Acton Town Council Meeting Minutes, March 20, 2023, Approved

  1. Call to Order, Flag Salute, Roll Call –  The meeting was called to order at 6:33 pm by Corresponding Secretary Jacki Ayer.  The flag salute was lead by Deputy Martinez.  Present at the meeting – Jacki Ayer, Pam Wolter. June Perkins, Kelly Teno.
  2. Community Comment – A resident spoke about all the illegal dirt bikes and noise, she is now going to Civil Court.  Deputy Martinez announced that the funding has come in for the Offroad Team.
  3. Correspondence – Congressman Garcia has introduced a bill called the Sgt. Steve Owens Defending Our Defenders Act which will make the murder of state or local law enforcement officers a federal crime punishable by life imprison or under certain circumstances the death penalty.  He is also trying to bring a spotlight on Fentanyl.  The ATC has reached out to local and state officials for assistance in dealing with Cal Fire and the errors in their fire hazard maps and their refusal to provide information that we have requested.  The federal and state tax filing deadlines for Los Angeles County residents is now October 16, 2023.  The EPA has acted to address the illegal cesspools at the illegal RV encampment on Smith Street and has brought legal action against the property owner. The County is asking for residents to participate in the Watershed Area Steering Committee, the Scoring Committee, and Regional Oversight C0mmitte Members.  This would begin in the Fall.  The positions are important because a lot of our property tax dollars go into the support of these committees.  If you are interested please email the ATC and we will get you the information.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission is reviewing the Sheriff Department’s policy on the use of tasers and is asking for public input.  Email the ATC and we will forward the announcement to you.  County staff preparing the amendments to Title 21 and 22 to address wildfire issues have agreed to consider visiting Acton to see why we are concerned with their proposed revisions.  A resident of Acton sent us a copy of a letter response from Sheriff Luna.  It indicated that it is within the policy of his department to allow the posting of livestream video of the entire audience who participated in a meeting convened by the Sheriff Department to hear concerns about illegal grow houses in the community.  We need to put this on the next agenda.  Senator Wilk has submitted a letter to Insurance Commissioner Lara requesting action to deal with out-of-control homeowner insurance rates.  Regional Planning has issued a Revised draft of the Climate Action Plan and is soliciting public comment.  Comments are important because the plan will drive the removal of all propane and natural gas appliances in our community.  It is also one of the driving forces for the new development of huge battery storage facilities.  The public comment period is from March 16 – May 15.  The Department of Parks and Recreation is looking to finalize trail maps in Acton and is hoping to have public comments by the end of April.  We will post a link to the map they have compiled on our website when we receive it.  We should add this to our agenda.  The County Health Department has issued a health alert warning to residents about the increased risk of overdose and death associated with xylazine, which is becoming increasingly present in illicit drugs in California.  They did not send us a flyer so there is nothing to post to our website. If you want more information contact the ATC and we will forward what we have.  A lot of film permits are coming out that do not comply with the standards that the county supposedly applies to projects in our community.  We have reached out to Mr. Smith from the County Film Office with our concerns but received no reply.
  4. Library Report – The library will be closed Monday March 27th.  Upcoming programs were announced, you can find all information on the library website.  The library is still passing out free Covid rapid tests.
  5. Local Representatives Reports – Chuck Bostwick announced that the Board of Supervisors is voting on a motion to have a group to look into what to spend the revenue from Cannabis tax.  Supervisors Barger’s motion passed to step up illegal dumping task force.
  6. Sheriff’s Report –  Deputy Martinez announced that the Off Road team funds have been allocated so the enforcement should get better.  Residents still need to phone in when there is illegal activity.
  7. AAUSD – Dr Sahakian and Syed Ziadi –  Syed Ziadi from the AAUSD Transportation Office came to talk about the transportation plan and all that is included.  The plan must be completed or updated every year by April 1st.  He went through all the transportation services for students.  They are presenting the plan to the School Board March 23rd.
