VNC Board of Officers Meeting Agenda 9-21-10

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The VNC Board of Officers will meet tomorrow. Here is their meeting agenda.

VNC 500

Board of Officers Meeting Agenda
Westminster Elementary School (Auditorium)
1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, 90291
Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 7:00PM

Click “read more” for the agenda, or for the PDF of the meeting, click here.

BOARD MEETINGS: The Venice Neighborhood Council holds its regular meetings on the third Tuesday of the month and may also call any additional required special meetings in accordance with its Bylaws and the Brown Act. All are welcome to attend.

TRANSLATION Services: Si requiere servicios de traducción, favor de notificar a la oficina 3 días de trabajo (72 horas) antes del evento. Si necesita asistencia con esta notificación, por favor llame a nuestra oficina 213.473.5391.

POSTING: The agenda and non-exempt writings that are distributed to a majority or all of the board members in advance of regular and special meetings may be viewed at Groundworks Coffee (671 Rose Ave Venice, CA 90291), Abbots Habit (1401 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291), the Venice Library (501 South Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291), Oakwood Recreation Center (767 California St. Venice, CA 90291), the VNC website (http://www.venicenc.org), or at the scheduled meeting. For a copy of any record related to an item on the agenda, please contact the VNC secretary at [email protected]

PUBLIC COMMENT: The public is requested to fill out a “Speaker Card” to address the Board on any Old or New Business item on the agenda and the Treasurer’s Report. Comments from the public on these agenda items will be heard only when that item is being considered. Comments from the public on other agenda matters or on matters not appearing on the agenda but within the Board’s subject matter jurisdiction will be heard during the Public Comment period. Public comment is limited to two (2) minutes per speaker, unless modified by the presiding officer of the Board.
DISABILITY POLICY: The Venice Neighborhood Council complies with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and does not discriminate on the basis of any disability. Upon request, the Venice Neighborhood Council will provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, or other auxiliary aids and/or services may be provided upon request.

1. Call to Order & Roll Call Meeting called to order in memory of Carol Hector, Publisher of The Argonaut; Sid Pollack-Erickson, husband of former VNC board member, Eileen Pollack-Erickson

2. Approval of the Agenda

3. Approval of outstanding minutes (1 minute)
August 17, 2010 Board Meeting Minutes
(see http://venicenc.org/files/100817VNCBoardMinutes.doc)

4. Announcements & Public Comment on items not on the Agenda [10 min, no more than 2 minutes per person – no board member announcements permitted]

5. Announcement of Town Halls/Events

A. 09/23/10 – Councilman Rosendahl’s Town Hall – Homeless Issues: Public Invited to Discussion on Enforcement Strategies and Social Services

B. 10/21/10 – VNC Town Hall on Inadequate Sanitation in Venice- Westminster School-

C. Venice High School Drop Out Recovery Day- Friday, September 24, 9-3- Volunteers needed to go door to door and phone bank to convince students to return to school: contact: Aaron Gross, office of the Mayor: [email protected] 213-595-6762

6. Treasurers Report; Hugh Harrison (10 min) See Exhibit A
Discussion and Possible Action to approve the documents on VNC expenditures for August 2010. Also attached is a copy of the monthly purchase card billing for the VNC with notations as to the purpose for each expenditure.

7. Consent Calendar – items may be removed from consent calendar at request of Board member or public

A Declaration-NG=10-280-PL; ENV 2010-715 General Framework Element; Challis Macpherson

Dear Madam/Sir:

Please extend the time period for public comment on this case for six (6) months to enable the neighborhood councils to respond.

That the Venice Neighborhood Council endorses the resolution to require the Planning Department to:

1. Post all background research documents related to NEGATIVE DECLARATION-NG=10-280-PL: ENV 2010-715 online.
2. To provide full disclosure of the precise text of these proposed changes and how they fit into the General Plan Framework Element.
3. To restart the Negative Declaration process at the time these documents are posted to provide for full review of the Guidelines and the Negative Declaration in accordance with CEQA notification and review requirements.

B Rate Payers Advocate; DeDe Audet ([email protected]) See Exhibit B

I move that the VNC board send a letter to Councilman Rosendahl concerning the selection, duties, reach, and term of a Ratepayers Advocate to monitor the actions of the Los Angeles Department of Water Power in relation to the fees charged for delivery of water and power to the citizens of Los Angeles.

8. Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) New Business
[Discussion and possible action regarding the following matters]

A 585 Venice Blvd; Jake Kaufman, LUPC Chair on behalf of LUPC (310-463-0299; Chair [email protected]) See Exhibit C

Motion to approve a “change of use” to Retail Use from Manufacturing.
Comments from Ron Lasker and Sam Kagen, building co-owners in the property since 1989.

