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Cerritos City Council Meeting Minutes

MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE
CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS
HELD APRIL 23, 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

Pastor Amy Lunde Whitler of New Life Community Church in Artesia offered the invocation.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

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

PRESENTATIONS

The following proclamations were presented to:  Christopher Garrett Lai and Robert Kwang Eun Lee for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout; and Cerritos High School Girls Varsity Water Polo Team for winning the 2009 California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section (CIF-SS) Division VII Championship Tournament.

CONSIDERATION OF APPOINTMENTS TO VACANCIES ON VARIOUS COMMISSIONS, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

MOTION:  It was moved by Mayor Pro Tem Cho and seconded by Councilman Edwards to confirm the following appointees:

Mayor Bruce W. Barrows

Mary Buell                               Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center

Robert Buell                             Economic Development Commission

John Dawson                            Let Freedom Ring Committee

Lew Gentiluomo                       Parks and Recreation Commission

Henry Hu                                 Community Safety Committee

Kathy Kamei                            Let Freedom Ring Committee

Matt Kauble                             Community Safety Committee

Elayne Shiohama                      Fine Arts & Historical Commission

Naresh Solanki                         Planning Commission

Allen Wood                              Property Preservation Commission

Councilwoman Carol Chen

* *Waldo Arballo                          Property Preservation Commission

* *Dipa Gandhi                             Let Freedom Ring Committee

* *Gordon Hom                            Let Freedom Ring Committee

* *Doris Iglesias                            Fine Arts & Historical Commission

* *U-Sang "Eugene" Kim              Community Safety Committee

   Lily Kuo                                   Economic Development Commission

   Diana Needham                        Planning Commission

   LaVerne Tancill                        Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center

* *James Fong Yee, Ph.D.            Parks & Recreation Commission

Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Cho

* *Alon Barlevy, Ph.D.                  Property Preservation Commission

* *Kenneth Cha                            Planning Commission

* *Rodante "Dan" R. Joves            Let Freedom Ring Committee

   Gloria Kappe                           Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center

* *Heung Sik “Nick” Kim             Parks and Recreation Commission

* *Samuel Kim                              Let Freedom Ring Committee

* *Pat Patnaik                               Economic Development Commission

   Julietta Williams                        Fine Arts & Historical Commission

   Chong Sop Yi                          Community Safety Committee

* *Richard Yu, Ph.D.                    Community Safety Committee

Councilman Jim Edwards

   Janet Beach                              Fine Arts & Historical Commission

* *Joe A. de Guzman                    Community Safety Committee

* *George Dominguez                   Property Preservation Commission

   Marianne Hughlett                    Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center

   Kathy Lovell                             Economic Development Commission

* *Richard J. Martinez                   Community Safety Committee

   Jack Reidy                               Parks & Recreation Commission

   Larry Sagert                             Planning Commission

   Lewie Woodson                       Let Freedom Ring Committee

Councilwoman Laura Lee

Pierre Barit                               Community Safety Committee

Cindy Yen Chen                       Planning Commission

Edward Ho                              Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center

Randy Hyatt                             Community Safety Committee

Chan-Yong Kim                       Property Preservation Commission

Mark Ruiz                                Parks & Recreation Commission

Frederick F. Shen                     Let Freedom Ring Committee

Maria Skiles                             Fine Arts & Historical Commission

Alan Wang                               Let Freedom Ring Committee

* *New Appointees

The foregoing motion carried unanimously.

The City Clerk then administered the oath to those newly appointed.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Ken Cha, Cerritos resident, announced the Korean War Veterans Appreciation Event to be held June 21-22, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Steve Stallings, Cerritos resident, referenced the administrative citation program that was discussed at the last meeting as it relates to the legality of certain taxes and fees.  He indicated that the City Attorney has no credibility, has misled the public, and has misstated the law on several occasions because he is the City's attorney, and that rebutting those issues raised at the last meeting via a City Attorney memorandum on the agenda this evening was not a good use of the City's time.  He added that the City needs to focus on doing things to keep costs down.

Al Borza, Cerritos resident, asserted selective enforcement of the Code in the western portion of the City by Code Enforcement Officers who place a priority on storage of trash cans from public view rather than the safety hazard of uplifted sidewalks.  He added that a request for a disc jockey for a girls' softball event at Heritage Park was denied because of noise concerns and commented that the summer concerts at Heritage Park should likewise be denied.

