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Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS
HELD JANUARY 8, 2009

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

Councilwoman Lee offered the invocation.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Members of Girl Scout Troop 678 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

PRESENTATIONS

A proclamation designating January 13, 2009 as Korean American Day was presented to Korean American Foundation-LA President Sung Woong Kim, Korean American Foundation-USA Honorary President Dr. Byung Wook Yoon, LOKA-USA Co-National President Dr. Ku Oh, and Korean American Foundation-LA Chairman Dr. Sang Won Park, and a rose of Sharon fan and photograph were presented to the City by Keunwoo Club, USA President Bok Im Kim. 

A proclamation was also presented to the Cerritos High School Boys Varsity Water Polo Team for winning the 2008 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division IV Southern Section Championship Tournament, this being its third Division title in three years.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Larry Caballero, Assemblymember Tony Mendoza's Senior Field Representative, announced nominations are open for the 56th Assembly District Women of the Year.

Steve Stallings, speaking on behalf of Ram Kakkar, Cerritos resident, suggested a liaison between the City Council and residents to address issues in a timely fashion and provide a venue for feedback and resolution on matters of interest to the community to avoid the creation of adversarial relationships.

David Carleen, Huntington Beach business owner, presented an undated letter and photographs regarding a traffic citation issued to his truck driver.  He asserted that signage and notice prohibiting truck traffic on Carmenita Road is inadequate and resulted in a traffic citation that was excessive, which resulted in what he described as entrapment.  He indicated he did not have the money to pay the citation and appealed to the Council to correct this situation and mitigate the fine.

Steve Stallings, Cerritos resident, expressed that the City has been remiss over the past 25 years in failing to mitigate Towne Center impacts on residents in the area of Shoemaker Avenue south of 183rd Street, opining that noise levels in this area exceed Federal Highway Administration limits and were heightened with the 1983 elimination of vehicle weight limits.  With regard to recent City noise measurements, Mr. Stallings asserted that the Droxford/Shoemaker location was a poor choice because it was as far from the 91 Freeway as possible while remaining within the area, the intersection is not bounded on all four sides by walls and noise can dissipate across the elementary school property, and the majority of the traffic noise is a combination of Shoemaker Avenue and 183rd Street.  He also requested the noise measurement criteria.

It was noted by the Mayor that this matter would be addressed at the January 29 City Council meeting.

Jay Gray, Cerritos resident, in referencing a DMS report, asserted that it is factually inaccurate and encouraged the Council to correct the report.  He noted that in order to avoid the filing of an ethics complaint, he is requesting retraction of City Attorney comments contained in an October 23, 2008 memorandum related to arterial block walls located wholly on private residential property, which may have been based on an inaccurate report.  He thanked the efforts of staff and Councilmembers in working with residents throughout this process.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Approval of Register of Demands

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Register of Demands dated January 8, 2009, Checks 105033 through 105826, in the total amount of $19,488,142.47.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Treasurer's Report

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Treasurer's Report for the period ending November 30, 2008.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of December 11, 2008.  The motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARINGS

An appeal of a decision of the Cerritos Property Preservation Commission denying a request to remove a parkway tree adjacent to the property located at 17102 Yvette Avenue, Cerritos, California (APN 7012-024-011), Case No.

TR 2008-7 - Appellants:  Glen and Sonia Santa Ana.

Appeal to the City Council PPC 2008-1

Title was read to the foregoing item and the public hearing opened.

Parks Superintendent Kuh provided an overview of the staff report dated January 8, 2009, reported that the Property Preservation Commission denied the appeal of Glen and Sonia Santa Ana and presented staff's recommendation that the City Council uphold that determination.  Mr. Kuh responded to Council inquiries as follows:  at this point the root system has spread out to stabilize the tree and a root barrier would not be effective; the City keeps a list of preferred trees; and the Property Preservation Commission did not consider the total amount of tree removals allowed per year, but considered this case individually considering the healthy nature of the tree.  He commented on the claim process and it was noted that a claim was filed by the appellants for damage to their sewer lateral, driveway and landscape planter.

Interested parties were invited to present testimony.

Glen and Sonia Santa Ana, appellants, approached the Council, and Mr. Santa Ana asserted that the City's parkway tree roots had damaged their flowerbed, lawn, landscaping, and sewer lateral, which has required repair on three occasions, with the most recent plumber recommendation to insert a costly sleeve into the sewer line.  He submitted a December 18, 2008 letter from the City's claims adjustor agreeing to repair of the landscaping and denying the sewer line repair, adding that he and his wife are pursuing this appeal as a means of requesting the City to pay for half of the sewer repair or to remove the tree.  Mr. Santa Ana opined that other cities have programs to assist residents in similar circumstances and that the situation is a growing problem for all residents.  He asked the Council to favorably consider their appeal to prevent further emotional stress, financial burden and physical damages.