Recommendation from LUPC to approve the project as presented for:
i. Change of Use form Mfg to Retail
ii. Change of Use from Mfg to Storage
iii. Add 5 parking spaces
iv. Grant the City easement rights to provide the 26’ width requirement to provide 30 degree public parking in the public right of way along Venice Blvd.
Motion passed 6 to 0 on Aug 25, 2010. B 533 Rose (Biga); Jake Kaufman, LUPC Chair on behalf of LUPC (310-463-0299; Chair [email protected]) See Exhibit D

Motion to Approve the project as presented noting:
i. Bike rack,
ii. That the project meet BMP,
iii. Hours of 9AM-11PM weekdays and 9AM- 12 midnight on Friday and Saturday.
iv. No deliveries before 8:30 AM on weekdays or 10AM on weekends.

Approved (6-0-0) John Reed recused. Date of Motion: July 14, 2010

9. Scheduled Announcements (no more than 1 minute per report unless otherwise stated)

A VNC Announcements (3 min)
• President: Linda Lucks (310-505-4220; [email protected])
• Vice President: Carolyn Rios (310-821-7922; [email protected])

[Summary of Written Committee Reports when provided in advance]

• Neighborhood; Carolyn Rios
• Outreach; Marc Saltzberg
• Ocean Front Walk; Ivonne Guzman, Ira Koslow
• Arts; Clark McCutcheon, Daffodil Tyminski
• Education; Peter Thottam
• Environment; Kristopher Valentine
• Public Safety; Nick Hippisley Coxe
• Airport; Laura Silagi

• Community Improvement Projects: Ivan Spiegel (310-821-9556; [email protected])

B Governmental Reports (15 min)
• State Assemblyperson Ted Lieu; Jennifer Zivkovic, Field Representative (310-615-3515; [email protected])
• Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Jennifer Badger, West Area Representatives (310-479-3823; [email protected])
• City Councilperson Bill Rosendahl: Arturo Piña, Field Deputy (310-568-8772; [email protected])
• LAPD: Officer Peggy Thusing, Senior Lead Officer (310-622-3968; [email protected])
• Western Regional Alliance of Councils: Mike Newhouse (310-795-3768; [email protected])
• PlancheckLA: VNC Rep Challis Macpherson (310-822-1729; [email protected])
• LA Dept of Water & Power/Memoranda of Understanding: VNC Rep DeDe Audet (310-251-1054; [email protected])
• Westside Regional Alliance of Councils; Mike Newhouse, VNC Delegate

C Update: Friends of Ballona Wetlands Organization; David Kay on behalf of the Friends of Ballona Wetlands (626-302-2149, [email protected])

Friends of Ballona Wetlands will update the Council on organization status, and positions on the State’s wetlands access proposals

10. Announcements & Public Comment on items not on the Agenda [10 min, no more than 2 minutes per person – no board member announcements permitted]

11. Old Business

A Abbot Kinney Parking Report, Recommendations and Community Impact Statement; Discussion Only: Jed Pauker, Robin Rudisill (310.827.0144; [email protected]): See Exhibit E

Abbot Kinney’s parking issues are unique to its surroundings. This report is intended to acknowledge and promote Abbot Kinney’s eclectic and independent character with practical recommendations to address Abbot Kinney’s valet parking and food truck issues.

MOTION: We move that the Venice Neighborhood Council Board of Officers accept the foregoing report and approve the following recommendations and Community Impact Statement, for immediate transmittal to Council District 11 Office and the City Council and LA County Supervisor Yaroslavsky:

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1) Promote a consolidated valet parking program for the Abbot Kinney area.
2) Promote continued communications among involved entities to produce mutually-beneficial initiatives,
3) Promote consideration of a parking study to address current and future needs for Abbot Kinney and its surrounding area.
4) Support implementing a Business Improvement District to develop community-serving business activity management policies.
5) Support County Health Department consideration to provide cleanliness letter grading for mobile catering trucks.
6) Where a private location is used to host one or more food trucks, consider regulating the maximum number of simultaneous patrons onsite to protect public safety.
7) Where a private location is used to host one or more food trucks in or near a residential area, consider requiring signage near the property perimeter, in obvious, plain sight, advising patrons to consider residential neighbors and citing pertinent noise ordinances.
8) Where a public location is used to host a food truck, promote consideration of a permit process, part of whose fees contribute to the Venice Coastal Zone Parking Impact Fund
9) Promote inclusion of VNC’s recommendations with the City Council’s work to address food truck impacts.

