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Unless otherwise noted, all meetings held via Zoom videoconference and recorded for secretarial purposes only (quarterly meetings expected to be held in hybrid format).

MINUTES FROM JANUARY 11th 2024

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

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

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

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

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives

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

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

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

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

8.3.5.  Chris Spitz, At-Large Rep reported that

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

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

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

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

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

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

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

8.4.2.   None

8.4.3.   None

8.4.4.   None

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

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

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

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

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

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

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

8.6.2.   PCH Taskforce meeting update – no formal update.

9.  Reports from PPCC Committees and community groups.

9.1.   LUC update & report:

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

10.   Old Business – none.

11.   New Business.

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

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

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

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MINUTES FROM JANUARY 25th 2024

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

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
Voting Board members: Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Jenny Li, Beth Holden-Garland, Dave Card, Cindi Young, Steve Cron, Michael Edlen, Daphne Gronich, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Andrew Wolfberg, Chris Spitz, John Padden, Aileen Haugh, Alisa Wolfson (present for part of the meeting), Barbara Kohn, Genevieve Bostic, Ryan Craig, Gabrielle Gottlieb, Jessica Rogers.

Non-voting Board members: Joanna Spak, Quentin Fleming, Harlan Hogue, Alan Goldsmith, Rick McGeagh, Andy Frew, James Alexakis, Hagop Tchakerian, Bruce Schwartz.

The President certified that we have quorum.

3.   Introduction of attendees:  none [no special attendees]

4.   Approval of Minutes.  The January 11, 2024 minutes were approved.

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

6.   Treasurer’s Report. 
The Treasurer reported that the account balance at US bank stands at $51,435.43. Most banking activity surrounded the holiday event. We have recently paid $1000 to our accountant. She reported that the Holiday event netted $7958.84, largely from tickets sales, auction and program advertising.

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

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President reported on previous letters sent since the last meeting and said she had followed up with CD11 and DOT regarding the Canyon School crossing guard as well as the linked letter: https://mcusercontent.com/e67def3ada76c274bac379123/files/f8e178fa-d9dc-cec7-7b28-d680fe95fdcc/In_support_of_Dog_Park_2024.01.pdf

8.1.2.   The president updated the board regarding public safety matters including cameras for open spaces. She plans to speak to LA Parks Foundation for cameras and has spoken to Flock for Condor cameras. Flock looks like it will be affordable for us. RAP has also price quoted foot patrols for us using a RAP vendor. Community funding seems to be a possibility, but RAP has advised that we may need to use their technology and camera resources in order to install cameras in the Park. The President will be meeting with RAP camera team in the upcoming week, alongside Sue Kohl and Michael Edlen.

8.1.3.   The President announced that the outreach process for Potrero Canyon Park bridge project will begin in February. She also updated the board that the Potrero Canyon Park signs (which PPCC approved) have been printed and are awaiting installation.

8.1.4.   The President updated the board regarding her conversation with new CD11 Dis.t Dir., Juan Fregoso, who has promised to work on amassing a coastal public safety team that includes Rangers, sanitation, LAPD and more, specifically for the coastline. The President said she is looking into council files to see what kind of support she can find for Potrero Canyon Ranger support. She has found a Council File that she and others are chasing to bring to fruition.

8.1.5.   The President announced that the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners will meet at the Palisades Recreation Center on March 21, 2024. She urged Palisadians to attend. She and Dave Card also informed the board that the RAP Commission approved Measure A funds for the Palisades Dog Park (advocated for by PPCC and the Council Office), at the south end of Temescal Park.

8.1.6.   The President reported that there are talks underway regarding a community garden in perhaps two places: one traditional one in the flat area adjacent to the playground and one native garden (suggested by Valerie Serna of Resilient Palisades) in the front area of the Park that is concave and lacking in sunlight, but is the site of many adverse youth activities that have concerned the community. Park Director Jasmine Dowlatshahi and CD11 Field Deputy Michael Amster believe using that space for a community garden will deter that activity.

