ZONE 2: MONKS LOTS

Project Planner: Octavio Silva, Senior Planner
Contact Information: octavios@rpvca.gov / (310) 544-5234

Current Status 



In September 2009, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 498, which amended the Landslide Moratorium Ordinance to create a new Landslide Moratorium Exception Category P, to allow the owners of the 16 Monks plaintiffs' lots to apply for Exceptions for the construction of new residences. In December 2009, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 501u, to further amend the Landslide Moratorium Ordinance to allow site grading for the development of each of the Monks plaintiffs' lots not to exceed 1,000 cubic yards of combined cut and fill, and with no more import in excess of 50 cubic yards. A Mitigated Negative Declaration was certified by the City Council in conjunction with these actions. 

With the adoption of Ordinance No. 498, the owners of the 16 Monks plaintiffs’ lots will be eligible to apply for Landslide Moratorium Exceptions (LMEs) to develop new homes on their lots, beginning on the effective date of the ordinance (i.e., October 15, 2009). It is important to note that the adoption of Ordinance No. 498 did not “lift” the moratorium or remove the Monks plaintiffs’ lots from the Landslide Moratorium Area. The application packet for an LME is available on the city’s website. The approval of an LME does not constitute Planning Department approval for a proposed home, but rather simply allows the property owner to submit the appropriate Planning applications for approval of a specific project request.

Zone 2 Landslide Moratorium Ordinance Revisions 
Background


 
The proposed “Zone 2 Landslide Moratorium Ordinance Revisions” involved the creation of a new exception category in the City’s Landslide Moratorium Ordinance (Chapter 15.20 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code) to allow the development of undeveloped lots in Zone 2 of the City’s Landslide Moratorium Area. The action was in response to the California State Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Monks v. Rancho Palos Verdes, which found that the City’s prohibition against the development of undeveloped lots in Zone 2 was a taking and an impermissible impediment to the development of the plaintiffs’ lots. Within Zone 2, there are currently 47 undeveloped lots, of which 16 lots are owned by the plaintiffs in the Monks case.

After reviewing the Initial Study and any applicable mitigating measures for the project, the Director of Community Development determined that project would not have a significant effect on the environment. Accordingly, a Mitigated Negative Declaration was prepared. Public comments were received by the City prior to final approval of the Mitigated Negative Declaration and action on the project, for a period of at least 30 days. A public meeting was held before the City Council to discuss the proposed project, including the proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration, on Tuesday, March 3, 2009, at 7 p.m. at Hesse Park Community Building, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes.

At the public meeting on March 3, 2009, the City Council received public testimony on the project and proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration. At the conclusion of the meeting, the City Council received and filed Staff’s report but took no action.

On June 2, 2009, Staff presented an update on the Zone 2 Landslide Moratorium Ordinance Revisions to the City Council. Based upon further analysis and discussions with legal counsel for the Monks plaintiffs and the Portuguese Bend Alliance for Safety (PBAS), Staff recommended the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report rather than a Mitigated Negative Declaration. However, the City Council directed Staff to prepare a Revised Mitigated Negative Declaration for the 16 Monks plaintiffs’ lots and an Environmental Impact Report for all 47 undeveloped lots in Zone 2 in a parallel “2-track” process.

On September 1, 2009, Staff presented the Revised Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Monks plaintiff’s 16 undeveloped lots, along with the draft Ordinance to create an exception category applicable to only those properties. The City Council received public testimony on the Revised Mitigated Negative Declaration, introduced the draft Ordinance and continued the matter to September 15, 2009. The 30-day public comment period for the Revised Mitigated Negative Declaration ended on September 9, 2009. On September 15, 2009, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2009-72, certifying the Revised Mitigated Negative Declaration and the Mitigation Monitoring Program (MMP); and adopted Ordinance No. 498, “An ordinance of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopting amendments to chapter 15.20 (moratorium on land use permits) of the Rancho Palos Verdes municipal code to establish an exception category to allow for the future development of the 16 Monks Plaintiffs’ undeveloped lots in zone 2.”