By DEBORAH STAMBLER | Contributing Writer
After almost a month off for the summer schedule, the Pacific Palisades Community Council (PPCC) met on Aug. 27. The full agenda touched on a variety of community issues, but almost every item on the agenda referenced homelessness in some way.
Reports from Maryam Zar, chair of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness (PPTFH), and Sharon Shapiro, Field Deputy for Councilmember Mike Bonin, both included direct information about the homelessness issue in the Palisades and in the city at large.
Zar reported on the latest Task Force meeting. An audience of about 80 community members heard from the OPCC about services that could be provided to the homeless in the area. A fundraising drive is slated to begin in September in order to contract with OPCC.
Shapiro’s update to the PPCC included information about the Parks Storage Ordinance, which involves storage of the personal belongings of people removed from illegal camps on public property.
Further agenda items included licensing for Ralphs and Gelson’s markets to provide instructional wine, beer and spirit tastings.
Senior Planner for FE Design and Consulting, Daphne Gokcen led a presentation regarding a proposed CUP at 544 and 548 Palisades Drive. Property manager Christian Irwin and Roast owner Whitney Werner were both on hand to field questions about the project on Palisades Drive.
While most of the questions were about issues such as parking, the menu and potential noise, concerns were expressed over a possible increase in the homeless presence at the popular shopping area as people look to Roast for free food.
LAPD Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore pointed to a recent rise in purse snatchings at restaurants and cautioned against hanging a purse or bag from the back of a chair. Home burglaries also continue in the area and LAPD has recently targeted two suspects.
Since it’s fire season, there is an increase in LAPD presence in the area to address safety hazards from homeless encampments.
The presence of homeless people in the Palisades is obvious in the Village, near the beach and in certain hillside areas. While the PPCC readily addresses a wide range of local concerns, it’s striking that awareness over homelessness and its impact on daily living is interwoven in key discussions.
The next PPCC meeting will take place on Sept. 10. Bonin is scheduled to be in attendance.
The PPCC welcomes new Area Alternates Linda Lefkowitz (Area 1), Alan Goldsmith (Area 2), Veslemoey Zwart (Area 7) and Elizabeth Shavelson (Area 8). Sharon Kilbride is also joining the PPCC as Special Advisor on Homelessness.