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Dec. 12: Deadline to apply for Planning Commission or Construction Appeals Board

planning commission
Citrus Heights planing commissioners voted 5-1 in favor of a controversial housing development proposed near Sylvan Corners during a Jan. 24, 2018 meeting. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
This Wednesday at 5 p.m. is the deadline to apply for a position on the Planning Commission or Construction Board of Appeals for the City of Citrus Heights.

The seven-member Planning Commission meets up to twice a month and is tasked with making decisions on land-use related proposals, as well as holding public hearings and reviewing proposed ordinances. The commission also makes recommendations to the City Council on major projects, as it did for the new City Hall and Medical Office Building project and most recently for Watt Communities’ 260-home development off Arcadia Drive.

The five-member Construction Board of Appeals meets rarely and only on an as-needed basis to hear complaints from those aggrieved by a decision of the city’s chief building official. The board also “assists in determining suitability of materials and methods of construction, as well as interpreting technical codes.”

Historically, the Planning Commission has served as a stepping stone for leaders to gain experience before moving up to an elected position on the City Council, which was the case with Commissioner Porsche Middleton who was elected to the City Council last month.

What are the qualifications?
The only qualifications listed for serving on the Planning Commission are that the member be at least 18 years of age and have “[a]n interest and desire to participate in the planning and development of the City of Citrus Heights.” The city code appears to be silent on whether members of the Planning Commission are required to be residents of Citrus Heights.

Qualifications for the Construction Board of Appeals are that applicants must be residents of Citrus Heights and be at least 18 years old. According to a city flier, applicants must be “qualified by experience and training to pass upon matters pertaining to building construction.”

Are the positions paid?
According to the City Clerk’s Office, Planning Commissioners receive a nominal stipend of $70 per meeting.

What is the time requirement for the Planning Commission?
There is no time requirement given by the city, other than that commissioners are expected to show up to Planning Commission meetings, which are held 1-2 times per month and last 1-2 hours on average.

Several current and past commissioners have said they spend 8-10 hours per month on Planning Commission business, primarily reading documents in preparation for the meetings. Commissioner Porsche Middleton has said she spends an average of 20 hours per week on Planning Commission business.

Which seats are up for appointment?
Commissioners Jack Duncan, Leah Cox, Porsche Middleton, Russell Blair and Marcel Weiland all have their terms in office set to expire on Dec. 31, 2018. Commissioners Tim Schaefer and Michael Lagomarsino are not up for re-appointment until 2020.

How long is the term in office?
Five members of the Planning Commission are nominated to serve four-year terms, with each City Council member nominating one commissioner. The remaining two positions on the commission are two-year at-large positions, nominated by the City Council as a whole.

Commissioners are limited to serving no more than eight consecutive years on the Planning Commission. However, the city’s municipal code says “An individual who has previously served eight consecutive years on the planning commission is eligible for reappointment to the commission after two years have passed. Partial terms are not counted for the purpose of determining if a member has served eight consecutive years.”

Construction Board of Appeals members are appointed to terms of four years. Two positions are set to expire at the end of this year.

To be considered for appointment to either the Planning Commission or the Construction Board of Appeals, applicants must fill out a three-page application form. New this year, all applicants will also take part in a 10-minute video interview, which will be made available to the public and City Council prior to councilmembers making appointments.

Applications for all positions are available online or at City Hall, located at 6360 Fountain Square Drive. The deadline for submitting an application to the City Clerk’s Office is 5 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2018.

The City Council is slated to make appointments during their Jan. 12, 2019 meeting.

Download an application form: click here

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