Scroll down for all 2023 meeting minutes.

Return to Index of 2023 minutes

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings held via Zoom videoconference and recorded for secretarial purposes only (June 22nd and November 9th meetings held in hybrid format).

MINUTES FROM JANUARY 12th 2023

1.    Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission. 
The President called the meeting to order at 6:08pm. Sue Kohl read the PPCC mission.

2.    Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The President called roll and certified that we had quorum.

Voting board members present: Maryam Zar, Randy Young, Jenny Li, Beth HoldenGarland, David Card, Murray Levy, Bruce Schwartz, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Reza Akef, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Greg Heidt, Barbara Kohn, Richard Blumenberg, Shirley Haggstrom, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting board members present: Joanna Spak, Nancy Niles, Michael Edlen, Leeanne Sanderson, Sue Kohl, Rick McGeagh, Kevin Niles.

3.    Introduction of attendees.
The President deferred introduction of all attendees, but did introduce guest speaker: Donna Arrechea, Director, 3-1-1 Call Center. Donna recommended the use of the MY LA 311 services and mobile app to report service requests like park maintenance, trees down, graffiti, tree dumping, etc. Donna was short with time, but willing to come back to attend another meeting and answer questions.  Sidewalks, she said, are generally the homeowner’s responsibility in LA, but the city will step in to make sure sidewalks are accessible. There is a 7 to 10-year request time. The President thanked Ms. Arrechea and invited her to come back to another meeting with questions sent in advance. A comment in the chat said the 311 app has been effective for graffiti removal.  Chris Spitz (At-large rep.) noted that the PPCC website has a link to the 311 app.

4.    Approval of Minutes.
The minutes of November 10, 2022 were approved without objection.

5.    Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.
The President noted that on January 26th, we will have a presentation by Alex Helou, Assistant Director at LA Sanitation, as well as Deborah Hong from LADWP.  We might also meet the new CD11 Field Deputy.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.
Following the PPCC Holiday Dinner and Gala event, the bank balance is $55,659.52. This balance is higher than what we began with in July. Thanked Karen Ridgley and Haldis Toppel, Event Committee Co-Chairs, for their help in tallying the income/expenses of the gala.    

7.    General Public Comment — None. 

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.  The President announced that she hosted a walk-through of Potrero Canyon Park with Area and At-large Reps in order to have a more informed conversation around park issues at this, and other, meetings. She will be appointing a committee.

8.1.2.   She announced that she has met with Traci Park and Gaby Medina regarding Palisadian matters, including Potrero issues.

8.1.3.  The President noted that LADWP will present to our Board next time we meet.

8.2.    From Officers.

8.2.1.   Randy Young announced a presentation he will be making about Potrero Canyon on January 17th at 7pm at Theater Palisades for the Historical Society. Reservations are available online.

8.2.2.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1 [numbering incorrect].  Reza Akef, Area 8, announced that February Genesis Golf Open sponsored by the Tiger Woods Foundation is upon us. Please let him know of any issues, poor experiences, concerns about the open.

8.2.3.   Karen Ridgley, Area 4, a tree on Las Casas needs to be removed. Asks, how do we go about getting basic city service to do what is necessary? Also, vehicles are driving up on curbs near Asilomar Park and the curbs are damaged. Need curb repairs. The President said CD11 is hiring a new Palisades field deputy who may help. Also, please call the fire department about dangerous trees.

8.3.    From Organizational Representatives.

8.3.1.   Kevin Niles, American Legion, announced the Grand Opening of the  American Legion: Sat Jan 28th , from 2pm to 6pm at the American Legion location. There will be a street closure from Swarthmore to Alma Real and a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3pm. All are invited. An invitation with a QR code for RSVP has been shared. The President noted that she is not at her usual laptop because of heavy traffic on PCH so she diverted to the home of her parents where she does not have a laptop and is working off her telephone and will not be able to share the invitation on screen but will include it in the minutes. See the invitation [link] below.

8.3.2.   Rick McGeagh, PPBA, announced that the PPBA will be holding evaluations for approximately 500 kids on Saturday January 20th and Sunday January 21st. Also reported a sinkhole in the path around the field. Will be following up with RAP and city maintenance people, and are hoping it is addressed before the next set of rains.

8.4.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.4.1.   Brian Espin.  LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades.
Officer Espin showed us the “heat map” of crime density and gave us a year-on-year report of Palisades crime statistics. He noted that last year we saw an increase in rapes (5 in 2022 versus 3 in 2021). These were not stranger rapes and all involved intoxication of some sort. He said we were higher in robberies at PCH and Sunset Blvd., but lower also in Aggravated Assaults. Problem spots are evenings down by PCH. Burglaries saw an up-tick during the week of Christmas, when we had 8 or 9 in the area. Other than that, we have been trending well for most of the year. He attributes the lower statistics to community vigilance and the Beach Unit with 7 days coverage using 4 officers. They’ve been out each day with PPTFH volunteers and are clearing out encampments. Bluffs are clear now, but that may change. He suggested we keep LAPD and the PPTFH aware if we see anything.  Area 6 Rep, Cindy Simon, voiced general concern over the uptick in robberies and home break-ins.  The President said she’d like to see the Palisades car not have to leave. SLO Espin said he’d like to see that as well. Reported three crimes in the first week of January.  SLO Espin noted that on February 25th, LAPD will be holding its Safety Fair at West LA Station.  The Fair will include catalytic converter etching, and SLOs along with Captains will be available to answer questions.

8.4.2.   Zac Gaidzik, (temporary) Deputy, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, District 3.  Zach reports that Supervisor Horvath passed a motion co-authored by Sup. Barker, declaring a homelessness emergency across LA County.  This ensures that all resources are being used to deal with homelessness. Also co-authored a motion to make Narcan (Naloxone), available to all emergency providers as LA sees a rise in overdoses across LA. These drugs can save the lives of people who are experiencing an overdose that may otherwise be fatal. These are widely used by EMS and by first responders with no significant adverse reaction. Notes the PIT homeless count coming up on January 25th  and informs us that youth homelessness, particularly among LGBTQ + populations, is on the rise and that Supervisor Horvath is focused on addressing this troubling trend. The President welcomed Zach as part of the newly elected Sup. Horvath team, and congratulated Lindsey Horvath again on her election to the LA County Board of Supervisors.

8.4.3.   Gabriela Medina, CD11 District Director, Councilmember Traci Park.
Gaby introduced herself as the Councilwoman’s new District Director. She started in City Council as a staffer in 2012, with CM Joe Buscaino. They are hiring a new field deputy on Friday. CM Park has introduced the Potrero Canyon Park hours motion, as well as a new 41.18 motion. In partnership with law enforcement and community leaders, they’ve identified problem spots to address. They have implemented outreach to address homelessness through a compassionate lens with choices for housing, and have housed 100 individuals already.  This is part of the “Inside Safe” program (Mayor Bass), and are hopeful they’ll house more because this is the “number one” issue in the district. Her next priority is public safety.

She looks forward to working with all of us. “There is no issue too small or too large.” CM Park sends her regards.

Said she is in conversations with Sonya Jimenez and Jasmine Dowlatshahi from RAP and plans a walk though Potrero Canyon Park in order to address some of the issues that remain unresolved. Wants to streamline communication but promises they are on top of Park issues.

Veronica de la Cruz Robles was also at the meeting, and said she’s known Gaby Medina for years and works well with her. The President said she was glad to see the tripartite of good working relationships between the Council Office, LAPD and the Office of the City Attorney. Veronica said no changes have been made to staff or policy under newly elected City Attorney, Heidi Feldstein Soto.

8.4.4.   Rad Nowroozi introduced himself as Senator Ben Allen’s Field Deputy (SD 24). Also said he is the Caltrans rep to the community. The big news this week in the state capital was the budget announcement – instead of a surplus there is a projected 22billion-dollar shortfall. There is a rainy-day fund, that was set up in past years when there had been a surplus, so the state is doing fine. The two parts of the budget that are most impacted are transportation and the environment (two matters Ben Allen works on).  The President asked Rad to put us in touch with Caltrans over important local matters which can be discussed offline.

8.5.    From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.5.1.    Lou Kamer, PPCC Transportation Advisor.  Lou reported that PCH back up northbound around Entrada has been submitted to Caltrans and they somehow lost the thread. Light maintenance crews will be looking at the intersection to implement improvements and repairs.

Regarding flooding on PCH, we were told that PCH dips in that area and because of the runoff, there was flooding there. Caltrans has found a temporary way to move that water away, but they are looking for LA City BOE to come up with a permanent solution or ways to pump or divert the water from that area.

Also gave update regarding the Caltrans staging/dumping area along PCH – they are looking to find a solution for better use of that space.

Closing the gaps in the walls next to Casentino. Asked Caltrans maintenance to close those gaps, but they say they need right of way/access in those spots. Lou reported that he would continue to try to close those gaps for community safety and fire prevention purposes.

8.6.    Sharon Kilbride, Homelessness Advisor.  PPTFH needs volunteers for the Point In Time 2023 homeless count on January 25th.  Start time: 5/5:30 am from Corpus Christi gymnasium.  Please email kimjdave@msn.com to sign up and volunteer.  Sharon also announced that Dave Morena, who has spearheaded the PIT Homeless count since the first year that the PPTFH undertook that endeavor and developed the Palisades process (which often works better than the county’s), has passed away. This year PPTFH needs “all hands on deck.”  The homeless count will take place on January 25th. The board expressed its genuine condolences to the Clary/Morena family and urged people to volunteer.

8.6.1.   Chris Spitz, PPCC Primary rep to WRAC  – Deferred.

8.6.2.   K.C. Soll, Cert and Emergency Preparedness Liaison.
Structural problems under Sunset with water to feeder areas.  If there is a major earthquake, we will have difficulty delivering clean water so she proposes that people get together with neighbors and achieve neighborhood water security, in case of a major earthquake. The infrastructure is elderly so everyone should consider getting a 55-gallon water barrel into their garage – it could save lives.  Email her at cert.palisades@gmail.com

9.    Reports from Committees.

9.1.    Palisades Forestry Committee, David Card, Chair.
PFC successfully arranged for the planting of 6 new trees at the Palisades Recreation Center. El Medio is the next street they will address, so this month they will be walking up there looking for vacancies for street trees. Will Rogers State Park will have 100 new seedlings which are being grown in Ojai at a specialty nursery for later planting, along with 50 peppers (purchased by Will Rogers Foundation). Next areas will be Via de la Paz and some spots in SM.

9.2.    Holiday Event Committee, Sue Kohl (recap of Holiday event).
December 8th at Cheadle Hall, the event was a huge success. Sue thanked the awards committee chaired by Nancy and Kevin Niles, as well as the Event Committee, chaired by Haldis Toppel, with Karen Ridgley, Cindy Simon and Genevieve Bostic. The presentation of awards went well – awarded to Mike Lanning, James Cragg, Cindy Simon, Tracy Price, Hazel Tate and the Pacific Palisades Historical Society Centennial Celebration Committee.  New Councilmember Traci Park, as well as LAUSD Board VP Nick Melvoin, Janet Turner, Noah Fleishman, Sam Liu and others were on hand to present the scrolls and certificates to our honorees, and to thank them for their volunteer work in the community.

The President thanked the Event Committee and apologized for having been down with COVID for this important event. She thanked Sue Kohl for stepping in and managing the event so beautifully, and also mentioned the assistance of Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostic, Beth Holden-Garland, and Sue Pascoe in giving the PPCC awards to the honorees and helping celebrate their important contributions to the Palisades.

10.    Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.    L.A. City 3-1-1 App Presentation (by Donna Arrechea, Director, 3-1-1 Call Center).  Deferred – asked to come back for remarks and responses to curated questions (see also Item 3 above).

11.2.    Smoking on film/movie sets (by Larry Watts, BCC)  – Deferred.

11.3.   George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon (GWPPC).

11.3.1.    Motion to Secure Park Rangers:
Motion made by At-large Rep Chris Spitz and co-sponsored by Area 6 Reps Cindy Simon and Quentin Fleming, passed unanimously.

“Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC), in the interest of public health and safety, urges Council District 11 to secure the regular service of the Los Angeles City Park Rangers to ensure that Park Rangers are assigned to monitor George Wolfberg

Park at Potrero Canyon on a daily basis so that proper usage of this passive, unattended  Park can be enforced in accordance with all laws, including ensuring that users are not  gaining access to the Park before or after operating hours and that users are not trapped or otherwise remaining in the Park after the intended sunset closing time.”

11.3.2.    Discussion and possible motion regarding standing water:
Motion made by Chris Spitz (At-large Rep), seconded by Karen Ridgle (Area 4 Rep), passes unanimously after brief explanation of possible standing water and the need for vector control monitoring until either the water is moving or is treated sufficiently to prevent a threat of gathering mosquitos.

“PPCC recognizes a current need for L.A. County Vector Control to support the opening of the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon (GWPPC) and asks CD11 and RAP to request Vector Control personnel, on a regular basis, to test/monitor standing water gathering at various spots along the riparian way in GWPCC, until the conditions causing standing water in the riparian way are identified and corrected and/or the proposed pump which is intended to effectively recirculate the riparian water begins to function properly and ensures a moving stream that prevents the collection of standing water and/or the chance of mosquitos or other hazards associated with standing water.”

11.3.3.   Discussion and possible motion/s regarding observations made during our walk through:
A) Approved a formal “thank you” to be sent to Congressman Ted Lieu for securing $1.15 Million in the Omnibus bill for the Lateral Trail linking GWPPC with Temescal Canyon Park.

B) A request to Mayor Karen Bass and/or Councilwoman Traci Park to secure the additional short-fall for the Lateral Trail (now estimated by BOE to cost over $3M) did not pass.

  • Members wanted to understand why we need more money and would like some answers from City BOE as to costs and feasibility. Rob Weber (Legal Advisor and longtime community member working on Potrero Canyon Park issues), noted that the City and Caltrans must come to an agreement so that the path can cross the Caltrans right of way to progress. We need that first. This can all be one ask because we need to understand what the money is for, and when Caltrans and the City will come together and implement an agreement for access. Then we can begin to talk about what the path looks like and how much it will cost.
  • The President will follow up with our state representatives to help bring Caltrans and the City together. Dave Card says he has seen a line drawing of the path but there has been no real feasibility study done or detailed plans shared with the community because the City hasn’t had the money in place to begin the work. Now they have the money and should begin the engineering work to design and implement the lateral trail, notably required by the Coastal permit. Chris Spitz notes that the bridge still needs Coastal Commission approval.

C) Slope erosion – the board noted that there has been substantial slope erosion in various areas of GWPPC that must be addressed and repaired by City engineers before it damages the pedestrian trail.

  • There are other observable areas of slippage in areas of the canyon which all need repairs. There has now been an eye-opening slippage beneath the baseball field as well as the area to the right of the Frontera entrance.
  • Rick McGeagh and Sue Kohl (Area 7 and 5 First Alternates, respectively) pointed out great areas of slippage. Chris Spitz (At-large Rep) also noted fissures along the Friends Street trail. The President noted that the City has become aware of the fissures and are working on it. We will monitor, and report back. This issue will also be pointed out at the Park Advisory Board meeting where RAP members will be present. Will report back on engineering solutions proposed.
  • The President will inform the City about soil slippage along the trail, at the Frontera gate, the Friends Street fissures, the baseball field hole and the slope below it, and ask for them to be repaired.

D) Biking – Electric, battery operated or motorized bikes and scooters to be prohibited; pedal bikes and non-motorized scooters allowed only on the 12-ft. wide, main pedestrian trail (appropriate “no motorized vehicles” LAMC section added to the signage)  – Tabled.

E) Linking QR code to GWPPC family information and signage  – Tabled.

F) Dogs off leash – urge City to seriously pursue dog park in Pacific Palisades. – Affirmed in keeping with previously approved motion to support.

G) Wires and plastic pipe(s) sticking out along the pedestrian pathway – it was agreed that we would ask the City to address.

  • Randy Young suggested that this is a breaking-in time which requires a blueprint of walkthrough/inspection.
  • The President reiterated that she will be appointing a Potrero Canyon Monitoring Committee, which will aim to monitor ongoing issues and successes at Potrero Canyon Park, including implementing regular walk-abouts with city officials and community members, as well as streamlined communication, maintenance contract monitoring, weeding and more.

H) Gates: all pedestrian gates must function properly (latched fully-closed automatically at sunset and opened automatically at sunrise); the Rhino gate at the end of the pedestrian trail should be operable, or gaps created on both sides of the gate posts that are just wide enough for pedestrian passage, so pedestrians can gain access to the rest of the trail which descends down to the mouth of the canyon (to where the Lateral Trail would begin).

– Chris Spitz (At-large Rep) described some latching problems at gates but reported that both the Friends Street and the Frontera gate locking mechanisms have been corrected and seem to be operating properly  – Rhino gate not addressed.

I) Fencing at Frontera Entrance:  Fencing to the left side of the vehicle gate (when entering GWPPC) should be raised to a height of 6 ft. from the top of the curb/retaining wall where persons have been observed climbing over the now-lower fencing at that point in order to gain access at nighttime.

– Chris Spitz (At-large Rep) reports that people are climbing the lower part of the gate. The President reports that the City has acknowledged that the fencing needs to be made uniform at 6 feet. Board agrees that the City should be made aware, and that repairs or adjustments should be forthcoming. If corrections are not made, we will have the committee follow up.

– Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Rep) brought up the self-cleaning bathrooms at Potrero. The President says she will bring it to the attention of RAP and believes this will be the kind of ongoing monitoring that the new committee will concern itself with.

J) Additional signage on pedestrian gates:  Add clear signs on the Frontera, baseball field and Friends St. gates stating to the effect “Park Closed (No Entry) Sunset to Sunrise.” There should be a passive park sign at each entry  – Tabled.

11.4.   Interactive Kiosk Experience (IKE) Program – discussion and motion (recommended by WRAC: https://westsidecouncils.com/motion/opposeikeinteractivekioskprogramcf2211542/) to oppose the City’s proposed IKE program.

– Motion made by Chris Spitz (At-large Primary) and seconded by Karen Ridgley (Area 4 Primary) passed unanimously:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council opposes the IKE program present in Council File 22-1154 for the following reasons:

  • This project may result in the installation of digital advertising structures along designated Scenic Highways for which Scenic Corridor Plans have not been adopted, such as Sunset Blvd.; as such, the project violates the Mobility Element of the City’s General Plan (Appendix B, Scenic Highways Guidelines).There is no local competitive bidding process.
  • This project needs a financial analysis, as it is using public space to generate revenue. This project may have negative environmental impacts and there is no environmental review (CEQA).
  • This project creates visual pollution
  • This project is a source of driver distraction and poses a threat to safe driving.”

12.    Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 8:13pm.

[ATTACHMENT — Item 8.3.1:  Link to invitation: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/American-Legion-Invitation-to-Grand-Opening-w-QR-code.pdf]

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM JANUARY 26th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.

The President called the meeting to order at 6:03pm. Karen Ridgley read the PPCC Mission Statement.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.

Voting members present: Maryam Zar, David Card, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Randy Young, Murray Levy, Diana Danielle, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Quentin Fleming, Julie Silliman, Rick McGeagh, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Greg Heidt, Richard Blumenberg, Shirley Haggstrom, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting Alternates present:  Kevin Niles, Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Nancy Niles, Daphne Gronich, Sue Kohl.

3.   Introduction of attendees.

The President noted Deborah Hong from LADWP and Alex Helou, Assistant Director at LA Sanitation, as attending the meeting and making presentations.

4.   Approval of Minutes: The January 12, 2023 minutes were approved with one amendment which was to correct that language of the IKE motion which passed at the last meeting.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings:

The agenda was considered as presented. The President noted highlights of upcoming meetings: February 9: Congressman Brad Sherman, Donna Arrechea – LA City 311 App.
March 23: Presentation by Brian Hale, LADOT Chief of Parking Enforcement and Tim Fremaux, Sr. Transportation Engineer, LADOT – to discuss parking issues as well as crosswalks and updates on intersections.  The President reminded the board to send in their questions for Donna Arrechea.

6.   Treasurer’s Report. 

Randy Young reported that all expenses from the Holiday event have been paid and our account balance is $54,250. Next month he will take the finances to get our filing done for end of year tax returns.

7.   General Public Comment.  None

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President informed the board that the Department of Cannabis Regulation will be notifying PPCC (and BCC) when businesses receive temporary approvals to operate in our community. This was noticed to us by CM Traci Park’s office to whom we had made this request (following the “Cookies” cannabis dispensary which opened on San Vicente Blvd., in Brentwood).

8.1.2.   The President announced that she would be appointing three members to the Joint BCC Committee to work on all common matters related to cannabis dispensaries. BCC has appointed four people.  Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Rep) volunteered for PPCC.

8.1.3.   The President provided a recap of the PAB board meeting which took place the day before. She informed the board that per RAP, the park staff had contacted County Vector Control, and someone had come out and tested the water. They had determined that the recent rains had flushed out the standing water and there was no trace of mosquitos or evidence of staid water at the time of the visit. But the water was treated, and plans are in place for regular vector control visits until further notice.

The PAB board was also told that various instances and locations of soil slippage were known to the BOE team and were being addressed. RAP informed the PAB board that the contractor had not yet taken over park management from LA BOE, but when they do, Maintenance Supervisor, Robert Buenrostro, will be reporting to the PAB regularly.

On the topic of park ranger support, the PAB moved to ask that Potrero Park be deemed a “Regional Park” and with it, receive all the resources available and appropriate for such a designation, including ranger support (and Quimby money for ADA compliant bathrooms). Bathrooms, fencing and other matters were also noted and being addressed.

8.1.4.   The President said she was going to impart to the board her contemporaneous impression of the LADWP scoping meeting after having listened to the public event, but in light of DWP’s announcement tonight thinks it is now not necessary.

8.1.5.   The President encouraged all to write-in as public comment to council file 23-4118-S1 at: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/?cfnumber=23-4118-S1 which designates “prohibited locations” for the enforcement of 41.18. (the amended version of which no longer requires prohibited locations to be specified as a requisite for enforcement), and said PPCC had written its own letter as well. [See: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/PPCC-41.18-further-letter.pdf.]

8.1.6.   The President provided an update regarding conversations with State officials since our last meeting and the motion to get our State reps to help bring the City and Caltrans together over the lateral trail (plan and costs). She announced that she and two other Board members had met with Sen. Ben Allen’s staff to review the lateral trail and to go over what we need from them in order to bring everyone together — especially, to get Caltrans and the City to enter into a collaborative agreement so that BOE can have access to assess the feasibility of the trail and provide to this community an estimate of time and costs.

8.1.7.   Formation of Potrero Canyon Community Committee (for monitoring or oversight) to monitor issues in the canyon and to streamline communication with the City so that the City knows what those issues are and can address them as they arise.

  1. Jenny Li (Vice-President)
  2. Dave Card (Chair Emeritus)
  3. Chris Spitz (At-large Rep)
  4. Rob Weber (Legal Advisor)
  5. Julie Silliman (Area 7 Rep)
  6. Cindy Simon (Area 6 Rep)
  7. Caroline Wittcoff (West rim resident)
  8. Sue Kohl (Area 5 1st Alternate)
  9. Rick McGeagh (PPBA Rep & Area 7 1st Alternate)
  10. John Padden (Palisades PRIDE Rep)

8.1.8.   The President proposed a discussion of formation of a Street Services Priority Committee comprised of Area reps (a similar committee was formed in 2005 and was very effective). The consensus was to wait until the upcoming discussion with Donna Arrechea from LA 311 to see if this committee would be useful or if the 311 app is now effective enough that we do not need a prioritizing committee, since things have changed so much.  Rick McGeagh said the city street leading up to the Palisades Recreation Center needs paving and was wondering if we were to have a list of priorities, could we hasten these street services. There was another huge pothole in front of the American Legion and the post office. Brian Espin suggests we continue to use the 311 app, which records all submissions.

8.1.9.   The President offered her own, as well as the community’s, heartfelt condolences on the passing of David Morena, who was one of the founders of the PPTFH, and spearheaded the very first PIT Count held by Pacific Palisades, exceeding expectations and setting the standard for homeless count organization. He will be missed and we offer our deepest sympathies to Kim Clary and her family. Our condolences to Kim Clary, the community and to PPTFH.

8.2.   From Officers

8.2.1.   Jenny Li (Vice-President) reported that she had met with the new joint Palisades/Malibu Chamber Vice President, Robyn Ritter Simon, and announced that they are looking for Palisadian board members. Jenny suggested that Palisadians get involved and become members. She offered people to email her for more information and to be put in touch with the new chamber people.

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland (Secretary) reported that we have set up an Instagram account for PPCC (@pacPalicc), and encouraged everyone to click over and follow us.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area RepresentativesNone.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives

8.4.1.   Rick McGeagh (PPBA Rep) announced that PPBA had a record number of kids participating in evaluations, and that baseball season will begin (with 520 kids participating) on Feb 11th and the pancake breakfast will be on March 18.

8.4.2.   Shirley Haggstrom (TCA Rep) invited everyone to join TCA on Sunday, January 29 for an historic hike to Murphy Ranch (about four miles).  Bring water and a snack, and wear sturdy shoes. Meet on Latimer Rd., see also https://temcanyon.org .

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives

8.5.1.   Brian Espin, LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades, reported that there have been five burglaries reported so far in January, and that is higher than the same month last year. Please be vigilant, make sure you lock doors and clear areas that may provide climbing or scaling opportunities to upstairs or balconies. Tesla vehicles have recording feature (sentry mode) that can be helpful in solving crimes. Please leave those on. Courtney Macker (PPRA Rep) reported on RVs on Via Floresta. Brian Espin said he would drive over and make sure he is informed and aware.

8.5.2.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Councilmember Traci Park, introduced himself to the community, and said he just started on Friday after working for ASM Mike Fong. He feels “an amazing energy” at the Councilmember’s office and pledged he would be active in Pacific Palisades and Brentwood. He announced that the CD11 office has already housed over 100 people in Venice and is working hard to impact homelessness. He will be helping us with city services and attending PPCC meetings going forward. He pledged his support and attention to our two communities.

8.5.3.   Taleen Keuroghlian, Congressman Brad Sherman, Field Representative for the area, introduced herself and explained that the Palisades is a new neighborhood for Congressman Brad Sherman. Described their field services out of the Sherman Oaks office and invited all to the Telephone Town Hall on February 2nd.  Confirmed that Congressman Sherman will be at the next PPCC meeting and will be taking questions.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC RepresentativesNone.

9.   Reports from Committees.

9.1.   Holiday Event Committee.  Haldis Toppel, Committee Chair, reported that the 2022 Holiday and Gala event was a success and made back most of its expenditures. The committee had budgeted selling 130 tickets and sold 96. The event emerged with a $400 loss. A detailed report of costs and income has been sent to Randy Young, Treasurer and will be studied for next year. Haldis thanked the members of the Event Committee and the board for their support. The President said she made up for the $400 shortfall in real time with an online donation.

10.   Old Business – None.

11.    New Business.

11.1.   Smoking on film/movie sets.

Larry Watts, Brentwood Community Council (BCC) Vice Chairman, made a presentation to  the board regarding the widespread smoking that is common on film sets. He informed the  board that a BCC board member had seen someone smoking on a film set in a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone in Brentwood and brought this to the attention of the off-duty LAPD officer providing security on the set. The Officer ignored the violation and said enforcing the ordinance was “not his job.” Mr. Watts informed us that permits issued by FilmLA include language requiring film production companies to comply with applicable laws and regulations, but enforcement of LAMC § 57.4908.6, which prohibits smoking, seems to slip through the cracks.

Chris Spitz (PPCC At-large Rep) made a motion for PPCC to consider [see text below]. Maryam Zar seconded the motion. Chris Spitz announced that the BCC, PPCC and Bel Air-Beverly Crest NC have each adopted similar resolutions urging the City to bring this matter to the attention of film set crews and managers. Larry Watts informed PPCC about the recent motion passed by BCC, prohibiting smoking on film sets in/near the VHFHSZs and asking the City’s Film Coordinator and Industry Liaison to ensure proper enforcement of no smoking on film sets, through the authority of the Motion Picture and Television Manager.

A vote was taken and the motion below passed unanimously by the PPCC board, as follows:

“WHEREAS the entirety of Pacific Palisades is in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ);
WHEREAS outdoor smoking is prohibited in the VHFHSZ;
WHEREAS, permits for film shoots are regularly issued by FilmLA for locations within a VHFHSZ;
WHEREAS, film permits can and do contain special conditions for numerous locations within the City;
WHEREAS, there are currently no special conditions limiting smoking included in film permits issued by FilmLA for locations within a VHFHSZ; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Public Works has a dedicated Motion Picture and Television Manager, to act as the FilmLA contract administrator;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) urges the Motion Picture and Television Manager for the Board of Public Works to require FilmLA to include a specific no outdoor smoking prohibition in all film permits issued for locations within a VHFHSZ.”

11.2.   George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon (GWPPC).

The President brought up discussion and possible motion on the two issues below.

A) Signage: Linking QR code to GWPPC family information and signage.

B) Biking – Electric, battery operated or motorized bikes and scooters to be prohibited; pedal bikes and non-motorized scooters allowed only on the 12-ft. wide, main pedestrian trail (“no motorized vehicles” LAMC section added to the signage).

C) Wires and plastic pipe(s) sticking out along the pedestrian pathway – city to address.

Dave Card suggested that we table these items and, instead, send them to the newly formed oversight committee to discuss these issues in a complete way and bring recommendations/committee consensus to the PPCC board. Chris Spitz concurred. Julie Silliman says it’s clear that some additional park signs are needed because prohibited behavior is occurring at the park, but the signs need to be coordinated with what’s already there so we don’t have too much signage. Tone and visuals are important and QR codes are a good thing to have on signs and can be helpful as a tool to offer additional information. In our case, it might be an issue to see what website to connect to:  LA City’s website or the Wolfberg family website which is also linked on our website and which Dianne Wolfberg (resident; in attendance) also put in the chat. The President suggested that this will be discussed at the new committee with suggestions/recommendations brought to the board. Dave Card concurred that we should guard against “sign pollution”, and all agreed that these issues should go to the new committee for discussion.  Diane Wolfberg also suggested that we keep photographs of the development/evolution of the park and its plantings as they grow. 

11.3.   Alex Helou, LA Sanitation.

Mr. Helou and Paul Cobian of LA Sanitation gave a Power Point presentation on recycling and the new curbside composting program.  [See the presentation here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Pacific-Palisades-CC-01262023.pdf.]

11.4.   Deborah Hong, LADWP Community Affairs Liaison.

Ms. Hong announced that she would turn the presentation over to Katherine Rubin, LADWP Director of Environmental Affairs.  The presentation was intended to be focused on the impending Environmental Study on the proposed substation at the property owned by LADWP on Marquez Avenue, next to Marquez Charter Elementary School.  However, Ms. Rubin read a statement announcing that there would be no presentation because LADWP was going back to “model the options” for Pacific Palisades, and would return to the community and work with us to consider a substation in the Palisades, because the community needs the provision of reliable electricity. The President allowed board and public comment, nonetheless.  Before closing their presentation time, LADWP made clear that they did not make a presentation at PPCC on this day because they would not be going forward with the Environmental Study for the proposed Marquez site for a substation, and while they did not say the location was no longer an option, they did say that they were listening to the community feedback and were going to “remodel” their options. Ms. Rubin encouraged everyone to continue to comment at  DS104.CEQA@ladwp.com, and to please include name and email. [See the video of the announcement and Q/A here: https://youtu.be/kqfm06cxutQ.]

12.  Adjournment. The President adjourned the meeting at 8:10pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM FEBRUARY 9th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.
The meeting was called to order at 6:03pm.  Beth Holden-Garland read the Community Council mission.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The Chair certified that there was quorum.

Voting members in Attendance: Maryam Zar, David Card, Jenny Li, Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, Murray Levy, Steve Cron. Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Julie Silliman, Reza Akef, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Alisa Wolfson, Richard Blumenberg, Shirley Haggstrom, Genevieve Bostic, Courtney Macker, Rick McGeagh.

Non voting board members in attendance: Joanna Spak, Bruce Schwartz, Michael Edlen, Sue Kohl, Daphne Gronich, Ryan Craig, Jessica Rogers.

3.   Introduction of attendees.
US Congressman, Brad Sherman
Joey Castruita, LADWP Water Systems Superintendent

4.   Approval of Minutes:  The January 26, 2023 were approved as presented

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

6.   Treasurer’s Report.
Randy Young reported that PPCC has $53,790.63 as of February 1, 2023. The Treasurer reported that he is putting together annual information for our accountant and will go over that at the appropriate time.

7.   General Public Comment.  None

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President announced she’s been informed by the Council Office that Streets LA is willing to meet with us and discuss the elements of the new street furniture/bus shelter program that we would not like to see implemented here in PP.

8.1.2.   The President informed everyone that she and a few others have met with ASM Irwin to talk about the need to bring Caltrans and BOE to the table over access and forward plans/engineering foe the lateral trail. She further said that Sen ben Allen’s office had informed her that they had a meeting set up with Caltrans after having discussed joint matters with the office of Traci Park, but Caltrans cancelled that meeting at the last minute. A call is being planned for new updates and both State Assemblymember Irwin, and State Senator Allen are now working and pressing on our behalf to bring the parties together and asses next steps for the lateral trail connecting Potrero Canyon Park to the beach.

8.1.3.   The President announced that the first meeting of the Potrero Canyon Park Oversight Committee had convened, and members had laid out the purpose of the committee and the scope of its work. Members worked well together and laid out early goals which include working on signage and ensuring that dogs are not off-leash in the park (detrimental to the habitat and topography) but support the long-planned dog park in the Palisades. A letter has been sent on behalf of the community, following that meeting, and has already been acknowledged. (See letter: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/PCOC-letter-1.pdf ).

8.2.   From Officers.

8.2.1.   Jenny Li, VP, reported that she has set up an email for the Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC): potrerocommittee@gmail.com. This is a repository for emails where we will collect suggestions and input from the community regarding Potrero Canyon, discuss within the committee, and field to the appropriate agencies for maximum effect, engagement and responsiveness. There will be an auto response that writers will receive, and be assured that we have received their communication, and the committee will address their concerns/observations.

Jenny also reported on the Malibu Palisades Chamber but noted that after conversations with the new Chamber folks, there seems to be little traction in the Palisades, even though they’ve been trying outreach among Palisades businesses. Noted that they are looking for Palisadians and encouraged board members to investigate membership. She also suggested that they make a presentation to the board.

Kimberly Bloom commented that the Potrero Committee needs to report to area reps so they can inform their constituents and respond to their queries. She would like to know where to go to see the repairs/improvements that are being down/issues been fixed. The President responded that those replies would come from the Committee, as information becomes available.

Kimberly also suggested that people join the Chamber. She said she’d be joining the Chamber and encouraged all others to do the same. The President suggested that Kimberly Bloom be in touch with the new Chamber leaders so she can help them develop some outreach strategies to Palisadian businesses. She believes the value proposition is the key factor in gaining new members. Suggested we list Chamber members who are Palisadian businesses. The President said that for as long as the Chamber is not a member of the PPCC board, we could not so that, but she would welcome a Chamber presentation to the board.

John Padden reminded all that the character of the Chamber has evolved from the brick-and-mortar presence to an online presence, the question is: what the Chamber is going to be able to do for local businesses. The question is, what is the value proposition?

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary, reported that Instagram and Facebook are active, and asked all to please follow. We have most recently posted about a Community Clean-up on Saturday, March 4th, from 9 am to noon, hosted by the Palisades Y, the Palisades Ambassadors and the Village Green.

8.4.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.4.1.   Haldis Toppel, Area Three Rep – spoke about the flooding during the LAWD presentation (see below).

8.4.2.   Chris Spitz, At-large Rep – spoke about the need for a letter in support of proposed amendment to the ordinance that would codify PCP as a sunrise to sunset park. She submitted a letter as an individual and the PPCC subsequently submitted a letter to the Neighborhoods and Community Enrichment Committee of City Council (Hernandez, Lee, Hutt) on behalf of the organization, based on past principles. See the letter here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/In-support-of-PC-hours-ordinance.pdf

8.4.3.   Karen Ridgley, Area Four Rep – reported that the Asilomar Bluffs had some graffiti sprayed on benches. She reported it to 311 and it has been cleaned. She has also reported the continuing wood/log dump along Temescal Canyon Rd., but has been told she needs an address, which the location does not have. The President said she’d inquire with Donna Arrechea of 311 as to how to flag the request in the appropriate category (illegal dumping without a specific address).  Karen Ridgley noted that these dumpings are unsafe as well as a blight.

She also reported that the Asilomar View Park will undergo a major project to stabilize the bluff. A start date has not yet been provided but it will take 270 days to finish. The President shared the power point that was sent to us with respect to the project and the timeline. (See https://pacpalicc.org/index.php/presentations-to-ppcc/ )

8.4.4.   Reza Akef, Area Eight Rep, reported a swastika having been spray painted on his construction sight bordering Potrero Canyon. He said the four-foot fence currently installed is an issue because it is a lower height than the private fences that are six feet high, and the step effectively creates a ladder into people’s yards. Reza has discussed this with BOE and they are also worried about this height discrepancy. The issue of fence security, he says, must be addressed.

8.5.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.5.1.   YMCA – the President reported that a community gardening event will be held at the Village Green, Saturday March 4, 9-noon, sponsored by YMCA and the Palisades Ambassadors

8.5.2.   PPBA – Sue Kohl reported that the PPBA breakfast date has been changed to March 11th.

8.5.3.   TCA – Shirley Haggstrom and Randy Young reported that TCA hike last week went very well.

8.6.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.6.1.   Brian Espin, LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades:
SLO Espin reported on the attempted rape at Will Rogers each on Saturday at 6:30pm. A woman was approached by the suspect, put his hand on her mouth and threatened her with sexual assault while brandishing a bladed weapon (knife or box cutter). He forced her to walk up toward the street. She was able to create distance and broke away. The victim struggled away and fled. The suspect returned to the beach without pursuing her. A formal bulletin with a sketch of the perpetrator was created and will be circulated in the detectives’ formal bulletin. The President posted that attached sketch for board members.

Last week, crime was up with 5 burglaries and 6 auto related crimes. Espin spoke with detectives for any trends or patterns. None detected. Detectives have made an arrest on a burglary a few weeks ago, which has turned out to be related to a South End gang. Burglars are disabling power to the house (from back yard access) and disable Wi-Fi cameras. This also limits notifications, so LAPD recommends putting a lock on the area where power feeds into your home Wi-Fi. Mentioned the Sentry mode of Tesla cars again. Those have been helpful to detectives. Also suggest security cameras facing toward the street.

The President asked about a car accident at Paul Revere Middle School involving a student. SLO Espin reported that a student in the crosswalk was hot by a car driven by a parent who was turning right on red struck the child, who sustained severe leg injuries and was transported to the hospital. The President expressed alarm at the incident.

Courtney Macker, Organizational Representative for PPRA was concerned about the attempted rape and questioned why it took so long for SLO Espin to report about the crime and send a bulletin to the community. She said, “this is very alarming and completely unacceptable.”  She said the fact that the community knows more than LAPD SLO does, is worrisome. She wanted to know the pepper spray she apparently spared to get away was not included in the report. SLO Espin explained that he received the information form the crime report, which did not mention any pepper spray deployed. Espin explained that he did not interview the victim in order to not retraumatize her since the detectives had already handled the case and spoken to the victim. He admitted that there was a lapse in communication to the community, due to SLO Espin being off duty and in the dessert camping with his son, but that he shared in his report on Monday, all the vetted and allowable information he was given by LAPD command.

Courtney followed up by mentioning that crimemapping.com reported the attempted the rape almost immediately. She asked why it took Espin 12 hours to report. Espin explained that “crimemapping” reflects all filed reports, as they are made. Espin admitted that there was a lapse in communication and understood the frustration and said LAPD command was going to review communications strategy.

The President informed the board that Captain Heredia had reached out to her and admitted that there was a failure of communication and that they would be addressing that.  She said she had suggested a community meeting on public safety to report new strategies to the community and also hear community concerns as they work on better, more swift, communications with the community on public safety.

