will be untouched and will still have the same levels of staffing and service.

Q:  Is there any possibility that we may still have a fire evacuation drill in the Palisades?  Can it be done in a virtual manner?

A:  The Department is looking at both.  He believes the drill would be more beneficial if done in-person, but he has a new staff member who can do simulations and they will see how that will go.  LAFD uses Google Meet for virtual meetings.  He would like to get together with the community and talk about brush and changing terminology; for example, evacuations are no longer called “Voluntary” or “Mandatory,” but instead are now described as either a “Warning” or an “Order.”  He explained the differences.  The reason for the changed terminology was to make the orders easier for residents to understand.  He may arrange for a virtual meeting for us in the near future.

Q/Comments: There is a wetland area within Recreation and Parks/RAP land at the top of Temescal Canyon Park, opposite the RAP maintenance gate, which was recently cut back significantly.  Cindy Kirven (PPCC Forestry Committee Chair) explained further:  This is a riparian zone which is home to frogs and has other ecological benefits.  The landscape company hired to do brush clearance didn’t cut back deadwood from trees but instead weed-whacked wetland plants and thus destroyed the ecology. The agencies need to do better management of fire preparedness, and to be mindful of ecological issues as well as fire protection.

A:  This was not an LAFD hire.  RAP made the hire from its fire prevention/brush clearance unit. It has been brought to LAFD’s attention.  The Department has reached out to RAP and will follow up to ensure that we are all better versed in the ecology and habitats when doing brush clearance.  It’s on the radar and has been discussed.

Additional questions/comments from audience and board members:

Cheryl Zomber (resident):  There are continuous problems on the fire road that connects Marquez Knolls and the Highlands, which she described in detail, including parties with BBQs and alcohol in that area, two car accidents near the top of Lachman Lane by partiers, and illegal fireworks.  She has been working with Councilmember Bonin’s office on traffic issues and needs help from LAFD.  The gate to the fire road is locked on the Marquez side but needs to be locked on the Highlands side.  Residents would like LAFD and LAPD to put up locks and chains on both sides of the road.

Chief Hogan:  Residents should speak with Station 23. He went to inspect this condition a few years ago. Some residents were concerned about how they would get out if the gate were locked.  The captains at Station 23 will let her know what the best method is for dealing with the gate. This is really an easement, not an actual fire road.  LAFD will do whatever is best using an abundance of caution.  He reiterated that he will leave this up to the local fire company as they will know best what to do about the gate.

Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative):  He participated in a walkaround of the area last fall.  He doesn’t know if there is uniformity of opinion on what should be done with the gate.  He recalls that LAFD wanted to be the agency to determine what should be open.  He’s not sure people in the Highlands agree with upper Lachman Lane residents on what to do.

Chief Hogan:  He doesn’t have a problem with locking the gate but he will revisit the issue and will discuss further with concerned residents offline.

Rick McGeagh (PPBA Representative):  He lives alongside Will Rogers State Historic Park.  There is an area on Sunset Blvd. between the State Park Road and the switchback along Sunset that isn’t cleared of brush.  There had been a dispute over which agency is responsible for brush clearance in this area: Park Rangers or LAFD?  He read from a statement received from the Park Rangers: There is now agreement that LAFD will clear the area.

Chief Hogan: LAFD is working with the “Alert Wildfire” project.  This is an initiative sponsored by universities that involves placing cameras in the wildland environment as a “pre-fire” measure.  LAFD is looking for help from the community as to where cameras should be located.  The goal is fire prevention, not surveillance of individuals.  Cameras should be in an elevated location.  CERT members will probably monitor.  Areas with poor cell service are ideal spots to locate cameras in order to help firefighters spot fire incidents early on.  Send ideas for camera locations to or to Dave Card.  PPCC will pass the ideas on to Chief Hogan.

Patrick Hart (resident):  He has questions about brush clearance related to homeless-set fires.  There was a fire in the lower bluffs last week and a fire in Castellammare this morning with homeless articles present.  Does LAFD investigate homeless fires?  Also, there is a homeless encampment in Marquez Canyon (the area to the east of the Highlands Starbucks, off of Sunset) where the property owner can’t be found.  What can LAFD do about brush clearance in that area?

Chief Hogan:  Go to “Brush” on  Scroll down to “reporting a homeless encampment.”  LAFD works with LAHSA and other agencies to identify locations. The Department can’t always investigate fires of any type of suspicion.  Sometimes if they get to the scene and it’s a small fire, they won’t necessarily call out the arson unit.  Usually they’ll document the fire if it’s in a homeless encampment.

Patrick Hart: Is there any plan to clear brush on the steep hillside below the Via bluffs?

Chief Hogan:  There’s always a plan; he doesn’t know the timetable but will make sure local inspectors are aware of the problem.

The Chair thanked Chief Hogan for speaking to the Board and community and answering our questions.

12.    Adjournment.   At 6:14pm the Chair called for nominations from Board members for officer positions.  There were no nominations and at 6:15pm the Chair announced that nominations were closed.  Discussion of agenda items continued until the meeting was adjourned at 6:40pm.


Item 6 – Annual Treasurer’s Report

PPCC Treasurer’s Report June 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020
Balance 6/1/2019 40,902
Balance 5/31/2020 40,441
Decrease in Funds -461
Regular Contributions (many Gala related) 1,572
Rent – Use of Library Room 108
Insurance 1,500
Mailchimp / Data / Misc 1,113
PAPA, LAFD, Library gifts 1,460
P.O. Box Rental 150
Other Expenses ($500 refund, small misc) -231
Total Operating Expenses 4,100
Operating Loss -2,528
Dinner & Tribute Revenue 8,295
Event Costs 6,228
Event Profit 2,067
Decrease in Funds -461
Total Decrease since June 1, 2019 -461

Item 8.1.2 — Actions and Positions taken by the Executive Committee

Budget/Public Safety:

Homeless Shelter/Public Health, Safety:

Housing Density Bills:

Marinette Rd. Project:

Resolution Suspending Elections: 

Item 8.1.3 – Officers’ and Area & At-large Representatives’ Nomination/Election Process & Time Frame, authorized by the Executive Committee

Officers’ Process & Time Frame:

June 30 – Special Board Meeting:  1) Nominating Committee announcement of officer nominations; 2) Board member nominations open and accepted until 15 mins. before close of July 9 Special Board Meeting (Bylaws, Art. VII.1-2)

July 9 – July Board Meeting:  Board member nominations of officers accepted until 15 mins. before close of meeting (Bylaws, Art. VII.2)

July 23 – Special Board Meeting: 1) Officer candidates forum held (if any contested seats); 2) election of officers for 2020-2021 term. If necessary due to contested offices, majority of EC will decide on alternate voting procedures (Bylaws, Art. VII.3-4 & IV.1.C)

Area & At-large Representatives’ Process & Time Frame:

On or before July 23 Special Board Meeting:  Chair to appoint the Election Committee for the election of Area & At-large Representatives for the 2020-2022 term; if the office of Chair is contested, the current Chair to coordinate with the opposing candidate/s in appointing Committee members (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 1.A)

One hour before scheduled start of July 23 Special Board Meeting:  Deadline for incumbents to submit written notification to Chair of intention to run for re-election for the 2020-2022 term (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 3.D.2)

July 23 – Special Board Meeting:  1) Announcement of Chair’s appointment of the Election Committee; 2) Announcement of incumbents running for re-election for the 2020-2022 term (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 3.D.2)

On or before July 30:  Nominating Committee to distribute Notice of Election Nominations to the public (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 2.A)

One hour before scheduled start of August 13 Board Meeting:  Deadline for candidates, including incumbents, to submit Candidate Statements to the Chair (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 3.D.1)

August 13 – August Board Meeting: Chair announces names of candidates running for Area and At-large Representative positions; if necessary due to a candidate’s name being erroneously omitted from the announced list, majority of EC will decide on an alternate procedure for the candidate to submit required documents (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 3.D.1)

Upon adjournment of August 13 Board Meeting:  Campaigning may commence (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 3.H.1)

August 27 – Special Board Meeting:  Candidates forum held (if any contested offices) (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 6)

September 4 (8 days after the Aug. 27 Board Meeting):  Election ballot link published on PPCC website and voting commences (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 4.B.2)

September 18 (2 weeks after voting commences) – Deadline for submission of ballots (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 5.C)

Between September 18-24:  Election Committee to count ballots and determine winners; if necessary, majority of Committee will decide on an alternate virtual procedure to count ballots and/or for coin toss, if required in case of a tie (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 7.A-C)

September 24 – Board Meeting:  Deadline for Election Committee to announce names of winners and vote count, first to candidates and then to the public (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 7.D)

Ten days after public release of election results:  Deadline for any challenge to election results (Attachment A to Bylaws, Sec. 7.F)

October 1:  Term of office for newly-elected Area & At-large Representatives begins (Bylaws, Art. VIII.2.B, Art. XI); if any election challenge is made pursuant to Sec. 7.F of Attachment A and is not resolved before October 1, the current Representative of the challenged seat shall remain in office until the challenge is resolved.


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Special Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Steve Boyers, Alan Goldsmith, Brenda Theveny, Barbara Marinacci, Dick Wulliger, Amy Baker, Reza Akef,*  Haldis Toppel,*  Rick Mills*  (*arrived late)

Voting Alternates:  Janet Anderson, Kevin Niles

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Mary Mueller, Cathy Russell, Quentin Fleming

1.    Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:32pm.  Barbara Kohn read the Mission Statement.

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.     Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum.  The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of July 9, 2020 were approved as corrected. The Chair described the upcoming meetings – August 13, 2020 (Board meeting): topics: (1) announcement of candidates running for Area & At-large Representatives’ election; (2) guest speaker Capt. Jonathan Tom, Commanding Officer, LAPD West Division; and August 27, 2020 (tentative Special Meeting): topic: candidates’ forum for candidates running in the Area & At-large Representatives’ election, if required due to contested elections.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $39,370.09.  There were no significant transactions since the last report.

7.     General Public Comment.

7.1.    Gordon Gerson (resident) asked how to become a candidate for a PPCC elected Representative position.  David Kaplan (Vice-Chair & Election Committee Chair) provided his Committee report in response.  See item 9.1 below.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    Executive Committee determination of exigent circumstances/in-person meetings infeasible for at least two regular Board meetings (Bylaws, Art. IX.1.A).  The Executive Committee has found that exigent circumstances (as defined by the Bylaws) continue to exist, requiring the meeting to be held virtually rather than in-person.  The Committee has also unanimously found that in-person Board meetings will be infeasible due to exigent circumstances at least until September 30; all PPCC meetings through September 30 will therefore be held via Zoom videoconference.

8.1.2.    Announcement of incumbent Area & At-large Representatives running for re-election.  The Chair announced that the following incumbents have given timely written notice that they are running for re-election:  Area 1: Norma Spak; Area 2: Steve Cron; Area 3: Haldis Toppel; Area 4: Rick Mills; Area 5: Sue Kohl; Area 8: Reza Akef; At-Large: Alan Goldsmith.  Not running for re-election:  David Peterson (Area 6) and Steve Boyers (Area 7).  The Chair thanked them for their service to PPCC.

8.1.3.    Appointment of Election Committee, Area & At-large Representatives’ election, 2020.  The Chair announced that pursuant to the Bylaws, he has appointed the following members of the Election Committee to oversee the upcoming election of Area and At-large Representatives: David Kaplan, Committee Chair; Richard G. Cohen, Nancy Niles (PP Woman’s Club President), John Padden and Chris Spitz.  The Chair will serve in his ex officio capacity (non-voting) and Heather Cohen will serve as the Committee’s technical advisor (non-voting).

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  The Secretary advised that if anyone is interested, her Letter to the Editor published today in the Palisadian-Post contains an update on some of the housing bills that we have been monitoring.  Contact her with any questions.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives – None.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at:

8.5.1.    Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, CD 11 – See item 11.1 below.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.  Zennon Ulyate-Crow (Youth Advisor) reported that this fall, Palisades High students will be going into virtual learning due to the pandemic.  Amy Baker (Palisades Elementary/Education Representative) explained that school sports have been pushed to start in December; each sport’s season will be shortened.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Election Committee (David Kaplan, Chair).  Update on 2020 Area & At-large Representatives’ election:  Notice of Election Nominations (instructions on how to become a candidate) to be publicly distributed 7/24.   The Committee Chair reported that the Notice of Election Nominations, required by PPCC’s Bylaws, will be publicly distributed tomorrow, July 24  [].  The Notice provides information about eligibility and submission requirements for persons interested in becoming candidates for Area or At-large Representative. All candidates, including incumbents, must submit Candidate Statements no later than one hour before the scheduled start of the next PPCC meeting on August 13, 2020. All seats are open, whether or not the incumbent is running, and the Committee urges all eligible and interested Palisadians to apply to become candidates by submitting their Candidate Statements by the deadline.  Who is eligible?  All candidates must be at least 18 years old by the time voting commences in early September. Candidates for Area Rep must be residents of the area they seek to represent.  Candidates for At-large Rep must either live, own real property or operate a business in Pacific Palisades. The candidates will be announced at the August 13th meeting and may begin campaigning after the meeting.  Stay tuned for more information about the election in the coming weeks.  Anyone with questions should contact Committee Chair David Kaplan at

9.3.    Community Plan Update Committee (CPUC) (David Card, Chair).  Update on Committee and addition of new members.  The Chair announced that he has appointed two additional members of the CPUC, representing younger Palisadians with school-age children:  1) Amy Baker (Palisades Elementary /Education Representative, past member of the school’s Governing Board and parent of a child who attended Palisades Elementary and will be attending Paul Revere in the fall); and 2) Christin Cho (resident, litigation attorney and parent of young children, including a one-year-old and two children who attend Marquez Elementary).  The CPUC members will also be meeting tomorrow, July 24, via Zoom with our companion Brentwood committee members for introductions and initial discussions about the scope of the committees’ work going forward.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business. 

11.1.    Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, CD11. Presentation & Q&A.

The Chair welcomed Councilmember Bonin, who made brief opening remarks. He acknowledged the moment of uncertainty we are experiencing and spoke of the demands of the pandemic as well as the fact that we are undergoing an unprecedented period of reckoning over racism.  He can’t speak with certainty about the budget.  Revenues will not materialize and we’ll have to make additional cuts throughout the year as events transpire.  He can’t say whether there will be additional closures or when schools will open.  Regarding policing: he can’t tell us specifics of what the Department will look like because of the uncertain conditions.  However, he explained that with uncertainty comes the opportunity to create something new and better.  He praised the many people who are aiding others during the pandemic and who want to create something better.

The Chair then asked Councilmember Bonin several questions that had been submitted by Board members:

Q:  What do you say to people who declare that they shouldn’t have to wear a face covering or socially distance?  How do you promote safe habits among people?

A:  The Councilmember appeals to science and common sense.  Science has become politicized.  He wants to encourage people to wear masks as an act of courtesy to others to help them stay healthy and alive.  This is the same as covering your mouth when you cough.  People can be asymptomatic and spread the disease without knowing it.  He suggests that people think about their situation in terms of others who may be infected if masks are not worn, such as their grandmother or essential workers who provide them with services.

Q:   How is the police budget going to affect our existing level of service in the Palisades?  We want to keep our dedicated police patrol car, our beach patrol, our Senior Lead Officer and our fire resources.  Can we keep those?

A:   The Councilmember is pretty confident that we’ll be able to keep our fire and police resources. LAPD Chief Moore has publicly stated that he wants to try and increase neighborhood patrols; as a result, programs that center cops in the community will be expanding. He wants to concentrate on community outreach while trimming other specialized units, such as LA Metro. Councilmember Bonin has been pushing this rationale for the past five years:  less focus on specialized units and more on community patrols.   He also explained the budget process.  The initial budget called for more civilian furloughs, which would have resulted in cuts and decreased neighborhood patrols.   He proposed deferring raises but other Councilmembers did not favor this.  As a result, the only thing they can do is to make cuts in the budget.  The LAPD cut is smaller than in most other departments.  The City Council has discretion over 54% of the budget.  They are trying to figure out different, better and more cost-effective ways to police.