At the request of the Council, Administrative Services Director Manoogian reviewed the City's claims adjustor evaluation letter of December 18, 2008, which indicated the lateral sewer line damage was not caused by the tree; it is reasonable that the tree roots caused damage to the front lawn and planter box and an estimate was requested from the appellants; and that the minimal cracks to the driveway did not appear to be caused by the tree roots and the appellants could excavate the driveway at their cost to determine if the roots caused the damage or not, with the City paying for repair if the roots did cause the damage and the appellants paying for repair if they did not.

The possibility of continuing the hearing until a determination on the driveway is completed was discussed as well as comment that the appeal is for removal of the tree and not a determination on reimbursement for damages.  During the discussion, Mr. Santa Ana indicated that surface roots appeared to be traveling in the direction of his residence structure and he was reluctant to remove surface roots of a City-owned parkway tree from his lawn.  Additional discussion was held regarding surface tree root removal, confirmation that roots typically remain within the drip line of the tree, and whether or not a video had been taken when the sewer lateral was repaired.  It was noted that that City's claims adjustor did not question that roots appeared in the sewer line, however, due to the location of the sewer line compared to the tree roots, the adjustor evaluated the situation and determined that there was a break in the sewer line first, which attracted the roots to the line.

No one else wished to address the City Council and the public hearing was closed.

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

1.         Uphold the Property Preservation Commission's determination denying the property owners' request to remove the parkway tree located adjacent to the 17102 Yvette Avenue residence in accordance with the City's tree ordinance; and

2.         Inform the property owners of the City Council's determination regarding the removal of said parkway tree,

as recommended in the staff report dated January 8, 2009.  The motion carried, with Councilwoman Chen dissenting.

The City Attorney observed that should private residents take action on parkway tree roots growing on their property, that this action should be done in such a way that does not damage the parkway tree.

NEW AND OLD BUSINESS

Consideration of the first amendment to Agreement No. 30750 with the City of Long Beach for the provision of animal care and control services for the period July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010.

Community Services Supervisor Merina provided an overview of the staff report dated January 8, 2009.

Discussion ensued regarding the potential of Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA) providing animal control services to the City; the need to effectively address stray cat and barking dog complaints; and the amendment's 30-day notice termination without penalty.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Cho and seconded by Councilwoman Chen that the City Council:

1.         Approve the First Amendment to Agreement No. 30750 for the provision of animal care and control services between the City of Long Beach and the City of Cerritos for the period of July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010;

2.         Authorize the City Manager to sign all necessary documentation on behalf of the City of Cerritos; and

3.         Authorize staff to continue negotiations with Southeast Area Animal Control Authority, if possible.

The motion carried, with Mayor Pro Tem Barrows dissenting and expressing a preference not to extend the contract to 2010.

Consideration and review of an informational report to the Cerritos City Council regarding an update to the City's building and safety fees pursuant to provisions of State Senate Bill 1473.

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Barrows and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to receive and file the staff report dated January 8, 2009 entitled An informational report to the Cerritos City Council regarding an update to the City's building and safety fees pursuant to provisions of State Senate Bill 1473.  The motion carried unanimously.

PENDING LEGISLATION

Staff reported that monitoring of the State budget crisis and its potential impact on the City continues.

CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/REPORT ON MEETINGS

Councilwoman Lee wished everyone a Happy New Year and in response to her inquiry staff addressed General Fund unrestricted reserves.

CONSENSUS:  At the suggestion of Councilwoman Lee, staff was directed to report back on the City budget at one of the February 2009 City Council meetings.

Councilman Cho wished everyone a Happy New Year, addressed current economic conditions, and suggested considering the reorganization of the commission and committee system in the City.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Cho and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to place on a future agenda a review of the City's commission and committee system, with possible related action occurring after the March 2009 City election.  The motion carried, with Mayor Pro Tem Barrows dissenting.

Mayor Pro Tem Barrows wished everyone a Happy New Year and reported on his attendance at a California Infrastructure on Public-Private Partnerships summit in Anaheim.

Mayor Edwards wished everyone a Happy New Year and read a letter of thanks and gratitude from United States Marine Corps 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, Bravo Company, Sgt. Jonathan K. Yi for the care packages sent to the Battalion, which is currently deployed in Iraq.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 p.m. in memory City Manager Art Gallucci's stepfather Mike O'Brien who recently passed away.

/s/Josephine Triggs   
Josephine Triggs, City Clerk

ATTEST:

/s/Jim Edwards   
Jim Edwards, Mayor

 

Approved:  January 29, 2009

 

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