Jessica Rogers, Alternate for PPRA, warned SLO Espin that the community had become used to a “different level of expertise” and communication with the community, and she didn’t feel that he was delivering the same standard of communication. She mentioned that Officer Redican had brought this information to some in the community, and she would like to know if the dedicated beech patrol mentioned by Captain Heredia as having been allocated to the community, is still intact. She restated that there is a shortage of staff at LAPD and she’d like to partner with SLO Espin on public safety but feels that too many things “fall through the cracks.”

SLO Espin confirmed that the beech patrol is dedicated to the Palisades and is in fact still operating in the Palisades. Two of the four officers are now being called away to other high crime areas on the westside, but are still out there, in the Palisades. There were two officers on the beach on the day of the rape incident, but not at the time of the attempted rape.

The President asked SLO Espin to review the officers who are part of the beach patrol. Espin informed the board that they included, Officer Bermudez (P3), Officer Vaije (probationary Officer), Officer Kufian and Officer Liam. SLO Espin made clear that the beach patrol also scours the bluffs and the village.

Kimberly Bloom, Area Five Rep, asked about police activity on Hartzell. SLO Espin had no information but said he would check on it.

Nina Kidd, Organizational Rep for Friends of the Library, asked about mailbox robberies. SLO Espin said these are federal crimes that are handled by the Postmaster.

Francine and Roger Diamond, residents in Area Six, asked for PPCC help in contacting CD11 and Traci Park in order to talk about bluffs erosion – an issue they had brought to her attention during campaigning and after the election, but have been unable to reach her or her staff. Michael Amster, CD11 Brentwood/Pacific Palisades Field Deputy, was on the call and said he would follow up. The President said she would put them in email touch.

Chris Spitz confirmed that she has seen the beach patrol officers on the beach and thanks them for their service. She also informs the board that there are contact numbers for the federal post office on our website.

Krishna Thangavelu, PPCC WRAC PSEPC Committee, suggests there must be a crisis communication methodology that works. Notes that the lifeguard station was also broken into this week, and asks for the county to set up cameras, and asks ultimately, how safe is the beach. She echoes a worry that there isn’t enough policing in the Palisades, which she characterized as “rationing” across an estimated at 26 square miles. Reiterates that the Palisades is vulnerable with Santa Monica and Malibu being better staffed. Would like to push for adequate staffing of LAPD.

8.6.2.   Zac Gaidzik, Deputy, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, District 3.  Not present.

8.6.3.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Councilmember Traci Park joins us for the first time to report on CD11 matters. He informed us that the soil slippage at Potrero Canyon Park is being addressed. A RAP Contractor is coming out on Feb 20th for a weeklong set of repairs, with gates closed. He reported that the DRB is looking for new members and the Council Office is looking to help. He mentioned the blockage of fire road access which have been encumbered by private residents, and have created a public safety issue. The President asked him to report back about that. Michael also reported about the Inside Safe initiative in which Traci Park is very involved, providing housing in the form of hotel vouchers and healthcare. They have moved 108 unsheltered people in Venice into temporary housing. Significant progress has also been made in Del Rey with 45 individuals moved into shelter; and trash has been removed from Ballina Wetlands, in partnership with CARE operations.

Francine Diamond reiterated the help they need from CM Park and the Council Office to address the park and bluffs close to their home, where landslides threaten the safety of homes and people. This is along an LA municipal park, and so they really need the city to respond. She mentioned previous assistance from CMs Rosendahl and Bonin through the years and would like to be sure CM Park is also going to be responsive.

The President put Fran and Roger in touch with Michael in real time, and sent the history of the issue to Michael Amster for follow up.

8.6.4.   Nancy Frawley, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Deputy.  Not present

8.6.5.   Rad Nowroozi, State Senator Ben Allen, SD24.  Not present.

8.6.6.   Taleen Keuroghlian, Congressman Brad Sherman, Deputy.  Present and staffing the Congressman, but no comment.

8.6.7.   Deborah Hong, Joey Castruita, Nathaniel Bautista, LADWP, reporting on the water main break and sink hole on Lachman Lane and Jacon Way on February 2nd, which resulted in street failure and closures.

Mr. Castruita reported that the pipe which broke was a 12” cast iron pipe which was installed in 1952, causing significant street damage and large amount flooding. Road and water main were repaired that night and temporary patch was done on the street in order to open up traffic. The street was in poor condition after more sinking, but half hour before this report, the permanent paving was completed. The street was excavated and compacted, and final paving was done, and crews completed the work at 6:15pm. They will be back to do some touch up on Marquez Terrace, but those will be done later as smaller jobs. The street is open now and permanent pavement placed.

Mr. Bautista reported that the pipe was 70 years old but still had some useful life left and the likelihood of another break in the area was low. They will continue to monitor and if anything changes, they will expedite the replacement of that main.

The President asked if there were monitors below ground to be able to foresee failures before they happen.

Mr. Castruita responded that LADWP uses modern technology to gauge pressure and other markets below ground to foresee leaks before they happen but have nothing in place that predicts breaks. When they have the chance to open the ground and test a pipe that breaks., they look further to examine the pipe and make an assessment.

Daphne Gronich, Area Four 2nd Alternate commented that street closure signage could be better to forewarn drivers that the road ahead is closed.

Mr. Castruita responded that this road was a challenge, and they could have done better with signage.

Haldis Toppel, Area 3 Primary rep thanked DWP for the quick response and repairs, as it impacted hundreds of homes up the hill that were locked in as a result of the street closure and flooding. She also thanked Michael Amster for being on the scene of February 2nd.

This is the first leak on this pipe in 70 years and if there is another leak they will expedite replacement, but this pipe is not on the 10-year replacement, at present. Mr. Bautista reiterated that pipes are monitored and if performance is compromised, they will correct.

Beth Holden-Garland asked about earthquake safety for these pipes. Mr. Bautista mentioned the various faults in the area and described an aggressive plan to replace pipes. They are adjusting to the threat appropriately and have plans in place.

8.7.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.7.1.   K. Tanghavelu, PPCC Advisor to WRAC PSEPC, spoke about recent events at Will Rogers Beach.  See 8.5.1. discussion above

8.7.2.   KC Soll, PPCC Emergency Preparedness Liaison reminded the board that water will become an issue in a major earthquake 9cites the huge earthquake recently in Turkey which has cost tens of thousands of lives). She urges everyone to store water for emergency times. She suggests residents get together with neighbors and make sure that neighborhoods have 55-gallon water barrels (see www.sosproducts.com ) stored for emergency purposes. Also suggested community members take cert classes which will teach skills that might be helpful in an emergency.

8.7.3.   Chris Spitz, WRAC VP, reported that there is an environmental group which is trying to prevent LADWP from exercising their water rights at the Mono Basin. There will be an online workshop on February 15th to discuss this issue. Written comments can be submitted up to March 17th.  Contact Chris for more information.

9.   Reports from Committees.

9.1.   Palisades Forestry Committee.

David Card, Committee Chair, reported that they walked El Medio looking for street tree vacancies. This is an ongoing process, and they will reach out to the neighborhood to get people to sign up for free street trees. They are also getting a cost estimate for replacing tress and installing irrigation along the property line between the residents on Alma Real and Palisades Rec Center, since trees are dying there. There is now a funding issue by LADWP for trees throughout the city, but they are working on finding places for new trees, but it will take a while to get them installed by the city.

9.2.   Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee.

9.2.1.   John Padden, committee member, reported that the PCOC met and decided to act on important current and future issues on the park. There are 11 members on the committee, all with varying degrees of interest and advocacy skill. Our objective is to monitor community input, communicate that in an organized way to the city and to follow up for responsiveness. Our goal is to make sure that before the city hands off to a third-party contractor for maintenance, some of the important community issues are addressed. We will serve as a single point of communication to the City, so please use the email and be assured that we have received your email and will address all issues.

Padden reports that we addressed signage and usage guidelines and help enforce those. Dogs off the leash has been seen and we need to address this. Lastly, maintenance with gates, public safety, soil erosion and other priorities are on the table and being addressed.

10.   Old Business.

10.1.   [Palisades Dog Park.].  The President introduced discussion of the Palisades Dog Park and reiterated our support, especially in light of the new Potrero Canyon Park opening and people often using the park grounds as areas where they let their dogs off leash. The practice jeopardizes the health of the delicate riparian way and landscaping that is just beginning to take shape at the park, and for that reason, she would like a sense of the board as to enduring support for the dog park, and would like to reiterate the importance of the dog park to the Council Office, as the new CM hears from proponents of the park.

Leslie Campbell spoke about the importance of prioritizing the dog park with Councilmember Traci Park. She said she has spoken to Michael Amster recently, as well as to Traci Park six months ago, and expects to see their support as they make their way through important district issues.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   Bus Lane Parking Violation.  The President noted that this issue is moot.

11.2.   US Congressman, Brad Sherman, joined PPCC for a meet and greet.  He spoke for approximately 10 minutes laying down his priorities and took questions for Maryam Zar, regarding Iran, Steve Cron regarding Israel, and Krishna Thangavelu regarding public safety and staffing. See the recording on our YouTube site: https://youtu.be/eHCYtP31H_s.

12.   Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM FEBRUARY 23rd 2023

1.  Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.

The Vice-President (presiding in the absence of the President) called the meeting to order at 6:03 pm.  The PPCC mission was read by Karen Ridgley.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.

Presiding Officer, Jenny Li, called roll and certified quorum.

Voting Board members present: Jenny Li, Randy Young, David Card, Beth Holden-Garland, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Sue Kohl, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Greg Heidt, Barbara Kohn, Kevin Niles, Rick McGeagh, Shirley Haggstrom, Courtney Macker,

Non-voting Board members present: Joanna Spak, Daphne Gronich, Alisa Wolfson, Nancy Niles, Jessica Rogers.

3.   Introduction of attendees.  Introductions were made.

4.   Approval of Minutes:.  February 9, 2023, minutes were approved as corrected.

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

6.   Treasurer’s Report.

Randy Young reported that he has been compiling information for our corporate tax return. As of January 31, 2023, he reported that we have $53,790.63 in our PPCC bank account.

7.   General Public Comment.
Eric Herzog and Jane Abrams (residents) were present for public comment. They commented about disaster preparedness in the Marquez Knolls/upper Enchanted area. The water main break at the corner of Lachman and Jacon last week had resulted in closing off streets that blocked many in the area. Eric asked for all to imagine a wildfire in the mountains above the Palisades and being asked to evacuate. With cars parked on both sides of the street, residents would be trying to get out while ER vehicles would be trying to get in. Jacon Way would quickly be clogged, and we could have a disaster similar to the Paradise fire where people lost their lives. Enchanted and the hills above Marquez are not the only areas with just one or two minor outlet streets. Therefore, he suggests we think, as a community, about a disaster plan worked out with the fire department as to how to evacuate safely, and perhaps schedule drills so we can find/consider alternate evacuation routes for neighborhoods who need them. There was a fire road on Lachman, but that has been blocked (Haldis Toppel, Area 3 Representative, can speak to that), and other parking rules can be considered to help evacuations. We also need to educate residents as to fire and evacuation safety measures. Jane Abrams spoke of the access road between Enchanted and Lachman – it was open, up until the late 70’s and early 80’s, but it is blocked off now. The homeowner seems to have gotten a legal permit to block that road, and that is unbelievable because it is a matter of public safety. The fact that that access road has been blocked because a property owner wanted something that benefits the property without consideration of the broader consideration of the peril, is an affront to community safety and something must be done.

The Presiding Officer called on Haldis Toppel, who had invited the public comment on this matter, to comment. Haldis urged the city, LAFD, LADWP and all other agencies involved in the matter to review the blocking of the fire access road and revive this secondary access as a matter of public safety.  Haldis noted that this is not a local Marquez issue, but a broader Palisadian issue across all hillside neighborhoods.

Lou Kamer (PPCC Transportation Advisor) commented that he has spoken to different departments about the closure and believes PPCC and others interested in public safety can do more.

Krishna Thangavelu (PPCC rep to the WRAC Public Safety Committee) commented that she has a document which demonstrates the need for strategic planning for public safety in the Palisades. This should be renewed annually because of our vulnerabilities, including wild fire, and she believes PPCC needs to bring a group together to address these issues.

Chris Spitz (At-large Representative) commented that PPCC has been concerned about issues of evacuation for years, knowing that we are entirely in the VHFSZ, and we have tried to set up evacuation drills and other preparedness exercises in the past. That is different from the gate issue, which should be worked on, and is top of mind for many.

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer. The PPCC President was not in attendance. Her announcements were noted by the Vice President who was the Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The Council Office (CD 11) has acknowledged our PCOC letter and has promised to give replies on all concerns, as well as set up a meeting to make sure we are present at the handover of work from City Engineers (BOE) to RAP Maintenance contractor.

8.1.2.   Sen. Ben Allen and ASM Jacqui Irwin’s office set up a call to discuss Caltrans and the City process of collaboration to assess the costs and plans for the Lateral trail connecting Potrero Canyon Park to the beach. We were told that progress is being made like never before and that it has been informative to learn that little has been done heretofore by way of any formal request by the City to ask for a feasibility study for the trail. The team is working to bring the trail to fruition with the bridge project on the horizon. Stay tuned for more info and a formal President’s report on discussion at the next meeting.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Jenny Li (VP and Presiding Officer).  None.

8.2.2.  David Card (Chair Emeritus).
Cited the PPOC February 9th letter (https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/PCOC-letter-1.pdf ). Waiting to hear back from the city on meetings and updates. Expect to hear back before our next PCOC meeting on the first Monday of March. We have since added two more issues: weeding and brush clearance.  The city has hired Waste Unlimited to pull weeds, and they have been out for several days. It is an ongoing job and we hope they continue through the transition period from BOE to RAP, so that weeds do not take over the Canyon. Regarding brush clearance, we would like to be able to inform homeowners how and where to clear brush and get clarity from LAFD what the policy should be for rim residents. Dave noted that repairs have begun in the Canyon – we were told they would begin to fill the erosion and put in a pipe down one of the slopes that is most eroded. Reseeding and replanting is also due to begin in the Spring. Stay tuned for more updates. Restated the purpose of the PCOC – a receptacle of comment and input from the community so that we can be informed as to community concerns and how best to respond to those or ask the city to address them. Dave noted that in case of emergency, the email for PCOC is not the method of communication. In those cases, people should call the Park office at the Palisades Rec Center, or LAPD’s non-emergency line. Things are looking great in the Canyon as the first wave of flowers are in full bloom! There is an app: “inaturalist” to identify some of the flowers – download it and take a walk in the Canyon.

Dave also reported on a Zoom call with ASM Irwin and Sen. Allen’s office where we were informed that Caltrans and BOE were finally at the table together but that not much has been done through the years to bring these agencies together and figure out how to share the use of the space at the mouth of the Canyon in order for the trail and bridge to studies for feasibility. Things are moving.  Nina Kidd (Friends of the Library Representative) suggested the SM Mountains Rec Area also has a great app people can look up.

8.2.3.   Beth Holden-Garland (Secretary).
Beth reported about pacpalicc Instagram and Facebook accounts. She asked Area and Organizational reps to send content for social media.  She also noted that longtime Palisadian Ray Liotta (Area 2 resident) is getting a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where his daughter, Karsen Liotta (Pali High graduate and Palisadian), will be accepting the honor. As a longtime friend, Beth is proud and happy for the family and encourages all to watch the Walk of Fame on their website (walkoffame.com).

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Murray Levy, Area One Representative.

a.   Illegal grading in Paseo Miramar.

Residents of Paseo Miramar observed ongoing illegal grading occurring which they finally stopped by physically blocking the machinery. The Council should support these residents and specifically determine which agency is responsible for enforcing grading regulations, and ensure that they do so.  He’s like to know who should residents call when they note illegal grading or excavation?  What consequences does an organization or person known to have started illegal excavations face?

b.   Hanging tree limbs on Sunset pose a community hazard.

Ms. Sylvia Kistler, a Palisades resident, told Murray that she personally saw tree limbs fall on moving cars driving on Sunset Blvd. on two occasions.  We are all aware of large tree limbs hanging over lanes on Sunset.  Can we ask the city to trim tree limbs hanging over Sunset before a falling tree causes serious injury?

c.   Prolonged excavation and construction which causes neighborhood blight, etc.

In the Castellammare area there are three examples of excavations that have been allowed to proceed in a start-stop fashion for years.   He cited several examples in Area 1 including a site covered in tattered plastic for over a year on Tramonto; a site at the corner of Revello and Positano that’s been going on and off for over 3 years; and the infamous “ground zero” at the corner of Castellammare and Revello that was started 25 years ago and never finished or stabilized.  He has pictures of these three sites which he can share.  He’d like to know if there are any similar examples in other areas of the Palisades, and his own neighbors would like to know how Building and Safety allows situations like these to remain.  Specifically, he asked of there are time limits associated with grading permits?  Does Building and Safety make any assessment of an applicant’s financial and technical ability to complete a project before issuing a grading permit?  Are there completion bonds or some other mechanism to ensure that excavations are completed or stabilized required, and when are those mechanisms triggered?  Perhaps PPCC could invite a representative from Building and Safety (suggests Frank Lara) to a future meeting to address these and other questions.  He believes this is important information for the entire community.

Chris Spitz noted that PPCC already has taken a position on completion bonds for unfinished construction/excavation, having voted in favor of a WRAC motion a few years ago which became a WRAC position in support of a motion then brought by former Councilmember Koretz in City Council, to ask Building and Safety to report on what can be done about requiring such completion bonds.  She noted that the Koretz motion apparently never moved forward in City Council but will attempt to follow up.

8.3.2.   Julie Silliman (Area 7 Representative) reported on a gala for the Uplifters at Rustic Canyon. On May 30th, a celebration of the cornerstone time capsule left by the Uplifters will take place; and a main event for the 100th year anniversary of Rustic Canyon is being planned. More information will be made public soon.

8.3.3.   Chris Spitz (At-large Representative) reported that the Friends of the Library president had asked for help with the trash can in front of the library on Alma Real, which was overflowing with trash.  Chris emailed an LA Sanitation contact from years ago (who had helped with a prior trash bin problem).  Sanitation in turn decided to add an additional day of trash pickup at the library (either on Friday or Monday, in addition to the two days that are already on the schedule) and will monitor conditions.

8.3.4.   Cindy Simon (Area 6 Representative) reported that she also noticed overflowing trash from the nearby 881 Alma Real Building. She contacted the building management and reported the overflowing trash.  She was assured that the building management would look into it. She was pleased that her phone call led to resolution of the issue rather easily. Similarly, she reported that she put up a laminated sign on the Friends St. gate (entrance to Potrero Canyon Park, across from residences) to warn users to close the gate more softly in order not to make noise, and the (homemade) posted signs seem to be working.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives

8.4.1.   Nina Kidd (Friends of the Library Representative) reported that the library is coming to life again. Please check the website for events and classes.

8.4.2.   Courtney Macker (PPRA Representative) reported on a meeting with LAPD Officer Bermudez, Capt. Heredia and Sgt. Scott and reported that they believe they’ve identified the suspect in the recent attempted rape matter, though he is not yet in custody.

8.4.3.   Barbara Kohn (PP Historical Society Alternate) reported that the Historical Society is hosting a walk at Los Liones on April 1st. It will be led by Shirley Haggstrom and Randy Young and begin at the small Amphitheatre. Departure time will be at 10 am and return at noon. Historical information and displays will be on display after the walk along with refreshments and a celebration of 50 years of history. Stay tuned for more info and RSVP in March.

8.4.4.   Rick McGeagh (PPBA Representative) reported that the annual PPBA Pancake Breakfast on opening day of the baseball season will take place on Sat., March 11. The breakfast starts at 7:30 am. Ceremonies start at 9 am and games begin at 9:30. He believes that this is the 2nd best day in the Palisades!  PPBA has a record number of players (over 500), so please join.

8.4.5.   Shirley Haggstrom (TCA Representative) reiterated that this is the 50th anniversary of the Historical Society. The hike event will be celebrating native plants, volunteerism and more. Look for the flyer in March.  She also reported that TCA is planning a March hike up to Chicken Ridge. Look for more information in March.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives

8.5.1.   Brian Espin. LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades.  Not present.

8.5.2.   Zac Gaidzik, Deputy, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, District 3.  Not present.

8.5.3.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Councilwoman Traci Park.

Mr. Amster reported that he went on a ride along with SLO Espin as well as a clean-up effort with PPTFH. They recognized the dry brush behind the Caltrans barrier along PCH. He can report that that has been cleared. Traci Park was at the American Legion celebrating African American Marines. Mr. Amster also observed Pickle Ball at the Rec Center. He reported that he is working on bringing together the stakeholder meeting for Potrero Canyon matters.

Rick McGeagh (PPBA Representative and Area 7 1st alternate) thanked Mr. Amster for addressing the dangerous pothole on Will Rogers Rd.

Dave Card (Chair Emeritus) informed Mr. Amster about the ongoing issue of use of the maintenance gate at the Riviera Country Club for member access. He suggested that if Mr. Amster is not aware of that matter, he should check in with Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative) and other Area reps to become familiar with the issue. Mr. Amster said he was familiar with the issue, has heard both perspectives and has spoken to residents.

8.5.4.   Skylar Payab, Westside Field Deputy for Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, gave the Board information and reported that they have been connecting with Sen. Allen’s office and Caltrans regarding the trail and bridge issues. ASM Irwin herself will be meeting with the head of Caltrans to discuss matters further.

8.5.5.   Rad Nowroozi, Field Representative, State Senator Ben Allen, SD24.  Not present.

8.5.6.   Allison Holdorff, Sr. Advisor to LAUSD Board member Nick Melvoin, reported that LAUSD is making tutoring available to all students and looking for mentors for students.  She is in contact with Dr. Magee and Tom Iannucci to address local Charter Complex issues.  They are working on traffic issues at Revere and air conditioning issues at Pali High. Pali Elementary has had a successful “jump for heart” event and will have an upcoming movie night. Marquez Elementary’s enrollment is growing and LAUSD is working with them to secure more teachers. LAUSD Bulletin, 88694, is an evacuation protocol document she is happy to share with the community.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.1.   Lou Kamer, PPCC Transportation Advisor.  Lou reported on safety and efficiency in transportation and road adjustments. He has been in touch with ASM Irwin, Sen. Allen and Caltrans offices as well as LADOT to make sure safety is paramount as well as efficiency. Projects he is working on include the PCH Caltrans barricade with gaps where homeless people go behind the barricade for encampment. Campfires in the area have caused three outbreaks of wildfires. The responses to these fires are costly and the public safety repercussions are many. He has been working with government offices to maintain the gaps for the requisite access needed for maintenance, but also securing them for public safety.

Second issue is the traffic light on Entrada and PCH. He spoke to LADOT today (2/23) and they reported that they are working though the permit process for changes to the light at the intersection.

He is also working on crosswalks – Lou has asked LADOT to look at all crosswalks (especially near schools) to determine where they need to be re-striped or improved. More to come.

A discussion ensued about crosswalk safety near schools. Julie Silliman (PPCC Area 7 Representative) reported that a crosswalk at Entrada and Stassi Lane is disfavored by the community. Greg Heidt (PPCC Education Representative) reported that several lights on Temescal Canyon Rd. are out. Board members asked Michael Amster to address the outage. Board members impressed upon him that this was a critical matter that needs immediate attention. The Presiding Officer Jenny Li suggested a 311 report. Lou Kamer reported that he had already made a 311 call and would share the information with Mr. Amster.

8.6.2.   Chris Spitz (PPCC At-large Rep, WRAC Vice Chair and PPCC Rep to WRAC).  Chris reported that the WRAC Board met last week and she shared pictures and updates with WRAC Board members about GW Park at Potrero Canyon; she noted that several WRAC Board members knew George Wolfberg from his time as a member of WRAC.  ASM Irwin was a guest speaker and gave a report about evacuation issues and is working on possible legislation to amend SB9 to eliminate increased density in the VHFHSZ. LADWP gave a presentation to WRAC about a proposal by an environmental group to the Water Control Board to restrict LADWP’s water rights in the Mono Basin.  LADWP encourages people and councils to submit written comment, due on March 17th,  opposing the restriction of their water rights. We will hear more at the March 9th PPCC meeting.

9.   Reports from Committees. None [but see the Chair Emeritus report in item 8.2.2. above].

10.   Old Business.  None.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   Al Fresco Dining Ordinance.  Discussion Item Only: The Presiding Officer explained that while the City seeks to make permanent the Al Fresco dining arrangements which relaxed sidewalk dining rules and helped save restaurants through the pandemic, there are new regulations being proposed that many residents oppose as a result of safety issues and reduced parking. Chris Spitz explained that PPCC has asked the new joint Chamber to poll Palisades business members and see if they can help us determine how our businesses feel about the new ordinance.  There is a draft ordinance in the works with fees and regulations which have either been added or suspended in a way that either burdens restaurant owners or alarms communities which host the outdoor dining facilities.

The Presiding Officer suggested PPCC members read up on the ordinance in case the Board decides to take a position. Haldis Toppel encouraged people to help restaurants maintain outdoor dining, as it helps restaurants thrive.

Julie Silliman spoke about SM Canyon restaurants that have turned many parking spots, including handicap parking, into outdoor dining spaces. She knows people support Al Fresco dining but notes that restaurants take up sidewalks and parking spots that may impact community safety. She suggests that the City should survey more of the issues before passing an ordinance and really study the impact of outdoor dining on communities/neighborhoods.

Julie also noted that valet parking is an issue as parking attendants create chaos on small streets and while it is lively, it is also perilous. Fire is also an issue, as the structures on sidewalks are often made of wood, and could pose a danger. She suggests the city look more deeply into codifying Al-Fresco dining.

Dave Card and Beth Holden-Garland spoke in support of outdoor dining and suggested we ask our friends and neighbors to consider their thoughts and submit comment.

Chris Spitz reported that we may wish to learn more and take a position in the months to come (the current deadline to submit comment on the Planning staff report is 3/3/23, but there will be other opportunities for comment as the proposed ordinance goes through the process in the Planning Commission and City Council).

We/PPCC acting though the President and at-Large Area Rep, have asked the Chamber of Commerce (joint Malibu/Pacific Palisades) to see if they can learn, perhaps though polling, what our local restaurants and other businesses think.  This matter may be back before the board for additional discussion and possible motion.  See, for reference:  https://planning.lacity.org/odocument/0d713059-f892-4c1f-8607-b37d4693a1be/Draft_Ordinance.pdf

12.   Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 7:51pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM MARCH 9th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The President called the meeting to order at 8:03p.m. and Nina Kidd read the PPCC Mission Statement.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum. The President called roll and certified that we have quorum:

Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, Dave Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Bruce Schwartz, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Greg Heidt, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Rick McGeagh, Chris Spitz, Nina Kidd, Richard Blumenberg, Shirley Haggstrom, Courtney Macker.

Joanna Spak, Nancy Niles, Michael Edlen, LeeAnne Sanderson, Daphne Gronich, Sue Kohl, Harlan Hogue, Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostik, Ryan Craig.

3.   Introduction of Attendees
Donna Arrechea, Director, MYLA 311 App. See her report at:
https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/MyLA311-Self-Service-How-To-Overview-Presentation.pdf.

4.   Approval of Minutes:  The meeting minutes from February 23, 2023 were approved as distributed.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings:

The Agenda was considered as presented.

6.   Treasurer’s Report.   The Treasurer reported that our bank balance stands at $52.201.57.

7.   General Public Comment.  None.

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President announced that she had met with LA City Fire Brush Clearance unit and learned that they are beginning to send letters to all residents around the rim for brush clearance, they also sent letter to RAP and all city agencies, and expect them to also do their brush clearance. If they don’t, they’ll get cited like anyone else, and if they still don’t comply, LAFD will send a brush until out to clear and then invoice them. At present, there is brush clearance being done (by a private contractor, Waste Unlimited) at Potrero Canyon.  (See her report posted on the website)

8.1.2.   The President announced that the 2nd Meeting of the Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee has taken place and that committees for communication, signage and coastal access were being created. We also got more information from state and city offices, with Gabriella median on a call with the committee. See more details below.

8.1.3.   The President shared that two homeless individuals are using the Post office vestibule area to sleep. LAPD is aware and Congressman Sherman’s office has been alerted. LAPD Capt. Heredia suggests residents call these matters in to the 9-1-1 non-emergency line so that a radio call is generated and statistics are recorded.

8.1.4.   The President announced that unprecedented progress on Potrero is being made between the city and state for the required lateral trail that would provide coastal access from Potrero Canyon Park to the coast. The shortfall between the amount secured by Congressman Ted Lieu through the Omnibus bill and the current City estimate for the construction of the trail has been requested from the Mayor’s annual City budget. We have been asked to write in support of that request. The President asked for approval based on previous positions. The Board affirmed that she should write that letter. She thanked staff for Sen. Allen and Asm. Irwin (Rad Nowroozi and Syklar Payab) for getting so much done.

8.1.5.   The President reported that she had held a discussion with new CD11 Planning Deputy, Jeff Khau, following the last meeting. They discussed the following:

i    Out of scale building on streets within the coastal zone but not hillside – remedy planned,

ii   Fire access roads encumbered by private homeowners. Jeff Khau told the President that CD11 staff are working to unearth information about these encumbrances,

iii  Excavation and building sites that outlast reasonable time. Jeff Khau has pledged to reach out to Frank Lara of LADBS for some answers and will look to see if anything can be done with existing City Council motions to require completion bonds, etc. He will report back.

8.1.6.   CD11 assures us that the two Palisades locations that had been on the first rollout list of new shelters by Tranzito Vector are off the table. No new shelters are planned in the Palisades in the first year of roll out. While we await the meeting CD11 has offered to set between PPCC and Streets LA, we will join WRAC Councils asking for an audit, and may also want to bring our own motion asking for a carve out.

8.1.7.   Community Safety meeting set for Thursday, April 6th at 5:30 pm at the American Legion.  Main points of discussion shall be public safety including LAPD, Fire safety and evacuations, emergency preparedness, communication. Participants beyond LAPD and LAFD — TBD.

8.1.8.   First meeting of the joint PPCC/BCC committee to take place on 3/22. Possible areas of joint discussion:
a.  Cannabis Dispensaries
b.  Al fresco dining
c.   A drone fire safety program pilot for our hillside streets
d.   The street furniture and bus shelter matter

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.    Jenny Li – None.

8.2.2.   David Card – None.

8.2.3.   Beth Holden-Garland – None.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Kimberly Bloom, Area 5 Representative.
Reported that she has video of a prowler and wants to know if SLO Espin knows anything and can help her make a report.

8.3.2.   Murray Levy, Area One Representative.
Mr. Levy invited homeowners from Paseo Miramar to speak about how difficult it is for neighbors to deal with rogue developers. Lorraine Totino (resident) spoke. The President said she had spoken to Jeff Khau and he would speak with Frank Lara, LADBS Government and Community Relations Director, and bring his thoughts back to us.  She also suggested that PPCC discuss what we’d like to see the Council Office do to help the situation;  the Office will be happy to consider all remedies.  Ms. Totino stated that no matter how many times residents call, they are deferred to 3-1-1 and no one ever comes out. One time, residents stood in front of the developer and stopped them from cutting the toe out of the hillside.  Inspectors and police came, but they all said, we can’t help you, just call 3-1-1.  So, nothing happens. Another developer is trying to shore up the road to his property. The developer did not have a permit.  The developer cut trees and then went and pulled an over-the-counter permit after the fact. This was not ok. Paseo Miramar residents have met with Michael Amster of CD 11 since that incident and shared their concerns.

The President suggested that residents tell the Council Office about the illegal activity.

Mr. Levy suggested that PPCC press, as a Community Council, to figure out what people should be doing and ask who should community members contact and what are the consequences for rogue developers when they do not follow regulations? The President agreed.  The Treasurer Randy Young suggested that we have a hearing on this matter and urged that we do this alongside the Council Office.  Ms. Totino added that the neighbors have followed all the right instructions for people to call. They are told to call Tree Services when there is a tree at stake. But then they are sent back over to 3-1-1, and it seems to be an unending loop for getting nothing done. Mr. Levy affirmed. The LADBS website lists all complaints, but then just lists them as “Resolved” without anyone knowing how. The President said that she has sent the addresses to the Council Office and expects them to help the community reach those homeowners. The Vice Chair Jenny Li suggested we also reach out to the City Attorney’s office and/or ask our Neighborhood Prosecutor what can be done.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.   Barbara Kohn, Historical Society Alternate. Not present. [See flyer for announcement details about a hike on April 1 at Los Liones Park:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/PPHS-Los-Liones.pdf.]  Shirley Haggstrom (TCA Representative)  advised to RSVP at https://www.pacificpalisadeshistory.org.   There will be a historical presentation after the hike, led by PPCC Treasurer Randy Young and Ms. Haggstrom.

8.4.2.   Shirley Haggstrom, TCA, announced that on Sunday, March 19th, there will be a hike up to Chicken Ridge with an overview. Start at 8:45am with cars to Will Rogers State Park. Please sign up at https://temcanyon.org  (you can drive yourself but there’s a fee for parking). No dogs – 2 hours – bring good shoes.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives

8.5.1.   Brian Espin. LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades.
SLO Espin asked Kimberly Bloom (Area 5 Representative) to email him for help with an online report.  We’ve had a few pick pocket incidents in grocery stores. Please be mindful of your surroundings, and keep your purse closed.  March 19 is the LA Marathon. There have been some car break-ins at Los Liones, but he has been making additional rounds to try and nab them. He said he is aware of the Post Office matter. He has spoken to the Post Master.  If the community wishes to close the vestibule area, they should reach out to the Post Master.  The Beach Detail found an encampment at Temescal Canyon and asked the PPTFH volunteer corps to come clear it out. He commented this was nice work.

Courtney Macker (PPRA Representative) asked for SLO Espin to translate some of the acronyms of the police report (perhaps with a key).

Karen Ridgley asked what was happening with the rapid communication plan that was discussed earlier.  Officer Espin said discussions are being had and they are beginning to put systems in place so that notifications go out more efficiently, and not be reliant on one person being present. The President said there will be an April 6th Community Safety Meeting with many agencies present. She hopes LAPD will have a plan to announce then.

8.5.2.   Zac Gaidzik, (temporary) Deputy, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, District 3.
Not present.

8.5.3.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Councilmember Traci Park.
Mr. Amster reported that Waste Unlimited is out at Potrero Canyon Park with irrigation and tree trimming.   A BOE landscape architect is also on site. He met with the Miramar Homeowners Association as well as some homeowners along the bluffs. He is working to recruit new members to the Design Review Board. He is also beginning the process of investigating the obstruction along the fire road between Enchanted Way and Lachman Lane.  The Temescal Canyon Road (TCR) re-pavement has been set back by rain delays. No time frame for completion yet. The President noted that this part of TCR had been repaved a few months ago and was “problematic” enough to have to be done again.

8.5.4.   Skylar Payab, Field Representative, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin.  Not present.

8.5.5.   Rad Nowroozi, Field Representative, State Senator Ben Allen, SD24.
Mr. Nowroozi reported that there is new legislation that may interest the community: SB571, involving wildfire evacuation planning in HR and the VHFSZ – if the bill passes, any community in those severity zones will have to plan and evaluate their wildfire evacuation program in a comprehensive way and submit it to the fire department. The President indicated that this will impact the Palisades in the future and we will keep an eye on it.  Mr. Nowroozi will report on other bills next time. Chris Spitz (At-large Representative) suggested that PPCC may want to take up the bill and support it. Mr. Nowroozi will report on other bills next time.

He also reported that his office is working with CM Park and ASM Irwin on Potrero Canyon issues with great strides being made, and to expect an update as soon as everyone is ready to make a report. They will bring all agencies to the PPCC for a report. Cindy Simon (Area 6 Representative) asked for a comprehensive report sooner rather than later.

8.5.6.   Taleen Keroughlian, Field Representative, Congressman Brad Sherman.  Not present.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.1.   Lou Kamer, PPCC Transportation Advisor.

Reported that a big storm is coming so please be careful driving.  LADOT and Caltrans have been working on Chautauqua and PCH but it has passed the permitting process and work orders will be forthcoming to make those turns a little safer.

Once the storms are over we will see some progress on some of the plans we have made regarding safety and mobility in the Palisades.

8.6.2.   K.C. Soll, Emergency Preparedness.  Not called upon.

9.   Reports from Committees.  None.

10.   Old BusinessNone.

11.   New Business:

11.1.   Discussion and possible motion on a PPCC LUC presentation on the matter of legal out-of-scale building in Palisades non-hillsides residential areas that are in the coastal zone but not regulated by the Baseline Mansionization Ordinance [see LUC proposal at:   https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Proposed-Amendments-to-Pacific-Palisades-Commercial.pdf]:  tabled until further information is made available from the Council Office (a preliminary discussion with Jeff Khau, CD11 Planning Deputy, was already had by the PPCC President and the LUC Chair), and until the community has had a chance to hear from the LUC in a separate community meeting focused on this issue.

11.2.   Clint Kautsky, Civil Engineer with DWP, Water Operations Department, gave presentation regarding DWP access to the Mono Basin water resource. See the presentation at:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/DWP-Mono-Presentation-20230309_update.pdf.  This. access is being proposed to be restricted by a Mono Lake environment committee, which has maintained to the California Water Resources Control Board that there is a water emergency and DWP access must be restrained. LADWP would like Los Angeles communities to understand the significant impact of this change on LA. Mr. Kautsky asked PPCC to support LADWP’s right to continue to retain their water rights to the Mono Basin. (Comments to be submitted to monolake@waterboards.ca.gov.)

Following discussion, a vote was taken and the Board passed the following motion:

“Los Angeles residents have a human right to safe, clean, affordable and reliable water. Water from the Los Angeles Aqueduct is the City’s most cost-effective water supply and is the backbone of the City’s water system. Revoking LADWP’s ability to utilize the Mono Basin water rights belonging to Angelenos will jeopardize our community’s access to water and further burden low-income Los Angeles ratepayers.

“The cost of sustainability in Los Angeles has long fallen on the backs of ratepayers – a cost we have taken in stride because it has meant creating a more water-resilient future for our families. However, no amount of conservation will allow our city to be fully independent of imported water supplies and losing supplies from the LA Aqueduct will only force us to receive water elsewhere. In fact, purchasing water to replace historic LA Aqueduct supplies from the Mono Basin could cost ratepayers up to $44 million. Many in our community are already struggling to meet their basic needs: with as many as 50% of Los Angeles residents living in disadvantaged communitieswe cannot afford to shoulder an additional expense nor risk reliable access to clean water from our taps.”

Motion read by the President seconded by Richard Blumenberg, passed by a 2/3 majority of  Board  members voting.

11.3.   The Board passed a motion recommended by WRAC, to request an audit of the City’s STAP  program and the attendant contract with Tranzito Vector for a new roll-out of citywide bus shelters. (Council File No. 20-1536-S4):

“PPCC, a member of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils, is concerned about the current status and management of the STAP program under the new contractor Tranzito-Vector and requests an audit of the program by the City Controller and Chief Administration Officer’s (CAO) office of the revenues and expenditures for this new STAP program.”

Motion made by Chris Spitz (WRAC Vice Chair, PPCC Representative to WRAC and At-large Representative); second by Nina Kidd; passed unanimously after discussion.

12.   Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 8:21pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM MARCH 23rd 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission. The meeting was called to order at 6:02 PM. Karen Ridgley read the Community Council Mission.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.

The President called roll and certified a quorum.

Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, Dave Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Bruce Schwartz (announced by PRIDE as their Alternate as they serve as the sole member of the Business/Commerce category), Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Sue Kohl, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Reza Akef, Chris Spitz, Nina Kidd, Greg Heidt, Richard Blumenberg, Shirley Haggstrom, Jessica Rogers.

Non-voting members present: Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Leeanne Sanderson, Daphne Gronich, Quentin Flemming, Alisa Wolfson, Ryan Craig.

3.   Introduction of attendees

Brian Hale, LADOT Chief of Parking Enforcement and Tim Fremaux, Sr. Transportation Engineer, LADOT were present and were introduced by PPCC Transportation Advisor, Lou Kamer, to give a presentation.