Q:  How successful has the City been in finding shelter for the homeless during the crisis?  What is the status of the various ideas for shelters?

A:  Councilmember Bonin feels strongly about homelessness.  He does not feel the way the City has been handling the issue is appropriate.  He has been pushing other ideas for a number of years.  A couple of his ideas – shared housing, master leasing and hotels – are now being proposed and/or adopted by LAHSA.  He feels that the problem can’t effectively be addressed with only one strategy at a time since there are many types of homelessness that require different solutions.  The Councilmember is not happy with Project Room Key; he doesn’t think it was ambitious or successful enough.  Under Judge Carter (who is overseeing the recent federal litigation about homelessness in Los Angeles), there’s an opportunity to ramp up the efforts.  The Judge is forcing the City & County to work together to come up with solutions.  Judge Carter is in favor of establishing safe campgrounds, using tiny homes or tents, with services being provided at each encampment.  Councilmember Bonin will help with encampments if implemented, but he is worried that the City will rely only on this and not on other solutions.  Campgrounds are temporary solutions during emergencies.  We need longer term solutions to save people from chronic homelessness; the campgrounds must be part of a broader menu.

Additional questioning and comments from the audience then ensued:

Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative):  What can be done about people not wearing masks?

A:  The Councilmember agrees this is a problem; however, the enforcement mechanism is up to the Mayor. No one really wants to ask LAPD to monitor mask usage.  This would not be a good use of police resources.  The City Council may consider whether we want to employ code enforcement officers.

Joanna Spak (Area 1 Representative):  Other cities have implemented fines for not wearing masks; is the City considering that option?

A:  The City will probably be reconsidering it.  However, there is sentiment in the City against imposing fines due to the economic situation.  An officer would have to offer a mask before citing a person for not wearing one.

Patrick Hart (resident):  More homeless individuals are coming to the Palisades’ bluff and beach areas due to free bus rides during the pandemic; the new arrivals refuse to engage with outreach workers and the LAPD beach patrol thus must manage the homeless situation; could the City buy the former Jack-in-the Box from the current owner and turn it into a police substation to make more hours available for community policing and provide more help for citizens?

A:  Metro, not the City, makes decisions about bus-riding and fares, but the Councilmember will look more into the situation. He and LAPD believe that social or mental health workers are generally better able than police officers to manage homeless issues. Police aren’t trained as are social workers to do this work. There must be a balance and right now we are not providing enough social workers to help with the homeless situation.  As to the substation:  there is almost zero chance that the City will use public funds or eminent domain to acquire private property for this type of use.  If public funds are used it will be to buy hotels/motels and other forms of housing.

Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative):  How can Councilmember Bonin support the large Highlands eldercare project in a high fire risk area while also speaking out against putting more housing in high fire risk areas?

A:  The Councilmember generally doesn’t favor putting additional housing in high fire risk areas.  However, we also need more places for seniors to be housed closer to relatives in the community. There are competing needs and he doesn’t make decisions like this lightly.  Taking care of seniors is a strong public policy objective of his.  We don’t have a plethora of proposals and we need places to take care of seniors.

Harris Leven (resident):  Could the Councilmember promote downsizing of the eldercare facility to ameliorate some of the problems, due to his close relationship with the developer?

A:  The City has already approved the project.  Councilmember Bonin is not interested in revisiting the matter.  He does not have a close relationship with the developer, whom he has only met three or four times at Chamber events. He has never taken any money from the developer.  Mr. Leven disputed this and claimed that Mr. Bonin had received money from the developer’s lobbyists.

Alan Goldsmith (At-large Representative): What can the Councilmember tell us about protecting the community from possible harm caused by the flood of criminals who are being released from County jails due to the pandemic?

A:  Councilmember Bonin has been trying to get answers himself.  He has been unable to get information on how things are going and there has been no information flow to the City.  He will follow up on possible sources for information.

Robert Flick (resident):  How does the Councilmember feel about construction of a large concrete retaining wall facing Santa Inez Park in connection with the eldercare project?

A:  The Councilmember hasn’t heard about this and will ask his staff to look into it.

Edith Kinloch (resident):  Is the Councilmember aware that there appear to have been violations since construction started on the site of the eldercare project?

A:  In cases where there have been shoddy construction practices at other projects, his office has sometimes sent inspectors out to monitor.  The inspectors need to know specifics of when the practices are occurring so that they can come out at the right time to observe what is going on before taking action. Please let his office know if there are specific times when possible violations occur so that his staff can try to get inspectors out at the right time of day.

Joann Barry (resident):  If the eldercare project developer decides in the future, based on economics, to repurpose the facility for some other use, would the Councilmember commit to precluding other uses for the facility?

A: It would be an entirely different ball game if the developer wanted to do something else with the facility. Councilmember Bonin would not support other uses. His support was dependent on the project being an eldercare facility.

Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative):  What can be done about enforcement of the problem during the pandemic of people (generally kids) gathering outdoors in our scenic areas, sometimes to take part in activities on our bluffs, in parks or in other areas that may be dangerous, inappropriate and/or illegal?

A:  The Councilmember is familiar with these problems and his staff is working on the matter.  LAPD may be doing some extra patrols in the area. They are also working on coming up with additional enforcement steps, including new parking restrictions and additional signage to enable LAPD enforcement.  The City doesn’t have the ability to weigh in on problems in the state parks. Part of the problem for enforcement is the confusing maze of parks and jurisdictions in the Palisades (i.e., state, county and city). There are inconsistent standards for parks and parking.  He is trying to encourage other opportunities for people to get outdoors.  Nine or ten restaurants in the Palisades are operating under the new Al Fresco dining program.  There is also the Slow Traffic program administered by LADOT. The Councilmember is trying to push for ways for fitness classes to be held outdoors since people are eager to be fit.

Zennon Ulyate-Crow (Youth Advisor): The Youth Advisor called the Councilmember’s attention to certain anonymous Instagram postings alleging disturbing, abusive and discriminatory incidents by high school students.

A:  Councilmember Bonin asked the Youth Advisor to provide him with more information and he will in turn share this with LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin.

The Chair thanked Councilmember Bonin for speaking with us for almost an hour and frankly addressing the community’s concerns.

11.2.   Election of PPCC officers, 2020-2021 Term (all offices uncontested).  Candidates:  Chair – David Card; Vice-Chair – David Kaplan; Treasurer – Richard G. Cohen; Secretary – Chris Spitz.  Election Procedure: The election may be by Board acclamation or, in lieu of acclamation, the Board will vote by roll-call (voice) vote (alternative procedure to secret ballot, authorized by the Executive Committee due to exigent circumstances/in-person meeting infeasible).  Bylaws, Art. VII.4.A; Art. IX.1.C.   Sue Kohl (Area 5 Representative) moved to elect the nominated officers by acclamation. Second: Steve Boyers (Area 7 Representative).  The Chair asked if there were any objections to the motion or if any Board members wished to have discussion.  There were no objections and no one asked for discussion.  He asked for a voice vote and all members stated “Aye” in unison; the Chair therefore announced that the officers were unanimously elected.

12.   Adjournment.   The meeting was adjourned at 6:55pm.


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Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Steve Boyers, Alan Goldsmith, Brenda Theveny, Barbara Marinacci, Dick Wulliger, Rick McGeagh, Reza Akef, Haldis Toppel, Cathi Ruddy, David Peterson* (*arrived late)

Voting Alternates:  Kevin Niles,* Richard Blumenberg, Peter Powell, Marilyn Wexler* [*non-voting]

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Mary Mueller, Melanie Bouer, Jason Sklar,  [* Kevin Niles, Marilyn Wexler]

1.    Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:30pm.  Richard G. Cohen read the Mission Statement.

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of July 23, 2020 were approved. The Chair described the upcoming meetings –August 27, 2020 (Special Meeting): topic: candidates’ forum for candidates running in the Area & At-large Representatives’ election (contested seats); September 10, 2020 (tentative Board Meeting; possible cancellation due to additional special meetings held during June – August; to be determined at the August 27th Meeting); September 24, 2020 (Board Meeting): announcement of election results, Area & At-large Representatives election.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair. The Chair announced that because the owner of the property located at 15539  W. Via De La Paz was unable to attend the meeting on August 13, the matter involving possible Board action regarding replacement of dead trees in the public parkway at that property (see Item 9.3 below) will be postponed to a later date (to be announced).

6.    Treasurer’s Report.

The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $39,273.84.  There were no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Shayna Samuels (resident) announced that a new Palisades organization, Resilient Palisades, is launching its first online meeting at 7:30pm following the PPCC meeting tonight, August 13.  State Senator Ben Allen is the guest speaker. For more information visit the Resilient Palisades website:

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    Announcement of Candidates running in the election for Area & At-large Representatives; alternative procedure if name of candidate is erroneously left off the list (by Executive Committee decision; ref. Bylaws Attachment A, Sec. 3.D.I).  The Chair announced the candidates running for Area and At-large Representative seats in 2020.  See Attachment 8.1.1 (b) below for the names of all candidates.  No candidate’s name was read for Area 8 since no application had been received.  Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative) asked that his application be accepted late as he stated that he had not been able to email the required Candidate Statement on time due to traffic.  Chris Spitz (Secretary) read aloud the alternative procedure if the name of a candidate is erroneously left off the list (see Attachment 8.1.1 (a) below). She noted that the rules require that the application be timely submitted, which in this case was no later than 4:30pm this evening; Mr. Akef’s application was not received by 4:30pm and thus was not timely. The Secretary also noted that Mr. Akef will remain the Area 8 Representative until the end of the term (September 30).  The Chair explained that PPCC’s Bylaws provide for a process for residents to apply to become Alternate Area representatives; the Area 8 seat can be filled via that process, which begins after the election of primary Area Representatives concludes.  Mr. Akef may apply at that time along with other eligible and interested residents of Area 8.

8.1.2.    Appointment of Committees & Advisors, 2020-2021 term. See: Leadership tab.  The Chair announced the appointment of Committees, Advisors and Liaisons, pursuant to PPCC’s bylaws, as set forth in the 2020 Committees List:  He noted that since Cathi Ruddy (PP Woman’s Club), who had served as our Emergency Preparedness Officer / Liaison with the City’s Emergency Management Dept., has moved out of state, he has appointed K.C. Soll (Palisades resident and C.E.R.T. coordinator) as our Emergency Preparedness Officer / Liaison with the City’s Emergency Management Dept. He thanked Ms. Ruddy and Ms. Soll for their service.

8.1.3.    Board approval of Legal & Youth Advisors. (A) Legal Advisor:  The Chair announced that he wished to re-appoint Rob Weber as PPCC’s Legal Advisor. He requested Board approval as required by PPCC’s Bylaws; the Board unanimously approved this appointment.  (B) Youth Advisors:  The Chair announced that he wished to re-appoint Zennon Ulyate-Crow, a Palisades High student, as a Youth Advisor, and to appoint Jack Coleman, a Harvard-Westlake student, as an additional Youth Advisor. He requested Board approval as required by PPCC’s Bylaws; the Board unanimously approved the appointments.

8.1.4.    Message from LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan re Alert Wildfire cameras. See:  The Chair summarized the message from Chief Hogan regarding placement of the Alert Wildfire cameras.  LAFD is looking at three possible locations for set-up cameras: San Vicente, Mandeville Water Tank & UCLA (Santa Monica Medical Center). Additional locations suggested by community members will also be considered.  The Chair thanked the many residents who had submitted suggestions for locations.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Update on state housing bills. See Letter to Assembly Committee:

The Secretary reported on several housing bills pending in the state legislature that PPCC has been following:  1) SB 474 (Stern):  bill that would prohibit all housing development in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ); Sen. Stern’s staff still doesn’t have an answer as to whether the bill would prevent homeowners from re-building homes after fires or otherwise, but they’ve advised us that the bill now won’t be taken up in this session or in this year. 2) SB 902 (Weiner): bill that would result in more density in our R1 zones and effectively eliminate single-family zoning; passed by a narrow majority vote this week in the Assembly Local Government Committee; Assemblymember Bloom voted Aye, but with Sen. Wiener’s promise to amend the bill before it next goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, to include an unconditional exemption for VHFHSZ parcels; we will monitor to see whether this occurs. 3) SB 1120 (Atkins): bill that would allow for subdivision of all residential lots and an increase in dwelling units on R1 lots, again resulting in elimination of single-family zoning; Assemblymember Bloom’s staff has been attempting to obtain Sen. Atkins’ agreement to amend the bill to protect fire zones more completely, but her staff has not responded; meanwhile the bill also passed by a narrow majority in the Local Government Committee, with Assemblymember Bloom abstaining.  He advises that he will continue to press for a bill amendment to provide for an unconditional exemption for the VHFHSZ. Assemblymember Bloom is also on the Appropriations Committee; that Committee is basically the last stop before the bills go to the Assembly floor for a vote before the end of the month.  We will continue to monitor.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives – None.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at:

8.5.1.    Capt. III Jonathan Tom, LAPD West Division Commanding Officer – See item 11.1 below.

8.5.2.    Stephen Du Prey, Supervisor, Urban Forestry Division/StreetsLA – See item 9.3 below.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors – None.

9.    Reports from Committees.

[Note: items misnumbered in agenda; no item 9.1]

9.2.    Election Committee (David Kaplan, Chair).  Update on 2020 Area & At-large Representatives’ election.  The Committee Chair thanked all the candidates and stated that the candidates have been advised that they may now begin campaigning consistent with our rules.  He also announced that there will be a candidates’ forum on August 27 and the Committee is meeting to determine details about the format, which will be announced shortly.  He further reported that the Committee members, in particular Treasurer Richard Cohen and our Technical Advisor Heather Cohen, are working on the ballot interface; voting will begin online on September 4, with information about the ballots and voting process to be distributed in the coming days. Anyone with questions should contact Committee Chair David Kaplan at

9.3.    Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC; Cindy Kirven, Chair).  Committee update; request for Board action regarding replacement of dead trees in the public parkway at 15539 W. Via De Las Olas [matter postponed to a date to be announced; see item 5 above].

The Committee Chair Cindy Kirven updated the Board on the PFC’s work.  The Committee members have been busy during the pandemic, meeting weekly via Zoom and creating a 175-tree data base of street and park trees in the Palisades.  The data base includes such information as root-heaving risk, water consumption requirements, canopy provided, branch strength, fire risk and susceptibility to allergies and disease.  PFC members are currently working on making recommendations to the PPCC Board for trees to be planted in the parkway for several blocks along Hartzell St. (the PFC’s initial “test street”). They are also obtaining additional information to be used for eventual community outreach regarding tree planting and maintenance.

Stephen Du Prey — a Supervisor with the City’s Urban Forestry Division/StreetsLA and an advisor to the PFC — was also present and provided information on Urban Forestry’s work. He explained that the Division manages street trees and park trees in Los Angeles.  They issue permits, provide advice to homeowners and seek to maintain healthy, mature trees.

Reza Akef asked whether Urban Forestry has pamphlets explaining how homeowners should take care of trees in the public right of way and whether they provide these pamphlets to homeowners.  Mr. Du Prey replied that yes, the Division has such a pamphlet which it makes available along with many brochures to homeowners.  Mr. Akef noted that he wasn’t able to find the pamphlet he was referring to on the Urban Forestry website.

10.   Old Business – None.

11.    New Business. 

11.1.    Guest Speaker:  Capt. III Jonathan Tom, LAPD West Division Commanding Officer. Presentation and Q&A. Discussion only.

