City of Cerritos logo

Skip to Content | Footer | Accessibility

E-News signup for e-mail/text updates

 

city logo

Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS
HELD NOVEMBER 24, 2008

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Cerritos City Hall, 18125 Bloomfield Avenue, Cerritos, California.

INVOCATION

Pastor Carl Bernal with St. John Lutheran Church in Cerritos offered the invocation.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Girl Scout, Brownie, Daisies and Junior Troop 767 led the assembly in the salute to the flag.

ROLL CALL

The following Members of the City Council were in attendance:

Councilwoman Carol Chen
Councilman Joseph Cho, Ph.D.
Councilwoman Laura Lee
Mayor Pro Tem Bruce W. Barrows
Mayor Jim Edwards

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Larry Caballero, Senior Field Representative for Assemblymember Tony Mendoza, offered an invitation to Assemblymember Mendoza's 2nd Annual Holiday Open House & Toy Drive on Thursday, December 4, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the District Office at 12501 East Imperial Highway, Suite 210, Norwalk.

Raymond Chavez, Cerritos resident, referenced the arterial block wall rehabilitation issue in discussing the history and circumstances surrounding his attempts to repair his block wall as a result of receiving notification from the City that the wall does not meet standards.  He opined that the lack of City standards has resulted in delays in repairing his wall and could result in a significant increase in costs, noting that his contractor has been unable to secure a permit from the City for this purpose.  He requested clarification regarding County versus City codes for block walls and noted that his home had been nominated and won past City Wide Pride recognition.

Federico Quinto, Jr., Cerritos resident, referenced the California Public Records Act in commenting about the arterial block wall rehabilitation matter.  He questioned the timing of the October 23 DMS consultant report as the basis of the City Attorney opinion that the walls were owned by the residents, since the opinion was made available before the October 23 City Council meeting, and expressed reluctance to accept the opinion due to this timing issue.  He asserted that the footings have been over-engineered and requested reliable information with an explanation of the block wall requirements in plain English.

Steve Stallings, Cerritos resident, requested more than the 5 minutes allotted per speaker during public comments as well as a rebuttal period.  The Mayor indicated that the Brown Act discourages dialogue with regard to non-agenda items.  With regard to arterial block wall rehabilitation, Mr. Stallings commented on related legal issues; opined that the arterial walls are a shared responsibility; and elaborated on a 1999 City of Costa Mesa arterial block wall situation involving the creation of an assessment district and shared City responsibility, calling upon Cerritos to implement a similar process.  He questioned the inference that the wall codes were imposed by Los Angeles County and stated that wall standards had not changed.  Mr. Stallings also questioned the selection of Willdan Engineering as an independent engineering source, since Willdan was co-founded by a former Cerritos City Engineer, William Stookey, asserting that Willdan Engineering and Mr. Stookey have been contributors to some of the campaigns of members of this body.  He expressed frustration at being unable to obtain block wall requirements from the City, noting that the local ordinance covers this and asked why the City was hiding behind the County.

Ram Kakkar, Cerritos resident, expressed that the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Cerritos Towne Center/Shoemaker Avenue overpass did not sufficiently analyze the potential impact of the additional 10,500 cars traversing Shoemaker Avenue south of 183rd Street as a result of the Towne Center development.  He asserted that the present 65 decibel noise level on this segment of Shoemaker Avenue is in excess of the standard and that the EIR is unclear whether air quality standards relate to industrial or residential uses.  Mr. Kakkar asserted that the City has benefited economically from the construction of the Towne Center at the expense of the residents on Shoemaker Avenue who are experiencing a silent and unhealthy environment brought on by increased traffic and related pollution emissions, vandalism, and burglary, and expressed that a one-time investment could rectify the problem.