At the request of the Council, Public Works Director Arbogast commented on the City's response to reports of raised sidewalks and annual sidewalk inspections in an effort to minimize and mitigate trip hazards.  Staff was directed to contact Mr. Borza with regard to the location of the raised sidewalk he referenced earlier.

Ram Kakkar, Cerritos resident, expressed that the administrative citation program fine is excessive for minor violations.  He requested a review of the justification for this program.

At the request of the Council, Community and Safety Services Director Berg noted that the Code Enforcement process for Code violations has not changed as a result of the administrative citation program, which allows the City to issue a citation to effect compliance without requiring the initiation of criminal court proceedings.

Report back from the April 9, 2009 City Council/Redevelopment Agency meeting regarding the administrative citation program.

City Attorney Brown reviewed the April 23, 2009 memorandum from City Attorney Steres regarding the administrative citation program, noting that the citation fine is a penalty, and not a tax nor a fee, and administrative citation fines are legal and valid.

CONSENT CALENDAR

Approval of Register of Demands

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Cho to approve the Register of Demands dated April 23, 2009, Checks 108053 through 108201, in the total amount of $1,702,386.51.  The motion carried unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Cho to approve the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of April 9, 2009.  The motion carried unanimously.

CONSENT CALENDAR ITEM REMOVED

Ordinance for second reading and adoption.  Reading of ordinance waived and ordinance adopted.

ORDINANCE NO. 948 – AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AMENDING CHAPTER 22.22 OF THE CERRITOS MUNICIPAL CODE PERTAINING TO THE REGULATION of garages, Driveways and walkways on property zoned single-family residential.

Community Development Director Contreras reviewed the provisions and intent of Ordinance No. 948, as modified at the April 9, 2009 City Council meeting and presented for City Council consideration at this meeting.  He added that the ordinance does not address or propose any modifications to the regulation of parking or storage of recreational vehicles on residential property.

Jim McMahon, Cerritos resident, indicated he was not in favor of Ordinance No. 948, asserting that the changes made to the ordinance at the last meeting were not correctly incorporated into the version presented this evening and the ordinance will indirectly impact the mobility of parking recreational vehicles.  He also questioned the notification process and asked that the item be continued, with notification being made to residents with recreational vehicle lots or lots over 5,000 square feet.  Mr. McMahon commented on the overnight parking ordinance, calling for a change to the regulations to allow for overnight parking permit renewal every two to three years.

Ram Kakkar, Cerritos resident, expressed concern that the ordinance would prohibit storage within garages and commented on the impact of the Shoemaker Avenue arterial wall on quality of life issues.

Jon High, Cerritos resident, opposed Ordinance No. 948 and referenced a Los Cerritos Community News article that connects the ordinance to recreational vehicle parking, noting that the proposed changes relate to how residents can park in their driveways and affect the quality of life in the City.

Steve Stallings, Cerritos resident, asserted that Ordinance No. 948 is too restrictive and prohibits storage structures and shelving in the garage.

At the request of the Council, Community Development Director Contreras noted that the intent of the ordinance is to prohibit permanent structures that would preclude the parking of vehicles in the garage and prohibit the conversion of garages into living spaces.

Julian Bustamante, Cerritos resident, indicated that his home has recreational vehicle parking and the following was confirmed in response to his inquiries:  it is not the City's intent to prohibit the parking of vehicles on driveways; storage cabinets that do not prevent the parking of vehicles, quads and bicycles are permitted; appropriately screened vehicle repairs within the garage are allowed; noise from generators or compressors are subject to the City's noise regulations; and driveway paving stones are not prohibited, but require Planning Department approval.

Bill Hosier, Cerritos resident, indicated he was led to believe that recreational vehicle parking was allowed in Cerritos and that prohibiting driveway extensions would make it difficult to access recreational vehicle parking.  He added that the ordinance provisions should be modified to be more clearly understood by everyone, driveway extensions should be grandfathered, and regulation of recreational vehicles is not necessary.

Saul Lozada, Cerritos resident, expressed that the ordinance intrudes into his privacy.

Jay Gray, Cerritos resident, stated the Council and staff are misleading the residents; the ordinance is poorly written; the City is alienating certain groups of residents; the ordinance puts a bad mark on the City as far as diversity goes and we don't want to alienate certain faces in the City; the size of the garage is ridiculous because older garages are substandard; the ordinance has extra language; the spirit of the law is left to interpretation, which leaves room for corruption without checks and balances when one person is held fully accountable for something; a Director and one Councilmember have extended driveways and are they subject to the same standards as everyone else; the City wants vehicles in the garage, not on the driveway, and the resulting long term effect of this on families with children; and the human element has been forgotten and this issue is being looked at from a property point of view, not from a resident's point of view.