The Chair introduced and welcomed Capt. Tom and invited him to give an introduction to the Board.  Capt. Tom thanked the Chair for the invitation and welcome.  He explained that he is currently the Commanding Office of LAPD’s West LA Division.  He is a Level III Captain with 24 years on the job, and has been serving as Commanding Officer for West LA since January 2020. He served for five years as Commanding Officer of other areas.  He started his career in West LA, with his probation year in 1998.  Capt. Tom is from a Chinese American family who have been in the U.S. since 1875.  His family runs a popular Chinese restaurant in downtown LA.  He went to USC and University High and has many friends who still live here. He is happy to be back in the community.  The West LA community is very demanding but supportive of the police overall.  Capt. Tom stated that the police are here to serve community and that the community deserves answers.  He will give his best effort to answer our questions.

Regarding recent crime on the Westside:  Capt. Tom took some time off this summer and when he returned to work, the next day (August 4th) there was a homicide.  West LA has had three homicides this year, including one that occurred earlier in the year, the one on August 4th and a third homicide that took place on Butler Ave. on August 9th.  He described the unfortunate circumstances of that homicide.  Homicides are up 200% in West Division YTD.  There have been 27 homicides YTD in the entire West area (including Pacific and other Divisions).  The police are also struggling with many grand theft auto incidents.  He wants to get the word out:  at least ½ of cars are stolen with key fobs left in or near car. Generally, the victims won’t admit they left keys in car.  In 70% of cases of cars stolen last week, the owners admitted that the keys were left in car.  There is a trend of cars being stolen. Fewer people are driving; as a result, more cars are parked on streets and in driveways, suspects are able to go around checking car doors and they are having more success.  The suspects push the starter button and the car starts (if the key is in car) and they drive away.  Typically, they are now stealing cars for use as transportation rather than to obtain parts.

Regarding the issue of large house parties:  LAPD is not responsible for turning off water & power to these houses.  Capt. Tom explained that the police will respond to calls about parties.  Their preference is to give a warning if it’s a family party.  If it’s a short-term rental party and is loud and unruly, officers will issue an administrative citation with a fine of $250.  The amount doubles every time the police are called out, up to a maximum of $8,000.  The amount then remains the same and the fine is $8,000 each time LAPD is called.  This circumstance has been rare.  LAPD has deployed extra units on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to respond to loud parties and large gatherings.  The officers in these units have training on how to write citations and do required postings on the property.  Response times will therefore be much shorter since this is the units’ special assignment.  LAPD needs to prioritize calls.  Capt. Tom then reiterated the process per the Mayor’s order Safe LA order:  LAPD responds to a call for service, issues either a warning or a citation, posts a sign if cited, then if the party continues will come back and issue another citation and post a sign for violation of the Safe LA order.  The Mayor’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety receives email notice about the incident and the Deputy Mayor decides along with the City Attorney whether to shut off power to the house; this is usually done for repeat offenders and “party houses.”

Regarding defunding the police and the $150,000,000 LAPD budget cut:  Capt. Tom appreciates that the Palisades community wants to know what this will mean for us. Many people have asked whether we will lose our Senior Lead Officer and our beach patrol unit.  He does not know the answer for sure as he hasn’t received direction yet on resource allocation.  However, he believes we will not lose our SLO who is part of the community policing effort.  He also stated that he will fight very strongly to keep the beach patrol unit.  He explained the reason why we have the unit after Venice had one for many years.  Our beach and bluffs areas are unique and policing in these areas requires special skills, including the ability to drive sand vehicles.  He doesn’t think we will lose the unit but if we are depleted of resources our primary delivery mechanism would be patrol.  If there were insufficient police personnel to respond due to budget cuts, we could lose the beach patrol.  It is estimated that up to 250 police personnel and 100 civilian personnel in LAPD will be lost with the budget cuts.  He has no direction as to how this will impact West LA or Pacific Palisades specifically. There is a booster organization that will accept donations on behalf of the community for the West Division.  The chair of that organization is Matt Rodman of the Palisades.

Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative) asked Capt. Tom to relate an incident he had described in a recent podcast about his experience as a young Asian man being stopped by police and the impression it left on him.

Capt. Tom related the experience, in which as a young USC student he was pulled over by Anaheim police while driving to Disneyland with other Asian American students in his mother’s car.  The car had previously been stolen and returned but not yet recorded as returned.  When the police did a plate check they learned only that the car was stolen. Capt. Tom and his friends were handcuffed and placed in squad cards. Due to his training and the culture in which he was raised, Capt. Tom politely followed directions and initially felt the incident would be resolved and that he and his friends had nothing to fear.  However, during the incident the police (both the officer who pulled them over and a cadet who was also present) swore at him, did not listen and would not allow him to speak when he attempted to explain that this was his mother’s car and it had been recovered after being previously stolen.  He was shocked at the way he and his friends were treated.  The incident informed his opinion about how policing can go wrong and how police should be treating the community.  He and his friends were in Anaheim, where there were a lot of Asian gangsters, and the police thought they were gangsters.  He realized there was a certain culture in that organization; this allowed him to understand how this kind of behavior can occur.  He feels it’s incumbent on him to change the culture.  The culture at LAPD is now very good, as they have come a long way since the time he joined the police after this incident occurred.  The police have become more compassionate and have a better understanding of how to treat the community.  Capt. Tom feels they have a responsibility to be sure that they have a culture in which the kind of demeanor displayed during the incident he experienced as a student isn’t acceptable within the Department.  There must be conversations to talk about how these bad interactions can impact perceptions of the police.

Dick Wulliger (PP Historical Society) asked Capt. Tom what he thinks about recent proposals calling for civilian agencies rather than police to handle certain incidents.

Capt. Tom:  The job of police has become very diverse.  That’s because people know that they work 24/7 and will try to solve whatever the problem is.  Part of the job has now required them to engage in problem-solving such as marriage counseling, business dispute mediation, homeless problems resolution and the like. In general, there are some situations which can be handled by non-police officers or civilian agencies.  But not all civilian agencies will be staffed at night or 24/7 as police are.  There are times when it’s better for other agencies to respond. As an example, the police don’t want to be responding to party homes.  But in practicality civilian staff won’t be around all the time that they are needed.  As to unarmed officers or civilians handling traffic stops:  Capt. Tom thinks that’s a bad idea, since these are some of the most dangerous stops a police officer can make.  Many dangerous people drive with guns or other weapons in their cars.  Unarmed civilians doing traffic stops are put at risk as a result.  Domestic violence situations are also potentially extremely volatile. Many times, there is physical violence in these situations.  If a civilian staffer shows up who doesn’t have the ability to arrest a violent person or protect themselves, that is a concern.  But there are certain types of calls that can be handled by City workers other than police.  Application of these proposals will be complicated.

Alan Goldsmith (At-large Representative) asked whether police will respond to complaints about neighbors partying without masks.

Capt. Tom:  Yes, if you call and report that 20 people are there without masks, LAPD will respond to provide advice and guidance and seek voluntary compliance.  They don’t want to be citing people for not wearing masks as the City has not yet asked the police to do that.

The Chair asked what Capt. Tom recommends that we say to people who aren’t wearing masks or obeying guidelines.

Capt. Tom:  These are complicated questions. Many times, it is not what you say but how you say it.  The timing and manner of how this is said is important.  Shaming people in front of others isn’t helpful.  This has resulted in assaults and batteries.  He advises to avoid letting the situation escalate.  People who are not wearing masks have the same information that everyone else has.

David Peterson (Area 6 Representative) wants Capt. Tom to know that the Palisades community supports and values our police.  The community is not unanimously in support of the defund police movement.

Capt. Tom expressed thanks for these comments.  The call for defunding and the language used has been a morale killer for the police.  He has basically been called on to become a cheerleader for his officers during this time.  He tells them not to get distracted from their mission of service and the reasons why they became police officers.  Even people who are yelling about defunding still need the police.  In his opinion cutting the budget doesn’t help the situation; more training would be beneficial. Capt. Tom will relay to his officers that Pacific Palisades appreciates them.

Matt Quiat (resident):  What does he believe the Dept. needs to improve and become better?

Capt. Tom:  LAPD used to do a lot more training; there is less training now.  He’d like to see more training and more exposure by the police to more people.  The more differences we see, we can then know and appreciate that we are all alike, with the same goals.  As an example, he described his own experience responding to a protest at the Azerbaijani Embassy in which he learned about issues involving a culture that he was previously unaware of and as a result was better able to understand and appreciate the people and situation involved. We need more exposure so that we can understand other peoples’ experiences and perspectives.

Sharon Kilbride (PPCC Homelessness Advisor):  Capt. Tom has been amazing since he’s come on duty as Commanding Officer.  Without his help the Homeless Task Force would not be as successful in housing people and getting them off the streets.  They discovered 50 camps in our hillsides in July.  Our beach patrol officers go into the areas and find people camping and fires being set.  We are placed in jeopardy if we lose the beach patrol.  One fire in these campsites would be devastating.  We need to keep the beach detail.

Capt. Tom:  PPTFH is the model of a successful community organization.  He recognizes the need for continuity with policing.  He will do whatever he can to push for keeping the resource and he praised the work of the Task Force volunteers.

12.    Adjournment.   The meeting was adjourned at 7:04pm.


Item 8.1 (a) – Alternative procedure if Candidate’s name is erroneously left off the list (by Executive Committee decision; ref. Bylaws Attachment A, Sec. 3.D.I):

Alternative to procedure set forth in Bylaws Attachment A, Sec. 3.D.I: If there is a person whose name has not been announced who it is believed has erroneously been left off the list of candidates, that person or someone designated by that person must be present at the August 13th PPCC Meeting, must immediately announce that his or her name was erroneously left off the list of candidates, and then must immediately send via email to the Chair the Candidate’s Application and Statement, along with proof that such Statement had previously been timely submitted. That person shall be provisionally added to the list of candidates, contingent on the Statement being complete and timely-submitted and the candidate being otherwise qualified.

Item 8.1 (b) Candidates Running for Area and At-large Representative Seats, 2020

Area 1 – Joanna Spak

Area 2 – Steve Cron

Area 3 – Haldis Toppel

Area 4 – Michael Minky

Karen Ridgley

Area 5 – Sue Kohl

Area 6 – Matthew Quiat

Jason Sklar

Karyn Weber

Area 7 – Jenny Li

Rick McGeagh

Area 8 – None

At-large – Alan Goldsmith


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Special Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Steve Cron, Rick Mills, Reza Akef, Alan Goldsmith, John Padden, Brenda Theveny, Barbara Marinacci, Fay Vahdani, Dick Wulliger, Rick McGeagh, Cathi Ruddy

Voting Alternates:  Cathy Russell, Danielle Samulon, Beth Holden Garland* (*arrived late)

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Jack Coleman, Rob Weber, Mary Mueller, Quentin Fleming, Melanie Bouer, Kevin Niles, Richard Blumenberg

1.    Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:31pm.  Mary Mueller read the Mission Statement.

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of August 13, 2020 were approved. The Chair described the upcoming meetings – September 10, 2020 (tentative): straw poll of Board members taken as to whether the 9/10 meeting should be cancelled in light of the several additional meetings held this summer in order to accommodate the officers’ and elected representatives’ election schedules; result of straw poll: unanimous in favor of cancelling meeting; the Chair announced that the 9/10 meeting is therefore cancelled; September 24, 2020: announcement of election results, Area & At-large Representatives election.  October 8, 2020: a representative of the LA County Recorder-Registrar’s office may give a presentation about the November election voting process.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.  If time allows, general public comment to be taken following Item 6 below; all other regular agenda items, including announcements and reports, are deferred to the next Board meeting in September.

6.     Election Information and Candidates Forum – 2020 Area & At-large Representatives Election.

6.1.    Election Information (Election Committee Chair David Kaplan).  See the Voting & Election Information Notice:; and Candidate Statements: 

The Committee Chair welcomed the audience and thanked the candidates for participating in the election.  He briefly remarked on the history of PPCC elections, noting that the community has been electing Area and At-large Representatives since the 1990s and that this is the 4th biennial Candidates Forum.  He explained that PPCC is an all-volunteer organization and this election represents one of the best parts of our American democratic process. He noted that we often see and hear our fellow Palisadians expressing appreciation for the beauty of this wonderful place where we all live. PPCC strives to make our town as good as it can be and this election is emblematic of that concern.

The Committee Chair then announced that voting in the 2020 election will begin at 9am on Friday, September 4, with the online ballot to be accessed by a button on the PPCC website.  Voting will end at 5pm on September 18.

He also noted that the Palisadian-Post published a spread with all the candidates’ pictures and statements in today’s paper.  Last, he announced that Jason Sklar (Area 6 candidate) had withdrawn from the race as of today and as a result will not participate in the forum tonight or be on the ballot.

6.2.    Candidates Forum.

6.2.1.    Candidates’ Introductory Statements (2 minutes each). Moderator: Election Committee Chair David Kaplan. Format:  Candidates in contested races will introduce themselves; candidates in uncontested races may then introduce themselves.

The Chair welcomed the candidates in attendance:  Contested:  Area 4, Michael Minky and Karen Ridgley; Area 6, Matthew Quiat and Karyn Weber; Area 7, Jennifer Li and Rick McGeagh.  Uncontested:  Area 1, Joanna Spak; Area 2, Steve Cron; Area 5, Sue Kohl; At-large, Alan Goldsmith.  (Note:  Area 3 candidate Haldis Toppel was not in attendance; there is no candidate for Area 8.)

First the contested candidates and next the uncontested candidates each gave introductory statements, providing interesting information about their backgrounds and about the issues  they have tackled in the past or will seek to address if elected.

6.2.2.    Q&A with Candidates (1 minute for each answer).  Moderator: Election Committee Chair David Kaplan.  Format:  Candidates in contested races will be asked questions from the Election Committee; additional questions following from the audience, first for candidates in contested races and next for candidates in uncontested races (if time allows).  *Note: candidates may also be asked questions via email; email addresses included in the Candidate Statements (see item 6.1 above).

The Committee Chair asked the following questions of the contested candidates from the Election Committee: 1) What two issues are most important to your Area or to the Palisades?  2)  How do you plan to communicate with your constituents?  The candidates answered the questions in detail.  Regarding question no. 1, a wide range of topics was discussed, with uniformity among all candidates on core issues of concern to Palisadians:  crime, security, homelessness, wildfire prevention, overdevelopment,  protection of the environment, preservation of our open spaces and the natural beauty of the Palisades, and the response to COVID-19 and its effect on the community. Regarding question no. 2, all candidates stated that they would attempt to reach out to their constituents using a variety of means, including email, social media and speaking with neighbors.

Additional questions were directed to the contested candidates from community members (submitted prior to the meeting) and the audience. The Area 6 candidates were asked what they would do about crime in the bluffs area.  The candidates both indicated they were aware of the issue and would work with residents, law enforcement and City officials to attempt to address the problem. All contested candidates were asked what can be done for youth in the community. Responses were varied, but all indicated that during the pandemic youth of all ages should be provided the opportunity for recreation outdoors in our parks, on our trails and at the beach; that our recreation centers should be utilized for youth activities; and that our open spaces should be preserved for recreation. More opportunity for leadership by older youth was also suggested.

7.    General Public Comment (if time allows) – None.

8.    Adjournment.   The meeting was adjourned at 6:34pm.


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The PPCC meeting of September 10 was CANCELED due to
pandemic-related conditions — No minutes.


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Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Haldis Toppel, Brenda Theveny, Barbara Marinacci, Dick Wulliger, Rick McGeagh, Cathi Ruddy, Reza Akef,* Alan Goldsmith* (*arrived late)

Voting Alternates:  Melanie Bouer, Peter Powell, Beth Holden-Garland, Cathy Russell

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Jack Coleman, Patti Post, Mary Mueller, Marilyn Wexler

1.   Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:30pm.  Mary Mueller read the Mission Statement.