Jay Gray, Cerritos resident, indicated that the Towne Center/Shoemaker Bridge EIR ignored Shoemaker Avenue south of 183rd Street, the redevelopment increment should be invested in residences, there are overhead wires on Artesia Boulevard, redevelopment money comes from property taxes, and there is confusion surrounding Mr. Chavez's wall situation.  He asked about the County's role in the arterial wall situation, asserting that there are potential conflicts of interest and ethics questions with regard to a former engineer running a company doing a lot of work for the city.  Mr. Gray stated that one councilmember here before him now has served for a long time for an Orange County federal lawmaker and this lawmaker is in Stanton and represents an area where Orco walls is, the folks that make most of the bricks, and he has received money from the owner and that person has been appointed for maybe 10 years to represent him for a certain committee and that person is helping make decisions here and she knows who he's speaking of.  He commented that there is too much funny stuff and more transparency is needed.

Alon Barlevy, Cerritos resident, referenced Proposition B on the November 1994 ballot, which amended the City Charter to provide that the date of City elections could be the same as the date for general law cities, and he suggested the City's municipal elections be consolidated with the County's elections in November of odd-numbered years to save money and increase voter turnout.  He noted this change could be effected by vote of the Council or election.

Brian Holiwell, Cerritos resident, announced the 11-13 year olds Cerritos Steelers Youth Football Team Orange County Junior All American Football Conference Super Bowl Game on November 29 at 5:15 p.m. at Orange Coast College.

Following a brief discussion, it was noted that the matter of placing on a future agenda the Shoemaker Avenue wall issue would be deferred to later in the Council meeting under City Council communications.

It was also noted that staff is in communication with Mr. Chavez and re-scheduled a meeting that Mr. Chavez was unable to attend, the City contracts with the County of Los Angeles for building and inspection services, the Planning Commission has reviewed and the City Council has adopted the Los Angeles County Building Code by reference, and staff has developed a policy with regard to arterial block walls and will forward it to the City Council.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Approval of Register of Demands

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Cho to approve the Register of Demands dated November 24, 2008, Checks 104340 through 104626, in the total amount of $2,120,275.64.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Cho to approve the Minutes of the Special Meeting of November 10, 2008.  The motion carried unanimously.

Miscellaneous

Consideration and award of Bid No. 1084-09, purchase of one new 3/4 ton pickup truck.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Cho to award Bid No. 1084-09 for the purchase of one new 3/4 ton pickup truck to Theodore Robins Ford in the amount of $27,227.25.  The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration and award of Bid No. 1085-09, purchase of one new one ton flatbed dump truck.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Cho to award Bid No. 1085-09 for the purchase of one new one ton flatbed dump truck to Theodore Robins Ford in the amount of $28,901.88.  The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration and award of Bid No. 1086-09, purchase of one new chipper.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Cho to award Bid No. 1086-09 for the purchase of one new chipper to Vermeer Pacific in the amount of $38,110.22.  The motion carried unanimously.

Consideration and award of Bid No. 1087-09, printing of the Cerritos News, Cerritos Library News, Community Services Program and Cerritos Lifelong Enrichment Newsletter.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Cho to award Bid No. 1087-09 for the printing of the Cerritos News, Cerritos Library News, Community Services Program and Cerritos Lifelong Enrichment Newsletter to Lithocraft Co. in the amount of $118,717.79.  The motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARINGS/PENDING LEGAL MATTERS

Councilwoman Chen left the Council Chambers at 8:05 p.m. due to a potential conflict of interest related to her ownership of property within close proximity to the subject property.

The following items were considered concurrently.

Consideration to waive reading of and introduce AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AMENDING CHAPTER 22.27, CR—REGIONAL COMMERCIAL ZONE, OF THE CERRITOS MUNICIPAL CODE TO REDUCE OFF-STREET PARKING STANDARDS FOR SHOPPING CENTERS GREATER THAN 100,000 SQUARE FEET IN GROSS FLOOR AREA.

Mitigated Negative Declaration*

Development Code Amendment 2008-4

*One Mitigated Negative Declaration was prepared for Precise Plan 2008-11 and Development Code Amendment 2008-4.

