BID Board to Spend $55,072 for Improvements in the Business District 

The Business Improvement District voted to install five new benches around town that would match the benches that have already been placed by PRIDE. Here PRIDE members Bruce Schwartz (left) and Sam Rubin enjoy the corner of Monument and Sunset.

The Pacific Palisades Business Improvement District (BID) held a special Zoom meeting on August 14, with 13 people in attendance. They approved $55,072 to be used for improvements in the District, which extends along Sunset from Carey to Via de la Paz.

“By December 31, there will only be $4,230 left [in the current year’s budget],” treasurer Manual Pardo (Village School) said. “The City will like that.”

Earlier this year, officials from the Office of the City Clerk  contacted Pardo and told him that according to regulations, the Palisades BID needed to allocate and spend money by the end of the year. According to BID regulations, there can’t be a surplus.

In response, the BID created a task force, led by Susan Carroll (Gift Garden) with David Peterson, Leland Ford, Pardo and PRIDE’s Sam Rubin as members. They walked the blocks of the main Palisades business district looking for areas for potential beautification projects.

“We looked at tree trimming, sidewalks and holiday decorations,” Peterson said. “We spent hours. The City asked for specificity.”

They identified 13 locations where trash cans could be installed, and locations for five new benches (one at Sunset and La Cruz, a second on Swarthmore by CVS, a third on Antioch near the Chamber of Commerce office and two near Anawalt Hardware. The benches from Canterbury Bowery would be six feet wide, with a steel backrest, arms and legs that would match the other benches that have been placed around town by Palisades PRIDE.

Outgoing BID President Rick Lemmo (representing Caruso) raised an objection that many benches now are built with inside arms so that the homeless can’t occupy them. “We should talk directly to the businesses, whose benches may be in front.”

Carroll said, “I understand your concern about the benches, but we want to be consistent [with bench design] throughout the village.”

“Consistency is a good choice,” said Lemmo. Caruso’s Palisades Village property, whose company takes no amenities from BID, including trash pickup from Chrysalis.

Rubin, who is not a member of BID, was praised for his assistance. “His depth of knowledge was amazing,” task force members agreed.

In addition to budgeting for benches and trash bins, $600 was set aside for flower planters to be placed somewhere in the District (site undetermined); $10,000 was dedicated to tree trimming and $10,000 for holiday lighting.

Bob Benton (Chamber of Commerce) told the group that they would not be able to light trees for that amount. Task force members were reminded that the BID had tried to light trees before, but the task was too expensive because of a lack of electrical outlets.

Peterson explained that the money was a placeholder and that perhaps the project could be done in a different way than installing electricity for each tree. He noted that on Pampas Ricas in the Huntington, the trees are lit around holiday time. “We’d like to emulate that—have all the trees beautifully lit.”

Carroll added, “I would like to see them lit year-round.”

Lemmo has now stepped down as BID president. “Kevin Niles and Leland Ford will take over as co-presidents,” he announced. “I can go back to representing Caruso on the board. We have two great leaders who have a deep history and knowledge of Pacific Palisades.”

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