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of August 27, 2020 were approved. October 8, 2020:  (1) welcome new & returning Board members; (2) presentation by Jeff Klein, outreach manager for the Recorder-Registrar/County Clerk’s office, on the November election voting process; (3) (tentative) consideration of Via de las Olas parkway tree replacement matter; October 22, 2020:  (tentative) consideration of WRAC-recommended motions; other topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.

The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $38,781.58.  We received several donations amounting to $125 in connection with the election. The cost of conducting our election amounted to $728.  This is much lower than previous cycles because we now have the system established.  Prior to online voting it cost us about $8,000 to print and send ballots and we received just a few hundred ballots back.  In each of the last three cycles using the online system which Heather Cohen and the Treasurer developed, we received more than 1,000 votes at much lower cost and with much greater convenience.

In addition, the Treasurer filed PPCC’s California Secretary of State form SI-100 as required biennially.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    Executive Committee determination of exigent circumstances/in-person meetings infeasible at least until January 31, 2021 (Bylaws, Art. IX.1.A).  The Chair explained that the Executive Committee has unanimously determined that exigent circumstances (as defined by the Bylaws) continue to exist, requiring PPCC meetings to be held virtually rather than in-person through January 31, 2021.  We will continue to hold meetings via Zoom through the end of January, at which time the Committee will revisit the circumstances.

8.1.2.    Executive Committee recommendation to cancel the December 2020 PPCC Awards event due to exigent circumstances; request for Board approval.  The Chair reported that the Executive Committee has unanimously voted to recommend canceling the December 2020 PPCC Awards event due to the pandemic conditions.  He asked for the Board’s approval; the Board unanimously approved canceling the event.

8.1.3.    Alternate Area & At-large Representatives Application Process: Appointment of Three Chairs Committee (Bylaws, Art. VIII.3.C and D); applications now being accepted; see:

The Chair announced the following members of the Three Chairs Committee:  Maryam Zar, Committee Chair; Chris Spitz and Randy Young.  All are past PPCC Chairs, as required by the Bylaws.  The Three Chairs Committee will review and consider applications from interested and eligible community members to become Alternate 1st and 2nd Area & At-large Representatives.  Applications are now being accepted.  Information about how to apply is linked on the PPCC website home page under “Alternates Application Information.”  The deadline to submit applications is 5pm on December 18.  The Three Chairs Committee will present nominations for election by the Board, likely at the October 22, 2020 PPCC meeting.  We encourage Palisadians to apply for these positions.

8.1.4.    Thank you to outgoing PPCC Board members (term ending September 30, 2020). The Chair bade farewell to the following outgoing members and thanked them for their longstanding service to the Board and the community:  Area reps Reza Akef, Steve Boyers, Rick Mills and David Peterson; and Organizational reps Amy Baker, Barbara Marinacci, Rick McGeagh, Jan Ostendorf and Cathi Ruddy.

8.1.5.    Orientation session for new members (tentative date Oct. 1, 5:30pm; details TBA). The Chair announced that there will be an online orientation session for new Board members on October 1 at 5:30pm.  Returning Board members are welcome to attend; contact for log-in instructions if interested.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  (1) Update on state housing bills:  The Secretary reported that since her last update at the August 13 PPCC meeting, SB 902 (Wiener) failed in Committee, but SB 1120 (Atkins) passed in two Committees and then reached the Assembly floor.  The bill would have allowed lots splits and duplexes on all parcels in single-family residential zones statewide, thus eliminating single-family zoning and without a full exemption for the high fire zone.  After the bill passed in Committee, PPCC’s Executive Committee approved a letter which was submitted to Governor Newsom, urging him to veto SB 1120 if it reached his desk.  The letter is on the PPCC website and we have previously distributed it to our email list, but we will also include it in the minutes.  [See Letter to the Governor:] As has been widely reported, SB 1120 was then taken up by the full Assembly only minutes before the midnight deadline to pass bills during this session; our Assembly member Bloom and several other Los Angeles-area Assemblymembers voted No, but the bill nonetheless passed in the Assembly by only one vote. However, time ran out before the required concurring vote by the Senate could be taken, so the bill failed.  We expect some form of either SB 902 and/or SB 1120 to return in early 2021.  We will continue to monitor and to emphasize the need for a full exemption for high fire hazard zones.

(2) 9/16 WRAC meeting report:  The Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (known as WRAC) held its regular monthly leadership meeting on September 16.  For those who are unfamiliar, WRAC is an alliance of all 14 neighborhood and community councils on the Westside of Los Angeles, ranging from Westchester to the Palisades and Bel Air to Westwood to Palms.  The Secretary Chris Spitz is the primary PPCC representative to WRAC, appointed by PPCC Chair Dave Card, who is the alternate representative.  Chris was elected Vice-Chair of WRAC at the meeting.  She joins the newly-elected WRAC Chair Matt Wersinger, President of Del Rey Neighborhood Council and Secretary Robin Greenberg, President of Bel Air-Beverlycrest Neighborhood Council.  WRAC bade farewell to its Chair this past year, PPCC Chair Emeritus Maryam Zar, who decided not to run again, and thanked her for her service.  The Secretary reported that the new WRAC Executive Team has ideas to invigorate the organization and hopefully make it even more relevant in terms of expressing our regional concerns and positions, as adopted by at least 2/3 of member councils, to elected officials. Stay tuned for a few motions that were passed by the leadership group for recommendation to member councils, which we may take up at a later PPCC meeting.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives – None.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.   Cathi Ruddy (PP Woman’s Club).  The PPWC is sponsoring a flu vaccine clinic at the Clubhouse on October 17, 2020 from 9am-noon.  The vaccinations will be free for everyone 6 months of age and older.  The vaccines are in the doses given to them by the County Health Dept.; she doesn’t know if there will be senior citizen doses.

8.4.2.    Chris Spitz (reporting at the request of Bob Benton in the absence of a Chamber of Commerce representative).  As reported in the Palisadian-Post, the Chamber is pleased to announce that the new Palisades Honorary Mayor is Eugene Levy.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at:

8.5.1.    Durrah Wagner, CD11 Palisades-Brentwood Field Deputy.

Ms. Wagner reported that top of mind for the Palisades community is the ongoing fires.  Councilmember Bonin recently brought forward a motion in Council with the goal of protecting neighborhoods in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ).  She next provided an update on the storm basins along Palisades Dr.; CD11 is working with Sanitation on removing debris collected in the basins; this is an ongoing effort that will last a several weeks or even months.  She urged everyone to be prepared for emergencies by signing up for NotifyLA.  LA County has a great new emergency preparedness guide which the Secretary noted is posted on our website.  Requests for improved signage at the El Medio/Asilomar bluffs have been put in to Recreation and Parks.

Ms. Wagner also related that a constituent who rents an apartment in a building on Sunset Blvd. is suffering quality of life issues involving her landlord and the condition of the property. CD11 has been helping her work with HCIDLA to ensure that Code violations can be addressed.  The County Public Health Dept. has also been involved in assessing the situation.  Joanna Spak (Area 1 Representative) has been helping the constituent as well.  The Chair noted that this is Karen Miller who lives at 17020 W. Sunset Blvd.  She had wanted to speak during public comment but informed the Chair before the meeting that she was ill due to toxic conditions in the building.  She has submitted many complaints about Code violations and the agencies involved have cited the owner.  There are ongoing inspections to ensure compliance.  The next re-inspection is on September 28.

The Chair acknowledged that improvements have been made at the top of Lachman Lane to improve security; he thanked Ms. Wagner for her work to try and correct conditions and improve the situation at that location.

8.5.2.    Kevin Taylor, West Area Representative, Mayor Garcetti.

Mr. Taylor introduced himself as the new West Area Representative for the Mayor, a position that he has now held for a couple of months.  He is a former neighborhood council president and was the Mayor’s representative in another part of the City a few years ago.  He explained that he has unfortunate news for us: the special parking meter revenue funds were cut from the budget along with all non-essential budget expenditures.  The Mayor wishes that this didn’t have to happen; contact Mr. Taylor if you have additional questions.

Mr. Taylor next reminded us that it is very important to get our flu vaccinations this season.  We need to follow all the protocols to keep infection rates lower for the required period of time in order to reopen.  Some grants have been available through the LA COVID relief fund, in various rounds.  Right now, we are in round 4.5, specifically for certain non-profits.  This is the final week to submit the completed census; he urged everyone to do so.  The Mayor is also forming a Youth Council; visit for more information.

The Chair noted that the Palisades community is very upset about the parking meter revenues now going into the general budget.  He reiterated that our highest priority is maintaining our police and fire resources in Pacific Palisades.  He described how vital these resources are to us and repeated that it is imperative to keep funding for these resources in the budget.

8.5.3.    Deborah Hong, LADWP Community Affairs Liaison, and staff from the LADWP Power Systems and Environmental Affairs departments (see Item 11.1 below).

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Zennon Ulyate-Crow and Jack Coleman (Youth Advisors). There is a virtual environment at Pali High.  Most school activities have been canceled due to COVID.  Administrators and faculty can go on campus, but many are working from home.  There is an ongoing discussion about how to open the pool safely, with legal waivers. Harvard-Westlake has reopened for sports practice with social distancing.  Students must fill out a waiver and questionnaire on an app; they need clearance from the app before going to sports activities every day.  Many students are becoming student poll workers.  Since the County is facing a shortage of poll workers it is important to have volunteers to help count the votes and to prevent long lines at polling places during COVID.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Election Committee (David Kaplan, Committee Chair).  Report on the 2020 Election of Area and At-large Representatives – announcement of election results.  The Committee Chair reported on the vote counting process and results, as contained in the Election Committee Report: The newly-elected Representatives are: Area 1, Joanna Spak; Area 2, Steve Cron; Area 3, Haldis Toppel; Area 4, Karen Ridgley; Area 5, Sue Kohl; Area 6, Matthew Quiat; Area 7, Jenny Li; At-large, Alan Goldsmith.  Area 8 is vacant and will be filled via the Alternate Representative application & election process.

The Committee Chair also noted that the Election vote counts are contained in the Results Data Sheet, which will be published on the PPCC website and distributed to the email list:  On behalf of the Committee he congratulated all the newly-elected Representatives, who will take their seats as of October 1, 2020 and will serve a two-year term.

10.    Old Business – None. 

11.    New Business. 

11.1.    LADWP Presentation — Proposed Power Pole Replacement Project. Guest speakers: Deborah Hong, LADWP Community Affairs Liaison, and staff from LADWP Power Systems & Environmental Affairs departments. Possible Board action. For background on the project, see:

Deborah Hong and Albert Van Stryk (LADWP Distribution Construction and Maintenance Superintendent) were both present. Ms. Hong gave a brief overview of the project and noted that the document prepared by the Secretary was a good background summary. There are 220 wooden poles in the Temescal Canyon area that were installed between 1935 and 1955.  LADWP proposes to replace these poles with weathered steel poles, which are more resistant to fire and dry winds and meet current PUC safety standards and load requirements.  The poles are located in rugged terrain, accessible only to hikers and mountain bikers.  Multiple jurisdictions are involved, including the MRCA and CCC.  Construction started a year ago but an endangered plant was discovered (as described in the background summary).  LADWP has been using third-party experts to survey the area and is working on a plan to mitigate harm to the plants while allowing the needed pole replacement to proceed.

LADWP will attend the CCC’s three-day meeting on Nov. 4-6, when the mitigation plan will be presented. They hope to receive permission from the CCC to proceed.  Ms. Hong emphasized that the existing poles are in danger of failing and asked for PPCC’s support for the proposal.

Mr. Van Stryk then spoke, explaining that this is the alternate feed to the Palisades and is of critical importance to the community. It is a high priority for LADWP to bring the poles into the modern age to meet new PUC standard for construction. The poles will be of weathered steel, painted brown, and will have “rapter guards” which prevent birds from being killed by the voltage.  Pictures showing exemplars of the proposed poles and a map of the area where the poles will be replaced were shown onscreen during the meeting.

Richard Cohen (Treasurer) noted that many Palisades community members are concerned about preserving our natural environment; he asked how the endangered plants may be damaged by the construction and what is the plan to protect them.  Ms. Hong:  LADWP has conducted an exhaustive biological survey and she understands that the CCC is weighing in on a proposed plan.  LADWP has engaged biologists and environmental advisors to give input and to conduct studies. They are working with the CCC and all agencies involved and waiting for a recommendation on the mitigation plan.

The Treasurer asked whether approval of the project would be contingent on a mitigation plan for the plants.  Ms. Hong:  This is not an “either-or” choice for LADWP.   She explained that they must replace the poles and they must also put in place a plan that sufficiently protects the plants.  They have engaged third-party experts to survey the area and are leaving it up to the agencies with jurisdiction over the area as to how best to protect the plants.

Beth Holden Garland (PPRA) asked if there would be a break in service during construction.  Mr. Van Stryk:  This is a sub-transmission line.  Power will not go off during construction and there will be no disruption to power.

A question was asked whether LADWP has access to seeds for the plants.  Ms. Hong: She believes that as part of the biological survey seeds were collected.

A brief discussion ensued about the process of submitting comments to the CCC should PPCC wish to express a position on the project.  The board took no action on the matter at this time, pending further information about the status of the mitigation plan.

11.2.    As time allows: Motion in City Council to temporarily halt construction in hillside & high fire zone areas (CMs Ryu & Koretz; Council File 20-1170). Discussion & possible Board action. Motion: Status: assigned to the Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM); hearing not yet set (as of agenda distribution).

The Chair summarized the motion by Councilmembers Ryu and Koretz, which calls for an Interim Control Ordinance (ICO) to temporarily halt construction in hillside and high fire zone areas Citywide.  He noted that a hearing in the PLUM Committee had still not been set and he invited discussion to ascertain Board members’ views about the motion.   Cathi Ruddy stated that the motion was not well-drafted and needs work on the language to focus on the actual problem of congestion rather than construction.  The Treasurer commented that there is little risk of fire caused by construction, and he agreed that the motion language needs more work to address congestion.  He also observed that construction sites have protocols in place and that if there were a wildfire, workers at sites would be ordered to leave immediately. Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative) stated that this may be a problem for communities in Council Districts 4 and 5, but it is not a problem for the Palisades community.  He objects to the motion’s one-size-fits-all approach; if an ICO is needed for communities in Council Districts 4 and 5, it should be limited to those areas or communities.  Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative) noted that the focus of the motion should be trying to address congestion, not construction per se.  There are substandard streets in Area 3 which have only one way in and out and the problem of congestion as related to these conditions should be addressed.

The Chair called for a straw poll to confirm the opinion of the Board as to the following general position:  While PPCC supports efforts to improve public safety during wildfire evacuations, this motion as written is not relevant to conditions in the Palisades; it should be more tightly worded and focused on solving the problem of congestion rather than construction, i.e., keeping evacuation routes clear during wildfire events.  The Board voted unanimously in favor and authorized submission of a letter expressing this position to City Council.

12.   Adjournment.   The meeting was adjourned at 7:11pm.


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Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Matthew Quiat, Jenny Li, Karen Ridgley, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Brenda Theveny, Craig Natvig, Trish Bowe, Beth Holden-Garland, Alan Goldsmith, Steve Cron* (*arrived late)

Voting Alternates:  John Padden, Kerri Kraft, Eric Dugdale

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Jack Coleman

1.   Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:32pm and read the Mission Statement.

