Acton Town Council Meeting Minutes May 6, 2024, Approved

  1. Call to Order, Flag Salute, & Roll Call – The meeting was called to order at 6:32 pm by President Jeremiah Owen.  Present at the meeting: Jeremiah Owen, Jacki Ayer, June Perkins, and Kelly Teno.
  2. A resident announced that President Biden has signed for an additional 106 acres to be in the San Gabriel National Monument.  The property owner of the parcel on Antelope Woods that has received an NOV has filed for an extension.  A former party house is now renting space to RV’s.  The County has been made aware.
  3. Announcements and Correspondence – Free disposal events were announced, see the flyer posted on the ATC website.  LA County events were announced.  Letters from residents included one about unpermitted uses in the Shannon Valley.  The NAT team l visited the site on May 2nd.  Another letter about an unpermitted residential dwelling at Quirck and Searchlight Ranch Road. They cannot find the address to turn it over to the County.  Announcements included; There will be another Measure A Acquisition- Only Competitive Grant Program this summer.  Eligible organizations can secure funding to acquire land for new parks. Southern California Edison is announcing a new microgrid program. The program includes opportunities for rural areas that experience PSPS or have unreliable power.  The way that SCE defines rural communities there are no communities in North Los Angeles County that qualify.  Only one town in all of LA County qualifies and it is Avalon on Catalina Island.  Department of Public Works has delayed their presentation for paving projects in Acton until July.  The ATC learned of a One Stop Application that was submitted for a 9-acre AG zoned property near California RV Resort.  It appears to be a request for solar and wind farm with EV charging stations for cars and trucks.  Along with a retail/food service and recreation area.  The ATC has requested DRP for copies of the plans and information submitted by the applicant.
  4. Representative Update – Chuck Bostwick from Supervisor Bargers office announced that County Agencies have been asked to investigate mulch/spreading of mulch to see if they can do more enforcement over what the State does.  It was discussed that the ATC should ask for the mulch to be clean of trash especially for solar farms.
  5. Library Report – All upcoming events and programs were announced.  Mobile Hot Spots can be checked out and also computers.  Library closed May 27th for Memorial Day.
  6. Sheriff’s Report – There are no stats for April.  Deputy Martinez announced that Supervisor Barger has secured the money to pay the Sheriff’s overtime for 4th of July.  The Palmdale Station Captain has confirmed that he will attend the May 20th ATC meeting.
  7. Parks and Recreation –  Mr Evans recently moved back into the job of managing the Acton Park and seems very interested in making the Acton Park better along with bringing better facilities to the Antelope Valley.  He did some research on the broken slide at the park and found the reason it has not been fixed is the slide model has not been made for awhile and there are no spare parts available.  He will get back to us on when the slide will be fixed.  We voiced our concerns about starting up a new community park group.  He agreed that DPR’s “Core Community Partnerships” Program and Policies needs adjustment.  He indicated that he would want to work with us on that issue.  In the past they worked with the school district for after school programs and he would like to reconstruct that relationship.   He would like to reinitiate an MOU with the school district.  This would allow for park activities at the school and an office set up there for his staff.      Jacki Ayer made a motion that we contact Mr. Evans and arrange a meeting to discuss how we can collaborate with DPR to address systematic problems in DPR’s facility repair process, and address deficiencies in DPR’s “Core Community Partnerships” Program and Policies and, if possible, include Ms. Nemer from Supervisor Barger’s office in the discussion.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.          