City Council Meeting Summary, March 18, 2024

Published on March 20, 2024

Photo of City Council with City Clerk posing for photo with proclamation

City Council Receives Report Findings from Historical Context Study, Discusses Options for Unpaved Alleyways, Denies “Bruce Lee Alley”

City Council Receives Report on Historical Context Study

The City Council received and filed a City Historical Context Study prepared by the Architectural Research Group (ARG). The purpose of the Historical Context Study is to examine, analyze, and document the history of discriminatory dynamics in Culver City’s history, particularly those related to race and ethnicity. The findings of the Historical Context Study are intended to provide the historical context and background needed to inform future efforts to work toward achieving racial equity. The study’s effort began in June 2021 when the City Council expressed a commitment to making Culver City a welcoming and inclusive community by voting to adopt Resolution No. 2021-R066 acknowledging the racial history of Culver City. Eighteen months later, the City Council approved the agreement with ARG, which worked to gather public input and experiences.

City Council approved receiving the report in a 4 to 1 vote. Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin abstained from the vote. You can read the initial report available on the City’s website.

Bruce Lee Alley Denied Waiver in Street Renaming

The City Council unanimously denied waiving the City’s requirements for commemorative naming of city property and facilities for a request to name a street “Bruce Lee Alley”. In order to honor the famous martial artist Bruce Lee, organizers of the Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) requested to have a portion of “A Street”, the alley way between Town Plaza and Van Buren Street, renamed to Bruce Lee Alley. Lee resided in Culver City during the filming of The Green Hornet.

The organizers have not to date been able to fulfill the six requirements in the City’s naming policy:

  • 20 years of service by the person to the Culver City community
  • Signed petitions from 75% of the residents within the immediate area
  • Record of volunteer service and civic engagement by the person
  • Record of fundamentally influencing the direction of City policy and development of the City
  • Record of being a well-known and respected pillar of the community, demonstrated by their career and civic activities within the City
  • Letters of community support from a broad range of Culver City community

The City Council signaled its willingness to work with organizers to find another way to honor Bruce Lee and his achievements in the City, as well as other cultural icons.

Unpaved Alleyways Citywide Discussed

The City Council discussed financial options to improve the City’s 2.4 miles of unpaved alleys. Ultimately, the City Council did not take action. Instead, the City Council discussed a cost-share option in which the adjacent property owners potentially would pay a percentage of the alleyway paving cost, and the City potentially would pay the remaining cost, predicated on the condition that the property owners form an assessment district to pay back their portion of the cost.

Adjacent residents to unpaved alleys are regularly impacted by blowing dust and the uneven driving, biking surfaces of these unpaved alleyways. The winter storms of last year and this year further drew attention to this issue, as the unpaved alleys can flood during heavy rains and become inaccessible to vehicles or pedestrians. The Public Works Department Maintenance Operations Division re-grades the unpaved alleys once annually to allow for positive drainage and pumps stormwater from these unpaved alleyways as needed when resources are available. The City has historically prioritized spending City general and gas tax funds for arterial and residential street paving projects. As a result, unpaved alleyways have not been funded for new asphalt construction through the annual capital improvement program. A few alleyways have been paved as part of development projects.

To pave the 2.4 miles of unpaved alleys would cost approximately $11.5 million. The item will likely return to a future City Council agenda.

Fire Department Presents Strategic Plan and Accomplishments

Culver City Fire Chief Ken Powell highlighted the Department’s 2024-2029 Strategic Plan. In the presentation, Chief Powell covered the Fire Department’s successes and ongoing work. That strategic plan took four full days of meetings with external and internal stakeholders to produce. It is an all-encompassing look at the agency’s priorities, challenges, and future.

The Strategic Plan also includes a Community Risk Assessment, which is a summary of the community’s fire and non-fire-related risks. The Strategic Plan also creates goals and objectives for each of the Department’s divisions and programs. Its main focus is to ensure a safe and effective response for fire suppression, emergency medical services, and specialty response situations, Powell said.

The Department is currently receiving its fire accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation, a process that is completed every five years. That application includes the development of a Self-Assessment Manual document, Community Risk Assessment, Standards of Cover document, and a Strategic Plan document. All documents are peer-reviewed. The process includes a site visit from the review team, as well as a hearing in front of the Commission on Fire Accreditation. If successful, this will be the Department’s sixth time being accredited, Powell said.

The Fire Department also completed the necessary documents for the Insurance Service Office (ISO) Rating in 2023. It earned a Class 1 ISO Rating, the highest rating a Department can receive, indicating how well the community is protected by the Fire Department’s fire suppression program. It is a nationwide rating used by insurance companies to help establish insurance rates for local businesses and residential properties. This means residents and businesses have the potential to get lower fire insurance premiums. Out of over 38,000 agencies surveyed in the United States, Culver City Fire Department is one of only 498 in the country to receive a Class 1 ISO Rating. Culver City has maintained the distinction since 1995.

Culver City Proclaims March as Women’s History Month

The City Council began Monday’s meeting with a proclamation designating March as Women’s History Month 2024. National Women’s History Alliance, which spearheaded the movement for March being declared National Women’s History Month, has announced the women’s history theme for 2024: “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.”

This year’s theme recognizes women throughout the country who understand that, for a positive future, we need to eliminate bias and discrimination entirely from our lives and institutions. The City of Culver City is fortunate to be a diverse community and strives to be a City that welcomes people of all races and ethnicities, religions, and genders. While there is still work to be done to advance gender equity and equality, let us celebrate the contributions of women throughout our history and honor their stories and recognize that when all women’s lives are improved, we all gain.

With the proclamation, the City encourages our community to celebrate both recognized trailblazers and unsung heroines who have guided the course of world history and continue to shape its future and commit to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls in Culver City and around the world.

Additional Council Decisions 

Additional items approved by the City Council include:

Additional information about each of the topics heard at the City Council meeting can be found in the staff reports and backup attachments for the items, which are posted along with the agenda to the City’s website. The video of the City Council meeting will be made available on the City’s website for viewing.

The City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 8th.



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