2.   Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.   Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of September 24, 2020 were approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: October 22, 2020:  (1) (Tentative) Three Chairs Committee announcement of nominees and Board election of Area & At-large Alternate Representatives; (2) Presentation by LADOT Senior Transportation Engineer Tim Fremaux and CD11 Transportation Director Eric Bruins regarding improvements to Chautauqua/PCH and Chautauqua/Sunset intersections;  (3) (Tentative) motions recommended to member-councils by the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC).  November 12, 2020:  topics to be announced.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.

The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $38,632.83. There were no significa transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment – None.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    Welcome to incoming PPCC Board members (term beginning October 1, 2020).  Area and At-large Representatives (new & returning) – two-year term ending September 30, 2022; Organizational representatives (new & returning) – one-year term ending September 30, 2021.  See:

The Chair welcomed all new and returning Board members (both elected Representatives and Organizational Representatives).  The Chair read the names of all incoming Area & At-large Representatives as well as the names of all incoming Organizational members and their representatives for this term [see attachment below].

8.1.2.    Update on Ryu-Koretz motion for an ICO/temporary construction halt (committee hearing not yet scheduled as of agenda distribution; PPCC letter to be drafted per Board straw poll vote on 9/24).

The Chair reported that the City Council has been in recess this week and that as of this meeting the motion has not yet been scheduled for hearing in Committee; a letter will be drafted to be submitted as soon as possible to the Council File.

8.1.3.    Executive Committee letter regarding Ryu-Bonin motion to update BMO-BHO (opposition to proposed citywide cap on home size); update on Oct. 1 PLUM committee hearing.



The Chair explained that this position letter was approved by the Executive Committee on an emergency basis because the motion was scheduled to be heard in the Council PLUM Committee before it could be considered by the full PPCC Board.  As explained in the letter, we oppose amendment of the zoning code to impost a standard cap on home size citywide. He also reported that this motion passed on the PLUM Committee consent calendar, without debate by the Committee members, on October 1.  It has not yet been scheduled for hearing by the full Council.  If the motion passes in Council, then the Planning Dept. will conduct studies and prepare a report on the requested revisions to the Zoning Code, which will then go back to the Committee for further review/action.  We will continue to monitor and may consider whether additional aspects of motion should be taken up by the PPCC Land Use Committee.

8.1.4.    Executive Committee letter regarding Ryu-Koretz motion to expand the Hillside Construction Regulation District Ordinance/Pilot Program citywide; update on Oct. 1 PLUM committee hearing.




The Chair again explained that this position letter was approved by the Executive Committee on an emergency basis because the motion was scheduled to be heard in the Council PLUM Committee before it could be considered by the full PPCC Board.  As explained in the letter, we do not oppose further study and mapping to determine which areas citywide should be included in the “Hillside Construction Regulation Supplemental Use District” (HCRD); we also support certain specific provisions of the HCRD ordinance dealing with restrictions on certain construction activities during windy and Red Flag days.  The Chair further reported that this motion passed on the PLUM Committee consent calendar, without debate by the Committee members, on October 1.  It has not yet been scheduled for hearing by the full Council.  If the motion passes in Council, then the Planning Dept. will then prepare proposed amendments to the regulations and map all areas citywide which should be included within the HCRD; this will in turn go back to the Committee for further review/action.  We will continue to monitor and may consider whether aspects of the motion (in particular the proposed regulations regarding hillside construction activities) should be considered by thePPCC Land Use Committee.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary) advised that the beginning of the new term is a good time to remind everyone of SR 9 of the PPCC bylaws (Code of Conduct), which states that “all Board Members should prepare in advance of meetings and be familiar with issues on the agenda.”  Please remember that the Chair and Secretary work hard to prepare informative agendas with background information whenever possible, especially on items where action may be taken.  These agendas have for the last two years been distributed on the Friday before each Thursday meeting via our Mailchimp email blast. This is to give everyone time to open the email, click on the agenda, review the items to be considered, and get input whenever possible from the respective Representatives’ boards or constituents.  Please look for these in your inbox and open the messages; please be sure that PPCC emails are not going into your junk or spam files.  Please also note – opening the Mailchimp email is NOT the same as clicking on and actually reading the agenda.  The Mailchimp message is a brief preview of the agenda, not the agenda itself, which voting Board members are expected to read before coming to the meetings.  Thank you for complying with these basic obligations of Board members.

8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative) thanked CD 11 Palisades Field Deputy Durrah Wagner for assisting with the very clogged drains along Palisades Dr.  The poor conditions were extensive and Ms. Wagner did an incredible job which greatly improved the situation.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.    Beth Holden-Garland (PPRA) announced that PPRA, along with the Edlen real estate team, has arranged for free flu shots to be given this coming Saturday, Oct. 10 and the following Saturday, Oct. 17, at CVS (parking lot upper deck).  Hours: 10am-2pm.  Seniorcitizen doses will be offered.  Register at PPRA Facebook page.

8.4.2.    Craig Natvig (Palisades Beautiful) reported that during the month of September, Palisades Beautiful (PB) teamed up with Heal the Bay during Coastal Clean Up month. PB was involved with Heal the Bay on a beach area cleanup that had hundreds of participants overall and 20 PB participants.  It was a successful effort and a lot of trash was picked up.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at:

8.5.1.    Zachary Gaidzik, Metro/West LA Representative, LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.  Mr. Gaidzik was not available to stay for the entire meeting but provided a written report in advance.  [See:]

8.5.2.    Jeff Klein, civic engagement manager, LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office (see Item 11.1 below).

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Jack Coleman (Youth Advisor) reported that students are getting back to school online. The recent power outages in the Palisades were difficult for students.  He would like information from LADWP as to whether the outages were due to lines being down.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Three Chairs Committee (Maryam Zar, Committee Chair).  Applications now being accepted for Alternate Area & At-large Representative positions; see Alternates Application notice: to apply:  5pm, October 18.

In the absence of the Committee Chair, Chris Spitz (as a Member of the Three Chairs Committee) announced that we are continuing to accept applications for Alternate Area & At-large Representative positions.  The deadline to apply is roughly one week away:  October 18 at 5pm.  The Three Chairs Committee encourages all interested and eligible Palisadians to apply.  She noted that the terms of the most recent Alternates have expired as of 9/30/20 and they must reapply if they wish to be considered again.  The process:  the Committee will review the applications and may interview candidates as needed.  They will select nominees who may be presented at the Board meeting on October 22.  Following presentation of nominees, the Board will elect the new Alternate Area & At-large Representatives, who will then serve the same terms as their respective primary Representatives, with their terms ending on September 30, 2022.

9.2.    Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC; Cindy Kirven, Committee Chair).  (Tentative) report on matter involving replacement of dead parkway trees at 15539 W. Via de las Olas; property owner invited to attend.  Possible Committee recommendation for Board action.

The PPCC Chair (David Card) “handed the gavel” to PPCC Vice-Chair David Kaplan to preside over this agenda item, since he (David Card) would be participating in the PFC’s presentation and recommendation to the Board. The Presiding Officer (David Kaplan) noted that the PFC Chair Cindy Kirven and the property owner, Ira Jay Boren, were both present. He invited the PFC Chair first to give a presentation, to be followed by a presentation by Mr. Boren.  Discussion and Q&A with both presenters will then follow.

The PFC Chair proceeded to give the PFC’s report about the matter, which included a slide show of relevant documents and photographs which were distributed in advance to the Board as well as to Mr. Boren [materials also posted on PPCC’s website:].

The PFC Chair spoke in detail about the history of this matter and the current status.  She described the documents and photographs being shown and reiterated the points made in the written PFC report.  She summarized the requests recommended by the PFC, as set forth in the draft letter contained within the report. She emphasized that the PFC supports preservation of all of the urban canopy which is enjoyed by the community as a whole, and that the PFC seeks restoration, not punishment.

Mr. Boren then spoke, first presenting background information about himself.  He has lived with his family in the same house in Pacific Palisades for 35 years and raised children here.  He has been active in the Palisades, believes he is part of the community and is disappointed and sorry that this matter has caused a problem for the community.  He has worked with LAPD for 25 years and helped fund a special place for officers with COVID to gather. As to the parkway trees matter, he maintained that he was given only a day to prepare for this meeting, was surprised that the matter had come to this and was disappointed that he had not been reached out to in advance as a neighbor.  He then explained the history of the matter from his point of view and presented a slide show with several documents and photographs. He stated that the process to remove the trees took eight months, starting in 2014.  The sidewalks in front of his property were clearly lifted and the parkway trees were not in good condition.  He showed an Arborist’s report describing the poor health of the trees and said that a determination was made by the City’s Urban Forestry Dept. that the trees would be removed and he (Mr. Boren) would be responsible for removing the trees and replacing them.  The “double-trunk” tree died on its own.  Urban Forestry came and removed the tree and left the trunk; Mr. Boren stated that he did not take out that tree.  He further maintained that the trees were never properly planted and blocked sidewalks, that the City had abandoned the street and that no one was taking care of the parkway trees.

According to Mr. Boren, the City told him that in order to fix the sidewalk he had to take out the trees.  The Presiding Officer then asked Mr. Boren to please explain what permit he had to do this.  Mr. Boren explained that the process took eight months and resulted in a hearing in February 2015.  He showed a copy of a Board of Public Works hearing agenda for that date, reflecting an open public hearing at which a recommendation was made to approve removal of “three Manna Gum Trees for the restoration of off-grade sidewalk located at 15529 W. Via de Las Osas,” with tree replacements required.  It was his understanding that this was all that he needed and that a further “tree permit” was unnecessary. The document he saw giving approval to remove the trees had no expiration date.  When it was time to take the trees down, he mistakenly didn’t realize he needed another permit.  He stated that he dug exactly where “DigAlert” told him to dig.  As to a broken water pipe, this was three feet from the location where he was told the water pipe would be.  He followed all protocol and instructions. It was not his intention to cause any problems for neighbors or to cause water supply to be shut off.

There was a local uproar after the trees were removed and the water pipe was broken.  The Council office became involved and LADBS put a hold on construction.  He was eventually told, as part of an agreement with the City to allow construction to resume, to plant six Brisbane Box replacement trees in the parkway.  Urban Forestry choose the type, size and placement of the trees.  They came out to the property, did all markings and measurements and put stakes down.  Mr. Boren explained that he then planted the trees in exactly the locations where Urban Forestry wanted them to be planted; he had no say in the matter; and did everything he was told to do.  He tried maintaining the trees and put in water tubes because he thought this would help with watering, but he was not given instructions on tree maintenance. He has replaced the dead trees and advises that the trees are being watered. He has also posted the required bond. He stated that he would have been happy to show all documents to the PFC if he had been asked.

Mr. Boren then showed photographs of parkways on Via de Las Olas and Mt. Holyoke, reflecting a total of nine street trees in a two-block radius.  He has added six street trees in the parkway at his property.  He would be willing to make a donation to plant trees in other nearby parkways that are without street trees.  The PFC’s requests — that he be required to plant more than six trees and to extend the bond — seem punitive to him.  In addition, he argued that too many trees that produce a large canopy are a fire hazard.  People have been shooting off fireworks and there have been recent brush fires on or below the Via de Las Olas bluff. He summarized his position:  These trees were sick and dying.  He removed the trees thinking he had full permission and just didn’t pull the final permit.  The trees were all tagged.  He is putting in a new sidewalk, planted the replacement trees and posted a bond as per the City’s requirements.  He has replaced the ones that died.  He is trying the best he can.

Discussion then ensued, with questions directed either to the PFC Chair or Mr. Boren.

Jenny Li (Area 7 Representative); Q for Boren:  What was the plan when he received permission in terms of landscaping on the parkway?  A:  He didn’t remove trees without permission and there was an agreement with Urban Forestry.  They told him exactly what trees to replace and how many to replace.

PPCC Treasurer; Q for Boren:  Have you studied the letter that our PFC is recommending?  What do you think about maintenance requirements, extending the survival date for release of the bond and confirmation that the bond is proper?  Do you object?  A:  Yes, the bond agreement was already made and he put up a $20,000 bond.  There was nothing about starting the bond again.  He is trying to use best practices with watering.  Urban Forestry should give instructions to property owners on how to maintain street trees; they don’t do that.  He isn’t an expert. He put tubes in thinking the trees weren’t getting enough water. They were staked according to Urban Forestry guidelines.  He then showed emails that came from Urban Forestry which he stated indicated they approved the planting and placement in accordance with their agreement.  He stated that he is in total compliance with the agreement they already reached.  PPCC Treasurer:  How does Mr. Boren see his responsibilities regarding these trees going forward?  A:  He wants the trees to live.  He has paid twice for these trees, he has put up the required bond, and he is trying to take care of the trees as best as he knows how to; he welcomes suggestions on how to care for the trees.

Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Representative); Q for PFC Chair:  Once street trees are planted, are there still requirements for owners who want to mitigate the tree canopy?  Are they allowed to trim and keep their view?  Are there regulations regarding upkeep?  A: Any resident with a tree in the parkway must obtain a permit for any trimming, planting or removal.  Karen Ridgley:  Where does a normal homeowner get information about what they have to do?  A:  It is incumbent on the homeowner to find the information; you can Google “street trees in Los Angeles.”

Alan Goldsmith (At-large Representative); Q for Boren:  What’s his major objection?  A:  He has already made his agreement with Urban Forestry and he’s in total compliance.  This is not the place to make a new agreement.

Matthew Quiat (Area 6 Representative); Q for PFC Chair:  What is the protocol for the young trees currently there?  Whose responsibility is it to replace them?  A:  The property owner posted a bond to ensure the trees will be maintained appropriately 3 years from planting.

Eric Dugdale (PP Historical Society Alternate):  We have landmarked Eucalyptus trees before in the Palisades.  We really miss these particular trees when we walk by.  They were worth a lot to the community.  The reason the community reacted so strongly is because the trees were gorgeous and they are now gone.

Craig Natvig (Palisades Beautiful):  He grew up at the other end of Via de Las Olas, where there are many large Eucalyptus trees; it seems as if Urban Forestry didn’t space the trees accordingly on Mr. Boren’s end of Via de Las Olas.  Mr. Boren: You would have to ask Urban Forestry; he just planted where they told him to plant.

David Card (ex officio member of the PFC):  A few weeks ago, he (David Card) spoke with Urban Forestry and Stephen Duprey of Urban Forestry.  Mr. Duprey told him that people from Urban Forestry spotted where the trees should go and they weren’t planted there.  There’s a dispute with what Mr. Boren is saying.  DigAlert doesn’t tell you where all the pipes are.  Hand-digging is safer than the backhoe used by Mr. Boren.  Urban Forestry originally wanted eight trees to be planted; there’s plenty of room in the parkway to put in more trees.  There is no reason not to plant trees now just because of threats of fire.  We need trees for oxygen; without them we would die.  We know how to plant safely.  Homes are inspected annually for fire safety.  We need more trees for survival on the planet.

Chris Arvin and Monique Lafia (residents):  They have lived here twenty years and are near the Borens. They specifically moved here because of the gorgeous trees on the bluffs.  Questioned why Mr. Boren didn’t consider just trimming the trees.  Mr. Boren:  He is sure his neighbors are unhappy that he’s been in construction for the last year and a half.  That’s not the point of this topic tonight.  An agreement was made, a bond was put up, he is in full compliance and there’s a legal document.  Stephen Duprey didn’t come up to the property himself.  Mr. Boren is willing to testify under oath that he planted the trees according to what Urban Forestry told him.

Reza Akef (resident; former Area 8 Representative):  Emphasized three points: 1) there is nothing on the Urban Forestry website about best practices on how to water and maintain street trees for three years; 2) the PPCC Executive Committee should be disappointed that there hasn’t been transparency; the PFC never called or met with the owner or held a public meeting about this as the Land Use Committee normally does; 3) this isn’t the way that the Community Council typically acts.