VALET PARKING AND FOOD TRUCKS
COMMUNITY IMPACT STATEMENT

Venice Coastal Zone parking is at an ever-increasing premium for residents, businesses and visitors alike. Multiple short-and long-term parking restrictions continue to prove insufficient in achieving their collective goal to ease automotive congestion and the inevitable neighbor-to-neighbor tensions it creates. Lack of adequate enforcement of existing regulations combines with the failure of existing regulations to address our changing environment. Only with comprehensive and carefully-crafted initiatives designed to create space where none seems to exist can our community members and visitors hope to regain the full enjoyment of our uniquely diverse and walkable community which was intended by its founder.
Discussion and Possible Action:
B Motion to approve Community Impact Statement regarding Mechanical Parking lift issue; Jed Pauker (310.827.0144, [email protected])
Mechanical parking lifts can benefit the community, but only when they are deployed per approved community planning guidelines. Approving such devices without public input and Planning Department review negatively impacts the community, the planning process, Coastal development and the principles of representative government. A moratorium should be placed on approval of mechanical parking lifts until an ordinance can be drafted to specify proper review and operational standards for such devices in the community.
12. New Business
[Discussion and possible action regarding the following matters]

A Motion to Fund previously approved VNC Board Community Improvement Event from board funded projects:; Alex Stowell ([email protected])

I am seeking funding for an all ages metal show at Muscle Beach to take place on Oct. 30 and 31. I was promised $2000 for this through the VNC neighborhood improvement funding and this commitment was reneged upon. I had followed all the required steps and was never contacted by Ivan Spiegel informing me that the funding could be in trouble. After several failed attempts to contact him regarding the proper process for submitting receipts, I was informed rather casually, that my funding was no longer available. I put my name on this event over a year ago and have over 100 people involved in performance and production. I have already postponed it once. The total cost for the event is going to be around $4000 and I would greatly appreciate any funding you could take out of this year’s allotment and apply to my event. Thank you very much for time and consideration. This event will give young Venice musicians a great chance to showcase their skills.

B Motion to approve Median Strip & foliage for Washington Blvd; Carolyn Rios: The Neighborhood Committee recommends that the VNC make the following motion in support of Stakeholder John Tabis. (818-560-6107, [email protected]) See Exhibit F

Whereas Washington Blvd is already torn up for sewage work, it is imperative that the final asphalting plan be changed to include a curb and gutter median strip so that this part of the street ( Mildred St to Palawan Way) can be beautified with trees and foliage.

C Motion to Approve Agenda Posting Places Marc Saltzberg on behalf of the Outreach Committee (310-892-9660, [email protected]

1) The Outreach Committee was asked to explore and recommend posting sites in order to comply with the new BONC / DONE directive that each NC have at least 5 official posting places in addition to their website. The Outreach Committee discussed suggestions made by the Neighborhood Committee, the Outreach Committee and recommended the following 8 sites and suggests that the VNC Board select the final five sites.

The criteria used to select posting places were:
• The site must be physically within the VNC boundaries (eg. the south side of Washington on County land is out).
• We have to have physical access to the site so that we can post.
• As many as possible (at least 1) should be available for viewing 24/7 (none currently are). The sites should be geographically diverse; there should be a reasonable level of foot traffic; the posting place must have a bulletin Board large enough to hold meeting notices from at least 3 committees simultaneously posting at the site must not present an undue burden on person posting.

The committee recommends the following posting sites to Ad Com for final selection by that committee:
1. Penmar Park
2. Cow’s End (note: no bulletin board – windows available)
3. Café Collage (note: no bulletin board – windows available)
4. Whole Foods
5. **Groundworks Coffee – on Rose (note: no bulletin board – door available)
6. **Abbot’s Habit
7. **Oakwood Park
8. **Venice Library

* existing posting site

The Committee recommends that the final list of public posting sites be noted on our website and in our literature.

2) Motion to approve that Committee Chairs forward all agendas to the VNC Board and the VNC Neighborhood Committees for posting in front of their residences or on bulletin boards in their area. Marc Saltzburg on behalf of Outreach Committee [email protected]

13. Announcements & Public Comment on items not on the Agenda [10 min, no more than 2 minutes per person – no board member announcements permitted]

14. Board Member Comments on subject matters within the VNC jurisdiction. [10 min, no more than 1 minutes per person]

15. Adjourn (approx 10:00PM)

Exhibit A – Treasurers Report

Exhibit B – Rate Payer Advocate

Draft Letter September 20, 2010

Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl
800 N. Spring Street Rm. 415
Los Angeles, California

Dear Councilmember Rosendahl, At its meeting on September 21, 2010, the Venice Neighborhood Council endorsed the attached memorandum concerning the selection, duties, reach, and term of a Ratepayers Advocate to monitor the actions of the Los Angeles Department of Water Power in relation to the fees charged for delivery of water and power to the citizens of Los Angeles.

