Review of the Active and Passive Recreational Areas as Part of the General Plan Update
In July 2011, when Staff presented the Commission with all of the Updated General Plan Elements in one combined document with additional proposed text revisions by Staff to help it read better and comment boxes to address specific issues, within the “updated” Conservation and Open Space Element, Staff identified an issue pertaining to the “Active” and “Passive” Recreational areas within the City.
In an attempt to address the “Active”/”Passive” issue, within the July 26, 2011 Planning Commission Staff Report, Staff proposed an alternative for the Commission’s consideration. Basically, because Staff felt that there was some un-clarity related to the definitions of “Active” and “Passive”, and that some Parks today have uses that seem to fall within both the “Active” and “Passive” definitions and thus not fitting exactly into one particular category, Staff proposed an alternative that would remove the “Active” and “Passive” designations and simply change the land use designation to “Park”. After the July 26th Staff Report was released to the public, the City received many email comments expressing concern regarding Staff's draft recommendation to remove the “Active” and “Passive” designations. Additionally, on August 8, 2011, Staff met with approximately 20 members of the public regarding this issue. At the meeting, the public asked questions of Staff, and expressed their extreme opposition and displeasure with Staff’s draft text that would eliminate the “Active” and “Passive” designations.
Realizing that this is a very important issue to the community, on July 26, 2011, the Commission continued the public hearing until such time as Staff has had an opportunity to meet with members of the public and provide at least 30 days notice to the public that this item will be brought back to the Planning Commission.
Staff is now prepared to bring this issue back to the Planning Commission for discussion at their public meeting to be held on Tuesday, September 11, 2012. A Draft Staff Report has been prepared that provides a Background and Discussion on the issues along with a Staff recommendation, which in part recommends keeping the “Active” and “Passive” Park designations. To view the Draft Staff Report please click here.
Based on comments received from the public, a final Staff Report will be prepared and presented to the Commission as part of the regular agenda packet that will go out the week prior to the September 11th meeting.
All interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the Draft Staff Report and to attend and give testimony at the meeting. Written comments should be sent via U.S. Mail or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to the attention of Deputy Community Development Director, Gregory Pfost by September 4, 2012 for inclusion within a final Staff Report that will be prepared for the Planning Commission’s September 11th meeting. Written comments submitted after September 4th will be given to the Planning Commission at the meeting. Written materials, including emails, submitted to the City are public records and may be posted on the City’s website. In addition, City meetings may be televised and may be accessed through the City's website. Accordingly, you may wish to omit personal information from your oral presentation or written materials as it may become part of the public record. Please contact Deputy Community Development Director, Gregory Pfost, AICP, at (310) 544-5228 or via e-mail at email@example.com further information.
Review of "Hazard" (“Hillside”) areas as part of General Plan Update
As part of the City's ongoing General Plan Update, Staff is working on updating the City's Land Use Map. This effort includes an update to the "Hazard" Land Use Designation which typically consists of canyon areas, extreme slope areas over 35% in gradient and known landslide areas on private properties. Based upon the commentary and discussion during the August 28th and September 25th, 2012 Planning Commission meetings, the Planning Commission previously directed Staff to move forward with all of the City Geologist’s recommended changes to the existing “Hazard” areas, as well as recommended changing the name of the Land Use Designation from “Hazard” to “Open-Space Hillside.”
Per the Planning Commission’s direction, Staff began the review process by mailing notices of the pending changes to 260 property owners located in the eastern part of the City (i.e. Eastview and Miraleste). Public hearings before the Planning Commission began on December 11, 2012 and were continued to January 22, 2013 in order to address issues and concerns raised by the Planning Commission. At the January 22nd meeting the Planning Commission approved to move forward with adjusting the hazard boundary lines as recommended by the City Geologist, but for only properties where the hazard land use area would decrease. As this decision was different than the Planning Commission’s prior direction, the Commission directed Staff to schedule a new public hearing to confirm that this new direction would apply to the remainder of properties in the City.