(Continued from the November 10, 2008 City Council meeting.)

A development proposal by Macerich Cerritos, LLC, 401 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 700, Santa Monica, California, 90401-1452, to demolish the building located at 300 Los Cerritos Center, formerly the Robinsons-May Department Store, and to construct a one-story multi-tenant retail commercial expansion and a two-story Nordstrom Department Store building generally located within the northeast quadrant of the Los Cerritos Center.  The Los Cerritos Center totals ±94.893 acres of land, is zoned Regional Commercial (CR), and is located within the Los Cerritos Redevelopment Project Area (APN 7038-014-012, APN 7038-014-013, APN 7038-014-014, APN 7038-014-015, APN 7038-014-016, APN 7038-014-017).

Cerritos Redevelopment Agency Conformity Report 2008-3

Mitigated Negative Declaration*

Precise Plan 2008-11

*One Mitigated Negative Declaration was prepared for Precise Plan 2008-11 and Development Code Amendment 2008-4.

(Continued from the November 10, 2008 City Council meeting.)

Review and consideration of an Ownership Participation Agreement (OPA) between the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency and Macerich Cerritos, LLC, for improvements to Los Cerritos Center in the Los Cerritos Redevelopment Project Area (APN 7038-014-012, APN 7038-014-013, APN 7038-014-014,

APN 7038-014-015, APN 7038-014-016, APN 7038-014-017).

(Continued from the November 10, 2008 City Council meeting.)

Title was read to the foregoing items and public hearings opened.

Community Development Director Contreras reviewed the staff report dated November 24, 2008 related to Development Code Amendment 2008-4, and following Advance Planning Manager Hamilton's review of the November 24,2008 Precise Plan 2008-11 staff report, he provided an overview of the proposed Ownership Participation Agreement (OPA) contained in the staff report dated November 24, 2008, noting the following:  the OPA was addressed within the environmental assessment that was prepared in support of the project and the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency is a responsible agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and as a responsible agency has considered and determined as adequate the Mitigated Negative Declaration prepared by the City of Cerritos for the proposed development at the Los Cerritos Shopping Center.  He, therefore, recommended that the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency find that the Mitigated Negative Declaration is adequate and that no subsequent CEQA document is necessary and that the Executive Director be authorized to execute the proposed OPA subject to minor modifications that will be reflected in the final document.  Approval of Development Code Amendment 2008-4, Precise Plan 2008-11, and related Mitigated Negative Declaration was also recommended.

Discussion ensued and the following points were addressed:  according to the ordinance the developer would be providing one art piece at a cost of $450,000 in conjunction with this proposal; with regard to the ownership participation agreement no relocation costs would be paid and Item 10.1.6 (ix) Prohibited Uses would be modified to change the language adult business to sexually oriented business consistent with the City's ordinance; increased tax increment and sales taxes would be generated from the project; all Los Cerritos Mall property owners, including Sears and Macy's concur with the proposal; the land use statistics included in the staff report are reflective of the entire Mall, and should future Mall expansion occur, parking requirements would be reviewed at that time; and the most recent traffic data for the Mall was taken in February of 2008, with consistent, but relatively minor percentage increases over the past ten years.

Paul Bellenbaum, Cerritos resident, requested and received clarification that the Comerica Bank property is privately owned, and that demolition work associated with the proposal is being contracted by the developer, with no use of explosives.

Jay Gray, Cerritos resident, requested and received clarification that the demolition work is occurring under a separate permit and that a parking structure had been identified in the budget, however, the developer has indicated there is no longer interest in a parking structure at the Mall.

Cheryl Hines, Assistant Vice President Development, Macerich Company, commented on particulars of the proposed project, including details outlined in the staff report, related to landscaping, architectural enhancements, new restaurant, art piece, and sustainable building materials/processes.  She requested approval of the proposal.