8.1.7.   The President updated the board on the status of CF 15-0389-S2 which seeks to confer preferential status to PPCC and BCC at City hearings & proceedings.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Sue Kohl, Vice President, reported that talks continue with Flock regarding the Condor cameras. She had a call with them where some information was exchanged and the conversation continues, depending on what Rap allows.  She also reported that the homeless count convened at Corpus Christi Church a few mornings ago, very early, and it went very well.
Cindi Young added that it went very well. Breakfast was donated for all, PPTFH outreach team from The People Concern also participated. The count seemed to reveal a few more homeless people than last year – this includes the beach area, although LAHSA had asked that the beach not be counted. The full count will be made available to the public in June.

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary had no updates, but did voice her support for the community garden idea.

8.2.3.   Dave Card, Chair Emeritus gave his updates above, in conjunction with the President.  He also informed the board about city workshops around a master plan for the city’s tree canopy and its development. He encouraged the community and residents to visit the planning department website, as well as the last PPCC newsletter, to see how they can connect by zoom and in-person to join workshops.
Dave Card also asked for Michael Amster to give due attention to the retaining wall at the Palisades Recreation Center which seemed to be cracking.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Cindi Young, Area One 1st Alternate gave an update on the homeless count. See above.

8.3.2.   Murray Levy, Area One primary was not present

8.3.3.   Daphne Gronich, Area Four 2nd Alternate reported that a couple of residents on Lower Las Casas have complained about water and flooding from Sunset, where water pooled 3-4 feet out into the street, and they asked for storm drains to be checked. They’d like to have someone from BOE look at it and add storm drain access along the block so that water runs off better, before the water picks up speed and misses the one and only storm drain. She will take pictures of future rains to demonstrate the problem.
Daphne then invited an area resident to speak about a landslide that came down the bluffs and blocked the driveway to and from the Palisades Bowl mobile home area. It was reported that RAP provided sandbags in anticipation of the rains, which were helpful, but residents surveyed the area and found that there is a big storm drain that has a plastic-coated thick mesh covering it. EPA standards require a double netted mesh protection, but the concern is that if these are placed in a crooked manner, they create a barrier which prevents the water from draining. That may be what is happening, resulting in the water jumping the curb and descending upon the bowl residential area. The Bowl manager has pledged to keep the area cleared and tidy, so as to help the drain area clearance, and keep the downhill runoff to a minimum. The President asked if residents feel supported by city agencies and if they need help. She was told residents did feel supported but thought there needed to be better communication between city agencies. The President asked Michael Amster if he needs us to write to him with a review of all areas in the Palisades that need BOE attention due to settling roads or curbs that needs repair attention. He said that would be helpful and that he will have more to report at the next meeting, but that these are issues of funding and resource allocation, as well as getting multiple city agencies to come to together depending on the issues.

8.3.4.   Chris Spitz, PPCC At-Large Rep, mentioned areas on Via de Las Olas as well as the area closer to Friends Street (Potrero Canyon Access Road) which have had emergency tape marking them for much needed BOE attention for more than a year. BOE has recommended capital funding for improvements, but there is no news as to when the remediation will take place or with what funding. There was consensus that city agencies need to collaborate and take these street and bluff repairs seriously. She also said there would be a leaf blower motion, forthcoming.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.

8.4.1.   Jessica Rogers of PPRA reported that they have been in contact with LAPD to install no parking signs along Sunset and Palisades Drive in order to be able to enforce no parking/vehicular dwelling laws along those roads.

8.4.2.   John Padden reported that PRIDE had installed a community clock at the corner of Sunset and Swarthmore, on the US Bank property, and was looking forward to the dedication event planned for Sunday, January 28th. He reported that the clock had been very well received by the community and he looked forward to seeing everyone at the ceremony, to be MC’d by Sam Lagana, along with pizza and sparkling cider. The president shared the informational flyer.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives.