Jacki Ayer made a motion that we assist DPR to engage with AADUSD to revive the MOU and the collaborative program that once existed between DPR and AADUSD.  June Perkins 2nd the motion. The motion carried.         Jacki Ayer made a motion that we petition DPR to work with us to submit a Measure A proposal to acquire land to construct a pool in our community and, if they are interested, contact the Agua Dulce Town Council to ask if they would like to join us in this effort.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  8. RPPL2023002887 – John Merritt Empire Media Group – The ATC looked at the information that the applicant sent and after reviewing it was determined that the 100-foot height is needed to service the residents of Acton.  If the height was brought down to the 75-foot height that the ordinance calls for it would service mostly freeway travelers and not enough residents.   There was discussion on the color, and it was decided that the existing color of blue stands out at street level because of the mountain in the background.  There was discussion about the code violations on this property, the unpermitted billboard and outdoor storage which have all been turned over to Regional Planning but no NOV’s have been placed on the property.  These violations need to be addressed for the CUP for the cell tower to be approved.  Jacki Ayer made a motion that the ATC support the waiver and oppose a hearing being convened for this project until all apparent violations on the property have been eliminated, largely abated.    June Perkins 2nd the motion.  After discussion, Jacki Ayer made a friendly amendment to her motion; change the word eliminated to largely abated.    The motion carried.     The applicant has asserted that camouflaging requirements cannot be imposed on existing cell towers.  This community does not want camouflaging, it wants the tower to be painted a light brown to better blend into the mountain background.  In the past the community has asked for camouflaging for cell towers.   The ordinance may need some revision to make this requirement clear.    Jacki Ayer made a motion that we contact DRP, DPW, and Supervisor Barger’s office and request that the Wireless Ordinance be modified to make it a requirement that camouflaging be installed on both new and existing cell towers unless a waiver is granted on the basis of infeasibility or aesthetic concerns.    June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  9. Climate Action Plan – This went to the Board of Supervisors on April 16th and the ATC had no problem with it until the hearing.  The BOS adopted a motion to amend the zoning code and this amendment eliminates protections in the CAP EIR.  Supervisor Barger introduced a motion that the CAP is aspirational.  It is not aspirational because it is part of the County General Plan and by law is binding and enforceable.  Supervisor Horvath’s motion to amend the REO contradicts the CAP EIR.  Engage Supervisor Barger to talk with us about the CAP EIR.   We should contact the ARTC to engage with us on a broad outreach.   Jacki Ayer made a motion that we contact Center for Biological Diversity and The Nature Conservancy to jointly request a meeting with Supervisor Horvath to discuss her April 9 motion.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.        Jacki Ayer made a motion that we contact the ARTC and ask them to request a meeting with Supervisor Barger to address the CAP, the implications of the April 9 motion on the CAP, and the aspirational aspects of the CAP.   June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  10. BESS Update –  Ruth from Acton Takes Action reported that there is a hearing on May 23rd to set the trial date.  They are sharing information with the group from Regional Planning that are building the ordinance, so that hopefully it will be a responsible ordinance and look at safety.  Jacki from the Acton Town Council reported that a more detailed response to our CPRA request to the Fire Department has been received.  It does appear to have information to support some of the statements that were made to the Board of Supervisors.  Once we have completed looking through all the information we will prepare a response letter.