Linda Andrews (resident):  Questioned why no one knew anything about this from 2014-2019.  Mr. Boren has had other properties where trees have died. The neighborhood is being degraded.

David Card:   Moved that the PPCC Board adopt and send the draft letter recommended in the PFC report which was distributed prior to the meeting; he read the draft letter out loud (see draft letter attached).  Second: Steve Cron.

Discussion on the motion ensued.  PPCC Treasurer:  Opposes the motion.  He loves trees and is sad about the way the appearance of the street has changed.  However, he cannot think of a previous occasion when the PPCC has weighed in against a homeowner on a matter in which the homeowner is dealing privately with the City.  We have generally acted with greater humility.  He would want to know that the homeowner is in violation, but the homeowner here has indicated that he hasn’t been ruled in violation.  The Treasurer is not ready to have PPCC write a letter that the homeowner water his trees in a particular manner.  Certainly, we should not be asking for punitive measures.  It’s for the City to determine whether the homeowner has violated any rules or the agreement and what the consequences should be.

David Card: On March 27 this year, we took a position regarding removal of trees on the Marinette property; we asked in our letter that the permit conditions be amended to say where trees would be planted and how many.  PPCC Treasurer: the Marinette matter was a different situation involving a property owner’s request for permission from the City for a lot split.

PPCC Secretary:  She has lived for many years on Friends St. near Via de las Olas.  She was very upset that the Eucalyptus trees in this parkway were removed, but having now heard both sides she is uncertain about all the facts and concerned that there’s information we don’t know.  She shares concerns about the process expressed by Mr. Akef and wishes this had been handled similar to the way in which the Land Use Committee holds public meetings.  She agrees with the Treasurer’s comments.

Beth Holden-Garland (PPRA):  There should be some responsibility from the City as to care of the trees.  She feels in-between on this matter.  The right trees for the location should have been planted.

Reza Akef:  You can’t fit more than a tree with 24” box in that area due to the parkway size.  The owner planted the trees required by the City but did not receive instructions as to care.

The PFC Chair:  It is not difficult to look up Brisbane Box maintenance on the Internet.  We’re requesting that new trees be planted in accordance with Urban Forestry’s guidelines.  The Brisbane Box tree was selected based on the location and situation.  Urban Forestry’s specification of tree for this parkway was correct.

The Presiding Officer (David Kaplan) stated that he wished to make a comment on this matter and therefore “passed the gavel” to the Treasurer (Richard Cohen) to serve next as the Presiding Officer on this item.

David Kaplan:  The City has made a deal with the property owner, rightly or wrongly.  They didn’t notify the neighbors. The City and Mr. Boren are on the same page and he’s doing what the City is asking him to do.  The Vice-Chair is mainly concerned with the first paragraph of the letter which is asking the City to overturn its agreement with Mr. Boren.  The Vice-Chair has heard nothing that conclusively tells him that Mr. Boren hasn’t done what he was supposed to do under the agreement.

The Presiding Officer (Richard Cohen) then called the question and noted that a 2/3 vote was required.  A roll call vote of members in attendance was held. Result: Motion passed (9-4-0).

The PPCC Chair (David Card) resumed presiding over the meeting at the conclusion of this item.

10.   Old Business.

10.1.  (Tentative) LADWP update on power pole replacement project/environmental mitigation plan.  Possible Board action.  No update; matter deferred.

11.    New Business. 

11.1.    Presentation on the November 2020 Election Voting Process.  Guest speaker:  Jeff Klein, civic engagement manager, LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office.  Discussion only.

Jeff Klein introduced himself as manager of civic engagement and outreach for the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RRCC).  He oversees all civic engagement and community relations for the RRCC. His presentation included a PowerPoint, “Voting in a Time of Pandemic” []. He explained that the County had moved to a vote center model in the primary and is continuing with this model.  The County is very large and includes 5.6 million registered voters.  Vote-by-Mail ballots have been sent out to all registered voters.  Vote centers will also be available to anyone who wishes to vote in-person.  The centers will follow all public health protocols.  Voters can go to any vote center in the County that is convenient for them. There are also many drop box locations throughout the County.  Ballots need to be signed and can be placed inside the slot in the drop box; his office picks up the ballots from the boxes.  Drop boxes are noted in the Vote-by-Mail packet that all voters will receive.  The voter’s signature on the ballot is important.  The ballots will be secure because the RRCC will check the signature on every ballot that’s returned.  Ballots may also be sent via U.S. Mail.  Ballots will be accepted and counted if postmarked by Election Day (November 3) and received by the RRCC up to 17 days after Election Day.  Voters can track the status of their ballots at the app, “Where’s My Ballot.”  The deadline to register to vote is October 19. Early voting in-person will start on October 24 at some vote center locations and on October 30 at the remaining locations.  The vote centers are strategically placed throughout the County.  For early voting, the vote centers will be open from 10am-7pm; on Election Day they will be open from 7am-8pm.  Sample ballots will be in the mail in the next day or so.  There will be expedited check-in at the vote centers if voters bring in their sample ballots with the bar code.  Postcards will also be sent out, and voters will receive a booklet with all 750 vote center locations listed.  This will arrive in the mail in the next week or so.  When voting in-person, the process will be similar to the process used in the primary; the ballot will be paper, not electronic; voters will insert the paper ballot in the marking device.  Voting will be private and independent.  Voters will need to wear masks at the vote centers and social distancing will be enforced.  Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrances and exits.  Voting machines will be six feet apart and wiped down after each use. Visit the County’s “lavote” website for more information about the process (

Questions and comments from board members then took place.  The PPCC Chair noted that he had placed his completed ballot in the mail slot inside the U.S. Post Office.  He used a felt tip pen to mark his ballot; this is ok as long as the mark doesn’t bleed into the circles on the reverse page.  The PPCC Treasurer asked questions about signature comparison:  With which signature (i.e., driver’s license, or something signed many years ago) is the signature on the ballot compared?  His 97-year old mother wants to vote, but her signature is now very shaky; how will RRCC deal with this?  Mr. Klein: Signature comparison will be based on the most recent voter registration signature.  If the signature on the ballot doesn’t match, a letter will be sent out to the voter to verify the ballot, which must also be signed and returned (i.e, there will be a second chance to sign and return the ballot).  A letter will also go out to voters who forgot to sign their ballot. Mr. Klein noted that the RRCC has a record of all the different signatures of voters over time and they will try to match the signatures using this record.  He suggested that voters who have concerns may also re-register to vote by October 19 so that a current signature will be on file. If voters can no longer sign their names, there’s an option to make a simple mark in lieu of a signature.  Karen Ridgley asked whether voters need to sign using the same name as when they first registered.  Mr. Klein:  Sign as closely as possible using the signature you believed you used when you registered; if the RRCC is unable to verify the name/signature, they will send out a letter to the voter.  Mr. Klein advised that he will be happy to respond directly to questions sent to him via email [].  The Chair thanked Mr. Klein for his presentation.

11.2.    As time allows:  Motion by Councilmember Bonin regarding land use & planning related to the VHFHSZ and evacuation routes (CF 20-1213).  Possible Board actionSee motion: Matter deferred due to lack of time.  The Secretary reported that CD11 Deputy Durrah Wagner advised us by email shortly before the meeting began that the motion will be heard in the Council Public Safety Committee this coming Tuesday.  The Executive Committee may consider whether to take a position on the motion before the Tuesday meeting.

12.    Adjournment.   The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 pm.


Item 8.1.1 – Names of Incoming Representatives

Area & At-large Representatives (2020-2022 Term)

Area 1 – Joanna Spak
Area 2 – Steve Cron
Area 3 – Haldis Toppel
Area 4 – Karen Ridgley
Area 5 – Sue Kohl
Area 6 – Matthew Quiat
Area 7 – Jenny Li
At-large – Alan Goldsmith

Organizational Representatives (2020-2021 Term)

1.    Standing Organizations

Chamber of Commerce
Fay Vahdani
Alt.:  Sarah Knauer

PP Historical Society
Richard Wulliger
Alt.:  Eric Dugdale

Temescal Canyon Association
Brenda Theveny
Alt.:  Susan Orenstein

Residents Association:
Beth Holden-Garland
Alt:  Bobbi Thompson

2.    Rotating Organizations
Cultural and Aesthetics:
Palisades Beautiful
Craig Natvig
Alt.:  Theatre Palisades
Andy Frew

Corpus Christi School
Peter Powell
Alt.:  Paul Revere Charter Middle School
Keri Kraft

Civic Organizations:
PP Civic League
Richard Blumenberg
Alt.:  PRIDE
John Padden

Jim Kirtley
Alt.:  AYSO
Janet Anderson

Service Clubs:
Primary:  PP Rotary Club
Trish Bowe
Alt.:  American Legion
Kevin Niles

Item 9.2 – PFC Report/Draft letter to Urban Forestry

October ___, 2020

Mr. Tim Tyson, Chief Forester
Urban Forestry Division
StreetsLA, City of Los Angeles                          By email:

Re:  Replacement Street Trees at 15539 W. Via De Las Olas, Pacific Palisades
        (at the corner of Mt. Holyoke Ave.)

Dear Chief Forester Tyson,

The Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has represented the Palisades as its broadest based community organization since its founding in 1973.  We coordinate with the Urban Forestry Division (UFD) through its representative on our PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee.

On June 3, 2019, PPCC was dismayed to hear from community members that several large and healthy parkway trees were removed by the owner of the adjacent property at 15539 W. Via De Las Olas, Pacific Palisades (“the Parkway”), which resulted in the City of Los Angeles June 28, 2019 “Stop Construction Notice and Notice of Intent to Revoke Building Permits” letter to the owner.

Under a resulting agreement between the owner and the City, 6 new Lophostemon confertus / Brisbane Box trees were planted in the Parkway in remediation of the unauthorized removals.  A Protected Tree Bond (“Bond”) was required for the six new trees (24” box size) to be replanted and watered for a survival period of 3 years from planting on February 14, 2020.

Four of those six new replacement trees died.

Recently, the owner has planted another 4 replacement trees in the same places as the dead ones.

The PPCC Board has voted _____________ to urge the City to:

1.  Require the owner to increase the number (same species and container size) of remediation trees that shall be planted in the Parkway from 6 to as many as 10, in order to maximize the number of parkway trees along Mt. Holyoke and Via De Las Olas, using UFD measurement criteria, rather than leaving the current big open spaces where the original street trees were removed.  Locations to be selected by UFD.

2.  Require the best practices of maintenance of the parkway trees, including: (a) removing the nursery stakes tied to each tree; (b) removing the deep water tubes, with instructions to water the basins from the top to imitate rainfall; and (c) comply with the proper staking and watering of Newly Installed Trees pursuant to the protocols of the International Society of Arboriculture.

3.  Amend the survival date for release of the Bond (or its replacement bond) to reflect the planting date of October 2020 (8 months longer than the original date), to restart the 3 year period for the newly replanted replacement trees.  Additional parkway trees required to be planted by UFD should also be covered by a similar or amended bond.

4. Confirm that the Bond (or its replacement) is issued by an insurer and to a beneficiary that is acceptable to UFD and the Bureau of Engineering, City of Los Angeles, prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Thank you for your help in re-foresting Pacific Palisades.

Very truly yours,

David Card, Chair

cc: Mike Bonin, CD 11 Councilmember,
Rachel Malarich, City Forest Officer,
Durrah Wagner, CD11 Pacific Palisades Area Rep.,
Stephen Du Prey, Supervisor, UFD,
Andrew Nave, Inspector, Building & Safety,


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Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Matthew Quiat, Jenny Li, Karen Ridgley, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Brenda Theveny, Craig Natvig, Beth Holden-Garland, Alan Goldsmith, Steve Cron, Maryam Zar, Haldis Toppel, Dick Wulliger, Fay Vahdani, Richard Blumenberg, Reza Akef* (*after election; see item 9.1 below)

Voting Alternates:  Kevin Niles

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates:  Sharon Kilbride, Patti Post, Zennon Ulyate-Crow, Melanie Bouer,* Rick McGeagh,* Mary Mueller,* Karyn Weber,* Cindy Kirven,* Judy Orsini,* Danielle Samulon,* Nancy Niles,* James Bierman,* Andrew Wolfberg* (*after election; see item 9.1 below)

1.    Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:30pm.  Sue Kohl read the Mission Statement.

2.    Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.    Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of October 8, 2020 were approved as corrected. Upcoming meetings: November 12, 2020: topics to be announced.  There is one PPCC meeting only in each of the months of November and December, on the 2nd Thursday of the month. The Holiday Awards event is normally held on the December meeting date, but will not be held this year.  An announcement will be made at the November 12 meeting as to whether a board meeting will be held in December.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.

The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $38,258.05.  He is pleased to report that we have completed the annual cycle of tax and compliance reporting.  This week we filed our California Attorney General/Registry of Charitable Trusts Form RRF-1 annual registration.  We also filed our IRS Form 990-N and our California Franchise Tax Board Form 199-N.  A couple of weeks ago, the Treasurer filed our Form SI-100, a biannual report with the California Secretary of State.  We have now completed our annual compliance cycle which is based off of our fiscal year ending September 30 – so we were quite prompt this year.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.    Lou Kamer (resident) asked whether we would consider recording PPCC Zoom meetings.  The Chair replied that we are not considering recording the minutes since, among other things, this would increase the Secretary’s workload.  PPCC’s detailed meeting minutes are publicly posted on the website.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    Update on status of Ryu-Koretz motion for an ICO/temporary construction halt; E.C. letter sent 10/10/20:


This motion has not yet been voted on by the City Council; it will be heard in the Council Planning & Land Use (PLUM) Committee on October 29, 2020.

8.1.2.    Update on status of Ryu-Bonin motion to update BMO-BHO (opposition to proposed citywide cap on home size); E.C. supplemental letter sent 10/13/20:
Clarification Request/Response:
Amendment to Motion:

The Chair is pleased to report that PPCC’s strong advocacy was successful.  After we submitted two letters explaining our opposition to the portion of the motion seeking to impose a citywide cap on home size, Councilmembers Ryu and Bonin thought the matter through again and introduced an amendment which eliminated that provision.  The motion passed in City Council as amended and the Planning Dept. is now directed to prepare a report on the requested zoning updates that will not include a citywide cap on home size.

8.1.3.    Update on status of Bonin motion regarding land use & planning related to the VHFHSZ and evacuation routes. E.C. letter sent 10/10/20:

This motion has not yet been voted on by City Council; it passed in the Council Public Safety Committee and was then referred to the PLUM Committee (hearing not yet set).

8.1.4.    Update on status of Ryu-Koretz motion to expand the Hillside Construction Regulation District Ordinance/Pilot Program citywide. E.C. letter sent 9/30/20:

This motion passed in the PLUM Committee recently; it will now go to the City Council for a vote (hearing date not yet set).

8.1.5.    Update on letter sent 10/9/20 regarding tree replacements at 15539 W. Via de Las Olas:

PPCC’s position letter was submitted to City officials on October 9.  We will update the board when we learn of the status.

8.1.6.    New item:  Palisades Beach Detail.  We have received word that LAPD Capt. Tom is concerned that with the budget cuts, our critical LAPD Beach Detail may be in jeopardy.  PPCC and PPTFH are requesting that sufficient funding be provided to retain the Detail.  On October 21, 2020, the Executive Committee submitted a letter to the Mayor and Councilmember Bonin making this request.  The letter has been forwarded to board members and is posted on the PPCC website.  [See:]

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Update on 10/19 Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) leadership meetingDeferred.

8.3.    From Area and At-large Representatives – None.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at:

8.5.1.    Janet Turner, District Representative, U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu.  Ms. Turner announced that the Congressman will hold a special “Conversations with Veterans” event on Facebook on November 8, 2020 from 2-3:30pm.  All are invited.  She will send a flyer.

