City Manager's Bi-Weekly Update
March 2, 2012
• Costco Wholesale – A permit has been issued for a 2,100 square feet addition to existing building for storage, and a new dairy cooler, located at 13463 Washington Boulevard.
• 600 Corporate Pointe - A permit has been issued to Cerner for a tenant improvement.
• Westfield Culver City - Plans have been submitted by Dippingo which is a new chocolate fondue kiosk.
• Chipotle Mexican Grill - Plans have been submitted for a new restaurant located at 4114 Sepulveda Boulevard.
• eBAY - Plans have been submitted for a 11,290 square feet tenant improvement located at 10451 Jefferson Boulevard.
• Planning Commission – The Commission has approved the Housing Element related Zoning Code Text Amendments for emergency shelters, transitional housing, and supportive housing.
• Music in the Chambers - The City of Culver City and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association will present Music in the Chambers, a free Neighborhood Chamber Music Concert, and featuring members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a string quartet on Thursday, March 22 at 7 pm in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers at City Hall. This cultural event, formerly funded by the Culver City Redevelopment Agency, will receive alternative private funding this year and will not be supported by the City General Fund. Reservations are requested and may be made by calling the Cultural Affairs Hotline at (310) 253-5716. More information is available by visiting the Arts & Culture page of the City’s website at http://www.culvercity.org.
• Project Shadow-CCHS - Over the past few weeks, High School seniors from Culver City High have been participating in the Project Shadow program with members of the Culver City Fire Department. Project Shadow is a work-based learning experience that allows students to follow a host employer during a typical work day. Students observe daily activities and ask questions about a particular career. The program is open to Culver City High seniors who meet the required academic standards. This program matches up students, interested in the fire service, with members from the Culver City Fire Department. The students are assigned to the various fire stations and spend approximately six hours with the crew. During their stay, they are provided information about the variety of services the fire service provides along with the required training and education to obtain and maintain a career. The program provides the students an opportunity to see firsthand what a fire service career is all about and ask as many questions as they like. The students enjoyed watching the firefighters train and respond to emergency calls much more than they enjoyed watching them clean the station and enter reports into the station computer.
• Fireman’s Fund Grant - The Culver City Fire Department recently received a grant through the Fireman’s Fund Grant Program. The monies received were utilized to purchase two special hydraulic cutters designed to work in confined spaces. The specialized cutters will assist the Firefighters in safely extricating people trapped in confined areas, such as a foot trapped under the brake pedal, minimizing the risk of further injury to the patient. These specialty cutters will augment the variety of hydraulic equipment currently carried on Fire Department apparatus. On February 22 members from the Fireman’s Grant Fund met with members of the Culver City Fire Department to officially present the grant. This was also an opportunity to thank them for their donation and take photos.
Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department
• Administration – PRCS Director Daniel Hernandez met with the Board of Directors of the Culver City Senior Citizens Association (CCSCA) to present a conceptual idea in which the Association could partner with the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department for the park amenity fundraising program. Their non-profit status would assist the City in collecting donations to purchase park amenities for various City parks. Thank you to the CCSCA for their unanimous support of this partnership.
• Recreation – Plans are underway for the Annual Egg Hunt, which will take place on Saturday, March 24 from 10 am to noon. The event is held in conjunction with the Culver City Kiwanis Club, with donations from local businesses. Over 300 visitors are expected at Veterans Park for this popular annual event. Along with vendors, there will be arts and crafts, game booths, prizes and a Big Egg Dash that starts at 10 am sharp!
Youth Tennis at Culver West Alexander continues to prove to be very popular, averaging 40 participants a week. Free drop-in activities at Culver West Alexander Park, Lindberg Park and Fox Hills Park have had steady involvement even through the winter months, averaging 25 attendees per week.
1. Installed new drinking fountains at Vets Park as part of the City’s Prop A Grant obligation.
2. Installed three new PAR exercise equipment pieces at Fox Hills Park.
3. Installed new roofing at the new booster pump enclosure and the existing auxiliary pump station at Culver City Park.
4. Repaired playground equipment at Lindberg Park.
5. Performed ball diamond irrigation and field maintenance at the Little League fields and various park sites.
• Senior and Social Services – Saturday, March 3 the third and final Community Conversation event of 2012 was held at the Culver City Senior Center. “Mental Fitness: Aging and Keys to Optimum Cognitive Health” were featured with speakers Susan B. Geffen, author of The Seven Triggers of Mental Health Decline in Seniors, Makeda Cowan and Lynne Azanow-Saturno of the L.A. County Department of Mental Health and Tee Barr, Brain Fitness Program Director at Senior Concerns.
The PRCS Senior and Social Services Division announces a new partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Each Tuesday at the Senior Center, a therapist and mental health nurse will be provided by the G.E.N.E.S.I.S. older adult program. The staff will be available to the public to offer advice, answer questions, and conduct health evaluations.
• Recent Staffing Changes at the Police Department - The Chief and Command staff recently had the opportunity to promote two Lieutenants and four Sergeants due to recent retirements. The new Lieutenants are Rick Nielsen and Randy Vickrey, and the four new Sergeants are Sorai Estrada, Manuel Cid, Dan Sukal and Jeff Zerbey.