  8. Brush Inspections – LA County Fire – Table until a future agenda
  9. Cactus Creek – The EPA issued a Public Notice that it was filing a federal administrative complaint against the owner of the illegal RV park on Smith Street for violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.  Public comments are due by April 12th and they can address any relevant issue including the basis of the complaint and proposed penalties.  The ATC should comment since we have been fighting this issue since 2008.  A nearby resident to the illegal property spoke about the drinking water from there well.  They are having it tested because the resident has been sick and they can’t pinpoint why.  Hopefully there results come back before the EPA ruling so they can comment.  The question was asked if the ATC should contact WWD37 since their wells are right there and ask that they write a comment letter.  Jacki Ayer made a motion that the ATC submits comments in support of the complaint and the basis for the complaint and seek a number of remedies including full cleanup of the site and the maximum penalties possible under law.  Pam Wolter 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.   Jacki Ayer made a motion to contact WWD37 to ask them to submit a comment letter to the EPA in support,  Pam Wolter 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  10. Minutes – Minutes from passed meetings were passed out and will be voted on next meeting.
  11. New Proposed Gas Station and Fast Food. – This is a large project next to the 76 Station.  The subdivision map that was filed and created the parcel where the project is proposed was approved in the 1990’s and was designed with driveways to access the office buildings that were proposed at the location as part of the subdivision.  They now want to eliminate the driveways to build the gas station and fast food, by doing a map amendment.  Previously the ATC has pointed out to DRP that the developer could not remove the driveways by a map amendment because the SMA prohibits significant changes to recorded maps and only allows amendments for correcting minor mistakes and lines.  At the one-stop meeting that DRP convened for the project, they told the developer to submit a parcel map but that it did not need to show any structures and that after it was approved, Public Works will process it as an amendment.  It is not clear that this complies with the conditions under which an amended map con be processed.  They told the developer to clarify how the modifications requested result from either physical problems associated with the development of the site or technical difficulties arising which are not under the control of the developer and which make it impossible to comply with certain conditions: no such statements can be supported because there is nothing about the site that prevents its development per the recorded map because the recorded map just assumes office buildings would be built and not a freeway serving businesses.  The environmental analysis that was conducted for the original project assumes local serving offices not freeway serving businesses so they are going to have to do an entirely new CEQA review for the proposed changes. The subdivision code requires the map to show the locations of all buildings for lease projects so the County’s direction to not show structures on the parcel map is a violation of the code.  The project design and improvements are not consistent with the AV Area Plan because it is for a project that is freeway serving. Jacki Ayer made a motion to write a letter to Regional Planning  and everyone on the One Stop distribution list informing them of all the code and SMA violations.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  12. Census Designation Opportunities –  Since 2009 Acton has had issues with Southern California Edison on where Acton boundaries are.  They are now saying the Humidor Project does not lie in Acton boundaries and the ATC says it does.  Because of information from the Census Bureau, LA County establishes boundaries.  After discussion it was decided that we should get the County to do a CDP for Acton to clear up boundary issues.  This needs to be on a future agenda to make decisions with more council members and residents.
  13. Councilmembers Comments – Pam spoke about our thoughts on whether she should resign or not because of her maybe not being able to attend enough meetings.  we will discuss at the next meeting with everyone.  Everyone is happy Pam is with us.
  14. Cannabis Workshop –  The Board of Supervisors will hear a motion submitted by Supervisors Solis and Mitchell to develop recommendations for developing a community reinvestment plan for cannabis revenue for the County’s unincorporated areas, and report back to the Board in 120 days.  The motion lists things that the report will include, but it does not direct staff to solicit public input for preparing the report.  Public comment will be taken after the report is written.  Jacki will try to listen in to BOS meeting to give comment.
  15. KOA/Action Camp – Tabled until next meeting
  16. Unfinished/New Business – Jacki reported about the Fire Hazard Severity Map and our need to write a letter with all of our information.  WE need to put this on the next agenda.
  17. Items for the Next Agenda – Climate Action Plan, KOA/Action Camp, Luna Letter, Trails, Brush Inspections – LA County Fire, Compliance review on Industrial Properties on Smith, Census, Fire Hazard Severity Map, Bylaws.
  18. Adjournment – 8:58pm
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