Preston Plaxco, architect/project manager representing Nordstrom, indicated he was involved in the design of the existing Nordstrom and elaborated further on the sustainable components of the proposed development.  He commented on the commissioning of original art pieces for the store interior and noted the benefits of the increased store area.

No one else wishing to present testimony, the public hearing was closed.

Development Code Amendment 2008-4

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Barrows and seconded by Councilwoman Lee that the City Council:

A.        Certify and approve the Mitigated Negative Declaration for Development Code Amendment 2008-4, which was completed in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); and

B.         Direct staff to file a Notice of Determination in accordance with Section 3.5 of the Environmental Impact Report Guidelines of the City of Cerritos;

as recommended in the staff report dated November 24, 2008.  The motion carried, with Councilwoman Chen absent.

AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AMENDING CHAPTER 22.27,

CR—REGIONAL COMMERCIAL ZONE, OF THE CERRITOS MUNICIPAL CODE TO REDUCE OFF-STREET PARKING STANDARDS FOR SHOPPING CENTERS GREATER THAN 100,000 SQUARE FEET IN GROSS FLOOR AREA.

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Barrows and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to waive reading of and introduce Ordinance No. 944 entitled AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AMENDING CHAPTER 22.27, CR—REGIONAL COMMERCIAL ZONE, OF THE CERRITOS MUNICIPAL CODE TO REDUCE OFF-STREET PARKING STANDARDS FOR SHOPPING CENTERS GREATER THAN 100,000 SQUARE FEET IN GROSS FLOOR AREA.  The motion carried by the following vote:

AYES:             Councilmembers – Cho, Lee, Barrows, Edwards

NOES:             Councilmembers – None

ABSENT:        Councilmembers – Chen

ABSTAIN:       Councilmembers – None

Precise Plan 2008-11

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Barrows and seconded by Councilwoman Lee that the City Council:

A.        Receive and file Cerritos Redevelopment Agency Conformity Report 2008-3;

B.         Receive, file, certify and approve the Negative Declaration related to Precise Plan 2008-11, making the findings outlined in Cerritos Planning Commission Resolution No. PC 2008-28; and

C.        Approve Precise Plan 2008-11, making the findings contained in Cerritos Planning Commission Resolution No. PC 2008-30;

as recommended in the staff report dated November 24, 2008.  The motion carried, with Councilwoman Chen absent.

Ownership Participation Agreement (OPA) between the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency and Macerich Cerritos, LLC

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Barrows and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to concur with Cerritos Redevelopment Agency action to authorize the Executive Director to execute an Ownership Participation Agreement with Macerich Cerritos, LLC, substantially in the form submitted in connection with the staff report dated November 24, 2008 with such modifications as the Agency's Executive Director may determine necessary or appropriate, and such other implementing and related documents in such form as the Agency's Executive Director may determine necessary or appropriate to complete the Ownership Participation Agreement; and concur with the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency finding that the Mitigated Negative Declaration associated with Precise Plan 2008-11 and Development Code Amendment 2008-4 was considered and determined as adequate and that no subsequent California Environmental Quality Act document is necessary.  The motion carried, with Councilwoman Chen absent.

Councilwoman Chen returned to the dais at 8:55 p.m.

RECESS AND RECONVENE

The meeting recessed at 8:55 p.m. and reconvened at 9:05 p.m. with all Councilmembers in attendance.

PENDING LEGAL MATTERS

Consideration to waive reading of and adopt A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS SUPPORTING THE CENTRAL BASIN MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT'S "SHUT YOUR TAP!" WATER CONSERVATION CAMPAIGN.

Discussion was held regarding the City's ongoing, long-term water conservation efforts and the use of artificial turf.

MOTION:  Following discussion, it was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilwoman Chen to waive reading of and adopt Resolution No. 2008-37 entitled A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS SUPPORTING THE CENTRAL BASIN MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT'S "SHUT YOUR TAP!" WATER CONSERVATION CAMPAIGN.  The motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC WORKS ACTIVITIES

Consideration and approval of the installation of a replacement podium in the Cerritos City Council Chambers.