Mr. Hale reported that there are 600 traffic officers and even more supervisors; they are operating 24/7 supporting LAPD and LAFD. They respond to requests for traffic control assistance, signal outages, largescale public events and emergency management responses. They are deployed from five area offices and patrol the city throughout the day issuing parking violations and responding to continuous complaints.  They generate 1.2 million citations that yields $115M to the City’s General Fund, which helps fund police, fire and other public safety programs. They also service over 4,000 special events throughout the city – including at Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theatre, and the LA Marathon. They also address abandoned vehicles (1-800-abandon), and have helped recover more than 4,000 stolen vehicles across the City, last year. They are an agency that helps maintain public safety and accountability to motorists.

Vehicle dwellings are an ongoing issue. The Mayor’s emergency declaration on homelessness which focuses on addressing encampments (tents and other structures on City streets) is not as deliberate with respect to vehicle dwellings, but LADOT still addresses them. These vehicles are occupied so it’s hard to simply vacate or displace them. Brian Hale drafted a report for LA City Council last year where he outlined a process by which LADOT can begin to remove these vehicles, and that begins with outreach and engagement. LADOT can then initiate enforcement activity. They don’t have the space to store the vehicles – official police garages don’t have space on their lots to store these vehicles — so one of the things city departments are doing is identifying other public lots that can be used to store vehicles used for vehicular dwellings.

Tim Fremaux, Sr Transportation Engineer, oversees 3 of 6 offices. Other groups do things within the City on transportation. The District Office’s primary service is constituent services – anything traffic or transportation-related matters: light signals, curb markings, pavement markings and lane lines, crosswalks, signs and all the various features within the roadway that help guide and manage the flow of traffic. There are 8,000-10,000 service requests that come from residents as well as elected offices. My LADOT was being used but is being disabled. New system will be 311-based and will allow the public to go through the 311 system online to reach a tree of menus having to do with DOT, and the request will be submitted to LADOT. Transition state. At present, you can work through the Council Office or directly with LADOT to make requests.

The W. Channel and Chautauqua intersection has finally received the Caltrans permit for DOT to get ready to do the work of improving that intersection. There will be a small buffer between the left-to-Channel Road-lane and the other left turn to go to PCH. The barrier will help emphasize the separation of the movements. Hoping compliance will be better – data will be collected.

The other modification will be on PCH going towards Malibu. The rightmost lane will be the only lane going to Chautauqua or Channel. The other two lanes will be PCH only. Focus on safety.

The Chair announced that Temescal Canyon Rd. will soon be finished repaving.

Kimberly Bloom [Area 5 Representative] asked about speed bumps. Mr. Fremaux said there is a group at DOT which addresses only speed bumps. That group has been reactivated. (LADOT Speedhumps) When the cycle is open, the community can submit an application which is evaluated and then affirmed (only two segments per Council District). Very competitive.  The neighborhood must make a request and have a form signed by a majority of people on the impacted street, asking for the bumps. Mr. Fremaux suggested other solutions including bollards and other remedies.

Alan Goldsmith (PPCC Business Advisor) asked about bike lane statistics in terms of reduced accidents. Mr. Fremaux replied that research has been done on levels of intervention to protect bike lanes. Typically crashes involving bikes do go down. There is definitely a correlation.

Reza Akef (Area 8 Representative) noted that the left turn onto Sunset from Allenford intersection needs some attention. Mr. Fremaux pledged to investigate it.  Reza Akef then asked about traffic impact mitigation at the Chautauqua intersection when work begins. Mr. Fremaux responded that any road closure will be very brief, and not during the peak traffic hours. He noted that the existing bollard/cones are damaged and may need repair.

David Card (Chair Emeritus) thanked Mr. Kamer and Mr. Fremaux and the City for working on the Chautauqua intersection. Also noted the paint lines on Temescal and asked for it to be done correctly this time.

Jenny Li (Vice-President) asked if the PCH right-hand turn lane will have an arrow with the signal because there will be twice as many people turning from one lane as there have previously been. People who could turn onto Channel on a red light will now have to wait for people turning on Chautauqua when the light is green. People may start cutting through the gas station. Mr. Fremaux said there will be no changes to the signal, but outcomes and unintended consequences will be monitored.

Karen Ridgley (Area 3 Representative) mentioned Asilomar View Park parking enforcement. Mr. Hale asked to be informed with an address and he will work to address the issues.

4.   Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the February 23, 2023, were approved as distributed.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings:

The Agenda was considered as presented.

6.   Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer reported that the PPCC bank balance is $52,591.67 with no transactions to report.

7.   General Public Comment.  None.

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President announced that LAFD Brush Clearance inspector has pledged that letters for brush clearance will be sent soon, and monitoring is underway. Violators (including parks) will be notified to clear brush, and if they fail to do so, LAFD will send a contractor to do the work and bill them. We have been informed that Potrero Canyon brush clearance is being done by a contractor named Waste Unlimited.

8.1.2.   The President announced that she will be appointing a Nominating Committee at our next meeting.

8.1.3.   The President said she wanted to have a board-wide conversation about the Honorary Mayor Tradition which has historically rested with the Chamber of Commerce. PPCC’s 50th Anniversary is coming up and she’d like to celebrate by taking on the Hon. Mayor tradition, given that the joint Malibu Chamber is not in a position to adopt that tradition, and the Hon. Mayor mantle is well placed at PPCC.  She invited discussion. Board members indicated that the new joint Malibu/Palisades Chamber is getting traction with the local business community. Sue Kohl (Area Five 1st Alternate) announced that each new business in the Palisades is celebrated with a ribbon cutting, networking events are often scheduled and the PaliBu chamber is very interested in retaining the Hon. Mayor tradition. Members also expressed a volition to keep the Honorary Mayoral tradition in the Palisades and saw it as a uniquely Palisadian tradition that we may not wish to share with Malibu. The President explained that she hopes the Malibu/Palisades Chamber gains strength and even takes its place on our board, but that the discussion of the Honorary Mayor was a separate issue worth further conversation. She pledged to reach out to the new joint chamber leadership and invite them to weigh in on the issue. Sue Kohl reiterated that the PaliBu chamber would like to retain and revive the tradition.

8.1.4.   The President reiterated that progress between city and state agencies for the construction of the lateral trail and feasibility of the bridge continues to bring the community closer to coastal access for Potrero Canyon Park. The funding shortfall for the lateral trail has been requested from the Mayor’s city budget, and PPCC wrote a letter in support which can be found online. See our letter.

8.1.5.   The President updated the board that discussions continue with Jeff Khau, Planning Director at CD11, and the issue of out-of-scale building in the Palisades (LUC matter) continues to be discussed. More to come. She also noted that Jeff is reaching out to Frank Lara to bring back feedback regarding extended excavation and building times for projects that seem never to end, and residents have nowhere to turn for accountability.

8.1.6.   The President informed the board that per the last meeting consensus, a letter in support of a Palisades Dog Park has been sent. See here.

8.1.7.   The President announced the upcoming Community Safety meeting set for Thursday, April 6th at 5:30 pm at the American Legion. There will also be a ZOOM component.

Main points of discussion shall be public safety including LAPD, fire safety and evacuations, emergency preparedness, communication. Participants beyond LAPD and LAFD will be joining us. She shared the event flyer [see: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Community-safety-2023-no-rsvp.pdf].

8.1.8.   The President announced that the first meeting of the joint PPCC/BCC committee will take place on 3/28. Shared priorities for discussion will be cannabis dispensaries, VHFHSZs and their protection as well as bus shelters and the City’s rollout of new furniture.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus

8.2.1.  Jenny Li (Vice-President) – reported that the PCOC has formed a communication committee (Li, Wittcoff, Simon, Spitz and Zar) to post ongoing information about Potrero Canyon and the efforts of the committee in resolving issues and community concerns surrounding George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon. The posts will be penned by the committee and posted to a Potrero tab that has been created on the PPCC website (pwww.pacpalicc.org), under a series of subheadings that the committee has developed for ease of navigation. Check back often for updates.

There is also a new email with which to communicate with the PCOC. That email is potrero@pacpalicc.org (the old gmail will be phased out in time).

The President reiterated all the work that is being done, mentioned progress on the lateral trail, and cited the letter sent to support remaining funding for the trail, as well as that sent to CD11 in support of the dog park (so dogs are not taken off leash at Potrero Canyon Park). She noted that the letter has been acknowledged and a conversation has since ensued with Leslie Campbell who leads the community dog park effort.

8.2.2.  David Card (Chair Emeritus) –  Thanked everyone for their deliberations with respect to new organizational members.

8.2.3.   Beth Holden-Garland [Secretary] – None.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives

8.3.1.   Murray Levy, Area One Representative, brought up the enduring issue of excavations and non-compliant building projects in Area One. The President announced that Jeff Khau has pledged to reach out to Frank Lara and either bring us his feedback regarding the overly-long excavation durations and the building projects that seem never ending in Area One (and beyond), or invite him to attend an upcoming meeting. The issue has not been forgotten and the President will agendize the matter for motion if the City fails to give meaningful feedback.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives

8.4.1.   Nina Kidd (Friends of the Library) announced that the PPTFH is reorganizing and urged people to attend the Community Safety Town Hall to hear more. The President announced that Sharon Kilbride will be a panelist at the Town Hall Meeting and has informed the President that she will take part in discussions of safety, as related to the work of PPTFH, and speak briefly about the plans to reorganize PPTFH.

8.4.2.    Shirley Haggstrom (TCA) announced that the Historical Society invites you to join them for a hike at Los Liones Canyon on Saturday April 1st. Come to the amphitheater and sign in at 8:45am. A moderate-level hike will be followed by a program and light refreshments in the amphitheater highlighting the impact of the work done to restore/preserve the canyon.
She further announced that TCA has more members than was previously stated in the meeting (12 members mentioned), and that their members extend well beyond the immediate community, even as far as members from abroad.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives

8.5.1.   Brian Espin. LAPD Senior Lead Officer for Pacific Palisades.
SLO Espin reported that burglaries are up by five from last year at this time. Typical Modus Operandi: people go to the side or rear of the house to break a window and get in. Car break-ins are still happening and he asks that people not leave keys in the car or valuables visible. Crime report has been released. The President noted that the most recent crime report notated the description of all acronyms, as asked.

8.5.2.   Zac Gaidzik, (temporary) Deputy, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, District 3
Zac reported that Supervisor Horvath has authored a motion for LACBOS to look at how LA County Government is modeled and structured, allowing for a bigger board as well as public funded campaigns or matching finds. She has met with Mayor Karen Bass and adopted implementation actions to accelerate change around addressing encampments, mental health and substance abuse as well as housing. The LA County Supervisors approved $609.7M for the LA County Homelessness Initiative, along with extending eviction protections to the end of March. Sup. Horvath also authored a motion for $45M in funds to be available soon to small renters and landlords to offer sone relief. Also has embraced raising the pride flag over county offices during the month of June in recognition of LGBTQ rights and inclusion in the month of pride. Sup Horvath has also asked the FCC to engage local governments and residents in the development of accessible wireless infrastructure. This Sunday, Sup. Horvath will be celebrating her first 100 days in office! LA County will be reviewing grant requests for community projects. To learn more, visit www.grants.lacounty.gov.

8.5.3.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Councilwoman Traci Park — Did not speak.

8.5.4.   Skylar Payab, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Deputy — Not present.

8.5.5.   Rad Nowroozi, State Senator Ben Allen, SD24.
Mr. Nowroozi presented information about SB 571 and further announced that Maryam Zar was honored as the 2023 Woman of the Year (WOTY) for the Senate District by Sen. Ben Allen. She was chosen for her leadership and advocacy in Los Angeles, but also for the work she does abroad, empowering women. This year, in particular, she has been active in supporting the Woman Life Freedom movement emerging from Iran where protesters inspired by women have taken to the streets demanding basic freedoms and civil rights. Mr. Nowroozi announced that Ms. Zar was recognized for her selection as WOTY on the Senate floor on Monday, March 20th, alongside other WOTYs, which included Mayor Karen Bass. Mr. Nowroozi informed the board that in keeping with her advocacy, Ms. Zar was up in Sacramento again earlier on the day of the current meeting to support and witness the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 (SCR6), which was a historic expression of support on the part of the CA State Senate for the pro-freedom protesters in Iran.

The President thanked Sen. Ben Allen and Mr. Nowroozi as well as the entire office of Sen. Allen for the accolade and the recognition. She explained that Iran is the place of her birth, and said she’d been in Sacramento for the day to watch the passage of a Concurrent Resolution she had helped draft and was proud to be able to do the work she does, both at home and abroad.

8.5.6.   Taleen Keroughlian, Congressman Brad Sherman — Not present.

8.5.7.   Allison Holdorff-Polhill, AUSD Board member, Nick Melvoin, Sr. Advisor – Not present.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives [None].

9.   Reports from Committees.

9.1.   The Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC). [See Item 8.2.1 above.]

10.   Old Business – None.

11.   New Business.

11.1.  Discussion and vote — addition of two new organizations to the PPCC Board.

After presentations of documents submitted by the applicants for inclusion in the PPCC Board roster as rotational members of the organizational categories that are part of the PPCC Board, per Appendix A of the Bylaws, and discussion, the board voted on a motion by the Executive Committee to allow the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) and the Palisades Americana Parade Association (PAPA) onto the board as rotational members; motion passed by a vote of more than 2/3 of the entire board membership [see below].  Two distributions of Bylaws amendments will be forthcoming in order for the board to vote on adding the two new organizations into their respective rotational categories on Appendix A to the Bylaws.

[See documents submitted by PFC and PAPA in support of inclusion on the PPCC Board Roster:   

https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/PFC-letter-to-PPCC.pdf;

https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Application-to-PPCC-for-membership.pdf;

https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/2023-PAPA-Applicationatt.to-PPCC-to-be-considered-as-Member-Organiztion.3.2.23.pdf;

https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/PAPA-PDF-cert.pdf]

The two new organizations recommended by the EC were affirmed for board inclusion as follows:

11.1.1.   PFC – 17 in favor, one opposed

11.1.2.   PAPA – 16 in favor, one opposed, one abstaining

The President announced that she will now refer the matter to the Bylaws Committee, which will determine how best to position them in our rotational categories, and will bring their recommendations to our board for two distributions (culminating in a bylaws amendment) in the month of April. The President notes that David Card, PFC President and Bylaws Committee Chair, will recuse himself from bylaws committee discussions having to do with PFC. Andrew Wolfberg, Committee Vice Chair, will preside over those discussions.

11.2.  Discussion and possible Motion.

11.2.1.  WRAC motion for 100% RSO replacement units was tabled, pending more information and    LUC review.

11.2.2.   SB571 (Allen).  Senate bill calling for evacuation plans in conjunction with new development in VHFHSZs – After presentation by Sen. Allen’s Legislative staff member, Dylan Elliot, and discussion, the board tabled this motion pending the outcome of more amendments from the Senate Governance and Finance Committee and expected developments from the Senator’s office.  Mr. Elliot and Mr. Nowroozi from Sen. Allen’s office will keep the board updated and bring us the final language of the bill in a timely fashion for our consideration and support. See more information at:  https://legiscan.com/CA/bill/SB571/2023.

12.   Adjournment — The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM APRIL 13th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The meeting was called to order at 6:01pm. The PPCC mission was read by Sue Kohl.  See PPCC Bylaws: http://pacpalicc.org/index.php/councilbylaws/.   

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Randy Young, David Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Sue Kohl, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Eric Dugdale, Richard Blumenberg, Shirley Haggstrom, Courtney Macker. 

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Daphne Gronich, Andrew Wolfberg, Mary Schultz, Barbara Kohn, Ryan Craig. 

3.   Introduction of attendees – none. 

4.   Approval of Minutes:  March 23, 2023, were approved as distributed.

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

6.   Treasurer’s Report.  Randy Young was unable to connect audio, though several attempts were made. The President announced that the Treasurer paid several bills this month, including the renewal of our insurance premium for $1,700 as well as bills to Miracle Data for technology support and the electronic election platform (using Zoho). She said she believes we need to speak as an organization about raising money, not because we need it but because she does not like to see the balance go down, and without some strategy for fundraising, we will not be able to replenish the costs associated with our operating expenses. She noted that the 50th anniversary of PPCC is this year and she suggested (referring to some of Beth Holden-Garland’s suggestions) that we work toward highlighting our work at this moment, and craft a PR campaign around our work. Sue Kohl [Area Five Alternate] suggested a Farmers Market presence. The President and the At-Large Rep [Chris Spitz] noted that PPCC did have a table and a presence at the Sunday Farmers Market, but it was difficult to get people to volunteer to staff the table. She also noted that the Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC) also discussed PR and a strategy by which to inform the community about the work we/they do on behalf of the community. Karen Ridgley [Area Four Representative] also noted that people are not sufficiently aware of our work. She suggested posters in café or shop windows informing people of our meetings and our work. She suggested we need an area wide communication system. She said she has information she receives as Area Rep and doesn’t have a tool with which to inform her constituents. The President suggested a community-wide app, which might help inform people by way of new technology. 

Chris Spitz [At-large Representative] reminded everyone that we have long attempted to reach out by email to inform people and get more social media traction. She suggested we ask for “donations” in the newsletter or habitually, as we have in the past. Jenny Li [Vice-Chair] agreed and asked to set up a monthly or recurring payment option. 

Cindy Simon [Area Six Representative] said we need to be clear about “why” we want to fundraise – what is the point and how will it be used. She also wanted to know how much traffic comes to our website. The President said she can get analytics from the website (as well as the newsletter). 

The President suggested we come up with a narrative as to what we do as a CC and all the reasons we are a valuable organization to which donations are important. People may donate simply to sustain our operating expenses, and/or to take action (as was the case with the opposition to Bonin’s efforts to bring homelessness to beach parking areas) or to support our work preserving all that we value about the Palisades.  

Diana Danielle [Area Two 2nd Alternate], who is a publicist, suggested the Farmers Market would be a good neighborly personal touch, but we can also harness the power of social media and the press. She suggested we put more stories/articles in the local papers. The President reminded everyone that we have had a Facebook page for about 7 years (she set it up) and that we now have Instagram (Beth Holden-Garland). We had a strategy to build our audience, but we need new ideas and she’d like to set up an “Outreach Committee.” She said we get good coverage from the papers and media, and our social media is a reliable place to be informed about our work. Diana also suggested member highlights. She suggested more website content, more social media content and outreach.  

Beth Holden-Garland [Secretary] talked about reconceptualizing our logo and updating our general outreach image. We need to reach out to people more often and ask people to pay into our organization almost like association dues, because we have a track record of delivering for the community. 

Some discussion was had about an NC versus a CC, and the President noted that eight years ago we agendized this matter and had presentations and discussions. The board, at the time, agreed to remain a CC and noted all the benefits (including independence). Chris Spitz also reviewed that discussion and noted all the reasons why being a CC is important (including retaining the ability to speak directly to state lawmakers, which NCs are precluded from doing). The President also noted that city funding which is supposed to flow to NCs does not always flow (in her experience as former Chair of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) which Chris Spitz now Vice-Chairs. Sue Kohl recalled that discussion and reminded everyone that there is real value in the work we do. She urged that everyone on the PPCC donate and be reminded to do so.  

Mary Schultz shared the Pacific Palisades Garden Club’s (PPGC) challenges with outreach and said she’d be happy to join the Outreach Committee. Karen Ridgley suggested we work though PTAs. The President invited Alisa Wolfson and Daphne Gronich to speak about this, but she noted that, while parent groups do a great deal of outreach to raise money, they are limited in the messaging that they are able to push out on behalf of the community. Alisa Wolfson, the Education Alternate, noted that unless it pertains specifically to the school, information is hard to put in their communication, but some community news can probably be done in that way.  

Cindy Kirven, co-President of the Village Green, announced that at their quarterly board meeting they resolved to extend an invitation to the PPCC to celebrate alongside them in August for a program that includes a history of the Palisades, art, awareness raising, and a general celebration of the “Sweet and the Serious.” The President thanked Cindy and the Village Green board and welcomed the opportunity to work together. 

The President said she would form an Outreach Committee to work on both fundraising as well as the 50th anniversary. Julie Silliman informed the board that Rustic Canyon will also be celebrating their 100th anniversary and the Pacific Palisades Historical Society is celebrating 50 years. The President suggested we might use a survey platform (perhaps Zoho) to see what the Community would like to do by way of a joint community celebration and pledged to reach out to members to form an Outreach Committee.   

7.   General Public Comment none.   

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.  

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.  All deferred.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus. 

8.2.1.   Jenny Li [Vice-Chair] – none.

8.2.2.   David Card [Chair Emeritus] – none.

8.2.3.   Beth Holden-Garland [Secretary]. Reminded everyone to visit our social media on Instagram and Facebook and shared an idea about posting emergency preparedness resources in various posts, at different intervals, on our social media. 

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives. 

8.3.1.   Karen Ridgley, Area Four Representative, reported that the City finally cleared 17.6 tons of illegally dumped wood from Temescal Canyon Roadside this week after she went beyond 311 and called Luis Moreno, Supervisor of Sanitation, directly. Cindy Kirven showed video and pictures she had taken which displays company names and license plates of the violators. The information was sent to SLO Espin, and the board said they hoped this would make a difference. The President said she would share it with the Council Office for action. She also said community outreach and a community awareness campaign might help inform people not to dump or take the wood. 

8.3.2.   Steve Cron, Area Two Representative, announced that the CA Coastal Commission had a hearing about the trailhead restroom facilities in the Highlands. This has been a long-standing issue for the Palisades, and the Community Council has taken a position on the matter, asking for City and State agencies to take control of the rest area and manage it as a public resource. Steve said he and Shirley Haggstrom (representing TCA, the oldest environmental organization in the Palisades) both spoke at the meeting, noting the unkempt state of the bathrooms and facilities at the trailhead and the need for the Coastal Commission to act in defense of public safety. The result of the hearing was a Consent Agreement, that was entered into with the company that owns the facility to transfer title to the City of LA. The City of LA has been tasked to find a nonprofit entity to take over the management of that bathroom and transform it to a hygienic set of facilities at the trailhead.  “Today was a fantastic conclusion to this saga.” The President also acknowledged the role of the TCA in this process, and Shirley Haggstrom, TCA rep, noted their ongoing support of this outcome. 

8.3.3.   Murray Levy, Area One Representative, reported that lack of traffic and parking rules enforcement on PCH led to a deadly accident this weekend. In addition, he notified the board of a planned large-scale excavation and development in Area 1, with a hearing planned for April 19th. See new business item below.  

8.3.4.   Cindy Simon, Area Six Representative, reported her findings regarding Potrero Canyon, including slope slippage repairs that she has identified, graffiti clean-up, the maintenance of the self-cleaning bathrooms, the importance of weeding (which the PCOC is attempting to monitor) and the need to keep dogs on a leash. The President asked Cindy to provide regular updates about what she sees on her daily walks in the canyon, her endless efforts to improve the park, and her talks with both City engineers/workers and residents who are in the park, in order to monitor improvements and repairs, and use and enjoyment, as the Park evolves.  Cindy informed the board that people seem to be enjoying the park. Dogs off leash continues to be an issue (particularly on the grassy lawn) and the President said again that community outreach and an informational campaign may benefit Potrero Canyon Park.  Dave Card [Chair Emeritus] also thanked Cindy Simon, and suggested that the tiered erosion remedy the city has undertaken (per photos shown by Cindy Simon), will help with down-slope water drainage and help secure the hillside. He also suggested that the community might wish to write to the Council Office in support of a Palisades Dog Park, in order to help curb dogs off leash at Potrero Canyon Park.   

8.3.5.   Julie Silliman, Area Seven Representative. SM Canyon Association in-person annual meeting with Traci Park and Randy Young on May 9th, from 7 – 9pm. 

Dave Card informed the board that Rustic Canyon is celebrating its 100th anniversary in May (opening the time capsule) and again in October. And Rustic Canyon will have a clean-up on April 22, from 11am to 3pm. 

The President noted that this represented yet another element of a huge community celebration and asked Julie, Dave and Cindy Kirven to come together to plan a big community celebration, in conjunction with her and other organizations. 

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives 

8.4.1.   Ryan Craig, Resilient Palisades, announced an Earth Day Celebration on Sunday, April 13th, from 8am to noon, at The Village Green. It will be a morning of fun and education of all things eco-friendly. There will be vegan food, info on native plants, gas leaf blowers and give away of kitchen pails for composting. He asked all to join in and celebrate Earth Day. 

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives  

8.5.1.   Jose Bermudez, LAPD Pacific Palisades Beach Detail officer, announced that LAPD has implemented foot beats at Potrero Canyon. They have noticed many dogs off leash and are being challenged with enforcement. He said they have been verbally warning people but will begin to cite for the violation, because it is unsafe. 

He noted the new information that has been made available surrounding the illegal dumping at Temescal Canyon Road will help LAPD issue citations. Also asked Palisadians to warn or inform their own brush clearance contractors not to drop any wood in the Palisades. He said there is a cost to dumping elsewhere so perhaps companies either don’t know or are taking advantage of this unmonitored dumping site, but communication and awareness can help. The President noted that here again, community awareness and a community interface will be very helpful.  

Crime report:  There was a robbery with a firearm. The Robbery/Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation. As of now, there is no threat to the location, but investigation is ongoing. Officer Bermudez reviewed more of the weekly crime report and reported that another burglary suspect was arrested and charged with a hate crime. This will now be a felony crime.  

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives – none. 

9.   Reports from Committees.  

9.1.   The Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC). Jenny Li reported that work on communication continues to be done and updates can be seen on the tab on the website. She thanked Chris Spitz for her efforts ensuring updates are drafted and posted. 

10.    Old Business – none. 

11.   New Business:  

11.1.   Discussion & Vote [Bylaws Amendments].
Bylaws Committee Vice-Chair, Andrew Wolfberg, presented the first distribution of the Bylaws Committee proposed amendments to PPCC Bylaws Appendix, adding Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) and Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PAPA) to our organizational rotations.  He explained that Committee members Andy Frew and David Card recused themselves from Bylaws Committee deliberations because each is a member of one of the organizations at issue for this proposed amendment. He further explained that the President had affirmed that Palisades Beautiful no longer satisfied the requisite organizational structure to remain in Appendix A and would therefore be removed upon admission of the PAPA and PFC to the Service Clubs and Culture & Aesthetics categories, respectively. This would create two categories that each have four rotating organizational members, as reflected in Appendix A. Andrew explained that a 2/3rds majority vote is required to pass any amendment to the Bylaws, including this vote to amend Appendix A.  

The Bylaws Committee motion and vote for Board adoption of amendments will take place during the second distribution of the proposed amendments, on April 27th, 2022.  The following documents were distributed concurrently with the meeting agenda, and posted to our website alongside email notification to all board members:   

1)  Committee Report:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/04-07-2023-Report-of-PPCC-Bylaws-Committee.pdf (and see below – Attachment).

2)  Amendments “Redline”:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Red-Line-PPCC-BYLAWS.-4.2023.pdf  (The President noted the typographic error in Palisades Americanism Parade Association.) 

3)  Amendments “Clean”:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Clean-copy-PPCC-BYLAWS.-4.2023.pdf  (The President noted the typographic error in Palisades Americanism Parade Association.)  

The President reiterated that she had reached out to Palisades Beautiful and informed them that she would be talking them out of Appendix A, but would welcome them – or any Palisades organization – back with an application to join our board at any time. 

11.2.  Discussion and Possible Motion [Area One Development]. 

Area One Primary Rep, Murray Levy, and Alternate, Cindi Young, reported that the residents of the area are being impacted by a massive development that was approved at a Planning Commission meeting last September. The HOA has appealed this ruling and a hearing is set for Wednesday, April 19th. The location of the proposed development is on the site of a massive landslide.  Murray and Cindi cite large scale excavation that will block roadways and entirely isolate people in the neighborhood. The two Representatives ask the PPCC to support their request for an EIR and urge the City to be mindful of the narrow hillside streets that will be encumbered by the massive scale of excavation and construction. This is the main artery in and out of the entire neighborhood of Castellammare. They also cite the unsafe conditions and the landslide characteristics of the hillside location for the development, and urge the City to support an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  Cindy informed the board that there is currently only an MND on file, and the city has not required more. She also described that there will be a retaining wall constructed next to the bulkhead, and that this will jeopardize the integrity of and access to the bulkhead and pose a threat to the safety of the entire community. She notes that they are not against development, but expect the City to ensure that it is done responsibly. 

Murray noted the “insanity” of building large houses on an active landslide. 

The President noted that PPCC does not generally take positions on private building projects, but we do ask all developers/builders and the city to adhere to all regulations and ordinances in place and to scrupulously enforce them, making sure that any excavation is done in a way that protects the streets and the public right of way, as well as the integrity of access routes to and from communities.  

She also noted that the protection of hillside streets in the VHFHSZs is a priority not just for PPCC but for the Council Office, as she has learned in conversations with Jeff Khau, the new Planning Deputy at CD11.  These are narrow hillside streets that are easily encumbered, which impacts public safety from the standpoint of emergency vehicle access as well as evacuation in the event of a fire – a threat that lingers over the entire Palisades, which sits within a VHFHSZ.   

The PPCC unanimously approved the motion proposed by Murray Levy, Area One Primary Rep, and seconded by Chris Spitz and Barbara Kohn concurrently. Barbara Kohn, Historical Society Alternate and Area One resident, cited geological studies indicating the danger of building in this landslide area. She urged members to drive up to the area and take a look at the site as well as the conditions surrounding the site. She urged that all members support the motion. Shirley Haggstrom [TCA] also spoke in support of the motion and said she was appalled that anyone might consider building anything in that section of Tramonto, which would imperil hundreds of homes. Haldis Toppel [Area 3 Representative) also spoke in support of the motion. 

Daphne Gronich [Area Four 2nd Alternate] suggested that the community be mobilized to attend the meeting (even virtually) and speak in opposition (compared it to the Marquette matter when dozens of community members showed up to the hearing). She further suggested that an EIR should be required for this project, based on her past experience with a project on Marquette Street (which this Council took-up while Zar was Chair in 2017 and Councilmember Bonin represented CD11).   

The President proposed a friendly amendment to require an EIR. Barbara Kohn and Murray Levy spoke in favor of demanding an EIR.  The amendment was made by Steve Cron and seconded by Shirley Haggstrom. The board unanimously approved the friendly amendment, and the language was added to the proposed motion.   

Motion passed unanimously:
“In light of the huge excavation and development project anticipated on the hillside street of Tramonto, on the site of landslides with a possible impact on public safety with small hillside roads blocked for extended periods of time, and perhaps even lanes of PCH,  PPCC requests an EIR for this project and urges the Hearing Officer to take all necessary steps to protect these two public roads from damage caused by excavation, and that time limits be enforced by LADBS.”  

12.   Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 8:15pm. 

[Attachment — Item 11.1:]

Report of PPCC Bylaws Committee – April 7, 2023

Committee members: Andrew Wolfberg, Haldis Toppel, Randy Young, and Maryam Zar (ex officio). David Card and Andy Frew recused themselves due to conflicts as board members of PFC and PAPA, respectively.

The PPCC Bylaws govern how we are organized and operate: what we do and how we do it. The Mission Statement read at the start of each PPCC Board meeting comes verbatim from our Bylaws. The Bylaws have been incrementally changed numerous times over the years, most recently in September 2022.

The Bylaws include several appendices, including Appendix A – Organizations Eligible to Send Representatives. Appendix A was last revised in September 2022.

Appendix A must be updated to reflect the addition of the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) and Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PAPA). Further, it has been expressed by the Board Chair that Palisades Beautiful is no longer qualified, per our certification process, to participate in PPCC as an active Palisades-based organization.

Bylaws Committee members David Card and Andy Frew recused themselves from discussions regarding the placement of PFC and PAPA due to their positions as board members with PFC (David Card) and PAPA (Andy Frew).

The Bylaws Committee recommends the following changes to Appendix A, and accordingly proposes that the PPCC Board adopt the amendments to Appendix A summarized below:

  • Add Palisades Forestry Committee to Culture and Aesthetics
  • Add Palisades Americanism Parade Association to Service Clubs
  • Remove Palisades Beautiful from Culture and AestheticsThese changes will create two categories of four organizations rotating in the category of Culture and Aesthetics as well as Service Clubs.

The Bylaws Committee moves that the recommended amendments be adopted by the Board. Voting will take place after discussion at the Board meeting on April 27, 2023 (the time of the required second distribution of proposed Bylaws amendments). Separate votes will be taken on the proposed amendments as presented in the above three bullet points.

A 2/3 vote of Board members present is required for adoption of amendments to the Bylaws, including Appendix A (see Art. XII.2.B; abstentions under the “members present” standard effectively count as “No” votes).

A link to Appendix A is being sent to each Board member for review and have been published on our website: a “redline” (red font/strikeout) version, with each recommended change in red font, and a final “clean” draft for voting purposes.

[End Attachment.]

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM APRIL 27th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.
The meeting was called to order at 8:02pm, and Steve Cron read the PPCC Mission.

2.   Roll Call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
Voting board members present: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, David Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Leeanne Sanderson, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Reza Akef, Julie Silliman, Andrew Wolfberg, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Barbara Kohn, Richard Blumenberg, Genevieve Bostik, Shirley Haggstrom, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting board members present: Cindy Young, Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Nancy Niles, Sue Kohl, Kathy Russell, Kevin Niles, Ryan Craig.

The President certified there was quorum.

3.   Introduction of attendees.
LA Department of Public Works, Streets LA gave some remarks and answered some board questions and fielded concerns. Guests included Robert (Rob) Sewell, Head of Construction
Michael Cox, Danny Cordova, James Hawkins, Street Maintenance Division and Dan Halden External relations Team. Marisol Rodriguez was not present.

They announced a new website in the coming months and said they want to increase ease of access to basic services and streamline requests made. Their effort is to improve external relations and community interface. Dan gave a shout out to Councilmember Traci Park and her staff (specifically Gaby Medina, with whom he had worked before) and commended them on the work they’re doing alongside this, and other agencies.

Michael Edlen, Alternate for Area 3, thanked street services for filling in many potholes through these months of rain. He mentioned the sink hole that was recently repaired on Jacon and wondered what would happen if that might be collapsing. “Is there prevention, or do we wait for the site to give, and then fill in a 311 request?”  Dan said he’d send someone out to take a look, but a 311 request can be made with an urgent commentary, so that the service request is received, and crews will come out to assess/inspect. He will follow up with a status update.

Cindy Simon mentioned a construction trailer in Area 6 (Corona Del Mar area) that has long been parked there with nothing seemingly going on. Street Services guests said they’d make sure they send their Investigation and Enforcement Division to take a look. Reza Akef brought up code enforcement as someone who does construction in the neighborhood, because he thinks they enforce/cite selectively. He was assured that enforcement and investigation is handled fairly and to report any infraction he sees.

The board thanked our guests and acknowledged the work of CD11. Street Services reminded the board that contact details included in the service request can be very helpful if there is a question as to the service request.  Dan Halden also confirmed that there would be no STAP roll-out in the Palisades within the first year of the Tranzito Vector contract. More outreach is planned this summer. (See more under President’s report below.) Dan said there would be a website as well as a map and a dashboard for better community outreach, that will be made available to communities.  The President thanked Dan and encouraged the outreach. She also thanked them all for the re-repaving of Temescal Canyon.

4.   Approval of Minutes:  April 13, 2023, were approved as distributed (https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Draft-Min-April-13-PPCC-Meeting.pdf)

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

6.   Treasurer’s Report. 
The Treasurer thanked Vice President, Jenny Li, for her assistance and reported in his stead at the last meeting, where his connection audio was unstable (from Houston).  He reported that the PPCC bank balance is $43,977.11. He also reported that he has delivered to Johnson, Foster, Fitzgerald & Darling our documentation for tax returns.

7.   General Public Comment.
7.1.   Betsy Collins from The Village Green announced that their 50th anniversary celebration is coming up on August 13th, with balloons and food and music. Please mark your calendars and send ideas.

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President announced that the PCOC is posting information on our website, under the “Potrero” tab, as it becomes available to us. She, along with Cindy Simon and Dave Card, met with Waste Unlimited and Robert Buenrostro (RAP Maintenance supervisor) to review weeding, trash cans, repairs and more. She announced that repairs continue to be made across Potrero Canyon and thanked RAP & BOE. She reported that new trash cans would be placed along trails and that doggie bag dispensers would be added. The PCOC sign committee was working on choosing the signs from the options presented to us. The community will be responsible for providing doggie bags. She announced that on May 10th, the PCOC will be holding a meeting with Kristen Ly (Project Manager from BOE) and will report back.

Dave Card reported on drainage being fixed at Potrero, and said he observed during our walk-through that soil slippage was also being addressed. He also mentioned the Library Zoom meeting where Richard Fisher was the speaker guest, was recorded and Richard reported on planting and weeding. Encouraged all to see the recording.

He reported that, at the behest of Cindy Simon, Richard said he would be willing to work with/train Palisadian volunteers to help with the weeding. There is a five-year project underway to ensure that at least 80% of the planting at Potrero Canyon Park is native plant (not weed). In June weed whacking will be done with machines, on the upper side of the Canyon (in the Fire Modification Zone). The president reported that a new contractor named Marina, which would be addressing watering/sprinklers and irrigation, has been introduced to us. Watering will be reduced in Spring, increased in the summer. Homeowners along the rim are encouraged only to clear brush on their property (not into the park property), which is under the control of BOE and will be separately instructed to clear brush by LAFD.

8.1.2.   The President announced the appointment of the PPCC Nominating Committee, 2023, co-Chaired by Steve Cron and Sue Kohl, alongside Haldis Topple, Nancy Niles and Ryan Craig serving as committee members. She said the committee had been formed prior to the last meeting (held on 4/13) and they’ve begun their work to find a slate of officers to nominate at the final May meeting of 2023.  The President reminded the board that Officers all enjoy a one-year term and must be re-elected or newly elected each year, in June. The Nominating Committee will bring their slate of nominees to the board on May 25th.  A Candidate forum, if needed will be on June 8th. Election will be held on June 22nd.

8.1.3.   The President announced that she met with members of Area Seven and Transp. Advisor at PCH and West Channel to discuss safety and forming a task force, following a fatal crash last weekend. She said CalTrans has made plans for a revamp of the intersection, which has been met with city approval, and would soon be implemented. She has asked CalTrans to remain open to community input even after changes are implemented (possible Pole Top cameras were discussed for information gathering not just enforcement). Expect an update soon. She also spoke about a crosswalk planned for Channel Rd. and Stassi Lane, which may be ill-advised. Expect more information/discussion agendized. She has also sent email to jump start the PCH Taskforce meetings (see more below under LAPD update).

8.1.4.   The President announced the PPCC 50th Anniversary and a meeting/call with CD11 and other organizations for a big community celebration. She encouraged everyone to send in their ideas and announced the formation of a new Outreach Committee. Among the celebrations that might be rolled into one big community gathering in recognition of community are the Historical Society (50 years), The Uplifters (Rustic Canyon – 100 years), The Village Green (50 years), and PPCC (50 yrs)! Look for plans for a big bash to celebrate community (perhaps at Simon Meadow). Randy said he has put together some historic papers, including a letter from President Ronald Regan, congratulating the Community Council. The President suggested a display of history, some street closures, perhaps a survey sent to people for ideas and to use this big moment for the community to celebrate our unique community and to go out and figure out how we can – yes monitor policy – but also to bring people together and celebrate community. She asked people to sign up for the PPCC Outreach Committee, send ideas and expect a report from meeting with CD11 on May 4th.  She also reported on the June 10th Safety Fair at Simon Meadow, in partnership with CD11.

8.1.5.   The President announced that Jeff Khau will be joining us on May 11th to discuss issues including long tern excavation and development. She said Jeff has been very responsive to some of our issues and has been in touch with the LUC on matters of out of out of scale in the Coastal Zone as well as Area One issues (referred to Murray to say more). Jeff will join us on May 11. Traci Park will join us on June 22, and that may be an in-person meeting. Tbd.

8.1.6.   The President reported on a call with Lance Oishi, Audrey Netsawang and Daniel Halden at Streets LA about our bus furniture concerns. The meeting was set up by Gaby at CD11 and included Chris Spitz, John Padden among others.  STAP pledged that there would be no roll out of new bus furniture for Pacific Palisades in the first year of implementation of the new city contract with Tranzito Vector. Even though three locations were on the list of first-year roll-out, we were told that was an error and no new shelters would be placed in our community in the next year. Thereafter, we were assured that we could customize some factors in order to make the furniture more suitable for our environs. We were further assured that no digital advertising would be featured on Palisadian street furniture and that our coastal zone/scenic route considerations would be duly noted.