  11. Planning and ADU –  There was a Regional Planning Commission hearing on April 24th, and Commissioner Hastings (Supervisor Barger appointee) made references to having several conversations with residents about ADU projects.  It was suggested that in the future when we have concerns or comments about ADU projects, we request a meeting with him.  Jacki made a statement during Public Comment at the RPC hearing and expressed our concerns with the “county road standards” requirements in the ADU ordinance.  This standard is noy defined anywhere in the code and Acton has no roads that meet the standards in the ordinance including our County maintained roads.  The Planner told the RPC that the ATC’s concerns about road improvements were being addressed as part of the Wildfire Ordinance.  Our issue is that DRP has not yet agreed to our requests to meet with us on this issue.  The Planner also stated that the requirements in the ADU Ordinance were from the Fire Department and Public Works not DRP.  Jacki Ayer made a motion that we request a meeting with specific staff from the Fire Department and DPW to address the concerns regarding ADU road standards, learn from them what precisely their concerns are, and work out language that we can all agree with.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  12. Municipal Advisory Council –  On April 24, the Board of Supervisors opposed an Assembly Bill that required a study to be prepared to address whether East Los Angeles should become incorporated.  Supervisor Barger cosponsored the motion which found that incorporation of East Los Angeles would be detrimental to the most vulnerable in the County.  According to the Board LA County expends considerable sums in East LA County that are not covered by revenue accrued from that area.  Supervisor Barger pointed out that over the last 10 years the County has spent 500 million in East LA County infrastructure, which includes 30 million in parks facilities and more than 150 million in maintenance.  To put that in per-capita prospective, it would be equivalent to spending 1.9 million on new parks in Acton and 30 million on other new infrastructure.  The BOS adopted a motion approving a number of actions including a report back in 4 months addressing the formation of a Municipal Advisory Council.  Looking at the County website we found no listing of any MAC’s.  Under Section 31010 of the California Code, MAC’s are formed by a vote of the County board of Supervisors and advise the Board on issues affecting the community including but not limited to advice on matters of public health, safety, welfare, public works, and planning. The Board can structure MAC’s to be either appointed or elected and can authorize MAC’s to represent the community interest on any matter concerning the community before other state and federal agencies or any organization.  Over the last 10 years of ATC comments on development in Acton, the Taco Bell project is the only one where community input was considered and acted on.  Community input has been ignored on all the following; BESS, Water Plan, all proposed developments, input on CUP requirements for outdoor storage, road standards, trails, development must be community serving and provide local employment, and the list can go on.  The ATC should have a robust discussion about whether this would be something Acton should pursue.
  13. Minutes –  Jacki Ayer made a motion to accept the minutes from April 1 and April 15 with the ability to make changes if necessary.  June Perkins 2nd the motion.  The motion carried.
  14. Councilmember Comments – None
  15. Committee Reports –  The following committees had reports;  Planning and Coordinating –  Committee Chair Jacki Ayer reported on the Planning Commission hearing on April 24.  Title 22 amendments for the Short Term Rental ordinance were on the agenda and announced that the project is exempt from CEQA, which is opposed to everything the ATC has been told by DRP in the past.  The ATC was not notified of the hearing, so Jacki asked the matter to be delayed 30 days so that the ATC could comment.  The Planner stated that if they did delay it , the STR would not meet its October deadline.  Jacki questioned his statement but got no response.  Jacki Ayer made a motion to write a letter to Director Bodek pointed out that timelines are now prioritized over community outreach, community input, and a quality outcome.  It is troubling also that we and other communities received guarantees that would see the mitigation measures to address the concerns we raised during the TTC process which TTC said was not in their purview and which DRP said they would address with us.  June Perkins 2nd.  The motion carried.  The zoom meeting with Anish on overconcentration is set for May 14, at 4pm.  Trails, Open Space, and Recreation – Jacki made a motion to write a letter of appreciation to Supervisor Barger for clearing the path for overtime funding for the sheriff for the 4th of July Parade. Utilities – Committee Chair Jacki Ayer reported on the following; SCE has announced a microgrid grant program that is beneficial to rural communities.  No communities in LA County meet their definition of rural so our school district might not be eligible.  There is no other activity on the PUC proceeding which eliminates to much which includes review of sub transmission facilities, transmission facilities, and BESS facilities.  Traffic Safety –  The ATC has been asked by DPW if we approve the dates that traffic studies were conducted in 2023.  WE told them in March 2024 that they are not appropriate, and the studies are already completed so we can’t approve the dates.
  16. Unfinished/New Business –  It was brought up to discuss ways to encourage the filling of the empty ATC seats, and to talk about one meeting a month.  Maybe people are overwhelmed by the commitment.  Lets discuss this at a future meeting.
  17. Items for the Next Agenda –  Zone Change, One Stop meeting, Public Works and intersection of Santiago and Sierra Hwy.  Future Agenda – September  – review MAC’s report on East LA
  18. Adjournment – 9;53 pm
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