8.5.1.   Brian Espin, Senior Lead Officer (SLO), Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported that he sent out his crime update but wanted to report an increase in vehicle related crimes along the beach area. There is video footage and photographs of possible suspects, so an undercover operation is currently being considered. He will continue to update us. He reminded everyone not to leave wallets in cars while walking, surfing or enjoying the beach since those will be stolen and used while owners are enjoying the beach. He also suggested, again, not leaving keys on tires or generally leaving anything visible on car seats, even at night.

8.5.2.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood shared that CM Park introduced a motion to recognize Community Councils at city agencies. He announced a tree trimming and community clan-up event at the Brentwood Science magnet school – he invited everyone to attend. He said there will be others, and Pacific Palisades would certainly have one, as well. He reported that the Sunset Boulevard pothole is being addressed. He also announced that the prospects for a crossing guard for The Canyon School are slim. Canyon School is ranked very low in the priority list of LADOT for crossing guards. The President said she had communicated, since the last meeting, with LADOT and the Council Office that Canyon School construction had begun and that the need for a crossing guard at Canyon was even more urgent. She had flagged the matter saying the school is now experiencing a dangerous confluence of traffic elements that make it all the more urgent to have a crossing guard at the site. She asked that LADOT revisit the crossing guard matter and prioritize the hiring as pedestrians, passenger vehicles, mass transit busses, commercial trucks and now construction vehicles converge upon the school daily, adding to the flow and frequency of traffic.
A conversation ensued regarding the importance of impressing upon the City and LADOT how important it is to fill job vacancies in the Palisades when there are willing people to fill them, since it is difficult to fill thee spots as travel to the Palisades can be difficult for the usual applicant. Dave Card asked to see the list of criteria that comprise the priority determination for schools rankled high in need of crossing guards and Chris Spitz asked for the Councilwoman to interject herself into the situation and advocate for filling this important role, in person. Michael Amster said he would continue to escalate the matter. They will also explore other ways to increase safety on Entrada.

8.5.3.   Radmehr Nowroozi, SD 24, Field Representative for Palisades, Brentwood and Westwood reported about street vending bills and the legislative regulatory landscape surrounding this microbusiness. In 2018 SB946 decriminalized and simplified street vending in CA. It said local authorities could no longer prevent vendors on sidewalks (public rights of way) unless the community health, safety or welfare was at risk, nor could they regulate the number of vendors in each community. It also limited the ways in which vendors could be cited (limiting fines) only if the health, safety or welfare of the community is at risk. Citations cannot carry serious charges – they must not be misdemeanors or felonies. This became a problem in SM with fire as well as health and public safety risks on and near the SM Pier. SB 1290 was an attempt by Sen Allen to bring about narrowly tailored enforcement mechanisms to protect the public health safety and welfare. It died due to push back from those who advocate for street vendors. SB 972 later passed decriminalizing sidewalk vending by creating a new category for retail food vending, but although Sen Allen voted for it, it did not adopt any of Sen Allen’s public safety provisions (which he had hoped would be incorporated into the bill). These bills have together created a landscape where local government has very few means by which to enforce limitations on street vending in their communities. Currently, the only enforcement and citation mechanism is with the County’s food safety regulators, per county health codes.
The president explained that this update was prompted by a concern on the part of some board members about street vendors on sunset boulevard, in front of Ralph’s in Pacific Palisades. The President learned that Ralph’s had issued a cease-and-desist order to these vendors and they had moved. Still, community members were interested to learn more about street vending laws, and so she asked Rad and Michael to provide the board with pertinent information.
Michael explained that if residents are concerned with the health and safety of the food being sold, they must contact the county department of public health; if residents are concerned about the obstruction of the public right of way (PROW) they must contact BSS (311 request) and the vendor would be obligated to show their permit to the BSS investigator; if residents are concerned about the threat of fire they should contact LAFD.
Chris shared that the city issues permits to food vendors, who must ensure that there is 5 feet of space for passage along with certain health approved elements at their stands/carts. She said years ago, PPCC took a position against street vending bills in the interest of seeing more local control. She said that fees would be even further reduced, according to the information from the CAO in connection with a recent motion in City Council. She asked what would happen if these vendors are cited and citations are not paid. Brian Espin responded with personal experience during enforcement, saying that the food items can be confiscated (discarded), but not the equipment. The vendor can appeal the citation, but nothing stops them from coming back the next day, and setting up again. He said the health department can confiscate the food but since there is no real penalty that comes with the citation, vendors do often return to the same locations, called ‘hot spots”, where the income is lucrative.
The President thanked everyone and acknowledged the need to create income and small business opportunities for traditionally underserved communities, but added that local control was important and that she would venture to guess that if Sen. Allen were to float another bill to bring back commonsense controls, the PPCC and others would be inclined to support more local control. Rad Nowroozi thanked the PPCC and reiterated that most vendors are good faith actors taking advantage of new business opportunities within the confines of the law.