8.1.7.   The President reported upon a meeting with CD11 and Carolyn Jordan, Chair of BCC, about Cannabis dispensaries and community review from our two Community Councils. She announced that CD11 staff, including Gaby Median and Jeff Khau, were responsive to our request for community review, in general, and specific review of Cookies Cannabis Dispensary’s “Provisional Permit” which will be up for renewal this summer, and we have requested community review prior to permanent approval. Jeff Khau will do some research and get back to us. The two communities are also discussing fire (VHFHSZ) and construction on narrow hillside streets.

8.1.8.   The President reported that the Community Safety meeting was informative, and a recording is on our YouTube sight.

8.1.9.   The President invited discussion around a community app, to push out information (not just a community safety/public safety app) that becomes available to us and the only tools we have right now are either the (cumbersome) mass email or (limited reach) social media. She suggested a discussion of funding (community/crowd source/other organizations), stakeholders (not just PPCC but all the organizations that are on our board (or active in the community).

The President gave the floor to Cindi Young and her husband, Bart, to talk about the Wissle (app) which is an app that was introduced to her by LAPD, and currently operates in Area One (and can be expanded to other areas). Cindi announced that her own home had been burglarized twice and so her husband decided to create a structure of neighborhood support – Wissle – operable through HOAs. People within any private community can sign up for an alert system to be able to sign up for alerts and receive information that is made available through the app.

Bart shared a one-minute video about the Wissle app and explained how it operates. (It is an app, a website and a system of cameras: (https://wissle.com).

The President said she wanted the community to consider an app that helps push out information, not just about crime, but about all the aspects of Palisades life, where information is available to people with specific interests and concerns (hikes, celebrations, events, networking opportunities, crime information, alerts of all sorts…).

Board members said they’d like a mechanism that would aggregate all the info now coming into inboxes in an overwhelming way. The President said that was her objective, to aggregate info that people wish to opt in for (receive push notifications across categories). Wissle is growing one community at a time but might not be the all-encompassing app we/she are looking for – something that builds community and not just putting out info/false or incendiary info about crime or alarmist matters that can be compromising to people. Some examples were shared by board members.

The board decided it would be generally valuable to look into an app. The President said she’d continue to look for the right combination and a developer that can help. Bart and Cindi explained that Wissle is growing slowly and finds moderators for each community…discussion continues. The President suggested that Wissle might be a component of our community app (that is not police centric but information centric). She suggested information such as, for example, Erath Day at the Village Green, hike at Temescal Canyon, closures at Potrero Canyon, paving or road closures that are noticed to us and we need to get back out to the community… or other such information (dogs off a leash, log dumping etc…). We need a unique voice.

Genevieve seconded the need for a community app (events to street colures to exercise classes) to push out community-based events and information. Seconded the idea that we need a centralized communication mode (even though some issues will be hot button), and there is a real need for this. For example, as Y Rep, she’d like to get information out to the community, but doesn’t know how. The President shared that she had information from LADWP regarding pole-tops that she would have liked to push out, but only had cumbersome tools. Haldis Topple talked about a common calendar. The President said an app would populate a calendar straight into smart phon.

Steve Cron echoed the need for this discussion (and mode of communication). He noted that the Pali Post is becoming a bi-monthly and he believes we need a go-to place for information people can opt into. Seconded the thoughts about the perils of unmonitored commentary and the spectacle of Nextdoor (type) app or space. The President confirmed that there would be no chat or community-room feature. We would simply be putting out info (not monitoring incoming info).

Kimberly said she liked the idea of getting information out, but believes we must communicate better, and people might sign on to the app, but only as long as we can get our word out. She loves the idea, but how?

The President wrapped up discussion by establishing that the need is there, but the perils must be guarded. She called again for Outreach Committee volunteers (Kimberly, Nina, Steve, Diana, Beth, Leeanne, Michael, Murray… and others signed up), and said she hears everyone agreeing that we need something like this but must guard against the pitfalls that can create an unsafe place. She pledged to continue the conversation and find some resources to develop this, using reliable technology.

8.1.10,   The President pointed out the letters and positions sent, and asked board members to refer to the agenda and read/be informed about them.

i.   First letter of the joint BCC/PPCC sent:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/FIN-Joint-Cannabis-Letter.pdf

ii.   Letter asking for EIR and community safety in Area One, per last meeting: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Tremonto.-Pas-Mir-Construction-1.pdf

iii.   Letter opposing unpermitted concrete structure at 15245 W. De Pauw St.: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/FIN-Magur-PPCC-letter-April-23-2023-1.pdf

iv.   Letter in opposition to AB1287:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/PPCC-EC-letter-AB1287.pdf

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus – None.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives,

8.3.1.   Steve Cron, Area Two Rep announced a “Canyon Clean-up” on Sunday. Open to all. Meet at Starbucks at 10am. Bring trash bags. They will walk up the canyon and collect trash. Bruce and Steve will then pick them up the bags and dispose of them.

8.3.2.   Murray Levy reported about the West LA APC meeting on April 19th, regarding a huge development in Area One. (See PPCC letter: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Tremonto.-Pas-Mir-Construction-1.pdf). It was a good meeting. An EIR, which we had asked for, was mentioned briefly by commissioners, but not much concern. They hit on a few issues that Murray would like us to concern ourselves with. These include:

a.   Grading (30 cubic yards).

b.   Height limits (how to measure heights on hillside areas).

c.   Compatibility with Brentwood/Palisades Community Plan (which calls for reducing grading and density).

Murray suggested that we develop a position on these issues, and suggested the LUC take this up.

The President put Murray and Steve in touch to discuss the above and the involvement of our PPCC LUC.

She also reminded the board that Jeff Khau will be here at the next meeting, so let us bring this up with him.

She also pointed to the letters written by PPCC in the last two weeks (see above). One asked for the EIR, and another was advocating for less density (not more). She urged everyone to take a look, and asked Steve and board to come up with a position to cover the concerns raised by Murray, above.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives

8.4.1.   Andrew Wolfberg, At-large 2nd Alternate [correction:  1st Alternate], announced Canyon School Fiesta on Sunday April 30th. This is a fundraiser, so he invited all to attend.

8.4.2.   Shirley Haggstrom, TCA Rep, announced a hike to Chicken Ridge on Sunday May 28th at 8:45 am. No Dogs. Please bring water and good shoes. Visit TCA website: www.temcanyon.org (to get info and rsvp).

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   Brian Espin, LAPD Pacific Palisades SLO.
Senior Lead Officer (SLO), Brian Espin, reported that there were 2 burglaries listed in the crime listing, but he thinks it was only one burglary, mapped twice. We also still have some car breaks-ins. Area Eight had reported two men “door checking”. Espin reminded everyone to lock their car doors and keep valuables/belongings off the front seats so as not to tempt a break-in. Car break-ins continue to be the biggest challenge in the Palisades. The President shared the Crime report on-screen. Espin reported a robbery at a convenience store at PCH. An arrest has been made – the suspect is involved in several robberies across other divisions. The Robbery/Homicide division has taken over the case. Reports regarding tagging appear to be the work of local people/kids – not gang affiliated. Most gang tagging will have a moniker and some sort of symbol of gang. This has not yet been identified here in the Palisades.  He encouraged residents to continue reporting tagging to the city, which he said would “clean it up pretty quickly.”

SLO Espin reported on recent vandalism involving teens (explosion/fireworks). He reported that in a recent video made available to him, he had been able to identify the Palisadian family of a young person involved in the incident and has spoken to the parents who have taken responsibility.

With respect to illegal dumping, recent video and photographs (from Cindy Kirven) have helped lead to citations. Street Sanitation will investigate (as well as LAPD), and issue citations “after the fact.”  LA SAN are able to issue a citation after the fact, whereas LAPD can only cite while the offense (dumping) is taking place. The President thanked Brian (as well as Gaby Medina at the Council Office) for their proactive work on this matter and reported that she is aware that the office of the City Attorney/Neighborhood Prosecutors are now involved and looking to warn/cite corporate actors in order to stem this activity.

The President asked about narcotics activity in the Palisades. Brian said he checked with NARC unit and reported that there are no ongoing investigations in the Palisades, but if residents have any information, please pass on to Brian Espin. Allison Holdoff said all Pali High teachers are trained in the use of Narcan and kids are also allowed to carry it as well.

Murray Levy asked about the 3rd fatal accident on PCH in as many weeks. Urged SLO Espin to get some traffic and parking enforcement on PCH to “reduce the carnage”.  Brian said PCH is on the radar of traffic and collision enforcement. He has relayed that he’d like more patrol officers further North on PCH. The reality is, once they come and do enforcement (speed or parking), the bad behavior (including parking) does come back quickly.

The President said she had surveyed some of the fatality locations with others and reported that pole top cameras are among the discussion points that have arisen as far as solutions to monitoring bad behavior, and enforcement after the fact (and even as a deterrent). She also reported that she has sent email to jump-start the PCH task force meetings again (formerly spearheaded by ASM Richard Bloom) and believes that once those are up and running again, they will offer an opportunity to speak in earnest about traffic improvements and safety along PCH from SM, through the Palisades, Topanga and Malibu.

8.5.2.   Zac Gaidzik, District Rep, Supervisor Lindsey Horvath – Not present.

8.5.3.   Michael Amster, Field Deputy, Councilmember Traci Park – Not called on (no report).

8.5.4.   Rad Norouzi, Field Staff, Senator Ben Allen – Not present.

8.5.5.   Allison Holdorf-Polhill, Sr. Advisor, LAUSD Board Member, Nick Melvoin.
Allison said Nick sends his regards. Marquez Elementary is looking for a librarian and undertaking two “incredible” greening projects. Pali Elementary is replacing their grass with turf and were able to secure a crossing guard. Allison is working on securing more Crossing Guards for our schools, alongside CD11.

Revere is having a beautification Day on Sunday. Pali High Graduation will be held on June 8th and Paul Revere graduation will be held on June 9th. Tom Safran has donated money for a Pali High renovation to their quad (approved by Nick). Canyon Elementary’s fundraising event called “Fiesta” is coming up. A bungalow upgrade there and replacement project will be in August (working on a Coastal Commission permit). More detail coming.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives – None present.

9.   Reports from CommitteesNone.

10.   Old Business.

10.1.   Bylaws Discussion & Vote.
Andrew Wolfberg, Bylaws Committee Vice-Chair, presented the second distribution of proposed bylaws amendments, to instate the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) as a rotational member of the Culture and Aesthetics category, replacing Palisades Beautiful) and to instate Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PAPA) as a rotational member of the Service Clubs Category (creating two categories of four). The President made a friendly amendment to combine the three recommendations made by the Bylaws Committee into one motion. That friendly amendment was concurrently seconded by Haldis Toppel, Courtney Macker and Barbara Kohn, and passed unanimously. The motion to approve the Bylaws Committee recommendations was unanimously approved by the board.

The President said she was happy to welcome both organizations to the board of the PPCC as they were both important and proactive Palisadian organizations. She thinks they are well placed on our board. She further noted that both Andy Frew and Dave Card, Bylaws Committee members, recused themselves from all deliberations since they each had board roles with one of the two organizations at issue in this Committee recommendation and vote.

The following documents were distributed concurrently with the meeting agenda via PPCC email and posted on the PPCC website:

1)  Committee Report:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/04-07-2023-Report-of-PPCC-Bylaws-Committee.pdf (and see below)

2)  Amendments “Redline”:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Red-Line-PPCC-BYLAWS.-4.2023.pdf

3)  Amendments “Clean”:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Clean-copy-PPCC-BYLAWS.-4.2023.pdf

11.   New Business – None.

12.   Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 8:20pm.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM MAY 11th 2023

Meeting announced to be recorded for more than just secretarial purposes.

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

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The President called roll and established that there was quorum. There were 50 people in attendance.

Voting board members in attendance: Maryam Zar, Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, David Card, Murray levy, Leeanne Sanderson, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Mary Schultz, Greg Heidt, Barbara Kohn, Richard Blumenberg, Bill Skinner, Shirley Haggstrom, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting board members in attendance: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Daphne Gronich, Sue Kohl, Quentin Fleming, Harlan Hogue, Rick McGeagh, Kathy Russell, Alisa Wolfson, Kevin Niles.

3.   Introduction of attendees.
Jeff Khau, Sr. Planning Deputy CD11, Office of Councilmember Traci Park, attended the meeting and gave brief remarks, then took questions.

Jeff thanked everyone for hosting him and said he’d comment on three issues:

1)   The ongoing Castellammare discussion over the four big mega-homes coming into Tramonto and Ravello – reported that CD11 attended the April 19th hearing at WLA APC. APC had serious concerns about the stability of the hillside. Determined that they’d like to see the homes scaled down, but decided that the stabilizing of the hillside will be a net benefit for the community. CD11 supports the building/development project, but wishes to see the homes scaled down. APC did not deny the project but asked to work with the developer to come up with a project that is “appropriate and suitable for the area”. The developer will be going back to APC in summer, likely July, for another review. The developer has submitted revised designs, but not much decrease in square footage or structural footprint. CD11 is a little disappointed, but the developer confirmed that they would be scrupulous about creating stability on the hillside, which is CD11’s main concern. They have also proposed more sidewalk, but the main focus of CD11 is on out of scale size of the proposed homes. The question arose regarding the EIR which this Council requested for this project. CD11 would like to push for an EIR for any big project, but are aware of streamlining options for developers, and are not going against those, at this time. That being said, they do want to address community’s safety concerns over this project. CD11 would like to see this project happen, but with safeguards and reinforced/safer hillside, in place.

2)   Jeff then commented on the non-hillside coastal R1 streets and the out of scale homes that can be built in these “loophole areas”. We find that by reducing height and FAR restrictions, we can eliminate out of scale homes. But SB8 and SB330 intend to prevent local municipalities from creating laws that would get in the way of housing production. In an effort not to impede the development of housing density, the state set a law, that as of Jan 1st, 2018, any additional regulation which would decrease the intensity of capacity, would have to be accompanied with a “sister ordinance” that would up-zone building somewhere else in the neighborhood. The only bypass is environmental related regulations that are not intended to decrease density, but to help protect environment/wildlife. The right strategy for us remains to be determined.

3)   The third point upon which Jeff commented was coastal access for Potrero Canyon Park (trail and bridge projects). Jeff said the park is continuously being improved. The bridge project is currently in its predesign phase. The city posted the Task Order Solicitation for consultants to undertake the project approval and environmental documents, which is required for the predesign phase.  The solicitation was released on April 19. It will take a few months to select the consultant (which requires a sections process and board approval) and designate the consultant. We will then have a better idea of where the design phase is going to go, and we can start the “environmental” on the bridge. Sen. Ben Allen has strongly encouraged the PPCC to send in their letter of support “given the project was requested by the community” and the Sen. has received “strong support” from the community. Regarding the Trail, there is a request for consultants underway and Caltrans has agreed that they will assist the city with an “encroachment permit”, and work with BOE to align the trail with the proposed design. The CAO’s office is putting together a report to accept the money from the Omnibus bill, which will require a City Council motion and an approval from LA City Council. This process will soon be underway, and money for the trail study is already underway, even though the requested budget (request made by BOE for the funding shortfall to be secured in the city’s budget) was not allocated this year. However, BOE has enough funding to get the predesign phase of the trail going, so this is “underway”. The President thanked Jeff and noted that the access roads from Lachman to Enchanted matter is still outstanding and that she trusts work is being done to unearth the reasons why those crucial fire access roads remain blocked by private actors.

Jeff then welcomed questions:

a.   Chris Spitz:  Thanked Jeff and noted that the trail is required by the Coastal Commission. Glad to hear it is going forward. The bridge is not yet required by the Coastal Commission, but what is required is the feasibility study. Where does that stand? When is it expected to be submitted to the Coastal Commission? A new CDP is also required for the bridge. When will that process begin?

Jeff said the CDP will be applied for in due time by the Department of Public Works. Jeff will look into it and provide a tracking number for the permit when available. The feasibility study (BOE calling it a predesign report, which functions as their feasibility study) is part of the current predesign phase. This predesign phase encompasses a component of feasibility as well as alternatives to the bridge. BOE is confused about the term Feasibility Study, so they are calling it a project study/development report. This is the predesign phase that BOE is addressing.

The President clarified that there are two coastal access projects happening at the same time (perhaps unexpected that they are both at the predesign phase at the same time). She explained that the trail is required for Potrero Canyon Park as an element of coastal access and has CCC approval and a good chunk of funding secured by Rep. Ted Lieu, but not enough funding per BOE; whereas the bridge has no CCC approval and requires a feasibility study per the Coastal Commission, but presumably has enough funding though the $11M secured by Sen ben Allen. Noted that these projects are both now in their “pre-design” phase, with money having been procured by BOE for both.

b.   Cindy Simon:  Commented on Ben Allen’s office saying they have “strong community support” for the bridge. She contests that statement and feels that neighbors sense the project was partially presented many years ago without transparent discussion, and wants to suggest that there is not strong support for the bridge. If anyone can back up this conclusion of “strong support”, she would like to see documentation/expressions of it – but she is a longtime resident of Area Six (the neighborhood where the park resides) – and knows of no such strong support for the bridge.

c.   Murray Levy: The Castellammare developer is only dealing with the top 1/3 of that landslide, and to stabilize a hillside, they have to start at the bottom and work their way up. This developer is starting at the top of the unstable hillside and only going a third of the way down. The community worries that this will trigger a landslide and jeopardize many homes, as well as PCH. They believe that an EIR is necessary, and disappointed that CD11 ignored this request at the hearing.

Jeff said the argument for the EIR is legitimate and the office does not oppose it. But they are concerned that the developer will abandon the project that the hillside will remain undeveloped, and by extension, un-stabilized. So, they are requiring the developer to stage their equipment in such a way that doesn’t block access to the roads or obstruct access in any way. They have asked for quarterly progress reports to neighbors within 500 feet of construction – this will pressure the developer to finish the project in a reasonable amount of time. He said he believes hillsides must be treated in a way that is more urgent than other areas where development takes too long. EIR probably won’t happen, but CD11 plans to impose other regulations that may take care of some of the concerns that the EIR would address. Offered to extend the 500-foot zone to more. The President urged Jeff to read our letter requesting the EIR, visit the neighborhood, and understand why we are asking for this EIR, and hope it is not ignored.

d.   Rob Weber: This call for consultants for the predesign phase of bridge and trail – is there a public document where we can see what was requested by the city? Jeff said he knows of the Task Order Solicitation but will find out where it is posted and bring details. Also asked whether the funds received by the city for any project related to Potrero (coastal access in the case of current discussions) will be directed to the Potrero Canyon Trust Fund (as previous funds were). If funds are not specifically directed to that fund, please consider asking Council to pass a motion to deposit the funds into that account because this was a fund that was set up many years ago to ensure that money earmarked for Potrero Canyon are spent only on park efforts. There is a 2004 ordinance passed by LA City Council to set up that fund and the reason was to ensure that they money would be used for this project and not another. Rob also said there is a long history of support for the bridge to provide access to the beach. He said there has been “massive support” for this project through the years. Noted that in 2004, this board unanimously asked for a bridge in the design of the Park. Subsequent to that, articles have been in the LA times and CM Miscikowski established the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee (tax payers paid for the committee), which held over two dozen public meetings that were attended by hundreds of people, and the community input informed the final park (which is now open). One of the primary requests was ensuring safe passage to the beach.

The President asked Rob to wrap up his comments regarding support for the bridge as that discussion was still forthcoming, but did note that the motion passed by PPCC in 2004 was not a call for the bridge but a unanimous expression of support for the park, including a bridge component pending community input. She noted that that community input was to be sought by the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee, but that as Dave Card may be able to explain, those meetings were replete with various diverse points of view and the leadership of the committee at the time called off the public meetings, citing too much rancor.

e.   Caroline Wittcoff: Respectfully disagreed with the comments that [there was] express widespread community support. She echoed the comments of Cindy Simon and said she is a resident of the community since the 1980’s who attended the PCCAC meetings in the 90’s and does not remember conversations about the bridge (just access points to park and other elements). She has recently spoken to community members who similarly have no recollection of any such discussion about bridge access to the county beach. She asked, how can we be driven by community sentiment in the 80’s or the 90’s or even the early 2000’s when so much has changed and we are living in a different city than we were back then, with circumstances surrounding public safety that are not nearly the same as they were when this park and its access points to the coast were originally contemplated. She suggested we need to assess what the current level of community support is. Today, she believes there’s significant opposition to the bridge. It is also appropriate to step back and ask, what is the need for this bridge? This is a lot of money to spend on something we don’t need or want, while economic disparity in the city is greater than it has even er been before. For us to justify spending $11M or more to build the bridge, there has to be a reason and a need for it. If the need is access to the park, we must consider that there are two public access points right now that are accessible to the public, and the CCC is requiring access to the coast from the Temescal Canyon Rd. stoplight/crosswalk. Why would we need a fourth access point? She asks, should we spend this money to provide parks to underserved areas, or even other park needs in the Palisades, rather than a bridge contemplated many years ago, under different circumstance, with no appreciable statement of broad community support.

The President thanked her and informed the board that Jake Ettinger was also on the call and wished to speak. She asked him to clarify why there is an end of May deadline for PPCC’s position of support. She called for questions for Jeff that are not related to Potrero, so we could thank and dismiss him and get to the bridge discussion. [See Item 8.1.6 below.]

f.   Barbara Kohn: Noted that there are 100 single family homes just beyond the Castellammare area where the landslide stands to impact traffic and hundreds of homes and commuters which rely on the stability of the hillside and the flow of traffic. An EIR and a traffic study is mandated to look at the impacts of traffic and construction on PCH. She said from her experience, the quarterly meetings will hardly force the developer to correct course – we will need monthly meetings in order to keep the developers to their word and keep construction contained in a manner that is not highly disruptive to the immediate and adjacent communities.

g.   Haldis Toppel: Noted first that she does not support mega-mansions in our community – but asks: how does a political climate that supports more density will oppose a lower FAR oppose our effort to reduce the size of homes? Jeff said that any regulation that impacts density (units per lot as well as square footage) triggers the “sister ordinance” rule. The more units they can allow per lot, the better, so the decrease of 3 to 1 FAR is a reduction of density, and the state currently asks for an up-zoning elsewhere.

The President thanked Jeff and wished the board’s best to Traci Park and staff.

4.   Approval of Minutes:  the April 27, 2023, were approved as distributed with note as to corrections that may be typographical and not yet implemented, be implemented and uploaded as corrected.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.
May 25: Officer Nominations from the Board open until 15 minutes before scheduled close of meeting (our meetings are scheduled from 6-8pm). Captain Nassour and Inspector Warren of LAFD Brush Clearance Unit.

June 8: PPCC Officer Candidate’s Forum (if needed) and Officer Elections
June 22: Guest speaker: Councilmember Traci Park (possibly an in-person meeting at the library with hybrid remote feature)

Topics are only a partial list and may be amended.

6.   Treasurer’s Report.  Randy Young reported that we have a balance of $43,977.11 in our PPCC bank account.

7.   General Public Comment.  None. 

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President reported that some LADWP poles were scheduled for repairs and people can see which poles are scheduled. At least one Palisadian location is on the list: https://ladwp-water.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=f21352fbb8034402a2526abbae69bc2f

8.1.2.  She shared an open call to those interested in Officer positions.

8.1.3.   She reported that the Outreach Committee met for the first time and is making plans for the 50th anniversary celebrations.

8.1.4.   She reported that CD11 has affirmed September 30th for a date PPCC 50th, from 11-3 pm. Our theme is “Where our community meets the coast”.  She also said the committee had decided to have a presence at the Famers Market in the months leading up to our community celebration, as well as in the 4th of July parade, and have reached out to PAPA for a banner presence and a walking spot in the parade. Look for a report to come.

8.1.5.   She informed the board that Michael Amster’s birthday is May 20th and we will celebrate from 3-5pm at the Draycott (Lounge Area reserved for PPCC and CD11 guests). She noted that he has been proactive and very helpful to us on many issues. Please come out and celebrate him.

8.1.6.   The President conducted an update on funding for Bridge Feasibility Study and Trail progress. She gave the floor to Jake Ettinger following Jeff Khau’s presentation (see above).

Jake Ettinger, Sen. Ben Allen’s office:

Jake reported that they’ve been working on this bridge project for a while – it is a project that came from the community/from a PPCC Committee asking for funding for the project. The Sen. was able to secure that funding for a number of different reasons, including greater community access to this beautiful public park and to offer safe passage to the beach (given fatalities of people crossing PCH). He has since heard from “one community member” in opposition to the park but has overwhelmingly heard support for the pedestrian bridge, through the years. Today, they want to check in again, even though they have support from the Advisory Committee (the Potrero Canyon Community Advisory Committee (PCCAC)) to make sure the community still wants the bridge.

He then clarified some comments made by Jeff: There is now no “feasibility study” (as required by the CCC) forthcoming. There is now a “project initiation document”, which they asked for when they met with the City and determined to put out a request for consultants. That consultant will be selected by the end of May. This will not be a feasibility study as in, can we build this, but rather what are the conditions that will make this build safe to build. Part of the process includes “a comprehensive community outreach program”.  This is the formal consultation process which will take 12-18 months.

He further noted that the Coastal Commission will likely approve the bridge project (he had spoken to the Coastal Commission and they’ve affirmed that they would support it), and opined that the “lateral trail”, which is a trail slightly longer than half a mile, would not be as accessible, particularly for mobility challenged park-goers.

The President shared her screen with the board in order to explain that the process of the (now called) Project Initiation Study (not feasibility study) has begun, money has been procured to secure the consultant, and that an outreach component will unfold. Completion date is estimated for 2030. She said she wanted to hear from the board and wished for Jake et all to also assess whether there are points of view that have not yet been considered, and should be heard.

1)   David Card: In 2004 the PCCAC met monthly for three years and their activities were reported on assiduously by the Palisadian Post (and others). Their finding was that this bridge would provide ‘safe and direct access’ to the beach. Nothing has changed, he says, as far as community support, from 2004. He thanked Sen Allen for the $11M. “Some of us worked very hard to get that money and we really appreciate it.” He thought this would be a great addition to the Palisades, and to the broader city, and would be great for the commercial village as well. He also noted the favorability of the bike path extending into Potrero Canyon Park, and made an argument for equity access, since taxpayers paid/will pay for this park from all over LA. He said security issues can be addressed with locking gates, and asked us to consider that the bridge may help the Park be designated as a “Regional Park” which he said would have twice as much access to Quimby funds that might help upgrade other facilities at the Pali Rec Center. He believes the people of the Palisades will support this bridge. Dave also reminded the board that the bridge project has been discussed many time though the years, and has been presented to this board in previous years, as well as to the Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board.

The President noted that in 2017 (when she was then PPCC Chair) the City, under the project leadership of Rob Hancock, made a presentation to the PPCC presenting their plans for the Park, the riparian way and the schematics of a bridge across PCH. She also clarified with Jake that when he stated that a PPCC Committee requested the money for the bridge, he was referring to the Potrero Canyon Community Oversight Committee. He said he thought it was, but he would have to check. He asked Dave Card to clarify.

Dave explained that George Wolfberg chaired that committee and because it was such a long drawn-out process that was very contentious at times, he decided the committee would not continue to meet publicly. The fifteen members then continued to meet and came up with a consensus position, with which they were pleased. Thereafter, George invited members of the committee to meet with city officials to help shepherd the design they recommended, into reality. Over the last (more than) a dozen years, a small group of people have been continuing in that effort (never violating the Brown Act) by meeting with City officials and project managers to bring the project to fruition. Eventually, it became less than a handful of people giving feedback to the plans, as they developed.

2)  Beth Holden-Garland: spoke about fire in the Palisades and wondered how are we going to protect the community? “We have to be safe.”

3)   Leeanne Sanderson: Found it generous that ben Allen secured money for the bridge (said she was “actually shocked”) and appreciates the 15 people on the committee and their efforts, but “the world has changed”. She said she uses the crosswalk at the PCH crossing and finds it useful. Could that be a better way to cross, rather than to put up a bridge, she asked. Shall we first assess park usage to see if there is a need? She is very concerned about people coming over… worries about people stuck on the bridge or the park, and finds there to be a lot of issues with how the bridge will work, as well as concern among residents about the bridge as an access point. She suggests a Farmers Market survey of sorts to assess support, because her (Area Four) constituents are not aware of the bridge and when she mentions it to people, they are surprised. She suggested that the ideas of 15 people on the Community Advisory Committee cannot make up for the voice of 30,000 residents.

4)   Chris Spitz: She would like to hear from the community about this bridge project in the present day, given changing circumstances and the prospects of the bridge being now practically at hand and not conceptual. The idea of equitable access should be weighed against the fact that there is already coastal access via the CCC approved trail (thanked those working to make that a reality) and that other areas of the city are park poor. This money should therefore be carefully used here [in the Palisades], if we do not need to spend money for the bridge when there is a lateral trail access point already funded and approved. This is a question of equity and justice as well, and should be addressed. There must be a community discussion surrounding the bridge.

5).  Rob Weber: The bridge will save lives. The crosswalk could have been a good idea that was considered at the time, but Caltrans disagreed and opted for the bridge as the better form of crossing. People are still in favor of the bridge but a pedestrian-controlled crosswalk could still be considered. He clarified that the reflection of input that went into the creation of the Potrero Canyon Park was not just from 15 people – it was from hundreds of community members who attended public meetings far larger than anything he’s ever seen the Community Council host, and their collective input went into the recommendations sent to the city. Those should hold. No time should be wasted to get the bridge project underway.

The President wrapped up the discussion by affirming that she too has heard expressions of doubt from the community regarding the bridge and believed the conversation may need to be had at PPCC because there is a 2004 motion on record, where this board (previously constituted) has unanimously approved in concept the bridge over PCH access (from the beach to Potrero Canyon Park). Today, she said, Senator Allen would like a letter of support for the bridge, but she does not have one to send them. A letter was not written in 2004, because the motion, though unanimous, was contingent on community input. That decision stands, but today we must ask, was that input had. With the required “Feasibility Study”/”Project Initiation Document” in-hand, alongside an open Potrero Canyon Park does the community wish to consider matters of access, public safety, and park usage with experience and feasibility findings in hand? Today’s agenda discussion was not an action item, but a way for her to start this conversation and begin to hear from the board, as we prepare to receive the Project Initiation Document, and embark upon this 10-year project to see the bridge to fruition. She suggested that once the study comes out, she will refer it to the LUC or the PCOC to consider and make a recommendation to the full PPCC (as we always do) and thereafter, advise our findings to the Senator’s office.

She thanked Jake and offered him the floor one last time. Jake thanked everyone and focused on the equity access angle, concluding that this bridge will be a good thing. He noted the community outreach element of the Project Initiation Document and suggested we leave the outreach to those professionals. He acknowledged the public safety concerns of community and board members, and pledged that elements of public safety would be addressed with respect to the bridge. The President thanked him again and asked that he informs the PPCC when the PID is ready for the community to consider.

8.1.7.   The President reported about a meeting with CD11, DCR and Carolyn Jordan about Cannabis (dispensaries and community review). Community review will from here forth be a part of any dispensary license granted in our two neighborhoods.

8.1.8.  The President announced that a PPCC CD11 YMCA Safety Fair will be on June 10th  at Simon Meadow.

8.1.9.   She reported on:

i.  Logo

ii.  Street closures for Anniversary celebrations

iii.  Palisades App

8.1.10.  The President offered a Caltrans update regarding work on Chautauqua, which is to begin soon. They will take input and readjust as time goes on. She also informed the board that she has asked for the PCH Task Force meetings to start again (has urged the ASM’s office to restart those). She noted that the crosswalk referred to in discussions today was a safe crossing that was accomplished under the leadership of George Wolfberg as part of the PCH Task Force and similar good work (for example at Chautauqua) can be done again if the task force is reconvened.

8.1.11.  She noted committee assignment updates – she asked people to look online and see those assignments

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus

8.2.1.   Dave Card said the PFC is working with Palisades Elementary and a family who lost their daughter and will be planting a memorial tree at the school. Thanked Bill Bruns and Nick Melvoin for their work to make this happen.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives

8.3.1.   Area Four: The President gave an update that Temescal Canyon Road and Jacon Way are both buckling (yet again) and reports have been made to My LA311, and been acknowledged.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives

8.4.1.   PP Historical Society announced a lecture at their annual meeting at Theatre Palisades on May 23rd.  RSVP at Historical Society website.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives

8.5.1.  Brian Espin, LAPD Pacific Palisades SLO reported that we have been going well, crime wise. There was a burglary investigation on Sunset. Suspects had fled but had smashed back window, ransacked the house, and accessed the safe. Cameras were helpful, but the back yard camera wasn’t working.  Has been conducting extra patrols in the Park as well as along PCH. Not too much activity.

8.5.2.  Skylar Payab, Field Deputy from ASM Irwin’s office, reported that the PCH task force will get going again on June 8th. She also reported that ASM Irwin’s had a sidewalk session at Estate Coffee which went very well.

8.5.3.   Rad Nowroozi, Sen. Ben Allen Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Westwood Field Deputy, reported that they plan to have fire and community safety meetings about which they will inform us.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.1.  Lou Kamer, PPCC Transportation Advisor.  Not present.

8.6.2.  Joe Halper, PPCC Parks Advisor.  Not present.

8.6.3.   Sharon Kilbride, PPCC Homelessness Advisor.  Not present.

8.6.4.   K.C. Soll, Emergency Preparedness Liaison.
K.C reminded all that Fire Service Day was coming up on Saturday and a CERT Community response team will be on hand to get to know community members.  She has also organized another Cert training, in person, at Pacific Palisades Calvary Christian Church (701 Palisades Dr.) taught by firefighters, for seven weeks, which is free and very much worthwhile.

9.   Reports from Committees.

9.1.   Nominating Committee Report was given by Haldis Toppel, Committee member and Area Three Primary.

Haldis Toppel announced that The Nominating Committee, co-Chaired by Steve Cron and Sue Kohl, with members Haldis Toppel, Ryan Craig, Nancy Niles, and Rob Weber as Legal Advisor, nominated the following candidates for each of the officer roles for the 2023-24 PPCC term (July 1 2023- June 30, 2024):

President: Maryam Zar

Vice President: Sue Kohl
Recording Secretary: Beth Holden-Garland
Treasurer: Jenny Li

She reported that other nominations from the board (including those who wish to self-nominate) can be made up to 15 minutes prior to the close of the scheduled second regular board meeting in May (May 25, 2023).

10.   Old Business. None.

11.   New Business.  None.

12.   Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:08PM.

[Attachments:  Item 8.1.6; see also  Potrero Trail Bridge Updates]

Potrero Canyon Trail & Bridge Updates and Discussion:

On March 9, the City of LA CAO’s office authorized a Construction Projects Reports report authorizing BOE to enter into an agreement with Caltrans on the pedestrian bridge (please see pg. 3, section C).

BOE has confirmed that it IS technically feasible to build a bridge, the PID, which takes approximately 12-18 months, is intended to conduct a geotechnical study for the position of the bridge, basic design elements, among other engineering elements, and includes a comprehensive professional outreach campaign to ensure the community is engaged in project elements and able to weigh in with any views or concerns.

As this PID process is already underway, and a consultant will be selected in the coming months to realize the PID and the community outreach component, we are moving forward with this project. We strongly encourage the PPCC to send us their official position letter by the end of May. Given the project was requested by the community, we have received much strong support for the project, and we have been telling the community about the project for years (including in our 2021 Summer Newsletter which was sent to hundreds of thousands of constituents in the Palisades and beyond), we are operating under the assumption the community still supports the project.

Timelines:

Lateral Trail Project:

  • In 2022, BOE requested $3.4 million in the City’s budget to cover their projected cost for the total project
  • Thereafter, Congressmember Lieu secured $1.15 million in federal earmarks for the project
  • BOE subsequently reduced their budget request to the City’s budget office to reflect the difference after the Federal funds were secured
  • In April 20, the City budget will be finalized, and if money has been secured for this project, BOE will have access to those funds after July 1st 2023
  • BOE is in charge of this project and will commence project plans as soon as they have funds (either after July 1st with City funds or in Fall 23′ once the Federal earmark funds have been received)
  • Once project begins, there will be:
    • Order for Design (several months)
    • City-Caltrans work to secure encroachment permit or create a Joint Use Agreement
    • Environmental and Design Phase (approx 2 years)
    • Construction Phase (approx 1 year)
    • Completion – estimated 2027

Pedestrian Bridge Overcrossing Project:

  • The City has already received the $11 million in funds secured by Senator Allen’s budget request
  • BOE and Caltrans are finalizing in the coming weeks an agreement so Caltrans can begin the PSR – PDS (Project Study Report Project Development Support)
  • Project Steps:
  • PSR – PDS Study which includes community engagement (takes about 1-2 years)
  • Environmental and Design Phase (approx 2 years)
  • Environmental and Coastal Commission permits
  • Construction phase (about 2 years)
  • Completion – estimated 2029/2030

While we know these timelines are much longer than we hoped for, we at least know that both projects are on track and moving along. All of the relevant Caltrans and BOE project managers are working closely together and we will continue to check in with both teams to ensure the projects are moving along. We will also have them reach out directly to the PPCC when they require community engagement.

PPCC Past Discussion & Position:

     MINUTES FOR MAY 27th 2004 (yellow highlight not original – added for ease of finding related passage(s))  [See yellow highlighted version at:  Potrero Trail Bridge Updates]

Members in Attendance [including Alternates]:  George Wolfberg, Margaret Goff, Kurt Toppel, Ted Mackie, Larry Jacobs, Norman Kulla, Norma Spak, Stuart Muller, Mark Kremer, Laurie Frost, Marguerite Perkins Mautner, Michael Kane

  1.    Introduction of Board and Audience.  The Chair called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. at the Library Community Room. Ted Mackie read the Purpose of the Pacific Palisades Community Council. Members of the Board and audience introduced themselves.
  2.    Adoption of Minutes.  The minutes of May 13th were approved as submitted.
  3.    Announcements and Concerns.

3.1.    Treasurers Report.  In the absence of the Treasurer, the Chair reported that the checking account balance is $10,192 and the savings account balance is $4,289.

3.2.    Announcements from Councilwoman Miscikowski’s Office.

Monique Ford:
Asked for community input regarding location of bike racks [contact Laurie Frost our Board liaison].
Stated that De Pauw St. from Swarthmore to Earlham meets criteria for one-side-only parking,
That a request for one-side-only parking on Ravoli Dr. had been withdrawn, but would be considered if so requested by the Fire Department,
That repair of the cement stairway and the wood stairway from Adelaide to Entrada has been approved and work should begin shortly.
Reported that the City would reduce the number of bus benches, which have proliferated along PCH.

3.3.    Other Announcements.

  1. Muller reported on the 6/18/04 meeting of the Palisades Rec. Center Park Advisory Board, when the concert issue was to be discussed. Only one PAB board member, Chairperson Stacey Feldman, and Park Director Cheryl Grey were present. In response to the question “Did the PAB vote to approve the Concert Series” Chairperson Feldman stated that the PAB doesnt vote to support anything. It exists to serve the Park Director and to provide advice that will help the Director achieve the goals she sets. Muller pointed out that the Director controls the agenda, and that the Board is chosen by, and serves at the discretion of, the Director. Director Grey stated that she felt that she had no need, and was not required by the Brown Act, to publicize the PAB agenda, other than to post a copy of it at the front entrance to the park office, in spite of The Palisadian-Post’s repeated requests over the years that copies of the agenda be regularly mailed to them for publication. Muller opined that the Rec. Center Director and the PAB are not functioning to protect the communitys interests, and that Park Directors do not really want public input in the decision making process, but rather want to operate with bureaucratic autonomy. Muller stated that L.A. Rec. and Parks and the local park have for years exhibited, a pattern of self-serving resistance to community input and involvement in the park management decision-making process that effects us all. Muller also pointed out that the main entrance to the Recreation Center is currently at times being restricted to one lane, creating a traffic and safety hazard. M. Ford will investigate.
  2. Muller discussed efforts to include an additional left turn lane going southbound on the PCH from Temescal Canyon Road during the redesign of the Will Rogers State Beach parking lot. County Beaches and Harbors, and L. A. DOT support the project. Caltrans is yet to be heard from. Laurie Newman, Senior deputy to Sen. Sheila Kuehl offered to assist in this effort and will contact appropriate city, county and state officials.