Randy Economy, Cerritos resident, suggested town hall meetings to address the ordinance to better communicate the ramifications of this issue, and to notify residents by direct mail.

Discussion followed and it was noted that Section 15(c) related to driveways was not changed and was referred back to the Planning Commission; Section 15(b) confirms that major repair of any vehicle must be conducted within the confines of a garage area and screened; possible further clarification of Section 15(a) regarding permanent structures may be necessary; and Section 22.22.700(27) identifies major improvement.

Additional discussion was held regarding the overnight parking ordinance and the possibility of modifying the ordinance such that residents are less inconvenienced by possibly allowing curbside parking on weekends and issuing temporary permits via the Internet.  It was noted during the discussion that violations of the ordinance average 1,500 per month and the overnight parking ordinance is supported by an overwhelming majority of residents on the basis of maintaining a safe environment and property values.

At the request of the Council, City Attorney Brown observed that Section 15(a) does not allow permanent structures defined as walls, utility equipment and storage facilities, but is modified with the additional language that precludes the parking of vehicles.

Further discussion ensued and it was pointed out that there is no intent to inspect residents' garages; that permanent storage cabinets in garages will continue to be allowed unless they preclude the parking of vehicles within the garage; compressors will continue to be allowed within the limits of the noise ordinance; the intent of the ordinance is not to prohibit the parking of vehicles in driveways; and the ordinance has been thoroughly reviewed by the Planning Commission and City Council to clarify that garage conversions are not permissible and to address the matter of vehicle repair to maintain the standards of Cerritos.

Councilman Edwards indicated he resented being accused of being paid for something or getting money for something, or being accused of or possibly being accused of doing something illegal, noting that he takes his job as Councilman seriously and that his reputation is utmost to him and his family.

ORDINANCE NO. 948

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Chen to waive reading of and adopt Ordinance No. 948 entitled AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF CERRITOS AMENDING CHAPTER 22.22 OF THE CERRITOS MUNICIPAL CODE PERTAINING TO THE REGULATION of garages, Driveways and walkways on property zoned single-family residential.  The motion carried by the following vote:

AYES:             Councilmembers – Chen, Edwards, Lee, Barrows

NOES:             Councilmembers – Cho

ABSENT:        Councilmembers – None

ABSTAIN:       Councilmembers – None

RECESS AND RECONVENE

The meeting recessed at 9:50 p.m. and reconvened at 10:00 p.m., with all Councilmembers in attendance.

PUBLIC WORKS ACTIVITIES

Consideration and award of contract for Artesia Boulevard resurfacing, Phase II, Carmenita Road to Valley View Avenue, Project No. 14005, Bid No. 1092-09.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilman Edwards and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to award a contract in the amount of $463,833.00 for Artesia Boulevard resurfacing, Phase II, from Carmenita Road to Valley View Avenue, Project No. 14005, Bid No. 1092-09, to the apparent low bidder, Silvia Construction, and reject all other bids.  The motion carried unanimously.

NEW AND OLD BUSINESS

Review and consideration of the proposed design for the 2010 Pasadena Tournament of Roses float.

Assistant City Manager Matsumoto reviewed the staff report dated April 23, 2009, presented the four float design concept options, and presented the recommendation of the Fine Arts and Historical Commission for approval of the design concept of Gondola & Jester for the 2010 Tournament of Roses Float.

Randy Economy, Cerritos resident, expressed a preference for the Horse & Carriage float design concept, which he indicated would accommodate more float riders and complement the City's heritage.  He favored the scaled-down float and looked forward to the formation of a float association, expressing a desire to serve as an association member.

Jim McMahon, Cerritos resident, expressed a preference for Doves & Hearts or Courtyard & Birds.  In response to his inquiries, it was noted that the float chassis and engine are leased by Fiesta Floats and city ownership would preclude changing the size of the float in the future; and the plant material criteria, quality and variety could make it difficult for the City to grow its own plant materials.

Ram Kakkar, Cerritos resident, indicated he prefers the recommended float; stated that the selection of a float designer should have gone through the bid process; commented on the inconsistency between the cities that were contacted for water rate information and cities that were contacted for rose parade float information; and suggested the best student in the City should be a float rider.