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

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

8.5.6.   Zac Gaidzik, Coastal and Westside Field Deputy for County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, was not present.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.

8.6.1.   WRAC updates were tabled

8.6.2.  PCH Taskforce meeting update from Lou Kamer, PPCC Transportation Advisor, was not given.

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees and community groups.

9.1.   Committee of the Three Chairs – Card, Spitz, Zar

9.1.1.   Nomination of Area Eight 2nd Alternate for board affirmation was deferred to the next meeting.

9.2.   PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC) — Steve Cron and Chris Spitz, co-chairs.

9.2.1.   The LUC recommended a letter for board approval, putting forth suggested solutions to hillside construction problems to be sent to the Council Office.  The letter was approved unanimously. (See the letter here: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/PPCC-Hillside-Construction-Letter.pdf )

10.   Old Business:  there was no old business.

11.   New Business:

[11.1.  Motions re Vehicle Dwelling & Parking]. Chris Spitz, At-large primary representative made the following two Motions regarding vehicle Dwelling & Parking. The board approved both motions.

11.1.1.   Pacific Palisades Community Council supports CF 23-0914 (Park), which calls for recommendations for a citywide program to designate streets where RVs/oversize vehicles can safely park with access to services, including housing navigation, portable restrooms, automotive repair and septic tank disposal, and would also restrict RV parking in residential areas, commercial corridors and other sensitive areas.
This motion was seconded by Sue Kohl and passed unanimously.

11.1.2.  Pacific Palisades Community Council requests that the restriction in LAMC Sec. 41.18 on camping near sensitive uses be defined to include dwelling in vehicles of all sizes as well as all forms of camping within 500 feet of sensitive uses, including libraries, parks, schools and day-care centers, and that Councilwoman Park bring a motion in City Council to amend LAMC 41.18 for this purpose.
This motion was seconded by Kimberly Bloom and passed with one abstention.

12.   Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned at 8:30PM, without objection.

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MINUTES FROM FEBRUARY 8th 2024

1.   Call to Order and Reading of Community Council’s Mission.  The meeting was called to order at 6:05PM and Karen Ridgley read the community Council mission: http://pacpalicc.org/index.php/councilbylaws/.  

2.   Roll-call of Board members and Certification of Quorum.
Voting members present: Maryam Zar, Sue Kohl, Jenny Li, Dave Card, Beth Holden Garland, Murray Levy, Steve Cron, Haldis Toppel, Karen Ridgley, Kimberly Bloom, Cindy Simon, Julie Silliman, Andrew Wolfberg, Chris Spitz, Bruce Schwartz, Aileen Haugh, Alisa Wolfson, Eric Dugdale, Kevin Niles, Genevieve Bostic, Ryan Craig, Hagop Tchakerian, Courtney Macker.