Please forward this communication and the attached document to the DWP Reform combined Rules and Elections and Energy and Environment committees of the City Council for consideration for a ballot measure to be prepared for the March 2011 Election.

Your interest in this issue and your hosting of a meeting in District 11 to receive input from stakeholders has been very helpful.

Thank you,

Linda Lucks President, Venice Neighborhood Council

CV/da
Attach: Ratepayers Preliminary Term Sheet
CC: R&E, E&E
Exhibit C – LUPC Staff Report regarding 585 Venice Blvd

Exhibit D – LUPC Staff Report 533 Rose (Biga)

Exhibit E – Abbot Kinney Parking Report

In pursuing our assignment to investigate, report and recommend on the issues of food trucks and valet parking, we focused on the following questions:

o Do our recommendations enhance the mission of the VNC?
o To what extent, and for how many stakeholders, can our work improve the quality of life?
o What City resources are likely to be readily available, and for what resources may we have to petition?
o What VNC resources, both technical and human, does our work require?
o How much public meeting time is our presentation likely to require?
o How soon must the Board act in order to move forward most effectively?

Our Neighborhood Council is, first and foremost, the messenger of our community’s voice to the City. Recommendations on these issues are designed to speak as broadly and directly as possible for the benefit of all Venice stakeholders, whether homeowner, renter, entrepreneur or visitor. We must speak to the City mindful of its current financial destitution, as well as its mandate, in any case, to represent our community’s will. Understanding that this is a time of transition to a new VNC Board, we planned our work to use the least possible personnel resources while making the best use of available technical tools. We expect to require no more than twenty minutes of Board meeting time to present our findings and recommendations, and for Board consideration. Because these issues are as rapidly-moving as are their proponents and regulators, promising benefits that far outweigh current detriments, we recommend that the Board act with all due haste.

To date, our work has included: Research on recent local food truck and valet parking history; outreach to CD11 and CD4 staff, LAPD, the Fire Marshall, LADOT, local food truck vendors and their representative, local residents and entrepreneurs for direction, information and general issue discussion; research on the food truck industry’s nationwide emergence; analysis of valet parking issues and existing models; and, finally, First Friday field work on Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

RESOURCES

Online

Research materials are posted here: http://venicenc.org/parking-abbotkinney.

Survey

The community continues to provide survey input. Designed as a door-to-door poll of the area immediately encircling the most-impacted Abbot Kinney area, our VNC survey also received input via email from as far away as the Milwood walk streets, and at least one response to date arriving via US mail. The strict quantification of replies to “Yes/No/Don’t-Care” questions regarding food trucks and valet parking belies the remarkably holistic range of thoughtful comments, questions and suggestions provided by stakeholders from both the residential and business communities.
This said, the nominal numbers follow:

Food Truck Operations
31% Positive – I welcome them.
54% Negative – I want them gone.
15% Neutral – They don’t affect me.

Valet Parking
5% Positive – I welcome them.
52% Negative – I want them gone.
43% Neutral – They don’t affect me.

Survey considerations and highlights:

While at least one respondent reported an altercation with a valet parking worker, some others reported no awareness that valets parked cars on their streets. Still others reported frustration with valets parking on their streets, while one expressed no concern about parking congestion, offering her family’s acceptance of scarce parking as a de facto condition of moving into the area. More than one resident expressed a sense of unfairness about grandfather parking rights for restaurants at their expense.

Whereas the VNC survey pertained to both food truck and valet parking issues, the Abbot Kinney business survey, generously compiled and provided in the aggregate by Carol Tantau, pertained strictly to Abbot Kinney food truck operations and, for the most part, their First Fridays experiences. As such, valet parking opinions were not available from Abbot Kinney businesses. While the vast majority of Abbot Kinney business operators were critical of the presence and some practices of food truck operators, many comments showed both tolerance and business benefits from food truck operations on Abbot Kinney.

Note: Survey answers were provided per the promise of anonymity for respondents. Some stakeholders chose to receive further information about these issues, and some signed up to receive regular VNC mailings.

While the surveys show respondents’ opinions, they do not address resolving our fundamental challenge: automotive congestion.