At the request of the City Council, the City Attorney noted that the float is an artistic expression and there is no requirement for bid specifications or to go out to public bid for this project.

Jay Gray, Cerritos resident, indicated that residents should have an opportunity to ride on the float; that the use of plant materials from Latin America is a contradiction of the City going "green"; and the float should be sold to the community throughout the year via media venues that reach beyond the community.  He requested clarification regarding cost overruns and whether the City would fund the non-profit organization; and indicated that a statement made during a previous agenda item was about the integrity of the system where one individual is responsible for signing off on something that is subjective, there may be a problem with that and there should be checks and balances.

At the request of the Council, City Manager Gallucci indicated that the budget for the float is $150,000, which is fixed, with $35,000 budgeted for transporting float workers to the site and providing lunches for them as well as memorabilia pins.  He added that the legal team is currently working on the non-profit organization.

During ensuing discussion it was also noted that the Gondola & Jester design concept would meet the two-sided appeal float criteria and it was suggested that residents be given an opportunity to donate to the non-profit via their water bills.  It was noted that donations through the water bills could be accommodated and that this type of donation would be addressed as the legal issues associated with the non-profit organization are reviewed.  During further discussion it was noted that the Horse & Carriage could accommodate eight riders and the Gondola & Jester could accommodate five with a maximum of seven riders.

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Chen and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Cho to approve the Gondola & Jester design concept for the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade float.  The motion carried unanimously.

A request by Mark Nero, MAM SoCal, Inc., 711 West 17th Street, Suite D5, Costa Mesa, California, 92627, on behalf of the property owner, Barry J. Weiss, College Hospital, for a one-year time extension to previously approved Conditional Use Permit 2003-4(A)(2007) Amendment and Precise Plan 2007-21 located at 10802 College Place, Cerritos, California, 90703.  The subject property is zoned CR, Regional-Commercial (APN 7016-002-038 and APN 7016-002-047).

MOTION:  It was moved by Councilwoman Lee and seconded by Councilman Edwards to approve a one-year time extension for Conditional Use Permit 2003-4(A)(2007) Amendment and Precise Plan 2007-11 from March 30, 2009 to March 30, 2010, making the findings set forth in Cerritos Planning Commission Resolution No. PC 2009-13.  The motion carried unanimously.

CITY COUNCIL COMMUNICATIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/REPORT ON MEETINGS

Councilman Edwards congratulated the new Commission and Committee appointees and thanked those who have served.  He also commented on the installation of the dome at the top of the five-story building at the Towne Center.

Councilwoman Lee commented on the success of the Easter Egg Hunt and suggested for next year that only children be allowed to participate, and announced the Spring Festival this coming weekend.

Councilwoman Chen announced that Miss Teen Cerritos Brittney Chen was crowned Miss Teenage California 2009 this past weekend, noting she would receive a $10,000 scholarship for this achievement and is a student at Whitney High School.  She congratulated the Chen family.

Mayor Pro Tem Cho also congratulated the Commission and Committee appointees and addressed the Friends of American Veterans of the Korean War invitation to Korean War veterans and their spouses to an appreciation dinner and concert on June 21-22, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  He expressed his support of the overnight parking ordinance and commented on the average 1,500 citations per month, representing 10% of the households in the City, suggesting a modification to the ordinance to possibly allow curbside parking on weekends, issuing temporary permits via the Internet, or increasing fines.

During ensuing discussion it was pointed out that the number of citations may not reflect the percentage of homes that are in violation because it is not known how many of these citations are from the same household.  The following was also addressed:  resident support of the ordinance; staff's current work toward issuance of temporary permits from the Internet; placing the matter on the ballot; and including a survey with the water bills.

MOTION:  It was then moved by Mayor Pro Tem Cho and seconded by Councilwoman Lee to direct the Community Safety Committee and staff to review the overnight parking ordinance, receive resident input, report back to the City Council, and after the report back to the City Council determine if it should be placed on the ballot.  The motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Barrows commented about parents involved in the Easter Egg Hunt and the possibility of allowing children only in this event in the future.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 11:10 p.m.

/s/Josephine Triggs                   
Josephine Triggs, City Clerk
 

ATTEST:

/s/Bruce Barrows                     
Bruce Barrows, Mayor

Approved:  May 11, 2009

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