Non-voting members present: Cindi Young, Joanna Spak, Diana Daniele, Nancy Niles, Michael Edlen, Daphne Gronich, Betsy Handler, Harlan Hogue, Andy Frew, Richard Blumenberg, James Alexakis.

3.   Introduction of attendees.
Introduction of new CD 11 District Director, Juan Fregoso, introduced himself and gave some background as to his experience and path to CD 11. He pledged to meet with the community on February 21st.  He said he’d confirm a date for an onsite tour of the Palisades and a meet and greet with the community. In the last year he was the Director of Homelessness and Housing for Councilwoman Park. He has been with the City of LA for 9 years (CD 13 previously/Mitch O’Farrell) and so he’s new to the District but not new to the City. He was Field Deputy for Echo Park and Elysian Park and brings that experience to this role. He still oversees homelessness, as well as the District and CD 11 deputies. Part of the big vision is advocating for additional resources in the Coastal Zone. These efforts focus on additional resources to address tourism, disaster impact and more. He is currently hoping to secure a Coastal Care Plus team for the coastal zone. He is also looking to secure dedicated coastal rangers and dedicated DOT support for the coastal zone – but budgeting is an issue and that’s where they are advocating.  Juan was asked when the bridge project contractor, Jacobs, would be coming to the community for feedback. He said that would be in March. The trail project is still ”slogging through.”

Michael Amster also introduced Dellarose Santos, who is a former LAHSA member and has a great deal of outreach experience and will be assisting the West LA office in the field with casework as well as focus on larger plans to address homelessness in the Northern part of the District. She said she looked forward to working with us all. She will help handle maintenance and infrastructure issues, as well as homeless issues and individualized case work. Questions arose regarding sidewalk repairs. Michael Amster said there is a long queue for those repairs and can take up to 10 years – and is a result of a class action lawsuit for failure to provide accessibility as required by federal law, that was settled by LA City several years ago. Michael said he and Dellarose work as a team and he remains our main point of contact.

LAPD SLO Brian Espin introduced Alisha Jordan, new Patrol Captain for West LA. Captain Jordan said she is excited about being here in West LA again – was here in 2001 as Sergeant. She’s been the Patrol Captain for 8 weeks. She looks forward to getting acquainted with Pacific Palisades. Has worked in investigations, narcotics and as a detective for the last almost 20 years. She enjoys the job and taking care of the community seriously. Every day, she speaks with her officers so they know what she expects and how they can communicate better to benefit the community. She looks forward to hearing from us to learn how to serve us better. She explained that she’s responsible for patrol rounds and indications of where for them to go or concentrate their rounds if there are problem spots. She likes hearing from the community and communicates with Brian daily. She likes to hear from the SLOs as well as the patrol officers. She often stays late to ensure that the officers have access to her. She also listens to her leadership team: sergeants and watch commander as well as SLOs. She plans to go out with them and learn more about her area of command. Dave Card told her about the PCH Task Force and encouraged her to attend. Captain Jordan said she has been working with LAPD Traffic West, and knows there was a traffic task force underway the last two days. She also said she’d be mindful of issues that arise related to the Genesis Golf Tournament coming to town soon, including traffic control and appropriate public conflict, including drinking in public. There were also questions about motorcycle and motorized bike gangs riding through town.  Captain Jordan said she’s heard about this and was working out the best time and manner to deploy officers in the most effective way.  Brian Espin said he would have more on this.

4.   Approval of Minutes:  The minutes for January 25, 2024 were approved.

5.   Consideration of Agenda & Upcoming Meetings.
The agenda was considered as presented.  The President announced that Jackie Wiley, Outreach Specialist from CA Dept of Financial Protection & Innovation would be our guest on February 22nd and the March 14th meeting would be hybrid with an in-person element at the Palisades Library meeting room.

