Sentinel staff report–
Members of the Citrus Heights Planning Commission will now be required to be residents of the city, following a 5-0 vote by the City Council on Thursday night.
Although the change to the city’s municipal code won’t affect any current members of the commission, who are all residents of Citrus Heights, the change was made at the direction of Mayor Jeannie Bruins and Councilman Steve Miller following a staff review of the existing code that found planning commissioners were not required to be residents of the city. Bruins called the change a “little cleanup piece of work.”
The city code has required members of the City Council as well as the city’s Construction Board of Appeals to be residents of Citrus Heights, but has never specified a residency requirement for planning commissioners. According to Vice Mayor Jeff Slowey, several recent applicants for the Planning Commission worked in Citrus Heights but were not residents of the city.
“[W]e don’t have a lot of opportunities for our residents to sit on boards and commissions,” said Slowey, in comments made during the council meeting just prior to the vote. “I think when you’re talking about personal property, residence — actual citizen’s residence in the city — that should be a minimum requirement of the Planning Commission to live in the city, so I fully support this.”
The Planning Commission meets up to twice a month and is tasked with making decisions on land-use related proposals, approving or denying subdivision requests, 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.
Last month, City Council members appointed a total of five residents to take seats on the commission, including Commissioner Jack Duncan who was re-appointed to serve another term. The five appointees joined commissioners Tim Schaefer and Michael Lagomarsino, whose four-year terms do not expire until 2020.