top of page
  • jeanadelsman4

Newsletter No. 17, Nov. 12, 2022

  • Council rejects appeal of plans for second story in the Hillside Overlay.

  • Council decides against Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

  • Council agrees to fix Airport noise problems.

  • Council chided for how late meetings run.

It took until a little after 3 a.m. Wednesday, but the City Council dealt successfully with the agenda’s three contentious issues.


First up was the appeal of a proposed two-story home in the Hillside Overlay Zone, which the Planning Department had approved, but the Planning Commission unanimously disapproved.


When the Council first heard the appeal, it questioned aspects of the plan and gave the owner an opportunity to return with specific revisions. However, the new plan didn’t substantively respond to the objections.


Mike Griffiths and Asam Sheikh are the only Council members with Planning Commission experience, and Sheikh had to recuse himself because he chaired the commission when it denied the plan.


Griffiths called the changes “basically inconsequential to any of the issues that we are concerned with.” The vote was 5-1, with Mayor George Chen voting to allow the plan.


Next up was the Skyline Mobile Park, whose residents were asking for a Rent Stabilization Ordinance. They didn’t get it.


While they were disappointed, I think they came out ahead. John Saunders has agreed to limit their rent increases to 10 percent, as mandated in a state law that does not apply to mobile-home owners. And the proposed RSO would have limited it to that amount as well.


Sheikh pushed his colleagues to establish an RSO because it would have protected all 10 of Torrance’s mobile-home parks. But the Council decided to focus on the current problem. Saunders had sweetened the deal by promising subsidies to residents for whom the hikes were devastating and could have led to homelessness, and his representative said the program would disappear if an RSO were enacted.


The residents have indicated they don’t trust Saunders to do what he says, and the Council appeared to share that concern. Bridgett Lewis told Saunders’ representative that she had yet to see documents, such as the proposed leases, she had requested.


The Council will revisit the issue at the Dec. 6 meeting. Lewis specifically asked not only for a copy of the lease but also for a list of residents who had applied for the subsidy, a list of residents under consideration for that relief and a list of residents granted them.


The Council signaled Saunders that it had an RSO in its hip pocket if members were unhappy with what they heard on the 6th.


It was after 1 a.m. when the Airport agenda item landed. By then the Reform Torrance Airport supporters had thinned to about 50, but before the first one of them could relate their grievances, they got two pieces of great news:


· The City’s outside counsel had informed them that they can impose their grandfathered noise rules.


· Every person on the dais – elected and staff – appeared to recognize the severity of the problem and was prepared to support a variety of approaches to resolve it.


Lewis said she wanted to hear the problem for herself, so she took a book to Rocketship Park. After an hour and a half, she couldn’t stand it anymore and left, with an appreciation of what residents are dealing with.


Griffiths proposed a multi-pronged approach to fast-track solutions:


· Use a Council committee to study solutions and report back with proposals. (The city manager suggested using the Transportation Committee, chaired by Aurelio Mattucci, with Jon Kaji and Lewis.)


· Concurrently, City staff will prepare an RFE for a vendor to manage the landing-fee program. (Griffiths had more items to be done simultaneously, but research is needed to ensure that we don’t have to yield to other governmental entities on some issues.)


A lot of work still needs to be done before residents can again enjoy peace and quiet, but Tuesday night’s . . . oops, I mean Wednesday morning’s efforts were a wonderful start.


Before I go:


· On the Nov. 15 agenda, the City Council will determine its dark nights for the first half of 2022. The plan appears to be to continue to meet only twice a month.


The gadfly who goes by Porkchop likes to see himself talk on his YouTube channel, so he rarely misses a chance to comment on each agenda item. For the first time ever, I found myself agreeing with him.


The first orals didn’t happen till after midnight, and he complained that the council needed to meet weekly. That might not be necessary, but three times monthly would be preferable. A normal meeting can handle one contentious issue. Two means a late night. Three, which was the case on the 8th, created a 3 a.m. adjournment.


· The next meeting doesn’t look as if it will be a light night. The gun shop appeal is on the agenda. You might want to bring your pillows.


· It turns out that Mattucci’s son is not taking pilot lessons. His Facebook posting overstated the situation, but we’ll cut a Proud Papa some slack. Tim Goodrich told me that he and Mattucci were talking about their sons: “He mentioned to me that his son is interested in being a pilot when he grows up. Since he had never flown before and I know a couple of the business owners at the airport, I arranged for a discovery flight (introductory flight) for him.”


· The next newsletter will focus on the proposed bike lane that may happen but preferably not on Flagler as planned.


· Want to tell the City Council your opinion? There is still much confusion, but I think I now understand it, thanks to Griffiths. To ensure that you have the full benefit of his explanation/advice, here it is:


Hi Jean -

Another clarification ... your comments you shared that I made appeared to be talking about the citycouncilpubliccomment@torranceca.gov email. The comments I made to you were only about the citycouncil@torranceca.gov email Here is the distinction between the two:


1. citycouncil@torranceca.gov - goes DIRECTLY to all city councilmembers (and mayor), as well as select staff. IF it relates to an upcoming known agenda item, staff is expected to include it in the agenda materials.


2. citycouncilpubliccomment@torranceca.gov - is intended for correspondence to be included in staff reports and/or supplemental materials regarding agenda items. I am not certain who all this goes to, but it definitely goes to staff who compile the agenda materials. Not sure if it also goes to city councilmembers directly (certainly we would see it as a part of agenda materials). I will try to get more clarification on this one and get back....


sorry that it is so confusing. If it was me, and I wanted to comment on an agenda item, I would send to BOTH to be safe. If it is not about an agenda item, definitely only send to citycouncil@torranceca.gov.


Mike


Jean Adelsman

12 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Newsletter No. 49

Kalani vs. Chen Flaw in Taiwan push Boon for local control Tributes for Griffiths Mattucci recall update George Chen has the title of mayor, but three members of the Council are showing they prefer wh

Newsletter No. 48

Revitalization for Downtown Torrance? Updates on commissions Plug pulled on electronic billboards Mattucci loan questions Creating a Business Improvement District might be what Downtown Torrance needs

Newsletter No. 47

Chen's candidates lose. Follow the money. Council backs Metro extension. Kaji's newest ploy. Recall updates. Changing the City charter. Beach Cities plan challenged. Ambulance expenses. Mayor George C

Comments


bottom of page