At the publicly noticed February 26, 2013 Planning Commission meeting, the Planning Commission considered their previous direction and new direction, and based upon public comments and discussions with Staff, the Planning Commission agreed to pursue option 3A for the purpose of updating the General Plan hazard land use designation. Option 3A is as follows:
“Move forward with adjusting the Hazard boundary lines as recommended by the City Geologist for only those properties where the Hazard land use area decreases. Additionally, change the name of the zoning designation for hillside areas to ‘Open-Space Hillside’ instead of its current ‘Hazard’ designation. By doing so, the landslide moratorium area and other known landslide areas in the City would retain the ‘Open-Space Hazard’ designation. A subsequent Zone Change and Zoning Code Amendment would be required to establish a new Zoning District of Open-Space Hillside.” Due to this change in direction, Staff will be presenting the specific proposed changes to the remaining properties with a Hazard designation wherein the City Geologist recommends a reduction in Hazard area to the Planning Commission in separate duly noticed public meeting hearings. Notices will be sent to affected property owners where the hazard land use area decreases prior to the public hearing in which their property will be reviewed. The notice will provide a specific map in order to assist property owners with understanding the proposed changes affecting their property. Upon receiving this notice, property owners will have a 15-day comment period in which to write to Staff any concerns or questions regarding the proposed changes, and all affected property owners will have the opportunity to speak at the noticed public hearing. All decisions rendered by the Planning Commission during these public hearings are recommendations to the City Council which, along with other updates to the General Plan, will ultimately be forwarded to the City Council for final review and adoption.
The following documents provide additional background regarding the review of the “Hazard” areas for your reference:
- A REVISED DRAFT General Plan Land Use Map indicating the adjustments to the OH land use areas where the OH on a property is being decreased and there are no increases to the OH areas. Please click here to view the map.
- The February 26, 2013 Staff Report presented to the Planning Commission, which provides a discussion of the possible options for addressing adjustments to the OH area. Please click here to view the staff report.
- The January 22, 2013 Staff Report presented to the Planning Commission, which discussed questions and issues raised during the December 11, 2012 Planning Commission public hearing. Please click here to view the staff report.
- The December 11, 2012 Staff Report presented to the Planning Commission, which provided a discussion of the specific changes proposed to 260 properties located on the eastern side of the City. Please click here to view the staff report.
- The September 25th Staff Report presented to the Planning Commission, which provides additional information regarding the proposed new “Open-Space Hillside” Land Use Designation, as well as a comparison of existing and proposed land use restrictions. Please click here to view the staff report.
- The August 28th Staff Report presented to the Planning Commission, which presented several options for the Planning Commission to consider regarding the proposed changes and background regarding the purpose of the “Hazard” Land Use Designation. Please click here to view the staff report.
- The City Geologist's Evaluation Report, which describes his review criteria as well as his justification for the adjustments to the Hazard boundary lines Citywide. Please note that the City Geologist's recommended changes reference a marked up City Zoning Map that has been divided into 34 Sheets that can be individually accessed through the Evaluation Report. Please click here to access the Evaluation Report.
- A grid map showing the division of the City into the 34 sheets referenced by the City Geologist's Evaluation Report. This map is another tool that can be used to view the City Geologist's recommendations for each individual sheet. Please click on the numbered square for your neighborhood in order to take a closer look at his recommended changes to the Open-Space Hazard Boundary line. In some areas, neighborhoods may be broken up onto different sheets. Please click here to access this grid map.
- A DRAFT General Plan Land Use Map that contains the totality of the City Geologist 's proposed Hazard Area adjustments. The map shows the existing Hazard areas (indicated in a maroon color) as well as a graphic representation of the Geologist's proposed adjustments to the Hazard areas (indicated in a red cross-hatch graphic). Please click here to view the map.