3.4.    The Chair reported:

That the nominating committee had made its report per the bylaws on May 6th, and that additional nominations may be made until the election of Council officers on June 10th.
There will be a Coastal Commission hearing on the Bel Air Bay Clubs expansion plans on June 10th. Kurt Toppel will attend and represent the PPCC.
DWP is seeking a community representative to facilitate communication with the Department.
After a complaint re vehicles parking on the island in the Library Parking Lot creating a dangerous situation for legally parked vehicles attempting to exit marked spaces, the Library will have the curb painted red.
The City will conduct a training class on the Navigate LA geographic database program if there is sufficient interest.
The DOT/watch the road program will be set for a future agenda.

3.5.    Filming Issues.

Larry Jacobs reported that since the City Attorney’s office has recently held that film production companies cannot be compelled to work through the EIDC, some productions may now be getting permits directly from the City. The EIDC now seems to be confused as to what its authority is [as well it should be]. This may now present us with the opportunity to seek redress through Cindy Miscikowski’s office.

4.   Old Business.

4.1.    Potrero Canyon Development.

Stuart Muller distributed and discussed a map showing the boundaries of three adjacent open spaces in Area 6: Temescal Canyon Park, Potrero Canyon Park and the coastal area between them, from Via de Las Olas to the PCH. Muller urged the creation of the Palisades Bluffs Preserve in this last area, to protect it and maintain it in safe condition, and to create a place where people and nature can gently interact. Muller referred to the entire area as the Pacific Palisades Coastal Parks.

Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks representative Jane Adrian began by announcing that her branch of the Department of Recreation and Parks was being transferred to the Bureau of Engineering and that she may no longer be in charge of the Potrero Canyon project. Ms. Adrian went on to explain that Phase II, filling the canyon is complete except for the repair of two landslides, which will require about $1.2 million. The City, lacking funds, would like to sell the 33 properties it owns on the canyon rim, but is prohibited by the Coastal Commission from selling any of these properties until restoration of the canyon is complete. The City plans to ask the Commission to lift this requirement on the condition that the City agrees to place the proceeds from property sales in a designated account. Ms. Adrian distributed the draft of a motion proposed to be made to the City Council by Cindy Miscikowski to create this separate account.

Board members and the audience pointed out that the draft (a) did not specifically state that the sales proceeds are to be spent in Potrero Canyon, (b) that placing all 33 properties on the market at once would disrupt neighborhoods with dozens of near simultaneous construction projects, (c) that to date the City does not have a plan for the canyon, (d) in the absence of a plan there is a risk that the sales proceeds will vanish leaving the project incomplete.

The following motion of Norman Kulla, seconded by Ted Mackie, passed unanimously:

“The Pacific Palisades Community Council
1. Opposes the sale of 33 residential lots as presented in the draft motion received by the Board on May 27, 2004, under signature of Councilperson Miscikowski;
2. Supports the sale of a sufficient number, but no more, of the City owned developed (improved) lots in Potrero Canyon to fund the completion of Phase II, but not Phase III;
3. Supports the sale of such additional City owned lots in Potrero Canyon, incrementally and sequentially taking into account the environmental impact upon the surrounding neighborhood, as is necessary to fund Phase III only after further input from the community is sought by the City regarding the design and plan of Phase III, the PPCC Board approves such design and plan, and such design and plan includes, but is not limited to, the following particulars:
a) Entrance to the park
b) Permanent funding for park maintenance
c) Restoration of riparian habitat
d) Parking
e) Bathrooms
f) Recreational pads
g) Construction of a walk bridge from the mouth of Potrero Canyon over PCH to beach parking
h) EIR of project upon abutting neighborhoods
I) Landscaping
j) Permissible uses
4. All funds raised by such lots sales shall be deposited into the proposed escrow account and all such deposits shall be used exclusively for the Potrero Canyon Project until completion of all phases.”

4.2.    Consideration of Summer Concerts at Pacific Palisades Rec. Center.

A proposal to hold outdoor concerts at the Recreation Center for four hours on four Sunday afternoons is opposed by neighboring residents and the residents on Hampton Place are threatening legal action. A separate proposal has been made by the Chamber of Commerce to show films on eight Saturday nights on the Field of Dreams. The Palisades Rec. Center Director was not in attendance, for the second consecutive council meeting. S. Muller reported on the 6/18/04 meeting of the Palisades Rec. Center Park Advisory Board, as detailed under 3.3 above. A motion by Marguerite Perkins Mautner to oppose both proposals was tabled with her agreement pending receipt of more details of the proposals.

5.   New Business.

5.1.    Assembly Bill 2702 — Proposed State preemption of local zoning to permit second dwelling units on R1 zoned property.

This proposed legislation is intended to increase the supply of affordable housing by preempting local ordinances that place restrictions on creation of granny flats in areas zoned for single-family residences. Assemblywoman Fran Pavleys’ representative Louise Rishoff began the discussion by announcing that although Fran opposes the bill, it has been approved by the Assembly. Laurie Newman, Senator Sheila Kuehl’s representative, told the Council that Senator Kuehl remains undecided on the issue. The Board and audience expressed concerns about the bill’s impact on the Palisades, particularly that the bill
-Does not require that the property be owner-occupied thus essentially legalizing duplexes in areas now zoned R1.

-Preempts local regulation of such matters as parking.

-In areas such as the Palisades largely zoned R1, the bill would nearly double the number of allowable housing units further stressing our traffic and infrastructure problems.

-By making no mention of CC&Rs the bill leaves these contracts in legal limbo.

No member of the Board or the audience spoke in favor of the bill.

Ted Mackie moved that the Council oppose AB 2702 and that the Council so notify Senator Kuehl, Assemblywoman Pavley and Governor Schwartzenegger. The motion passed with one abstention [Kremer].

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

[End Attachment, Minutes of 5/11/23]

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM May 25th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The meeting was called to order at 6:02pm. Beth Holden-Garland read the Community Council Mission  

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.

Board members:
Voting members present: Randy Young, Beth Holden-Garland, Dave Card, Steve Cron, Bruce Schwartz, Haldis Toppel, Cindy Simon, Daphne Gronich, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Eli Safaie-Kia, Chris Spitz, Shirley Haggstrom, Kevin Niles, John Padden, Genevieve Bostik, Mary Schultz, Cindi Young.

Non-voting board members present: Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Nancy Niles, Quentin Fleming, Kathy Russell, Sue Kohl, Harlan Hogue.

3.   Introduction of attendees.
Captain Nassour and Inspector Warren of LAFD Brush Clearance Unit gave a presentation about brush clearance. He said that in May they will do inspections. They have inspected 54% of Palisades/Brentwood and are continuing to work through parcels. 10-15% of these two communities have been cited for lack of clearance.

He reported that RAP had put Potrero Canyon clearance out for a BID on Wednesday (not sure which), but inspected mid-June clearance. He confirmed that a company called Waste Management is clearing pathways on a daily basis – maintain a clear pathway and trails. But brush clearance and brush mitigation for entire canyon, it has been bided out and will be cleared by mid to end of June.

Inspector Warren Sutton reported on the parcel on Marquez Avenue, just off Sunset, but they have sent the project to their contractors and are waiting to hear back with a completion date, but expect it to be done by mid to late June. Haldis Toppel said it is City property. Captain Nassour said their brush clearance budget will fund the clearance. John Padden said he knew the entity that is tasked with maintaining it and will refer them to Inspector Sutton.

Daphne Gronich drew their attention to the mobile home park and the Asilomar Park area for brush overgrowth. Captain Nassour and Inspector Sutton asked to receive the details and they will follow up.
Dave Card asked for clarification of private homeowners’ responsibility for clearing up to the property line, and the rest is the responsibility of RAP. If the homeowner wishes to clear more, can they? The fire department can’t cite a homeowner for clearing Recreation and Park property, but they can notice park management and if allowed, they can clear it.

Chris Spitz asked about the overgrown brush at Friends Street PROW, which poses a fire hazard. Will this brush be trimmed again? Captain Nassour said he will ask RAP to maintain that parkway. It will also fall under Street Service, but they will reach out to RAP brush clearance, once they begin.

4.  Approval of Minutes.  May 11, 2023, were approved as is.

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

6.   Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer, Randy Young, reported that we have $46,973.11 in our PPCC bank account.

7.  General Public Comment.  None 

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The Presiding Officer announced that PPCC Elections: Board nominations of officer candidates from the floor (self or other) are open until 15 minutes prior to the close of the scheduled meeting (estimated at 7:45pm) and Secretary Beth Holden-Garland will alert the members at that time. [Point of Order was made that the cited time of 8:45pm was a typo on the agenda. The correct time should be 7:45pm.)

8.1.2.   Beth Holden-Garland (Board Secretary) announced that the PPCC Outreach Committee had met to discuss the 50th anniversary community celebration at Simon Meadow and the date is set for 30th of September, from 11-4PM. The theme is “Keeping the Palisades the Palisades Since 1973”.

Kimberly Bloom (Area Five Primary) announced that the festivities will be carnival with games and booths for families. There will be an art (and poetry) installation with children and adults (with awards). There will be a drive to promote our work, bit at the Farmers Market and in editorials. Invited people to staff the FM table on Sundays, from June 25th through September 24th.  Funding will be a challenge and we will need to get creative about financing. We need sponsors and donors, and are hoping to get money from CD11. She asked all to donate and mine relationships with others who may wish to donate or underwrite. Preliminarily, Diana Danielle (Area 2 Second Alternate) will spearhead editorial and press release (info) for soliciting community donations.

8.1.3.   The Presiding Officer reported that Michael Amster’s birthday celebration went very well and thanked all for coming out to The Draycott. Please see pictures on social media.

8.1.4.   The Presiding Officer announced that a PPCC/CD11/YMCA Safety Fair will be held on June 10th at Simon Meadow. The Palisades Forestry Committee, Resilient Palisades, PPTFH and the American Legion will also have booths. Many agencies have been invited by CD11 for the event, including LAFD and the horse-mounted unit of LAPD, and we expect a great turn out.

8.1.5.  Beth Holden-Garland announced the selection of the 50th anniversary logo, and presented it to the Board for affirmation. The logo was affirmed [see the approved logo at:  https://westsidecouncils.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Approved-Logo.pdf].  The Board will later consider and vote upon the changing of the PPCC logo, going forward (beyond the 50th anniversary celebration logo, which has a festive look and feel).

8.1.6.   The Presiding Officer announced that on Tuesday, June 31, at noon, Rustic Canyon will open the 100-year time capsule to mark 100 years of Rustic Canyon.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Jenny Li (Vice President) – not present.

8.2.1.   David Card (Chair Emeritus) – PPCC sent a follow up letter to the City regarding the IKE (interactive kiosk) program, insisting, as we have before, that the City Council Budget and Finance Committee oppose the IKE program based on driving safety and coastal concerns. See our letter here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/IKE-restatement.pdf . We asked that prior to issuing an RFP, the department conduct public outreach and consider public comment, and perform a CEQA analysis on the program, alongside public hearings.

Dave Card also announced that the birthday party for Michael Amster was a success, with about 40 people, including Michael’s dad, at the Draycott, hosted by Maryam Zar, and wished him a happy birthday again.

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland (Secretary) – announced that PRIDE has taken over a median on Sunset for succulent and other plantings, waiting for City approval.

John Padden (Pride Representative) announced that Pride recently beautified a median on Sunset and Temescal, (also did work on Sunset & Chautauqua, as well as Monument & Northfield).  They have applied for an ‘Adopt a Median’ permit for the Chautauqua and Sunset median, but the City is slow. The permit is in process and forthcoming and there will be more beatification in that location. The board thanked John and PRIDE for all the work they do in the Palisades. Mr. Padden was asked by Cathy Russell (Area 7 2nd Alternate) for more trash cans in Area 7. Daphne Gronich (Are Four 2nd Alternate) suggested that they ask the City to add a trash can which the City will service. Mr. Padden said PRIDE trash cans are brown and self-funded, but need a permit. Chris Spitz noted that she and Cindy Simon worked with LA Sanitation regarding the trash can in front of the library and they will provide contact information to Ms. Russell.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Haldis Toppel, Area Three Primary Representative, emphasized the need for the Lachman to Jacon (1100 block of Lachman and the 1000 block of Enchanted Way) fire access road to be addressed. She said this process began with CM Rosendahl, then Bonin who assured the community that he would address this as part of the city-wide fire protection plan.  She no longer wants to see this punted to the next CM, and would like to ask that we agendise discussion with Traci Park and team on this matter.

Michael Edlen [Area Three 2nd Alternate] said he had a tour at FS 23, where he saw a map of the streets in the Palisades showing access for fire vehicles between Enchanted Way and Lachman Lane. He noted to the Fire Captain that this road no longer exists for public safety/emergency purposes; they were alarmed and said they’d go take a look. He reiterated that given the reaction from the Fire Captain, this is an urgent matter.

A Marquez Knolls resident of 40 years has recollection of emergency evacuation off the hill using that emergency access road. If there is a wildfire, we will face a dire emergency (much like Paradise CA) if we cannot open this road back and regain its use as an emergency access road.

8.3.2.   Julie Silliman, Area Seven Primary Representative, announced that Canyon Charter Elementary School Classroom Replacement Project construction will begin later this year. A flyer was shared and the Board was informed that a pre-construction community meeting will take place in the coming weeks. [See: https://westsidecouncils.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Canyon-Project-Bulletin.pdf]

8.3.3.   Kimberly Bloom, Area Five Primary Representative, announced that on June 1st the long-planned Chautauqua light/road map upgrade will be underway and we will share information as it becomes available.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.   Shirley Haggstrom, TCA Representative, Environment Category Primary, announced that on May 28th a hike from Will Rogers State Park to Chicken Ridge Trail viewpoint will take place from the meeting point at 8:45 am at 756 Hartzell Street.

8.5.   From PPCC Committees

8.5.1.   PPCC Outreach Committee, joint report by Beth Holden-Garland & Kimberly Bloom (see above under Officer updates – 8.1.2)

8.6.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.6.1.   Brian Espin, LAPD Pacific Palisades SLO.

SLO Espin announced that people should keep their cars secured. He described a recent burglary and said the perpetrators have been apprehended, thanks to cameras. He asked for people to keep their cameras working because license plate ID helped in this case, and helps in most cases.

He shared the crime report for the Palisades and urged all to continue to be vigilant and neighborly and be safe over the long holiday weekend. He will be working the beach detail.

8.6.2.   Zac Gaidzik, District Rep, Supervisor Lindsey Horvath — Not present.

8.6.3.   Michael Amster, Field Deputy, Councilmember Traci Park — Not present.

8.6.4.   Rad Nowroozi, Field Staff, Senator Ben Allen — Not present.

8.6.5.   Allison Holdorf-Polhill, Sr. Advisor, LAUSD Board Member, Nick Melvoin — Not present.

8.7.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.7.1.   Lou Kamer, PPCC Transportation Advisor — Not present.

8.7.2.   Joe Halper, PPCC Parks Advisor
Gave a report on three topics which included the refurbishment of the playground at the Palisades Recreation Center, the interest in and challenges associated with pickle ball at the Rec Center and the necessity of the bridge project connecting Potrero canyon Park with the county beach parking lot at Will Rogers. See report here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/PPCC-Park-Advisor-Report.pdf

8.7.3.   Sharon Kilbride, PPCC Homelessness Advisor — Not present.

8.7.4.   K.C. Soll, Emergency Preparedness Liaison — Not present

8.7.5.   Chris Spitz (PPCC Representative to WRAC and WRAC Vice-Chair) provided information about WRAC activities, including in-person Roundtable discussions that have taken place with important elected officials (CMs Traci Park and Katy Yaroslavsky; County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath). Ms. Spitz and PPCC President Maryam Zar will be attending upcoming Roundtables in June with City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto and Mayor Karen Bass.  She invited PPCC board members to send her any questions they may have for these officials.

9.   Old Business — None.

10.   New Business.

10.1.   Light Mitigation MotionDeferred.

10.2.   Motion to Support Determination Re Murphy Drill Site.

Motion text:  “The PPCC calls on the City of Los Angeles to uphold its February 28 Letter of Determination (re Case No. ZA-1959-15227-O-PA6) requiring additional and modified conditions for the continued operation of the Murphy Oil Drill Site “to increase the protection of, and to preserve the health, safety and general welfare of, the residents and stakeholders of the neighborhood.”

Chris Spitz (At-large Representative) explained the motion, noting that it was originally recommended by the WRAC board, and stated that the motion was being made in PPCC by the PPCC Land Use Committee (no second needed because motion made by a committee of more than one voting board member). Following discussion, a vote was called; motion passed unanimously.

10.3.   Motion for transparency in community plans updates.

Motion text: “The PPCC insists, on behalf of the stakeholders it represents, that prior to the completion   of Community Plan updates, the City inform communities of the methodology by which it determines the allocation of RHNA numbers and the calculations that derive density housing goals in order to meet the aims of the Housing Element.

“These include, for each Community Plan and Community or Neighborhood Council area:

  1. A) Current zoning capacity (including existing density bonuses & commercial zones that allow residential uses) and reasonably expected population change.
    B) The methodology which will be used to allocate RHNA growth numbers.
    C) RHNA allocation of units in each community.

“We also urge the Planning Department to thoughtfully consider the input (submitted by previous written comment or imparted in real time) of Neighborhood and Community Councils as well as stakeholders that come together for the purpose of contributing to the Community Plan update process with informed and productive input, insight and/or suggestions. This essential input must be implemented by Planning staff, and the contributions reflected by being substantively included in the outcome/drafting of revised Community Plans. We urge that a report back mechanism be implemented by Planning staff, in order to inform communities of where and how their input has been received and incorporated into the final drafting process.

“We would, further, like to understand the role of the Westside Community Plan Advisory Group (WCPAG) and be assured that the WCPAG’s voice will not outweigh that of local stakeholders.”

Joanna Spak (Area One 2nd Alternate and Alternate Representative to the WRAC LUPC) explained the motion, noting that it was originally recommended by the WRAC board, and stated that the motion was being made in PPCC by the PPCC Land Use Committee (no second needed because motion made by a committee of more than one voting board member). Following discussion, a vote was called; motion passed unanimously.

11.   Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8pm.*
_____________________________________________________________________________

* At 15 minutes prior to the scheduled close of the meeting, PPCC Secretary Beth Holden Garland announced the deadline for receiving officer nominations.  No additional nominations were made.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM June 8th 2023

[Meeting held in hybrid format:  in-person at the Palisades branch library and online.]

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission. 
Beth Holden-Garland read the PPCC mission.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The President took roll and certified that there is quorum.

Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Randy Young, David Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Daphne Gronich, Kimberly Bloom, Harlan Hogue, Rick McGeagh, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Greg Heidt, Shirley Haggstrom, Barbara Kohn, Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostik, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Nancy Niles, Michael Edlen, Sue Kohl, Mary Schulz, Cathy Russell.

3.   Introduction of attendees – None.

4.   Approval of Minutes:  The May 25, 2023 minutes were approved as distributed.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings:
The agenda was considered as distributed. The President announced that the next meeting will be a hybrid meeting held in-person at the Palisades Branch Library meeting room.

6.   Treasurer’s Report – [not included/unavailable]

7.   General Public Comment — None

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President announced the PPCC/CD11/YMCA Safety Fair will be held on June 10th at Simon Meadow – PFC, Resilient Palisades, PPTFH and the American legion will also have booths. Many agencies incited [SIC], including LAFD and the horse mounted unit of LAPD. CD11 taking the lead but with PPCC support, Simon Meadow (YMCA). The Fair will feature a PPCC table.

8.1.2.   The President announced that we will have a Corresponding Secretary beginning in the new term. She will introduce her to the board in July.

8.1.3.   The President announced that the PPCC will have a table at the Farmer’s Market as of June 25th.

8.1.4.   The President announced that she had a meeting with the PaliBu leadership and can report that they are working hard to get traction in the Palisades, are conducting outreach and are considering creating a separate Palisades board within the joint chamber with a specifically Palisades characteristic. We think the joint chamber may come to PPCC in the fall with a presentation and an application to join our board on a rotational basis, in the Business & Commerce category. In the meantime, they’ve asked for Palisadians to volunteer as board members. Please email the President with interest.

8.1.5.   The President said we are looking for funding and underwriters for the Anniversary celebration. Please reach out to her with interest.

8.1.6.   The President announced that the PAPA Parade is most likely happening for PPCC this year, with a banner and people walking alongside it.

8.1.7.   The President announced a third Outreach Committee meeting – PPCC 50th Anniversary Date is set for September 30th — location will be Simon Meadow and we will be asking all member organizations to take part with a table and presentations. At our next meeting, we will be considering a program, a line-up of speakers, perhaps some presentations and other details like food and music. Please contact president@pacpalicc.org or info@pacpalicc.org with all ideas.

8.1.8.   The President noted that at the last meeting, discussion came up regarding the fire road between Lachman Lane and Enchanted way. She reminded everyone that she brought this up to this board in the past and heard discussion regarding the urgency of the matter. She has asked CD11 and LDWP to investigate. CD11 has thus far reported that they have not unearthed anything. LADWP, which some had suggested may have authorized the private gate that has been placed on the public access road, has said in an email: “Our real estate division confirmed that the property is privately owned. LA DWP does have an easement, but we do not have the authority to assign rights to any other entities.” CD11 has pledged to follow up with Wildland Mitigation Department in August at a meeting where the topic of will be evacuations and access. Michael Amster and Jacob Berman will bring this topic up and bring us an update on this matter in September.

8.1.9.   The President also noted that at the last meeting where LAFD Brush Clearance Captain, Bryan Nassour, and Inspector Warren Sutton were present, discussion came up about a piece of land on Marquez in need of brush clearance. This is city owned land and even though there may be an entity tasked with clearing it, it has not been done for several years and so, it is being undertaken by LAFD Brush Clearance Unit.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Jenny Li – None.

8.2.1.   David Card.  Chair Emeritus, David Card, announced that the Palisades Forestry Committee planted a tree in memory of a deceased Palisade Charter High School student named Aly, who died leaving behind parents and a twin brother. With the help of Bill Bruns, Dr. Magee and Allison Holdorf, PFC secured the donation of a tree and planted it the previous week and planted a stake. Cindy Kirven of the PFC led the digging with an enthusiastic demeanor, with help from others. The family attended the plating along with friends and other family members, who all very much appreciated the gesture. It was heart rending and uplifting, especially with the surviving brother and his friends from school helping plant the tree. The 15 Gallon Jacaranda tree was donated by Devil Mountain wholesale nursery in Belmar.  The tree will grow big and hopefully be seen and enjoyed by many. The president thanked Dave and the PLC for this beautiful gesture and report.

8.2.3.   Beth Holden-Garland – None.

8.4.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.4.1.   Kimberly Bloom, Area Five primary Rep, commented on the upgrades to road stripping and light rotations at the Chautauqua/Channel Rd. light. She said the painted lines were not going to suffice to guide drivers to better observing the rules at the light or preventing people from jumping lanes to make illegal turns, which often slow or snarl traffic. She also said there were some overhead signs that signal change, but they seem unhelpful. She suggested people from the city contact us for input. The President said we are in touch with Rudy from Street Services as well as Lou Kamer, our Transportation Advisor, and will ask him to report to us as to the efficacy of the changes and the manner in which the community can give feedback.

8.4.2.   Discussion also came up regarding the Temescal Canyon Rd. repairs in the third lane as well as the very long lights that have adversely impacted traffic. Courtney Macker, Michael Edlen and Sue Pascoe all commented that the delays were not being caused by the closure of the third lane (which the President announced she had noticed to City Bureau of Street Services (BSS) and they had assured her they would be out to address it urgently), but by the timing of the lights. The President criticized the change in timing and asked Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, to relay to city engineers that the changed timing was having adverse traffic impact. Sue said this was Caltrans’ work and to reach out to Lou Kamer. The President noted that she is in touch with Lou, as the PPCC Transportation Advisor, but is also counting on the PCH Task Force meeting to begin again (state conducted meetings with long-standing traditional of helping address city/state traffic issue along PCH) in order to provide a forum to address these kinds of matters.

8.4.3.   Daphne Gronich reported a water leak at the corner of las casas and Marquette (running down las Casas). LADWP came out to find and remedy the situation. That street has been designated as a “sub-par” street (a designation that emerged three years ago when some outsized construction was being permitted on the street). Residents are now concerned that there may be areas that are sinking in the street. Residents wanted to have Street Services inspect the street. BSS responded with a comment that upon inspection the street was found to be “off-grade”. They said the status was “Closed”, and any additional information should be sought from LADWP. People have contacted LADWP but there has been no response. Daphne said she wished to report this and forewarn us that they may need some help as this issue evolves.  The President thanked her and asked that she keep us informed.

8.5.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.5.1.   Barbara Kohn, PP Historical Society, announced the election of new officers elected at the 23rd annual meeting of the Pacific Palisades Historical Society (PPHS). The officers for the next term are Barbara Kohn, President, Donna Vaccarino, VP, Harris Smith, Treasurer, Secretary Patrick Healy. Patrick has created a video of the history of the Palisades and has uploaded that to the PPHS website; pacificPalisadesHistory.org.

Barbara also noted the historic first that all members of PPCC Officers are women, per this last election. She congratulated them all and went on to give a little history of Pacific Palisades volunteer service, noting that through the years, many women have taken leading roles in important matters that impact the Palisades. She noted the involvement of many women who have headed legal battles that have helped protect the environment and the community. She noted the number of women who have received the Golden Sparkplug and Citizens of the Year honorees and celebrated all the leaders that have made a difference in the Palisades. She also thanked Shirley Haggstrom for her service to the PPHS as Secretary. The President congratulated Barbara on her re-election as President of the PPHS and thanked her for her words regarding the history of the Palisades and the legacy of leading women. She counted Barbara among the leaders who have a history of long-standing service to the Palisades.

8.5.2.   Nina Kidd, representative from Friends of the Library (FOL), reported that FOL are conducting their annual writing contest for students grade 1-12. This is a city-wide contest. See more information at the website: friendsofPalilibrary.org. The library has supplies and local schools are being informed. She asked that we please spread the word that the contest runs through the summer and the award ceremony will take place in October.

8.6.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.6.1.   Brian Espin, LAPD Pacific Palisades SLO. SLO Espin shared his crime update and noted an increase in burglaries in the area – up to 32 for the year. Year to date increase from 21 or 22. Detectives are working on follow up with other burglaries in West LA, to see if there is a pattern or a crew in the area. He asked that we keep our homes secured and keep back yards clear of possible projectiles that may help breaking windows or door to “make it a little harder” for wrong doers. He said again that being neighborhoodly is the biggest deterrent. Areas where there are people out and about, walking dogs or talking to each other, there is less crime. He announced he would be at the Safety Fair (on Saturday) and would have his newest Police car on display.

8.6.2.   Zac Gaidzik, District Rep, Supervisor Lindsey Horvath – Not present.

8.6.3.  Michael Amster, Field Deputy, Councilmember Traci Park.  Had no update but said he would have more at upcoming meetings.

8.6.4.   Rad Nowroozi, Field Staff, Senator Ben Allen – Not present.

8.6.5.   Allison Holdorf-Polhill, Sr. Advisor, LAUSD Board Member, Nick Melvoin – Not present (see her report delivered by the President, below).

8.6.6  From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.7.   Allison Holdorf, Advisor to LAUSD School Board Member Nick Melvoin, was not present but sent in a report which the President announced as follows:

  • Graduations underway with Pali High today and revere tomorrow – Nick speaking at both;
  • She and Nick met with CD11 yesterday to go over safety concerns;
  • On Monday, she assisted PFC with Jacaranda tree planting in honor of the student who passed away during Covid (see above);
  • Greening project plans are underway at Marquez Elementary

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees.

9.1.   PCOC Sign Subcommittee had a report presentation along with a discussion and vote on signs (see below).

9.2.   PFC reported a new tree planting at Palisades High School (see David Card report under Officers and Chair Emeritus)

9.3.   PCOC had a recent conversation with CD11 regarding coastal access and the President reported that Gaby Medina, CD11 District Director, reported to the committee that both the bridge and the trail for Potrero Canyon coastal access were being pursued and expected to go forward with preliminary stages of feasibility, community outreach and engineering design. The contract bidding stage for the predesign phase closed at the end of May. They will be looking at the applicants and awarding the contract by the end of June. We have made sure CD11 understands that we are counting on robust outreach being conducted by that contractor before any design phase is entered or forward planning decision is made. It was also made clear to us that the moneys, both for the bridge ($11M secured though Sen Ben Allen) and for the trail ($1.15M secured through Rep. Ted Lieu) were in the city budget under Public Works and could not be used for any purpose other than that for which they were secured (bridge and trail, respectively), unless and until the securing agency (state and fed) specify otherwise. In the next few months, we expect two different reports with respect to coastal access. Gaby is putting together a trove of documents and history to track the matter of coastal access and a follow up meeting has been scheduled for July.

10.   Old Business.

10.1.   [Light Mitigation Motion]  The board considered the Light Mitigation Motion, recommended by WRAC LUPC, which was tabled at the last meeting.  After discussion and consideration of the impact of the motion (particularly on private homes which may indulge in festive holiday lighting) the board unanimously passed the proposed motion, which read:

“The PPCC requests that the City Council open a Council File such that:
“1.   The City implements the Five Principles of Responsible Outdoor Lighting aimed at minimizing light pollution by following these guidelines (adopted by the Illuminating Engineering Society and the International Dark-Sky Association):
– All lights should have a clear purpose
– Light should be directed only where needed
-Light should be no brighter than necessary
– Light should be used only when it is useful
– Use warmer color lights where possible
“2.    The City enacts/codifies these principles through its departments and agencies for City facilities and properties such as buildings, parking lots and parks, the streetlight system, the airport and port, and for private development.
“3.   Community Plans and Specific Plans also enact similar dark sky practices and include limitations on bright lights, light trespass, and illumination of building facades.”

11.   New Business.
Board Legal Advisor, Rob Weber, conducted the election of PPCC Officers Nominees: (a) Chair – Maryam Zar; (b) Vice-Chair – Sue Kohl; (c) Recording Secretary – Beth Holden-Garland; (d) Treasurer – Jenny Li.

He first informed the board that according to Art VII, Section 4.A of the Bylaws, officers can be elected by acclamation if there are no objections.  He then announced that the current set of Officers up for election are uncontested and can be elected by acclamation of the voting board members, if there are no objections. He then called for objections. There were none. The President affirmed that she sees no hands raised on the zoom platform. Seeing no objections, Rob Weber announced that Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Jenny Li and Beth Holden-Garland are hereby elected as PPCC President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, for the 2023-204 term, beginning on July 1, 2023, and ending on June 30, 2024.

11.1.  [Motion to Oppose SB 423]  The proposed motion to oppose SB 423, sponsored by At-Large Rep, Chris Spitz, took place with some background explanation of the bill (with which most people were familiar due to previous updates) and discussion. Following discussion regarding the fact that substantial portions of Pacific Palisades are located in the coastal zone and Pacific Palisades does not have a certified Local Coastal Program (LCP), it is crucial t oppose SB 423, which would allow multi-family/mixed-use projects in the coastal zone that would otherwise be subject to Coastal Act review, to be proceed through a streamlined, “by right” (ministerial) permitting process, with no notice, hearing or review of environmental and public safety impacts as otherwise required by the Coastal Act.

Following discussion, the President called for the vote, and the following motion was passed unanimously: PPCC opposes SB 423 (Wiener) Unless Amended to 1) Maintain the Coastal Zone Exemption, and 2) Provide for an Unconditional Exemption for the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ). https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Background-SB-423-Rev.pdf

11.2.  [Potrero Canyon Park Signage Motions Dave Card (who had trouble maintaining a connection to the Zoom but was assisted with audio by PPCC President) spearheaded the presentation and discussion for the following motions regarding needed signage for George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon, which were presented to the Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC) by the PCOC Sign Subcommittee and recommended to the PPCC Board by the PCOC. https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Exhibits-to-Sign-Motions.pdf.

11.2.1.   Dave Card presented the Passive Park Signage, which he explained would need Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners approval. The proposed sign was unanimously approved.

11.2.2.   Dave Card presented the Meet George Wolfberg Signage, which he explained would need Recreation and Park Commissioners approval. The proposed sign was unanimously approved.

11.2.3.   Dave Card presented the Rules Signage, which he noted would not need Recreation & Park Commissioners approval but will be referred directly to RAP for printing and installation. The proposed sign was unanimously approved.

11.2.3.   Dave Card presented the Park Hours Sign that would inform visitors the park hours are from sunrise to sunset, which he noted would not need Recreation & Park Commissioners approval but will be referred directly to RAP for printing and installation. The proposed sign was unanimously approved.

12.   Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 7:49 PM.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM JUNE 22nd 2023

1.    Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.
The meeting was called to order at 6:06PM and Karen Ridgley, Area Four Primary Representative, read the Community Council mission.  

2.    Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The President took roll and certified that we had quorum.

Voting board members present: Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Chris Spitz, Karen Ridgley, Murray Levy, Courtney Macker, Julie Silliman, Steve Cron, Jenny Li, Maryam Zar, Randy Young, John Padden, Beth Holden-Garland, Genevieve Bostic, Eric Dugdale, Shirley Haggstrom, Reza Akef.

Non-voting board members present: Sue Kohl, Lee Ann Anderson, Daphne Gronich, Cindi Young, Diana Danielle, Barbara Kohn, Richard Blumenberg, Joanna Spak, Cindy Kirven.

3.    Introduction of attendees.

The President welcomed and introduced LA City Councilwoman, Traci Park, who was our guest speaker at this meeting.

Councilmember Traci Park gave a detailed update on the work she has been doing with the city in tandem with Mayor Karen Bass, and suggested constituents visit the new CD11 website (councildistrict11@lacity.gov), and sign up for weekly newsletters which come out on Saturday mornings, and are aimed at communicating significant updates on legislation, motions, events and important news/information.

She spoke about being understaffed across city agencies, including LAPD, sanitation, and in various areas that we need more hires. She noted that our Field Deputy, Michael Amster, was in attendance, and doing a great job.

She informed us that her committee assignments include chairing the Trade Travel and Tourism Board with LAX in the district making her role even more important given the impact of LAX on the district. The Port of LA and the Van Nuys Airport are also under the purview of that committee. CM Park is also on the Transportation Committee and the Public Safety Board, the Economic and Community Development Committee as well as Government reform Committee. Also serves as the CC designee on the City Claims Board. Heavy Legislative workload. The field team is in Westchester, where she comes to the district on Thursdays (downtown 4 days a week).

She has been working with the mayor to bring Inside Safe to the westside where they housed 100 people in an encampment in Venice. Partnered with the mayor again and successfully housed another 50 people in Del Rey, and again she partnered with SHARE (recovery shared housing model) where they housed another 40 people.

City Council is expecting the LAHSA PIT count, which will show higher homelessness numbers from last year. She is committed to working with LAHSA and St Joseph’s to adjust the response and make adjustments on additional resources to impact homelessness.

She has been working on the city budget and was very much present for budget hearings. She is concerned with where we invest city money and she wants to see more services to constituents, including fire, sanitation and police as well potholes and other services. Despite efforts in investments and recruitment at LAPD, attrition is quicker than recruitment. Staffing levels will probably reduce to 8800, which is critically low for a city our size. This means longer response times and frustration, but she is working on building an infrastructure that helps non-police responses to some calls, with support agencies that are equipped for alternative response teams that are an effective response while LAPD deals with hiring and recruitment. She has decided to keep the Venice Bridge Home open, but it was the right decision to make and with more than 150 beds for homeless individuals being serviced there. She is convinced this was the right decision.

She has designated 12 “Sensitive Use Sites” under LAMC 4.1.18 which bans camping near schools, parks, and libraries. When city teams begin to clear an area/encampment in these zones, they offer housing and services. Once the area is clear of encampments, they use other resources to make sure they are not repopulated. CM Park is using the CARE and CARE+ teams effectively, and advocated for a coastal CARE + team in the city budget this year (similar to what the LA River had). The finding was approved! This represents a great development for our coastal CD11 community as we really needed that funding for our beaches and coastline to remain free of homeless encampments.

RVs are a particular point of concern that she is also tackling.    She brought a motion regarding “Van Lords” that are predatory (people buying junk RVs and then renting them to vulnerable people). There are no rental agreements and can’t pass basic portability, safety or environmental inspections. Her motion would set out a set of standards governing RV renting and making sure there are safety protocols in place for our most vulnerable Angelenos. She is also working on the impact of the nationwide drug epidemic that is “making its way south” to Los Angeles. They are looking to evaluate what agencies can do before the problem gets worse in LA.

The CM said she has put together a team to work with City and County Fire and other agencies to evaluate fire risks and address the impact of the Wildfire ordinance on CD11. The team will come to the community with information and for feedback. She is also proactive about evaluating Fire Risks in CD11 and has taken a helicopter tour in order to better understand the legitimate concerns in hillside residents. She suggested following her social media channels on Facebook and Instagram where she keeps the public informed of her work.

She thanked PPCC for the June 10th Public Safety Fair and said other communities were now looking to set up similar for a for public safety event.

PPCC President, M. Zar, asked if there are any 41.18 sites in PP or Brentwood. CM Park said there would be another tranche forthcoming. Michael Amster clarified that 41.18 applies to schools and parks even if not specifically designated.

The President also brought up pole top cameras for our open spaces and asked the CM to work with the community on a public/private partnership to launch a pole top pilot program. LAPD, LAFD and the State ASM seem to think it’s a good idea. There are privacy issues we would have to address but asked what the CM’s thoughts are – would she be open to this idea and help us keep the momentum going on this program? The CM said she believes all ideas are worthy of considering when it comes to public safety initiatives that are spearheaded by the community. She is looking forward to talking more about a partnership, and believes there is precedent that there is no expectation of privacy in public spaces and a camera structure may work.

Chris Spitz (At-Large representative) welcomed CM Park and asked about recidivism of homelessness once people are cleared from encampments (and even housed). CM Park said she has heard the numbers but hasn’t seen reliable data. She has asked for it.

L.A. Sanderson (Area Four Alternate) commented that there are only 12 Park Rangers and that she believes they would like to see staffed with 75 to possibly 80 Park Rangers. The CM said that Rangers are trained in the same way as LAPD, but they are unarmed and there are very few people who are asking to work as part of the Ranger force. Because of the defunding of $150 million from the previous administration, there are serious shortfalls of hiring across all agencies and that impacts the work of the city, including in enforcement in areas such as basic policing as well as human trafficking, sexual assault crimes, and more.

Steve Cron (Area Two Representative) asked about corruption at LA City Council – which seems like a cesspool. Why is it that this happens at City Council? The CM said it is probably multi-faceted, but can say that Council practices are fraught with ethical issues and considerations. That’s why she is glad to be on the Government Reform Committee where they are working on lobbying and elections law. She believes that development and land use decisions are the place where there is most opportunity for peril. But she has no solutions and is looking at all matters with the commitment of bringing on better practices. Entrenched politics also contributes to the problems of corruption.

Before concluding her presentation, Councilwoman Park presented outgoing Treasurer, Randy Young, with a Certificate of recognition from the City of LA and thanked him for his years of service to the community and the PPCC. PPCC President, Maryam Zar, also presented Randy with recognition on behalf of the board for his service as an officer and his years of meaningful contributions to the development and evolution of PPCC. She presented him with an engraved glass paperweight.

See full recording of presentation at: https://youtu.be/D_Mv2tcUVqs.

4.    Approval of Minutes:  Draft minutes for June 8, 2023 were approved without objection.

5.    Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.
The President noted that July and August are months where PPCC only holds one regular meeting. Those will be held on July 27th and August 24th. In September, we will begin meeting again on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month.

6.    Treasurer’s Report.
The Treasurer reported that PPCC has a balance of 42,211.31 in its checking account.  We had $8,540.75 in income, and $20,727.00 of Expenses during this last year. See: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/2022-2023-PPCC-Final-Treasury-Report-2023-06-29CSM-1.pdf.

He reported that the year-end analysis shows that we need significant fundraising. He said the holiday event was costly.  Our tech costs were also high this year since we held electronic elections and had to adopt a new platform.  We also took on two new emails in an effort to create institutional communication within the officer roles, and the tech service fees were high.