6.   Treasurer’s Report. 
The Treasurer reported that our balance was $58,856.70.  An outstanding check for the Park still remains to be cashed. We had a little more income from the wine fundraiser.  The President explained that PPCC took in a $7500 donation from a Palisades Recreation Center patron who wished to donate by credit card, and that we will remit the donation (minus any fees charged to us by the PayPal processor) to the Palisades Community Center Committee, a local 501(C)(3) which accepts and disperses donations for the Park.

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

8.   Reports, Announcements and Concerns.

8.1.   From the Chair/Presiding Officer.

8.1.1.   The President reported on positions and letters/significant correspondence since the last meeting: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/PPCC-Hillside-Construction-Letter.pdf , https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/CF-23-0914-Park.RV_.pdf and from last meeting: https://mcusercontent.com/e67def3ada76c274bac379123/files/f8e178fa-d9dc-cec7-7b28-d680fe95fdcc/In_support_of_Dog_Park_2024.01.pdf

8.1.2.   The President gave an update regarding cameras for open spaces and that she has spoken to LA Parks Foundation tech people who informed her and VP Sue Kohl that we would have to use RAP tech and suggested we invest in an electric systems upgrade at the Park in order to accommodate cameras as well as better lights – both of which RAP offers and has implemented in other parks. He suggested we advocate with the Council Office for budgeting.  The President said she would invite him to an upcoming meeting to tell us more and take questions. We are also considering foot patrols using a RAP vendor in order to help put more eyeballs on and around our park problem spots (to help LAPD). See more from Sue Kohl report, item 8.2.1. below.

8.1.3.   The President confirmed that Michael Amster has confirmed that Jacobs Engineering will begin community outreach surrounding the bridge project, in March.

8.1.4.   See above.

8.1.5.   The President reminded everyone that the LA Park Commission will meet in Pacific Palisades, at the Rec Center on March 21st.  The EC will send a letter of welcome and highlight out priority concerns, before then.

8.1.6.   The President informed the board that she had recently learned that Al Fresco dining alcohol sales permits are planned to be issued through a ministerial “administrative process” with no community notice requirement. She wanted the board to be aware in case we wished to comment on that.

8.2.   From Officers and Chair Emeritus.

8.2.1.   Sue Kohl, Vice President, reported that her talk with RAP tech Jimmy Newsome was that cameras can’t be done without better lights, the lights need a new electric infrastructure, and he thought we needed about 15 cameras. He said a minimum $500,000 investment in the electric infrastructure upgrade was needed. Flock reps then called off the meeting planned for the next day. Hagob Tchakerian (Rotary/Service Clubs Alternate) suggested cameras on the main office building, which the President said the tech people said could be done. He also suggested that the cost was too high, but the President explained that the City has its own fees that tend to be exorbitantly high, but they are as they are. He also said Potrero Canyon had electric infrastructure because it has sprinklers. The President affirmed that Chair Emeritus Dave Card had confirmed that that’s true. Dave Card said there is a comprehensive electric blueprint that should be studied before an assumption is made that there is insufficient electric infrastructure to accommodate lights and cameras.

8.2.2.   Beth Holden-Garland, Secretary – no updates.

8.2.3.   Dave Card, Chair Emeritus – no updates.

8.3.   From At-Large and Area Representatives.

8.3.1.   Cindi Young, Area One 1st Alternate, reported that PPTFH remains in limbo as to substantive responses from the County to assert whether beach areas were counted in the LAHSA Point in Time homeless count.