Please contact Assistant Planner, Abigail Harwell, at (310) 544-5228 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The City Council firmly believes that the current General Plan, created and adopted in 1975, is a masterpiece of visionary planning that has served the City well over the past 31 years. However, the Council also acknowledges that certain portions of the General Plan are either outdated or factually incorrect and need a fresh look. Some portions of the Plan that need to be reviewed and updated include traffic, geology and open space from the aspect of existing conditions as well as a vision for the future.
Included in the 1975 General Plan is a list of 28 Goals and 190 policies. These goals and policies were generated by a “grass-roots” organization of over 200 City residents who formed themselves into thirteen committees to look at different elements of the General Plan including land use, recreation and parks, safety and fiscal policy and offer their ideas to guide the future of the City.
As a first step toward updating the General Plan the City Council created a 15-member General Plan Update Steering Committee. The purpose of the committee was to review the existing Goals and Policies of the General Plan and determine which Goals and Policies need to be eliminated, revised or maintained, and if any new Goals and Policies should be proposed, and what technical areas of the General Plan need updating. After over two years of work, on November 4, 2004, the General Plan Update Steering Committee completed their task of reviewing all of the existing goals and policies of the 1975 General Plan. The Steering Committee’s recommendations, along with a General Plan Update Program, were presented to the City Council on December 21, 2004. To find out exactly what changes have been proposed by the Steering Committee, you can access the most recent copy of the "General Plan Goals and Policies - As modified by the General Plan Steering Committee" by clicking below.
At the December 21, 2004 City Council meeting, the Council (1) Directed Staff to proceed with drafting proposed amendments to the General Plan Goals and Policies as recommended by the General Plan Update Steering Committee for future review by the Planning Commission and City Council; (2) Directed Staff to proceed with an update of the factual information within the General Plan for future review by the Planning Commission and City Council; (3) Directed Staff to proceed with the proposed improvements to the general format of the General Plan and the mandatory elements for future review by the Planning Commission and City Council in order to make the Plan more user friendly; (4) Directed Staff to release an RFQ to obtain consultant assistance with updating portions of the General Plan; and (5) Disbanded the General Plan Update Steering Committee.
Progress on the General Plan Update was delayed since the December 21, 2004 Council meeting while Staff focused its attention on a variety of high profile development projects and other issues. In April 2006, Staff sent out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to obtain consultant assistance with updating the General Plan, and on February 20, 2007, the City Council entered into an agreement with three consulting firms to assist Staff with the update. Since 2007, Staff has been working with the consultants on revising the document.
On September 29, 2009, the City Council and Planning Commission held a Workshop with the main purpose of providing a “Kick-off” to the General Plan Update process. At the Workshop, the Council provided direction to Staff on various items regarding the update process including providing direction on the process.
Current Status Update and Schedule (As of June 14, 2012):
The Planning Commission has reviewed the updated text of all of the “Draft” Elements (Introduction, Land Use, Circulation, Conservation and Open Space, Visual Resources, Safety, Housing and Social Services, Fiscal and Noise). Currently, the Planning Commission is reviewing various proposed changes to the General Plan Land Use Map to clear up any ambiguities between the General Plan Land Use Map and the City’s Zoning Map and Coastal Specific Plan Map.
Once the Commission has completed their review of the proposed Map changes, Staff will bring back the “Draft” Elements to the Commission in one cohesive document with updated graphics, photographs and maps for their review and approval. At that time, Staff will be recommending some additional text amendments to reduce redundancies and make the document read as one cohesive document.
Once the Planning Commission has finished with the document, then Staff will present the Draft to the City Council for their initial first review and request that they authorize Staff to begin preparation of the associated Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Upon completion of the EIR, both the Planning Commission and City Council will need to review and approve the finished General Plan along with the associated EIR.
Below is a current status report of each of the “Draft” elements and land use map:
- Introduction Element (“Draft”):
- Planning Commission approved the Sub-committee revised “Draft” at their December 8, 2009 meeting (Click here to view a copy).