8.5.2.    Tim Fremaux, LADOT Senior Transportation Engineer, and Eric Bruins, CD11 Transportation Director (see Item 11.1 below).

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors – Deferred.

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Three Chairs Committee (Maryam Zar, Committee Chair; Chris Spitz & Randy Young).  Announcement of nominees and possible board election of Alternate Area and At-large Representatives.

The Committee Chair introduced each of the nominees for 1st position Alternates and read their brief background statements.  She asked if any board member wished to discuss any nominee. No one asked for discussion. Secretary Chris Spitz then moved on behalf of the Committee for the board to approve and elect all nominees for 1st position (no second required because the motion was made by a committee of at least two voting members); vote taken.  Vote: unanimous. All 1st position nominees were approved and elected as 1st Alternate representatives for their respective Areas.

The same process was repeated for all 2nd position Alternate nominees. No discussion; motion for approval and election made; vote taken. Vote: unanimous. All 2nd position nominees were approved and elected as 2nd Alternate representatives for their respective Areas. See attached lists of all nominees & background statements.

The Committee Chair thanked her fellow Committee members.  The Chair then announced that because the Area 8 Primary representative position is vacant, Reza Akef is now promoted to the Primary representative position and Andrew Wolfberg is promoted to the 1st Alternate position, per PPCC’s bylaws (Art. VIII.1.C and Standing Rule 7).

10.    Old Business.

10.1.    (Tentative) LADWP update on power pole replacement project/environmental mitigation plan.

The Chair announced that action by PPCC on the project is unnecessary at this time as the environmental mitigation plan is being addressed and the pole replacement will not occur for some time. We will continue to monitor.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    Presentation on improvements to Chautauqua/PCH and Chautauqua/Sunset intersections.  Speakers: Tim Fremaux, LADOT Senior Transportation Engineer and EricBruins, CD11 Transportation Director.

Eric Bruins spoke first, announcing that the intersection of Chautauqua & Sunset is under construction for the installation of a long-awaited left-turn signal, for cars coming from the east on Sunset and making a left turn (south) on Chautauqua.  The signal should address the primary cause of collisions at that intersection.  Residents have been expressing concerns since the fatal motorcycle collision in 2017 and the signal is finally under construction.  He then advised that Tim Fremaux, an LADOT Senior Transportation Engineer, will speak about the other problematic intersection at Chautauqua & PCH.  He explained that the intersection has a confusing arrangement, with drivers ending up in the wrong lane when seeking to turn left onto PCH from Chautauqua. Mr. Fremaux will present details about what LADOT has come up with and will take input from the community.

Tim Fremaux presented an engineering drawing of the intersection which was shown to meeting participants virtually. He described this as a “Geometric Plan” which lays out markings on the roadway for improvements in the intersection.  He described the markings while zooming in on various portions of the plan as he spoke.  [See the drawing on the PPCC website at:]

Mr. Fremaux explained that LADOT first wants to address pedestrian safety concerns involving the two lanes on PCH westbound that currently allow right turns onto both W. Channel Road and Chautauqua. He stated that allowing these lanes both to be used for such turns presents a safety issue for pedestrians crossing W. Channel Rd. and that this configuration is not permitted in most other areas of Los Angeles.   LADOT proposes to mark the right-hand lane closest to the curb side of the roadway [the “curb” lane, which begins after the Entrada intersection] so that right turns from the “curb” lane would only be allowed onto W. Channel Rd., not onto Chautauqua; the other lane to the immediate left of the “curb” lane [the “option” lane] would allow drivers the option of continuing on PCH or turning right onto Chautauqua (not W. Channel Rd.).

Several board members reacted negatively to this proposal, explaining that traffic is routinely backed up on PCH westbound at this intersection during peak hours, causing significant delays.  Since traffic flows more swiftly in the “curb” lane, in order to avoid long delays many community members returning home to areas of the Palisades other than Santa Monica Canyon use the “curb” lane rather than the “option” lane to turn right onto Chautauqua from PCH.  It was remarked that pedestrians are rarely seen crossing W. Channel Rd.  The opinion of those who spoke, in general, was that eliminating the option for drivers in the “curb” lane to turn right onto Chautauqua (i.e., limiting right turns only onto W. Channel Rd.) was a detriment to the community rather than a material improvement of the intersection.  Speakers at the meeting clearly indicated that they believe pedestrian safety on W. Channel Rd. at this intersection is not the most pressing issue.  No one spoke in support of this proposal.

Speakers stressed that the biggest public safety problem – about which the community has long expressed concerns — involves the frequent inappropriate and illegal left-turns made by drivers coming through the intersection from Chautauqua southbound.  Specifically, speakers explained that drivers routinely use the southbound lane on Chautauqua farthest from the curb to turn left illegally onto PCH instead of making a u-turn onto W. Channel Rd., as required from that lane.  Cars making these illegal turns veer unsafely onto PCH, causing cars that are legally turning left onto PCH from the “curb” lane southbound on Chautauqua to pause or even stop to avoid collisions due to the illegal maneuvers by other drivers.  This in turn causes traffic delays at the intersection, which can become significant during peak travel hours. Some speakers expressed that they believe drivers deliberately make these improper turns regardless of signage or warnings, while others indicated that more prominent signage or other measures should be put in place to help deter the illegal turns.

Focusing on the engineering drawing, Mr. Fremaux explained various lane markings and signage which LADOT proposes to try and improve this situation at the intersection.  He acknowledged that previous markings painted by LADOT in lanes at upper locations on Chautauqua southbound have been insufficient. He also requested additional input from meeting attendees for solutions to the problem.

Numerous speakers offered various solutions, including placing bollards at strategic locations and installing light reflectors or other raised “bumps” in the roadway to deter drivers from using the wrong lane to turn left onto PCH.  Other suggestions included improved signage, such as placing a large overhead sign on the traffic signal on PCH facing drivers coming downhill from Chautauqua; possibly widening lanes or shortening roadways; adding camera enforcement; increasing enforcement; adjusting traffic signal timing to reduce back-up and delays on Chautauqua during peak hours; adjusting traffic flow by making some streets in the vicinity of the intersection one-way only; and/or adding a dedicated bus lane in order to improve conditions for bus travel.

Mr. Fremaux explained that PCH is within the jurisdiction of Caltrans, which will not allow bumps or bollards that would impede traffic crossing on PCH. He also stated that camera-enforcement is no longer allowed in the City of Los Angeles. He believes placing a large sign on the traffic signal on PCH and/or other suggested measures may be a good idea but he cautioned that Caltrans may not allow such measures.  He indicated he would look into the various suggestions and would communicate with Caltrans to ascertain what would or would not be possible for areas within Caltrans’ jurisdiction.  He invited community members to contact him with follow-up concerns or suggestions []. The Chair thanked Mr. Fremaux for his presentation.

11.2.    Motion recommended to member-councils by the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) – Eliminate Gut-and-Amend bill process Deferred.

12.    Adjournment.   The meeting was adjourned at 6:46 pm.

ATTACHMENT:  Item 9.1 – 2020 Alternate Area & At-large Representative Nominees

Area 1
Judy Orsini 1st
Kelly Comras 2nd

Area 2
Melanie Bouer 1st
Bruce Schwartz 2nd

Area 3
Danielle Samulon 1st
Nancy Niles 2nd

Area 4
Rick Mills 1st
Lee Anne Sanderson 2nd

Area 5
Kimberly Bloom 1st
James Bierman 2nd

Area 6
Karyn Weber 1st
Cindy Kirven 2nd

Area 7
Rick McGeagh 1st
Cathy Russell 2nd

Area 8
Reza Akef 1st
Andrew Wolfberg 2nd

Mary Mueller 1st
Marilyn Wexler 2nd

1st Position Alternate Nominees – 2020

Area One:  Judy Orsini
Judy has resided in Area One for 42 years.  She is a realtor of many years and has worked closely with presidents of the Castellammare Homeowners Association to provide information and advice on real estate matters.  She has given the real estate report at the Association’s annual meeting for the last thirteen years.  She believes that issues such as wildfire protection, supporting the good work of PPTFH, and maintaining the integrity of CC&Rs are all important.  She has a good sense of the residents’ vision for the community and believes that will help her in serving as Area One 1st Alternate.

Area Two:  Melanie Bouer 
Melanie has been the Area Two 1st Alternate for the last two years.  She is a 32-year resident of the Highlands, and has enjoyed working with PPCC and the Area Two primary representative Steve Cron. She is concerned about issues such as large-scale development, crime and traffic congestion, and protection of coastal resources and parks.  She is very interested in continuing to serve the community as Area Two 1st Alternate.

Area Three:  Danielle Samulon
Danielle served from 2016-2018 as the elected Area Three Primary representative and for the past two years has been Area Three 1st Alternate.  She is a third generation Palisadian, mom, lawyer and volunteer with deep roots in the community. She grew up in the Palisades and has lived here for nearly a decade with her husband and children.  Danielle understands the concerns of her fellow residents and wishes to continue working on the many issues of concern to constituents as Area Three 1st Alternate.

Area Four:  Rick Mills
Rick was the respected Area Four Primary representative for six years, from 2014-2020.  He has resided in Area Four for more than three decades and was previously Chair of the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board. He has been a member of the PPCC Land Use Committee and is very knowledgeable about the issues facing our community.  He will bring valuable expertise and perspectives to PPCC as Area Four 1st Alternate.

Area Five:  Kimberly Bloom
Kimberly first moved to the Palisades Highlands as a graduate student in 1981 and fell in love with the community.  After a hiatus living elsewhere, she and her husband returned to the Palisades in 1993 and they have resided with their son in the Alphabet Streets ever since.  She has been an active member of St. Matthews Episcopal Church, where she has chaired the Youth Group and numerous events. She organized and co-led a cancer support group and also produced a successful comedy show fundraiser for the YMCA.  She loves the Palisades community and the Alphabet Streets and looks forward to serving as Area Five 1st Alternate.

Area Six:  Karyn Weber
Karyn has lived with her husband and children in Area 6 for almost 19 years.  She has previously served on the PPCC board as PPCC Secretary, Area 6 Alternate and PPRA’s Alternate representative.  She wishes to keep the small town feel of the neighborhood where her children grew up while improving certain aspects, including the park and recreation center, the farmer’s market and our infrastructure such as streets, development, parks and hiking trails.  As Area Six 1st Alternate, she would also like to help bring a voice for teens, as they are a large part of our community but are often unrepresented.

Area Seven:  Rick McGeagh
Rick has resided with his family in the Will Rogers State Park neighborhood for over 22 years.  He has been a PPCC member for twelve years, representing the Pacific Palisades Baseball Association in the Recreation category.  He has also served on the PPBA board for twelve years and the Palisades Park Advisory Board for five years.  Rick campaigned for and successfully engaged Mike Bonin’s office and park rangers in clearing the overgrown brush on the north side of Sunset Blvd. between Will Rogers State Park Rd. and Evans Rd.  This summer, LAFD Deputy Chief Hogan included Area Seven on the LAFD brush clearance plan, calling it “Rick’s Project.”  During COVID-19, Rick himself regularly clears Will Rogers State Park Rd., filling a green trash can with leaves weekly. He looks forward to serving Area Seven as the First Alternate.

Area Eight:  Reza Akef
Reza has been a resident of Area Eight for 25 years and was honored to represent the Area as Primary representative for the last eight years.  He loves the Polo Fields and believes that we need to protect our quality of life. He has defended the community on issues such as the golf tournament, Paul Revere MS and local student enrollment at Canyon Elementary.  His professional career has ranged from government to private sectors and he understands the intricate working dynamic with the City to get results for the community.

At-large:  Mary Mueller
Mary has served admirably as the At-large 1st Alternate for the past two years.  She is a 25-year Palisades resident and a Marketing Partnership executive in the entertainment and sports industry.  She operates a business located in Pacific Palisades and her two grown children were raised in the Palisades and still work here. She served as the able Chair of PPCC’s Awards Event Committee last year and wishes to continue serving PPCC and the community as At-large 1st Alternate.

2nd Position Alternate Nominees — 2020

Area One:  Kelly Comras
Kelly has served reliably as Area One 2nd Alternate for the last four years; for four years before that, she was the elected Primary representative. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a member of the PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee. Kelly is very familiar with PPCC’s Mission and process as well as her area’s concerns, and wishes to continue serving constituents so that they have a clear understanding of how to participate in local planning, building and safety, coastal development and other issues.

Area Two:  Bruce Schwartz 
Bruce is a long-time Highlands resident and realtor with Palisades Realty. He has been the Area Two 2nd Alternate for the last two years and previously served as PRIDE’s representative to PPCC.  Bruce received a Golden Sparkplug Award in 2013 and was honored as PPCC’s 2018 Citizen of the Year for his extraordinary record of volunteer service to the community. His many substantial contributions to the safety and beauty of the Highlands and the entire Palisades community are widely-known and appreciated. Bruce wishes to continue serving the community as Area Two 2nd Alternate.

Area Three:  Nancy Niles
Nancy has lived in Pacific Palisades for 43 years and in Area Three since 1985.  She is the respected President of the Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club and served in the past on the PPCC board as the service club representative for the Woman’s Club.  This fall, she was a member of the PPCC Election Committee, which oversaw the election of our Area and At-large representatives.  She is happy to serve as the Area Three 2nd Alternate with the Primary representative Haldis Toppel.

Area Four:  Lee Anne Sanderson
Lee Anne is an over 37-year resident of Area Four, where she has raised her children and participated in numerous local Palisades youth programs.  She has been involved for many years directly in efforts to improve public safety and the quality of life in Area Four.  She has been a Block Captain, has raised funds to install Neighborhood Crime Watch signs, and has worked with Mike Bonin’s deputies on matters such as COVID-19 safety, automotive speeding/racing, fire hazards on the bluff, graffiti, trash, stolen signage and noise and party nuisances. Lee Ann supports PPCC’s Mission and wishes to serve Area Four as the 2nd Alternate to PPCC.

Area Five:  James Bierman
James is a seven-year resident of the Palisades who moved with his wife and two young children to their new home in the Alphabet Streets three months ago.   He received an MBA from UCLA and works in life sciences consulting.  He is very committed to the future of the community which he believes is built for family, and wants to make sure that it continues to grow in a way that is great for residents and the future of our children.  James is most interested in ensuring that the Palisades has a viable sustainable economic profile and looks forward to contributing to the community as Area Five 2nd Alternate.

Area Six:  Cindy Kirven
Cindy has lived with her family in Pacific Palisades for 37 years and in Area 6 for six years.  A retired COO of a film production company, she is a member of the Garden Club, a Village Green volunteer, and serves as Chair of the PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee.  She has specific expertise applicable in communication, organization and collaboration.  Cindy recognizes the unique representational needs of Area 6, which includes the Huntington and Via Mesa neighborhoods, as well as the bluffs, the southern business district, the Recreation Center and George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon.  As Area Six 2nd Alternate, she hopes to bring her skills and expertise to helping keep the community safe, beautiful and neighborly.

Area Seven:  Cathy Russell
Cathy is a 40+-year Area Seven resident who has served on the PPCC Board for the last 12 years, first as the respected Area Seven Primary representative and then as 1st Alternate representative.  She wishes to continue working hard on the many issues that present themselves, including traffic concerns, homelessness, tree preservation, wildfires and safety. Cathy is very grateful to have been part of PPCC and wishes to continue to contribute to its ongoing mission.  She observes: “In these difficult times, it is important to take care of our community and each other.”

Area Eight:  Andrew Wolfberg
Andrew has served as the dependable Area Eight 1st Alternate for the last four years. He has also served as Primary representative as well as PPCC Vice-President for one term and as a member of the PPCC Bylaws Committee. He is an estate planning attorney who grew up in the Palisades and has lived in his home with his wife and children in the Polo Fields for ten years. Andrew is particularly interested in the effects that Paul Revere and other public schools have on their surrounding neighborhoods.