• Neighborhood Watch Meeting - On February 21 Police Department representatives attended the Culver Crest Neighborhood Watch Meeting. Lt. Iizuka gave a brief overview of their areas crime statistics and also discussed the importance of maintaining a proactive watch program to ensure a safe community.
Public Works Department
• Schaefer Street Trees – The Public Works Department recently conducted a survey allowing residents on Schaefer Street to select a type of tree to replace the dead Ficus trees that were removed in 2010. Residents had the option of selecting the Tipuana Tipu tree, Chinese Flame tree, Australian Willow tree or a combination of all three. The vast majority of the residents chose the Tipuana Tipu tree.
Letters were sent out on February 21 to all residents on Schaefer Street informing them that the Public Works Department will begin planting Tipuana Tipu trees beginning at the end of this current fiscal year and continuing into fiscal year 2012-13. Approximately 30 trees will be planted in the first cycle. In all, a total of 48 trees will be planted in every suitable location along the street parkway and the planting size will be 24” box, which will allow the trees to better establish their root structure.
The Tipuana Tipu is currently not the recommended tree species for Schaefer Street per the City’s Street Tree Master Plan (the recommended species is the Bottle tree). Staff anticipates making the appropriate change to the Street Tree Master Plan as part of a comprehensive evaluation of the Plan, which will be included in the Department’s 2012/13 Work Plan.
• Parking Meter Installation – The Public Works Department has begun the installation of poles for the new parking meter installations approved by the City Council in 2011. The installation of parking meter heads will begin soon. The new parking meters will accept credit cards as well as coins for payment.
• Upgrade of Downtown Parking Meters to Accept Credit Cards and Implementation of Changes to Rates and Operating Hours/Days - The Public Works Department is scheduled to upgrade the existing parking meters in the Downtown area to accept credit cards starting the week of March 5. When these upgraded parking meters are installed, they will be programmed with the changes to parking meter operations in the Downtown area approved by the City Council on January 23. These changes include raising parking meter rates from $1/hr. to $1.50/hr. and extending the hours/days of operation to include 8 am-11 pm, everyday (including Sunday).
• Grant Award for Design of Ramp at Higuera Bridge – On February 24, the Baldwin Hills Conservancy Board approved the City’s grant application for funding to design a ramp from the Higuera Bridge to the Ballona Creek Bike Path. The Public Works Department anticipates coordinating the design of the ramp with the design of the reconstruction of the Higuera Bridge, which is currently expected to begin in fall 2012.
• Expo - National Boulevard and Washington Boulevard Roadway Paving - Starting March 5 thru to mid-April Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. (BBII), Expo contractor, will be conducting paving activities on National and Washington Boulevards adjacent to the Expo right-of-way. During this work, there will be traffic detours and diversions. The complexities of maintaining access to Howard Industries on Washington Boulevard during the widening and reconstruction of Washington has necessitated a phased approach and lengthening of the time the existing temporary traffic controls are in place. The anticipate work schedule is:
1. Monday, March 5 to Friday, March 9, 8 am to 8 pm - implement base course paving of the areas of National and Washington Boulevards within the closed portions of the roadway.
2. Saturday, March 10, 9 am to 7 pm - implement a full closure of National Boulevard, between Washington Boulevard and Wesley Street. Through-traffic will be directed to La Cienega Boulevard.
3. Monday, March 12 and Tuesday, March 13, 9 am to 2 pm - minor traffic diversions within the work area will occur on National Boulevard, between Wesley Street and Schaefer Avenue.
4. During the above period, work will be implemented at the Howard Industries work area, with occasional minor traffic diversions. When the work at Howard Industries is done, the final paving of National and Washington Boulevards will be performed and the streets will be fully re-opened. This final paving will require rotating closures of National and Washington Boulevards and will be done on a weekend in April.
By Monday, March 5 BBII was scheduled to install changeable message signs around the area advising of the March 10 full closure of National Boulevard and providing detour information. BBII will also hand-deliver notices to the affected area and City Staff will coordinate web-postings of notices and e-mail distributions. These same noticing procedures will be implemented for the final paving in April.
• Robertson Boulevard Pedestrian/Transit Connection Improvements Project – Staff from the Public Works and Transportation Departments are jointly working on sidewalk improvements on the east side of Robertson Boulevard between Venice and Washington Boulevards adjacent to the Exposition Light Rail Culver City Station to create an on-street transit center for the buses that connect to the station. The Project is currently under design and is anticipated to be completed in June, 2012.
• I-10/Robertson/National Area Circulation Improvement Project - The purpose of this project is to improve the traffic conditions on I-10 Freeway and around the future Exposition Light Rail Culver City Station area by reconfiguring the on/off ramp system and streets to rationalize traffic movements. Public Works and Transportation Departments work collaboratively on the project. The Project’s Memorandum of Understanding between the City of LA, Culver City, and Metro was executed on January 4 and the City of Los Angeles, as the project manager, will begin the Request for Proposal process for Project study and environmental documents in the next couple of months.