Assistant City Engineer Vancheswaran provided an overview of the proposed podium replacement, noting that the new podium would improve disabled accessibility.  He reviewed options with regard to placement of a speaker timing light at the podium to assist in displaying to speakers and others the remaining speaking time.

Jay Gray, Cerritos resident, offered that placing the speaker timing light at the podium may be intimidating to speakers.

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Barrows and seconded by Councilwoman Chen to approve the design and authorize the installation of a replacement podium in the Cerritos City Council Chambers as outlined in the staff report dated November 24, 2008.  The motion carried unanimously.

MOTION:  Following discussion regarding speaker timing light placement, alignment of the podium and loss of access at that point due to increased podium width, and cost, it was moved by Mayor Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee that the speaker timing light be placed on top of the podium.  The motion carried, with Mayor Pro Tem Barrows and Councilman Cho dissenting, noting a preference for a different location for the podium speaker timing light.

NEW AND OLD BUSINESS

Review and selection of an appointment to the Southeast/Long Beach Sector of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board of Directors.

Discussion was held regarding whether or not the City Council should take action to select an appointment or the Mayor should cast a vote at his discretion at the Board meeting.

MOTION:  Following discussion, it was moved by Councilman Cho and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Barrows to let the Mayor cast the vote for an appointment to the Southeast/Long Beach Sector of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board of Directors at his discretion, while taking into consideration two principles related to the transfer imbalance of moneys from cities going to the City of Los Angeles and the voting make-up of the MTA weighted in favor of the City of Los Angeles even though cities represent higher sales tax and population figures.  The motion carried, with Councilwoman Lee and Mayor Edwards dissenting.

CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/REPORT ON MEETINGS

City Councilmembers wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

In response to inquiry of Councilwoman Lee, the City Manager indicated that the City has no structural engineer on staff and the City contracted with Willdan Engineering for these services as part of the arterial block wall rehabilitation review, adding that staff is checking into the research undertaken by residents with regard to this matter.

Councilman Cho reported on his attendance at the Veterans Day and Youth Flag Football Awards ceremonies, and discussed his experience serving on jury duty.

A brief discussion ensued regarding matters addressed during Public Comments including the Shoemaker Avenue wall issue and placing the matter on a future agenda, in addition to the arterial block wall rehabilitation and a possible report from staff responding to the technical issues pertaining to these walls.

MOTION:  It was then moved by Councilman Cho and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to place on a future agenda the Shoemaker Avenue wall issue.  The motion carried unanimously.

CONSENSUS:  At the request of Mayor Pro Tem Barrows it was the consensus of the

City Council to direct staff to prepare a budget update for City Council review and consideration at a study session in January, 2009.

City Manager Gallucci provided a status report on the City's priority list for federal and state funding allocations.

CONSENSUS:  At the request of Mayor Pro Tem Barrows it was the consensus of the City Council to direct staff to look into the National League of Cities Prescription Discount Card Program.

Councilman Barrows noted that he had been selected Chair of the Orange Line Development Authority and reported on a recent meeting of the Authority.

Mayor Edwards reported on the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony this evening and his attendance at the National Congress of Cities, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation Eddy Awards at the Beverly Hilton at which the City was one of six finalists of cities over 50,000 in population; and the Youth Flag Football Awards ceremony.  He noted that the next City Council meeting would be December 11 and announced the December 6 Holiday Boutique at the Senior Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 10:20 p.m. in memory of Councilwoman Chen's father-in-law Chien Chung Chen, who recently passed away.

/s/Josephine Triggs   
Josephine Triggs, City Clerk

ATTEST:

/s/Jim Edwards  
Jim Edwards, Mayor

Approved:  December 11, 2008

 

Back to Article Top