Studies

In addition to the variety of nationally-based online resources developed since May, we received a report from a local group that had commissioned a 2009 parking study for Lincoln Boulevard. Two graduate students from UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning, under Professor Donald Shoup, studied parking along Lincoln Boulevard between Machado Drive and Venice Boulevard. The study’s recommendations were “intended to foster a less auto-dependent and more pedestrian-, bike-, and transit-friendly Lincoln Boulevard.” The study included summaries of results in other cities that have realized benefits from parking congestion-relieving initiatives, some of which would merit consideration for Abbot Kinney.

On August 11, the City Council Transportation Committee, led by Councilmember Rosendahl, held a public hearing, at which a multitude of City, County, restaurant and mobile food truck operators and representatives convened, to share analysis, reports and wide-ranging testimony on the history, growth and subsequent management challenges for the City’s mobile catering truck industry. A wealth of valuable data, including examples of traditional business groups working with mobile food truck vendors, was made available to the public at this meeting.

Outreach

Our outreach and research efforts dovetailed with stakeholder survey input to inform our recommendations. Senior Lead Officers Thusing and Skinner were always willing to answer our questions about codes and practical enforcement challenges, also arranging for a police helicopter to estimate the crowd size on September 3 (approximately two thousand). LAFD Inspector Nealy provided deep perspective based on his safety and crowd assessment work. Council District 11 Office staff Arturo Pina, Laura McClennan and John Gregory each provided direction and contact information for various entities. DOT’s Mo Blorfroshan provided helpful direction regarding signage. Finally, our own Past-President Emeritus DeDe Audet and Liz Wright provided direction, as well as offers to help with orange safety vests for our work!
More than one survey respondent mentioned self-regulation. Discussions with representatives of Abbot Kinney vendors and food truck operators have produced ideas and initiatives, at least one of which is active now and more of which are in the planning stages. These initiatives include, but are not limited to, exploring new parking options, increasing frequency and scope of trash collection, direct outreach to Abbot Kinney businesses, relocating food trucks to low-impact areas, designating specific areas for multiple trucks and partnering between food truck and business operators to provide incentives to residents.
Given that some new regulation is likely inevitable, our efforts must focus on continuing positive dialogue and transparently-vetted goals.
Exhibit E2 – Councilman Rosendahl re: Valet parking and food truck issues Draft letter:

Councilman Bill Rosendahl
City Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Bill,

The Venice Neighborhood Council passed a resolution at its meeting on September 21, 2010, approving a report and recommendations regarding valet parking and food truck impact issues in and around Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

As you know, Los Angeles lacks a centralized valet parking program, leading to valet practices that include cordoning off zones which may not belong to their clients and negatively affecting already-congested residential parking areas in Venice’s Coastal Zone. In contrast, many adjacent and nearby cities enjoy regulated valet parking services, with predictable and enforceable operating rules and permit requirements.

We understand that the City Attorney has been directed to prepare an ordinance to establish a citywide valet parking permit program.

As we all know, the dynamic and exciting explosion of the mobile food vendor industry also brings unexpected and unwelcome impacts, which risk overshadowing this industry’s innovative and community-building effects on our social and economic landscape.

We applaud your Transportation Committee’s public dialogue on the issue. We believe Venice’s broad experience with both issues, both as to current impacts and emerging initiatives, is critically relevant, and will help you inform this dialogue for the benefit of all parties.

We therefore request your cooperation in bringing the Venice Neighborhood Council’s recommendations to this dialogue’s discussion table. We are prepared to provide the resources necessary to engage fellow participants for the purpose of providing the comprehensively-crafted solutions these issues deserve.

Thank you in advance for your expeditious response to your community and, as always, your good works.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Lucks
President
Venice Neighborhood Council

Exhibit F – Median Strip & foliage for Washington Blvd
Draft letter

September 14, 2010

Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl
800 N. Spring Street, Rm 415
Los Angeles,California

Dear Councilmember Rosendahl:

At its meeting on September 21, 2010, The Venice Neighborhood Council passed the following motion:

Whereas Washington Blvd is already torn up for sewage work, it is imperative that the city stop the final asphalting of the Washington Blvd sewage project and instead install a curb and gutter strip so that this part of the street ( Mildred St to Palawan Way) can be beautified with trees and foliage.
A center divider would separate the two sides of the street, slow traffic a bit, and be more pedestrian and user friendly. This is a purely residential area, and yet the street is wide and unwieldy and not as attractive as it could be. By putting in a barrier we would reduce noise, and have a chance to beautify this stretch. Since the sewer construction has ripped up the center of the road anyway, this is the perfect time to make this change.

Thank You,

Linda Lucks
President
Venice Neighborhood Council

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