At-large:  Marilyn Wexler
Marilyn has been the reliable PPCC Area Seven 2nd Alternate for the past four years. She is a 30-year resident, has served on the board of the Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association (SMCCA) for 15 years, and for the past eight years has served as the respected President of SMCCA. She also sits on the PPCC Palisades Forestry Committee which she believes will be an invaluable asset to all of the Palisades community.  Marilyn wishes to continue serving the community as the At-large 2nd Alternate.


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Meeting held via Zoom videoconference

Voting Members in Attendance:  David Card, David Kaplan, Richard Cohen, Chris Spitz, Matthew Quiat, Jenny Li, Karen Ridgley, Joanna Spak, Sue Kohl, Brenda Theveny, Craig Natvig, Beth Holden-Garland, Alan Goldsmith, Steve Cron, Maryam Zar, Haldis Toppel, Dick Wulliger, Fay Vahdani, Richard Blumenberg, Reza Akef

Voting Alternates:  None

Non-voting Advisors and Alternates: Sharon Kilbride, Jack Coleman, John Padden, Melanie Bouer, Mary Mueller, Marilyn Wexler, Karyn Weber, Cindy Kirven, Kimberly Bloom

1.   Call to order and reading of Mission Statement.  The Chair David Card called the meeting to order at 5:30pm.  Beth Holden-Garland read the Mission Statement.

2.   Introduction of Zoom engineer.  The Chair welcomed everyone and introduced the technical engineer Alex Ponting.  Introductions of the Board and audience were deferred.

3.    Roll call of voting members and certification of quorum. The Chair called the roll of voting members and certified that there was a quorum.

4.   Approval of Minutes.  The minutes of October 22, 2020 were approved. Upcoming meetings: January 14, 2021:  topics to be announced.  There is one PPCC meeting only in each of the months of November and December, on the 2nd Thursday of the month. The Holiday Awards event is normally held on the December meeting date, but will not be held this year.  The December 10th meeting is cancelled.

5.    Consideration of Agenda.  Agenda items may be taken out of order at the discretion of the Chair.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.

The Treasurer Richard G. Cohen reported that PPCC’s cash balance is $38,013.05.  There have been no significant transactions since the last report.

7.    General Public Comment.

7.1.   Lou Kamer (resident) explained that LADOT and CD11 have installed improvements to the Chautauqua/Corona Del Mar intersection, including installing a new crosswalk, signage, bollards, a pedestrian island and bumper lines on the side of the street for people walking. The Chair explained that when the LADOT originally proposed to remove the crosswalk, the neighbors, Lou Kamer, the nearby PPCC Area representatives and PPCC Board members all objected.  CD 11 staff supported the community and worked with LADOT to reverse its original decision and to make these improvements to the intersection.  Mr. Kamer also explained that he and a group of residents have been trying to maintain the dirt pathway on Chautauqua by clearing brush and keeping it level.  He will bring to the Council a proposal about possibly paving the pathway. The goal is to make this a safe and beautiful route for pedestrians.  Mr. Kamer also announced that this year there will be a different holiday “Ho, Ho, Ho” celebration due to the pandemic; an announcement with details about the event will be forthcoming.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    Update on status of recent motions in City Council:

(a) Ryu motion for an ICO/temporary construction halt (CF 20-1170):  Passed in Council PLUM committee on 10/29/20 as amended by CD4. The Chair explained the amendments: the motion no longer calls for an immediate ICO on construction but requests LAFD and other agencies to report on enforcement options to address bottlenecks in evacuation routes and temporary suspension options for large vehicle hauling and staging operations during highest fire risk days. The amended text has been sent to the Board.  [See:].

A hearing date in the full City Council still hasn’t been set.

(b) Bonin motion related to the VHFHSZ and evacuation routes (CF 20-1213):  Passed in Council Public Safety committee on 10/13/20 and & in PLUM committee on 11/5/20, as amended by CD11 to include, in addition to evacuation routes in the VHFHSZ, all areas impacted by climate change (e.g., tsunami zones and areas subject to sea-level rise).  The Chair reported that the motion passed in City Council on November 10, 2020.

(c) Ryu motion to expand the Hillside Construction Regulation District (HCRD) Ordinance (CF 20-1101): Passed in full Council on 10/29/20; Planning Dept. directed to prepare ordinance amendments and map of areas where the HCRD would apply; PPCC will monitor.  The Chair noted that there are no further updates.

8.1.2.     Update on status of LAPD beach patrol in Pacific Palisades.

PPCC Letter:
Asm. Bloom Letter:

CM Bonin Response:

8.1.3.    PCH Task Force Report.

Senators Allen and Stern and Assemblymember Bloom all attended the last PCH Task Force meeting.  Sen. Allen sponsored a new law that phases out a certain fire suppressant that is cancer-causing.  All three of these elected officials agreed that density and fire evacuation were important issues. Caltrans reported that it is conducting a traffic study on the PCH/Chautauqua intersection, with possible major improvements to be proposed.  PPCC Transportation Advisor Patti Post is trying to set up a meeting to talk with Caltrans about the intersection and possible improvements.  The City of Malibu also reported at the Task Force meeting that it has worked out coordination and control of PCH stoplights from Malibu to the Ventura County line to go all “green” in the event of emergency evacuations.  There are emergency generators installed at all the stoplights.  They are also studying different sirens for use in emergencies.  Malibu has set up evacuation zones and is coordinating with the Topanga Canyon community on evacuation of residents by zones during emergencies.  The idea is to push people to evacuate north towards Ventura, not south towards the Palisades and other parts of Los Angeles and Santa Monica.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.    Chris Spitz (Secretary).  Dockless electric scooters – local & state regulation status update.


The Secretary summarized the information contained in her written report linked in the agenda.  She also stated that she had recently learned about a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against the City regarding the LADOT’s data-tracking program and had written a supplemental report about the lawsuit which was distributed to the Board before the meeting.  [See: explained the status of the lawsuit. The Secretary further reported on the status of the proposed Vacation Rentals ordinance, which passed in City Council today (November 12).  The proposed ordinance would allow a certain number of non-primary residences to be rented out short-term.  She noted that PPCC had submitted a message to the Council File reiterating its request, originally made in January 2020, for a 24-hour hotline for neighbors to report issues such as party houses, noise, nuisances and other violations of ordinance provisions.  The ordinance must now be drafted by the Planning Dept.  We will attempt to monitor.

8.3.    From Area and At-large Representatives

8.3.1.   Steve Cron (Area 2 Representative) reported that there has been a big increase in speeding and drag racing in the Highlands.  He has been in touch with Capt. Tom.  They don’t know of a solution but they are working on it.  Capt. Tom says it’s a problem all over the City.  Other Area Representatives and Alternates reported that speeding and drag racing is also going on along Sunset Blvd., on Alma Real near the library, and in the El Medio bluffs.  CD11 Field Deputy Durrah Wagner stated that she has met with residents of the Mountaingate area in Brentwood, which is also experiencing speeding and drag racing.  She  will speak with Steve Cron about exploring avenues to help with the situation.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives – None.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.   Contact information available at:

8.5.1.   Durrah Wagner (CD 11 Palisades-Brentwood Field Deputy).  See Item 8.3.1. Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Representative) explained that she is trying to understand the 45 ft. height limit in her Area and would like someone from CD 11 to get back to her.  Ms. Wagner stated that she would check with CD 11 Planning Director Len Nguyen to schedule a meeting.

8.5.2.    Veronica de la Cruz-Robles (Neighborhood Prosecutor, City Attorney’s office).   She is just checking in and listening to our meeting.  She noted that her office has been dealing a lot with the problem of party houses, mainly in Bel Air and other areas of the City.   People continue to throw large gatherings despite the public health orders.  The City has been able to shut off utilities to these houses in several cases.  This problem hasn’t affected the Palisades as much.  Many of these party houses are short-term rentals. Her office is working with City agencies to strengthen the Home-Sharing Ordinance. An issue with the hotline (which is already in the administrative rules) is that the police are not always able to respond immediately to complaints about noise and nuisances, especially late at night. Beth Holden-Garland (PPRA) remarked that she is concerned because she sees young people gathering and partying on the streets near her home and not wearing masks.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors.

8.6.1.    Sharon Kilbride (PPCC Homelessness Advisor & Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness/PPTFH Co-President) explained that members of PPTFH have been working with the LAPD Beach Patrol. They are doing a good job and getting into the hillsides to address public safety problems. There is an arsonist with mental illness who is homeless in the Palisades.  He has started two spot fires which the Beach Patrol has been able to put out.  Police have tracked him and he seems to have backed off.  Two other spot fires in the lower Corona del Mar bluffs were also put out.  There was another fire in Temescal Gateway Park in a trash can.  Ms. Kilbride can’t confirm if these fires were started by homeless people. She reminded everyone to be vigilant about fires.  She also announced that this Monday, November 16th at 7pm, there will be a PPTFH online community meeting on homeless mental  health. Information is on the PPTFH website.

9.    Reports from Committees – None.

10.   Old Business.

10.1.    Motion recommended to member-councils by the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) – eliminate gut-and-amend bill processsponsored in PPCC by Secretary Chris Spitz (PPCC primary WRAC representative & WRAC Vice-Chair); deferred from October 22, 2020.  See attachment for motion text and background information:

The Secretary introduced the motion and referenced the background information that had been provided in the agenda [see attachment below].  The Chair briefly explained that this is a “bait & switch” maneuver which misleads the public as to the intent and actual content of the legislation being proposed.  The Secretary then moved that the Board vote to support the motion. Second:  Joanna Spak (Area 1 Representative).  Discussion: None. A vote was taken.  Result: Unanimous in favor of the motion.

11.    New Business.  

11.1.    Guest speaker:  Assemblymember Richard Bloom.  Remarks by the Assemblymember and Q&A.

The Chair welcomed and introduced Assemblymember Bloom and also thanked him for his strong support for retention of our Beach Patrol. The Assemblymember indicated he will continue to advocate for this detail as it is important for the community’s safety. He thanked the Palisades for his re-election.  He spoke about what happened this past year in Sacramento.  He noted that his field representative Melissa Kaufler, who was in attendance, will confirm that their office has been inundated with unemployment/EDD requests – over 700 this year.  In a normal year they have 20-30 cases.  The legislative session was cut short during COVID.  The legislators lost a few weeks of time to work on the budget, although they were able to pass a budget on time.  There was a $1billion authorization for the Governor’s use to address the COVID crisis/important needs.

Assemblymember Bloom noted that several important bills that he introduced this past session had passed.  He explained that AB 1788 – a moratorium on the use of second generation rodenticides – will take effect in January.  He worked with folks in the Palisades and other areas for five years to get this bill to fruition.  He’ll continue to carry animal welfare bills and would like to introduce a bill this session to create a canine blood bank system.  He also noted that his office had a successful forum on hate speech and he will ask the Governor to create a commission on hate.

The Assemblymember further mentioned AB 1766, which will require the state to provide data to assess why board & care facilities have been shutting down.  This may be due to fact that real estate values have gone up too high and the rate of reimbursement for the services are such that it’s more valuable for the property owner to sell.  This is one of many drivers of homelessness.  He has been prioritizing homelessness for over 20 years.  He believes in a team approach to the problem and wants to concentrate on the mental health aspects.  There is an epidemic of meth use; this is connected to mental health because it brings on psychosis.

The Chair explained that we are concerned about proposed legislation to increase housing density in residential areas in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ). Assemblymember Bloom acknowledged these concerns while stating that he would continue to address housing affordability – this is a crisis that is not going away.  He explained that his Budget Committee has held hearings on fire prevention.  He recognizes that safe ingress & egress are of critical importance in emergencies. Also important are improving the ability to create defensible space and home hardening measures.  The Secretary thanked Assemblymember Bloom for including an unconditional exemption for the VHFHSZ in one of his housing bills last session. 

Steve Cron asked if there was funding for new equipment and machinery to fight fires. The Assemblymember: Yes, over the past few years when the budget was flush we brought CalFire to full capacity, including new equipment, more personnel and new helicopters.  Last year, they were set to fund new LiDar (laser beam) technology which would have been able to detect and pinpoint fires.  That had to be dropped from the budget due to the economy.  He hopes they can bring this back.

Leslie Campbell (resident; PP Dog Park Working Group) explained that over the past five years the Working Group has tried to get support for a dog park in the Palisades.  They now have support from Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks, CD11, PPCC and the community.  A few weeks ago they got a major boost – Measure A funds for one year were allotted for the project, thanks to Durrah Wagner of CD11.  They will still need to raise $600,000 more in funding and will also need to obtain a Coastal Development Permit (CDP).  She asked if Asssemblymember Bloom could help with the CDP.  The Assemblymember indicated that he is a dog lover and can try to help; at a minimum, he can write a letter to the California Coastal Commission (CCC).  He is a former Coastal Commissioner and may be able to explore with the current CCC how to expedite the request.  He noted that the CCC is thorough in its process.  The Working Group should stay in contact with Melissa Kaufler.

Jack Coleman (Youth Advisor) explained that AB 331, which contained an ethnic studies mandate that was anti-Semitic, was vetoed by the Governor. Will the Assemblymember commit to voting No on any legislation with an ethnic studies mandate that is not inclusive or is anti-Semitic?  Assemblymember Bloom: Yes. He explained his efforts in this regard and stated that he will continue to work on this issue.  Anti-Semitism has no place in any curriculum.

The Chair thanked the Assemblymember for speaking with us and answering our questions.

11.2.   Motion recommended to member-councils by the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) – Community Plans update process/requests to Planning; sponsored in PPCC by the PPCC Community Plan Update Committee (CPUC).  See attachment for motion text and background information:

The Secretary (as a member of the Community Plan Update Committee/CPUC) introduced the motion and referenced the background information that had been provided in the agenda [see attachment below].  The Chair briefly explained the reasons why the CPUC was sponsoring this motion.  The Secretary then moved that the board vote to support the motion. No second was necessary as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting Board member.  Discussion: None.  A vote was taken.  Result:   Unanimous in favor of the motion. 

12.    Adjournment.   The meeting was adjourned at 6:45pm.


Item 10.1 (text of motion)

Whereas the Sacramento Legislative process known as Gut-and-Amend eliminates transparency and public participation by misleading the intent and content of the bill being considered,

[Pacific Palisades Community Council] recommends the following reform: Eliminate the “gut-and-amend” bill process and request the City of Los Angeles include in its Sacramento legislative priorities the elimination of the “gut-and-amend” bill process.

Item 11.2 (text of motion)

Motion to support and include for official input to the Los Angeles Department of City Planning in reference to the WRAC Member Community Plan updates, a delay of 6 months due to COVID 19 and restrictions related to public access, meetings and participation and further request the following:

  • An appropriate assessment of how the COVID 19 and future pandemics will impact current and future mobility, housing, design, environmental and health and safety needs and concerns.
  • Current and future data projections relevant to the task of updating all WRAC member Community Plans.
  • Incorporation of an additional step in the Community Plan update timeline that allows for presentation of the staff draft plan and an associated public comment period, or a second and revised concept plan phase. Allocation of time for staff to review public comments and incorporate changes to reflect input prior to issuing any NOP [Notice of Preparation of Draft Environmental Impact Report] for the start of the environmental review process. It is improper to issue an NOP and conduct a DEIR for a draft plan that the community has had neither the chance to see or review.
  • Thorough public outreach is a must and should include all stakeholders. The Planning Department has not allocated proper time or resources, and City Council must do so moving forward so that no stakeholders are left uninformed about the process.


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The PPCC holiday meeting of December 14 was CANCELED
due to pandemic-related conditions  — No minutes.


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