He noted that we need to increase interest in the work of the Council so we can garner support and be able to raise money. Community Plans are upon us, and it is important to make the community aware of this important process and raise money around it.

Chris Spitz asked for the balance sheet.  Randy had a spread sheet with him and said he will make the balance sheet available by the end of the month of June, e.g. the last day of his term.  Jenny Li encouraged people to sign up for recurring donations and support the community. Randy reiterated all the important work the Council does and urged the Council to come up with a fundraising plan that helps inform the public of our work and impact.  Cindy Simon said it’s important to have a specific task/project around which to raise money – can’t just ask for money. Karen Ridgley asked about mailing campaigns or some sort of communication mechanism because people don’t know about the PPCC, and as area reps, they must have a way to communicate with the public.  The President reiterated her suggestion of a community app – but noted this would require funding.

She also talked about decisions to make regarding finding and the upcoming 50th year celebration of community. She suggested a Special Meeting to talk about funding and fundraising.

7.    General Public Comment. 

Victoria Escalante from Palisades Highlands discussed concerns of 5G Verizon wireless Tower to be placed on the public right of way, less than 30 feet away from the 100 residential unit on the corner of Sunset and Palisades Dr.  The President said there has historically been resistance to cell towers in the Palisades, and we are happy to learn more and take this matter up, if we can.  She suggested the LUC might hear this or the neighbors can confer with the at-Large Rep who is well versed in cell tower matters in the Palisades. The neighbors made clear that health is a concern, not aesthetics or cell tower reception, but people’s health. There was a Coast Development hearing, and the outcome is yet unknown.  The President suggested they update us on the outcome of the hearing so we can determine what the PPCC can do, if anything.

Linda Tealeaf also spoke in concern of 5G Tower. She said residents of the building at the corner of Sunset and Palisades Drive are concerned about the placement of the tower and urge that it be moved to a safe distance (1,320 feet recommended from residential units) from residents and people living in this area. She asked PPCC for help to keep this cell tower away from the location currently proposed by Verizon. There is not enough time, she said, for the next meeting.

PPCC President, Maryam Zar, said the item is not agendized for action today, but we appreciate being made aware of this issue and are happy to agendize the matter once we learn more information. She asked residents to make her, as well as the Area 2 Reps and the At-large Rep, aware of developments and include her on updates of the situation.

8.    Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.    From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.    The President skipped her announcements in the interest of time. The only announcement she made was that PPCC will be participating in the 4th of July Parade and needs people to walk with the banner, which will perhaps bear the new logo that was on display at the meeting with a newly printed banner.

8.1.1.2.   She also announced letters written since the last meeting in keeping with preserving coastal protections. See https://pacpalicc.org/index.php/organizations/ for letters written on this topic.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus:  None.

A8.3.    From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.    Julie Silliman, Area Seven primary Rep, gave a report on Canyon School construction plans. This improvement plan has been in the works for years but construction will begin later this summer. The project will upgrade the kindergarten classrooms, which are now very far apart. The plans address that placement, address ADA accessibility and more. It will result in an enlarged parking lot and a new landscaping as well as a two-story classroom building with kindergarten below and upper classes above. It is nicely designed and most construction is on the Amalfi side. She made a visual presentation and asked everyone to be patient with construction traffic. She will be bringing more updates as construction unfolds.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives:  None.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives:  None.

8.6.    From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives:  None.

9.     Reports from PPCC Committees:  None.

10.    Old Business:  None.

11.   New Business.

11.1.    Proposed PPCC Motion re SB 4 (Wiener).

Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) opposes SB 4 (Wiener), unless amended to provide the following:

  1. Zoning for any lot on which a Religious Institution and/or Higher Education Institution seeks to build must be the same as the least restrictive zoning of an adjacent lot.
  2. Properties in the Coastal Zone are unconditionally exempt from the provisions of SB 4, such that proposed projects in the Coastal Zone must comply with the Coastal Act.
  3. Properties in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ) are unconditionally exempt from the provisions of SB 4, such that the provisions of SB 4 shall not apply to proposed projects in the VHFHSZ.
  4. PPCC further urges that a resolution be brought forthwith in City Council by Councilwoman Traci Park and/or other Councilmembers, to amend the position taken by the City Council in Council File 23-0002-S30 regarding support for SB 4, and to instead oppose SB 4 unless amended with the provisions set forth in points 1-4 above.

Motion was sponsored by Chris Spitz and seconded by Steve Cron. Passed unanimously.

12.    Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 7:49 PM.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM JULY 27th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.
The meeting was called to order at 6:33 PM.  Sue Kohl read the Community Council Mission.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The President called roll and certified that there was quorum.
Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Beth Holden-Garland, Jenny Li, David Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Bruce Schwartz, Michael Edlen, Lee Anne Sanderson, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Reza Akef, Chris Spitz, Nina Kidd, Barbara Kohn, Kevin Niles, Rick McGeagh, Shirley Haggstrom, Bill Skinner.

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Quentin Fleming, Genevieve Bostik, Mary Schulz, Ryan Craig.

3.   Introduction of attendees – none

4.   Approval of Minutes:  June 22, 2023 minutes were approved as distributed.

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

6.   Treasurer’s Report. 

The Treasurer, Jenny Li, reported that our bank balance is $42,691. She informed the board (in case anyone was unaware) that we have one bank account at the Palisades Branch of US Bank. We also have a PayPal account which receives donations that are then transferred to our main bank account at US Bank. She reported that we had two expenses in the month of July, and those were a payment made to PAPA for 4th of July participation, and the annual fee for our P.O.Box at the Palisades post office. We had two small donations that came in through Pay Pal.

She asked the board for input on what they’d like to see the Treasurer report, so she knows the depth with which the board would like to be informed. She said the President has asked for a budget going forward, which she will be working on and proceeded to inform the board of our major expense items/categories (these can be expected to continue). They include insurance (liability and D/O), accountant costs, technology costs, occasional advertising costs associated with events, printing and signage costs (this year we created a new logo but the President donated the funds), communication costs associated with MailChimp platform for newsletters, Zoom platform expenses for remote meeting, and our habitual 4th of July participation. The technology category is our major expense, she said. This includes payments to Miracle Data, our server and tech support provider for emails and website hosting/maintenance.  She noted that we now have a VP, Treasurer, President and Info email accounts in order to keep organized digital files so that we can have institutional communication and preservation for each new officer who takes over the roles with annual officer elections. Last year, we had $11,630 in operating costs. There will be different costs this year (holiday event, possible app, advertising to raise awareness, 50th anniversary celebration tec…), and we will need to raise money. We have very little income, with only two recurring donations right now. We need to have more people signing up for monthly donations and have a strategy for fundraising.

The Treasurer pledged to continue to keep the board abreast of the Treasury and make more robust reports to the board than has traditionally been done, so as to vest board members in our financial wellbeing and help drive donations and fundraising. She is happy to get input from the board regarding the budget.

The President thanked Jenny for this robust report and reiterated to the board that she has asked the Treasurer to work with her on a budget that they can present to the board. She said, in her experience at the helm of other boards, this is standard practice and she believes it will help inform the board in a manner that will be productive. Expenses that are extraordinary or beyond the scope of the approved budget (once it is presented to the board and approved) will be noticed to the board before being undertaken, and in this manner, we will all be vested in the wellbeing of our treasury and general funding/fundraising needs.

There was discussion of our Zoom account fee. The President said Zoom is the only platform that is user-friendly and accessible to all, so far, making meeting possible. The cost is high because we have paid incrementally for the ability to hold webinars and host more than 100 (now up to 500) people. The President suggested a possible Special Meeting on fundraising and finance matters. There was no objection.

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

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer

8.1.1.   The President announced that a letter was written to oppose the hastened timeline for digital billboard advertising review and by City Planning. See https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/extend-comment-for-billboard-blight.pdf

8.1.2.   The president updated the board with respect to Temescal Canyon Rd. repairs, stating that the Council Office has informed her that they would be looking to secure funding for the substantive repairs suggested by BOE, which includes lifting the asphalt, installing a subterranean drainage pipe, and the subsequently re-laying the roadway, to the tune of nearly $1M. No funding source had yet been identified.

8.1.3.   The President announced that she had met with the new LAPD Captain, Rich Gabaldon, who had been appointed to the West LA Command following the departure of Capt. Heredia, who had been promoted to the Hollywood Division. She said they had discussed Palisadian priorities and been given an assurance that no resources would be diverted. He pledged that the beach detail would remain and that our basic car would be the last to be removed in response to another call, elsewhere on the westside. He was very supportive of devising a way to create a stop-in-station (or a workstation) for LAPD in the Palisades, as well as pole-top cameras. The new Captain will join PPCC in early September for a meet and greet with the community.

8.1.4.   The President announced a tentative plan to partner with BCC for a fall community meeting on Cannabis regulation, LAPD crime prevention and traffic mitigation as school starts (buses and car traffic). She announced that we may do some joint fire drills with Brentwood and that the initiative to enforce no smoking on film sets is going forward, with now an agreement where we are made aware of filing in our communities in advance of the day, and we are able to let the SLO for each community know so they can be prepared to enforce laws impacting VHFHSZs. The President said the idea to collaborate with BCC on specific issues has proven to be a good strategy that is garnering results.

8.1.5.   The President informed the board that 50th Celebration will be community centric event at Simon Meadow, and not a carnival (this will coast less and celebrate more). She asked the board for affirmation. The board agreed. The president said the board can look for more information coming soon.

8.1.6.   She said the Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC) is meeting monthly with Gaby Medina from CD11. We have been informed that the contractor for the pre-design phase has been selected and that meaningful outreach to all Palisadian organizations and leaders can be expected. PPCC has sent a list (complied diligently by Chris Spitz) of organizations to the Council Office, which we have asked them to forward to the contractor to use in outreach (or share with any entity they hire to conduct the community outreach and feedback component of the pre-design phase).  We have been assured that this process will be meaningful and robust so as to garner the feedback of the community and stakeholders who feel they have never properly contemplated or been able to comment on, the proposed project to connect Potrero Canyon to the county beach parking lot, via direct bridge access.  She also announced that money has also been secured through the Mayor’s budget for BOE to begin outreach and a study for the feasibility of the lateral trail. State money will be funding the predesign phase of the bridge project. Chris Spitz added that the “Potrero” tab on our website is updated often, and suggested people check there. The President thanked Chris, Cindy Simon and Dave Card for all that they’ve done, and continue to do, to help us watch over Potrero Canyon and keep it safe for all. She mentioned the committee having dealt with standing water, the ongoing matter of graffiti, the persistent malfunction of lock mechanisms on gates and more. She reported some offensive graffiti spray painted over the weekend on the large gym building at the Rec Center and that RAP mobilized their paint and removal crew quickly to address the graffiti. We now know they can mobilize quickly if they must.

8.1.7.   She further announced that she, along with Julie Silliman and Dave Card (both of the sign committee of the PCOC) attended the last RAP Commission meeting to introduce the new Commissioners to the Palisades, and ask them to (a) affirm the proposed signs for the Park, and (b) to visit us in the Palisades, perhaps even hold a meeting at our Rec Center, in order to see our Park(s) first hand and appreciate the work we do, as well as be prepared for what we may ask in the future (as coastal access unfolds).  She announced that Sonya Young Jimenez is working with RAP Commission staff to agendize the sign matter. Dave Card announced that BOE is testing the recirculating pump at Potrero Canyon, so we may see some standing water as a result of that testing, but it is good news that the pump has advanced to the state of being tested.

8.1.8.   The President informed the board that Organizational Reps will rotate in September and she has reached out to all organizations to secure their certificates and be duly represented on our board (two standing categories remaining with non-rotating members).

8.1.9.   The President updated the board on the subject of her long-suggested Pole-top camera in our open spaces pilot, about which she said she had a discussion with ASM Irwin, who was very supportive. ASM Irwin indicated that she would welcome the pilot and suggested we find an internet based camera system that is triggered by motion (such as RING) so there would be no need for real time monitoring or any invasion of privacy issue (though she said she’d check with state attorneys and affirm that there is no expectation of privacy in a public park setting). She suggested that the cameras would serve as a deterrent for would be bad actors and provide a tool for after the fact identification or law enforcement tools to enforce laws in our Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones in open spaces. The President said LAPD (Espin and Gabaldon) were both also in favor of the pole tops as a private/public partnership pilot, and that Traci Park had pledged to work with us (at the meeting on June 22nd – a recording of which is posted on our YouTube).

8.1.10.   The President said that some Committees and Advisors were reassigned and that more would be forthcoming. She directed people to check the PPCC website for updates.

8.1.11.  The President asked the board to affirm continuing to meet on the remote zoom platform. She asked if the board would agree to meeting in person at times, perhaps quarterly when we have important guests or matters to discuss. The board affirmed meeting remotely for now and meeting in person perhaps quarterly.

8.1.12.   The resident offered a PAB Board meeting update where she announced Haldis Toppel had committed to a $10,000 donation from her family toward a volleyball program at the Palisades Rec Center. She also said the PAB board has lent their support to the possibility of a pole top camera pilot for Potrero Canyon and the Pali Rec Center. They had also contemplated a perimeter fence around the Park which could be locked after hours, as well as new considerations for pickle ball and tennis court management.

8.1.13.   The President reported that she, along with David Card and Julie Silliman, had attended the last RAP Commission meeting and had spoken during Public Comment about the need for the RAP Board of Commissioners to visit the Palisades and our parks, especially the new and vast Potrero Canyon, as well as urging them to consider and approve our proposed signs for he George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon. (see more above under Potrero updates).

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Sue Kohl, VP, stated that she had attended a webinar on homelessness hosted by Traci Park and realized there was terminology surrounding homelessness with which she was unfamiliar. She assumed most people were equally unfamiliar and she suggested we develop a glossary of terms. Chris Spitz has developed that list and has now posted that Glossary of Terms on our website, under resources: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Glossary-HomelessnessR.pdf

8.2.2.   Dave Card, Chair Emeritus, announced an update regarding a draft City Ordinance to prohibit planting or sale of non-native plants in Los Angeles. The motion was presented by Paul Koretz and Mitch O’Farrell (neither of whom now serve on LA City Council) and asked for an ordinance that would prohibit planting anything other than those species which are native to the area. See the motion here: https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2022/22-1469_misc_11-22-22.pdf. David Card informed the board that the Palisades Forestry Committee (PFC) and other organizations opposed the motion. He asked for PPCC to also oppose when the time comes (when a draft ordinance is presented for comment). He said we wish to increase diversity in an appropriate way to enrich the City’s tree canopy.

8.2.3.   Beth Holden-Garland, board Secretary, updated the board on the new PPCC logo and reported on the continued development of social media.  She described the logo and congratulated the board on a fabulous new 50th year logo, depicting the sea, the mountains, the sun and the palm trees in a uniquely Palisadian way. She suggested everyone engage with our social media and encourage others to do so as well. She said she will be posting emergency preparedness information in an engaging way, in order to get more traction on this important matter.  The President showed the board the new logo and explained that about 10 members of the board helped develop and perfect this logo, with a graphic designer named Jilleen Hohle.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Steve Cron, Area Two representative, announced a Pacific Palisades Democratic Club (PPDC) garden party upcoming on August 6th, where Councilwoman Traci Park, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and Congressman Brad Sherman will be present. He invited all to go on the PPDC website and sign up to attend.

8.3.2.   Murray Levy, Area One Primary Representative, announced that he has been at the PPCC Farmers Market table asking for suggestions. He reported that one young woman who walks in Potrero Canyon Park suggested replacing the open trash cans with covered trash cans to prevent crows/other creatures from diving into the open cans. He also reported that some people worry about mansionization and he’d like to hold Traci Park to a promise she made on the campaign trail to consider lowering height limits in the Palisades, from the existing 45 foot limit to something less.  He suggested we may want to investigate this. Steve Cron said the LUC is looking at this complex issues.

8.3.3.   Chris Spitz, At-large Representative, reported that SB423 and SB4 are passing their way through the legislature. Both bills are opposed by PPCC (the CA Coastal Commission also opposes SB423) because they would streamline development without proper coastal review. New developments include the notable fact that the Bill’s author, Sen Wiener, has agreed to amend the bill in a way that would insert safeguards tied into coastal review in lieu of ministerial streamlining. Sen Wiener proposes that areas in the coastal zone that do not have a certified coastal plan will be exempt. He is also proposing clarifying that the legislature will consult with various departments, experts and local stakeholders before streamlined approval of any development in the VHFHSZ, aimed at increased density.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.   Resilient Palisades representative, Ryan Craig – not present but see the LAUSD update.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   State – not present.

8.5.2.   City Council Field Deputy for Council District 11, Michael Amster, reported that CM Traci Park was working with City and County lawmakers to resolve long standing issues having to so with homelessness. She has introduced a motion to draft an ordinance to address van lords and illegal RVs. She recently led the passing of a Resolution to support SB 43. She also passed a Motion with respect to “care courts”, specifically for the city to study its role on implementing Care Courts. She continues to clean up encampments in the district, and is making real impact in dismantling encampments that have been entrenched, in some cases, for decades.

He announced a call with FILM LA with respect to smoking in the VHFHJSZs. PPCC President, along with BCC President will be on the call.

He announced that the Palisades Dog Park and Palisades Rec Center playground and bathroom improvements remain a priority for the Councilmember, and will seek community input on the allocation of Quimby versus Measure A funding.

He mentioned water access at the Palisades Bowl due to broken pipes. He will be working with his State counterparts on this matter since mobile home parks are regulated by state laws.

He mentioned Tahitian Terrace brush clearance issues which he will be addressing in the next week, alongside LAFD brush unit.  Michael is getting a dumpster to the site so that all the debris can be removed and placed in the bin for hauling.

He reported that he has been addressing issues along Palisades Drive relating to the hauling of cleared brush. He will be working with RAP to get equipment to the site and haul away the brush collection/clearance.

Regarding the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board, he is interviewing three new people for appointment to that important board.

Dave Card and the President asked him to check on with Traci Park on how she feels about the native Tree Planting/Biodiversity Motion and draft ordinance. He said he would follow up.

Lee Anne Sanderson offered to donate bottles of water to Palisades Bowl residents.

Chris Spitz asked about the Via de las OIas bluffs related to water seepage along the bluff and the slide a few months ago (for which emergency tape is still up). She asked if we could count on having the city’s geotechnical engineers come out and assess the safety of these bluffs/slide area.

8.5.3.   County – not present.

8.5.4.   LAPD SLO for Pacific Palisades, Brian Espin, reported that he had just sent out the crime maps/report to all. The 4th of July weekend brought a huge rash of stolen vehicles. He met with detectives and saw no pattern or connection, but they held two operations in the palisades using undercover units. They yielded nothing. They continue to work on seeing trends and identifying suspicious activity to try and combat the thefts. Detectives believe it was simply a fluke trend for stolen vehicles over the holiday weekend. The stats bumped up our area theft percentage by 50% YTD (22 last year/2022 versus 33 this year/2023).  Vehicle break-ins are still high. Please lock doors and do not leave anything visible in the car!

The President announced that she and Brian had met with new West LA Captain and talked about the car break-ins, as well as increased assaults on the crime report. Was there a pattern, she asked. SLO Espin said there was no identifiable trends but said in affirmation of the President’s suggestion of cameras on pole tops, that he would very much welcome seeing pole top cameras in our parks and open spaces.

8.5.5.   Allison Holdorff [Polhill], LAUSD VP Nick Melvoin’s District Director and Sr. Advisor, reported on school start dates across the Palisades Charter Complex, as well as a report about chemical-based landscaping.  She pledged that the District has not used chemical based compounds on school grounds since 2002, and will oppose any use nearby. This was a matter that had been brought to the attention of PPCC President, Maryam Zar, by Ryan Craig of Resilient Palisades, and she had alerted Allison. Allison reported that she had followed up by contact LADWP, which had been using the chemical compound at the open property they own adjacent to Marquez Elementary and was not able to receive an assurance from LADWP that they would cease using the compound. The President asked her to keep the PPCC board informed so we could interject out voice in support of LAUSD’s position, asking that this objectionable compound is not used near schools.

Allison further announced Dr. Shuntell Anthony as the new Principal for Paul Revere Middle School. She also noted the bungalow construction pending for Canyon Elementary School (currently waiting for Coastal Commission approval). She also announced a pending grass and landscaping project for Palisades Elementary.

8.6.   From PPCC Committees, Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.1.  K.C. Soll [Emergency Preparedness Advisor] reported to the board about SOS products and the 30 gallon drum of water which continue to be essential to emergency preparedness planning. Joanna Spak said she had followed that advice and purchased a 55 gallon drum for long-term water storage. Encouraged others to do the same. K.C. suggested she can help rent a truck and help community members transport the drums to their homes in the Palisades. The President encouraged all to prepare for emergency and take the advice of our Emergency Preparedness Advisor to heart.

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees.

[9.1.]   Committee of Three Chairs.   Chair David Card reported that applications are open for the 2nd Alternate for Area 5 position. The application period will be open for 30 days, with an August 20th deadline. The notice went out on Friday July 21st.  Link to notice was announced:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/PPCC-Alternates-App.Notice-2023-2.pdf

10.   Old Business.

The President announced that she would like to offer the board a review of the 15245 W. De Pauw Street project and all its applications for additional structure(s) to be built on the property overhanging Potrero Canyon and the attendant bluffs. She suggested David Card take the lead on informing the board so that if we (as a board or through EC action) restate our position based on previous positions taken, the board is aware and agrees with continuing this position.

Dave Card undertook a review of the applications for amended Coastal Development Permit (CDP) at 15245 W. De Pauw Street.   PPCC has opposed applications for after-the-fact amendments to the CDP for this project over the years, most recently with our April 24, 2023 letter to Planning Department (members can see the letter online).  The West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission denied the prior amendment application for this project in 2020 (determination was attached to the agenda).  The owner has now applied again in two separate applications, the first of which will be heard by WLA APC on August 7, 2023. As said, PPCC has historically opposed this.  We will oppose again, unless there is objection. There was no objection. The president said she would be penning a letter to comment on an upcoming August 7th hearing on the new application by the homeowner to build yet another structure, without having taken down the first violative structure. She informed the board that there would be an “advisement period” for the new file number which will be open for comment before any decision has been made, but that we may wish to comment earlier/pre-emptively on the new application (with a new case number). Chris Spitz and Dave Card agreed. We will be continuing with the position we’ve had since at least 2019, per consent of the board.

11.   New Business – none.

12.   Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 8:22PM.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM AUGUST 24th 2023

1.  The meeting was called to order at 6:01 PM and Nina Kidd read the Community Council Mission.

2.  The President called roll and certified that there was quorum

Voting members present: Sue Kohl, Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Dave Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Nancy Niles, LeeAnne Sanderson, Kimberly Bloom, Chris Spitz, Bruce Schwartz, Nina Kidd, Alisa Wolfson, Kevin Niles, Shirley Haggstrom, Courtney Macker, Cathy Russell, Bill Skinner.

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Aileen Hough, Mary Mueller.

3.  Introduction of attendees
The President introduced Armine Sargsyan from CA Department of Insurance, outreach Analyst for a presentation about Fire hazard insurance. Ms. Sargysyan shared a presentation and informed the board about the Department of Insurance, a state consumer protection agency tasked with regulating all lines of insurance. They hold resource fairs and outreach events to inform the public.

The main issue in CA is fire insurance – availability and affordability, which is increasingly an issue. The Dept of Ins. got together with other agencies to introduce new regulations and a strategy termed “Safer from Wildfires”.  If homeowners follow guidelines or home hardening, they can get discounts from insurance companies. Please see the recording of this presentation at our website and the power point on the website: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Department-of-Insurance-Safer-from-Wildfires-PPT-4.22.23.pdf

The President thanked Armine for her important presentation.

The President introduced Richard Fink from CA State Parks, District Superintendent II for a discussion about the role of State brush clearance in VHFHSZ communities like ours. LAFD Brush Clearance Captain, Bryan Nassour also joined the conversation. Mr. Fink informed the board that there are at least three swaths of State land in the Palisades which is not usually cleared by the State, but are expected to be cleared by homeowners nearby. Those homeowners may seek a right of entry onto state land to do that brush clearance. Per Rad Nowroozi, from State Sen Ben Allen’s Office, that can be a complex process that requires an initial inspection, a right of entry permit, and a follow-up inspection – so it may be wise to look at these policies and perhaps think of a better method for this brush clearance.

The President informed the board that discussion with the state began when she was informed that the LAFD had cited the State for failure to clear some of its land, which was overgrown with brush and presented a fire hazard. When we reached out to the State to ask them to clear, they informed us that they do not do brush clearance. When we pressed as to why, we weren’t given much other than a direction to ask homeowners to clear up to 200 feet from their property lines, and seek a permit to clear more, if they wish. That didn’t seem to address the glaring need to clear State brush land in our residential areas, which posed an immediate observable fire threat. We asked for some answers, and Skylar Payab from ASM Irwin’s office took the lead. Mr. Richard Fink, agreed to speak to PPCC after Skylar’s outreach.

Richard Fink introduced himself as the District Superintendent for the Angeles District State Parks (including PP, Malibu, Long Beach, Castaic Lake and Downton LA), a large and diverse region.  Protecting from wildfires tales a collaborative approach and state parks as well as homeowners share that responsibility. Fuel modification and brush clearance is a challenge. The parcel of land on Via Floresta was interesting. He has researched the issue and applicable laws and spoken to LA City and County fire to see what the approach is, locally.  State Govt’ code 51182, compels a person who owns a dwelling in a VHFHSZ (all of the Palisades) to maintain a defensible space of 100 feet from their dwelling.  State code requires fuel mitigation extending 100 feet, whereas the State requires clearance to 200 feet (but not beyond the property line).  State policy prohibits brush clearance because they have a mandate to preserve the state’s natural resources. Clearance is not in their line of business – but their mission is to protect natural habitat. So, if the homeowner isn’t clearing beyond 200 feet and the state cannot clear land, per policy, what do we do? Mr. Fink says, there is a permit process to ask for the right of entry into state land, identify what can be removed and what must be protected. Once the permit is issued, the private homeowner can go onto State land and conduct fuel modification in accordance to the permitted plan.

Mr. Fink showed an image of the state park land they will be clearing (on Via Floresta). He confirmed that brush is overgrown past the road (“maintenance questions, for sure”), and obstructing the PROW. There is an easement on this land for the City of LA, already, for the slope area to be drained. There is some question as to who has a maintenance obligation here, but Richard/State had spoken to City before and they’ve agreed to come and conduct some brush clearance and fuel modification – from the sidewalk several feet up, in order to clear the immediate brush by the side of the road, impacting the PROW. This is on the City’s interest to maintain, so they have made this arrangement as a solution to the issue. As far as clearing out other areas or vast average of bush, that is not what the State does.

The President introduced Capt., Nassour and Insp. Sutton on the call. She thanked Mr. Fink, but pointed out that there are other tracts of state land (for example in Paseo Miramar) that also need to be addressed. She thanked him again for addressing this parcel, but pressed that the state needs to think foo a solution for other parcels, that remain combustible and close to residential areas.

Insp. Warren confirmed that there are other state parcels that are of concern. They do cite the State – but that’s all they can do. The Homeowner is responsible to their property line and/or their property line – not more. Mr. Fink said there are examples of state land close to structures that can’t be cleared, but that is the current regulation.

The board thanked out presenters, and left the discussion at more needs to be done. The President said she would upload this segment of the recording to the PPCC you tube website.

4.   The Minutes for July 27, 2023 were approved as distributed.

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

6.   Treasurer’s Report. 

Treasurer, Jenny Li, reported that the PPCC bank balance rests at $42,702.50.
Transactions have included income of $50 (minus PayPal fee), a $37 charge for printing new checks (which we will no longer need to do since Jenny is transforming most of our bill pay to a technology platform/Bill Pay though the bank). We will also no longer have paper statements (no $6 fee). There was a check to our accountant for $800 for filings for the 2022 fiscal year. We will be doing another fiscal year filing in September.

She will present a budget in September at the start of our next fiscal year.  The President reminded everyone that we will be looking for fiscal sponsors, particularly for upcoming events. She thanked the treasurer for her report.

7.   General Public Comment.  Jennifer Miner was present to inform he board about an upcoming PPDC event which would feature local elected officials, including Councilwoman Traci Park, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath and City Attorney Hydee Feldstein-Soto. She encouraged all to attend for an opportunity to hear from these elected officials and ask questions.

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer

8.1.1.   The President appointed two new Advisors with the consent of the board

  • She appointed and received consent to confirm Legal Advisor, Rob Weber
  • She appointed Park Advisor, Mike Skinner
  • She appointed Tech Advisor, Ramis Sadrieh
  • She re-appointed Transportation Advisor, Lou Kamer
  • She re-appointed Education Advisor, Allison Holdorff

8.1.2.   The President appointed and received consent to confirm Corresponding Secretary, JoAnna Rodriguez, who was present and introduced herself to the board, and received a warm welcome.

8.1.3.   The President updated the board with respect to the Potrero pre-design outreach phase of the bridge project by stating that we would hear more in September from the Council Office, and outreach timeline forum the chosen contractor which will be tasked with soliciting board based and meaningful community input.

8.1.4.   The President said WRAC had a few motions that may require action and/or LUC conference and community discussion.

8.1.5.  The President asked the board to affirm a position with respect to the Metro CTN (https://www.metro.net/projects/transportation-communication-network/)  matter, which we have discussed before and is being rushed though city council. We may get an opportunity to comment and request that the program be referred to the City Council Transportation Committee (recommended by our Transportation Advisor and WRAC Transportation Committee Rep) for feedback from LADOPT before implementation. She asked if there would be any objection to our recommendation to oppose the program, if time requires comment before we meet again. The board agreed that they would like to continue to oppose the program, as currently proposed.

In keeping with same line of reasoning on this topic, she asked for support to oppose the adoption of City ordinance that would fast-track the implementation of METRO CTN. The board gave its opinion that it agreed again to give the EC the authority to write in opposition of the program.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives

  • Murray Levy asked for the Castellammare/Tramonto project be agendised for discussion, early, at the next meeting. He reiterated his, and the neighborhood’s, concern surrounding bluff instability on this building location which is an active landslide. The President reported that she had discussed this with jeff Khau at the Council office, is unsure what can be done at this late stage, but pledged to alert the LUC and have more discussion at the next meeting. She agreed that this was urgent and crucial. Chris Spitz, At-large Rep compared the situation to the Via de las Olas bluffs which are also an active landslide, and said it is concerning, but a position cannot be taken without LUC review. Murray urged the Council not to ignore this! Steve Cron pledged to take this matter up with the LUC, prior to travelling in September.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives

8.4.1.   Alisa Wolfson, Education Rep Alternate asked for the board’s help in securing a crossing guard for Canyon Elementary. Allison Holdorff said the office of Board member Nick Melvoin was also in support and doing all he can to secure this hiring. The board agreed to help advocate for this position.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives

8.5.1.   LADWP, Deborah Hong, Sr. Community Relations Representative and Andrew Christopher, Inspection program Coordinator reported on power pole inspections of all overhead power poles in the Palisades. Please see the presentation on our website: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Power-Line-Inspections-PPCC.final_.pdf

These inspections will begin on August 28th and run through the end of October.

There will be a careful visual inspection of facilities and structures, using binoculars and measuring devices as appropriate. The inspectors record the status of power pole and making note of potential upgrades and repairs in order to promote the health of the power systems managed by LADWP. The inspections are done every 3 yrs., and there are 4000 poles within the PP that will be inspected (on public roadways and in backyards).

The contractor is Osmose utilities. These contractors will always have Osmose ID badges that will; be visible, they will be wearing hard hats and will always wear highly visible vests. They will have Osmose branded trucks and will always be willing to present credentials, if asked.

No traffic or lane closures are expected and no anticipated power outages. Each pole inspection will take approximately 30 minutes. Access to power poles on private property may be rewired. In this case, the homeowner/resident can ask for identifying credentials, or even ask to speak to an LADWP representatives to verify the inspection or the Osmose worker. Note that neither the contractor nor the LADWP rep will ever ask to walk through the house, rather they will ask to walk around the home.

Contact Andrew.christopher@ladwp.com or Deborah.hong@ladwp.com for more info or questions.

The President thanked the presenters from LADWP.

8.5.2.   Rad Nowroozi, Sen Ben Allen representative, announced that the Office of Sen Ben Allen has funded a $1M grant to PP YMCA per a request for revitalization efforts at Simon Meadow. They also secured $6.5M for SM mountains, developing more protected green space. He announced that the legislature is within the final three weeks of this year’s session when important decisions will be made on Bills. Sen Allen is hoping for approval of his SB867 – climate and wildfire prevention bond. This will fit nicely within the discussions of today because there may be some money for state land brush clearance. They also have their eye on a redistricting bill that would have an oversight committee that would review district lines each 10 years. Ben Allen will also soon be at Palisades Farmers Market. He thanked the President for her assistance on some of these matters.  The President thanked Rad and asked about the State bill that would prohibit retail stores and their employees from enforcing shoplifting laws, given the high-profile smash-and-grab robberies in LA. Rad said he would have to explain the intent of the bill, and report back another time.

8.5.3.   Michael Amster from Councilwoman Park’s office reported that he had examined El Oro Lane which is a small but critical road for evacuations. He brought BOE out to the road, which identified slope/sinking issues with the road and proposed an interim and long-term remedy. He encouraged others who have similar critical but faulty streets in their neighborhoods to bring them to his attention so he can alert the BOE and assess the safety.

Regarding resurfacing the parking lot road at the Rec Center (strip of Toyopa from Alma Real to the Park), he has been told there is no budget for resurfacing the street but there may be an opportunity to fill the potholes on that city street, which was left unattended/unslurried after the improvements made to the Rec Center parking lot in the lead-up to Potrero opening.

Regarding Via de las Olas bluffs and the conditions of the sloping bluffs. BOE is a few weeks away from completing their investigation, but that is forthcoming. They will report to Rec & Parks regarding recommended action.

Temescal Canyon Rd (TCR) is a top priority for the Council office. There is a motion expected at City Council tomorrow to secure funding for substantive repairs. Amster has approached BOE regarding the pinch-point in TCR which has resulted in a reported backlog of traffic. Michael disagrees and would like to create a stripping [SIC] strategy that would preserve two lanes of traffic in both directions of TCR. He asked the PPCC bard to support that position.

8.5.4.   Zach Gaidzick, from the County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath’s office and announced that she has been voted in as the Chair of LAHSA. She is excited because she intends to bring accountability and data driven results to LAHSA. Additionally, Supervisor Horvath has introduced two critical motions (passed unanimously) to support our striking workers in the entertainment industry. She will be specifically looking at ways LA County will be able to support the workers themselves as well as the numerous industries affected by the ongoing strike. The Supervisors also passed a resolution calling for the AMPTP to come back to the negotiating table and bring an end to this strike so people can get back to work with a fair contract.

8.5.5.   LAPD SLO officer Brian Espin reported typical summertime increase in crime surrounding car break-ins on and near PCH or main arteries. Burglaries are about the same as last year (46 – year on year). He asked that people email him with questions but not to always believe what they read online about Palisades crime. He suggested that when there is an increase in foot or car traffic, there is an increase in crime. He reiterated that holiday weekends, summertime, more traffic at the beach translates to more crime, traditionally. Steve Cron observed that more than half of the crime on his report is on PCH rather than in the neighborhoods above. SLO Espin said he’d have to look at those numbers to give an accurate picture of percentages. The President asked him to bring us that information when he can.

8.6.   From PPCC Committees, Advisors and WRAC Representatives

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees:

9.1.   Dave Card reported that the Three Chairs Committee (David Card: Committee Chair, members: Chris Spitz, Maryam Zar) met and have nominated Betsy Handler for the 2nd Alternate position for Area 5. The board affirmed the nomination. Betsy was welcomed to the PPCC board.

10.   Old Business – None.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   Temescal Canyon Rd. Restriping Motion.   There was discussion and a motion regarding Temescal Canyon Road restriping as proposed by CD11 in order to preserve two lanes of traffic in both directions.

The following motion was made by the EC with a friendly amendment made by Beth Holden-Garland and seconded by Lee Anne Sanderson.  It passed unanimously after discussion:

[“]The PPCC has profound concerns with the way TCR has been re-striped, and in light of recent natural disasters (storms close to home and fires in Hawaii) as well as the start of school, we believe the current striping of TCR compromises public safety – with drivers now attempting to skip lanes and drive along the yellow median or make unsafe U-Turns in the middle of this fast-paced road, creating perilous traffic conditions for all.  CD11 informs us that there is enough space along the road to create interim lanes that would provide for two lanes of traffic in both directions. Therefore, we encourage LADOT to collaborate with CD11 on a better restriping scheme that would save two lanes of traffic in each direction.

We urge any lane restriping change to incorporate one bicycle lane in each direction on Temescal Canyon Road.

Further, TCR is an Avenue I “Significant Road” for which both LA City Municipal Code and LADOT guidelines support the implementation of a short-term Transportation Control Management Plan during prolonged, disruptive events. TCR is a major feeder to and from Pacific Coast Highway for which signal timing at the intersection is limited to a 67 second green phase to limit overflow congestion on PCH. Therefore, PPCC urges Caltrans to consider allowing a temporary (or permanent) increase in signal timing at PCH during peak periods, as well as incorporation of the #3 lane to accommodate a safe left turn onto S/B PCH.[“]

11.2.   Bulgari Hotel Motion.  There was discussion regarding a motion to support Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky and Councilwoman Traci Park in urging the Director of City Planning to pause the approval project of the project by rescinding the process of initiating a zoning change to accommodate the design and construction of a hotel in Bel Air, referred to as the Bulgari Hotel Project, on 9712 Oak Pass Road in Benedict Canyon.  See: https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2021/21-0777-S1_caf_8-16-23.pdf

The following Motion was made by the EC.  It passed unanimously after discussion:

[“]PPCC urges the Director of City Planning and the Department of City Planning (DCP), to consider rescinding the initiation of a General Plan Amendment (GPA) for the Retreat at Benedict Canyon Project, Case No. CPC-2018-1506-GPA-VZC-SP- SPP-SPR, located at 9704 – 9712 West Oak Pass Road; 9800, 9801 – 9815 West Wanda Park Drive; and 2534 North Hutton Drive, in the Bel Air-Beverly Crest Community Plan Area, in order to halt the development of this project in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone within the Benedict Canyon, where the impact on local wildlife and community fire safety are likely to be irreversible.[“]

12.   Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 9:00PM

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM SEPTEMBER 14th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Sue Kohl read the Community Council mission.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.

Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Beth Holden Garland, Dave Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Rick McGeagh, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Kevin Niles, Barbara Kohn, Aileen Hough, Alisa Wolfson, Shirley Haggstrom.

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, LeeAnne Sanderson, Daphne Gronich, Betsy Handler, Quentin Fleming.

3.   Introduction of attendees
The President introduced Captain Rich Gabaldon, Captain III, LAPD West Commanding officer; Sonya Young Jimenez, Department of Recreation and Parks, Superintendent of West Region;
Robert Buenrostro, Principal Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, RAP; and Jasmine Dowlatshahi, Sr. Facilities Director, Palisades Recreation Center.

4.   Approval of Minutes:  The Minutes of August 24, 2023 were approved

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.
The Agenda was considered as presented. The President said that one of the October meetings will be held in person.

6.   Treasurer’s Report. 
The Treasurer was not present.

7.   General Public Comment.  Rich Wilken from the Palisades Lutheran Church (PLC) announced the 3rd annual all charity 5/10K run on October 24th. They are expecting 100 runners. They shared the route with the community and announced that there will be street closures from 8:30am until 11am. PLC will have people stationed at corners and will help people with road access when needed. They’ve reworked the track so that Pali High, Northfield and Erskine exits will be available, as well as El Medio and Muskingum. They’ve worked with local residents to make sure the impact of the race route is minimal. They will post door hangers along the entire race route and put door hangers on all individual homes with race info, as well as sandwich signs along the route, days in advance. Check-in is at the church – the race begins at Janaluska Road. Pali High Ambassadors will also be helping, as well as Sons of the American legion volunteers. Rich said he would be happy to accept volunteers from the community to help monitor their streets.

Karen Ridgley, Area Four Primary Rep, thanked Rich for the great communication and the accommodation of the race route for minimum impact, as well as door hangers to inform the community.