8.3.2.   Murray Levy, Area One Primary rep, had no Hillside construction updates.

8.3.3.   Karen Ridgley, Area Four Primary rep, said rain issues persist at both the Palisades Bowl as well as Tahitian Terrace communities but both areas report having seen some improvement in the runoff and rain issues.  The Las Casas storm drain issue persists, and they hope CD11 can help secure a commitment for more storm drains being constructed at Las Casas, so as to stave off the kind of pooled runoff water that encroaches into the street, making it impassable.  She also mentioned construction noise which goes on now on Saturdays.  There was some disagreement as to the necessity of Saturdays (though the end of April), and the President said she would help resolve that communication break down and see if we can keep Saturdays off the construction schedule.  Daphne Gronich, Area Four 2nd Alternate, asked about a video of intruders in Asilomar bluffs/Seabec Circle sent by LeeAnne Sanderson (Area Four 1st Alternate) and also requested that talks continue regarding mitigation of water run off on Las Casas.  The President asked Michael Amster to follow up.  SLO Espin said he send the video to the crime analysis division and is waiting for follow up or identification information. He will keep us posted. SLO Espin was asked to do more to put information out to the community when crime occurs. Courtney Macker, PPRA Primary rep, asked if in his absence someone else at the West LA headquarters could send notifications and inform the community of crime occurring or things to be watchful for.  Haldis Toppel, Area Three Primary rep, shared that in the past she had her “e-cam” messages which she compiled with information that she was able to get from the LAPD West headquarters by calling the front office and asking for information.  The President said she was glad Haldis reminded us all that she provided this citizen service to the community for a very long time, and lamented her inability to call and get similar caliber information any longer.  The President asked SLO Espin to confer with his LAPD command team and come up with a way to get information flowing to Palisadians.

8.3.4.   Chris Spitz, At-Large rep, gave a presentation about a pilot measure regarding street takeovers citywide, which is an activity that disrupts communities. The intersection of PCH and Temescal Canyon Road is one of the top five areas of concern for street takeovers in LAPD’s West division.  According to a police report, during 2020-2022 there was some concern over instances involving vehicles doing “doughnuts” on Temescal (although not in the PCH intersection), and now CD11 (Kevin Brunke) and LAPD (Brian Espin) are willing to work with us to see if this activity is still ongoing.  There had been a suggestion to add surveillance cameras or rumble bars – but we’re told that the measure most likely to be utilized on Temescal, if warranted, would be hardening the center line with bollards that prevent doughnuts (and u-turns).  Mr. Brunke assured Ms. Spitz that community input would be sought before any installation occurs and that our Field Deputy Michael Amster would be our liaison on this matter.

8.4.   From Organizational Representatives.  None.

8.5.   From Government Offices / Representatives (as available).

8.5.1.   Brian Espin, Senior Lead Officer (SLO) Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), reported on the home invasion on Charmel. The suspect is still in custody because this was violent as an armed invasion.

SLO Espin also reported that we’ve seen more of the motorcycle gangs. Last week a gang of young people on bikes went to the Chevron store in the Palisades and looted it (took items).  This will appear in the next crime report.  Brian says he knows they also steal from CVS, but they don’t report it (they file for insurance and let it go, it seems).

The President asked about the response time to the “hot prowl” that involved a deadly weapon.  SLO Espin said they knew who the offender was though a network of tracking task forces that have been implemented throughout LA.  In the case of the invasion on Charmel, the offender was being watched and so he was able to be apprehended quickly.  SLO Espin stressed the importance of cameras which helped in identifying the suspect. SLO Espin also said that a Street Racer task force was deployed, by Capt. Gabaldon after hearing from the community regarding fast cars peeling through our village streets and could be seen on the roads today. The President read an email exchange with the Captain and thanked him for the quick turnaround.  SLO Espin said they use social media and photographs to identify and find the speeding drivers.
Alisa Wolfson (Canyon School/Education Primary) asked if the home invasion was related to another break-in in the neighborhood.  SLO Espin said the suspect is responsible for a few burglaries in the Palisades.