- Housing and Social Services Element (“Draft”):
- Planning Commission approved the “Draft” on December 8, 2009.
- City Council adopted the “Final” on January 19, 2010.
- State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) certified the “Final” on March 24, 2010. To view a copy of the “Final” Housing Element, please click here.
- The completed General Plan will not include the entire Housing Element that was certified by HCD as the Housing Element is a technical document. Instead the completed General Plan will have an insert that references the Housing Element. However, along with the Housing Element insert, this section of the General Plan also includes Goals and Policies related to Social Services, including Senior Services. The “Draft” text of this insert, titled Housing and Social Services, was approved by Planning Commission at their January 11, 2011 meeting. (Click here to view a copy)
- Conservation and Open Space Element (“Draft”):
- Planning Commission approved the “Draft” Conservation and Open Space Element on May 25, 2010 (Click here to view a copy)
- Safety Element (“Draft”):
- Planning Commission approved the “Draft” Safety Element on June 8, 2010. To view a copy of the June 8, 2010 version, please click here
- Fiscal Element (“Draft”):
- The Planning Commission approved the “Draft” Fiscal Element at their July 27, 2010 meeting. To view a copy of the July 27, 2010 version, please click here
- Land Use Element (“Draft”):
- The Planning Commission approved the “Draft” at their July 27, 2010 meeting. To view a copy of the July 27, 2010 version, please click here,
- Circulation Element (“Draft”):
- “Draft” Traffic Study has been completed and has been reviewed by the Traffic Safety Commission at their July 26, 2010 meeting. To view a copy of the “Draft” Traffic Study, please click here.
- The “Draft” Circulation Element was approved by the Traffic Safety Commission at their September 13, 2010 meeting.
- The Planning Commission approved the “Draft” Circulation Element at their January 11, 2011 meeting. To view a copy of the “Draft”, please click here.
- Visual Resources Element (“Draft”):
- Planning Commission approved the “Draft” Visual Resources Element at their September 28, 2010 meeting. To view a copy of the “Draft” September 28th version, please click here.
- Noise Element (“Draft”):
- Planning Commission approved the “Draft” Noise Element on November 9, 2010 (click here to view a copy).
- Proposed General Plan Land Use Map Changes (“Draft”):
- Over the past year, the Planning Commission has also reviewed and approved various “Draft” changes to the General Plan Land Use Map. To view a copy of each of these changes, please click here.
The City’s project manager overseeing the General Plan Update is Deputy Community Development Director Gregory Pfost. He may be contacted by telephone at (310) 544-5228, via e-mail at email@example.com, or via U.S. Mail at City of Rancho Palos Verdes, 30940 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes, California, 90275.
If you would like to be placed on an "interested parties" list to receive any future notices related to the General Plan Update project via e-mail, you may subscribe by joining the list server group here.
“Draft” General Plan Element (text) Documents:
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” Introduction Section of the General Plan
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” Conservation and Open Space Element
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” Safety Element
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” Fiscal Element
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” Land Use Element
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” Circulation Element
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” Visual Resources Element
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” Noise Element
“Draft” General Plan Land Use Map Changes:
Click here. to view a copy of the proposed “Draft” General Plan Land Use Map Changes.
“Draft” General Plan Background Studies and Schedule
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” General Plan Update Traffic Study
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” General Plan Update Noise Study
Click here to view a copy of the most current “Draft” General Plan Update Air Quality Study
Click here to view the “General Plan Goals and Policies - As modified by the General Plan Steering Committee"
Click here to view a copy of the “Grass-Roots” Goals Report, which is a non-City sponsored Report prepared by volunteers.
Click here to view a copy of the certified Housing Element
Click here to view a copy of the existing Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan.
Click here to view a list of all of the Goals and Policies contained within the General Plan.
Click here to view a list of the General Plan Amendments that have been adopted by the City Council since the original General Plan was adopted in 1975.