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President announced again that new appointments for Advisors are being made and suggested people look on the PPCC website for a listing of Advisors.

8.1.2.   The President announced that following the Wildland Fire Planning meeting arranged  by CD11 (see items 8.1.3 and 8.2.1 below), she appointed a PPCC Wildland Interface and Fire Hazard Mitigation Committee, as follows:

a)Dave Card
b) Julie Silliman
c) Rick McGeagh
d) Cindi Young
e) Steve Cron
f) Sue Kohl
g) Michael Edlen
h) Bruce Schwartz
i)  Lou Kamer

8.1.3.   See Sue Kohl’s report regarding the Wildland Urban Interface meeting convened by CD11 (with LAPD, LAFD, LADOT, LA EMD, City Planning, BSS, RAP, DONE, LA County Fire, CAO’s office) (item 8.2.1 below).

8.1.4.   See Michael Amster’s update regarding Temescal Canyon Road repairs (item 8.5.2 below).

8.1.5.   The President provided an update on the 50th Anniversary Jubilee & Community Celebration, recognizing all the volunteer effort that has gone into developing the event and the monetary contributions that have been made to enable the event to be free to the    public, and encompassing of more than 20 community organizations who are now taking part.  She thanked CM Traci Park for underwriting the canopies, Palisades PRIDE for underwriting food, American Legion for underwriting chairs and stage, Jenny Li for underwriting set up and take down, Michael Edlen for underwriting printing costs, the Simon family for underwriting environmentally friendly water, the Zar family for underwriting a specialty coffee cart, as well as various community and board members who have made  contributions including Sue Kohl, Chris Spitz, Beth Holden-Garland and Kimberly Bloom who is, along with Beth, helping with decorations.  She noted that CM Traci Park, State Senator Ben Allen, and perhaps Congressman Brad Sherman will all be on hand to help celebrate our community and give commendations.  She encouraged everyone to spread the word.

8.1.6.   The President mentioned a discussion with Gates Security about a pole top camera pilot or bike patrols though open spaces where she was informed challenges and opportunities, but more would come later as LAPD assesses how best to mitigate some of the  concerns around our open spaces.

8.1.7.   The President asked the Bylaws Committee to amend the organizational certificate process and the name of the PP Library Association and tasked them with these amendments to be presented to the board for approval at upcoming meetings.

8.1.8.   See the report by Dave Card, Chair Emeritus, for a Potrero update (item 8.2.3 below).

8.1.9.   The President did not give a Metro TCN update.

8.1.10.   The President reported that the Bulgari Hotel project has been defeated and the zone change has been rescinded, largely due to community opposition in a vocal manner.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus

8.2.1.   Sue Kohl, Vice President, reported about the Wildland Interface and Fire Hazard Mitigation Committee which CD11 convened for the benefit of Brentwood and Pacific Palisades (communities in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, or VHFHSZ.  Many City and county departments were present and spoke in great detail about coordination between all  first responder agencies as well as the LA City Emergency Management Department and LA County Fire. PPCC asked to be included in future convenings and is learning how we can be part of citywide Fire Councils. All were encouraged to sign up for Notify LA, and informed that landlines are important for city evacuation notifications. Technology is being implemented to foresee the movement of fire (dependent on velocity and wind conditions), and to react based on that information. It is important to know neighbors and to collaborate on information-sharing and with special needs individuals who may need extra care. Fire roads are not to be used, as they are for fire resources to be moved into place in order to protect communities – please do not use those in an emergency. AT&T was also present to discuss a possible cell tower that can be used for emergency bandwidths at the Getty Villa (private entity).  We exchanged contact information with the presenters and will hear from them before the plans advance.

SLO Brian Espin (LAPD) reiterated that reception can be very spotty in the hills. They rely on AT&T emergency bandwidth (First Net) and would support better connectivity in the high fire severity zones in the hillsides. LAPD works with LAFD (at the Incident Command Post) and decides the direction and flow of evacuation. They also work with LADOT for route planning and road direction (“contra flow” planning).

The President informed the board that this conversation will be ongoing and that we will be part of the evolving conversation surround fire safety, as Pacific Palisades is entirely in VHFHSZ.  We asked for Fire Council information, evacuation drills, information-sharing improvements and more. The President has formed a committee to continue pursuing these conversations and bring resources and information to the community. The President said there is the promise of more discussion about communication, maps, crucial emergency information-sharing, etc.

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary, reminded the board to buy drums of water for emergency use and also updated the board about September 30th celebration decorations and items for kids.

8.2.3.   Dave Card, Chair Emeritus, reported on a PCH Task Force meeting. With regard to the Potrero Canyon Bridge project – the draft report from BOE was sent to the Board of Public Works and it will be agendized within the next two months. The report includes the scope of work, the funding, the contractor/consultant and more. The lateral trail to Temescal Canyon Rd. is advancing in coordination with bridge and coastal access developments. PPCC and the Palisades community are still waiting to hear from CD11 as to the contractor chosen to conduct Outreach for the pre-design phase. Lou Kamer (PPCC Transportation Advisor) also reported  that discussion about fixing the light rotations and signage at PCH and West Channel Rd. is continuing.  He also reported that he has continued to press for reactive lights for the stretch of PCH that is in Pacific Palisades so that traffic flow can adjust to volume and result less often in gridlock.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Murray Levy, Area One Primary Rep, led discussion with respect to the Castellammare/

Tramonto development project in hillside streets in Area One. He confirmed that the appeal hearing is scheduled for November 15. He shared pictures and commentary about the dire circumstances surrounding the hillside, which is the site of an active landslide, and attested that for the past 50 years, the hillside landslide has been moving. In the last slide, it wiped out four streets, and the city built the bulkhead. The developer proposes to build four massive houses and Murray asked the PPCC to re-write and resubmit the letter requesting a full EIR for the project. The PPCC board agreed this could and should be done, and the sense of the board was that this development seems perilous and should be monitored as a development of possible concern. The President agreed to work with Murray to pen a strong letter, recommending a full EIR for the project. She also noted that the PPCC LUC is keeping an eye on this matter and has indicated that it is happy to conduct a fair and open community meeting regarding the matter, should that become appropriate.

Murray also noted that the CA Coastal Commission has imposed Special Conditions 8 and 9 on the project. The landowner must assume the risk of extraordinary land circumstances and geological hazards. It also requires the property owner to record the deed restriction, providing notice of potential hazards to potential buyers. Murray made the point that existing residents must also live with hazards, and they feel unsafe.

Murray also noted that the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan (CP) provides for a basis by which this community can protest this proposed construction. The President read from the CP [see https://pacpalicc.org/index.php/about/community-specific-plans/] and confirmed the language cited by Murray. She said she’d be happy to have the LUC work on this thread to see what can be done.

Area One resident Christopher Ekstein also spoke in support of Murray’s presentation and request for support from the board and the community. He and board members expressed the opinion that strong comments and opposition from the Area One community and their vocal appearance at the November 15th hearing will be instrumental, irrespective of PPCC action. Resident Marcia Vogler also commented that resident opposition is present and important. Chris Spitz, PPCC At-large Rep, agreed that a further PPCC letter would be appropriate to expand on the position previously stated, and that LUC review (with all sides present) might be appropriate with a public LUC meeting and a recommendation made by the Committee to the PPCC board.  Steve Cron, LUC Chair, agreed that there was time to do this prior to the November 15th hearing, if the Area reps and the relevant HOA were to ask for the LUC to take this up.

8.3.2.   Steve Cron, Area Two Primary Rep, gave a substantive update on Highlands Trail Head bathroom improvements as a result of PPCC and community advocacy over the years. He shared pictures and reported that after 4.5 years of effort, there has finally been some movement on improvements so that the bathrooms are now clean and presentable, and will soon be operable.

8.3.3.    Chris Spitz, At-Large Rep: Update on the status of SB 423 deferred.

8.3.4.   Julie Silliman, Area Seven Rep, informed the board about the upcoming Rustic Night celebration on the night of September 30th, to raise money for Rustic Canyon Park.

8.3.5.   Rick McGeagh, Area Seven 1st Alternate, reported about brush clearance in the Will Rogers neighborhood of Area Seven.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.
There were no organizational updates.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   SLO Brian Espin, LAPD, shared data with the board, per the questions asked at the last meeting, regarding the concentration of crime in specific areas.  He reported that, in fact, most crime is often occurring along PCH and in the more public areas of access. He shared that crime in the Palisades has seen an uptick and investigators are searching for patterns and perpetrators. He reiterated that the new Captain is not reducing any resources for the Palisades and that patrols continue to visit hot spots and are available to respond to radio calls as best they can.

8.5.2.   Michael Amster, Field Deputy for Brentwood and Pacific Palisades from CD11reported that Quimby funds were being allocated to bathroom upgrades and playground construction at the Palisades Recreation Center to comply with current codes.

He also reported that tomorrow at City Council there will be a motion introduced by CM Traci Park for approval of $400,000 from the “anti gridlock transit improvement funds” for repairs and restoration of Temescal Canyon Road (TCR) by the end of October. There was a question as to whether that will be enough finding for the drainage repairs planned for TCR.  Michael informed the board that $400,000 is expected to be enough for the full repairs.

He also reported having worked with Area Four reps and Asilomar residents as well as Tahitian Terrace residents to find a solution to branches and debris that presented a fire threat. This debris has successfully been cleared out.

Michael also reported having worked with members of the DRB, Barbara Kohn and Donna Vaccarino, to find new members for the Brown-Acted, and specifically appointed, DRB, and can report three new members who are expected to join the board, two of whom would fill specialty roles required by statute.

Michael also informed the community that a small nonprofit called the SAB Center has proposed to construct an affordable housing research facility in the Castellammare neighborhood of the Palisades. He reported that the Council Office plans to hear them out, and believes that it can work, but would like to hear more. He has arranged a meeting on site for next Friday (9/22) and encourages as much input as possible. More information will be made available. The President suggested more info be made available to the board at the next meeting, following the site visit.

8.4.   From PPCC Committees, Advisors and WRAC Representatives – None.

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees.

9.1.   PCOC report:  Update on signs and proposed order of priority (see link below) for communication with CD11 and RAP, urging them to amend or restore the signage this community  asked for, and install as appropriate at the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon. See full report: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Park-Rules-Sign-Revision-Issues.pdf.

9.2.   Three Chairs Committee report (David Card: Committee Chair, members: Steve Boyers, Maryam Zar): Update regarding 2nd Alternate applications for Area 8 and At-large.  See also:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/PPCC-At-lrg-Area-8-Alts.-Notice-2023.pdf.

9.3.   LUC report (Steve Cron or Howard Robinson reporting on recent discussions regarding Castellammare construction project):  See discussion in item 8.3.1 above.

10.   Old Business – None.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   Motion to oppose the “100% natives” proposed ordinance in City Council.  Motion made by Dave Card (Chair Emeritus and Chair of the Palisades Forestry Committee, a PPCC Organizational member) and jointly seconded by Beth Holden-Garland and Chris Spitz.  Motion:

“Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) opposes the motion in L.A. City Council File 22-1469, on the grounds set forth in the accompanying Position Paper, summarized as follows:

a) The proposed motion will result in less biodiversity, more monoculture. A mandate prohibiting the planting and sale of any non-native species in all of the City of Los Angeles (urban, suburban, commercial, governmental, and residential properties) is far too radical and damaging.

b) It risks the health of the urban forest by the concentration of too few tree species. There are not enough native tree species to sustain our urban forest.

c) Some natives do not adapt well in city environments. Yet cities are not devoid of diverse species, and can even benefit regional ecosystems.

d) We encourage the planting of more native species. And we support conserving our wild open spaces and creating more parks.  However, biodiversity includes all trees and plants, not just natives.

e) Restrict invasives, not climate appropriate trees and plants.”

After discussion, a vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.

12.   Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:45PM.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM SEPTEMBER 28th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The mission of the PPCC was read by Karen Ridgley, Area Four Primary Rep.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
The Chair certified that there was quorum.

Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Dave Card, Beth Holden-Garland, Sue Kohl, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Nina Kidd, Alisa Wolfson, Barbara Kohn, Genevieve Bostik, Shirley Haggstrom, Bill Skinner, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting members present: Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, Daphne Gronich, Mary Mueller, Eileen Hough, Ryan Craig, Bruce Schwartz, Jessica Rogers.

3.   Introduction of attendees.
West LA Captain, LAPD, Rich Gabaldon was in attendance to support the report by SLO Espin. Sgt Scott Alpert and Officer Jose Bermudez were also present. (See YouTube post for that segment of the meeting.)

4.   Approval of Minutes:  September 14, 2023 were approved without objection.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.

6.   Treasurer’s Report.
See the report sent by Treasurer (absent) and read by President  [see Attachment/Item 6]

7.   General Public Comment (GPC).  There was no GPC 

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President reviewed letters written since last meeting and noted that they are posted online.

https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Native-plants-letter.pdf and https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/FIN-PPCC-EC-Letter-re-BCC-Amicus-Grants-Pass.pdf

8.1.2.   The President gave an update on 50th Anniversary Jubilee & Community Celebration and urged everyone to attend.

8.1.3.   The President gave an update on Castellammare issues.

a.   Tramonto construction/development – she said the LUC was looking again at review or best position at this juncture.

b.   SAB center proposal for nonprofit headquarters – she said a new nonprofit has proposed to construct a research headquarters for affordable housing innovations on a site that has apparently been granted to them by the City for this purpose. She reported that she would be referring this matter to the LUC, and finds the suggestion/proposal to be questionably appropriate for the R1 zones sight.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus. [none]

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Karen Ridgley, Area Four Primary Rep., reported that Insp. warren Sutton has been helpful since May and helped cite LA Parks and private property owners who own the slope at Asilomar Blvd to the bottom where Tahitian Terrace lies.  Inspections are completed at this point, and brush clearance has largely been done She thanked Andre Branch for his assistance and announced that Tahitian Terrace leadership and residents have been very helpful and proactive in conducting brush clearance.

She also thanked Michael Amster from CD11 for securing a large bin to assist in getting rid of all the debris that was cleared from Asilomar Park and Tahitian Terrace. He also replaced a vandalized sign by elevating it, and she thanked him for his efforts. She asked for more Sunrise to Sunset signs for Asilomar Bluffs Park as well as Potrero. She also mentioned new Graffiti, she was hoping the city would address (Rick Mills, former Area Rep) reported it to 311.)

She also reported that the Asilomar Bluffs project may soon be underway (email from Michael Womack). The President said she’d follow up on that.

The President thanked Karen for her exemplary service as an Area Rep.

8.3.2.   Chris Spitz, At-Large Primary Rep., reported on the deteriorating condition of the “History of the Palisades” mural along Temescal Canyon Rd. and gave an update on SB 423 winding its way through the legislature as well as a note on the “Grants Pass” case impacting homelessness, for which we have now sent support for the BCC Amicus Brief. The President said our submitted letter is on our website.

8.3.3.   Steve Cron, Area Two Primary reported that he visited the Ciela Elder Care Center and reported that they have built the building in a fire hardened way and have pledged to offer their community room for evacuations or community events. Cron reported that they were eager to be part of the community and while their onset was controversial, they are now here and would like to be good community members. Aileen Hough asked if they have all the right permits (including a CoO) in order to open. She said they had hosted a loud event on their rooftop last week and the neighbors do not sense that these will be good neighbors. They have questions to which they’d like answered. Steve and Maryam, the President, pledged to make sure we invite them to a PPCC meeting and introduce themselves as well as tale questions. Steve said open communications would be crucial in regulating issues and addressing them.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.   Courtney Macker and Jessica Rogers, PPRA primary and Alternate Reps, alerted the community regarding the increase in, and escalation of, crimes involving the youth in our community. The board held discussion on how best to come together, get involved and talk to our children so that we may get a handle on these new threats and improve public safety for all the Palisades. LAPD Captain, Sgt., SLO and beach detail Officers were on the call to take part in this discussion.

Courtney said we have had an increase in crime in our public paces involving juveniles. She mentioned drag racing, fighting and lighting of fire fireworks in the park. She said as a community, we are at our wits end and need law enforcement to do more to respond to the ongoing issues that are threatening the safety of our public safety and community, at large.  Asked for leadership and collaborative effort with LAPD to break the impasse.

The President thanked Courtney and mentioned that both Courtney and Jessica (from PPRA) for their proactive effort to address issues of law enforcement and acknowledged that they often have conversations with LAPD, and reach out to voice their concerns and address ongoing community safety issues.

LAPD, PPCC President and Courtney Macker urged reporting and noted that all crime must be reported, even to the non-emergency number, so that LAPD can investigate, bring charges and have the difficult conversations with parents. (Please see video segment on our PPCC YouTube site: https://youtu.be/-XKsVHmRTog).

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   Edward Feves, [District Representative] Senator Ben Allen, reported they would have a table and a presence at the 50th Anniversary Jubilee on Saturday. He mentioned that the CA Legislature approved $350M for statewide law enforcement agencies to make sure they have the resources they need to address community concerns, such as those which were brought up in this meeting today. Feedback from communities is crucial in this allocation of funding. Advanced surveillance cameras and task forces resource to respond to community public safety concerns are of concern to the State, and the office of State Senator Allen will follow up with us. The Legislature has until October 14th to send bills to the Governor. The Senator championed a series of environmental bills, and they will report back about those that passed in the months to come.

Senator Allen had three environmental bills, including SB 54, getting rid of single use plastic packaging (along with SB665) to create a working group that would address alternative non plastic items that can replace current non-biodegradable plastics. Sen Allen also sponsored SB 867 (two year bill) that would ask for a $15.5B bond that would go toward climate change resiliency projects (like brush clearance, fewer black tops, more shade, etc…). The President thanked Edward and asked him to thank Sen Allen on behalf of the board, since she understood that he would be attending the Jubilee with a commendation and Resolution for PPCC on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.

8.6.  From PPCC Committees, Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees.

9.1.   [Three Chairs Committee] The board elected the nominees presented by the Committee of the Three Chairs (Steve Boyers, David Card, Maryam Zar) for 2nd Alternates for Area Eight & At-Large positions.

Alan Goldsmith was elected to serve as the 2nd Alternate for the At-Large seat.

Andrew Wolfberg was elected to serve as the 2nd Alternate for Area Eight.

10.   Old Business – none.

11.   New Business.

11.1.  WRAC Motion.

The PPCC board voted unanimously to support the WRAC recommended motion to support public park/skateboard facility at West LA Commons.

Motion proposed by Chris Spitz, At-large Rep and WRAC VP, seconded by Sue Kohl, passed as follows:

PPCC requests that the LA City support WLASNC’s request for a public park and skateboard facility, as part of the West L.A. Commons project, that maintains high-density housing and numerous affordable units. This park would serve the 2,500 tenants of the project as well as the 5,000 neighbors who live on the south and don’t have a park (many are low-income households), and visitors from Westwood, Mar Vista, Bel Air-Beverly Crest and Brentwood who visit the Felicia Mahood Senior Center and the West L.A. Municipal Building.

12.   Adjournment.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:48PM.

[ATTACHMENT – Item 6/Treasurer’s Report:
https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Treasurers-Report-9-28-23.pdf]

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM OCTOBER 12th 2023 – Regular Meeting

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

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.

The meeting was called to order at 6:03PM
Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Murray Levy, Bruce Schwartz, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgely, Kimberly Bloom, Quentin Fleming, Julie Silliman, Reza Akef, Mary Mueller, John Padden, Barbara Kohn, Aileen Haugh, Alisa Wolfson, Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostic, James Alexakis, Hagop Tchakerian, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Nancy Niles, Michael Edlen, Daphne Gronich, Betsy Handler, Harlan Hogue, Cathy Russell, Andrew Wolfberg, Alan Goldsmith, Janet Anderson.

3.   Introduction of attendees.

LAPD West Traffic Officer Blair Gabler attended the meeting to address the gridlock that has plagued the Palisades recently. The President asked for West LA Traffic to attend the meeting and help us discuss the reasons why and how to better communicate traffic accidents and manage the flow of traffic when it snarls. Officer Gabler presented statistics on collisions and an assessment of whether those have adversely impacted traffic in pacific Palisades. The board held a discussion on strategies and solutions for traffic flow and better communication. Please see the recording of the discussion on our YouTube site.

Officer Gabler is from West Traffic Division, Community Traffic Safety Unit, designated to West LA (she sees all the traffic related complaints). SLO Espin said Officer Gabler looked at some statistics to determine what kind of impact recent traffic reports have had on the community.

Lou Kamer, PPCC Traffic Advisor, said we need to see what’s causing our traffic snarls, what we can do about it and how to change outcomes, so we don’t experience standstill the way we recently have experienced.

Officer Gabler said the Traffic Analysis Unit (TAU) for West LA has not seen an increase in traffic accidents in our area. Sunset and PCH are “High Volume Roadways”, which are adversely impacted by Waze traffic patterns that redirect people to these roadways; if they are blocked, Waze re-routes people to smaller streets. TAU has reached out to Waze to see if they can change those rerouting patterns. Apparently, those roads are so encumbered with traffic that traffic police have been unable to conduct speed surveys or traps on those roads.

The President noted that this community is lodged between a mountain and an ocean, and the entire Palisades is in the VHFHSZ. We have recently gotten a glimpse of what it might look like if we had to evacuate (in the event of fire or natural disaster), and while not being alarmists, we do think it might be complicated.

Officer Gabler assured the board that in the event of evacuation, motorcycle officers would be used in great numbers to direct people out in the safest manner they can to avoid traffic snarls. It’s hard when there are only two main roadways out of the Palisades, but she has confidence that motor escorts will be there in the case of evacuation. Stop lights will be stopped, and police officers will dictate the flow of traffic and make “contra flow” touch points work well for the flow of traffic. DOT will also be involved. She is happy to come out for community meetings and help learn more from the community and gather ideas. Right now, they are focused on Waze stopping sending people though Palisadian streets, which creates congestion.

Lou Kamer noted that he founded the Waze community program in the Palisades and he can make changes to Waze rerouting protocols when there are emergencies in place. He suggested that he can help with the outreach to Waze and help make adjustments that need to be made. But the reality of our location is that we will have bottlenecks if there is an emergency (density as well as increased vehicular traffic). 81,000 cars travel through the PCH/ Chautauqua intersection daily, so we have to deal with the reality that things are going to get more congested but there are steps we can tale to mitigate a lot of the issues, especially in emergencies.

The issue of evacuations resulting in traffic snarls was repeated and finally the President brought up the idea of adaptive lights (something Malibu has invested in), which might help with the flow of traffic as situations on roads change. She said this would be a good discussion for another day.

Some Q and A ensued where people expressed a concern about being trapped in case of fire. See the exchange online at our YouTube channel.

Carl Ginsberg from My Safe LA introduced their work and made a presentation about fire safety, home hardening and local Fire Councils as a means by which to mitigate the impact of fire and to assist in emergency preparedness in the community.

Carl said My Safe LA is a nonprofit which is funded by CalFire, FEMA and others.  They teach safety in elementary schools, install smoke alarms throughout the city, hold CERT classes and also are funded by the City of LA Fire Department, with whom they’ve worked for more than 15 years, working together in communities to launch Fire Safe Councils (in conjunction with LA County). He introduced David Barrett to give a presentation and suggested we meet in person at another date to focus on Fire Safe Councils and all the benefits that they bring to communities. Please see the recording online.

Mr. Barrett said they are here to bridge the gap between residents and all the various fire agencies and try to fill them in as related to supporting communities. He suggested that the City of LA (Office of CM Park) might be very interested in helping fund adaptive lights for our area, because we are in the most dangerous part of the United States (according to FEMA) as related to wildfires. CM Park is extremely committed to her constituents, and she would be open to hearing about adaptive lights because it would be a “huge win” for her and they meet with her office all the time.

The threat of wildfire in the County of LA has a rating of 100%. The SF Valley is surrounded by the SM Mountains which are all within the VHFHSZ. Last year’s rains resulted in “fuel” if the conditions are right (temp high/humidity low). As they look at the coming year, this is a good time to harden our resilience to wildfire.

He introduced us to the Wildfire Alliance which is a collaboration of agencies that work to harden homes against fire and mitigate the possible damage. My Safe LA is the coordinator that helps with outreach and assists organizations like ours (through HOAs and Neighborhood or Community Councils) to be more prepared for wild fires by going into communities and holding monthly meetings (such as this Thursday’s meeting) where they discuss wildfire impact mitigation and other topics.

The President thanked Dave and Carl, and pledged to create a taskforce to work on both fire councils as well as mobility issues.  See more online.

4.   Approval of Minutes:  The meeting minutes from September 28, 2023 were approved

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.

6.   Treasurer’s Report.
Account balance, $48,683.26 as of the day of reporting. Most transactions were related to the anniversary celebration. Most bills have been paid. $12,196.89 in donations (not counting in kind donations). Expenses were $9024.28.  We netted $3172.61 of income from the 50th Anniversary Jubilee & Community Celebration, which saw board members (organizational and individual) donations come together to support the event which had great turnout and resulted in community building as well as income generation. The Treasurer said several events that can generate this kind of income would be very helpful to the PPCC.

7.   General Public Comment.  None.

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns. 

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1. The President reviewed letters written since the last meeting: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/FIN-Tramonto-Rvello-Dev.-project-letter-2.pdf . She got a call from Jeff Khau, CD11 Planning Deputy, and highlighted for him the fact that we have referred to language from our Specific Plan which seems to prohibit this kind of large scale construction on our hillside streets with unique topography steeped in nature. She reported that Jeff asked for a reduction in scale, quarterly reports to the community and a mitigated plan for construction impact in the community and on hillside streets. Jeff said he would investigate the CEQA exemption the developer had applied for. She reported that he would look into our request more intently. She also said he had reiterated the notion that a developer would strengthen the hillside and fortify the slide area as a natural extension of hillside construction.

8.1.2.   The President reported that the 50th Anniversary Jubilee & Community Celebration was a huge success with hundreds of people coming out to visit with more than 40 booths of organizations and community officials.

8.1.3.   The President gave an update on the SAB center proposal for a nonprofit headquarters in the Castellammare area, saying that the group had met with Traci Park and Jeff Khau and that no decision had been made. Apparently, no permits or entitlements have been given to the nonprofit yet by any city agency. The PPCC LUC is monitoring with great interest.

8.1.4.   The President reported that a Youth Exhibit will take place from November 1st to November 12th at the Library Community Room, hosted by PPCC – culminating in a November 9th in person meeting and an awards recognition for youth artists, as an extension of our 50th Anniversary Jubilee (we sought submissions and got an overwhelming number). More information to come.

8.1.5.   The President announced the appointment of the Awards Selection Committee and the timeline for nominees and announcement of honorees in November (11/9). The committee consists of Daphne Gronich, Sue Kohl, Beth Holden-Garland, Ryan Craig and Diana Danielle.

8.1.6.   The President announced the 2023 Holiday Dinner & Awards Gala, planned for December 14 possibly at The Draycott. There were no objections to the date (prescribed by the bylaws.)

8.1.7.   She reported that a CD11 rep and an RAP will be at the Oct 25th PAB meeting and report about Quimby funds for park and bathroom upgrades/ construction.

8.1.8.   She did not report on the Asilomar Bluffs update

8.1.9.   The President welcomed new Organizational reps.  A possible new-member orientation may take place in early November 2023.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus

8.2.1.   Sue Kohl, Vice President, reported that she met with new the Mayor’s new West Area Field Deputy, Marian Ensley.  Sue imparted to her the major issues she could think of which included crime, homelessness, fire issues, issues at the park, pole top cameras, prosecution of serious criminals. Sue said it went well. Ms. Ensley was at the 50th Anniversary Jubilee and said she’d be on our calls in the coming weeks to keep the Mayor’s office abreast of our priorities and be a point of communication for us. She has been invited to the Holiday party and she will work on certificates for our Holiday event.

8.2.2.  Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary had no updates.

8.2.3.   Dave Card, Chair Emeritus, had no updates.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives

8.3.1.   Haldis Toppel, Area Three primary rep., reported on the MKPOA block party re-emergence as a staple in the Palisades, to take place on Saturday October 22nd. Everyone is invited to join. There will be food, music, face painting, a bounce house and many merchants participating.

8.4.    From Organizational Representatives

8.4.1.   Courtney Macker, PPRA primary rep, spurred us to discuss emergency response plans and actual escape routes for evacuation in light of recent events. This discussion becomes increasingly important as we see traffic snarls that led to gridlock for Palisadians. Courtney spoke about better communications and reiterated the need for a community app as a tool for essential communication. Officer Espin agreed that there should be better communication. He said the Wet LA Command is short staffed. The conversation with Officer Gabler, above, was prompted by this item having been agendised for discussion. See above.

8.4.2.   Kimberly Bloom, Area Five primary rep – discussion about a fundraising opportunity was tabled in the interest of time.

8.5.    From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   Michael Amster, CD 11 Palisades Field Deputy, invited people to get involved in the Community Plan update process. He noted that the Palisades – Brentwood Community Plan is not yet in focus.

He also gave an update on the effective efforts and operations to address encampments across the District.

Temescal Canyon Road repairs are underway and Michael said he will follow up with DOT, regularly.

Michael reported that he is in conversation with DOT to hire a crossing guard at Canyon Charter School. There is a general liability concern but he is working to see what can be done in order to accommodate this one specific volunteer who wishes to be hired as a crossing guard for Canyon Charter School.

He reported that BOE gathered more info about the Via de las Olas Bluffs using drones and will complete their investigation within a few weeks.

He also reported on a Veterans Resource Fair on December 7th at the VA, where CM Traci Park will provide resources and giveaways to those who live there. Michael asked for donations of new and lightly used clothes.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.1.   Lou Kamer, Transportation Advisor, reported that PCH closures and improvements have had great impact on our neighborhood roads, and we must find better communication and impact mitigation strategies. Information must get out to the public must faster. He suggested that the PCH taskforce meetings bring all agencies together – can we have LADOT and CalTrans get information to us as fast as possible so we can report to the community both incidents and clearance times.

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees.

9.1.   Bylaws Committee.

Committee Chair Andrew Wolfberg and Vice-Chair Haldis Toppel walked the board through the 1st distribution of Bylaws amendments impacting certification for returning organizational members who transition from the Alternate to the Primary role, in their respective categories (not applicable to categories with a sole member). The Committee also proposes correcting the formal name of an organization in Appendix A to the Bylaws. There were no questions. The vote will be reserved for the next meeting, to follow the second distribution. (See also item 11.2 below.)

10.   Old Business – There was no old business.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   LUC recommended motion re Proposed Affordable Housing Streamlining Ordinance (AHSO) / CF 22-0623; CPC-2023-5273-CA – Request VHFHSZ Exemption. The board voted to support the motion and the letter attached below was unanimously approved.

11.2.    First distribution of Bylaws Committee recommended motions. Discussion only.

See suggested motion language here:
https://pacpalicc.org/wp  content/uploads/2023/10/09-26a-2023-Draft-Revisions.pdf

Summary of proposed changes:

1.   The Bylaws Committee presented the first distribution for proposed bylaws changes to impact the current requirement for Member Organizations and Alternate Member Organizations to provide a written certification of various information regarding their organization. The proposed change removes the obligation that the Alternate Member Organization comply with the annual certification requirement. These changes will make sure that any Member Organization (the organization in a category that will be the voting organization in a Category for the term) has provided the required written certification. If an organization will be serving a consecutive term or terms (including the Historical Society and PPRA), then those Member Organizations will be required to submit an updated written certification if any of the information has changed since the organization’s last written certification or if the organization has not submitted a written certification within the last three years.

There was no discussion.

2.   The Bylaws committee also recommended the updating of Appendix A to reflect the correct name for the Friends of the Library, which is now formally named the Pacific Palisades Library Association (PPLA). There was no discussion.

12.   Adjournment.

12.1.   The meeting was adjourned at 8:10pm.


ATTACHMENT – Item 11.1; letter re AHSO:

Proposed PPCC letter – recommended to the PPCC board by the PPCC LUC

October __, 2023

Department of City Planning (via email):
Vincent P. Bertoni, Director of Planning                                          vince.bertoni@lacity.org 
Cally Hardy, City Planner, Housing Policy                                      planning.housingpolicy@lacity.org

Re:  Proposed Affordable Housing Streamlining Ordinance (AHSO) / CF 22-0623; CPC-2023-5273-CA – Request VHFHSZ Exemption

Dear Department of City Planning:

For fifty years, Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has been the voice of the community and the most broad-based organization in Pacific Palisades.  Our entire community is located within the sensitive Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ).

The proposed AHSO contains limited exemptions for certain sensitive areas (in single-family and Coastal zones), but does not include a VHFHSZ exemption.  Several areas of Pacific Palisades (and other Los Angeles communities in the VHFHSZ) are not located in either of these two exempt zones, and thus would be subject to a streamlined approval process for affordable housing projects, with no review of public safety impacts in sensitive VHFHSZ areas.

Elimination of environmental and discretionary review in designated VHFHSZ areas is dangerous and unacceptable.  Both PPCC and the Los Angeles City Council have recognized this fact by calling for an unconditional VHFHSZ exemption in proposed state housing legislation that would streamline approvals for housing development projects.  In addition, the City’s own approved Housing Element protects environmentally sensitive areas such as the VHFHSZ by excluding them from the Rezoning Program needed to meet RHNA numbers. Consistent with these positions and City policy, an unconditional exemption for the VHFHSZ should also be included in the proposed AHSO.

Los Angeles City Actions/Policy

The City Council has expressly recognized the danger to all of the City’s VHFHSZ areas if adequate discretionary  review is eliminated in the housing approval process.  The Council recently called for an unconditional exemption for the VHFHSZ in proposed state legislation (SB 423) that would streamline certain affordable housing projects statewide (see Council File 23-0002-S71 – unanimously passed on 9/25/23 to include this position in the City’s 2023-24 State Legislative program).

As explained in the CLA’s report in CF 23-0002-S71, an unconditional VHFHSZ exemption is necessary to allow for adequate environmental review and scrutiny for public safety concerns of proposed housing development in these sensitive areas. Without a VHFHSZ exemption, the proposed AHSO is contrary to the CLA’s conclusion and the City Council’s express position on SB 423.

Moreover, the approved 2021-2029 Housing Element (HE) expressly protects VHFHSZ properties by excluding them from the inventory of sites available for rezoning.  As the HE explains: “Key elements of the rezoning strategy have been informed by public input and City Council direction. . . . In general, the program emphasizes increasing access to Higher Opportunity areas of the city, . . . while protecting environmentally sensitive areas such as fire zones . . . .”  HE, Chapter 4 (emphasis added).  Failure to exempt the VHFHSZ from the proposed

AHSO would be clearly inconsistent with the HE’s protections.

_____________________________________________________________________

Page Two
October __, 2023
Dept. of City Planning

Substantial Risk to Public Safety

Failure to exempt the VHFHSZ would compromise public safety in Pacific Palisades and in other hillside communities in the VHFHSZ.  Like many of our counterpart communities in the City, the Palisades is at constant risk of wildfires and required emergency evacuations.  We have extremely limited means of egress and ingress (only two main roadways lead in and out of Pacific Palisades) and thousands of our residents reside on narrow hillside streets as well as substandard “flat” streets, where evacuation is already challenged.  See: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/PPCC-LetterCF-20-1213-Motion-re-VHFHZ.pdf We have decades-long experience with destructive wildfires and frightening evacuations, including the massive 1978 Mandeville Fire, the 2018 Woolsey Fire, the 2019 Getty and Palisades Fires and the 2021 Palisades Fire.

These conditions result in serious risk to lives and public safety from crowded roadways during required emergency evacuations – which would be made even worse with additional density. Our community’s significant and legitimate concerns and considerations must be addressed with an adequate environmental  review of any proposed affordable housing projects in the VHFHSZ.

Conclusion/Request

PPCC recognizes the need for affordable housing and does not seek to prevent affordable housing in appropriate areas of Pacific Palisades or in any other areas of the City.  However, in the interest of public safety, it is imperative that any such proposed housing in the sensitive VHFHSZ must not be streamlined and must be subject to adequate environmental and discretionary review.

Consistent with the City Council’s position in CF 23-002-S71 and its request for an unconditional VHFHSZ exemption in SB 423, as well as with the protections afforded sites in the VHFHSZ by the HE, we urge the Planning Dept. to include an unconditional VHFHSZ exemption in the draft of the proposed AHSO.

This letter was recommended by the PPCC Land Use Committee and approved [unanimously?] by the PPCC Board of Directors at the regularly-scheduled public PPCC meeting on October __, 2023.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Maryam Zar
President, Pacific Palisades Community Council
Steve Cron and Christina Spitz
Co-Chairs, PPCC Land Use Committee

cc (via email):
Hon. Karen Bass, Mayor, City of Los Angeles
karen.bass@lacity.org

Hon. Traci Park, Councilwoman, CD 11
traci.park@lacity.org

Hon. Paul Krekorian, L.A. City Council President; Councilmember, CD 2
councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org

Hon. Katy Yaroslavsky, Councilwoman, CD 5
katy.yaroslavksy@lacity.org

Hon. Nithya Raman, Councilmember, CD 4
councilmember.raman@lacity.org

Lisa Webber, Deputy Director of Project Planning
lisa.webber@lacity.org

Arthi Varma, Deputy Director of Citywide Policy Planning
arthi.varma@lacity.org 

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM OCTOBER 12th 2023 – Special Meeting

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The Mission of the community council was not read but explained by the President.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum

Board members present: Maryam Zar, David Card, Sue Kohl, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Murray Levy, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Betsy Handler, Quentin Fleming, Julie Silliman, Alan Goldsmith, John Padden, Genevieve Bostic, James Alexakis, Hagop Tchakerian, Courtney Macker, Reza Akef, Barbara Kohn, Andrew Wolfberg, Rick McGeagh, Cindi Young, Jessica Rogers.

3.   Introduction of attendees: NA

4.   Approval of Minutes:  NA

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.
The agenda was considered as presented, with an explanation form the President as to the reason for the convening of the meeting.

6.   Treasurer’s Report: NA

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

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer

8.1.1.  NA

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus

8.2.1.   NA

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives

8.3.1.   NA

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives

8.4.1.   NA

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives

8.5.1.   NA

8.6.   From PPCC Committees, Advisors and WRAC Representatives

8.6.1.   NA

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees.

9.1.   NA

10.   Old Business.

10.1.   The President introduced the reason for the meeting and presided over two hours of commentary focused on the bridge project, given that the next day (October 13) the Board of Public Works (BPW) would address an item on their agenda which would affirm the contract signed between LA City (Board of Engineering) and the chosen contractor for the implementation of the pre-design phase of the bridge. The PPCC Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee (PCOC) has been told the day before on a regular meeting call with CD11 that once the contract was signed, our community would be at a point of no return with respect to the forward movement of the bridge project, as this would begin the predesign phase of what would ultimately culminate in the bridge that connects the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon to the County parking lot at Will Rogers (State) beach, overpassing PCH.  The President explained the committee had understood the outreach phase would be a process of meaningful outreach which would take into account the concerns and objections as well as the support and design ideas for the bridge, but since after the affirmation of the contract by the Board of Public Works, the project would presumably be set on a course to completion, she felt the PPCC owed the community a chance to be heard. She said she hoped all who were present on the call would speak on the project – whether in support or otherwise – and she opened the floor for discussion.

Alan Goldsmith (At-large 2nd Alternate) said that having reviewed the history of the project, he is struck by the fact that the CA Coastal Commission required an EIR and outreach prior to approval and did not see how the contract for the project could be approved without them. He suggested making a motion to oppose the bridge on the grounds that the conditions today are so radically different than they were in 2004 when this project was conceived (cited crime and public safety issues as well as current Park safety issues and lack of law enforcement resources). The President suggested we allow some more discussion and see if a friendly amendment to the motion on the agenda is appropriate. He also made the point that outreach has not yet been done and that some areas in the Palisades do not have HOA’s, so outreach specifically to those households would be important and in addition to the current list provided by PPCC to the Council office and SD24 (Office of Sen. Ben Allen).

Haldis Toppel (Area 3 Primary) asked for the motion to be restated and went on to say that community outreach is absolutely necessary since conditions have changed drastically and so an EIR and community forum are important in order to determine if we are for or against the bridge, issues include EIR, community outreach to further assess the impact, the maintenance, the funding sources for maintenance, security, access gates, locks after-hours access.