8.5.2.   Michael Amster, CD11 Field Deputy, Pacific Palisades & Brentwood, reported that as to the street takeover program, the LA Dept. of Transportation is happy to have conversations with the community. Measure HLA is on the March ballot, and if it passes, CM Park has made a motion to figure out how to implement HLA, if it were to pass.
Streets LA, LADWP and LA SAN report 600 mud or landslide reports across the city and more than half have been addressed.  460 tree emergencies have been reported with more than 90% addressed. Locations in Pacific Palisades are also being addressed.  Michael introduced a Feb. Winter Storm County survey. He’d like Palisadians to take the survey.

Michael further reported that Jacobs will conduct outreach for the bridge project feedback in March.

He also said that the grading at the Paseo Miramar project is almost done, so the bulk of the impact on the community has passed.

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 Representative, Mayor Karen Bass, was not present.

8.5.6.   Zac Gaidzick, Coastal and Westside Field Deputy, County Supervisor, Lindsey Horvath, was not present.

8.5.7.   Allison Holdorff (senior advisor to LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin) reported that in August, LAUSD will install cameras at Revere.  She also noted that Kenter Canyon will have a great community building event over the weekend. The President asked why the cameras took three years from approval to installation, and why so expensive.  Ms. Holdorff explained that this was a district-wide camera program, so they shelved the original order and funded this new one with special purchase orders and a new timeline. They saved a ton of money and are rolling the cameras out as fast as they can.

8.6.   From PPCC Advisors and WRAC Representatives.  None.

9.   Reports from PPCC Committees.

9.1.   Committee of the Three Chairs (David Card, Chair; Chris Spitz and Maryam Zar).  The committee nominated Daliah Setareh as the 2nd Alternate for Area Eight, to join the team of Andrew Wolfberg (Primary) and Eli Safaie-Kia (1st Alternate). Daliah was confirmed without objection. The board welcomed her to the PPCC.

9.2.   PPCC Land Use Committee (LUC/ Chris Spitz, Chair).  The LUC recommended that the board adopt the letter linked below as a statement of opposition to a proposal by the LA Dept. of City Planning (DCP) to change construction noise thresholds.  DCP proposes lowering these thresholds without submitting to a community comment and City Council review process.  LUC recommends opposition to both the substantive lowering of thresholds as well as the streamlined process of adopting the changes.

The proposed position was presented to the Board after discussion and review of relevant materials.  See the LUC report at: https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/LUC-Report-re-Construction-Noise.pdf. The board unanimously approved the position and the following letter:  https://pacpalicc.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Draft-PPCC-letter-CEQA-construction-noise.pdf.

10.   Old Business.  None.

11.   New Business.

11.1.   Motion re Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers.  Resilient Palisades (Ryan Craig) and Chris Spitz made a motion in strong support of CF 24-0055, requesting support for measures to enforce the city’s restriction on gas-powered leaf blowers. No second was necessary because the motion was brought by two voting members.

Motion Background:  Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) has long-supported regulations restricting the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in residential neighborhoods. Advocacy by determined, environmentally conscious Palisadians led to enactment of the existing ban in Los Angeles.  A respected community environmental organization and member of the PPCC board, Resilient Palisades, has engaged in educational outreach campaigns to Palisadians and gardeners (in both English and Spanish) on harm caused by gas-powered blowers.  In addition, in 2023, Resilient Palisades coordinated and funded purchases of nearly 50 commercial electric blowers for gardeners who work in the Palisades and committed to give up their gas-powered blowers.  Unfortunately, over the years PPCC has regularly heard reports about residents’ illegal use of gas-powered leaf blowers and inadequate enforcement of the ban.

Motion:  PPCC strongly supports the motion in Council File 24-0055 (Raman), requesting a report-back on measures to better enforce the City’s longstanding restriction on gas-powered leaf blowers within 500 ft. of residences, as well as development of an educational program and outreach to residents, landscapers and gardeners with information about the current regulations, the environmental impact and available rebate and trade-in programs.

12.   Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:40PM.

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MINUTES FROM FEBRUARY 22nd 2024 (pending)

 

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