Barbara Kohn (Historical Society Alternate) asked where the CA Coastal Commission feasibility study is so we can review and ask questions about it. Similar to EIR, we were told that study would be done before the bridge project were to advance.

Karen Ridgley (Area Four Primary) said her constituents say their do not want the pedestrian bridge, many are unaware of the bridge, many are concerned about the security, many would like to learn more about the pros and cons. She also commented upon the bike path which may appeal to young people (which have recently caused some issues for law enforcement) who will use the path, and she asked how will that impact pedestrians. Another concern is that beach parking lots will close but where will the security mechanism be for the use of bike path if parking is closed. Additionally, with limited ranger and security resources, she asked, how would the influx of homelessness or crime be regulated. She suggested we needed to get more community input and felt she did not, at the moment, have sufficient information to make a decision.

Lou Kamer (PPCC Transportation Advisor) questions the location of the bridge. He argued that coastal access should be focused at the Temescal Canyon Rd crosswalk and not at the bridge crossing. From a safety standpoint, he said, the location is not wise and the resources should be used at Temescal Canyon Rd.  This would be a bridge that will be vastly underused, and should be moved closer to the Temescal Canyon Rd Crosswalk.

Reza Akef (Area Eight Primary) said, as someone who has been around Potrero Canyon for 20 years or more, he knows the bridge has been part of the vision and the fear mongering against the bridge is unfair. As a stakeholder around the Canyon, he says  Palisadian youth pose the biggest source of problems on and around the Canyon. The fear-mongering that people will come up from the beach is unfair. But he suggests that we should wait a few months and do better outreach in order to hear more from the community and secure the park so it can be safe for everyone in the community.

David Card (PPCC Chair Emeritus) said he’s heard many of these comments before since the original PC Community Advisory Committee, which heard these concerns but still recommended the bridge as a safe crossing across the bridge, in order to prevent deaths. The park would lead people down to the edge of the bluff and might prompt pedestrians to run across PCH, so the bridge was deemed to be the safest passage across PCH. This bridge has been public knowledge for decades, and people have had the opportunity to comment on it all along. Now we have a contractor who will give consulting advice and do research on the bridge, and will research environmental issues, safety issues and other concerns.  We should let this go forward. The process will include an expert in outreach, not just on design but on any matter. Public meetings are built into the contract and communication will be meaningful and reactive. He urged everyone to support the bridge and not even vote (which he suggested is a distraction). He urges that board to just ask for outreach and more information. He reiterated that all comments have asked for more information, and he made the point that advancing to the next phase means more information flowing to the community.

The President remarked that she hopes the outreach will be the kind of outreach that takes the community’s input into account and reflect the input into the bridge project design, and that was precisely what we were here to ensure before allowing the project to advance.

Sue Kohl (PPCC VP) said it’s too late to put the brakes on the bridge, but the question is why there isn’t an EIR and would like to see the outreach process come to the community and ask the community about their concerns. She also asked if this project is bigger than the Palisades – is there a responsibility on the part of the City to provide this bridge to the City as a matter of public access – and asked: is this bigger than the Palisades?

Betsy Handler (Area Five 2nd Alternate) says she has lived here for 30+ years and didn’t know about this bridge. It is incumbent on someone to have many meetings with community wide discussions where matters can be thoroughly fleshed out (safety, environmental impact, location, etc.) and this is premature.  She reaffirmed that provision of recreation and parks is a city function, and we cannot keep people out, but our safety concerns need to be addressed. She said the community outreach cannot be left to the contractor.

Jessica Rogers (PPRA Alternate) said the PPRA is not yet ready to vote on this. This meeting was called at the last minute and she tried to get people from the board at the meeting but less than 20% of their board are represented. She commented favorably about Potrero Canyon Park but noted the horrendous/horrific drug epidemic that has impacted the beach path. She said she no longer goes on the beach path without pepper spray and this is a different world than the days when the bridge was originally conceptualized. Things are changing and we shouldn’t go through with this without involving the entire community. Many people don’t know PPCC and do not read the papers, so outreach has to be much broader – broad outreach needs to take place.  She said people don’t read the Pali Post or Circling the News, so we need to find a way to figure out what the community wants before we go ahead with this project.

The President again explained that the point of today’s meeting is not to curtail outreach but to affirm whether it is meaningful outreach by the contractor that we wish to approve, or if the community is simply not informed enough for this board to allow for the next phase of the project – the predesign phase conducted by the contractor and their professional outreach – to advance.

Assuming we do advance, she reiterated that the input of community members MUST be sought in the outreach phase which must be meaningful and the results implemented into the final project – not simply sought and ignored.

Julie Silliman (Area Seven Primary) said that we are all very well informed about the bridge, so far as these comments reveal. She believes it is premature for us to be saying yes or no to the bridge, after decades of discussion and money secured as well as contractor chosen. She said she believes we are best served by working closely with the contractor to fashion the various variables that have been brought up (and more) by working with the outreach consultant being hired by the contractor. We must turn to this team, begin to work with them, and let them guide the community through meetings (three required) and those should be a good opportunity to give our input for the project. She believes that most usage for the bridge will prove to be by Palisadians, not by County beach goers.

Rick McGeagh (Area Seven 1st Alternate) wants everyone to consider that providing access to the beach was an important part of permitting the park (trail or beach). He said the Park Advisory Board has supported the bridge largely due to the additional parking that the County beach parking lot will provide, were there to be a foot bridge.

The President said it might be true that we need parking, and that park access is a broad City desire, but this small community will host the bridge and continues to host the park, which ultimately must be managed in a way that accommodates our community and protects our public safety interests.  She also noted that a lateral trail also provides beach access and we could simply focus on the trail (with $1.15M secured by Congress).

David Wolfberg (non-Palisadian, Wolfberg family) suggested the community go forward with the redesign phase and stay on top of the outreach portion of that stage and work with contractor to make sure community concerns are addressed. He also suggested that the foot-bridge could help in an emergency situation where evacuation by foot or bike (not by car) is helpful to the community. He acknowledged there are safety concerns around the bridge, just as there may be for any public resource in our community, but that is not a good enough reason not to go forward with an advisable project and address those concerns, instead of halting the project.

Anya Wolfberg (non-Palisadian, Wolfberg family) acknowledged the many serious security concerns but suggested these be brought to the public outreach process and the meetings which will be held by Jacobs (the BOE contractor) and ensure that solutions and deterrents be highly integrated into the design. These include gates and fencing, improved from current fictions, that need to be managed and addressed. She ultimately supports the bridge and recognizes that the trail can also be an access point. She said even when she was growing up in the Palisades, young people’s shenanigans and homeless people in the Canyon existed then/are not new. It can be managed. She suggested that a “regional park” designation can be helpful for us. The President said the community is pushing for that designation for more resources that might be made available for public safety. She said she is familiar with the public outreach team hired by Jacobs, Arelleano Associates, and believes they will address community concerns though the design phase.

John Alle (community member), a lifelong Palisadian and a member of the taskforce that originally contemplated the bridge, suggests things have drastically changed since those days. He serves on the PPTFH volunteer taskforce and not a week goes by when he doesn’t see people carrying sleeping bags and back packs going in/out of Potrero. There are also teens smoking and setting fires in Potrero, and our police are stretched thin. The park is a fire hazard, and we need to emphasize the lateral walkway rather than the bridge. Before we go further on the bridge, which is a costly project and an unneeded extravagance, not a necessity, more outreach needs to be done to assess whether the community wants this.

A few other community members spoke about the bridge reflecting a desire to see the bridge as a car-free manner to get to the beach and a note that crime is not a good enough reason not to invest in public infrastructure. We need to address security issues but forge ahead, not fear the public safety concerns that can be addressed.

The President then turned to LAPD to address public safety.

She noted that many people have now brought up security concerns, not necessarily in staunch opposition to the bridge, but as cautionary tales for the manner in which we proceed on the bridge project. She also noted that since the opening of Potrero Canyon Park on December 10, 2022, there have been numerous causes for concern, from malfunctioning gate locking systems, to non-functioning bathrooms and ineffective fencing to standing water, unreliable first responder access and other public safety concerns. She asked that these all be addressed, in addition to the issues raised about a feasibility study and an EIR.

LAPD Senior Lead Officer (SLO) for Pacific Palisades, Brian Espin, said there have been no homeless in the park (checked repeatedly) but there are enduring issues with young people hanging out in the evenings. He also learned from the fire station that the fireworks used in the park have been the result of use by kids. In general, when you increase foot traffic you do see an increase in criminal activity, “that is a given”, he said. He noted that the Park is “wide open” so it’s difficult for people to hide or camp out and get encampments in there. He does not see likely influx of homeless encampments due to the bridge. But, if the bridge is installed, he’d like to see increased resources allocated to the Palisades.

Cindi Young (Area One 1st Alternate) mentioned the Castellammare Security Committee (begun by her) which took in donations for cameras for all entrances to Castellammare including one on the bridge, and it has been very helpful.

Joe Halper (community member) affirmed the importance of all the thoughts and concerns expressed, but said there’s no reason not to go forward. He explained that the Board of Public Works moment of affirmation is not a moment of no return and that the final project plan will go the Board of Rec and Park Commissioners which will give the community again an opportunity to give feedback and press on priorities and concerns again at that point. He urged the board to move forward.

Reza Akef (Area Eight Primary) said, as a lifelong Palisadian, he can say that this bridge will add value to the Palisades, but input must be had and considered by the City. He complimented the Palisades and the PPCC on its ability to manage matters with City agencies, and then he announced his resignation from the board, effective November 30th. He said we had a lot to be grateful for and not to lose sight of this.

The President then gave the floor to Jake Ettinger, District Representative to SD24, office of Senator Ben Allen, to respond to all that has been raised. She asked for acknowledgment that much has been said about public safety concerns here, and asked for a pledge that the Senator will support the community in their call for sensible safety features that address community concerns.

Jake Ettinger said he understood that PPCC wished to make sure that everyone in the community could provide their input on the bridge project. He then reviewed a timeline. He reiterated the 2004 PPCC motion for support of the bridge, then Coastal Commission report that offers various routes of coastal access, and determines the bridge to be the best option (cites the 2016 MARS Report).  He referred to several PPCC meeting minutes that indicate interest in the bridge but no funding. In 2021, a comprehensive update and timeline was provided to the PPCC Board – prepared by the Executive Committee – in which it was announced that the Offices of Sen Allen and ASM Bloom were looking to find state money for the bridge project. A few months after this update, the state had a surplus of money and an opportunity to secure these funds for this project. “Folks from the community,” Jake said, came to the Senator’s office and represented that there is broad support for the bridge and asked that the state surplus money be considered to help fund the bridge project for coastal access. The Senator, who loves our natural environment, together with ASM Bloom, put in a request and succeeded in securing $11M. At the July 8, 2021 meeting, Sen Allen was present on the call and gave an announcement about the project, the funding secured and the bridge project getting underway, now with funding. He congratulated PPCC and coastal communities (as well as the PPCC Chair at the time and Joe Halper) and commended the funding to make the safe crossing over PCH via bridge, possible. The minutes reflect some Q and A but nothing substantive by way of opposition.

He also said that this past May, PPCC held a meeting where we spoke more in detail about the bridge project and he came away still with the impression that the community is broadly in support of this project. He understood that some may still not be aware of this project, but the office of Sen Allen has been in the community repeatedly and has tried to raise awareness for the project and reflect their sense that this is a win for the Palisades and the broader coastal community.

He said the Senator takes very seriously the public safety concerns heard on this call, and by no means would they wish to create a project that would lead to a huge spike in crime. He clarified that the Park at Potrero Canyon is not a state property or project. With regard to this project, the next step in this process in a two-year feasibility study (a Project Initiation Document/technical term) to give a better design and understanding of what the bridge will look and where it will land, but also comprehensive community engagement. This is an important factor, he said. The process will also engage the rest of the community that does not yet know about the project. The professional community engagement process will make sure that all the concerns have been raised here will be raised in that process and mindful attention will be paid to those (e.g. gates, lighting, safety, etc.). He encouraged everyone to get involved in order to build the best possible bridge that will mitigate many of these public safety concerns.

Regarding the Coastal Commission approval, Jake reiterated that while the Commission hasn’t seen the specific design proposal for this bridge, Commission staff are very supportive in concept of this project and think it will be a better point of coastal access than the lateral trail. They are also very concerned about matters of safety, and they see the bridge as the safest way to cross what is otherwise an unsafe corridor (across PCH).

The next phase of this process will have comprehensive community engagement and outreach. Concerns will be responded to in substance and concerns of course will be mitigated, but they see this bridge as a resource for the entire city. Sen Allen wants to be sure they are mindful of community concerns, and for now Jake said that they hear no real opposition to the bridge.

The President asked Jake to make clear the response to questions about the Feasibility Study and the EIR. Jake said Gaby would be better to answer those questions but of course there will be environmental review of the project in the Project Initiation Study.

CD11 District Director for Councilwoman Traci Park, Gabrielle (“Gaby”) Medina, took the floor to say the Councilwoman was listening to the first portion on the meeting and was happy to see so many people on the call. The CM is listening to what constituents are saying, and she is also acting on what she is hearing.

She explained the agenda item for the Board of Public Works to authorize the starting of the work of the Contractor ($2M contract with Jacobs Eng.) to begin the first portion of the bridge project. She corrected that city liability does not set in after the approval of the project tomorrow, which impacts only the beginning phase of the project which includes the predesign phase that entails geo technical studies, an environmental review and Coastal Commission approval. Gaby reported that she has spoken to BOE and they recommend moving ahead with the agenda item approval at the Board of Public Works tomorrow (10/13) and then holding off on issuing the Notice to Proceed until after the Council Office has had a chance to hold a public meeting in the Palisades to inform the community of the project and its timeline, as well as a chance to hear from the community.  She made clear that the park was opened under the previous administration and its development was done in years prior and that going forward, the office of Councilwoman Park will manage concerns and address them with the contractor and reflect community input in the final design. She pledged that the first meeting we will have with the contractor will be focused on community outreach and that they will take engagement very seriously. She spoke of learned experiences from the current park (IT, locks, gates, safety, lighting, aesthetics, hiking, walking, etc.) and pledged to use the list provided by the PCOC of various community organizations for meaningful outreach.

The President thanked Gaby and Jake and explained again that the purpose of the meeting was a review of bridge project and consider board feedback on whether the PPCC should allow the project to move ahead to the predesign phase (something the BPW would be affirming the next day), or whether we should ask for a halt.

She affirmed that there was quorum (19 voting members remaining on the call) and called for the vote.

The board voted, with 13 in favor, 3 opposed and 3 abstentions, to allow the contractor hired by BOE to conduct meaningful outreach in order to garner the community’s feedback through the process of the predesign phase and implement the results of the feedback in a substantive way that will address the items of common concern and incorporate community sentiment into the final bridge design, including its public safety elements. These may include, but will not be limited to, hours of operation/open to the public, fences, gates, lock mechanisms, monitoring, law enforcement resources, patrolling, cameras, etc.

11.   Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 10:10PM.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM OCTOBER 26th 2023

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission. The PPCC Mission was read by Karen Ridgley

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum. The President called roll and certified that we had quorum.

Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Jenny Li, Sue Kohl, Beth Holden-Garland, Murray Levy, Bruce Schwartz, Michael Edlen, Karen Ridgley, Cindy Simon, Kimberly Bloom, Julie Silliman, Andrew Wolfberg, Chris Spitz, Aileen Haugh, Barbara Kohn, Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostic, Ryan Craig, Hagop Tchakerian, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Leeanne Sanderson, Daphne Gronich, Betsy Handler, Rick McGeagh, Mary Mueller, Andy Frew, Richard Blumenberg, James Alexakis, Harlan Hogue.

3.   Introduction of attendees. Barbara Broide, Westside NC LUC Chair, spoke about the Metro TCN ordinance. See new business item [11.1] below for more.

Michael Womack, Geotechnical Engineering Division | Civil Engineering Associate IV for the City of LA, for the Asilomar Bluffs project, which was expected to begin on November 6th and expected to end in late April or early May 2024 at a cost of over $6M. They gave us details about the upcoming project and shared the presentation shared on our website at the following link: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Asilomar.pptx

4.   Approval of Minutes. The minutes of October 12, 2023 were approved as distributed.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.

The agenda was considered as distributed. The Chair announced that the next meeting will be in person at the library (and virtual) and there will be an art exhibit element that will be ongoing in the library on that day, as an extension of our 50th Anniversary Jubilee. Shew also announced that the Holiday event will be held at the Draycott on December 6th (a departure from the Bylaws but in recognition that Hanukkah will begin on December 7th and end on December 14th, which is the 2nfdThursday of the December, 2023.)

6.   Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer announced that our balance was $46,477.66 as of the meeting day and that no substantial costs or income van be reported since the last meeting. She announced that after paying all bills for the 50th Anniversary Jubilee and Community Celebration event and collecting donations, she can report that PPCC had a net gain of slightly over $3000.

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

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President reviewed the outcome of the special meeting held to discuss the bridge project and progress of coastal access from Potrero Canyon Park. She announced that a 13 to 3 (with three abstaining) vote in favor of advancing to the outreach phase of the bridge project was a clear indication that the board, even with many public safety concerns articulated, wanted to learn more while also expressing a clear focus on the public safety aspects of the bridge. Per this outcome, a letter was written following the Special Meeting on Oct 12th. The letter is linked: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Potrero-Advance-letter.pdf

8.1.2.   The President updated the board on the proposed SAB center project for nonprofit headquarters and a think tank in Area One. She said the PPCC LUC was monitoring this project.

8.1.3.   The President announced that a Youth Exhibit will take place from November 9th to the 15th at the Palisades Library, as an extension of our invitation to young artists to get involved in our 50th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations.

8.1.4.   The President announced the appointment of the Event Committee (Kohl, Li, Simon, Spitz, Bloom & Zar) as well as a timeline for nominations, announcement of honorees and the holiday dinner event at the Draycott. The Holiday Dinner & Awards Gala was determined by the board to be best held on December 6th, before the onset of Hanukkah.

8.1.5.   The President asked the board to affirm the appointment of Danielle Samulon as Parliamentarian, per the bylaws, separate from the Legal Advisor. The parliamentarian would only be concerned with procedural matters and bylaws interpretation. The board affirmed the appointment with no objection.

8.1.6.   The President announced that Doggie bags refills for the dispenser that RAP had installed in Potrero Canyon Park needed funding and got the affirmation of the board that we can fund those next month and see if they serve a useful purpose and are used responsibly.

8.1.7.   The President announced that CD11 and Rap will be at the Oct 25th PAB meeting to report about Quimby funds to be used for park and bathroom upgrades/construction, while Measure A funds will be used for the dog park. She said the community could expect RAP to present the community with two or three different proposals for the Palisades Recreation Center Playground, and would look for feedback in order to craft the final iteration.

8.1.8.   The President reiterated that the Asilomar Bluffs project, per the update presented by Michael Womack, will begin soon as the contractor is in the process of procuring equipment and lining up subs.

8.1.9.   The President announced that following the Special Meeting of October, the Council Office has announced that they will host an information sharing meeting on the bridge project and that they will promote that broadly in order to get the most community attendance and engagement at that meeting, A tentative November date had been shared but was not yet finalized. The President asked people to stay tuned and to help spread the word so friend and neighbors would attend the meeting and begin to be informed about the project as it unfolds. She lamented that people often tell her they do not follow the work of PPCC or read the local papers and have remained uninformed about projects that propose coastal access for Potrero Canyon Park. She hoped this CD11 hosted meeting would garner more engagement.

8.1.10.   The president announced that nominations for PPCC annual awards are open and she encouraged all to nominate honorees and to tell their friends, acquaintances and neighbors to send nominations as well.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Sue Kohl, Vice President, announced that she had secured a number of silent auction items for the Holiday event, including the Fire station, Porta Via and Vittorio’s.

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary, announced that she was also working on live auction items and the wine fundraiser.

8.2.3.   Dave Card, Chair Emeritus. [None.]

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Julie Silliman, Area 7 Primary, announced that the Canyon Square project on West Chanel Road in the lower canyon area of Area Seven had received DRB approval and would be advancing to the planning and construction phase, led by Palisadian and property owner Frank Langen. Langen owns four parcels which he proposes to develop into offices, dwelling units and required parking. They will be hauling 700 cubic ft. of dirt and building up toward Chautauqua, with seven parking spaces and seven bicycle spaces.

8.3.2.   Murray Levy, Area One primary shared a shocking video that helped inform the board how challenging large-scale construction can be for Area One residents, who live almost exclusively on narrow hillside streets. The video can be seen here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/4fmur01pic9uj30cbpqbd/h?dl=0&preview=ONE+WAY+OUT%2C+1080p.mp4&rlkey=266joflnqtyoy0e69ula4ltcn. The board was unanimously appalled at the irresponsible way in which contractors and developers dismiss area concerns and wave off the protests of residents who are unable to enter or exit their homes or driveways, as they grapple with noise, dust and blocked roadways which poise a threat to the public safety. Mayor Karen Bass’ westside representative, Marian Ensley, was present on the zoom and she remarked that she would share the circumstance with the office of the Mayor and keep an eye on hillside construction issues as they also impact other city Districts such as CD5, as well as CD11.

Chris Spitz, At-Large rep, WRAC VP and PPCC LUC Co-Chair expressed her frustration and lamented the fact that city enforcement is notoriously ineffective, but that she would work with Area Reps to come up with methods and strategies to address these transgressions. The President suggested the video be shared with Jeff Khau, Planning Deputy at CD11, who is predisposed to protect hillside VHFHSZ from protracted construction projects and may be a natural ally for us.

K.C. Soll, PPCC emergency preparedness advisor, also express the real concern with this kind of construction in hillside streets and is alarmed that emergency vehicles would not be able to pass.

8.3.3.   Karen Ridgley, Area Four primary commented that the Asilomar Bluff project is a welcome repair project that the Area is bracing for but welcomes.

8.3.4.   Kimberly Bloom, Area Five Primary Representative, announced a wine fundraiser that would be launched online, and will be launched on November 9th. The link will be live for 60 days.

8.3.5.   Cindy Simon, Area Six Representative announced the Pumpkin Patch at Simon Meadow and urged everyone to go and purchase their pumpkins there.

8.3.6.   Chris Spitz, At-Large Representative reported that she has been working with Cindy Simon (with some assistance from Sue Pascoe) to refurbish the mural on Temescal Canyon Rd. Cindy informed the board that American Growers, Tracey Price, has offered an estimate of $2000 to clean the brush so we can see the state of the mural behind the overgrown brush and determine then how best to go about resting it.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.   James Alexakis from Temescal Canyon Association announced a hike at the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon, on Nov 29th at 9AM.

8.4.2.   Genevieve Bostic, YMCA representative, announced Holiday Ho Ho at Simon Meadow on December 9th, along with a Christmas Tree lot, a tree lighting and some fun rides with LAFD.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   Brian Espin, Senior Lead Officer (LAPD SLO) for Pacific Palisades, announced that vandalism at the Pali Rec Ctr has been reduced due to sporadic task forces that were funded by the West LA Captain. He said burglaries are up roughly 24% Year on Year (six more this year than last year at this time) and suggested Palisadians be “super vigilant” and watchful in their neighborhoods and keep their doors locked and personal belongings out of view in parked cars. He cautioned care during Halloween and to remain a community that watches out for each other.

He said he continues to work with west LA traffic to mitigate traffic speed and other issue areas that impact the Palisades, particularly on PCH. He said traffic enforcement is up on PCH and Sunset.

8.5.2.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood reported that they recently had an Inside safe initiative which housed 50 people. TC Rd repairs will be finished toward the middle to end of November. The DRB will have five new members appointed and still needs a landscape Architect. He also said he is still working with Paseo Miramar residents to work with them on the largescale development project that was approved by the West LA APC, but remains a project of concern to the neighborhood.

8.5.3.   Radmehr Nowroozi, SD 24, Field Representative, Palisades, Brentwood, Westwood and Westside was not present.

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

8.5.5.   Marian Ensley, West Area Field Deputy for Mayor Karen Bass said she was excited to be here, as well as to attend the 50th anniversary Jubilee. She offered some general updates on housing and homelessness and Inside Safe, which housed more than 50 Angelenos in the last operation with a partnership alongside Traci Park. She announced an in-person meeting about the Sepulveda transit Corridor, and she also announced the mayor’s opposition to the 90 Freeway project (which has since been defeated). She also said the Mayor’s office would make certificates available to all our honorees and she looks forward to attending our event. She also said she would help with hillside street challenges, which impact many Los Angeles streets.

8.5.6.   Zac Gaidzik, County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath Field Deputy congratulated us on an excellent 50th Anniversary Jubilee & Community event. He said the Supervisor was glad to join us and enjoyed meeting Palisadians and having important conversations with constituents. She continues to work on issues that are important to our community, such as homelessness and coastal matters. She is tentatively available on December 7th, should our holiday event be held on that day.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees. [None.]

10.   Old Business.

10.1.   2nd distribution of Bylaws Committee recommended motions and vote. See Bylaws Committee report and redline of proposed changes, below. See suggested motion language here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/09-26a-2023-Draft-Revisions.pdf

This two-pronged motion was tabled.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   The board heard from Barbara Broide regarding the Metro TCN ordinance. She updated the board on recent developments with respect to the Metro TCN ordinance, it progress, and its enduring risk of impact to public safety and erosion of scenic highway protections.

In keeping with our previous positions, the following motion was discussed and unanimously passed (made by Chris Spitz and seconded by Murray Levy):

PPCC has voted to oppose the Metro digital advertising program referred to as the Metro Transportation Communication Network (TCN), which seeks to install 86 large changing digital billboards on streets and freeways throughout the City. PPCC (alongside other westside Councils) is especially concerned about the driver distraction caused by the changing digital messages and their distractive impacts on driving and other public safety considerations, as well as the many negative environmental impacts (on biological resources, energy consumption, night sky pollution), and decades of visual blight. We are particularly concerned about the erosion of protection of our City’s scenic corridors, including Sunset and San Vicente Boulevards and the Pacific Coast Highway. It is important to note that the proposed enabling Supplemental Use District changes the scenic roadway protections from the language in the City’s General Plan Mobility Element from 500 feet from the center line of the roadway to 200 feet – a significant difference that may expose our scenic roadways to new advertising structures. As such, we vigorously oppose the TCN program and the adoption of enabling ordinances to the City Planning Commission (CPC) which will meet to discuss the program on November 14, 2023 at 8:30am. Additionally, we urge Councilwoman Park to work with the city to remove all TCN billboards proposed for CD11.

12.  Adjournment – the meeting was adjourned at 8:45PM.

_________________________

Return to top of page

MINUTES FROM NOVEMBER 9th 2023

1.    Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  Vice-President Sue Kohl served asPresiding Officer in the absence of the President.  The Presiding Officer called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm.  Chris Spitz read the Mission Statement.

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.  The Presiding Officer called the roll and certified that there was quorum.

Voting members present:  Sue Kohl, Jenny Li, Beth Holden Garland, Dave Card, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Andrew Wolfberg, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Aileen Haugh, Alisa Wolfson, Eric Dugdale, Kevin Niles, James Alexakis, Gabrielle Gottlieb, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting members present:  Joanna Rodriguez, Joanna Spak, Michael Edlen, LeeAnne Sanderson, Daphne Gronich, Betsy Handler, Quentin Fleming, Andy Frew, Hagop Tchakerian.

3.   Introduction of Attendees.

All board members in attendance in-person were introduced. The Presiding Officer announced that the meeting was preceded by a presentation of Youth art and a viewing of the Exhibit at the Library’s community meeting room, co-hosted by Palisades High School (PCHS) Photography Department and Instructor, Rick Steil, and the Pacific Palisades Library Association (LAPL), with a recognition of the work of the young artists. The exhibit is open until November 23rd, daily from noon to 5PM, and everyone is invited.

The Presiding Officer then welcomed Ranee Katzenstein, Assistant US Attorney, Dept. of Justice, Central District of CA, who introduced herself, gave extensive remarks about common digital and gift card scams (including an explanation of the scam known as “pig butchering”) and answered questions from the audience.  The Presiding Officer thanked Ms. Katzenstein for her important presentation to PPCC.

4.   Approval of Minutes. The minutes of the Special Meeting of October 12, 2023, were approved.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.

6.   Treasurer’s Report.  The Treasurer Jenny Li reported that PPCC’s account balance is $46,246.51. She also reviewed habitual expenses and two donations since the last meeting.

7.   General Public Comment.

7.1.   Resident Kathleen Botansky, and others, expressed concern about ongoing illegal and dangerous behavior of teens in the Palisades community, particularly incidents occurring at the Recreation Center and in the Village, such as the recent tasering of a female youth by other teens.  They asked what can be done and what police are doing to stop this behavior.  The Presiding Officer noted that this issue is of great concern to PPCC and that LAPD will be providing information about a new strategy to address this conduct.

7.2.   Resident John Alle commented that the community had not received adequate notice of plans to build a bridge across PCH; he also expressed concerns about public safety and about the bridge funding, which he felt would be better used to hire more police officers or to otherwise address public safety in or around Potrero Canyon Park.  The Presiding Officer noted that CD 11 will soon host a public meeting to provide information and obtain input about the bridge and that ample advance notice will be provided to the community [see item 8.1.7 below].

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The Presiding Officer acknowledged the Youth Art Exhibit.

8.1.2.   The Presiding Officer announced the names of all Organizational Reps for the term starting on Oct. 1, 2023 through September 30, 2024 [see Attached list below].

8.1.3.   The Presiding Officer explained that LAPD will provide information regarding a new strategy to bring attention to youth conduct in and around the Village and Park.

8.1.4.   The Presiding Officer noted the letter written regarding the October 26 PPCC motion on Metro TCN:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Metro-TCN-Oct-26.pdf.  She asked At-large Rep Chris Spitz to provide a further update.  Ms. Spitz reported that the City Council Planning & Land Use Management Committee on Tues. approved the TCN (digital billboard) program, with some amendments.  Several Councilmembers have asked for billboards (particularly non-freeway facing) to be removed from the list.  CM Park has indicated that most comments she has received from CD 11 constituents are opposed to digital billboards.  The City Attorney must report back to the committee with a revised proposed ordinance.  There will still be opportunities for further amendments.  We will continue to monitor.

8.1.5.   The Presiding Officer noted that Area Eight Rep Reza Akef is resigning as of the end of November; information will be forthcoming about changes in representation for the Area.

8.1.6.  The Presiding Officer announced the President’s appointment of the Event Committee to oversee the 2023 Holiday Dinner & Awards Gala on Dec 6th at The Draycott:  Sue Kohl, Cindy Simon, Jenny Li, Chris Spitz, Kimberly Bloom & Maryam Zar [ex officio].

8.1.7.   The Presiding Officer stated that CD 11 will host a community-wide meeting to update and receive feedback on the impending start of the predesign phase for the bridge project; the meeting is now set for December 5th, from 6-7PM. More information to come by letters, email, CD11 newsletter and even door to door canvasing.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Sue Kohl, Vice President – None.

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary – None.

8.2.3.   Dave Card, Chair Emeritus – None.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Murray Levy, Area One Rep, reported on the upcoming appeal hearing related to the Tramonto/Revello development project.  The appeal will be heard by the West LA Area Planning Commission at 4:30pm at the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library, 2920 Overland Ave., Los Angeles.  Community members are encouraged to attend.

8.3.2.   Karen Ridgley, Area Four Rep, provided an update on the Asilomar bluffs construction project.  Residents have requested the City move a large construction sign to a less obtrusive location on the bluff.  She stated that residents are concerned about some issues related to construction but are generally glad the work is being done and that the homes on the bluff will be saved from unstable soil.

8.3.3.   Chris Spitz, At-Large Rep, provided two updates:

(a)   SAB Center:  She and Steve Cron (Area Two Rep), Co-Chairs of the PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC), recently met with the proponent of a possible future project on vacant bluff lots owned primarily by the City on Porto Marina Way in Castellammare.  The proponent is a French architect who doesn’t own the property now but wishes to purchase it from the City and then obtain permission to build a headquarters building for her organization, called the SAB center.  She is aware that the property is zoned R-1 and may need a zone change and variances, and that pursuant to our guiding principles, PPCC does not support zone changes or variances except in very rare cases.  She is also aware that the property is on very unstable land, has been subject to landslides and that the public is concerned about geologic instability as well as traffic and emergency access.  With these considerations in mind, she has been advised by CD 11 to see if the community would support her proposal before going forward.  She advised us that if the community does not support this project, she won’t move forward.  Our LUC will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, January 15.  The purpose of the meeting is to provide a forum for the proponent to make a presentation about the proposed project and for the community to give input on whether or not they support the proposal.  The meeting will be at 5pm in a hybrid format, in person at the library and on Zoom.  Additional notice will be sent out prior to the meeting. The community is encouraged to attend.

(b)   Via de las Olas bluff insta.bility:  Residents have expressed serious concerns about landslides on the Via de las Olas bluff and have requested that BOE investigate and provide a report as to what can be done, if anything, to mitigate the unstable geologic conditions. One of the slides is almost two years old and the other dates from almost 6 months ago; to date there is still fencing and/or emergency tape in place and the unsafe conditions are still present.  We have requested that BOE reps attend one of our PPCC meetings in January to provide information.

8.3.4.   Cindy Simon, Area Six Rep, provided information about an event sponsored by the Women’s Civic Action Network, “Let’s Get Ready L.A.,”  to feature a conversation with LAFD Fire Chief Kristin Crowley and LA Emergency Management GM Carol Parks, on the topic of preparing our communities for disaster and recovery. The event will take place on November 14, 2023, 6:30-8pm at 3402 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica [more information at www.civicas.net/event].

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.  LAPD Beach Detail Officer Jose Bermudez updated the board in the absence of LAPD SLO Brian Espin. Officer Jose Bermudez spoke about the new task force in the park and along the bluffs.  He reported that some kids are riding bikes that are essentially motorcycles, without headlights or safety equipment.   They are hard to chase, and they must be careful not to possibly cause the kids to hurt themselves by chasing them too fast (because of their unsafe vehicles).  Citations will be issues if the youth are caught.

Officer Bermudez also reminded Palisadians not to leave valuables or things in their cars as thieves will break in and steal them.  An incident of tasering in the park was discussed. Officer Bermudez said they are awaiting a juvenile report.  He further said that youths under 18 are not permitted to be out without an adult, after 10 pm. (“curfew”),

8.5.2.  Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood, reported on several matters, including improvement conditions and encampment removals and clean-ups in the District.

He spoke about CD11 progress on homelessness issues and said 500 people have now been brought inside, thanks to help with the Mayor, LAHSA, and St. Josephs.  He has personally put in a lot of time at the Brentwood VA location, and the West LA / Sawtelle area with clean ups.

He spoke about Temescal Canyon Road and that the work is progressing and the road is getting smoothed out.

He reported that he met with the Paseo Miramar Homeowners Association, and believes that parking enforcement should be enforced, and rules of the road obeyed.

He addressed the Tramonto / Revello developments at Castellammare and said their Planning Deputy, Jeff Khau, is the point person regarding that matter on behalf of the Council office.

He mentioned the Asilomar Stabilization project and that pillars are currently being installed to help the ridge.

The Canyon School Crossing Guard vacancy was brought up and discussion ensued regarding the fact that there is a person who is interested in the job, but for some reason is not being approved by LADOT for the position.  PPCC Education Representative and Canyon School parent, Alisa Wolfson, asked for more help to secure the position for the applicant.  It was suggested again that Allison Holdorff-Polhill should be able to help with this.

Michael Amster then answered questions from the board and audience.

8.5.3 – 8.5.6.  Other reports from Government Representatives – deferred due to time constraints.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.1.  Lou Kamer (Transportation Advisor) provided information about the PCH Task Force and plans by government agencies to address speeding on PCH. He discussed transportation issues and said we are seeing more accidents, and need to conduct speed and traffic surveys in the area, and using the results as data, ask for improvements on the roadway along Sunset Blvd (reflectors, stripes) so drivers can see more ably what they are turning into, which should help somewhat. He also reiterated the importance of smart traffic lights and urged us to use all means we have to get those installed along Sunset and PCH in the Palisades.

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees.

9.1.   PPCC Awards Selection Committee (members Daphne Gronich, Sue Kohl, Beth Holden-Garland, Diana Daniele and Ryan Craig).  The Presiding Officer announced the Awards Honorees for 2023 and provided information about their accomplishments:  Citizen of the Year – Cindy Kirven; Golden Sparkplugs – Laura Schneider, John Dwight, Sara Marti and Steve Cron; Pride of the Palisades – Palisades PRIDE.  [See https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Awards-Honorees-2023R.pdf.]

The Presiding Officer and members of the Board and audience congratulated all the awardees for these well-deserved honors.

9.2.   PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC).  [See item 8.3.3(a) above above.]

10.   Old Business – None.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   WRAC-recommended motion, sponsored in PPCC by the Executive Committee.

At the request of the Presiding Officer, Chris Spitz (PPCC At-large Rep and WRAC Vice-Chair) presented the motion, noting that a second was not needed as the motion was made by a committee of more than one voting member.  She read and explained the motion, as follows:

“Re Council File # 21-1230, Housing Element / General Plan / 2021–2029:  Data in the Housing Element and Community Plan Updates demonstrate more than enough capacity and zoning opportunities in our underutilized commercial corridors, public lands and through adaptive reuse to meet State mandates. Our residential neighborhoods have already been rezoned through SB 9 and ADU laws that allow duplexes and ADUs on a single lot.  There is no need to rezone, through overlays or other zoning devices, R1 zones or sensitive, rent-stabilized multifamily housing.

“Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC), a member of the Westside Neighborhood Alliance of Councils (WRAC), opposes the Housing Element’s proposed rezoning and densification of R1 and multi-family neighborhoods beyond what SB9 and ADU laws allow.  We demand that Mayor Bass and all Councilmembers representing WRAC neighborhoods (Park, Yaroslavsky, Hutt and Raman) stand up for our communities and direct the City Planning Department to reject the upzoning of our single-family and sensitive multifamily neighborhoods, and instead, locate all upzoning on our underutilized commercial corridors.” 

A question was asked about the meaning of “commercial corridors,” which was explained referred to underutilized commercial corridors Citywide.  There was no further discussion.  The Presiding Officer called the vote.  Result:  Unanimous in favor of the motion.

12.   Adjournment.  Prior to adjournment, Kimberly Bloom (Area 5 Rep) announced that a flyer had been distributed to all attendees, providing information about a “Fine Wine Fundraiser” to benefit PPCC, with samples of the wine (unopened bottles) available for viewing in the library room until the close of the meeting.  She noted that the fundraiser is being held in connection with the PPCC Awards Gala and that more information will be provided on the website and in notices to the community.   [See https://www.onehopewine.com/event/de87b685-382f-4020-871f-637ebef91b9d.].

The Presiding Officer then adjourned the meeting at approximately 7:55pm.

ATTACHMENT, Item 8.1.2 – Names of Organizational Reps:

PPCC Organizational Members/Reps, 2023-24 Term

I.   Business & Commerce

John Padden, PRIDE; Alternate Bruce Schwartz
Alternate org. member (Chamber):  vacant

II.   Culture & Aesthetics

Aileen Haugh, Pacific Palisades Garden Club; Alternate Andy Frew, Theatre Palisades

III.   Education

Alisa Wolfson, Canyon Charter Elementary School; Alternate org. pending

IV.   Historian (PPHS)

Eric Dugdale; Alternate Barbara Kohn

V.   Civic Organizations

Kevin Niles, American Legion; Alternate Richard Blumenberg, PP Civic League

VI.   Recreation

Genevieve Bostic, Palisades-Malibu AYSO; Alternate Janet Anderson, AYSO

VII.       Environment

Ryan Craig, Resilient Palisades; Alternate James Alexakis, Temescal Canyon Association

VIII.      Service Clubs

Gabrielle Gottlieb, Pacific Palisades Woman’s Club; Alternate Hagop Tchakerian, Pacific Palisades Rotary

IX.   Residents Association (PPRA)

Courtney Macker; Alternate Jessica Rogers

_________________________

Return to top of page

PPCC HOLIDAY AWARDS GALA DECEMBER 6, 2023 —
BUSINESS MEETING NOT HELD/NO MINUTES

_________________________

Return to top of page